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Old Man

De Havilland Dh 89 Dragon Rapide

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On the HyperScale 1/72 forum, we are having a 'speed build' for Heller kits, to be finished between midnight Friady and midnight Sunday (modeller's local time). This is my entry. I figure it can go in here, as it will be finished as is machine:




This will be OOB (indeed, some interior parts will be omitted). It looks do-able, but we shall see....

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9 hours ago, Grandboof said:

Interesting markings will be watching 

Martin H



Thank you, Sir.


Hopefully, this will be an 'if you blinked, you missed it' sort of affair....

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Here is how it stands after twelve hours (sleep accounted for about half of them...)....


My OOB resolve did not quite hold up: I put baffle plates behind te cavernous air-scoop openings in the cowling cap-pieces.




Here are the nacelles and bare-bones 'tub' assembled.




Here are the nacelles assembled to the lower wing, with upper surfaces under Tamiya Fine Grey primer.




Fit was pretty decent, but the major seam where the motor meets fairing had to be toned down a bit. It would have been nice to have a couple of locator pins on the nacelles, but that's not how Heller did this one. I read in a build review by Mr. Atard of Cyprus that there ware snk-holes o the solid lower wing, but I have not found any.

Here is the fuselage ready to close.




I have painted the sides of both pieces yellow. Used my oldest yellow paint but broke out a new brush. Three coats, buffed with a 5000 grit pad. Window strips have been Futured, they gave a little trouble but nothing serious.

Here is the fuselage closed.




Assembled in three stages; rear, then bottom nose, then upper nose. Trickier than I expected, but never got out of control. Somehow things that seem to dry-fit perfectly lose all sense and dignity once actual glue is applied....

Very happy with the canopy fit....




Obviously, it is just dry-fit, but work for attachment should be minimal.

Here are two pictures with the wings dry-fit....







A bit of fettling needed, but nothing serious. Lower panels of upper wing not yet attached at this point.

Back to the bench, Gentlemen....



Edited by Old Man

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Here is the tale of lat twenty-four hours or so on this....


Got primer on bottom of fuselage.




Did not mask, held the thing so the windows were covered by my hand. Worked fine. Topside was a different story....

There is a fuselage in here somewhere....





And here it is.





The Post-Its worked well. Does anyone sell sheets of paper backed by this adhesive?

Here are the undersurfaces of the wings with white primer undercoat.





Here are the upper surfaces with grey primer undercoat.





Here are the wings with camouflage on their upper surface panels.





I decided to go with 'shadow shading' for the lower wing.

On the upper wing, I used some of my old PollyScale British Dark Green, and te new Model Master Dark Earth. The latter seems a fair match for this odd color.

For Light Green on the lower wing, I used some old Pollyscale French Khaki, which serves pretty well.

Light Earth was a bit more bother. I started out using PollyScale French Earth Brown, but after a couple of coats could see it was too dark and too red. I went over it with PollyScale Panzer dark Yellow, which looked good at first but seemed a bit too too when dry. Final coat as seen here is a mix of the Dark Yellow and Dark Earth at 2 DY to 1 DE. It looks about right, though I might se the straight Dark Yellow if doing an early RAF desert type.

Here are the undersurfaces of the wings in yellow.





Here are the wings dry-fit in place.





Here is the upper wing attached.




I matched it to the upper surface of the fuselage; had I pressed it in as far as it could go, there would have been a hefty step. Once I got that, I put in some fabric over frame effect: photographs of extant Rapides show there is such.

State of the thing has advanced from this, the ribbing is in and the upper surface of the under several coats of camouflage.






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Nice work.  I like the Rapide, probably one of my favourites, I think it's the elegance of the design..

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On 8/13/2017 at 2:50 AM, Grey Beema said:

Nice work.  I like the Rapide, probably one of my favourites, I think it's the elegance of the design..

It dose have a certain air about it, Sir. Easy on the eyes....


On 8/13/2017 at 4:28 AM, zebra said:

Looking good. This is going to be a nice model when it's done.

 I hope so, Sir.

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Did not manage to complete this in the 48 hour period allotted, though I got pretty close.


On Saturday night, I got the fuselage top in order. The ribbing (several broad, shallow indications) pretty much disappeared under the paint; I was too subtle for my own good. I then did some test fitting.

This is the sort of thing makes me really like Heller....







At this point, the lower wing was not yet fixed in place, and the interplane struts are simply popped into their sockets. Serious socketing like this is far and away the best way to do struts in a kit; it is easy and clean and ideal for people who have not done many (or any) biplanes.

After this, I did a lot of clean-up work, straightening paint boundaries, getting small bits pre-painted --- stuff that needed to be done, but isn't worth photographing. Then I attached the lower wing and cleaned the joint. By now trying to mask for rattle-can spray for undercoat seemed like too much, and risky too. So I did a (somewhat patchy) white undercoat by brush and took a nap.

Late Sunday morning I put numerous coats of yellow on...






After this picture, I noticed the tail-plane hinge-line is a little off, and have fixed it.

Before putting in the struts, which were pre-painted, I put in turnbuckle fairings for the inner bay landing wires, which I feared would be difficult after the upper longeron to nacelle struts were in place.










Here are all struts, and all turnbuckle fairings. Put seat-belts in, pure reflex..








Put on roundels, and the canopy. Exhausts are on, propellers ready.










This is how things stood about six o'clock my time Sunday evening, when I broke for dinner. Weariness then over-came me, and I napped, which nap lasted a bit longer than I expected. When I woke up, there were only a couple hours left, and there was no way I could finish by midnight.


So I set to work fixing what, on close inspection, proved a bit of bother with the fit of the canopy, once I had it glued in place.


If you look closely at the second of the three pictures directly above, you will see the problem.


There is a bit of step where the fuselage is higher than the clear part at the rear, but more important is that at the front, the clear part stands high on the starboard portion, and particularly at its pointy center. I didn't want to pop the piece off, and working on the clear bit would require stripping the external Future, which would certainly damage the finish extensively.

So I got a bit hinky....

Trimming fuselage down at the rear was simple enough, and for the front, I cut a piece of thin scrap plastic, curved it, and after scraping off the paint, glued it to the nose, against the clear piece, a sort of solid putty, one might say...






This was sanded down, being careful to avoid the clear element, feathering it into the fuselage....





A bit of paint showed things were going well, but that work remained....





So I put in some CA gel here and there as filler, and sanded down again...





With the starboard problem pretty well addressed, I did some finer work on the rear seam, and addressed some small mis-fits on the port side, trimming away bits of fuselage, and sanding to blend with existing contours...





There i still a little trim needed at the starboard front, but it was midnight, the end of the original 46 hour allowance, and I called it quits for a bit. Painted decal strip for the framing will provide the final 'blending' here....





Only rigging and framing, a bit of touching up here and there, and popping in the propellers and doing the last little bit of decalling remains.












Edited by Old Man

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Well done OM :thumbsup2: 


You've put together a fairly large biplane, very nicely, in no time at all.


A very composed save around the canopy. 


Should you make one again, without the time competition, I would recommend one of these replacement canopies; they're very  good:




I like the turnbuckle fairings; are these very fine brass rod?


Hopng you got some real sleep and feel refreshed enough to get to the next stage :sleepy:.


Great stuff


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Thanks, Tony.


I wonder what shipping to the U.S. from New Zealand is. Still might be cheaper than Squadron here in the states.


If I were taking my time, I'd have done some cockpit and cabin detail -- regarding the latter, I expect some chart tables and seats would be appropriate (this one was used to train navigators). It might have had a different door arrangement, but I don't know enough about the type to be sure.


I am newly interested in trying to do a militarized DH 84 Dragon, which the Iraqis used in some quantity as a bomber/transport....

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On 13 August 2017 at 8:02 AM, Old Man said:

The Post-Its worked well. Does anyone sell sheets of paper backed by this adhesive?


CedB uses paper and an aerosol spray mount for camouflage masking.



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