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Martin Axe

My first biplane build help needed

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Guys,

currently struggling to complete my first ever WW1 subject the Eduard Albatros DIII in 1:48, it was suggested as a good kit for the newbie to biplanes.

 

l’m at the stage of matting the fuselage, lower wings with the main upper wing, but don’t possess a ‘jig’ and have struggled to find one available on line. Doe’s anyone have any tips on this stage of construction and the best way to tackle it? 

Also has anyone got any suggestions for a home made jig?

 

any tips or suggestions would be appreciated,.

 

cheers

 

Martin

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Never used a jig. The most I might use is a small ball of plasticine or such like to set a strut or flyng surface whilst it sets.

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The easiest method I find is to use paper with horizontal and vertical lines e.g. graph paper or anything with columns. This is to check the alignments. Fix the top wing with pins to the paper, fit the interplane struts with tacky glue and when almost set upend the fuselage and position onto the upper wing. It's best that the fin/rudder has been secured in place to keep the fuselage level-ish. Make sure everything is straight by checking against the lines and leave to almost set. Tins of paint are the most useful props at this stage. When it's safe to handle, gently, add the cabanes which will firm up the structure and when happy with the alignments secure the anchor points with a tiny dab of liquid CA applied with a cocktail stick or something similar in size. Of course there are always exceptions, for example a too tall rudder, for which allowances have to be built in, but I find this works for most biplanes.

 

Regards, Steve

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Hmm. With the Albatros kit, you probably don't need a jig as much as you would for other types. 

When I built mine, I did it this way:

  1. I deepened the holes in the fuselage for the cabane struts to ensure the location pins would slide in nicely.
  2. I installed the wing V-struts to the lower wing.
  3. I attached the upper wing to the V-struts.
  4. I didn't panic that the set-up looked and was horribly unstable!
  5. I inserted the cabanes into the fuselage holes and manoeuvred the top pins into the upper wing, then secured all pins with white glue. This allowed a bit of wiggle room for checking fit and symmetry. It doesn't provide a strong bond! Leave the glue to dry.
  6. I checked everything was four-square and stable.
  7. I locked all struts and cabanes in place with carefully applied thin superglue. Capillary action does the job nicely.

This works for the Albatross III because the cabanes are a nice solid unit each with the top bar and angled bar for reinforcement, and ultimately provide the stability for the upper wing. If the cabanes were single struts, I'd definitely have needed a jig.

 

For planes that really do need a jig, Lego and paint pots do a surprisingly good job. Then again, when I have scale plans to hand and the wings have no dihedral or anhedral, I use the plans to make two 5 mm plastic card templates with slots for the wings at the right distance from each other and correct angle of stagger. I use scraps of the 5mm card to widen the card template on the level of the bottom of the lower slot so it is a secure fit to the lower wing and stands vertical. Slot the top wing into the templates and install the cabanes. Check all is square and symmetrical and secure with superglue, then go away and do something else for a few hours. After returning to the workbench, remove the templates and install the wing struts.

The beauty of the plastic card templates is that they are reusable. Just the thing for building an entire Jasta!

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Hello Martin, you will get a lot of different pieces of advice for this. I don’t use a jig and do it differently for every model I do - not ideal and probably not that sensible.  I do have a wooden laser cut stand but I don’t find that useful I always resort to paint pots blue tac and thin strips of foam board as supports on a wooden board. The wooden board is so you can hold it up to your eye to adjust it. 

The second important bit is to get the right glue, I prefer  the slow setting glue to get it in position and then leave it for 12 hours.  

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Something that hasn't been mentioned (maybe it doesn't have to), but I like to have all the sub assemblies and parts painted up before attaching the main wing and struts.

 

A ruler and triangle are good to have handy to measure things up and make sure are square.  Along with that,  a decent scale line drawing to compare angles of the struts.  As mentioned, a jig can be created from whatever is handy, books and paint bottles or whatever else has a straight edge.  My preference is to attach the cabane struts first to the fuselage.  Slow setting is ideal here, and have the top wing resting in place to make sure all lines up perfect.   Once those are dry, everything else should be right on the money.

 

regards,

Jack

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Thanks for all the tip chaps, there is no substitute for experience. 

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I can add to the chorus regarding the ease off building the Eduard D.III--because of the way the cabane and interplane struts are molded it is very easy to get things properly lined up. 

 

Jigs really become necessary when building biplanes with separate struts. Below is a simple card stock jig I made for setting the strut angles on the Eduard 1/48 Camel. It was simple to make and worked well, but you will need access to 1/48 scale planes to make it. Once the interplane struts were set using the jig, I waited for the glue to dry good and hard, then mounted the top wing. After those glue joints were set, I popped in the cabanes.

 

Camel_Jig-1.jpg~original

 

 

 

 

 

 

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