"The next task along the way was to manufacture all the spinners and props from scratch".
"The picture above shows my spinner making material; white .030 thou plastic card sheet with ink drawn outlines of each spinner shape. The quickest way for me to make these is utilise a cruciform style with the verticle outline glued onto a base that forms the rear of each spinner".
"After each former is cut out and glued together the pattern is then filled with epoxy resin based filler, sanded to shape, polished and drilled ready to take the propellor blades".
"And now the fun begins; the thought of scratchbuilding 40 propellor blades got my imagination going! I recalled reading that Michelangelo went to a marble quarry and pictured David in his mind's eye, lurking within a slab of marble".
"So, I went to a department store and looked at combs until I found Bristol Proteus turboprops lurking within a nylon comb. I had to buy two combs to get 40 teeth the right size. The picture above shows me wresting each tooth to obtain the blade raw material to work with".
"And, here are the finished articles; Four counter-rotating Bristol turboprops and two single ones, complete and ready to be mounted. Purists may have an issue with the exact shape, but the size is right on".
"Next up to be fitted were the turbine exhaust thrusters which were constructed using 1/4 inch styrene tubing with straps made from 1/64 chart tape".
"This is a shot of how I installed each exhaust having mounted it on a long stick and literally poking it into the pre-cut orifices in the rear of the upper wing and glueing in place. Quite easy really, and by using the stick I could easly keep each one straight and true as the stick acted as an extended guide to 'up', 'down', 'left' or 'right' corrections"
"And with that the model was virtually complete and ready for painting. It might help to mention a few words on the research I did to establish the colour scheme I finished my Princess in".
"Aeroplane magazine published a "Data Base" on the Saunders - Roe SR-45 Princess that carried the information, colour photographs, plans and details from which I was able to ascertain all that was necessary to make the model. Get hold of a copy of Aeroplane - April, 2009 - and follow my observations. Page 65 has an excellent photo of the propellers. Although it's a black and white picture, notice that the spinners and hubs are polished natural metal and the nacelles and wing are of a different appearance. On page 70, a rare colour photograph shows the wing and hull in light gray. The hull top and rudder are white with BOAC dark blue
cheat lines outlined with yellow trim. The radome is a reddish brown. Just above this photo on the same page is a great shot of the top of the Princess. Again it's in black and white but it is obvious that the wing is painted, with a strip of the same shade on the hull extending all the way to the VHF mast. I have seen artwork and models showing natural metal in the areas where, in this the "Mock" BOAC colour scheme, are painted light gray".
"So, I painted my Princess in thst colour scheme, made the decals for the stripes, trim, lettering and other details, added the final parts such as the prop blades and the job was done!"
"Here are the pictures of the finished model"..........................
"I have seen photos of the Princess up on her beaching gear. She looked rather crippled, hobbled, and on crutches, and this was not the way I liked to see her. She belongs over water. So I discarded the beaching gear, and built a pedestal for her photo session".
"Mike Herrill sent me an extremely well engineered vacform kit of the bare essentials needed to create a magnificent model. We can thank Mike and Aeroplane Magazine for enabling me, and anyone else interested, to build a 1/72 model of this, the epitome of a Trans-Ocean flying boat".
"Finally, now you have seen it - a 1/72 scale model of a Saro Princess for the cheap price of $75 US. If this kit had decals, resin spinners and props, it would cost over $350 US and if it were injection molded, make that $500 US. Want a cheap price......do the work like your grandfather did! It is fun and rewarding".
Well, there you have it. Just look at those pictures of the finished model - quite magnificent. I must say that this kit is within the reach of any competent scale modeler with a few vac-forms under their belt. There isn't anything particularly difficult about it except for the sheer size of it which makes for a lot more to do in the construction than a 'normal' sized kit. But, with patience and care a superb result will follow.
I must admit that the trick with the combs to source the prop blades is one that I had never heard of before, yet when you know of it you think, 'Oh, yeah that would work'..! Obvious really..!
My thanks to Jim Lund for allowing us into his modeling workshop to look over his shoulder as this build has taken place and to submit the excellent pictures and build notes each week for the past couple of months and to Mike Herrill for providing such a great base kit that allows any flying boat modeler to now add the most fantastic and iconic British civilian flying boat never to go into series production. Oh, what might have been........................
I wonder what Jim is going to build next to top this....?