Author Topic: Eight O'Clock Charlie's Po-2.5 bis monoplane - a Timely Tale in 1/72 Scale  (Read 478 times)

Offline Brian da Basher

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While Five O'Clock Charlie is famous for his brave missions over Korea

far less well remembered is his successor to greatness in yet another cold war conflict...

that courageous commie North Vietnamese aviator almost known as Eight O'Clock Charlie.

Flying an indigenously built craft history has forgotten as the Po-2.5 bis monoplane

which was a development of the legendary Polikarpov Po-2 biplane.

The overlooked Po-2.5 bis monoplane was never fielded in great numbers even though The International Commie Comintern Concerning Aircraft Construction Concerns promoted it as a simple aircraft to build and a way of jump-starting the aviation industry in less-developed Soviet satellite states. Sadly, only one of these nations was ever granted a manufacturing license.

The Democratic Republic of Vietnam was keen to modernize and was soon producing the bare-bones monoplane at the incredibly rapid clip of three every two years. By 1968 no less than four and a half Po-2.5 bis monoplanes had entered service.

While three and a half of these were relegated to training duties, one would see combat in grueling guerilla air actions against the imperialist Americans.

It all began as a bit of a lark when an unknown NVAF pilot got lost one evening. At the stroke of 8 he accidentally over-flew U.S. fire base Echo-Echo-Echo...etc.

While turning to get his bearings, his rice ball ration fell out and landed on an auxiliary ammo dump. As the fireworks started, the pilot floored it and headed back home at the red-line speed of 93 m.p.h.

Thus a legend was not born.

This brave aviator was inspired and would return again and again every night at the same time.

Called "Eight O'Clock Charlie" by his enemies for his incredible punctuality, his true name has been lost to history even if it was never recorded in the first place. He would continue to attack the Americans although he'd never equal the success of his first "raid". His heroic and timely feats have never been officially acknowledged by either side in the conflict.

The few Po-2.5 bis monoplanes built were all written off by 1975 although the fuselage of one derelict was found re-purposed as a chicken coop in a remote province during the filming of Francis Fraud Cupola's Acropolis Pow. None survive intact today and the so-called "experts" when presented with what little evidence of the type remains, dismiss it by saying even a busted clock is right twice a day.

Brian da Basher
« Last Edit: June 28, 2018, 06:13:13 AM by Brian da Basher »

Offline Brian da Basher

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This all began with a state-of-the-art 1/72 KP Po-2 kit a good friend sent me (thanks a million, hamsterman!).

Mine was bagged so there wasn't any box art but you've got to admit that's some impressive molding there.

Unfortunately mine was missing more than just the box. Apparently I'd robbed the kit's upper wing and horiz stabs for another project at one point. Then I realized this could work as a monoplane. Replacements for the missing tail feathers were found in the form of left-overs from an Fw-190. I relocated the wing from the bottom to the middle, cut down the rudder a bit and then the Po-2.5 bis was born.

Here's how it all looked before paint and adding the bracing wires.

Those wires were courtesy of Mr Fontaine (thanks amigo!) and it's such great stuff to work with that I look for opportunities to use it.

As for paint, the old hairy stick was trotted out and loaded up with a lot of Model Masters Interior Black acrylic.

The nose was done in Model Masters Feldgrau and the engine in Semi-Gloss Black with a top coat of some cheap, craft-store metallic.

Even though you can't see it, I actually built up the 'pits. Only the one in the back has a stick and instrument panel appropriate for recon/liaison duty.

Decals are from an Italeri An-2 and I like that the tail codes end with 'C'.

The model took me about three days to build. Before I forget, here's a couple of "money shots" (U.S. penny for scale):

I hope you enjoyed the story of Eight O'Clock Charlie and his Po-2.5 bis monoplane even if it's all been forgotten over time.

Brian da Basher

« Last Edit: June 28, 2018, 08:42:52 AM by Brian da Basher »

Offline Jeffry Fontaine

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Good save by using the Fw-190 tail parts.  No one like those pesky night time nuisance raiders but it does make for a good morale buster against your opponents.  :)

Nice little history and explantion on how this came to be and went.  :)
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Offline Camthalion

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very cool. Both model and story 

Offline pigflyer

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Yet another very realistic build, and perfectly acceptable back story.  Great build and finish Master.
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Offline Frank3k

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Looks like a nice plane to tour the countryside in! As long as you're not getting fired at!