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Pat Lynch's blog
Posted by Pat Lynch | Oct 07, 2014 @ 04:17 PM | 1,653 Views
One of the many joys of having retired is the ability to make ones decisions based almost entirely on personal needs and desires While still a working person (and working fairly intensely) a recreational activity was anything not connected to my trade/profession. Now, when my major activity is model-building (and home duties) I still need a break from that intense activity and in Springtime here in Australia, the answer usually is gardening, home maintenance, getting out a bit more etc.
So what has this to do with modelling? I notice most of my Northern Hemisphere compatriots treat Winter as the 'building season' and have a natural break from glue sniffing and #11 blade wielding in Summer. Not so here in Oz! Consequently, my intense involvement with major building projects results in a need for small breaks in focus. 2014 saw me call a temporary halt to my Westland Lysander, which in itself was really only a trial of Duncan Hutson-style design and would I like it, and a frantic few months building the little Polikarpov Po-2. When that was over, my excitement over the Lysander did not rekindle (it may later) and the almost-done 1/4 SPAD was revisited for a while but lurking in the background was the Avro Anson for which I'd been putting together a kit of bits for a couple of years. That has had an intense few months getting to a mostly-built stage but Spring intervened and along with garden/home activities, I needed a small, non-threatening model to keep the CA flowing.

...Continue Reading
Posted by Pat Lynch | Sep 07, 2014 @ 05:25 PM | 2,481 Views
After the rather manic effort of getting the little Polikarpov PO-2 (Polly) built, flown, judged and winning (thanks Pete) , it was obviously time to get back onto a major project. No lack of them - they were hanging around on the ceiling, all silently calling "me next, me next...." Alas, their cries were in vain and I decided to get the big SPAD almost flyable (just some aileron servos to fit) and then get back to my favourite - the big Anson. I'd really only got together most of the parts to build the beast - from sticks of 1/8 X 1/16 spruce for miles of stringers, to 2 choices of motors (32 and 46 sized) ESCs etc. Plus miles of lightweight 1/16 balsa. So no excuses, I started back on 'Annie' with a vengeance.
The build thread gives all the gory details but mostly deals in the trial and tribulations and is not a real blow-by-blow build thread as few folk will be building one and the couple that started off seem to have disappeared - hopefully they will return.
The thread is here:

The Anson has given me many challenges along its short life - fillets, glass fibre work, a really difficult (for me) airframe, that undercarriage, old plan interpretation etc, etc! But it is progressing! As I celebrated my 70th year, I wondered whether my methodology was working and I guess the fact I can 'churn' out models fairly quickly (the Po-2 took around 3 months) means a few things are working! Firstly, the workshop....Continue Reading
Posted by Pat Lynch | Apr 03, 2014 @ 05:27 PM | 4,265 Views
The closing days of 2013 saw some furious activity on the Scale Electric forum of rcgroups. For many years a growing dissatisfaction over sharing the forum with the ever-increasing ARF fraternity had been festering and finally after much heated (and often unnecessary) debate, the forum was split. We, the scratch builders got a space where I read virtually every thread as it is posted and the ARF folk could 'do their thing' in private. Sadly, the character of many of our modelling mates were revealed and it was not always pretty But here we were, a new space, more scratch building on the same page and no ARFs. The ARF/scratch discussion has been done to death and quite frankly, I find it boring as an intellectual topic. So no more of that!

To celebrate the new forum, electric/ scale-kit-scratch-built, a Build-off was proposed and eagerly organised. Six months to design, build and fly a NEW model. Teaming up with Peter Rake as designer, we started on Jan 1, 2014 as per rules and within a few days some basic bits of a Polikarpov PO-2 appeared. I was a little disappointed that that the rules were slowly watered down to include designs that had already been started or even completed which rather undermined (for me) the original concept. In some cases, models had already been started prior to 2014 BUT the flurry of activity seen in the new forum made it all worthwhile.

The Polikarpov was one of those love-at-first sight aeroplanes - I first saw it when searching for a...Continue Reading
Posted by Pat Lynch | Apr 03, 2014 @ 03:24 PM | 3,776 Views
I was really keen to get stuck back into various unfinished (and unstarted) models in my new shed but opted to build something small and simple to fine-tune the tools, accessibility and general usefulness of the new building space so Built Peter Rake's little (under 30") Russian Moska ww1 monoplane - she built and flew fine A build log is at:

Another model started in 2014 was a 1/6 Camel - the only one of its kind from the, sadly, now defunct Aerodrome RC. I did the fuselage to get the hang of Kay's design style but will put it on hold until other, older projects, are done!
The thread was put into the new WW1 model forum but will be slow for a while yet! The Duncan Hutson Lysander is structurally complete and needs covering and the He111 is nearing completion also. Their build threads are here:
Camel -
Heinkel -
Lysander -

The Lysander is to the Duncan Hutson plan after I abandoned (and dismantled) my start on the magnificent Frank Mizer version. I know myself well enough after nearly 70 years, to recognise that the Mizer model was not going to be completed. My building style needs me to be engrossed full time in the task and when that involvement wanes, it is better that I admit defeat and give the job away. Life is too short to have 'I'll get around to it one day' projects piling up so that Lizzie was retired into oblivion

I still want to have a long-term, engrossing project and parts for that have been slowly accumulating for when some others have been finished. But more of that later......
Posted by Pat Lynch | Apr 02, 2014 @ 05:29 PM | 3,461 Views
Aside from a few modelling tasks, setting up my new workshop has been the major focus. I admit I have a thing about workshops. I could spend the rest of my time just refining a workshop - getting all the right stuff, setting it up just right and producing - not much. Many model engineers spend much of their time building tools while a half-completed model locomotive spends years patiently waiting.....

The workshop is only 20 sq metres - the maximum council allows without any building permissions but 3.6 X 5.5 is big enough to build anything I'm likely to tackle and with a bit of planning should be easy to work in. The steel frame makes the structure strong, fairly thin-walled to maximise space and termite proof! I lined it with foil backed batts and 7mm plywood - something I could screw shelves etc into.
Many people wonder how I work so quickly...I don't know, but being retired AND having a workable space certainly helps.

Over the years I've come to use a layout that works for me - a central building bench with all the tools and glues needed while building within easy reach, machine tools such as lathe, pillar drill, scroll saws and heavy vice are on an opposite wall while most materials are stored at one end. My shed was built with an end wall having large outward opening doors to clear fumes, make sweeping easier and enjoying Winter sun.

Storage of materials is critical for me - I hate rooting around in boxes all marked 'miscellaneous' Plastic bins with lids...Continue Reading
Posted by Pat Lynch | Sep 18, 2013 @ 03:09 AM | 5,904 Views
With the beginner's model complete and working, it was time to prepare for the major task. The kit is rather complete with many die-cut parts, all strip and sheet material provided plus a very complete hardware kit - many hundreds (maybe thousands) of screws, rivets, bolts, plastic parts and a comprehensive illustrated instruction manual. The sheet material in the trailer weighs about 250 Kg
All small-scale stuff is on hold as the 1:1 model gets underway

....sorry, I got a bit carried away there - it's only a shed....

Posted by Pat Lynch | Sep 17, 2013 @ 05:51 PM | 4,836 Views
A few days of foul weather slowed things down a bit but I got the first kit assembled and covered - a genuine 'tab and slot' style build with major bits of metal all falling into place, holes lining up, MANY rivets and screws inserted. All held down with sixteen steel brackets and onto the more serious bit - the workshop Although it doesn't look like it, the shop will be nearly twice the size.
Downside is having to move 400kg of steel from the driveway to the backyard - manually!

Pat (still having fun)
Posted by Pat Lynch | Sep 11, 2013 @ 12:05 AM | 5,077 Views
While not the most exciting modelling project, a decent workshop will, I hope, give me the means and incentive to get back into some more productive modelling. While I'd love to have the huge basements many of my North American friends have, I will have to make do with a separate structure in the back yard. A dedicated workshop about 3.6m (12') X 6M (20') is as big as I can build without any council approval. So I am also building a smaller storeroom/garden shed which will allow me to use one of the existing garages as a model storage and heavy-duty workspace for serious cutting/grinding/domestic maintenance. So, being somewhat past lugging heavy barrow-loads of concrete, a contractor was employed to do the slabs - made it look easy Now I can start building..........a 1:1 workshop!
Posted by Pat Lynch | Mar 08, 2013 @ 02:41 PM | 5,971 Views
Well, my time at this house has come to an end! After a lot of soul searching and seemingly endless discussion and planning, Liz and I decided to move to a larger town - closer to medical facilities, better shopping and, most importantly, more space. So, we planned an orderly, slow moving process - preparing our home for sale (doing all those little chores that I'd meant to do years ago) and more painfully, packing up and storing all the models and dismantling my rather too small workshop. What a task! Didn't realise just how much 'stuff' it takes to keep this model building lark going But a structured sort, pack and move has given me lots of ideas about a new shop next time (hopefully the last time). So all building has stopped although I've kept out a small model boat kit just in case a bit of therapeutic fettling is needed

Obviously my nearly finished Heinkel, newly started Lysander and the "all the bits are in the box" Anson are very much on hold.....

Enough prattle and back to the boxes and crates.......

Posted by Pat Lynch | Dec 29, 2012 @ 08:05 PM | 6,795 Views
I finally committed myself and bought some plans and a few parts for my next two build subjects.
I'd long wanted to build something from one of the 'big' designers - Platt, Brian Taylor, Bryant, Hutson etc - mostly British but that is where my reading takes me and they are familiar (yes Dave Platt is British ). Another benefit of some these designers is that the various British magazines are now producing, as well as plans for the magazines, (and their predecessors) FG mouldings, canopies, and also - laser cut wood packs. And one of those magazines (Traplet Publications - RC Model World) has stock readily available in Australia A few phone calls just before Christmas (bad timing) got me a set of parts for a Duncan Hutson model, and started me on a chase for info, plans and parts for something much bigger, also by Duncan Hutson.
The first kit is yet another attempt by me to build a decent Westland Lysander. My previous unfinished version has been officially terminated - it had a lot of issues (for me) and was not giving the satisfaction needed for such a long-duration and complex build. So, another go
The Huston version is 70" span and has available a FG cowl, canopy, wheel spats and a huge plan for what I considered a quite reasonable price. But more on that when I start a build thread.
The second bigger model will be a major effort for me but more information when I get all the bits together - Christmas has rather screwed up my attempts to locate the needed parts - I have the plans but many of the promised FG items and wood parts are in limbo (or unsent!!) - more info later..........Pat
Posted by Pat Lynch | Nov 28, 2012 @ 03:28 PM | 7,088 Views
The Heinkel build stalled for a short while as I tackled some 'elephants in the room' or should that be 'monkeys on my back'! A couple of years ago I foolishly agreed to build a kit for the son of a friend. It had been sitting in the family shed for many years unbuilt and I was approached to do the job. I was reluctant as I've always got my own stuff queued up but earning a few dollars was attractive so a price was negotiated on the grounds that it would have to fit in around my other stuff. The 54" Ultimate had hung from ceiling for too long and so the last couple of weeks saw it mostly completed. The client said all-silver and so that is what it is! Silver isn't the easiest of finishes but she looks OK. Maybe some trim or lettering in black would look good............

With the heinkel mostly built but with lots of finishing to do, I have been researching and collecting plans, parts, wood, references etc for a MAJOR scale build. Recently in New Zealand, two twin engine WW2 aircraft made their maiden post restoration flights and got plenty of press and TV coverage. One had twin Merlins and is a very comonly modelled aircraft by Dehavilland. The other, as soon as I saw pictures of it in flight comletely captivated me.

More info when I get some idea of whether this project will eventuate......
Posted by Pat Lynch | Sep 27, 2012 @ 06:20 PM | 7,881 Views
After the concentration (and stress) of building the Rake DVII, I felt the need to cut some balsa! I love the early stages of a model build. Dust, shavings, broken #11 blades, fingers covered in glue....ah!
A modelling friend showed me an old plan for an He111 for two .25 ic engines. The 111 has always been on my bucket list and the opportunity the plan afforded was too good to refuse. Plans were copied, balsa purchased and construction began.....

At about the same time, the desire for a simple Rake model came to fruition in the shape of a 1/6 scale Great Lakes Trainer. Because the Fokker had been a rather protracted build (my fault for wanting detail..) I wanted to see how quickly this biggish model could be built. Committing about 4-5 hours a day (joys of retirement!) resulted in a successful maiden 3 weeks after getting the parts from Manzano. Unfortunately, Charlie left a couple of sheets out of the laser short kit (his mind was on his upcoming holiday ) so some pleasant manual wood bashing was needed to get started. Build log is at

It was a pleasant, unstressful build and I'd reccomend it as a first, larger scale model. It builds easy, flies easy and looks interesting. A great model!
Posted by Pat Lynch | Aug 16, 2012 @ 07:30 PM | 7,790 Views
This year has undoubtedly been the "year of the DVII" ! The building of Peter Rake's prototype 1/6 DVII took nearly 11 months with only a few breaks to fix damaged models.........
Why did it take so long? I guess the devil is in the details....I had been fascinated by the amount of up-close info available on the DVII and once started, I found it hard to resist! Still not 'museum scale' or championship stuff but it stretched most of my modelling skills considerably. Getting the concept of 'layers of detail' in my head was critical. Some stuff just had to be done before major assemblies were finished, then decisions made about what could and couldn't be added after the model was assembled and finished....the build thread tends to reflect that.
Unfortunately, the more TLC the Fokker got, the more precious the model became and consequently the greater my nervousness about flying it!

Winter is never a great time here in eastern Australia - August through September is always windy but odd lulls occur between fog/frost dissapating and the wind starting. One of those lulls gave me an opportunity and as always, my fears and nervousness were unfounded. The Fokker D.VII flies beautifully - plenty of discussion in the build thread:

Big question is what's next? Although I'd sworn to give myself a break from the stress of prototype builds, I approached Peter for something a bit simpler as a task to research and build - he had a civillian model that appealed to me so next winter will probably see another Rake design flying.
Meanwhile, I still have a Lysander and a SPAD to finish so no rest for the wicked.........
Posted by Pat Lynch | Dec 15, 2011 @ 10:47 PM | 8,509 Views
I guess for me, the big event was getting the prototype Albatros DXI flying - and fly it did! It is an extremely straightforward model to pilot and although my landing still need a little work to prevent nose-overs, she is one of the easiest models in this size I've ever flown.

The Hurricane has flown again but now I've dinged a wing tip and that needs repairing.

My main effort has been the Prototype build for Peter Rake of a 1:6 scale Fokker D.VII. Although this aircraft has been modelled to death, I rather like its brutish, no-nonsense looks and Pete's design is coming on well. I'm doing some extra detail work in the cockpit and hopefully will continue that effort to the exposed engine. In the interests of 'simplicity' most of the possible external detail will be minimised as I seem to keep breaking bits off in the field Progress can be seen at:

As always, when an airframe is finished, and covering etc is on the way, my mind starts wandering to 'what's next?'. I have a short list of what I'd like to build - mostly multi-engined but may do some simpler builds rather than spend months on fine detail stuff. We shall see.............

Like most builders, I still have several models on the go as I like swapping around when things get boring with the current activity. A Lysander, a nearly finished MS AI and the big SPAD wait in the background - they'll get their turn!

Have a good Xmas

Posted by Pat Lynch | Oct 15, 2011 @ 01:45 AM | 9,647 Views
This year started rather poorly and has continued on a fairly rocky path. What with two knee replacements, sundry cancer scares and deteriorating glaucoma, my modelling pace has slowed somewhat. Enthusiasm has had its ups and downs too but I was still keen (maybe stupid!) enough to take on another prototype build for Peter Rake - the Albatros DXI. This is now finished and awaiting the Spring winds to abate and my nervousness to diminish
DXI build thread:

The Morane Saulnier AI is almost finished too - certainly flyable but a few details to add before it gets hurled into sky. It is, for me, my best build so far and was inspired in part, by Hammerd's recent 1/8 to 1/6 scale upsizes of a Rake plan. I almost didn't change anything important - only where the bigger size dictated a different approach or wanted a more 'scale' appearance. It feels as though it would fly without a hitch.

The big BUSA SPAD is now all covered and awaiting paint while the 60" Hurricane of D-Rock's has flown and after small repairs, will fly again soon.
SPAD Build:

The big Westland Lysander has its basic fuselage structure completed and is a great model to get back to with no pressure about getting it done - my first real model that is for building pleasure only. If it flies in the future - great.
Build log:

Another build I wanted to do and accepted Peter Rake's offer to design is a 1/6 scale Fokker D.VII - I've got the laser cut parts from Manzano but haven't started it yet - promised myself the Hurricane and DXI would fly first!

Posted by Pat Lynch | Jan 05, 2011 @ 04:54 PM | 11,159 Views
After a busy modelling year, I asked myself 'what have I achieved'? Apart from completing the Rake 54" SE5a, and done prototype builds of Pete's F2b, Balilla and Air-1 (plus all the photos and documentation) I have started a few new models just for my own enjoyment and have scrapped/sold/given away several older models or those I was unlikely to finish any time soon. Living in a townhouse with limited storage space has forced me to have a rather large turnover - my passion is building models with flying them just a bonus. So if one crashes or doesn't give me much satisfaction, out it goes - harsh but reduces the clutter a bit. (and my Tx has only 12 model memories!)

After the little AIR-1 was built for Peter, I decided to have some time off from prototype builds, their comittment and specific requirements and do some work for myself. Consequently I have a very large Westland Lysander to the Frank Mizer plan (87"), a simple 60" Hurricane and most recently, an up-sized Peter Rake Morane Saulnier AI parasol winged WW1 fighter all on the go! This, plus the unfinished SPAD should keep me out of mischief for most of 2011!

I hope it is a good year

Posted by Pat Lynch | Jan 05, 2011 @ 03:07 PM | 11,212 Views
In the latter part of the year I, and people around me had a few niggling health problems which promted a 'slow down' - not easy as I was up to my ears in projects. While I resolved to spend a little less time at the bench (for a while) I had Pete's F2b to finish and fly and had been tempted by a 1/8 A1 Balilla - I just loved the potential colour schemes! There was also a long standing comittment to build a simpler model of Yakovlev's first powered aircraft design. Well, with a bit of effort, the F2b was finished, flown, crashed, rebuilt and fown many times more - it is my heaviest and largest model to date and is extremely stable in flight. The little Balilla exercised my finishing skills with a stained balsa fuselage, 'in-your-face' camoulflage and outlandish personal markings. Plus of course the delightful red/white/green Italian livery!
She was finished and flown. The other model completed from the Rake stable was the rather nice, simple Yak AIR-1. This flew 'off-the-drawing-board'. No vices, very light weight and simple to fly. It was a good exercise in keeping it simple after the F2b and Balilla builds.


As usual, more info can be found in the build threads:

Yak AIR-1 build:
F2b thread:
Ansaldo Balilla:
Posted by Pat Lynch | May 17, 2010 @ 11:28 PM | 12,659 Views
I'm sure all modellers have a long list of projects that may or may not see the light of day. Because I enjoy doing prototype building for Peter Rake, that adds to my list - the current F2b is a major effortbut a couple of smaller (MAYBE simpler) models are in the wings. A Yakovlev Air-1 early Russian biplane - sort of DH Moth look-alike, plus a rather appealing (to me anyway) WW1 Italian Ansaldo A1. This little fighter has all the elemnts that appeal - varnished woodwork, polished aluminium, complicated shapes and linkages PLUS in one example anyway - an outlandish Italian colour scheme. Watch this space

But apart from these 'priority' projects, my wish list includes:
Fairey Flycatcher - 27" to accompany my Avro Bison
Ivan Pettigrew DH 89 airliner in Kiwi NAC colours
Large Westland Lysander from Frank Mizer plans

and then in the real 'blue skies' department:
A largish model of the Focke-Wulf Kondor - FW200 - I love it
Italian SM79 torpedo bomber - one of my long term favourites..

Add to that a revisit of the Henschel HS129 in about 60" size and I think I dont have enough days in the year to finish anything...........

Posted by Pat Lynch | May 17, 2010 @ 11:15 PM | 12,737 Views
Not quite halfway though the year and here I am entering more stuff!
The Brisfit is close to finished - it is certainly flyable but as is my policy, it should be completely finished, thoroughly documented and photographed BEFORE flying. A single mishap on a maiden flight could render the whole job worthless from the designer's point of view - Peter might never speak to me again if there were no finished pictures
Th only details remaining are around the cockpits - some detail is needed as these areas are big and highly visible - a Lewis gun, instrument panels, windscreens etc plus a pilot and gunner - all in 1/7 scale so nothing ready made will do!

I had a call for help from Peter Rake asking if I'd make a glass-fibre spinner for another prototype builder and that took a week or so of time - I hope it works Sperry The Carl Goldberg Ultimate now only needs a fuselage and no progress on the SPAD. With all this stuff unfinished there was only one course of action - buy a 60" Hurricae kit from Charlie at Manzano Laser - just as a diversion from other pressing issues. This is a fun build and I'll treat it as such - although I do have several other 'fun build' gathering dust on the shelf - a Bleriot XI, an Avro Avian conversion, a F/F Walrus, and a SPAD. Ah well, variety is the spice of life and at the current rate of model disposal (and atrition) I'll need some extras!
Posted by Pat Lynch | May 17, 2010 @ 10:51 PM | 12,721 Views
I took the little Powell racer on a two week holiday around the state of Victoria in Oz and flew her on many occaisions. A month or so ago she was moved on along with my Rake DII (now decorating the high ceiling of an Aviation administrator along with several other Rake models).
The big SE5a had a fatal mishap - the battery (a 5000mA 4S LIPO) came loose and separated itself leaving the model to spiral to an untimely death! Sad, as it was my favourite at that point.

Most effort for a few months has been on the Bristol F2b. This is a large model at 67" and I had always decided to make it the best model I'd built yet. Not necessarily the most scale as it is basically still a 'sport scale' design of Peter's but at 1/7 scale there was no excuse not to include metalwork, lacing, proper rigging etc. Many version of the wartime colour scheme have been built so I chose to model a replica flying in the New Zealand air display circuit which itself was based on a late WW1 British unit. I rather liked the all-silver finish and I'd plenty of photos and videos to use as a reference. This model is also the longest build I've ever done and is probably making its designer anxious that I may not finish it!
Build log:
It is also one of the most enjoyable builds I've done.