Peter Zorn’s Ford Trimotor

Zorn Trimotor cover Teaser_4_sm

I’ve been sitting on this one for a while…just hadn’t got round to posting it which is sad because this is an artistic achievement worth noting…Peter Zorn is a designer and publisher of paper models. In the early 80s, he designed and released his original large scale model of the iconic (even if you only ever saw it in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom!) Ford Trimotor.

In 1980/1981, when I started the design of the Ford Trimotor 5-AT, Steve Jobs was about 25 years old. Needless to say, “No computers were harmed while designing this model.”

For at least the last decade or so, it has been a hard-to-find collector’s item….cut forward to late 2010, as Peter Zorn tells it…

…one man (Ron40) sends another (Deckape) a 30-year-old book to build a paper model of an 80-year-old aeroplane. Then a dozen or so others chime in on the build thread, expressing interest in building one of their own.

After the build was complete, I chimed in with congratulations and kudos. It seemed that there was enough interest in scanning and making the original book available, so I gave permission. Another country heard from (Billy Leliveld) volunteers to do the scans and when he is finished there is more interest in having the model available in a working mode so individuals can color their own choice of liveries and… Yet another country heard from as (Rubén Andrés Martínez) takes on the monumental task of re-drawing the entire model and, as we are no longer bound by publishing signatures and can have as many pages as we care to print, has included almost all of the existing early liveries.

The nicknames refer to  the identities of members of the forum, where the restoration and modern development took place…unfortunately Ron40 died just before the completion of the project that he had set in motion…

The final work of art is some 300+ pages (including a history of the model and the actual aircraft, detailed notes on each version and detailed instructions – each version only requires 30-40 pages to be printed) and includes liveries for eleven different aircraft including the aforementioned Trimotor from the early parts of Temple of Doom…plus full interiors for each version…

One of the things that constantly mazes be about the paper modelling community is its willingness to share its works and so, the restored Zorn Ford Trimotor 5-AT cost you nothing but a little time to register at papermodelers,com, make one post in the forum; and then the bandwidth to download it 0 it’s only about 30Mb i.e. less than your average movie trailer…After that you need a printer, some paper/cardstock, and some time to dedicate to building something not often seen these days…

Something a bit different as I try to get back into two or more ‘non-challenge’ posts a week…enjoy…

1 thought on “Peter Zorn’s Ford Trimotor

  1. Thanks for this post. I can’t put my finger on why (since I’m not a modeller myself) but I really enjoy these insights into a community I know nothing about.


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