As chosen by popular demand on my second Instagram “what should I build next?” post, I present this beautiful flying boat. I thought, for a while, that this model had been retired, but it appears that just the gift-box set version of it has been retired. But when I thought it was going to be unavailable, I decided I had to get it. Because, wow… flying boat!
Lots of interesting details on this build, too. Once again, I’ll expose my ignorance and not actually be able to describe these things with their actual names, but that’s me for ya! My favorite detail, one that I didn’t realize was even there until I started knolling out the model, is what looks like a second, shorter set of wings hiding below the big wings. The other detail that I really like at the struts / supports / bars on the tail, both above and below the tail-wing-thingies (seriously, I don’t know the names – I could google it, sure, but then I’d be faking knowledge I don’t have). Of course, there’s also the larger view – this is a cross between an airplane and a boat! What a crazy thing to be real.
This model has some really ingenious design approaches. And, at the same time, is a bit more challenging than you might expect. That being said, I really enjoyed building this one, and I think you will too. Compared to some of the more recent models, this one is also a rather quick build, and I even finished it in one build session! It seem like it’s been a while since I’ve done that with anything other than Legends-style models. Anyways, most of the challenge comes from a couple of sources: forming the hull/body, and the engines. And I’ll admit, I ended up using some UV-cured glue/resin to get those engines to behave.
The first really tricky bit in this build is, unsurprisingly, that nose. And, well, the curving of the main body of the plane in general, including the cockpit section. I wish I had some good advice, but I don’t. As you might have noticed in the pictures above, there are still some small gaps in the edges of the body in my build, especially up under the front part. You just kinda have to try your best, and then adjust it after you get it all tabbed together. At least for me I have to adjust it. My best is never really good enough the first time around. Haha.
Another challenge or two appears with the framing bits between the lower “winglets” and the big wings. These are initially attached to the winglet, and they present two challenges. First, identifying the orientation of them, as the skewed perspective used to represent the 3-dimensional arrangement of the components in the instructions does not mix well with these framing parts. Hopefully some of the pictures above can help you understand the correct alignment, as it is important. The second part is actually securing them, which is always tough with a part that is secured by just two parallel tabs. Complicating it further is the fact that you can’t twist them to secure. at least, you can’t leave them twisted – I advice a very slight twist, and then a fold. The twist helps hold the part perpendicular while you fold.
The reason for those tabs needing to be folded, however, is part of the brilliance of this mode design, as those tabs end up enclosed inside the wing, and are completely hidden! Similarly, the supports (parts 9 & 10) at the tail-fin/tail-wing joint are hidden in the tail wings (parts 8 & 12). Well, one tab is exposed, but it looks pretty cool in the end, nonetheless. One thing on these parts is this: make sure you fold those support bars and tabs as close to the edge as possible – there’s not much room for error in fitting them in place through the tail-wing-thingies.
My next quick bite of advice is something that may be obvious to you, but wasn’t to me, at least at first. When attempting to attach the lower part of the big wings (part 19) I tried to line up all the tabs at once. Yeah… silly, I know. It totally does not work. What does work? Starting on one end and lining up the first and second pairs of tabs. Then securing both of the first two. Then line up the next few tabs on each side, and securing one or two along the way, until you get to the other end of the wing. Finish by going back and securing all the rest of the tabs. It’s a lot easier that way.
Now we come to the engines. Oh the engines. There be a lot of UV-glue hidden in the joints of the engines in my build. Not because stuff broke, but because nothing wanted to stay tightly secured. So just try to take care when handling these things as you assemble them, they can get wobbly rather quickly. Furthermore, I felt mislead by the instructions in regards to the conical sections of part 25. The diagram in the instructions makes it look like the conical flaps come flush to the edge of the cylinder, so that’s how I formed them. But in the end, you actually end up with a bit of a gap, once the engines are fixed to the wing on both sides. Save yourself a headache, and leave the coney bit pointing straight-out from the back of the cylidrical bit. Also, you might not want to fold the bottom flap down a full 90 degrees, like shown. I’ll say more on that in a bit.
Okay, so I had another dummy moment with the big wing. Something about it caused the stupids to come out. I got all the front tabs aligned just fine, and then I went along the back, folding all the tabs down over the lower section of the wing to secure the back together. Except… that’s not right. Two of the tabs at the back of the wing fold up over the top half, while two fold down. And, strangely enough, they are not symmetrically distributed. So pay attention to where they are. Oh, and both tabs on the ends of the wings fold down around the bottom.
And finally, the last step is to close those bottom flaps up on those engines. I followed the instructions, and had folded those down a full 90 degrees. Which made them very much not want to fold back over, because of the curvature in the parts on either side of the 90 degree fold. And that’s just the outer two engines. The two inside engines also make it more interesting by being surrounded by the support framing between the winglets and the big wings. So this is where I say that I wish I had gone for a shallower fold on those flaps, even if it made things a little more challenging for aligning the two halves of the big wing together.
This beautiful little build took me just over two and a half hours to build, and was accomplished in a single build session, which you can watch in the video below, if you so desire.