29 Dec 2016
Crash Landing, Pt. 2
So, like a phoenix from the ashes, etc. - My S.E.5a doesn't look too bad, does it? A few pieces had flown off, and were easily reattached. Amazingly, neither the undercarriage nor the tail assembly with all its finickety cabling were damaged; I guess those sections simply hadn't hit any stone step on the plane's descent into the cellar. But the struts with IIRC one exception had snapped at one end, and most of the rigging had broken too. I decided not to remove any intact lengths of rigging, even though as you may see if you look closely, they sag a little now. They were so beautifully taut before, which is why I like to use that material, as much as for the structural strength it confers.
I've used the afore-mentioned ceramic wire for all the repaired sections. It's called Wonder Wire and I love it but it's really hard to get hold of; and now I've made unwanted inroads into my limited supply. Almost any length of wire you can see in the pics which is straight is Wonder Wire. But the whole thing is now a lot more fragile.
Here's the thing with most creative projects, not just model kits: even without the damage and repairs, I still wouldn't be 100% happy with it. Because I built it, and I know what's wrong with it. I know where all the little bodges are, I know where I cut a corner or two, I know what I could have done if I'd spent a little more time on it; and so on and so on. Also, because I frequent a WWI modelling forum, I know the high standards of the top modellers, and what could be done with a little raising of skills. Hint for any fairy godmother who might be reading - a major step up would result from the acquisition of an airbrush and compressor :)
But please don't think I'm all negative at this point. I delivered it to a friend today, and she was very pleased with it. She wanted something Australian, and what better than an example with a kangaroo on the side? The display case turns a piece like this into something you might like to have on view, and more importantly protects it from dust and interference. And the vignette work makes it very pretty in my view. There are some really well sculpted 1:32 pilot and crew figures you can get these days, and I always like to stick in an animal somewhere, usually a dog. But knowing what we do, you could look at this scene and reckon, that the dog is staring at the pilot and wondering why he's so reluctant to get back into this particular aircraft!