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Chief Cohiba

(Finished) Trumpeter Stringbag - a long term project...

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Hello Folks,

I wanted to invite you to follow me through the journey with this Trumpeter Swordfish Mk I, as I'm pretty sure you've seen some before. Nevertheless the Stringbag in it's matchbox incarnation was one of my first models I build together with my father way back in the seventies. While I type this, I just can't help slipping into a bit of nostalgia, remembering the three coloured model from their "Orange" range of model, summer holidays in the seventies, the toy shop where I spent a fair amount of my pocket money...

(Ok, let's stop here now. For those interested - this one: http://www.matchboxkits.org/product_info.php?cPath=27_35_53&products_id=712)

I decided to go for W5984 with the "full" camouflage, mainly as it seems more like the one at the FAA Museum in Yeovilton I visited last year and I hope I can use some pictures for details.

As I planned to do this one straight OOB and followed this direction so far, I start here with the body already put together and having received it's clear coat:

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The pictures are not 100% perfect (I take this as an excuse for considering the acquisition of a nice Macro lens), but you get an idea. I used Lifecolor Dark Green and Dark Seagrey for the camouflage and Revell Sky for the bottom, airbrushed the camouflage pattern from hand and blutack-ed beween upper and lower painting.

I'm ok with the result so far, as it comes close to what I imagine as a quick "field paint", applied not in the factory but on an airfield and far from being perfect. Something like the birds from that aera as exhibited, like the Walrus and the Stringbag in Yeovilton.

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So far, the only thing I did to enhance the model was opening the tubes on the upper front:

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(Sorry for the poor quality, I definitely need a proper macro lens ;-).

This was also the first time I used the drill bits from "Uschi van der Rosten" and must admit they're the best I've used so far. For those interested in some tools, here they are:

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It worked really fine, it's definitely not the last time I bought something there. But beware visiting their site, it's addicitve, especially if you're into WW1-stuff.

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As I said before, I wanted to build this OOB, but then starting to think about swapping the PE-Rigging for some real strings (as I got into some Wingnut Wings-Stuff), and wanted to try the EZ Line rig. I Bought the fine and heavy one and must say, it looks promising.

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They've been used before,echoes are good so I'm looking forward to this.

I also stumbled across these Turnbuckles from Gaspatch and just couldn't resist to order some. They are very tiny but also look promising.

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Ok, that's it for OOB. ;-)

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Looking nice; you can never gave too many Swordfish. "Tubes on top" w're the oil breather

Edited by Ex-FAAWAFU

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Looking good so far, like the drills fancy some of those.

Please when using the Gaspatch turnbuckles plenty of detail as they look the dogs danglies as well.

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The drills definitely make sense, especially as the clamp (is that correct?) provided makes sense.

And yes, these turnbuckles are TINY - I'm honestly thinking of buying some high quality tweezers for mounting them. I made another pic just to show...

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And thanks for the clarification on the oil breathers, I did a little google but did not find on the first attempt. But honestly I could have made an educated guess...

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Lookind forward to this one!

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Applied most of the decals yesterday, the went on beautifully even on the structured part of the body, only on one place they needed to be micro sol'ed down on the surface with some emphasis. But today it looks pretty good.

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But before applying the clear coat, I found some details I wanted to fix. There's one point I'm a bit uncertain off, concerning the function of a piece of structure:

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Based on the pictures I've seen this piece is sometimes empty and on one picture covered with something that could be a pad, so it's some kind of a headrest. Could this be correct?

Some ideas from the experts would be very welcome!

Edited by Chief Cohiba

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You are correct; pilot's headrest. Their acceleration might not have been much by the standards of a an F-14 catapult launch, say - but bear in mind that Swordfish were catapulted off cruisers and battleships (with floats, obviously!).

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I don't know where you are based, Chief C, but the Haynes Manual on the Swordfish is really excellent - lots of clear detail photos from the RNHF's 3 aircraft.

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First: sorry for the longer silence, there has been some unpleasant issues to be solved, which kept my sole attention.

Then; many thanks for the hint on the Haynes - I thought about it, and Amazon has it (for a price, of course), but then I wanted to make this an easy one. Honestly I also am not sure if I want to buy (another) book for the price of almost entire kit. We all do this, I know, but probably I can resist this time. We'll see... ;-)

But today I wanted to work a bit further on the Stringbag, starting with the rigging on the tail. You can see the first turnbuckle glued together with the string, it's HELL of a fiddling, but with the right glue (not to thin) I got one ready...

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And yes, I got this Macro-lens in the meantime...

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While working on the turnbuckles, probably you could help me to clarify an issue concerning the cables for rudder and elevator, I've noticed that these are very loose, at least on the Yeovilton plane:

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Is this correct for an operational plane as well, or are these tensioned? Many thanks for you ideas, Guenther

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Thanks, John, for your comment - that was what I thought as well. But having seen it on several models, I've grown a bit doubtful.

Already fixed on the rudder...

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Wow, excellent build so far!

This looks like a good quality kit, would you recommend it so far?

Nick

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Nick, thanks for the comment. It's a pretty fun build so far, everything went together nicely, can't comment on correctness, but what I've read it's quite close. I'm expecting some issues with the wings - I want to build them straight, not folded - but we'll see.

One can build a nice and easy model without too many effort, which should be fine with me, because I'm a pretty lazy modeller. This turnbuckle thing mus have been a decision of a very weak moment, but it starts to look nice...

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After a week, dedicated to 70% work and 30% madness, I finally found some time to continue on the Swordfish. As I'm using some new tools and this also being my first (real) attempt in rigging a biplane, I have to work myself into some new tools and techniques - should at this time I declare this one being a test piece and decrease my demand in the result? Well, looking at the pictures, taken with a very unforgiving Macro Lens, I have to. But looking at it without any optical enhancement tool, I think it will look pretty nice in the shelf...

OK, first thing I tried out was fixing the turnbuckles with some blue tac:

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Which in fact worked out quite well, but having a big BUT in it: it is ABSOLUTELY necessary to but a bit of tape (or something else suitable) underneath the putty - it will react with CA glue and become very smeary, being very hard to remove. On the other side I placed the Blue Tac directly on the surface and removing it caused some scratches, as you can see...

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Also, what has been proven extremely helpful was a CA-Accelerator and a small syringe to apply it. It was one of the most helpful tools I've acqured, and definitely the cheapest; I paid some 20c for a needle. I am also experimenting with the same for the glue, but haven't been very lucky on that yet.

But here is the tail rigging complete, being a bit mild with the result, I would say it's ok for the first time...

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Edited by Chief Cohiba

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Ok, after a week or so I wanted to continue, but see that all the links to the pictures are broken...

Maybe it's just a temporary problem, or just on my PC, but obviously much of the information is gone. You see the pictures?

I just would be interested before I go on...

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OK, pictures are here again.

As to body is roughly complete, I wanted to start with the wing section. On a dry mockup I've noticed that the upper wings only go together with some force behind it, but after some sanding they go together quite fine and hold their place fine.

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Nevertheless I thought of changing the order of fixing the parts together, compared to the manual - the idea is to start with the more "brute" steps and then work myself to the more fragile parts.

The idea is:

1.) Finish the inner and outer struts, with the rigging inside the struts. I will partially make small slots for the turnbuckles, partially I thought of using the existing holes. Some I've already prepared...

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2.) Mount the complete upper wing section together: center wing, upper left and right wing and inner struts. I hope that this will make a big stable part, where I can place all this fiddly pieces for the rigging on. Dry fitted here:

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3.) Make the lower wings with the outer struts. LIke this, of course with the necessary paint and grinding work yet to be done...

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4.) Mount the lower wings on the completed upper wing section

5.) Complete the x-rigging between the upper and lower wings

6.) Mount the completed upper and lower wing section to the body. I guess the struts will be flexible enough so I can bend them out a bit, to slip them over the lower body wing sockets. The dry fitting shows that the connection between upper wing section and body looks very stable:

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What do you think - is this a feasable order or did I miss something, which will cause problems? Your remarks are more than welcome...

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Stunning work in every aspect on this one :goodjob:

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Ok, I went a little further with the lower left wing. There are the rigging pieces painted with Revell Steel Aqua Color:

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and a bit more detailled:

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I found that this iron colour looks most realistic, though I've seen some rigging painted in green or sky as well. I tried this as well, but found the result less appealing.

Next I attached the cable on the lower end. One can see pretty well how elastic the cable is, so you can cut it a good piece shorter than needed and stretch it to position...

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Also one can see pretty well these ugly stains on the lower front bit (upper left) of the strut - this is excess CA which has to be removed. Tiring!

Struts mounted, filled the gaps and sanded away the excess putty. Paint will follow...

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Guess that's it for today, good night and good luck, folks...


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Made the second (right) outer struts part, managed to work in a few lessons on that...

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I used a thinner CA glue, which is an improvement for the tiny parts and slots, also it can be applied with a small needle as well. This looks promising for future rigging...

(I make some pictures of my toolset one of the next days for those interested...)

But what I've noticed; the CA-Accelerator seems to be pretty strong (and I guess quite toxic) stuff - I started to work with a mask on that. So guys, take care on that!

Another mockup looks quite good, it's starting to have the effect I'm looking for...

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Probably another lesson learned - when painted, the elastic rigging seems to loose some of it's elasticity and it "prolongues". So I cut them shorter than yesterday.

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Ok, sometimes things might take a little longer than expected - and this obviously did. 4 and a half years, since my last post, well...

But it resurrected when I found the box with the parts a few weeks ago and decided to continue this one. I did some stuff, like continuing on the rigging and do some washing before mounting the wings. Will posts some pictures tomorrow...

 

And: after this long period of absence from it I was surprised what a nice kit this is...

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Ok, I promised some pictures, and while the apps let me down a bit, as far as file transfer is concerned, at least here's an image of the body, as I did some washing to start with reassembling again....

 

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I used dark grey oil paint heavily thinned with turpentine, just like in the books, let it dry for some 10 to 20 minutes and then wipe it away with some kitchen paper. There was a bit of a challenge when I started it, as I couldn't exactly remember if I already painted it with Alcal, but obviously did. Well dryed, in the ast 4 years. 😉

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