Type: Scratch built
Material: thin plastic card, metal wire, and wheels, Sprue.
Cost of material: negligible
On occasions I come across modelers who are keen on building float planes and when they come to display the model, quite often, they either display it standing on the twin floats or display standing on a makeshift bracketed stand which is custom made but not quite the design appropriate for the type. Some model kits such as the Japanese Sairan and Pete come with an accurate beaching trolley and so does the single float type Ro-43 by Pavla Models and in such a cases no problem of this sort
exists. Other models like the Fairey Swordfish and Sea Fox, Bellanca Skyrocket, Arctic Auster, Supermarine S6B, these would only require drilling a hole right through at the correct place at the side of each float, where a shaft is inserted and a set of wheels are added on which the aircraft can be safely manoeuvred
to some parking spot on the beach.
Not so can be said in the case of building models of German type of twin floatplanes such as the Heinkel He-42, He-60, Arado 96, He-114 and Arado Ar-196 etc. etc. Over the years I managed to find a solution to this situation involving these types. I have managed to acquire a drawing of the type of beaching gear involving the trolley used with additional proposal for a more sturdy type that was used for the heavier floatplanes. The method of building these trolleys is not beyond the reach of the many keen modelers in spite that they have to be built from scratch. This is a relatively simple method that would certainly yield satisfactory results. One of the trolleys which has a single bogie wheel at the side was used for types as the He-42, He-51 and He-60 while another type which was of a more robust construction had twin bogie to each side and was used on Arado Ar-96 and Ar-196 types.
Arrangement drawing of the simple type of beaching trolley is shown. The dimensions are in ‘mm’. The simple way to adopt them to 1/72 scale is obviously by dividing the dimensions by 72. The result will be the standard measured length of the dimension on a printed drawing layout. This will be used for constructing the part items required. The material required is a pair of A5 size white plastic card sheets, a pair of 20mm diameter bogie wheels, a pair of metal paper pins, a length of 1.5mm metal wire and a short thick sprue piece. Once a full set is produced then the trolley can be constructed using liquid cement and /or super glue where metal is used.
The main component is a rectangular piece of plastic card, which had a square, cut space at the
centre. Strips of plastic card are cut to suite a dimension that now forms the planking on the sides of the blank areas on the rectangular base. Two smaller pieces form the mudguards. These had two sides made on the shape of a right angle triangle. Another shaped items are cut to form the outside face of the mudguards adjacent to the wheels. A hole is drilled at the base of the mudguard and a shaft is inserted to take the 20mm diameter wheels. Other construction details take the form of straight strips, which form the metal perimeter around the trolley base. These were made in double, as the plastic thickness I used was rather thin. The side metal frames fitted to the mudguards were made from metal paper clips that seemed to offer the right thickness. These were bent to shape and super glued in place. The long ‘Vee’ shaped metal pull strop was made from a piece of wire with distance circular shaped pieces being constructed from cut lengths of round sprue that were inserted at a distance apart. This apparently held the tube away from the muddy floor. The end of the metal wire had a length of 2mm bent down at 90 degrees. These will fit inside eyeholes located at two front corners of the trolley. Segmented plastic strips formed a central beam and at each end a smaller wheel added. These were tail wheels acquired from the spares box.
A more sturdy type of beaching trolley can also be constructed using same dimensions with the difference that the robust construction had additional planking at the base and also had a pair of wheels added at each side and the trolley was pulled from a central beam of ‘I’ section as shown in the drawing. A thin wire inserted in eyeholes at two corners of the trolley served to keep the beam from swaying to one side when trolley is driven at tight corners. The central beam also had 4 smaller wheels added which will serve to hold the trolley level. A tractor model that I located in a Hasegawa Emily flying boat appeared to fit the shape of tractor used with these types of trolleys.
Painting and colouring
Having assembled all the pieces together the beaching gear is painted in shades of olive green simulating discolouring at the area where the floats rest, possibly adding some wear and tear at this area.
For those who build to a larger scale of 1/48, the same method is used with the difference being in using thicker plastic card and other material sections, size of wheels etc.
Having scratch built these pair of floats with satisfactory results one may now study other large flying boats when beached and observe the type of trolley being used. Careful examination may open scope for more research to be carried out so that other trolleys designs can be built for specific types of float and seaplanes.
Carmel J Attard