Before starting out on building your model, please click here for notes on preparation of 3D printed models and adhesives to use.
Assembly of the 3-part hull on both ZRS4 and ZRS5 is straightforward but take care to properly align the two rectangular lugs corresponding to the propeller outrigger positions at each end of the hull mid-section, before pushing the parts together.
A phenomenon that sometimes occurs in the “White Strong & Flexible” printing process is “flaring” at sharp edges. This is a little bit like the flash that sometimes occurs in plastic injection moulding and I have had it appear on the front edges of the male parts of the hull joints, ie on the mating parts of the hull centre section. If you see it you may have to clean it off with a craft knife or scalpel blade but don’t worry, it is quite easy to deal with and will be out of sight.
If you are planning to fit aircraft in the hanger, do it before final gluing together: the hangar door opening is far too small for adequate access to the mounting holes. I have attached a scan of a page from “The Airships Akron and Macon” by Richard K. Smith that indicates how the 5 strong HTA Unit was stowed in the hangar. Note that there is a 1mm dia hole in the hull bottom, 32mm back from the hangar door and between the second pair of propeller outrigger positions. This is the “perch” position should you want to position one of the planes here. For aircraft on the trapeze there is a rectangular hole on the rear wall of the hangar to accept the matching rear facing lug at the top of the trapeze.
Each pair of propeller outriggers is unique and has only one correct position on the hull. Each outrigger has one pin to insert into it’s respective mounting hole in the hull – the other attachment struts simply touch against the hull. To make the outriggers identifiable the mounting pins on each pair are of a particular length – the front pair have the shortest pins followed by the second row, then the third, with the fourth and final pair having the longest pins. The same rule applies to the optional outriggers with the props at 90°. Although it was possible for the airship commander to order any combination of straight ahead and straight down from the eight propellers, normal practice was to have them rotated in pairs. For example he may have props 1&2, and 5&6 straight ahead, whilst having 3&4 and 7&8 straight down.
For the Macon, the external radiators are all identical and need to be detached from the star shaped sprue. (They are too small to be printed individually.) There are two spares included on the sprue in case of loss or breakage. They are mounted in the mounting hole ahead of each propeller outrigger with the slightly wider and more angled end toward the front of the airship.
If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch. I would love to hear any comments that you may have about the model and indeed, any suggestions that you might have for models that I should add to the range. Good luck with assembly and thanks for your purchase.