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#4547359 - 12/06/20 12:51 PM Ansaldo A.1 'Balilla'  
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Hi all,
I'm waiting for the display case to complete my model of the Nieuport 28C.1.
Therefore I thought I'd start on a model that's been in my stash since it was first released.
The resin model kit is one of the best made and presented 1:32nd scale WW1 aircraft kits around and is available from Richard at 'Aviattic'.
This model will represent the Ansaldo A.1 ‘Balilla’, Serial No:16538 of pilot Tenente Leopoldo Eleuteri of No:70a Squadriglia, operating from Caccia, Padovano, during the October of 1918.
He was the only pilot to shoot down one enemy aircraft whilst flying the 'Balilla'.

'Balilla' (little boy) was the nickname of Giovanni Battista Perasso, a Genoese boy who started the revolt of 1746 against the Habsburg forces that occupied the city in the War of the Austrian Succession.
The legend is that while some Austrian soldiers were dragging an artillery piece along a muddy road in the Portoria neighbourhood of Genoa, the artillery piece got stuck in a moat.
The soldiers forced onlookers and passers-by to dislodge it.
Disgusted by the scene, Perasso allegedly grabbed a stone from the road and threw it at the Austrian patrol, calling on those around to join him.
This act set in motion a sequence of events that eventually caused the Austrian garrison to be evicted from the city.

Mike

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Last edited by Sandbagger; 12/07/20 10:59 PM.

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#4547362 - 12/06/20 01:30 PM Re: Ansaldo A.1 'Balilla' [Re: Sandbagger]  
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Another soon-to-be masterpiece. We'll be watching, Mike. By the way, have you run out of room yet? Just asking. biggrin

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#4547406 - 12/06/20 07:35 PM Re: Ansaldo A.1 'Balilla' [Re: Sandbagger]  
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Nice try Lou hahaha , but no, I still have some room,

Mike


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#4547409 - 12/06/20 08:05 PM Re: Ansaldo A.1 'Balilla' [Re: Sandbagger]  
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I have seen photos of your work shop Mike, and it must be getting crowded by now. Those display cases do take up some room.

You are going to have a huge selection of models to choose from when the model shows resume.


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#4548157 - 12/11/20 11:56 PM Re: Ansaldo A.1 'Balilla' [Re: Sandbagger]  
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Hi Rob,
Yeah I guess so if the shows start up in 2021.
This year might have been a good show year as in the two shows I went to early on got me best in class at one and best in class and best in show at the other.
We'll all see what 2021 brings us - something better I hope,

Mike


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#4548165 - 12/12/20 12:16 AM Re: Ansaldo A.1 'Balilla' [Re: Sandbagger]  
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Wow. Congratulations Mike. I guess we're not the only ones who admire and appreciate the work you put in on your models.


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#4548668 - 12/15/20 11:17 PM Re: Ansaldo A.1 'Balilla' [Re: Sandbagger]  
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Hi all,
The web site at 'Aviattic' has a fully detailed build log (in Adobe PDF format) for the 'Balilla', which can be downloaded.
It is extensive and details every part of the build.
I have found a few moulded part numbers that don't match those in the build log, so these will corrected in my own build log.
Section 1 covers the building of the S.P.A 6A engine, which I've now completed.

Now onto the internals for the fuselage, which includes many minutely detailed photo-etch components, which will prove interesting to build,

Mike

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#4549122 - 12/20/20 01:56 PM Re: Ansaldo A.1 'Balilla' [Re: Sandbagger]  
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Hi all,
I've been working on the preparation of the fuselage internals.
The fuselage is moulded as a single piece, so has to be worked through the available openings.
The forward bulkhead frame needed to be reduce in width as the front of the fuselage was too wide to fit the photo-etch front frame.
The supplied photo-etch sheet is, to say the least, comprehensive and highly detailed with many tiny components.
Fortunately some parts are also supplied as resin, if you don't want the 'challenge' of building the photo-etch parts.
Fortunately it's not necessary to build the aileron and additional flight controls, as both would be completely hidden under the pilot's seat and can't be seen.
However the engine controls can be seen so need to be built.
The throttle quadrant alone is made up of 15 separate pieces.
This model is definitely not for the photo-etch faint hearted.

Anyway, now it's on to the painting phase,

Mike

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#4549468 - 12/22/20 11:34 PM Re: Ansaldo A.1 'Balilla' [Re: Sandbagger]  
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Hi all,
Just a few progress shots of the internals of the fuselage.
There's still a lot to do yet.
Control rods and some wiring, seat harness, machine guns, engine fit, oil tank, gun synchronisation gear etc.
Also the final finish and weathering.

Mike

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#4549535 - 12/23/20 04:17 PM Re: Ansaldo A.1 'Balilla' [Re: Sandbagger]  
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L'Etoile du Nord
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A thing of beauty is a joy forever.

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#4549721 - 12/25/20 01:26 PM Re: Ansaldo A.1 'Balilla' [Re: Sandbagger]  
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Hi all,
Dry fit for the engine and turtle deck,

Mike

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#4550268 - 12/30/20 10:47 PM Re: Ansaldo A.1 'Balilla' [Re: Sandbagger]  
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Hi all,
The 'Aviattic' supplied wood effect fuselage and tail unit decals have now been applied.
Not too easily carried out as the decals need to be accurately cut out from their sheets as they're not 'cookie' cut.
They've all been gloss coated as the next step is to apply the 'HGW Models' nail head decals.
Then it'll be adding the remaining decals and all of the photo-etch details,

Mike

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Last edited by Sandbagger; 12/30/20 10:47 PM.

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#4550358 - 12/31/20 11:20 PM Re: Ansaldo A.1 'Balilla' [Re: Sandbagger]  
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Hi all,
The model is supplied with decals for the various nail lines on the fuselage, produced by 'HGW Models'.
These are intended to be applied onto the wood effect decals.
These nail line decals will shown on lighter coloured surfaces, such as on the unpainted fuselage of an Albatros or Roland fighter.
However, they are more or less invisible on a darker background, such as the wood effect decals used on this version of the 'Balilla'.
Therefore instead of using the decals, I used a 'Rosie the Riveter' (0.75 mm) to create by hand the nail lines, using the decal illustration as a guide.
Then wearing a cotton glove, dipped a finger into Dark Earth pigment powder ('Flory Models') and rub the pigment over the fuselage.
Finally a light sealing coat of 'Alclad' Aqua Gloss (ALC-600) was airbrushed over the fuselage,

Mike

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#4550401 - 01/01/21 01:47 PM Re: Ansaldo A.1 'Balilla' [Re: Sandbagger]  
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Jiminy crickets Mike, you must have the world's tiniest tack hammer! Oh my eyes, MY EYES!

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#4550416 - 01/01/21 08:51 PM Re: Ansaldo A.1 'Balilla' [Re: Sandbagger]  
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Hi all,
All fuselage decals have now been applied, including rib tapes for the fin and undersides of the tail plane and elevators.
Now it's onto the various photo-etch details for the fuselage and weathering etc,

Mike

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#4550419 - 01/01/21 09:43 PM Re: Ansaldo A.1 'Balilla' [Re: Sandbagger]  
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Sandbagger, how come you're using pigment powder to accent the nail lines instead of the panel line wash? Is it just preference?


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#4550448 - 01/02/21 11:10 AM Re: Ansaldo A.1 'Balilla' [Re: Sandbagger]  
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Hi,
The nail lines were created shallow to just break through the decals surface.
Any deeper and the resin would have lifted around each nail which would have been difficult to remove without damaging the wood effect decals.
I tried various washes, filters, oil paints etc but each time the medium lifted out when the surrounding areas were cleaned.
Rubbing pigment powder into the nail lines was the only thing that worked.
That said you can hardly see them,

Mike


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#4550464 - 01/02/21 05:11 PM Re: Ansaldo A.1 'Balilla' [Re: Sandbagger]  
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Hi all,
Just a quick update.
The 'Aviattic' fuselage wood effect decals have circular access panels printed, but these look rather ‘flat’.
Therefore to raise these panels and make them stand out more, I added extra decals.
I'm now working my way through the fuselage photo-etch,

Mike

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#4550471 - 01/02/21 06:13 PM Re: Ansaldo A.1 'Balilla' [Re: Sandbagger]  
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Mike

I have to say, you really have mastered the application of the wood grain decals. I am particularly enamoured with the seam work and how invisible it appears. I don't know how you measured, cut and fit it so neatly.

Best Regards


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#4551058 - 01/06/21 10:43 PM Re: Ansaldo A.1 'Balilla' [Re: Sandbagger]  
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Hi all,
The basic fuselage is now complete, apart from the windscreen and flying wire anchor points.
The final display will be the aircraft undergoing engine maintenance, so the engine front twin cowl panel will be removed.
I’ve added the coolant/vent pipe from the rear of the radiator header tank, made from 0.5 mm tube.
Two bracing lines were fitted between the forward fuselage cabane struts and an inverted tubular ‘V’ frame, which was attached to the insides of the fuselage and over the top of the engine camshaft.
This was made from formed 0.8 mm diameter tube with ’GasPatch’ resin 1:48th anchor points.
A tubular retaining frame was fitted over the inverted ‘V’ frame and attached to the inside of the fuselage sides.
This was made from annealed 0.375 mm diameter copper wire.
I’ve changed the aircraft serial number by replacing the number 3 with the number 5.
The supplied decal for the particular aircraft is 16538.
However is seems the only ‘Balilla’ aircraft serial numbers recorded for No:70a Squadriglia were 16550, 16555, 16556 and 16558.
Therefore my assumption is that this aircraft serial number was probably 16558, not 16538.
Also this aircraft had two light coloured bar markings on the left of the turtle decal, just behind the cockpit.
The exact colour of these bands is not known or if they were repeated on the other side of the turtle deck.

Now onto the undercarriage before starting on the wings and rigging preparation,

Mike

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