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Cierva C8R Autogiro

by Mike Grant


Cierva C8R Autogiro


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This started out as a 'complete' resin kit of the Cierva Autogiro, from a Czech company called HR Model. I already had in my collection the old Airfix Avro 504, and on comparison with the resin kit it became obvious that many of the components were inferior castings of the Airfix kit. I decided to base the model on the Airfix 504 and use some of the appropriate resin parts, such as the rotors, wings and revised tailplanes.

The HR Model documentation is very basic, merely an over simplified 3-view drawing, so I referred to photographs of a later variant for some of the details. The resin parts aren't that bad, they have a slightly rough surface texture which needs eliminating and the rib detail on the wings needs reducing, but the rotor blades are cast with metal spars which greatly improves the rigidity. Nevertheless, I broke the completed rotor assembly at least 5 times during construction!


There is no detail in the Airfix cockpits so I scratchbuilt some using old-fashioned stretched sprue and plasticard. Nor are there any decals with the HR kit, so I made my own using the ALPS, including the tyre lettering and the zig-zag stitching on the fuselage sides (which I toned down with an overspray of aluminium).

I spent some considerable time making sure the undercarriage/skid, rotors and flying surfaces aligned, then added the rigging wires from stretched sprue.



After all painting and decalling, the final task was to push-fit the prop into the engine. Disaster! Somewhere along the line I must have wrongly measured the skid struts, because the propellor diameter was too large- one spin of the prop would have sheared the front end of the skid right off!

After murmuring politely for a few moments, I ripped the entire undercarriage assembly off and re-built it, measuring frequently. When all was re-assembled and aligned, I left it overnight to set. Next morning, I couldn't find the prop anywhere, and had to make do with an incorrectly shaped item from the spares box (from a Fokker DVII, I think!) If anyone has a spare Avro 504 prop they can spare, I'd be very grateful...

Model, Images and Text Copyright 2002 by Mike Grant
Page Created 04 October, 2002
Last Updated 04 June, 2007

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