Wright Flyer, 1903 - Revell 1/39 scale

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Gigatron

Sr Member
Hey guys,

Finally finished this kit after weeks of researching and building. Despite what the box says, there's no way a 10 year old is going to build this. The rigging is too complex and the instructions are vague, at best.

I did a lot of scratchbuilding in the "cockpit" and engine area, replacing styrene parts, with metal, when I could.

As a fan of aviation, I felt I really needed to have one of these in my collection.







Enjoy.

-Fred

EDIT: there's something going screwy with photobucket. It's holding on to old cached links of these pictures. There's better pictures on my actual photobucket account, that you can see here http://s31.photobucket.com/albums/c362/gigatron_2000/Finished models/
 
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Zombie_61

Master Member
Man, that's gorgeous! I've seen this kit on the shelves at the not-so-local hobby shops a number of times and thought about getting one, but never pulled the trigger. After seeing yours, I'm sure I'd only be disappointed with the results I'd achieve.
 

Robert McLain

Sr Member
Looks fantastic! Seeing this sure brings back fond memories.....I built this kit YEARS ago. Sadly, it died an explosive death along with my snoopy sopwith camel model one Fourth Of July. I was 12, I think:lol

Robert
 

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ShowCraft

Well-Known Member
I see this kit box most everyday. Its an important supplier of parts for a studio scale Galactica builder.

It's nice to see one of these kits put together-and done so well :thumbsup
 

LMFAOSchwarz

Sr Member
I've never seen that model...what a beauty! Very well-constructed!
It wouldn't be aviation-related, but it would be cool (in my world, at least!) to have a model of a Henry Ford quadricycle along with that...
 

Gigatron

Sr Member
Thank you for all the kind words, guys :$.

For all of it's shortcomings, it really was a fun build. And I'm glad that real world stuff, still gets some appreciation around here. I'd love to see more of it.

Showcraft, what parts are used on the Galactica? There are so few unique parts in this kit, that I'm surprised any kit basher would have thought to use it as a source. The only things I could think of that have any shape would be the engine halves, the drive chain assembly and maybe the prop struts. Other than that, 4 wings and a bunch of wooden planks.

-Fred
 

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LMFAOSchwarz

Sr Member
For all of it's shortcomings, it really was a fun build. And I'm glad that real world stuff, still gets some appreciation around here. I'd love to see more of it.
I've wondered about that often. Although I like starships and the like as much as the next guy, what is it about them that appeals to so many builders? You see many Millennium Falcons, Galactica Vipers, Enterprises, shuttlecraft and the like...but it's exceedingly rare that you see someone build the Brady Bunch home, or the Green Acres farmhouse!
I was impressed recently by the fellow in here who built the Munsters' house, and it would be cool to see more of this kind of thing. It doesn't just have to be the model railroaders who build "regular" stuff!
One project I never got around to was building an old Kentucky Fried Chicken joint for a miniature town I was working on, complete with a rotating chicken drum sign! Now after seeing this plane, I'm a little more motivated to finish that one day.
 

Zombie_61

Master Member
I've wondered about that often. Although I like starships and the like as much as the next guy, what is it about them that appeals to so many builders? You see many Millennium Falcons, Galactica Vipers, Enterprises, shuttlecraft and the like...but it's exceedingly rare that you see someone build the Brady Bunch home, or the Green Acres farmhouse!
Perhaps it's the sense of adventure that comes with the memories of watching Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek, real space missions, etc.. By comparison, most buildings are pretty tame and therefore not particularly enticing modeling subjects unless they have a truly unique architecture like the Munster's house or the Addams Family house, or some level of historical significance like the U.S. Capitol building, the Empire State building, or the Alamo.

Even among model train enthusiasts, it seems buildings don't get much attention. I've seen train set-ups with intricately detailed mountains, gorges, tunnels, bridges, trees, and so on, but the buildings were clearly purchased, pulled out of their boxes, and placed onto the set-ups as-is with no work done to make them look more realistic. As a modeler, I've never quite understood this as it completely negates the realism of the overall display.

Then again, this is a forum populated by movie buffs, so it's only natural that unique items and characters from our favorite movies would get more focus and attention here than something that's more commonplace in the real world. Maybe a kit like the Wright Flyer would get more attention here if someone made a popular movie about the Wright Brothers. :lol
 

LMFAOSchwarz

Sr Member
Perhaps it's the sense of adventure that comes with the memories of watching Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek, real space missions, etc.. By comparison, most buildings are pretty tame and therefore not particularly enticing modeling subjects unless they have a truly unique architecture like the Munster's house or the Addams Family house, or some level of historical significance like the U.S. Capitol building, the Empire State building, or the Alamo...

I've seen train set-ups with intricately detailed mountains, gorges, tunnels, bridges, trees, and so on, but the buildings were clearly purchased, pulled out of their boxes, and placed onto the set-ups as-is with no work done to make them look more realistic....

Maybe a kit like the Wright Flyer would get more attention here if someone made a popular movie about the Wright Brothers. :lol
Zombie, that's a very thoughtful take on it I hadn't considered. And you're right, no sense of adventure with a building like a Town Hall or even Mary Tyler Moore's house on her old show! I could see a school kid building a little Hoover Dam for a project, but you're right: I bet the kids weren't fighting over who got to keep it later!
Car and plane models were popular when I was growing up, but I guess that was the "associated adventure" for those who wouldn't be caught dead watching a sci-fi movie back then!

You're dead-right about the train layouts. The buildings are almost always right out of the kit, with seldom even a modification. Mine was not a train layout, per se, but making custom buildings was the most fun part! Sadly, I didn't do any more with that than I did. Train buildings always seem to evoke the exact same era, which I understand, but nostalgia is different fore everyone. Still, I don't see a day in the future when train building kits feature little Wal-Mart's and Home Depot's! lol

I wonder if (and I'm assuming they are/were available) Titanic kit sales went up around the release of the movie?
 

Gigatron

Sr Member
I love sci-fi as much as the next person around here - it's the reason we're all here after all. But honestly, what models of space craft are available out there - x-wings, tie fighters, falcons, enterprise, vipers and cylons and the one from Galaxy Quest. I'm sure there are a few others, but they really don't get the attention that the others, do.

I've been building models since I was 6 years old. I've read modeling magazines for just as long. I've been on this forum, for a decade. Just how many x-wing models can anyone look at? And it has nothing to do with any modeler's experience or skill. And I get that people new to modeling are going to tackle the sci-fi subjects that they love. Heck, I have a Fine Molds 1/72 TIE that I built, and I even have a 1/72 X-wing kit, just sitting in the box. I even have an early Capt. Cardboard studio scale x-wing kit, sitting on the shelf. But hanging out here, I just get so overloaded by the same 5 or 6 model subjects, that I don't even open a majority of the threads anymore, unless I know that the builder is an extremely talented modeler.

Even then, if everyone were to build the "ultimate" Red Leader/2/3/5, or "ultimate" enterprise, or whatever, they'd all look exactly the same, because isn't the goal to achieve exact screen likeness? If you can pull it off, kudos, man, because the intricate paint and weathering is a difficult skill to pull off. The nice part of real world modeling is the endless variations. Even the same aircraft, went through different iterations during it's service. For example, bomber XYZ did some service in one theater, was called back, had new upgrades fitted, and was sent back to battle. Then you could at least model her, in her before and after configurations.

And it's not a problem isolated to the RPF. I'm a member over at FineScale, as well, and it's almost the same problem. People building nothing but FW-190s, BF/ME-109s, P-51s, P-47s, F4Us, and F-16s up the wazoo. There are literally thousands of aviation subjects available to choose from. And yes, most of them even exist in model form. But people want to build what's "popular".

I did a little research on the Wright Flyer, over on FineScale, and the last time anyone built one (and posted it up, anyway) was in 2005, or so. And 2003, before that. Now, in a forum dedicated to aviation, the Wright Flyer is the granddaddy of them all. You'd think there'd be more than a passing interest in the one plane that started it all :lol.

Anyway, I'd just love to see more real-world subjects around this joint :cool

-Fred
 

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jedimaster

Sr Member
This looks fantastic..... I'm gonna have to get me one of these. Been looking at the Da Vinci models lately as well. Gettin bored with spaceships and have hundreds of other kits sitting on shelves. After my real space stuff I might just tackle one of these. Excellent build Fred. I'm inspired....
 

FlyAndFight

Member
Great job on the flyer. I've got that kit in my stash somewhere. I now see that with some work, it can really come out great. Well done!
 

Gigatron

Sr Member
This looks fantastic..... I'm gonna have to get me one of these. Been looking at the Da Vinci models lately as well. Gettin bored with spaceships and have hundreds of other kits sitting on shelves. After my real space stuff I might just tackle one of these. Excellent build Fred. I'm inspired....
Great job on the flyer. I've got that kit in my stash somewhere. I now see that with some work, it can really come out great. Well done!

Thanks, guys :$. Anything I can do to bring the love for real world stuff, is my pleasure.

-Fred
 

Zombie_61

Master Member
Zombie, that's a very thoughtful take on it I hadn't considered. And you're right, no sense of adventure with a building like a Town Hall or even Mary Tyler Moore's house on her old show! I could see a school kid building a little Hoover Dam for a project, but you're right: I bet the kids weren't fighting over who got to keep it later!
Car and plane models were popular when I was growing up, but I guess that was the "associated adventure" for those who wouldn't be caught dead watching a sci-fi movie back then!
Thank you. To be honest, I was just mentally expanding on the thought that every young modeler (and some adult modelers) has built a car, or airplane, or sci-fi ship of some kind, and at some point after it was finished picked it up and "drove" it on a table or "flew" it through the air, imagining at least for a moment what it would be like to pilot one. But I couldn't imagine anyone doing that with, say, a model of the Bates mansion. :lol

As far as I know, car kits are almost always the top-selling kits in the mainstream market, with military kits running a close second. Despite their popularity among us movie buffs, sci-fi kits are still considered a "niche" market. :unsure

I wonder if (and I'm assuming they are/were available) Titanic kit sales went up around the release of the movie?
They most definitely are available. I would think there might have been a slight upward trend in sales, but most modelers interested in Titanic (myself included) probably already have at least one of those kits. I can't really see too many non-modelers suddenly expressing an interest though.

I love sci-fi as much as the next person around here...Anyway, I'd just love to see more real-world subjects around this joint :cool
Well stated. As I wrote above, sci-fi is still considered a niche market, and even within that the mainstream manufacturers are only going to produce a kit they think will sell well enough to generate a profit, i.e. the most popular subjects like the X-Wing, the Starship Enterprise, and so on; not that I'm telling you something you don't already know. I tend to grow tired of seeing the same kits again and again as well, but it is what it is.

I've been building models on and off since the late 60s. I have my favorite subjects like everyone else, but I can still appreciate the artistry and craftsmanship that went into a particular build regardless of the subject matter and/or skill level of the modeler. I'm still learning, so I try to gain new ideas or techniques from every finished build I see. Like any other artist, every modeler has his or her own style, so I never quite know what I might find useful until I see it. So I look...and look...and look. Maybe one of these days I'll get it right. ;)
 

CessnaDriver

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Excellent modeling subject.

The Wright brothers are under appreciated.
Genius self taught scientists. Honestly I have no idea why a big budget film has not
been made, their lives were filled with drama.

Every control surface on the Flyer are still on modern aircraft today.
Elevator (canard on the Flyer), rudder, ailerons (wing warping on the Flyer), their prop design.
And their bicycle designs are pretty damn close to what we still use today.
 

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