A small private biplane belonging to an adventurer in the early 20th century. (Fixed a few things, added better photos, and backstory included 5/30/2017.)
About this creation
The Green Bee is the private biplane of one Maxwell Brickworthy III, a wealthy if somewhat disreputable American. Born in 1893 he lived a life of idle luxury in the wealthy surroundings of Massachusetts near Cape Cod. In 1913 he convinced his father to let him buy an early biplane proto-type which he named the Hornet which he flew for several years, and is now housed near his family's farm holdings in Maine.
In 1915, at the age of 22, he enlisted in the French Foreign Legion, looking for some adventure in the Great War. He served three years, mostly spent finding ways to drink, woo, and otherwise be derelict in his duties. Though never a model soldier, his flying experience kept him from being a total washout. He flew a reconnaissance plane for the Legion from a base in Algeria, and became something of a crack shot with the pistol due to his insistent gambling habits which included shooting a lit cigarette from atop a base wall for small wagers.
After the war he left the Legion and travelled to France. There he acquired the fuselage housing from an unfinished SPAD S.XIII. He took up residence near the city of Nice. His next year was spent a year building the plane including a 250 hp custom engine. An unconventional design, it does not handle well in crosswinds, giving it a lurching motion in flight. The engine, though, does provide excellent speed at 135 knots, one of the fastest of its era, though its range is only about 200 miles.
After its construction he flew it in a local French airshow, and it was observed by a French pilot that it was “the ugliest, most ungainly, thing since before the war and only handles marginally better than the Wright brother's own at Kitty Hawk.” To which a British ace observed of the unusual color scheme “It looks as if a bee went stark raving mad and went rolling in the grass and came up green instead of black.” Maxwell thought both comments were amusing and named his flyer “The Green Bee”.
In 1920, with his own plane again, Maxwell has set out across the Mediterranean and deep in the Sahara looking for new adventures. He mostly works out of Tunis, but can be found from Marrakesh to Cairo.
Obviously this is not the first biplane I've done. I'm oddly fond of them and did a group of them as a modern micro flying circus as a part of my micro scale builds. In this case I decided I wanted to do something at the mini-figure scale. I had to go back the day after I posted this to fix a few things that were bugging me regarding the tail and the wings, and doing so I added a backstory for the character.