Jump to content

Valom DH.91 Albatros mailplane conversion


Recommended Posts

Well, I finally started to cut and fill plastic on the the Valom 1/72 D.H. 91 Albatros kit yesterday. My intention is to build it as one of the two mailplanes used by the RAF, in this case B-JW (earlier as one of the prototypes, E.3). At first, I thought this airframe would still have the split flaps of the two mailplanes (E.3 and G-AEVV) even after its partial reconstruction following a broken back accident that involved reconfiguration of the rear wing fillets to the airliner form. Now, I'm not so sure after peering at the various in-flight photos of B-JW. There is a hint of a change in tone of the upper surface colours where there could be a slotted flap, and the underside view shows the flap with five hinge points. Does anyone know, or have an opinion about whether these are the original split form or the later slotted version? I'll get some photos posted up at some point soon.

 

Cheers, GrahamB

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very interesting to follow! When model appeared there were comments on too stepy end of nacelles on top of wing. It is a bit difficult to correct, but I am interesting do you find them of wrong shape?

Regards

J-W

P.S.

Some photos show flaps down

airliners.net/photo/Untitled-De-Havilland-Aircraft/De-Havilland-DH-91-Albatross/1927378

https://www.agefotostock.com/age/en/Stock-Images/Rights-Managed/MEV-10992252

https://www.baaa-acro.com/crash/crash-de-havilland-dh91-albatross-pucklechurch

do they have differnt construction (prototype and series)?

 

Edited by JWM
added PS
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@GrahamB,

 

I would think that those are single slotted flaps on your Albatross; I don't recall seeing  hinge cutouts on any aircraft that had split flaps, like a Blenheim, Spitfire, Hurricane. Most split flaps have either a long rod or a simple piano hinge to operate them. Just an uneducated guess, but the linked photos seem to support your theory.

Mike

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you JWM for the great photo links 👍.  I had not seen these before on searches for DH91 images. Also, I had not considered the nacelle shapes, not having seen the particular reviews. At first glance the upper nacelles do seem too high and blunt-ended, but probably OK for length. I'll follow this up and decide if it is worth the effort to change them.

 

Thanks also, Mike - useful info for me. It does look as if slotted flaps replaced the original split versions now on BJ-W, especially with some good images of these on the Fortuna and others for reference. I'll have to dig out the Gunze filler (nail varnish remover works) from the upper wing halves now and show the aircraft with the flaps slightly  drooped.

Onwards!

 

GrahamB

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Kia ora Britmodelers.

 

Starting to make some real progress with the lovely Valom Albatros but I've tended to be rather haphazard with with project, having originally intended to be slow and methodical and not start things before finishing others. Never mind. The wings have  been a major focus and I decided to cut out and make the slotted flaps, using the kit parts as a basis. Also, an attempt has been made to reduce the bulbous upper wing engine nacelles by thinning the top surface down and narrowing/tapering the sides. A bit hit and miss accuracy wise I suppose but to me it looks better. The leading edge is  pain around the air-intakes (not really the kit, not having benefit of Tamiya/Wingnuts engineering).  Some adjustments need to fit the engine cowlings neatly. Fit, trim, fit etc etc.

Albatros build no 4

 

Albatros build no 5

 

I also decided to tweek the engine cowlings and show the aircraft with the lower panels drooped as in some photos. 

Albatros build no 6

While this was going on, I diverted off to the fuselage and tail assembly.  The main meat of the conversion is the reconfiguration of the doors and windows and this starts by filling the port-side doors and all the cabin windows. There may be a better way but I went down this route. After filling the window apertures with plastic card (and backed with molten kit plastic - sprue plus liquid glue mix) I noticed that the kits appears to supply window inserts as well. Doh!

Albatros build no 3

 Since then I've made good progress with marking out the new windows for cutting. Not as simple as it seems. Next post.

Cheers, GrahamB

NZ doing well with Covid-19. Came out of restrictive Level 4 to somewhat less arduous Level 3. About 1450 cases and 19 deaths. Only 2 new cases reported today.

Stay safe UK folks.

Edited by GrahamB
spelling
  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello again.

Well, the next daunting phase begins - the alteration of the cabin window configuration for the mail-plane version. A few happy hours pouring over photos (print-outs that coincidentally almost matched the kit in scale) with a measuring stick and trying to deconstruct perspective (?). I'll probably score in lightly the window edges before removing most of the plastic - then remove the masking for final clean-up of the edges. When this is done the basic conversion work is about done.

Cheers,

GrahamB

Albatros build no 7 Albatros build no 8 Albatros build no 9

 

  • Like 9
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is an excellent learning opportunity for me.  Watching this closely, particularly the adjustments you're making to the window line, which is pretty hard core.  Valom kits look like a chore, albeit a worthwhile one.  What are your impressions? Alex T.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Alex,

 

very nice of you to respond to this post. The kit is actually very nice and could have been built out of the box with very little trouble for a relatively short-run product. The moldings are very decent overall (the fuselage is lovely), with hardly any injection overshots or blemishes. The trailing edges are commendably fine too (albeit they could be refined more if you want to). The fit is OK based on what I have done so far and with dry fitting of the wings and under-surface fuselage/wing panel. Some panel lines are not necessary (e.g. on the wings) apart from those on the engine cowlings and nacelles. Wing-halves fit is OK too but the clean up  around the air intakes is fiddly and I've not yet completed this. The trickiest bit are parts 30 31 (vertical leading edge supports) and the small inboard fillet/panel ahead of the u/c. This is is because the small part needs a proper cut-in/seat on the inner curved surface of the wing leading edge (plastic too thick) - otherwise is doesn't really settle properly. The plastic is also very thick on the fuselage which is OK for strength but difficult to cut out. I haven't tried dry-fitting the cockpit canopy yet. I will be adding brass rods to support the horizontal tail-plane and fins. All in all, not too shabby  a kit. Cheers, GrahamB

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, GrahamB.  I'm eager to see more when you're ready with happy snaps.  This is such a beautiful subject, but I've shied away from it because so many folks seem to be having trouble with it--which is why I ask.  It has to rate as one of the most lovely looking planes ever made; what a pity it wasn't manufactured from aluminum and built in larger numbers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tidy work there Graham. Great to see such a beautiful aircraft getting the attention it deserves by way of a well researched and executed model.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Hi All,

 

more progress has been made with this conversion, coming at it from all angles. The fuselage halves are almost done (next post) and the cutting out of the windows and refitting the clear parts was a chore. Not happy with my clear parts (cut-down kit pieces) - must learn how to restore blemishes and scratches. I've still to move the starboard rear door to over the wing root fairing. Made some ridiculous fuel tanks based on the Aeroplane drawings, and photos for size and placement. Work on the cowlings has involved cutting the "steps" off these and the wing nacelles as I could see that the kit's cowlings/nacelles are too long in front of the wing leading edge - it looks right now. It does mean that the fairings over the cylinder heads need a small extension adding at the rear, and I've actually shimmed the whole thing. The least you could do if not  bothering with this excessive work is to flatten the lower edge of the fairings - they are not curved underneath. A complication for any other conversions of the Albatros is that there are at least three different fairing types - I think it is Frobisher that had two - early large close-fitting fairings replaced with narrower versions (as on Faraday), probably because of cooling problems. The cowlings are now on and I have since been cleaning up the joins and re-scribing the few obvious panel lines. The fuselage halves are soon to be joined and I'm almost ready for overall polish, prime and painting. As for that damned under-surface colour.............................?????

Cheers, GrahamB

fuel tanks nacelle mod cowling mod wings mods fuselage mod

 

  • Like 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Hi there, it's been a bit quiet on this thread but I have been busy. The fuselage and wing modifications had gone along without major problems - only myself creating unnecessary work - but most of the time since has been dealing with the wing-fuselage attachment. One side seemed fine but the other (starboard) revealed a big gap between the wing and the fuselage panel. Also there was a big gap on the forward transverse join. I think this has to do with the spars and u/c partitioning pieces interfering with the fuselage floor, and the main spar being slightly adrift on one side (very slight mismatch in dihedral). It took a bit of fiddling, re-skinning and filling to get this right. I should have spent more time dry-fitting beforehand. The other part of the kit I didn't like was the landing light transparencies - a poor fit, and I'm sure this hasn't been properly corrected here - life is too short. Another "issue"" that comes along is the cockpit canopy going AWOL (ugh!)- I'll have to build one up from acetate. Anyway, it's down to the last bit of careful sanding and patching before final prime coat.

 

Now the BIG QUESTION IS: what is that undersurface colour?   Aluminium, yellow, Sky (regulation - but which of its various iterations/formulae - early with blue pigment?) or Sky substitute (duck-egg green/blue??)  Any votes?

 

Cheers,  GrahamB

Albatros build ventral fuselage Albatros build ventral fuselage no.3 Albatros build ventral fuselage no.4 Albatros build ventral fuselage no.5 Albatros build main assembly

 

  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nicely done so far.  Question: how do you propose to remove the Chrystal Clear from the navigator's astrodome opening without having some of it drop inside the fuselage and adhere to you cockpit and pax windows?  I have a selfish interest in your answer and am following closely.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Krystal Kleer was an experiment as I've never liked the purple coloured maskol stuff. I might use it as an alternative to the kit windows (already fitted) if they look bad. The cockpit canopy  (to be masked) will be added after painting, ideally with acetate, and strip failing that with Krystal Kleer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Been having a catch up with this, some really nice work on it Graham. I've toyed with getting one of these, even more tempted than ever now but little chance of getting anything from anywhere just now it seems. :( I'll look forward to more progress & the final reveal. Fwiw, I like the sound of silver undersides. I think they were all over silver before the war, would they not have simply camo'd the topsides after war broke out? :unsure:

Steve.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kia ora Steve,

 

yes, I'm going with Aluminium dope for the undersides now. Someone suggested a mix of Tamiya Flat Aluminium and Royal Pale Grey (I could use also Sky Grey or similar) to dull and reduce the "sparkle" in the metallic paint. Just had to order some paint from Hobby City up in Auckland.

 

It is a lovely aircraft and the kit is OK too - just the usual care and dry-fitting needed for its short-run nature. I've made things hugely complicated by doing perhaps too much.

Cheers,

Graham

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...