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billn53

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Everything posted by billn53

  1. A couple more things done this morning, which will probably be my last until I'm back from my upcoming trip. Made and installed the windscreens using clear acetate film. This turned out to be more difficult than I had anticipated. The little clear pieces like to fly off my tweezers and, being clear, are difficult to find. Getting the curve in the windscreen was hit-or-miss, and I made multiple attempts before I was satisfied (well, maybe not satisfied, but definitely tired of trying!). Don't look too closely or you might notice the windscreens aren't identical, and maybe a bit lopsided to boot! I also added the fuel level gauge immediately in front of the forward windscreen, and a fuel filler cap in front of the gauge:
  2. The decals are printed by my laser printer, on clear laser decal paper from Experts-Choice. I've used an inkjet printer before (on inkjet decal paper), the main difference is that the inkjet-printed decals require a clear coat to seal the ink. With the laser printed decals, the clear coat is optional. I create the artwork using PowerPoint. There are more sophisticated graphics programs, I know, but I'm familiar with PowerPoint and it's done the job for me so far.
  3. Beautifully executed build and a great in-flight pose!
  4. The next meeting of the Mad City Modelers is this Saturday, so I've been working hard to get a much done as I can before then, for the "show and tell". Not that I'll be finished, by a long shot! I rigged up the landing gear, more as an experiment than anything else. I'm happy with how it turned out: I did a test fit of the upper wing and discovered the cabane struts are a hair too short, and don't reach the holes in the side of the fuselage that they are supposed to fit into. This is most probably because I had straightened the wing very early in this build (remember that?), to reduce the kit's dihedral to the correct 1-degree. My solution to this fit issue was to slightly elongate the holes. effectively raising the attachment point. The difference is very slight and will not be noticeable. Next, I installed my scratchbuilt control horns. They are much narrower than the stock items, and I had to add plastic shims to create a tight fit: After painting, they look much better than the stock horns: Next, I added the various rigging eyelets to the upper wing. Total count: 42! I intend to double-up the flying wires, so that adds to the number of eyelets needed: I also have a set of Gas Patch metal anchors (eyelets), which are "beefier" than the ones from Bob's Brackets, and I thought would look good for the drag lines that attach to the Jenny's nose: Finally, I finished up the rudder and applied the last of my homemade decals. I really love the advertising here! Sunday I'm off on another week-long trip, and I don't have much free time before then. The next big step (after I return) will be installing the upper wing. Before doing that, I will attach as much of the rigging as I can to the wing. I also need to add the windscreens and a couple of other items, while the top of the fuselage is still accessible.
  5. The Pennco Flyer is out of the jig and my homemade decals are on! When I took it off the jig and set it on it's legs, I found that one wing was seriously lower than the other. I traced the problem to the landing gear, which were not as square as I had thought. In retrospect, it would have been better to wait until the wings were on before adding the landing gear -- it would have been much easier to get them properly aligned. To fix my mistake, I had to partially disassemble the gear, in situ, and shave down the leg on the high side until the wings would sit level. Not the best solution by any means, but the lesser of two evils and an expedient compromise. Lesson learned! I also printed decals for the bottom of the wings, to simulate the topside text showing through the linen. I'm mostly satisfied with how they turned out, but if I were to do it again I would use a slightly lighter shade of gray: That's it for now!
  6. As I mentioned, I had a few things to do with the lower wing before attaching it to the fuselage. First, I recently read that not all Jennys had the wingtip skids installed. I checked my photo of the Pennco Flyer and could not see any evidence of the skids being there, so decided to leave them off. (Just as well, for the kit parts are terribly warped). That meant I had to fill in the mounting holes in the bottom of the wing: I'll try to paint these to better approximate the wing color, but I'm not expecting to get a perfect match. Next, I added a bunch of very tiny eyelets to the wing's upper surface for the rigging. Twenty four, in total (even more will be needed for the upper wing). These are from Bob's Brackets and are extremely small (the hole in the eyelet is a mere 0.003-in diameter). It was eye-watering work, but I managed to get them all in without becoming a blathering idiot in the process. My pet carpet monster, I'll add, now has quite a few snacks to tide him over for the night! The time had finally come to install the lower wing! First, I had to set the proper dihedral in my Lego jig by adding shims under the wingtips. This is my dihedral measuring stick: the lower mark is the height of the wing's leading edge at the root, the upper mark (about 1.6-mm higher) represents 1-degree dihedral at the wingtip: I used 30-minute epoxy to give me plenty of time to adjust the wings to their proper position. You can see below how I've weighted down the fuselage with a bag of lead shot. When the epoxy has fully set up, I'll go over the joint with gap filling CA (if needed). Once I'm confident the wings are firmly attached, I think I'll add the fuselage decals and spray the fuselage & lower wings with a satin clear coat, before tackling the upper wings.
  7. The oil on the undersurfaces was dry when I checked this morning, but I had to run off to classes and didn't get a chance to spray the protective clear coat until I got back home, late this afternoon. While the clear coat was drying, I worked on a couple of small items I had left hanging... I opened up the hole in the radiator grill, and lined it with a thin section of brass tubing: A while back, Clive reminded me that I should drill out or otherwise open the ends of the engine exhausts. I elected to replace the end of the exhausts with a short section of brass tubing, to which I added a bend and also flattened the opening. I've seen exhausts like this on photos of real Jennys, and since I have no good idea what the Pennco Flyer's exhaust looked like, this is what I'm going with: By the time I had finished the above, the clear coat was dry and I could start working on the wings again. My goal was to do as much as I could to get the lower wings ready for installation. Clive has suggested I add pins to the lower wing's attachment point, to strengthen the join. I thought that a splendid idea, and set forth to implementing it: I had to drill corresponding holes in the fuselage side for the pins to go into. I held my breath the whole time I was drilling, imagining the drill going too deep and thoroughly trashing my scratchbuilt interior! Thankfully, I got the holes done without any incidents. My next problem was deciding how I am going to attach the wings to ensure they are correctly aligned, with the proper dihedral. I first thought about using this device: but couldn't see any easy way to make it work for this problem. In the end, I went with the tried-and-true Lego jig: That's my plan, and I'm sticking to it! But first, I have a few little things to do with the wings before I'm ready to glue them in place. Stay tuned!
  8. Thank you, Adrian. Adding details should be included in my personal list of deadly sins. I see something in a photo and think: “I could do this, or at least come close.” And, next thing I know, hours have passed by. That’s one nice thing about working in the gentleman’s scale! This kit being 1/48, the temptations are harder to resist….
  9. While waiting for the oil on the bottom of the wings to dry, I went to work on the landing gear. I did the simulated wood treatment and then commenced detailing. The most tedious part was wrapping the gear struts with fly fishing thread to simulate the strengthening ropes on the real aircraft's legs. I then taped the cross piece to my gridded work mat, carefully lined up the fuselage, made a bunch of measurements to ensure everything was square, and carefully applied CA glue to glue everything together. When the CA had hardened, I removed the assembly from the mat and then applied additional CA to reinforce the weakest points. Here's how the landing gear look now (wheels added temporarily for photo purposes): There's cleanup to be done, in particular to fill in the holes on the fuselage side where the struts attach. I also need to add rigging between the struts (holes have been pre-drilled), but that's for another day.
  10. I need to ensure my last coat is a “wet” coat, otherwise it won’t get the gloss.
  11. Yes, I should have clear-coated the oil before handling anything. Good news is, the post-oil clear coat with Aqua Gloss did the trick, and I was able to finish oil weathering of the lower surfaces without losing anything from the topsides. To answer your question, I airbrushed the Aqua Gloss neat, at 20-psi pressure and had no issues at all.
  12. I knew things were going too smoothly . . . . This morning I began applying the oil paint to the undersurfaces of the wings, and discovered that the oil I had put on the upper surfaces was rubbing off. Before doing the oils, I had given the base linen color a coat of Alclad Aqua Gloss. Apparently, the oil paint I'm using won't adhere to the Aqua Gloss I touched up the upper surfaces and then covered the dry, but non-adhering, oil with a layer of Aqua Gloss, hoping that it will protect the oil finish and prevent it from rubbing away during handling (of which there will be plenty when I get to doing the rigging).
  13. The oils are still drying (they might actually be dry by now, but I'm not taking any chances) and I've been attending to a few relatively minor, but important, items. First, the landing gear. The kit axles are too thick for my wire wheels, and (being plastic) are relatively weak. I snipped them away and replaced them with 1/32 brass rod: I cut a groove in the cross piece, and later will fit a section of 1/32 half-round rod to represent the full axle, which is visible in photos of the real aircraft. Also, because my brass rod now fills the hole that the landing gear legs were supposed to fit into, this is now going to be a butt-joint and I'll have to take care that it is as strong as possible. The kit's control horns for the ailerons, elevators and rudder are much too thick and clunky. I tried re-shaping them (see photo below) but wasn't satisfied with the result (unmodified horn at bottom): I bit the bullet and made a new set of control horns from 0.016-in aluminum: Lastly, I was very skeptical of the kit's plastic kingposts (which have to support a lot of rigging) and decided to make new, stronger ones from wood: Not much to show for quite a few hours of work, but it's better than watching paint dry
  14. I know that is the recommended procedure, but I think I should be able to put the tube on the line, tie the line in place, then slide the tube to where I want it and fix it with a dab of glue. I’ll do some experiments to confirm, because there’s no way I can thread the knitting-in line twice through the tubes I have.
  15. When I was following Clive's Jenny build, I was really impressed with how he weathered the linen using oil paint. This afternoon, I tried my hand at doing the same. Here's a comparison of the wing before, and after, my treatment. The oil definitely added some color to what was, to be honest, a very pale color. And, my translucent paint effects are still showing through: (I notice that on my monitor the colors don't accurately reflect what my eyes see, so don't read too much into the above photo). I applied the oils to all of the upper surfaces of the wings and horizontal stab, plus the fuselage and rudder. Being oil paint, it's going to take its good old time drying, thus it will be a while before I can do the lower surfaces. In the meantime, I tackled the less-than-noteworthy wheels. The kit comes with two versions: one wired, the other with a solid hub. I don't know which one is correct for the Pennco Flyer, and a good wire wheel looks really nice, but NOT this one: I have an Eduard PE set for WW1 wheels and decided to give it a go. If I failed, my backup was to use the wheels with solid hubs. First thing was to remove the tires from the kit parts and build up the Eduard wheels: After painting and assembly, this is what I now have: Not perfect, but good enough I think. Clive used stretchy knitting-in thread for his rigging, which I have a spool of but have never used, so I took a good look at it. My first question was, will it fit through the metal tubes I got from Bob's Brackets? The answer is Yes, but just barely: I do think the white thread is too light in color, so I experimented with running it over a silver marker (the photo above shows the silvered thread). Here's the comparison (bare thread on top): My conclusion is that the knitting-in thread is definitely viable for my rigging. I have a couple of other choices to consider, but there's still plenty of time before I must commit to a decision.
  16. Hi Clive and thanks for the vote of confidence. All Jenny’s I’ve seen have their flying wires doubled, so you made the right decision. I’m definitely planning on attaching rigging to the upper wing before gluing that wing in place — I did that when I built my little Fox Moth (minuscule in 1/72) and it worked fine. I’m leaning more & more to using the Bob’s Brackets tubing for simulating the turnbuckles. This morning I checked to confirm your knitting-in thread would go through the tiny tubes… it’s a close fit but can be done. More on that later, in my next progress report.
  17. Much too kind, sir. Your yellow blob was my inspiration, I’m just muddling through using techniques I’ve borrowed from others. Right now, I’m trying to replicate your weathered linen oil effects using a paint mule. I’m not at all sanguine about doing the rigging, I fear that will be my greatest risk of completely mucking up this build.
  18. The struts fit into slots on the bottom of the upper wing. The cross piece protrudes above the wing surface and thus must be reduced in height: On the left is one of the struts after modification, which is compared to an unmodified strut on the right: I then did the oil-paint-to-simulate-wood trick on the struts: I dropped the elevators and used a scriber to sharpen the aileron and rudder lines, then applied a brown wash: I also scribed the join between the removable outer wings and the center wing section: A goodly amount of time today was spent drilling holes in the wings, etc. for rigging. Ninety eight holes, to be precise. And, five broken drill bits! I'm undecided about how, exactly, to do the rigging. I'm tempted to try and include the various turnbuckles. If so, these are my options: From left to right above: Gaspatch resin turnbuckle; Gaspatch metal turnbuckle; and the more traditional "metal tube that looks sort of like a turnbuckle, when viewed from a distance", from Bob's Brackets. The Gaspatch turnbuckles do look nice, but I expect will be very fiddly to use. The resin ones are very fragile and break easily, especially at the tiny loop where the rigging line is attached. Because I do want to get this build done sometime this decade, and maintain my sanity in the process , I'm leaning toward Bob's Brackets. Decisions, decisions . . . .
  19. Another possibility is to use Future/Pledge, or a clear varnish — but I’ve not tried that before so take my suggestion with a big grain of salt.
  20. Today's goal was to paint the underside of the flying surfaces. Here's an example of what I was trying to represent: Note how the internal structure of the wing is visible as shadows through the translucent linen. I began by masking off the internal structure on the brown-painted under surfaces: Using the horizontal stabilizer for illustration, this is the process I followed. First, I painted the masked-off underside with my linen color, then removed tape from the areas I wanted to end up lighter in color -- mostly the ribs and smaller internal items (Photos show that the larger structural elements, such as the wing spar, tend to cast darker shadows). Using a thinned mix of the linen color, I sprayed the ribs, etc. to make them look more like shadows, then removed the tape from the larger items: I sprayed more thinned-linen color on the undersurfaces until I was satisfied with the effect: The upper and lower wings got the same treatment. Here's my final product: Not as stark as in the first photo, but it'll do (considering it's my first attempt at something like this).
  21. I am speechless, and I’ll leave it at that.
  22. I’m sure this will be an interesting build, and I’m looking forward to following it. But that paint scheme! Where are my sunglasses?
  23. An oldie fer sure, but dressed up very nicely!
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