Author Topic: 1/72 Breguet 21 Baby Bidon Point d'Exclamation record-setter  (Read 2760 times)

Offline Brian da Basher

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1/72 Breguet 21 Baby Bidon Point d'Exclamation record-setter
« on: December 06, 2014, 11:34:57 PM »
The Breguet 19 is one of the most iconic French aircraft of the inter-war period. None was more famous than the Br-19 Super Bidon Point d'Interrogation which made many record-breaking flights.





Less known is its little brother, the Br-21 Baby Bidon Point d'Exclamation:









While much smaller than its famous predecessor, the Baby Bidon Point d'Exclamation would become noteworthy in its own right and earn a place in the record book.





While the Breguet Br-21 was a very capable aircraft, its moment in the spotlight would be in spite of, not because of,  the pilot, one Napoleon "Nappy" LaFatigué.



You see, poor Messr. LaFatigué had trouble staying awake. Despite the heroic efforts of his ground crew, Nappy would always have trouble keeping his eyes open.



On the morning of his record-setting flight, Nappy stumbled out of bed and into his Baby Bidon Point d'Exclamation, his eyes still heavy with sleep. Fortunately, the noise of starting the engine jolted him awake and the Point d'Exclamation took off to the cheers of the ground crew, headed across the Atlantic Ocean towards Orange, New Jersey, world headquarters of Mattress Discounters.





You can imagine the surprise of Nappy's ground crew when he returned 40 hours later and landed. Unfortunately, once he hit cruising altitude, Nappy hit the auto-pilot and then hit the hay. While tossing and turning in his sleep, he accidentally bumped a few switches and re-set course. Instead of heading across the Atlantic, the Baby Bidon Point d'Exclamation flew up and down on a corkscrew course. When Nappy awoke 40 hours later, he noticed he was low on fuel and landed.





While Nappy didn't set any distance records, he did capture the endurance prize even though he slept through most of the flight. His sleepy visage was splashed across the front pages of the Paris newspaper Le Figaro and he was acclaimed as France's latest air hero.



However, the French public was scandalized by Nappy nodding off while being awarded the Ordre national de la Légion d'honneur. He was soon forgotten along with his Br-21 Baby Bidon Point d'Exclamation. Today, all that remains is this Frog model kit which was released and then quickly withdrawn after only 14 were produced.



Brian da Basher
« Last Edit: December 07, 2014, 12:43:52 AM by Brian da Basher »

Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: 1/72 Breguet 21 Baby Bidon Point d'Exclamation record-setter
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2014, 11:55:22 PM »
This all started with the venerable 1/72 Hasegawa He-51. While pretty long in the tooth, this is still a gem of a kit with box art to match.



Mine, however, would come out a little different. First, I cut off that nicely streamlined inline engine. Next, I had to spruce up the cockpit with a stick and panel scrounged from spares.



Now I had to replace the engine. I had the nose of a Douglas World Cruiser with a radiator from an SE-5 tacked on front. Oddly enough this was a good fit and seemed to give this airplane a bit of French flavor, especially after adding a headrest made from half of a 1/144 torpedo.









I also added the exhausts from a Fiat Br-20 and a metal prop from a DH-4 which really brought the whole look together for me.







Originally, I was going to build this as a somewhat anonymous French inter-war fighter, but then I found some spare exclamation point decals from a Fokker D.VII and a (half-baked) plot was hatched.





The bird-shaped decal is again from a D.VII, slightly modified. The rest of the decals are from spares and the model is brush-painted by hand with acrylics, Polly Scale Pennsylvania RR maroon mostly.





Rigging was done with some of this wonderful plastic wire Mr. Fontaine sent me a while back (thanks a million, Jeff!). I've been working on this over the last two weeks and change, but total build time was about five days.



I hope you enjoyed the Baby Bidon Point d'Exclamation and reading a little more obscure aviation history.

Brian da Basher



« Last Edit: December 07, 2014, 12:06:13 AM by Brian da Basher »

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: 1/72 Breguet 21 Baby Bidon Point d'Exclamation record-setter
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2014, 03:42:20 AM »
 :)
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

Offline FAAMAN

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Re: 1/72 Breguet 21 Baby Bidon Point d'Exclamation record-setter
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2014, 05:26:14 AM »
Superb!!! :D 8)
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Offline Rickshaw

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Re: 1/72 Breguet 21 Baby Bidon Point d'Exclamation record-setter
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2014, 12:34:59 PM »
Sacré bleu!  Pauvre Nappy, mal compris et injustement traité, tout comme Monsieur Dreyfus. France ingrate!  Je accuse!   ;)

Lovely build and as usual, amusing and well written backstory, Brian!  8)

Offline elmayerle

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Re: 1/72 Breguet 21 Baby Bidon Point d'Exclamation record-setter
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2014, 12:44:41 PM »
Beautiful build and quite the amusing backstory; I quite enjoyed it.

Offline Alvis 3.1

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Re: 1/72 Breguet 21 Baby Bidon Point d'Exclamation record-setter
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2014, 01:21:28 PM »
Zut alors!
 ;)
Alvis 3.1

Offline Tophe

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Re: 1/72 Breguet 21 Baby Bidon Point d'Exclamation record-setter
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2014, 02:25:19 PM »
Wonderful story and model! :-*
(Maybe the French would have said Bébé Bidon rather than Baby Bidon, but this is a tiny detail.)

Offline The Big Gimper

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Re: 1/72 Breguet 21 Baby Bidon Point d'Exclamation record-setter
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2014, 07:41:05 PM »
Spat-a-licious and a radiant build Brian.
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Offline Frank3k

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Re: 1/72 Breguet 21 Baby Bidon Point d'Exclamation record-setter
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2014, 12:42:03 AM »
Looks great Brian! Hilarious back story, too. I'm surprised that no one has commented on the fact that you added a cockpit!