Thursday, September 29, 2016

Up, Up and away in my beautiful ballooooooooooooon........

.....or 99 Luftballoons on the wall, 99 Luftballoons.....

But seriously folks, I'm making great progress with the Reduced Aircraft Factory model of the Caquot Type M kit balloon available on Shapeways.

You can read the earlier installment here;

The painting has gone very well, in fact much better than I anticipated. I stumbled over a link to a postcard of a similar balloon done up in a charming checkerboard pattern. With that as a base, it was just a matter of selecting colors and a brush and getting started.

Here's the balloon after painting and following installation of the mounting post and the basket and shroud lines. The mounting post is a #6 1/2" screw that's screwed into the provided hole. To this screw, a strong rare earth magnet is glued using DAP adhesive or other strong adhesive (I'm a big fan of JB Weld). I thought I'd get smart and use a stainless steel screw with the magnet, but as I'm driving in the screw I remember....stainless steel is not magnetic! 

Here's the balloon after the basket installed. (Don't mind the hand of God in the lower left). Okay the paint job looks crummy in this picture.  I think the camera is too close. 

This looks a little better. It might be the angle. (It might be my painting skills!)

Thought I'd hold it over a game mat to get a feel for it.  

Success! The magnet on the post mates with a magnet glued to a 'bomber' peg and allows the balloon to be placed on a stand. 

Here's a view of the inverted balloon showing off the basket assembly. The great thing about this is that the basket and all the lines are a single part, making installation very easy.

The colors used on this model include  Folk Art Lemonade (the light yellow) and Americana Yellow Ochre. The basket was flat brown and the shrouds a base coat of yellow oche with a stain of flat brown and dry brushed light gray for weathering. 

Here's a shot of the primer, paints,  and screws used in the construction process. 

Now we're cooking with gas!  An Italian SVA 5 flies past this balloon somewhere on the Piave front.  The checkboard effect looks much better from a few feet away.


  1. Looking great, even with the 5th Dimension and Nena references. :)

  2. Sorry, couldn't work in a Norman Greenbaum reference.