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Torbjorn

Is it a boat? Is it a plane? Is it a snowmobile? Yes on all accounts!

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I was planning to build a Finnish Buffalo in this GB, but while leisure-browsing wikipedia I found the following image which lured me away from the chosen path. I present Flygfisken (image courtesy wiki):

1024px-Donnet-L%C3%A9veque.JPG

 

This thing has it all: it is quirky, has complicated rigging, a tailplane raised on sticks above the fuselage and a rotary engine suspended only by strings and struttery with an assortment of pipes going up to the fuel tank on the upper wing and down into the cockpit. And skis!

 

It also has pedigree. It is a Donnet Leveque flying boat Type A (or C, opinions differ) first bought from France in 1913 by the Flying Baron Carl Cederström. It was called the Flying fish, a nick-name its paintjob likely helped to popularize:

 

 

https://digitaltmuseum.org/021016340773/carl-cederstroms-flygbat-flygfisken-vid-loudden-1913-flygmaskin-av-typ

 

Although that is tempting, I shall build it in its snowmobile configuration. Cederström sold it to the Navy where it got designation L II but retained its popular nickname. As the designation implies this was the second Donnet Leveque of the Navy - the first was bought by the excess money from a public donation that was collected to buy a [pocket] battleship (the government had decided it couldn’t afford any, so a public fund raiser was started - and the people decided it could indeed not only afford a battleship, but also some aeroplanes, but I digress).

 

The Navy made good use of the plane until they donated it to the Marine museum in 1919. It was recently restored by volunteers. 

 

 

There is one mystery. The wings have one extra pair of interplane struts now compared to in 1913. My guess is that this is not an error by the restorers, but is an addition made back in the days after a crash, which according to what I’ve read, required extensive rebuild. The problem is is, I need to find the dimensions of these new wings.

Edited by Torbjorn

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This is som proper crazy stuff!

Is there even a kit available or will this an exercise in scratchbuilding?

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1 hour ago, Christer A said:

This is som proper crazy stuff!

Is there even a kit available or will this an exercise in scratchbuilding?

Well I have an engine... @Julien kindly donated me a smallstuffmodels Gnome 80hp a while back and although I intended it for another project this plane was powered by the very same engine - and why should I resist fate? :)

 

The rest will have to the concocted somehow.

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An amazing choice, scratch building everything bar the engine...... Absolutely outstanding, the best of luck with the build.

 

Cheers Pat

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welcome along with something seriously different and it'll be scratch built as well!!!

 

What a project you've decided to do, it truly scares me, but it is super cool. What scale will it be?

 

Good luck with this build it's sure to be one to watch and I'm looking forward to following it. I do hope you can get her into the gallery.

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Thanks for the best wishes, I shall need it. I expect a lot of trial and especially error :D

 

I’m stuck with 1/72, but if I ever should have strayed away this was probably it. 

 

I have now found a contemporary photo showing all three pairs of interplane struts, so it is clear it had a wing refit at one point. I will have to make my own drawings for the wings - I hope the measurements on digitalmuseum are actual measurements and not from drawings with the original wings.

 

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Nice project and subject... enjoy the scratchbuilding of this one, I'm in for this one...

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An interesting project,it has my attention 

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Wow! There's a diverse selection of really cool subjects coming through in this GB but this is one I'm particularly looking forward to watching.

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Thanks guys, I hope I shall not disappoint!

 

I have made a start. Found some drawings of a Type A, but I am not happy with the shape of the forward part of the hull - I might have to redraw it. The aft section is triangular with curves in several directions so I will resort to molding that part. The front will be built up as a box.

 

IolUfn4.jpg

 

The forward of these two bulkheads includes the step. The underside curvature was created from an acetone bottle - I am being specific so I can remember which bottle to use when sanding the underside later on:

 

tCMHFpJ.jpg

 

 

 

Started with the cockpit: there are good pictures of the original on the net, and also of a French example. Here I am drilling out the holes for the control linkage and wires:

 

HWCpK8g.jpg

 

Edited by Torbjorn

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I'm very curious to see this coming together. Tagging along!

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Think you've already scratch-built more parts than I've ever stuck together on the first day of a GB :lol: 

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On 1/18/2020 at 11:23 AM, Col. said:

Think you've already scratch-built more parts than I've ever stuck together on the first day of a GB

I was eager to start, considering how much time I will be likely to need 🥴 

 

 

I made a mould for the aft half of the hull. I use a high tech plung mould system consisting of 1) mould carved of balsa (right), 2) a frame holding threplastic consisting of scrap balsa pieces pieced together and held in place with office clamps (left) and 3) a heat supply consisting of a bread toaster (not visualised here, but the audio accompanying its use goes ”oh, you are going to poison us again?” ).

 

1gvX1Rl.jpg

 The mould is white because I was not happy with the first attempt and added some putty to be able to make fine adjustments: balsa is easy to carve but is not suitable for fine detail or sharp edges. Neither were needed here - which is why I used balsa - but the area going from square to triangular cross section needed some sharper definition.

 

First and second attempts:

 

bu3CtbL.jpg

 

Edited by Torbjorn

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That's interesting. What's the thickness of the sheet you're moulding? And how warm does it need to be to do the moulding?

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5 hours ago, JeroenS said:

That's interesting. What's the thickness of the sheet you're moulding? And how warm does it need to be to do the moulding?

I used 0.5 mm for this, but I’ve used both thicker and thinner before. Temperature-wise I have no idea. I rest the frame holding the plastic on top of the toaster, poking the plastic from time to time with a spoon until the plastic is soft. When the plastic goes from matt to having a slightly glossy sheen it’s ready to mould. Trial and error is the best way to find a method that works, in the beginning I had maybe 1 out of 5 turn out good (the others smelted or was not hot enough and didn’t conform), but now it is usually good on the first try. The reason I made two here is because I wasn’t satisfied with the shape of the first and tweaked the mould a bit.

Edited by Torbjorn

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nicely done.

 

You know you could have almost case this piece in resin? Your balsa masters look good enough that they would be fine to do most of the work in resin.

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17 minutes ago, trickyrich said:

nicely done.

 

You know you could have almost case this piece in resin? Your balsa masters look good enough that they would be fine to do most of the work in resin.

Hmm, I’m not familiar with that technique. I shall definitely look it up, thanks for the tip.

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bottles and a toaster...essentials for any hobby bench!  😀

 

But really...superb start on this.  I am looking very carefully.  This will be a stunning model.

 

 

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14 hours ago, Torbjorn said:

Hmm, I’m not familiar with that technique. I shall definitely look it up, thanks for the tip.

no if you're good at doing balsa masters like that then you should try resin casting. I only started doing it a few years ago. I'm no expert but it's actually much simpler that it looks of sounds. And for the sort of work you're doing here it would be perfect.

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On 1/20/2020 at 12:43 PM, trickyrich said:

no if you're good at doing balsa masters like that then you should try resin casting. I only started doing it a few years ago. I'm no expert but it's actually much simpler that it looks of sounds. And for the sort of work you're doing here it would be perfect.

I shall make a try sometime.

 

 

Added detail in the cockpit, including hand pump, a meter of some kind and tubing, based on a photo. 

 

pwSekMT.jpg

 

Unfortunately it all has to go. I followed the drawings I found, which obviously underestimate the size of the foreard cockpit - the spacing of ribs should be approximately the same, and I believe the aft cockpit is correct :( 

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that's a shame you have to redo the front, really lovely scratchbuilding work! :thumbsup:

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Nice detailing and scratchbuilding... to bad about the new info, but hey... second time around goes a lot faster 😉

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