De Havilland DH-4a, Neil Crawford, 1/72 Conversion


After the war some DH4's were rebuilt as DH4A's by replacing the rear gunners place with a two-seat compartment, cloth covered with sliding windows. To compensate the centre of gravity change, the top wing was moved back to give a 90 degree wing angle.

Instone Airlines was one of the first airlines, flying between London and Paris with DH4A's until larger planes went into service. Instone were originally a shipping line; their airline merged with Handley-Page and some other small airlines to become Imperial Airlines. One of their DH4A's, G-EAMU, was prepared for the Kings Cup Air Race in 1922, and won it.

My model is converted from the Airfix DH4, which is a good model, basically correct, except for the undercarriage which is too short, and the wing surfaces that could have been better. If you think there is a lot of rigging on a DH2, then a DH4 is actually worse. The rigging is mostly stainless steel, except for the long contol lines which sagged under their own weight, I used strue instead. Painting and lettering are from lots of different sources, and homemade. The propellor is hand-carved and I'm rather proud of the brass sheathing, which came from a chocolate wrapper. It took about a year to build.

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