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About pheonix

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    Maidstone Kent
  1. Evening All, Readers on another site have asked me to describe in detail the talcum powder and dope method of filling wood grain which I mentioned in an earlier post that I and some other modellers of a certain generation use/have used to fill and seal wood grain. I discovered it in the pages of Airfix Magazine where it was used by the late Alan Hall: I am not sure whether he invented the idea or he picked it up from somebody else, but it was originally suggested for balsa wood. However it works well on basswood too and I have used it on other woods when I have made parts from them. The advantage that it has with balsa is that it provides a hard shiny surface which can be easily painted and takes some knocks without denting easily as balsa can do. It does not crack either, so the paint retains its cover as on plastic surfaces. I am aware that there are other methods to fill wood grain, but this is the one which I prefer. The method is simple but of the bucket chemistry approach. The ingredients are talcum powder which can be found in any pharmacy or large supermarket, and clear cellulose dope used to stretch tissue paper on flying models: [/url] I put a quantity of dope, (the amount depends on the surface area to be coated), into my mixing container and the puff some talcum powder into it and mix with an old medium sized paintbrush. If the wood is balsa and has a fairly open grain I mix enough talcum powder to make a thick paste - rather like thick glue. This is plastered over the wood and if the wood is joined to plastic overlap the plastic slightly too. The surface will be lumpy: so when it is dry sand it down with medium and then fine glass paper until it is almost smooth. Now mix a second coat of powder and dope but this time make the mixture thin - like a runny glue. Paint this on to the wood making sure that all of the remaining gaps and hollows are filled. When dry repeat the sanding operation until the surface is smooth. Finally coat the surface a third time with clear dope only, and when this is dry polish with some of the fine glass paper used previously. This should give you a hard shiny surface which will be indistinguishable from plastic. To clean the brush after each coat I use propriatory cellulose thinners but remember that these are inflammable and should be used in a well ventilated room. They used to reek of pear drops in the past but modern thinners no longer smell so much. In the case of the hull for this model I only used the thin powder and dope mixture followed by the dope because the grain is so tight that two coats were sufficient to seal it. Just to illustrate what the finished and painted product looks like, (the hull of the current model does not look any different through a camera lens after it had been coated), here is an image of the engine of a Manchester which is made from three pieces of balsa, (main nacelle, upper and lower air intakes) which I converted from the Airfix Lancaster in the mid-1970's in an earlier incarnation as a modeller. The wing outboard of the engine is also made from balsa wood and all have powder/dope grain filler: I hope that this satisfies your curiosity. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask and I will try to help. Thanks for looking. P
  2. I hope that I do not misjudge people too much Tony! Thank you for the compliment about my patience: when I look at what you do I can only reply that you do not seem to be too short in that department either! Thanks Jamie. The wings took a lot odf scraping (about 4 hours for each half) but I seem to have got there in the end. The filler along the joint is necessary because the edges tend suffer from the sanding and polishing process before they are brought together. Thanks Ian for the very kind remark about the hull., I greatly appreciate it. P
  3. Dornier Do 18-D

    Totally agree with the tentacled one! You have your work cut out now! P
  4. I have decided that as showing a photo of the hull coated with talcum powder and dope filler would not cause much excitement I will move on to the wings. These are to be made from halves of 3 x 60 thou card sheet which has been laminated. These need to be scraped and shaped so: Scraping and Shaping 4: Wings. I used the flat file again to remove the bulk of the unwanted plastic - rather more on the trailing edge than the leading edge. I have managed to get a fairly sharp trailing edge as per the original aircraft. I added a strip of 30 thou card to the undersides of the leading edges and shaped this and the underside of the wing to give an aerofioil section to the wings. The wing halves were then polished with glass paper and the joints between the laminates filled with Mr Surfacer. This in turn was rubbed down and polished: To join the halves I drilled three holes in each half so that I could insert steel pins to reinforce the butt joint. The pins were cut from a paper clip: the wire is rigid enough to make sure that the joint is very strong and will not move when I need to fill it and sand it smooth later. I used CA to hold the pins in place and ordinary cement on the plastic surfaces, having first checked that the halves would line up properly when joined! After it had dried out overnight I liberally coated the joint with Mr Surfacer and vigorously sanded it smooth. I cut out the aeileron gaps and sanded these at the same time so that now the wing structure is complete and awaits the addition of the ribs. I will add these when the stub wings and elevator surfaces have been made and are ready too. P
  5. Very interesting to follow this Ian. I shall definitely be using this thread when I get around to scratch building one of these. Good idea about the engine too - those Small Stuff engines are really first class. P
  6. Two very interesting types there: I knew of the Ripon but the Hover is completely new to me. Will be following both with interest. P
  7. Dornier Do 18-D

    More superb detailing in the cockpit and further ingenious use of scrap electronics. P
  8. My that looks like hard work cleaning up all of those parts. My kits were clear of flash when I built them (but that was a very long time ago). I found the two floats and they are just as I left them - only one has some small indents from being in contact with a tank track - should be easy to clean up though if necessary. They are a darker grey plastic than yours. If you do want them pm me with your address and I will willingly send them on to you as I have no use for them. P
  9. Good work Ian. Just shows that scratch building is often as easy as making one of these vacuform things! P
  10. Dornier Do 18-D

    Totally agree that the interior continues to improve with every post. Can it get ANY better? I think that you will demonstrate shortly that it certainly can. With reference to German nouns try reading "The Awful German Language" by Mark Twain. It is in his "A Tramp Abroad". My wife is German and I once had a very good German friend, (sadly we have lost contact), both of whom nearly died laughing reading it. Come to that so did/do I. Highly recommended. P
  11. Thanks to all of you for the very generous remarks. I am a little relieved that I managed to get this one right: now I just have to get all of those holes in the right places! P
  12. Oh the memories......corrugations and all! I still have the floats in a spares box from the kits that I built in the mid-1960's and I remember painting over one of the Swiiss cross sets of transfers to make one of my models into an ambulance aircraft as I so wanted to build conversions at the time but lacked the nerves and skill to do so. Will be following with interest. P
  13. That is a very interesting and informative background and an unusual way of presenting the model. Thanks for the background. P
  14. Revell 1/72 Sopwith Triplane

    Totally agree with the comments already made. That is a really good build of a very old kit and your improvements have made a significant difference. Well done. P
  15. Great to see another very early flying boat, (which I had never heard of either!), and equally great to see a master modeller tackling a vacuform. I will be following tis with much interest. P