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WW1 Aircraft Modeling => Pre and Early 1914 Aircraft Models => Topic started by: GrahamC on January 27, 2021, 12:18:04 AM

Title: Pugnacious Ponnier in 1/48 scale
Post by: GrahamC on January 27, 2021, 12:18:04 AM
My interests in model building have always been outside of the mainstream, early aviation, WW I, racers, prototypes, and early experimental jets.

I always liked the Ponnier D.III. It looked compact and purposeful, everything a purpose built racer should be.

Ponnier D.III https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ponnier_D.III (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ponnier_D.III)

(https://cdn01.hobbyphotohost.com/p?i=f5ee31db08a55b0fcb7545c51d6568dd)

Entered in the 1913 Gordon Bennett aeroplane race it placed 2nd behind Deperdussin Monocoupe averaging 198km/h over the 200km course.

Since this is my first post with an attempt at including images I will end my first post here. More to follow

cheers, Graham


Title: Re: Pugnacious Ponnier in 1/48 scale
Post by: GrahamC on January 27, 2021, 12:21:27 AM
That seemed to work OK, so onwards ...

 was fussing over whether to build yet another kit of something or spend some time on quick scratch build in 1/48 scale so I could decide whether or not I would build a more detailed version in a larger 1/32 scale and to experiment with some new building techniques.

 I found four different three view drawings all of which were different in one aspect or another. The half dozen pictures I have managed to find are not much help either. The pictures showing different features are no doubt the result of a continuous development process where changes and additions were added or removed.

I did not take much in the way of work in process photos but these show where I am at the moment.  Built mostly from 1mm plastic card. The cowl area with it's multiple compound curves was attempted first by making a form and trying thin sheet aluminum which sort of worked but I wasn't really happy with the result. After trying to smash form a plastic cowling from the same form and not being any much happier with the result, I simply filled the front are with some pieces of sheet plastic and Bondo. After many putty - sanding rounds, I finally ended with a shape and form that I felt was as correct as it was going to get.

The forward fuselage aluminum sheeting on the real aircraft was done with aluminum duct sealing tape.  A bit thicker than scale thickness but not by much but it did allow me to create overlapping seams as seen in a couple of the few pictures I was able to find.  I used a total 7 pieces of aluminum tape - one for each side, one underneath, and four in total for the top. Bottom and sides where easy but it took several tries to do the top, especially those compound curves at the front. Since there were so more differences in details between the drawings and pictures I did have to resort to a bit of creative license to decide just what looked right.

First photo shows generally where I am. The undercarriage is made from micro brass tubing and the wheels are just some generic early aviation style wheels that I cast in resin. Canadian penny for size reference.

(https://cdn01.hobbyphotohost.com/p?i=40df0bafbc721f138af9227555b4fbce)

Next two photos show the undercarriage in place with wheels and a piece of paper for the tail pieces just to try and put things into perspective.

(https://cdn01.hobbyphotohost.com/p?i=bf10e7a1bf2ab5ad7700c65e0b6851f2)

Not much to the interior cockpit area, little more than a seat and stick and of those you can only really the seat if you look close straight down as the cockpit opening is quite small.

(https://cdn01.hobbyphotohost.com/p?i=8822be289dc1932bd691bcd63f817feb)

I will be continuing with this build but only a bit at a time. I still sitting on the fence whether or not I will pursue a larger scale version but at the moment I leaning towards the no side.

 
cheers, Graham
Title: Re: Pugnacious Ponnier in 1/48 scale
Post by: Alexis on January 27, 2021, 12:41:12 AM
Must say that I have never heard of this type and not sure what to really make of it . Does seem to interesting and I will follow along as time permits . I also see you have a Canadian penny , haven't seen one of those in a very long time !  ;)


Alexis
Title: Re: Pugnacious Ponnier in 1/48 scale
Post by: Bughunter on January 27, 2021, 12:51:37 AM
Great work so far, watching! Those old racers are often very interesting.
This would be a nice addition to my recently finished Deperdussin Monocoque, also in 1/48.

Cheers,
Frank
Title: Re: Pugnacious Ponnier in 1/48 scale
Post by: RAGIII on January 27, 2021, 12:57:50 AM
An interesting and unusual aircraft. Your build thus far looks Fantastic! The compound curves on that cowling came out great.
RAGIII
Title: Re: Pugnacious Ponnier in 1/48 scale
Post by: kensar on January 27, 2021, 02:33:10 AM
Nice work, Graham.  It's typical to find differences in drawings from different sources.  In the end, you will likely have to make some informed guesses about how the plane was made.
Title: Re: Pugnacious Ponnier in 1/48 scale
Post by: ermeio on January 27, 2021, 06:42:32 AM
Excellent choice Graham!
A very nice racer
er me
Title: Re: Pugnacious Ponnier in 1/48 scale
Post by: gbrivio on January 27, 2021, 05:44:49 PM
Excellent work on sheet metal and tubing. These very early birds are always captivating subjects.
Ciao
Giuseppe
Title: Re: Pugnacious Ponnier in 1/48 scale
Post by: GrahamC on February 05, 2021, 04:08:39 AM
I also see you have a Canadian penny , haven't seen one of those in a very long time !  ;)

Alexis

Indeed, it is a long time since Canadian pennies have been seen in the wild. I have a cup full of captive pennies on my desk; maybe one day they might be worth a penny again.


cheers, Graham
Title: Re: Pugnacious Ponnier in 1/48 scale
Post by: GrahamC on February 05, 2021, 04:22:05 AM
Nice work, Graham.  It's typical to find differences in drawings from different sources.  In the end, you will likely have to make some informed guesses about how the plane was made.

Indeed, that is a big part of the interest in trying build some of the more unusual types. It requires a bit of detective work, looking and comparing to other similar types of that time period, and in the end making an educated guess.

There is a drawing of this aeroplane in Charles Mendenhall's book "The Air Racer"  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3812974-the-air-racer

It is the nicest of all the three view drawings I have encountered but also seems to be the most not quite right. Non of the drawings really seem to capture the curves that I see in few pictures that I have found so I am relying on the pictures in order to try and make my model look right.

All in all, the Mendenhall book is not a bad reference and has some other similar time period types like Nieuports, Sopwiths, Hanriots, etc and if this build turns out OK then I might just have to try my hand at one or another of the early racers.

cheers, Graham




Title: Re: Pugnacious Ponnier in 1/48 scale
Post by: GrahamC on February 08, 2021, 04:28:13 AM
Found a few hours this week to tinker away on this build and worked on a start of the engine and a petrol cap.

Many of the Gordon Bennett racers in 1913 used the Gnome Lambda Lambda 14 cylinder engine for power. Motorenfabrik Oberursel built a copy of the Gnome Lambda Lambda designated as the U.III (160 hp). Small Stuff Models has fabulous 1/72 and 1/48 resin kits of the U.III

https://www.smallstuffmodels.com/p/products.html#!/1-48-Gnome-14-Lambda-Lambda-Oberursel-U-III-160-hp-Engine/p/57124360/category=13154092

I have one in 1/48 scale but wanted to use it in a different build.

So, after digging through the spares box and giving it some thought and at first thinking I might just get away with putting an Eduard 1/48 9 cylinder lump under that big cowl and that would be good enough; after all, only about 40% of the engine will be visible and unless I said something then most would not even be aware or notice the difference.

Trouble is, I would know.  The idea was to try and build something that was representative of a 14 cylinder Lambda Lambda but without getting to carried away.  It is always a struggle to find that happy median between too little detail and too much.

(https://cdn01.hobbyphotohost.com/p?i=d50ab6af629324ca70ba6bcbe26f80c4)

While fiddling with that 1/48 Eduard 9 cylinder lump the light bulb came on - cut off 8 of those existing cylinders and re-position them so the end result was two rows of 7 cylinders but since I really needed half an engine due to only 40% being visible, I ended up with half a 14 cylinder engine with 7 cylinders. I added a bit of extra detail to the cylinder heads and to the front of the crankcase to add some more dimension.

Yet to do is add the push rods and rocker arms. I scoured my collection of photo etch bits and pieces but failed to find anything close in size of shape to the Lambda Lambda rocker arms. Yet to do is add the push rods and rocker arms but I haven't yet decided what to use for the rocker arms. My goal was to create something representative of the Lambda Lambda so I will likely use the KISS approach ( Keep It Simple Stupid ).

(https://cdn01.hobbyphotohost.com/p?i=6174b40ad1b88e82497714f958811588)

In a couple of pictures of the Ponnier D.III it is obvious that there is some sort of cap on the top side of the cowl forward of the cockpit. Best guess it is a cap for the petrol tank but it is difficult to judge the shape or size.  I made something out of brass rod on my little makeshift lathe that looks the part of a petrol cap

Start:

(https://cdn01.hobbyphotohost.com/p?i=ef402afebf779ec13659b50d2dd19bb3)

and done:

(https://cdn01.hobbyphotohost.com/p?i=d1c84b3b04645a49ee9aa03d3e2a3cad)

For what started with the intention of being a quick simple build it has evolved into something a bit more. Still haven't decided how I will make the wings but before I get there I will tackle the tail feathers.

cheers, Graham





Title: Re: Pugnacious Ponnier in 1/48 scale
Post by: RAGIII on February 08, 2021, 05:07:09 AM
Excellent work on the engine to date!  That fuel cap is awesome!!
RAGIII
Title: Re: Pugnacious Ponnier in 1/48 scale
Post by: Bughunter on February 09, 2021, 06:57:57 AM
Many of the Gordon Bennett racers in 1913 used that double rotary engine?
I put the Small Stuff one in the Monocoque, even it is only hardly visible (and some told me to not do so).
A real brass fuel cap is always a nice add on :)

Cheers,
Frank
Title: Re: Pugnacious Ponnier in 1/48 scale
Post by: GrahamC on February 09, 2021, 10:30:29 AM
Many of the Gordon Bennett racers in 1913 used that double rotary engine?

My statement was very simplified. the Wikipedia page that has some details on the Gordon Bennett races

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gordon_Bennett_Trophy_(aeroplanes)

lists four entries for 1913 three of which were Deperdussin Monocoque's and the Ponnier D.III all of which are noted using the Lambda Lambda engine.

So, I guess I should have more correctly stated "All" rather than "Many".

I am sure you are well aware of these details having done the research for your Monocoque build.

Interestingly, there was an entry in 1912 designed for Rene Hanriot by Alfred Pagny  previously with the Nieuport firm which was denoted as the Hanriot D.I and later on as the Ponnier D.I. This aircraft was powered by the Gnome 50hp 7 cylinder engine and was the predecessor of the Ponnier D.III.

The undercarriage of the D.I is quite different to the D.III and reminds me of the undercarriage seen on early Nieuport monoplanes.

I have only been able to find a half dozen or so pictures of these Hanriot / Ponnier aeroplanes. It is easy to see the family resemblance and some of the pictures noted as being for the D.III may just variations of the D.I as the designer refined design.

In the Mendenhall Air Racer book there are also drawings of the Deperdussin and the earlier Hanriot D.I and a Nieuport racer of the same era. And, as an example of the conflicting details about these early aeroplanes, the Air Racer book drawing for the Hanriot D.I notes the power plant as a 14 cylinder Gnome engine of 100 hp and for the Nieuport a power plant of 100 horse power 7 cylinder Gnome.

The Nieuport Monoplane of the 1912 race is interesting and may be a good choice for a build.

Here is a link to an interesting newspaper report in the Chicago Tribune in 1912 about the 1912 race:

https://chicagology.com/transportation/1912gordonbennett/

A part of which is this cute cartoon:

(https://cdn01.hobbyphotohost.com/p?i=84b62259b38cf1b62aafa3a274818d71)

Half the fun of building these types where there is not so much information available. The research, chasing down those elusive bits of information and just when you think you it all figured out reasonably well, along comes some other bit which just doesn't quite fit.

cheers, Graham
Title: Re: Pugnacious Ponnier in 1/48 scale
Post by: GrahamC on February 11, 2021, 05:58:47 AM
A quick update for today.

 

After a bit of fussing over how to make rocker arms for my half a 14 cylinder Gnome Lambda Lambda I decided to use some 0.020 x 0.020 ( 0.5mm x 0.5mm ) square plastic rod carefully trimmed to add a bit of dimension to represent the rocker arms.

I have one of Small Stuff Models fabulous 1/48 scale Gnome Lambda Lambda / Oberursel engines.
 
https://www.smallstuffmodels.com/p/products.html#!/1-48-Gnome-14-Lambda-Lambda-Oberursel-U-III-160-hp-Engine/p/57124360/category=13154092

I spend much time studying the pushrods and rocker arms in this kit thinking of ways I could make something similar or even make a casting of the kit parts.  In the end my realization was that making such a mold and casting my own was beyond my current level of ability hence my fall back to something more simple as noted above. 

The push rods are made from #00 insect pins about 0.010" dia (0.25mm) and the tiny sleeves at the bottom of the pushrods are made from 0.5mm Albion metals micro brass tube. After putting everything together and looking at the picture of the engine I must admit that the 0.5mm tubing is on the large size and a bit too long. Something smaller would have been more appropriate.

 (https://cdn01.hobbyphotohost.com/p?i=947d22b065cd632c8475c8c2b09e1982)

Tomorrow after a bit more trimming and fussing and I will start painting the engine and then I can get a start on the tail feathers.

 

cheers, Graham
Title: Re: Pugnacious Ponnier in 1/48 scale
Post by: Bughunter on February 11, 2021, 07:56:40 AM
Well done ...

A nice thing about Small Stuff engines is that the kits have more of those small parts as needed. If you build some of them carefully, you have parts for other projects. Many of the parts are designed in a way, that they can used on more then one kit.
I used for example spare push rods (resin) on the Siemens-Schuckert resin engine made by Eduard 8)

Cheers,
Frank
Title: Re: Pugnacious Ponnier in 1/48 scale
Post by: Alexis on February 11, 2021, 11:52:12 AM
Nice work on fitting the engine with a bit of extra details  :)


Alexis
Title: Re: Pugnacious Ponnier in 1/48 scale
Post by: GrahamC on February 12, 2021, 01:05:40 AM
Well done ...

A nice thing about Small Stuff engines is that the kits have more of those small parts as needed. If you build some of them carefully, you have parts for other projects. Many of the parts are designed in a way, that they can used on more then one kit.
I used for example spare push rods (resin) on the Siemens-Schuckert resin engine made by Eduard 8)

Cheers,
Frank

I am very impressed with the Small Stuff model engine kits, and they in themselves are indeed stand alone kits. They are very generous in providing extra bits that could be easily messed up or lost during a build and also makes for ease in casting common parts. I have a small bag of extra Small Stuff bits in my greeblie widget box from other engines and builds, just didn't have enough suitable bits for this one.


cheers, Graham
Title: Re: Pugnacious Ponnier in 1/48 scale
Post by: Radarman on February 12, 2021, 01:20:09 AM
Splendid work, Graham. Very convincing.

                                             Kevin
Title: Re: Pugnacious Ponnier in 1/48 scale
Post by: RAGIII on February 13, 2021, 01:21:16 AM
The push rods and rocker arms look excellent. Well done!
RAGIII