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Caudron C.561 French Racing Plane - Resin - 1/48 - S.B.S.


DocRob

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Très cool was my first impression when I've first seen the Caudron C.561, what a design, completely different than other race planes of it's time. The design was not so much max power orientated, than sleek and aerodynamic. My last contact with the whacky racer were Hugault's paintings in the German version of the comic book 'Au-dela des nuages T1'.

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I bought the kit a while ago, initially after I stumbled over it somewhere in the net, I couldn't resist the magnetizing box art. The producing company is from Hungary and they produce resin planes and accessories in 1/48 and 1/72 mainly.

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When I opened the sturdy and beautiful designed box, I was up to my next wow. Securely packed where the grey resin parts for the airframe, including a quite detailed interior, along with a clear (and I mean clear) resin canopy, metal casted wheel struts, a PE-fret, including seatbelts, a dashboard, wheel covers and other detail parts, Kabuki canopy masks, decals, a manual and a separate four side color print.

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The quality of the resin is perfect, there are no bubbles or blemishes, the whole kit oozes a 'build me' type of quality and as it is my first full resin plane build, I have to confess, all my fear was gone, after inspecting the kit contents.

Yesterday, with my USS Arizona build more or less in the books, I decided to use a good spare hour for removing the cast blocks (easy) and do some test fitting. What's to say, the first impression didn't exaggerate, the fit is almost perfect and it seems, filler will only be needed in small quantities on the bottom seam of the fuselage.
The parts design is absolutely clever, especially around the wing root to fuselage to engine cowling area and even includes guiding pegs, Chapeau S.B.S.

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Another example for smart design are the wheel well covers, which are made from PE, which should be annealed and then press formed between the included resin punches.

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This kit is a true gem, it doesn't happen very often to me, that I'm totally enthusiastic from first of the kit, through opening and inspecting the box and dry fitting and getting a grip for the kit.

Cheers Rob 

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YES !

Great project, Rob ! I found out recently that Renaissance had a 1/32 version of the C.561, and was resisting the itching to press the « order » button. (Btw, the thread for scratchbuilding the masters of the 1/32 kit was once published here on LSM).

Now , the itch came back stronger than ever : damn you Rob 😡 !

In the meantime, I’ll be watching this one closely :popcorn: 

Hubert

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Very interesting project, Rob!  I definitely like the shape of the bird...   but the forward view???  I love the photo etch press!  Wish we had more for those ambiguous shapes.

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15 hours ago, HubertB said:

Great project, Rob ! I found out recently that Renaissance had a 1/32 version of the C.561, and was resisting the itching to press the « order » button. (Btw, the thread for scratchbuilding the masters of the 1/32 kit was once published here on LSM).

Now , the itch came back stronger than ever : damn you Rob 😡 !

In the meantime, I’ll be wtachinh this one closely :popcorn:

I was aware of the existence of a 1/32 version of the Caudron, but the thread about the development of the kit here was before my time. Thanks for mentioning Hubert, there is some great information and I already 'borrowed' some ideas from my first quick scroll through.
I don't like the Bugatti blue too much and I think, I will paint mine a bit darker. 

I'm truly sorry for the itch I caused, but you know there is only one way to get rid of it. The C.561 would be a strange subject for a mini-GB ;), but why not. You're aware, that S.B.S. also produces a Caudron C.450 among others.

Cheers Rob

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11 hours ago, GazzaS said:

Very interesting project, Rob!  I definitely like the shape of the bird...   but the forward view???  I love the photo etch press!  Wish we had more for those ambiguous shapes.

In a successful racer you only look backwards, Gary ;), but you are right, I can't believe, that flying the Caudron gave you a feel for safety. The predecessor, the C.450 had a tiny windshield, but with the long fuselage, the view must have been obstructed too.

I hope, the forming of the wheel well covers works like planned. I like the idea too and this is not the only place, where ingenuity shines. The wings have a casted mid section with locator pins, to connect star- and port side, then you slide them into the fuselage and finally, the engine cowling is added, intersecting with the front profile of the wings.

Cheers Rob

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Not with racer's pace, but with little steps the Caudron build continued. After some fine tuning for the fitting of the main components, I wanted to try, if the punch press method for the wheel covers works. I annealed the PE parts, until they changed to a bluish tint and then punched.

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...and it worked. I may have gotten the PE-brass a bit softer with more heat, but due to the two narrow connection point wouldn't risk it. 

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Here is an example for the clever design of the kit, all main component key into each other, do you hear that Zoukei Moura :D?

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Finally, I cleaned all the resin parts thoroughly in soap water, Future dipped the canopy for enhanced clarity and started with the interior assembly. The front section was assembled and here again, the ingenuity shows, because the air intake in front and one on the cowling have an insert, which is cast to exact measure, to be used as a guiding element.

Cheers Rob

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Rob

Spectacular find and going to be an epic build. Will be following with enthusiastic interest. :popcorn:

Learning to fly in a taildragger, you had to continuously Fishtail or S Turns on the ground to see where you were going, as you couldn't see over the nose. Once the nose was lowered on takeoff, visibility was a non-issue. But for the life of me, I can't understand how the pilot in a race could see what was in front of him. In a turn - no problems but straight ahead? Maybe a slight side slip or nose down attitude but flying blind straight ahead - yikes!

Paging Ernie !

 

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11 hours ago, Peterpools said:

Spectacular find and going to be an epic build. Will be following with enthusiastic interest. :popcorn:

Learning to fly in a taildragger, you had to continuously Fishtail or S Turns on the ground to see where you were going, as you couldn't see over the nose. Once the nose was lowered on takeoff, visibility was a non-issue. But for the life of me, I can't understand how the pilot in a race could see what was in front of him. In a turn - no problems but straight ahead? Maybe a slight side slip or nose down attitude but flying blind straight ahead - yikes!

Paging Ernie !

 

11 hours ago, Landlubber Mike said:

Nice looking subject there Rob.  Looking forward to seeing this come together.

Thank you Peter and Mike, it is indeed a very appealing aircraft with it's unique shapes. 

There is a limited front view, with the indentions in front of the pilot, covered by the clear canopy, but I guess, the Caudron was not easy to fly.

Cheers Rob

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The fuselage color seems to be discussed relatively often for such a rarely build plane. It varies from Bugatti blue to dark blue and I will stay on the darker end of this discussion.

Even more difficult is to determine the interior color. My best guess is natural aluminum, to reduce weight, but light grey would be an option too. Does anybody have an opinion or even facts about this?

Cheers Rob 

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1 hour ago, HubertB said:

I remember reading on French forums that the most likely interior color was light grey.

The 460 replica is aluminium

Thank you Hubert, the C.460 replica seems to have an aluminum interior, like you mentioned and a wooden floor panel. For my C.561, I couldn't find any conclusive pictures. The side view photos of the time are hard to read, because of the canopies reflections.

Cheers Rob

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Thanks Rob

"...There is a limited front view, with the indentions in front of the pilot, covered by the clear canopy, but I guess, the Caudron was not easy to fly..." Makes perfect sense now and I am assuming the vast majority of race time, the pilot is nearly always in a turn, so visibility wouldn't be that much of an impossibility.   I'm more then sure, it took a pilot of exceptional skills to fly her as stability must have been sacrificed for speed. 

With I had some knowledge of the actual aircraft but I'm of no help here at all.

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1 hour ago, Peterpools said:

"...There is a limited front view, with the indentions in front of the pilot, covered by the clear canopy, but I guess, the Caudron was not easy to fly..." Makes perfect sense now and I am assuming the vast majority of race time, the pilot is nearly always in a turn, so visibility wouldn't be that much of an impossibility.   I'm more then sure, it took a pilot of exceptional skills to fly her as stability must have been sacrificed for speed. 

With I had some knowledge of the actual aircraft but I'm of no help here at all.

Peter, the Caudrons were initially built to take part in the third 'Coupe Deutsch de la Meurthe', were the rules were the following:

In 1931 Suzanne Deutsch de la Meurthe initiated a new competition for the Coupe, which was contested for the first time on 29 May 1933.[12] The trial was to be run in two 1,000km stages separated by a 90 minutes refuelling stop, and was limited to aircraft with an engine capacity of less than eight litres. The starting point of the race was still at the aerodrome at Étampes. Suzanne Deutsch de la Meurthe was offering one million Francs, and the Ministère de l'Air (Air Ministry) offered another three million in prize money.[13]

The course was over 100 km (62 miles), from Etampes aerodrome to Chartres Bonce and back. The race itself was in two stages, each of 1,000 km (625 miles).

(Wikipedia)

I guess with that configuration, there was a lot of straight flying.

It seems, only one Caudron C.561 was built for the participation of the last edition of the Coupe Deutsch de la Meurthe in 1936, but was not contending due to technical difficulties.

Cheers Rob

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With lots of my project, I try to emphasize the possible difficult to solve problems, before I'm at the actual stage of the build. Having the how-to's in my head, helps to keep a clear sight.

I considered masking the polished aluminum covers, after spraying them with chrome or polished aluminum following a gloss lack primer. Then I remembered, I once bought a sheet of Bare Metal foil and tried it onto one engine cover. It's not perfect in the pic, but I hope, I can do better after the blue color has been sprayed on. For now it's peeled off again.

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Speaking of blue, I almost decided to use the left one, Tamiya LP-6 gloss Pure Blue, but will try the darker LP-78 Flat Blue also on a piece of scrap.

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Lastly, I detailed the cockpit with some tiny PE parts and added the futurized canopy, to see , which insights could be expected. The canopy holds only through friction and I think, I will leave it off for painting, because I had some slight fogging issues with polystyrol canopies and lacquer paints, lately. 

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Cheers Rob

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1 hour ago, DocRob said:

Peter, the Caudrons were initially built to take part in the third 'Coupe Deutsch de la Meurthe', were the rules were the following:

In 1931 Suzanne Deutsch de la Meurthe initiated a new competition for the Coupe, which was contested for the first time on 29 May 1933.[12] The trial was to be run in two 1,000km stages separated by a 90 minutes refuelling stop, and was limited to aircraft with an engine capacity of less than eight litres. The starting point of the race was still at the aerodrome at Étampes. Suzanne Deutsch de la Meurthe was offering one million Francs, and the Ministère de l'Air (Air Ministry) offered another three million in prize money.[13]

The course was over 100 km (62 miles), from Etampes aerodrome to Chartres Bonce and back. The race itself was in two stages, each of 1,000 km (625 miles).

(Wikipedia)

I guess with that configuration, there was a lot of straight flying.

It seems, only one Caudron C.561 was built for the participation of the last edition of the Coupe Deutsch de la Meurthe in 1936, but was not contending due to technical difficulties.

Cheers Rob

Thanks Rob for the information and yes, since it was designed for cross country racing and the forward vision wasn't that important - almost like the Spirit of St Louis. Also back then, I bet there was no such thing as crowded skies. 

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Rob

The Bare Metal Foil does look good in the test and should be the way to go. What about adding a few drops of Tamiya Gloss Black to the Pure Blue to darken it up, as it's always better to shoot gloss paints when the paint finish is going to be gloss. Canopy fit looks good and I do remember those issues as had the nearly the same on my F4 at almost the same time as you.

 

 

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On 4/19/2023 at 3:41 PM, Peterpools said:

The Bare Metal Foil does look good in the test and should be the way to go. What about adding a few drops of Tamiya Gloss Black to the Pure Blue to darken it up, as it's always better to shoot gloss paints when the paint finish is going to be gloss. Canopy fit looks good and I do remember those issues as had the nearly the same on my F4 at almost the same time as you.

Thank you Peter, I'm not decided about coloring, it's a bit complicated with the little the sources reveal, with only one not contender built of this airframe. Over on Modelshipworld, where  I post as well, a color debate has ignited, which brought up interesting aspects and pics, which lead to a dark blue tone, similar to GSB.

I do remember the issues we had with fogging, and therefore will mask the canopy inside out and spray it separately. 

Cheers Rob

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Rob

It just seems conversations, pots and sometimes heated debates on paints and colors are never ending. 

Honestly, if I could have my one choice of paint and brand, I would leave the world of lacquers and acrylics and dive headfirst back into enamels and Model Master paints. Of course, this just can't happen as Testors stopped manufacturing the paint many years ago. Nothing shoots like enamels, even taking into account it's slow drying times.

What was the debate about on Modelshipworld?  

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The « French blue » was an elusive color, but I agree that the blue used on racing Bugattis is too light for the Caudron. 
I think Williams Bros got it right on their 450 kit. I would want to check but the box is currently burried in the middle of the palet of boxes waiting for the next house move …

Hubert

PS: have you checked the Air Blue Caudron Simoun in the Musée de l’Air ? It might have the right blue (although the Musée de l’Air is not necessarily known for its historically accurate restorations)

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22 hours ago, Peterpools said:

It just seems conversations, pots and sometimes heated debates on paints and colors are never ending. 

Honestly, if I could have my one choice of paint and brand, I would leave the world of lacquers and acrylics and dive headfirst back into enamels and Model Master paints. Of course, this just can't happen as Testors stopped manufacturing the paint many years ago. Nothing shoots like enamels, even taking into account it's slow drying times.

What was the debate about on Modelshipworld?  

Peter, I hear you, when color discussions (and others) become dogmatic, but the discussion on MSW is a good one, with facts and opinions supplied b knowledgeful members. I don't want to copy the discussion, but post the link.

Caudron C.561 French Racing Plane by DocRob - S.B.S. Models - 1/48 - Non-ship/categorised builds - Model Ship World™

 

18 hours ago, HubertB said:

The « French blue » was an elusive color, but I agree that the blue used on racing Bugattis is too light for the Caudron. 
I think Williams Bros got it right on their 450 kit. I would want to check but the box is currently burried in the middle of the palet of boxes waiting for the next house move …

Hubert

PS: have you checked the Air Blue Caudron Simoun in the Musée de l’Air ? It might have the right blue (although the Musée de l’Air is not necessarily known for its historically accurate restorations)

Thank you Hubert, the blue discussion seems to be difficult. If I google your mentioned Caudron Simoun and choose pictures, I get different renditions of blue on actual photos, ranging from Bugatti blue to dark blue.
The kit you refer to has three incarnations in Scalemates, which all show very different blue tones as well.
I have no idea, if it is especially difficult to render the blue tones correctly on photos, but until now only one color (colored) picture of the C.561 showed up on MSW.
I tend to use something between GSB and French blue. A member on MSW offered the blue of the French flag as a possibility and that doesn't look too far off.

Cheers Rob

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2 hours ago, Bomber_County said:

Rob, just seen this, that’s a cool wingy thingy……..the design is beautiful, looking forward to the next instalment…..

Looking forward might not be the right term Phil, at least not for the pilot :D. This is a nice little in between project and it made me buy my next racer kit for funs sake.

Cheers Rob

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The cockpit is a sparse affair. I added an oxygen bottle, some levers and pedals, but most will stay unseen in the pit. The seat belts are made from PE and are the ones supplied with the kit. I sprayed the interior matte aluminum, as I think, the constructors would have gone for weight reduction at all cost and omit paint.
By the way, I glued the fuselage halves together, an easy task, given the overall quality and fit of the resin, which is even equipped with guiding pegs. The seam on the lower fuselage was filled with some black CA, on the upper side, there is virtually no seam.

Cheers Rob

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