Radio control Models
by Paul Blakeborough

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Pfalz D.XII

Kit: Scratchbuilt (1:5)

The Model

I actually started designing and drawing this model in 1995! However I moved over to Germany from England (RAF) at that time and with all that was going on, the project suffered. I found myself building the odd smaller model and "Quicker" build to keep me flying. But from time to time the Pfalz came out of wraps and further work ensued. But since some 7-8 years have passed since then, you can tell I have been busy doing other things besides building the Pfalz. But, this year she will fly! At the stage you see her in, I am just finishing off the flying controls. I will then be finishing of the surface detail, followed by the time-consuming Lozenge camouflage scheme which will be airbrushed on.

The model is to 1/5 scale, making a wingspan of 72inches (1829mm). The engine to power her is a Laser 100 4 stroke and radio will be JR, using just 4 servo's. Construction is fairly normal, in that the wings are balsa, spruce and ply, covered in Solartex, the fuselage is made from two halves. A top and bottom crutch were joined before covering the cockpit area in thin strips of .8mm ply, to simulate the full size detail inside the cockpit. The rest was infilled with blue foam and sanded to shape before a final covering of Epoxy and Glasscloth, which when painted should simulate the full size surface detail.

So, this is where we are at the moment. I shall post further detail and photograph's as the project moves on, with the hopeful detail of flight etc.

Pfalz D XII painting starts

After much deliberation I have now chosen the colour scheme for my Pfalz. At first I was looking at the multi-coloured type of fusalage on many of the examples, but I have chosen 1416/18 of Jasta 17. Mainly because I have found at least three photograph's of the original aircraft. Standard 5 colour lozenge was used on the upper and lower main planes but the fuselage was Silbergrau from tail to just in front of the cockpit and dark blue to the radiator. The front of the fus' was white, as was the fin and rudder. There is also a band of white around the fuselage and covering most of the aircraft coding towards the rear. The lozenge will be attacked last! But the decor on the fus' is growing dayly.

Pfalz D.XII Upper Lozenge

Kit: Scratch (1:5)

Just an update to keep you WWI types intrigued..... I'm playing around with the rear controls at the moment and cockpit detail, the geometry I decided upon for the cable runs although I thought were ok, I have now found them not to be (Banging my head!) However I have a plan and time will tell. But the "Pit" detail is coming along and I've finished the Lozenge work on the upper wings. the photo's as you can see show the fruits. I'm quite pleased with the results, the upper wings are silk on tissue and the lower wings are Solartex and I found no difference with how I had to deal with them. The colours look a little light in the photos but are a touch darker in the flesh... the coating of a silk'ish fuel proofer will also darken it further. See what you think! I'm doing a "How to" on the whole lozenge job so this will be available to anyone interested in the future.

Further paintwork

Having finished my small 1/20 scale D.XII my enthusiasm to attack the lozenge work on my 1/5th scale model has greatly been enhanced. I did try to get hold of some 1/5th scale fabric already printed, but the cost was astranomical in my view, so I'm back to spraying with airbrush. Having said that I'm now into it by a week and it is very satisfying. I have ironed out small hiccups and now feel that the more visible areas can be sprayed in confidence. The lower wings are covered in Solartex and the upper in Silk on Tissue. (Experimenting) So with trepidation I chose to do the underside of the upper wings first, so any bad mistakes if not salvagable, would be mainly out of sight. Model Color acrylic paints have proved very easy to mix and once colours were tested, proved easy to spray. For stencils I made 1 for each colour (5) with the cut outs of the lozenges which make up the 21 total in each repeated pattern. A week down the line of sparetime and the first side is just about complete, however the work should speed up now.


I know.... I've not finished this one yet! I always get pulled sidways onto another model, but here goes anyway. The 1:5 scale Pfalz is on the rigging blocks and is about half rigged. I designed the model to be a strong enough flying cell with the thin cantilever wings and rigging wires in place. Neither are adequate on their own. But I keep doubting the idea...we'll see soon!

Except for the dummy Merc engine everything is finished (Rigging nearly) The photos show the Lazer 100 installation without the cowl sides in place, which are made from thickish Litho' plate and clip on with scale like fasteners.

I'm determined (Promise) to get this one finished soon, I'm out of work currently so I've no excuses really.. watch this space!

Pfalz D.XII flies

Well, I know it's been a long time waiting but I'm very pleased to say that after 15 flights she is well and truely "Wrung out" ! She first flew at the start of June. I did the first flights without the dummy Merc 180. To be honest I hadn't built it with fear that there may be a hiccup or two with the model and there may be no need to build it.... chicken I know! But you can see now that the Merc is in place and looking probably a little less oily than the real thing! Before I go onto flying.... the Merc was scratch built using moulding techniques... basically I built an Airfix kit from Fastglass resin parts moulded in Silicone. I've done an article for a UK mag for the build as it took a week or two, so I'll not go on here about it for too long. To the maiden flight and flying... The Laser 100 runs well and faultlessly, after a knee knock or too I rolled her out and pushed forward on the throttle, she was airborne without any like (At 1/3 throttle). In short a dream flight, and a pleasure to fly...which is certainly not always the case. So, a number of flights later, I'm happy to say I'm getting used to her characteristics, a little rudder coupled to right aileron....and loads of left rudder coupled to left aileron! For landing, keep the throttle a few clicks up otherwise the drag is too great to flair in. So, I'm thinking this may be the last post for this model, I'd like to think she has a long life span... for now I'm just enjoying flight by flight by flight by........

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