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Ologist

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  • Birthday 11/11/1960

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  1. Its been a long time since I last posted, but whilst progress has been slow, at least its been significant; The early Fokker build, of Ltn Werner Niethammer, Jasta 13, June 1918. Personal markings from the Mac Distribution Fokker D.VII (OAW), Pegasus 5 colour lozenge. Fokker (OAW) of Ltn Heinz Graf von Gluszewski-Kwilecki of Jasta 4, August 1918. The shield is a stylised version of the Kwilecki coat arms, and from Americal-Gryphon with the addition of a thin yellow border which is evident of a photograph of the pilot in the cockpit. Lozenge is Aviattic cookie cut 4 colour. Both Jastas modified the early crosses in distinct ways, and this is my best guess from the available photographs. The lower Fokker built version uses the crosses from Roden's OAW kit, the upper OAW version uses heavily modified Americal Gryphon decals
  2. As predicted in my first post, life, work and now the Euros are all conspiring to slow progress on the D.VIIs almost to standstill. However, some paint on, and now limited, if not committed to, final schemes, For both, Gunze H1 white where needed beneath the lozenge decals: The early OAW will be a Jasta 4 aircraft (but NOT Udet's). Nose painted in prehistoric Gloy matt black, which behaves wonderfully. The tail and elevator colours caused me more angst than was justified. Contemporary reports speak of Jasta 4 having light blue tails, but this doesn't seem to have impacted upon decal manufacturer's thinking, the usual suggestions being white or lozenged. The few photos available of Jasta 4 in the summer of 1918 definitely show a tone darker than the fin and rudder, even Udet's striped D.VII seems to show a difference in colour between the horizontal surfaces and the elevator. Eventually I went for a 3:2 mix of Gunze H1 and H323. Cockpit fairing is Revell 65, with Misterkit Albatros mauve hazy splodges, but washed over with the green to reduce the contrast. The fin and rudder are in Citadel Skull white, which is just very slightly off white, and for me gives a more realistic feel. The early Fokker built version will be in the first version of the Jasta 13 colours, with the vertical demarcation between the green and blue. The green is Tamiya X5. Whilst the Revell 65 was out for the OAW version, I decided to experiment to see if hand streaking would produce acceptable results, which I think for 10 minutes effort has worked reasonably well. It will be covered by blue paint anyway, but might just give a hint of showing through. The fuselage cross is from the kit's decals, with a couple of coats of Microscale decal film. Roden's decals are often very well printed, with good register, and settle down nicely IF they can be persuaded to end up in the right place without shattering. The bottom wings were extended to allow the fuselage to fit between them, so the interplane strut locations in the lower surface of the top wing need moving outward to compensate. Oddly, with careful measuring, they aren't moved as much as the corresponding lower locations. One the subject of decals, Roden do provide lozenge decals: From the OAW version - 4 colour And the early Fokker version - 5 colour Whilst arguments will continue about the colours of German lozenge fabric, I don't feel too controversial in saying that mostly these aren't close, although the 5 colour top surface may not be a million miles away. When more reliable alternatives are available, Roden's decals aren't really worth considering, even assuming they could be painlessly applied. So, its going to be Aviattic for the 4 colour, and the last of my stock of Pegasus 5 colour. Application should keep me busy for a while...........
  3. So far I've not provided the evidence for the title of this thread. but the the OAW (Early) version has now caught up with the Fokker (early) version that I've been using to test some ideas out on. The only differences between the two are minor, and involve some of the access doors in the forward fuselage. So this the state of the OAW: And now joined by the early Fokker version: The fuselage sprue for the Fokker was moulded in white, so there's a throwback to the days of Matchbox two coloured kits. Since the last update the upper fuselage has been fitted to both, contrary to some online build these bot fitted almost perfectly, after the forward corners of the recess in the main fuselage sides was sharpened up to a right angle. Having almost started to remove the small step in the cockpit surround, I realised that this should be there. The radiator fit on the Fokker was very good, on the OAW the upper cowling siders were turned in a little too much, but easily solved by forcing them out with cocktail sticks between them and the engine whilst the glue set. Just a little filler needed - on the prototype panel lines around the radiator are almost indiscernible. The recess for the tailplane needed significant deepening to allow the bottom of the rudder to be level with the bottom edge of the fuselage. The 'slot' at the front of the tailplane also needed deepening and widening - the whole tailplane assembly is moved forward about 1mm. I filed back the rear of the fuselage decking slightly but added a strip of 20 x 40 thou which gives a cleaner edge. Its far easier to make the final adjustment with the fin and rudder attached to the tailplane, everything is right when the front edge of the lower part of the rudder touches the rear of the fuselage without any gaps. Pleasingly, it didn't take very long to achieve a satisfactory fit. Elevators were separated along the line of the balance horns with a razor saw and carefully bent down, Most photographs show these as slightly deflected, but nothing like the extent as with some allied aircraft, such as Sopwith triplanes And so onto the upper wings. These are rough in places - I get the impression that the toolmaker was suddenly called away and forgot he hadn't quite finished these The aileron control horns are nicely moulded on the lower surfaces, but are missing from the top - on the right wing there is a slot which suggests there might have been a plan to include these as additional parts, but there is no corresponding feature on the left hand side There are some nasty blobs of unwanted plastic on the ailerons themselves, nothing too difficult to deal with, but adds another couple of minutes to the clean up time. The sprue attachment points are yet again quite intrusive. However, some good news. I've seen it written on more than one online build that the upper wings are usually warped. When I'd freed them from the sprues from both versions, that was my first impression. It does seem to be an optical illusion though, caused by the unusual week geometry. The top surface is supposed to be flat - there is no dihedral as such, but the lower surfaces slope from the centre to the tips Not easy to show, but Roden's wings are indeed flat on their upper surface. Its getting close to the time for some paint and other surface decoration Jon
  4. That's an absolutely fantastic build, and rekindled memories of my own metallic blue 1.3 Mk.II used (as well as for other things) in Scottish Road Rallies in the early 80's. The simplicity of the time when you could virtually climb into the engine bay with the engine still in situ and work on it. I'd be tempted to have a go at a similar conversion, but mine was a four door. That might be just too challenging. Jon
  5. Work getting in the way of things, but a little progress: The instrument panel is nicely moulded, but almost completely hidden, so not too much effort expended on it The last major fit issue (I hope) is at the rear end. First find your tailplane hidden within the flash......... Sprue attachment points are intrusive as well. But five minutes with sanding sticks and scalpel does the trick It looks much better, but it doesn't fit. Yet.
  6. As has been well documented, the fuselage is too wide to fit between the lower wings. Narrowing the fuselage might just be possible, but would create fit issues everywhere else, so the only viable option, as others have done, is to cut the lower wing unit in half and fill the resultant gap on the centreline. The problem with this is that the two spars linking the wings give structural rigidity, and it will be very difficult to get both wings properly aligned with each other if treating these as separate units - there's not a lot in the way of contact points with the fuselage anyway. My solution: Two 7mm lengths of Albion Alloys 1mm od aluminium tube superglued inside the spars Once properly set, the wings are cut into with a razor saw, and 8mm lengths of 045mm hard brass wire glued into the tubes of one half The wing halves can now be rejoined, and the gap between them set using the assembled fuselage. Once everything is aligned, the wings can be taped down Fuselage removed, and superglue run into to the other halves of the aluminium tubes to lock the interwing gap The resulting one piece wing is quite rigid, but to be on the safe side, I filled in the spars (and the gap underneath the wings) with strips of 30 thou plastic The lower wings are in perfect alignment with each other, and the rebuilt spars give the very thin fuselage sides some integrity. As a bonus, the increased span now matches almost exactly the drawings in the Windsock Fokker Anthology volume 1
  7. And so to business Straightforward assembly of the cockpit and the gorgeously detailed engine, and painting of both. So far so good, the first problems occur when trying to fit both assemblies to the fuselage. I think the engine might well be the root of most of the D.VII's problems. The multipart Mercedes is almost certainly a scale replica. As such, its not going to fit within the excessive thickness of an injection moulded cowling. I can envisage a situation where Roden's design people realised this, and compensated by making each of fuselage halves (moulded on their own sprue with the radiator) 0.75mm wider. Unfortunately this 'easing' impacts upon components on other sprues, which haven't been modified to allow for the extra width. The engine is still a tight fit, and needs the inside of the starboard cowling thinning, especially around the 'shoulder' of the exhaust manifold. The low exhaust position of the early production airframes add to the complication and the hole for the exhaust pipe needs enlarging along its bottom edge very slightly. The upright air pump at the front end of the engine seems a rarity on D.VII's until quite late in the war, so was removed. There's no need to replace this with the horizontal version, as very little of the engine will be visible. Hand pump from brass tube, Aviattic 4 colour reversed interior decals over Humbrol 103 gloss cream The cockpit floor seems to be designed for the scale width cockpit, hence is narrower than the width of the assembled cockpit. This doesn't cause any fit problems, but makes securing the floor difficult - the only point of contact as deigned is the rear step, which doesn't follow the profile of the bottom of the fuselage. It is supposed to sit on the rear spar of the lower wing assembly at its from end, but this doesn't get added until later. A square of 40thou plastic card does gives the necessary support. Cockpit assembly added to port side, as the lower fuselage is very slightly thicker on this side. Only other additions are the screen behind the seat, from 10 thou plastic card, seat belts from paper and the throttle assembly and ignition lever from 0.2mm copper wire Now is the time to start thinking about the lower wing. Remarkably, not only doesn't it fit, it doesn't fit in all three dimensions. With the fuselage halves still separate, the fore and aft direction can be partially sorted. The aperture in the lower fuselage needs squaring up, but it can't be extended too far forward as the rear undercarriage strut locations are already close to the forward edge. Instead the area in front of the forward spar of the lower wing can be trimmed back. The slots in the fuselage sides into which the spars fit are not deep enough, and the font pair are at an angle which causes the wing to twist downwards. I'm fairly sure this is what causes the upper wing to end up too far forward. Slots deepened and widened, but not too much as they may become visible above the lower wing. Much better to reduce the height of the spars on the lower wing - it's actually the piece of fuselage between the spare slots which is going to determine the position of the lower wing in a vertical direction, and this will be far more controllable with the fuselage assembled
  8. So what is the collective opinion of Roden's DV.II? Reviews and other builders experiences have suggested the following The lower wing doesn't fit the fuselage The fuselage is too long The fuselage is too wide The engine doesn't fit The radiator doesn't fit The axle wing is not wide enough There are some consistent moulding flaws and a rather sweeping 'nothing fits' It's almost an offputting list, and the question arises again - why not build Eduard's version(s) instead? Eduard go down the alternative route of including two different fuselages i each boxing, but for some versions you are required to indulge in some deft knifework removing louvres from the from end. I'm not the biggest fan of the way Eduard portray the rib tapes either. The Albatros version is becoming much harder to find as well. In its praise, Roden moulds some parts very finely indeed, the cockpit walls are commendably thin, and there is a lot of finese in the portrayal of the internal structure as is shows on the outside of the fuselage. The engines is very detailed, although in most cases almost all of it will be hidden.
  9. Its taken me a long time to commit to my first work in progress, and have have to state now that my usual rate of progress is at best stately, at worst 'still life' So it would be sensible to start with something relatively straightforward. At lest that's what I told myself. But I didn't listen, and instead decided to take the challenging path, namely: There have been several excellent built examples of Roden's small scale D.VII shown in the ready for inspection section here, from the the descriptions no one was in too much of a hurry to repeat the experience. So why put myself through the ordeal of building a kit that is considered to have several significant flaws? In particular, why do it when there are alternatives, including Eduard's excellently engineered Albatros and OAW versions, much more recently released. I don't really know the answer, other than wanting to prove (to myself) that there are solutions to most of the problems, and the potential satisfaction of coming up with effective workarounds. The title hints at a duplication - not wishing to go in totally the wrong direction with an audience, a second kit is also on the bench, and is being used as a test bed for some ideas: In the best tradition of 'here's one I made earlier' if fixes work on the Fokker version, I'll use them on the OAW. Eventually I hope to catch up, and this will become an almost simultaneous build of both.
  10. Sometimes we need to take the easy route - another lockdown wasn't going to give me any more time for challenging' projects, so why not start the year with something foolproof in its simplicity. Things don't come much more reliably straightforward than the Airfix Mk.I Spitfire, A relaxing build, everything fits as it should, with only a tiny amount of filler used for the lower cowling and fuselage/rear wing joint. Decals are from Xtradecals X72117 Battle of Britain 70th Anniversary sheet, representing K9899 LO-H of 602 Squadron, based at Drem, East Lothian in early June 1940. Apparently usually flown by PO Alistair Grant, by this time the aircraft, the 111th production Mk.I, was more than two years old, and serving on its third squadron, It's an interesting mix of original features (pole aerial mast, two prong pitot, no seat armour) and subsequent upgrades (bullet proof windscreen, fuel tank armour), but the paintwork was undoubtedly looking very patched and worn, the undersides having been successively finished in original aluminium, black and white and what Xtradecal postulate as sky blue, substituting for the recently introduced sky. Seatbelts were the only aftermarket addition, upper surfaces finished in Xtracrylics with the sky blue a custom Gunze aqueous hobby mix. Photos show that in contrast to Xtradecals' instructions, the 'LO' was always forward of the roundel on the port side of 602 Squadron spitfires, One photo [presumed to be of K9899) shows it was a squeeze to get the codes into the available space even before the yellow outer ring was added to the fuselage roundel I've made the assumption that this would have meant overlapping the codes. Jonathan
  11. It might be a tad heavier than before with the new resin extremities, but it does go to show that the 'one before last' Airfix Spitfire was basically very good in outline, if a bit unsophisticated in details. The quality of rescribing from the original refurbishment is rather impressive. Jonathan
  12. That's absolutely sublime. And to keep everything so straight during the rigging is an incredible feat. Jonathan
  13. Most of us are familiar with the term 'limited run' and its connotations for more challenging builds. So presumably the opposite would be 'unlimited' run, and Revell's venerable Sopwith Triplane as been in and out of production for more than 55 years. For most of that time is was the only option for 1/72, until the advent of 21st Century versions from Kora. If its age should command some respect, this is tempered by the mould being absolutely shot, sharpness must have gone long ago, and oddly most parts seem shrunken. The kit must have repaid its investment many times over my now, so ought to be given some sort of honourable retirement. But, many of us will have one or more in the stash, and they are hardly likely to become collectors items, so it was time to see what could be done with the antique. Definitely the starting point is a sows ear. On the plus side, the wings are reasonable, if covered by spurious fabric texture, which I failed to completely eliminate, the cowling is OK, and the rudder and fin only needed minor reshaping. The list of corrections included: fuselage reskinned in its entirety with 5 thou card, apart from the turtle deck, struts made more three dimensional, new horizontal tail surfaces from card, replacement wheels (Roden), scratch built split axle replacing the scale 6" diameter original, new tailskid, kingpost and tailplane incidence adjusting gear; middle wings extended by 1mm at their inner ends; replacement Vickers gun (Toko); propeller replaced with one from an Airfix Pup, and a slightly OTT improvement in the cockpit interior. The reskinning meant that absolutely no filler was used. However, in contrast to its Fokker counterpart, the rigging is a nightmare, with both flying and landing wires passing through the middle wings. PC10 is Humbrol 155, which I think works rather well, decals are from Pheon and performed excellently as usual. Was it worth it? Well, the kit only cost me £3, nothing else was bought it specially for the build, so one can't argue too much about the economics. It did take 6 months to complete, but other things got in the way..... Jonathan
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