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Howard Morey's Pennco Flyer (JN-4D "Jenny")


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2 hours ago, billn53 said:

On my turtleback attempt, the “grooves” between the stringers are not uniform depth, otherwise I’d be totally happy. 

Ah... that makes sense.  I'd probably feel the same way. 

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1 hour ago, opus999 said:

Great video!  That would be a ton of fun to see.  I know the Flying Heritage Collection in Everett, WA has stopped flying theirs.

FHCAM stopped flying EVERYTHING!

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I’ve returned from my trip, and back at the workbench. I’ll soon be posting more progress. In the meantime, here is another video for your enjoyment:

 

 

 

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Today was a learning experience for me, trying to achieve the semi-transparent look of clear doped linen. Just before my trip, I had painted the flying surfaces white on the topside, and brown on the bottom. Today, I focused on painting the top surfaces.

 

First, I used 1-mm tape to highlight the wing ribs, and also taped over the leading edge spar and a few other locations:

51547181636_41657a6aae_b.jpg 

 

I then sprayed my linen color over the taped wing. Next, I made up a very thin mix of black and red-brown and sprayed it lightly along the ribs to get a shadow effect:

51547096437_83c4f11483_c.jpg 

 

The tape was then removed:

51548133913_dbbfee35c3_c.jpg 

 

Thin coats of the linen color were sprayed until I was happy with the effect:

51547096442_d313c823b2_c.jpg 

 

51548621549_d14e398cf8_b.jpg 

 

With all that going on, there was a lot of down time waiting for paint to dry. I filled the time with more fuselage detailing.

 

First, I removed some of the kit's surface detail around the cockpit openings. It appears to be lacing for the padding around the openings, which would not be accurate:

51546130637_999df83a82_z.jpg   51547683064_da1b34c6b1_z.jpg 

 

I then painted the step, the leather reinforcements where the running rigging penetrates the fuselage, and the black stripe down the side:

51548133898_e68394cfa7_c.jpg 

 

Details on the engine cowl received a black wash:

51547096387_f675c8ccc0_z.jpg 

 

And, that's about all I was able to get to today. Next, I'll work on painting the wing lower surfaces.

 

p.s. ... I couldn't resist doing a very rough assembly to see how my Jenny will look:

 

51548816865_d937458ac4_b.jpg 

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Today's goal was to paint the underside of the flying surfaces. Here's an example of what I was trying to represent:

 

51518271232_f73e2ed577_b.jpg 

 

Note how the internal structure of the wing is visible as shadows through the translucent linen.

 

I began by masking off the internal structure on the brown-painted under surfaces:

51551129642_1a1cf2ae7b_b.jpg 

 

Using the horizontal stabilizer for illustration, this is the process I followed. First, I painted the masked-off underside with my linen color, then removed tape from the areas I wanted to end up lighter in color -- mostly the ribs and smaller internal items (Photos show that the larger structural elements, such as the wing spar, tend to cast darker shadows).

51551929721_2fd44c8154_z.jpg 

 

Using a thinned mix of the linen color, I sprayed the ribs, etc. to make them look more like shadows, then removed the tape from the larger items:

51551929691_2fe4b9a3e0_z.jpg 

 

I sprayed more thinned-linen color on the undersurfaces until I was satisfied with the effect:

51552841320_aeee73364b_z.jpg 

 

The upper and lower wings got the same treatment. Here's my final product:

51552162458_d4452c8903_b.jpg 

 

Not as stark as in the first photo, but it'll do (considering it's my first attempt at something like this).

 

 

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Brilliant piece of masking there Bill.  Very convincing translucent effect!

 

AW

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The struts fit into slots on the bottom of the upper wing. The cross piece protrudes above the wing surface and thus must be reduced in height:

51563670549_255fa53653_c.jpg

 

On the left is one of the struts after modification, which is compared to an unmodified strut on the right:

51563229183_bb379c2e5b_z.jpg 

 

I then did the oil-paint-to-simulate-wood trick on the struts:

51562190602_20c14eac76_z.jpg 

 

I dropped the elevators and used a scriber to sharpen the aileron and rudder lines, then applied a brown wash:

51563229178_829c2a63c3_c.jpg 

 

I also scribed the join between the removable outer wings and the center wing section:

51563229158_e242dcce59_z.jpg

 

A goodly amount of time today was spent drilling holes in the wings, etc. for rigging. Ninety eight holes, to be precise. And, five broken drill bits! :angry:

51563670489_36ba0fd383.jpg  51563670509_1e6120d9be.jpg 

 

I'm undecided about how, exactly, to do the rigging. I'm tempted to try and include the various turnbuckles. If so, these are my options:

51563670439_07539d6073_z.jpg 

 

From left to right above: Gaspatch resin turnbuckle; Gaspatch metal turnbuckle; and the more traditional "metal tube that looks sort of like a turnbuckle, when viewed from a distance", from Bob's Brackets.

 

The Gaspatch turnbuckles do look nice, but I expect will be very fiddly to use. The resin ones are very fragile and break easily, especially at the tiny loop where the rigging line is attached. Because I do want to get this build done sometime this decade, and maintain my sanity in the process :banghead: , I'm leaning toward Bob's Brackets.

 

Decisions, decisions . . . .

 

 

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The wing painting is brilliant, both upper and lower.  Having a crudely built version of this model kit, I can scarcely believe it is the same kit! :D I'm interested to see how the rigging progresses.  I've avoided rigging like the plague.

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5 hours ago, opus999 said:

The wing painting is brilliant, both upper and lower.  Having a crudely built version of this model kit, I can scarcely believe it is the same kit! :D

Same here, this thread has become one big object lesson in how I should have done mine :D

 

Totally blown away by your underwing ribbing translucence effect!

 

All of your trials and tribulations around drilling holes for rigging, and sanding down those cross pieces on the struts gave me flashbacks! I had to draw the line at turnbuckles though, I resorted to making my own from twisted bits of thin strands of bell wire. Even that was enough of a stress test on my sanity! 

 

Still, it's going great, looking forward to seeing it all come together.

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1 hour ago, clive_t said:

Same here, this thread has become one big object lesson in how I should have done mine :D

 

Much too kind, sir. Your yellow blob was my inspiration, I’m just muddling through using techniques I’ve borrowed from others. Right now, I’m trying to replicate your weathered linen oil effects using a paint mule. 
 

I’m not at all sanguine about doing the rigging, I fear that will be my greatest risk of completely mucking up this build. :worry: :bomb:
 

 

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5 hours ago, billn53 said:

Much too kind, sir. Your yellow blob was my inspiration, I’m just muddling through using techniques I’ve borrowed from others. Right now, I’m trying to replicate your weathered linen oil effects using a paint mule. 
 

I’m not at all sanguine about doing the rigging, I fear that will be my greatest risk of completely mucking up this build. :worry: :bomb:
 

 

I'm sure with your customary attention to detail it will happen, and it will look great.

 

I had the same level of trepidation at the prospect of rigging, but it was actually less stressful than I had feared. My main fear was around trying to emulate the RAF's habit of doubling up on the flight wires (the ones which go outward from the lower wing to the upper) but I'm not sure if that applied to the US Jenny's.

 

I think part of what helped me was 'seeding' the upper wing with lengths of rigging line before attempting to fix it and the struts to the lower wing. That meant that I could attach them without fiddling about with tweezers and spots of CA glue, all while having to work in that cramped space between the two wing surfaces It was still a bit of a faff to then attach the lines at the other end, but at least it was already half done by then. I'm not saying that's the best way, of course - merely that it seemed to work for me. Good luck with it anyway! :thumbsup2:

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Hi Clive and thanks for the vote of confidence. All Jenny’s I’ve seen have their flying wires doubled, so you made the right decision.
I’m definitely planning on attaching rigging to the upper wing before gluing that wing in place — I did that when I built my little Fox Moth (minuscule in 1/72) and it worked fine. 

I’m leaning more & more to using the Bob’s Brackets tubing for simulating the turnbuckles. This morning I checked to confirm your knitting-in thread would go through the tiny tubes… it’s a close fit but can be done. More on that later, in my next progress report. 

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When I was following Clive's Jenny build, I was really impressed with how he weathered the linen using oil paint. This afternoon, I tried my hand at doing the same.

 

Here's a comparison of the wing before, and after, my treatment. The oil definitely added some color to what was, to be honest, a very pale color. And, my translucent paint effects are still showing through:

51567313440_525536debf_c.jpg 

 

(I notice that on my monitor the colors don't accurately reflect what my eyes see, so don't read too much into the above photo).

 

I applied the oils to all of the upper surfaces of the wings and horizontal stab, plus the fuselage and rudder. Being oil paint, it's going to take its good old time drying, thus it will be a while before I can do the lower surfaces.

 

In the meantime, I tackled the less-than-noteworthy wheels. The kit comes with two versions: one wired, the other with a solid hub. I don't know which one is correct for the Pennco Flyer, and a good wire wheel looks really nice, but NOT this one:

51567063504_5d3c80d697_z.jpg 

 

I have an Eduard PE set for WW1 wheels and decided to give it a go. If I failed, my backup was to use the wheels with solid hubs. First thing was to remove the tires from the kit parts and build up the Eduard wheels:

51567063514_d163dc10f0_z.jpg 

 

After painting and assembly, this is what I now have:

51565582162_ea376b2de4_z.jpg

 

Not perfect, but good enough I think.

 

Clive used stretchy knitting-in thread for his rigging, which I have a spool of but have never used, so I took a good look at it. My first question was, will it fit through the metal tubes I got from Bob's Brackets? The answer is Yes, but just barely:

51566619198_afe7cae0a9_z.jpg 

 

I do think the white thread is too light in color, so I experimented with running it over a silver marker (the photo above shows the silvered thread). Here's the comparison (bare thread on top):

51567313385_fe4d5d5f7c_c.jpg

 

My conclusion is that the knitting-in thread is definitely viable for my rigging. I have a couple of other choices to consider, but there's still plenty of time before I must commit to a decision.

 

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The wings look lovely, great job!

Don't forget that with Bob's buckles you need to thread the wire through the tube twice - down and through the hoop then back up to secure!

 

Ian

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6 hours ago, Brandy said:

The wings look lovely, great job!

Don't forget that with Bob's buckles you need to thread the wire through the tube twice - down and through the hoop then back up to secure!

 

Ian

I know that is the recommended procedure, but I think I should be able to put the tube on the line, tie the line in place, then slide the tube to where I want it and fix it with a dab of glue. I’ll do some experiments to confirm, because there’s no way I can thread the knitting-in line twice through the tubes I have. 

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The oils are still drying (they might actually be dry by now, but I'm not taking any chances) and I've been attending to a few relatively minor, but important, items.

 

First, the landing gear. The kit axles are too thick for my wire wheels, and (being plastic) are relatively weak. I snipped them away and replaced them with 1/32 brass rod:

51571636480_fef4a4b454_c.jpg 

 

I cut a groove in the cross piece, and later will fit a section of 1/32 half-round rod to represent the full axle, which is visible in photos of the real aircraft. Also, because my brass rod now fills the hole that the landing gear legs were supposed to fit into, this is now going to be a butt-joint and I'll have to take care that it is as strong as possible.

 

The kit's control horns for the ailerons, elevators and rudder are much too thick and clunky. I tried re-shaping them (see photo below) but wasn't satisfied with the result (unmodified horn at bottom):

51569313691_1603be1ffe_z.jpg 

 

I bit the bullet and made a new set of control horns from 0.016-in aluminum:

51570243145_35818df60c_c.jpg 

 

Lastly, I was very skeptical of the kit's plastic kingposts (which have to support a lot of rigging) and decided to make new, stronger ones from wood:

 

51571498509_66626ba643_z.jpg 

 

51571394589_92120b3ee6_z.jpg 

 

Not much to show for quite a few hours of work, but it's better than watching paint dry 😆

 

 

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I knew things were going too smoothly . . . .

 

This morning I began applying the oil paint to the undersurfaces of the wings, and discovered that the oil I had put on the upper surfaces was rubbing off. Before doing the oils, I had given the base linen color a coat of Alclad Aqua Gloss. Apparently, the oil paint I'm using won't adhere to the Aqua Gloss :headbang:

 

I touched up the upper surfaces and then covered the dry, but non-adhering, oil with a layer of Aqua Gloss, hoping that it will protect the oil finish and prevent it from rubbing away during handling (of which there will be plenty when I get to doing the rigging).

 

 

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I've used oil paint on aqua gloss for things like oil streaks.  I usually wait overnight at least before the next step, which is coating with Gunze dull coat, which protects the oil paint from handling.  I haven't encountered any problems, but then again, I'm not handling the model until after the dull coat.  It could be that you're not at a step where you can use dull coat, but I thought I'd throw that out there.

 

Did you have any issues painting Aqua Gloss over the oil finish?  Did you air brush or hand brush?

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