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Old 02-10-2016, 03:55 PM
Thumb Dog Thumb Dog is offline
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Paper Models as Propaganda During the Spanish Civil War

In my many hours of searching the internet for interesting paper models, I’ve recently discovered a number of vintage card models that were published in Spain during its brutal civil war. Between 1936 and 1939, the Nationalist and Republican forces fought for political control over the once powerful Spanish nation. As is often the case in modern civil wars, these conflicts quickly become proxy wars for the world’s great powers, and in this instance, the Nationalists under Francisco Franco were largely supported and supplied by Germany’s Nazi regime, while the Republicans received aid from the Soviet Union as well as Socialists and Communists from around the world.

In an age of modern mass media, all combatants rely on effective propaganda to further their cause, and to the interest of today’s card modeler, the various factions involved in the Spanish Civil War produced a surprising array of paper models to be built by young and old alike. The models and paper soldiers seemed to have been designed to appeal mostly to children, but no doubt found their way into the hands of adults seeking a simple and inexpensive diversion during those worrisome times.

This thread will focus on the 3-dimentional models, with an occasional nod to the many 2-dimentional paper soldiers and figures that were available at the time. As these simple models were designed to be built by children, there’s no need to document their step-by-step construction. I’ll show photographs of my built-up examples and the printed sheets that were issued by the various publishers. I have yet to build all the models in my collection, so I will show these in this thread as they become available.

It is not always clear to the foreign eye as to which side the models support. That’s where the flags and symbols come in. The Nationalist flag was three horizontal stripes in a red, yellow, red pattern, while the Republican’s flag was three horizontal stripes in a red, yellow, purple pattern. Many other flags and symbols were seen in the models, and for those interested in such things, these are carefully documented in the Wikipedia article about the Spanish Civil War.

Firstly, we'll look at some models published by Construcciones Costales of Granada, Spain. The models shown here are from a 12 part series called Instrumentos De Guerra, drawn by J. Galvez. Granada was held by the Nationalists throughout the war, so these models represent propaganda by that side. Note the flags. The first is Number 2 in the series, Un Acorazado, or battleship. A simple model, with a 2-dimentional superstructure, the ship sits on an interesting piece of ocean with its fingerlike wake. J. Galvez has a distinctive drawing style, but he know bupkis about ships. As his little drawing of the completed model shows, Galvez wants you to build the model with the conning tower facing aft. I turned the superstructure around on my model, and I also reversed the direction of the flag.

The second model shown is Number 10, Un Submarino. Among my favorites of the models in this series, the rust-orange deck and sea give it an otherworldly aspect. Both models sit on bases reinforced with picture framer’s mat board, adding extra strength to the paper creations.

That’s all for this first entry in this thread. I am certainly no expert on the subjects of the war or these models, and would welcome any comments from those more knowledgeable than I.

Score and fold,

Thumb Dog
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Paper Models as Propaganda During the Spanish Civil War-paper-models-4-026-copy.jpg   Paper Models as Propaganda During the Spanish Civil War-paper-models-4-027-copy.jpg   Paper Models as Propaganda During the Spanish Civil War-paper-models-4-045-copy.jpg   Paper Models as Propaganda During the Spanish Civil War-paper-models-4-046-copy.jpg   Paper Models as Propaganda During the Spanish Civil War-costales-2.jpg  

Paper Models as Propaganda During the Spanish Civil War-costales-10.jpg  
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  #2  
Old 02-10-2016, 07:00 PM
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Vermin_King Vermin_King is offline
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Thanks for sharing, and for sharing the history
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Old 02-10-2016, 08:59 PM
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Don Boose Don Boose is offline
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These are excellent antique decoupages. I am glad to know about them. You did a beautiful job on these models.

Don
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Old 02-11-2016, 03:51 PM
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Two more Spanish Civil War models are offered for consideration today. First is the Artilleria de Costa, or Coast Defense Gun. It is Number 12 in the Instrumentos de Guerra series and shows a sizable gun situated behind a stony revetment. While it can be built into a colorful and interesting model, it takes a lot of work to get it to this point. Parts fit is a puzzle that can only be solved with scissors, glue and ultimately more parts. Luckily, my ink jet printer is currently behaving, so it’s no problem to run off the needed pages to do a good job on this troublesome project.

Also, if you look closely, you’ll notice that the original parts sheets for this series of models will sometimes have only one side of a needed part printed on the page. This is common for vintage paper models, as their designers regarded them more as toys than serious scale representations. In order to cover the white sides of the parts, I go to the mirror function on my computer. I print reverse images of most of the vintage models I build, and use the mirrored parts to cover the exposed white areas in question. In this model, the trees and the sailor needed reverse sides, so another piece of 110 lb card, a little ink, and a better looking model is the result. On my version of the model, two fully dressed sailors guard the gun where only half a sailor was provided on the sheet. The wonders of computers.

The last model shown below is a true oddity. Known as a Recortable, or Cut-Out, this paper doll by a different publisher shows Shirley Temple holding a pie-eyed Mickey Mouse. As she stands, Shirley looks fine, it’s only when you scan the clothing choices you find a rather shocking image, namely a uniform for Frente de Juventudes, a Nationalist Falange Espanola youth organization. Note the Yoke and Arrows device on the blouse and belt. When she dons this outfit, Shirley will be seen giving the Fascist salute. No doubt, this was not a licensed image, and I imagine she was appalled if she ever saw it. I include it here to demonstrate propaganda’s ability to corrupt even the most innocent of ideals.

Finally, I need to correct and error in the last post. I suggested the designer, J. Galvez, didn’t know his aft from his bow when he designed the battleship. I referred to the battleship’s command center as the conning tower, when I should have called it the bridge. Point to J. Galvez.

Score and fold,

Thumb Dog
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Paper Models as Propaganda During the Spanish Civil War-paper-models-4-020-copy.jpg   Paper Models as Propaganda During the Spanish Civil War-paper-models-4-021-copy.jpg   Paper Models as Propaganda During the Spanish Civil War-costales-12.jpg   Paper Models as Propaganda During the Spanish Civil War-shirley-temple.jpg  
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Old 02-11-2016, 04:16 PM
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Very Interesting, I'm looking forward to seeing more.
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Old 02-11-2016, 09:39 PM
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southwestforests southwestforests is offline
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Interesting models, coloration gives them an almost bright and cheerful look, which would fit the the toy appeal goal.
Actually, battleships have both bridges and conning towers.

USS Missouri BB-63 for example, chosen because I live in Missouri, had a conning tower with 17 inch armor.

A quote from a source,
Quote:
Missouri (BB-63) and the Wisconsin (BB-64) were completed with enclosed square-faced bridges like this one. There were no baffles, but glass windshields could be raised to protect both primary and secondary conning positions. Note the siren bracketed to the side of the forward fire control tower, and the small Mark 27 radar that replaced the Mark 3 of earlier battleships atop the conning tower. Abaft it is a 36-inch searchlight. The newly completed Missouri is shown at the NYNY on 23 July 1944. Photo and text courtesy of U.S. Battleships: An Illustrated Design History by Norman Friedman.
Battleship Photo Index BB-63 USS MISSOURI

HMS Dreadnought herself had a conning tower with, as this source from Osprey books relates, 8 to 11 inches of armor. https://books.google.com/books?id=B8...0tower&f=false
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Old 02-11-2016, 10:34 PM
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Hi All,

Thanks for your interest in my thread. southwestforests, yours was a fair comment regarding the ship's conning tower. In my reading of pre-dreadnought and early dreadnought battleships, I have more often heard this heavily protected area referred to as the citadel. Conning tower works for me, too. (It lets me off the hook with J. Galvez). Attached find my interpretation of a citadel/conning tower, the oval enclosure under the bridge. The superstructure of this model is brass, made using techniques I learned while card modeling. Thanks again.

Score and fold,

Thumb Dog
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Old 02-11-2016, 11:00 PM
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That Coast Defense Gun model is gorgeous.
Look at the artwork!
Mucg better than the Battleship.
Although, the Uboat looks neat.
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Old 02-13-2016, 12:01 AM
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Excellent and interesting series.

Very interesting indeed - look forward to more!
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Old 02-13-2016, 08:14 AM
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Continuing on with more models from Construcciones Costales, here are two aviation related subjects. First is the airplane, known as Un Caza, or Fighter. Number 9 in the series, this is the first Spanish Civil War model I found on the internet, and it is the one that sparked my interest in the subject. This biplane, or more correctly, sesquiplane, is not a model of a known type, but is rather designer J. Galvez’s idea of a modern fighter. Aviation had changed greatly during the interwar years, and the biplane fighter was no longer able to keep pace with the newer monoplanes now equipping the world’s air armies. Galvez could have made his life easier by choosing a monoplane as his subject.

The fit of the model is not very good, especially around the landing gear. Also, the original scan was a bit washed out, resulting in the rather dull finish seen here. A better scan is available, and I’ll give directions to it and the rest of this model series later on. A quick look at the uncut sheet will show that most everything but the fuselage needed a separate, mirrored part to complete the model to a modern standard.

The second entry shown is Number 11, Un Aerodromo, or Airport. This model shows a civilian facility rather than a military establishment, with the Art Deco terminal at the end of the airfield a nice touch. Again, the first scan I found was a bit muddy, and I had not yet learned how to brighten an image on my computer, but I was pleased with the final build. I should mention that while I have never seen an original sheet from this series, those for sale on the internet are said to measure 32 X 23 cm, roughly 13 X 9 inches. Without an original in hand, I can’t comment about paper quality. There is a special note to children written near the top of Number 11’s page, and I offer this ham-handed translation…”Children, always buy Construcciones Costales, they are more pretty and more simple.”

These are not the most sophisticated paper models, but with a little stick-um and patience, the little Spaniards could be proud of their results.
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Paper Models as Propaganda During the Spanish Civil War-paper-models-4-022-copy.jpg   Paper Models as Propaganda During the Spanish Civil War-paper-models-4-023-copy.jpg   Paper Models as Propaganda During the Spanish Civil War-paper-models-4-033-copy.jpg   Paper Models as Propaganda During the Spanish Civil War-paper-models-4-032-copy.jpg   Paper Models as Propaganda During the Spanish Civil War-costales-9.jpg  

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models, paper, war, model, civil, spanish, simple, series, flags, thread, number, red, propaganda, flag, galvez, show, shown, granada, built, 2-dimentional, nationalists, drawing, pattern, wars, symbols

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