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Lone Modeller's Tray
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PostPosted: January 9th, 2018, 12:45 am 
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In my mind, this is one of those really exciting, major projects that I truly enjoy to watch.
After reading your story, I have many questions; but I'll leave it until you get going. I'm sure those questions will be answered along the way.


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Lone Modeller's Tray
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 Post subject: Re: Lone Modeller's Tray
PostPosted: January 9th, 2018, 12:47 am 
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Looks like the base is going to be as interesting as the aircraft

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Lone Modeller's Tray
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 Post subject: Re: Lone Modeller's Tray
PostPosted: January 9th, 2018, 5:57 pm 
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Very interesting indeed, LM - that is as much a model engineering project as it is making a display base!

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Lone Modeller's Tray
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 Post subject: Re: Lone Modeller's Tray
PostPosted: January 17th, 2018, 12:35 am 
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Evening All,

Thanks 59North, James and Shaun for the positive comments. This project did not start as a major exercise: like Topsy it has growed! I am hoping that the engineering aspects are now pretty much over, although as with all scratch builds there is a large element of measurement and cutting (and then correcting mistakes!) as this instalment demonstrates all too well, and I am sure that there will be plenty more to come......

After a couple of trials my brother and I decided that the plastic gears in the motor might wear too quickly and as this will not be accessible in any way when complete we decided to buy a second motor and replace all of the gears, inside and out. We also made a new perspex box. I am not showing a photograph of the modified gearing - it looks the same as in plastic except that the gears are now brass. I have been carefully measuring and calculating where the motor should go. There are two important factors to consider:

1. The vertical shaft of the motor must be exactly at the mid-point of the width of the base because the wings of the model will have to fit inside the clear perspex cover;

2. the shaft also has to be in a precise position in relation to the length of the base because the nose and tail of the model have also got to fit under the cover.

When I ordered the base I allowed a couple of inches (approx 5mm) clearance between the extremities of the model and the perspex cover, so there is little room for error. Fortunately the turntable at Seemoos was on the edge of a bank and it happens that the top of the casing of the motor is just about the same as the ground level of the top of the bank. This means that I can cover the motor case with plaster bandage, build the slope in front of the motor, and level the ground at the base of the bank to coincide with the edge of the base frame, and it will be very close to scale. The motor has been screwed to the base. The lines on the board mark where the various platforms will be, and the top and bottom of the bank slope.

Image

The battery holder, switch and wiring are at the back of the image.

Another structural element that has had to be measured and planned is the location of the posts and beams that will support various platforms including the turntable, between the hangar and turntable, slipway and a side platform from the turntable. There was also a platform immediately in front of the hangar. To ensure that the posts will be in the correct positions and stable I decided to drill holes in a wood plank which I found in my garage. I cut it into lengths and drilled the necessary holes and then screwed the wood bases to the display base, and I have made one queen post from dowel and obechi which is visible in this image:

Image

The gap in the front of the base is where I will be putting an information board: the edge of the landscaped section will be marked off by a vertical sheet of plywood.

I have also been experimenting with plaster bandage as I have not used this material before. I wanted to create a bank with a level surface on each side of the bank. I used some scrap expanded polystyrene which I had glued together to create an uneven slope which I then covered with the plaster bandage:

Image

Image

When this had dried out I smeared a layer of plaster filler to fill the holes in the bandage. Finally I used some diluted PVA white glue and scattered some sand over it. This is the result which I think is not bad for a first attempt:

Image

Image

I am thinking of using sheets of expanded polystyrene covered with plaster bandage for the groundwork because it is very light and I have quite a supply of it.

Finally I have been trying to make the turntable and surrounding platform. The turntable consisted of a thick wood planks which seemed to have been fixed to some form of frame, the details of which are unknown to me. In fact just how the turntable was constructed and held in place is also a mystery to me, so I am using modeller's license to make something that will look plausible but also be practical. The circular platform around the turntable also consisted of a series of wooden planks but these were spaced and seem to have been supported by queen posts with horizontal beams between the queen post supports. This would be very difficult to replicate accurately, so instead I intend to cut a ring of plywood and glue wood strips to it. I can cut a turntable base from the disc centre of the plywood ring. I have cut a circle of plywood but am not very happy with the result because I have had real problems with the outer edge and I am not sure how I can get a clean edge inside too.

Image

I am in deep thought about this at the moment and am considering using some other material, perhaps thin basswood sheet.

More mistakes and changes to come!


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Lone Modeller's Tray
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 Post subject: Re: Lone Modeller's Tray
PostPosted: January 17th, 2018, 1:16 am 
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I am amazed evertime I visit your workbench,you keep raising the bar. :wanw
Now I am going to put all my unmade models on that well known auction site and take up Darts,Golf anthing but modelling.
Regards
Ken.


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Lone Modeller's Tray
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 Post subject: Re: Lone Modeller's Tray
PostPosted: January 17th, 2018, 9:02 am 
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Awesome work, and 'just' for a base!

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Lone Modeller's Tray
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 Post subject: Re: Lone Modeller's Tray
PostPosted: January 17th, 2018, 6:39 pm 
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celt wrote:
Now I am going to put all my unmade models on that well known auction site and take up Darts,Golf anything but modelling.
Regards
Ken.


I hope not Ken: your models are always worth looking at, especially as some of them are older kits which you make into little gems.

Thanks Iggie for the kind remark.


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Lone Modeller's Tray
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 Post subject: Re: Lone Modeller's Tray
PostPosted: January 18th, 2018, 4:14 am 
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Coming along nicely. The foam and bandage makes nice groundwork.

Nigel


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Lone Modeller's Tray
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 Post subject: Re: Lone Modeller's Tray
PostPosted: January 18th, 2018, 12:40 pm 
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I'm really itching to see how this all comes together. No doubt it will be awesome, but I can't picture it yet. This is fun seeing how the sausage is made.


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Lone Modeller's Tray
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 Post subject: Re: Lone Modeller's Tray
PostPosted: January 18th, 2018, 2:04 pm 
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This may be too broad of a question, but perhaps you can help me refine it. What would be aircraft for a first time scratchbuild? I've been going through the pages of your workbench and feel inspired.


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Lone Modeller's Tray
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 Post subject: Re: Lone Modeller's Tray
PostPosted: January 18th, 2018, 6:59 pm 
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SS: advising on a first scratch build is a little difficult as it would depend upon your modelling experience and your confidence to tackle something. My general advice would be as follows:
1. Choose a subject which you are really interested in and want in your collection - enthusiasm will carry you a long way especially when you make mistakes (as you will!)
2. Be prepared for things to go wrong and have to make some parts more than once: if you are ready for this you will be more likely to keep going. And remember the two most important rules of scratch building in particular, and modelling in general: the person who never made a mistake never made anything, and getting it wrong is part of getting it right.
3. Choose a subject which you can get some reasonable information about, including 3 view scale drawings, photographs, written descriptions, specific details of any parts that will really show such as exposed engines, cockpit interiors, etc. Sometimes this information is not available, (for example I could find no details of the cockpit interior of the Zeppelin Lindau flying boat except that they had 2 seats and control wheels, so that is what I put in); be ready to use a bit of common sense and imagination. Remember if you cannot find it, almost every other modeller will not have done so either!
4. Choose a subject that can be broken down into small easily made sub-assemblies. Ask yourself how would a kit manufacturer make the parts? Complex curves are best moulded in my opinion, but they can also be carved from wood or plastic if you would find that easier. Many WW1 types had slab sided fuselages which would be easier to make up from plastic sheet. Circular engine cowlings as found on the Caudron, Sopwith designs and other rotary/radial engined aircraft can be easily moulded using dowel, or they can be adapted from existing kits, (I have done both). Plastic sheet for wings can be curved in a large diameter waste pipe filled with very hot water and ribs added using strip plastic. (See the post by Stevehed in ATF under "top tips and techniques" for details of bending plastic sheet for wings). Tail surfaces can be cut from plastic sheet. Wheels can come from the spares box if you have some of the correct diameter or made from card and tyres made from rod bent around a piece of dowel and held for a few seconds in boiling water.
5. Use kit or after-market parts if that makes life easier. Small Stuff make some excellent WW1 engines in 1/72 and 1/48 scale. Engines can also be made from card, rod, and stretched sprue or wire: you just need drawings and good photos to work from. Guns, bombs, etc are also available or can be taken from kits. Does it look right is more important than absolute accuracy.
6. Be proud your first completed model even if it is not quite as good as you hoped it might be. The more you practice making your own parts the better you will become at it: if my experience is anything to go by you will not want to go back to making kits but will enjoy the challenge of making your own unique models.

If I were suggesting a first aircraft I would choose a monoplane with slab sides (Taube - but there is all the rigging!), or a biplane with slab sides such as the early Albatros 2 seaters, (B and C1), DFW B1, AEG B11, etc. These have DataFiles so there are good drawings to work from. Many of the Sopwith designs (Baby), would be easy to make provided that you could mould or adapt a cowling, and make find a suitable engine: as the latter would be largely hidden I would be happy to have any engine of approximately the correct diameter and number of cylinders. Use whatever references you have available to you to look at shapes and sizes: do not choose something which is too small as they are fiddly, (Bristol Scout, Sopwith Tabloid), and not too large as any errors show up quickly! (SSW R1, Zeppelin Lindau flying boats).

If it helps I have posted build logs for many other scratch builds and conversions in the "scratch build" and "under construction" sections of ww1aircraftmodels.com which I know you also visit. The posts in "under construction" are pusher conversions from commercial kits, but they may also help you if only to demonstrate some of the techniques and materials that I use and the potential for using existing kit materials for something completely different.

I know that this is a rather long and rambling answer but I hope that others who read this may find it helpful. I repeat: scratch building is not as difficult as it looks. It is all about taking a risk and being prepared to make mistakes as you learn: that is why I put in all of my mistakes in my build logs - I am learning too.

Thanks for your time and patience.


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Lone Modeller's Tray
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 Post subject: Re: Lone Modeller's Tray
PostPosted: January 19th, 2018, 5:57 am 
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I hate to reply to such a long and we'll worded post with something so short.

But here goes

First, thanks for taking the time to write out that advice. There is a lot to digest in there.

Second, the Sopwith baby is actually one of the craft I had in mind. Something from the pioneer days would be fun too. A bleriot or something.


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Lone Modeller's Tray
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 Post subject: Re: Lone Modeller's Tray
PostPosted: January 19th, 2018, 7:39 pm 
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If you try a Bleriot you need to remember that the rear fuselage is open so you will have to use pins and a plan (see my build log for a Penguin on ww1aircraftmodels.com - scratch builds. There is also a build by Limeypilot of the XI Artillerie on the same site). Another pioneer type which was relatively easy was the Avro 1911 biplane (also in ww1aircraftmodels.com scratch builds). There are plenty of others of course, many with slab sides and simple wings and tail units. The engines will be fun though!


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Lone Modeller's Tray
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 Post subject: Re: Lone Modeller's Tray
PostPosted: January 27th, 2018, 6:52 pm 
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Evening All,

Here is the next instalment of how I am changing my mind as I go along with this display. I discussed this project with members of my modelling club last week: they have much experience building bases for armoured vehicles and figures and they have advised me not to use expanded polystyrene as the ground support but use instead the foam plastic which is used for cavity insulation in modern houses. One very kind modeller had some spare and supplied me with a suitable block. The advantages of this material is that it is solid but very light, it is easy to cut and shape with a large sharp knife, will take a plaster covering, will take dowels easily if I drill some small pilot holes first, and is exactly the correct thickness for the bank and upper surface that I want to make. So out came the pieces of wood which I had fortunately only screwed to the base, and in went the foam insulation. I had to cut the foam to fit around the motor and it had to be trimmed to make a bank slope. In addition some thin pieces were placed at the front to bring the ground level up to the edge of the surround, and a small off-cuts were placed in front of the base of the bank and motor to get the correct bank slope. To stop the smaller pieces sliding around they were held with white PVA. I cut two strips of plywood to make the sides: these are rectangular at the moment and only slotted into place. Later they will be cut to match the side profile of the ground and bank. The rear compartment which will be concealed under the hangar floor is now hopefully obvious: that is where the battery holder and switch will be kept. The right side has the off cuts of foam in it at the moment - that is where the descriptive panel will be placed in due course.

Image

This is from the front - the right side has the off cuts of foam. The top of the motor is clearly visible, as are the pieces of foam at the base of the bank - these will be covered with plaster bandage later but are needed to create the correct angle.

Image

Image

From the left and right sides respectively. The cut edge of the foam is clearly visible in these views as are the plywood panels - they are too tall but I need to put on the plaster bandage before I can trace the ground profile on to the wood. Then I can cut the wood to fit exactly. Consequently the wood sides are only slotted into place and can be withdrawn easily. The panels also extend the full depth of the base as they will also form the sides of the battery and switch compartment at the rear of the display.

Image

From the rear: the large space will be under the hangar floor. The rear of the foam will also be supported by plastic sheet with the top above the "ground" at the level of the hangar floor. This will close off the space at the rear of the display.

More changes to come no doubt, but at the moment the next step will be to apply the plaster bandage to create the ground surface.


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Lone Modeller's Tray
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 Post subject: Re: Lone Modeller's Tray
PostPosted: January 27th, 2018, 7:54 pm 
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Thankyou for the detailed explanations of your wonderful work. I find myself deeply concentrated in reading the words. This is an excellent thread, and you are a superb teacher.
I'm a little confused on what foam plastic insulation is, but, my next stop to the hardware will settle that.
Well done modelling, indeed!


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