Saturday, 31 December 2011

My 2011 Top Ten Toy List (3TL)

The 3TL Count Down
# 10 Tool Box
This is one cool tool box and present from Erica ... and made to a very high standard too. They will go well in the workshop I plan to build when I get to the US. The attention to detail is superb, although I wish they'd made the pliers move, I feel a modification coming on!


# 9  Tamiya 1/6 Scale Monkey Bike
I've been after one of these for years. This one came up on eBay UK and was a real bargain, another eBay gem and cheap at half the price. It's the 2000 Anniversary Edition with several extra parts for a customized version. The extra parts will make nice props laying around the 1/6 scale workshop. 

# 8 Minichamps Honda CB 750 Four
This was an excellent find from Nortons Trade Only Toy Store in Leicestershire UK that I sometimes go to, I knew having my own business would come in useful some day. The boxed Honda was thrown, and I mean thrown, in a bargain bin. There were about 4 in there and 'super' marked down. I spent some time trying to find the best out of a bad lot and settled on this one. I took it apart so as to repair the bits that had either fallen off or were broken off. I will rebuild it in 2012.

# 7 Folding Chairs
These were a Christmas present from Erica and they are ACE! I have a set of 4 and they are so cool. They'll look great in my planned room sets on hold at present until I get to the US.

# 6  Vespa Scooter 150 VL 1T (1955) by New Ray
Another eBay find but it was badly damaged, smashed to bits to be exact. A total rebuild was undertaken and a change of colour made too, from  the standard white to pale blue. I dismantled every component and repaired all the broken parts, just about everything was damaged. I re-bushed the wheels and held them in place with tiny nylock nuts, they also look more scale like. The seat hand rail was missing and so was the main stand, both were fabricated from K & S stock brass wire and strip. The finished repair was then painted using automotive paint and detail added using a brush

# 5 Tamiya Vintage Honda CB 750 Four Kit
The last time I had this kit I was 12 and have wanted to get another for many years. I didn't want the new version as some of the contents differ from the original 70's kit. The first item to go was the individual metal link chain now it's just a solid plastic offering. This was yet another eBay win and sooooo cheap. It was listed in the wrong category and had been part build and bits were missing, allegedly, but on receipt all the parts were found to be present. It had, however, been painted gold!! It took a very long time to remove the gold paint even with the use of an industrial ultrasonic cleaner. It's now waiting to get built.

# 4 Boots
Another great gift from Erica. These superb boots are just like real ones but tiny! How do they sew them together? we'll probable never know! My guess is they must be using some form of miniaturization machine, I want one!!

# 3 Kayak
Wow, cool or what! Erica found this one too. I was trying to guess what this present was for ages and failed miserably. I came up with all sorts of ideas and none as it turned out were even close. It works a treat and was duly test in a bath if cold water and passed admirably.

#2 Guitar
Double wow with bells on, thanks to Erica again... Just something else made using that miniaturization machine, indistinguishable from the real thing, apart from the size that is.

# 1 Tirrem Mesu
Erica created Tirrem for me after I had asked if I could have a Merritt making. 'No, there will only be ONE Merrit' came the reply. So I came up with Tirrem, Merrit spelt in reverse, pretty good hey!! and  the surname just had to be Mesu : ) I must say he's turned out very well thanks to Erica's creativity. She worked like a demon getting him all finished for Christmas but she came up trumps again.

 Well, that's all folks, I'll keep my eyes open for more toys during 2012...

David Boddington - 1/4 Scale Bleriot XI B - Photos Part 3 - Dummy Engine & Prop

The Bleriot was to be collected soon by its new owner so the Dummy Engine and Propeller needed to be built and fitted before his arrival.

I will be updating my blog with the remainder of the build for the Bleriot Dummy Radial Engine Kit and also the build for the Bleriot Dummy Propeller Kit.

The following pictures show the dummy radial engine and propeller installed into the Bleriot. Remember this dummy engine extends right back to the bulkhead as the plane is now destined for static display only. So if you intend to fit an IC engine behind the dummy radial engine it will be necessary to allow for clearance of the IC engine during the build.

David Boddington - Bleriot XI B Installed Dummy Engine Pic 1 - Taken inside.
The Nieuport 17bis fuselage can be seen in the background.

 David Boddington - Bleriot XI B Installed Dummy Engine Pic 2 - Taken inside.

The propeller hub has 6 dummy nuts & bolts front and rear, they did not pass through the entire hub. The silver 'washers' were made from 'plastic card' (HIPS). One washer to the front and one to the rear. Holes were drilled to each washer to allow the dummy blots to fit through. The finished washers were then painted, weathered and then glued in place. The centre nut was made from a 'cut down' nylock nut. The nut was now a 'quarter nut' with the nylon insert still in the front. This nylon insert retained the propeller on the crankshaft of the dummy engine. In my case the propeller was free turning on the crankshaft bolt and the dummy engine was fixed.

David Boddington - Bleriot XI B Installed Dummy Engine Pic 3 - Taken inside.

 David Boddington - Bleriot XI B Installed Dummy Engine Pic 4 - Taken inside. 

The next 3 pictures were taken outside and have a better colour to them, a closer match to the actual model (on my screen anyway, hope they are on yours too)

David Boddington - Bleriot XI B Installed Dummy Engine Pic 5 - Taken outside.

 David Boddington - Bleriot XI B Installed Dummy Engine Pic 6 - Taken outside.

 David Boddington - Bleriot XI B Installed Dummy Engine Pic 7 - Taken outside.

Front cockpit photographs to follow...

To be continued...

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

David Boddington - 1/4 Scale Bleriot XI B - Photos Part 2 Maiden Flight

After rigging the model in the parking area at the flying field and taking some pictures I wheeled  the Bleriot over to  the pits area and got things ready for the Maiden Flight. I was using a 'Fail Safe System' that would set the engine to idle, the elevator to level and a small amount of rudder. This would cause a slow spiral descent if I were to get any radio interference. I did a 'range check' and 'fail safe check' both with and without the engine running. All was OK so the tank was filled and the engine fired up. The engine speed was checked and I couldn't get the recommended  rpm form  the engine, it fell short by approximately 250 rpm. The pull from the engine at full throttle was considered to be sufficient. This however in practice proved not to be the case!

Final checks were made and having run out of excuses to postpone the flight the tank was topped up, engine started and it was off to the 'patch' for takeoff!

I must have aged about 10 years as the wheels left the ground. The engine was running slightly rich and it was down on the maximum rpm, but it was chocks away and off the Bleriot went!

The Bleriot  took off nicely but it was apparent that the RCV was slightly underpowered, being down on the maximum rpm and the Bleriot was gradually loosing height! As it flew further away it was getting alarmingly low in the sky. A decision had to be made, land it in the direction it was going and hope for the best (bad idea) or turn it back towards the takeoff area. The decision was made to turn the model back towards the take area and 'down wind'. Normally this results in the model losing height but on this occasion it lifted a wing and gained height, thankfully. The wind had considerably picked up by now which created yet another problem, landing. Several approaches were made and aborted with the final approach being made at a steep angle to increase the speed and then flared out for the final touch down and safely back on terra firma.

There is lots of drag from all those rigging wires and  the model, like the real Bleriot flies slightly faster than the stalling speed. The angle of flight was very good with no tendency for the tail to drop as I was assured it would. The only adjustment needed was 2 clicks of down trim on the elevator. This trim was later removed by adjusting the movable stabilizer by 2mm.

Subsequent flights were made but this time using a 20 x 12 APC propeller, expensive at about £25 each but what a difference it made to the thrust. The RCV engine is quite powerful and needed that extra weight that the APC propeller has. For the first flight I used a 20 x 12 lighter wooden propeller and it was not as efficient as the heaver APC propeller. Also the wooden propeller was in fact slipping on the 'prop driver' and on occasion stalling the engine when the throttle was opened fully. When the wooden propeller was removed from the engine the 'prop driver' had cut into  the back of the propeller by 3mm or so!

 Chocks Away...

The point of no return...

After gaining height and settling down the
Bleriot really did look the part in the air.

A nice 'flypast'
The Bleriot is really looking at home in that blue sky.

And finally the inevitable landing!

The days flying went well, the weather was superb, all in all a successful day. The RCV engine ran well and didn't let me or the Bleriot down. The engine eventually ran to is maximum rpm with the APC propeller fitted and was well worth the additional expense. Further takeoffs were achieved without using full throttle as the APC propeller was far more efficient than the wooden propeller used during the maiden flight.
Don't forget I will be uploading more photographs of the Bleriot over the next few days so please remember to drop by again for the updates. 

To be continued...

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

David Boddington - 1/4 Scale Bleriot XI B - Photos Part 1 - Maiden Flight

After having built the Bleriot over a 2 year period the time came for it to take to the skies! The RCV 120 four stroke had been bench run and was ready to be installed. With the engine and radio control equipment in place the C of G was checked and then re-checked. The plane had to be carefully rigged too. The dihedral was set along with the 'washout'. It is very important to include the washout and to make sure both sides are identical. I had to extend the arms to my incidence meter to span the 559mm cord. When I was satisfied that the rigging was OK all the cable end 'crimps' were made and the model was ready. The rigging wires were then removed from the fuselage pylons and carefully wrapped up and bagged on each wing panel. The rigging time at the field was about about 45 minutes.

The Bleriot in the pits on a glorious sunny day, perfect 'maiden flight'  weather!

The following pictures were taken on the same day. A few general shots of the Bleriot on the ground then some of the Bleriot flying.

 RCV Engine installation - Cowl removed.

Undercarriage - Side view.

Undercarriage - Bottom view.

 Front cockpit showing 1/4 Scale AH Design pilot.

Rear cockpit showing seat detail etc.

  Tail skid detail showing bracing wires and pull springs.

Rear of fuselage showing stabilizer, elevator and rudder.

Underside showing the 'Bomb Drop' bracket.
The bombs were dropped separately.

The above photographs were taken with a 35mm 'film' camera and the images have been scanned for use here. I will be placing more recent digital photographs on my blog that were taken whilst the plane was at my parents house. I am still living out of boxes, LOTS of boxes, very annoying! So thanks to my parents for letting me keep some of my stuff in their garage.

The digital images show many useful 'close-up' shots, so if you are planning on building the 1/4 scale Bleriot XI B by David Boddington you will hopefully find them helpful.

To be continued...

Blogging to Resume...

Blogging can now resume! 
After a very painful house sale, they make selling a house in England way too difficult, my wife and I are now able to move on. The associated problems with the house move continue however. NO internet for about 2 months, this was a real problem as we both use it on a daily basis. We still haven't got a landline, something else to sort out. We are now living in rented accommodation whilst our US Visa is being processed. I had a large workshop back at the old house and now I don't! I have put together a temporary workshop in the new house that will have to do until I get to the US. The new workshop is about 11 feet square and as it is inside the house I can't make too much noise.

Many thanks to all that have been looking at my blog and for the comments that have been left. I will answer all the comments soon. I hope you will keep dropping by from time to time to catch my updates as there is lots coming up.

I will be uploading some photographs of my David Boddington 1/4 Scale Bleriot today that I built about 10 years ago. I hope you find them of interest. There will be lots of them so please be patient as I will be loading them in sections.

I will continue with the Nieuport build, as it has to be finished before I leave the UK. I will also update the  Dummy Radial Engine kit build and the Scale Propeller kit build. The Dummy Radial Engine and Propeller were finished in late August - early September and have both been fitted to the Bleriot, which has now been sold, way too big to take with me. I'll make another in the US.

Well that's about all for now,  wishing everybody all the best for 2012.