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Graf Zeppelin model...

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Many many many Moons ago I built Airfix, Revell, Monogram, Heller and other aircraft models, starting with scale 1/72 and then later migrating into 1/48.

Most of their untouched boxes awaiting their time to be assembled were long ago stolen from a house I had and used to rent :-/  Among those kit's there was one of the Graf Zeppelin...

Now, sometime ago I promised my wife I would try to build a Zeppelin. It was supposed to hang from the room ceiling, maybe even turned into a "chandelier"...

I was plaining to find plans to build one in cardboard, or pvc long ago, or even balsa wood, but elapor and other variants have come to wide use during the last years, specially in aero modelling.

I would be grateful for any suggestions in the form of links to sites, plans, whatever, that might help me find a nice model, not too complex or costly to build.

Thanks for any help :-)


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I would recommend making a foil or card model. There are two Graf Zeppelin model kits available here for less than 20 quid:

One is 1:200 scale, the other is 1:400, so both models will be fairly large, i.e. a 1:200 scale one will be a little over a metre long and around 15cm in diameter. Either way, if you get a kit, you would of course then have a plan and could scale that up to whatever size you liked, and then build it either the same way, or mold it, vac-form it or whatever. Personally, if I was scratch building one, I'd mold the engines so that I only had to actually build one, doing so would guarantee an identical appearance of all the other engine cars. A good method for making such a model look realistic and impressive, is to cover it with cooking foil using the reverse 'dull side', attaching it with spray mount (once scratch-built a B-17G Flying Fortress model at large scale using that method and it looked really cool). That method has the advantage of being inexpensive too, since you can get a roll of tin foil from a supermarket for a quid, and a can of spray mount is about a fiver.

You will know of course that there were in fact two Graf Zeppelins: LZ.127 Graf Zeppelin, and LZ.130 Graf Zeppelin II, so make sure you get the one you are interested in lol!

As you can see from my signature, I am in the process of making an FS model of the Hindenburg, so I had to get a lot of reference, since I want to model the main interior too and not merely the control gondala. Fortunately there are a lot of decent books on that subject; since the LZ.127 Graf Zeppelin, the LZ.130 Graf Zeppelin II, and indeed the LZ.129 Hindenburg were all built by Luftschiffbau Zeppelin GmbH (a company which believe it or not, still exists), the construction methods were broadly similar for all three, as indeed they were for a couple of large US airships which were constructed with the assistance of Luftschiffbau Zeppelin, so you will probably find that pretty much any book about a large airship will be of use.

Scratch building one off a plan would actually be fairly simple as model making goes, since it is basically a big cylinder with a concical front and a few fins at the back, and everything with the exception of the very front, is basically a flat panel. I can tell you that the exterior 3D model of my FS one was built in no time at all, with only the control gondalas and the engine nacelles requiring a bit of effort.

Good sources for inspiration are the (really terrible) film, Zeppelin (the one with Michael York in it) and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (which features a pretty good representation of the Hindenburg). That Zeppelin movie features a fictional Zeppelin, but the model in the movie is based on the real Zeppelin LZ.76, so it has some useful detail shots since LZ.76 was also built by the same Zeppelin company, although you should bear in mind that the interiors of the control gondala were based on the British R.33, so don't regard those as too accurate a source for the interiors of a German-built control gondala. The is also the 1975 movie, Hindenburg, which is worth a look.

Also worth checking out, if you find yourself in Germany, is the Zeppelin Museum at Friedrichshafen, which has some bits of the real things:



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Important public safety announcement:- Please don't fill your model with hydrogen....

Here's a reference site  - apologies if you've already used it.

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Additional pubic safety announcement: It's quite likely that even a card model with attendant bits of glue, paint etc, will be fairly flammable, so if you did want to illuminate it as some sort of chandelier (which I admit, would be very cool), I'd use LEDS or some such rather than wiring it to your mains lighting. Otherwise you'll have your very own Hindenburg disaster lol

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Thank you both for your great suggestions!

I'm carefully Reading across your linked sites.

Chock, please make your Hindenburg P3dv3+ compatible ;-)

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