SWISS AIR FORCE 1918-1929 in 1:48 SCALE


by George Grasse


PHOTO #1: HANRIOT (Macchi) HD.1 Nr. 653
This is the preserved aircraft suspended from the ceiling of Das Flieger Flab Museum, Air Force Center, at Dubendorf, Switzerland.  Purchased in 1921 in a lot of 16 aircraft serial numbers 651-666 from the Italian Macchi firm who originally built this French-designed aircraft for the Italian Air Service in World War I.  All of the aircraft in this series were probably refurbished by Macchi in Varese, Italy, from left-over, quality aircraft.  They all went through a thorough Swiss refurbishment by the Eidgenossische Konstruktion Werkstrate and issued them over the course of 1921 and 1922 to serve as advanced trainers.  Some remained in service well into 1930.1
23 December 2010
  Most of the cockpit interior components are installed.  Structural members are painted semi-gloss black  The rudder straps and cockpit coaming are painted in Andrea ANAC42 Brown Leather.  The instrument panel is painted in Vallejo VC0856 Ochre Brown over which is applied the kit's gauge decal.  The plywood seat back is painted in Vallejo VC0913 Yellow Ochre.  Seatbelts, the left one is just barely visible, are painted in Vallejo VC0884 Stone Gray.  The seat pad is painted in Andrea ANAC42 Brown Leather stained with Andrea ANAC48 Dark Leather.  The control stick is semi-gloss black with an Andrea ANAC41 Wood hand grasp.  Monofilament thread in two sizes plus a strand of .010 solder wire were added for detail.  
28 December 2010
The fuselage halves are joined.  The engine was assembled and the PE exhaust ring was added to it and then glued to the front of the fuselage.  This required careful alignment to be sure that the engine was aligned and the cowling would fit properly.  The cowling was carefully glued in place followed by the lower wing.

I added discrete amounts of putty to fill gaps and sanded them down using a 400 sanding cloth so as not to scratch the surrounding surface.

29 December 2010
After studying a number of photographs taken at the Dubendorf Museum of this aircraft, I discovered three necessary modifications not available in the Eduard kit.  The photo above shows these areas.  I discovered that one additional air vent had been added to the the lower part of the cowling.  I simply drilled three small holes and reamed out the vent using a sharp X-Acto blade.

The area underneath and just behind the cowling is fitted with a sheet metal cover that directs the flow of vented fumes.  The Eduard kit has fashioned this sheet metal component after the French-built Hanriot HD.1 version.  The sheet metal component on this Macchi-built aircraft is shaped differently and curves at an approximate 45 degree angle towards the right side.  Also, the bottom of the fuselage has a large "V" to expose the whole of the rear of the engine.  It is possible that it was a Swiss modification.

The end of the fuselage is actually exposed on this aircraft showing the fuselage stringers coming together, the king post for the rudder, and the tailskid, all of which are hidden in the French-built version. 

28 December 2010
This photo of the actual aircraft shows the prominent "V" notch and concave sheet metal piece all of which work together to exhaust fumes. Another photo of the actual aircraft shows the open end of the fuselage revealing the fuselage stringers, king post, and tailskid normally hidden by fabric covering. 
8 January 2011
This photo of the model shows the "V" notch cut-out covered with a triangular piece of thin copper sheet.  Over that is the exhaust deflection shield also made of thin copper sheet. You can see the work to open the end of the fuselage as for Macchi-built Hanriot HD.1 aircraft.  Note the brass 'Strutz' horizontal stabilizers in place of the kit's flimsy plastic braces.
13 January 2011
Overall view of progress to date.
15 January 2011
The sequence of steps to get to this point as shown in the photos above began with painting the aircraft model in medium brown.  I prepared four paint chips of colors I thought are close to the photos of the actual aircraft in the D�bendorf museum.  I sent the chips to the collector for whom the model is being built and he decided on a mix of two-thirds Misterkit MKGC01 Albatros Red Brown and one-third Misterkit MKFC08 French Medium Brown.  I mixed the two colors in a Vallejo empty bottle and applied one coat to the aircraft, its upper wing, rudder, and wheel covers.  I brushed on a second coat in about one hour.  I'll have to say that Misterkit acrylic paints are the best I've used on aircraft.  I am not an air brush modeler because it's not used in military miniature painting; so, I never developed a skill for that type of paint application.  The front of the aircraft and the landing gear struts were painted in two coats of  Vallejo VC0864 Natural Steel.  

I finished painting the wheels using Vallejo VC0995 German Black for the tires.  These will be "weathered" later on.  The rudder and fin were finished and glued into position.  The rudder was painted in two coats of a mix of Vallejo VC0946 Dark or Bordeaux Red and Andrea ANAC33 Napoleonic Red.  Next I cut out the Swiss national emblem decals from Micro-Mark white decal paper using a German WWI Balkenkreuz decal as a pattern.  Soaked them in distilled water, slid them into place, removed the moisture, and over-sprayed with satin polyurethane.  When that dried, I glued the fin/rudder assembly into place.

I glued hand-holds to the rear of the fuselage but these were not from the kit's PE sheet; instead, I made my own from .012 piano wire which is substantially stronger.  I replaced the kit's French-style windscreen with a simple rectangular piece of clear plastic which was outlined in Vallejo VC0995 Natural Steel.  In front of this, I glued the inverted "V" cabane strut piece which I painted in my mix of semi-gloss black.  I next added a carburetor air intake pipe on both sides using Griffon Models GMBH04 .72mm ID brass pipe.

The propeller was first painted in a coat of Vallejo VC0913 Yellow Ochre.  When dry, I painted the lamination stripes in the same Vallejo color mixed with Andrea ANAC40 Wood.  When dry, I applied five colors from my colored pencil set rubbing each color into the propeller before applying the next.  I sanded off the molded propeller boss and replaced it with a Copper State  CS0105 PE Prop Boss.  Lastly, for this stage, I glued a gas cap to the top of the headrest.  I thought the kit's PE gas cap was a bit too large and found a smaller one in my "spares" inventory.

15 January 2011
Left side profile.  Note that all panel lines have been detailed with a wash of dark brown/black.  Small metal fittings and the inverted "V" cabane struts are painted in semi-gloss black.  All rigging turnbuckles on the upper surface of the lower wing and on the fuselage were glued before the second coat of paint was brushed.
21 January 2011
This view shows application of "home-made" decals on the fin (HD1) and on the fuselage (653) both Antique Olive font. 
30 January 2011
Before attaching the top wing, I made a Venturi tube which is located on the left forward edge.  I inserted Eduard aileron control horns and rigged the aileron control wires using .005 monofilament thread.  The top wing received a final coat of the pre-mixed "Hanriot brown" described above.  When dry, I painted the Swiss red insignia squares on both wings.  White Swiss insignia decals were made from a template of German Balkenkreuz decals of the appropriate size and traced onto a white decal sheet then carefully cut out and pre-measured to fit the red squares but not yet applied to the wings.  I oversprayed the entire model with one coat of satin polyurethane.

Attachment of the upper wing followed these steps: 1) glue all of the interplane rigging wires to the underside of the top wing; 2) glue the top wing to the center fuselage inverted "V" strut and the outside wing struts; 3) glue the inside wing struts which are actually part of the cabane strut system (these were replaced by Strutz brass material for strength); 4) connected all of the rigging wires; 5) painted the cabane struts and all small metal strut plates semi-gloss black; 6) touched up the wing struts which were painted in Vallejo VC0913 Yellow Ochre; 7) added the white Swiss crosses to the red insignia squares; 8) oversprayed the finished model with one more coat of satin polyurethane.

------------------------------------------   FINIS  --------------------------------------------
Additional after-market parts used in the creation of this model:
    Strutz flattened brass
    K & S brass tube and rod
    Micro-Mark white decal paper
    Copper State CS0105 Prop Bosses
    Griffon Models GMBH04 .72mm ID x 1.00mm OD



1 Gregory Alegi, Hanriot HD.1/HD.2 Windsock Datafile 92, Albatros Productions, page 17.  The Hanriot HD.1 was extensively used by the Italian and Belgian Air Forces in World War I.  A French design, the HD.1 was intended to replace the French Nieuport 17 but the Aviation Militaire decided to back the Spad 7.  All of the French-built aircraft were then sold to foreign air forces who did not have an advanced fighter of solid construction and low production costs.  It was so popular with the Italians that the Macchi firm built under license a great number of these machines and it equipped whole or in part all of the Italian Squadriglie.  French-built Hanriot HD-1 aircraft were built for the Belgians and Americans.  The HD.2 float-plane version was also built in limited numbers.

Alegi, Gregory.  Hanriot HD.1/HD.2 Windsock Datafile 92.  Berkhamsted, UK: Albatros Productions, 2002.