avatar_Brian da Basher

1/720 Airship Pittsburgh

Started by Brian da Basher, May 12, 2011, 05:34:57 PM

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Brian da Basher

After the U.S.S. Akron discovered a surprise invasion fleet from the Great White North off the coast of Maine in 1936 (known to history as the Canadian Approach), the popularity of airships reached new heights in the United States. Airlines saw them as the perfect way to carry passengers over great distances.

With the first ever Autumn Olympics taking place in October 1938 in Pittsburgh, local carrier Allegheny Airlines sensed an opportunity and built an airship modeled after the legendary U.S.S. Akron that was christened the Pittsburgh. Proudly sporting the Olympic rings, the Pittsburgh innaugurated passenger service between Pittsburgh and the major European capitals in anticipation of the Games.


Brian da Basher

Brian da Basher

The Pittsburgh made 43 trips ferrying V.I.P.s to the Games without incident except for bumping Luftwaffe chief Hermann Goering due to weight restrictions. Passengers were amazed by the flawlessly smooth ride and by besting the fastest ocean liners of the day by 33 hours crossing the Atlantic.

The 1938 Autumn Olympics were a huge success and the Pittsburgh provided many photos not only of the Games but of the City of Pittsburgh's almost illegally photogenic Point Park where the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers meet to form the Ohio. The U.S. took the gold in football but were bested by the Swiss in the intensely competitive hayride event in what is even today, considered one of the most popular Games ever held. A trial Spring Olympics was gamely hosted by Hull in 1940, but the rain and mud caused the cancellation of all events except for Womens' Mud Wrestling.

The Pittsburgh also provided service to the 1939 World's Fair in New York City and was famous for keeping the peace by ferrying diplomats to San Marino during the tense Limberger crisis. Retired in 1950 after the advent of jet-powered lighter-than-air dirigibles, the Pittsburgh resides today in the Pittsburgh History Center in the Strip District, across the street from Blimpy's Sub Shop.
Brian da Basher

Brian da Basher

The kit is the venerable Revell 1/720 Hindenburg with a few minor modifications including rudders cut from cardstock and a new gonodola made from half of a 1/72 bomb. The propulsion units were scratched from 1/350 sub parts (periscopes mostly) and I used discs cut from clear blisterpack to simulate spinning props.

I started this project on May 6th which was the 74th anniversary of the Hindenburg disaster and I thought building a model with a happier story named after my hometown would be a way to commemorate the event.
Brian da Basher


Will die without understanding this world.

Ed S

Clever model and great story.  (By the way did you find any photos of the Hull Olympic events?)

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The Rat

Quote from: Brian da Basher on May 12, 2011, 05:37:31 PM
The Pittsburgh made 43 trips ferrying V.I.P.s to the Games without incident except for bumping Luftwaffe chief Hermann Goering due to weight restrictions.

:thumbsup: And a brilliant model too!
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[the word "realistic" hurts my heart...]


As always BdB, doing great things for our home town of da'burgh!


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Great model and backstory! :thumbsup: :thumbsup:


All hail the God of Frustration!!!


Your talent knows no bounds!!  :thumbsup:
"Imagination is the one weapon in the war against reality." -Jules de Gaultier

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John Howling Mouse

Wow!  This is cool and a very different kind of subject to display next to all your wild aeroplanes!
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Awesome, Brian!!!!!!!  :thumbsup:

Your work is inspiring!!!!   :bow:   


Brilliant, the airship have class and charm like a girl in his wedding day. :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :bow: :bow: :bow: