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Oh... OK. Just One More For The Show.
A last minute build for the "Spirit of St. Stephen" 2023 Fall Fair demonstration.
As per my previous post, I’ve been building model airplanes for an upcoming demonstration I am doing for St. Stephen’s Fall Fair. I remembered I had started this model of Canadair’s amphibious CL-215 fire-fighter/rescue plane in 1/72 scale from the Heller brand model kit about 30 years ago so I decided to finish it off quickly. It didn’t have to be perfect, just good enough to show the kids what they look like and what they do. This is the result. As before, deliberately unweathered so it looks “pretty” rather than realistic. Plus, I was in a real hurry so didn’t spend the time on it that I normally do on a model kit. I have two more kits of this plane anyway so I can do a better job later if I want.
I wanted to display the model in flight on a stand rather than sitting on its landing gear, my usual preferred method of displaying flying machines as they always look better in flight (their natural habitat!), than sitting on the ground. This presented at least three problems. The kit did not come with a stand, nor pilot figures, and the landing gear was designed to be built deployed rather than retracted. I had to remedy all that.
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The nose gear doors, which blend into the boat-shaped hull, needed to be closed. But the fit was terrible, as the doors were never meant to be closed on this kit. That necessitated a generous use of putty and sanding it down, thus destroying all the rivet detail that’s plastered all over this kit. Yeah, I could have re-pressed in new rivet detail but that would take more time. Besides, on the stand you don’t see them very well anyway.
The main landing gear was a slight challenge. I had to consult pictures of the real plane and figure out how the landing gear actually worked. it’s a bit of a folding act as the gear must retract into the fuselage by folding in on itself with the mechanisms still exposed. Only one part needed to be cut. I just glued the bits together in the retracted position, painted them white (as near as I could tell, that’s how they are painted), and glued the assembly into the gear well.
You can’t really see them well in these photos but I also put a couple of 1/72-scale pilot figures into the cockpit. You can see them if you look closely though. It would have looked silly to have a flying plane that was unmanned, wouldn’t it? So I robbed a couple of figures from my spare parts stash, painted them, and glued them into the seats.
Of note: The cockpit “glass” has some flaws that look like scratches on the panes. That’s actually a flaw in the kit itself due to a lack of quality control by Heller, as all three of the kits I have exhibited the exact same flaws. If I wanted to spend the time I could have sanded and polished them out, but as I stated, I was pressed for time.
The stand was the last bit of modifications I had to make, so I searched my spare parts bin and decided that the base was best made from an ancient Star Trek kit base. I adapted it and made a brass-sleeved steel post to plug into the plane and the base. Looks OK I guess. It does the job anyway. Fairly sturdy at least.
OH! I know… you’re wondering about the registration lettering, eh? “C-FROG”? Is that for real?
Well, yes and no.
First, you must know that in Canada, almost all aircraft registration numbers (which are really letters) start with a “C-” or “CF-” followed by four more letters. The kit did not come with Canadian registration, so I needed to come up with a registration for the plane to make it at least appear somewhat authentic. I decided to have some fun with it. So I used Adobe Illustrator and some bubblejet decal paper to make my own registration decals.
The CL-215 is an amphibious aircraft. That means it can land and take off from land and water. What is also a known amphibian? FROGS! Frogs are classified as amphibians. That’s why I decided to give it the “Foxtrot Romeo Oscar Golf” registration for fun.
The fact that these airplanes are built in the French province of Quebec (with Canadian taxpayer funding as with almost everything done in Quebec) is a coincidental joke. ;-) (You can be forgiven if you don’t get the joke, especially if you don’t live in Canada.)
Anyway, enjoy the rest of the pictures.