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Wingnut Wings Jeannin Stahltaube

FineScale Modeler reviews the 1/32 scale plastic model aircraft kit
RELATED TOPICS: AIRCRAFT
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Commonly referred to by its abbreviated name, Taube, the Jeannin Stahltaube is one of many variants of the same, simple bird-like design. Wingnut Wings’ moldings retain the translucency of the dove-like wings.

In addition, the kit features Wingnut Wings’ customary detail and fit, including enhanced options such as photo-etched (PE) wheel spokes. Five marking options are provided.

The cleverly designed interior assembly incorporates the bottom of the fuselage; the fit here was so good that I left this assembly separate until after I built the rest of the fuselage to allow precise alignment.

I added the detailed interior framework prior to painting the canvas and metal. After painting wood grain on bulkheads, I picked out details. The Taube’s few instruments and controls are faithfully replicated by Wingnut Wings including decal gauges. I left off the control wheel for painting so I could easily mask the cockpit by stuffing it with foam. Don’t skimp on the interior rigging; most of it is visible, especially if you leave an engine cowl off.

The kit provides two engines types. They aren’t mentioned in the instructions, but the kit includes optional parts for more engine details, such as parts to fit wire rocker arms. It pays to check the sprues.

The tight cowl requires the engine to be mounted before the fuselage is closed. However, this complicates painting. If you use the Argus engine, the cowling must be trimmed. But the area to be removed is clearly marked inside the cowl. I modified the mount for the clear fuel sight so I could add it to the fuel tank after filling and painting.

I left off all of the rigging attachment struts for painting and decaling.

After some soul-searching, I added the wings before painting to ensure proper fit and good glue bonds. The wing attachment points are surprisingly strong — no worries about this bird’s wings folding. And what wings they are! The moldings are scale thin and translucent, just like the real thing; so is the tail.

Painting this pretty bird presented two challenges: First, make the monochromatic color interesting; second, retaining the wing’s gossamery appearance. For the latter, I mixed a few drops of the body color into Tamiya clear and misted it over the unpainted warping sections of the wings and tail. It worked: If I hold the model up to the light you can see through the plastic.

I used a hair dryer to settle larger decals; setting solution worked for smaller markings.

I added final details before rigging, as I didn’t want to fight through wires to attach parts.

I attempted to use the petite PE wire wheels, but couldn’t get them looking quite right. Fortunately, molded plastic spoked wheels are provided. They don’t look nearly as nice but are much easier to use. The rest of the landing gear installed easily — it almost didn’t need glue! I had trouble deciding how the hook support struts mounted, but super glue covered any errors I may have made.

The rigging appears daunting, but it is actually straightforward; I used fine EZ Line throughout. The kit included molded turnbuckle assemblies that made adding flying wires a snap. The most stressful part of rigging — and the entire build — was getting the warping wires in place using the PE splitters. Go slow and allow the wires to pull tension through the tail. All the wires complicate handling, but the finished Taube is sturdy.

I spent a little more than 41 hours on mine, seven for rigging alone. While it wasn’t an easy build, it wasn’t as difficult as my first glance suggested. All in all, another outstanding kit from Wingnut Wings.


Note: A version of this review appeared in the May 2018 issue.

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