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Here is my new project.  This will (hopefully!) be a depiction of N220, the winner of the 1927 Schneider Trophy race.  

 

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I started this one about a month ago and it has been progressing fairly well.  Now that some of the more difficult parts are out of the way I thought it might be safe to show.

It's a small aircraft - only about 47mm from nose to tail in this scale, but the shape is quite complex.  So there were more than a few nights spent trying to get the outline and cross sections looking right.  :phew:

 

I started off with the fuselage outline.  Marking it out on a sheet of 1.5mm styrene.  The drawings date back to 1956 and seem to be the only game in town.  Fortunately they compare very well to available photographs, and it looks like the original draughtsman poured his heart and soul into them.

 

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This was cut out and "cheeks" of styrene added either side to fill out the plan view.  Some evergreen rod was added to form the core of the rear decking.

 

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Other strip was added for the upper fuselage fairing ahead of the cockpit and a lot of Mr Surfacer 1500 was brushed on to blend the contours in.  It looks like rubbish right now, I know.  But I swear... I am going somewhere with this!

 

While the fuselage was drying the floats got a start as well. I used two bits of 3mm styrene sheet to make up the basic block. One side of the high impact styrene sheet has a hard, clear surface. I face these inwards when I laminate the pieces so it gives me a visible centre line and I don't accidentally sand things out of true. The plan view was shaped first.

 

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Once the top view was satisfactory the side view was marked out and the lower profile cut to shape and filed to the right contours. The step is made by masking off the rear section with three layers of Scotch tape (810D is best) and painting on several layers of Mr Surfacer to build up some thickness. A couple of days to dry and bit of a sand, then take the tape off.

 

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Once the underside is done it is safe to start shaping the top. I find if I start trying to shape things in the round from every angle at once it goes out of control very quickly. Doing the shape one profile at a time seems to be much less difficult.

 

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The floats got a final shaping and were scribed and sanded smooth.  Extra details like the mooring points and circular inspection panels were added too.  With the fuselage, I tried to keep the components separate for as long as possible.  The windscreen was mocked up in solid styrene as a guide.  I'll use it as a pattern for doing a clear one later.

 

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Putting things together for a trial run...

 

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Blending things in was tricky.  It was made worse by the lack of suitable primer.  The hobby stores round here have been picked clean, and due to covid they have not been restocked for the best part of a year.  I was operating on the very last of my Tamiya primer, so I had to buy some Mr Surfacer 500 (the only stuff I could get).  Unfortunately it is way too coarse for 1//144 and has a very gritty texture.  Lots of work was needed to sand it back, as you can see here.

 

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I'll leave it at that for now.  I hope you will like the progress so far.  More later!

 

 

Edited by Putty Animal
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That looks excellent! :worthy:

 

What is the source of the plans? 

 

My standard primer is thinned Mr Surfacer 1200. It sprays on wonderfully smooth. While it covers very fine scratches, it won't cover details.

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I was absolutely astounded by your Pfalz D.IIIs, and this is equally amazing!

I find it difficult to comprehend that this is sooooo small, and yet the detail you manage to incorporate is Incredible.

Exquisite work!

Cheers,

Mark

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Thank you very much for the kind words.  It is a big encouragement!

It's amazing to think that this aircraft dates back to 1927, a time when Gloster Gamecocks and Blackburn Blackburns were the order of the day.  

 

There isn't much to see by way of cockpit detail, but the S.5 airframe itself has an awful lot going on in a small space.  I'll have to start packing it in at some point.  I started with the exhaust ports, which are flush with the cowling.  An improvised chisel was made by grinding down a scalpel blade and a trench was scraped into each cowl face.  Tiny bits of styrene were glued in place to fill the areas between each port.  I painted tiny amounts of primer over the joins and spent many an evening fussing with the shape and spacing.

 

The other detail was the raised lines in the metal wings.  I'm in two minds about these.  In theory the lines ought to be raised, but maybe scribed lines would give a better scale appearance...  have to think about that  🤔

 

The raised bit between each panel was marked out with a 0.15mm strip of tape, then the area either side was masked off and the thin lines removed just prior to painting.

 

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A thickish coat of primer got me to here:

 

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Then the whole thing was unmasked.

 

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I used a foam block and some polishing compound to smooth out the lines and reduce them down until they are barely visible.  

 

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That's pretty much where its at, as of this evening.  I did some initial scribing around the nose, but I'll have to leave the rest until I've added the corrugated radiator panels down the sides of the fuselage.

Here's the obligatory matchstick for scale:

 

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"Like" just doesn't do this justice! On other forums (fora?), there are "Wow" and "Craftsmanship/clever" and even "Round of applause", any of which could be applied here but would still be understatements. I'm utterly in awe of what you're achieving here: the exhaust ports, and the wing "ribs". Absolutely amazing - you're creating Faberge eggs!

May I ask how you created the cockpit opening, as the initial photos seemed to show a solid fuselage. Just curious :)

Cheers,

Mark

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Yikes. That is very high praise indeed.  I better not mess it up! 😅
 

2 hours ago, 2996 Victor said:

May I ask how you created the cockpit opening, as the initial photos seemed to show a solid fuselage. Just curious :)


Ah I forgot to take pictures of that.  The cockpit is very narrow.  So much so that the pilot had to turn sideways just to get his shoulders out.  I ended up drilling a hole right through the fuselage and out the bottom, then opened it up with files and a scalpel.  The underside of the fuselage got plugged back up once  I was done.  I’ve made a seat back and headrest that I can put in later on.  However things like an instrument panel or control stick would be impossible to see so I’ll leave them out.  

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The workmanship going in to this is superb.

I think you have captured the shapes of the full size really well.

There is a team currently trying to raise funds to build a full size flying replica, although it appears they do not plan to use a Napier Lion as power.

 

Malc.

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Speechless! Are you sure you're not related in any way to a certain 'Modeling Monk' who was a regular on this site and is sorely missed? Can't wait to see how you manage the white outlined serial! :worthy:

Mike

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  • 2 weeks later...

A little bit at a time!

 

Got the scribing done while watching hours of youtube videos about how to make a dirty tank.  This is probably what caused me to use an oil wash to check the lines and overall shape.  I'm wondering if this could be a viable way of preshading later on.  Has anyone used artist oils underneath their top coat before?

 

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Posted (edited)

The wings have been giving me the willies a bit.  The earlier efforts made them look fabric covered.  However as I now understand it the reality was that the wings were covered in ply, with what appears to be thin strips or battens placed over the joins.  The AMP kit in 1/48 seems to show this too, so I thought who am I to argue...  😶

 

Clear photos of the wing surface are very hard to find.  If anyone knows how the wing was made or has any decent shots of it I'd love to know.  Below is a quick pic taken today of the new wings.  The strips on this version were made with 0.12mm wide strips of tape.  The whole thing was then cast in resin so it was easier to handle (my skin is still itchy from it).

 

I also resorted to AMP's instruction sheet, which cited Humbrol's 109 WWI blue as the suggested colour for the fuselage.  A quick trip down to the local today and I manged to get the last tin... Phew!  It looks a little drab however, so perhaps there is something better out there.  Any insights or recommendations for the blue would be very welcome for this poor colour blind fool.

 

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Edited by Putty Animal
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Looking at the few colour images on the web the blue has a slight greenish cast to it. The 109 is the right hue but much too dark. Humbrol 149 or 52 look closer to me. Possibly a mix of the two.

 

Or possibly Tamiya x4 with some xf18 added I’d say 4:1.

 

Actually now that I think of it the colour reminds me of the colour used in interwar RAF aircraft for the national insignia. Which is Humbrol 96 :) 

Edited by Marklo
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When I did my Airfix S6B I used Hu25, which is a bit lighter than the blue on the one in the London Science Museum, but a bit darker than the original paint that you can see through the chipping in the dark blue overpainting. I was happy enough with that. In some lights it does have a bit of a purple cast to it. I would think that Hu96 might look a bit grey on its own - maybe a mix of that and Hu25?

 

BTW I'm still amazed.

 

Regards,

Adrian

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Hmm.  I might need to try all those options or hopefully find their lacquer equivalent.  Gunze/Mr Color would be the ideal if I can get it.

I notice that the insignia blue on the rudder appears darker on N220 in 1927.  That at least gives me a ballpark to work within I guess.

 

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57 minutes ago, Putty Animal said:

I notice that the insignia blue on the rudder appears darker on N220 in 1927.

It would suggest that it is a different blue but You should never trust relative shading in black and white photos eg RLM yellow always looks darker.


 To me the raf azure blue of the interwar roundels still seems plausible :) 

Edited by Marklo
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Re wings, here you go this is the best of what I have.

The wings appear to be really smooth, and as you say covered in chordwise strips of ply. I think as the aircraft got older the joins became more apparent, but I believe they were still not proud of the surface.

Hope this helps. 

Malc.

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Hi Malc2, those photos are gold! :)

 

That'll teach me for using other manufacturers models as a primary reference.  I saw the raised lines on the AMP model and thought they must know something I don't 😅

 

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Perhaps the best thing for me to do is sand the raised detail down until there is just the ghost of a line when seen under a coat of silver paint?  I found a couple of other shots which seem to show a bit of "something" there. 

 

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Oddly, I also found an NACA report that suggests that the majority of the wing surface was radiator.  This was strange to me as I had always assumed that the corrugated panels on the fuselage were where the radiators were positioned...

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