Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Caproni Madness

My mother always wanted me to build a sailing ship model. When I was in high school she bought me the big Revell kit of the USS Constitution. At one point I even started it, and did pretty good with the hull, captain's quarters and gun decks. What did me in was the sails and rigging. To me it was as tedious and mind-numbing a job as there was. I finally gave it up and retreated to my first love, airplanes.

In the world of airplane modeling, biplanes and other multi-winged aircraft probably come the closest to the trauma of sailing ships with their plethora of wing wires. Early aircraft were fragile things and boasted a host of struts and wires that helped give the wings rigidity. But they are a bear to put on.

I've never tried rigging a biplane before. Fortunately my interests are primarily from 1930 onwards, but at some point I probably will try my hand at it. There are some early multi-winged types that I do want to build someday.

With that in mind, it is always instructive and awe inspiring to me to view a well-rigged airplane model. This is one of them.
The Caproni Ca-3 was one of the world's first heavy bombers, making its combat debut on 20 August 1915 with the Italian air force in World War I, almost exactly 95 years ago. Like its contemporaries, it featured open cockpits, fabric surfaces and lots and lots of struts and wires.

There was a limited ru
n kit of the Ca-3 by Miekraft. I'm not sure if this is it, but it certainly could be. Even so it looks like there were several enhancements made to the model during construction. It is one fine job and many people there thought for sure it would take Best of Show. It's one of those showstopper type models that some people do to vie for the top award.
But as I mentioned in an earlier post, I voted for the Kraken. Nevertheless, this is a beautiful job and well worth winning whatever awards it could garner. It's almost enough to make one try World War I aircraft...almost.

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