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I've lurked her a long time and thoroughly enjoy the WIP threads and take great modelling inspiration from them, so I reckon the time has come to start my own. Seeing as how this is (I think) an interesting subject which will have many modelling challenges I thought it would be a good first WIP. I do also have a wip thread on the Irish IPMS Forum which will be broadly similar, but then again might not be. 

 

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This is my intended subject asn as luck would have it the SMER Bulldog has Decals for the black wavy line.  

The Gamecock was an improved Grebe which in turn was an improved SE5a, however I started from the Bulldog because they have  (more or less) the same engine  and the SMER kit was also available in quantity and at a low price, so I bought 2 with the intention of completing one as a Bulldog (maybe) and using the other as a donor for the Gamecock.

 

So............

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This is where I'm starting from. The SMER kit isn't terrible but like me it has some issues :)  for example the markings are molded on (the kit not me )  . The engine , wheels and Decals are a definite part of the build and I'll see how much else can be beaten into shape as the build progresses.

 

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As  luck would have it the upper wing isn't a million miles off  and can be cut down to shape.  Here it is with the markings sanded and scraped off and marked up for cutting. The lower wings and forward fuselage may also be good. It will definitely need a new tail and possibly a new rear fuselage, but I'll see as the build progresses.

 

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The upper wing cut and the left wing (confusingly the one on the right) cut to shape but not finish sanded.

 

 

Edited by Marklo

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Interesting project and a great subject. Note that the orange areas in that old profile artwork have been shown as red in more recent illustrations, which is more likely as flight leaders' aircraft usually were decorated with red,yellow or blue flight colours.

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Not my scale, but for sure my favourite period, so watching with interest. I agree with Roger regarding the rather red than orange areas, though my own Gamecock, built some 15+ years ago, displays them proudly in orange.😉

Patrik

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Really interested in this project. The SMER Bulldog is a bit of a fright at first sight but I'd agree has a lot of potential as raw material.

 

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After some judicious razor saw work it's not a million miles away. Need to reshape the plan of the fuselage. Might just get away with this approach. Although I'm still considering making a wooden blank and either fabricating or molding all or part of the fuselage. May have a go at that this evening a la Bandsaw Steve (one of my inspirations on the forum I may add)

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Having spent some time hacking the rear of the Bulldog into some kind of shape (it's ready for sanding followed by more filling) and studying the scale plans; I'm starting to think that the shape of the fuselage is way too complicated for this approach to work well, The photo shows the 7 formers needed to define the profile, which is basically a very basic rectangular section to the rear, not unlike the Camel or the Se5a (it's great grandaddy) with a more modern oval sheet metal front and stringer and fabric sides with a stringer and fabric turtledeck to make good the differences

 

Although I still haven't entirely abandoned my plan to kitbash the Bulldog fuselage into shape, this was going to be my plan b for the fuselage, plan a was to carve a wooden block and mold the thing a la Bandsaw Steve, this way I'm going to build up the fuselage from formers and either infill with balsa and make a form for molding or sheet over with thin plastic card and fabricate it, whichever works best. Most likely the end result will be some ungodly hybrid of all three approaches.

 

So now plan C is plan A, plan B is the new plan B and plan C which was plan A is on hold but still may be plan C, got it, simples eh, oh the joys of scratchbuilding  (actually I do love it)

 

Oh and I've also started cutting blanks for the lower wing, which is a fairly conventional WWI fighter type wing, whereas the upper wing is a symmetric aerofoil not unlike a wwII vintage fighter, Apparently Folland did this deliberately to give the two wings different flight characteristics and enhance the maneuverability of the plane.

Edited by Marklo
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Have you tried to look for the Aeroclub vacuform kit...????? Mr. Adams used to offer both the Gloster Grebe and Gamecock in 1/48 scale.

Cheers

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Have you tried to look for the Aeroclub vacuform kit

I did look for kits before starting, but didn't find anything that I could use or was prepared to pay for. To be honest I find half the fun of these kinds of projects is the figuring out how to build it nature of scratchbuilding. I generally tend to either do kits oob or near total scratch building as the mood takes me.

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5 minutes ago, Marklo said:

To be honest I find half the fun of these kinds of projects is the figuring out how to build it nature of scratchbuilding. I

Absolutely agreed. The Gamecock was a great-looking little aircraft and an Aeroclub vacform would be great to build, but they aren't easy or cheap to get hold of. Doing it yourself is a great learning experience. It will be a shame of the Bulldog surgery doesnt work - could you use the modified Bulldog parts for the front end and scratchbuild the rear fuselage?

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could you use the modified Bulldog parts for the front end and scratchbuild the rear fuselage?

That's probably where I'm headed, or I could even end up using the front of the Bulldog to crash mould the foredeck and front side panels.

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1 hour ago, Marklo said:

I did look for kits before starting, but didn't find anything that I could use or was prepared to pay for. To be honest I find half the fun of these kinds of projects is the figuring out how to build it nature of scratchbuilding. I generally tend to either do kits oob or near total scratch building as the mood takes me.

I@ve got one Aeroclub Grebe which I intend to do as an RAF machine but would like to do another RNZAF and like you can neither find nor necessarily afford another Aeroclub one.

 

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Put it this way, I'm currently scratchbuilding a 1/48 scale Sopwith Pup, partly because I'm cheap (I could have gotten an Eduard kit off ebay for €50) and partly because I'm enjoying it :) and there definitely is a huge sense of achievement in making something yourself.

 

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I do do out of box too (well more or less), and that can be fun too. This is just the Airfix kit converted to a single seater and with a new paint job.

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Edited by Marklo

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On 05/09/2018 at 16:52, Marklo said:

 May have a go at that this evening a la Bandsaw Steve (one of my inspirations on the forum I may add)

Gosh -I’m blushing now ! 😊 

 

Great to see yet another scratchbuild on these pages. There’s a swag of them at the moment and there’s heaps to learn from each and every one. 👍

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Gosh -I’m blushing now !  

Ah but your build threads are so entertaining and your modelling skill is wonderful.

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Cut and sanded both upper wings to size ending up with the undersurfaces completely smooth, these I then skinned with scribed 20 thou sheet. Here you can see the semi trimmed result. Need to fully trim and blend in the skinning.  I may need to run a bead of CA along the leading and trailing edges as they're not quite as stuck as I'd like.

 

I'm also toying with reversing the wings as the skinned side is looking better than the current uppersurfaces and the upper wing are (except for the tapered center section) symmetric at this point, hmmm, might be more trouble than it's worth.

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Managed to get some work done on the fuselage form. All stuck together. Next step is to infill/sheet the assembley, then decide how muc will be used for the finished article and how much I need top mold.

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I also got these in the post, two complete resin cast Jupiter engines with manifolds along with two wright cyclones (hmm, must see what uses these.... ), from a very kind source on Britmodeller,  Should make for a very nicely detailed front end.

Edited by Marklo

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Going slow on this as my Pup is at a critical stage and will be my first completed 1/48 project since I got back to modelling.

 

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Managed to get stuck into the horizontal stabilizers. It's a 2 mm plastic card core, sanded to profile then skinned with ruled 20 thou sheet then the profile sanded and any imperfections filled and sanded. Just needs a tiny bit more sanding between the two ailerons. This is my third attempt as it proved very difficult to maintain the sharp edge to the rear corners. Not sure how I will fit it to the fuselage, I may separate it into two halves and leave a tongue or use some brass rod to attach it or I could leave it as is and notch the fuselage to take it. All depends on how the fuselage ends up getting made.

 

Pretty pleased with this particularly the rib detail. Next the lower wing blanks, then I might feel brave enough to tackle the Fuselage !!!

Edited by Marklo

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Not to hijack my own thread but this (and events in real life) is why the Gamecock isn't moving at the moment.

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While the Pup is taking most of my bench time at the moment. It is very close to finished.

 

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Did a bit more at the weekend. Using superglue and plastic substitute (I think it's called Balsa wood) for the infill on the form, I am now the proud possessor of a vaguely Gamecock shaped block of wood  .  With a bit of careful  carving, filling and sanding, this will hopefully eventually become a recognizable form for molding  the fuselage. 

 

The plan (yes there is one) is to split this into 2 (possibly 3) pieces and construct a home vacuum forming tool to do the molding (several bits already ordered off ebay for this purpose) . Quite a bit of carving, filling and sanding to come first. More to follow......

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This is going to be fun to watch. Maybe not fun to do, but definitely fun to watch! 😂

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This is going to be fun to watch. Maybe not fun to do, but definitely fun to watch! 

Oh no notwithstanding some burnt fingers it'll be fun to do too :)  (of course fun can be a very relative term :) )

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Starting to look a bit less vaguely Gamecock shaped, carved, hacked and sanded.

 

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With first liberal coat of green stuff applied to make up for gaps in the infill, sausage fingers and over zealous carving.

 

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Even more less vaguely Gamecock shaped (although ironically it probably looks better in the first photo) Sanded and filed getting closer to the right shape. Needs more green stuff.

 

Under the skin the Gamecock is a very conventional late war fighter/scout, except for the upper wing profile, the oleo undercarriage and the metal sheeting on the front of the fuselage things haven't moved on very much from the likes of the Sopwith Pup. The rear of the fuselage has prominent stringers while the front section is smooth metal paneling.

 

At this stage I'm undecided on the final approach that I will take for the fuselage. Now I  am planning on putting together a rudimentary vacuum forming unit so I will use that for the molding.  My options are to split the form and mold it in two halves (the keel for want of a better word consists of two 0.5mm plastic card pieces double sided sticky taped together so it should be easy to split laterally with a sharp blade), or two haves and the fore deck and then just build it like a conventional vac form. My concern with this method is that I might not get the stringer detail to look right.  I might split it front to rear and use the wooden form in the final model or make separate front and rear molds with an overlap or I might undersized the rear of the fuselage and then sheet it over with ruled 10 thou card a la the Sopwith Pup. fuselage sides 

 

The more i think about it the more I reckon I'll try the first approach and if the stringer detail doesn't look right I'l try one of the alternate approaches.

 

Will probably park this one for a while while I wait for my vacformer bits to arrive in the post. Plus I sort of want to try to build my Roden DH4a before the end of the year.

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Amazing levels of skill, patience and ingenuity here! Honestly I would have just stuck the plastic bits out of the box together, sprayed it all silver and called it a Gamecock! 

 

I would like to try 1/48 20s/30s fighters one day, but the rigging (and cost) put me off.

 

Looks like your Gamecock will be amazing when it's done.

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Amazing levels of skill, patience and ingenuity here! Honestly I would have just stuck the plastic bits out of the box together, sprayed it all silver and called it a Gamecock! 

Thank you for the compliments. I actually find the figuring out to be half the fun of the hobby, that said I do like an oob build now and again as well, the DH4a I'm mentioning will be pretty much that.

Edited by Marklo

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Get yourself a Roden DH-4 built, they are very theraputic and once its done  you can see what  a lot of useful  leftovers there are for other between-the -wars builds.

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