Scratch built 1/72 Breuget Br 5

3 weeks 3 days ago - 3 weeks 3 days ago #117 by Stevef
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 build and rig than any other multi-winged aircraft, and after I had overcome my fears of making a mess I have found many very interesting subjects to model.

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 started by cutting out wing blamks 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.

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.

Last Edit: 3 weeks 3 days ago by Stevef.

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2 weeks 17 hours ago #118 by Stevef
Evening All,

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 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.

Thanks for looking.

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