Sopwith Triplane in 1/32 by Wingnut Wings

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Sopwith Triplane in 1/32 by Wingnut Wings

Postby Geek44 » Wed Aug 27, 2014 8:20 am

Hi guys.
Time for my first build log on this forum and I hope it will be a bit of a milestone for me.
I've been building First World War aircraft now for about two or three years. It that genre of modelling I've found several new challenges in depicting wood, linen, leather and all manner of materials other than aluminium. Working in 1/48 I've been trying to home my skills a bit in readiness for what I think may be the modern pinnacle of model aircraft kit quality. Wingnut Wings.
The company was formed in the early 2000s by Peter Jackson...the director of 'The Lord of the Rings' in Wellington, New Zealand and has taken off in the last decade and now offers no fewer than 45 different kits and combinations. I first saw these kits at a club I was a member of in Melbourne about seven years ago and since then have bought five of them...with a view to tackling them in the future. Well...that future is now.

http://www.wingnutwings.com/ww/

About ten days ago I finally decided to buy myself the WnW kit I really wanted and ordered it for myself to celebrate my 47th birthday which is on September 3. The Sopwith Triplane.
True to WnW form the kits is simply beautiful. Grey sprues and a small PE fret with seat harnesses, some clear parts, beautiful looking decals and an instruction book.

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Above is the box art.

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Sprue diagrams and decal sheet pics.

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Above is page three of the instruction book and shows the cockpit interior basically finished. I'm nowhere near this stage yet but I chose it to show the style of it. Note reference photos of the Tripe in the Shuttleworth Collection on the left and the beautifully illustrated painting and rigging guide for the cockpit on the right. Yes...rigging. More on that later.

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Above is one of the five (I'm pretty sure it's five) decal options along with four period photos of the actual aircraft depicted. Each decal option has supplied photos. My point here is that the instruction book is also an excellent reference work in its own right. Each of my other WnW kits have similarly excellent instruction books.

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Artwork by the great Ronny Bar. The go to guy for WW1 aviation profiles.
The French aircraft is the option I've decided to build. It belonged to the 'Centre d'Aviation Maritime' or C.A.M. and was based at Dunkirk December 1916 to January 1917 (not long, the French Tripes suffered high attrition).
http://www.wingnutwings.com/ww/product?productid=3039
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Re: Sopwith Triplane in 1/32 by Wingnut Wings

Postby Geek44 » Wed Aug 27, 2014 8:26 am

So strap in.
This is my first WnW kit as I said and I'm really looking forward to getting into it. So far I've detached cockpit parts and cleaned them up a bit. I alluded to rigging before, there is rigging inside the cockpit and at the moment I'm trying to work out how to attach three lengths per side to the rudder bar which is about half an inch long. I'm going to make my own turnbuckles from wire and 0.5mm diameter brass rod (which I already have...it's 0.3mm inside diameter) and rig with Wingnuts own rigging thread. It's elastic and very easy to use. One can also buy excellent turnbuckles and other WW1 goodies here; http://www.gaspatchmodels.com/
Anyone with even a passing interest in modelling WW1 should take the time to check out Wingnut Wings. They're brilliant.
Anyhoo...stay tuned and thanks for looking so far.
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Re: Sopwith Triplane in 1/32 by Wingnut Wings

Postby Whiterook » Sat Aug 30, 2014 11:35 am

I will be watching this build with intense interest! I've known your passion for WWI Aviation, and WnW kits....and now I see why, as I look at those glorious instructions; man, I've never see anything of that quality, in instructions, EVER! on a kit. I would hang on to them as reference, and also for art reference...so, another reason to pick me up a kit! I was truly challenged by the Gotha I build many moons ago, but this looks a right peach! Makes me want to dig out that old Rodin kit (Sop?) in the stash!

OK...on to the question of the day: Peter-frickin'-Jackson??? seriously??? WOW! I take it he models, then? I have to check out his stuff, if so.

I do see myself getting a WnW kit at some point, however like a Ferrari, I'd be afraid to touch it for fear of mucking it up embarassingly at my stage of development :lol:

What color is the WnW rigging?
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Re: Sopwith Triplane in 1/32 by Wingnut Wings

Postby Geek44 » Sun Aug 31, 2014 8:25 am

Mate...chuck the Roden kit on the fire. I've built one or two, not bad but seriously, WnW kits equal, if not rival, Tamiya in terms of engineering, fit and sheer 'Shake-And-Make'-ness. The only trouble with WnW is that they seem to think that several famous WW1 types are already well enough kitted and so far have refrained from doing their own Sopwith Camel, Fokker Dr. 1 or any of the SPAD family which is a crying shame in my opinion. I was unaware that Roden did a 1/32 Camel but I do own the Academy 1/32 kit and it's pale. The basic shapes are there and a skilled modeller could make it a ripper with a large time investment but most modellers don't want to invest that time...a WnW kit would be far simpler and I really, REALLY hope they change their minds about that.

Ahh...yep. 'Peter-frickin' -Jackson' mate. Amazing what a guy with a geeky interest and a few million bucks can do as a side-project. Not sure he builds himself though...I've never seen any builds credited to him. If you check out the WnW site there are some great pics of each kit built by several different builders. All beautiful. There's also a pretty cool Facebook Page called 'Wingnut Wings Fans' that shows some amazing finished models with a few progress shots here and there;

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1159918 ... ment_reply

It's moderated by a Portuguese fellow names Francisco Guedes. It's a closed group but just ask for membership and they'll sort you out.

Em...WnW does a Gotha!

http://www.wingnutwings.com/ww/product?productid=3006

And it's in-freaken'- credible.
WnW rig thread is black, elastic and simply the best rigging I've used and believe me I've tried everything. They also do a flat aerodynamic rigging material to simulate later rigs used on RFC aircraft to reduce drag. More like a ribbon that a wire.
You can also get a great analogy from Uschi van der Rosten.
http://www.uschivdr.com/
Might be cheaper postage to the US from Europe than New Zealand. Having said that, Alex, the guy who runs and owns Uschi is possibly the classiest guy in modelling today. Great products, great prices and EXCELLENT customer service I can't recommend him highly enough. He once bent over backwards for me so give him a try.
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Re: Sopwith Triplane in 1/32 by Wingnut Wings

Postby Whiterook » Sun Aug 31, 2014 11:33 am

Great references there, mate! Thanks!!!
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Re: Sopwith Triplane in 1/32 by Wingnut Wings

Postby Geek44 » Sun Aug 31, 2014 7:34 pm

Here's a little progress.
A couple of nights ago I spent my entire modelling session making eyelets. These are tiny wire loops that will later be anchor points for rigging. I can be tedious but if you use this method to rig, it turns a difficult job into a simple (yet maybe boring) job. Having said that, rigging really makes these old bird models breathe so it's always worth the effort.

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Above you see the right hand side of the cockpit interior. It has the cabane strut moulded in place which is an excellent piece of model engineering. This means that the cabane struts are already at the correct angle and solidly mounted, attaching the wings should be child's play ( :? ).
To the right of the part is an eyelet. That consists of a piece or steel wire that I took from a length of old electrical extension cord that has been wrapped around the tiny steel drill bit you see at the far right and then cut to length with an old scalpel and a 'D' blade. I have an old ammo box that is full of any and all lengths of cable, wire, video cord, old headphones, an unused dial telephone, found wheel balance weights (for the lead) and all kinds of general rubbish that may (or may not :oops: ) come in useful for modelling.

If you look carefully at the model part, you will see an eyelet that has been glued into pre-drilled holes in each corner of the model part. These will later accept bracing wires and will be attached to tiny, brass simulated turnbuckles which I'll make from .05mm diameter brass tube cut to 2.5mm lengths. Yes...the cockpit interior is rigged on models of this scale. Not hard, just time consuming. At times I use a bit of this to grease the wheels a little ( ;) ).

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Re: Sopwith Triplane in 1/32 by Wingnut Wings

Postby Geek44 » Sun Aug 31, 2014 7:45 pm

Some work on the seat.
This aircraft had a steel seat with a cushion. Many of the old birds used wicker or wooden seats. Reference photos show that the metal seat back was painted gloss black but the metal shows through along the top edge where the paint has chipped off with pilots climbing in and out. An ideal application for a little hairspray technique.

Step one is to paint the seat an appropriate metal colour. I used Testors Model/Master Buffable Stainless Steel for this applied dry with a blat brush. Anybody needing more info on how to do that need only ask. The metal colour is then sealed in with Alclad's clear gloss.

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After that has dried. I leave it over night, it needs two fine coats of hairspray. After some experimenting I've found this one works best and it is...happily...the cheapest rubbish one can get.

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Beware of brain damage when using this stuff...it STINKS and needs good ventilation to prevent instant seizures and/or enlightenment while using it :D . Your part will end up pretty shiny...

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The hairspray you choose can make or break the result. If possible try to get the ones that don't turn into solid laquer. Ones that are marketed to men are usually better because they tend to have less hold. When I was experimenting I bought three different types and tried them out on old Tamiya Panther parts. The one pictured above yielded this result...

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Above is AFV Club Churchill with stressed winter white wash using hairspray technique but I digress...
Next stage on our Triplane seat is a coat of Tamiya acrylic black.

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I did this all last night. Tonight I will finish the seat back. Pics soon...
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Re: Sopwith Triplane in 1/32 by Wingnut Wings

Postby Frizzenspark » Sun Aug 31, 2014 8:49 pm

This doesn't appear to be a kit for the mild-mannered.... I have the classic Hasegawa P-26 Peashooter waiting in the wings since I'm not quite ready to deal with the rigging just yet.......
"Why piddle about making porridge with artillery and then send men to drown themselves in it for a hundred yards of No Man's land? Tanks mean advances of miles at a time, not yards.".
Maj-Gen Percy Hobart (1885-1957)79th Armoured Division

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Re: Sopwith Triplane in 1/32 by Wingnut Wings

Postby Geek44 » Sun Aug 31, 2014 9:46 pm

That's a ripper of a kit Frizz, the old P-26 is a classic airframe and one I would seriously love to build. I had the old Academy kit years ago which I threw together for my son in a day. I regret that now since it was a fairly good kit. I think the hardest part about rigging that aircraft (and I've thought about this) would be the two, parallel spans running between the fuselage and the mid-top of the wings. Getting the parallel would be the most important part but they also have a rod that runs between them at about mid-point...each wire runs through the rod. I suspect THAT would be the difficult part to simulate.
None of this stuff is particularly difficult per se. I'm told that this is also fairly straight-forward for a Wingnuts kit and I've followed the odd Albatros D.V. build that simply blew my mind in terms of complexity and the amount of beuatiful scratch-building being done. People get freaked out by rigging...I used to as well. There was a (now defunct) dedicated WW1 aircraft modelling forum that I used to frequent years ago called 'The Aerodrome' and I learned a LOT from the members there. I stumbled across that site late one night and was simply blown away by the models and standard of modelling I found there. It was one of the humbling moments when you think you're doing quite well and then your shown that really, what you're doing is pretty standard. It felt good and I became the student once again. All of the old builds are archived there but the forum is closed now.

http://www.theaerodrome.com/forum/

Now that I get the link I see that the forum has re-opened! Not a bad site, just don't mention PC-10 ('Protective Covering 10'. Standard covering for all British aircraft during WW1 with PC-12 later). People will debate its colour and quite heatedly I found.
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Re: Sopwith Triplane in 1/32 by Wingnut Wings

Postby Whiterook » Mon Sep 01, 2014 3:14 pm

Cool, hat site being opened again...I noted it was gone for a bit too, and had not realized it was back up. Anywhoo...

I very much like your eyelets method much more than the drilling method I used on my Gotha bomber...I like the authentic feel of is, and not wire disappearing into a wing magically :lol:

Nice work thusfar...I watching intently :D
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