Model Of The Month: Ford Tri-Motor (Zorn - 1:33) in SCADTA colors

Discussion in 'Aircraft & Aviation' started by niebla de fuego, Jan 1, 2012.

  1. Rear view of the same section.
    If you are building this kit, I strongly recommend that you glue the control horns to the rudder and stabilizer before attaching those parts to the fuselage.


    Notice the rear light in the tail, not a part in the original kit, but the real Cartagena had it. Maybe I made it too long.

    Wing tips were attached. I really didn’t feel comfortable glueing them. They were a bit difficult for me. Probably a small misalignment in the wing spars was the cause. So patience was needed.


    Two cheap jewelry beads were used to simulate the port and starboard lights.



    Detail of the rear light. It was also made with a small plastic jewelry bead. I crushed the paper when handling.

    This light, as well as the wingtip lights look really fine if you don’t use macro-eyes ;)

  2. Lower rear section, with the tail wheel. The wheel was made with the same technique of the main gear. It is also movable thanks to a hidden thin copper wire used as axle.


    Details of the fairleads. I thought it was cute to add them.




    After all this, now is time to face the most feared part of the model: the engines. Three engines, 27 cylinders… I will rest for a couple of days before staring them.
  3. ASC Mclaren

    ASC Mclaren Member

    WOW! that is amazing! You should be very proud.
  4. GAJouette

    GAJouette New Member

    Outstanding project and a joy to follow along with.
    Highest Regards,
    Gregory Jouette
  5. Zathros

    Zathros Guest

    The detailing looks great, If you fill in the wingtips with Gap filling crazy glue, you can lightly sand them smooth and color them or paint them to finish them off. Great looking model. Don throw this one!!! :)
  6. This is to prove that I’m still working on this model.

    I changed the tail light. Now it is 40% shorter, and looks a lot better.


    I also tried to save the threads by applying some glue. It helped, but not much. Next time I will prepare the threads before assembly. Or use another kind of thread.


    I also installed the rail under the wing that was used to open the wing cargo hatch. This part is not included in the kit, so it was scratch-built. Very easy to make.


    And although the landing lights are the last step in the book, I decided to add them now. I used a transparency to simulate the glass, another small plastic bead to simulate the bulb, and a printed simple background to complete the effect.

  7. Now is time for the engines. In the following photo you can see all the three engines. The one on the left is complete. The one in the middle is in process, and the right one has not been started yet.


    This is a close-up of the unbuilt engine.


    Here is how it starts to take shape.


    And here it is complete. I was going to use the original parts to make the manifold exhaust ring, but I lost one of them. So I had to improvise with a small rubber hose painted silver to simulate it. Of course will make the same in all three engines.


    Now all that’s left is to finish the engines, and add small details.

    See you soon!
    (I hope)
  8. Zathros

    Zathros Guest

    Beautiful Ruben, absolutely beautiful! It is amazing that you not only redid this model, but now are building an exemplary model of it! Really incredible, your contribution to this hobby should be shouted from the mountains, and through every valley!! This, and doing the DC-3 restoration/enhancement? Incredible:)
  9. Thanks for your words my friend. A good model starts with a good design,and Peter Zorn designed a beautiful kit.

    After installing the door with handle, the jump seat, the engines in place with the NACA rings and the exhaust pipes, there are no more parts left in the box.






    Now I only have to wait for good weather and look for a table big enough to place this bird at take some decent general photos.

    My next post will include final photos and my final report/opinions/tips about this kit.
  10. Zathros

    Zathros Guest

    Ruben, Mr. Zorn's model is incredible, and for it's time, and the workmanship as to the sign holds up, but your graphics throw this model over the top.
  11. So we had a nice cloudy day today, perfect to take some photos.

    This photos are a bit edited to erase some background, and are balanced to show more of the true colors of the plane.

    Since most of the details were discussed during the process, I won’t comment much. Just enjoy the images.

    Attached Files:

  12. More photos:

    Attached Files:

  13. And more....

    Sooo… does it look like the real thing? Maybe is not a perfect replica. But close enough :)

    Attached Files:

  14. What’s this?
    Two Tri-Motors?

    Yes. It’s two of them, let’s have a closer look.

    Now you know my secret: I built two “Cartagenas”. The white one was a printing error. I didn’t want to trash the printed pages so I decided to use it as test. I first built the test plane little by little. And as I understood the tricks of the parts I built the grey one correcting mistakes and improving the details.

    The white Tri-Motor looks sloppy, badly build, with lots of issues. But it helped me a lot to understand the model and to face the challenges properly.

    And I also decided to cut the sides open so that the interior of the cockpit and of the passenger cabin could be seen. The toilet can also be seen with all the detail you saw :)

    Attached Files:

  15. Trimotor_119.jpg


    So this is it! The Ford Tri-motor designed by Peter A. Zorn Jr. in 1982. Digitally restored in 2011, and painted in the colors of the Colombian airline SCADTA in 2012




    This is a beautiful kit, from a time when paper kits were drawn by hand. It may look a bit simple by today standards, and some may say that it is not a perfect replica of a Ford Tri-Motor in certain details. But the truth is that the result is impressive. Besides, the shape and proportions are very accurate. The solutions to some volumes and elements of the plane are very clever and allow getting a good representation of the real thing by means of easy assemblies. If a modeler wants to add detail, there is plenty of room to do it. There are just a couple of difficult spots, but nothing serious. It is recommended that you think beforehand where to use cyanocrilate to give more strength to certain parts. Also, plan the whole process before starting.

    The fitting of the parts is good. Take into account the following: the digital version of the kit was re-drawn based on scans of the original printed book (which was painstakingly drawn by hand). So, some small differences were unavoidable in the whole process. As I cut the parts I noticed the new digital version had small differences of up to 1mm compared to the original parts. This is a minor problem, but it may affect the perfect fitting of some parts. So be careful and always test the parts before glueing. Trim if necessary; add shims of paper when needed, and glue carefully. If you exercise patience, good judgment and follow your modeling instinct you will be able to make a very good paper model of this classic plane.

    Remember that you can download the Tri-Motor kit for free from
    It comes in 11 different liveries including American Airlines, TAT, Grand Canyon, TWA “City of Philadelphia”, Indiana Jones’ “Lao Che” transport, and some more.

    My gratitude goes to all the people who have commented in this thread, not only here but in other forums too. The reception this model has had makes me happy. And the support of everyone is treasured in my heart. Thanks a lot for your comments, suggestions, and advices.

    I shared this build in other forums, and I wish to thank them all. You can find the same thread there.

    So, thanks a lot to all of you. And to all the people at:

    Paper Modelers
    Maquetas y Modelismo en papel:
    Papercraft America:
    Mequetas de Papel:
    Swanny’s Models:
    IPMS Bogota:

    And last, but definitely not the least, thanks a lot to Peter for designing this beautiful kit, and for allowing it to be distributed for free. My deep gratitude.

    See you in the next build!!!!!

    Rubén Andrés.
  16. Zathros

    Zathros Guest

    Ruben, Thanks for this incredible thread! Excellent pictures, I downloaded them all, easier to show my friends. Excellent Amigo! :)
  17. ASC Mclaren

    ASC Mclaren Member

    Ruben, if that white build is sloppy, I can only hope to build that good. These are amazing! Because of you, I downloaded this model, I'm thinking about the Indiana Jones version.
  18. Zathros

    Zathros Guest

    Ruben, I forgot one thing!! Don't throw it!!!, Please!:p
  19. Glad you liekd it, you will enjoy it :)

    Don't worry. It won't happen :mrgreen:

    I prepared a video slideshow showing the most important photos of the thread. You can watch it on youtube here:
  20. Zathros

    Zathros Guest

    Yay!!! Well done Ruben, and well deserved, for your fantastic build and your fantastic recolor and detailing! :thumb: :)

Share This Page