Small Flying Aeroplanes "Golden Edition" Albatros D.II Plan Pack




Small Flying Aeroplanes is the brainchild of three talented Czech modellers, Gregovský Radek, Petr Konopásek and Jirka Vyštejn. They were kind enough to pass on to me a sample of their work via Robert Pajas at the 2010 Indoor Scale Nats. This is the plan pack for a 1/20th scale Albatros D.II, complete with all the documentation you need, and a bonus peanut scale plan as well. On the cover is a beautifully built example of the 1/20th flying scale model.



Taking the documentation booklet first, this is produced to a high quality with plenty of original colour artwork. That on the left hand page here features the Albatros D.I (both D.1 and D.II are covered).



The D.II artwork here is to a larger scale and you have the ideal combination of colour documentation, plus a photo of the featured aircraft - everything you need to keep the judges happy.



Here are the scale drawings for the D.I version, plus useful detail shots



And here is the same for the D.II



More artwork, just to make the decision which aircraft to model more difficult.



Some more photos of the completed model to give you something to aim at.



Here is the first sheet of the 1/20th plan, which as you can see is beautifully drawn. The model is designed in the typical Czech style - something more apparent when you see the wing sections and the number of stringers around the fuselage. Wood sizes are naturally all in mm, but easily converted to imperial sizes.



The wings have scale structure, but will be very light judging by those wing sections, which use split ribs glued over the spars. Slight undercamber is used, which is not allowed in FAC contests, so will have to be modified if you are building for a Flying Aces competition.



Ah yes, the stringers - just look at those fuselage sections! They are so close together the fuselage is almost planked. The Czechs have traditionally done their fuselages like this - it certainly means the contours are accurately reproduced, and because they are so close together you do away with any risk of "starved horse" syndrome making an appearance. I have to say that personally speaking, on a replica of a wooden covered fuselage like this I would be tempted to take on the challenge of a 1/32" balsa sheet covering instead - I would imagine the weights would be fairly similar.



The drawings really are nice - good to have the markings drawn on full size as well. This is the D.I.



And this is the D.II



The peanut scale version is drawn on just two sheets - this is the first. The smaller model is just as detailed as its bigger brother.



As you can see, the wing structure is still scale, but there are a few less fuselage stringers this time.

So, how to sum up? I really like the "complete package" approach, with a plan plus all the documentation in one place and the standard of the drawings and artwork is excellent. I have to say that the plans are going to test the skills of even an experienced scale modeller, but for somebody willing to take on a new challenge and try a slightly different way to build a flying scale model, the result could be very rewarding. To whet your appetite, there is a great build thread on this model here.


One useful tip here - if you visit Google Translate and type in the url of the Czech web site, then select Czech from the menu, you will get the build thread displayed with the text in English The translation is far from perfect, but at least you get get an idea of what is being explained.

The next release in the Gold Edition series will be a 1/20 Sopwith Pup - I promise if you go the the build thread here you will be impressed - it's a gorgeous model.



Builders of WW I German aircraft may be happy to learn that SFA also produce these etched brass Spandau machine gun jackets. I know how difficult these are to produce from scratch convincingly, so these should prove very popular. They are available in pairs in 1/24 and 1/20 scale, but can also be obtained in 1/16 scale, packed singly. This photo also shows the etched brass turnbuckles available in 1/20 scale.

As you can see above, the Small Flying Aeroplanes website can be found at www.sfa-models.com





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