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Author Topic: 1/18th scale D.H. 85 Leopard Moth  (Read 2281 times)
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Prosper
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« Reply #50 on: June 13, 2018, 10:50:04 AM »

I don't know about the bracing Indoor - would it be less draggy than a single, larger-diameter wire of the same strength, I wonder - or perhaps DH had great spools of the thinner stuff in their stores, and the Director had just given a lecture on the need for economy?

What little modelling time I have just now has mostly been taken up fiddling with the fuselage coachwork. I've tried silver mylar on balsa sheet and now back to al. foil, but thicker foil this time. This example is a bit wrinkly in places but I'm getting the idea of how to do thist.

The thing is, I'm making a silver-finished Leopard Moth, and I really want the coachwork to stand out against the silver paint. Thanks to cvasecuk electronicking me the Eddie Riding article from 1941, I now know that the coachwork was chrome-plated, and not just polished aluminium. Cooking foil on the shiny side has a 'brushed' grainy finish, but I used it shiny side outward anyway, and just polished the bejeezus out of it with metal polish which seems to have got rid of the brushed look.

The whole cabin area presents problems. I think I've got clear how I'm going to make it, but making it strong and light enough will be a task. I never thought it would be easy but the fact is that the test model weighs 5 grams more than my estimate, and the scale model will be similarly overweight. This extra weight changes how strong the model ought to be in order to survive. The test model's extra weight is all noseweight: I don't know how but I cheerfully and hopelessly underestimated the amount that would be needed.

Stephen.
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Indoorflyer
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« Reply #51 on: June 13, 2018, 12:17:58 PM »

The upper bracing looks to be "streamlined", not sure about the ones on the underside.
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Make the same mistake on both sides; nobody will notice...
Prosper
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« Reply #52 on: June 13, 2018, 01:06:09 PM »

I think you're right. I expect the lower ones are the same.

Stephen.
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DHnut
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« Reply #53 on: June 13, 2018, 03:50:08 PM »

Stephen,
              The photo also shows the amount of travel available for trimming. I have found a whole pile of photos taken at Manderville and will PM you with them.
Ricky
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RolandD6
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« Reply #54 on: June 13, 2018, 07:05:14 PM »

... I've tried silver mylar on balsa sheet and now back to al. foil, but thicker foil this time. This example is a bit wrinkly in places but I'm getting the idea of how to do thist.

The thing is, I'm making a silver-finished Leopard Moth, and I really want the coachwork to stand out against the silver paint ...

I have discovered some chrome ink pens that are really impressive provided the surface to which they are applied is sufficiently smooth. They are a type of fibre tip and come in 1mm, 2mm and 4mm diameters. I got them from a mail order craft store in Australia which I think may be an off-shoot of a USA chain. Cannot provide more info at present because I am not at home but expect to be there on Friday. In the meantime a search may find them. I will try now and post if I find them.

Paul
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RolandD6
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« Reply #55 on: June 13, 2018, 07:10:42 PM »

Found them. They are called “Molotow Liquid Chrome Marker Pen”
 And are currently advertised on eBay.

Hope that helps

Paul
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Prosper
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« Reply #56 on: June 15, 2018, 04:51:36 AM »

It does help, Paul, thanks. When I looked at these they were stupidly expensive but I've found them at a discount as a result of your 'nudge'. I also watched a YouTube review which seems to suggest they might be what I'm after, so I've ordered one. I think it'll mean using plastic for the coachwork rather than the much lighter balsa/aliphatic sheet, but we'll see.

Talking of which, for this build I'm using 'regular' aliphatic to coat the balsa, that's to say the yellowish woodworkers glue that cures hard, rather than the refined white rubbery stuff. This is because I bought a large bottle of it to make a new garden gate. It was inevitable that I'd give it a try as a balsa coating. In fact someone on HPA suggested that I should try it years ago.

So the model might splinter to pieces in mid air. No, in fact I made a Westland Whirlwind nacelle of this other aliphatic in the winter and that still seems to have its original integrity. The weight of the sheet material produced is the same, but regular aliphatic is much more pleasant to work with and seems to accept heat-scribed panel lines and embossing, and can be soaked and bound to EPS moulds. The picture shows a typical sheet, 300x100x0.3mm or 12"x4"x12 thou in Imperial I think.

Ricky has just sent me a bunch of fantastic close-ups of the Croydon (NZ) restoration, which answer many questions. Thanks Ricky.

Stephen.
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Prosper
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« Reply #57 on: June 18, 2018, 09:39:46 AM »

Very little happening here [take 2].

The Chrome pen arrived thismorning. It seems just the job. I wouldn't have minded a slip of paper with it giving basic specs and instructions. I suppose one's expected to 'go online' nowadays.

The pen does work on aliphatic-coated balsa. My worry was that I'd read that the pen's nib or nozzle or spout, has to be pressed down for the pen to begin feeding paint. This might dent aliphatic/balsa sheet. It turns out though that the nozzle need only be pressed down once, when new (presumably to puncture some membrane or seal), after which it works whenever touched to something, even lightly.

Nevertheless I'm going to use plastic card for the coachwork. Sealing and sanding the curvy edges of the balsa/ali sheet would be a pain, and the chrome pen would show any blemishes right up. You'll see from pic 2 that the pen leaves a slightly uneven or granular surface even when applied to super-smooth plastic card. This may be from microscopic dust particles as found in a working area (errr - especially when someone's just been sandpapering a few inches away).

Now, this pen is supposedly dismantleable and rechargeable, which apparently means the user can break out the cartridge and paint the chrome paint with a brush. It wasn't immediately obvious how the pen came apart tho' and I didn't want to destroy it before even trying it so I don't know about painting yet. I could see that it might give a smoother finish than scribbling the chrome on wih the pen. Anyway, I'm mighty impressed with it. Pics 1 & 2 show a piece of al. foil (shiny side) for comparison. Pic 3 shows the chrome on a conventional silver-painted surface for comparison.

I've also been experimenting with other bits: pic 4 is a wire wing mounting. the two invisible lengths of the wire embedded in the balsa ply are zig-zagged ensuring that they can't be pulled out. Pic 5 shows a couple of bamboo rods (AKA cocktail sticks) reduced to 1mm diameter. These are for the cabin structure and I need to make another six. They're not that stiff really, but when fixed into tripods perhaps they'll do a job of some sort. Pic 6 is a sperimental tail bracing wire.

Stephen.
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cvasecuk
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« Reply #58 on: June 18, 2018, 11:15:31 AM »

Stephen, where did you get the yellow aliphatic and what is it called? Many years ago Flair did a yellow aliphatic and it was really good but it has not been available for some time.
Ron
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Prosper
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« Reply #59 on: June 18, 2018, 12:23:06 PM »

Hullo Ron, I got the glue from http://balsacabin.co.uk . It's Deluxe brand, the same lot that makes the refined white stuff I use. I recall there was at least one other brand stocked by balsa cabin - cheaper, but I've no idea if you gets what you pays for with materials like this. Even the Deluxe brand has the odd fleck or grain of some hard impurity, which is less than ideal for using it to coat balsa sheets with.

Stephen.
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Prosper
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« Reply #60 on: June 22, 2018, 11:25:51 AM »

I've made a few steps. I cut out the fuselage sides and brush-painted them silver. Then came the dreaded batter-pudding hurler of Bexh stencils. . . I'm using 'Frogtape'. I must say I can't see how they call it "Low Tack": I see that it's a large improvement on standard masking tape - it peels off keeping its glue with it, like Post-it notes do - but you really have to tug it. I ended up backing the tape with paper, leaving just a narrow area of gum around the stencil. I peeled the stencils off ve-ee-rr-y slowly.

The G-reg letters need a bit of touching-up by brush; cutting letters like these into the Frogtape isn't easy to do well, at least not the curved bits. By the way, I spent a long time with what photo evidence I have, getting the lettering as close to the original style as I could. Photos show some individual variety and I imagine they were hand-painted not masked and sprayed, but that's just a guess.

As for the green shade, that's just taken from the cigarette card (next post). I wanted a handsome dark green, but mixing greens is most difficult in my experience. I kept feeling the paint in the pot was too light - kept darkening it, and then when I airbrushed it on, it looked almost black. I nearly started throwing furniture and jumping up and down on anything model-related within reach, but when I took the work out into the sunshine I saw that it's actually very close to what I'd hoped for. Panic over.

I also wiped off the chrome paint from the first part of coachwork I made, and re-applied it. The Molotow chrome has very little abrasion-resistance or solvent-resistance. I spent time cleaning up the edges of the windowframe as carefully as I could, and getting it dust-free. The second result is a lot better, and I'll be using this in the build (pic 5).

Stephen.
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Prosper
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« Reply #61 on: June 22, 2018, 11:28:02 AM »

When I was a boy, granddad gave me a book of cigarette cards dating from 1935. He wasn't especially interested in aeroplanes himself but smoked about 6,000,000 Players a day and had many of these cigarette card books on different subjects. There are quite a few 'planes in this book that I've thought of modelling since boyhood, but as static models. This is my first actual start.

The cigarette card example, G-ACHC, was fourth of the initial batch of six Leopard Moths made. Confusingly, the prototype - which De Havilland called "E.1." - was registered after G-ACHC, becoming ACHD. Moths G-ACHB, -C and -D were all entered in the 1933 King's Cup race which Geoffrey de Havilland won, flying the prototype.

The first thirty or so Leopard Moths differed slightly from those following, in having flat fuselage sides not relieved by stringers. They also had what appears to be an external stringer along the rear fuselage spine.

Stephen.
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