Author Topic: Scratch build partial stripdown Vickers FB 5 Gunbus 1/32 scale  (Read 1999 times)

Offline lone modeller

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Evening All,

I have been through a complete loss of mojo recently: after completing the Dornier Rs II and base I was looking for a similar challenge and I had tried to continue with a 1/72 scratch build of an FE 2d, (an FE 2 with a Rolls Royce Eagle engine instead of a Beardmore), which I have been working on for about a year, but when I found that I will probably have to make a new nacelle I simply baulked at the idea: no particular reason why, just the thought was enough to put me off. I then floundered around with several different ideas and decided that perhaps a change in scale might offer a new challenge. This would mean that I would be abandoning the Sacred Scale, but I am determined that I will return to it in future as I have many interesting subjects on my “to scratch-build” list that I wish to make. I was looking for a subject to scratch build of course, and rapidly came to the (for me), obvious conclusion that it would have to be a pusher of some kind. I looked up several types but kept finding that I lacked enough information concerning the details of engines or interiors as I was thinking of 1/32 scale where details matter. In 1/72 scale I can make parts from drawings that look right, but in this larger scale I would need accurate 3D drawings and other information, and for many of the types that I considered such information could not be found. I also had the feeling of “done that” for some of the subjects I was researching. I do not usually like to make the same subject twice which may have been why I was put off the FE 2d - it is too much like the F E 2b, which I have already made.

Then I happened to find a cut-away drawing of the Vickers FB 5 Gunbus. A couple of years ago it had been suggested to me that I try a cut-away model but to do this in plastic in 1/72 scale would be very difficult and probably leave a weak model. There are several cut-away model kits in PE in 1/72 scale but I do not like PE and I am not a kit builder any more, so that idea was a non-starter. But what about a cut-away in 1/32 scale? Problem: the engine. I can scratch build or convert engines in 1/72 scale and just get away with it, but that would not be possible in this scale, so I looked around to see what engines were available as aftermarket items. I went back to some earlier ideas and thought about either a DH 1A or the FB 5 Gunbus as engine kits are available for both. In the end I decided that I could not find enough information on the interior of the DH 1A so I settled for the Gunbus. I have built a Gunbus in 1/72 scale already - it was a conversion from an Airfix DH 4 but it was one which I started in 1981 and finished 31 years later! I am not planning to take quite so long this time….





This will be a CBSB (Classic British Scratch Build), - a basic, limited run kit with some aftermarket parts. As it will be a partial strip down the parts count will probably be quite high. I frequently leave my models unarmed but on this occasion I decided that I would model an early variant with the Vickers mg so I bought one of these from Gaspatch: it is resin.



I also needed an engine - a 100hp Gnome rotary to be precise, and Wingnut Wings make a beautiful aftermarket specimen for an affordable price. (



Another difficult item to model is the wicker seat for the pilot but I found that Baracuda make one of these in resin.



These three items are all little gems in their own right. Finally I have bought some PE instrument bezels, (I only have to cut and fit these so I can just about manage), and transfers from Airscale for the instrument faces.



The remainder of the kit will be made from the usual plastic sheet, rod, strip, wood, brass bar for the wing spars and rod for the fuselage frame and booms. The fuselage nacelle of the Gunbus was made from steel tube, as were the booms, so I am going to have to learn how to solder brass rod and bar as CA will not be strong enough.
 
My intention is to make a model that looks similar to the drawing I found on the net, with half of it cut-away showing the underlying structure, and the other half covered. I scaled up the plans from the DataFile number 56 and ordered some plastic strip from my LMS so that I could make the wing ribs. That was a mistake: after a month the shop had still not been able to get the strip, so I cancelled the order and got some in three days by post. I will not be using my LMS in future unless they have the items I need In stock, which is annoying because I like to support local traders: unfortunately that one will not be getting much of my custom in future. While waiting I had tried to make wing ribs from bass wood but these were not particularly good - I could not make the triangular hole at the front end and the very narrow slot at the rear, and cutting square holes for the spar to go through also proved to be almost impossible, so I intend to use 180 x 40 thou plastic strip instead. In all I have had a frustrating month ordering parts and supplies but getting almost nowhere in terms of actually making anything, except that I did manage to carve a propellor. This was made from 2 pieces of hardwood, (I know not of what type), which I regularly use for propellors. Gunbus propellors seem to have been coated in a dark varnish and this wood is just the right colour. The kit propellor (grey) is an example from a Wingnut Wings kit which was Kindly lent to me by fellow modeller Epeeman. The first shot simply shows the wood:



This shows the wood being carved - the blade on the left has been shaped, the one on the right has not - taken from the side of the propellor. The extra thickness for the boss was unnecessary and was removed:



The completed propellor - still to be varnished and a boss added:



So after all the frustrations and stop-starts of the past couple of months I have at last begun a project which I hope will bring some results in the not too distant future……

Thanks for looking.

Stephen.

Online Juan

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Re: Scratch build partial stripdown Vickers FB 5 Gunbus 1/32 scale
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2018, 10:37:43 AM »
Stephen, looking forward to your magic being worked on this beauty.  You already have lots of goodies to get your mojo going.  Looking forward to your progress.   :D :D :D
« Last Edit: June 11, 2018, 11:20:21 AM by Juan »

Online lcarroll

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Re: Scratch build partial stripdown Vickers FB 5 Gunbus 1/32 scale
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2018, 11:44:21 AM »
Stephen,
    Very exciting introduction to what, I am certain, will evolve into a classic Build Log and result in another exceptional model! With your Scratch Building skills this should prove a relatively simple project and I look forward to following along as you bring it all together. That prop is a great start, very nicely done!
Cheers,
Lance

Online gbrivio

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Re: Scratch build partial stripdown Vickers FB 5 Gunbus 1/32 scale
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2018, 03:19:46 PM »
Nice introduction with the carved propeller and a nice old gunbus, will be an interesting build I'm sure.
Ciao
Giuseppe

Offline RAGIII

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Re: Scratch build partial stripdown Vickers FB 5 Gunbus 1/32 scale
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2018, 09:20:17 PM »
Stephen,
I am really looking forward to following your processes on this one! Seeing the results you achieve on smaller scale subjects I have no doubt this Gunbus will be terrific! Nice start with the prop!
RAGIII
"A man has to know his limitations": Harry Callahan

"Don't slop it on" Lynda Geisler

Offline pepperman42

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Re: Scratch build partial stripdown Vickers FB 5 Gunbus 1/32 scale
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2018, 11:30:43 PM »
Nice start. To my eye take a little more off the right blade at its lowest point
I was clean,shaved and sober and I didnt care who knew it.

Offline lone modeller

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Re: Scratch build partial stripdown Vickers FB 5 Gunbus 1/32 scale
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2018, 04:22:29 AM »
Thanks everyone for the kind remarks - they are much appreciated at a time when my motivation is only just returning.

Steve - thanks for the comment about the propellor - I have checked again closely and agree: a very small amount has been removed!

Stephen.

Offline lone modeller

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Re: Scratch build partial stripdown Vickers FB 5 Gunbus 1/32 scale
« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2018, 08:52:25 AM »
Evening All,

Did I write that my previous attempt to build a Gunbus had taken 31 years? Well as things seem to be going at the moment, this one looks as though it might take about the same amount of time.....except that I do not expect to be around then! I knew when I started this project that I had things to learn, (1/32 scale presents different problems to the One True Scale), but I do not seem to be able to get things right at the moment. That, combined with many distractions, has ensured that progress has been even more glacial than usual. 

I am now on my third attempt to build the frame for the fuselage nacelle: the first failed because I tried to use solder paste and it was too weak, plus I got some of the dimensions of the rod wrong! (Don't ask how, I am too embarrassed to answer.....). The second attempt failed because I got the shape of the sides wrong.......just don't ask! I am now in the process of making a third and THIS time I am going to get it right...... Soldering by the way has proved to be much easier than I anticipated - pictures will follow later when I finally get the frame right.

I have tried to make some of the wing ribs from plastic strip and have had some success, but it is a slow and rather tedious process.

[

The image above shows the basic process from bottom to top:

cut and shape the strip;

drill holes at the points were the spars will be, and drill holes at the ends of the rib slots;

cut the slots out using a sharp scalpel and clean up the holes with a needle file and fine glasspaper.

There will need to be about 30 of these, so I may be a little time before I complete making these parts. They will then have to be mounted on to brass bar spars.

I carved the moulds for the fuselage side which will represent the covered part, using basswood for the male and plywood for the female mould. The result was fine - after several attempts. I have not moulded a piece as large as this before and had difficulty pushing the male into the female to get a large enough piece. In the end I managed to get one after repeatedly reheating the plastic:



That has been cut out and the cockpit openings cut and sanded. There is a lot more work to do on this yet, so it is a long way from being ready but it is a start.

In frustration I have turned to making the oil tank. This was made from a piece of plastic tube which just happens to be the correct diameter, so I cut a length using a pipe cutter:





The ends of the tank were blocked with pieces of 60 thou card. When the cement had dried I could round off the ends with a file and glass paper. Now I only need to add the filler pipe at the top and outlet pipe underneath but at least this part looks as though it will be useable.



I have also spent a good deal of time thinking about the order of assembly and manufacture of parts, which has also proved to be a useful way of avoiding tackling new techniques, (like soldering), or even making anything at all. However experience has taught me that sometimes this indecisiveness is a good idea as it reduces the chances of really making a mess of things further down the line. Scratch builders will recognise what I mean. More to follow in what I hope will be the not too distant future.

Thanks for looking.

Stephen.




Online lcarroll

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Re: Scratch build partial stripdown Vickers FB 5 Gunbus 1/32 scale
« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2018, 11:39:18 AM »
Stephen,
    Your patient and studied approach will serve you best in the end. What you've got thus far looks very good and I see yet another absolute gem coming off your bench! Keep up t he good work and keep those updates flowing!
Cheers,
Lance

Offline NigelR

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Re: Scratch build partial stripdown Vickers FB 5 Gunbus 1/32 scale
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2018, 12:02:57 AM »
What an intriguing project! You must be somewhat mad to take it on but I shall be very interested to see how it develops.

Offline lone modeller

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Re: Scratch build partial stripdown Vickers FB 5 Gunbus 1/32 scale
« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2018, 03:53:43 AM »
You must be somewhat mad to take it on but I shall be very interested to see how it develops.

Yes Nigel, I think that you are right - I am beginning to have doubts about my sanity too. The problem for me is that I like to take on a challenge....

Stephen

Offline lone modeller

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Re: Scratch build partial stripdown Vickers FB 5 Gunbus 1/32 scale
« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2018, 03:56:23 AM »
Lance,

Thank you for your kind comment - your interest and support is much appreciated. This project is without doubt the most difficult that I have attempted so far, and the one where I have had to rework more sections and parts than any other. And I have not really got started yet!

Stephen.

Offline Thumbs up

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Re: Scratch build partial stripdown Vickers FB 5 Gunbus 1/32 scale
« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2018, 06:15:52 AM »
As a fellow Brit, I have always really enjoyed your contributions to this great forum. Interesting subjects and great builds and this scale will be addictive to watch!

Offline Borsos

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Re: Scratch build partial stripdown Vickers FB 5 Gunbus 1/32 scale
« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2018, 06:49:31 AM »
I wish you "bonne courage" for that huge project and will go on following with great joy like I had with all of your builds. I am keen on seeing how you like the large scale  :)
Andreas
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Offline p9o1r1sche

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Re: Scratch build partial stripdown Vickers FB 5 Gunbus 1/32 scale
« Reply #14 on: July 05, 2018, 10:07:31 PM »
An ambitious project, Lone Modeller, but keep at it.  A little at a time and it will get done.  I found detailed drawings are usually few and far between, so if you can just make the parts look right, it works.  As far as getting some dimensions wrong, don't let that bother you too much.  NASA screws that up too.
Ken M.