Scratch build partial stripdown Vickers FB 5 Gunbus 1/32 scale

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3 weeks 5 days ago #222 by Stevef
Evening All,


Thanks Clive for your kind comment: I will do my best to finish this before the club Open Day, but the rate of progress is such that at the moment I am not sure when I am going to complete this one. It is certainly my longest single build since I restarted modelling about 6 years ago.

Here is another update but not quite as I had planned as I have still to put the top wing into place. I am working on this but before I could do so I found that I really needed to add most of the remaining details to the cockpits and finish off some other items, so this is a short summary of those aspects of the build.


First I had to add the spars to the horizontal tail unit and paint the whole. This is because I may have to add this when I put the top wing on: it is all about getting alignments correct as I will explain later. Anyway here is the completed horizontal tail section with the spars: the ribs will be added after this has been attached to the wing and port (left) upper boom and rudder post.





The holes in the spars are where the port boom and a bracing strut will be inserted later.


I added the control column to the pilot's cockpit and have cut two horns for the elevator, but not added the latter yet as they are very likely to be knocked and damaged if I do. I have also made a seat cushion for the pilot from resin and added this and the seat belts before putting the seat into the cockpit - I am not sure whether I could do this with the top wing in place.





The wheel on the left of the image above is for the gun mount. Early gunbuses had a curved mounting with a bracket and short post for a Vickers m/g: this was moved by turning a wheel which engeged with a toothed mechanism which in turn moved the gun from side to side. The front bracket on which the gun mounting was fitted looked like this:








This was painted and then fixed in the nose with two support pillars from brass rod. Then the nose area was rigged:





I also added the port (left) side panel to the pilot's cockpit. The outside of this will be seen so I fitted the fuel pipes and a fine adjustment valve; again these had been left off for as long as possible so that I did not knock them off or damage them when handling the model.





I have been painting the fin and rudder while all of this has been going on, together with trying out various ideas for a jig with which I can fit the top wing. I am hoping that having cleared away all of these fiddly bits I can now proceed with turning this monoplane into a true biplane, and be hopeful that I am not going to knock anything off or find that I still need to add some fine details in a wholy inaccessible place in the future. If all goes according to plan my next post will show the top wing and booms in position and the jig that I will have used to get them there.


Thanks for looking.

Stevef.

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1 week 6 days ago #223 by Stevef
Evening All,

Well I have got there at last - I now have a pusher biplane in 1/32 scale....well almost! Actually I have a nacelle, two booms and two wings and struts, but not all of the struts are in place yet. However I consider that I have taken a big step forwards in this project and am hoping that I now do not drop it or cause damage in some other way. There are still lots of challenges ahead, not least the rigging, but I will deal with those later. In the meantime I am enjoying the moment.

First I painted the serial and added a Union flag transfer to the rudder, but because it is half of the structure, the serial and Union flag will be visible as shadows on the reverse side so I painted the serial in reverse and put on a Union flag in the respective places before painting over with several thin coats of paint. The serial was hand painted as I could not find a suitable font to print from.





To complete both the rudder and fin I added the ribs from 10 x 30 thou strip on the inside surfaces:



I then realised that I had overloked the roundel on the top wing! This was printed and added and a shadow roundel painted on the undersurface of the wing. I only paint using a hairy stick, so the shadow effect was achieved in the same way as the serial by painting the base colours with thinned acrylic paint and then overpainting with several thinned coats of CDL until I had something that looks vaguely like a shadow:



Now I could set up the jig ready to put on the top wing. I model on a shoestring and small tray so making a suitable jig required some thought. I settled on this design:



which consists of a piece of wood which I found in my garage and was originally intended to be used as part of the base for the Dornier Flying boat that I scratch built last year, with 4 nails driven in to hold the lower wings rigid. Two supports for the ends of the wing were cut from cardboard. These latter went through several variants before I found a shape that would hold the top wing in place and not allow it to move about while I fitted the struts - these supports were used at each tip of the wings and a small piece of scrap plastic was placed to hold the trailing edge of the solid wing at the correct height:

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1 week 6 days ago #224 by Stevef
After many trials and failures I managed to get this highly sophisticated and expensive piece of equipment to work i.e. I was able to start to add the struts to the wings so that they were square and properly upright. I had already drilled holes in the wings to take small wire pins on the ends of the struts. The struts were carved from basswood strip because this is more rigid than plastic, but I painted them with Revell Ocker because I could not find a suitable woodstain that woud give me the correct colour for varnished pine. I also only used pins on one end of the struts because otherwise I could not get them into the holes in the wings. All is held together with CA which is strong enough to hold things together until I can add some rigging and thus strengthen the whole structure. The port (left) side struts were added first as these were easier to reach:



and here you can see the full jig in action:



The starboard (right) side was also added more easily than I had anticipated and the completed structure could then be lifted out of the wood jig:











I am rather keen to tie up and secure a lot of those threads because they keep getting in the way, but I am hoping that when in place they will provide extra strength for what is still a rather fragile structure. I have decided to defer adding the remaining booms and tail structure until I have rigged the wings because of the strength problem and also because of the need to be able to get into awkward places. Consequently it may be a little time before I return with the next update: this is only the second time that I have rigged a biplane model with thread and so this is yet another of those steep learning curves which I keep having to climb.

Thanks for looking.

Stevef.

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