In a Model Magic double header, Alex Whittaker celebrates two models from ace scale man, Gerhard Reinsch
I was told about the death of Gerd Reinsch in early August 2020. Gerhard was loved by many involved with the UK large scale model circuit. His lovely manner and ready sense of humour endeared him to his many UK fans. Most of all, he was famous for his large scale, highly detailed model aircraft which he flew with consummate skill.
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His collaboration with two other scale geniuses, Toni Clark (Practical Scale) and Paolo Severini, made a stunning Scale Triumvirate. In honour of Gerhard’s contribution to scale modelling, I thought it would be fitting to revisit two of his most famous models in one Model Magic. Let’s begin with his magisterial Tiger Moth.
Gerd’s Tigger is built to 1:2.8 scale, with a wingspan of 125.6 inches. It was a collaboration between the aforementioned Scale Triumvirate. They based their plan directly on DH factory drawings. The construction is very much like the full size, with steel tube of square and round section.
The wings are of wooden construction with steel bracing and fittings, just like on the full-size. Most significantly, the full-size aerofoil is also used. Similarly, the tail has a wooden construction with steel fittings, just like on the full-size. There are epoxy-glass parts, like the wing fuel tank and the nose bowl of the engine cowling. All these moulded items were produced by Toni Clark (Practical Scale).
The Tiger Moth weighs 50 lbs. Since it was the prototype of the Paolo Severini kit released via Toni Clark, it flew with 3 lbs of ballast in the nose to compensate for a heavy tailplane. The production version was projected to weigh just 44 lbs.
Gerhard’s Tiger Moth is powered by a mighty Valach VM 120i2-4T inline four-stroke petrol engine of 120cc. There is even a custom-made stainless-steel exhaust. The prop used is a Fiala 30″ x12” wooden design.
The superb undercarriage is fabricated from stainless steel tube, ready silver-soldered and included in kit. All the scale fittings, cockpit interior and streamline wires are included in the kit. The model was finished in two component polyurethane paint from the company ‘Relius’. All legending and decals are by Paolo Severini.
GERD’S FLYING NOTES
“A dream to fly, no matter if flown slow or fast. Easy to flat spin, recovery is simply by releasing the controls and rotation stops after two turns. Scale take-off and cruising flight is on about 33% power, with a super realistic sound. Full power is good for very big loops and high stall turns. She can also be flown and landed in very strong winds.”
Model Name: Toni Clark Tiger Moth
Wingspan: 125” (3.17m)
Wing Area: 4650 sq.in. (3 sq.m.)
Weight: 44 lbs as flown at Cosford
Engine: Valach VM 120B2-4T petrol
Capacity: 120 cc
Prop: Fiala 32″ x12” wooden prop
Controls: Ailerons, Rudder, Elevator
First and foremost, Gerhard’s immaculate Eindekker is truly massive. She is built to forty percent scale and spans a majestic 159”. She weighs 44 lbs and is powered by a Valach 120cc petrol engine. This astounding Eindekker was built from the advanced kit from the unmatched Paolo Severini.
Paolo has the eyes of an artist and hands of an engineer. His kits have no close competitors. Their quality, fidelity and sheer completeness is unsurpassed.
Paolo worked hard on scale accuracy with the E.1. The model employs exactly the same aerofoil as the original. It also uses exactly the same +6 degree wing incidence. The model’s construction faithfully mimics the tubular original. Only metal and wood are used in the model. There is no fibreglass, balsa or carbon composite used in the kit.
Paolo Severini returned to primary historical resources to draw up his meticulous plan. The kit is based on the later production E.1, with the larger aspect ratio wingspan of 10 metres. As per the full-size, the model uses a wire-braced steel tube fuselage. This, and the all moving metal tubed rudder and tailplane, have been sandblasted before finishing.
The wing has plywood ribs threaded on to cedar wood spars. As mentioned, the ribs are a true scale section. The wing also has the full true scale wing warping mechanism. All steel fittings are laser cut and pre-bent ready for fitting. The pilot’s joystick is linked to the operation of the controls.
Gerd fitted a Valach VM 120B2-4T twin petrol engine. This was sourced from Toni Clark Models in Germany. It is a four-stroke petrol motor with a capacity of 120cc. The engine has nickel-silicon coated bores and uses Honda valves. It is fitted with a classic Walbro carb, familiar to generations of petrol modellers.
The motor uses Valach’s own electronic ignition system powered by two LiPo cells. Gerd first flew the model with an exhaust borrowed from an Aeronca C3. It is now fitted with a custom Severini exhaust. This exhaust, coupled with four-stroke petrol operation and that big prop, delivers an exceptional sound. It has quite a bark when run on full throttle. Gerd chose a Fiala 32″ x12” wooden prop.
The aluminium cowl is supplied preformed, as are the cowl’s side fairings. A scale-like engine-turned finish is used. The superb fuselage cowling is from light aluminium sheet, of a heavier gauge than litho. The fully articulated undercarriage is true scale and fully functional. It uses rubber shock absorbers, bungee style. Gerd used scale wheels from a Toni Clark Albatros.
The model has no ailerons. In authentic scale fashion she uses wing warping. This also means that the control stick is directly connected to the surfaces. The pedals are also connected to the elevators. Elevators and rudder can be easily removed for transport. All fixtures, fittings, cables, terminations and turnbuckles are faithfully reproduced in the kit.
Gerd used an adhesive backed woven polyester fabric called ProfiCover for the model. This is available from Toni Clark. Its particular property is that it shrinks more tightly along the roll than across it. Gerd painted the model with two-pack polyurethane from the Relius paint company.
GERD’S FLYING NOTES
“On each and every flight she looks utterly entrancing. The wing warping is surprisingly effective, and the sound of that big engine is addictive. It is not a rotary like an Obersursel, of course. However, it supplies a big throaty sound that becomes even more authentic as when one blips the imaginary magneto on slow approaches…”
GERD THE SHOWMAN
Gerd was a superb pilot and a real showman. One of his party pieces with the Fokker was extended inverted flight. I have to say, scale or not, an inverted Eindekker is something to behold. However, Gerd’s most chilling manoeuvre was to dive the model vertically on full power, then flip her through a 90-degree pull-out at just above the deck. The G-forces this inflicts on the airframe are truly eye-watering but the Severini metal construction just shrugs it off.
My favourite memory of Gerd’s flying was from 2015, at the Little Gransden Willis Warbirds Meeting. Watching his model slip over the boundary hedge in the gloaming, with the wind in her wires and her engine burbling away softly, was a rare treat.
Model Name: Toni Clark Eindekker E.1
Length: 108” (2.74m)
Wingspan: 159” (4.04m)
Weight: 44lbs as flown at Cosford
Engine: Valach VM 120B2-4T
Capacity: 120 cc
Prop: Fiala 32″ x 12” wooden prop
Controls: Wing Warping and elevator
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