Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by pheonix

  1. Evening All, I have stopped working on the engine for the time being - I am experimenting with some ideas but have nothing worthwhile to show for it. I have also decided that until I am ready to fit the engine to the fuselage frame I do not want to assemble much more because the cylinder head bolts were used to hold part of the cowling in place and I will need to instal part of the cowling at the same time that I put the cylinders in place. If you are confused all will become clear later. The fuselage will need to be robust to support the weight of the model so I have opted to use brass bar for the longerons and some of the frame. I soldered the sides first using the standard method of holding the parts with pins while solder was applied: The forward part of the upper longeron was steel tube on the real aircraft so I soldered some brass rod to represent this. With two sides made it was straightforward to join them with some horizontal bracing: A rudder post was soldered to the rear - again brass rod: All of the joints have been cleaned with a file: the remaining parts of the frame will be CA'd into place later. I have started to make the ribs for the wings. One lower wing and half of the upper wing will have the structure exposed so I will need approximately 30 ribs. The ribs closest to the centre had lightening holes, the remainder had slots. I tried 3 times to make the ribs with holes before I got it right... I have also cut one with slots. The image below shows the sequence of manufacture: top - a strip of 40 x 188 thou Evergreen strip, strip cut and shaped and holes drilled for spars, spar holes cut square, 2 versions of the rib with holes, bottom a rib with slots: I will take some time to make the ribs and will work on some of the fuselage interior while I do so. I will be visiting family next week so progress will be even more glacial than usual and the next update may be some time away. Thanks for looking. P
  2. Eveing All,, I commented above that I intend to use a Proper Plane resin boss but did not provide a picture, so here is one: Ideally I would like to make one of these, but I do not have the right materials and tools to do so, so I am opting for the [strk]easy[/strk] lazy route. In between other activities I made the main and gravity fuel tanks from laminated card and painted them: The filler caps may look large but that is partially an exaggeration caused by the lens, and partially because the originals were actually quite large. I have shaped the engine block and made the timing cover for the front. All is from laminated card and strip with the circular plate and prop shaft support from rod: not difficult to make but fiddly and time consuming: "Bolts" were added to the sides and rear of the engine block to represent the joint between the sump and head of the engine, the front was glued to the engine block and all painted in aluminium: The arms sticking out of the sides are mounts which will rest on the fuselage frame later. The protrusion at the front is the magneto. I have also made a flywheel cut from a disc of card. The disc for the wheel was scribed using a pair of dividers and then the centre was shaped to a cross: The arms are a little too wide but I cannot thin them much more or they will be so small that they will be too weak to handle. Finally I am struggling with the cylinders. I have filed down the end of a piece of sprue to make the cylinder shape and then cut each length in turn: The top of the cylinders was wider than the trunk because the inlet valve was positioned here. To make this wider part I cut and shaped some 60 x 180 thou strip: The cylinders were bolted to the engine block via 4 long bolts. The bolts passed through cruciform clamps on the top of the cylinders so I shaped the latter from 40 thou card. First I cut a disc of card, then I marked a cross and finally I cut out the arms. On the right of the image is a cylinder with the head and arm in place: There are still many more details to add before a cylinder is complete but I am having second thoughts about this method as I am not able to represent the cooling fins very well: scribing the plastic with the end of a scalpel is not as effective as I had hoped. In addition I will need to mount a small piece of aluminium strip to the top of one set of cylinders to represent the cowling and cover of the engine. This will need to abut the back plate of the engine which in turn must be made to exactly fit the fuselage frame.... In short I am of the opinion that the final engine assembly, including the bolts, push rods and valve springs, (which I intend to make from copper wire), and other assorted delicacies are best left until I have the fuselage frame and possibly lower wings completed. I can of course change my mind at any time and continue with the engine manufacture and assembly, but for the time being I will start to make ribs for the exposed parts of the wings, and the fuselage structure and interior details. Thanks for looking. P
  3. Absolutely superb Dave. The additional details that you have added have turned this into a real gem. The colour scheme is certainly one of the brighter sort! A winner in every department. P
  4. Many thanks Ian: both the illustrations and the reference are extremely helpful. It is truly amazing what is available on the net compared with searching 30 years ago! P
  5. Thanks again for the pictures Toby - I am certain that they will be useful because although it is a different variant there were many common details. Thank you for the kind comment Baron: it is much appreciated. The engine photo you have referred to was of the type fitted to other contemporary aircraft: the flywheel has been enclosed and it is used to drive a fan to help cool the engine. On the BE 2a the flywheel was uncovered, as was the top of the engine and air was passed directly through the cylinders from the front. However the cylinder and exhaust details are useful - thanks for your help. Mark: the engines shown are of different types - the 70 hp was smaller than these. I do have some photos of the type - the biggest problem is making cylinders with cooling fins. I am in the process of making the cylinders and have some ideas as to how to represent the fins, but I have a feeling that they will only just pass the 3 foot test when finished.... Thanks for the offer of more references Ian - much appreciated. P
  6. Dear Toby Many thanks for posting these - they are clear sharp pictures which are extremely helpful to modellers. The finish and contrasts in colours of the fabric surfaces is especially useful (and difficult to achieve on a model). One point however is that this is a BE 2c which was a later variant on the BE 2 design. It was introduced to service in 1915 and became the most numerous reconnaissance type in the RFC in the period 1915- early 1917: thousands of these were built. The machine that I am modelling was an earlier variant (from 1912 to 1914)which was built in much smaller numbers and saw service with the RFC and RNAS between 1913 and late 1915. P
  7. This project has come about almost by default. When I completed the 1/32 de Haviland 1A scratch build : I put it in a purpose made perspex display box, only to find that I had made a measurement error and the box is only just big enough to hold the model! I bought a second larger box for the de Haviland and now have a spare box. What to put into it? The box restricts the size of the subject: I had thought of an RE 5 or RE 7 but both of these are too large to fit. Other smaller subjects either do not interest me, are available as kits or are going to be released in the future, so they were all crossed off the list. Then the idea came to me to build a Royal Aircraft Factory BE 2a, (the predecessor of the better known BE 2c), as this was my first "free-lance" conversion (ie. I did not use an article but built it myself using the Airfix DH 4 as a donor kit for the wings, wheels, prop and struts), and it is very unlikely that a kit manufacturer is going to issue one at any time soon. This is the model I built in 1978: When I made the above model I had originally wanted to build a BE 2c but detailed sources were limited and I could not find any drawings of the type. Therefore I built the BE 2a because I had a copy of Profile No 133: Building a model of an aeroplane in 1/32 scale means that a great deal more information is needed. Fortunately DataFile No 163 provides excellent 1/48 scale drawings and many photographs: There are also many photographs of replica machines at Point Cook in Australia and Montrose in Scotland, and there is a replica BE 2b in the RAF Museum at Hendon. Recently this fine volume has appeared on the type: This book is a mine of information on the type and a go-to source for information: there is a review in Cher Ami vol. 10 no 1. There was only one outstanding problem: I could not find enough information on the 70 hp Renault engine dimensions to be able to scratch build one, (there are no kits of this type available in this scale). In the meantime I continued with other True Scale projects until I had a breakthrough via RichieW of ww1aircraftmodels.com. He is scratch building a 1/32 BE 2c and has to make a 100 hp RAF 1A engine. He was discussing how to make the cylinders on that website when "Rookie" gave him the engine sprue of the WingnutWings RE 8 which had an RAF 4A engine. The RAF 4A engine was a 12 cylinder V which had been developed from the 8 cylinder RAF 1A. The latter was an upgraded version of the Renault 70 hp and as Richie only needed 8 cylinders for his model that left two spare cylinders which he kindly passed over to me. I now had a potential solution to my biggest problem - how to scratch the 70 hp Renault engine - because I could now calculate the critical dimensions and had sufficient information about specific details to make an attempt. If I can build the engine, I can build the remainder of the model. I intend to use as little aftermarket material as possible on this build, so I will only show it if I use any. Apart from the engine the other part that I was concerned about making was the 4 bladed propellor. I have made 2 bladed props in 1/32 scale, and 2 and 4 bladed props in the True Scale, but this would be my first 4 bladed prop in 1/32 so I started with this. I have a supply of hardwood strip, (I do not know what the wood is - I inherited it from my father many years ago), which I use to carve RFC and RNAS props. I cut two long strips and 4 shorter ones: The long strips were glued to make a cross and the 4 shorter pieces then glued to each of the 4 arms with Evostick wood glue to give me the correct thickness of wood to carve. This was pressed for 24 hours in my state-of-the-art press (a pile of books): The shape of the blades was drawn on to the surface of the cross and arrows drawn to indicate which way the blades needed to be filed: The shape of the individual blades and boss were cut and filed first. This ensures that each blade is the correct shape and size when looked at head-on. The next step was to shape one of the blades: this was done with files only - it is too easy to slip when using a knife and the wood does not always cut smoothly, so an accident is possible and much time and effort can be wasted in a second if a mishap occurs. Filing may take longer but errors are much less likely. The arrows indicated the slope of the blade face - each one has to be identical to its neighbour and mistakes can be easily made here too. Final shaping and smoothing was done with glass paper: The quantity of dust that filing and sanding one blade is shown here: This is the finished propellor waiting to be varnished: I will use a resin boss from Proper Plane, (an aftermarket product), as this will be in a very prominent position on the model and for once I am taking the quickest route! I will post more on the engine later because at present it consists of a lump of laminated plastic waiting to be filed to shape. Thanks for looking. p
  8. I too have just found this. You have made an excellent model of a type which is hardly known. Very interesting indeed and I agree that the turned aluminium effect is very convincing. P
  9. Nice to see these rarer types being modelled, and from an interesting period in aviation history. An excellent model - glad you took your time to finish it and did not rush and spoil it. P
  10. Thank you again gentlemen for the very kind comments. They are all appreciated. P
  11. Thanks all for your kind comments - they are much appreciated. P
  12. Evening All, In 1909 at Shellbeach on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent, the first flight was made by J.T. C. Moore Brabazon in a British manufactured aeroplane. I have completed the build of a model of the aeroplane which made those flights which was originally part of the High Wings GB on this site, but sadly I ran out of time because life disrupted my plans. There is a build log here: and here: Oswald and Eustace Short started to build balloons at Battersea Arches in London for the Ministry of Defence in the early years of the 20th century. In 1908 the Wright brothers visited France and England to demonstrate their successful Flyer machine and the Short brothers became interested in powered flight. They persuaded their elder brother Horace to join them to form a company to build powered aircraft - Short Brothers. They set up an aircraft manufacturing facility at Leysdown on the Isle of Sheppey in north Kent and started to build 6 Flyers for members of the new Aero Club and thus became the first company to mass produce aeroplanes. The Short brothers built a number of machines based on the Wright Flyer which incorporated some changes, including using “balancing planes” instead of wing warping for lateral control: these were called Short Biplane No 2 because their first design, Biplane No 1 was unsuccessful. Like the Wright Flyer from which this design was derived, this was a canard machine - the tail was at the front. Control of the elevator and rudder was by levers on each side of the pilot, and the “balance planes” by a bar controlled with the feet. It was launched via a wooden rail and counterweight like the Wright Flyers, but I have not included this feature on my model. The Aero Club bought a farmhouse to the south of Leysdown called Mussel Manor, (now known as Muswell Manor), in February of the same year. The club also bought land around the manor including a golf course from which early flights by members of the club were made. J. T. C. Moore-Brabazon bought a Short Biplane No 2 and between April 29th and May 2nd carried out three flights at Leysdown, achieving a distance of 500 yards on the third flight. He thus became the first Briton to fly a British built machine. The machine was powered by a Vivinus engine which he had taken from a Voisin biplane but In October the engine was changed to a 60 hp Green, a British built engine. The aircraft had two propellors which were driven by chains. With the Green engine installed, in October 1909 Brabazon flew from the launch rail to a marker post set at over 800 yards away and back, in doing so winning the Daily Mail £1000 prize for the first Englishman to fly a mile in a closed circuit in a British built aeroplane with a British engine. On November 5th Moore Brabazon put a piglet which he named Icarus II in a waste paper basket which he tied to the front strut above the skid and flew with the animal to make it the first pig to fly, thus disproving the old proverb!. Moore Brabazon was awarded the first pilot’s license in Britain by the Aero Club, (which became the Royal Aero Club of Great Britain in 1910), and was to become a leading figure in the history of British aviation, including becoming the Minister for Aviation. It should be remembered that when Brabazon made those first flights in 1909 there were no training manuals or flight simulators - one learned to fly the hard way - by experimenting with the real thing! An indicator of the dangers involved was that of the first four of Brabazon's contemporaries in the Aero Club to be awarded pilot’s licenses in 1909, two were killed in accidents in 1910, including C. S. Rolls (of Rolls Royce). Bad weather stopped flying later in the year and by 1910 the Short brothers had so modified their design that they called the new machine Biplane No 3: the service life of No 2 was over. This model was made from a variety of sources as I could not find any plans. I used the later Short No 3 biplane plans to start and modified them by increasing the wingspan, (which is published), and adding the chain drives and extra propellor. Other details were taken from contemporary photographs and photographs of the 1/10 scale model in the Science Museum in London which were Kindly provided to my by Arpie on Airfix Tribute Forum. Thanks for looking. P
  13. Evening All, This is a continuation of my build for the High Wings GB: the thread can be found at: I have been very slow with this build - life has rather got in the way and I had a setback as I had to make a completely new elevator which meant that there was no chance that I could achieve the deadline. I had rigged the original elevator and was looking at some of the photos of the model in the science museum when I noticed that there were three lines of transverse struts and not two as I had made..... I decided that it would ultimately be easier to make, paint and rig a new elevator. The struts were placed in the sequence: outer struts first - allow to set; the under frame was transferred from the original elevator to the new one; inner struts which were rigged with 40 SWG rolled copper wire when dry as they were easier to access at this stage; the remaining struts were added from the centre outwards: The inner struts were rigged first, followed by the front and rear sets: The wings were rigged and the wingtip struts put into place: The pilot's seat was glued to the leading edge of the lower wing: Finally I have made the "elevators" - unusual structures which were attached to the wingtip struts and were intended to give a degree of lateral control: I hope by the next post to have completed the model, but at the current rate of progress that could still be a little longer yet. Thanks for looking. P
  14. Evening All, I regret to have to tell all that I am not going to be able to finish this build tonight. I found after the last post that I have had to make a new front elevator which slowed things a bit, but in addition I have not had either the time of the mojo to get on and finish this one. So I will continue the build and complete it hopefully next month and will continue posting in the In Progress section of this site. I have enjoyed participating with this GB and thanks to all who dropped by. I hope to have more success in finishing in the prototypes GB when that runs next year. P
  15. A little filing of soldered joints is fairly normal in my experience. What matters is what they look like when cleaned up and are they secure - if yes to both then success! P
  16. Pierre is such a wonderful pilot - he hides so much! P
  17. Evening All, Thanks Cliff and Steve for the comments - they are much appreciated. I have been incredibly slow with this build recently as I have been distracted by other things in life, including having a bathroom revamped. That has sapped a lot of time and energy but is at last nearing completion. In addition some of the model has proved more tricky than anticipated so a combination of tiredness and awkwardness has hindered constuction. It also means that I have not been visiting this site as often as I should to comment on other builds - I apologise for that and will try to drop in more frequently in future. I used black cotton thread which I waxed from a candle to stop the thread from absorbing moisture and slackening later. The thread was wound around the small "wheels" on the drive shafts between the wings and the drive shaft at the rear of the engine. I secured the ends with superglue. The right side was just a little slack when fitted but that was corrected easily when I inserted the chain guides: Apologies for the second photo but I could not quite get the image in focus. My model differs here form the Science Museum model because the latter does not have the chain guides: why this is so I am not sure because all of the contemporary photographs of the aircraft clearly show them to be present. In addition the Wright Flyers (upon which the Short design was based), also had these guides. A mystery indeed. The front elevator was constructed by putting in the numerous struts: The control rod and supports under the elevator was made from strip and rod: This was attached to the underside of the elevator and the struts and mechanism painted: Further progress is likely to be hampered because I have to visit a family member next week - more time lost! However further updates will follow when I have made more progress. Thanks for looking. P
  18. Looking forward to this Steve - another of your classic conversions starting from scrap plastic... er a vacuform. P
  19. Only just found these - mini-masterpieces especially as they are so well rigged. I take my hat off to anyone who can rig in the braille scale. P
  20. Evening All, Thanks dni42 and OM for dropping by and leaving those kind comments - they are much appreciated. dni42: the wing construction method is simple and effective (like all of my techniques - I do not do "sophisticated" or hard). I have found that I can make wings up to 8 inches span without serious droop problems - longer than that I laminate plastic and sacrifice scale thickness for greater strength. Well the best laid plans of mice and men..... Sometimes life offers distractions which we do not want or would prefer to come in an orderly, rather than disorderly manner, but then we rarely have a choice in such matters. Consequently I have either been unable to do very much or simply not had the energy until recently, and then I hit one or two tricky problems which have caused further delay. But to the model... The first thing to do was to attach the top wing. Given that I do not have proper drawings for this one I used the wonderful model in the Science Museum and contemporary photographs to guesstimate the gap between the wings: it worked out at close to 6 feet (1.9m). I cut 2 pairs of struts and cemented these to the underside of the top wing, one bay inwards from the wing tip. I used Revell Contacta for this. When the cement was partially set I inverted the wing and dropped the lower ends of the struts into the holes in the lower wing into which I had placed drops of cement. I rapidly assembled a jig to hold everything steady until all of the cement had set: Note how my modelling tray is being used for the purpose for which it was designed, and the range of expensive and sophisticated tools on display! With the 4 struts in place I could insert two pairs of struts on either side to help stabilize and strengthen the wing structure: The inner pairs of struts have been left off to allow me access to the centre section where the engine and seat will be inserted at the appropriate times. Now I could add the radiator to the centre section: this extended the full space between the wings on the Short No 2 biplane. This was followed by the engine and flywheel (at the rear), and a return water pipe from the bottom of the radiator to the engine. I made the pipe from 20 thou rod: To stabilize and strengthen the structure I added the fin between the rear of the booms: With the struts, radiator and fin in place the model is robust and can be easily handled, turned or rested on the skids or top wing as necessary. The drive shafts for the propellors were mounted between the rear struts of wing bay 2. I made these using 30 thou rod for the drive shafts, 25 thou rod for the supports and the wheels were cut and shaped from pieces of 40 x 125 thou strip: It was at this point that I went on a fool's errand. I thought that the plastic structure might not be strong enough to hold the large propellors, so I tried to make up a structure using brass rod. Having cut the rod I found that everything was so small I would have had a major problem keeping it all aligned and inserting the tip of the soldering iron between all of the stabilizing pins. I gave up in exasperation, only to discover that, when I had assembled the plastic structure and allowed it to set it was more robust than I had originally thought. The drive shafts have been duly inserted between the wings: I will put in the (motorcycle?) drive chains next - these will be made from waxed black cotton thread. The waxing stops the thread absorbing moisture and slackening over time, but more of that next time. Thanks for looking. P
  21. I think that I might be able to submit a WW1 scratch build of a prototype - there are plenty to choose from. Count me in. P
  22. Evening All, This is taking longer than I had anticipated, in part because I do not like painting. (There is no decorating on this model so I am relieved of trying to find suitable transfers or having to print my own). However I have at last painted the flying surfaces a mix of Revell white with a small dash of beige (314) to take the brightness out of the white. The wooden skids are Revell SM 382 enamel. I also painted the fuel and oil tanks in Humbrol copper and the radiator block matt black: Prior to painting I epoxied the booms to both wings. These are florist's wire and were held in place by my usual sophisticated and expensive jigs while the epoxy set: With the skids and wings painted I could cement the former to the lower wing and add the cross strut at the front of the skids: Now I could start on the "cockpit" and add extra details to the engine. Because I have excellent photos of the model in the Science Museum in London, I have been able to make reasonable representations of the seat and Vivani engine: I am now pondering the next stage(s) in the build sequence, because the engine, seat, radiator, oil and fuel tanks will all be a bit fragile and in the case of the oil and fuel tanks, potentially difficult to mount. I may have to use some modellers licence with those parts just to be able to put them in their correct positions and keep them there. I also wish to avoid knocking things off at a later stage of assembly and rigging, so I am working through different possibilities. Hopefully I will be able to post results before too long. Thanks for looking. P
  23. Apologies for the failed link: I have amended it and it now works. P
  24. Evening All This refers to the Short No 2 biplane that I am currently scratch building. The pictures are well worth a look, even if you are only interested in a scale model. @Arpie on Airfix Tribute Forum has posted some super photographs of the scale model of this machine which is in the Science museum: https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/airfixt ... 55960.html If you are interested they really are the bees knees - so much detail, much of which I was guessing about but now are clear. I am not sure that my model will be anywhere near as good, but I will try. They show the aircraft as it was for the initial flights with the Vivani engine. P
  25. Evening All, Thanks Cliff and Toryu for the comments - much appreciated. @Arpie on Airfix Tribute Forum has posted soe super photographs of the scale model of this machine which is in the Science museum: https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/airfixtributeforum/scratch-builds-f79/ If you are interested they really are the bees knees - so much detail, much of which I was guessing about but now are clear. I am not sure that my model will be anywhere near as good, but I will try. They show the aircraft as it was for the initial flights with the Vivani engine. P
  • Create New...