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Inpact Martin-Handasyde 1/48


Tim Reynaga
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Time to rig!

 

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The numerous control and support cables for early aircraft were famously complex, but the Martin-Handasyde was a monoplane, so the rigging on this bird was comparatively simple. I’ll be using EZ Line, a thin rubber band-like material originally developed for model railroaders.

 

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I started with the rudder and stabilizer control lines. Installation couldn’t be simpler: attach one end, gently stretch the line over to the other end, secure it with a dab of super glue, and trim.

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With the rudder and stabilizer control lines in place, the rigging on the underside to stabilize the spindly undercarriage was next. I don’t know if the original Inpact release had better instructions, but the instructions in the Lindberg reissue I’m working with here make no reference to the rigging whatsoever. The sheet shows the airframe construction sequence all right, but the only way you would know the aircraft had rigging at all was from the box art...!

 

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Anyway, I was able to find a number of surviving photographs of the airplane online for guidance. The grainy old photos weren’t absolutely clear, but the rig seemed pretty straightforward so I took my best shot at it.

 

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I’ve used EZ Line on ship models before, but this is my first experience using it on an airplane. On ships lines are often slack, drooped by gravity or curved by wind, so EZ line is useful for some but not for all of the rigging. On airplanes, though, the lines are almost always taut, so the stretchy EZ Line works beautifully for all of them. It is flat and so does require some care to prevent unrealistic twists, but compared with the sewing thread, fishing line, and wire I’ve used to rig planes in the past, this stuff is wonderful!

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Excellent job on this kit, and I've been following your progress closely as I have a couple of old Impact kits in my stash (their Avro Biplane, and a Life-Like Hobby Avro Triplane, which I believe was originally an Impact kit). Regarding EZ Line, I've used it and agree it is great for aircraft rigging, but I prefer the similar product from Uschi (Rig that Thing!) as it has s circular cross-section (instead of flat).

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1 hour ago, billn53 said:

Excellent job on this kit, and I've been following your progress closely as I have a couple of old Impact kits in my stash (their Avro Biplane, and a Life-Like Hobby Avro Triplane, which I believe was originally an Impact kit). Regarding EZ Line, I've used it and agree it is great for aircraft rigging, but I prefer the similar product from Uschi (Rig that Thing!) as it has s circular cross-section (instead of flat).

Thanks!  I recently discovered Uschi (Rig that Thing!) and I agree, it is even better than the flat EZ Line. I'm using the latter on this project just because I only have the very fine Uschi line and this thicker EZ Line looks better (and I'm too impatient to wait for the thicker Uschi line to arrive)!

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The wing control lines were next. 

 

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Like the original Wright Flyer, the 1911 Martin-Handasyde had no aileron control surfaces on the wings. Rather, lateral (roll) control was achieved through twisting the entire wing, or “wing warping.” I added the warp control lines for the forward and rear wing spars both above and below the wings. Centered on one fuselage and passing over four wing kingposts, these lines enabled the pilot to actually change the geometry of the wings to maneuver the plane. 

Wing warping as a means of flight control was effective, but it required a good deal of strength from the pilot as well as placing substantial stresses on the wood and fabric wings as they were repeatedly twisted back and forth during flight. This strain may have been responsible for the death of pilot D.G. Gilmour, who was killed in the Martin-Handasyde No. 3 when it suffered a mid-air structural failure on 17 February 1912. A well-known aviator famous for his aerobatic maneuvers, Gilmour was an accomplished pilot and quite familiar with this aircraft which he had flown for several months. Nevertheless, after taking off in perfect flying weather from Brooklands for a cross-country flight in the Martin-Handasyde, Gilmour's plane crashed in the Old Deer Park in London. Eyewitnesses reported that at about 400 feet the left wing had folded in mid-air and the aircraft immediately spun into the ground. Although the exact cause of the failure was never determined, post-crash examination of the wreckage showed that all the bracing and control wires were still intact.

 

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On 12/4/2021 at 4:45 AM, AdrianMF said:

Super work on the whole thing and the spokes make it look so much better. Very bold to cut off the rim and stick them straight on like that.

 

Regards,

Adrian

Thanks Adrian. It seemed worth the risk as those wheels are a bit of a focal point on the model!

 

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The control and bracing wires had numerous turnbuckles fitted on them to keep things tight. I happened to have on hand some North Star “tightening screws and eye bolts” for 1/350 scale ship rigging.

 

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Painted black and glued on top of the control lines, these ship parts serve nicely on aircraft too!

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11 hours ago, dnl42 said:

Those turnbuckles look most excellent! :clap2:

 

A local modeler threads the rigging line through PE turnbuckles. They look quite good and can be slid along the line post-assembly.

Thanks, but I've just been gluing them on top of the lines. They are so small the cheat is hard to detect!

 

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Unsure how the control lines attached to the model’s wingtips, I simply passed them over the grooves molded there. Tiny North Star eye bolts were added to suggest attachment points.

 

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I’ve also finished the base with some static grass and a few weed clumps.

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21 hours ago, Martian said:

First class work!

 

Impressed of Mars 👽

 

Thanks Martian!

 

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With the rigging completed, I finally took the plunge and attached those delicate wheels to the undercarriage.

 

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My concerns about their strength proved unfounded - they support the weight of the model with no problems. 😁

 

 

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VKTlur1.jpg    fCrfczE.jpg?1


The engine and fuel cells were painted with Testors silver and copper enamels, but even though I wanted to depict a “clean” aircraft, they came out a bit too bright. A thin sloshing of Windsor & Newton Burnt Umber oil wash was an easy way to very slightly dirty them up and tone down the effect.

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With assembly finished, I thought it would be fun to add a final accent to the plane.

 

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The Dutch company Reality in Scale makes a set of resin birds for dioramas which would be perfect.

 

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Since the Martin-Handasyde was a British aircraft and flew only in Britain, I wanted the bird to represent a species common there. I also wanted one with attractive coloring; *Parus Major*, better known as the Great tit, fit the bill.

 

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Now sporting my best rendition of Great tit markings, the little bird was attached to one of the Martin-Handasyde’s kingposts.

 

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Perched on this strange mechanical oddity, the professional aviator checks out the amateur.

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Great job on the kit! I'm almost hesitant to point this out, but I believe your Great Tit (no giggling in the back...) has a few too many scales on its left foot*. Other than that small quibble, brilliant work! I keep thinking, though, that the pilot has his laptop open in front of him.

 

Regards,

 

Jason

 

*Comparing it to scale drawings of the Great Tit (now what did I say about any giggling...) in 'Haversham and Heath's Great Book of British Ornithology' (W. Basingstoke: Devonshire Publishing House, Ltd., 1905).

Edited by Learstang
Additional comments added.
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Bravo! :clap2: Truly a most excellent result.

 

What is that panel in front of the pilot? At first I wondered if you had the pilot sketching his (likely mocking) audience. But I see it's clearly not that. Oil barrier? IP?

Edit: Never mind... I have a drawing claiming it's a shield.

Edited by dnl42
Answered my own question.
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What a cracking result @Tim Reynaga. I have never tried one of the Inpact kits, but they look very interesting indeed, and hopefully in the fullness of time I will have a go at one.

 

The whole setting for the display is a great idea, especially the birdie!

 

Ray

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