Scratch built 1/72 Breuget Br 5

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4 months 3 weeks ago - 4 months 3 weeks 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.

Stevef.
Last Edit: 4 months 3 weeks ago by Stevef.

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4 months 1 week 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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3 months 3 weeks ago #119 by Stevef
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:



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:



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:





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

Tanks for looking.

Stevef.

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3 months 1 week ago #120 by Stevef
Evening All,

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.



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.



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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3 months 5 days ago #121 by Stevef
Evening All,

Progress has been made this week. The exhausts were the first thing to go on after the painting: they were made from rod and glued into the holes in the rear fuselage where I had added extra card in the interior to make the sides stronger. The oil or fuel tank, (not sure which - does anyone know for sure?) above the rear fuselage was made from thick sprue filed and sanded into shape.

The top wing and tail unit were next. The procedure is one that I have used many times before in that I glued the inner wing struts to the lower wing and while these were still flexible I placed the top wing on to them. The tail unit was slid into place between the rear of the booms: I had already put drops of superglue on to the ends of the booms so the tail unit had to be placed carefully before the boom ends were pulled together. The whole was jigged while the wing struts dried out. (The tray by the way is my workspace.... I have had it since I started modelling when I was about 10 years old. It was given to me by my mother and I painted it with gloss grey and green camouflage! I have always covered it with paper to keep it clean(!) and it is something that I would never partwith now - such is sentimentality.







After drying out overnight it was relatively easy to add the remaining wing struts, followed by the cabanes and finally the vertical boom struts. I also glued the radiators on to the cabanes at this stage as they were relatively easy to get to.





With the wing and booms now firm and strong I could add the large fuel tanks under the top wing.



Undercarriage next.

Thanks for looking.

Stevef.

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3 months 1 day ago #122 by Stevef
Evening All,

I have now added the undercarriage which was easier than I had feared. The main legs were of the oleo type which means sticking the ends of two sizes of shaped strip together: these joints can be weak if they are not handled respectfully. The remainder of the legs were also shaped from strip which had been shaped to aerofoil section. The axles are wire because I want the undercarriage to have some strength: the model is heavy because I have added some weight to the nose but I have a feeling that it is going to be a tail sitter. This is not too important as it would appear that these machines sat on their tails until the crew got in - at which point they tipped on to the nose wheel. My model will be without crew so if it is a tail sitter that will be authentic. The nose wheel has been put into place because it sits between the forward legs: the other wheels will not be fitted until I have rigged the model, which is the next step.







Thanks for looking.

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2 months 3 weeks ago #123 by Stevef
Evening All,

I have spent as much time as I have been able in the last few days finishing this - I had to make an emergency visit to a sick relative in between times so was seriously distracted - but have now finished it.

Finishing included adding all of the rigging (rolled 40 SWG copper wire and superglue: thread on a pusher is not practical for me in this scale), the propellor (carved from wood and varnished),the wheels, windscreen from acetate, gun ring etc. As suspected it is a tail sitter in spite of the weight that I added to the nose! Never mind these machines did sit on their tails until the crews got in so as mine is crewless it still looks right.

I will put more pics in the gallery shortly.



Thanks for looking.

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