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limeypilot

1:72 Sikorsky Ilya Muromets, Maquette/scratchbuilt

55 posts in this topic

Now I've finally finished clearing the backlog, I can return to the build I put aside to clear them (I know, a lilttle irony there...!).

Once I get back from Christmas hols with the family I will dig this one out and get on with it. I had been posting it on another forum, so for now, as a little teaser, I will post what I have already done.....

My referances are the Ilya Muromets Special by Harry Woodman, along with Windsock International Vol 6, Number 4 and Vol 12 Number 2, which contain articles by Harry, one on the plane itself, the other on the kit and it's many faults. Unfortunately the plans are all for the blunt nose Veh and I'm building the earlier sharp nosed variant, but from Harry's comments in his articles I think I'm pretty accurate on the differances.

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I'm not going to beat around the bush - the kit is terrible! The parts are very thick and lumpy, but that's the least of the problems.

This is what you get:

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As to the errors, I'll list those as I get to them, but since I've started on the fuselage here is the list:

1) The upper longeron is a straight line from nose to tail. It should be parallel to the lower for about 1/5 of the total length, then both upper and lower taper equally to the tail. The longerons should also be parallel in plan form, easily rectified with a little sanding.
2) It's just over 1mm too deep for its entire length. This is not too difficult to resolve as it's about the thickness of the plastic, (except for the nose section which requires a little more to be removed) so I just cut the fuselage bottom off from the inside, using the edge of the plastic as my guide.
3) The windows are too big. Again fairly easy to rectify with plastic card.
4) The door is too far aft.
5) The forward upper gunner's position is too far forward, and the aft one shouldn't be there at all on this early version. (It was only on the later Geh model).
6) All the internal structure and bracing wires are moulded on the OUTSIDE of the fuselage! Since they are joined by many large ejector pin marks it's a case of "get out the sanding block...." anyway!

So, to the first job - correcting this big lump of plastic and making it more accurate!
This first shot shows just how much I had to remove from the bottom of the fuselage to correct the depth. The cockpit section was also cut off where the parallel longerons end, and sanded on their top joint to make them parallel in plan form. The inside of the cockpit sections and the front part of the aft sections were thinned extensively to bring them to a more accurate scale thickness. A little sanding on the aft section where the cut was made brought the tail down to where it should be. A little more sanding on the stern post to square it up, and also at the sides to correct the curve of the tail in plan form. This is all after the outside of the fuselage was sanded clean to remove all the mouldings and ejector pin marks. The door is in its original (incorrect) position in this shot.

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The windows were then corrected with plastic card. I cut "L" shaped pieces and fitted them to bring the rear of the windows forward, and the bottoms upward. The front windows were also fitted with new bottom pieces to make them narrower top-to-bottom. The upper gunner's position was moved aft so that the front of the new opening is about where the rear of the moulded one is, by cutting out the fuselage in the correct place and filling the moulded opening with card.

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I also cut out the engineer's access panels in the fuselage sides - these provided a means for him to crawl out onto the wing in flight and fix the engines! One of these will be fitted open, the other closed. If anyone knows how they opened please let me know! I'm not sure if they were removable, or hinged out from the bottom....

The door was moved forward to its correct position which gave the opportunity to square it up again after the adjustment to the slope of the upper rear longeron, and the rear gunner's position closed up with plastic card. The door will be modelled open (it slid rearwards, between the canvas exterior and plywood interior panels, like a pocket door).
The internal rigging has been fitted across the window and door openings by using a seam scriber and inlaying the rigging line. The joins won't show inside as the cockpit was lined with plywood and this will be fitted over the rigging. I have made these ply panels from card and will fit them soon. I have also drilled new mounting holes for the lower wings. They will be mounted on brass rod to provide some strength, and the rod will be covered with plastic rod (hollowed out to fit over it) where it's visible inside to simulate the spars running across the fuselage floor.
Finally the cockpit and rear sections were rejoined, filled and sanded as necessary.

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The lower pic shows the "ply" panels sitting in place inside the cockpit.

I'm almost to the stage where I can join the fuselage halves and start the interior detailing. One advantage of removing the floor is that I can build it up separately then just slip it in from below once the details on the sides and roof have been done. I will need to add the crossmembers on the roof, and rig them, as they are very visible through those big windows.

One last question: I want to try to replicate the feeling of light coming through the rear fuselage fabric. I've thought of using flourescent or luminous paint and then a thin coat of white or CDL to tone it down a little...any thoughts? Is this type of paint even available?

Thanks for checking in, on what will be a long, and hopefully fun, build!

Ian

Edited by limeypilot
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I originally bought a set of Argus engines from Engines and Things, but they are totally wrong for this aircraft, so I decided to scratchbuild them.....

Here's the progress so far with the engines.
I've made a pair of cylinders from 2mm rod, and wrapped the top half with .25mm x 2.5mm strip for the water jacket. These were then sanded to the correct shape. The carburetor venturis and inlet manifold are .75mm rod, and the radiator is a piece of stock sheet clad in .25mm brass rod. This still needs the ends and straps adding but I'm pleased with how it's coming on. The crankcase is the engines & things one, modified front and rear, and with the cylinders removed. The plan is to cast all these in resin rather than try to make 12 sets of cylinders and 4 of everything else and get them all the same. I've also made 4 camshaft gears from 2.4mm plastic tube, filled with .4mm plastic rod to make it solid. These were sanded to the correct thickness, drilled and fitted with a brass rod "camshaft". These gears also drove the left magneto, with a smaller one on the right side. The mag drive gears are simply short lenghts of .5mm rod which will be cut to the correct length later. I will make 4 smaller gears for the left mags later.

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This pic also shows the original, already modified, cylinders and should give an idea of why I decided to scratch my own!

002-41.jpg

I'm hoping that the parts on the rear of the crankcase will cast ok...we'll see!

Ian

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A little work on the radiator master done, then what to do? I decided to make a start on the tail surfaces - I know, I'll soon have so many sub-builds going on I'm going to get lost - but I had to do something!
The rudder is the wrong shape and twice the required thickness (2mm instead of 1mm). The two side rudders ditto, plus they don't have the required curve. The horizontal stabiliser has the same thickness problem, is 2mm too short (side to side) on each side and over 5mm too short front to back, and again doesn't have the required curve, and the elevators are too deep front to back (they make the total depth of stabiliser and elevator nearly correct!) and are too thick and the wrong shape! So a good basis for scratchbuilt tail surfaces....

The rudder, elevators, and horizontal stabiliser are 1mm sheet, the outer rudders are .75mm sheet. I hope to replicate the batons that held the fabric in place by scribing the surface and letting in the same fishing line I use for rigging. This should, I hope, give me a decent half-round finish somewhat to scale.....I think I'll have to do something similar for the wing too...

Here's what I have so far:

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Good job I love this part of modelling - the cutting, sanding, etc that is needed to fabricate new and improved parts!

Ian

Edited by limeypilot
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Although I haven't posted anything for a while I have been busy! I have been experimenting with something entirely new to me: casting my own parts.

May I present my first effort:

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It did actually reach as far as the mould - just! :)

An afternoon of casting and many failures eventually resulted in four crankcases and radiators that are useable, a couple of air pockets to fill on the rads but nothing drastic.....

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I decided after a few attempts that it would be easier to make all the cylinder pairs, carbs and inlet manifolds individually - they would require almost as much effort cleaning up as it takes to make them from scratch and wouldn't be as crisp in the detail, so that's a job for tomorrow.....or at least a start on them - I have one pair of cylinders made and need another 11, plus 3 more carbs/inlet manifolds!

Ian


My little Argus production line is making headway...the cylinder pairs are all done and mounted on the crankcases - I may tweak a couple of them to get them a little more level bt that really only shows in the pics...we'll see! The cylinders are 2 x 5mm long pieces of 2mm rod glued together, then the top halves were wrapped in a strip of 2.5mm x .25mm and the heads were filed to the correct shape when dry. I'm very pleased with the outcome and it was a surprisingly quick process - the filing of these tiny little things took just under 2 hours for all 12 pairs - needless to say not a continuous 2 hours! They are already drilled for the inlet manifolds which will be added after I've figured out the pushrods....

001-44.jpg

Time for a beer...

Ian

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I've put the engines away until later as there's no point adding all that detail and then putting them in a bag until needed.
So today was spent preparing the fuselage interior and building some of the interior fittings. The fuselage side bracing is just drawn on with a pencil as it really can't be seen, thin strip was added as the formers. The upper fuselage bracing will be done with mono as it doesn't follow the roof contours, the cross bracing likewise, but the floor will also be drawn in.
I found a set of 4 bombs, I don't recall which kit they came from, but the size was almost perfect. The tails were removed and replaced with a small piece of plastic rod. They'll be separated later and fitted into the bomb rack when it is built. The Deperdussin frame was made from .016" brass wire with plastic rod for the switch console and pulleys, and .005" sheet for the main pulley cover. I'll drill the lightening holes in it later. Steering wheel is from .016" aluminium tube bent around plastic rod, with .005" plastic strip for the braces.
I've also started to prepare the cockpit floor and wing spars. Since I'm mounting the wings on brass rod for strength, the spars are plastic rod hollowed out to fit over the brass rod.

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Slowly but surely....
Thanks for looking in!

Ian

Edited by limeypilot
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I've finally got around to doing some more on this project. Delays due to trying to reclaim the garden/yard from nature, and remodelling a bathroom - both of which are still ongoing!

The fuselage halves have been joined and I've added the gunner's platform and lower wing wountings, which are brass rod. I used evergreen channel to cover the rear one, and rectangular section rod for the front, hollowed out with a fine saw to fit over the brass rod.

I decided the pencil lines for the interior weren't going to work, so I drilled all the holes (54 in the fuselage, 2 each for each roof cross-member!) and have spent spare time this week adding the interior rigging. Most of it will never be seen, but with such large windows up front I had to add it just in case anyone ever decides to shine a torch inside... :-"

All done now apart from the lower cross bracing which will be done in the same way as the upper - by threading the cross members, then gluing them in place. I've also made a little more progress on the interior fittings. I'll post pics of those when I start to install them.

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Thanks for looking in!

Ian

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So far your build's an engineering marvel Limey. In awe of your wood effect panels inside and making your own casts is super.

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A little more progress has been made on the interior detail. A lot of time and not much to show, but it needs doing. The last problem is the gunner's ladder. I'm using .016 brass rod and superglue but every time I get it put together it breaks when I try to touch up the paint. Anyone know of any 1:72 scale ladders that are available, maybe from a train accessories supplier or similar?

Fuel strainers/sumps and fire extinguisher:

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Bomb racks:

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General interior view:

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Pilot's seat and deperdussin frame/steering wheel:

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Once I get the ladder sorted out I can fit the rest of the interior rigging and the floors, the rudder pedals and framework, then get some paint on it!

Ian


Thanks, Tempestwulf - just trying to get all the old posts up to where I am at present! I haven't done much to it in the last year but I will get it finished in the new year!

Ian


The fuselage on this beast is now closed up.
The ladder came from a set of railway ladders and stairs. It needed a little thinning and I narrowed it slightly and it looks fine. I had to remove the control frame and shorten it a little as it sat too high, I haven't yet reinserted it as I want to finish off the main bodywork first. That is well on its way. This weekend I've finished the interior rigging and added the rear floor, so when that's properly dried I'll fill and sand the gaps, work on the horizontal tail surfaces and fit those, then she should be ready for a coat of primer and no doubt more filling and prep work!

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Ian


Here's the latest on the "beast":

I've taken a new approach on the batons which held the fabric in place. I scribed the lines into the wing/tail surfaces and then glued monofilament using ordinary plastic glue. The scribing helps keep it straight and also gives it a little more "bite" to attach and hold firmly - it's not scribed deeply, only two light passes with a scriber is enough. It seems to work, the primer will be the teller....

I decided to use the kit wings as they are not too bad in profile. Surface detail has all been removed. They have been thinned drastically and corrected for aerofoil section (not perfect, but a heck of a lot better). The lower wings had the rear tips rounded off and the upper wings have been narrowed slightly in chord and lengthened by adding 3mm and 1.5mm plastic strip to the inner edges of the main and outer sections respectively. The wing tips have also been reshaped and thinned so they don't look like the scaffold planks they originally resembled. Ailerons have been scratched from stock sheet.

The wing centre section has been corrected by removing the pointed rear ends, adding .5mm plastic stock on either side to widen it and 1mm at the rear to move the rear edge further aft. I then filed out the inner edges of the sides to widen the gap, and the front edge of the rear spar to move it back to its correct position. Pins will be added to attach the wings. The additions to the wings add a whole 1cm to the winspan!

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I've attached the outer sections to the main upper wings and will finish sanding them to obtain the same thickness and section before I scribe and add the "batons".

Thanks for looking in!

Ian


I've done a little more on the wings - the aerofoil section is now acceptable and the joints are done - the scribing on the upper wings has been filled and sanded and will be done again - it wasn't far off, but far enough! The lower wings have the the walkways and wing section clamps added and the batons will be added when the upper wings are at the same stage...

001-53.jpg

Ian

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Hi all,
Due to the big snow storm we were hit with last Thurs/Fri I had 4 days off instead of just the weekend, so made a little progress (sort of)...actually it was a slight step back.
I stripped off all the monofilament which I'd carefully applied to the flight surfaces. It was overscale and wouldn't stay attached properly at the leading edges due to its thickness and the curvature of the wing. I have cleaned up the surfaces and started again with thinner mono (2lb and .005" instead of 6lb and about double the thickness). In addition I've switched to Plastruct Plastic Weld instead of normal glue - it's working much better and sticking quicker, making the job much easier and cleaner. It also looks 10x better! So far I have the rudder, aileron upper surfaces, and one upper wing done. I did have the horizontal tail surfaces done (upper side only) but decided after further checking of photos that they should extend under the tail too so I stripped them again and will do those a 3rd time tomorrow!

I've also given the whole thing a coat of flat white primer to see where any further attention may be needed.


Here are a couple of pics as promised. Part of the upper wing, the rudder, and the horizontal stabiliser.
As mentioned, I stripped off all the first effort at the batons and cleaned up the surface as necessary. This explains the patches on the wing. The new, thinner, monofilament is attached first to the upper surface (the pieces long enough to double over), then the lower surface is scribed (this ensures that the top and bottom line up with each other) and the mono is folded under the wing and attached. Finally the ends are trimmed. Seems to be working well, the only slight problem is getting the mono to stick properly with the negative camber under the wing.

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I'll almost be using more rigging line ON the wings than I will between them!

Ian


A major milestone has been reached - all flight surfaces are complete as far as the "batons" go! I now need to mark out the strut and rigging positions and drill them.... May need to buy some more beer....

Photo0318.jpg

Just for the hell of it, I worked out how much mono I used - each upper wing used 12.5 feet, each lower wing 8 feet! So a total of 41 feet (12.5 meters!) for the wings, plus the ailerons and tail surfaces!

Ian


I got a couple of small jobs dealt with yesterday, surprisingly enough, actually utilising kit parts! The engine bearers were thinned but otherwise left as is, the cabane struts (which are one piece as they were covered with fabric between them) were also thinned and a small piece added to the upper front to raise it slightly. This will give the wings the correct gap and ensure that the fore and aft struts are the same length - there was no stagger, the wing cellule being a perfect rectangle.

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I decided to use the kit fuel tanks, although they will need a touch of putty on the ends to round off the tips...

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I've also corrected a couple of errors I spotted on the wings - the lower ones needed a little tweak on the trailing edge to increase the camber, and the outer section of the upper wings should (and now does) have dihedral.

Ian

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That's as far as I've got to date, almost...I've finished the fuel tanks and painted them, and with the delay since the the mono "batons" were added, it has meant I've been able to check for any lines that had come loose - a few were found and have been reglued, so the delay was worth it as I'd hate to have had it finished and then find the mono coming adrift...

More progress will be posted when I get back to this project after the New Year!

Merry Christmas all!

Ian

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Everytime I see a WW1 kit I think that it would be cool to do...and then I see builds like this. In awe to be honest of the detail and your patience trying to rig everything just right.

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Nice work! You may even end up shaming me into retrieving my ICM kit that has been on the shelf of doom for the last five years or so.

Martin

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This is amazing. I'll be keeping a copy for the day when I tackle mine (a 'Hannants special' version - no box, just the plastic bag)

Keep up the good work.

Cliff

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Posted (edited)

Well, folks, now that the Sopwiths are finished and I finally have a clear bench (apart from a 1:72 Airfix Hurricane, but that doesn't count...) it's back to this beast! I've been wanting to get back to it for a while, but kept giving in to temptation and starting something else!

 There are pros and cons to leaving something for a while....I have forgotten a lot of the details I'd worked out, so will have to plan again, but my modelling skills have obviously improved over the last 3 years and what was acceptable, now isn't! 
 In particular, the wings. On closer examination it is obvious that much more work is required to tidy them up. I had given them a coat of primer and that looks as though it went on very dry....it's chalky. So the first action is too rub them down, hopefully without removing too much of the beading I added, (some of them have come loose anyway so I need to reattach quite a few) and see if I can get a decent surface. If not, it may be a case of stripping them and starting again, some areas really are that bad!

 Here's what I have:

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You can see some of the shadows caused by the lines that have come loose....a lot of work to do to get back to where I thought I already was!

Ian

Edited by limeypilot
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Hi Ian!
Happy New Year! Very interesting project, I will be watching with interest!

965f5e1a8c7ed76a286ffa64b42c3ffb.gif

 

 

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Good to see this underway again Ian. So much so that I may stop nagging you about that Caudron for a bit!

 

Martian

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Lumme.....What a monster!  :o

 

One I've always wanted to see built.....You are a much braver man than me!  ;)

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Nice to see this back again,can't believe its been that long ago since it was 'shelved' for want of a better word.Like the wing surface effect,am contemplating sanding down the Airfix HP 0/400 planks to a more aerofoil section and this gives food for thought!Keep up the brilliant work.

 

Dave.

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5 hours today in addition to the time spent yesterday. I reattached all the loose lines and then took a fresh number 11 scalpel blade and trimmed the ends at an angle to help stop me catching them with my fingers and loosening them. Then any trace of a loose end was taken care of by holding the line against the wing with tweezers and dabbing PlasticWeld on to literally melt the end of the line to the wing. After that, a little Mr Dissolved Putty and more careful sanding to eliminate the last traces of the strut mounting holes and clean up any small imperfections.  It seems as though every time I pick the wings up there is at least one more tiny loose end somewhere, but they are getting fewer and fewer, especially since trimming the ends and melting them on. I'm confidant that I have resolved the loose wires problem but would still welcome suggestions as to what would be best to use for overspraying to seal it all together.

 

Ian

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What about something like this: 

 

370418?w=637&h=403

More HERE

 

I recently picked some up to see if it's of any use sorting out bubbly resin (of which I seem to have an awful lot).....Not tried it yet, but I have reasonably high hopes based on what I've read elsewhere.  :rolleyes:

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Only just found this Ian - I had no idea that you had started this project. It is certainly up to your usual standard and a vast improvement on the kit. It reminds me of the Frog Vimy which I attempted to upgrade in an earlier modelling incarnation many years ago - but you are making even better improvemnets to this that I managed. Will follow along with avid interest.

 

P

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Wow! Fine and dedicated work on an unusual but deserving subject Ian. From what I understand the real machine was a considerable feat of engineering, rather like your model apropriately enough, the world's first four-engined bomber at a time when most nations were only begining to construct twin-engined aircraft. Even had a toilet installed!

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48 minutes ago, Col. said:

Wow! Fine and dedicated work on an unusual but deserving subject Ian. From what I understand the real machine was a considerable feat of engineering, rather like your model apropriately enough, the world's first four-engined bomber at a time when most nations were only begining to construct twin-engined aircraft. Even had a toilet installed!

The original "Grand" (designed in 1912 I think) on which the Ilya Muromets was based did indeed have a toilet onboard, and it was heated, by running the exhausts in through the fuselage! Hopefully they didn't leak......(The exhausts OR the toilet!)

Thanks to everyone else for the comments too! This one will definitely take me to new areas and processes...especially the rigging!

 

 A little more progress was made yesterday. I can't get Halfords stuff in the US so I bought a can of Rustoleum Filler Primer at Home Depot and gave the wing upper surfaces a coat. I'll do the undersurfaces and tail today. So far I like how it's looking, I think it may work!

 

Pics when it's all been painted so you can see how it looks and provide a little feedback - always welcome!

 

Ian

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 I've given the wings and tail surfaces a couple of thin coats and I like what I've seen. It looks thick when first applied but seems to even out and leave the detail clear once it dries - unless of course you're too heavy handed with it....
It appears to seal everything together and it goes on very nicely, leaving a good smooth surface for further paint. Here are a couple of pics of the wings and tail. It's hard to really get the detail to show in the pics, but I think you can get the picture. It has also highlighted a few small areas which will need a little more attention before final painting.

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 I'll leave it all until tomorrow before any further work in them, thanks for looking in!

Ian

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That looks very good Ian. Reads like a good solution to your problem: getting ribs to look right on flying surfaces is one of my biggest problems when scratch building.

 

P

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