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"Schweinhund III" - Captain Duncan William Grinnell-Milne's SE5a - +++++FINISHED+++++


mark.au
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A couple years ago my lovely wife bought me a model biplane for Christmas because she wanted me to build one for her.  The kit in question was the Revell 1/48 PT-17 Stearman and after pondering a few different yellow-based schemes we found this image and the choice was made.

 

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Some weeks later, in the late [Australian] summer of 2020 I was finished and she was very pleased with her biplane.  I was too, it was not only my first biplane but my first attempt at rigging.  I used stretched sprue individually attached and each individually snapped tight with smoke; an exercise fraught with potential disaster at every step.  Nonetheless, it turned out quite nicely and looked quite striking in its Recall Colours.

 

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The Stearman was duly placed in the display cabinet and more or less forgotten.  Until...  Fast forward to just over a year ago and we are packing up to move from Sydney to our new home in Canberra.  Packing is never fun, especially in a pandemic with Sydney in a hard lock down - oh, those days seem long ago now, don't they? - and I was looking for ways to reduce the burden.  I really didn't want to pack many of my built models so I advertised and several were sold.  

 

Can you can guess where this is going?

 

Let's say for the sake of brevity that Mrs.Mark.au was disappointed in my decision to sell "my biplane" and has on [somewhat frequent] occasion reminded me of that egregious error on my part.

 

Any how, after completing my Academy Mk.XIVe the other day I pondered on what to take on next.  I narrowed it down to three options;

 

1.

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A No. 411 Squadron RCAF Spitfire LF Mk.IX as a study in weathering;

 

2.

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A Burma based RAF Thunderbolt;

 

3.

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or Robert Hampton "Hammy" Gray, VC, DSC, RCNVR's Corsair.

 

The first and last of these choices provide the opportunity to join the Canadian GB currently running until October which would subsequently lead very nicely into the P-38 GB which I am already committed to with an RAAF marking on worn Haze colouring, an interesting paint challenge in itself.

 

I happened to mention these choices to Mrs.Mark.au and she asked to see them; upon review of the choices shown above she casually mentioned that none of them appeared to be a biplane.  I then made a critical mistake, I asked her to take a look at the stash and suggest my next project. With laser-like precision she focused on this which at the time it was in the pile, quite high up, and quite inconspicuous, I thought.

 

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"I want the red one" she said, and that was that, there was no honourable way out, so a biplane it is.  A rigged biplane.  A 1/32 scale biplane, so how bad can it be?

 

This evening I began work.  I decided right away this was going to be a superficial effort; by that I mean I will complete it out of the box with the minimum effort in the cockpit or any other unseen components - no effort at all, actually - and instead focus on a really good paint job, weather it appropriately and learn how to rig like the pros.  With that sophisticated plan in place, I set to.

 

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The mouldings seem reasonably ok, a little bit of flash and some minor clean up to do but nothing terrible.  The plastic seems soft and the detail matches it, it's similar to feel and detail to ICM's 1/48 Spitfire, but I've seen worse.  I began to remove some of the larger parts from the sprues and cleaned them up.  After studying the instructions I decided that I could push the assembly quite some way before having to paint anything so I began splashing Tamiya Extra Thin abut the place.  Soon I had this;

 

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Looks pretty rough, huh?  Almost none of it can be seen once the engine is installed so it doesn't matter what most of it looks like.  Next, I joined the fuselage;

 

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On the face of it, a ballsy move but bear in mind the plastic was is so soft that all the internals can still be added with the rear of the fuselage joined.  I did it this way as there are no locating pins on the fuselage and I wanted to join it free from concern about aligning any of the internals at the same time.  This way, I focused on a clean fuselage join first, got that set and clean before slipping in the internals.  N

 

Next, I added the seat and engine, glued on one side only so that I had room to manoeuvre when adding the fuselage upper piece (which is of fixed width and I want to be able to match the fuselage halves to meet it cleanly) and the engine radiator at the front (which is also of fixed width).

 

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Next I added the rest of the cockpit and dry fitted the fuselage topside.

 

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A dry fit of the radiator and one of the engine covers shows that I got a pretty good alignment and fit on the fuselage assembly.  I've also checked the lower wing fit and that will work well too.  My goal is to be able to paint the fuselage separately from the wings - it seems this will reduce the masking requirement as the wings aren't red, only the fuselage is.  It'll look better when done too.

 

This is all setting up now so next session I'll paint the cockpit interior with some vaguely wood-looking shades and I still have sufficient access to the instrument panel to make it look something like an, err, instrument panel.  The engine won't be painted until after the fuselage because it'll be a lot easier to mask around the engine than to mask the engine.  Or maybe not, I'll check that assumption later.

 

As mentioned, I'm doing "the red one" belonging to Captain Duncan William Grinnell-Milne.  From Wikipedia; Capt. Grinnell-Milne was an English First World War pilot credited with six confirmed aerial victories, a prisoner of war who escaped from German captivity, a flying ace, and an author. Initially serving with the 7th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers, he was seconded to the Royal Flying Corps before joining the Royal Air Force.  His was quite an interesting story - he named his aircraft "Schweinehund" because that was what his captors repeatedly called him while he was in their care.

 

As a complete beginner of this kind of modelling I'm open to all advice, suggestion, critique, and even ridicule as long as it's funny 😉

 

Cheers.

Edited by mark.au
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mark.au,

So your previous finished model was GORGEOUS   and you did a fantastic job on it.

:wow:

Sometimes things happen and now you are building another.

AWESOME!!

I love biplane  and your choice(with  a bit of nudging  :rofl2:  ) for the next one is GOING to be a RESPLENDENT  model.

:worthy:

 

And SAFE travels  on your move to Canberra. I hope you enjoy your new residence  and Canberra.

:popcorn:  🍾

 

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9 hours ago, HOUSTON said:

And SAFE travels  on your move to Canberra. I hope you enjoy your new residence  and Canberra.


Thanks, though we actually moved a year ago and love it here.

 

8 hours ago, jackroadkill said:

This is a bit different to your usual fare, Mark, so I'll enjoy watching it come together.  I'm sure you'll do your usual superb job.

 

It is waaaay out of my usual fare!  I like your confidence, I’ll try and feed of it! 😂

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Nice, I like this type and was looking for this kit a while ago, but something else came up to spend the money on!!!

These are quite nice kits and have built the Roden 72nd and 48th scale kits of the SE5a.  Really enjoyed them.   I an sure you will enjoy it.

Chris

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Mark,

 

Crikey - this should be interesting! An ambitious start given the looming P38 GB - will watch with interest,

 

Cheers,

 

Roger

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13 hours ago, bigbadbadge said:

These are quite nice kits and have built the Roden 72nd and 48th scale kits of the SE5a.  Really enjoyed them.   I an sure you will enjoy it.

Chris


So far so good Chris.  It’s actually proven to be very enjoyable so far, though I expect that might change once I get to the difficult stuff.

 

8 hours ago, Dunny said:

Mark,

 

Crikey - this should be interesting! An ambitious start given the looming P38 GB - will watch with interest,

 

Cheers,

 

Roger

 

Ambitious in all kinds of ways…. But progress is swift on this one.

 

This evening I wanted to complete the fuselage and that meant doing something with the cockpit.  Ugh.  I turned to my trusty wood colours…

 

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…and after apply both colours individually and in various mixes I had a base to work on.

 

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Next I rough-brushed some Tamiya Clear Orange all over the place…

 

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…and then detailed the instruments.  I used a needle to scratch through the black paint in the instruments to represent the dials and needles and than dropped in some Future for the glass.

 

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Next I painted and textured the seat (which incidentally looks quite suspect to me as any kind of representation of the real thing) and then dug out some spare PE seatbelts. These are actually designed for a 1/48 scale Stearman, but they look the part here...

 

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Next, I gave it all a tinted clear flat to soften, flatten and blend it all in.  
 

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Will it win any prizes? No.  Will it ever be seen again? No.

 

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I remembered to do the floor too, plus the rudder peddles which also will never be seen again…

 

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Then I was able to finish off the fuselage assembly.  A bit of filler required around the top of the cockpit and one or two smears around the engine covers was all that was needed.  Every review I’ve read on this kit said the engine covers were a pain.  They’re not so bad if the engine isn’t assembled beyond what’s necessary.

 

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Before I knew it I was throwing paint at it, simultaneously checking seams and pre-shading.

 

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Tomorrow I’ll break out the red paint.  Even I’m surprised at how quickly I’ve reached this point.  

 

Cheers.

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Great start Mark!

 

I had seen photos and artworks of this red SE5 before, but knew absolutely nothing of it's history. By chance I bought Grinnell-Milnes account of his time in the RFC earlier this year, in a junk shop, and can thoroughly recommend it, a real ripping yarn it is! It was only after reading the last few chapters about his highly unusual return to action after being a POW, that I learned about his blood red SE5a. He wrote a seperate account of his time as a POW, called 'Escapers Log', I'm still after a copy!

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another day and I'd have missed it by the looks of things.  That's a blistering start Mark.  Biplane eh?  

I've only attempted one Roden kit (so far) and I was quite impressed with the fidelity of the molding - nice sharp detail and lots of it. Not so impressed with thgeir engineering though - the engine didn't fit in the fuselage and the undercarriage assembly was nigh on impossible to achieve. That was the F2b and I ended up switching to the Revell/Eduard kit instead.

 

despite your protestations I think that cockpit looks pretty darned good.  Any idea what you'll be rigging with?  Fishing line? EZ Line? or???

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On 9/4/2022 at 11:38 AM, mark.au said:

As a complete beginner of this kind of modelling I'm open to all advice, suggestion, critique, and even ridicule as long as it's funny 😉

Just keep going you’re doing a great job. 
 

In a near coincidence I’m soon going to build my 1/48 eduard SE5a in almost the same scheme except it’s got Irish Air Corp markings. ( I’m just holding off a bit to get my ridiculous wip numbers have down a bit)  So hopefully I can glean a few tips from seeing the 1/32 version take shape :) 

 

Edited by Marklo
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Woooow... Nice start Mark. I think you made a rod for your own back here. I would have made a plan to pack and transport the Stearman, which looked superb.

From the three above. I would have gone Corsair, Spitfire then the other fat thing!

The Se 5 looks to be a fine kit.

 

Colin

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On 9/5/2022 at 9:09 PM, AliGauld said:

and interesting.:wicked:

A finer euphemism cannot be found with which to describe the coming adventures!

 

23 hours ago, Quiet Mike said:

Great start Mark!

 

I had seen photos and artworks of this red SE5 before, but knew absolutely nothing of it's history. By chance I bought Grinnell-Milnes account of his time in the RFC earlier this year, in a junk shop, and can thoroughly recommend it, a real ripping yarn it is! It was only after reading the last few chapters about his highly unusual return to action after being a POW, that I learned about his blood red SE5a. He wrote a seperate account of his time as a POW, called 'Escapers Log', I'm still after a copy!

Ohh, both of those would be a great read!  I was glad Mrs.Mark.au picked this scheme because I do like the back story.

 

22 hours ago, bigbadbadge said:

Crikey that was quick,  great job Mark. 

Chris

It’s about to slow right down…

 

22 hours ago, hendie said:

another day and I'd have missed it by the looks of things.  That's a blistering start Mark.  Biplane eh?  

I've only attempted one Roden kit (so far) and I was quite impressed with the fidelity of the molding - nice sharp detail and lots of it. Not so impressed with thgeir engineering though - the engine didn't fit in the fuselage and the undercarriage assembly was nigh on impossible to achieve. That was the F2b and I ended up switching to the Revell/Eduard kit instead.

 

despite your protestations I think that cockpit looks pretty darned good.  Any idea what you'll be rigging with?  Fishing line? EZ Line? or???

You had to bring up the “R” word…. There I was in my little bubble.  More on that below; I haven’t decided on what I’ll use.  I suspect it will include EZ Line though not perhaps for it all.  This kit isn’t bad at all, I’m quite enjoying it.  As you found, the engineering is a little suspect but that adds to the charm.

 

18 hours ago, Marklo said:

Just keep going you’re doing a great job. 
 

In a near coincidence I’m soon going to build my 1/48 eduard SE5a in almost the same scheme except it’s got Irish Air Corp markings. ( I’m just holding off a bit to get my ridiculous wip numbers have down a bit)  So hopefully I can glean a few tips from seeing the 1/32 version take shape :) 

 

I like your optimism - the tips may well be what not to do.

 

3 hours ago, heloman1 said:

I would have made a plan to pack and transport the Stearman, which looked superb.

From the three above. I would have gone Corsair, Spitfire then the other fat thing!

The Se 5 looks to be a fine kit.

 

Colin

Has my wife been in touch about the Stearman? 😂.  I agree with the running order of those three, though for me it’s a near run thing between the Spit and Corsair.

 

After a little seam fix which was highlighted by yesterday’s pre-shade I loaded up the airbrush with red paint.

 

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Then I sealed it with a light gloss coat.

 

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I’m going for a weathered look, not worn out on its last legs, but well used.  There’s more treatments to come but I like this as a base.  I’m currently pondering on whether to paint the markings or use the decals.  TBC on that.

 

Next I spent a happy hour or so drilling holes in the wings for the rigging.  I should have done the same on the fuselage but I was too keen to get painting.  I’m going to attach the lines to the upper wing and then pull them through the lower wing to fix them which calls for blind holes in the upper wing and through holes on the lower.  There’s a few lines into the fuselage I’m not yet sure how I’ll do, that’s a problem for future Mark.

 

With the holes drilled, I applied the PC10.  I’m going at the brown end of the PC10 spectrum so I mixed a 3:2 green/brown shade at sprayed away.  I filled the airbrush pot four times, each with a slightly different mix (the ratios were mixed with counted paintbrush loads, highly variable to say the least) and sprayed randomly over the wings and tail to try and achieve a randomised, faded/inconsistent finish. 
 

Here’s the before and after sealing gloss coat.

 

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There’s a little more work to do on them, but that’ll be after the markings are applied.

 

That’s it for now.  I’ll decide about the markings tomorrow, I suspect I’ll end up painting them.

 

Cheers. 

 

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21 minutes ago, mark.au said:

I’m going for a weathered look, not worn out on its last legs, but well used.  There’s more treatments to come but I like this as a base.  I’m currently pondering on whether to paint the markings or use the decals.  TBC on that.

 

 

I don't have the book to hand, but Grinnell-Milne only returned to combat in the last month of war, October '18. He still managed to achieve 5 victories in those last weeks! I think his 'plane was painted red just after hostilities ended, in December, when he became CO of 56 Sqn.

I only raise this as it may influence you on how much weathering you add. I imagine in a couple of months of winter service, it would still look very well used as you say.

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On 9/6/2022 at 9:30 PM, Dunny said:

slow down man, or you'll be finished too soon! Cracking pace and cracking work,

 

Despite what you will see below, the pace is/has slowed considerably - all the low hanging fruit has been picked.

 

On 9/6/2022 at 9:55 PM, Quiet Mike said:

 

I don't have the book to hand, but Grinnell-Milne only returned to combat in the last month of war, October '18. He still managed to achieve 5 victories in those last weeks! I think his 'plane was painted red just after hostilities ended, in December, when he became CO of 56 Sqn.

I only raise this as it may influence you on how much weathering you add. I imagine in a couple of months of winter service, it would still look very well used as you say.

 

Great info Mike, thanks for that.  Assuming the airframe wasn't brand new when he took it on, it would have some wear for sure - though maybe the red would be brighter than the rest in terms of its condition.  I think my finish will be reasonably representative of that as when he took his last flight in it, in January 1919.

 

On 9/6/2022 at 10:23 PM, AliGauld said:

Oh My, such gorgeous paintwork,

Such a cracking pace.

I'm almost lost for words already.

 

Cheers,

Alistair

 

Don't worry, you'll find the words again Alistair, I'm close to rigging...

 

On 9/6/2022 at 10:42 PM, bigbadbadge said:

Slow down 😄 good grief that was quick too!!! Looks great though Mark, loving the fuselage. 

Chris

 

I refer the honourable gentlemen to my earlier comments :)

 

On 9/6/2022 at 11:18 PM, hendie said:

Nicely redded Mark.  At this speed if I didn't know better I'd say that you were really @CedB in disguise. 

I only know you're not cos of the lack of fnaar's and snurfs

 

...if I was @CedB in disguise I might well leave those kind of dead give-aways out... ;)

 

On 9/7/2022 at 12:09 AM, TheBaron said:

Delicate colours building up all over the place here Mark and a bold PT-17 predecessor that vibrates to the eye. Full of incident here already and quite superb.

 

Thank you, Tony.  Have you ever thought about writing a book?  Your use of language is quite lovely.

 

On 9/7/2022 at 5:38 PM, jackroadkill said:

 

So pleased to see that other folk use the same approach as me!

 

She's looking bonzer, Mark. 

 

She'll be right, mate ;)

 

I've spared you all a couple of days updates while I continue to pick the low hanging fruit on this build.  I am nearing the end of that harvest though, soon it'll be time for the fiddlier bits like struts, and the undercarriage.  Then rigging.  But in the mean time here's were we are...

 

I painted the wing undersides.  Nothing very complex, a bit of pre-shade and then a mix which matched my eye's expectation of what the colour was.  While I was at it, I painted the engine, too.

 

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Next, it was time to design the markings.  The choice on whether to use the decals or not wasn't mine in the end as the kit decals were a little out of register.  After an hour's effort I had the masks designed.

 

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I've shown plenty of WIP photos of masking and painting the markings before, but here's a token shot to prove these markings were indeed painted :)

 

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Then, the unmasking...

 

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I painted the markings to look a little worn but I think I made them a little too fresh in the end.  The blue in particular is a little denser than I intended.  No matter, I think I can induce a little more wear in them during the finishing process but if not, they don't look out of place in the overall look.

 

I also took care of a couple of other painting tasks while I was at it.

 

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So that's where we stand now - five days effort so not a bad pace, it's amazing what one can accomplish without the distraction of TV or social media (Britmodeller excepted...).

 

The next couple of steps are the undercarriage and the struts.  I'll weather and finish those as well as the main components and then it's on to the rigging.  As I get ready to start that I'll check with you fine folks that my plan and method makes sense.  

 

Cheers.

 

 

 

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Looking lovely Mark. I'm really torn between what investment to make next - mask cutter or 3D printer :whistle:. This work is certainly making a strong case for the former...

 

Cheers,

 

Roger

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Jeepers.

 

The distractions of a busy week at work and I miss Mark having almost finished another kit….

 

On 9/4/2022 at 11:38 AM, mark.au said:

and even ridicule as long as it's funny 😉

 

Darn it, that caveat raises the bar too high for me….. Does extreme irony have to be funny as well?

 

On 9/6/2022 at 2:18 PM, hendie said:

At this speed if I didn't know better I'd say that you were really @CedB in disguise. 

 

Have they ever been seen at the same time? or even posted at the same time?

 

29 minutes ago, Dunny said:

I'm really torn between what investment to make next - mask cutter or 3D printer :whistle:. This work is certainly making a strong case for the former...

 

Does it have to be a choice? :whistle: (says the man who hasn’t had the courage to even mention the possibility of a mask cutter type toy to his wife….)

 

1 hour ago, mark.au said:

and then it's on to the rigging.  As I get ready to start that I'll check with you fine folks that my plan and method makes sense.  

 

Ask away, lack of knowledge, talent or anything useful to say never stops a lawyer from offering an opinion…….

 

Added by edit:  I forgot to say that the SE5’s looking mighty fine (which was basically going to be the only non-facetious comment in the whole post)

 

Edited by Fritag
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  • mark.au changed the title to "Schweinhund III" - Captain Duncan William Grinnell-Milne's SE5a - +++++FINISHED+++++

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