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SOLA Duo, driving the broom wagon

yet again I supported the ASVZ team for the SOLA Duo 2017. Silvia and me were driving the broom wagon. The SOLA duo, a finisher event, which takes place only every two years is organized by the ASVZ. In a team of two, competitors run or ride from St.Gallen to Zürich. It starts at midnight and the fastest teams arrive early in the morning in the ASVZ facility at the Zoo in Zürich. The event has lost nothing of its unique ambience for me. Many participants see that as well; they describe their impressions and evaluate it on the online platform Laufkalender.ch as unique or mystical (check it yourself). Madlaina Walther has taken the photos from the event (password is: Sola_Duo_2017).
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Photo by Madlaina Walther
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STOKYS - 75th anniversary

The famous swiss manufacturer STOKYS of metal construction kits is celebrating his 75 anniversary with an exhibition at the Technorama in Winterthur. I have visited this interactive exhibition last Saturday.

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A very impressive show with many visitors and spectacular models (see my album on Flickr). STOKYS has started a crowdfunding project to get ready for their future. Let’s support it and make it happen.
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A brief description about STOKYS is written (in english) on Girders & Gears.
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Fieseler Fi 156 Storch (1:72)

after finishing the fieldwork for the new o-map I need some kind of compromise. This time I start building a new plastic model kit. Recently I get a Tamiya Milestone edition kit of the Fieseler Fi-156C. This kit is in scale 1:48 but there is a smaller one from Academy already in my stash. Therefore I started with that one first.
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My Storch is on skies as you can see here. The winter camouflage will follow together with a snow diorama (eventually).
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fieldwork Barchetsee

during the last weeks I was doing the fieldwork for a new orienteering map. Next March thurgorienta will organise their orienteering event on this new map „Barchetsee“. For this event I will do most of the fieldwork and also the drawing on the computer. Barchetsee is a small lake between Neunforn and Ossingen at in the western part of the canton Thurgau.
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The Barchetsee itself wouldn’t be used for orienteering; the lake and its surrounding is a nature reserve and it will be marked as permanent out-of-bound on the final map. This photo is done with my multicopter (see a video or more photos on my flickr album).
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flight days - Easter 2016

This is my Quadcopter a Yuneec Typhoon Q500 4K. Essentially, it is an (almost) autonomously flying video camera.
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No comparison to a RC model; be it a helicopter, model-aircraft or sailplane. With the techniques now used (GPS, telemetry data and video downlink) a Quadcopter is a hight-tech device and because it belongs to mass-produced goods, the prices - also are no comparison to RC models.
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Beside the Easter eggs search there has been left some time, to make a few flights with the Quadcopter. I have created a dedicated album on Flickr now. There the photos from my flights are filed, or, at least a part of it. For the videos there will be a colletion on my Vimeo account real soon now.
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new Quadrocopter, Q500 Typhoon

push the button .. it’s that easy!
These kind of RC-model has done a remarkable development during the last three years. Then I bought a Blade mQX to see how a quadrocopter compares to an e-heli. I have even made a video - or at least tried to.
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But today you can buy drones or quadrocopters, as I prefer to say, that are build for the special purpose of aerial photography (and videos). One of these kind is the Yuneec Q500 4K Typhoon that I have now in my hangar. More photos and videos will follow soon.
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MiG-15 1:72, Eduard kit

the Zcech company Eduard is well known for its accessories for the advanced modelers. But they are doing complete kits also. I gave it chance and have built the MiG-15.mig15-edu-blog
I have to say that Eduard did not disappoint me; their kit is as perfect as are their PE accessory parts. You may find more photos on my flickr album.
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Kaman K-Max (1:72) by ROTEX

finally I have finished this model. I got one of the first kits in 2013 from Attack Squadron but since I planned to build it in the colors of the Swiss operator Rotex Helicopter AG there was a little more work to do, e.g. drawing custom decals.
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This is a resin kit which is somewhat difficult to handle compared to the ‚standard‘ plastic kits. And of course there are a few things that have to be changed to build exactly this model. More pictures of the model are on my flickr album.
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flying the Blade 120SR

after these demanding last weeks I enjoyed flying the Blade 120SR again. I haven’t used it much during the last months but the accus are still ok.flugtrng-SR120-mai
On the following sunday I took the heli with me to Nussbaumen. It was a quite windy day but I decided to fly regardless. Sam has an even more demanding task: taking photos of the little heli.
Winking
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F-107A (1:72) birthday present

what a surprise, Nadine and Alain gave me a model kit for my birthday. It is a kit from Trumpeter of the F-107A Ultra Sabre built by North American. Only three airplanes of this type were built. The Ultra Sabre was planned as the successor of the famous F-100 Super Sabre.
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It was a good idea by them because this gives me some variety to my particular situation.
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Spitfire PR Mk IV (1:72)

another old Airfix kit, this one has the year 1974 scratched in the fuselage mold! With a few add on parts like a photo etched cockpit and resin wings this a makes nice model for me.
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The photo reconnaissance (PR) versions didn’t carry any amor with them but have as much fuel on board as possible. The PR Spitfires could fly from England to the Gdansk Bay and back.
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Supermarine Walrus 1:72

at the local modeling exhibition in Andelfingen I bought this old Airfix kit last year. I saw this airplane at the RAF Hendon museum three years ago. That’s why I built that model.
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The Supermarine Walrus serves as a rescue aircraft during World War II.
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good legible o-maps

at this years event of the swiss o-mappers I had the opportunity to speak about generalization of orienteering maps in Switzerland. I was invited by Beat Imhof and together with Urs Steiner we started a discussion about this really important topic.
In my introduction I referred to a report of Tore Sandvik in a blog at world-of-o. This blog entry gets more than twenty comments in less than two days. Sandvik_good-readable-mapsFor me that shows how important generalization of orienteering maps has become.
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flying the Libelle

last sunday I spent the afternoon at my parents home and I took the Libelle with me. There my youngest brother Sam could take a few photos while I was flying the rc-sailplane.
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I still have to practise this kind of launching an rc-model. But again it is a lot of fun flying such sailplanes like in the beginning more than thirty years ago.
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Dream-Flight Libelle (DLG plane)

Announced by a swiss modeling shop this model attracted my attention. I have a few HLG or DLG gliders some of them not even finished. But this glider (btw already sold out in the US) has a few features listed like easy-to-build, almost-reday-to-glide, inexpensive that seems worth another try.
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I’ve got one and it is already finished. Initial set up is already done and even the first (test) flights were successful. Now I have to learn how to launch it to get a reasonable hight.
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P-51D Mustang (1:72)

Another legendary aircraft: North American P-51 Mustang. The Mustang was the most powerful fighter of the Allied forces during World War II over Europe. Therefore it is a must have to every collection.
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I had this kit from Tamyia on my stash for a quite while. And when building the F-104 Starfighter to have the MrCOLOR metalliser tested it was time to build the Mustang too. My choice was the Moonbeam McSwine flown by Captain William T. Whisner during the year 1944 from Bodney (GB).
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F-104A Starfighter (1:72)

To have my gallery of „famous Lockheed airplanes“ complete there was one airplane missing for a long time: the Starfighter F-104. I was looking around for the A-Version, the very early types with the all metal surface.
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Most of the kits available today are G-types or later (the A-version is having a shorter rudder compared to the G-version). I get an old AMT Ertl kit and also a few additional parts (PE, resin and decals). Then I’ll give the superfine metal colors from MrCOLOR a try. Now it is finished and also my gallery consisting of the U2, P9 Orion (Swissair), Electra (back), Starfighter and the Vega (Winnie Mae). All of them have written history.
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2nd Miles Magister 1:72

As mentioned last September I got two kits of the Miles Magister. The second one from RS models has a lot more details and therefore took a longer time to build. Now that one is finished too.
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It has a detailed cockpit and a more complicated camouflage pattern than the first one.
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Rodenberg, mapping a new o-map

During February the weather was quite mild and there was no snow laying in our region. So that was the ideal time to do the fieldwork for the new orienteering map Rodenberg.
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On March 1st I could finish my part. The Rodenberg is surrounded by no less than three o-maps. But until now there doesn’t exist a map of the Rodenberg. This is changing now and in June thurgorienta will organise a regional orienteering event in Schlattingen.
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Tiger Moth 1:72

Like in England I have now built a model of an airplane I saw last year at the Norsk Luftfahrtmuseum in Bodø. While searching for a Miles Magister kit I found a Tiger Moth from AZ model (Czech) having decals for various Scandinavien air forces. So I decided to build such an airplane.
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The Tiger Moth is a small airplane but AZ model has packed a lot of details and special parts into this kit. It was a real pleasure to build it.
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flight lesson, new Blade 130X for me

After flying in our garden during this summer with my simple but fun Blade 120SR I decide to go the next level up. When asking about a follow-up heli to the 120SR my local dealer just pointed to the 130X. I was wondering why he didn’t recommend a model like the SR or the Huey-SR.
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But after the first flights with the 130X I had to admit he was right!
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Miles Magister (1:72)

Inspired by the September calendar picture I decide to build such a model of this British trainer airplane of the 30ies. My goal was to have the model ready before I had to turn the calendar page.
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I got two kits, one from Eastern Express (the one I have built) and one from RS Models. Since the RS Model kit has a lot more details I will certainly need a few more evenings to finish that kit.
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Eurobike 2013

Every year the Eurobike is the place to be if you are in the bike business. Here you can see all the latest in bike development and a lot more.
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This year I was invited by Thomas Juzi owner of the Radwerk in Winterthur to accompany him at this exebition in Friedrichshafen. A great pleasure indeed. And as often there are surprises like the boot of Pashley a real english bike manufacturer.
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photoalbums ready

as I have promised I will put photos of the different excitements of the last threes week on my flickr account.
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Now you can watch the albums of: Midnattsolgaloppen stage 1 and 2 at Sørreisa and the Midnattsolgaloppen stage 3 and 4 at Harstad (Medkila) along with the pictures taken at the Norsk Luftfahrtmuseum at Bodø Military and Civil section. There is even a short video from the Hurtigruten ship passing the Sortlandbridge.
Enjoy!
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Norsk Luftfahrtmuseum Bodø

When I was planning my vacation in northern Norway early this year it was clear that my first stop will be Bodø, because the Norwegian Aviation Museum is located there.
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So after finishing the Midnattsolgaloppen in Sørreisa and Harstad I was travelling back to Bodø where I visited this wonderful museum. The museum is really close to the airport, it was opened in 1994. Here again I could see very interesting airplanes like in Duxford or Hendon.
For example the Lockheed U2; this spy plane is bound with history to Bodø. Even a famous english DeHavilland Mosquito and a german Focke Wulf Fw190 A-8 are on display here.
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As with the other museums that I have visited together with my brothers I will put my photos on two flickr albums: one with the military section and the other covering the civil section .

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Kaman K-Max, scale 1:1

it’s true the Fokker triplanes aren’t yet finished and now a new and even more interesting kit will become real. While surfing my bookmarks searching for WW I airfield accessories I found Attack Squadron a small company from Poland. They have almost finished a resin kit of the K-Max in scale 1:72. I have already preordered it!
A few years ago such a model kit was already announced but never had been released. Things look much better now.
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I have been in contact with Attack Squadron and I know that they will release it as the unmanned version of the US Marines. But I will build a civil version of the K-Max.
Rotex Helicopter AG is operating the last two K-Max in Europe. Rotex Helicpoter is located in Balzers (FL) just about one hour away from Winterthur. I asked for details about their helis. Willy Gantner kindly invited me to come to Balzers and take some photos of the real helicopter. Together with Sam who is a professional photographer I visited Rotex Helicopter last Thursday afternoon. His and my pictures are already on various Flickr sets. I will now design my own custom decals to build that helicopter in 1:72.
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Fokker scourge, 1:72

once again after a long time I feel like building a plastic kit again. There are still a few kits of WWI aircrafts on my stash. First I decide to start with a kit of a Fokker Dr. I from Roden. What a difference between the first model I did in the 80th. It was an Airfix kit with only a minimum of details (compared to todays kits).
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It is amazing to see what’s possible today: engine, machine guns and cockpit interior are all there in this tiny little models. But I had another Fokker Dr. I to build, a Profipack kit from Eduard. This one was top-notch. The plastic parts fit excellent and they were cleverly designed. This was by far the easiest and best model to build; a real pleasure!
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I have finished the Eduard kit over Whitsun. Ok, they are not completely done. Both kits are just assembled and ready to paint. But there will be soon another rainy weekend to paint them. That’s for sure.
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EC-145, REGA 1:72

We are living just 900 meters away from the hospital and therefore it is common to see the REGA helis landing and starting. When REGA introduced the Eurocopter EC-145 it doesn’t take a long time and Revell sells a kit of this heli in 1:72.
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I have built this model which is quite small in 1:72 (only 14cm long) to complete my collection of REGA helis: EC-145, Agusta A-109 and BO-105.
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Short S.C.1 - a remarkable model

The experimental aircraft Short S.C.1 that I have now finished as a model in 1:72 isn’t just an ordinary plastic kit as most of my models. It also has a special meaning to me.
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First the Short S.C.1 was at the beginning of the Harrier story. The famous VTOL aircraft developed by Hawker Siddeley.
Second this kit is a resin kit from Pro Resin Models. Resin as a material is difficult to handle, it easily breaks and you have first to cut and sand every piece of the kit before you can start assembling it. I’ve built other kits with resin parts but this one is an all resin kit so it took a lot of time and patience to finish it (photos of the model).
And finally it remembers me of my childhood. I saw this aircraft in a magazine and from that moment I always insist to get one if my mother went to Winterthur for shopping. This was in the 60ies and of course there was no such kit around at that time. But as you see - time is changing.
Winking
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Swissair Lockheed 9B Orion

again, another one Happy
For a long time I was having this kit of a Lockheed Orion from Special Hobby in my stash. But one thing was missing: the decals. I knew of this aircraft as an early Swissair type. During xmas time I found that it was time to draw the decals as I had the sketches already. So I started my Adobe Illustrator program. Then I sent the file to Joseph Osborne from Fireball Modelworks to get them printed.
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I already ordered many decals from Fireball Modelworks and I know that his decals are always first class. This one, a custom made decal-set, was no exception.
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Swordfish Nightfigther 1:72

inspired by the visit of the IWM at Duxford I was looking for a model kit of a Fairey Swordfish that I saw in the hall „Air and Space“. Revell is selling such a kit and it even allows for building it as a night fighter providing the radar dome as an alternative to the torpedo.
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Of course I added a few extra parts to get „my“ model of this famous biplane, like the wires and the instrument of the radar operator. And all this in scale 1:72. Maybe I will build another one in 1:48 sometimes.
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Heinkel He-219 Uhu (1:72)

a long-term project is nearing its end Winking this model was sitting on my bench for almost eight years now awaiting its painting. During the xmas vacation I tackled this tricky job.

I did this model already at the age of 14 but it ended in a mess. When Tamiya showed the Heinkel He-219 in the scale 1:48 my decision was clear: building the „Uhu“ again but in 1:72 and as close as possible to the Tamiya kit. I bought the best possible kit around, the DML Dragon ‚Golden Wing Series’ He219A-7 along with all the various aftermarket sets that make sense. In 2003 I finished the cockpit part with additional details.

For me the most critical part was the painting of the mottles at the top of the model. During the last years I could improve my airbrush equipment and skills a little bit. And so the model gets its painting last week. Now it needs only a little weathering and some kind of diorama around it but this shouldn’t take another eight years. Stay tuned ..
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Thunderbolt, P-47D Mike Gladych

as you know I am building all kind of flying models. There are various stories around the „Jug’s“ and one that interests me most is that of „Zemke’s Wolfpack“.

Now I have built the Pengie V flown by Captain Mike Gladych (HV-M). It is basically a Revell kit with PE parts added from Eduard and a decal set from AeroMaster. To get the best possible result for the natural metal belly I have used Alclad bare metal lacquers (photo gallery).
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E-flite, Blade 400 3D

that weekend I stopped by one of my favorite hobby shops. They were selling the E-flite Balde 400 package at a special price. I couldn’t resist.

Now I own a model with features I have defined about 25 years ago: electric powered (brushless btw), gyro, radio with electronic mixers built in. So it is my turn to master this thing and learn to fly Winking
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Winnie Mae

it was about time to finish this plastic modelkit. This Lockheed Vega airplane became famous in 1933 by the pilot Wiley Post who flew around the world with her in 7 days and 19 hours. Two years before he did it in 8 days and 16 hours together with his navigator Harold Gatty.

This kit in scale 1:72 is from Special Hobby. The Winnie Mae fits well to my collection of famous airplanes like the Spirit of St Louis from Charles Lindberg.
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another Cayuse OH-6A

I have posted that last year already. After getting an old Dragon kit of a Cayuse I wasn't satisfied with the result. In november last year I red in the news of Scale Rotors that there is a Fujimi kit in 1:48 available and I decide to build that model again. But this time in a smaller scale.

The Fujimi kit is for a Huges 500D type and there is a conversion kit available to get an OH-6A (V-tail, four blade rotor). But everything else you have to build on your own. There are almost no aftermarket products around. Thanks to the nice folks on the Scale Rotors forum I not only get valuable informations about painting and markings but I also get in contact with Fireball Modelworks who made dedicated decal set just for me. I have posted that model to the gallery there.
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Immenberg (o-map)

It is kind of a tradition that thurgorienta produces a new orienteering map every year. And this year again we don't break it. So starting late in the autumn - we had to find a date first to
equipmentexplain the rules for this map to all the mappers - with my part in the very east of the Immenberg I had to fight against the weather too. Most of the time I did my fieldwork I was working in the snow. Not to say that the temperatures are around 0° celsius (brrr) Embarrassed. But this is no reason not to do the fieldwork. I had to stop only if there was also fog because it prevents my laser from working. And as you can see I always was carrying a thermos flask with hot tea with me. That helped me a lot.
final mapAfter finishing my fieldwork in a reasonable time I start drawing my part of the map. Just a few days before Christmas I could finish the first version. As soon as the weather allows I will do a check of the map to see if I got everthing right. If you come to Thundorf on easter monday (13. April 2009) you can go for a competition on this new map Immenberg-Nord. Maybe you will pass this particular part, you never know Winking .
Don't miss it. The details will be provided on the swiss orienteering website as soon as possible.
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small - smaller

Coaxial e-helis are easier to fly than their cousins with main and tail rotors. Currently there are two of them in my hangar. When surfing the E-flite website recently I came across a new even smaller coax e-heli the Blade mCX.

Side by side to the Blade CX this is a realy tiny one but the flight characteristics are great I wouldn't have expected such a good performance. And because everything is so small there are only small forces e.g. if you do a 'hard' landing. You hardly can break something on it.
But this e-heli really just for indoor flying due to its size and weight.
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Arctic Cobra, AH-1G 1:72

just in time - today it starts snowing here in Winterthur - I have finished another heli model. It is a Bell AH-1G cobra with an outstanding scheme.

The 120th aviation company stationed at Ford Richardson (Alaska) used this scheme for their cobra helicopters during 1973. Joseph Osborn from Fireball Modelworks has released a decal set for the "Artic Knights". However finding the best kit on ebay wasn't that easy. But at the end I had everything together to build this special heli.
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F4F-4 Wildcat

This weekend I have finished my work on the Hasegawa kit of an American WWII aircraft. The Grumman F4F Wildcat wasn't very high on my priority list. But kits from Hasegawa belong to the best models you can buy today. So I couldn't resist and bought one last december.

And as mentioned on the hobby page (plastic kits) I have added a few PE parts from Eduarad (cockpit, flaps, ..). The Wildcat was a carrier based aircraft mainly used in the Pacific theatre so I needed also a carrier deck to show the model. Just Plane Stuff is selling various carrier decks build in resin. After more than 50 hours this modell is now ready to display (see more photos on flickr).
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OH-6A (Dragon kit) finished

In the last year various heli kits in 1:35 came to market. It is amazing to see the details possible in this scale so I decide to start building such a kit myself. Since one of my favourite helis is the Hughes OH-6 I searched for a Dragon kit and I got one on ebay in december last year.

This kit is now finished but I am dissapointed somewhat. Because it is from the 90s there aren't such fine details as today. Luckily I found a detail set from Eduard to get a few details inside (cockpit, harness, ..) and outside. Next were the decals, because they are of age it was almost impossible (for me) to get them from the paper to the model and even if I sprayed it with a gloss primer first there were these ugly silver shadows on a few of them. Maybe there will be a new kit of an OH-6A in 1:35 in the future with all the bells and whistles. Then I'l buy one for sure.
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German Museum München

Today I have visited the German Museum in Munich and the exhibition at the Flugwerft Schleissheim some kilometers north of Munich.


here are the "big birds": German rocket fighter Me163 above the Me262

It was Sam's idea quite a while ago to see the real aircrafts in a museum. Since both Hannes and me are building plastic kits and flying radio controlled airplane models it was a really good idea to visit an aviation museum once. Having an idea is one thing but finding a date and the best possible museum was again not so easy since each of us has different hobbies and schedules.
Munich is not far from us - about three hours by car, and Munich has two exhibition to offer. Avionics as a part the public transportation in the German Museum and the one in Oberschleissheim 20km north of the center of Munich.


helicopters at the exhibition hall in Schleissheim

The Flugwerft in Schleissheim is dedicated to avionic and has a visitors gallery to see what is going on in the restauration workshop. Currently they are working on a Heinkel He-111 bomber of the World War II. There are photos of it on the flickr set named Schleissheim.
Sure photography is another hobby of us and there are sets of Sam and me on flickr too.

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drawing o-map Glarisegg

after finishing fieldwork of the new to be released orienteering map Glarisegg I needed a short break (Xmas time). But now it is time to draw this map. I am doing this on my Mac using Adobe Illustrator together with MapStudio.

After one and a half week I could finish the first and most important part of the map (see picture):


Glarisegg contour lines (brown)

Having the contour lines together with cliffs and rocks watecourses roads and pathes makes more than half of the map. Now only the vegetation (green color) is missing. This gives information about the runnability to the competitors. On the upper right corner you see the already existing part of the o-map Eichhölzli done by Adi Moser last year.
 
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Lama flying outdoor

today, as some kind of New Year's flight I have been at Nussbaumen where I took the chance to hoover outdoors with my Lama. There was only little wind (almost windless). Thanks to Sam, my younger brother, he took a couple of photos.



Hoovering higher than 3 meters is new to me, I will have to do more such exercises.
 
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E-Sky Lama, micro e-heli

just another one of these coax-helis. After my electronic box, called 4-in-1, went dead while flying outdoor together with my brother I decided to buy another coax heli. I wasn't sure if I could repair it myself or how long it would take to get it repaired or a replacement.

My decision was for a Lama V3 from E-Sky because for this model I can use my preferred radio. And then there were a lot of recommendations out in the Internet for this brand heli.


of course I need a personal design as with the Bell 47G *g*

This is my Lama repainted after a Swiss Alouette II from BOHAG. First impression is that the Lama reacts more direct to controls than the Bell and therefore makes it more dynamic to flight. On the other side I had to learn the limitations of this rotor system (crash if the flybar touches the rotor head).
Now I own two of these coax-helis. That's because I could successfully repair the 4-in-1 of the Bell 47G. Let's see which one lasts longer.
 
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Hughes OH-6A USNTPS 1:72

maybe my next rc helicopter will be one with a semiscale body. That's why I have searched the web for interesting heli models. One that pleased me is the one from USNTPS.
However before I go out and buy such an rc heli I will build one (or two) as plastic kits, it costs far less than the "real" thing. There is currently only one kit available from Italeri. I know there are other Hughes types (MD-500D, Little Birds) around but I was searching for a kit with the V-tail.



Next I had to made my own decals. This was new to me, I haven't done that before. Designing and printing them worked seamless. But when applying them to the models they didn't adhere to it. I haven't any idea what went wrong, if you have any suggestions please let me know.
At the end I finished the number 43 and 45 of these helicopters (more photos as usual on my flickr account).



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