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The Restorers

Sopwith Tabloid restoration

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Keith Miles 206/08/2020 16:08:50
468 forum posts
6 photos

Didn’t see that one but did see a recent documentary about the building of a Bristol Scout by two brothers. Took fifteen years I think, and a LOT of research!

Such skill and dedication blows my mind!

Stuphedd06/08/2020 16:18:41
721 forum posts
376 photos

I am with Peter Miller on this ! Did nothing for me , PVAing the nylon on ???!! a dope brush as stiff as the one I use on my back yard ??

Not a good program for the enthusiasts !

Back to my Stampe !!


Trevor Crook06/08/2020 17:57:20
1003 forum posts
71 photos

I knew as soon as I watched it this would attract plenty of hate! I thought it was reasonably good. I think any program aimed at enthusiasts would probably attract a few hundred viewers.

The provenance was provided by David's son Andrew, and the fin decoration on the model was clearly identical to the example pictured in the magazine.

Andy, it was on Quest (Freeview 12) and is being repeated on Sunday night at 10pm.

Something is worth as much as someone will pay for it, and as its not being sold we won't know.

Keith Miles 206/08/2020 18:13:57
468 forum posts
6 photos

I should have pointed out that the Bristol Scout I referred to was a real one!

Hopefully the fifteen year build was a clue!


Devcon106/08/2020 19:25:22
1418 forum posts
493 photos

Just nice to see model aircraft stuff on TV. Cant be overly critical.

Good job the guy ripping that draw thing apart with a screwdriver didn't end up with the model.

Would be interesting to hear the real inside story. I was also a bit surprised to some fruit coloured equipment being installed.

Geoff S06/08/2020 20:05:14
3769 forum posts
36 photos

I watch all my 'TV' on my PC as we've never bothered owning a TV. Can anyone tell me which episode of which series this is, please? I've found the programme but not this particular episode.


Denis Watkins06/08/2020 20:11:31
4633 forum posts
129 photos

Season 3 Episode 6

Geoff S06/08/2020 20:15:20
3769 forum posts
36 photos
Posted by Denis Watkins on 06/08/2020 20:11:31:

Season 3 Episode 6

Thanks Dennis


Peter Miller06/08/2020 21:15:54
11363 forum posts
1342 photos
10 articles
Posted by Devcon1 on 06/08/2020 19:25:22:

Good job the guy ripping that draw thing apart with a screwdriver didn't end up with the model

Well,he could have painted it balck, then it would have been worth £1000 plus

Geoff S06/08/2020 21:21:40
3769 forum posts
36 photos

I think the term Restorers is a bit of a stretch! More like 'Bodgers', especially with reference to the unbelievably crude chest of drawers that didn't look much better when it was finished. I've got a couple of sets of small wooden drawers which must have been hand made from wooden soap boxes around 100 years ago and they're beautifully made. They came from an old friend of my father's and then to me. I wonder what they're worth. I just use them for bits storage in my workshop.

The 3 piece suite ended up quite nicely finished though. We tried to dispose of our 3 piece suite to a charity shop some years ago and they wouldn't take it despite its excellent condition because it didn't have the right labels for fire risk after we had it reupholstered 20 years ago. Not sure how that would work with the suite in the programme.

It was interesting to see the Tabloid actually flying after its repair. What did seem odd to me was giving the job to someone who wasn't an aeromodeller. I think someone like (say) Ian Redshaw, who has several restorations under his belt (including that superb HP42 airliner), would have made a much better job.

As for the valuation, does anyone here think it''s worth £1000 let alone the £2,500 that was bandies about.

I'm quite a fan of the BBC's Repair Shop which leaves Restorers lying in the dust. And they deal with the owners rather than dodgy antique dealers.


Tim Hooper06/08/2020 22:00:01
2911 forum posts
2412 photos

It was just telly, and nit-picking isn't going to change that.

It was, however, good PR for the hobby - and that's all the public need to see.


Trevor Crook06/08/2020 22:15:57
1003 forum posts
71 photos

I wouldn't have paid 4 figures for it, but I wouldn't pay 4 figures for a transmitter either, but several people I know have done so. Some of the jets we see cost as much as a fairly new car. We are a hobby that is a "broad church" and I guess we should rejoice in that.

It certainly beats trying to make a TV program that satisfies aeromodellers!

Doc Marten06/08/2020 22:35:27
729 forum posts
7 photos

It was okay.

It shone a light into the modellers world and conveyed the hours put into the projects we undertake.

The chest of draws was a bit naff with a price tag of a grand for a blackboard paint and bent nails restoration, tarted up with some furniture offcuts that still looked like a restoration project when it was finished, what puzzled me was when he was ripping the backboards off and encountered the extra nails on the edge of the planks that were pulling chunks out of them, why didn't he then start from the other end to pull with the nails rather than carrying on trying to pry against them?

The leather guy was good though.

The 'Repair Shop' is a far better program of this genre, there's always a choker in there to put a tear in the eye.

Trevor Crook06/08/2020 22:45:51
1003 forum posts
71 photos

I agree about the Repair Shop. I did get a bit wound up with one restoration though - an RAF serviceman had carved a pretty good rendering of a P47, but throughout the show it was only ever referred to as a Spitfire. As I said, aeromodellers are a picky bunch.

Doc Marten06/08/2020 22:52:30
729 forum posts
7 photos
Posted by Trevor Crook on 06/08/2020 22:45:51:

I agree about the Repair Shop. I did get a bit wound up with one restoration though - an RAF serviceman had carved a pretty good rendering of a P47, but throughout the show it was only ever referred to as a Spitfire. As I said, aeromodellers are a picky bunch.

Yeah I saw that one, the story had me welling up.

Martin Harris07/08/2020 00:39:52
9501 forum posts
256 photos

I hope the "cast iron provenance" was based on more than just the lettering on a scale model!

Very gratifying to see it fly though and not be left to hang from a junk antique shop ceiling unflown - perhaps Mr. Hare might be motivated to join his local club and learn to fly it himself in a year or two! I see he lives close to Nomansland Common (where I taught myself control line and had my first RC crash) but I'm not sure how active the club there is these days.

Trevor Crook07/08/2020 07:46:12
1003 forum posts
71 photos

Martin, I believe David's son stated on the program that it was his father's prototype.

Martin Harris07/08/2020 12:33:26
9501 forum posts
256 photos

I was just wondering how he'd made such a positive identification from grainy photos amd memories from childhood. If it was just that the markings looked the same then I would hesitate to (read that as wouldn't in a million years) use that as any basis to pay a premium on the value of the model - 3 to 4 thousand for something you'd pick up at any club auction for much less than a hundred quid ready to fly?

I thought the restorer was far more realistic - until I looked at his website and saw him inviting offers of over £50,000 for an old Peugeot bike fitted with a "premixed methanol fuelled" model of a "9 cylinder Gnome radial???" engine - bearing a remarkable resemblance to an Evolution 99cc...


Edited By Martin Harris on 07/08/2020 12:38:16

leccyflyer07/08/2020 12:55:24
1575 forum posts
332 photos

Surely nobody would ever pay £4000 for a manky old Tabloid, even if it had been built by Sir Thomas Sopwith himself - that was just for the telly.

It's not too difficult to identify the model from the photographs in the original article -it's not just a matter of having the same markings in the case of a scale model - there's the accessories as well -in this case the pilot etc looked identical to those in the pictures and there was even a photograph of the model in it'ts uncovered state.

Here's a pictiure of my David Boddington built Hurricane Mk1 together with the picture from the RCSA magazine article. It is identical, the finish is identical, the small amount of weathering, the hand carved exhaust stacks painted the colour of Cherry Blossom boot polish, the unusual spinner, the markings are identical -it;s the same model. dbhurricanercsa.jpg


Eric Robson07/08/2020 15:38:33
331 forum posts
61 photos

Did you build the Hurricane from a plan from D.B. or the magazine plan. I built mine from the free plan which was way out. If I remember right the main spar was 1/4" deeper than the ribs I had to remake a lot of parts but in the end it did fly quite well.

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