Kit: Phoenix (1:72)
I used the Squadron/Signal 'BE2 in Action' as my main reference. The wings are the right span but the chord is 6" overscale. The tips were sanded to match drawings, and the chord reduced before thinning the trailing edge. I added some more detail in the cockpits, and scratch-built new elevators, to match the 'BE2 in Action' drawing but kept the kit tailplane. I also made a new rudder, as the kit one was a bit small. The exhausts are bent copper wire, and remarkably the first two attempts lined up nicely.
The undercarriage assembly also went remarkably smoothly, though I ended up mounting the V-struts on the wing roots rather than the fuselage, I may have the geometry wrong somewhere, but some drawings do seem to show this.
Markings are from the kit, No. 50 was flown by Commander Samson in France and in the Dardenelles. It also took part in the Dusseldorf Zeppelin shed raid in September 1914. The colour scheme is based on a picture of No.50 at Tenedos.
Taking pictures I tried to match the picture at Tenedos, and realised the rear struts are too far back on the model. I built it to the kit drawing, the 'BE2 in Action' drawing is different, but I hadn't spotted it.
Kit: Airfix (1:72)
Built as No.8407, RNAS East Fortune Airfield East Lothian. I built it OOB, apart from filling in the hole where the Lewis gun mount is not fitted as I found a picture showing it absent. However when I searched again to download it I couldn't find it, so it's based on ephemeral evidence. I eventually found another picture, but the forward fuselage is totally obscured by the smoke from test-firing a rocket. This picture shows the wheels were CDL, that bomb racks were fitted, and that the struts were sheathed on both sides where the rockets were mounted. Bomb racks were built from plastic strip, and some touch-up painting corrected the rest.
Speculation on the web that the undersides have pronounced ribs is true, I didn't try to correct this. On the plus side there are early and late fins, and a camera.
Kit: Pegasus (1:72)
I started this alongside the Airfx BE2c, but it's a typical Pegasus kit and needs a lot more effort on the part of the modeller. I decided to build it as A2767, one of the replica aircraft that now flies in England, and like the original operates out of Stow Maries. Then I found a period photo of the original, and my model no longer looks like the replica. The picture shows the undersides were dark, with the white of the roundels also painted over. An underwing fuel tank and bomb racks were fitted, and the gun mount is different.
I copied the fuel tank from the Tom-M BE12a kit, carving a block of plastic to shape, copper wire stripped from a cable made the fuel pipe, and wire from a wire tie made the filler pipe that protrudes out from the front. The bomb racks were constructed out of plastic strip.
I decided to paint over the white of the roundels on the upper wings as well, I have no proof this was done to A2767, but photos of other night-fighters show that this was done.
The last picture is a detail shot of the nose of the replica above Stow Maries, taken during my flight in October 2016.
Kit: Libramodels Scout D (1:72)
This model represents the first Bristol Scout as it was first built. An open cowling, larger wings, and a wider undercarriage were early modifications. Strictly speaking it is not OT, as it was destroyed in the London-Paris-London air race before war was declared, but the later versions served right up until hostilities ceased.
As first built the Scout A was smaller than the later versions, so the kit wings were reduced and the narrow tailplane scratched from card. The fuselage fairing, which extended back beyond the cockpit, was made from wine bottle foil, with inscribed panel lines and rivets.
The blank front to the cowling is plastic card on the kit cowling, the prop shaft goes through the 7 cylinder Gnome engine to hold it in place. The prop itself is carved from laminated veneers to match the shape on photos.
The scratch-built instruments are speculative, but based on photos of a Scout D panel.
The most troublesome part of the build was the wheels, it's a long time since I built wire wheels, and it took five attempts before I managed to get two I was satisfied with. They are fine fishing line wound around the axle on a jig, with the wheel rims glued on from either side.
Kit: Frog (1:72)
This is the Frog Bleriot XI, I started it about 4 years ago, merely
exercise in rigging the fuselage. I later decided to finish it, using
of the wire wheels I had made. The wings and tail are the kit parts,
didn't take to much care over these, so it's far from a prize-winner.
undercarriage and tail wheel supports are made from brass rod and
string, the wheels are nylon fishing line in plastic rims/tyres. The
patterns I took from the Bleriot at the Shuttleworth Collection.
A typical Pegasus kit, lots of customising if you want. I opened out the windows, scratchbuilt some interior, and angled the flaps and elevators. The strut holes don't match between the top and bottom wings so this caused a little anguish on assembly. There are no bombs with the kit, so the bomb rack is empty for now.
Colour mixes are (approx) Beige Humbrol 94 4/1 Vallejo silver : Light green Vallejo Olive Green 4/1 light green-grey & silver : Dark green Xtracrylic XA101 RAF Dark Green & silver : Brown Vallejo 70872 Chocolate Brown with silver.
This was built when the kit was first released, many many years ago.It was finished in green and rigged with cotton thread from Mum's sewing box. I later learned that RFC green was more brown, so it was overpainted gloss brown, and some white outlines crudely drawn around the wing roundels. What a masterpiece!
Still, everyone starts somewhere, and I hope I've improved since then.
Having acquired two of these kits and met Les Cooper who mastered them, I decided to build two versions. One, the original design with an RAF 1A engine, and one with a Curtis OX-5 engine and the modifications that were introduced to make it safer to fly. Back stagger was introduced and the chord of the wings and control surfaces was reduced.
The RAF engine is a heavily modified Aeroclub part, the OX-5 (pictured) was scratchbuilt, as was the radiator.
C7863 was used for anti-submarine patrols, in this role it could carry either an observer or bombs, but not both at the same time.
Kit: Airfix (modified) (1:72)
This was an early attempt at modifying a standard kit- the Airfix DH4. The inspiration may have come from a modelling magazine, but it's so long ago I'm not sure. I can't even remember whether the new nose was made from plastic or balsa, but it is scratchbuilt- not the Blue Rider conversion kit. I am sure the radiator is balsa.
The arrow markings were hand painted - I didn't know about masking tape back then.
Kit: Maquette (1:72)
I bought this to be a quick build, but was shamed into improving the basic kit a little. I removed the 'starved cow' ribs, and scratch built a better Scarf ring, but that was about all.
The decals are from the kit, and are a bit pale.
It gets displayed with the DH4 and DH9.
Kit: Czechmaster Resin Snipe + Scratch (1:72)
When the Dragonfly engine performed it gave the Dragon outstanding performance, about 25% better than the Snipe in speed and climb rate. This model was built for our club theme for 2008 "The Name's the Same", for display with a DH Dragon Rapide, Saab Draken, and a fire-breathing dragon. It represents a machine from the first production batch. The cowling is shaped from layers of plastic sheet laminated together, the cylinder cut-outs drilled out with a dental burr to make the mounting for the cylinders. These came from a white metal radial engine from the spares box, which had plain cylinders. These were cut off the centre block and fixed into the cowling. The gear on the top is from stretched tube, with copper wire for the tubing and steel wire for the push rods. The Dragonfly engine was completed before anything else was started, just in case it didn't work out. The top of the fuselage was cut down to blend in to the cowling, and the length extended by milliput. When dry this was facetted with a knife blade to simulate the stringers. There isn't much detail inside the cockpit, just a few scratchbuilt instruments which are hardly visible. The decals are Pegasus, with the black serials and white outlines for the tail numbers. These went on surprisingly easily. The shot with the Snipe highlights the difference in the fuselage between the two types.
Kit: Scratch (1:600)
A quick build to go alongside Dave Hooper's Wingnut Wings build for display at the Fleet Air Arm Museum model show 20th Feb 2016. The display won the prize for best club display.
The hull is two pieces of plastic strip bonded together and shaped, the flying surfaces are all 0.25mm thick strip. Struts (34 in all) are stretched sprue. The engines are a bit of a cop-out, they should sit between the wings, but I've attached them directly to the underside of the top wing, saving another 8 struts!
Markings are for N4545, as shown on the cover of the datafile, drawn on with an indelible marker pen. In retrospect decal strips might have given a better result. Roundels are from the Pegasus sheet.
This model illustrates F4728 as modified in the early 20s to test the effects of different wing aspect ratios on the Bristol F2b. The model is based on one photo and some published dimensions of the wings. The Airfix fuselage is basically OOB with support struts added to the tailskid, and the exhausts modified to a short stub. Cockpit detail is as supplied, i.e. none. The cut-outs in the front legs of the undercarriage were filled, as the legs are in front of the narrow-chord wing. The 4-blade prop is made from two kit props, each slotted halfway through the hub in a lap-joint. The wings were made up from parts from two kits, with the chord reduced at the trailing edge. The wings were assembled using the Aeroclub jig, which although fiddly to set up initially, made getting all 20 struts in place relatively easy. The dials on the wings struts are painted on to clear plastic discs punched from packaging, with metal foil brackets. The foil was cut into a diamond, the centre cut out, and then folded around the strut. The serial numbers decals and most of the markings are from Pegasus sheets.
Kit: Airfix + ? (1:72)
F4360 was a second aircraft modified to test the effects of different aspect ratio wings. The fuselage and prop are identical in construction to that of the F4728 model. The wings were cut down from a 1/48th scale vacform Roland C.II kit. The ribs were made by sticking on strips of tape, painting, peeling off the tape, then repainting. The Aeroclub jig got its second outing to assemble the top wing and struts. The serial number decals caused a lot of grief, but since there are no duplicates on the Pegasus serials sheets each number and outline had to go on. I have it on good authority that the next issue of these sheets will be single scale and with duplicates.
The FK8 was contemporary with the RE8, and was highly regarded by its crews. Two pilots were awarded the VC. This is modelled as B3316, based on a photo in the datafile. B3316 had flown against against the Gotha raids in Nos 50 and 143 Sqns, and then was used in meteorological and camouflage experiments. The colour of the camouflage is conjectural.
I made all the cockpit internals from scratch, as the kit parts bear little resemblance to reality, but of course you can't see much of it once the wings are on. Apart from thinning the cowling behind the apertures the only other change to the kit was narrowing the outer struts.
A chance conversation with Colin Strachan of Freightdog revealed he had some brass etch 'AW' logos to replace the moulding on the nose, so I acquired a pair of those and some re-issued decal sheet from him. The original decal in the kit had aged somewhat, and was very fragile. The brass etch sheet also has control horns and a generator mounting bracket.
The serials are a very non-standard font, and don't appear to be white in the photo, so I hand-painted them in pale grey on some clear decal sheet.
Kit: Scratch (1:72)
This aircraft was designed by James V. Martin for the same purpose as the Port Victoria PV7 and PV8 Kittens - airship interception. It suffered from the same problems of low power, but was also grossly overweight, and although it flew it never got more than a few feet off the ground - an early but unintentional instance of wing-in-ground-effect.
The design had several unusual features, the most visible the 'K' wing struts and outboard ailerons. It also had a semi-retractable undercarriage, the wheels swung back and up into the fairings on the fuselage sides. The wheels were the Ackerman 'innerspring' design, so there was no shock absorption in the undercarriage. The tail-skid was built into the rudder! An oxygen cylinder and socket for a heated flying suit were fitted. Twin Vickers guns were intended.
The fuselage is plastic card formed onto spacers. The top decking is thin card with the stringers impressed from the reverse side with an old biro. Wings, tail and rudder are from 1mm card, the ailerons are held on by a short length of guitar string drilled into the wingtip.The wheels were made by scratching the spring hoop pattern onto clear plastic, cutting out the wheel disc, and inserting it into a rim cut from the end of plastic tube.
The engine is an M3 screw cut down, with copper wire pipes and guitar string push rods. The ventilation panels by the engine are modelled by pricking the holes with a sharp pin.
Cockpit detail is just a few scratchbuilt instruments, but it's very difficult to see them. The prop is made from two blades glued to the spinner, which was sanded down from a block.
The final picture shows the two Port Victoria Kittens.
Kit: Eastern Express (1:72)
This is the Eastern Express 1/72nd Morane Saulnier I kit. I built it
out-of-the-box. I put it together while at the Peterborough Model Show,
between manning the club table and browsing the other tables and vendor
stalls. The modelling bench was a cutting mat on my knees. Painting and
rigging was finished off at home later. This kit is really basic, there is
no cockpit detail, not even a seat.
It must be 35 years since I last built a kit in a day.
Kit: Classic planes (1:72)
This is the 1/72 scale Martinsyde Elephant vacform kit by Classic
All the cockpit interior is scratch-built except the engine and
seat. I added all the extras as there are so many holes and cooling
slot that show the interior. The radiator was made from plastic
card with net curtain material bonded on either side with CA.
The pump was turned from brass rod, the handle is turned copper
wire. Instruments were turned plastic rod handpainted. The seat
belt straps are cut from aluminium cooking dish foil
Progress on this kit stopped once the fuselage was closed up -
I found the wing chord is too narrow.
Kit: Phoenix (modified) (1:72)
This is a modified PV2bis kit, intended to show the aircraft as it was when originally built. The main changes are shortening and dropping the top wings so they sit on the fuselage, extending the length of the ailerons, and scratchbuilding the pontoon floats. All the struts were drilled out and brass rod inserted in the ends, so that the model could be assembled dry, and then glued when everything was in place. Cutting out the 'V' struts and getting the alignment correct was time-consuming.
To get the float/lower wing/fuselage alignment correct I built a jig out of scrap plastic card.
This was built in parallel with the PV2 model, using the same technique for assembling the multiplicity of struts. For both these models I tried making the instrument dials by drilling the kit panels with a flat ended dental burr, painting black, then scribing the markings and needle with a sharp point so the white shows through. This works quite well, but it doesn't show in the photos. I'm now trying the same technique on the end of plastic rod, for black and white dials.
The rib tapes are simply painted white over the first coat of CDL, the whole wing then washed over with CDL diluted with Clear.
Problems with the kit? During the build I found some drawings that show the top wing chord much deeper than the kits, but I can't find any pictures that are definitive. My gut feeling is that they are too narrow.
Kit: Scaleplanes (1:72)
One of two designs built in 1917 at the RNAS Experimental Station at Port Victoria on the Isle of Grain. The Kittens were intended to be flown off small ships such as torpedo-boat destroyers to intercept Zeppelins. Designed for the 45hp A.B.C. Gnat engine only 35hp engines were available so the Kitten was always underpowered. Pups and Camels were found to be effective, and these became the standard shipboard fighters, so the need for the Kittens disappeared.
The PV7 Grain Kitten was a tiny aeroplane, 18 ft wingspan, but even with its all-up weight of just 500lbs and its high-lift wings the ceiling was less than 12,000 ft - inadequate for its role. Additionally the Gnat was notoriously unreliable, and would rarely last a whole flight, pilots always stayed within gliding distance of the aerodrome.
This is a standard vacform kit, but its size makes it feel like you're building a 144th scale model. The engine is scratchbuilt, cut down from a machine screw, with wire for the pipework.
The second of the two designs built in 1917 at the RNAS Experimental Station at Port Victoria on the Isle of Grain. The design was started at the Test Flight at Eastchurch on the Isle of Sheppey, hence the name.
The PV8 Eastchurch Kitten was a little larger than the PV7, with 19 ft wingspan and an all-up weight of 590lbs, but its larger wing area gave it a ceiling of 15,000 ft, an extra 3,000 ft. It was a pleasant aircraft to fly, and carried twice as much fuel as the PV7. With a 45hp engine it may have made a practical anti-airship fighter.
Construction is as the PV7 Kitten model, but 5 years separated the builds. The final picture shows the two PV Kittens, and the K.III Kitten built by J.V. Martin in the USA in 1918.
Kit: Classic Plane (1:72)
I built up the fuselage a little in front of the cockpit and made a new spinner by layering sheets of plastic and sanding to shape. Otherwise it's more or less OOB as much as a vacform ever is. Engine, prop, wheels and gun came from the spares box. I cheated a little on the fuselage, the woodgrain is 1/32nd scale from Aviattic. Markings came from a bargain bundle I bought at a model show. There were no tail stripes big enough, so these were cut from an old airliner sheet.
I have to thank Dame Karen for her generous donation of the kit.
School of Special Flying, Gosport 1917, flown by Capts. H. H. Balfour and E. L. Foote
The kit was thrown together with little finesse in less than a day, prompted by conversations with Dave Lumbard, Graham James and Dave Hooper. Graham has built a black and white striped one, so this was done "to show the correct colours" :) , based on my own interpretation of the few pictures of this aircraft. Black and white is the more usual interpretation. The bottom part of the kit cowling was left off to make the horseshoe cowling of the 100hp Pup. The stripes were masked with tape sliced to width and brush-painted. The serials are handwritten.
Reasoning for the colours:
Fuselage and fin: The pale stripes match the white of the rudder stripe so I think they are white, the dark stripes could be red or black. I like red.
Undersurfaces: Under the lower wing the pale stripes are the same shade as the blue of the roundel, not the white, so I think they are blue. The dark stripes could be black, but just as easily the red of the roundel. I like red.
Top wing upper surfaces: The pale stripes match the white of the roundel so I think they are white, the dark stripes could be red or blue, it's difficult to differentiate the tones of the roundel with the stripes, but the blue looks closer, and the stripes look paler than those on the lower wing.
Lower wing upper surfaces: The dark stripes appear to match the fuselage, so red or black. I still like red.
I guessed the tailplane colours would match the lower wing.
I found this quote from "An Airman Marches", the memoirs of Balfour: "Each Flight Commander was allotted a Sopwith Pup as his private perquisite, on which he could let off steam daily and take away for week-end leave. My Pup was gaily coloured and kept in a spotless condition."
So not black and white.
My second quick build Pup, again prompted by conversations with Graham James. Again the colour scheme is based on my own interpretation of the one picture I found on the internet of this aircraft. Since you can see part of the serial on the fin, I took this to indicate the standard PC10 finish had been overpainted in white. I chose to add 5 to the visible number but it could be anything.
The patterns were marked with pencil then freehand painted in. The starved-cow ribs on the wings did not help. The undersurfaces I have left as standard clear doped linen, it's possible the pattern was repeated underneath but you can't see on the photo. The serials came from the Pegasus RFC Serials set.
If anyone has any info on the reference photo I'd be pleased to hear it.
Kit: Sierra (1:72)
This is the first Sierra vacform I've built, and it didn't live up to the standard I was expecting. The main things that gave me problems were the depth of the fuselage being much less than that of the rudder, and the engine cowlings being different sizes.
As with any vacform there's a lot of scratchbuilt detail inside the fuselage, some of which is guesswork, some done to cover the lower wing joint to the fuselage which is otherwise visible. Selecting props from the spares box I discovered either my marking out or my assembly was lacking, as the nacelles are different distances from the centre, and one prop fouls the fuselage. The strut end fairings were made by slicing off the end of some large plastic strut, stuck to the wings they were filed flat to even them up.
The R.11 has doubled flying wires that were wrapped, and I haven't worked out a method of replicating this. A certain angles these are very obvious, especially in the inner bay, so much so that the kit instructions show them as struts.
Colours mixes are as my Breguet 14.
After ScaleModelworld 2015 I thought would do a quick build of something unusual from an old Airfix RE8 kit in the stash. By chopping down the wings from the kit and some salvaged wings I could make an RE9. Unfortunately while browsing Britmodeller I found some corrections to the Airfix fuselage. Suddenly the quick build became somewhat slower. An article in Windsock provided the drawings.
Each fuselage half was cut into 5 pieces to bring the shape in line with the drawing, with various bits cut out and added in. The wings were thinned down and re-shaped, and new ribs added on the top surface only, with strips of decal. The fin and rudder are from plastic card.
Guns and Scarff ring came from the spares box.
Kit: Airfix modified (1:72)
One of my early attempts at modifying a standard kit, in this case an Airfix Avro 504K. The cowling and other special markings were handpainted, this was in those far away days before personal computers were invented to print your own transfers.
Kit: Scratch + Toko (1:72)
Sopwith 150hp Hispano Triplane N509 1916
This is a scratchbuild/conversion, based on the Toko 1-1/2 Stutter kits.
The fuselage was widened around the cockpit area with some .5mm strip, I used a single seater cockpit, but cut the rear decking off to move it back a little. Strutter kit internals were used. I scraped the edges of the top decking to make it look deeper and rounded the top front down.
The nose was cut off and built up inside with strips of plastic so that it could be rounded off to the circular cross section of the nose. The sides were built up also so the round nose could be blended back into the rectangular fuselage.
The radiator was made from two 1mm bits of sheet laminated together, one with a pre-cut 11mm dia hole. A boss was stuck in the centre as in a Spad cowling. The inside was painted black, then the grill stuck in, this made from silver painted mesh from a tea-bag.
To reduce the wing chord about 1/2mm was taken off the Strutter wing leading edges, and the rest from the trailing edges, this to preserve the false ribs. The undersides were then thinned down to suit.
The bottom wings were simply butt-jointed to the fuselage. I used the Aeroclub jig to set the stagger, initially I was going to put the middle wings on first but couldn't adjust the jig close enough, so had to fit the top wing on with the middle wings floating on the struts. Once the top wing was set, I took it out of the jig and glued the middle wings onto the wing struts by eye, then inserted the centre section struts and glued them in.
This model started life as a Sopwith
Baby, being built on the GWICC stand on the first afternoon of Scale
Modelworld 2008, and displayed on the deck of a model of HMS Engadine
on the adjacent Brampton Club stand. The dimensions were estimated by
scaling off my Baby model on the GWICC Display.
When I got home I decided to re-model
it as Schneider 1557, so it was broken up and the fuselage reshaped.
Wing struts and a prop were added from stretched sprue.
The colours are speculative, as the
reference photos are black and white. They show the wavy markings on
the wings, with early navy roundels on the undersides only. Getting
good photographs of it has probably taken as long as building it!
Photo 1 is the first build, photo 6 is some in-build shots, with a 5p piece for scale.
Kit: Scratchbuilt/Conversion (1:72)
Siddley RT1: This aircraft was designed as an improved variant of the RE8, but
only four were built, with various engine installations.
I used the 1/72nd Airfix RE8 kit as the basis for the model.
There are minor modifications to the
fuselage, to raise the gunners cockpit and rear decking. The engine cowling was
made from thick aluminium foil from a foil dish. The wings are scratch built
from 5thou plasticard, scribed gently with a metal pointer to give the ribs.
Then I folded the wing along the leading edge around a shaped plastic core to
give some strength.
Rudder, fin, and tailplanes are made from scribed plasticard. The unfinished
look? I found two roundels that were the right size for the top wing, but one
of them disintegrated when I soaked it, it was so old. Still haven't found any
more. The kit propeller is so awful I decided to find an aftermarket one, just
haven't done so yet.
Kit: Toko (1:72)
This is out of the box, in the markings of Georgi Stepanovich
Sapozhnikov of the 1st Soviet Aviatryiad. Sapozhnikov died in a
flying accident on 8 September 1920 while flying this aircraft.
The Toko kit, basically out of the box, but with the undercariage legs shortened, and cabane struts from plastic rod. I added a flat floor for the rear gunner.
The markings are from the kit, Lt Raymond Collishaw, No.3 Wing RNAS. The tail markings came from a second kit, as photos show them on the tailplanes, but there's not enough on the transfer sheet.
I'm not sure if I should have painted the cowl grey, or left it in natural metal finish, the picture I have is not conclusive. The PC10 is Humbrol No. 26 khaki, with black and blue added to darken it and add a green cast.
Kit: Scratch and ? (1:72)
This was built for my clubs 2008 annual show. It took a month, which is pretty fast for me. The fuselage was salvaged from the breakers yard, the rest is scratch-built, from plastic card.   The wing outline was taken from the book Sopwith, the Man and his Aircraft. The normal ribs were made by painting thin lines with white acrylic ink, the extra stiffening ribs in the centre are thin plastic strip glued on and then sanded down.   All the struts are plastic aerofoil section, the ends drilled with a 0.25mm drill, and guitar string inserted. I find this gives a good joint to both wing and fuselage. The pyramid is fine Strutz stock.   The axle is steel wire, angled and sat in a trench in the spreader bar to mimic the Sopwith split axle.   The instruments are scribed into the end of plastic rod before cutting off to glue to the dashboard. Serials came from the Pegasus sheet, one letter at a time.
An quick OOB build. I started it while on holiday, as something to do in the evenings. I got most of it painted, then assembled it when back home. Having assembled it I decided the green I'd used was a bit too vivid, so I overpainted it with an olive green. The scheme is based on pictures I found on the internet and text descriptions of the colours, so I may have the wrong colours in the wrong places, but it's a refreshing change from PC10. The white of the upper roundels was painted in the grey-green of the undersides, and the centre red spot darkened.
A shame the Salamander arrived too late to be tested in action.
Vickers FB19 is a 1/72nd Scaleplanes vacform, my first attempt at vacforms.
Kit: Emhar (1:72)
Russian design in service mid 1917. Emhar kit 1/72nd (nearer to 1/66th when
measured). Built straight from the box, apart from scratch-built wire wheels
and some rigging. This was the first kit I'd built after a long break, and the
first time I'd used monofilament for rigging, except for the elevator wires
which are fuse-wire. The monofilament was a success, although two flying wires
have sagged with age and handling. For the first time I tried to put some
laminations into the propeller. I used Games Workshop red glaze to give a red
tint to the Kleer topcoat.
The Belgians had a few BE2cs, which they improved by fitting a 150hp Hispano Suiza engine, and reversing the cockpit positions so the pilot sat in front. The rear cockpit was fitted with a gun ring, both Scarff and French Eteve types were used. I found a few pictures and based this model on a clear-doped one that was fitted with a Scarff ring. Most had the early fin, so that's what I've used.
The new nose is built up around the kit nose with thin plastic card, using an Airfix SPAD 7 radiator. Both cockpits have been enlarged, and the seating and controls moved around.
The relatively crude armouring of the BE2c added 455lb to the weight of the aircraft, which meant it had to be flown as a single-seater. It is thought about 15 aircraft were modified this way.
This is a fairly simple modification to the Airfix BE2c, based on one picture of 2028. I rounded the trailing edge of the centre-section, and built a box of armour plate for the cockpit and engine from 0.2mm thick sheet. The photo doesn't show any armament, so I mounted a Lewis gun fixed to fire down alongside the fuselage just under the prop arc, based on the quote in Bruce "one in No. 15 Sqn, over three months of battle of the Somme used for ground strafing, had 80 wings replaced, plus other components"
The kit comes with a set of very pale roundels, I used some of these under the top wing, overcoated with CDL, to give that see-through effect when viewed from underneath. Unfortunately the photoshopped image on the sky background didn't take kindly to the size reduction process.
The Triplane was designed and built in 1914, though Bezobrazov was sent to the front before it was finished, and so was test flown initially by F.E. Mosca, in Moscow. Bezobrazov was seriously wounded in December 1914, and returned to continue development of the aircraft at Sevastopol. Back in Moscow in August 1915 undercarriage failure caused a crash which needed extensive repairs. The aircraft was last recorded in 1917.
I started out by building the fuselage, as I expected that to be the most difficult part. Sure enough, the first attempt came out too deep, so I cut a few mm off the bottom and re-skinned it. The curved decking went on next, then I realised I hadn't put any cockpit detail in, so I scratched a few instruments from plastic rod and added a seat. The cowling was made by heating and bending some plastic strip into shape, then adding the front face from card before sanding down.
The undercarriage came next, made from strut with some white metal wheels.
The wings were shaped from plasticard, and drilled through with guitar string for the rigging holes. The struts were shaped from 2x1mm plastic strip, and holes cut through the middle wing ready to pass the struts through. Then I put together the pyramid cabane and the rear wing support.
The middle wing was butt-jointed to the sides of the cockpit, then rigged with fishing line to hold in place. One length was taken round from the undercarriage, through the wing, over the pyramid, down through the opposite wing, back through the u/c, then all round again to finish at the u/c. It was glued at the wings but not at the u/c , as the other wing rigging needed to come through here later. This rigging IS structural.
Next wing on was the rear one, for this I glued it to the centre support, slid the struts through the middle wing and glued them in place. After setting the top wing in place I finished the main rigging to hold everything in place.
Finally the tail and wing skids, tail, engine and prop were added, before painting.
I don't think the strut angle has turned out right, the rear wing support is probably the cause, setting the wing too low.
Kit: Revell (1:72)
An OOB model with markings from the Alley Cat Shuttleworth decal sheet. Built for my club theme.
HP O/100 and O/400: These are both the 1/72nd Airfix kit. The O/400 is OOB. The
O/100 has scratch built engine nacelles and the interplane struts altered to
suit at the rear of the nacelle. The full chord roundels were handpainted.
These were built sometime around 1968-69.
Kit: Aeroclub (1:72)
This is No.842, the first aircraft to launch a torpedo attack on a ship. It was built as part of the 1915 Group Build for the IPMS(UK) Great War SIG. The kit is plastic with white metal struts and detail parts.
I added some extra cockpit detail based on the fuselage remains at the Fleet Air Arm Museum, otherwise it's mostly OOB. The wings were rigged with EZline. Fairly straightforward except for the outer bay. Here the flying wires are crossed, and the landing wires are pulled up to miss the tailplane when the wings fold. These were done by glueing a short piece of stretched sprue to the top strut, a dab of CA glue on the end and the EZline wired touched on. Studying the photos it appears at least some (maybe all?) were rigged in the outer bay with the kinked landing wires crossed over the same as the flying wires. A long discussion on the mailing list revealed that Hendon had a sketch that showed them crossed.
I've now realised that the ailerons on the lower wing are also wrong, they should be shorter than those on the upper wing.
The floats were painted CDL, drybrushed in chestnut, then coated with red wash in Future. One of the white metal arched struts between the floats broke, and was replaced from a second kit. The four main float struts are white metal as well. After assembly to the fuselage I found that one of the legs has a crack in it, and may well break completely under any stress. So far the CA glue repair is holding. The 5th and 6th struts were made from kit-supplied strip, the V-struts for the torpedo support came from stock.
The torpedo was made from plastic tube with some rod at the ends. When I came to fit it I found that it sat too low down at the rear so I had to adjust the front and rear fixings to get it to sit right. I think the problem is partly due to the 'hump' in the cross-struts being too shallow.
I keep thinking it ought to be in a diorama like these on Hyperscale, but it's beyond my capabilities.
http://hsfeatures.com/features04/short184jf_1.htm and http://hsfeatures.com/features04/short184jf_2.htm
This aircraft was designed as an improved variant of the RE8, but
only four were built, with various engine installations. I used the 1/72nd
Airfix RE8 kit as the basis for the model. There are minor modifications to the
fuselage, to raise the gunners cockpit and rear decking. The engine cowling was
made from thick aluminium foil from a foil dish. The wings are scratch built
from 5 thou plasticard, scribed gently with a metal pointer to give the ribs.
Then I folded the wing along the leading edge around a shaped plastic core to
give some strength. It was only after the model was almost finished that I
realised that the ribs on the undersurfaces should be different to take account
of the curvature. Rudder, fin, and tailplanes are made from scribed plasticard.