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Axial Wooden Propeller
for Mercedes 160hp

Proper Plane, 1/32

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number:

Proper Plane Item No. F72308 - Axial Wooden Propeller for Mercedes 160hp

Scale: 1/32
Contents and Media: One wooden propeller and two grey resin parts.
Price:

USD$25.00 plus shipping from Proper Planes website

Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Beautiful laminate in different colours. Looks like real laminate because it is real laminate!
Disadvantages: Not cheap.
Conclusion: This is one of those simple upgrades that anyone can initiate, that will immediately enhance the appearance of your stick and string (and corrugated metal!) aircraft..

Reviewed by David Couche


  Special Hobby's 1/48 scale Model 339-23 Buffalo will be available online from Squadron 

FirstLook

 

There are numerous things that can make the average modeller shy away from building a Great War aircraft. The first one that comes to mind is rigging. Another is simulating wood grain. Another, and one that has frustrated me in the past is making those plastic airscrews look like laminated timber.

 

 

I eventually settled on a rather nice masking method that James Machin taught on the WNW Fans Facebook page. With some work, that creates a rather nice representation. Then there is the Laminated Propeller Mask from RB Productions. This is a little trickier, but when mastered, produces some very nice, organic effects.

 

 

Okay, but these still only create a representation. So why not go the obvious route and actually use a wooden propeller? There are several companies on the market which make these, and they vary massively in price and cost. Some are very nice but expensive. Some are relatively poor, and still not cheap. Today, we introduce to you a company from the Ukraine, called Proper Plane, and an example of their own airscrew range.

This is the text from the Proper Plane website, specifically for this Axial:

Recommended for use on several German planes including WnW: 

• Hand C.Ialberstadt Cl.II (32049 D)
• Albatros D.V/D.Va (32009 A B E / 32015 B E)
• Fokker D.VII (32011 AB / 32027 E / 32030 BE / 32031 ACDE)
• Junkers D.1 (32065 ABCD)
• Pfalz D.XII (32019 C)
• Pfalz D.IIIa (32006 B)
• RolI (32026 ABCDE / 32041 ABCD)

and other with Mercedes 160/180/200 HP engine.

Hand carved wooden propeller with resin boss. The propeller is made up of veneers of maple and pear and these are very delicate and look in scale. The balance is excellent as is the shape. The centre hub with eight bolts were modelled in 3D and cast specially for this propeller. The propeller diameter is 87 mm and matches the kit part from Wingnut Wings. It has a beautiful satin lacquer finish and is super smooth to the touch.

This cute little package was sent to me for fitting to a Junkers D.1 for a future magazine project, but it also really deserves to be shown in a review article. The airscrew itself is packaged into a very robust, clear acrylic tube that can’t be buckled or squashed. A label at one end denotes the type of prop within. In my case, this is an Axial, designed for the 160hp Mercedes engine (although I don’t doubt it will be compatible with other permutations of Mercedes etc.). My sample is production number #97.

Each end of the tube has a small, laser-engraved wooden cap, showing the Proper Plane logo, and these are fastened to the tube by means of a felt disc glued to the underside, providing a snug fit to the tube and preventing the product from slipping out, and also protecting the tips of the delicate wooden airscrew. Inside the tube, another foam disc is used as a separator, keeping the resin prop hubs from rattling around again damaging the fine tips of the airscrew.

 

  • Axial Wooden Propeller Review by James Hatch: Image
  • Axial Wooden Propeller Review by James Hatch: Image
  • Axial Wooden Propeller Review by James Hatch: Image
  • Axial Wooden Propeller Review by James Hatch: Image
  • Axial Wooden Propeller Review by James Hatch: Image
  • Axial Wooden Propeller Review by James Hatch: Image
  • Axial Wooden Propeller Review by James Hatch: Image
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The airscrew itself is most certainly the best I have seen since we first started to see companies release these to the market. As per the real thing, this is produced from a number of laminates of alternating colours. In this case, there are EIGHT laminates involved in production, all with a suitably fine grain to them, and looking representative of the colours that we would expect. The overall finish is incredibly fine, with no grain being felt through the layers of varnish, and of course no pitting anywhere. The effect is glass-like. What really has to be mentioned are the incredibly fine edges and tips, again, smooth to the touch, and precise. In comparison with the kit plastic part, the shape looks perfect, and of course, a little more refined. For me, the colour of the airscrew is very, very nice, but you can of course shoot a little clear orange or yellow acrylic over this if you want a slightly warmer appearance.

Note that the hub areas have a series of small, partially drilled indents around their circumference, allowing the modeller to properly align the resin hub bolt details, both front and back.

Those front and rear hubs as mentioned, are cast in a light grey resin, and both onto a small casting block. You will undoubtedly need a very fine razor saw and come care in removing these from the block. Casting itself is very nice, with sharp details.

 

 

C o n c l u s i o n

 

This is one of those simple upgrades that anyone can initiate, that will immediately enhance the appearance of your stick and string (and corrugated metal!) aircraft.

It’s certainly an answer to the sometimes difficult to achieve woodgrain paint techniques, and for a product of this quality, the price is also very reasonable.

Check out their website for more wooden airscrews for other WNW model kits.

Thanks to Proper Plane for the review sample.


Review and Images Copyright 2019 by James Hatch
Page Created 15 January, 2019
Last updated 15 January, 2019

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