Author Topic: 1/144 Latécoère Quatre Moteur "Tophe"  (Read 9736 times)

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Offline Brian da Basher

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1/144 Latécoère Quatre Moteur "Tophe"
« 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
« Last Edit: November 04, 2009, 04:38:29 pm by Brian da Basher »

Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: 1/144 Latécoère Quatre Moteur "Tophe"
« Reply #1 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:



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

Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: 1/144 Latécoère Quatre Moteur "Tophe"
« Reply #2 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
« Last Edit: November 04, 2009, 01:11:41 pm by Brian da Basher »

Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: 1/144 Latécoère Quatre Moteur "Tophe"
« Reply #3 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
« Last Edit: November 04, 2009, 01:03:38 pm by Brian da Basher »

Offline Ed S

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Re: 1/144 Latécoère Quatre Moteur "Tophe"
« Reply #4 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
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Offline Jschmus

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Re: 1/144 Latécoère Quatre Moteur "Tophe"
« Reply #5 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.
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Offline PR19_Kit

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Re: 1/144 Latécoère Quatre Moteur "Tophe"
« Reply #6 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.
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Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: 1/144 Latécoère Quatre Moteur "Tophe"
« Reply #7 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...


« Last Edit: November 04, 2009, 04:42:59 pm by Brian da Basher »

Offline Stargazer2006

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Re: 1/144 Latécoère Quatre Moteur "Tophe"
« Reply #8 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...
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Offline Jschmus

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Re: 1/144 Latécoère Quatre Moteur "Tophe"
« Reply #9 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.
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Offline anthonyp

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Re: 1/144 Latécoère Quatre Moteur "Tophe"
« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2009, 05:07:38 pm »
 :wub: :wub:

And it even has spats  LOL!!!
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Offline noxioux

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Re: 1/144 Latécoère Quatre Moteur "Tophe"
« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2009, 06:00:42 pm »
Now that's pretty darn clever. . .  :bow:

Offline Tophe

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Re: 1/144 Latécoère Quatre Moteur "Tophe"
« Reply #12 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.
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Offline batmancustoms

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Re: 1/144 Latécoère Quatre Moteur "Tophe"
« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2009, 08:56:21 pm »
Very Cool Sir!
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Offline Tophe

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Re: 1/144 Latécoère Quatre Moteur "Tophe"
« Reply #14 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:)
[the word "realistic" hurts my heart...]