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Potez 540 - the ugliest duckling

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  • Member since
    October 2020
Potez 540 - the ugliest duckling
Posted by Faust on Monday, March 13, 2023 8:06 PM

When the French say “Vive la Difference!”, I doubt they were talking about the difference between aeronautically sound and advanced airplanes and whatever kind of flying aquaria/blimp gondolas the various French designers of the ‘20s and ‘30s were thinking about. However, one can’t deny that there is a difference there… and it is a big one!

Since I already have the Amiot 143 from Heller, it should come as no surprise that I also have the nearly-equally-hideous Potez 540 in my collection! So, with spring about to sprung (or something) I thought it would be good to have a look at what is one of the ugliest ducklings to take to the skies of interwar Europe.

Check out the 1/72 Potez 540 at the link below, and remember, someone, somewhere, thought THIS was a great idea. There’s a reason they don’t make ‘em like THAT anymore!

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Northern California
Posted by jeaton01 on Monday, March 13, 2023 11:28 PM

Well, I guess somebody has to build one....


To see build logs for my models:


  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Tuesday, March 14, 2023 7:02 AM

My great love for Heller was always that array of aerodynamically-misbegotten 'art nouveau' French designs from post-WW1 to the late '30s. They all seemed to share a sort of cartoon/fantasy look -- almost like 'Sky Pirates,' but much more elegant. Or just plain weird...depending on how much Pinot I've consumed. Toast

Hope you're going to actually build it! Yes



George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
  • Member since
    December 2022
  • From: Canada
Posted by Tcoat on Tuesday, March 14, 2023 7:52 AM

LOL Let's keep in mind that hindsight is 20/20 but through WW1 and for a few years after that the French designed and built aircraft ruled. The US flew almost nothing but French aircraft in WW1. Pretty sure there was something like one American built plane type used in combat.

Everybody had some funky designs during that period since anybody with a pencil could be an aircraft "designer". 

If nothing else some of the things any country came up with are pretty funny by today's standards. It is nice that at least Heller recognises their countries past and models the off beat stuff. 


The B-10 although fast was bizarre looking and not exactly pretty

The P-26 is not exactly a beauty in the fighter category

  • Member since
    July 2016
  • From: Malvern, PA
Posted by WillysMB on Tuesday, March 14, 2023 12:01 PM

I actually have the whole set of the Heller French menagerie in the stash. I have this idea to do them all on a shelf with a tag saying "All things weird and Wondeful."

  • Member since
    May 2011
  • From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Posted by Real G on Tuesday, March 14, 2023 12:29 PM

Some French interwar aircraft looked more like flying furniture than airplanes!  They continued their weirdness postwar too - LeDuc ramjets and the SNECMA Coleoptere to name just two.

But they developed the Mirage III and IV, so all is forgiven.  Smile

“Ya ya ya, unicorn papoi!”

  • Member since
    November 2003
  • From: Naples, FL
Posted by tempestjohnny on Wednesday, March 15, 2023 5:52 AM

How they developed some of the ugliest propeller driven aircraft to some of the most beautiful jets has always been a mystery



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