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A couple years ago my lovely wife bought me a model biplane for Christmas because she wanted me to build one for her. The kit in question was the Revell 1/48 PT-17 Stearman and after pondering a few different yellow-based schemes we found this image and the choice was made. Some weeks later, in the late [Australian] summer of 2020 I was finished and she was very pleased with her biplane. I was too, it was not only my first biplane but my first attempt at rigging. I used stretched sprue individually attached and each individually snapped tight with smoke; an exercise fraught with potential disaster at every step. Nonetheless, it turned out quite nicely and looked quite striking in its Recall Colours. The Stearman was duly placed in the display cabinet and more or less forgotten. Until... Fast forward to just over a year ago and we are packing up to move from Sydney to our new home in Canberra. Packing is never fun, especially in a pandemic with Sydney in a hard lock down - oh, those days seem long ago now, don't they? - and I was looking for ways to reduce the burden. I really didn't want to pack many of my built models so I advertised and several were sold. Can you can guess where this is going? Let's say for the sake of brevity that Mrs.Mark.au was disappointed in my decision to sell "my biplane" and has on [somewhat frequent] occasion reminded me of that egregious error on my part. Any how, after completing my Academy Mk.XIVe the other day I pondered on what to take on next. I narrowed it down to three options; 1. A No. 411 Squadron RCAF Spitfire LF Mk.IX as a study in weathering; 2. A Burma based RAF Thunderbolt; 3. or Robert Hampton "Hammy" Gray, VC, DSC, RCNVR's Corsair. The first and last of these choices provide the opportunity to join the Canadian GB currently running until October which would subsequently lead very nicely into the P-38 GB which I am already committed to with an RAAF marking on worn Haze colouring, an interesting paint challenge in itself. I happened to mention these choices to Mrs.Mark.au and she asked to see them; upon review of the choices shown above she casually mentioned that none of them appeared to be a biplane. I then made a critical mistake, I asked her to take a look at the stash and suggest my next project. With laser-like precision she focused on this which at the time it was in the pile, quite high up, and quite inconspicuous, I thought. "I want the red one" she said, and that was that, there was no honourable way out, so a biplane it is. A rigged biplane. A 1/32 scale biplane, so how bad can it be? This evening I began work. I decided right away this was going to be a superficial effort; by that I mean I will complete it out of the box with the minimum effort in the cockpit or any other unseen components - no effort at all, actually - and instead focus on a really good paint job, weather it appropriately and learn how to rig like the pros. With that sophisticated plan in place, I set to. The mouldings seem reasonably ok, a little bit of flash and some minor clean up to do but nothing terrible. The plastic seems soft and the detail matches it, it's similar to feel and detail to ICM's 1/48 Spitfire, but I've seen worse. I began to remove some of the larger parts from the sprues and cleaned them up. After studying the instructions I decided that I could push the assembly quite some way before having to paint anything so I began splashing Tamiya Extra Thin abut the place. Soon I had this; Looks pretty rough, huh? Almost none of it can be seen once the engine is installed so it doesn't matter what most of it looks like. Next, I joined the fuselage; On the face of it, a ballsy move but bear in mind the plastic was is so soft that all the internals can still be added with the rear of the fuselage joined. I did it this way as there are no locating pins on the fuselage and I wanted to join it free from concern about aligning any of the internals at the same time. This way, I focused on a clean fuselage join first, got that set and clean before slipping in the internals. N Next, I added the seat and engine, glued on one side only so that I had room to manoeuvre when adding the fuselage upper piece (which is of fixed width and I want to be able to match the fuselage halves to meet it cleanly) and the engine radiator at the front (which is also of fixed width). Next I added the rest of the cockpit and dry fitted the fuselage topside. A dry fit of the radiator and one of the engine covers shows that I got a pretty good alignment and fit on the fuselage assembly. I've also checked the lower wing fit and that will work well too. My goal is to be able to paint the fuselage separately from the wings - it seems this will reduce the masking requirement as the wings aren't red, only the fuselage is. It'll look better when done too. This is all setting up now so next session I'll paint the cockpit interior with some vaguely wood-looking shades and I still have sufficient access to the instrument panel to make it look something like an, err, instrument panel. The engine won't be painted until after the fuselage because it'll be a lot easier to mask around the engine than to mask the engine. Or maybe not, I'll check that assumption later. As mentioned, I'm doing "the red one" belonging to Captain Duncan William Grinnell-Milne. From Wikipedia; Capt. Grinnell-Milne was an English First World War pilot credited with six confirmed aerial victories, a prisoner of war who escaped from German captivity, a flying ace, and an author. Initially serving with the 7th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers, he was seconded to the Royal Flying Corps before joining the Royal Air Force. His was quite an interesting story - he named his aircraft "Schweinehund" because that was what his captors repeatedly called him while he was in their care. As a complete beginner of this kind of modelling I'm open to all advice, suggestion, critique, and even ridicule as long as it's funny Cheers.
The other tiny SE5a
Adrian Hills posted a topic in Christmas Blitzenbuild 2020Inspired by BbDave's cereal packet SE5a in what I estimate is about 1/159, I thought I'd build mine. I only looked it up to estimate the scale but thought I needed something to do whilst waiting for the yellow paint to dry on my Baynes Bat. As you can see I have the right paint and some teeny A type roundels. Unfortunately I have mislaid the instructions Assembly is quite quick but decided to leave top wing off and paint seperately - I have my reasons Now to let this paint dry !
Lindberg 1/48 SE5a Polish Air Force.
Brad posted a topic in Ready for Inspection - AircraftI had this kit in the stash for a very long time, but kept overlooking it because of rigging. However I broke it out recently and decided to have a crack. The kit is basic, but decent fitting. I only replaced the lewis gun with one from the stash which looks a lot better. I rigged it by threading knitting elastic and it worked pretty well. The aircraft depicts one of the 20 odd machines acquired by the Poles to fight their war of Independence against the Russians in February 1919. Decals came from my spares box.
Tim K posted a topic in Ready for Inspection - AircraftSE5a Revell (Eduard) 1/48 Pheon decals I have never made a biplane but have wanted to model a Wingnut Wings. So I decided to model a cheaper kit and see what results I could reach? I am partially colour blind so used the AK Interactive paint kits, Clear Doped Linen, 3 colours and WW1 RFC & RNAS 4 colours. Rigging line : EZ line (fine) and some V.Fine Uschi van Roten I think Trnbuckles Albion Alloys TB2 1/32 scale but cut in half. Unlike most of my previous kits this was a joy. It’s the first time trying to make wood grain and while it is a bit clumsy the new technique tamya paint, winsor and Newton oils tamya clear orange. The results were satisfactory. Airbrushing: AK Interactive paints thinned with Lifecolor thinners worked ok Mini disaster as the softening decal solution got under the Humbrol varnish (perhaps the layer was too thin) and messed up the large T on upper wing, After remedial airbrushing and varnish I used another “T” from the Pheon range although its not quite the right font – devil rides when needs must. Placing the wings 4 may be 5 attempts and in the end removed most of the lugs from the lugs superglued in 0.3mm dia brass wire, drilled holes in the wings and fuselage. When the fine diameter wires were in all the holes it gave me a semi rigid structure that I could move around and line things up…. I am a retired dentist so used silicone impression material to make an impression of the lower surface upper wing and cast it in quick etting resin – materials I was used to handling when I had a day job. I used this as a jig to glue the struts to the lower wing and then replaced this when things were set with the upper wing and dropped runny superglue through the holes in the upper wing Then over a week set about the rigging. Wingnut Wings SE5a gave rigging instructions were used in the main because I couldn’t find super detail instructions as to where the locating places were. My method of rigging I don’t know whether its novel or a mix of other modellors. Superglue one end, run the turn buckles on, stretch slightly and super glue the other end, then put the turn buckles in the correct positions and superglue them in place. Painting the rigging – didn’t know whether to or not – so as this was an experimental model for me decided to use Mr Metal Color Aluminum. If nothing else it filled in the slight unsightly gap in the turnbuckle brass tube and with a bit of artistic license and a kind eye of the beholder it might look like air foil rigging wires…. Pleased Yes! Beats a nonsensical F40 I finished recently. Any comments good or otherwise gratefully received.
Evening All, Now this is small! I think this is the smallest kit that I've ever made and that include the Airfix Chipmunk. Anyway great fun, but being a Roden kit it requires a fair bit of test fitting and additional supports etc. only really done some preparation and painting plus added some hint of the internal fuselage structure. Plus I've used oils for the wood grain so the slow drying time will allow me to progress one of the other builds a bit faster.....hopefully. Cheers, M.
Haynes manuals for modelling
maltadefender posted a topic in Aircraft WWIHi all, I've seen some thoughts for and against how useful Haynes manuals are for modellers. Has anyone tried the new Sopwith Camel book, and is there anything specific that you would want to see in a future manual? All thoughts welcome...
Alvin posted a topic in New MembersHello everyone I hope I have used the proper section to introduce myself as social media is not my forte. My name is Alvin,live in Northern Ireland and am retired. I have built models since the days of Airfix bagged kits that cost 2 bob each. I am a member of the Northern Ireland Modellers Association, a motley collection of social misfits. I am lucky to have my own man cave at home for my various projects mainly larger scale WW2 subjects though finding space is always a problem - so what's new with that ? My main beef for which i make no apology is the bizarre fascination in the aircraft modelling world for so-called Luft 46 subjects,some of which never made it past the designers drawing board before the Russians kicked the door down. Therefore the best paint scheme for these kits would be blue and white - draughtsman's ink and paper.This seems to be at expense of various RAF subjects for which we have a limited choice. Anyway enough of that. I have read the article by Epeeman about the Merit Se5a. I have attempted this kit and got it wrong as I believe I got the inner (cabane) struts the wrong way round and the rigging was ropey (no pun intended). I have another one ordered,rather extravagant but I hate to be beaten..Epeeman if you are out there can you please let me know what paint you used. the result looks positively great. Many Thanks Alvin.
AdrianMF posted a topic in Ready for Inspection - AircraftHello All, I was tempted by this model whilst visiting AAA Hobbies and Crafts, just south of Philadelphia. If you are in the area do take a look: they have a fantastic selection of models, tools and supplies, and were very helpful. Anyhow, it was cheap (less than a tenner in old money), the box was colourful and the schemes are interesting: However, when you get inside the box, all is not quite so good with the world. Here are the Albatros sprues: It turns out that this is a re-box from ESCI, which in turn had acquired the moulds from some other firm, which itself was "inspired" by the Revell kits of the same models. The Albatros is not as nicely done as my Revell copy (and certainly not as nice as the Roden one!) and has the same incorrect pinched rear fuselage to boot! The decals are very nice though, in both subject and execution. The models are discussed elsewhere on Britmodeller here. The general consensus is to buy the equivalent Revell kits for cheap thrills and Roden kits for contest entries. So I was sitting at my workbench late on Saturday night and just wondered what would happen if I replaced the moulded-in seat with a scratch build seat and instrument panel... 22 elapsed hours later on Sunday night I had this: Seat: Instrument panel and stick: The Lewis gun looks massive but is within a couple of mm of scale length. Like the thread says, the moulding is not really recommended. I had to repair a lot of short shot issues on the wing trailing edges (paper and super glue work well for that). But it was fun to assemble and paint up, and the scheme is quite different. I'm still working out whether I should bother to rig it. The propeller looked like a couple of scimitar blades. I managed to straighten it by brute force. I bent it straight and the plastic went white, beyond its elastic limit, so I hope it doesn't creep back again. The instructions designer obviously lives by the motto "draw what you saw"! Thanks for looking, Adrian
I'm going to build the SE5a of one of my heroes, a man who did everything in life that I could have ever wished to do: James Ira "Taffy" Jones flew fighters with 74 Squadron, claimed thirty-seven enemy aircraft (1 balloon, 28 (and 1 shared) aircraft destroyed, and 6 (and 1 shared) down out of control), wrote three books, and returned to service for World War II to train pilots. 16-victory RAF ace Peter Malam Brothers recalled: "at Uxbridge there was this splendid First World War pilot, Ira Taffy Jones, who stuttered terribly. One day he stood up and said 'There is going to be a b-b-bloody wa-wa-war and you ch-chaps are going to be in it. I'll give you one piece of advice - wh-wh-when you fir-first get into combat you will be fu-fu-[redacted] fr-frightened. Ne-never forget the ch-chap in the other cock-cockpit is tw-twice as fu-[redacted] fr-frightened as you are.' I reckon he saved my life with that piece of advice. In my first combat over France, I suddenly thought, My God, the chap in that other cockpit must be having hysterics, and shot him down. But I give all credit to Taffy." The irascible Jones was an indifferent pilot who never quite mastered the art of setting the plane down (the aircraft I'm modelling was in fact written off by him in a rough landing), an excellent deflection shooter, a teetotaller during the war (but not after), and he nursed a fierce antipathy to all Germans, famously gunning a balloon observer down as he dangled in his 'chute: "My habit of attacking Huns dangling from their parachutes led to many arguments in the mess. Some officers, of the Eton and Sandhurst type, thought it was 'unsportsmanlike' to do it. Never having been to a public school, I was unhampered by such considerations of form. I just pointed out that there was a bloody war on, and that I intended to avenge my pals." During the interwar period, Jones met Hermann Goering while serving as personal pilot to Sir Sefton Brancker: "Sir Sefton said "'I wonder if you two ever met in an air fight, Taffy.' 'He wouldn't be here now, sir, if we had met,' I retorted. Brancker laughed, but Goering did not." Taffy also idolized his squadronmate Edward "Mick" Mannock and disliked and distrusted the Canadian VC winner Billy Bishop; The first biographer (perhaps hagiographer) of Mannock, Jones played a key part in the postwar score calculations that left Mannock officially the top-scoring RFC ace of WWI. Perhaps most famously, during the Battle of Britain, Jones pursued a Ju88 in an unarmed Hawker Henley, firing a Very pistol at it. As you can see, Taffy Jones was quite a character, a man who lead a life straight out of a Boy's Own serial, and I've always felt an immense fondness for him. When I learned that Pheon did a 1/72 decal sheet that included markings for his plane, I knew I had to have it. And so here we are: I'm going to try rigging this with Uschi ultrafine rigging thread. I tested it last night on "one I'd done earlier", and it seemed to work okay for me: I'm using the Roden kit, of course, and if you've ever built one of their World War I kits in 1/72 before you've perhaps winced and nodded. If you haven't, well Roden kits are seemingly designed to ace in-box reviews, with beautiful surface detail and incredible parts and variant options. They are also tooled in Hell with the CAD done by the Devil himself, and they suffer from poor fit, fragile parts, and decals that explode into a million fragments on contact with water. Their instructions leave a little to be desired as well. Behold Part 34A on the instruction drawing, then cast your eyes upon the actual part 34A. Hardly recognize them as the same piece, would you? I'm an idiot, so I expect this build will be a challenge.