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Author Topic: Sopwith 1-1/2 Strutter from Midkiff Plans for FAC WWI Combat  (Read 1341 times)
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MKelly
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« on: March 11, 2019, 11:26:17 PM »

I'm tired of watching FAC WWI Combat mass launches - it's time to join in!  I've had my eye on IronMike's Sopwith 1-1/2 Strutter for a while, so that's what I'm going to build.  At 29", Mike's plan is a bit larger than I like to box up and haul around, so I've reduced the plan to 25", which works out to just about 1/16th scale.  Still a big model for me, but I've been pleased with how the T-28, Wicko and Wedell-Williams are flying and this will be about the same size as those models.

I hope to make this one up as one of the aircraft that flew off HMS Furious late in WWI, which would allow me to fly it off the deck in the carrier events at WESTFAC this October.  I've found some photos and some fascinating reading regarding the early carrier activities at https://www.kingstonaviation.org/sopwith-day-by-day/1918.html.  This is a really great site for researching Sopwith aircraft - but beware, once you start looking time will get away from you...

Plans are copied, templates for parts and lamination are printed, and it's time to start cutting wood.

As always, comments, suggestions and occasional ridicule are welcome.

Mike
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DavidJP
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« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2019, 06:54:30 AM »

Gosh you don't pause for breath do you?  Why are you on?

I built Charlie Newmans with a KP1 as power unit - quite sedate actually.  So look forward to this.
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MKelly
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« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2019, 11:48:49 AM »

Thanks David - can't stop for breath, too many thing I want to build...

Off and running - laminated the fin outline and the first set of wingtips and started cutting blanks for the cowl.  I haven't had much luck previously with the circle cutter.  This time I hit the center point with a bit of thin CA - this kept the pin from wallowing around in the hole and the discs came out pretty clean.

Mike
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MKelly
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« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2019, 10:26:30 PM »

Somehow lost the pic from the last post.  Building time has been sparse this week as we've finally had some flying weather.  Did manage to get the fin and wingtip laminations done and the fin assembled.  It's a start...

Mike
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Re: Sopwith 1-1/2 Strutter from Midkiff Plans for FAC WWI Combat
Re: Sopwith 1-1/2 Strutter from Midkiff Plans for FAC WWI Combat
Re: Sopwith 1-1/2 Strutter from Midkiff Plans for FAC WWI Combat
Re: Sopwith 1-1/2 Strutter from Midkiff Plans for FAC WWI Combat
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MKelly
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« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2019, 03:56:11 PM »

To me, the stab plan looked a bit different from photos of the Strutter.  I found some prints of the stab on the Imperial War Museum site, scaled them to match the plan, then used that as the template for the laminating form.  All the interior structure lines up nicely with the blueprint, it was just the tip shapes that were different.  Laminated the outline with three strips of 1/32x3/32 and all is good.

While that dries hard I've framed up the fuselage sides.

Mike
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Re: Sopwith 1-1/2 Strutter from Midkiff Plans for FAC WWI Combat
Re: Sopwith 1-1/2 Strutter from Midkiff Plans for FAC WWI Combat
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MKelly
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« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2019, 12:40:29 PM »

Multi-tasking this morning.  Glue a few pieces on the fuselage, glue a few on the stab.

Mike
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Re: Sopwith 1-1/2 Strutter from Midkiff Plans for FAC WWI Combat
Re: Sopwith 1-1/2 Strutter from Midkiff Plans for FAC WWI Combat
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marcelop
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« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2019, 02:03:14 PM »

amazing work!!! all Midkiff desigs are super!!!!
do you use magnets in a metal workboard???
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« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2019, 02:37:18 PM »

Nice Mike - I noted your additional launching crossbrace!  I'd do that.
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MKelly
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« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2019, 05:21:29 PM »

Nice Mike - I noted your additional launching crossbrace!  I'd do that.

Thanks Mike - I figured the extra cross member was good insurance against my nervous hand crushing the fuselage during a mass launch...

Marcelo, I use both a magnet board and a pin board for building. I like the magnet board for fuselages, use either one for wings, and prefer the pins for delicate work like tail surfaces.

Mike
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MKelly
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« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2019, 02:01:45 PM »

Fuselage framework is assembled and off the board, now starting on adding the formers.  Stab is assembled and I added the control horn mount to the fin.  Weights look good so far - 3g for the fuselage frame, .37g for the fin and 1.9g for the unsanded stab.  I also cut out a plethora of ribs in three thicknesses.

I the background of the last picture is the latest delivery from ebay - a Comet XP-38 (37.5" span) and a Megow Caudron racer (20" span).  Rich Adams, that Caudron has eyes on your Folkerts...

Mike
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Re: Sopwith 1-1/2 Strutter from Midkiff Plans for FAC WWI Combat
Re: Sopwith 1-1/2 Strutter from Midkiff Plans for FAC WWI Combat
Re: Sopwith 1-1/2 Strutter from Midkiff Plans for FAC WWI Combat
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« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2019, 11:39:14 PM »

You are off to a great start Mike, I'm enjoying watching the build.
Wally
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« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2019, 03:30:26 AM »

Mike
If you scroll about 1/3 down this page:

https://www.mickreevesmodels.co.uk/~mickreev/Bipes/p2bipe.html

you will find decals for Sopwith fin logos in FF sizes. I've got a few spares if interested.
Bill
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Rich Adams
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« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2019, 11:52:54 AM »

Nothing will catch my Folkerts bwahahahaha! Nice pick for a WWI subject and beautiful start. Pay close attention to tail weight and incidences. My Pup wanted too much downthrust until I added TE up incidence same as my DR1. One of your slick adjust-a-glide mechanisms would be a huge benefit.
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« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2019, 07:25:17 PM »

Did I hear somebody say LOOK OUT WESTFAC ? Going to be fun for certain.
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MKelly
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« Reply #14 on: April 01, 2019, 11:56:18 PM »

Thanks Wally and Rich!  Bill, appreciate the lead on the Sopwith decals - the big Strutter on that page was quite a masterpiece.  At this point I'm not sure I'll need the Sopwith markings on the tail.  All of the pictures I've found of the Strutters on the Furious have very little in the way of markings, just an aircraft number on the fin and sometimes codes on the aft fuselage.  Some of the references I've read indicate that many of the late-war naval Strutters were re-manufactured from war-weary bombers, perhaps that's why they don't carry the Sopwith markings on the fin.

As far as progress on the model, I put the cabane mount tubes in, added the rear stringers, then got the top sheeting on the fuselage.  While the fuselage was jigged up for the sheeting I set the tail group on it for a little motivational observation.  I'll cut the forward cockpit out once the rest of the bodywork is in place and I've done some sanding.

A question for the forum - were the skylights in the top wing on the Strutter some sort of clear sheeting or just clear-doped fabric?  I haven't found a crisp picture that shows this detail.

Mike
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Re: Sopwith 1-1/2 Strutter from Midkiff Plans for FAC WWI Combat
Re: Sopwith 1-1/2 Strutter from Midkiff Plans for FAC WWI Combat
Re: Sopwith 1-1/2 Strutter from Midkiff Plans for FAC WWI Combat
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« Reply #15 on: April 02, 2019, 01:07:30 AM »

I've wondered about that too; not all Strutters were so equipped.  The Profile Publication mentions "transparent" which implies a plastic type material.  Any fabric would be translucent at best, I would think.  Which specific (single seat?) Strutter are you building?  The progress thus far looks superb!
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billdennis747
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« Reply #16 on: April 02, 2019, 02:02:35 AM »

Hello Mike
The upper wing panels on some Strutters were transparent Cellon.
Only the very early Strutters seem to have carried the fin logo, along with unpainted cowlings. They provide some relief from all the PC10
This is the Strutter from the Avetek kit
I have the Windsock Datafile on the two-seater which I shall not need again, if it might be useful
Bill
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MKelly
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« Reply #17 on: April 03, 2019, 09:59:36 AM »

That is one very nice looking Strutter Bill - hope mine comes out comparable.  Thanks for the clarification on the skylights.  I'm interested in the datafile - send me a PM and we'll work out payment etc.

Had a bit of a setback yesterday, discovered that I'd distorted the front of the fuselage while gluing on the sheeting.  I cut loose the front left corner, trued up the framework and installed some extra gussets to get things back to square.  This morning I'll clean up the sheeting and glue it back down.

Mike
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MKelly
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« Reply #18 on: April 13, 2019, 09:23:10 PM »

Easing back into the build after a week off for the contest at Gainesville and subsequent repairs/alterations to the fleet.  Today I sanded the stab to shape and spent some quality time comparing the Windsock Datafile (thanks Bill!) to the Profile publication and the photos in the Jack McCleery book.  Still trying to decide whether to build the skid undercarriage, wheeled undercarriage, or a setup that would allow me to switch between the two.

Mike
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« Reply #19 on: April 14, 2019, 08:34:10 PM »

Fast neat work as usual Mike. It's always interesting following your builds.

John
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MKelly
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« Reply #20 on: April 15, 2019, 11:44:37 AM »

Thanks John. 

Got the cowl side sheeting on yesterday.  While that dried I sanded and notched that huge stack of ribs.  Given how thin the airfoil is I've decided to use 1/16" square spars rather than the 1/16x1/8" shown on the full-size plan.  I'll put shear webs in the main spar inboard of the interplane struts.

Once the cowl sheeting was dry I glued in the "cheese cutter" stringers on the sides of the fuselage.  I made the bottom ones out of basswood to (hopefully) preclude handling damage while working with the noseblock during flying sessions.

Mike
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Re: Sopwith 1-1/2 Strutter from Midkiff Plans for FAC WWI Combat
Re: Sopwith 1-1/2 Strutter from Midkiff Plans for FAC WWI Combat
Re: Sopwith 1-1/2 Strutter from Midkiff Plans for FAC WWI Combat
Re: Sopwith 1-1/2 Strutter from Midkiff Plans for FAC WWI Combat
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« Reply #21 on: April 15, 2019, 07:32:12 PM »

The stringers ending in that upright strikes me as a very neat way of blending the fuselage contours. Simple and elegant.

John

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« Reply #22 on: April 15, 2019, 09:02:00 PM »

Lovely joinery, Mike.

I too like to stack sand ribs like that.  If I'm careful (OCD?) enough, I'll even order the stack so the ribs that wind up bearing the interplane struts are heavier/stringier than the non-load bearing ribs. 

One trick to share:  Instead of pinning the rib stack, I now give each rib a swipe with a UHU glue stick.  After about ten minutes, the glue is set enough that it's easy to sand and notch all the ribs as a block.  To separate them, spray with block with isopropyl alcohol.  The glue will soften enough to separate your now perfectly identical ribs.

Best of all, no more pin-poked fingers.

Best,

Scot Dobberfuhl
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« Reply #23 on: April 15, 2019, 11:41:15 PM »

Great work Mike- I'm enjoying the build. 
Wally
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« Reply #24 on: April 16, 2019, 12:40:20 PM »

Outstanding craftsmanship Mike...Loving this build!!!
Tom
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