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Old 02-22-2012, 09:07 AM
Diderick A. den Bakker's Avatar
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Osprey

Every now and again we see a building report, or just a few pictures, of one of the most beautiful models ever - the completely lifelike and lifesize Merlin by Malcolm Todd, Birdmobile England. I started my internet shop ten years ago importing his models to Holland and sold them via numerous Birdlife and Nature reserve shops - and even after over 30 builds (for display in these shops) it is still a joy to see the bird taking shape under one's hands.
There are eight other models, all lifesize: robin, woodpecker, nuthatch, grey wagtail, swallow, kingfisher, little owl - and osprey. More pictures on my New Photo Collection: Flickr: Den Bakker's Photostream (I am planning to make new, hopefully better pictures presently).
The Osprey is the absolute top model in the series. At nearly two meters wingspan (well over six feet) it is next to impossible to make a good photograph - there is always a disturbing background. So a few years ago my wife and I decided on an experiment. The model in the pictures was nearly twenty years old (and no discoloration worth speaking of!), had had a few falls, and was so dusty that I decided to treat myself to building a new copy. (The construction is so clever that it really is a treat to build this model, or the other ones, for that matter). So we had this photo session. The model was launched several times from the balcony, and came gliding down so smoothly that we could repeat the process several times to be certain of good pictures. The only thing missing here is the brown trout, printed on glossy paper, that is part of the kit.
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Osprey-smelleken-valkje-.jpg   Osprey-zwaluw.jpg   Osprey-osprey-1.jpg   Osprey-osprey-2.jpg  

Last edited by Diderick A. den Bakker; 02-22-2012 at 09:24 AM.
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Old 02-22-2012, 09:22 AM
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That is absolutely outstanding!! I could easily imagine that being thrown to scare off Geese which can really poop on a whole park in a matter of hours! Incredible Diderick, you never fail to surprise me!
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Old 02-22-2012, 09:43 AM
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That is a good idea about photographing the osprey. The osprey in "flight" looks very convincing.

I am in the process of building the BirdMobile models. I do not have the merlin yet (back ordered) or the osprey, but will have them in the near future. I must admit that I did not believe the bird models were actual size because they seemed so small when completed, but further research shows them to be actual size.

You are correct about the unique way the models go together. The indicators for where to apply glue and the adjoining part is something not seen before.

A mobile is planned with the smaller birds flying around the merlin as if trying to chase it away. Probably not realistic considering the different species of birds represented, but hey, birds are not paper either.
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Old 02-22-2012, 11:56 AM
Diderick A. den Bakker's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zathros View Post
That is absolutely outstanding!! I could easily imagine that being thrown to scare off Geese which can really poop on a whole park in a matter of hours! Incredible Diderick, you never fail to surprise me!
Actually, I don't think models like this have been used for that purpose, but a simple delta shaped kite with a bird of prey print flown off a 15 feet pole is very effective in cherry orchards, scaring off the small hungry flocks!
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Old 02-22-2012, 01:24 PM
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Beautiful builds of both birds! If I saw that gliding by I'd swear it was the real thing.
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Old 02-22-2012, 03:10 PM
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My daughter and I built the Osprey model when she was five. (She's 25 now.) It's still a beautiful model. It's hanging in a bay window in our dining where it keeps the sparrows away.
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Old 02-22-2012, 06:09 PM
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Beautiful, and much less potentially harmful than the real ospreys we occasionally have to remove from our hooks where I fish during the summer after they dive on our live baits and hook themselves.
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Old 02-28-2012, 04:00 PM
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Where can I get this model?...I LOVE IT......Rich
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Old 02-28-2012, 04:03 PM
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Truly wonderful build of a fine Bird.... very VERY realistic
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Old 02-28-2012, 05:00 PM
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Osprey and Merlin kits

My first taste of papercraft was building these kits as a child over 30 years ago - amazing to think they were designed without the aid of a computer! I was excited to re-discover them having been revived from a new source - my originals were from the Natural History Museum. I have built all except the Osprey, which is quite a big job! Only joined Paper Modelers two days ago so early doors, but I will try and post some pictures in the near future.
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