Handley Page HP-42 model J.F.Schreiber

OK, so this site is devoted mainly to my own architectural card model designs, but hereís something thatís not my design and itís not architecture!
This is a Schreiber kit which had caught my eye, as the original aircraft must have been one of the most elegant flying machines ever built. I still have in my loft the remains of a 5ft. wingspan flying version which Iíd built 30 years previously, but never dared fly it!
I was aiming to complete this model in time for the RAF Halton model show in October 2001. My delight was that the designer, Alvar Hansen from Poland, quite coincidentally, visited the show himself. Heís a friend of my paper modelling colleague David Hathaway, and is a regular visitor to the UK.

The aircraft itself is a historical delight. This 130í wingspan biplane of which eight were built, first flew in 1930, and was in service with Imperial Airways with an unblemished safety record until 1939. It was of metal construction, with fabric covering on the wings and aft fuselage. This was the height of luxury travel. The European version had 38 passenger seats, while the longer range versions flying to Africa and India (a journey which took 7 days from London) held 24 passengers. It cruised at a sedate100 mph, flying at low level while the flight crew plotted their course following roads and railway lines.

The model was published by J.F.Schreiber in 1994. The model is big, scale 1:50, 31Ē (78cm) wingspan. There are 270 components on a total of 14 sheets of both card stock and thin glossy silver printed art paper.

This model is definitely not for the beginner. A lot of my time was spent on attempting to understand the diagrammatic instructions, overcoming the many part numbering errors, and compensating for the failures in the fit of the model. The silver printed paper is unforgiving, showing every tiny wrinkle and finger mark, which do not stand close scrutiny. My photography is hazy enough to spare those failings. Much frustration, but ultimately much satisfaction in the final completed model.

Alvar Hansen (left) and myself, at Halton 2001, after the model had won a 3rd prize rosette!