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Author Topic: DPC Pfalz D III -build-  (Read 3316 times)
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DaddyO
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« on: July 19, 2010, 02:49:58 AM »

Skipping across the boards I decided to make an inroad into the pile of acquired kits and plans that are getting dusty on the shelves Cheesy

First off a commendation for Dave at DPC Cool

This was to be a Sopwith Pup. I had started one of these a few years back before deciding that it would be too big for the venue I use for indoor. I found the part built structure in the 'boneyard' and wondered... Then I came a across some colour information for a Japanese Pup that was built in Coventry (my home town) and did 405 successive loops!?! Anyway - lack of the original plans scuppered this project until I sent an email to Dave. Not only he send a copy of the aforementioned plans to replace the missing ones, but did it within the hour! Excellent service Shocked

Anyway after looking at the bits and the other kits I had I decided that I was going for something a little more Germanic - hence the Pfalz.

If you want a bit of inspiration whilst waiting for pics to appear grab a copy of The Blue Max and sit down for a couple of hours in front of the DVD. Grin

Cheers
Paul
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DaddyO
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« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2010, 02:58:02 PM »

Okay loaded up some piccies so you can see what we're working with Smiley

Kit came in thick polythene wrapper with plans/instructions protecting the nicely lazer cut wood (This includes a section of lazer cut strip wood). Wire and various bits and bobs.

I've also had a copy of the windsock publication for a while which has the usual mix of photo's plans and colour profiles and is recommended. My motto for this build is "don't get bogged down" Wink

(I find it too easy with lots of nice reference material to aim to make a 'perfect' scale replica - of course what I'm really after is a flying model that is instantly recognisable as a Pfalz)

For once I'm going to go with building the fuz first, (normally I start with the tailfeathers), because that's what the instructions suggest. The original was made of 2 cross laminations of plywood so a stick and tissue construction will be difficult to capture this.. . but I have a cunning plan! Cool

Toodlepip
Paul
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PiperCub49
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« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2010, 11:54:30 PM »

Hello Paul,

I have heard bad things about this lazer cut strip wood. Maybe it's because of the burn marks? Are you worried about it showing through the tissue?

-PC49
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Dave K
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« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2010, 11:58:53 PM »

Love the DPC kits and have always had my eye on this one. Looking forward to the build
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« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2010, 04:37:45 AM »

Hi PC - I've built up a couple of DPC birds in the past without the burn marks being much of an issue. A bit of sanding gets rid of most of them. (Since I've already swiped some of the wood to use on other models I'll need to use some other strips as well as these) Wink

Glad you fancy this one too Dave - It's a pretty bird... got to be tempted to do a full Blue Max lozenge scheme Cheesy

Cheers
Paul
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DaddyO
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« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2010, 04:47:43 PM »

Okey Dokey on with the build...

First up is the fuz. Laser cut bits all look nice and don't need much persuasion to pop out of the sheet. The instructions suggest the usual lay the keel in place the add one set of formers etc.

I prefer to make up this sort of fuz as shown in the photos below.

step one is to pin the keels in place on the plan and mark up where the formers fit.

step two is to glue on some sacrificial 1/8th sq strips as shown. (Note the packing scraps to keep 'em level) These extend below the bottom keel by a couple of inches and line up to a datum drawn on the plan below the keel. (Remember to leave enough space between them to fit the formers in) Wink

Step three is to glue the baton to these. (Not sure what you call this bit of wood; I used a piece of inch sq ramin that was nice and true)

When the glue has dried you can lift off the keel and jiggle the formers (which are glued together) into position ensuring that they are nice and square Cool

Now we can add the stringers in the usual way and keep the whole thing nice and true. The baton may be clamped in a vice if needed and makes the handling of the whole thing easier (Well that's the idea at least)

Couple of details on this model -
The half formers are handed top to bottom (clearly marked on the parts sheet) Make sure you get 'em the right way up!
I added some tail end lightness and a little spacer to give some adjustment for the tailplane.

Cheers
Paul
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baedman
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« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2010, 01:49:36 AM »

Paul, Your method of building the fuselage is very impressive. My guess is that for some builds it will be more suitable than others. I have bookmarked your build in order to see what other "cunning plans" you may have.

If I had to invent a name for what you referred to as a baton I would call it a fuz beam. Grin It would also make sense to call it a batten, "Batten down the hatches" the saying goes. A dictionary describes a batten as; a flexible wooden strip used esp. in flattening a sail or securing a hatch -To furnish or secure with battens. Anyway great idea, I look forward to watching your build.

Bruce
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DaddyO
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« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2010, 08:36:17 AM »

Cheers Bruce

It certainly makes life a bit easier. Fuz beam sounds good to me. (Some folks make up a box which does the same sort of thing)

Toodlepip
Paul
(Currently also trying to construct a dragon for a party next week) Shocked
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DaddyO
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« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2010, 04:48:28 PM »

Laying the stringers on (in?) Smiley

I used some of Alan Cohen's 16th sq. strip mainly coz I still have a bit left (I'll need some more soon Alan) The laser cut strips that I've got left I'll use for spars etc.

I did wonder about adding some extra stringers... but decided to leave as is. Most dropped in nicely to the pre-cut slots although I tweaked a couple to get straighter runs. There is a pronounced kink in the top of the cowl line which may not resolve entirely happily; in which case I'll carve this section later...

You'll probably be able to see that I needed to leave the ends of a couple hanging free until after I remove it from the 'Fuz Beam' Wink

Cheers
Paul

(I also managed to make a couple of dragons wings on the lawn this evening which harked back to the old pre-war construction of bamboo and wire with lots of string binding) Grin
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DaddyO
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« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2010, 05:15:42 PM »

Managed a little bit today (amongst paper mache eggs and heads) Tongue

I preferred to laminate the fin outline with 32nd strip rather than use the laser cut sections (I always make a mess of the segmented ones anyhow)

Nothing complex. - strips of balsa soaked for a good hour or so in plain water (I normally make a sink full of boiling water and drop the strips in) Wipe 'em dry and paint both faces with Elmers; stack 'em and pull (the tension is the important bit) round a balsa former that'd been waxed round the edge with a candle. If they break then chances are you aren't pulling them hard enough. Cling film stops the whole lot sticking to the board.

Lower wing is straightforward. I'd probably use thinner ribs than the 16th ones building from scratch, but there we go. Roll Eyes I did decide to file the pre-cut slots for the ribs a bit deeper to inset the ribs below the top surface - I think it looks neater. Tiny scraps of 16th fill in above the spar. The plan details the changes in tip shape between the DIII and the DIIIa. I'm going for the latter version so a more rounded shape is required.

Finally I think I may have the ideal pin for all those lightweight stringers Cool Accupuncture needles. These are 30mm long .3mm diameter and very sharp. The blunt end is a coil that is easy to handle. Playing about with them and some 16th stringers they look good and don't split the wood. They are slightly flexible compared to traditional pins... I look forward to using them in future. (Can't think why I haven't tried them previously - I get them through the trade, but I'm sure they will be other sources... assuming you don't fancy a course of treatments!) Undecided

Cheers for now
Paul
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DaddyO
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« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2010, 05:48:02 AM »

He he sneaked a bit of building in on the Pfalz when no-one was looking Cheesy

Tail unit was quite different on the IIIa, being much larger in area - one of the reasons for choosing this version Wink I decided to laminate some strip for the outer curved portions. The rest is 16th sq. strip.

When I removed the lower wing from the board I found that the bottom of the ribs wasn't flush with the bottom of the trailing edge. Couple of ways around this; I decided to slice through all the joints and move the ribs down then pop a bit on a bit of superglue.

With the top wing there isn't much glue area so I extended the trailing edge by a 32nd and notched it to take the ribs.

Finally a couple of pics of my latest flying model and the reason that the Pfalz has taken a step sideways recently. (The performance in which she will appear is Saturday so hopefully we'll be back on track after that) Smiley

Toodlepip
Paul
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« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2010, 06:33:37 PM »

I haven't seen this thread yet... you weren't hiding it from me were you? I like this plane. I am keen to see how it goes together.

regards
Matthew
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« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2010, 11:37:24 PM »

Paul,

Nice build so far. This kit was one of the very first ones I did that got my foot in the door and is now retired from production (for the time being). Thanks for taking the time to share with others your methods as applied to the Pfalz.  It's a real treat to see these old birds come to life again. I'll be following your build with great interest and I wish you the best success with it.

As a footnote for those who don't know, DPCM / Aerowerkes has shut down for awhile. I don't know when or if production will start up again at this time.

Keep up the great work Paul. The Pfalz is such a great subject to build and a fly.

Dave
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DaddyO
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« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2010, 02:33:07 AM »

Hide it from you Matt Wink

Glad you like them too - One of the prettiest IMO. It looks much sleeker than the Albatross in the flesh.

Thanks for the kind words Dave; it'd be a pity if the Aerowerkes shut down for good. Hopefully a short break...

Now we've got the dragon out of the way I can get along with this one Roll Eyes

Having put the major components together now this bird looks like a goer. The upper wing is noticeably larger than the bottom in the flesh (and clearly shown in drawings, but there's nothing like having the parts in front of you) I printed off some lozenge onto paper and cut it to the approximate wing shape - cor! Incidentally both 4 and 5 colour patterns were used on these so either check your reference photo's carefully or use the one you fancy Shocked

Looking carefully at photo's there seemed to be several aircraft with 'lucky charms' attached (I rather liked the teddy bear fixed to the fuz just behind the cockpit) I may add one of these to the model, because it's a nice little detail even if not correct for the aeroplane I've chosen.

I need to make a decision about rigging angles so suggestions welcome (I'd usually set both wings @ 3 degrees and tail at zero).

Right time for some Brekky
Paul
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DaddyO
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« Reply #14 on: August 04, 2010, 04:47:48 PM »

Righty ho - back on track...

Nice sometimes to have a break, but usually I find that my enthusiasm founders Undecided

The plus side with this one is that I hadn't got too far along with it. Looking at some of the bits laid before me I've decided that the wingtips will have to go - they are too thin in places. I'll knock up some laminated ones and splice 'em in Wink

Obviously all the busted/missing/sanded too thin bits will need replacing too, but that shouldn't be too arduous. The appearance of the tailplane structure offends my eye, but I may leave well alone

I've moved the rear peg station forward one bay to give a bit more wriggle room for the rubber and help the CofG.

Measuring the plan incidences: The lower wing is +3 1/2, upper +2 1/2 and tail zero (all relative to the thrust line and measuring the bottom of the wing ribs)

Spent a happy hour checking the thread on SFA about biplane wing incidences and there were plenty of experienced flyers who used differing set ups (both wings the same, forward/top wing lower or doesn't make much difference). This kind've confirmed what I expected that the whole question is a big old can o' worms Roll Eyes

Mostly I think it comes down to a combination of personal choice/prototype chosen and trimming methods. I know that even when I build the same model twice (or more) it will vary slightly and the 'set up' chosen is only a starting point for the adventure that is to come

Having said all the above I'm going to go with the set up as drawn Smiley

Nightynight
Paul

ps
thought the image was bit dull and this post a bit heavy so to lighten things up here's a pic a Jess the dragon and my little one. (Jess is now resident in the spare room... not sure what guests'll make of her) Cheesy
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« Reply #15 on: August 04, 2010, 06:22:27 PM »

DaddyO:
Here's a picture of my model from Mike Midkiff plans. The upper wing has 1 degree less incidence than the lower. That seems to be what your plan shows.

That incidence set-up works great on my model. Might I suggest that you also add washout (equal) to both upper wingtips?

Bob
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DaddyO
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« Reply #16 on: August 05, 2010, 02:21:26 AM »

Will do Bob.

I notice that you've also got the prominent lower wing fillets on your bird which I think are an important feature of this aircraft. (None shown on the plan)

Cheers
Paul
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Waifish
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« Reply #17 on: August 05, 2010, 05:39:48 AM »

Hey Bob,

Where did you get your plans? I don`t see them on Mikes site.
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« Reply #18 on: August 05, 2010, 10:00:46 AM »

Waifish:

Mike's plans/article on the DIII were published in Flying Models magazine, circa 2003. They own the copyright. I just went to their plans site and could not bring up the price/info for the plan.

I got my plan from Midkiff, before it was published in the mag... it is 30" span and eligible for FAC, JUMBO SCALE (Bipe)

You might send Mike (Ozark Aviation) a note to see what the plan status is..a modified version might be available..

The wing fillet on the lower wing will keep you up a couple nights before you get it to look right Cheesy

Bob
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« Reply #19 on: August 05, 2010, 05:06:16 PM »

Bit of time fiddling and a lot of time considering... Undecided

First up the fiddling - made up some wing tip laminations as before 4 x 32nd glued with Elmers after a good soak in boiling water.

Considering - not entirely happy with the way the nose contours resolve; tried to work out the best way of doing this area and am probably going to take the easy option and carve it either from blue foam or light balsa stock.

I also got the adjustable nose bush (KP) which I've used before. The nuts at the back have holes off centre so by rotating one against the other using the spanners supplied you can alter the down/side thrust very easily Smiley

Final pic. shows a few of Dave Banks superb pilots. One on the right is the raw state; moulded in foam with a hard skin that takes paint well. They are lighter than a carved balsa one and not only have the correct details, but are based on actual pilots for heavens sake Shocked

The one on the left was destined for another model that got broken before he had a chance to take to the air :'(
(unfortunately he looks a smidge too big so I'll save him for another project and paint one of the others)

You can see how I work up the figures - the middle one has a priming coat first applied and then I start with the skin and work outwards as if getting dressed which is the easiest way of doing things. The skin is painted in artists oils (personal preference) and the clothing in enamels which gives a slight contrast between textures.

Cheeryo
Paul
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« Reply #20 on: August 12, 2010, 04:44:17 PM »

Little bit more done before I take a trip towards the Midlands Wink

Fitted the wing tips and put in the dihedral on the lower one. (I decided to increase this slightly to 5/16" under each tip) None shown for the top wing - hopefully flying indoors this won't be an issue...

Tacked the nose in place and sanded to shape the blue foam blocks I had fitted as fill in to the stringers; then added the engine cowl as separate lump of foam. You can see the tiny specks of foam that cling magically to everything after this. Smiley

Cheers
Paul
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« Reply #21 on: August 12, 2010, 06:13:37 PM »

Looking good Paul ... be careful of them Midlands folk.
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« Reply #22 on: August 14, 2010, 03:32:36 PM »

Great work, Paul. I can tell you've done some scale modelling before - great faces!

Dave
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« Reply #23 on: August 17, 2010, 04:38:18 AM »

Cheers Guys

(Yep my first modelling success' were as a scale figure modeller Dave)

Thought it might be of interest to show a way of painting up a realistic figure for anyone who's still a little reluctant...

Rather than use artist oil paints (which are my preference) I'm using acrylic which is easily obtainable and simple to use - although it is a bit hard on brushes so I bought a cheap set (£2.99) Add a cup of water and we're ready to go Smiley (Incidentally I normally use Gesso primer rather than tube white, because it has better coverage)

First job is a coat of gesso to give something for the paint to key to - I usually add a smidge of yellow ochre to kill the starkness of this.

Starting with the face I mix up a 'flesh' colour using white and yellow ochre with a tiny touch of red. (test a bit on the back of your hand if you're not sure it looks right). The whole face is painted with a slightly darker tone then a bit of white added and before the dark tone is dry I brush the light colour over the high points: This wet brushing should through up some detail and let us see what we are working with.

Whilst this is drying (only a few minutes) I work the coat up in a similar way; laying a dark tone and brushing in the lighter version whilst it is still wet.

Next I add shadows and more depth. I small brush and a steady hand required Cheesy Around the edge of the face I add a reddish dark. Side of the nose and eye sockets are a dark 'flesh'. Under the nose and between the lips.

A touch of white added to the basic colour and then work the highlights in a similar way until you are happy with the balance. You'll notice that I don't paint the eyeballs white... it's the quickest way of making a figure look 'doll like' Shocked
Instead spot a bit of bluey/grey (burnt umber/ultramarine) in for the pupils. If you are right handed do the LEFT side first (as you are looking at the face) It's much easier to add the right eye to match the left this way Wink

Lips are the same 'flesh' colour with a tiny bit of red added (Red has very strong tinting properties so go easy)

Extra darks and highlights are added to the coat: Thin the coat for this so it flows nicely (this will also make the effect more subtle)

Spot of silver for the buttons and the helmet is worked up using a different colour for contrast.

Final details are all done using similar techniques... Smiley

I'd suggest that you limit you colours to maybe 4 or 5 and avoid black and white since unmixed they look too harsh. A dark 'black' can be mixed using Ultramarine and burnt umber which looks better. By using a small pallet the finished effect looks more 'together'.

As a final trick you can add a wash of thinned burnt umber using oil paint which ties everything together (I haven't bothered with this one)

Have fun
Paul
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« Reply #24 on: August 17, 2010, 04:39:31 AM »

Some more views of the finished figure
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