The aerostation has made an essential contribution to the success of military operations. A priori, one would think that the plane, due to the mobility of the device and its ability to fly over the targets, offered even better aerial observations conditions. However, it is stillness, also relative, of kites observation which was its main advantage, providing: - Continuity of observation, - Immediate and direct transmission of information via the telephone communication with the ground.

To honor the "poilus" of automobile kite section and as part of the commemoration of the centenary of the First World War, we made dioramas explaining the use of kites during this period and especially with kap.

To begin, Patrick make a template for each piece for the Saconney kite canvas, scale 1/24 °. This template was cut from a sheet of plastic (pictured left).

The scale of 1/24 ° was chosen because it is one of our lead figurines representing pilots from the Great War to our diorama.
In the picture above, drawing the different pieces on a canvas
which is normally used for old models of airplanes.


The various parts of the four Saconney are cut before being glued with contact glue.


In the center and below, mounting structure, composed of piano wire of 6/10 °.

The difficulty with this model is that it is not designed to remain fixed in a museum but will be traveling, according to our exhibitions on using the kite observation during the Great War.
The base of this diorama is composed of two plywood panels 52 cm long, so a diorama of 1.04 m long overall. On this support, Patrick stuck a polyurethane foam 3 cm thick. The base of the toy soldiers were drowned in the foam.

Impact of bombs and trench complete the staging. The entire base was painted with acrylic paint with different colors to give more intensity to the scene.

In this diorama, the principles of the train of kites have been respected. So the gondola can slide on the supporting cable. It is connected to the winch vehicle by a hoist rope. The basket was made with glue and string.

Because we have not finding the vehicle 1/24 ° adapted, we used a Ford Model T car, which we modified : cutting, painting, to get as close as possible to the original vehicle winch Saconney.

As this vehicle plastic model that can not withstand the pull of two cables (carrier and tractor) of 8/10 °, a removable connector was secured to the base under the vehicle to accommodate both ends of the cables.
On the diorama at the trench, a barbed wire was installed. On the right picture, the whole train ready to be exposed. A carbon pole (not visible in photo) ensures the raising of the train.
Text for this diorama:

Felix Peaucou recounts the circumstances in which he established the French record altitude kite: « Toul marked the most active and brilliant era for the French military kites. It is thus in the region of Toul, that the French record of altitude has been reached during my ascension to 650m on April 17th, 1914 at Villey-Saint-Etienne, located 25 km from Toul.…. »
Two other dioramas were designed to scale 1/6 °, with characters 30 cm high, which is 1.80m. One representing a kaper in 1914 and one in 2014. The scale 1/6 ° allows to be accurate in its implementation and show many details to the public .

Below, winch used in 1914 is functional. By turning the crank, we can pull the steel cable (wire steel fishing for pike)


For kaper 2014, equipment is manufactured in 1/6 °: camera, rig, remote control. The model is dressed with fabric clothing.

Text for diorama of 1914:

Balloonist with winch which ensures the uncoiling of the cable during the ascent of the kite Saconney.

On the wire there is a view camera which can make a single image at a time on a glass plate, the command for starting the shooting was carried out by an electric cable from the ground.
  Text for diorama of 2014 :

Aerial photography session with a kite type Rokkaku. The nacelle (support the camera) is radio controlled. The red antenna is the receiver to control the orientation and the shooting of the camera. The kaper manipulates the remote control of the rig. A weather vane indicates the direction of the wind, which always comes in the back of the kite flyer.