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Scratchbuilt 1:72 Blériot XI-2

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Hi all,

For those who don't follow the Great War in the Air forum, I thought I'd post my recently completed Blériot XI scratchbuild. It's my first scratchbuild, but was surprisingly straightforward, the only problems being working out a logical order for the construction. The engine and prop are Aeroclub, seatbelts and wheels are PE (the wheels came from a Meikraft Albatros which won't be needing them) and the decals are homemade (my first attempt!). Other than that it's all plastic stock, brass rod and beer can (all the body panels). 




















I hope you like her!



Edit Sept 2018: Since the GWIA forum is now long defunct, here's a link to the build on WWIAircraftmodels.


Edited by limeypilot
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Great work!

Can you elaborate some more on how you did the wings?

Yes please tell us! It is a great finish to the Bleriot, nice work.

Kind regards, Ray

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Thanks for the comments!

The wings were actually pretty simple. I used .030" plastic card and added the camber at the leading edge using a PE bending tool, starting behind the leading edge and working forward just gradually adding more curve until I had it as I wanted. The ribs/batons were very much trial and error. The ribs at the leading edge were added with plastic rod, sanded and smoothed in at the edges with Mr Surfacer. For the batons, I started by attaching strips of fishing line (the same as I use for rigging) and painting over it. It didn't look right though, too over-scale, so I pulled the rigging line off. Then I had the "Eureka" moment! Because I'd given it a few coats of paint there was a small lip either side of where the fishing line had been. A little filling in was required in places but not much. I smoothed it off with a little gentle sanding, and voila! The end result is one I'm very pleased with, and, as mentioned, is merely paint and a little liquid filler! The light sanding also darkened the paint a little so I didn't even add any highlighting, pre- or post-shading - just the base paint colour!

The wheels were indeed a model on their own. As they came from Meikraft, each wheel was in 4 parts: 2 pieces of PE for spokes, and 2 tyre halves. The latter were a little thick so I sanded them down a bit. I shaped the spokes by just resting the PE on the tyre half and very gently pressing it down around the edge, slowly working around the outside until they had a slight dish to them. It's not much, but with the 2 pieces together the gap between them shows up much better. There's a small piece of plastic rod added for the hub which was then drilled to take the brass rod axle and give it a bit of strength.


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Hello Ian, thanks for letting us know your technique on the wings, I will try that sometime soon I hope (I did a WW1 biplane scratchbuild but the wings were not quite right - the camber was not pronounced enough). I have plan...

Regards, Ray

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Very impressive. Particularly like the engine panels. I was wondering how many cans had to be drunk in order to acquire the right amount of metal?

Cheers, Steve

Actually it hardly made a dent in the can (pun intended!) even after scrapping some! I "stole" the can from my local bar - I only drink draught!


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Now that is really nice! Well done, you've captured the 'built by hand' look perfectly. Just the right amount of scuffing and used look too!

Eric aka The Yankymodeler

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I have seen this already on other sites but I still think that this is a superb piece of scratch building and that you ought to do some more. I am sure that you could make some excellent WW1 or even pre-war subjects.



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