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Scratchbuilt Sopwith Dolphin in 1/72nd scale


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More modest progress on the rigging.

I've got into a pattern now of doing a few lengths of rigging in a session and - every so often when I can work up the nerve - bringing the soldering iron to bear on the last batch, always taking care not to poke big holes in the wings or to introduce unrealistic warping effects.

But before I could make any more progress, I had to make some control horns, and so the shadow of the guillotine fell over my project again. A simple job of cutting tiny little fillets of 0.25x0.5mm Evergreen strip, with cutting guides printed out from TurboCAD. Not very exciting, but it just goes to show the amount of effort involved in the smallest details on a project like this.

DSCF3835.JPG

The heartening result was a set of fairly similar plastic triangles (sorry about the blurred photo, but greater definition would not really add anything):

control%2520horns.jpg

Anyway, here's how it's looking now, with the interwing and underside rigging all done.

DSCF3839.JPG

As before, the sharper-eyed amongst you will have spotted something missing. This shedding of parts is starting to become a bit of a feature of this build. I think I've stuck most of the parts on at least twice, including the wings and tailplane. As it happens, I had been a bit unsatisfied with the starboard wheel (for that is what it is this time), because its little length of axle was noticeably longer than the other one. But I hadn't dared to do anything about it, for fear of wrecking the entire undercarriage. Now I've been able to trim the axle a bit before reattaching it. So that was lucky.

So, nearly finished now. After the rigging, there's just the Lewis gun to add (for a second time, it goes without saying - but in a different place, just to ring the changes a bit). As promised in the previous post, I raided my unbuilt kits for suitable Lewises and decided to use one from a Roden Brisfit; but after I'd done a coat of paint on it I was not satisfied. Apart from not being quite as sharply detailed as the Mini World ones, it had suffered slightly from the injection moulding process, having a little blob on the barrel from the sprue attachment, which was almost impossible to clean up properly. So I've put in an order for another Mini World Lewis from Hannants. It would be a pity to stint on this last detail.

I've been giving some thought to the display options for my Dolphin, and I've decided to have it on a bit of airfield, with Lt Worthington posing alongside his plane for a photo, as those chaps were wont to do. My Osprey references has some good examples of this type of picture, including some of pilots from 87 Sqn holding pipes, and some of Lt Worthington himself. But unfortunately none of Lt Worthington with a pipe. Capt A W Vigers, Capt H J Larkin, Maj J C Callaghan, yes. Lt Worthington, no. Pity that. I thought it would be a really good idea to show him with a pipe, but if the documentary evidence isn't there, then I can't really justify it. Not to worry. I've just thought how fiddly it would be to make a pipe in 1/72nd scale.

More soon hopefully.

Edited by Quentin
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More modest progress on the rigging.

I've got into a pattern now of doing a few lengths of rigging in a session and - every so often when I can work up the nerve - bringing the soldering iron to bear on the last batch, always taking care not to poke big holes in the wings or to introduce unrealistic warping effects.

Using a soldering iron sounds a bit risky to me - when I used to use rigging material that needed taughtening, I used to just light a match, blow it out & immediately hold it close to the droopy wire. More of a cowards way out I suppose, but the only real risk was to the wire...

She's going to look a little beauty when ready for her pic with Lt.Worthington....!!

keef

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Using a soldering iron sounds a bit risky to me - when I used to use rigging material that needed taughtening, I used to just light a match, blow it out & immediately hold it close to the droopy wire. More of a cowards way out I suppose, but the only real risk was to the wire...

She's going to look a little beauty when ready for her pic with Lt.Worthington....!!

keef

Thanks very much. I was a bit nervous at first - but practising with a bit of scrap plastic card, I found that you can get surprisingly close to it without any ill effect; you have to actively prod it with the iron to cause any damage.

Incidentally I'm going to get some advice from a wargaming friend when it comes to painting Lt W, to make sure he's looking presentable for his photo.

By the way, I like the grass that your Camel is standing on. What did you use for that?

Edited by Quentin
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Wow amazing stuff, looks fabulous and love the snipe too, would love to see more piccies please. I use the Invisible thread, bought from a sewing shop and paint it an alluminium colour when in place. I use the drill a partial hole in the lower wing and right through the top wing and pull it taught method. It works well. I managed to get the Airfix 72nd Avro 504 fully done (I think)and I am well chuffed with it.

Thanks for sharing your work and I am glad you did not give up on this delightful build.

All the best

Chris

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Wow amazing stuff, looks fabulous and love the snipe too, would love to see more piccies please. I use the Invisible thread, bought from a sewing shop and paint it an alluminium colour when in place. I use the drill a partial hole in the lower wing and right through the top wing and pull it taught method. It works well. I managed to get the Airfix 72nd Avro 504 fully done (I think)and I am well chuffed with it.

Thanks for sharing your work and I am glad you did not give up on this delightful build.

All the best

Chris

Thanks - I might post up the Snipe on RFI even though I finished it about 13 years ago. And I think I might use some variant of the drill-hole-pull-taut method on my next project. You live and learn.

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By the way, I like the grass that your Camel is standing on. What did you use for that?

It's static grass as used by railway modellers. At the time I didn't have any form of applicator for it, so just spread some pva on the base & sprinkled the 'grass' on it from between my finger tips. After its dry you can gently brush it with an old toothbrush or similar to make it stand up a bit more. I deliberately left it a bit patchy so then rubbed some earth colour pigments into the patches. Then added some small clumps of Woodland Scenics foliage dipped in pva for weeds.

HTH

keef

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It's static grass as used by railway modellers. At the time I didn't have any form of applicator for it, so just spread some pva on the base & sprinkled the 'grass' on it from between my finger tips. After its dry you can gently brush it with an old toothbrush or similar to make it stand up a bit more. I deliberately left it a bit patchy so then rubbed some earth colour pigments into the patches. Then added some small clumps of Woodland Scenics foliage dipped in pva for weeds.

HTH

keef

Sounds good. I've got some Javis Countryside Scenics static grass and I've got a Gaugemaster Scenic Puffer Bottle, both of which have been languishing for years waiting for their moment. Judging by the results you've obtained, it's worth finally putting them into action. Unfortunately, the grass I've got is an autumn mix, which obviously is no good for April 1918. So another trip to Frome Model Centre is called for...

Thanks for the tip. Your examples look brilliant by the way.

Edited by Quentin
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Quentin, it is looking stunning!

Martin

Thanks very much. Hope I can be forgiven for blowing my own trumpet, but I'm quite pleased that it's still looking so presentable after all the punishment it's had. More updates soon with any luck.

Edited by Quentin
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Well, I've finished the rigging, and I think it was 6 months well spent.

DSCF3841.JPG

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Still waiting for the new Lewis gun to arrive. In the meantime, I think I'm going to do a few splatters of mud here and there and start work on Lt W himself. Not far to go now...

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Finished!

DSCF3851.JPG

As you can see, the new Mini World Lewis gun arrived. I think you will agree the etched vane sights alone give it the edge over anything you can get in styrene form. Judging from my sources, the sights were often taken off in service - they can't have been a great deal of use - but the photo I've got of C4056 shows the sights still on, so on they went. And they look great. Now you can tell which way the wind was blowing in my scenario.

The remaining jobs I had to do were (1) to splash a bit of mud on the undersides, concentrating on the undercarriage, tailskid and rudder and (2) to glue the pitot tube on for the 2nd time; and then a 3rd time after it broke off again.

So there it is. Next, I'm going to make a scenic base for it. The plan is:

  1. Cut a piece of thin MDF
  2. Create an uneven surface with Polyfilla
  3. Paint surface an earth colour.
  4. Apply static grass.

Thanks to Keef for advice on this. I'm also going to be studying the wargaming blog of a friend of mine, who has lent me some static grass and Vallejo acrylics for the job and who has achieved some very nice results with wargaming scenery.

http://thewargamestable.blogspot.co.uk/

Thanks for all the interest and advice, everyone. Nearly there now.

DSCF3852.JPG

DSCF3853.JPG

Edited by Quentin
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That is just simply lovely, & all the more so for being scratchbuilt in the one true scale!! :thumbsup:

Can I ask where you got the Lewis from, Hannants always seem to be out of stock....

keef

ps - forgot to say, I've now got one of the static grass puffer bottles that you mentioned, & one of these too;

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/static-grass-applicator-/190821948027?pt=UK_Trains_Railway_Models&hash=item2c6ddfda7b

- they both work well, & give better results than my earlier fingertip application gave!

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That is just simply lovely, & all the more so for being scratchbuilt in the one true scale!! :thumbsup:

Can I ask where you got the Lewis from, Hannants always seem to be out of stock....

keef

ps - forgot to say, I've now got one of the static grass puffer bottles that you mentioned, & one of these too;

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/static-grass-applicator-/190821948027?pt=UK_Trains_Railway_Models&hash=item2c6ddfda7b

- they both work well, & give better results than my earlier fingertip application gave!

Thanks - I'm quite pleased with it myself. I might be the reason that Hannants is out of stock - I had their last one. But they say that more are on their way.

That is a fiendish-looking device by the way. I'd be interested to know if it works. I'm just going to stick with your toothbrush technique.

Edited by Quentin
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Thanks - I'm quite pleased with it myself. I might be the reason that Hannants is out of stock - I had their last one. But they say that more are on their way.

That is a fiendish-looking device by the way. I'd be interested to know if it works. I'm just going to stick with your toothbrush technique.

It works quite well - it's a cheap version of the Noch grassmaster (which costs about £160 more!!) Only thing to be wary of is that you have to put a panel pin or similar in the area to be grassed, & earth it using the attached wire to get the static charge - first time I used it I managed to touch the pin with the tea strainer bit & despite it only using a AA battery it gave a hell of a bang & scared the wotsit out of me....!! I now cover the top of the pin with insulating tape...!! :D

I've put a watch on the Lewis guns on Hannants now, I've used one before, they're little gems, aren't they?

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I've put a watch on the Lewis guns on Hannants now, I've used one before, they're little gems, aren't they?

They certainly are. I'd be interested to know how you get on with bending the vanes to shape, though. I had to give up.

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I've been enjoying watching this come together over the months, what outstanding workmanship!

Cheers

John

Thanks! There are quite a few mistakes, inaccuracies and imperfections that I might describe in due course - they could serve as useful warnings or reminders to others. But overall I'm quite pleased with the way it's turned out.

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Hi Quentin,

An absolutely stunning build. That it's in 1/72 is even more mind blowing.

For your next rigged model you might consider a hair dryer set on high and passed back & forth a few times over the rigging, instead of using the soldering iron (or lit cigarette, or incense stick). It's a little less precise, but you run a considerably lower risk of melting your lines.

I've used this method on models rigged with nylon thread to no ill effect.

Cheers,

Tony Bell

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Hi Quentin,

An absolutely stunning build. That it's in 1/72 is even more mind blowing.

For your next rigged model you might consider a hair dryer set on high and passed back & forth a few times over the rigging, instead of using the soldering iron (or lit cigarette, or incense stick). It's a little less precise, but you run a considerably lower risk of melting your lines.

I've used this method on models rigged with nylon thread to no ill effect.

Cheers,

Tony Bell

Thanks for the tip - I didn't think of that. For the record, I think I melted 4 or 5 stretches out of a total of 50ish, so it wasn't as bad as I feared. And after a while you find yourself waving the soldering iron about as cool as a few cucumbers (to quote P G Wodehouse).

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