avatar_Brian da Basher

1/72 Bleriot-SPAT B.S. One

Started by Brian da Basher, April 02, 2009, 03:30:16 PM

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Brian da Basher

Shortly after Roland Garros, the first ace, was forced down over enemy lines, the Fokker "scourge" began and Eindecker monoplanes with forward-firing guns ruled the skies. Fortunately for the Allies, an Eindecker was captured and the French Aviation Militaire wanted to get back into the fight on even terms and fast.

The Bleriot-SPAT (Société Provisoire des Aéroplanes Toulouse) firm was quick to re-design their enormously popular monoplane trainer as a single seat fighter. A new Rhone Chrome rotary engine in a sleek cowling was added along with a gun and interruptor gear as well as the latest in streamlined undercarriage which would eventually be known as spats. The new aircraft was christened the B.S. One and was quickly ordered into production.

Bleriot-SPAT B.S. Ones soon were able to even the score and then some, destroying 7 Eindeckers for every one of their own machines lost. By far, the most famous B.S. One ace was the Comte de Fontaine, famous before the war for his estate and vinyard in the French Box Wine region. Comte de Fontaine achieved 14 victories in his B.S. One, but by far his most famous exploit was downing two Eindeckers and one Albatross two-seater in a furious dogfight cheered on by the Poilu in the trenches below. Comte de Fontaine was awarded the Croix de Guerre for this action and became one of France's most publicized heroes.

The B.S. One eventually met its match when the Germans introduced their Albatros fighter later in the war, and the Bleriot-SPATs were withdrawn from front-line duties to be used as advanced trainers. Even though its career was short, the B.S. One has a small, but important niche in history.

Brian da Basher

The Rat

Very intimidating spats! Another great one Brian!  :thumbsup:
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Brian da Basher

The basis for this project is the somewhat rough 1/72 Novo Export Bleriot XI, famous for crossing the English Channel in 1909. As later marks of Bleriots were used as trainers, I always wondered what one would look like redesigned as a fighter. Here's what a Bleriot XI should look like:


I started off by scrapping (and losing) the tiny kit engine and replacing it with a rotary engine cut down to fit inside a SPAD XIII cowling. I also covered over the front 'pit with sheet plastic and added spare machine gun and windscreen cut from clear plastic. I added some vacform spats courtesy of Mr Jeffry Fontaine for a nice sleek look and used kit parts to build a modified tail skid. Two different gauges of steel wire were used as rigging, secured by Gator Glue. These shots highlight the rigging.

Brian da Basher

Brian da Basher

The entire model was brush-painted by hand with acrylics, Model Masters tan mostly. I also used Model Masters Wood to simulate plywood panels just behind the engine. Model Masters Dark Earth was used for the prop and the wood fuselage framing. Gunmetal was used on the metal struts and a darkened version on the gun. Toned-down Liquitex Bronze was used on the fuel tank and Testors OD on the cowling and spats. The rudder stripes were also painted by hand, using custom mixes to come as close as possible to the roundel colors. Decals were from the stash.

The penny in some of the shots (I had not a sou to my name) will give you an idea how small this thing is.

Brian da Basher

Brian da Basher

I had a blast on my third and probably last entry for this GB. It took me about two weeks to finish this project, which was a perfect antidote to some pretty crazy and stressful days at the office. Here's a couple of "period" black and white pics to end on. Enjoy!
Brian da Basher

John Howling Mouse

You know, in Canada, it's illegal to model this well at this scale.  Freaky good stuff and, frankly, way better than the "original" IMHO.   :bow:
Styrene in my blood and an impressive void in my cranium.

Ed S

Two weeks!  NOVO kit!  Fully rigged!  And I'm strugling to get one model finished for the GB and it's pretty much OOB.  You're making the rest of us feel inadequate again.

Nice model. :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

We don't just embrace insanity here.  We feel it up, french kiss it and then buy it a drink.


That looks great, Brian! Very manly spats, too.

Jeffry Fontaine

Quote from: frank2056 on April 03, 2009, 09:31:32 AMThat looks great, Brian! Very manly spats, too.

Those spats were vac-formed copies of a set spats that Brian sent to me a few months ago which I used as masters to create a couple dozen clones.  They certainly look much better on the model than they did on the card stock that I got with a nice Mattel Vac-u-Form machine I had discovered in a second hand store.   
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Ian the Kiwi Herder

We can ALWAYS count on 'Klunk' to come-up with something 'out there'.... Superb idea/realisation, Brian

"When the Carpet Monster tells you it's full....
....it's time to tidy the workbench"

Confuscious (maybe)


Quote from: Ian the Hunter-Gatherer on April 03, 2009, 01:35:13 PM
We can ALWAYS count on 'Klunk' to come-up with something 'out there'.... Superb idea/realisation, Brian


What he said ---- brilliant, as always   :thumbsup: :bow: :bow:
If I'm not building models, I'm out riding my dirtbike