Life is short, break the rules. Forgive quickly, kiss slowly. Love truly, laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that makes you smile. - Samuel Longhorne Clemens (Mark Twain)

Saturday, June 17, 2017

World War II Project - Horsa Glider from Sarissa Precision - Part I

I received this kit as part of the pre-order bundle for the new plastic box set of plastic British Paras. I had already seen some comments on LAF about if it would be better to scratch build one or build the kit or how accurate it really is. My concern is how it goes together and how it looks alongside the miniatures. I'm less concerned, oddly enough for me, with the historical accuracy. Unless I'm going to be fighting Pegasus Bridge a lot this is going to be a fairly rare addition to the terrain on the battlefield so I just want it to look good and be identifiable by the participants and anyone that happens to walk by.

As old hands will know I'm a bit of a stickler for instructions. While I can usually figure things out there is no need to make it more difficult than it needs to be and good instructions go along way in helping us get things to the table. As I read through the first bit which involves assembling the front portion of the superstructure there are a couple of spots where parts are mis-identify, not a huge deal if you are paying attention but it can be initially quite confusing for the written direction to indicate one letter or number and the diagram with the description shows different letters and/or numbers. In this case the upper spine is labeled M in the diagram and in the written portion is listed as part K but in the section prior part K has already been noted as being the floor. Also the two end bulkheads are noted as being part 3 in the instructions but are shown as B on the diagram. The wheel housings are also identified as part M in both the instructions and the diagram but M is already identified as the upper spine. You just have to pay attention, but it would be nice if a little editing had been applied to the instruction pages before they were printed up.

Something very important to watch for is the configuration of Frame 1 when glued to Frame 2. There are two of these assemblies and you must make sure that the Frame 2 portions are facing each other when you glue them to Frame 1. This forms the door and it won't work very well if you manage to get them on the wrong sides! When you glue Frame 1 to Frame 2 make sure that they are lined up properly as well or there will be trouble when you glue them to the floor (K).

At this point, except for the door ramp I have avoided using any of the cardboard wraparounds that will form the skin of the glider. I want to paint the interior first. I have seen several variations so I'm just going to go with a very light interior green. Although there is a version with the upper 2/3rs being the interior green and the bottom 1/3 (or so) being a dark green. This will just be a quick job with the airbrush just so you can see something when everything is opened up.

Oh and if you are going to label the parts on the diagram and talk about those labels in the instructions you could at least repeat those letters and numbers right on the sprues!

Here we go with a few pictures (okay, a lot of pictures):
This is the sprue that contains the primary fuselage parts The only two I haven't used at this point, which keeps me from throwing it away are the two rocker shaped pieces at the bottom center. Starting at the top is the upper spine (M). On the next row from left to right End Bulkhead (B or 3), Frame 2, there are two pieces here the other portion is the door side (N) , then Frame 1, and another Frame 1. On the third row is Frame 1, center bar (O), Frame 2/Door Side (N), another Frame 1 and then the final End Bulkhead (B or 3).
Next row is Floor K. Under that is the bottom spine (L). Under that are the 2 Wheel Housings (M) after that are the two unidentified (as of yet) rocker pieces.

The parts I started with. I cheated here and I'm already gluing the Frame 1 to Frame 2 under those little metal weights. Note that there are still two Frame 1s that will fit into the back two slots on the floor. The ones I'm gluing together here will go into the front two slots

And here we have the pair of Frame 1 and Frame 2 combinations glued in place to the floor. Important to note here that the Frame 2 pieces have to face each other when you glue them to the Frame 1s. Your door won't work otherwise! Its also a rather tight fit on the door side of the floor to get the frames in place. Be careful and don't break anything and don't remove those two nubs that appear to be in the way. Removing the nubs will mean you will be gluing your door into place rather than having a nice operating version.
And from the bottom.

All the frames glued to the floor.

Adding the top spine (allegedly part M). This is thin MDF and is easily broken. Be gentle when pushing tabs and slots together you don't need anything snapping at this stage. In particular the fit up front at the door frames can be very tight especially if you didn't make sure everything was nice and square when you glued those frames together.

And here with the bottom spine in place as well as the two end bulkheads. Its important to make sure everything is pretty square (or circular as the case may be) at this point. Oh and the fragility of the MDF is important here too, don't get in a rush and force things together.

A view from the bottom

Order is important here as you assembly the door. The two side pieces (N) must be in place (not glued, or it won't pivot) before the center bar (O) is glued between them. I found it easier to glue the center bar to one side and then get everything into the correct position.

Watch for excess glue or you might be permanently gluing your door shut!

Add the cardboard piece for the ramp, again watch for excess glue.

And everything swung into place.

The parts to form the cockpit

All these pieces fit together very tightly, I probably didn't even need glue. Note that one half of the back wall is already in place.

Sliding in and gluing the other half of the cockpit back wall

Adding the side braces of the cockpit. This fit is not quite so tight so I made sure to apply glue where the side frame meets the back bulkhead on the top and the bottom.

The back bulkhead being glued into place. The outer skin will attach to this portion of the bulkhead.

The second half of the back bulkhead glued in place. This piece will be exposed as it forms the plug that allows you to attach it to the fuselage.


  1. Well, despite the problems with the instructions it looks really good start so far Kris! Can't wait to see part 2.

    1. I'm pleased so far. I'm a little apprehensive about the cardboard "skin" but I'm sure it will wiork out fine.