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Author Topic: Lee's Hobbies Halberstadt D.II Kit  (Read 2161 times)
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Jack Plane
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« on: May 01, 2019, 05:52:31 AM »

This is a retrospective build thread.  The Halb took three weeks to make using the kit wood and the white Esaki included (fortunately it was school hols and I was off work and at home with Isaac for half of this) and was finished but never flown just in time to drive up for the Nats!

Changes to the Lee's Hobbies kit plan were minor:

The plan shows simple paper decking, which had to be changed for planking forward and stringers aft.  This is both more accurate and more robust, and enabled a proper engine etc to be made.

The tailplane and rudder are massive on the plan, whereas the all-moving ones on the full-size were really tiny (especially the tailplane).  So I took a punt and re-sized them to half-way between the two, and I think they look just right as well as saving good amounts of weight aft.  The dihedral on both wings was then set to 10mm (whereas the plan showed 13mm) to keep roll-stability together.  Again this was a punt, but luckily both alterations proved successful in flight.

The plan indicated a vertical 'rhino' exhaust which was in fact used on the Argus-engined late D.II but mainly the D.III etc.  The D.II generally used the Mercedes engine with horizontal exhaust running past the cockpit, and this was more fully covered in archive photos and the 3-views in Halberstadt Fighters by P M Grosz, Albatros Publications 1996.  So I decided to run with the Merc version.

I also found two interesting paintings of the Halb online, both with the rhino exhaust.  An acrylic painting of a clear-doped example with lots of detail by Robert Karr, the other a more evocative watercolour of a light-blue/grey example in a winter landscape by Alex Forbes.  This inspired me more, so light-blue all over it was going to be!

This light-blue colour wasn't directly illustrated in the Albatros publication, but the text was clear that the photos from which the particular profile illustration was made was more likely to be light-blue than the clear-doped cream actually illustrated.
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Jack Plane
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« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2019, 06:21:06 AM »

This is the plan plus a drawing of my modified tail parts.

All the Lee's Hobbies Peanut kits are available via Kevin at SAMS - ridiculously inexpensive at about £15 - with excellent wood!

To find them on the SAMS website, do a search for all kits then order the list in cost from lowest to highest, and the LH kits will all come up near the top, a range of mostly unusual but very interesting aircraft from WW1.

More anon as I've got to get back to work...  Shocked

Jon
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« Last Edit: May 01, 2019, 06:31:26 AM by Jack Plane » Logged
Jack Plane
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« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2019, 07:15:50 AM »

Just to say folks...

Please don't stand on ceremony and think you've got to give me a respectful silence while I gradually trundle out all my photos and explanations of what I did and why, etc.

I treat my own build-threads (at least) as conversations rather than hallowed presentations, so do chip in with comments and queries if you like - the more the merrier!   Smiley

Jon
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Pete Fardell
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« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2019, 09:32:40 AM »

The plan shows simple paper decking, which had to be changed for planking forward and stringers aft.  
I particularly agree with this mod; it looks so much nicer and I think you did it on the Scout too.
(Any idea if it resulted in you taking a kit scale points hit btw? Not that it made any difference to the result if you did!)
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Jack Plane
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« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2019, 10:52:58 AM »

Pete, I don't know if replacing the paper with balsa made any real difference to static marking on the KS Scout.  (It wouldn't have on the Camel, because Mr Darby was kind enough to state on the plan something along the lines that "experienced builders can substitute sheet balsa for paper" on the cowling etc.)

My view with KS is that any minor mod which obviously makes a model better fit for purpose (that is to say robust enough to be repeatedly handled and flown) shouldn't really be penalised.  If I were a judge I'd err towards this "unofficial" attitude with other people's models, especially as such mods are nothing to do with making the model fly better or longer.

My other view is that "Character" is a significant part of KS and therefore reflected in the points available.  So the improvement in appearance (and the ability to provide a more rigid support for character-related details like a little machine gun etc) is going to be worth more marks than would be lost by using 1/32 sheeting instead of paper.

None of this of course is currently relevant to the Halberstadt as it is stationed on the Peanut Front, but might be if it later campaigns in Kit Scale.
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Pete Fardell
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« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2019, 11:51:05 AM »

Thanks- that all sounds sensible. If you do enter it in kit scale I suppose the smaller-than-plan tail surfaces might be more of an issue than the balsa planking/stringers. Anyway, I don't really want to re-open the whole KS penalties worm-can on your thread (or at all) so as you were...
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Jack Plane
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« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2019, 12:58:02 PM »

So, with A3 plan photocopied and the wings made first (usual method of pinning down with joint areas rubbed with candle-wax; LE was hard and heavy 3/32, ribs nice and light 1/32 roughed out oversize and sanded down in sandwiches, etc) the fuselage could be made - having decided to move the peg one station forward.

But first the longerons needed to be properly steam-bent to shape (or all hell would break loose later on!) which I did by plonking the heavier 1/16" strip-wood into an open kettle and boiling for a few minutes, then taped them to a thick cardboard former and into the little oven for a while at 60º C.

I ought to have a cleverer system for jigging up fuselages, but find that assorted old engineering squares and random pins serve well enough, and so worked from the tail to the nose binding it all together.

The blue tissue in the last photo was a bit of domestic rather than the Esaki I colour-printed later on, but it gave a nice foretaste of things...
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Jack Plane
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« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2019, 01:07:58 PM »

The half-formers went on next (the first photo shows the pattern for paper decking which is how the basic kit was designed), then the stringers for the "hump-back", and the sheeting at the sides and bottom of the first bay from the nose, plus a bit of beefing up inside this area where I knew I'd need loads of weight anyway.

PS:  Notice the provisional base for the dummy motor (which I got onto later).  Some of this was later to be removed but it needed to go in first as a whole before the planking went on top.
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Jack Plane
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« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2019, 01:16:30 PM »

Next up was planking the deck between the nose and the back of the cockpit with light 1/32".

I started with a centre strake (the garboard in boat-building) which was brushed with water to first swell the fibres on the top side and induce bowing, then taped down.  My basic building glue of choice is Aliphatic.

The next strake each side then went on, then the next two etc.  This involved scribing each strake to fit before glueing in place.

The final strakes (where they meet the longerons) were the trickiest, so I made up thin card templates first.
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Jack Plane
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« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2019, 01:23:45 PM »

Waiting for each pair of strakes to dry each time gave me a chance to carve Fritzy-Boy (its all make-believe, so am I still allowed to say that?) later hollowing him out to save a tad more weight.

Final job on the decking was to sand out the hard chines (more boating allusions) for a satisfyingly-rounded appearance before hacking out the hole for the cockpit.
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TheLurker
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« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2019, 02:36:27 PM »

Quote from: Jack Plane
... steam-bent to shape (or all hell would break loose later on!) which I did by plonking the heavier 1/16" strip-wood into an open kettle and boiling for a few minutes...
Hmm, technically that's not steaming, but Lurker Industries have noted the technique and filed it for future use. Smiley

Nice bit of carpentry thobbut.
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Squirrelnet
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« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2019, 03:36:05 PM »

Quote
steam-bent to shape (or all hell would break loose later on!) which I did by plonking the heavier 1/16" strip-wood into an open kettle and boiling for a few minutes, then taped them to a thick cardboard former and into the little oven for a while at 60º C.

Like Thelurker I note your technique. I successfully boiled a few parts for models but I'm not sure I'd get away with the drying them in the oven bit with Mrs Squirrelnet !  Cool

Great build thread, I've always had a soft spot for those early German aircraft

Chris
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Jack Plane
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« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2019, 03:13:02 AM »

Thx Chris

It is interesting how idiosyncratic early/WW1 aircraft were, and how they reflected the different natural aesthetics of the producing countries, as well as the instinctive styles of the designers themselves.

The other thing I was doing while planking was happening was to make up the ever-so-delicate tailplane (the two halves are joined by a single light balsa spar) seen here being checked for fit.

Jon

PS I have a proper oven and all that, but normally cook using the little counter-top unit my sister once gave me.  Its dinky, quick to heat up and wa-ay more efficient than the built-in jobbie.  Its usual function is of course to bake fish or chicken-breasts in a pyrex bowl or grill toasted cheese... Jarlsberg and Cheddar mixed together if you must know!  Cheesy [<-cheesy smile]
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Jack Plane
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« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2019, 03:27:13 AM »

And onto the Merc inline six.

First I had to get my head around the different bits on the original, so cropped and printed out the 3-view to scale and colour-coded the elements.

An opening in the top decking was hacked out, and the centre part of the engine base (glued in earlier before the planking went on) removed, the idea being that the engine would then actually sit on the main structural cross-pieces.

The block and cylinders were shaped from a single baulk of balsa, then the tiny dice on top were made, the connecting 'rod' being from a piece of scrap carbon-rod.

The inlet pipework on the port side (can't get away from the nauticals here) was then fashioned from 1/32" bass and a supporting base made for the whole engine.

Note that with the nose-button set in the plug at an initial 3º of down- and right-thrusts, I anticipated possible problems with the hook end of the rubber fouling the underside of the engine-base.  In practice this proved only to be a problem if I didn't take care to centre the rubber/O-ring on the eventual S-hook correctly.
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Russ Lister
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« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2019, 06:29:40 AM »

I was very taken with the finished model ... enjoying watching it unfold retrospectively  Smiley
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Jack Plane
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« Reply #15 on: May 02, 2019, 08:35:37 AM »

Thanks Russ, yes she's a pretty little bird... perhaps with a fish-like ancestry, that mackerel back and tail?
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Jack Plane
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« Reply #16 on: May 02, 2019, 12:24:33 PM »

Then dealt with the inverted-V cabane struts (made from 1/32" bass glued to the LE of 1/24" balsa then sanded flush).  The plan showed zero incidence on both wings, and I'd already decided to alter this to 1.5º on the lower wing and 2.5º on the upper, so eyeballed that this was all more or less right.

Also found time, when something or another was drying, to run up the basis of Spandau from scrap balsa, a black drinking-straw of roughly the right diameter, and some CA soaked card for the belt feed casing.

Ready now to cover the decking, so my very first experiments with colouring white Esaki on the printer!

The method was to lightly spray a sheet of A4 paper with re-positionable spray mount and feed this through the printer.  I'd already estimated more or less the right colour on the screen (just opened a blank Excel file and filled a page's worth with light-blue and checked its colour direct on a white sheet).  I didn't need much for the decking, so just did the top third of a sheet to see how it all worked, and also checked this first for colour and opacity etc over the wing structure.

I'd have liked to have done my first stretchy wet-job with the Esaki but bottled out, rationalising that the full-size had panel lines where the tissue overlaps were anyway!  Needless to say, the decking had already been sealed and sanded smooth.
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Jack Plane
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« Reply #17 on: May 02, 2019, 01:09:45 PM »

Spent ages positioning the cabanes, then able to finally check the actual fit of the wings!

I'd decided to make up an extra support down the centre-line of the top wing as I reckoned the centre-section wouldn't last long without a more robust attachment for the cabanes, especially the rear one.  The LH's plan in fact has the rear cabanes slightly further back to partially solve this, but I was going with the scale drawings so really needed the extra bridge.  (Needless to say, if the Halb ever gets reassigned to Kit Scale, then I'm toast!  Grin )

Once the cabanes were all glued-up and in place, had great fun checking that the line-up of everything was still tickety-boo... including the engine!
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Jack Plane
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« Reply #18 on: May 03, 2019, 03:41:11 AM »

The method I used of making light-blue tissue in more detail:

(i) Lightly but evenly dust a clean piece of A4 paper with re-positionable spray-mount (having masked off a small corner area first for easy peeling later), then leave this for a few minutes to partially cure (or 'cut' the excessive stickiness by dabbing with fingers, but be careful to not get any clag onto the surface).

(ii) Carefully mount (shiny side down so the ink prints onto the matt side) a very slightly larger sheet of Esaki on the paper and smooth out from the centre to the edges , then trim the excess to exact paper size.

(iii) Feed this through the Epson printer, ensuring the easy-peel corner goes through last (else you'll potentially have a right mess in the machine!).

(iv) Carefully peel the printed tissue off the mount, which will then curl manically!

(v) Mount each sheet onto your pre-shrinking frames (each of mine are just two pieces thick corrugated cardboard cross-laminated and sellotaped together for stiffness in both axes), one sheet per side so that two frames produce four sheets per steaming - which is done over an open kettle until your fingers get hot and sweaty or thereabouts.

(vi) Come back later and scalpel off each sheet of ready-to-apply, pre-coloured pre-shrunk tissue.
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« Reply #19 on: May 06, 2019, 10:22:23 AM »

Hello Jon,
A "newbie" question - what's the yellow tape I see you use to hold stuff in place while it's gluing? I presume it's fairly low tack and narrow?
Probably obvious to the proficient builders, but I couldn't work out what it was.......

Thanks for the help, John
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Jack Plane
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« Reply #20 on: May 06, 2019, 02:17:09 PM »

Hi John
Its Tamiya, comes in various narrow widths.
Cheers
Jon
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« Reply #21 on: May 06, 2019, 02:35:25 PM »

I like your method for producing coloured tissue Jon. When I saw the model I presumed you had a secret source for pale blue Esaki tissue, the evenness of colour is very good.

 It did not occur to me you can print such a flat colour.

Presumably steam shrinking is a must as any water shrinking would make the ink run ?


Chris
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Jack Plane
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« Reply #22 on: May 06, 2019, 03:46:31 PM »

Hi Chris

No, the Epson ink is pretty waterproof, obviously let it go off for a while before shrinking.

The only reason I steamed is because I didn't want aggressive shrinkage on the frames.  After covering, I then lightly steamed again before pinning down etc.

Jon

PS This is what it looks like on screen:
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« Reply #23 on: May 06, 2019, 04:28:44 PM »


(iv) Carefully peel the printed tissue off the mount, which will then curl manically!


Jon, not to preach here but if you lay the printed sheet face down and remove the paper from the tissue, it won't curl on you!
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« Reply #24 on: May 06, 2019, 05:21:03 PM »


(iv) Carefully peel the printed tissue off the mount, which will then curl manically!


Jon, not to preach here but if you lay the printed sheet face down and remove the paper from the tissue, it won't curl on you!

Now there's a useful tip! Thanks, Crabby!
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