Author Topic: DRACHENBALLON  (Read 3102 times)

Offline Dirigible-Al

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Re: DRACHENBALLON
« Reply #15 on: July 18, 2014, 03:13:22 AM »
Hello Rick, Lone Modeller, Des, Terri, Lindsay, Old Man, Nigel and Mark and thanks for your comments. I still have 2 of your buckles left Bob. It is 1/72 scale Squiffy, I would have loved to build it in 1/48 but because most other LTA stuff is huge I made a decision to do them all in the same scale. Hi Bud, the 1/144 stuff is really interesting especially the AP Balloon as some of them were motorised so you could make a dirigible out of their kit.

I hoped to post the build of the steering bag but completely cocked it up and will have to do it again. I was a bit over zealous on the sanding. Should get it done in the next few days.

Cheers, Alan.

Offline ALBATROS1234

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Re: DRACHENBALLON
« Reply #16 on: July 18, 2014, 01:19:08 PM »
i saw a 1/72 vacuform drachen on ebay i forget what company, i lost the bid war. this is a neat subject. i remember when you hung the be2 fuselage on a dirigible a while back. i think roseplane made it.

Offline Ernie

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Re: DRACHENBALLON
« Reply #17 on: July 18, 2014, 09:32:40 PM »
Welcome to the forum, Alan.  Thank you for sharing the build
of a really unusual subject.  Very interesting and enjoyable to follow.

Cheers,
Ernie :)
...What could possibly go wrong?

Offline Dirigible-Al

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Re: DRACHENBALLON
« Reply #18 on: September 17, 2014, 05:01:44 PM »
Hi All

I have been dragging my heels a bit on this one because it is now autumn in Europe and that means lots of fruit and berries everywhere. Fruit and berries make wine and cider and although making it is a bit of a chore drinking it when it is done is the opposite (although drinking it AND making aircraft at the same time is not recommended).

I took a little longer to get this far anyway because of the mandatory cock ups that are made when you do something for the first time. If I had decided to make the steering bag out of cardboard discs and glue paper around it I would have finished ages ago but I am determined to make as much of this as I can out of the dense foam because I am still experimenting/learning on how to use this and what I learn now will be of use in future projects.

The first thing I did was make a sanding tool out of cardboard the same diameter as my plans. I drew a two dimensional shape on the foam sheet and ground out the curved outline with the sheet in one hand and the tool in another. I then flipped it over and did the other side. This method seemed fool proof but it did not work for some reason and the steering bag looked like it had an unhealthy dose of Blackberry grog. To make this fool proof and 100% accurate I made a cardboard pattern of the steering bag. I placed the pattern on the dense foam and cut around it with a hacksaw file used for cutting tiles, and run a round file over the edges to make it plush with the flat sides. I made another ‘U’ shaped sanding tool for the steering bag with the non sanding arms the same length as the pattern side’s height and the sanding part (bottom of the ‘U’) a semi circle so as to cut a profile half of the steering bag. The idea is when the ‘U’ tool touches the glass table on which they both rest the exact amount would have been sanded off.  THIS WAS EASY! I ended up with two perfect halves and a semi sphere I cut with the drill and another ‘U’ shaped tool for the top of the bag. It fitted perfectly but somehow looked wrong. After looking at the plans, looking at the model, looking at archive pictures, looking at the plans, looking at the model, looking at archive pictures, looking at the plans… you get it, I came to the conclusion the plans are wrong and the steering bag was too small. I guestimated the correct size of the steering bag and did what has been previously explained all over again. This time it looks right. The irony is I have used more foam making this steering bag than the envelope, that said if I ever make anything like this again I now know the best way to do it.

I just need to shape it now, similar to how the envelope has been done. Another small mistake I have made is the metal rod running thru the middle would have been better left sticking out the back so I can attach the steering bag firmly to it; instead I sawed it off flush with the envelope. Fortunately the rod is hollow, I will now most probable have to go hunting around for another smaller hollow rod that fits inside the original one to extend it.

Thanks for looking in, Alan.

Offline Jamo

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Re: DRACHENBALLON
« Reply #19 on: September 17, 2014, 05:16:37 PM »
What a fascinating model! Thanks for taking the time to photograph your project and share with us.

Here is an image of a contemporary poster to celebrate your work



Cheers
James

Offline Flugzeugwerke

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Re: DRACHENBALLON
« Reply #20 on: September 17, 2014, 09:07:06 PM »
Very interesting and ingenious workflow Al. Nice.

Offline Squiffy

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Re: DRACHENBALLON
« Reply #21 on: September 17, 2014, 09:30:39 PM »
Hello, Al. Could you please give us the dimensions of this balloon, and any other types you may have the information on?
I would like to have a go at making one or two.

Thanks

Offline lone modeller

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Re: DRACHENBALLON
« Reply #22 on: September 18, 2014, 03:02:24 AM »
What a fascinating and unusual model. Very interesting reading your construction notes….and glad to read that others have their problems when experimenting with new ideas! It looks a though it will be an outstanding model when it ids complete.

Offline radio

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Re: DRACHENBALLON
« Reply #23 on: September 18, 2014, 03:33:19 AM »
An exeptional great build.
Martin

Offline RAGIII

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Re: DRACHENBALLON
« Reply #24 on: September 18, 2014, 11:11:27 AM »
Looking great! But then again having followed your last project I was expecting your talent to show through again  ;D
RAGIII
"A man has to know his limitations": Harry Callahan

"Don't slop it on" Lynda Geisler

Offline davecww1

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Re: DRACHENBALLON
« Reply #25 on: September 22, 2014, 03:40:17 AM »
Alan, looking great, would have loved to see one in 1/48 scale but your job in 1/72 scale is very nice.  By the way there were two 1/72 scale vacuform kits made in the early 1990's? by Rosemont Hobbies.  The Drachen and Caquot.  Of course they are no longer available unless someone is selling them at a show or on ebay.
Dave

Offline Dirigible-Al

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Re: DRACHENBALLON
« Reply #26 on: September 23, 2014, 03:45:32 AM »
Thanks for the picture James, it shows how big these things are when you see the people in front of it. Thanks for your comments Bo, Martin and Rick. As for the problems Lone Modeller, if this was really simple it would not be challenging or fun. I do remember seeing a vac many years ago, It must have been one of the Rosemount ones you mentioned Dave but the sickening thing was I had no interest in buying it at the time. The decision to make all LTA stuff in 1/72 was a really painful one because all my other stuff is in 1/48. I would have got away with 1/48 so far but if I make any of the larger blimps then this scale will be completely impractical, as for a Zeppelin it would be impossible unless I move house. I would like all the LTA stuff to be in the same scale. Squiffy, the dimensions of the envelope are 90mm x 337mm and the steering bag is 40mm although the plans have it at 38mm wide. I cut the ‘J’ shaped guide at 43mm wide knowing that 2mm would come off when it is sanded and I will probably loose another 1mm when I do the finishing touches. I would now have difficulty getting more plans because I only have internet access at work (outside of working hours) and the internet is heavily restricted, I can no longer get these sites. I got onto these sites when I worked elsewhere and printed them off. I then stuck them on the photocopier and blew them up to 1/72 scale. If you Google image ‘observation balloon’ all the stuff you will need will pop up. When I was able to do this I got plans for the Drachenballon, the Caquot , the A.P. balloon and the spherical balloon. The A.P. balloon is probably the one I will do next because of its wide and varied use and I like the fact that it can be made as an observation, a barrage and a powered dirigible balloon. If you are looking at doing a Drachen I can always mail you the cardboard templates and plans when I have finished as I will have no further use for them but I will only do this if you are building it out of insulating foam or similar material because they are of no use otherwise.

I had another go at this on Sunday and sanded it more into shape, I have no pictures because the battery had gone on my camera and I did not want to trundle down the shops to get more when I was enjoying such a lovely and unusually hot day in my garden with my home made ginger beer.

Thanks for looking in, Alan.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2014, 12:04:47 AM by Dirigible-Al »

Offline Dirigible-Al

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Re: DRACHENBALLON
« Reply #27 on: October 30, 2014, 05:04:49 AM »
Hi All

I am not by any means a fast builder but this is dragging along slowly even by my standards, I had hoped to have it finished by November but that’s not going to happen. Just spent two weeks away on the annual holiday with the missis. I would have liked to have brought it along with me but if I had I probably would have returned with just the model, not the model and the missis.

This one is not covered so well by pictures because I forgot to snap as I built. There is a mistake on the plans which I did not spot until now (although it is just as well it was spotted before the steering bag went on). The plans show the steering bag rising vertically from the midway point of the envelope however after looking at archive pictures it actually curls around the rear end of the envelope all the way to its domed top. Luckily I oversized the steering bag so the alteration will not make it too short. I rectified it by cutting a triangular section out of it just below the dome. To get the cut dead straight I glued a couple of blocks of old business cards either side of it and ran a long sharp blade down them. The semi spherical domed top was then just glued back onto it again. As you can see by the picture the rest of it was sanded to shape, the front of the bag on a flat piece of sandpaper and the seams by the same small tool I used on the envelope. The two fit together perfectly.  I just need to do some finer detail while it is still soft like the creases in the fabric where the ropes pull on then I can harden the whole thing with Varnish.

Thanks for looking in, Alan.

Offline lone modeller

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Re: DRACHENBALLON
« Reply #28 on: October 30, 2014, 06:33:04 AM »
I have already commented that this is an unusual subject, but it really is fascinating. You ingenuity in solving some of the construction problems is also fascinating…. Never mind taking a long time - good models are always worth the time and effort, no matter how long the time.

Offline Terri

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Re: DRACHENBALLON
« Reply #29 on: November 04, 2014, 11:21:09 AM »
Have to hand it you Alan , your pretty crafty ! Wonderful work so far  8)






Terri