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 Hansa Brandenburg W29 by Eastern Express

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pmmaker

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PostSubject: Hansa Brandenburg W29 by Eastern Express   Sat Mar 04 2017, 15:17

A short while back, I was contemplating adding a "Wings of the Great War" resin Hansa Brandenburg W29 to my 1/72nd scale WWI collection.  But in my view, the cost of models from this line were way too high for the quality you get.  I decided that I wanted to see if I could find a plastic kit of the Hansa Brandenburg W29 in 1/72nd scale for a fraction of the WOTGW cost.  The results of my search effort was this 72nd scale kit from Eastern Express.

A Brief History:

The Hansa-Brandenburg W.29 was a German monoplane fighter floatplane which served in the closing months of World War I, from bases on the North Sea coast.

Allegedly designed by Ernst Heinkel one night on the back of a cabaret wine list, the Hansa-Brandenburg W.29 was essentially an earlier Hansa-Brandenburg biplane W.12 design with the top wing removed. This is a simple enough thing to sketch on the back of a wine list but an altogether different proposition to put into production. The advanced monoplane design, with improved performance due to the reduction in drag afforded by the 50% reduction in wings, was achievable because of the highly rigid nature of the float and strut arrangement. It was a worthy successor to the W.12 in its task of patrolling the North Sea and harassing RNAS flying boats and British surface vessels.

It had a 195 hp Benz engine with exhaust stubs discharging above and to the left of the exposed cylinder heads.  A front-mounted radiator and louvers with metal side panels enclosed the bulk of the engine and provided cooling.  

The W29 had thick, broad wings made of wood and fabric and rigged with several degrees of dihedral.  The result was a strong, stable fighting platform. The struts between the floats and lower wings provided more-than-adequate strength. The depth of its fuselage made up for the lack of a vertical stabilizer, and the inverted position of the rudder gave the observer a wide field to fire his ring mount Parabellum machine gun. Armament consisted of a synchronized Spandau gun on each side of the pilot's cockpit, and the observer shared his cockpit-space with a Parabellum gun on a ring mounting.  

After WWI, the plane was license built in many countries including Norway as the FF8 Mk  II, in Denmark as the HM-1, and in Japan where 310 planes powered with Hispano-Suisa engines were built.









The Kit:

Eastern Express is a plastic kit company from Russia.  Like many eastern European plastic kit manufacturers, Eastern Express is a short run manufacturer who use existing molds from other manufacturers.  For a small outlay of about $15.00 plus paint and cement, the model looks like a promising way to add this unusual aircraft to my collection:




The kit consists of 30 parts, finely molded in a soft styrene plastic reminiscent of the plastic used by Heller and Italeri.  There is very little flash and the instructions are easy to follow:








With a set of beautifully colored decals which includes the lozenge camouflage, the kit looks as if it will be a fun project to do.



pmmaker


 

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Last edited by pmmaker on Sat Mar 04 2017, 15:57; edited 5 times in total
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pmmaker

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PostSubject: Re: Hansa Brandenburg W29 by Eastern Express   Sat Mar 04 2017, 15:40

The Build:

As with all my builds, the project started with the pre-painting of all the lighter colors:







Building was done as a set of small sub-assemblies and then those assemblies were joined together.  The model has no crew figures (I raided the spares box), but offers the builder quite a few cockpit details including the interior fuselage bracing, seats, control wheel and rudder peddles, and an instrument panel.  The parabellum gun is finely molded with an ammunition drum and a very thin mounting frame.  The engine is also detailed with multiple exhaust stacks that must be carefully attached.  The included beaching gear was a nice surprise and makes displaying the model much easier.

The only issue I encountered building this kit was getting the wing assembly to fit onto the fuselage.  Here I had to do a bit of sanding and filing to get these parts to join cleanly.  Adding the bracing and assembling the floats took a bit of patience, but nothing really out of the usual.  Building this kit was not all that difficult and the majority of the parts were large enough to be handled safely.

The lozenge decals were of a high quality and gave me a little trouble simply because I'm not used to working with such large decals. All the other markings decals worked as advertised.  I was worried that they would fall apart like Roden decals usually do, but happily, that was not the case.  The decals are thick and they slide off the backing paper without issue.

Overall, for a modest $20 investment and a bit of fun modeling work, I was able to add this nice Hansa Brandenburg W29 to my growing 1/72nd scale WWI collection.

pmmaker















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Propwash

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PostSubject: Re: Hansa Brandenburg W29 by Eastern Express   Sun Mar 05 2017, 00:16

What a nice build! It looks much better that the die cast version currently being sold. I've never done an Eastern Express build as I had lumped them in with Roden as being of very poor quality. I may need to try one out now.

I'm surprised that the original aircraft manufacturer had so much confidence in a monoplane/floatplane design that there seems to be little rigging (if any). I would think it a bit risky at that point in aircraft design. scratch
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Kyushu J7W

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PostSubject: Re: Hansa Brandenburg W29 by Eastern Express   Sun Mar 05 2017, 09:24

Propwash wrote:
It looks much better that the die cast version currently being sold.
tex :

I agree with the comment from PropWash . Great looking build and in 1.72 a lot of detail. I've seen these in resin and I agree the cost is not worth it, to me at least. Eastern Express also makes the star strutter in this scale.

Perhaps one of our group builds later this year can be a WWI / Yellow wing subject as there are single wing aircraft in these scales for people who don't want to tackle a biplane. I've been working on reviews of my HM Buffaloes so I need to get back to the build table.

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TomMarkert

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PostSubject: Re: Hansa Brandenburg W29 by Eastern Express   Sun Mar 05 2017, 10:34

A really cool kit! It didn't look like too many parts, but just enough to get a great looking model out of it. The decaling is really impressive. Just a neat looking plane. The fitting issues can add to the appreciation of the build once you complete them. The aircrew looks great too. You need to make a "water" display base now!

It must have been odd to build a WW1 plane and not have to do any rigging on it!

Tom

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Migrant

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PostSubject: Re: Hansa Brandenburg W29 by Eastern Express   Sun Mar 05 2017, 10:34

Really nice, PM. I had the original Roden boxing of this kit and sold it – wish I hadn't after seeing yours.

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pmmaker

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PostSubject: Re: Hansa Brandenburg W29 by Eastern Express   Sun Mar 05 2017, 11:21

Migrant wrote:
Really nice, PM. I had the original Roden boxing of this kit and sold it – wish I hadn't after seeing yours.

Thank you Mike (migrant). I'm not sure if this one was a Roden kit or not. The parts sprue had the name Toko on it. The plastic was definitely not the hard, brittle plastic used by Roden. It was, as I previously posted, more like the softer, gray plastic used by Heller on their kits.

The decals were in no way Roden like. These were easy to use and they never cracked or disintegrated as the Roden ones I've in the past did.

pmmaker

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Migrant

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PostSubject: Re: Hansa Brandenburg W29 by Eastern Express   Sun Mar 05 2017, 16:19

pmmaker wrote:
Migrant wrote:
Really nice, PM. I had the original Roden boxing of this kit and sold it – wish I hadn't after seeing yours.

Thank you Mike (migrant).  I'm not sure if this one was a Roden kit or not.  The parts sprue had the name Toko on it.  

I think you're right PM, my kit was Toko not Roden. Regardless, I'm going to look for one on eBay – yours has inspired me (and will undoubtedly cost me money).

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