avatar_Brian da Basher

1/72 Avro "Ant" from a Roden Junkers D.1

Started by Brian da Basher, September 17, 2009, 03:07:22 PM

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Brian da Basher

In 1922, the Soviet blimp "Maxim Porky" overflew Frostbite Point, Northwest Territories and for the first time, the Royal Canadian Air Force had to consider the defense of its arctic airspace.

The obsolete W.W. I wood and cloth biplanes of the RCAF would never hold up in the severe conditions of the far north so a new pursuit had to be designed to meet the threat. Not only did the new aircraft have to perform in extreme cold weather, but it had to be small enough to be easily transported to the far northern reaches of Canada. Fortunately, as part of war reparations, Jugo Junkers was forced to share his revolutionary all-metal construction designs and technology with the allies. Avro Canada was quick to make use of this and the Avro "Ant" was born.

Brian da Basher

Brian da Basher

With a length and span of only 20 feet and wings that could be disassembled with simple tools, the Avro Ant was small enough to be hauled to the remotest areas by dogsled. The Ant's small size belied its performance. Powered by a 225 h.p. Caribou inline, the Ant could reach a top speed of 190 m.p.h. and an altitude of 20,000 ft. Wickedly maneuverable due to its short wings and armed with two Webley machine guns, the Ant was the equal of any contemporary pursuit.

The first squadron to get the Avro Ant was the 83rd "Exterminators" based at Terminex Bay in the Queen Elizabeth islands which are above the arctic circle. By August, 1924, the Exterminators were flying almost daily, to the surprise of the Soviet rigid airship "Aleksandr Plumpkin " which stumbled into their patrol area and was promptly chased off by the new all-metal pursuits.

The Exterminators and their Ants were the heroes of the day and the Soviets would attempt no more polar overflights for another 30 years.

Brian da Basher

Brian da Basher

The basis for this project was the very nice 1/72 Roden Junkers D.1 which was sent to me by a very good friend. Here's what a Junkers D.1 should look like:


The only modifications I made were replacing the kit wings with the tailplanes left over from a 1/144 Junkers G38 and adding skis from a box-scale Ford Trimotor and a windscreen cut from clear plastic. I didn't add struts between the wings on purpose as I thought it gave my "Ant" a modern look and reminds me of some prototype early all-metal biplane.

The entire model is brush-painted by hand with acrylics, Model Masters Steel mostly, although I used some Gunmetal on the exhaust pipe, tailskid and side radiators for contrast. The decals are from spares except for the Red Ensign flags on the rudder which were made for me by a good friend.

It took me about a week to build this little "Ant" and I hope you enjoy it and the backstory.
Brian da Basher

The Rat

Brian, you're not a modeler, you're a factory!  ;D  :thumbsup: :cheers:
"My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought, cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives." Hedley Lamarr, Blazing Saddles
Youtube: https://tinyurl.com/46dpfdpr


Your gettin pretty danged good at these itty bitty builds!  :thumbsup: 
Jeff G.
Stumbling through life.


Nice transforming of monoplane into biplane (fitting better the old nose, yes!) :thumbsup:
Replacing wheels by skis is great too, and makes it Canadian indeed :thumbsup: (the backstory is real for sure)
The only sad part is the scale: I went twice in the USA but I don't remember the size of this coin... (5ç? nickel?)
Great anyway ;D
[the word "realistic" hurts my heart...]

Brian da Basher

Quote from: Tophe on September 17, 2009, 08:13:06 PM
The only sad part is the scale: I went twice in the USA but I don't remember the size of this coin... (5ç? nickel?)
Great anyway ;D

The coin is  a penny (good old American red cent), which is similar to a centime and is about 1.5 centimeters in diameter. I couldn't find a Canadian penny which would've been more appropriate.

Thanks for the comments gents. I'm glad you liked the Avro Ant.
Brian da Basher

Eddie M.

I really am in awe of your ability to produce top quality work at such a fine scale. Bravo Zulu!!
Look behind you!


Another winner, Brian! You really are a machine.
Some of my models can be found on my Flickr album >>>HERE<<<


Lovely little tubby wonder Bri! :wub:  Looking forward to seeing the dio with the dog team! ;D
I don't think it's nice, you laughin'. You see, my mule don't like people laughin'. He gets the crazy idea you're laughin' at him. Now if you apologize, like I know you're going to, I might convince him that you really didn't mean it.


my goodness!  Yo must have outstanding eye sight sir!!!!

Well done my friend!
John 'Panzer' Hinton


What a great idea and background story! Not to mention it's impeccably done!


What If? & Secret Project SIG member.
On the go: Beaumaris/Battle/Bronco/Barracuda/Corsair GA.1/Flatning/Hellcat IV/Hunter PR11/Hurricane IIb/Ice Cream Tank/JP T4/Jumo MiG-15/P1103 (early)/P1154-ish/Phantom FG1/I-153/Sea Hawk T7/Spitfire XII/Spitfire Tr18/Twin Otter/FrankenCOIN/Frankenfighter