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1:32nd scale Hansa-Brandenburg W.20

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Hi all,
As I'm nearing the completion of the Fokker D.II model build, I've started preparing the next model.
This will be another resin kit from 'Omega Models', which will represent the Hansa-Brandenburg W.20, Serial No:1552, photographed on the 14th of March 1918, at the seaplane experimental centre (SVK) at Warnemunde before being accepted for naval use (by the SAK).  






The Hansa-Brandenburg W.20 was designed during late 1917 and early 1918  by Ernst Heinkel whilst working at Hansa-Brandenburg.
The intention for this small, unarmed spotter float plane was for it to be partially dismantled and stored in a water tight container on board the projected ‘Cruiser’ class of submarine, such as U139 and U155.
It was to be removed from its container, assembled quickly and launched whilst the submarine was on the surface.
After the flight, the submarine would surface again, the aircraft loaded, dismantled and stowed in its container, after which the submarine could submerge.
The aircraft was intended to be prepared for flight or stowing in less than 2 minutes and was to be stored inside the container which measured 20 feet long and 6 feet in diameter.
However, the intended submarines to be used were never built before the armistice and only three W.20 aircraft were built.
The first version, Ser No:1551, had only fuselage to upper wing support struts.
The second version, Ser No:1552 had interplane struts added between the wings and these struts were wire crossed braced.
In addition the span of the lower wings was increased.
The third and final version, Ser No:1553 had the interplane struts replaced by single interplane struts.


Although this design of Ernst Heinkel never saw operational service, he did design a similar aircraft in 1921, which was known as the Caspar-Heinkel U1.
Two examples were purchased by the U.S. Navy for evaluation.
This aircraft was intended to fit into a smaller space of 18 feet long and 4 feet 6 inches diameter.
The design was a cantilever wing biplane, powered by a 50 hp engine and capable of a speed of 87 mph with a climb rate of 1000 m in 6 minutes.
Four men could dismantle and stow the aircraft in only 22 seconds and reassemble it in only 31 seconds.
One of the aircraft was wrecked when being transported on a truck when the aircraft struck low hanging trees.
Interestingly Heinkel built and sold two examples to the Japanese, who subsequently followed on with this technology in WW2.



Edited by sandbagger
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10 hours ago, scvrobeson said:

Interesting. Very interesting.  Will definitely follow along like usual.  Can't say I've seen an Omega kit built up before.





H Matt,

Me neither but when you open the box you know why :wacko:



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Hi all,
This kit does present the modeler with challenges, to put it mildly.

The supplied kit itself comprises of parts which are solely resin and unlike many more up market companies, ‘Omega Models’ do not reinforce parts, such as wing struts, with metal rods. This makes the supplied resin struts very weak when flexed.
All of the resin parts have mold ‘flash’ that will need to be removed and larger items, such as the wings, do have some warping, which is not uncommon in resin kits.
The kit does not supply many parts required to make this an accurate model, for example an instrument panel, all of the necessary wing float struts, all of the centre engine bearer struts etc.
The lower wing one piece molding is not the correct shape according to the drawings supplied.
The kit parts have no locating pegs or holes, which can cause alignment problems during assembly.
The instructions supplied for assembling the model are virtually non-existent, being only several sheets of photo-copied data with only one section view of the fuselage internal parts.
The remaining sheets are the kit contents and basic three-view drawings and some small colour profiles.The kit instructions do not give assembly instructions, apart from the two side drawings and they only list parts with no exploded assembly views.
Also, some of the information refers to different versions of this aircraft, not the kit supplied Series 2 (1552) model.
The decals supplied are of reasonable quality but are not the normal, ‘cookie’ cut slide transfer. Instead the decals are printed on sheets of carrier which covers the entire sheets.
Therefore if used, each decal will need to be carefully cut out from its sheet before application to the model. Also the surface of these decals is easily damage, such as from being scratched, so if used, care is needed handling these decals.
The kit does supply any ground equipment, such as a basic ‘beaching’ trolley or trestles.

Anyway, The basic hull has been prepared as well as a modified 'Wings Cockpit' figure (LSK 07A).





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That definitely looks like you've got an uphill climb ahead of you, but you're well equipped to tackle it. 


Just looking at those first parts, is that top deck supposed to overlap like that?




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Hi Matt,

The front decking is not fitted but just positioned for the photo.

There should be a lip around the edges and a 'bumper' block on the nose of the hull, but I'll need to scratch them once the decking is fitted,



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Posted (edited)

Hi all,
A few updates.
This kit does not have any locating pins or holes for any of the flight surfaces.
These include the ailerons, fin, tail plane, elevators and the rudder.
These are all intended to be 'butt' glued only, which is never a good idea, especially with resin parts.
Although CA adhesive provides a strong bond, it is prone to 'break away' if subjected to shock loading, such as being knocked.
Therefore I reinforced the mating surfaces by adding either 0.3 or 0.5 mm diameter rods and associated holes.
The exception was the elevators, as the trailing edge of the tail plane is way too thin to drill.
For that I cut photo-etch strips to represent the hinges and to support the elevators to the tail plane.
I've also replaced the resin rear decking strips with sanded down plastic card.


The next job is to created rudder and aileron control cable horns and the associated control cable outlets, none of which are supplied or represented in the kit,









Edited by sandbagger
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This definitely does seem like a pretty remedial kit, but it's nothing that you can't handle.  And at the end of it, you'll have a pretty one-of-a-kind model, because I don't envision a ton of people rushing out to buy the W.20 kit from Omega for their shelves.






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