1/72 Zeppelin-Lindau (Dornier) Rs II scratch build

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2 years 4 months ago #184 by Stevef
Evening All,

I have spent a good deal of time trying to insert and level the posts which will support for the various platforms. Each pair of vertical posts has a horizontal beam which has to be level, but the beams must also be level with those in the other rows. This should have been fairly straightforward but for the fact that the vertical posts which are over the top of the motor are shorter than the rest and so had to be carefully cut to size. In some cases both of the posts are short, but in others one post is longer than the other. In addition all of the supports have to be made so that when the platforms are fixed on to them they will be level with the hangar floor at the rear of the display. I have spent quite a lot of time with a spirit level trying to get everything in order and am still not sure that I have been completely successful. Fortunately most of the vertical posts are almost the same length and I think that I will be able to make minor adjustments later without compromising the finished structures.

I also decided that the plaster bandage still had too many holes so I have put more filler over it in some areas to prevent the sand cover from falling through. I have painted the new filler but accidentally used the wrong shade of grey - it is lighter than the original. It will not matter as if any of the paint does show through the sand it will simply give a different shade to the "soil".

I have also made some roofs for the arches which will be at the back of the scene. The front of the hangar had a wall with arches in it which are clearly visible in photos taken in 1915 when a wood platform was being built. I do not want any light to come through the arches so I have made these roofs to stop any chance of that happening. They are simple structures made from a piece of curved basswood and push moulded. I was able to cut two roof sections from each mould:



These will be inserted between the two vertical sheets of plastic at the rear of the display, one of which represents the wall of the hangar which I have painted grey: I intend to paint the underside of the arches black to match the face of the rear plastic sheet and thus prevent any light from coming through. Currently the base looks like this:







with a mini Stonehenge forming the base of the circular platform. None of the horizontal beams have been glued into place yet and the longer ones on the straight platforms have been left off because they keep falling off! The rows of three posts are for wider platforms which carried the aircraft on railway track: the narrower platform in front of the hangar was only for people to walk on

The next step will be to add some sand which will form the groundwork for the whole display.

Thanks for looking.

Steve.

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2 years 4 months ago #187 by Stevef
Evening All,

The sand ground has been applied to the base. I mixed some white PVA with water to make it more runny/less lumpy and painted it liberally over the base. Then I sprinkled a thick layer of fine sand over all and left it for a couple of hours to dry. The excess sand was shaken off and the bare patches given a repeat treatment. Where I have added the extra sand there are some lumps but at the moment I am going to leave them. There are also some low ridges which run from front to rear where the plaster bandage overlaps: I am a bit concerned about these as in certain light angles they are rather obvious. There will be a shed over part of them, and the platform which runs to the left of the turntable platform will also cover part of them, so I am keeping my fingers crossed at the moment that they will be less obvious later when more details have been added. I have also left the area around the motor spindle blank as I intend to cover that later with a disc of card. I am not sure what the exact details were under the turntable: the photographs which I have access to show almost nothing, so I do not know how the turntable was supported or how it was driven. For the moment I am supposing that there must have been some from of wheeled support and I am thinking of representing a disc of metal underneath. Who knows: I may change my mind later if I can find any more information. Some of the supports for the circular platform have been removed because they are directly above the motor and the legs are very short so they tend to fall out easily: they are being stored elsewhere until I am ready to fix them in place permanently.

I have also added the roofs of the arches and completed the plastic backing sheets for the rear of the ground. The tops of the arches are visible in the photos and were put into place after the sand cover was laid. I fixed the battery holder for the motor in a small holder made from quadrant glued to the base. This will be accessible via a hole which I intend to leave in the rear of the display, but it will not be visible from the front or sides and it will be hidden by the hangar floor.







Thanks for looking.

Stevef.

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2 years 4 months ago #188 by Stevef
Evening All,

I have been doing some woodworking which is still an experience that I am not normally used to - I usually only make moulds or small parts for my models from wood. However I can see wood in my future......

I have decided that it is time to think about the turntable and surrounding platform as everything has to be leveled from this central feature, including the hangar floor and all of the platforms and ramps. I have given up on the plywood base for turntable platform as I simply could not get a rounded shape. Instead I thought that I might try thin, (1/16 inch - 2mm), basswood sheet which I found in my local branch of Hobbycraft, there being no good model shops within 15 miles of where I live. I also spied a circle cutter - one of those cutters designed to cut accurate circles in card and fabrics and thought that I might be able to cut a decent circle with one. Here is the result:



This is more than adequate for my needs so I then drew a series of lines from the centre of the circle to the edges so that I will be able to align the planks on the platform later:



Next I cut out an inner disc which will be used to make the turntable on which the railway track ran:



before I cut the turntable section from the inner disc:



The turntable strip has been reduced slightly because i will have to put wood strip on the top to represent planking, and as the planking on the surrounding platform will extend a little over the inner edge, a small gap is needed between both to allow the turntable to rotate. Wood strip was glued to the turntable:



The platform was made of a series of planks which appear to have been laid on horizontal supports between the goal posts which can be seen in earlier photos forming my misrepresentation of Stonehenge. This is not practical for me - hence the circle of basswood. I took some 3mm x 1mm Tanganyka wood strip and cut this down to 2mm pieces and some pieces which were tapered 2mm - 1mm: these were glued to the basswood disc using the lines described above to help me orient the strips to the centre of the ring. Original photos clearly show that some planks had parallel sides and others were tapered as per the photo below:



After two evenings of cutting and glueing I had this:



Nearly there! This got to be tedious so I decided that I would try to make the horizontal support frame for the platform which runs from the turntable parallel to the front of the hangar. This consisted of the horizontal beams which joined the vertical posts and ran crosswise, and the pieces which ran the length of the platform on top. Wood planks were then laid crosswise to finish the structure. I used 3/16inch (5mm) square section Obechi for this:



but initial eyeball estimates tell me that this is going to be too deep/thick as the top of the side platform will be above the turntable platform when they should be level. I think that I may keep one layer of Obechi between the vertical posts and think again about how to mount the wood planking using thinner Obechi strip. Did I write earlier that this would be an evolving project.......?

Thanks for looking.

Stevef.

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2 years 3 months ago #191 by Stevef
Evening All,

Apologies for the long delay since the last post: my computer decided that it did not want to re-start after I had been away for a couple of days so I have been off-line while it was fixed. Never mind it gave me more time to get on with this project!

The first thing that I did since the last posting was to add the basswood sheet to the rear of the display. This has two purposes:

to act as the hangar floor area in the display;

to cover the space where the battery holder and switch for the turntable motor will be kept.

I constructed a frame to hold the basswood sheet - simply lengths of square section obechi to make sufficient support to hold the bass wood sheet. Lines were drawn on the sheet so that I could cut some wood strip to make the planking of the hangar floor:



I also finished the turntable platform:



Planking the hangar floor was straightforward if time consuming. I used 5mm x 1mm Tanganyka wood strip - the same material as I used for the turntable platform. The strips were added in two rows as shown the contemporary photographs. I also put in the posts for the platform in front of the hangar and the cross members which will support the planking in due course. The turntable platform is just rsesting in place at the moment as I need to use it to get levels for other parts of the display. In fact I have put all of the posts in their respective holes but not all are permanently fixed as I need to make sure that they are all at the correct heights before I finally glue them into place:







The post line in front of the turntable platform represents the start of the slipway to Lake Constance, the posts on one side represent some sort of parking area(?). Hopefully the layout and main features of the display are beginning to become clearer now.

Thanks for looking.

Stevef.

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2 years 3 months ago #192 by Stevef
Evening All,

I have decided to put in what I think may have existed under the turntable, namely a flat base which I have painted mid-grey to represent a metal base on which the turntable could revolve. I am not certain whether this is correct and I always have the option to remove it later if I change my mind - which may yet happen! The short ramp from the hangar to the turntable is more complicated than it looks at first sight. The half nearest to the hangar floor was level, but the half nearest to the turntable sloped downwards on the sides but had a second small ramp in the centre. The rails were supported by beams over the half nearest the turntable to keep them level. I hope that the photos which follow will make clearer what I am trying to describe. This is important because it determined how I constructed this part of the structure.

The half of the ramp nearest to the hangar floor was straightforward - simply lay a series of cut stripwood pieces to represent the planks: these were laid on obechi strip which represented the longitudinal bearers which were laid over the goalpost structures:



The ramp was checked for level with the hangar floor by laying rails between the latter and the turntable platform:





Now the slope of the ramp in the section nearest to the turntable platform can be clearly seen. Here the ramp planks sloped so that they were lower than the turntable platform where the two joined, but the rails were supported by beams which were level between the hangar floor and the turntable. To achieve this I followed what I think was the original method of construction: I laid stripwood crosswise over the obechi strips as a continuation of the ramp built so far. I then made two rail supporting beams from cook's matches which I filed and sanded to a taper and glued these to the sloping part of the ramp. The gap between the beams was in turn filled with short cross pieces of stripwood and this too had a slope at the hangar end. I also left a small cut-out for pulley wheels to be fixed later:





The new structure was tested for alignments by laying the rails over the newly constructed ramp:



The steps were made from stripwood too and have been placed in position just for effect at the moment. There will be steps there when the base is completed but as there is much more work to do these will now be put on one side until later.

Thanks for looking.

Stevef.

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2 years 3 months ago #193 by Stevef
Evening All,


There was a wooden platform that was built in 1915 on the lake side of the hangar - which is why I have put a line of posts along there. The original posts that I put in were the same diameter as the others but I felt that because this platform was only for people to walk on, the originals were probably smaller, so I replaced mine with smaller dowels This necessitated some small filling jobs to be done and some more sand needed to be scattered to conceal the repairs - hence the delay in getting the platforms made.


My first intention was to lay the wood strips directly on to the cross beams as per the original structure but I was not sure whether I would be able to get a level and even surface if I did. So I decided to cut pieces of thin basswood sheet which were the same width as the upright posts and then cut small recesses in the sides of the basswood where each post would be. Planking was glued to the basswood as per the original i.e lengths were cut to make it look as though they extended over two post bays. I then cut short pieces of obechi to represent the cross members between the posts which were the actual supports for the planks on the real platform: these were glued to the underside of the stripwood. When I turned the platform over I could glue the pieces of obechi to the tops of the posts and the structure looks as though it has complete cross pieces, and the basswood is not visible. The planking though is level and even. I repeated this method for the long section of platform on the left side of the ramp.


The large platform/ramp to the left of the turntable had longitudinal beams on each side and in the middle. To represent this I again used the basswood strip along the centre of the platform but added lengths of square obechi along each edge. At the end of the platform on the edge of the display I simply cut another recess in the basswood in the centre and put a short piece of obechi to sit on the end post: it represents the middle beam which would have run across the tops of the central line of posts. The curved pieces of planking which are in contact with the circular platform around the turntable were simply cut to fit and carefully glued into place on the ends of the longitudinal obechi strips.


Finally I added two planks at the corner of the walking platform and ramp to the turntable: these are clearly visible in contemporary photos and had been laid and fixed at some time when the structure was being used.





In the above the short section of platform to the right of the ramp is in place: the left section has been laid on the posts while some minor adjustments were being worked out. The following photos show the completed platforms, (and the old carpet in the room where I work!








The dark patches on the slope in front of the side platform are where I have added more sand which is a slightly different colour in order to break up the uniformity of the base. Some of this will be covered in grass flock later so that these areas will be less stark (I hope). The ridges which were caused by the joints in the plaster bandage and were visible before the platforms were put in place are now very much less prominent: even I have to look for them and there is still the shed and grass to add, so I think that they will ultimately "disappear".


Thanks for looking.

Stevef.

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2 years 3 months ago #194 by Stevef
Evening All,

I have tried to make the shed which probably housed a winch to pull the aircraft to and from the lakeside on the ramp system which forms the groundwork for this diorama. I do not know what the dimensions were because I do not have any drawings: I have had to guess them by looking at several photos and trying to work out sizes by comparison with objects of known size, such as planking etc. The construction is simple: make a frame from obechi strip and then add planks in the form of 3mm strip wood. The first attempt looks like this and I admit that I am not happy with it because I am certain that it is too small:





I thought that the shed was square but I am now of the opinion that it was rectangular, so I will make two new parts - front (with the gap for a door) and rear (blank face): both are on the left in the photos.

I have also been working on a screen which is visible in the photos and was somewhat crudely nailed to the pillars on the side of the turntable platform. I do not know what the function of this feature was - probably some form of windbreak. I glued small lengths of obechi into the base and rested the upper ends on the edge of the platform. Then I could glue strip wood to represent the planks that formed the screen - a bit rough to try to represent what is visible in the photographs. Finally I put in the low fence panels which ran at 90 degrees from the platform:







Thanks for looking.

Stevef.

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2 years 2 months ago #198 by Stevef
I wrote earlier that I was not sure what the ground would have looked like under the turntable, so I had put in a plastic disc to represent some form of platform. I have since found out that in fact such a disc would not have been there in reality so I have removed it from my model and replaced it with sand.

I have also redesigned and rebuilt the shed with longer front and rear faces. The roof was made from plastic card and painted matt black and then given a three light washes of dark brown to tone the black down. I had bought some guttering and down pipes for an OO railway water tower, but when I looked at the gutters I saw that they had flat tops, whereas they should have had shallow grooves. I looked at some 80 thou rod and decided that if I filed it to a half section I could then file out my own shallow grooves to better represent the guttering, and I could drill holes to represent the drains. Down pipes were cut from the same sized rod, bent to shape and glued to the gutter sections. After the shed had been assembled I could put the roof on and then the gutters and pipes:







The hole in the front is for a door and on the side is a window and opening which probably was where winch cables passed. I have brushed the wood with a wash of dark brown acrylic. The drain pipes are slightly longer than the shed sides so that I can insert the ends into holes which I will drill into the base later.

I have also finished the short section of ramp which was on the lake side of the turntable. The ramp which the aircraft was launched on sloped to the lake: the rails which supported the carriage were laid on thick longitudinal beams which in turn were laid across transverse beams. The transverse beams rested on vertical posts which had been pile driven into the ground. There were two platforms, one on each side of the rails, so that ground crew could walk down the launch ramp to the lake. In the immediate vicinity of the turntable the crew platforms sloped at a steeper angle than the rails and had transverse beams to provide footholds: all of this detail is visible in the different photos in the DataFile although it took me some time to work it out! The large transverse beams which supported the rails were glued into place first: these were made from obechi strip. The longitudinal rail supports were also obechi strip. Under the crew platforms there was transverse planking as found on the other platforms and the turntable, but on top of these there had been laid supporting beams: these were continuations of the beams supporting the rails, but were thinner, so I used obechi for these too. The steeply sloping platforms were made from 3mm stripwood glued to the obechi underneath, and the footholds were from thin obechi strip:







The structure is now pretty much complete but I still have to make the trolley for the aircraft, weather the wood, put in some vegetation on the ground and make some pulleys for the ramps etc.

Thanks for looking.

Stevef.

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2 years 2 months ago #199 by Stevef
Evening All,

I drilled some holes in the base so that the down pipes from the shed gutters could fit into them and the shed was put into place. I did assemble a winding gear from plastic rod and card but forgot to photograph it, and in any even it cannot be seen with the shed in place so it does not matter after all. I made a second set of steps and glued these into place: the set on the launch ramp are visible in photographs, but the second set by the winding shed are my best guess: ground crew had to be able to get to the shed somehow. I also made a cover for the winch cables between the shed and launch ramp - once again this is clearly visible in the photographs and was made from obechi strip and plastic card painted black, and given a dark brown acrylic wash. I have also started to make two rails which are on the edge of the platform between the shed and the left side of the display. Once again this is based on contemporary photographs and my modeller's license as I cannot be certain of the exact details.





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I have added some darker areas to parts of the sand base to give a variation in colour: natural soils would not have quite such round areas but as these are going to be covered in grass flock they will not be visible. I then dry brushed all of the wood surfaces with a mixture of dark grey and dark brown acrylic washes: I have tried to vary the density to show areas of greater wear and footfall. A door was added to the shed. Now I could add the grass flock which I mixed from several different packs. I brushed watered down white PVA glue over the sand base and liberally scattered the flock, including areas of neat flock from individual packs to give as varied a background as possible. Once again I deliberately left some areas clear where people would have walked: this too is visible on some of the photos of the original site.







I have now got to put on the rails. I am using 00 guage flexible track for the rails - they are rather brassy but some paint and washes will tone them down. First though I have cut some fishplates (joining pieces) from thin brass strip and will glue these to the sides of the rail at intrevals of three scale meters - again a distance estimated from photographs. The parts look like this before assembly:



More later when I have finished the rails and made some furniture and the carrying frame for the flying boat.

Thanks for looking.

Stevef.

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2 years 2 months ago #200 by Stevef
Evening All,

At last the end is in sight: I have been finishing some pieces which have I have been working on and off during the build, and have almost all of the final details completed.


First up is the frame and trolley on which the aircraft was carried on the rails. I looked at as many photos as I could and came to the conclusion that frames were made individually for each aircraft. What I have produced is the best match that I can make to the photographic evidence available. The trolley was made from brass rod soldered together to make a rectangle, axles were from 60 thou plastic rod and the wheels from N guage Graham Farish accessories. I pushed the wheels off the Farish axles and back on to the longer plastic rod ones.





The main sections were made from I section plastic strip and the large pads at the rear were carved from scrap balsa wood and given a couple of coats of talcum powder and dope filler before being painted. The leather straps were from 10 x 20 thou Evergreen strip.










The wood in the last photo was visible in the contemporary photos - I used obechi strip to represent these beams. The arms on the sides were to allow ground crew to push the assembly on the turntable.


I made some furniture which again is visible in various photos: this will be distributed over the hangar floor based on photographic evidence and will help to fill what will otherwise be large voids in the display. A couple of boxes, two trestle tables (the tops were made from mixing sticks), and some beams of wood. I have also constructed a box camera which will be present in the display.




The rails have the fish plates added and have been painted and dry brushed with some rust, and are now fixed in place on the base:









All that remains to add now are the pulleys on the ramp, the furniture on the hangar floor, the trolley to the turntable and some figures. Then I can mount the aircraft!

Thanks for looking.

Stevef.

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