What if

Picture Post => Current and Finished Projects => Aircraft => Topic started by: Brian da Basher on November 04, 2009, 12:45:32 pm

Title: 1/144 Latécoère Quatre Moteur "Tophe"
Post by: Brian da Basher on November 04, 2009, 12:45:32 pm
In the spring of 1931, to help ease the effects of the Great Depression, Air France announced a competition for a new long-range airliner for overseas routes. Many designs were submitted, but the best by far was from a brilliant engineer and mathematician from Groupe Latécoère who went only by the enigmatic name Christophe, known to his friends as Tophe.

The new airliner had four engines in a pusher-puller configuration and was the latest thing in steamlining, featuring a drag-reducing twin-tail layout and the first spatted landing gear on a French monoplane airliner.

The Latécoère Quatre Moteur (four motor) was judged the winner and a prototype was ordered. In honor of its designer, "Tophe" was painted on the nose by the Groupe Latécoère ground crew. The "Tophe" Quatre Moteur exceeded all expectations and was ordered into production. The original "Tophe" prototype made a non-stop trial flight from Toulouse to the colony of French Guyana in August, 1932 carrying 6 crew and 84 passengers, including many dignitaries and the new colonial governor, one Messr. de L'Avant Vers L'Arrière.

35 Latécoère Quatre Moteurs were eventually built and served until 1948, making many record-breaking flights. The last Latécoère Quatre Moteur was scrapped in 1950 and all that remains is this Air France travel agent's desk model.
:cheers:
Brian da Basher
Title: Re: 1/144 Latécoère Quatre Moteur "Tophe"
Post by: Brian da Basher on November 04, 2009, 12:52:05 pm
The basis for this project was the "venerable" 1/72 scale Revell He-219 Uhu, which should look like this:

(http://www.gasolinealleyantiques.com/kits/images/Aviationrevell/revell-h112-100heinkelowl.JPG)

Oops.

All I did was basically build it upside down and then chop off the tail and glue it back on right-side up. The engines are drop tanks with the fins cut off and props and spats are courtesy of Aeroclub. The DF loop antenna and "football" were scratched from spare parts and a little sprue was used to jazz up the engines. Here's a few shots of it before painting.
 :cheers:
Brian da Basher
Title: Re: 1/144 Latécoère Quatre Moteur "Tophe"
Post by: Brian da Basher on November 04, 2009, 12:55:30 pm
There were of course, multiple PSR sessions, mostly to get the nose blended in. The entire model was brush-painted by hand with acrylics (Model Masters Primer Gray mostly). The livery is from an Airfix Caravelle. The cockpit windows are for a DC-3 and the passenger windows and doors from a spare airliner sheet.
 :cheers:
Brian da Basher
Title: Re: 1/144 Latécoère Quatre Moteur "Tophe"
Post by: Brian da Basher on November 04, 2009, 12:59:27 pm
I built this as a tribute to our fellow whiffer Tophe whose wonderful models and limitless imagination have delighted us for years. I hope you enjoyed the Latécoère Quatre Moteur "Tophe".
 :cheers:
Brian da Basher
Title: Re: 1/144 Latécoère Quatre Moteur "Tophe"
Post by: Ed S on November 04, 2009, 01:52:34 pm
Another great bash.  Well done BdB.  This has a definite "ungainly" look.  Like something the French might really have come up with.

Ed
Title: Re: 1/144 Latécoère Quatre Moteur "Tophe"
Post by: Jschmus on November 04, 2009, 02:26:35 pm
Brilliant!  That has Latécoère written all over it.  About the only way you could've made it more "Latécoère", would be to turn it into a seaplane of some sort.
Title: Re: 1/144 Latécoère Quatre Moteur "Tophe"
Post by: PR19_Kit on November 04, 2009, 03:36:26 pm
That Brian, is a 'Tour de Force par Excellence'! :)

Turning the fuselage upside down, what an idea! Does the reggie have some significance? I'm trying to work the letters into your name, but not getting there really.
Title: Re: 1/144 Latécoère Quatre Moteur "Tophe"
Post by: Brian da Basher on November 04, 2009, 04:27:46 pm
I'm really glad you like the Latécoère Quatre Moteur. Tophe reports that he received it intact, to my great relief. Sometimes I wonder if marking a package 'Fragile' isn't an invitation for the postal/customs services to play football with it. ;)


<snip>

Does the reggie have some significance? I'm trying to work the letters into your name, but not getting there really.

The only significance to the registration codes is that they were on the decal sheet with the rest of the Air France livery for the classic Airfix Caravelle.

A tip o'the pin to Frank for sending me the Uhu parts and to Narses for pointing out the   Latécoère family resemblance.
 :cheers:
Brian da Basher

P.S. You guys should see what I'm working on now...


Title: Re: 1/144 Latécoère Quatre Moteur "Tophe"
Post by: Stargazer2006 on November 04, 2009, 04:38:53 pm
Brian, I'm confounded by this kitbash. It is simply BRILLIANT! Looks so French of that period, it's crazy!
Tophe is a lucky guy, and you are extremely talented to have come up with this using a Uhu as a basis...
Title: Re: 1/144 Latécoère Quatre Moteur "Tophe"
Post by: Jschmus on November 04, 2009, 04:56:54 pm
That Brian, is a 'Tour de Force par Excellence'! :)

Does the reggie have some significance? I'm trying to work the letters into your name, but not getting there really.

As he says, it was an Air France Caravelle.  Here's the original:

http://www.airliners.net/photo/Air-France/Sud-SE-210-Caravelle/1143456/L/

I much prefer Brian's interpretation.
Title: Re: 1/144 Latécoère Quatre Moteur "Tophe"
Post by: anthonyp on November 04, 2009, 05:07:38 pm
 :wub: :wub:

And it even has spats  LOL!!!
Title: Re: 1/144 Latécoère Quatre Moteur "Tophe"
Post by: noxioux on November 04, 2009, 06:00:42 pm
Now that's pretty darn clever. . .  :bow:
Title: Re: 1/144 Latécoère Quatre Moteur "Tophe"
Post by: Tophe on November 04, 2009, 08:22:56 pm
Oh... I feel shy and almost ashamed, by such a great honor... :blink:
Many congratulations to BdB, both the designer and the builder... :bow:
It was so perfect I was very sure this was coming straight from a box, "what-if" only as painted French and with my (grand-father's?) name... Wrong, this was full creation, from Brian's imaginative spirit. :thumbsup:
I will check in my History books what is it looking like (but I have given away my Latecoère Docavia book to a Belgian friend, if I remember correctly).
And I considered what-ifing it further, but if this is a civilian forefather of the He-219, this is by far what-if enough... or... as great pictures have already been made perfectly, I may change it (a little), yes, for a second life. I will see.

But, once again, THANKS A LOT, Brian.
Title: Re: 1/144 Latécoère Quatre Moteur "Tophe"
Post by: batmancustoms on November 04, 2009, 08:56:21 pm
Very Cool Sir!
Title: Re: 1/144 Latécoère Quatre Moteur "Tophe"
Post by: Tophe on November 04, 2009, 08:56:43 pm
What-if the Latecoère team designed a (small civilian) forefather of the Modèles 210 & 221?
This is it, thanks Brian!

(from Jean Cuny's wonderful Docavia book 34 - Editions Larivière:)
Title: Re: 1/144 Latécoère Quatre Moteur "Tophe"
Post by: Daryl J. on November 04, 2009, 10:27:23 pm
This is just so  good!    :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:



Daryl J., slackjawed and tickled pink
Title: Re: 1/144 Latécoère Quatre Moteur "Tophe"
Post by: ysi_maniac on November 05, 2009, 05:50:58 am
Love your model, really!  :wub: :wub: :wub: :thumbsup: :bow: :bow:
Title: Re: 1/144 Latécoère Quatre Moteur "Tophe"
Post by: sideshowbob9 on November 05, 2009, 07:03:55 am
That really is a clever idea and brilliant execution! Bravo!  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: 1/144 Latécoère Quatre Moteur "Tophe"
Post by: Weaver on November 05, 2009, 09:48:53 am
That's excellent and inspired Brian - nice one!  :wub: :thumbsup:
Title: Re: 1/144 Latécoère Quatre Moteur "Tophe"
Post by: frank2056 on November 05, 2009, 10:21:03 am
Brian,
You've turned a sow's ear (or "Wilde Sau") into a silk purse!

With push and pull engines!


Title: Re: 1/144 Latécoère Quatre Moteur "Tophe"
Post by: Tophe on November 05, 2009, 10:39:08 am
from a brilliant engineer and mathematician from Groupe Latécoère who went only by the enigmatic name Christophe, known to his friends as Tophe.
The original "Tophe" prototype made a non-stop trial flight from Toulouse to the colony of French Guyana in August, 1932
The grand son of engineer Tophe (myself) has actually lived in Toulouse, yes (1975-1982)... And my best friend in 1977 had his father living in French Guyana (for the Ariane rocket space program). How did you guess all that, Brian? Why not becoming billionnaire instead (guessing the right numbers of the lotto)?
Title: Re: 1/144 Latécoère Quatre Moteur "Tophe"
Post by: Doc Yo on November 05, 2009, 10:49:02 am
 Quite beautiful!
Title: Re: 1/144 Latécoère Quatre Moteur "Tophe"
Post by: Tophe on November 05, 2009, 10:54:07 am
Tophe reports that he received it intact, to my great relief.
Here is how the 4 parts arrived, perfectly, back in France from America (according to the story History). Next week-end, French mechanicians will build it up again, but... with French wine overconsumption (I prefer coke as far as I am concerned), I am a little afraid... this perfect model, absolutely true, may start a what-if second life. Fortunately, Brian's photographs will keep forever the original layout...
Title: Re: 1/144 Latécoère Quatre Moteur "Tophe"
Post by: Brian da Basher on November 05, 2009, 01:01:46 pm
Mon Dieu! I had no idea it broke like that!

I'm glad the pictures will help you put it back together Tophe. Looks like the various postal/customs authorities did take "Fragile" as an invitation to play football with it.
 :banghead:
I'm sorry, mon ami. I tried to pack it securely but it looks like to no avail.
 :banghead:
Brian da Basher
Title: Re: 1/144 Latécoère Quatre Moteur "Tophe"
Post by: Stargazer2006 on November 05, 2009, 01:10:31 pm
There used to be a time when the word "Fragile" on a parcel meant something to the postal workers. I realized this changed when a post office clerk once said to me: "Whether you write it or not doesn't make a difference, it has no official value". They just chuck the parcels into the bags and then bounce the bags, they couldn't care less that someone is carrying something fragile in it. Another answer I once got was: "If you want it to get there safe, use the Chronopost service (UPS kind of thing) but then it's 20 dollars just to send a parcel, which is kind of expensive...
Title: Re: 1/144 Latécoère Quatre Moteur "Tophe"
Post by: Brian da Basher on November 05, 2009, 01:12:03 pm
I'd have gladly paid more than $20 for it arrive in one piece.

*sigh*

Brian da Basher
Title: Re: 1/144 Latécoère Quatre Moteur "Tophe"
Post by: Stargazer2006 on November 05, 2009, 01:25:19 pm
Yeah, but then I realize it's 20 dollars for a LETTER, parcels are at least double that I think!
Title: Re: 1/144 Latécoère Quatre Moteur "Tophe"
Post by: Tophe on November 05, 2009, 08:33:10 pm
Mon Dieu! I had no idea it broke like that!
Uh? Is it "broken"? The cut in two of the fuselage is so clean, perfect, I was absolutely sure this was a voluntary way to include it in a smaller parcel. I am not sure, but I thought the 2 parts of the fuselage were in separate bags, no? Or/and the spats, separatly, I don't remember, I was so happy discovering, I did not note everything...
Anyway, this separation in parts is an invitation to create something a little different maybe. You made a very perfect Laté Quatre Moteurs, than I may what-if this (secretly what-if-) looking-real model... almost "too much serious" for my crazy collection... (for family visitors ignoring all of aviation History).
Thanks again, don't blame the postal services: I am delighted, indeed. I swear.

PS. Thinking about it, I may understand the misunderstanding: to have the normal tailplanes on a fuselage upside down, the tail had to be cut off the fuselage, thus there was a fragile point there. But before reading your inverted-He-219 source, I could not imagine that, so it seemed not accidental.
Title: Re: 1/144 Latécoère Quatre Moteur "Tophe"
Post by: Daryl J. on November 05, 2009, 09:19:07 pm
BdB,

That was mighty fine of you to send off your work to someone else like you did.   



Daryl J., feelin' your pain
Title: Re: 1/144 Latécoère Quatre Moteur "Tophe"
Post by: B777LR on November 06, 2009, 09:19:05 am
I'd have gladly paid more than $20 for it arrive in one piece.

*sigh*

Brian da Basher

You should rather pack it well. Fill the box up to the brim with padding or foamy material. If the model can't move, and it doesn't come in direct contact with the box, it is hard to break.
Title: Re: 1/144 Latécoère Quatre Moteur "Tophe"
Post by: Tophe on November 06, 2009, 09:40:11 am
The model was inside foam everywhere, so that does not explain. But it is very fine anyway, and I thought it was sent like this, in 4 clean parts. No problem.
Title: Re: 1/144 Latécoère Quatre Moteur "Tophe"
Post by: GTX on November 06, 2009, 02:12:49 pm
The basis for this project was the "venerable" 1/72 scale Revell He-219 Uhu,

Brilliant!  I would never have guessed this. :bow:

regards,

Greg
Title: Re: 1/144 Latécoère Quatre Moteur "Tophe"
Post by: Weaver on November 06, 2009, 06:41:04 pm
There used to be a time when the word "Fragile" on a parcel meant something to the postal workers. I realized this changed when a post office clerk once said to me: "Whether you write it or not doesn't make a difference, it has no official value". They just chuck the parcels into the bags and then bounce the bags, they couldn't care less that someone is carrying something fragile in it. Another answer I once got was: "If you want it to get there safe, use the Chronopost service (UPS kind of thing) but then it's 20 dollars just to send a parcel, which is kind of expensive...

I realised this 20 yrs ago when I went to the parcel office at a train station in Manchester to pick up some (fortunately not fragile) motorcycle parts. As I stood at the counter waiting, I watched one guy take a parcel which was smothered in "FRAGILE" tape off a shelf, drop it on the floor from  shoulder height, and then kick it 20ft across the room...... :angry: :angry: :angry:
Title: Re: 1/144 Latécoère Quatre Moteur "Tophe"
Post by: Tophe on November 07, 2009, 10:13:17 am
November 07th 1932: French technicians, inspecting the damaged Quatre-Moteurs, have found a mistake in the rivet matching on the tail: this one was upside-down, opposite to the fuselage! Yes (related to German sabotage, maybe due to Heinkel-workers that came to “help”, and detected thanks to an American intelligence report)! This has been (almost immediately) corrected. Well, it seems now there is a wheel upward… but I tell you a secret: in a distant future, this circular-rotating plain-thing (surprisingly above the fuselage!) will be publicly called radarawacs, a name like that.

Now, the plane is standing on its fins (with little skids under them) and the spats have been relocated to a third point, central, under the nose.
Title: Re: 1/144 Latécoère Quatre Moteur "Tophe"
Post by: Brian da Basher on November 07, 2009, 11:16:35 am
Nice save, Tophe! I really like your amazingly imaginative approach!
 :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
Brian da Basher
Title: Re: 1/144 Latécoère Quatre Moteur "Tophe"
Post by: Tophe on November 08, 2009, 09:14:56 am
From this angle, you may see the change, making a new plane... (Sorry for not creating again the original, perfect, and thanks again for the fun, and result both beautiful and odd)... ;D
Title: Re: 1/144 Latécoère Quatre Moteur "Tophe"
Post by: Stargazer2006 on November 08, 2009, 10:12:46 am
Beautiful and odd... sure... but would it fly??? I doubt it!
Title: Re: 1/144 Latécoère Quatre Moteur "Tophe"
Post by: Tophe on November 08, 2009, 09:00:35 pm
Beautiful and odd... sure... but would it fly??? I doubt it!
Hey, a desk model does not need to fly (and did not, as well, in 1932)... :lol:

Well, I must explain why I butchered this beauty that way, there is a reason. (Well, 2 reasons. 1: I am a crazy what-ifer :blink:, 2:) one of the spats had lost its support so impossible to have it supporting its engine and wing, so... I glued it against the other (inventing the twin-spats?) but with the central tail-wheel, there was no balance at all, so I reverted the tail to have lateral supports there. You know all the practical (sad) side, but I prefer the sabotage tale by Heinkel workers in Latecoère factory, punishing prevently the what-if designer... ;D
Title: Very Imaginative!
Post by: sequoiaranger on November 15, 2009, 09:22:49 am
As always, a brilliant whif from BdB.

An upside-down He-219???????? :lol: