Monday, 30 January 2012

David Boddington - 1/4 Scale Bleriot XI B - Photos Part 5 - Rear Cockpit

The following pictures show close-up shots of the rear cockpit. Again, information on the full size Bleriot was hard to find so I used details from other aircraft of the same period.

The rear cockpit forward of the seat showing duck-board and control cables.

The grey panel in the picture is the back of the front cockpit bulkhead. The control cables seen passing through this grey panel are for the rudder and elevator controls. The 'duck-board' in the foreground is a foot rest for the pilot. The 2 small tubes coming from the grey panel at the bottom centre are for the 'bomb drop' cable to pass through. The entire area has also been 'dirtied up' a little to give it that 'used' look.

Aerial view of rear cockpit.

The plywood seat is similar to that used for the front cockpit but it has been cut down in height. The 'duck-board' can also be seen. The majority of the rear cockpit detail was constructed from 'liteply' and balsa wood to keep the weight down. The leather cockpit trim can also be seen, this is made in the same way as that used for the front cockpit (see Part 4 post for Front Cockpit description) 

Rear cockpit leather trim close-up. 

As the leather trim around the rear cockpit is in a 'U' shape it was necessary to taper each end. This was achieved buy sewing in a dart to obtain the correct taper. This trim was held in place using the same method as that used for the front cockpit, with eyelets and thread. Again, the thread was stained to help it blend in with the 'weathered' fuselage.

Close-up of rear seat. Cross bracing can also be seen.

If you look closely you can see 4 very small 'eye-hooks' on the starboard side of the fuselage under the seat. The receiver aerial wire passed through these 'eye-hooks' to keep the wire in place during flight.

 Another close-up of the rear seat and support. 

Close-up taken under the rear seat showing the dummy reserve fuel
tank in place. The tank was fixed to the front seat rear bulkhead.

The dummy reserve fuel tank filler cap.
The filler cap is situated just behind the front cockpit opening.

Another close-up of the dummy fuel tank,
taken when the model was finished.


This picture of the dummy fuel tank
was taken before the fuselage sides were covered.

 The finished dummy fuel tank prior to installation. 

The basic construction of the dummy fuel tank was made from .25mm thick plastic card (HIPS - styrene sheet) A tube was rolled to form the centre section of the tank. The domed ends were made using heat and a simple 'plug' former. This method results in a formed part without using a 'vacuum forming' machine.

When the basic construction was finished the tank could be detailed. A thin strip of plastic card was wrapped around each domed end were it joined the centre section tube. This thin strip was to simulate a 'flange'. 

A plastic tube was glued to the top of the dummy fuel tank, this was to attach the filler cap to later, also made from plastic card.The other pipes visible were made from aluminium tube and wire. The support bracket for the large tube at the bottom of the tank was made from very thin aluminium sheet (litho plate). The 'wrap-round' straps that hold the tank to the bulkhead were also fabricated from thin aluminium sheet. Holes were drilled in this strap to add some scale detail and a strip of plastic card painted black represented a 'rubber' gasket between the bracket and tank.

The 'sight tube' to the left of the tank was made from 2 short pieces of aluminium wire bent at right angles. 2 holes were drilled through the tank and the right angled pieces of wire glued in place. After the tank was painted a short length of clear plastic tubing was placed between each piece of wire. The clear tube was also painted inside to give the illusion that there was fuel in the tank and tube.

The finished tank was painted to look like copper and 'weathered' All the seams and bracket fixings etc. were outlined with silver paint so they look like soldered joints. 

Undercarriage photographs to follow...

To be continued...

Friday, 13 January 2012

Tirrem Messing About...

It's Friday 13th!
Tirrem's reply to that, "I'm not superstitious, knock wood!"

Tirrem's First Photo Shoot didn't go according to plan... He just had to MESS about and as such, ended up on his FACE!  Ouch, that must have hurt!

I meant to do that!

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

David Boddington - 1/4 Scale Bleriot XI B - Photos Part 4 - Front Cockpit

The following pictures show close-up shots of the front cockpit. There wasn't much going on in the pilot's seat of a Bleriot X1 B and instrumentation was a little sparse. In the absence of good documentation some of the details were taken from other aircraft of that era.

Also the David Boddington Bleriot is 'sport scale' and was never intended to be an exact scale model of the original. That said, there is plenty of scope to add scale detail to make the model look very authentic. David was a great believer in 'dirtying up' a finished model as it helps give it that 'used' look, but don't go overboard with the weathering.

 Seat, fuel gauge, control column and fuselage interior can be seen here.

The bracing wires to the fuselage sides were none functional. The actual control cables are visible at the bottom and consist of 2 for the rudder, 2 for the elevator and 2 for the bomb drop.

Seat close-up.

I use this style of seat in nearly all of my WW1 planes, they look convincing and only have 3 components to them. I will do a 'blog build' showing how they're made and include PDF templates so you can make your own.

The control column can also be seen, it was 'sprung loaded' and moved fore and aft, left and right. The control column was connected a dummy 'wing warping' control arm under the fuselage via cables. When the column was moved left or right the 'wing warping' control arm would move too.

There was no actual wing warping required to fly the model. Boddo wrote in the instructions that to include wing warping made little to no difference and that the Bleriot flew just as well on rudder and elevator and therefore didn't justify the extra work involved to include a wing warping system.

A close-up of the control column front support pylon.

This pylon was caved from a small block of  basswood using a small electric drill and cutting bit. The base was from plywood and the top 'bush' was made from brass tubing.

This shot clearly shows the leather cockpit trim, brass eyelets and stitching.

The leather used was from an old secondhand jacket that I bought. The leather had to be pared down using a sharp blade to reduce its thickness. The join (two in total) that can be seen was hand stitched from behind and the seams laid flat against the underside. Also included in this trim was a length of rubber tubing, about 5mm or so in diameter. This tubing was stuck to the back of the leather trim along a centre line. The trim was glued to the edge of the cockpit cut out. This took quite a long time and great care has to be taken so as not to get glue on the silver painted fuselage sides.

The eyelets were then added once the spacing had been worked out. I used a 'bradawl' to make small hole for the eyelets to pass through and held them in place with cyanoacrylate. The stitching was added and then stained after completion so as to blend in with the leather trim. If the cockpit trim is exposed to waste fuel and oil it is advisable to use leathercloth as it can be wiped clean, leather will tend to absorb the fuel and oil leaving stains. Eyelets can be obtain from Mike Reeves Models in the UK 

 General picture showing entire cockpit opening.


Close-up showing a dummy box behind the seat.

This above dummy box was hiding the wing retaining tubes. The short length of wire seen on the right-hand side of the box is a dummy reserve fuel line from the auxiliary tank situated in the rear cockpit. Rubber tubing was placed over this wire and connected to a dummy fuel tap situated on the left-hand side of the cockpit towards the front.


 This is the dummy auxiliary fuel cap filler just behind the front cockpit.

 Front deck showing more dummy filler caps.

These are the dummy oil and fuel filler caps to the removable top front decking. The bottom right filler cap was removable.  When this filler cap was removed access could be made to the deck retaining screw.

Here we see the fuel gauge made from plastic card for the casing and
bracket with clear for the glass. Held in place with small screws.

Rear cockpit photographs to follow...  

To be continued...