Author Topic: Airfix in under the wire - Gee, SPATs!  (Read 7982 times)

Offline Brian da Basher

  • He has an unnatural attraction to Spats...and a growing fascination with airships!
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Airfix in under the wire - Gee, SPATs!
« on: August 15, 2012, 07:31:25 AM »
After crashing due to engine failure during the 1934 London to Melbourne MacRobertson air race, the owners of the famous G-ACSP "Black Magic" didn't know if they should re-build the aircraft or sell it for scrap.

Fortunately, the genius mechanic Seamus O'Socketwrench had an answer. He knew turning the airplane into a single-engine bird with a more powerful motor and adding spats would save weight and add range, making the new racer a contender.

Ready in time for the 1935 London to New Zealand BacMobertson air race, the plane was allowed to keep its old number (63), but the Royal Aircraft Bureaucracy insisted on a new registration. Thus G-SPAT "Black SPAT Magic" was born.









Continued...

Brian da Basher

Offline Brian da Basher

  • He has an unnatural attraction to Spats...and a growing fascination with airships!
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Re: Airfix in under the wire - Gee, SPATs!
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2012, 07:42:15 AM »
G-SPAT "Black SPAT Magic" performed flawlessly and reached each stage of the BacMobertson air race in record time, well ahead of airplanes with far more engines. It landed to a cheering mob at Wanganui in the incredible time of 70 hours and three seconds.







This led to world-wide fame for the racer and Seamus O'Socketwrench. The R.A.F. wanted one as a prototype for a new fighter. The French took pictures of G-SPAT on the sly. The wily Andorrans tried to steal the blueprints. The Germans offered an "all-expenses paid, all-inclusive Octoberfest weekend" to Seamus O'Socketwrench in an attempt to wrest the secrets of "Black SPAT Magic" from the genius mechanic. All to no avail. While a great, record-setting airplane, its light construction made it unsuited for anything but racing.

By the late 1950s, G-SPAT "Black SPAT Magic" was all but forgotten. Its legendary records having been broken by the Jet Age. Today, nothing remains but a very basic model kit which is most often found gathering dust on the back shelves of model shops all over the world.



Brian da Basher
« Last Edit: August 15, 2012, 08:19:34 AM by Brian da Basher »

Offline Brian da Basher

  • He has an unnatural attraction to Spats...and a growing fascination with airships!
  • Holding Pattern
  • *
  • Hulk smash, Brian bash
Re: Airfix in under the wire - Gee, SPATs!
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2012, 07:58:01 AM »
This all started when my "friends" at Squadron offered the famous 1/72 Airfix DH.88 Comet Racer kit on sale for $3 each. I'd never built one of these, so I ordered three.

Of course, it wasn't until after I placed the order that I started doing a little research. As this sprue shot shows, calling this kit "basic" is far too kind:



However, the famously soft Airfix plastic was easy to work with and I had this built in only a couple of hours. I started by clipping the wings and the nose. I added a spare prop, exhausts, a Spitfire intake and a pair of lovely spats from a Henschel Hs 126. The kit decals were used except for the "London to New Zealand Air Race" placards which were left over from an old Vickers Viscount. The entire project from start to finish took me three days.



I had a blast playing along with this GB and I want to thank Mr Tomcat for taking on the job of moderating it. I leave you with one last shot of G-SPAT showing off those lovely, streamlined spats!



Brian da Basher
« Last Edit: August 15, 2012, 08:15:13 AM by Brian da Basher »

Offline Dr. YoKai

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Re: Airfix in under the wire - Gee, SPATs!
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2012, 08:13:42 AM »
Its a beauty, Brian. I agree with you about the vintage quality of the kit, but it is still the only game in town...and the nice thing about
kits of that nature is that they are so wasy to whif with!

Offline taiidantomcat

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Re: Airfix in under the wire - Gee, SPATs!
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2012, 08:20:38 AM »
Nice!!  :-*
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Offline ed s

  • An outstanding, creative builder.
Re: Airfix in under the wire - Gee, SPATs!
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2012, 08:35:56 AM »
Very "spatcial".  Nice conversion.  Looks quite plausible.  Good job.

Ed

Offline raafif

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Re: Airfix in under the wire - Gee, SPATs!
« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2012, 11:44:59 AM »
ah, yess .... the FROG DH-88 :(

G-SPAT looks great, Brian :)  Can I see a French version in Bugatti Blue next ??

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: Airfix in under the wire - Gee, SPATs!
« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2012, 03:57:23 PM »
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it.

Offline kitnut617

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Re: Airfix in under the wire - Gee, SPATs!
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2012, 09:27:51 PM »



Whot 'e said !!!!

and just to add,  ""Cracker""

Offline Tophe

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Re: Airfix in under the wire - Gee, SPATs!
« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2012, 10:49:11 PM »
Wonderful, this single-engined Comet. Congratulations... :-*

Offline Doom!

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Re: Airfix in under the wire - Gee, SPATs!
« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2012, 11:13:32 PM »
Very sleek!  :)    :-*
Doom!
Jeff G.

Offline TimJ

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Re: Airfix in under the wire - Gee, SPATs!
« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2012, 04:35:56 AM »
Cracking build and a great back story. 

Offline apophenia

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Re: Airfix in under the wire - Gee, SPATs!
« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2012, 06:08:41 AM »
Another brilliant build Brian  :)  The aircraft in the de Havilland logo from the late '30s looks very much like your single-engined Comet. Except they forgot the spats!  :icon_surprised:
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Offline Cliffy B

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Re: Airfix in under the wire - Gee, SPATs!
« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2012, 10:09:29 AM »
Oh this is nice!!!!  Great job man  8)

With those extra long wings I wonder how well it would work as a high altitude recon bird?  WWII version of a U-2?!  ;)
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