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1/72 Azur Cierva C-30

by Gabriel Stern

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Autogyros are strange, but by no means dysfunctional members of the large aircraft family. For me, if they are weird, is good enough to try to model them. Azur gives the chance with their little cute kit.
What you get is what you would expect if you have spent some time in the hobby: short run technology injected parts, a few resin bits (engine, exhaust collecting ring, rotor head and a tiny bottle of beer (so I like to imagine) that goes in the top of the front fuselage to please you during the flight. Vac-formed (or de-formed) windshields, an outstanding decal sheet and clear enough instructions complete the package.
You will find delicate, precise surface detail coupled with the sad absence of positive locating devices (although the position of the parts is lightly marked in the correspondent places).

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The interior is mildly catered but good enough, the transparent vac parts, even with a magnifier, are indiscernible from their surrounding plastic, so good luck there, fellows. I made mine from bent acetate sheet.
The fit in general is good, and take notice that because of complicated aerodynamic reasons, difficult to explain without the help of an abundant wine supply, the horizontal tail parts have opposed lift (one side will be cambered the other way). That is correctly depicted in the locating profiles in the sides of the fuselage, where the tail parts are to be glued.

The only part that seems an invitation to disaster is the rotor head, molded in a very fragile resin that probably will not support the weight of the rotor blades and would be very difficult to remove from the pouring block without some degree of damage. Alas, another has to be resourced as you may please. For mine I used just the resin central hub, which I drilled for the main rotor axis and the three blades (arghhh!). Short pieces of pin were cut and inserted there and into the blade roots -previously drilled too-. A photo-etched part from the ever useful cornucopia (a.k.a. spares box) capped the rotor hub, and three pieces of plastic tube were inserted also as "dampeners". Later I inserted a piece of brass tube into the supporting structure of the rotor to allow it to rotate freely. One day in the future I may add some wires that seem to run from those dampeners to the blades.
A workable painting sequence will make you scratch your head, due mainly to the rotor supporting structure that will hinder your access for masking the interior and installing the windshields.
A little challenge will be to find a way to deal with the aligning and gluing of the above-mentioned structure.
During construction, the double control bar executed from the tweezers the well known quadruple death somersault. The part was miraculously found when was about to be engulfed by the universally feared carpet monster*.
Another extra I added is the (most likely a) pitot tube and support on one of the struts of the landing gear, which I found in many images of the real thing.
This sort of complicated flying umbrella-cum-fan has a spider-designed landing gear, that will be the delight of poor-sighted, ham-handed modelers. Not impossible to build, though, by any means, if you are a Shaolin Monk and/or watched enough TV episodes of "Little Grasshopper".

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* Is the carpet monster a species officially recognized by science?  To what Filum it does belong? Does it only dwell in the carpets that cover the floors or modeler homes, or can it be found also elsewhere? Is it an evolutionary relative of the terrible office monster, that sustains itself on files, pens and other objects that also tend to disappear?
Does Its diet consist of just plastic, resin and metal tiny parts or was there any case of a modeler being also eaten? Is there any photographic evidence that modelers around the world can provide? Any takers?

Gabriel

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Photos and text by Gabriel Stern

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