Wednesday 23 March 2016

VSF Ace Captain Charles Queensford-Smith Scores 10th Victory! AKA TOBSEN77 Dompfaff kit

The papers of London town ran special editions on the afternoon of August 31 1878 as news spread of ace pilot Captain Charles Queensford-Smiths tenth aerial victory! Excitement abounded as the good Captain who commanded the already legendary 266 Blimp Squadron became the first aviator to achieve such an audacious feat during the First Great Steam War. Her Majesty Queen Victoria was to have given a rousing 'Huzzah!' when she was given the news!

These are pictures taken from a Blimp 1 of Her Imperious Majesty's Aero Blimp Squadron 266 of Captain Queensford-Smith circling his tenth victim piloting his new Sopwith Blimp IV machine...

The skies over war torn Europe in 1878 saw a proliferation in manmade aeronautical conveyances some designed with the objective to simply spy on enemies while others were created with more lethal ideas in mind! These various contraptions came in two main types those suspended from balloons and those using mechanical power to create lift! They were all armed with everything from hand held firearms to the latest Tesla cannons. Amongst these newly named knights of the sky competition grew to 'down' as many opponents as one could to impress the world with their duelling prowess!

Captain Queensford-Smith from the antipodes took over command of 266 Blimp Squadron from Captain Edward Darling during the northern summer of 1878. Darling stepped down once the British Imperial High Command forbade him to fly any further combat sorties once he claimed his fifth victory. In their view it was bad form to place such a popular and charismatic officer in a position of high risk as it was calculated that few of the new pilots were lasting more than six weeks in action. Captain Darling strongly disagreed with this order but being a gentleman and officer could do little but obey it though it is said he did so only after giving his superior, Lord Kitchener-Bun (slightly funny for those in South Australia!) a damn good berating!

The TOBSEN77 Dompfaff kit (known in my time line as a Sopwith Blimp Mk IV) is another cool looking kit. There is no parts picture on the TOBSEN77 site but you get 5 resin parts making up the gondola and balloon, two metal MGs, a metal propeller, 4 cables and 8 cable ends. I ordered one of TOBSEN77s pilot figures to go with it. This goes together easier than the Blimp 1 kit as the cable end bits are in this case very useful. I decided to use only one of the MGs as it then lines up with the pilots hands I made the ‘stand’ from a paper clip.

There’s a couple of comments I can make from my experience with this kit firstly the balloon halves require some sanding to fit and careful assembly to look good (mine sre slightly askew DOH!) and secondly there no smooth section underneath to attach the nice (albeit a bit short) clear stand.

Here are some completed pictures of my single Dompfaff kit…

I have only the three TOBSEN77Libelle kits I ordered to assemble now!

Catch you all next time…


  1. Nice post CD.
    How does it standup to game play?
    It looks like it might be a little top heavy and fall over a bit with clumsey gamers?

    1. Thanks Stu!
      I haven't used this in a game yet but you are correct it's top heavy (so are the Blimp 1s but this is worse). Before I use them I'll add a larger flat 'plate' to the base to give it a bigger footprint for more stability. I'm still thinking about replacing the standard bases with something taller simply for a better look....not a high priority though.

  2. very cool blog mate, link added :)

    1. Thanks Al!
      I'll keep an eye on your blog now too...
      Speaking blogs I'm thinking of creating a second one to cover all my other gaming stuff as I think I'd like keep this one just for 'Captain Darling'...

  3. Hi. I like the alternate gasbag. What did you use ? Pete

  4. Hi Guthroth!
    Thanks for commenting, this is a different TOBSEN kit I think the gasbag is based on one of the plastic eggs that contains novelties but I could be wrong though, the Blimp 1 kit gasbag I reckon is based on the soda syphon gas cylinders...cheers!