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This is a magnificent tour de force (fancy term for a fancy build). The pictures of ribs shuffling up and down the upper wing to avoid the heat from the soldering iron made me realise I am incapable of that level of planning, let alone the modelling!

 

Regards,

Adrian

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Agree with others, Pheonix regarding your engine - absolutely superb work!

 

 

Great to see the further progress on the wings and now the control surfaces.   Really coming together well now and looking forward to further progress reports.

 

Regards

 

Dave

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Beautiful crisp soldering and a masterclass in forming structures P. Each successive series of updates here is a revelation of the craft at its best and a true inspiration about building from scratch. 👏

 

Ps. How did I not get to see this sooner  - my apologies...

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Evening All,

 

Many thanks Dennis, Mark, Adrian, Dave and Tony for you kind and encouraging comments. I appreciate them all the more at the moment because I am approaching (and trying hard to avoid), the moment of truth when I have to attach the top wing.

 

I have painted the top wing structure and the ailerons, elevators and fin:

 

50244440303_a344cec1a3_c.jpg

 

50245077386_92330a38e3_c.jpg

 

50245284802_ac308935d3_c.jpg

 

I have also added the internal rigging to the top wing:

 

50245077326_b153fcdfca_c.jpg

 

I can delay the moment of truth a little longer because I still have to attach the fuel tank to the top wing, prime the lower booms and paint both lower and upper booms grey, make some more struts, (some which I had made previously are too short!) and varnish the struts and add the maker's markings. By then I will run out of things to do and I will have to get on with jigs and the wing attachment.........wish me luck!

 

Thanks for looking.

 

P

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  • 2 weeks later...

Evening All,

 

At last my monoplane has grown up: it is now a biplane! Here's how.

 

First I had to make more struts as some which i had made previously were too short! These were carved from two sheets of pear laminate glued together and then varnished and the supports painted on the ends:

 

50288803068_61b4a2d83c_c.jpg

 

The black dots are transfers from Arctic Decals which represent the makers mark (Aeroplane Manufacturing Company): they are so small that I could just as easily painted black dots!

 

Next I had to drill holes in the ribs again to take the rigging as I intend to thread the wires under the strut ends. (I had already drilled the holes in the ribs before I glued them to the spars, but somehow most of them had become blocked. I did not want to have to drill them again when the top wing is in place as it is difficult enough drilling the holes in the ribs when they are attached to the spar and there is space around them). I am not using turnbuckles for two reasons, namely I cannot fix them to parts of the frame as it is made from brass into which I cannot drill small enough holes. The second reason is that I consider them to be too large in 1/32 scale and they are just too small for me to thread if they are 1/48 scale!

 

Lastly I made the rudder: I had wondered whether to wait until I had mounted the top wing but I decided that I needed the rudder post to help hold the top wing in place when I add the struts: more on that later. Construction of the rudder frame was straightforward: the post is brass rod and the ribs are 40 thou card for the larger rib and 15 thou for the rest. Those which were attached directly to the rudder post had holes drilled:

 

50289626907_c8c2c082da_c.jpg

 

The ribs were CA'd to the post and the spar sections cemeted in place (these were pieces of 15thou strip), while the edge was made from 10 x 20 thou strip which had been run through a pair of tweezers much as clothes makers run ribbon across scissor blades to make the ribbon curl. When the curvature was nearly correct I secured the top end to the top of a rib and allowed it to harden.

 

50289626442_b3db39fb7e_c.jpg

 

Then I could bend the strip around and secure it to the rear ends of the ribs and spar with liquid cement and finally rudder post with CA. A small strip was added to the front to represent the balance:

 

50288803088_9741369bf7_c.jpg

 

The rudder assembly was painted to complete it:

 

50288803063_c793546c95_c.jpg

 

I made a jig from my usual expensive and sophisticated materials ie, pieces of card and a block of wood with nails. I try to demonstrate in my builds that scratch building does not have to involve expensive or complex jigs or tools, although if you have the money and skill to own and use these they undoubtedly can be advantageous. I use simple tools and materials which are available to hand and cheap and simple to use: high levels of skill are not required - just a little imagination and patience. I hammered some nails into a block of wood to hold the model steady when I made my 1/32 Vickers Gunbus: I used the same block again. The nails are spaced so that they lock on opposite sides of the wing spars and fit into corners where the ribs are attached to the spars. This holds the lower wing and nacelle sufficiently rigid to stop it moving around when working on the sub-assembly. but means that the unit can be put on or taken off easily:

 

50291028426_f3ae2f5e2b_c.jpg

 

The image shows how the nails hold the wing in place - there are two pairs of nails - one for each lower wing. With the lower wing rigid the upper wing needs to be held while the struts are inserted. To keep the correct height, and to support the booms at the rear and keep them correctly spaced too, I cut three supports from thick card. Two sit on the lower wing and have a tab so that they can rest on the top surface of the wing and be held stable with a tab. The lower part has short feet which rest on the wood block, and the top has a cut-out which fits on the leading and trailing edges of the upper wing spar. The boom jig (centre) has a cut-out which is wide enough to sit over the lower booms and support the upper boom just in front of the tail plane:

 

50289476696_739e50f5fe_c.jpg

 

The narrow shallow cut-outs in the wing jigs are there to sit over the thin strips which runs along the centre of the wing surfaces. When the jigs are in place and the top wing lowered onto them the structure is rigid enough to work on. Look no struts!

 

50289627097_4d3b8d3d98_c.jpg

 

50289476836_f781834162_c.jpg

 

50289627067_b570c9ba2c_c.jpg

 

Just card and nails....

 

50289627012_4df00a4333_c.jpg

 

With the top wing firmly held I could fix the rudder in place. This held the rear of the assembly steady and formed one leg of what would become a triangle. (The boom strut was only put in place and not fixed when this image was taken):

 

50289476581_1241e18ebb_c.jpg

 

Unfortunately it also showed me that I had cut the lower booms too short - the rudder post should be vertical and it was not! However I left it in place until I had put in all of the wing and boom struts and had a rigid structure. I inserted one front outer strut and one rear inner strut to each side:

 

50288803423_705f908eb6_c.jpg

 

50288803398_ccc8600bd0_c.jpg

 

I now had a sufficiently strong link between the top and bottom wings that the card jigs could be removed as the above images show. Each strut was cut/filed to exactly fit the gap in which it was to be attached and held with a small drop of CA. (The gaps along the spars on either side of the struts are there because that is where the rigging holes in the ribs are - later when I have the rigging in place I will fill the gaps with pieces of card as per the remainder of the spars). With the card wing supports removed, fitting the remaining wing struts one at a time was easy:

 

50289626712_cd6058084e_c.jpg

 

50288803348_2bf1804e0c_c.jpg

 

followed by the cabane and boom struts:

 

50288802963_45e7478e69_c.jpg

 

50288803293_0806fb339c_c.jpg

 

The rear card jig and rudder was removed from the rear when all of the struts were in place - the structure is completely rigid and can be handled with care just like any other biplane model. All of the struts are square and vertical from the front and side, which makes pushers easy to assemble using this method:

 

50289476326_c43fbd84c9_c.jpg

 

50288802983_7a828d63af_c.jpg

 

The lower boom ends have been extended by taking a small triangle of 60 thou card and filing a V into the base side. The corners were rounded with a file and the piece CA'd to the ends of the booms. The fin also had to be adjusted to allow for the new angle of the rudder post. Finally the lower spreader strut could be CA'd between the lower booms and the sub-assembly is complete and ready to rig:

 

50291810442_040d502a19_c.jpg

 

I will be pleased to be able to get rid of those dangly threads and the rigging of the wings will further strengthen the structure. The wings will be held on the wood block while I am inserting the threads through the holes in the ribs and the plastic fillers are added to the spars.

 

The undercarriage legs, axle spreader bar and wing skid are being carved from laminated pear and will be fitted after I have rigged the cabanes and wings, all of which I expect to take some time so the next update will not appear for a little while.

 

Thanks for looking.

 

P

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More exemplary work here P! I like your method of securing it all, but not sure if it would be quite as easy in 1:72 - nails? Hmmmm......

 

Think I'll stick with masking tape! 

 

Ian

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  • 2 weeks later...

Absolutely amazing progress and work here, Pheonix -

 

This is really looking like an aircraft now and reminds me of a real museum quality model so I am very impressed.  Love your simple jig - especially the nails !! 

 

Looking forward to seeing further progress

 

Regards

 

Dave

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  • 2 weeks later...

Evening All,

 

Thank you GrzeM, Ian, Dave, Dennis and Jon for dropping by. I much appreciate your comments and support - in fact the more so since the last post as I will explain.

 

I started to rig the wings which was a pleasure at it was getting rid of a lot of dangly threads which at times were a nuisance. As already explained I had drilled holes in the ribs under the struts so that I could pass the threads through them and hold them in place with CA. (I do not like turnbuckles as I think that they are too large even in this scale). I had rigged the inner bay on one side and was three quarters of the way to completing the outer bay when I managed to knock the tail unit with my hand....and all of the struts collapsed. I was left struggling to keep a single cabane in almost its correct position while I carefully set the fallen and now loose struts in order around the model. I do not mind admitting that for a few moments I thought that I was going to have to abandon this model. However after I had regained my composure I decided that a recovery operation would at least be worth a try so I set about replacing the struts one by one using the card jigs to hold the wings apart while I did so. An hour later and things were back to where they had been - and I stopped working on the model for a couple of days, which caused some of the delay. Having completed rigging the wings I put in the remaining pieces on the spars: these hold the ends of the rigging wires and block the holes in the ribs.

 

50368208683_8594e2ca48_c.jpg

 

50368916046_74cab6068f_c.jpg

 

50368210448_30047843e6_c.jpg

 

The plastic fillers were painted with the wood mixture that I concocted for this model. Next up was the propellor boss. I had ordered a resin boss but when it arrived it was too small. I am working from the DataFile drawings and I assume that they are correct and the resin boss is too small for this particular aircraft - certainly from the point of view of quality I have no problems with the resin boss and back plate. However I had to make my own from 20 thou card. I cut the discs by using a pair of dividers to score them out, drilled the holes and added the central bolt and smaller retaining bolts from plastic rod:

 

50369019972_75702cc892_c.jpg

 

This is a bespoke fitting on the propellor - shown here as a dry fit prior to fixing permanently to the model.

 

The next delay resulted from trying to make the undercarriage legs and wing skids from wood. For the first attempt I laminated two sheets of pear and cut the legs of the undercarriage along the grain and tried to join them at the bottom. This was not going to work - the joint face was too small and I could see the whole lot collapsing just as I was about to finish the model. On the second attempt I cut out two sets of legs as V's ready to shape, and indeed did shape them and varnished them. All was going really well - actually too well because the legs started to warp! B......r. By now I was getting more than a little fed up so I turned to the wing skids. My original plan was to make them in three parts - two sloping legs and a cross piece along the bottom. I looked at the tiny pieces of wood and decided to save time and revert to plastic instead. So I laminated some plastic card to get sufficient thickness to be able to take the weight of the model and shaped two undercarriage legs and two wing skids. The spreader bar for the undercarriage has been shaped in pear wood and varnished as it will not take any weight and I was able to shape it along the grain of the wood. Two small pieces of thin wire were inserted into the ends of the spreader bar - these attach to the undercarriage legs as per the original aircraft. The axle will sit on top of the spreader bar and will be made from brass rod. The undercarriage legs and wing skids have been painted as per the spar additions described above. I had already made the tail skid which is also shown in the photo.

 

50368859316_80b3bc32cf_c.jpg

 

I drilled the ends of the undercarriage legs so that I could also insert small wire pins where they are attached to the fuselage nacelle. Now the joint is CA'd where the pins are inserted into pre-drilled holes, and the plastic has cement where it is in contact with the fuselage frame. Hopefully these joints will be strong enough. The cockpit step on the starboard front leg is also a short piece of wire. The extra dangly bits in the photos are control cables for the elevators: I have had to put the pulleys in place at the tops of the rear inner bay struts and I needed to put the cables on (they are EZ line) because I will not be able to do so later. Just more things to get in the way.......

 

50369019617_ff206fa93b_c.jpg

 

50368156883_d82bd18a63_c.jpg

 

Two other small details have been added: the wind generator and cable on the port forward cabane strut and the fuel pipe from the gravity tank on the starboard forward cabane strut:

 

50369019747_88d14dbf74_c.jpg

 

50368156988_cdb60dc5b2_c.jpg

 

Finally I finished the instrument panel. This had been started as I had cut the semi-circle from card and painted it with oils some time ago. I made a compass from a piece of thick sprue and card and fixed a transfer to the top. The instruments came from the same Airscale sheet as the compass. The bezels were from HG models PE set. The backs of the instruments were small pieces of rod suitably shaped and painted and the ASI pipe and other wires CA'd into place. This will be one of the last parts to be fitted to the model but I had become so frustrated with lack of progress that I wanted to do something straightforward and have something to show the time taken!

 

50368859361_502c878d4a_c.jpg

 

50369019657_431f917947_c.jpg

 

I am hoping that the next post will be of a completed model: there is much time consuming work to do with very little of photographic interest, but I will keep a record of sorts and hope that I will not be too long. However I do have to visit family for a week shortly, so the next update may be a while coming.

 

Thanks for looking.

 

P

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Sorry to hear about the struts collapsing - glad you got it all back together!
 

FWIW, when I’ve used thin sections of wood  for struts, I “varnish” them with superglue, which makes them a lot stronger. But your plastic replacements look just right.

 

[edit - I just had to go back and check the scale - I realise I’ve forgotten what size coins are!]

 

Regards,

Adrian

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Thanks for the tip Adrian: this wood was laminated and I think that the glue drying caused the wood to distort. I will remember you tip next time and give it a try.

 

P

Edited by pheonix
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So glad you managed to save it, I hate it when that happens. 

I think the "generator" is more likely a Rotherham pump. It's an air pump to pressurize the fuel tank.

 

Ian

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Amazing work, Pheonix -

 

Pleased you managed to sort out the undercarriage problem - problems always seem to make an appearance during a build ..................

 

I agree with what you regarding turnbuckles - although the aftermarket ones look great, they never seem to look quite right once installed.

 

Glad you are now on the 'home run'.

 

Regards

 

Dave

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I hope you don't mind me posting this late in the build, I have just caught up and wow oh wow and wow again.  I'm always astounded with scratchbuilding work, and how the model starts to appear.   This is absolutely flippin amazing.

Truly great work. 

Chris

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18 hours ago, Brandy said:

So glad you managed to save it, I hate it when that happens. 

I think the "generator" is more likely a Rotherham pump. It's an air pump to pressurize the fuel tank.

 

Ian

Thanks Ian. I am sure that you are correct - I had forgotten that wind pumps were used to pressurise tanks at that time.

 

16 hours ago, Epeeman said:

Amazing work, Pheonix -

 

Pleased you managed to sort out the undercarriage problem - problems always seem to make an appearance during a build ..................

 

I agree with what you regarding turnbuckles - although the aftermarket ones look great, they never seem to look quite right once installed.

 

Glad you are now on the 'home run'.

 

Regards

 

Dave

Thanks for your encouraging comments Dave. Yes this one has been a long time in the making - I must make sure that I do not drop it now!

 

13 hours ago, bigbadbadge said:

I hope you don't mind me posting this late in the build, I have just caught up and wow oh wow and wow again.  I'm always astounded with scratchbuilding work, and how the model starts to appear.   This is absolutely flippin amazing.

Truly great work. 

Chris

Thank you for the kind comment Chris. Pleased that you like it: hopefully I will be able to present the finished article before too long.

 

P

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  • 2 weeks later...

Evening All,

 

I am calling this one finished. I have added the last few details and completed all of the rigging.

 

The final details included the wheels and axle, (wheels were from Gaspatch - highly recommended: the axle is a piece of brass rod), the longerons on the cockpit sides, cockpit step, tail and wing skids, control horns, instrument panel and gun mountings. The last of the rigging, including the control wires and anti-drag wires, tail skid spring, (made by winding thin copper wire around a paintbrush handle), and associated wires, etc completed the model. 

 

50427888737_b7a5b3c7b3_c.jpg

 

50427018183_54b46515ba_c.jpg

 

50427711851_e8c47990f5_c.jpg

 

There are more photos in the Ready for Inspection section.

 

Thanks to all who have dropped by and given much support in the course of this build.

 

And if you have been - thanks for looking.

 

P

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That is magnificent!  I have been lurking in the background not saying much, but cannot let the completion pass unmarked.  Fabulous work, and a pleasure to watch it develop.

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What a wonderful model, truly great work .  I am amazed at the models that are built room scratch as it is and yo see a strip down model is just awesome.  Brilliant thank you for sharing.

Chris

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Wow, wow and double wow!!!

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Amazing stuff. It inspires me to improve my model engineering and be a bit more daring in what I take on. I don’t think I’ll ever attempt something so intricate and complex but I’ m now contemplating that Bleriot to go with the Taube :) 

Edited by Marklo
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