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Junkers F13 Floatplane: Two Builds of the Same Aircraft


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Nice work, never thought of using a magnet before, sure will beat cutting holes into airframes.

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13 hours ago, busnproplinerfan said:

Nice work, never thought of using a magnet before, sure will beat cutting holes into airframes.

Thanks. Magnets are great for in-flight models of aircraft with a flat underside near the CoG, like this one. I like being able to take them on and off the stand with the underside intact (though with the power of neodymium magnets clicking into place the paint can get a bit damaged if you do it too often).

With a curved underside it gets a little tricky. I've had some success embedding a magnet inside a little cradle of modelling putty moulded to the underside of the aircraft.

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A little work in preparation for the open door on my rendition of D 260.

open-door-prep.jpg

I've sawed out the door section. Both doorway and door will need a little revision--a sliver off the door, top and bottom, and corresponding filler strips in the doorway.

I've also filled the interior gaps around the kit windows, by larding on some filler and then sanding it level with the windows, then using progressive grades of wet-and-dry and scratch remover polish to render the windows transparent again.

 

I've also put together a facsimile of the little gizmo mounted on the side of the aircraft (behind the head of one of the standing men, below).

 

junkers-f13-D260-svalbard-1024x715.jpg

 

I took some approximate measurements off several photographs, and then used some thin styrene sheet, a hole punch and a short length of 0.5mm brass rod to produce this:

D260-detail.jpg

(No, the penny isn't part of it.)

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've pretty much finished detailing the interior for D 260, which will be visible through the open door.

interior1.jpg

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I carved about a millimetre and a half off the back of the rear seats, before attaching the back-rests--this nudges it far enough back so that it doesn't foul the door. Some photoetch lap-belts and bits and bobs of styrene and brass rod added for extra detail. In photographs of the real interior, the passenger lap-belts are often depicted stowed around the back of the bucket seats, which is what I've done here.

For this version, I'm using a newer boxing of the Revell kit:

boxart2.jpg

This actually  includes all the bits for the floatplane version, and also an updated rudder.

Below, I have the old F13W kit tailfin-rudder, and placed next to it the detached rudder from the newer kit:

rudderversions.jpg

The new version, with its deeper lower extension, is a better match for photographs of D 260. In fact, leafing through photographs of real F13Ws, I haven't seen one yet with such a narrow lower part. (My original plan had been to extend the rudder using part of the rudder I had discarded when modelling LN-ABH. Which was never going to be a perfect solution, so picture my delight when I realized the part had been corrected in the newer kit.)

D260reference1.jpg

I'm also going to need to scratch-build the little pole extending downwards from the underside of the aircraft, just forward of the rudder. This seems to be a feature of many F13Ws, which lack a tail skid for obvious reasons. I'd be grateful to hear from anyone who knows its function. Like many aspects of this aircraft, it had disappeared by the time it became LN-ABH.

 

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It's not a crack, fortunately, it's a flow line.

There are a lot of them in both kits, and they seem to mark the lines along which flow coming from different directions has met up during the moulding process. In this case, plastic came into the mould from two different gates either side of the dark line. The plastic in this kit contains some sort of metallic silvering material, and it seems to produce these lines very readily.

Anyway, it doesn't disturb the surface detail at all, despite appearances. When I get the chance later, I can post a "before and after primer" picture of the wing underside to demonstrate how hideous they look "before", and how they vanish "after".

 

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To demonstrate what Hamiltonian is saying, I have taken a few photos of my F.13 kit, to show the styrene flow lines that are common to kits moulded in this type of silver/grey plastic, especially Revell kits.

 

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This is the inside of the fin/rudder part:

 

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Chris

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A quick check of the kit rudder size and proportions, using a bit of handwaving trigonometry.

My photo of the kit parts was probably about 30 degrees off-perpendicular along the vertical of the photograph. The aeroplane in the photograph I posted above is rotated by maybe the same angle in the horizontal plane.

Correcting for those distortions and superimposing a quick freehand outline, I get this:

ruddercheck.jpg

The new kit rudder is a little short horizontally, but it would be a fair undertaking to correct that. It's certainly less intrusive than the shape of the old rudder, which is probably closer to the right horizontal dimensions but eye-catchingly worse at the bottom end.

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I'm still eagerly awaiting my updated decals from Mika (we've had a lot of snow disruption to mail, locally), but in the meantime I was able to apply the very nice prop decals from the original Lima November sheet, which simulate the laminated Heine propeller.

prop.jpg

And here's a comparison with the prop disc I made earlier, for the in-flight model of LN-ABH:

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This one, I guess because it's a newer kit, was easier to get together than NL-ABH was. There was a bit of a bow to the upper section of the fuselage, but otherwise the interior and fuselage halves came together fairly readily. A little light sanding along the tops of the interior walls, and again I needed to separate the tail halves by a fraction of a millimetre to avoid a slight overhang in the fit of the top section.

assembly1.jpg

Aligning the two parts of the starboard fuselage needed a little dry fitting of the upper fuselage--the forward portion in particular wanted to pivot into a nose-down position.

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So here's the oversized door opening--you can see it extends below the interior floor. (I actually should have scribed the correct position of the bottom of the door on to the outside of the port side, but I forgot.)

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And here it is with styrene sheet added to fill the gap, and a little styrene strip at the top to drop the lintel slightly.

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I'm now waiting for resin ailerons before I work on the wings (I was late in ordering them), and I'm also waiting for decals--the sheet Mika sent me from Arctic Decals seems to have been lost in the post, because we're now a month from dispatch and there's no sign.

 

If I built these again, I'd certainly consider replacing some of the handles, and the frame step on the port side, with brass rod. The kit parts are far too chunky. Sigh.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've pretty much gone as far as I can with these two kits, pending the arrival of decals from Mika at Arctic Decals. It seems there's currently some sort of vast Covid/Brexit-related mail backlog between Finland and the UK, so despite Mika's promptness and helpfulness, we're stuck at present.

I scribed off the elevators of D260, so that I could pose them in the characteristic droop this aircraft seemed to exhibit when on the ground. Also a little bit of rudder deflection, which seems common enough in photos of this aircraft.

readyfordecals.jpg

The "mystery object" on the starboard fuselage is now in place, and I've temporarily covered the door and window spaces to stop gloss varnish penetrating the largely matt interiors. (The door space is blocked by a little bit of styrene sheet, cut to shape using a piece of Tamiya masking tape as a template, and temporarily attached with clear glue around the doorframe, which should strip off easily. Also masked is the exhaust stack, which I want to keep matt. In this photograph you can see that I've duplicated the little exhaust fairing on the cowling, which is visible in photographs, with a slip of paper cut to shape, a steady hand, and a lot of swearing.

I added the kit's "Junkers" logo, which bedded down nicely into the corrugations with just a little Micro Sol and a poke with a Q-Tip. In some lights it's a match for the Duralumin fuselage, in some lights it's not. I've held off on most of the other small decals provided with the kit---I can't see any great indication that these markings were present on the original aircraft.

 

So this two kits are now "on a break". I'm tidying up the workbench, setting aside various pots of bits relating to these builds, and considering what I'm going to make in the meantime, pending the reestablishment of normal communications between Finland and the UK.

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Really impressive work going on here. I hope that I remember to review what you're doing whenever I finally get around to building the F13 in my stash.

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9 hours ago, billn53 said:

Really impressive work going on here. I hope that I remember to review what you're doing whenever I finally get around to building the F13 in my stash.

Thanks. I'll be glad if it turns out useful.

Sometimes I reckon my WIP threads seem like they're entirely for my own benefit!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Yay. Mika's revised decals have arrived, after sitting for a couple of months in some sort of Brexit/Covid limbo somewhere between Finland and Scotland.

f13-decals.jpg

And you'll see he has included newly minted lettering for D 260, as well as the revised lettering for LN-ABH!

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Mika's Arctic Decals are excellent, highly recommended--thin enough to bed down nicely, even on the corrugations of this model, but robust enough to be fairly easy to handle and position, if you follow the detailed instructions provided with the decal sheet.

They actually didn't need much persuasion to conform to the corrugations. I applied Micro Sol to a small area at a time, and immediately rolled a cotton bud firmly across the decal following the line of the corrugations. (The decals are soft and sticky within 30 seconds of the Micro Sol going on, so you do need to be fairly nippy to catch the "sweet spot" as they begin to soften.)

decals-1.jpg

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The silver decals are quite specularly reflective, and from some angles are much brighter than my Duralumin mix. I think that'll moderate once I dull them down with a final coat of varnish. But in the meantime I'm setting them aside for a week to dry thoroughly.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Nearly done. As before, I've kept the wings/floats and fuselage assemblies separate until pretty much the last minute. But D260 is now ready for that final assembly. Then just a few minor bits and pieces to add, and a little touch-up work.

So probably the next post regarding these two aircraft will be in Ready For Inspection. Thanks for your attention.

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