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Jonners

Scratchbuilt 1/144 Avro Bison 1A

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I must be mad - I have FAR too much on my plate to be committing to another WiP right now, especially one that is as optimistic and spur-of-the-moment as this! Still, nothing ventured...

 

I have had a couple of part-finished 1/144 scratchbuilt biplane bombers glaring balefully at me from a plastic container on the edge of my desk for ages now:

20180628_091435

...so, rather than grit my teeth and finish them, I decided to start another 1/144 scratchbuilt biplane. Genius, eh? It'll be fine, I thought: I'll build a smaller aeroplane instead. In 1/144. Muppet.

 

Anyway, here is my home-brewed 'instruction sheet':

20180628_090711

Raw materials will mainly be plastic card, rod and wire. Any resemblance to a genuine Avro Bison at the end of the build (which, with everything else going on, could be protracted) will be purely coincidental!

 

Here's the fuselage 'in progress' with some completely speculative interior detail:

20180625_141854

Let's face it, once the fuselage is closed up nobody will be able to see it anyway! This is where I have got to so far:

20180628_090525

I've had to put it aside as real life has stopped play again (and my eyes are aching).

 

Jon

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An Avro Bison !! Great choice, I reamlly love it

I plan to make one at 1/48 and maybe having some moulds Who know ??

Good job with your home brewed plans !

Congratulations !!

Corsaircorp

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Good start and looking good so far! :)

 

Håkan

 

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Good Grief, that is really masochist stuff. I have a vacform of the Bison, but I have not started it on the grounds that everyone will think I am weird (well weirder that I am already) Best of luck and I look forward to see it progressing. 

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I eagerly await its Blackburn Blackburn companion; two aircraft so ugly that you have to love them.

 

Great project

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Very interesting. 

I will look to learn from your experiences as I will be attempting some 1/144 scratching soon.

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5 hours ago, Mr T said:

Good Grief, that is really masochist stuff.

Yup! Just been trying to make the wing rib effect. Aargh!

32 minutes ago, Ex-FAAWAFU said:

I eagerly await its Blackburn Blackburn companion; two aircraft so ugly that you have to love them.

 

Great project

Hmmm, perhaps... the fuselage isn't quite such a straightforward shape, but I love the 'function over form' looks.

18 minutes ago, SUB-SAM said:

I will look to learn from your experiences

Probably more by learning what NOT to do, in fairness!

 

Hopefully more tomorrow, though I have a Moggie Traveller to service in among the domestic chores - how random is that?

Jon

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Posted (edited)

As a bit of background, there were fundamentally two different Bison airframe layouts. The Bison 1 had a small fin and the upper wings were attached to the top of the fuselage. Most of them seemed to have been fitted with two circular portholes ahead of the large rectangular fuselage windows:

1668416

The improved Bison 1a had a fin extension, an upper wing that was mounted above the fuselage with a bit of associated struttery and, as far as I can tell from photos, no cicular portholes:

c769eddede553e7d95e99ae6e3a21898

This is the version that I am intending to create, but...

 

You know that old 'check your references' manta? The one that has caught me out so often before and which I regularly wish I'd remembered?

 

Anyway, I realised late last night that I'd merrily followed the 'Bison 1a' side view that I'd downloaded:

20180629_072139

...and put a pair of portholes in each fuselage side. Golly jings, I thought; that was jolly careless. (Okay, I was less polite.) 

 

I'd really like to make a 1a, so I will have to correct my carefully-drilled portholes. Grrr. Before I do, though, I need to do some more research to confirm that the plans are inaccurate.

Jon

Edited by Jonners

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Posted (edited)

Really have to love those quirky between the wars types. I intend to try to scratchbuild some of them (atm I'm contemplating a Gloster Gamecock and a Sopwith Salamander, I have a Pup in progress, so maybe none of them as quirky as this :)) but I'm intentionally moving to 1/48 as my scale of choice, 1/144 would drive me mad...

 

Loving the build so far

Edited by Marklo
added extra stuff

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Thanks, Marklo. The idea behind scratchbuilding in 1/144 was that I wouldn't feel obliged to add much detail and would therefore be able to progress quickly. Yeah, right; no plan survives first contact, etc. Anyway, go for it with your plan - the Gamecock is a great-looking aircraft but the engine won't be easy!

Jon

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Righto, I think I've worked it out. Prototype and some early production Bison IA aircraft had the portholes. Putnam states that "late production aircraft had the centre-section gap further increased but were without the undercarriage arrestor claws and circular portholes forward." These aircraft seem to have been known as the Bison II. The production upper wing slso had a cutout at the rear of the centre section.

 

This is pretty much the mod state that I intend to build, following a photograph on p226 of Putnam's excellent 'British Flight Testing' by Tim Mason. To that end the carefully-drilled portholes have been blocked with tiny plastic discs cut using a cheap-as-chips disc cutter bought from a high-street home goods store and secured with a drop of my finest homebrewed gloop:

20180629_115847

Upper wing next.

Jon

 

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Quote

 the Gamecock is a great-looking aircraft but the engine won't be easy!

I have a cunning plan: there is a Resin model of the Jupiter engine available in 1/48.

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First stab at the upper wing:

20180630_183244

Photos show that the ribs were not pronounced but rib tapes were clearly visible, so I've tried to replicate this by cunning application of primer between 2.5mm strips of Tamiya tape, followed by another primer coat after removing the tape strips. The tank is made from plasticard and the primer has highlighted that the top is flat, so a bit more sanding needed to round it off before breather pipes are added. The ailerons will be separated and have their forward (ie hinge) edges gently sanded. That will pretty much be it - I really don't want to get bogged down here. Lower wings probably next while the fuselage is still a work-in-progress, though trying to scratchbuild some wheels and tyres is also on the agenda.

Jon

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Very slow progress, I'm afraid, 'cos real life doesn't have a PAUSE button.

 

Upper wing is more or less done; the lower wing still needs its ailerons separating. It will be cut into two separate wings and butt-jointed to the fuselage...eventually:

20180711_193457

The fuselage has been closed - or, at least, the observers' cabin has - but it's very rough at the moment, emphasised by close-in photos. I'm pondering how to create the nose section, so I've made a central former and I expect to build it up with plastic card and sand/carve it to shape. The cockpit top will be tricky and I haven't worked that bit out yet:

20180711_193652

I thought I'd have an early bash at the wheels while the cement cured on the fuselage. I found a small bag of assorted O-rings which contained two that are about the right size. Next I cut some discs using my cheapo hole punch, then pushed their centres with a ballpoint pen to get a slightly conical effect:

20180711_193037

I may have to stack some discs to get them to sit correctly. Here's a rough trial run (apologies for the dodgy pic):

20180711_193518

Now back to that real life thingy.

Jon

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Lovely work but as you say, madness indeed. :mental: In the likely event that I decide to scratch a Bison at least I will be insane enough to do it in 1/48!

 

Martian 👽

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Great work here! 

Don’t let that 1:1 scale ‘real life’ nonsense get in the way of this  much more important project! 🤪

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Yep, that's what initially caught me out: the plan that I used shows the separate upper wing and portholes. N154 was a prototype of the Bison 1A with the upper wing gap, after which the portholes were deleted. I think that the photo above would have been taken during testing at Martlesham Heath, as it clearly shows the auxiliary fins mounted below the tailplanes; these were later replaced by a fin extension that appeared on the operational aircraft. As was so often the case with 1920s military aircraft, the clearest photos tend to have been taken during testing when all sorts of changes were made to airframes in short periods of time. Anyway, nice pic - thanks.

Jon

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Just found this and realised that I am not the only one who has completely lost his senses on this site. A wonderful bout of madness and just the kind of aircraft that I like to model - ugly, ungainly and pretty much unknown. Top marks in every way. The model is coming on well too - "not worked that out yet" sounds so familiar but that is what makes scratch building such fun - finding the solution is really satisfying. I know because I have a string of "not worked out yet" problems on my desk top, but I know that I will get there somehow - as you will.

 

Mind if I follow along because I think I will be able to pick up some really useful ideas.

 

P

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Thanks for the encouraging words, Phoenix. I'm not sure how many "really useful ideas" you're likely to pick up; it's usually the other way round! Also, I keep saying it but progress will be slow - one day I'll look back with astonishment at just how busy life was in my forties!

Jon

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I've managed to snatch a very few more minutes to fettle tiny bits of plastic, and this is where I'm at:

20180714_172249

I've started to make the radiator area under the nose by simply boxing it in with plastic card, then I've used some of my home-brew gloop to start to fill the recesses. That should allow it to be sanded to shape fairly easily - I hope. The noe itself has been built up with plastic card, but it still need a front piece to get it to the right (okay, right-ish) length.

 

I've also cut out the tailplane piece, sanded the leading and trailing edges and started to add some fine rib tapes.

 

I think my plan for the wheels should work out okay; here's one after being slightly cleaned up but obviously not yet painted:

20180714_172543

Right! Back to real life again...

Jon

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