The Alan Rose DC-3
First of all, some words by Billy Leliveld:
Digital restoration of Alan Rose’s DC-3 kit.
With deep thanks to Alan Rose for his kind permission
to start this crazy project.
And with deep thanks also to Rob Tauxe and to Peter Ansoff
who, as Billy said, were very important in facilitating the
communication between him and Alan.
And last, but not the least, Thanks a lot to Billy, who managed
to get in contact with the designer of this beauty. Billy also
spent a good time scanning his copy of the original book so that
I could use his files as the basis for this digitalization.
Yes, you read right.
No, this is not a joke.
Yes, this thread is about creating a digital version of the
legendary 6’4” (193cm) DC-3 paper model designed
by Alan Rose, released originally in book form in 1985.
It is not only one of the most famous paper model kits, but it is
also a highly appreciated one, and a greatly desired one.
And unfortunately for those not lucky enough to get one in 1985,
an incredibly expensive one when it is auctioned (though it was
just U$15 when originally published).
I will try not to discuss (rant about) why the kit has reached
such high prices, suffice to say that if people ask more than
U$150 for it, it must be because there are some people willing
to pay more than U$150 for it.
I won’t discuss either the history of the DC-3, a plane that is
very well known. If I were to make a review of the legendary
Gooney Bird I would surely use millions of words in an article
the length of an encyclopedia. The DC-3 is one of those planes
I love the most (as some of you have already noticed before from
my signature); but I will try not to bother you with my admiration
for that plane during the course of this thread
So, let’s better move and see what we are going to do here:
This thread will document the creation of a digital version
in vector form of the Alan Rose DC-3 kit. The purpose is
to re-draw digitally the whole kit, in order to release a PDF
that will be distributed freely to all the members of the
If you know what happened last year with the Ford Tri-Motor kit
designed by our respected Peter Zorn, then you know what to expect
(more or less) in terms of quality. If you don’t know, or if you are new
to this forum, please have a look here: Re-colouring the Ford Trimotor by Peter Zorn
The methodology will be pretty much the same: starting from the scans
of the original book provided by Billy, I will re-trace everything using
Corel in order to get a pristine digital version of the artwork.
We’ll see how it works... and we’ll see if I survive the process.
Size does matter:
The book was originally released in a not so standard format for
paper models. It is “folio” size, about 11X14 inches (28X36 cm),
meaning is too big for letter or A4 paper.
Using “A3/double letter” format is desirable to keep the kit at 100%
(6’ 4” - 193cms). In this way the person will get an accurate digital
copy of the book with the parts at the original size (the modeler will
need a big printer capable of handling A3 paper size).
Big printers start to appear here and there, but they are still not so common,
and most people uses home printers that handle only A4/Letter paper sizes.
Don’t worry: this kit designed in “A3/double letter” format can be
downscaled safely to Legal, Letter or A4 papers. The result will be
a model smaller than the original, but its size (65-70% / 125-135cms)
can still guarantee a serious conversation with a wife
Any color you like (as long as it is AA silver):
The original kit provides the parts to build a model of the front part of
a DC-3 with the colors of an American Airlines Flagship. It is silver
with red and blue trimmings.
The first batch of DC-3s built by Douglas in 1935 was directly sold to
American Airlines, so the AA livery is representative of the original
colors of the first DC-3s in service in the world.
There have been no talks yet about painting other liveries. And because
of its size (the he kit has a lot of parts) designing other liveries is a
long and difficult work. Is not impossible, but it is a long process.
That’s why this new digital version of the Alan Rose DC-3 will be
a copy of the original book, respecting the colors provided with it.
It will be an AA airplane in natural aluminum finish.
To solve the problem of the silver printing, there will be two options:
one artwork will be designed to be printed on metallic paper.
And another option will simulate the natural aluminum skin
with grey gradients. Hopefully this way we can get a decent
substitute for the original silver parts of the book.
The Beta build
Billy also loves this model, and he told me he wanted to make
the beta build. I think he deserves the honor, since he has wanted
to build this kit for some time, and he also unstapled his copy of the
book to scan it properly. You know the care he puts in his builds,
and I’m sure his reports will be useful for all of us who are interested
in building this kit too.
By the way, Billy will use metallic paper for his build.
I’m not sure yet, but time and money permitting I may embark on the
building of the grey-gradients version. I don’t know. Just maybe.
Finally, and as proof that you are not dreaming, let’s see how the first
two pages of the kit look:
(They are low-resolution samples, but you get the idea)
Rubén Andrés Martínez A.
(I love the smell of paper in the morning. )
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I'll be watching closely. Like you I'm a huge fan of the DC-3 and can't wait to see this come to fruition like the tri-motor. Thank you to everyone involved for undertaking this very ambitious project.
Ambitious might be an understatement. Although this is a model I will probably never build, I do appreciate the desire to preserve these fine works of art and the necessary work to bring the project to completion. I'm just glad that people who feel the same way I do about preservation also have the ability to do these projects and do them well.
Wow great classic! If you need information about FAB/Varig/Real Aerovias/Panair do Brasil C-47 or DC-3 send me a PM...
Cosmo Tigers GO!!!!
In the Work: Many OBP, and others planes...
My blog: http://www.clubedocanhao.com.br/blogs/blogdopericles/
I checked, my first post on this forum was about this model, when I just got the original, so once again, I 'm delighted to be part of the league of extraordinary gentlemen making this possible, spanning three continents.... etc, etc
But have a look at this pic , it's mr Pirling from (kartonbau forum) Germany ...
And yes it's that big....
Last edited by billy.leliveld; 02-13-2012 at 03:50 PM.
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Didn't I see one of those books during the IPMS event in Nieuwegein last year? Thought of buying it for a few minutes/seconds, but decided against because i knew it was that big...
print, cut, score, fold, glue, gloat.
Total Annihilation paper models
Current wip: Scaldis De Ruyter, Sword Impulse [PR]
Wow!! That's just a little over 1/15 scale...even I would be a bit of a loss to display this sweetie...not often that I ever considering Shrinking a model from its released scale...this will be a great thread just watching the digitisation process at work again...
Please critique my posts honestly i.e. say what you think so I can learn and improve...
The World According to Me