Papmobil 1/200 USS Los Angeles dirigible

Discussion in 'First Impressions Kit Reviews' started by umtutsut, Jul 15, 2005.

  1. umtutsut

    umtutsut Member

    Jan 24, 2005
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    KIT: Papmobil USS Los Angeles dirigible
    SCALE: 1/200
    KIT #: None
    PRICE: $13.75 (at H&P Precision Card Models)
    DECALS: One airship

    While I know a fair amount about U.S. Navy “Golden Age†aircraft, my knowledge about the use of airships is pretty slim. The Navy’s history website has some excellent information about the USS Los Angeles ( Suffice it to say that the Los Angeles was probably the most successful of the large dirigibles flown by the Navy during the 1920s and 30s.

    The “kit†comes “packaged†in a booklet containing 16 pages 8 ½ x 11†pages of parts, plus two pages of instructions. Everything is printed on heavy card stock, with the airship parts a realistic-looking flat aluminum color. The parts aren’t laser-cut or otherwise scored. Cutting them out is left to the modeler, so the fit will be what you make it. The cylindrical fuselage sections are reinforced by top and bottom strips. A circular piece with tabs connects each section.

    The major fuselage pieces have horizontal fold lines printed on them – remember, the Los Angeles was a huge gasbag of fabric laid over complex metal framing – but they are on the printed side of the parts. Unless I’m missing something, that’s means you’ll basically have to fold the parts inside out, then assemble them with the printed side outward.

    The gondola, fins and engine pods are all separate pieces. Windows are represented in black. The propellers are simple, flat pieces of card. Intermediate modelers probably will want to add some detail to the pods and scratchbuild 3-D props. The national insignia and fin stripes are provided as stickers that must be cut out. The ship’s name and “U.S. NAVY†markings are preprinted on the parts.

    The instructions pages are almost totally visual, with just a couple callouts in both English and German.

    To paraphrase Chief Brody in the movie Jaws, “You’re gonna need a bigger shelf….â€

    The instructions are deceptively simple. This thing looks every bit as formidable (at least to me as a plastic modeler) as a large plastic vacuform kit. It also will be a challenge to figure out how to mount the finished Los Angeles to a base, since it’s so big yet there’s nothing inside it.

    The booklet notes that the difficulty class is “advanced.†I, for one, plan to hone my skills on one of the free dirigible card models offered by Currell Graphics (

    8) Les (Friendly Airplane Asylum flack)
  2. bholderman

    bholderman Member

    Jul 22, 2004
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    Is there a url for H&P Precision Card Models?

  3. rickstef

    rickstef Guest

    no, Pete does not have a website, but if you click on the banner on the front page, you can send Pete an email