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Everything posted by pheonix

  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 generally make small models because I only live in a small house and do not have the space to display large ones. Stevehed introduced me to the DFW R1 in his scratch build a couple of years ago, and last year I discovered the Siemens-Schuchert Werke Rs I while looking through photos on the net. I discovered the subject of this build at the same time and knew immediately that I wanted to give one a try. Fortunately the internet has made access to information on these early types much easier than it used to be: in addition there is a Windsock DataFile (no 136) which also contains information and drawings, although the drawings for the machine that I wish to model are at 1/144 scale so I have had to enlarge them to the correct scale ie 1/72. My intention with this build, as it is with all of my builds, is to demonstrate what can be done by an average modeller with simple tools and a minimum of expensive equipment, and limited skill but some patience! I hope to shape and scrape my way to something that will resemble this: http://1000aircraftphotos.com/Contributions/SavinCristian/8377L.jpg My apologies for not providing a photo but I am not sure about copyright restrictions and I do not wish to bring problems to the site by using pictures without prior permission. Incidentally the figure in the bottom right of this photo in the Homburg hat is C. Dornier. I write "resemble the above" because the picture shows the Rs II in its final form with the engines in cowlings and a simple tail unit. I intend to model the machine with the engines in cowlings but with an earlier version of the tail which looked something like this: http://flyingmachines.ru/Images7/Putnam/German_Giants/62-1.jpg This shows the first version of the machine with three engines buried in the hull driving the propellors by shafts: this method was found to be unsatisfactory so the hull was redesigned and four engines mounted above the hull as shown in the first photo above. Both photos show the machine on a turntable at the old Zeppelin shed at Seemoos, Lindau on Lake Constance. The second photo was taken in May 1916, the first photo in November 1916, so the changes were made very quickly. I intend to make a small diorama based on the turntable and slipway in front of the shed at Seemoos as shown in the photos so that I can display what will be for me an outsized model. However I am sure that I will not have time to complete the diorama: I will focus on the aircraft for this GB and provide a build log for the base in the appropriate section of this site later. Claudius Dornier started the design of his first large flying boat in August 1914 because the Imperial German Navy wanted to know what the British Grand Fleet was doing: in particular the Germans wanted to keep an eye on Scapa Flow which was the Grand Fleet's principal base. His Rs I design was a huge biplane with a wingspan of 43.5m: it was constructed from steel alloy using airship construction practices. (Dornier was working for Zeppelin at this time). This machine was one of the first all-metal aircraft to be built and flown, when most aircraft were made from wood and linen, and held together with lots of wire, but it was wrecked in a storm on Lake Constance on 21 December 1915. Dornier's second design was very different from the first and incorporated features which were to characterise subsequent flying boats from this team. They included a very broad hull and a low aspect ratio main plane which was mounted parasol fashion high above the hull. Although the first version had engines in the hull these were quickly moved to above the hull, and drove push and pull propellors. Small stub wings were added to the rear of the hull: on later designs these became full sponsons. The tail unit was mounted on booms which were left uncovered to avoid damage from spray when taxiing. The early booms were made from lattice girders but these were quickly replaced by stronger large diameter steel tube and the central fin was replaced by a pair of fins and rudders. The elevator was of biplane form. In the final version the tail boom, rudders and elevator were simplified even more and it only remained for the design team to change the boom to a single fuselage mounted above the wing for the basic shape of the classic Dornier flying boats of the inter-war and wartime periods to emerge. Here is my kit for the build: it is not quite complete as I am sure that I will require additional items as I go along: This includes basswood for the hull, plastic sheet of various thicknesses, assorted strip, wood for the propellors, brass rod for the booms and copper wire for the rigging. I will write the instructions as I go along as usual. Additional materials will be required for the base but that need not distract us here. This will be a large project so I have made a very small start already in the form of laminating pieces of wood for the hull, and plastic for the wings and engine nacelles so that I can start marking out and the scraping and shaping some of the larger parts. These will be the engine nacelles: they are three pieces of 60 thou card and one of 20 thou which have been laminated. [ The hull is going to be made from 2 pieces of 1.3cm x 16.6cm x 6.3cm basswood with a sheet 0.7cm thick between. The wings will be made in two sections from from three sheets of 60 thou card, laminated, shaped and then butt joined, reinforced with metal pins. The wing and hull blocks now look like this: ......which means that I can now spend many happy hours scraping and shaping.........but I can assure all of you that I will be nowhere near completing 20% of the model, or even anything approaching that by the start date in a few days time because I will not have the time to get very much done before then. Thanks for looking. P
  3. 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
  4. Dornier Do 18-D

    Totally agree with the tentacled one! You have your work cut out now! P
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. Dornier Do 18-D

    More superb detailing in the cockpit and further ingenious use of scrap electronics. P
  9. 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
  10. Good work Ian. Just shows that scratch building is often as easy as making one of these vacuform things! P
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. That is a very interesting and informative background and an unusual way of presenting the model. Thanks for the background. P
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. Dornier Do 18-D

    Some more of your exceptional attention to detail. Great idea to use modern electronic micro-components to represent wartime large electronic units! P
  18. That was quick! But still a very good build and interesting to follow. P
  19. Dornier Do 18-D

    I agree with hendie: some excellent scratching going on there. You should have the rest of the interior finished by Christmas at this rate....and it will be worth it too! P
  20. Curtiss Racer #3

    Excellent bit of scratch building there. The evolving jig is interesting too. P
  21. "Tante" is auntie in German. It was a term of affection used by the aircrews, not least because of its rugged reliability. P
  22. This is moving along very quickly Xmald. Looking very good though - those resin kits really do build into first class models. Especially in the hands of a master modeller. P
  23. The Supermarine looks really good in the metallic finish. Just waiting to see it finished ....... in record time! P
  24. Thanks for the compliment hendie. That is really good advice: it is what I have had to do with the bows as I will report shortly. Thanks Tom. Yes this is a Dornier which I do not think we will see as a kit for a long while yet, unlike all those Russian jet flying boats! Thanks Tony. Actually this is basswood (lime) not balsa. Lime is harder and therefore takes more working. I did not think that balsa would be strong enough for this model and I am nor willing to try to mould this hull - it is simply too big to make without a vacuform machine which I do not have. Thanks Greggles. I really appreciate your positive and encouraging comments. Thank you Jamie. I hope that this next post will also impress you! Thank you Alex. Your support is also greatly appreciated, especially when things do not work out as planned - ie. first attempt at the hull! I have completed the scraping and shaping of the bow, and managed to do so without taking off too much material, and I have kept it symmetrical. I do have a card former which was made from one of the section drawings in the DF but the problem is that it only applies to one part of the bow - the rest has to be estimated by Mk 1 eyeball. I used a half round file for this task as the curve is larger and flatter than the round file. This gave a broader curve and made the overall shaping easier, but I also had to take care not to remove too much wood. I had drawn the centre line on the bottom of the hull before I started - this was essential if the bow sides were to be symmetrical. I carved one side first so that it was almost complete, and then I carved the other until it was in the same state. I took out material from the mid point between the centre line on the bottom of the hull, and the line on the side of the hull marking the vertical section. To start with the edge of the wood looked awful but by gradually extending the line of cut laterally in both directions by using the curve of the file blade, and continuing to remove material from the central area, the desired shape gradually appeared. Finally I took a little wood off each side alternately as shown in the photos below, until I judged that the keel was thin enough and the curve was as close as I could get to the card former. I have never shaped a bow before - this was a first attempt, so please be considerate and leave the micrometers in the back pocket when looking at it! The pencil marks on the port (left) side show where I still need to take off more wood. By marking the area in this way the other areas are not accidentally worn away and the desired shape lost. This second view shows the marks on the starboard (right) side of the nose where I had previously used the file. This area had also been marked with a pencil as shown above. The left and right sides respectively of the completed hull showing the line where the vertical sides meet the planing (under) surface. The marks at the rear are filler used to smooth the joint where I replaced the wood when making the stepped rear as described in the previous post. I have also finished scraping the underside of the hull - you will see that there are two small longitudinal steps towards the rear. These were taken down with the flat file by gently putting pressure on the file as I drew it forwards and backwards, following a pencil line that I had marked previously. All of the hull has been polished with fine grade glass paper. The hull is now semi-complete: I have still to drill out the cockpit opening and add details and then drill approximately 40 holes for various attachments: more on that later. First the retro bit: I have to fill and seal the wood grain and to do that I will use a very old and for me well tried method - a mixture of talcum powder and shrinking dope - a la Airfix Magazine sometime in the early to mid 1960's! Memories, memories..... Thanks for looking. P
  25. When I first looked at your picyures - the close ups - I thought that they had been taken in a museum! That is simply superb in every way. I do not think that most people looking at this would even notice the rigging wire shapes.... P