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PostPosted: Tue 05 Sep 2017 19:47 pm 
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Evening All,

This project is being built as part of a Flying Boats Group Build on another site. I usually make small models because I only live in a small house and do not have the space to display large ones. Stevehed introduced me to prototype German giant aircraft of WW1 with his DFW R1 scratch build a couple of years ago, and last year I discovered the Siemens-Schuchert Werke Rs I while looking through photos on the net. I discovered the subject of this build at the same time and knew immediately that I wanted to give it a try. Fortunately the internet has made access to information on these early types much easier than it used to be: in addition there is a Windsock DataFile (no 136) which also contains information and drawings, although the drawings for the machine that I wish to model are at 1/144 scale so I have had to enlarge them to the Correct Scale i.e. 1/72. My intention with this build, as it is with all of my builds, is to demonstrate what can be done by an average modeller with simple tools and a minimum of expensive equipment, and limited skill but some patience! I hope to shape and scrape my way to something that will resemble this:

http://1000aircraftphotos.com/Contribut ... /8377L.jpg

http://flyingmachines.ru/Images7/Putnam ... s/6.5-1jpg

My apologies for not providing a photo but I am not sure about copyright restrictions and I do not wish to bring problems to the site by using pictures without prior permission. These were taken in November 1916 at the Zeppelin shed at Seemoos, Lindau, on Lake Constance where the aircraft was built. I intend to make a small diorama based on the turntable and slipway in front of the shed as shown in these photos so that I can display what will be for me a large model. (The wingspan is approximately 17 1/2 inches: 44 cm and the length 13 inches: 33 cm). I will provide details of the diorama build in the appropriate part of this site in due course. Incidentally the figure in the Homburg hat at the bottom right of the first photo is Claudius Dornier.

I write "resemble the above" because the picture shows the Rs II in its final form with the engines in cowlings and a simple tail unit. I intend to model the machine with the engines in cowlings but with an earlier version of the tail which looked something like this:

http://flyingmachines.ru/Images7/Putnam ... s/63-2.jpg

Note the large fins and rudders and the biplane elevator. Here the engines are without cowlings: these were added later because the engines ran too cold. The building in the background is the Zeppelin shed at Seemoos.

C. Dornier was working for Graf Zeppelin when in August 1914 he was charged with the design of a number of large flying boats for the Imperial German Navy: the flying boats were to be used to monitor Scapa Flow which was the principal base of the Royal Navy’s Grand Fleet. His Rs I design was a huge biplane with a wingspan of 43.5m: it was constructed largely from steel alloy using airship construction practices. This machine was one of the first all-metal aircraft to be built and flown, when most aircraft were made from wood and linen held together with lots of wire, but it was wrecked in a storm on Lake Constance on 21 December 1915. Dornier's second design was very different from the first and incorporated features which were to characterise subsequent flying boats from this team. They included a very broad hull and a low aspect ratio main plane which was mounted parasol fashion high above the hull. Although the first version had three engines in the hull, these were quickly increased to four and mounted in tandem between the hull and wing, driving push and pull propellors. Small stub wings were fixed to the rear of the hull: on later designs these became full sponsons. The tail unit was on booms which were left uncovered to avoid damage from spray when taxiing. The early booms were made from lattice girders but these were quickly replaced by stronger large diameter steel tube, and the original central fin was replaced by a pair of fins and rudders. The elevator was of biplane form. In the final version of the Rs II the tail boom, rudders and elevator were simplified and it only remained for the design team to change the boom to a single fuselage mounted above the wing on the Rs III for the basic shape of the classic Dornier flying boats of the inter-war and wartime periods to emerge.


Here is my kit for the build: it is not quite complete as I am sure that I will require additional items as I go along:


Image


It includes basswood for the hull, plastic sheet of various thicknesses, assorted strip, wood for the propellors, brass rod for the booms and copper wire for the rigging. I will write the instructions as I go along as usual. Additional materials will be required for the base but that need not distract us here. The first stage was to make up units which will become the hull, wings and engine nacelles. The engine nacelles are to be made from three pieces of 60 thou card and one of 20 thou which have been laminated. 


Image[ 


The hull is going to be made from a sandwich of 2 pieces of 1.3cm x 16.6cm x 6.3cm basswood with a sheet 0.7cm thick wood between. 


Image

The wings will be made in two sections from three sheets of 60 thou card, laminated, shaped and then butt joined, reinforced with metal pins as on the SSW.


Image

The wing and hull blocks now look like this:


Image

......which means that I can now spend many happy hours scraping and shaping.........


Thanks for looking.



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PostPosted: Tue 05 Sep 2017 20:03 pm 
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Nice start,looking forward to this build.


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PostPosted: Wed 06 Sep 2017 21:37 pm 
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Evening All,

Thanks for the kind remark Patterdale.

Before I started any serious work I decided that I needed some new tools because if I were to shape the hull I was not going to get far with the needle files that I normally use for modelling, so I went out and treated myself to these:

Image

Not the latest in high tech or the most expensive tools around but they were within my limited budget and ideal for the task I had in mind. There was a third round file in the set but I have not had to use that yet, maybe I will later. Bought them from a hardware store round the corner and I was even able to walk to the premises rather than having to drive miles to some horrible industrial park in Kent.

The hull is made from a block of laminated basswood: I have not carved basswood before but would readily do so again if the need arises. It is lovely material to work with: hard but not stiff to file or sand, makes a really good smooth surface which once sealed should be easy to paint, and is robust enough to hold in a vice and not be damaged in the process. I enjoyed making this so far - I hope it continues when I do the extra work later.

Scraping and shaping 1

If you know how to carve shapes from a block of wood I apologise if what follows is tedious and I suggest that you skip this section and just look at the photos as this is intended for those who are not familiar with carving. It is not difficult, it just takes a little time, (or in my case a lot - about 5 hours for what you see at the end of this post). I started by filing the top of the hull to get the correct curved section and then I marked plan on the top surface of the block and sawed away the front corners to make things a little quicker. I also sawed away the section under the nose as I followed the line of the hull side that I had originally drawn and started to file away at the sides to get the correct plan shape. Having almost completed the filing of the sides I realised that I had made a major mistake. I had got carried away with the saw and had cut off the lower half of the bow!! I now intend to use this dud hull as a practice piece for later operations. Back to laminating three pieces of basswood and leaving the lot to dry out overnight under a pile of books: my low tech press.

Try number 2: this time I repeated the procedure above to the part where I cut off the corners for the bow section, but this time I made sure that I left the underside well alone. The top of the hull was once again filed to the correct profile:

Image

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The plan was marked on the top of the hull and a series of lines drawn at 90 degrees at fixed points to help make sure that I did not get carried away when shaping the sides:

Image

More filing....until this shape was reached:

Image

Image

The line running across the front end of the hull becomes important at this stage because there has a subtle curve here which I presume was to allow spray water to drain away quickly. Careful use of the file enabled me to shape the upper surface forward of the line. I worked on each side in turn using photographs to get what I think is the correct profile.

Image

Now for the tricky bit: to get the area of the upper hull to the rear of the line to curve downwards to meet the new side profile forward of the line. The centre line was very important because this is the highest point on the nose of the hull and was used as a guide when drawing the file across the side: more strokes and greater pressure towards the side, almost no pressure and few strokes towards the centre line. I had to work slowly and methodically and towards the end I used coarse grade glass paper to finish the job, again working on each side in turn.

Image

Polishing was done with flour grade glass paper, and the top profile of the hull is finished.

Image

Image

I will make the steps at the rear of the hull next, but before I let myself loose on the new hull I will try out an idea on the old one first. Then I will not have wasted 5 hours of work and another block of wood if something goes wrong.


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PostPosted: Thu 07 Sep 2017 00:20 am 
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Some nice subtle curves starting to appear there, this will be very pretty when it is finished :)

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PostPosted: Sat 09 Sep 2017 14:02 pm 
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You've chosen a marvellous and unusual subject again, Steve! Very nice how you introduce me (and probably more of us) to aircraft types I've never known. (Also of course because I am a WW2 adept). I like your progress till now and admire your craftmanship in shaping the basswood.

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PostPosted: Sat 09 Sep 2017 21:59 pm 
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Evening All,

Thank you Shep and Huib for those kind and encouraging remarks. Yes Huib I like the lesser known types which is why I scratch build them. I would probably have to wait until eternity if I want an injection moulded kit of those aircraft that appeal to my interests!

I have completed the steps at the rear of the hull, without making a mess of things and having to start all over again. So...

Shaping and scraping 2

I cut out the whole of the lower rear of the hull - two cuts, one horizontal and one vertical. I then sanded the upper corners smooth as these will be visible when the steps are complete. Two lines were drawn on the horizontal surface to mark where the steps will be.

Image

The third line is the centre line and is used to make measurements to keep things symmetrical. The block which I had removed from the hull was cut into three sections, using the dimensions measured from the hull horizontal surface above. The centre section was carefully put to one side and the two side pieces had lines drawn on them to mark the top of the step. This surface is not completely flat: it slopes more at the front end than the rear. One side was then glued to the gap in the hull rear and allowed to dry out overnight. This was then filed down to the lines on each side and polished with fine glass paper to leave a flat surface as shown on this trial block which was my first (failed) attempt to carve the hull:

Image

Image

Image

The third picture shows that the fit on the trial piece was not quite as good as I would have wanted (and achieved) on the real piece: it was after all done to prove a concept and it worked. When the one side step was finished the above operation was repeated for the other side:

Image

The centre section had to have the sides adjusted with some glass paper to make a really tight fit, but once it could be pushed into the gap I again drew lines on the sides to mark the edges of the hull bottom. I glued the inside surfaces of the hull, tapped the centre piece into place and let the glue set. The top could then be shaped as before with a file, polished with glass paper and the very small gaps filled with putty.

Image

Image

Image

They have now been sanded smooth and I am ready to tackle the hull under the bow. You can see that I have been trying both the round and half round files on the test hull and have concluded that the half round file is the more suitable tool. I just hope that I do not make a mess of the next step as there is a lot of time invested in the hull now!

Thanks for looking.


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PostPosted: Sun 10 Sep 2017 08:13 am 
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Looking very good so far, its quite big by ww1 standards, so should built into a very impressive model, doing the maths, i reckon it scales out at approx 46cm span.


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PostPosted: Sun 10 Sep 2017 08:55 am 
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Ive just re read my last post and it sounds a bit picky,the last thing i want to do is offend, its often the case that data from ww1 often differs depending on the source.


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PostPosted: Sun 10 Sep 2017 19:32 pm 
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Your estimate of the span is about right: it is a large model of a large aircraft for the time. It is featured in [i][The German Giants/i] by Haddow and Grosz.

The problem with dimensions of early aircraft is which source to use and which source did your particular reference use? In the case of Haddow and Grosz I think that they are probably accurate as they seem to have had access to the original records.


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PostPosted: Sun 10 Sep 2017 20:18 pm 
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I used German aircraft of the first world war, by Putnam press.


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PostPosted: Sun 10 Sep 2017 20:42 pm 
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I only know of that publication - I have never seen it. It is possible that one of the authors consulted the original Dornier sources in which case they should agree with German Giants. The dimensions given in the DataFile were:33.2m span and 23.88m length. These dimensions would have been based on Haddow and Grosz: I do not know what figures Smith and Kay give.


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PostPosted: Sun 10 Sep 2017 22:28 pm 
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This is looking good Steve :thumb:

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PostPosted: Mon 11 Sep 2017 02:52 am 
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The stats match. anyhow after this little foray into number crunching,back to what I suspect will a stunning model and build thread. Looking forward to a master class in scratch building.


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PostPosted: Wed 13 Sep 2017 21:41 pm 
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Evening All,

Thanks Shep and Patterdale for the compliments: they are much appreciated.

I have completed the scraping and shaping of the bow, and managed to do so without taking off too much material, and I have kept it symmetrical. I do have a card former which was made from one of the section drawings in the DF but the problem is that it only applies to one part of the bow - the rest has to be estimated by Mk 1 eyeball. I used a half round file for this task as the curve is larger and flatter than the round file. This gave a broader curve and made the overall shaping easier, but I also had to take care not to remove too much wood. I had drawn the centre line on the bottom of the hull before I started - this was essential if the bow sides were to be symmetrical. I carved one side first so that it was almost complete, and then I carved the other until it was in the same state. I took out material from the mid point between the centre line on the bottom of the hull, and the line on the side of the hull marking the vertical section. To start with the edge of the wood looked awful but by gradually extending the line of cut laterally in both directions by using the curve of the file blade, and continuing to remove material from the central area, the desired shape gradually appeared. Finally I took a little wood off each side alternately as shown in the photos below, until I judged that the keel was thin enough and the curve was as close as I could get to the card former. I have never shaped a bow before - this was a first attempt, so please be considerate and leave the micrometers in the back pocket when looking at it!

The pencil marks on the port (left) side show where I still need to take off more wood. By marking the area in this way the other areas are not accidentally worn away and the desired shape lost.

Image

This second view shows the marks on the starboard (right) side of the nose where I had previously used the file. This area had also been marked with a pencil as shown above.

Image

The left and right sides respectively of the completed hull showing the line where the vertical sides meet the planing (under) surface. The marks at the rear are filler used to smooth the joint where I replaced the wood when making the stepped rear as described in the previous post.

Image

Image

I have also finished scraping the underside of the hull - you will see that there are two small longitudinal steps towards the rear. These were taken down with the flat file by gently putting pressure on the file as I drew it forwards and backwards, following a pencil line that I had marked previously. All of the hull has been polished with fine grade glass paper.

Image

The hull is now semi-complete: I have still to drill out the cockpit opening and add details and then drill approximately 40 holes for various attachments: more on that later. And now for some retro-modelling: I have to fill and seal the wood grain and to do that I will use a very old, and for me well tried, method - a mixture of talcum powder and shrinking dope - a la Airfix Magazine sometime in the early to mid 1960's!

Memories, memories.....

Thanks for looking.


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PostPosted: Wed 13 Sep 2017 22:51 pm 
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Looking good, have you ever given consideration to building a wooden boat,because you have got the eye for it, that's a lovely fair hull.


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PostPosted: Thu 14 Sep 2017 21:40 pm 
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Great job on the hull Steve. I take it that basswood is quite a bit heavier than balsa. Are you anticipating any point of balance issues?

Regards, Steve


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PostPosted: Thu 14 Sep 2017 22:55 pm 
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Thanks Patterdale for the compliment. This is the first hull that I have carved in wood: I have carved the mould for the Pheonix A flying boat (see this section), also in wood but that was not really a boat as I think that you mean. Aircraft are my real interest and have been for as long as I can remember: as a child I was brought up under the circuit of aircraft from RAE Farnborough so I was able to look up into the sky and watch a variety of types flying round. I liked the ones with piston engines more than the jets and nothing has changed since except that I am now able to make and rig models of biplanes which I could not manage even as a teenager.

My brother, (who has Parknson's syndrome), did build a wooden 17th century merchant vessel - approx 2 feet long, about 40 years ago. He made all of the spars and canon barrels on a small lathe. He is currently building a late 18th century brig in 1:78 scale, also in wood. He is making everything except the cannon barrels on this one!


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PostPosted: Thu 14 Sep 2017 23:06 pm 
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Thank you Steve. I am not anticipating any balance issues because as you point out basswood is quite a bit heavier than balsa. The wing will also be over the hull and as it will be made from laminated 60 thou plastic sheets, it too will be quite heavy. The tail boom will be from brass rod but because the hull is so large I do not think that the weight of the boom will be enough to tip it backwards. I do intend to present the completed model in a mini-diorama, (the first for me), where the aircraft will be on a turntable, (see reference photo nos 2 & 3 in the first post). I intend to insert a rod into the base of the hull which will ensure that in any event the model will stay horizontal!

I will post a separate log on the mini-diorama when I start it - at some time in the future!


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PostPosted: Fri 15 Sep 2017 07:44 am 
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Hi Steve, I can see why you love aircraft been near Farnborough, the types you would of seen. I was brought up on Hull docks so lean towards boats, funny how your childhood affects you. What is your brother making his cannons from or is he buying them? I ask because I have a number of moulds of different sizes, for white metal or resin, if you let me know the size, I could let him have some for free.


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PostPosted: Fri 15 Sep 2017 08:50 am 
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Thanks for the offer Patterdale but my brother has already purchased the cannon barrels.
It seems that it is a small world: I studied at Hull University in the 1970's!!


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