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Old 01-12-2011, 02:55 PM
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Leif,
Thanks for the translation, I just copied (and pasted) info from konradus site without realizing that it will be meaningless for non-Polish speakers.
Just a note - "Krakau" invokes very bad memories for Polish people...
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  #62 (permalink)  
Old 01-13-2011, 12:04 AM
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Michael - thanks for putting me right about the correct name for Kraków!

On another note: Bestpapermodels - who maintains a regular thread on this site - has come out with a winter livery for the Po-2, which I wasn't aware of. The model represents the plane used on Eastern Front by the Frenchs in the Normandie-Niemen unit.



Bestpapermodels has a very good policy of publishing previews of their entire kits. This is how they look for the Po-2 winter livery:

Polikarpov Po-2 Kartonowa Kolekcia 1:33-po-2-normandie-nemen-winter-3.jpg Polikarpov Po-2 Kartonowa Kolekcia 1:33-po-2-normandie-nemen-winter-1.jpg Polikarpov Po-2 Kartonowa Kolekcia 1:33-po-2-normandie-nemen-winter-2.jpg Polikarpov Po-2 Kartonowa Kolekcia 1:33-po-2-normandie-nemen-winter-0.jpg

The winter livery is in addition to their regular Po-2 livery model:



In many ways this is a more attractive livery (albeit a less detailed model) than the Kartonowa Kolekcja model.

Bestpapermodels delivers their models as pdf downloads. The originals are excellent pixel-based paintings, reflecting the wear and tear of the full-size originals. The designs do not require doubling on thick card, but rely on paper boxes for wing spars (as an example).

What the designs may lack in detail is made up by the quality of the paintwork, at least in my opinion. I'm seriously contemplating kit-bashing the outer skins of the Bestpapermodels Po-2 with the interior structure and engine of the Kartonowa Kolekcja Po-2 model.

Contemplating being the operative word here...

Leif
Attached Thumbnails
Polikarpov Po-2 Kartonowa Kolekcia 1:33-polikarpov_po-2-winter.jpg   Polikarpov Po-2 Kartonowa Kolekcia 1:33-pm0032.jpg  

Last edited by Leif Ohlsson; 01-13-2011 at 12:15 AM.
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Old 01-14-2011, 12:16 AM
Leif Ohlsson's Avatar
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Recolouring the KK Polikarpov Po-2

Acting on the intuition to do something about the KK Po-2 model, getting it to look more like a Russian Po-2 in the slightly lighter colour scheme modeled by the BPM Po-2, I spent a couple of days scanning the KK model, rescalling it and rearranging the parts on to new parts sheets.

At 1/16 scale it is necessary to use a paper format which is kind of like a Letter format in width, but A3 format in length (i.e. 21.6 cm x 42 cm, cut down from regular A3). This is the maximum width possible for an ordinary ink-jet printer. Even so, the wing parts just barely fit in the new width. We'll see what happens when printing (eventually).

For the moment the object of the exercise was to recolour the model. Here's what a big chunk of KK parts look like, scanned, rescaled and laid out on that larger paper format:



The colour of an aircraft is what it is, and I'm sure the KK model is true to scale for that particular aircraft. It's just that I'd rather model the Po-2 in the other Russian colour scheme from the same period. Here's what a part from the BPM model looks like laid out over the bottom of the KK part above, for comparison:



Initially, I thought the BPM parts might lend themselves to squeezing into the shape of the KK parts (which is the more detailed version). It soon proved to be very difficult. So I tried recolouring the KK model instead. Here's the result for the part we are looking at:



Note that I chose to blank out the Polish insignia altogether. This might have resulted in a just-not-quite to scale version of a Russian Po-2, but it'll do for me. After all, we're talking about the biplane which was produced in larger number than any other biplane, ever - somewhere, there will have been something very much like this version!

Technical remarks:

Recolouring was made by sampling two colours from the BPM model, olive drab and tan. Small swatches of these colours were saved on each sheet (see the small squares added in the last image above).

With the magic wand tool, shift-clicking, selections of each colour was saved for each sheet, and then filled with the proper colours. This was made in separate layers on top of the original, thus preserving the original scan.

Each colour was reduced to 65 percent fill, allowing some of the original structure to shine through. Panel lines, which may have become nearly obliteraded by the magic wand, was saved slightly better this way. The same goes for 3D effects, like shading over wing ribs.

The recolouring of the entire model this simple way just took a couple of morning hours. This should be compared to days of work scanning and rearranging parts. If you build in the original scale much of that work can be avoided. On the other hand, rearranging parts is a great way off getting acquainted with a model very thoroughly!

It should also be said that the BPM artwork comes through with flying colours, since it is bought as a download. The KK model is only available as printed, which inevitably will result in colour loss when scanning, plus paper pattern coming out in the scan & enlarging process, as visible in the images above.

It is noteworthy that recolouring amended much of this too.

Leif
Attached Thumbnails
Polikarpov Po-2 Kartonowa Kolekcia 1:33-bmp-part-overlaid.jpg   Polikarpov Po-2 Kartonowa Kolekcia 1:33-recolouring-before.jpg   Polikarpov Po-2 Kartonowa Kolekcia 1:33-recolouring-after.jpg  

Last edited by Leif Ohlsson; 01-14-2011 at 01:09 AM.
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  #64 (permalink)  
Old 01-14-2011, 12:38 PM
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What the kit looks like now

Reading Swampfox' recently started build thread of the B24J "The Dragon and his tail", I noticed an attractive feature in his recounting of the build: Almost immediately, he made a "contact sheet" of the kit he was working with.

This is a brilliant idea I thought, and prepared for a lot of work, reducing sheets to a size where you could still sort of see what they looked like, yet could not be used as a paper model.

Having recently discovered (after many years of using the programme) that Photoshop could indeed make a pdf-booklet of inumerable photos, I looked under the same heading - "Automate". Lo and behold! - it turns out that Photoshop will readily make me exactly the kind of "Contact sheet" Swampfox had made such good use of, at no extra trouble to me. Oh joy!

So here's what a contact sheet of the original 1-33 scale kit of the KK Po-2 model looks like:



And here's what the corresponding contact sheet for my 1-16 scale version of the same kit looks like, recoloured as per the previous post:



You will note that there are a good number of larger sheets in there. These are what I've until now have called "L+", but from now on will call "L3"-sheets, which may be read as "Letter" or "Legal" width and A3 length (216 x 420 mm). I've only used these larger sheets when necessary, and divided up the rest of the parts on regular A4 sheets.

One advantage of rearranging a kit like this is that you can apply some measure of increased order among the parts, as compared to the original. In the original kit you always smell a whiff of constraint induced by printing costs, so that parts from all over sometimes are mixed up on the same sheet.

Dividing them up again, so that all engine parts are on the same A4 sheet, and all landing gear parts on another, etc., etc. is very satisfying. Doing the job also means you are forced to learn about what goes where, and there is ample of time to think about why at times, too.

The 1/16 scale kit now consists of 24 sheets, 14 A4 and 10 L3 pages. Included here is one extra A4 page containing four extra copies of the cockpit walls. I thought that might come in handy if you wish to recreate the structure of tubings, handles, pushrods and such.

The parts of the original 1/33 scale kit went into five A4 sheets, so the number of sheets really do increase exponentially as you double the scale.

Leif
Attached Thumbnails
Polikarpov Po-2 Kartonowa Kolekcia 1:33-po-2-original-1-33-scale.jpg   Polikarpov Po-2 Kartonowa Kolekcia 1:33-po-2-contact-sheet-1-16-scale.jpg  

Last edited by Leif Ohlsson; 01-14-2011 at 01:13 PM.
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  #65 (permalink)  
Old 01-15-2011, 04:28 AM
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Where the winter camo may have originated from

Looking for fresh photos of the Po-2 I came upon what I believe may have been the source of inspiration for Robert Navratil's (Best Papermodels) winter camo Po-2:



You may remember (see this post) that the particular aircraft painted here belonged to the French "Normandie-Niemen" unit, at the Eastern front. Note the French markings in addition to the red stars. (Image source)

This photo, with a distinct pre-war feeling about it, is marked 1935:



The Wikimedia Commons caption runs: "The instructor Semeon Lykin and a group of pilots pose in front of a Polikarpov U-2 (or Po-2)."

Now, who's the instructor? My guess, the informally dressed guy closest to the camera. That may be just wishful thinking, but he could be a crop duster pilot (yes, the Po-2 was used for that, too), teaching some obviously military personnel how to fly, during these, the prelude to war, years.

Here's a colour scheme I'd really like to model (source):



Note the improvised way of dropping supplies to the insurgents in Warsaw at the end of the war - weapons packed with boards to stiffen them up for the drop!

In the material that Joek recommended (in a post a page back or so) there are photos of at least three interesting pods for stretchers, much like the M*A*S*H variety later on. Here are two of them:



In the material there is also good three-view drawings of these pods, plus a third variety (bottom). What purpose would the hatches in the bottom of that one have served?



Wouldn't it be an interesting task to design one or several of these pods as an add-on, to go with either of the two good Po-2 kits?

Incidentally, the middle pod in the drawing (or bottom two photos) doesn't seem to be for wounded, at least not stretcher cases. Could it be for transporting gerilla soldiers or something like that? Also, and even more incidentally, the designer Schcherbakov most likely is the same person who designed the SCHE-2, of which there is also a fine paper model.

Leif

PS. Turns out I was right about who's the instructor in the photo - it really is the informally dressed person in the foreground! If you go to the original flickr source, and hover over the photo with your mouse, you'll get confirmation - what a neat feature!
Attached Thumbnails
Polikarpov Po-2 Kartonowa Kolekcia 1:33-00-1polikarpov-po2.jpg   Polikarpov Po-2 Kartonowa Kolekcia 1:33-polikarpov_po-2_-1935-.jpg   Polikarpov Po-2 Kartonowa Kolekcia 1:33-po_1.jpg   Polikarpov Po-2 Kartonowa Kolekcia 1:33-stretcher-pods.jpg   Polikarpov Po-2 Kartonowa Kolekcia 1:33-stretcher-pod-dwg.jpg  


Last edited by Leif Ohlsson; 01-15-2011 at 05:27 AM.
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Old 01-15-2011, 07:57 AM
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Comparing the BPM model once again…

Writing the last post - about the colour profile found, and how I'd really like to model that - my own recolouring of the KK model suddenly seemed very inadequate. The Bestpapermodel version really has a superior texture:



Compare the BPM version above with my own recolouring below:



I would much rather build the BPM version, if the texture was the only factor to take into account. But then there is the almost toy-like design of the BPM model, and some discrepancies. I've done a comparison of them before (see this post):



Now the colour profile in the previous post prompted me to make another:



I no longer think the discrepancies are that important. The one thing which would be difficult to do anything about is the bottom of the nose section. This should be inclined slightly upwards towards the engine, but in the BPM model it is straight and flat. I think I could live with that, and the wing position is fairly easily adjusted by cutting wing struts according to the KK model outline.

What remains then is the detailing. Here's what I'd like to do:

• The interior of the cockpit needs redesigning with proper bulkheads and details like the KK model. Since I have both kits, it should be possible, and even interesting (although challenging).

• The engine needs ameliorating. The KK version engine isn't that hot either. Mentioning the SCHE-2 model made me remember that there is a a fabulously detailed M-11 engine included in that model from Modelik:



The Po-2 deserves that kind of detail to the engine, since it is such a prominent feature of the aircraft.

• The wheels need remaking. They are the kind of toy-like which would be unacceptable in a model making justice to the great skin texture.

• Use much of the technique in the KK model for making wing, stab & fin interiors and framework.

• Designing and making several kind of pods would be interesting and worthwhile!

• A maximum effort would entail getting back to the layered prop I once started upon, but never was quite happy with for the Po-2. In the material recommended by Joek there was a fine three-view drawing, including a set of propeller profiles, which might come in very handy indeed:



• A final interesting factor is the availability of a winter camo scheme from BPM, also very attractive. I guess I will have to make some more business at the Bestpapermodels site...

Wouldn't it be easier to recolour the KK model?, you may well ask. Well, probably; it's just that I'm not enough of an artist with Photoshop to accomplish something like the wear and tear Robert Navratil has created.

So right now it leans towards the skin of the BPM model, augmented by framework and detailing from the KK model, and the engine of the Modelik SCHE-2 model. Quite some kitbashing.

And I'm still just contemplating, mind you...

Leif

PS. Sorry for being so lengthy, I'm shamelessly using the forum for thinking out loud and making notes for the future.

PPS. And the business with Bestpapermodels is already done. Lightning-fast service as always. I now own the winter camo version and will recluse myself for contemplation of it. It is beautifully dirty...
Attached Thumbnails
Polikarpov Po-2 Kartonowa Kolekcia 1:33-bpm-sample.jpg   Polikarpov Po-2 Kartonowa Kolekcia 1:33-kk-recolour-sample.jpg   Polikarpov Po-2 Kartonowa Kolekcia 1:33-engine-m-11.jpg   Polikarpov Po-2 Kartonowa Kolekcia 1:33-comparison-bpm.jpg   Polikarpov Po-2 Kartonowa Kolekcia 1:33-prop-eng-dwg.jpg  


Last edited by Leif Ohlsson; 01-15-2011 at 08:56 AM.
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Old 01-16-2011, 01:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leif Ohlsson View Post
I've done a comparison of them before (see this post):
...
I no longer think the discrepancies are that important
Leif,

discrepancies do not matter indeed because you compare rough drawing with another rough drawing, and you never know how does each of them differ from the prototype


if anything, it only makes sense to check known dimensions of the prototype, and compare shapes with photos
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Old 01-17-2011, 10:55 AM
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Mikhail (Golovanov),

Thanks for stopping by and commenting! If you are still watching, perhaps you could help me with another translation (remember the "Cabbage soup"...)? Here's a photo of the pod, type 3 as I will call them, with at caption that perhaps explains the purpose of them:



I am particularly curious about the hatches that opens up in the bottom. What were these pods for - dropping supplies, dropping propaganda leaflets, or what???

Anyway, it was nice hearing from you again.

Leif

PS. Note to myself: Even the engine was painted white in the winter camo version. Haven't noticed that until now, when I had a closer look at this particular photo.
Attached Thumbnails
Polikarpov Po-2 Kartonowa Kolekcia 1:33-po-2-pod-type-3.jpg  
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Old 01-17-2011, 11:47 PM
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Leif,

the caption says

"U-2, equipped with ski landing gear and sanitation cassettes by Schcherbakov, each of which could house two wounded. This plane has also an engine cowl which protects cylinders from hypothermia"

Another photo:

http://crimso.msk.ru/Images6/MA/MA00-1/20-1.jpg

"This variant was called P-2. Schcherbakov cassettes were suspended under the lower wings, two seats each. Wounded were sitting back to back, their heads were at the leading edge of wings and legs were placed in a streamlined body of the cassette. Thus, the plane could carry one lying wounded and five sitting"

Nothing on hatches. Probably these were service ones or kind of entry doors
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Old 01-18-2011, 02:38 AM
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Two different Scherbakov pods

Thanks Mikhail!

I now see that the engine has covers, instead of being painted white, as I mistakenly and stupidly thought. Very good! Once you know what to look for, I think I can spot them also in the first photo below, the one you were refering to.

As for the pods, I don't believe the caption you so kindly translated is correct. Clearly it is a Scherbakov pod, but there are two kinds of those (see below). I was going to ask you about the one in the photo you linked to as well, but you already answered my question:



I thought I had seen two heads in the pod closest to the camera, but I never guessed they were sitting back to back!

As for the information about Po-2 being able to carry five wounded, four in the pods, and one stretcher case, that would have to be the version with room for a stretcher in a redesigned fuselage, not the one in the photo. This one would take four sitting wounded in the pods, and possibly one in sitting in the cockpit, but no stretcher case.

Drawings confirm that there were indeed two kinds of Scherbakov pods:



The one at the top is the kind for two sitting people, back to back, as we now know. As for the kind of pod I was wondering about in the previous post (the lower one in the drawing), I don't see how this can be for carrying people, at least not in a sitting position - note absence of windshield. And I don't see how they could get a stretcher into it, what with those double hatches and a keel between them, which is clearly visible in the drawing.

Second thoughts here: Suppose the drawing is incorrect, and that the photo in fact shows an opening at the bottom which is unobstructed (no keel, hatches open up the bottom completely)?:



Then this kind of pod might actually be for a stretcher case, where the stretcher is inserted from the front and bottom, towards the rear, then brought upwards and forward to rest on supports in the nose part of the pod. After securing the stretcher, hatches are closed. How about that as an explanation? Supporting evidence is that the hatches in the photo seem much larger than in the drawing, and therefore they may actually meet up at the bottom, without any obstructing keel.

How curious if this discussion has led us to finding a fault in the reference drawing...

In the Google-translated version of modifications of the Po-2, I learn that the original ambulance version (with room for a stretcher in the fuselage plus a medic, or two stretchers in another variant) was developed during the first winter war against Finland in 1939. However, nothing there is said about the Scherbakov-designed pods, so I guess they are later developments, during the Great Patriotic War against Germany.

Leif

Reference: The "Wunderwaffe" site about the Po-2 history can be found here (index page, in original Russian).
Attached Thumbnails
Polikarpov Po-2 Kartonowa Kolekcia 1:33-20-1.jpg   Polikarpov Po-2 Kartonowa Kolekcia 1:33-sherbakov-pods.jpg  

Last edited by Leif Ohlsson; 01-18-2011 at 03:23 AM.
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