Saturday 7 January 2017

1/56 VSF 'Zeppelin' Bomber Build - Part One

My VSF Avionic Conveyances are continually growing in number and I'm planning a 'Steam Battle in the Sky' soon. I am actually just going to use WoG/WoW to run this. I'll match each of my flyers with a set of cards from these rules and go for it nice and easy...the VSF 'Zeppelin' Bomber will use the cards from one of the bombers but using only the two MGs it has on board! Anyway without any further ado onto the 1/56 VSF 'Zeppelin' Bomber Build.
This is my take on on VSF Airship Bomber, I have used Renaissance Miniatures Santos Dumont Airship #9 kit as a basis for it. I picked the kit up at an okay price through a Kickstarter. Having the kit has saved me a lot of work as I was considering building something similar from scratch but the wonders of laser cutting and a few bucks has saved me a lot of man hours.

The kit itself is good, cut from plywood rather than MDF as the other laser cutting companies seem to use. You get fabric to cover the balloon/envelope and wire for rigging in addition to the plywood parts. If I was actually building the Santos Dumont Airship #9 I would still be making some improvements to the kit (i.e. Adding a base to the basket, using a bit of dowel for the fuel tank, make a one piece engine block with better details using the kit radiator etc). Anyway a good kit not cheap and not for the feint hearted. 

Anyway I have now completed the gondola and yes you now know what my simple steam engine was for!

I used the main fuselage from the kit and added some sewing pin rivet detail. I built the simple steam engine. I replaced the kit propeller with a Lego one and used a plastic round tube for the drive shaft. I added to the existing ballast struts a bomb rack on each side (TOBSEN77 bombs) and a bit of coat hanger wire to connect them, why because it looked pretty good to me! I capped the wire ends with goggle eyes painted black. I may paint the wire brass but as I said I think it looks cool as is. The last this I did was build the crew cabin and this was made with sheet styrene, the MGs are again from TOBSEN77 and the cockpit edging it natural Yellow Milliput. The pilots are TOBSEN77 (I must order more down to my last two).

I didn't take may WIP pictures of this build as you can see the Santos Dumont Airship #9 instructions for those parts and the only other build bits were the cabin and steam engine and there is already a post on that.

The crew cabin built from flat styrene sheets, Captain Smith seems to be hanging around this build!

 The crew cabin with MGs and of course Captain Smith next to the Gondala for a size comparison...

The underside of the Gondola showing the eight bombs in place...  
The Gondola complete the crew are painted and in place, their cockpit padding has been added to...

Here's the balloon/envelope frame completed exactly as pr the kit instructions. Part Two of this build will be about my adventures of revisiting my youth as I try to cover a frame with tissue and dope...oh yeah there were many tears then and I suspect there'll be more to come! I know it's an old fashion way to do this but I think it will give a better finish than using the kit supplied fabric.

Next time...errr I'm not sure...

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