A couple of years ago a good friend of mine (and fellow WWI modeling fan), Roger Fabrocini, sent me an email and said I had to go check The Aerodrome and look at the stuff this guy Brad Cancian was posting.  If you've seen Roger's work, you know it takes some doing to impress him.  Suffice to say, Brad's work is very impressive.  Very.  Everytime I see a posting with his name attached to it now I know I'm going to need a bib to soak up the drool.  Not only is Brad a stunningly talented modeler, he is also very creative.  There is a difference.  You see LOTS of very talented modelers, but not terribly creative or immaginative.  I consider myself reasonably talented, but not very creative.  Put a picture in front of me, and I can do a pretty good job re-creating it.  Ask me to dream up a diorama or vignette idea, and I could be in trouble.  Not Brad.

Anyway, I saw this posted on a couple of websites, and immediately emailed Brad and asked him if he would mind if I posted it on the CSM website.  To me, it exemplifies what I love about modeling.  The work is impressive, and the vision is inspiring.  I'd like to thank Brad for letting me post this here.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

A few months ago, a very skilled aircraft modelling friend of mine, who usually stays well away from WW1 models, decided to try his hand at some biplane models - he wisely chose the Albatros DVa from Eduard in 1:48 scale. Alas, a month or so ago, she came a cropper off his work bench, and straight after became the subject of a fit of rage, ending up very battered, broken, unloved and in the garbage. He then told me about this mishap, vowing (in some colourful language) never to build a biplane again. I asked him if he still had the bits to the poor little Albie, which he said he would have to search through his trash to find out, but was doubtful. I asked if he please could and that I would give the broken bird a good home if there was anything left. The next day he remarked that he had pulled the bits and pieces from the trash literally minutes before it was due to get thrown out, and would gladly send me the bits of the old bus at no charge. So, a couple of weeks ago, this is what turned up:

Needless to say she was a very sad sight. Sadly, a full restoration was out of the question given the damage to the wings. So, what to do with a wingless broken Albatros? The same thing that would have happened to an original broken, wingless Albatros of course - put her out behind the back shed and throw a tarp or two over her until you work out what to do with her! Some ideas came to mind, perhaps focusing around an old broken airframe stashed away behind a hangar, maybe a small diorama. So I set to work on repairing what I could of the Albie. After making some small additions, extending a set of undercarriage legs from the spares box, adding some more panel / fastener detail, and some battle damage, I was at the below point as a starting idea:

I thought about calling the finished product "Struck Off Charge" or something similar. The resin figure on the left was holding onto a small bomb, so I carved this out and added a book (ledger book perhaps) and a pencil, the idea being that perhaps the CO and technical officer are inspecting and striking the old bird off the Squadron's books... Not sure if the idea comes across, but probably better than throwing the Albie to the garbage hounds...

With this idea in mind, and being a little daunted as I had not tackled anything really like this before, I set to painting the model in a fictional scheme - in this case, an Albatros from Jasta 5 in May 1918 markings. I obviously wanted a dirty and beaten up look. I made the tarps from tissue paper and white glue, flattened a tire from the spares box, and added a spoked wheel and other minor details.

I then made the ground work, using plaster for the earth base, and some grass that you can get at model railroad stores. The building was made from balsa wood, and the area was strewn with appropriate spoils of war from the spares box.


I am certainly not a figure painter or dioramaist (is that the appropriate term..?) like the armour guys and such, so the ground and figure work is very rough by their standards.... and I have never really tackled something like this before, so it was always going to be a bit of a learning experience. Still need more practice!

No name plaque as yet, but am working on that. Doing something different like this was fun, and saved a nice model from ending up in the trash. Feedback / tips always welcomed!



Again, my thanks to Brad for allowing me to post his work here.  Text and photos by Brad Cancian.