Author Topic: Blériot XI-2 in 1:72 - new post of an older build.....  (Read 2564 times)

Offline IanB

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Blériot XI-2 in 1:72 - new post of an older build.....
« on: July 04, 2013, 12:10:02 AM »
Hi all,
I just realised yesterday when looking at another scratchbuild on here that I hadn't posted my Blériot. So for those that may have missed it, here is the build. It won a Silver Medal in Scratchbuilt open class, and Best WWI Aircraft, at the Chicopee, Massachusetts IPMS meet earlier this year......

 I started with an Eastern Express Blériot XI kit, thinking it would be an interesting addition and knowing I'd have to do a fair bit of work to it....how much? Let's just say the kit is a horrible waste of good plastic! Upon opening the box I realised I'd have to scratchbuild the fuselage - the kit one looks as though it's made of scaffold planks and 4x4! I started thinning the wings, then I got my copy of the Datafile and realised that not only were the wings too thick, they were too short spanwise, and too narrow chordwise - good job Eastern Express!!

 Oh well, by now I'd become sufficiently interested so came to the obvious conclusion - to scratchbuild the whole thing...something I'd never attempted before! I decided to build the aircraft on display at the Italian Air Force Museum as I liked the more colourful appearance.  This post was originally done in December 2011 so the present tense needs to be changed to past.....hope you enjoy it!










 The wings are from one piece of plastic sheet, carefully bent for the shape, sanded for the profile and ribs added from strip. I still have to add rib and spar pre-shading (something else I've never done before). Tail surfaces similarly made.





The fuselage got me thinking - how to build it and rig it by pre-drilling without making it all too weak. In the end, I built up the fuselage sides and pre-drilled them, (from underneath and the top, either side of the vertical supports, for the side bracing, and from the side, through the vertical supports, for the cross fuselage bracing). I then cut the upper and lower cross-members, pre-drilled those for the top and bottom bracing and threaded them loosely. They were then pinned to the plans in the correct positions, ensuring I gave one twist between each to cross the bracing wires, and the fuselage sides were attached and pinned in place to dry. The wires were then pulled tight and secured once the structure had dried.







The fuel tank is in, as are the floors, firewall and bulkhead in front of the tank - the latter 2 being made form a beer can. Next up is to add the top rear section and rigging in the same way as the underside.


Thanks for your interest!

Ian
« Last Edit: July 04, 2013, 12:39:10 AM by IanB »

Offline IanB

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Re: Blériot XI-2 in 1:72 - new post of an older build.....
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2013, 12:11:08 AM »
A couple of pics to show the (somewhat slow) progress over the last week. Had a slight hiccup with the upper cross-members - I used super-glue but managed to get some on the rigging, resulting in my being unable to tighten it up. I therefore had to remove all the cross-members, remake a couple and start again. That is all now complete. I then found that I had a slight distortion to the fuselage - it was too straight on one side. To sort that out I removed the front cockpit floor, pinned the fuselage frame in place to remove the kink, then refitted the floor, hoping it would hold the frame straight. It seems to have worked!
 Today was a very productive day: seats made and painted, (rear one fitted, front will be added after the wing-warping fittings below the fuselage are done), foot plate fitted in the rear cockpit, oil and fuel header tanks made, flight controls made and fitted, upper u/c braces fitted and the final rigging completed on the fuselage underside. I now only need to add the cross-bracing and side bracing wires which will be done after the tail skid has been fitted.






 Hopefully I'll receive the engine I've ordered in the next few days and will be able to complete the forward fuselage before the New Year.
 
Ian

Offline IanB

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Re: Blériot XI-2 in 1:72 - new post of an older build.....
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2013, 12:12:44 AM »
 Just a quick update to show the progress in the last few days. Tail skid and frame for wing-warping now installed although a little more detailing still required. Finishing the fuselage rigging and the main undercarriage next....





Ian


Offline IanB

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Re: Blériot XI-2 in 1:72 - new post of an older build.....
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2013, 12:14:30 AM »
 I've finally finished rigging the fuselage (5 very small drill bits later.... >:( ) and for some reason the internal cross-bracing has sagged - I'm not sure how or if I can put it right, there isn't the space to get in there any more, but I'll see what I can do. It's actually not too noticeable due to all the other bracing getting in the way so I may get away with it even though I know it's there and it's very annoying.... I also got the holes in the firewall slightly miss-aligned but since it won;t be visible form the side I'm not worried about that at all. Tail skid and wing-warping assembly are rigged too. The next step is the engine, which I'm still waiting for. Then the lower undercarriage struts and rigging, followed by the tail and then the fuselage skinning on the sides and underside, and the undercarriage legs themselves. This is proving to be much more enjoyable than I'd thought!





Happy New Year to everyone!

Ian

Offline IanB

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Re: Blériot XI-2 in 1:72 - new post of an older build.....
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2013, 12:16:06 AM »
 A little more progress over the last few days, starting to look like an aeroplane now! The rear engine mount was made up from card, and the engine modified slightly - it was actually a little too big (maybe due to my choice of .030 instead of .020 for the frame) so I nipped the ends off the cylinders and added a small piece of brass rod to replace the rocker detail. I added a small piece to the rear as the spacer to the mounting plate and then added a further small piece behind that plate, plus the prop shaft. I've made a start on the front mountin bracket - that's going to be a pain - I've decided to go about it by making up the centre piece and thrust bearing and attaching those to the prop shaft, I'll then add the radial supports one at a time and hope I can achieve the correct look! The "fabric" under the observer's cockpit is on as is the aluminiuim pan under the forward fuselage - this latter being made from a beer can and shaped by rubbing it with the handle of a small pair of bathroom scissors to get the correct bend in it. The front part was done with a ball point pen to get a tighter curve. This is my first attempt at bending metal and I'm VERY pleased with how it's turned out - I'm looking forward a little more to doing the upper decking and engine side cowlings now!
 I've also attached the elevator and rudder control wires as they exit from under the floor and needed to be in place first (I'll figure out the final run of these later) and the fuel and oil header tanks just behind the firewall.








Ian

Offline IanB

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Re: Blériot XI-2 in 1:72 - new post of an older build.....
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2013, 12:17:27 AM »
 Here's the latest update...The front engine mount is completed and I'm very happy with the result. I used brass rod and Mr Surface to get the curves at the ends of the rods. A little time consuming but pretty simple and painless! Bodywork is also completed as of today, just a little more tidying up to do on the joints. Unfortunately I didn't get rid of the kink in the fuselage as I'd hoped - the bottom is fine but the top is very slightly off. I even re-rigged part of the upper fuselage hoping to pull it straight but it hasn't worked. It's only really noticeable when viewed from directly above but I know it's there...oh well, nothing to be done now. ...









Ian

Offline IanB

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Re: Blériot XI-2 in 1:72 - new post of an older build.....
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2013, 12:18:38 AM »
It's finally starting to look like a Bleriot!
 Fuselage panelling is now finished and painted, the cockpit combing is done and I've made a start on the main undercarriage...a rather daunting task I must admit! I've also managed to complete design and printing of the decals - that took a whole day as I haven't a clue how to use GIMP (similar to photobucket but free) and I couldn't transfer what I'd done to my decal program so I had to print the two eagle motifs for the tail one at a time! Anyway, finally got it all done and I'm pleased with the results.
 I've also started on the wings and tail with the pre-shading and painting.











Ian


Offline IanB

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Re: Blériot XI-2 in 1:72 - new post of an older build.....
« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2013, 12:20:15 AM »
Hi all, hope you've all had a productive week!
 Mine was spent going cross-eyed - I've been working on the landing gear. The basic structure is all done and rigged and I've made and fitted the bungees. Each of these consists of two pieces of fishing line of 4mm length, the ends dipped in CA to hold them together, and a 4mm piece of thinner (.005") fishing line added to each end as the spring attachments. I'm pleased with them! A little bit of brass paint for the crimps and voila!
 
 







 Now for the real tough bit - the wheels and axle arrangements.....

Ian

Offline IanB

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Re: Blériot XI-2 in 1:72 - new post of an older build.....
« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2013, 12:21:19 AM »
 Hi all,
 I didn't update last week because I stripped the wings and started again - I wasn't happy with the batons on the upper surface. To be honest, I'm still not 100% but can't decide whether to strip them again, try to adjust the 3 or 4 that are off, or leave them be....
 Other than that, the tail is nearly done, just a bit of rigging to be finished off. The decals are all done, including the SIT logo on the cowling. I nearly had a huge setback on the tail when giving it a dullcote - the green is Tamiya Acrylic, the rest is enamel and I used a lacquer! Lesson learnt, I caught it before it ruined everything! Needless to say I now have Acrylic gloss and dull coats!







 Any comments on the wings would be welcome, the questionable one is the right wing, the centre 3 or 4 batons at the leading edge.

Ian

Offline IanB

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Re: Blériot XI-2 in 1:72 - new post of an older build.....
« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2013, 12:22:51 AM »
Hi all...
  I decided to replace about 6 of the "batons" on the right wing - much happier now!

 The tail is now finished apart from a little touch-up required where I used lacquer clear coat over acrylic and it smeared a little. Landing gear is proving a bear - just trying to get the struts to actually stick in the right place and stay there! Hopefully that has now been achieved, although because I used brass rod they will need a little touching up - I hope they stay on while I do that! I have also built up the wheels, which I "pinched" from a Meikraft Albatros in my stash (that won't be needing wires!). They were VERY fiddly but I'm very happy with the result, they really look the part!
 On the home stretch now - once I get the wheel assembly finished it's time to make up a jig for the wings, fit and rig them and that's pretty much it!











Ian

Offline IanB

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Re: Blériot XI-2 in 1:72 - new post of an older build.....
« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2013, 12:23:43 AM »
Well, she's on her wheels! Got to redrill the rigging holes in the main struts (hopefully without breaking anything off!) and figure out a way to replicate the looped wires on the wheel bracing, but I'm VERY pleased with the way she's looking so far (in fact I can't stop grinning when I look at her - never in a million years thought I'd be able to pull this off!)







Ian

Offline IanB

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Re: Blériot XI-2 in 1:72 - new post of an older build.....
« Reply #11 on: July 04, 2013, 12:24:52 AM »
Hi all,
 On the homestretch now!
 I still wasn't happy with the wing batons, so I removed all the fishing line I'd used to represent it. Since I'd painted over it, this left two very small ridges either side - a little gentle sanding and a touch up on the paint and I am now happy with the batons being visible but not obtrusive, a little more to scale! The fuel primer and air-driven pressure pump have been made and fitted, and I managed to come up with a method of using the Aeroclub jig for a monoplane and have now attached (hopefully permanently!) the wings. I did have to rerig one side of the tail as I managed to loosen the rigging line while removing the batons.
 I've also experimented with a little weathering, using artists acrylics brushed on as a wash and dabbed off with a paper towel - quite pleased with the result for a first attempt.







Hopefully the next update will see my first scratchbuild complete!
Thanks for looking in,

Ian

Offline IanB

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Re: Blériot XI-2 in 1:72 - new post of an older build.....
« Reply #12 on: July 04, 2013, 12:32:03 AM »
My first scratchbuild is now complete! Finished the rigging today and I'm very pleased with how it's all come together. A huge learning process, but with all the scratchbuilt interiors I've done, the basics were not too difficult. Unfortunately I managed to pull the right wing a little low while rigging but it's not too noticeable so it'll stay that way.




















Ian

Offline rhallinger

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Re: Blériot XI-2 in 1:72 - new post of an older build.....
« Reply #13 on: July 04, 2013, 03:45:04 AM »
Ian, that is an AMAZING bit of modeling, particularly in 1/72!!!  WOW!  Very well done, and thanks for sharing this build and all of your techniques.  I agree with you---much of scratchbuilding is pre-planning and thinking things through for each part and step.

Congratulations on a spectacular first scratchbuild of a classic subject.  ;D

Regards,

Bob

Offline GAJouette

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Re: Blériot XI-2 in 1:72 - new post of an older build.....
« Reply #14 on: July 04, 2013, 04:10:40 AM »
  Ian,
Congratulations my old friend on completing the finest of the Bleriot XI-2's. Outstanding scratchbuilding!Even more impressive because of your choice of scales. I hope at some point you'll produce another awesome scratchbuilt of an early aviation classic which you've shown so well that you've have the skills and craftsmanship for. Well Done My Old Friend,Well Done.
Highest Regards,
Gregory Jouette
" What Me Worry"