RE8 "A Paddy Bird from Ceylon"
Scratch built in 1/24th scale
My replica of the Imperial War Museum's RE8, "Paddy Bird", took the best part of a year to do, and I owe a debt of gratitude to restorer David Upton for allowing me access to photograph the machine at Duxford airfield during its most recent rebuild. Built by Daimler in 1918, F3556 never saw action. It is documented to have been test flown in October of that year and, with 30 minutes on the airframe, delivered to France on Armistice Day! Still in its original crate, the aircraft was acquired by the IWM and unveilled at Crystal Palace in 1920. In 1974 it was transferred to Duxford in Cambridgeshire and restored shortly afterwards before going on permanent display. Paddy Bird's second major refurbishmment (during which I photographed the machine) began in 2003. The aircraft, one of only two surviving examples, now resides in Duxford's Airspace feature where, rather sadly, much of it is now inaccessible to close study as it hangs from the ceiling. By the time I started on Paddy Bird - my third totally scratch built model in 1/24th scale - my confidence had grown, and I think it shows. The model has been featured in Windsock International and by Scale Aircraft Modelling. Inevitably, my thanks go to Ray Rimell of Albatros p[roductions for his excellent three-views.