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Torbjorn

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About Torbjorn

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  1. Me too! Now, where to find these corks. Looks like I must buy two-three large bottles of dispensable fluid. — For the punches steel would of course be better but at least some of us don’t have the tools for that. Sure, buying a lathe is probably cheaper than some of those punch sets
  2. Torbjorn

    Struts

    The easiest way I found, which produced good results, was to take evergreen rod (they’re quite soft) and squeeze it in a vice. A little practice and you can get reproducable results. That’ll give you an elliptic cross-section which can be tapered near the connections if needed. Works in 1/72, but in 1/32 I’d expect more afterwork to be necessaru.
  3. Like the little round reflectors, definitely better than those I tried to shape. Wonder if I can sharpen an aluminium or brass tube to do the work.
  4. Tailplane next. Rudder and stabiliser with elevators were made the same way: double layer of 5 thou sheet, ribs embossed on the insided before glueing the pieces together. On the rudder I tried to make faint marks only, while on the stabiliser they should be sharp. Rudder: Stabiliser with elevators. The brackets on the stabiliser are to fasten it to the underside of the fuselage frame and are made from beer can (so are all control horns). As you can see it had what later became the standard configuration with elevators attached to the trailing edge of the horisontal stabiliser. Earlier Bleriots had the entire outboard halves of the stabiliser move as elevators. I’ve seen a photo of a crashed XI with the old style tail claiming it to be the wrecked ”Oluj” - however I’ve also seen a picture of Oluj which clearly had the new style tailplane so I went with that. A dry fit before final finish to check that it all fits. It did, but it’s tight: One of the most difficult part, in my mind at least, is the peculiar cowling: Those bulges which allow the engine to spin are not only difficult to make symmetrical, they need to be thin enough to allow room for the engine. Decided to plunge mold them by making a male mold from a wooden clothespin. The bulge was then sawed off, sanded down to have a flat mating surface before glued on a styrene sheet that was first cut to fit on the plane. The last part (except finish trimming and polishing) was to wait for the glue to cure and then cut an opening in the flat sheet where the bulge is. Holding up theh piece in front of a lamp showed the outline of the bulge clearly and it was easier than anticipated. A nervous test fit showed that the enginge will be able to fit after all Here is the moulding going on, showing my makeshift setup. I’m using my clothespins sparingly: the other end is the mold for one of the plates that will cover the top of the fuselage. Below: female and male moulds, the left-over plastic after the bulge was parted, and the bulge being test-fitted to the cowling plate. Below: the level of symmetry is acceptable for me. In the middle a brass tube can be seen: the engine will be mounted on another brass tube that slide-fits into this one. Enging spin test was successful (barely barely):
  5. I have done that, but found it tricky to get it in scale (1/72).
  6. Made a new stick without a bell. The predecessor of the XI, the Bleriot VIII was the first to adopt the stick-and-pedal control system that has become standard ever since. I added ridder wires, but cut them under the observer’s chair - the rest will be added later. I’m a bit sceptical on this configuration since the observer would have to be very careful not getting entangled... All the furniture was added: three tanks, two chairs, a linkage wheel connected to the stick. A fuel throttle was prepared and will be added once the panels are in place. Here I have added the port side covers: went for metal also on the inside on the metal parts. The image is a bit overexposed, the linen looks more dirty in real life. Unfortunately I used styrene sheet for the linen cover - I should have used paper! Even 5 thou styrene is too thick. There is no way I can get it off without damage to the frame though, so done is done. Searching for a lost part I found the tail skid of a Pfalz I built half a year ago! So it finally got completed. I’ll use it here for a size comparison: The XI-2 is not that small compared to later designs: it is considerably larger than a Fokker Eindekker - I’ll show that later when the wings are made. Maybe I’m the only one surprised by this, but there it is. I’ve decided on a machine (based on the availability of decals!): the first airplane in the Serbian airforce, nicknamed “Oluj” (Storm), flown by Miroslav Tomic during the opening years if the Great War. It was one of the very first machines to be armed and used to fight fellow men. It seems a bit like heresy for me to put a gun on the plane that crossed the Channel and the Alps and raised hopes for a brighter future of peaceful progress - but such is mankind. It does tell a double story of the peaceful pioneering years of aviation and the war that put an abrupt end to it. Tomic himself went on with a long carreer in the Serbian and Yugoslav airforces lasting all until 1941 and his capture by the Nazis in another war - he survived and eventually emigrated to the US. More here: http://warnepieces.blogspot.com/2018/07/the-serbian-bleriot-xi-storm-and-its.html?m=1
  7. And it’s done. The last thing to be added was the aerial. Previously I’ve just glued the wire to it’s fasting points, but I’ve started tying a single overhand knot around the ”sticks” and applying a droplet of CA on it. This seems to have reduced accidental breaks significantly and can barely be seen overpainted. The lead-in wire, half way down, was likewise tied to the wire with an overhand knot. Here’s the result before cutting the ends, which is done with a flush-cutter I picked up in a ladies’ beauty shop - I think it’s intended for eye-lashes or something, but it works beautifully with model ”wire”. The insulators are blobs of PVA.
  8. Started with the stick. The typical bell was shaped from sprue, the steering wheel from a punched styrene disk and the rest from metal scrap: Unfortunately I’ll have to make a new one: the Bleriot XI-2 apparently did not have this bell, instead it was connected withe a rod to a linkage wheel behind the pilot. Meh. Whatever detail I want to make on this machine seems to require that something else is added first. I’m trying to close the fuselage - as much closed as it gets that is - and started on the structural bracibg wires inside the covered parts. Also added a fuel line from the fuel tank behind the observer. Rudder control cables currently end under the observer’s chair. I will attach the secpnd parts that should run all the way to the rudder just before adding the fuel tank and closing the sides. No idea how to keep those lines out of trouble until it is time to glue them to the rudder.
  9. The Hataka is ok I guess, it’s just that I have a personal preference for a warmer colour. I thought I was almost finished, but apparently the triplet of exhaust manifolds I had painted were for a Hurrican MkIIc, Defiant and Spitfire. Maybe I should start building one model at a time. Otherwise I’m also trying the decals for the yellow propeller tips. I’m sceptical but I nourish a strong dislike for painting yellow so I’ll give it a try. The red tapes are on with decalfix applied to accentuate the gun ports. Hmm, hadn’t noticed tht the canopy seems to sit too high. Will have to investigate.
  10. Thanks Andy, for the great write-up. I’ll borrow some for the summary post in the gallery of you don’t mind. I did find the battle report for that action - well, all of them, but they did not mention any serial numbers, only pilots and gunners. The model itself is almost finished after some detours. The blue on the fin was overpainted with a darker version mixed from French blue and black. I had more use of that mix, since when I removed the masking after painting the port side ”H”, a 45 degree section of the blue and yellow of the roundel came off. Using a compass, I made masks from Tamiya tape and attempted a repair. You can see it up close but on the photo it’s barely recognizable so I give it a pass. Now I only have to find that moving fairing behind the turret and make one new door foor the undercarriage to replace the one that I most likely binned when cleaning my desk. Although the Falcom vac-form turret it a vast improvement in terms of thickness and transparemcy, it appears to be a tad small. i’m considering to use the lowered fairing for the canopy to hide this.
  11. A bit dirtier now, partly intentional, partly not. Apart from aerial it now only lacks pitot tube, the kit part being gone with the wind from the airbrush (a new will be made) and the propeller, which I stepped on (in repair). edit: and guns in the wings (completely forgotten, but painted and safely stored... somewhere).
  12. It took quite some time for the decals to arrive, in fact most of May and if I recall correctly a bit of June. Suffice to say I blame on that my failure to finish on time. I made slow progress with rigging. With double flying wires, Vickers gun ”control strings” or whatever you call them (the loose, curved wires going from cockpit to the gun on the upper wing) and quirky control wires going through pulleys it’s certainly not the easiest thing to rig. Glad to be finished. I have to admit, I will. need to regain some strength before I tackle the next Camel. Hmmf, I see I have a pitot tube to straighten. And a snapped control wire.
  13. Exquisite result, I’m sorry to have not seen this til now. I had to consult a dictionary to find a suitably superlative adjective The rigging looks flawless to me. May I ask the dimension of those wires and where you buy them (apologies if you mentioned it, I haven’t thoroughly read everything yet)? All EZline I’ve found accessible is too thick for 1/72. Ceramic I’ve never come across, but eager to try.
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