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Lone Modeller's Tray
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 Post subject: Lone Modeller's Tray
PostPosted: June 30th, 2017, 12:48 am 
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Following a recent comment from James Perrin that many people who visit this site would like to be let into some of the (not very) dark secrets of how I go about making my models from scratch, I am posting this build log. I make no claims to be an authority on scratch building - it seems to me that there are almost as many ways to make a model from plastic, wood, wire, filler and whatever else is to hand as there are modellers. Many of the techniques which I use will also be familiar to may of you, especially those who add super detail to your models. And just in case you think that I must have a purpose built workshop bursting with expensive tools and equipment, let me introduce you to my working area:

Image
This I kid you not is what I work on. I do have a desk which has some space devoted to paints and a box with bits in it, and some drawers to store more paints, wood, plastic sheet, rod, strip, etc, but the desk also doubles as a work space during the day when I am at home and has my computer on it. The compressed paper mache tray (for that is what it is), has been my modelling space since I started modelling when I was 11 years old. It still has grey and green stripes on it which I painted with (gloss Humbrol) colours to cover the flaking surface, and the tools you can see, (a collection of files, a pair of tweezers which were already old when they were given to me by my father more than 50 years ago, a piece of sprue for mixing paints, and a tin lid from a honey jar from the early 1960's for mixing paints and storing small parts while I am making them), are only supplemented by an eye loupe, a brass handled Swann Morton scalpel, a hand chuck and a small collection of drills, glass paper, razor saw, paint brushes and the usual cements, fillers and adhesives that most modellers will be familiar with. I have a small budget to work with, most of which is spent on DataFiles or plastic card, rod, strip and paints. The model under construction in the photo was a Pheonix A flying boat, (which has appeared in the aircraft section of this site), and shows one of my "jigs" which I had assembled to support the wing after it had been attached to the hull and was drying out. In short I am an old fashioned, basic modeller who learned by reading Airfix Magazine and making lots of mistakes and pretty crap models. Apart from the fact that I no longer read Airfix Magazine little seems to have changed in 50+ years! I still make push moulds and use talcum powder and dope mixture for filling wood grain when the need arises!!

I am unable to provide a picture of the aircraft in question because of copyright reasons but if you type the name into Google images you will find plenty of photos and drawings.

I have a bit of a penchant for, (some might say obsession with), early pusher types for a number of reasons. One of them is that I really like the complex tail arrangements with all of the attendant rigging and control cables which offer a challenge to the modeller. I also enjoy building the often exposed engines found on many of them, but most of all because they tend to look ungainly, fragile and not very airworthy. In reality many of them were very strongly built, could take a lot of punishment and still stay in the air, could hold their own in dogfights, and in the early stages of WW1 were among some of the better Allied fighting machines which were valued by their aircrews. Sadly very few of these positive attributes could be assigned to the Breuget BR 5 or its immediate predecessor the Br 4, both of which were products of the Michellin (of tyre fame) brothers attempt to foist on to the French armed forces an aircraft which was unsuited to its role, under-powered, poorly designed and generally loathed by those forced to fly in it. That did not stop the RNAS from purchasing some of these aircraft: Britain was so desperate to bring aeroplanes into service that it bought some of this type so that more squadrons could be made operational. Despite the exigencies of war, a better policy might have been more haste less speed in this case, but unfortunately for the aircrews involved, the higher powers only recognised their mistake when it was too late. The result was that Breuget Br 5's were only used for daylight raids for a short time, and then for night raids for as short a time as possible after that,when they were replaced as better types became available.

Given the above it is not perhaps surprising that this type is not well represented by kits: there was a resin kit produced in this scale, (one of which was sold for over $120 on Evil Bay a couple of years ago), but apart form that I do not know of any other. It could also be of course that pushers are also not popular even among modellers of WW1 aircraft because they are thought to be very difficult to build and rig. In reality they are not much more difficult to make than any other multi-winged aircraft: I too initially had to overcome my hesitation and fears of disaster, but having done so I have found the effort well worthwhile.

I have started by cutting out wing blanks from 30 thou card bent in hot water in a piece of drain pipe which has been sealed at one end. (I have to thank Stevehed for this idea). The top wing is considerably bigger than the lower wings and at the moment I have only drawn on the lines where the ribs will be glued. These will be made from 10 x 20 thou Evergreen strip which I will then sand down until they are just protruding above the wing surface.

Image

Image

I have also started to carve a male mould from balsa wood to plunge mould the fuselage nacelle, but this is not finished yet so no photos at the moment. More later.

Thanks for looking.


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Lone Modeller's Tray
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 Post subject: Re: Scratch build Breuget Br 5
PostPosted: June 30th, 2017, 6:29 am 
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'From little things, big things grow' This just makes the finished models all the more impressive.

Nigel


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 Post subject: Re: Scratch build Breuget Br 5
PostPosted: June 30th, 2017, 8:51 am 
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Very interesting, impressive and informative in equal measure!

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 Post subject: Re: Scratch build Breuget Br 5
PostPosted: June 30th, 2017, 4:11 pm 
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Many thanks for letting us take a peek into your modelling world LM, this is fascinating stuff!

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 Post subject: Re: Scratch build Breuget Br 5
PostPosted: July 9th, 2017, 11:57 pm 
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Evening All,

Thanks Nigel, Iggie and Shaun for the kind remarks which I greatly appreciate.

I am sorry that there is not a great deal to report at the moment - I am sure that you will know why as there has been more than enough comment about the issue. In addition to which my camera has done some silly things (or I have - not sure which/who is to blame). Anyway I do not have many pictures for this post - hopefully I will have more as I progress later.

Anyway I have plunge moulded the fuselage halves, cut them out and sanded them, cut out the window apertures and added some framework on the insides, not that much will be visible when the halves are joined. I have not been able to find any interior detail so I have made up a generic pair of seats and IP etc - as they too will hardly be visible I am not too bothered. If anybody wants to look closely when it is finished they are welcome to try, but I somehow doubt that they will. I also added two pieces of 60 thou card to the rear of the nacelles where the exhaust pipes will have to be drilled later: the moulded plastic is just too thin on its own to be able to support the exhausts. I have also added some card at the rear to support the prop shaft and a piece on the top of the rear to help strengthen the joint later - some filler may be needed there as the moulds are not quite as I would like them to be. Before I close the fuselage halves I will cut out two transparencies from clear acetate and glue into place with superglue.

Image

Thanks for looking.


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 Post subject: Re: Scratch build Breuget Br 5
PostPosted: July 10th, 2017, 4:53 am 
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Superb stuff! It is reassuring to see how simple your setup is, given what you are able to produce. I have a similar limitation in only having the dining table to work at, so I can't leave things set up for long. I bought a biplane wing jig but funnily enough, I have found recently that paint pots and blu tack are working pretty well when it comes to getting the top wing on a biplane..

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 Post subject: Re: Scratch build Breuget Br 5
PostPosted: July 11th, 2017, 2:40 pm 
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VickersVandal wrote:
Superb stuff! It is reassuring to see how simple your setup is, given what you are able to produce. I have a similar limitation in only having the dining table to work at, so I can't leave things set up for long. I bought a biplane wing jig but funnily enough, I have found recently that paint pots and blu tack are working pretty well when it comes to getting the top wing on a biplane..

V V,
I do have the advantage that I can leave things overnight on a desk to dry out if necessary, but I have never invested in a jig. By the pots and paints method of creating a jig do you mean something like this:
Image
(Ago floatplane under construction - look no blu-tac!),

or this:
Image
(Phoenix A top wing - this has a forward stagger),

or this:
Image
(Hansa Brandenburg CC flying boat - sorry no paint pots, just card!)

I am not brand loyal with my paint pots either.....
Image
(Avro biplane of 1912 under construction),

but sometimes I just use whatever is to hand and suitable for a support....
Image
(scrap card holding the undercarriage legs of the Avro biplane in position while the plastic cement was drying).

In the near future I will replace all of the missing photos for the above models in the completed models section of this site: I have so many build logs to replace pictures in that this will take a little while, so if you want to look again at the pictures of the completed models above please be patient. Thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: Scratch build Breuget Br 5
PostPosted: July 11th, 2017, 3:07 pm 
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Great post, dispelling the idea that you need a lot of expensive jigs to achieve this sort of thing - though I'm sure they help.

Feeling slighlty smug I as recognised the Avro Biplane having built the Input Avro Triplane which was basic the same +33.3% more wing.

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 Post subject: Re: Scratch build Breuget Br 5
PostPosted: July 26th, 2017, 10:17 pm 
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Evening All,

There has been a bit of a delay with this project as I have struggled to restore pictures to my posts.... I am sure that you will know what I am referring to. Anyway I have managed to make some real progress over the weekend and did some last touches the other night so that I can post something that is, I hope, worth seeing.

I joined the fuselage halves having inserted the windows in the sides first. These were made from thin acetate from an old Airfix bubble wrap. The windows were secured with super glue: I did not add much extra detail inside the fuselage as most of it cannot be seen anyway. The lower wings were glued to the fuselage nacelle and all of the the joints cleaned up with filler and a little sanding - not much was needed as the sides of the fuselage moulded rather well this time. I drilled holes for the exhaust pipes in the rear sides of the nacelle and for struts in the wings. The next step was to put on the booms which I make at this stage as it ensures that they fit exactly and do not have to be adjusted at a later and more delicate stage. My method is as follows for those who have not seen it before:

I start by cutting pieces of florists wire to length. I use this as it is malleable and easy to straighten if it gets bent but it is also rigid enough not to sag or bend under any weight from tail units etc. I then file two shallow grooves into the wings where the wires will be attached at a later stage.

I calculate the angle that the booms need to be in relation to the trailing edges of the wing and make up a simple jig to support the tail end of the booms.

I lay the wing on to a plan and align the wire booms with the plan, putting the ends of the wires over the wing trailing edges in the position that they will eventually be fixed, and on to the jig at the rear end.

When I am satisfied that all is ready I mix some expoxy rapid glue and attach the front ends of the booms to the trailing edges of the wings, lay the wings and booms on the plans to get the alignment correct, and support the rear ends of the booms on the jig. I leave everything for at least 12 hours to harden.

Here is the bottom wing boom assembly with its jig. Note that I have not used the plan in this case as I marked on to the piece of plastic card the positions of the centre line of the aircraft and the booms:

Image

Next is the top wing boom and jig set up, this time over the plan. The file was put on to the wing to hold it down:

Image

The Breuget booms were different to most pushers because they had short horizontal struts to help improve the strength of the structures: these were put in place with superglue once the main parts were thoroughly set:

Image

Image

Now the booms are in place I can proceed with the painting and markings, which will be hand painted.

Thanks for looking.


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 Post subject: Re: Scratch build Breuget Br 5
PostPosted: July 27th, 2017, 7:46 am 
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Nice work. It's coming along nicely.

Nigel


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 Post subject: Re: Scratch build Breuget Br 5
PostPosted: July 27th, 2017, 8:10 am 
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Jaw droppingly good work!

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 Post subject: Re: Scratch build Breuget Br 5
PostPosted: July 27th, 2017, 8:14 am 
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And I love the 'work tray' - there's nothing wrong with working in a small space, most of my building has been done on my Humbrol work station in the back of my i10.

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 Post subject: Re: Scratch build Breuget Br 5
PostPosted: July 27th, 2017, 1:30 pm 
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Lone Modeller wrote:
VickersVandal wrote:
Superb stuff! It is reassuring to see how simple your setup is, given what you are able to produce. I have a similar limitation in only having the dining table to work at, so I can't leave things set up for long. I bought a biplane wing jig but funnily enough, I have found recently that paint pots and blu tack are working pretty well when it comes to getting the top wing on a biplane..

V V,
I do have the advantage that I can leave things overnight on a desk to dry out if necessary, but I have never invested in a jig. By the pots and paints method of creating a jig do you mean something like this:
Image
(Ago floatplane under construction - look no blu-tac!)


Yep, pretty much all those you've posted there. :grin:
In my case, like so:
Image

I've also used the lego method to good effect.

Image

Quote:
In the near future I will replace all of the missing photos for the above models in the completed models section of this site: I have so many build logs to replace pictures in that this will take a little while, so if you want to look again at the pictures of the completed models above please be patient. Thanks.


Oh you'd better believe I do! And many others would too, I'm sure. Your stuff is amazing.

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 Post subject: Re: Scratch build Breuget Br 5
PostPosted: July 27th, 2017, 5:05 pm 
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Thank you gentlemen for the very kind and encouraging remarks: I really appreciate them. I will get on to replacing the photo links shortly.


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 Post subject: Re: Scratch build Breuget Br 5
PostPosted: August 9th, 2017, 9:59 pm 
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Evening All,

After the small diversion into the background of some of my methods, here is an update on the current project. I have been away for short periods recently so progress has been a little slow but the model is now painted so there is something to report. Before I started the painting I added the bomb containers beneath the lower wings: these were carved from 2 sheets of 60 thou card laminated and filed into shape before I glued them n-into place. I also made the underwing fuel tanks from the front sections of some old bombs from an Airfix kit that I had made when I was a teenager! I cannot now remember which kit they came from but I think that they may have been 500lb from the Douglas Dauntless. I write may because I do not know whether 4 such bombs were provided in that kit. In any event I inserted a fillet of 60 thou card between the sections, filed the card to round section, filled and sanded the joints, and applied paint. Similarly the tail surfaces were cut and shaped from 30thou card and glued together. The radiators were cut from 60 thou card and the surfaces scored with a modelling knife.

Image

Breugets seem to have been varnished linen: I used the colour guide in Munson's Bombers 1914-1919 as the basis for my colours. These were mixed from Revell Beige (314) acrylic with a dash of white. The roundels were hand painted: I scribed a circle with a pair of dividers and painted the white first (2 thin coats of Humbrol enamel). When this was dry I scribed two more circles for the red and blue circles which were also Humbrol enamels. The rudder stripes were painted at the same time. Getting the roundels on to the upper wing ailerons was a litlle tricky but was achieved by holding the ailerons in place with small pieces of masking tape while I scribed on the arcs.

Image

Now I can assemble the exhausts, fuel tank on the rear fuselage and upper wing and tail surfaces.

Thanks for looking.


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