an uncommon occurrence that decal makers will release options for civil
When I saw the
(made in Czech Republic) Rising Decals “J-Birds” sheet and a related article
in the ARAWASI magazine #7 on Japanese Hansa Brandenburg W.29, I was all for it.
I wish Arawasi would include more civil golden era plane content.
acquisition of a W.29 kit proved difficult, though. The MPM, TOKO, and Eastern
Express kits were not as easy to obtain as I thought. The available resin kits
were not an option for my modeling budget.
Finally Steve K. from Aridzone kindly sent me the Eastern Express release from
his stash and Christos P. from Malabama helped me to get another for a future
“limousine” version (this one not included in the decal sheet). When the decals (printed by Aviprint) arrived from ‘Run For Cover” in NY I
was delighted. They came in a very sturdy cardboard envelope, further protected
by another piece of card stock and a re-sealable pouch. Accompanying the decals
was a full-color mini-brochure printed on illustration paper. Four civil
subjects are covered. Besides the Hansa you get decals to dress a Ki-9, a Ki-27
and a Beechcraft Staggerwing (man that one looks good).
Eastern Express (ex TOKO) kit has a reasonable level of detail. It offers two
different stabilizers and two rudders. As a bonus you get a dolly and a couple
of supports to prop the model “on land”. The wing-fuselage joint needs a
certain amount of shaving and sanding to get it to fit, but I won’t go on
describing the kit since it was already reviewed on the Net. Its nose is not
applicable to the Japanese versions (which were powered by a geared Hispano
Suiza) thence some nose cosmetic surgery was in order. A new radiator, firewal,
support pieces and a metal cover were made. An engine was scratchbuilt too as
per images. The interior was enhanced a tad adding bulkheads and some other
detail parts. The kit two-blade prop was replaced by a touched-up four-blade
prop from Aeroclub. Windshields, control horns and control cables were added
Aeroclub was mentioned, I used to get a number of my scratchbuilding supplies
from them, but now, due to some circumstances beyond their control, the online
store is closed. I encourage Aeroclub to re-open that online store, and I think
I am not alone here. Some of their items are carried by other vendors but some
items are just not available anywhere else. Please, Aeroclub....??
images below to see larger images
building was done and accessories were made, the model was painted with a
whitish aluminum acrylic and Future applied in preparation for the decals.
The decals are wonderful, but bear in mind that they are
thin, as good decals should be. Handle them with care and patience. I used
Micro Sol and Set, but my impression is that they may not need setting
solution if you apply them to a gloss surface and take care of eliminating
water and bubbles. Their color is dense and not translucent at all and
they are sharply defined. Two decals folded on themselves as I was trying
to apply them (again, they are thin) but adding water and carefully
prodding them with a toothpick straighten them out.
aware of the direction of the Japanese lettering, you may not notice if
you put them upside-down if you don’t speak Japanese. In this case (one
of the four machines you can dress with the decals) you have a couple of
options regarding some small lettering. Study the provided leaflet
decaling assembly of the main parts ensued and details were added.
There were a number of Japanese Hansas on the civil register (J-BASL, J-BAAI, J-BAFI,
etc.) and if you are interested on the type a little research will be in order.
The Hansa has indeed “character”, further enhanced by a civil registration
and livery it really stands out.
Stay tuned for the “limousine” version.
images below to see larger images