Author Topic: Brian da Basher's Retro Flying Future Thing #2 for the Retro Futuristic GB  (Read 878 times)

Offline Brian da Basher

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As the new century slowly lurched through its first decade, there was an uneasy feeling afoot in the British Isles.



Every patriotic British subject wanted to make sure the Empire would not be left behind when it came to the new lighter-than-air technology.



One man in particular would go over and above in the quest for great passenger-carrying dirigibles.



While this early part of Col. Byron Blynne Blymp's career is utterly forgotten today, he is perhaps best remembered for his valiant service in World War II.



However, back in 1910 a hysteria had gripped his small, island nation and he wanted to make sure his country could compete with the best Germany could put up.



Byron Blymp soon had the workings of a massive airship on paper that he was certain would restore Britain's prestige in the air.



His design was easily twice the length of the largest Zeppelin yet seen.



He wasn't satisfied stopping there however, and envisioned an entirely new propulsion system run on the very air itself.



Known as compressed air "rockets", it was hoped this new type of engine would be a game changer.



Both the Vickers and Royal Mail markings indicate large contracts that never materialized and were perhaps only feasible in Byron Blymp's fevered mind.



Vickers would never build his airship and that un-built craft would never carry the Royal Mail either. While some were enchanted by the ground-breaking compressed air "rocket" propulsion system, scaling it up would prove a challenge difficult to overcome.



Unfortunately, before Byron could get all the kinks worked out of the new engine technology, the Great War intervened and put an end to the design as the Colonel was recalled to active duty and sent to France.



While Col. Blymp's airship was never built and forgotten before the First Battle of Ypres, it was still an important, if totally overlooked step in the design of large, lighter-than-air craft.



Nothing remains of this dirigible today except this promotional model which was found in the basement of an abandoned office building after Vickers was swallowed up by the nationalized British Aircraft Corporation. It then gathered dust until it was sold at a car boot sale in the 1970s. It eventually made its way to a flea market in Adena, Ohio where it was purchased by an enthusiast who permitted these photos to be taken for documentation and appraisal purposes.



While the appraised value was disappointing, one can't help but be awed by the forward-thinking design and imagine what might have been.

Brian da Basher
« Last Edit: September 13, 2017, 04:44:38 AM by Brian da Basher »

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: Brian da Basher's Retro Flying Future Thing #2 for the Retro Futuristic GB
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2017, 05:04:46 AM »
Love it
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: Brian da Basher's Retro Flying Future Thing #2 for the Retro Futuristic GB
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2017, 05:15:05 AM »
Well I figured it wouldn't be a proper Retro Futuristic GB without at least one airship, so I was glad to get this baby off the ground! It all started with a Bronco Models 1/200 Chinese Yuan Class attack sub. If box art like this doesn't get your blood racing, nothing will.



Fortunately, this kit is pretty simple and aligns well with my skill set.



Of course, some additions would be necessary to pull this off. Right away, I knew I wanted to use the lower wings from a Nieuport on the front and wings of a Sopwith Tripe in the back.



I added a large gondola scratched from styrene sheet and some more tail pieces cut from card.





I swiped the rudders in back from a 1/72 scale Airfix Vimy and the winky ones up front are left-over bits from the Triplane wings.



I also added a 1/72 nameless wheel hub on the nose but I used the kit part in back as it fit so nicely. Small bombs were drafted into the role of the compressed air "rockets" and secured with pieces of 1/144 B-47 landing gear struts and this wonderful plastic wire Mr Fontaine sent me a while back (thanks a million, amigo!).



It took me about four days to get this far and then it was time for paint, decals and rigging (ugh!).





The old hairy stick was used along with a boatload of Polly Scale Hopper Beige for the envelope, Polly Scale Antique White on the flying surfaces and Model Masters Sand on those large tail fins (hi Bill!).



The gondola, bottom cargo & escape hatches and nose/tail ends were finished with Model Masters Primer Gray. Model Masters Aluminum (or "Aluminium" if you prefer) was used on the engines and the stabilizer struts were done with Model Masters Earth.



Decals were mostly from a sheet for the venerable Glencoe Vickers Viscount. However the window decals actually belong on an airship, the 1/500 Maquette R-100 I built a few years back.





Rigging was done with this great wire from Woodland Scenics that you can't get anymore.



It was all secured with Gator Glue.



It took me an extra couple of days to get the rigging on and initially I didn't want to bother with it but now that it's done I'm glad I made the effort.



I had a lot of fun building this dirigible which took a shade over two weeks.



I'd like to thank Bill, Jeff and Leigh from LA who all made vital material contributions to this project. You guys are awesome!



I'd also like to thank Mr Tomcat for his bravery and selflessness in moderating this group build!



And I'd like to thank all of you who are playing along or even just checking it all out. We can't do it without you!



Here's one last shot which might give you an idea of the size. Sorry, I forgot the U.S. penny but the model is a good foot and a quarter (or 40-ish cm) long.



I hope you enjoyed Col. Blymp's mythical dirigible and reading a little more over-looked (lighter-than) air craft history.

Brian da Basher
« Last Edit: September 13, 2017, 06:48:26 AM by Brian da Basher »

Offline The Big Gimper

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Re: Brian da Basher's Retro Flying Future Thing #2 for the Retro Futuristic GB
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2017, 05:26:45 AM »
Great work Brian Da Blimper!!

I see a note of caution on the kit box. Some warning about not turning a submarine into a blimp or the PLAN will hunt you down?  :o
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Offline Claymore

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Re: Brian da Basher's Retro Flying Future Thing #2 for the Retro Futuristic GB
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2017, 06:00:57 AM »
Awesome, a nuclear powered attack dirigible...  ;)

Yet another great idea Brian and perfectly carried off.  Bravo Sir!  :-* :smiley:
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Offline apophenia

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Re: Brian da Basher's Retro Flying Future Thing #2 for the Retro Futuristic GB
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2017, 06:15:51 AM »
Love the "compressed air 'rockets'" ... advanced propulsion through simulated flatulence  ;D
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Offline Frank3k

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Re: Brian da Basher's Retro Flying Future Thing #2 for the Retro Futuristic GB
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2017, 07:18:45 AM »
The biplane wings really look good on this blimp! Maybe the compressed air rockets were powered by ME-thane...

Here's a full length movie you'll enjoy, Brian -  "Dirigible" from 1931:

! No longer available

Offline elmayerle

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Re: Brian da Basher's Retro Flying Future Thing #2 for the Retro Futuristic GB
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2017, 09:00:01 AM »
Looks like a dirigible I'd expect from an early 1900's novel, one that would perhaps rival "Hartmann the Anarchist" which was illustrated by one Fredrick T. Jane (yes, the Jane who founded the various "Jane's" annuals).

Offline Tophe

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Re: Brian da Basher's Retro Flying Future Thing #2 for the Retro Futuristic GB
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2017, 12:35:11 AM »
I love the biplane wings, so different from usual airships. :-*
And thanks for the explanation saying this model was a submarine! Never would I have guessed that by myself!

Offline andonio64

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Re: Brian da Basher's Retro Flying Future Thing #2 for the Retro Futuristic GB
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2017, 01:08:57 AM »
Beautiful build Brian, the biplane wings are the touch of an artist!!!

 8)

Offline finsrin

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Re: Brian da Basher's Retro Flying Future Thing #2 for the Retro Futuristic GB
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2017, 06:00:37 AM »
Fore & aft biwings are excellent choice for best control of such a huge craft.  Wonder how compressed air drive would have worked out if it was built.
Col. Byron Blynne Blymp was a visionary.  Thanks for capturing his vision in styrene.  :smiley:

Offline Frank3k

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Re: Brian da Basher's Retro Flying Future Thing #2 for the Retro Futuristic GB
« Reply #11 on: September 15, 2017, 07:24:14 AM »
Col. Blymp's other creation must not be forgotten (and related to Brian's favorite blimp shape): Blimpie's Restaurant Sub Sandwiches

Offline pigflyer

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Re: Brian da Basher's Retro Flying Future Thing #2 for the Retro Futuristic GB
« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2017, 01:03:59 AM »
" one can't help but be awed by the forward-thinking design and imagine what might have been. "

Yes indeedy Mr d B sir.  It seems that only you can match this forward-thinking and imagination.  Your skills and imaginings are surely boundless.
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Offline Antonio Sobral

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Re: Brian da Basher's Retro Flying Future Thing #2 for the Retro Futuristic GB
« Reply #13 on: November 12, 2017, 05:04:30 PM »
Awesome build!

The rigging gives it an extra touch.

Byron Blimp´s Bivalent Beautiful Boat with Bilateral Boosters would surely be a winner :)

Offline KiwiZac

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Re: Brian da Basher's Retro Flying Future Thing #2 for the Retro Futuristic GB
« Reply #14 on: November 24, 2017, 03:18:06 AM »
I'm sorry I've not been in here earlier, Brian this is fantastic! I thought you had started with an airship kit! Brilliant work my friend!
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