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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings Fellow Modelers,

Below are photos of my Hawk/Lindberg 1/245 scale (38.5” length) German 1930’s civilian airship Graf Zeppelin. The kit was first issued in the late 1960’s by Hawk Model Company, and featured thin vac-formed main hull halves and soft vinyl plastic engine parts. In 1976, Testors Corporation re-issued the same kit in a different box. I always wanted to add this great looking zeppelin to my collection, but the vac-form parts never let me get past the dreaming stage. In 2007 Lindberg’s newly tooled “re-issue” of the same kit that replaced the vac-form hull with hearty injection molded plastic, although the soft vinyl engine parts remained. It is a very simple kit with only a few pieces (53 total) and the details are not very accurate. Most of the time I put in the project was in correcting the toy-like gondola and engines. Listed below are several things I did to improve the kit:
>Modified and cut down the kit gondola
>Replaced the kit engine struts with small diameter wire
>Added small diameter guy wires to the engine housings/tailfins
>Scratch built gas-shaft/air vent covers located on top of the hull
>Scratch built engine propellers
>Added photo-etched access ladders to the engine housings
>Used Woodland Scenics dry transfer decals in place of the kit decals

In painting the hull it was first covered with Model Master primer to produce a uniform finish and conceal any tiny scratches. Alclad II dull aluminum was applied for the base color since it had a “gray tone” look. The “patch-panel” effect was achieved by masking various size squares and rectangles randomly all over the hull, then painting them Alclad II aluminum, Alclad II polished aluminum, Alclad II dark aluminum and Model Master dark anodonic gray. Finally, an overspray of dull aluminum was added to make the patch-panel effect more subtle. I hope you enjoy the photos.

Phillip1








 

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Very nice, clean, work. You don't see this kit built very often. In a lot of ways, the original version was more accurate, but the current version is easier to build and work with. I wish Lindberg had restored the P26 escort fighters that were in the old Hawk version.
 

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Beautiful job on the paint! One small problem: It seems a shame to go to the trouble of accurizing the kit with all those scratchbuilt details -- and then use a glaringly inaccurate modern typeface for the name "GRAF ZEPPELIN". It looks like Helvetica except for the "R".

(I'm a graphic artist and I notice these things.)

 

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Quite noticeable once you point it out. I ran into the same issue trying to build a model of a specific tank. An aftermarket decal sheet was purchased from Star Decals but the style of lettering used was nothing like the original German letters.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
djnick66/scooke123/Xenodyssey/scotpens-Thanks for the compliments. They are appreciated.

djnicks66-I agree the original issue was more accurate and the latest issue comes across as more "toy-like". However, I am grateful Lindberg invested in the tooling to provide injected molded hull halves that allowed me to build it.

scotpens-Good pick up on the font of the lettering. I never noticed until you mentioned it. I know when I was building the model (2008) my main concern was finding lettering that was an appropriate red color and had sharp detail. The Woodland Scenics set was the only thing I could find that came close.

One of the reasons I posted these photos is because I am a big fan of zeppelin models, and they are not posted very often.

Thanks again for the interest.

Phillip1
 

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I built the 1976 vacuum form version of this kit, my main memory was that the main hull halves did not line up at all. It was my first attempt at a vacuum form kit. I did go ahead and did it but, i was never happy with the results. my lack of modeling skills was evident.
WAbuilder
John Davis


Let your Imagination Soar
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Wabuilder-I agree, from what I have seen the Hawk vac-form kit is near impossible to build and would be a source of great frustration. I know I could not build it.

Below is a brief history and a few statistics I should have included in the original post.

Launched in October 1928, Graf Zeppelin was the largest airship in the world at the time. It was originally built for demonstrations and to show that airships could be a viable means of regular travel. However, during its operational life it did carry passengers and mail to cover its operating costs. In August 1929, Graf Zeppelin circumnavigated the globe. The entire voyage took 21 days, 5 hours and 31 minutes. In May 1930, it was decided to open the first regular transatlantic passenger line. Despite the beginning of the Great Depression and growing competition by fixed-wing aircraft, Graf Zeppelin transported an increasing number of passengers and mail across the ocean every year until 1936.

Graf Zeppelin was retired from service and turned into a museum in 1937, one month after the Hindenburg disaster. In March 1940, Hermann Goring, the German Air Minister, ordered the destruction of Graf Zeppelin and all other remaining dirigibles, so their aluminum parts could be supplied to the German war industry. During its career, the ship flew more than one million miles, made 590 flights and 144 ocean crossings. It carried 13,110 passengerswith a perfect passenger safety record, making it the most successful rigid airship ever built.

Designation: Graf Zeppelin (LZ-127)
Length: 776 ft.
Overall Height: 110.6 ft.
Engines: 5 Maybach 550 HP
Maximum Speed: 80 m.p.h.
Range: 10,400 miles (at 68 m.p.h.)
Crew/Passengers: 40/20

Thanks

Phillip1
 
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