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pheonix

Seemoos, Lake Constance, April 1917

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Evening All,

 

I have recently completed a 1/72 scale scratch built model of the Zeppelin - Lindau (Dornier) Rs II flying boat for the Flying Boats and Seaplanes GB and I now need somewhere to put it. I do not wish to keep it in a large box in the roof, (why all the effort to scratch build the model if I do that?) and as the aircraft was launched and retrieved from Lake Constance on a trolley on rails, the trolly is an obvious feature to mount the model on. The size of the model is also important - it has a span of approximately 17 inches (42cm), and a length of 14 inches (35cm), which means that it will not fit into the display cabinets in which I usually keep my models. Consequently I have bought a perspex covered base and I want to put in it a small display for the aeroplane. The aircraft model will sit on the carriage on a turntable which was built outside the front of the hangar/workshop at Seemoos on Lake Constance which was an old Zeppelin shed in which Claudius Dornier's early flying boats were built when he was working for Graff Zeppelin. I will include a short section of the ramp along which the flying boats were taken to the lake for launching and retrieval, and part of the hangar floor. The display will be based on photographs taken between mid 1915 and late 1918 and published in Windsock DataFile no 136: Dornier Flying Boats. One set of photographs in particular, taken in May 1917, will be used for some specific details as it is clear that there were changes made between 1915 when the turntable and ramp was built and 1918 when the last of the photographs was taken. I am not trying to make a 100% accurate replica: rather this is simply to set off the model aeroplane in a realistic context. This is the first time that I have attempted anything scenic so it will be a steep learning curve for me and I do not doubt that I will be making mistakes along the way, but as the person who never made a mistake never made anything, here goes.

 

First here is the base which I bought from Just Bases (I have not included the perspex top):

 

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The dimensions of the display area of the base are 21 inches (53cm) x 13 1/2 inches (33cm) which will be large enough for the model aeroplane to sit in it and leave space to put the perspex cover over without hitting it.

 

When I told to my brother and a member of my modelling club of my intention to mount the aircraft on the turntable, they both asked would the latter be motorised! I have to admit that this was not my original intention, but it happens that the turntable was built on the top of a steep bank, so I investigated the possibility of putting a motor under the scenic base. Careful measurement showed that it would be possible:

 

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This is my working plan for this display: it is 1:1. The square is where the motor will be ie under the turntable. The two arcs on the top left are part of the platform that surrounded the turntable ,and the other lines represent platforms and a shed, steps, hangar workshop floor, etc, all of which have been drawn to scale based on the photographs mentioned. The right side of the display area will be left clear so that I can put some explanatory notes about the aeroplane and setting for viewers. The various notes on the plan are for ideas that I have concerning how I might make this - I may of course change some things as I go along. Having a turntable motor would have an advantage that I had not forseen. The aircraft model is quite heavy as it has a wood hull, brass boom at the rear and a large wing made of laminated 60thou plastic card sheet. If this was to be mounted on a railway trolley it would need something fairly strong to hold it in place. By drilling a hole in the bottom of the hull and inserting the turntable shaft, I would have a hidden strong and stable support while the trolley would be what the viewer would see. I drilled the necessary hole in the underside of the hull when I was making the model, after one model railway turntable kit had been purchased:

 

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Testing of the gear assembly for this kit showed that the gear drive to the vertical shaft, which is plastic, would be too weak and would quickly wear. Given that this motor is not going to be accessible when the base is finished I decided that the gears would be better if they were replaced with something more durable: some of my brother's old Meccano gears were therefore pressed into service. (Well he suggested motorising in the first place so he could help find a solution to a problem that motorisation raised). Here is the unit, showing the gears on the vertical drive shaft and original plastic gears inside the clear perspex box of the motor. You can also see that my brother and I have built a stronger and more stable perspex surround (blue) so that this unit can be screwed to the display base:

 

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Now I have to fix the motor to the base and some wood strips which will have holes drilled into them to hold the ends of dowels which will represent the posts which supported the various platforms. 

 

Thanks for looking.

 

P

 

 

 

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Oooooooh! I can't wait!

 

Following,

 

Rearguards,

Badder

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Evening All,

 

As promised there have already been some changes! After a couple of trials my brother and I decided that the plastic gears in the motor might wear too quickly and as this will not be accessible in any way when complete we decided to buy a second motor and replace all of the gears, inside and out. We also made a new perspex box. I am not showing a photograph of the modified gearing - it looks the same as in plastic except that the gears are now brass. I have been carefully measuring and calculating where the motor should go. There are two important factors to consider:

1. The vertical shaft of the motor must be exactly at the mid-point of the width of the base because the wings of the model will have to fit inside the clear perspex cover;

2. the shaft also has to be in a precise position in relation to the length of the base because the nose and tail of the model have also got to fit under the cover.

When I ordered the base I allowed a couple of inches (approx 5mm) clearance between the extremities of the model and the perspex cover, so there is little room for error. Fortunately the turntable at Seemoos was on the edge of a bank and it happens that the top of the casing of the motor is just about the same as the ground level of the top of the bank. This means that I can cover the motor case with plaster bandage, build the slope in front of the motor, and level the ground at the base of the bank to coincide with the edge of the base frame, and it will be very close to scale. The motor has been screwed to the base. The lines on the board mark where the various platforms will be, and the top and bottom of the bank slope.

 

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The battery holder, switch and wiring are at the back of the image.

 

Another structural element that has had to be measured and planned is the location of the posts and beams that will support various platforms including the turntable, between the hangar and turntable, slipway and a side platform from the turntable. There was also a platform immediately in front of the hangar. To ensure that the posts will be in the correct positions and stable I decided to drill holes in a wood plank which I found in my garage. I cut it into lengths and drilled the necessary holes and then screwed the wood bases to the display base, and I have made one queen post from dowel and obechi which is visible in this image:

 

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The gap in the front of the base is where I will be putting an information board: the edge of the landscaped section will be marked off by a vertical sheet of plywood.

 

I have also been experimenting with plaster bandage as I have not used this material before. I wanted to create a bank with a level surface on each side of the bank. I used some scrap expanded polystyrene which I had glued together to create an uneven slope which I then covered with the plaster bandage:

 

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When this had dried out I smeared a layer of plaster filler to fill the holes in the bandage. Finally I used some diluted PVA white glue and scattered some sand over it. This is the result which I think is not bad for a first attempt:

 

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I am thinking of using sheets of expanded polystyrene covered with plaster bandage for the groundwork because it is very light and I have quite a supply of it.

 

Finally I have been trying to make the turntable and surrounding platform. The turntable consisted of a thick wood planks which seemed to have been fixed to some form of frame, the details of which are unknown to me. In fact just how the turntable was constructed and held in place is also a mystery to me, so I am using modeller's license to make something that will look plausible but also be practical. The circular platform around the turntable also consisted of a series of wooden planks but these were spaced and seem to have been supported by queen posts with horizontal beams between the queen post supports. This would be very difficult to replicate accurately, so instead I intend to cut a ring of plywood and glue wood strips to it. I can cut a turntable base from the disc centre of the plywood ring. I have cut a circle of plywood but am not very happy with the result because I have had real problems with the outer edge and I am not sure how I can get a clean edge inside too.

 

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I am in deep thought about this at the moment and am considering using some other material, perhaps thin basswood sheet. 

 

More mistakes and changes to come!

 

P

 

 

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Evening All,

 

Here is the next instalment of how I am changing my mind as I go along with this display. I discussed this project with members of my modelling club last week: they have much experience building bases for armoured vehicles and figures and they have advised me not to use expanded polystyrene as  the ground support but use instead the foam plastic which is used for cavity insulation in modern houses. One very kind modeller had some spare and supplied me with a suitable block. The advantages of this material is that it is solid but very light, it is easy to cut and shape with a large sharp knife, will take a plaster covering, will take dowels easily if I drill some small pilot holes first, and is exactly the correct thickness for the bank and upper surface that I want to make. So out came the pieces of wood which I had fortunately only screwed to the base, and in went the foam insulation. I had to cut the foam to fit around the motor and it had to be trimmed to make a bank slope. In addition some thin pieces were placed at the front to bring the ground level up to the edge of the surround, and a small off-cuts were placed in front of the base of the bank and motor to get the correct bank slope. To stop the smaller pieces sliding around they were held with white PVA. I cut two strips of plywood to make the sides: these are rectangular at the moment and only slotted into place. Later they will be cut to match the side profile of the ground and bank. The rear compartment which will be concealed under the hangar floor is now hopefully obvious: that is where the battery holder and switch will be kept. The right side has the off cuts of foam in it at the moment - that is where the descriptive panel will be placed in due course.

 

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This is from the front - the right side has the off cuts of foam. The top of the motor is clearly visible, as are the pieces of foam at the base of the bank - these will be covered with plaster bandage later but are needed to create the correct angle.

 

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From the left and right sides respectively. The cut edge of the foam is clearly visible in these views as are the plywood panels - they are too tall but I need to put on the plaster bandage before I can trace the ground profile on to the wood. Then I can cut the wood to fit exactly. Consequently the wood sides are only slotted into place and can be withdrawn easily. The panels also extend the full depth of the base as they will also form the sides of the battery and switch compartment at the rear of the display.

 

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From the rear: the large space will be under the hangar floor. The rear of the foam will also be supported by plastic sheet with the top above the "ground" at the level of the hangar floor. This will close off the space at the rear of the display.

 

More changes to come no doubt, but at the moment the next step will be to apply the plaster bandage to create the ground surface.

 

P

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Tut at the change of mind and the scrapping and replacing earlier work. That's something I'd NEVER do, ever! :whistle:

 

It's always interesting to see how others build up their bases. Personally I go for strength rather than lightness, but we're all different.

 

BTW, I'm liking the use of bandages and plaster. I'm reminded of the day in the 18th dynasty when I had to embalm the recently deceased Pharaoh, Tut, who I think I mentioned earlier. 

BTW, for those who don't know, 'Tut' is short for TwoTankhamun.

 

Rearguards,

Badder

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Evening All,

 

Thanks Badder for the comments. I do not need to worry about strength with this project as the base alone weighs considerably more than the combined weight of the model and anything I am likely to use for groundwork and scenery. With reference to changing my mind: the learning curve for me is so steep that I am in danger of falling off altogether. Then I will need those plaster bandages to put me back together again.

 

Writing of bandages......I applied some to the foam base. I laid them from the rear to the front which meant that they could be easily overlapped: the lengths were short and easy to measure and handle. This was both quicker and easier than I had thought it would be. I took the plywood sides away for this part of the operation: they were put back before I took the photos. The dowels pieces at the rear will be used for posts later: they were there temporarily. I cut a length of 20 thou plastic sheet to represent the arches which are visible in some of the early photographs of the front of the hangar. I cut some slits into the foam and bandage cover so that I could push the bases of the plastic arches into it. It seems that the arches were to allow access under the hangar floor, but how far under the hangar they extended I have no idea. They will be visible when the wood platform has been constructed in front, so I have allowed for a short section to be represented. The rear will be blocked by a sheet of card which will also hold thef the foam base in place, and I will put in some curved roofs later. The front of the arches has been painted grey to represent concrete(?): the exact colour does not matter because they will be barely visible when the platform in front is finished.

 

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When the bandage was dry I smeared some plaster filler over it in an attempt to seal the holes. This was done pretty crudely because I also wanted to eliminate some of the prominent ridges that resulted from the overlaps. I put the plywood sides back and marked off the ground surface, the vertical edge of the wood platform which will be in front of the hangar, and the level of the hangar floor. The plywood was cut, put back and glued into place. On the right side the base of the plywood was further secured with some short pieces of quadrant: the sides were glued to the foam using superglue. The rear of the plywood forms the sides of the box which will house the battery holder and switch. I painted the ground surface with Revell Mittelgrau (43) acrylic paint - two coats - but even so there are still holes in the plaster bandage which I may have to fill and paint again.

 

I have also marked and drilled the holes for the platform posts. I used an undersized drill to start the holes and pushed the dowels into place to complete them. I have not put the dowels in permanently yet: there is still more tidying up to do and I have to carefully measure and cut the posts which will form the base of the circular platform first. Some of these will be very short as they will sit directly on the perspex cover for the turntable motor, while others will extend to the base. There is still a lot of measuring and levelling to do before I can begin to place posts in holes permanently.

 

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Details of how well I manage to stop myself from falling off this learning curve will be posted shortly.

 

P

 

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Evening All,

 

I have spent a good deal of time trying to insert and level the posts which will support for the various platforms. Each pair of vertical posts has a horizontal beam which has to be level, but the beams must also be level with those in the other rows. This should have been fairly straightforward but for the fact that the vertical posts which are over the top of the motor are shorter than the rest and so had to be carefully cut to size. In some cases both of the posts are short, but in others one post is longer than the other. In addition all of the supports have to be made so that when the platforms are fixed on to them they will be level with the hangar floor at the rear of the display. I have spent quite a lot of time with a spirit level trying to get everything in order and am still not sure that I have been completely successful. Fortunately most of the vertical posts are almost the same length and I think that I will be able to make minor adjustments later without compromising the finished structures. 

 

I also decided that the plaster bandage still had too many holes so I have put more filler over it in some areas to prevent the sand cover from falling through. I have painted the new filler but accidentally used the wrong shade of grey - it is lighter than the original. It will not matter as if any of the paint does show through the sand it will simply give a different shade to the "soil".

 

I have also made some roofs for the arches which will be at the back of the scene. The front of the hangar had a wall with arches in it which are clearly visible in photos taken in 1915 when a wood platform was being built.  I do not want any light to come through the arches so I have made these roofs to stop any chance of that happening. They are simple structures made from a piece of curved basswood and push moulded. I was able to cut two roof sections from each mould:

 

40270620561_120ee896de_c.jpg

 

These will be inserted between the two vertical sheets of plastic at the rear of the display, one of which represents the wall of the hangar which I have painted grey: I intend to paint the underside of the arches black to match the face of the rear plastic sheet and thus prevent any light from coming through. Currently the base looks like this:

 

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with a mini Stonehenge forming the base of the circular platform. None of the horizontal beams have been glued into place yet and the longer ones on the straight platforms have been left off because they keep falling off! The rows of three posts are for wider platforms which carried the aircraft on railway track: the narrower platform in front of the hangar was only for people to walk on 

 

The next step will be to add some sand which will form the groundwork for the whole display.

 

Thanks for looking.

 

P

 

Edited by pheonix

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Evening All,

 

The sand ground has been applied to the base. I mixed some white PVA with water to make it more runny/less lumpy and painted it liberally over the base. Then I sprinkled a thick layer of fine sand over all and left it for a couple of hours to dry. The excess sand was shaken off and the bare patches given a repeat treatment. Where I have added the extra sand there are some lumps but at the moment I am going to leave them. There are also some low ridges which run from front to rear where the plaster bandage overlaps: I am a bit concerned about these as in certain light angles they are rather obvious. There will be a shed over part of them, and the platform which runs to the left of the turntable platform will also cover part of them, so I am keeping my fingers crossed at the moment that they will be less obvious later when more details have been added. I have also left the area around the motor spindle blank as I intend to cover that later with a disc of card. I am not sure what the exact details were under the turntable: the photographs which I have access to show almost nothing, so I do not know how the turntable was supported or how it was driven. For the moment I am supposing that there must have been some from of wheeled support and I am thinking of representing a disc of metal underneath. Who knows: I may change my mind later if I can find any more information. Some of the supports for the circular platform have been removed because they are directly above the motor and the legs are very short so they tend to fall out easily: they are being stored elsewhere until I am ready to fix them in place permanently.

 

I have also added the roofs of the arches and completed the plastic backing sheets for the rear of the ground. The tops of the arches are visible in the photos and were put into place after the sand cover was laid. I fixed the battery holder for the motor in a small holder made from quadrant glued to the base. This will be accessible via a hole which I intend to leave in the rear of the display, but it will not be visible from the front or sides and it will be hidden by the hangar floor.

 

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Thanks for looking.

 

P

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Evening All,

 

I have been doing some woodworking which is still an experience that I am not normally used to - I usually only make moulds or small parts for my models from wood. However I can see wood in my future......

 

I have decided that it is time to think about the turntable and surrounding platform as everything has to be leveled from this central feature, including the hangar floor and all of the platforms and ramps. I have given up on the plywood base for turntable platform as I simply could not get a rounded shape. Instead I thought that I might try thin, (1/16 inch - 2mm), basswood sheet which I found in my local branch of Hobbycraft, there being no good model shops within 15 miles of where I live. I also spied a circle cutter - one of those cutters designed to cut accurate circles in card and fabrics and thought that I might be able to cut a decent circle with one. Here is the result:

 

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This is more than adequate for my needs so I then drew a series of lines from the centre of the circle to the edges so that I will be able to align the planks on the platform later:

 

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Next I cut out an inner disc which will be used to make the turntable on which the railway track ran:

 

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before I cut the turntable section from the inner disc:

 

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The turntable strip has been reduced slightly because i will have to put wood strip on the top to represent planking, and as the planking on the surrounding platform will extend a little over the inner edge, a small gap is needed between both to allow the turntable to rotate. Wood strip was glued to the turntable:

 

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The platform was made of a series of planks which appear to have been laid on horizontal supports between the goal posts which can be seen in earlier photos forming my misrepresentation of Stonehenge. This is not practical for me - hence the circle of basswood. I took some 3mm x 1mm Tanganyka wood strip and cut this down to 2mm pieces and some pieces which were tapered 2mm - 1mm: these were glued to the basswood disc using the lines described above to help me orient the strips to the centre of the ring. Original photos clearly show that some planks had parallel sides and others were tapered as per the photo below:

 

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After two evenings of cutting and glueing I had this:

 

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Nearly there! This got to be tedious so I decided that I would try to make the horizontal support frame for the platform which runs from the turntable parallel to the front of the hangar. This consisted of the horizontal beams which joined the vertical posts and ran crosswise, and the pieces which ran the length of the platform on top. Wood planks were then laid crosswise to finish the structure. I used 3/16inch (5mm) square section Obechi for this:

 

39751590294_8b12690944_c.jpg

 

but initial eyeball estimates tell me that this is going to be too deep/thick as the top of the side platform will be above the turntable platform when they should be level. I think that I may keep one layer of Obechi between the vertical posts and think again about how to mount the wood planking using thinner Obechi strip. Did I write earlier that this would be an evolving project.......?

 

Thanks for looking.

 

P

Edited by pheonix

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Posted (edited)

Evening All,

 

Apologies for the long delay since the last post: my computer decided that it did not want to re-start after I had been away for a couple of days so I have been off-line while it was fixed. Never mind it gave me more time to get on with this project!

 

The first thing that I did since the last posting was to add the basswood sheet to the rear of the display. This has two purposes:

to act as the hangar floor area in the display;

to cover the space where the battery holder and switch for the turntable motor will be kept.

I constructed a frame to hold the basswood sheet - simply lengths of square section obechi to make sufficient support to hold the bass wood sheet. Lines were drawn on the sheet so that I could cut some wood strip to make the planking of the hangar floor:

 

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I also finished the turntable platform:

 

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Planking the hangar floor was straightforward if time consuming. I used 5mm x 1mm Tanganyka wood strip - the same material as I used for the turntable platform. The strips were added in two rows as shown the contemporary photographs. I also put in the posts for the platform in front of the hangar and the cross members which will support the planking in due course. The turntable platform is just resting in place at the moment as I need to use it to get levels for other parts of the display. In fact I have put all of the posts in their respective holes but not all are permanently fixed as I need to make sure that they are all at the correct heights before I finally glue them into place:

 

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The post line in front of the turntable platform represents the start of the slipway to Lake Constance, the posts on one side represent some sort of parking area(?). Hopefully the layout and main features of the display are beginning to become clearer now.

 

Thanks for looking.

 

P

Edited by pheonix
spelling correction

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Evening All,

 

I have decided to put in what I think may have existed under the turntable, namely a flat base which I have painted mid-grey to represent a metal base on which the turntable could revolve. I am not certain whether this is correct and I always have the option to remove it later if I change my mind - which may yet happen! The short ramp from the hangar to the turntable is more complicated than it looks at first sight. The half nearest to the hangar floor was level, but the half nearest to the turntable sloped downwards on the sides but had a second small ramp in the centre. The rails were supported by beams over the half nearest the turntable to keep them level. I hope that the photos which follow will make clearer what I am trying to describe. This is important because it determined how I constructed this part of the structure.

 

The half of the ramp nearest to the hangar floor was straightforward - simply lay a series of cut stripwood pieces to represent the planks: these were laid on obechi strip which represented the longitudinal bearers which were laid over the goalpost structures:

 

39901034685_8704f5c1f5_c.jpg

 

The ramp was checked for level with the hangar floor by laying rails between the latter and the turntable platform:

 

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Now the slope of the ramp in the section nearest to the turntable platform can be clearly seen. Here the ramp planks sloped so that they were lower than the turntable platform where the two joined, but the rails were supported by beams which were level between the hangar floor and the turntable. To achieve this I followed what I think was the original method of construction: I laid stripwood crosswise over the obechi strips as a continuation of the ramp built so far. I then made two rail supporting beams from cook's matches which I filed and sanded to a taper and glued these to the sloping part of the ramp. The gap between the beams was in turn filled with short cross pieces of stripwood and this too had a slope at the hangar end. I also left a small cut-out for pulley wheels to be fixed later:

 

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The new structure was tested for alignments by laying the rails over the newly constructed ramp:

 

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The steps were made from stripwood too and have been placed in position just for effect at the moment. There will be steps there when the base is completed but as there is much more work to do these will now be put on one side until later.

 

Thanks for looking.

 

P

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Evening All,

 

There was a wooden platform that was built in 1915 on the lake side of the hangar - which is why I have put a line of posts along there. The original posts that I put in were the same diameter as the others but I felt that because this platform was only for people to walk on, the originals were probably smaller, so I replaced mine with smaller dowels This necessitated some small filling jobs to be done and some more sand needed to be scattered to conceal the repairs - hence the delay in getting the platforms made.

 

My first intention was to lay the wood strips directly on to the cross beams as per the original structure but I was not sure whether I would be able to get a level and even surface if I did. So I decided to cut pieces of thin basswood sheet which were the same width as the upright posts and then cut small recesses in the sides of the basswood where each post would be. Planking was glued to the basswood as per the original i.e  lengths were cut to make it look as though they extended over two post bays. I then cut short pieces of obechi to represent the cross members between the posts which were the actual supports for the planks on the real platform: these were glued to the underside of the stripwood. When I turned the platform over I could glue the pieces of obechi to the tops of the posts and the structure looks as though it has complete cross pieces, and the basswood is not visible. The planking though is level and even. I repeated this method for the long section of platform on the left side of the ramp.

 

The large platform/ramp to the left of the turntable had longitudinal beams on each side and in the middle. To represent this I again used the basswood strip along the centre of the platform but added lengths of square obechi along each edge. At the end of the platform on the edge of the display I simply cut another recess in the basswood in the centre and put a short piece of obechi to sit on the end post: it represents the middle beam which would have run across the tops of the central line of posts. The curved pieces of planking which are in contact with the circular platform around the turntable were simply cut to fit and carefully glued into place on the ends of the longitudinal obechi strips.

 

Finally I added two planks at the corner of the walking platform and ramp to the turntable: these are clearly visible in contemporary photos and had been laid and fixed at some time when the structure was being used.

 

40050407435_2263bf7418_c.jpg

 

In the above the short section of platform to the right of the ramp is in place: the left section has been laid on the posts while some minor adjustments were being worked out. The following photos show the completed platforms, (and the old carpet in the room where I work!

 

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The dark patches on the slope in front of the side platform are where I have added more sand which is a slightly different colour in order to break up the uniformity of the base. Some of this will be covered in grass flock later so that these areas will be less stark (I hope). The ridges which were caused by the joints in the plaster bandage and were visible before the platforms were put in place are now very much less prominent: even I have to look for them and there is still the shed and grass to add, so I think that they will ultimately "disappear".

 

Thanks for looking.

 

P

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Evening All,

 

I have tried to make the shed which probably housed a winch to pull the aircraft to and from the lakeside on the ramp system which forms the groundwork for this diorama. I do not know what the dimensions were because I do not have any drawings: I have had to guess them by looking at several photos and trying to work out sizes by comparison with objects of known size, such as planking etc. The construction is simple: make a frame from obechi strip and then add planks in the form of 3mm strip wood. The first attempt looks like this and I admit that I am not happy with it because I am certain that it is too small:

 

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I thought that the shed was square but I am now of the opinion that it was rectangular, so I will make two new parts - front (with the gap for a door) and rear (blank face): both are on the left in the photos.

 

I have also been working on a screen which is visible in the photos and was somewhat crudely nailed to the pillars on the side of the turntable platform. I do not know what the function of this feature was - probably some form of windbreak. I glued small lengths of obechi into the base and rested the upper ends on the edge of the platform. Then I could glue strip wood to represent the planks that formed the screen - a bit rough to try to represent what is visible in the photographs. Finally I put in the low fence panels which ran at 90 degrees from the platform:

 

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Thanks for looking.

 

P

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Just seen this and caught up. Really like what you've done so far, it looks excellent. I'm n ot familiar with the subject, so I wonder if you would mind sharing some of the photos you're working from?

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Evening All,

 

Thanks James for your comment: I cannot provide copies of photographs that I am using because they are published in the DataFile number 136 Dornier Flying Boats by R. Rimmel and I am not sure about copyright restrictions. However if you  search for Zeppelin-Dornier Rs II or Rs III flying boat images you will find several photos of these machines at Seemoos, some of them on the turntable. There is one image in particular of the Rs II which is taken from the rear which shows the turntable and ramp very clearly: in fact it was just that photo which gave me the idea for this scene in the first place. It can be found at http://flyingmachines.ru/Site2/Crafts/Craft31363.htm

 

I wrote earlier that I was not sure what the ground would have looked like under the turntable, so I had put in a plastic disc to represent some form of platform. I have since found out that in fact such a disc would not have been there in reality so I have removed it from my model and replaced it with sand.

 

I have also redesigned and rebuilt the shed with longer front and rear faces. The roof was made from plastic card and painted matt black and then given a three light washes of dark brown to tone the black down. I had bought some guttering and down pipes for an OO railway water tower, but when I looked at the gutters I saw that they had flat tops, whereas they should have had shallow grooves. I looked at some 80 thou rod and decided that if I filed it to a half section I could then file out my own shallow grooves to better represent the guttering, and I could drill holes to represent the drains. Down pipes were cut from the same sized rod, bent to shape and glued to the gutter sections. After the shed had been assembled I could put the roof on and then the gutters and pipes: 

 

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The hole in the front is for a door and on the side is a window and opening which probably was where winch cables passed. I have brushed the wood with a wash of dark brown acrylic. The drain pipes are slightly longer than the shed sides so that I can insert the ends into holes which I will drill into the base later.

 

I have also finished the short section of ramp which was on the lake side of the turntable. The ramp which the aircraft was launched on sloped to the lake: the rails which supported the carriage were laid on thick longitudinal beams which in turn were laid across transverse beams. The transverse beams rested on vertical posts which had been pile driven into the ground. There were two platforms, one on each side of the rails, so that ground crew could walk down the launch ramp to the lake. In the immediate vicinity of the turntable the crew platforms sloped at a steeper angle than the rails and had transverse beams to provide footholds: all of this detail is visible in the different photos in the DataFile although it took me some time to work it out! The large transverse beams which supported the rails were glued into place first: these were made from obechi strip. The longitudinal rail supports were also obechi strip. Under the crew platforms there was transverse planking as found on the other platforms and the turntable, but on top of these there had been laid supporting beams: these were continuations of the beams supporting the rails, but were thinner, so I used obechi for these too. The steeply sloping platforms were made from 3mm stripwood glued to the obechi underneath, and the footholds were from thin obechi strip:

 

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The structure is now pretty much complete but I still have to make the trolley for the aircraft, weather the wood, put in some vegetation on the ground and make some pulleys for the ramps etc.

 

Thanks for looking.

 

P

 

 

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Just caught up after a long absence away doing the M3/M4 Group Build and a few days catching up on all the new threads.

 

What fantastic progress you've made P! I can really appreciate your patience and determination in this build, all the fiddly work, the measuring, cutting and fitting isnt easy, or necessarily 'enjoyable', but the finished article is going to be a stunner for all of it. I love that winding shed BTW, and not just because it adds a sense of scale to the scene. It's a little work of art.

 

Looking forward to your next instalment,

 

Rearguards,

Badder

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Evening All,

 

Thanks arbrownra and Badder for dropping by and leaving kind remarks. I agree that there has been a lot of fiddly work on this project - much more than I initially thought but then that reflects my lack of experience with this kind of thing. I have never attempted anything like this before so it has been, and still is, a steep earning curve for me. However I am happy with the result so far, but the end still seems to be a long way away!

 

 I drilled some holes in the base so that the down pipes from the shed gutters could fit into them and the shed was put into place. I did assemble a winding gear from plastic rod and card but forgot to photograph it, and in any even it cannot be seen with the shed in place so it does not matter after all. I made a second set of steps and glued these into place: the set on the launch ramp are visible in photographs, but the second set by the winding shed are my best guess: ground crew had to be able to get to the shed somehow. I also made a cover for the winch cables between the shed and launch ramp - once again this is clearly visible in the photographs and was made from obechi strip and plastic card painted black, and given a dark brown acrylic wash. I have also started to make two rails which are on the edge of the platform between the shed and the left side of the display. Once again this is based on contemporary photographs and my modeller's license as I cannot be certain of the exact details.

 

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I have added some darker areas to parts of the sand base to give a variation in colour: natural soils would not have quite such round areas but as these are going to be covered in grass flock they will not be visible. I then dry brushed all of the wood surfaces with a mixture of dark grey and dark brown acrylic washes: I have tried to vary the density to show areas of greater wear and footfall.  A door was added to the shed. Now I could add the grass flock which I mixed from several different packs. I brushed watered down white PVA glue over the sand base and liberally scattered the flock, including areas of neat flock from individual packs to give as varied a background as possible. Once again I deliberately left some areas clear where people would have walked: this too is visible on some of the photos of the original site.

 

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I have now got to put on the rails. I am using 00 guage flexible track for the rails - they are rather brassy but some paint and washes will tone them down. First though I have cut some fishplates (joining pieces) from thin brass strip and will glue these to the sides of the rail at intrevals of three scale meters - again a distance estimated from photographs. The parts look like this before assembly:

 

27562495188_05ecbd384e_c.jpg

 

More later when I have finished the rails and made some furniture and the carrying frame for the flying boat.

 

Thanks for looking.

 

P

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Evening All,

 

At last the end is in sight: I have been finishing some pieces which have I have been working on and off during the build, and have almost all of the final details completed.

 

First up is the frame and trolley on which the aircraft was carried on the rails. I looked at as many photos as I could and came to the conclusion that frames were made individually for each aircraft. What I have produced is the best match that I can make to the photographic evidence available. The trolley was made from brass rod soldered together to make a rectangle, axles were from 60 thou plastic rod and the wheels from N guage  Graham Farish accessories. I pushed the wheels off the Farish axles and back on to the longer plastic rod ones.

 

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The main sections were made from I section plastic strip and the large pads at the rear were carved from scrap balsa wood and given a couple of coats of talcum powder and dope filler before being painted. The leather straps were from 10 x 20 thou Evergreen strip.

 

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The wood in the last photo was visible in the contemporary photos - I used obechi strip to represent these beams. The arms on the sides were to allow ground crew to push the assembly on the turntable.

 

I made some furniture which again is visible in various photos: this will be distributed over the hangar floor based on photographic evidence and will help to fill what will otherwise be large voids in the display. A couple of boxes, two trestle tables (the tops were made from mixing sticks), and some beams of wood. I have also constructed a box camera which will be present in the display.

 

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The rails have the fish plates added and have been painted and dry brushed with some rust, and are now fixed in place on the base:

 

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 All that remains to add now are the pulleys on the ramp, the furniture on the hangar floor, the trolley to the turntable and some figures. Then I can mount the aircraft!

 

Thanks for looking.

 

P

 

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Evening All,

 

Well I am calling this finished. I still have to add the panel on the side which will have a copy of an original photo of the Rs II on the turntable and information about the aircraft and Seemoos.

 

The final details included the pulleys on the launch ramp: these were to hold the cable which was used to lower the aircraft down the ramp to the lake and then pull it back again. The ramp was slightly curved at the top end and these pulleys obviously held the cable in the correct position:

 

40633020285_44ba591602_c.jpg

 

I also added a steel cable and pulley wheels on the other side of the turntable - again these are visible in the contemporary photos:

 

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The furniture was placed where I could see it in the photos and four figures placed to give an air of activity. The sailor by the door of the winch shed was based on photos of the time, the two civilians by the shed represent Claudius Dornier, (in the dark grey suit), and chief engineer Durr. These were present when the Rs II was launched and can be seen in contemporary pictures. I added the photographer because someone had to take the pictures! The civilian figures were made by Dart Castings.

 

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The last part to add was the cradle on which the aircraft was transported:

 

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Base complete! All that was needed now was the aircraft: I had drilled a hole in the hull in order that I could mount the model on the spindle of the motor and lower it on to the cradle: the fit was tight but needs to be so that when the motor is switched on the aircraft will turn, which I am pleased to report, it does.

 

39717373050_8694ab500a_c.jpg

 

This is a large model and is therefore difficult to photograph, but I will post more photos in the completed aircraft models gallery if you are interested.

 

Thanks for looking.

 

P

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