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1/72 scale Heller
Potez 540

by Mark Davies


Potez 540


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I have a fondness for 1930ís aircraft, and especially some of the French aircraft are particularly interesting (albeit many people find them quite ugly). Hellerís old 1/72 scale Potez 540 falls perfectly into this category.





The kit itself goes together quite well, but a number of areas required refinement. The biggest challenge was reducing the sack-cloth fabric effect on the flying surfaces, and trying to make reduce the troughs between the wing ribs. This was mainly achieved with auto primer and lots of sanding.



I had very few references when I built the kit a few years ago, so seat belts and gun mounts were the only interior additions. I then painted most of the interior matt black to disguise this lack of detail. New guns were made, along with a replacement front turret canopy to replace the broken on in my old 2nd hand boxing of this kit.

I replaced the radiator slats, made new exhausts, and opened various air intakes. I scribed the engine panels and added small hinges and braces for the undercarriage mud guards. The propellers were refined, and generally cleaned up. I replaced the small upright wing struts and the tail-plane struts as well. Finally I displaced the control surfaces.



Painting and Markings


The modelís fabric surfaces were painted with 25+ year old Humbrol paint left over from when I gave up modeling at 13 to pursue girls (didnít we all?), and the engines with ModelMaster Metalizer.



A little bit of weathering and staining was added with a wash and pastels.



The kit decals were beyond redemption, being too yellow to bleach in the window, and also cracked. So I  replaced the roundels with some Carpena items and painted the rudder.

My friend, Craig Sargent, made the rudder and manufacturer code decals on his ALPs printer. I then soaked the kit decals off and placed them onto Tamiya tape fixed to the glass sheet I build on. Once dry I cut around the under-wing Roman numeral codes and produced a template to spray through. The swan on the fuselage had hand-pained details added.



Finally a bit of simple rigging and the job was done.





My P540 is one of my first finished models after getting back into modelling at middle age, but itís still one of my favourites because I find its lines to be interesting and quaint. If you like French planes then rip into some of the old Heller stuff, or wait for Azur to work its way through updating these subjects to 21st Century quality.



Additional Images


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Images and Text Copyright © 2004 by Mark Davies
Page Created 24 September, 2004
Last Updated 24 September, 2004

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