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The beautiful Macchi M5 will be the subject of my attentions. Although the design is based on captured Austrian machines, which in turn were based on Swiss-French Donnet-Leveque, the Italians perfected it - at least when it comes to visual appearance! Even the cumbersome tail section they managed to transform to something goodlooking, resembling a proud swan neck rather than a contraption made of odds and ends from the nearest junkyard. This is the plane someone scared of flying could acquire - just polish the wood and cruise around the lake with a boat with wings to the envy of other motorboaters.

From wiki:

Macchi_M.5_front_quarter_above.jpg

(what’s the matter with those ailerons by the way?)

 

 

 

There is no (normally priced) kit in the proper scale, so I will attempt my first scratchbuild. This GB is suitable with its long deadline and tradition of moving threads to the next instance - this build is highly likely to take a long time.

Plans, courtesy of Mr XX (forgot, will fill in when I get home and can read the drawing) over at aerofred’s. They are really made for a flying toy to be built by balsa, but the lines seem to be good. Information about details will have to be acquired from elsewhere.

 

CVog28u.jpg

 

 

I will build it up like a box, and have started cutting out the bulkheads and fuselage sides. The former from 1 mm sheet, the latter from ~0.5 mm.

 

 

gLiTxau.jpg

 

Edited by Torbjorn

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Hi Torbjorn!

 

Welcome to the GB! Beautiful machine you chose and very courageous of you scratch building it! I'll follow with great interest!

 

Good luck!

 

Jaime

 

 

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21 hours ago, Torbjorn said:

This is the plane someone scared of flying could acquire - just polish the wood and cruise around the lake with a boat with wings to the envy of other motorboaters

Ha! Yes please, I’ll bring a picnic lunch ..

 

21 hours ago, Torbjorn said:

so I will attempt my first scratchbuild.

Hats off to you for stepping into that realm!  Will follow closely, for the duration..

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Thanks gents, I hope I will not disappoint, one way or the other.

 

After much pondering and checking how others do this, I decided to pay some attention to the base of the tail, as outlined below:

ck1NVEO.jpg

 

This is a streamlined fin on which the tail is resting so it needs to be sturdy. Therefore I’m carving it solid from thick plastic sheet (two pieces to be glued on the centreline, to get the centreline for free). It also serves the purpose of anchoring the fuselage sides, which will be glued on the outsides of the tail pieces.

 One finished, one in process:

l8BqVsw.jpg

 

What the drawings don’t show is an opening at the back for the elevator  control system. I haven’t yet figured out how any of the actuating system works (rudder, ailerons, elevators) or where the wires go, but I hope I’ll get there. The drawing show them for the RC model, but they are surely dofferent from the original machine. Anyway, I’m thinning out the insides around the holes to make it look like thin veneer - this plane is built of plywood!

CAqXJS3.jpg

 

 

Also started on the cockpit, of which I have no images but from other models, plus pics from the Swedish M7. So a warning for the reader - the cockpit will largely be conjecture!

The cockpit sides have been thinned as much as I dared, and structure from sprue, Evergreen strips and sheet.

x1wtY6j.jpg

 

The built up decking to keep the pilot’s feet dry does make sense though.

Edited by Torbjorn

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Not sure how accurate this but I thought it might be of some interest:

 

resized_1250c6b1-e177-445d-9c36-4390a7d7

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This is going to be Great, and another opportunity for people to learn about doing the wood effect. 

Good luck with the build 

Cheers Pat 

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On 9/16/2019 at 9:36 AM, DMC said:

Not sure how accurate this but I thought it might be of some interest:

 

 

Certainly helps: it gives the centreline of the hull, including the recess for the propeller which I did not have any details on. It also shows that the cockpit is similar to the M7 and so far I only noticed that the instrument board is different.

Your image looks like an early version I believe, with the gun on top. I will have two guns mounted internally.

 

 

On 9/18/2019 at 8:21 PM, JOCKNEY said:

This is going to be Great, and another opportunity for people to learn about doing the wood effect. 

Good luck with the build 

Cheers Pat 

Well, in this scale I’m just painting it yellowish brown and then overpaint with oil colours or other acrylics with stiff brushes. Can’t really see any grain effect.

I like painting fake wood though, especially since I get to varnish it :D  Below is my latest attempt of a plywood-machine, will probably do something similar here, although almost every M5 model I’ve seen show much darker shades of wood.

oarARLK.jpg

 

 

 

Been working on the cockpit, built on a false floor. It is a study in brown:

 

2h0SLcr.jpg

 

Built from plastic strips. Wires are hair (those from the stick I guess are for the guns - I’ve seen other modellers add them so I did the same), the stick .4mm rod. The zoom reveals what I could not see by eye: I didn’t clean up the burr good after drilling the holes in the chair (also supposed to be plywood).

 

With this finished I started assembling the hull. Since the plastic sides are thin, I did not force them to the bulkheads: these are for support, not to shape the hull. Trying to do that would inevitably result in kinks, whereas the hull should be a nice and smooth spline. Instead I heated the sides on a radiator and bent it until its natural shape followed the drawing. Then I started with the bulkhead behind the cockpit (the only one that needs to be perfectly perpendicular) and when that dried added the rest. Where the bulkheads did not follow the form, I either nibbled away or added a shim or two.

 

p07vbpq.jpg

 

It’s slow going as I’m just trying my way with new techniques - borrowed from the book of Mr Harry Woodman.

Edited by Torbjorn

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Oh wow, hats off to you, I am in awe of modellers that can scratch build like this. This is going to be a treat. Great work on the cockpit, it looks beautiful and the fuselage is coming on very well indeed.

Keep up the good work

All the best

Chris

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Very nice work so far. A beautiful aircraft that really needs more attention from kitmakers!

I have the Pegasus kit in the stash awaiting its turn.

 

Ian

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Sorry but I have only just found this. This (or rather the  Lohner T1 from which this was reverse engineered and modified by the Italians), is on my to do list of scratch builds so I will be very interested to see how you get on. These machines really were extremely graceful. 

 

Great to see another scratch built biplane pusher flying boat: it ticks all of my boxes!

 

P

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Thanks for the comments and encouragements, gents. :)

 

It is indeed a beautiful craft and it’s a shame there is no [1/72 injection molded] kit. Regarding the commercial side, with plenty of interesting paint jobs, Italian as well as  American (the latter also includes a Medal of Honor honoree). But I guess WWI is low on the list, and so are flying boats. Anyway, it is more fun to scratch it, right? :D 

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Posted (edited)

Not a lot of activity on my part, duties taking priority. Here is one update, the next will have to wait a few weeks (I did say I will struggle with the timelimit!)

 

 

Since everyone is showing pictures of their perfect results I thought I’d try to be different:

q6AafE7.jpg

 

Ergo I’m trying to learn plunge molding in plastic. After a lot of waste, I did find a method that works for me (copied off the interwebs), so I’d thought I’d document so I don’t have to go through it again after forgetting. I first used a candle as heat source, others had - so why not me? I couldn’t get a controlled heating - even if I didn’t outright burn the plastic every time, it resulted in the above. Eventually I did this:

Make a female mold with one or two mm extra width compared to the male. Clamp the plastic (20 thou) firmly on the female mold, place the lot on top of a toaster. While heating, try gently prodding the plastic sheet with a plastic stick until the plastic starts being loose and *almost* start sticking to your plastic stick when you remove the stick, then quickly - quickly! - lift the female and push it over the male mold, which has been fastened securely in a vise. 

 

This is the first succesful attempt (bottom half of engine crankcase), with the male mold glued to a clothespin.

 

FhddOts.jpg

 

 

This is the upper part of the fuselage being molded with described method:

 

fyC5Kyw.jpg

 

 

 

Said part cut and resting in place, in need of some trimming and sanding:

 

m9EuJce.jpg

 

 

I have since figured out that there are two holes to be drilled on the front part. If these were open holes, it is obvious what to do, but if they were windows the easiest would to be making a new mold in clear plastic and just masking the windows. The holes can be seen in the first image in the thread.

 

 

 

edit:

For the female molds I use balsa - cheap, very quick to cut and it may be rough without detrimental affect. The male mold I used balse for the fuselage piece, but some harder piece of scrap wood for the engine casing due to the balsa being a bit too soft to achieve good results

Edited by Torbjorn

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18 minutes ago, Torbjorn said:

This is the first succesful attempt (bottom half of engine crankcase), with the male mold glued to a clothespin.

Good experimentation.

As for your holes/ windows, I can't think why they would windows and I can't think why they would be holes either. What would the purpose for either? :shrug:

 

Stuart

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Posted (edited)

 

49 minutes ago, Torbjorn said:

have since figured out that there are two holes to be drilled on the front part. If these were open holes, it is obvious what to do, but if they were windows the easiest would to be making a new mold in clear plastic and just masking the windows. The holes can be seen in the first image in the thread.

I found this link to an M.5 build and he has the holes also but doesn't mention what they are ? I wonder if in the military versions they're for clearing jammed guns, Or shell ejection ports ? On a land based design the shells are ejected down, but on a seaplane that obviously isn't an option. Sadly he never finished the posting so no way to no what the finished product looked like. 
 

Dennis

Edited by Corsairfoxfouruncle

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Oh the joys of push moulding. I always use a gas grill to make my moulds and I have been making them for many years. However they do not always work and a degree of waste is inevitable. I also use pins to hold the card to the female mould which I cut from plywood - much quicker and easier and essential if the mould is under the grill. Thanks too for showing us what did not work - always helpful for those of us who scratch build - I too recorded some of my mishaps in a recent post!

 

This link might help with the holes in the fuselage: https://forum.ww1aircraftmodels.com/index.php?topic=5904.150 The holes appear to be circular windows.

 

BTW Des Delattore was an exceptionally gifted modeller - few of us could produce a model of that quality!

 

P

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Well done for sticking with it and not having to call the fire department.  A paint stripping heat gun might serve you better for your experiments and they are not very expensive on that auction site.   Not sure if you’ve seen this but if not there might be something of use for you in this thread. Or maybe not.  Looking to the next instalment.

 

Dennis

 

 

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13 hours ago, Courageous said:

Good experimentation.

As for your holes/ windows, I can't think why they would windows and I can't think why they would be holes either. What would the purpose for either? :shrug:

 

Stuart

They might be inspection windows (they are on top of the guns and instruments) or just to let some light into the cockpit?

 

I think the cartridges are collected in designated boxes. Jutting them out in front of the pilot’s nose (and propeller) seems a bit reckless. :D

 

 

 

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11 hours ago, pheonix said:

Oh the joys of push moulding. I always use a gas grill to make my moulds and I have been making them for many years. However they do not always work and a degree of waste is inevitable. I also use pins to hold the card to the female mould which I cut from plywood - much quicker and easier and essential if the mould is under the grill. Thanks too for showing us what did not work - always helpful for those of us who scratch build - I too recorded some of my mishaps in a recent post!

 

This link might help with the holes in the fuselage: https://forum.ww1aircraftmodels.com/index.php?topic=5904.150 The holes appear to be circular windows.

 

BTW Des Delattore was an exceptionally gifted modeller - few of us could produce a model of that quality!

 

P

 

Yes, I initially only clamped on two sides, which failed miserably. Failing is a good way of learning how the material works though, so mistakes are also useful. Thanks for the link, I have seen images of that model elsewhere (and in fact used it as template for the cockpit!)  but had not seen that thread.

 

 

 

DMC, I read your primer and based much of my attempts on your writings. A hot air gun is certainly on the table if I will end up doing a lot of moulding. I imagine the heat is easier to control (and you don’t risk ruining your toaster). For this project I will likely not need many more push moulds. Maybe the radiator frame and floats.

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I think the holes are just to let light into the cockpit, you'll probably find the instrument panel is in front of the holes. If not, I have no clue!

 

Ian

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Finally after weeks away I got some time in the play room.

 

On 10/5/2019 at 6:04 PM, limeypilot said:

I think the holes are just to let light into the cockpit, you'll probably find the instrument panel is in front of the holes. If not, I have no clue!

 

Ian

Yes, correct - I saw now that Mr Des in the link above shows a photo of it  :)

 

I simply drilled holes: if anyone asks, the windows are exceptionally thin and completely transparent!

 

——

Started with the wings and tailplane. I’ve been thinking which method to copy for making ribs and similar. First plan was to use strips of plastic but after some thinking have now come to the conclusion that I will not be able to achive the result I want. Either the strips will be too thick or too uneven. And will take an awful lot of time. But not before ordering material - now I have a dozen bags of evergreen strip of various dimensions.

 

Anyhow, I’ve come to use the method described by Mr Woodman: embossing the lines in 5 thou sheet and folding the sheet over.

 

For the static part of the tailplane I just taped the drawing to the plastic, embossed along the drawing, removed said drawing and folded the sheet.

 

TWm9MIL.jpg

 

Resulting lines, with minimum effort and absolutely no sanding whatever.

odAxuFu.jpg

 

The wings I have to draw myself: the aerofred drawing has the outlines, but not the proper rib construction. Being lazy this is done directly on the plastic:

 

orjmjis.jpg

 

Resulting tailplane:

xLyTjN4.jpg

 

 

 

Tailplane and lower wings are so thin that folding the sheet is enough to create a deceny thickness but the upper wing will have to be made with a core since it is 1.5-2 mm thick (will have to get a proper measurement). Haven’t started yet.

 

The fin and rudder are shaped in a way that do not encourage the folding method, so I just cut and filed/sanded them out of thicker sheet. Here I used the plastic strips (10x10 thou), which being overscale even for 1/32 or 1/16 scale, were sanded down until they were barely seen.

 

Below, the resulting fin and port lower wing. The little bump on the wing is some kind of mounting bracket for the strut and bracing wires. The camber were made in a simple as possible manner: during gluing, one large clamp the width of the entire wing was used to clamp the leading edge, another similar clamp on the trailing edge. The clamps could then be used to bend the wing into a desireable shape and then arranged to dry in that position. First I heated it over the radiator to avoid stresses (cold months are suitable for scratch building in many ways).

OkwrFmc.jpg

 

 I’ve also been applying putty and sanding sticks to the hull. With all these wings made I couldn’t keep myself from dry-mounting them to see how it will look like :D The tail assembly is stacked on a rod, for robustness and alignement.

 

 

peKRLfp.jpg

 

 

Would never have expected to feel that way*, but I can’t wait to start painting!

 

 

 

 

* I prefer building, not painting...

Edited by Torbjorn

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Very neat solution to the wing rib problem I do use strip and sand it all down but it is time consuming and dusty! However the balsa core method does not work well in the True Scale so I do not have a choice. Looking forward to seeing more on this.

 

P

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