Sunday, 29 September 2019

Flight of the Storch

Those regular readers of this most humble of weblogs will be only too aware of my butterfly like approach to projects.  Seemingly unable to focus on anything for any given period of time, projects have been known to stutter and stall just when they were coming to fruition.  Now in my defence, I would suggest that this is just a mechanism that allows me to keep my imagination and creativity ticking over, but it would appear that even before the Castle build is complete, I seem to have sauntered off to consider other elements!

There is no doubt that that this project is all about the Castle; the fact that we are building a game around it a secondary thought.  That said we are, at some point, going to need to consider what else is going to be on the table?  We know that the forests surrounding the Castle will have loot markers strategically positioned, along with some artillery pieces, but what else?
It is no secret that I like a popular culture cross over.  Movie related miniatures, a nod to a piece of literature or poetry are all fair game in my hobbying world.  So when I was imagining what might make an interesting feature for the dense forest, I couldn't help but consider the likes of Alistair MacLean's oeuvre or the adventures of a certain Dr. Jones.  One of MacLean's most successful tales, Where Eagles Dare, went on to be made into a splendid film, staring the likes of Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood.  The opening scene tracks the flight of a Junkers Ju 52 through the Austrian mountains as the drum beat intensifies, all very stirring stuff and another personal favourite of Young Master Awdry.
I started to wonder if we could have our own plane?  A crashed Fiesler Storch perhaps, its cargo of lost Nazi gold spilling out everywhere, possibly the last resting place of the Ark of the Covenant?  Now clearly such a fabrication has no place in the original story of Schloss Itter, but who would begrudge me a spot of artistic licence?  This posed the nest question, where does one find a 1/56 scale Fiesler Storch?  Well the answer is you design and build your own, of course.  I have made mention of James' skill in using the computer to draw out his ideas, all the time considering the construction of any given piece.  When the muse grips him, James is unstoppable and appears happiest when his is designing and building, it matters not what.  Within a day of a throwaway conversation a Mark I prototype was drawn and cut, with modifications starting as soon as the construction process began.  
I watched, giddy as a schoolboy, as James tinkered around, adding balsa wood to create a more substantial shape to the angular frame, lifting it beyond your average MDF kit to something much more special.  Cocktail sticks and tissue paper were applied and the kit was starting to take shape, just the small matter of painting it remained.
I should point out at this juncture that the images you see here are all of James' progress.  This is a side project that has really caught his imagination and he has continued to re-visit the original drawing adding seats, propeller and addressing other construction issues as they arise.  Painting saw him fire up the trusty airbrush and even give the plane some camouflage patterns, before turning his attention to the smaller details.
All was progressing well and as my thoughts started to turn to 'crashing' one of James' kits we inadvertently stumbled across a small problem.  It would appear that not remaining on task is contagious and that my affliction had been passed on to James!  As I popped into the the studios earlier this week, I was greeted with a cheery, "Watcha, look what I've done."  There before me was the caracas of a 1/56 scale Hurricane!  James, clearly unable to sleep, had completed the drawing overnight and had already started to assemble his latest construction.  What was staggering was the size of the Hurricane next to the Storch, it just appeared too small.  James, convinced that the drawing of the Hurricane was correct reached for a steel rule to check the measurements.  Sure enough, the fighter was spot on and that was when the penny dropped, it must be the Storch.  Sure enough the scale was slightly out, not a huge disaster, but would now require some rescaling to bring it back in line.   

This has been a wonderful diversion and I can't wait to get my hands on one of these kits, just need to persuade James not to reenact the 'Battle of Britain' in 1/56 scale!

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43 comments:

  1. Wow that’s some talent, just throwing together a scale aircraft.

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  2. That is just brilliant! And I love your thought process behind it Michael 😀

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    1. Thank you Ivor, looking forward to crashing one, but we just need to scratch our heads a little with regards the rest of the terrain.

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  3. Magnificent!

    Broadsword calling Danny Boy.

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    1. I wonder if we can get a cablecar into the build? ;)

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  4. Looks great . . . . .Now get back to work!! ;0)

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  5. excellent, what an amazing talent!

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  6. How rotten corrupting James with distractions ! LOL Fantastic looking plane and painting, James should be mighty proud

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    1. I think he has really enjoyed this Dave, at one point I caught he using tissue paper and dope to get a cleaner finish to the surface. It really is a little gem.

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  7. What a great little diversion! If only we were all so productive in the time available!
    Best Iain

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    1. Thank you Iain, we desperately need more time though.

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  8. Replies
    1. James really has done a smashing job on this one.

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  9. That Storch looks absolutely ace! Would like to see poctures of the Hurricane

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    1. I will see if we can sort something out for you Nick. As of this morning theHurricane was in three pieces and there was talk of making a mold for it!

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  10. James is such a talented guy, to be able to build an aircraft from scratch, with such attention to detail is truly awe-inspiring.

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    1. That's very kind of you to say, although a little generous. I've never built anything quite like it before, and I enjoyed the challenge.

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  11. Very impressive recreation of an iconic plane. Masterfully built and painted!

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    1. Thank you Dean, you are very kind. It was fun to make - even if a little too big. :)

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  12. Oh nice. Seeing all this goodness is tempting me to,visit Salute just to see it in the flesh

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  13. Flippin heck, that's impressive work! Hard to find ANY 1/56 aircraft kits. I had to go with a 1/48 Spit for my crashed aircraft terrain project. Big, but not horribly so and being terrain a little larger scale makes for more eyecatching I think.

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    1. Thank you Dai. Hopefully I will have it redrawn and rebuilt in true 1/56 later on in the week. Currently, the hurricane has temporarily diverted my attention!!

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  14. Nicely done on both your parts! I would say the old "Stay on Target!" However we have a new problem to tackle....ZOMBTOBER!

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    1. Ah Zomtober! I have given my apologies for this year, but I need to get a load more done on this project before the end of the term! That's not to say that I won't be watching the undead shenanigans with interest and cheering you all along.

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    1. It was amazing to watch the design process too.

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  16. Incredible modelling skill, wow. One look at a kit like that would have me consider something easier, like complex algebra while being lit on fire.

    Well done Michael.

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    1. Thank you Greg, James has really 'flown' with this one.

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  17. Small steps, some forward and some sideways, but an adventure with each one.
    The plane looks great, even if it is a little on the large side.

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    1. Thank you and that about sums up the adventure from our perspective!

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  18. Your butterfly like approach to projects is what makes your blog so appealing. But then I guess I'm biased as I have the same approach too XD :)

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  19. Oh wow, a stunning piece!
    Great tinkering

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