Following the kit instructions, I assembled the cockpit and gunners station. The kits pilot seat is good but I decided to make my own wicker seat, details on how I did this will be in another section soon. The wood grained cockpit floor and the carpeted gunners section are done with Gunze water paints then detailed with artists oils. Cockpit framing is wood grained also with oil paints. For the cockpit frame bracing wires I used 0.17mm mono with a brass sleeve at each end. I wood grained the instrument panel then painted the instrument bezels with black printer ink, this does not hide any detail like paint will. The whole interior was sprayed with two coats of Humbrol Matt Cote, including the instrument panel. I used the kit supplied instrument decals which are very good. I added rudder control cables plus a little extra wiring. The fuselage framing was now fixed to the cockpit floor and cross bracing wires added. The seat is also fixed to the fuel tank which was previously painted. The ammunition drums are painted then added to the framing as per the instructions. No problems were encountered during this stage of the construction.
The inside of the fuselage was painted using Gunze Off White, then the cockpit was attached to one side of the fuselage. Next I added the instrument panel and the PE supplied storage section aft of the gunners position. This part is a little tricky to get the proper bends and folds but once done it fits well and looks good, follow the instructions carefully when doing this part. The gunners seat was fitted as well as both sets of seat belts, make sure the seat belts lay over the seats like a piece of fabric would The gun mounting platform was now fitted and the guns dry fitted. I placed two of the ammunition drums in the rear storage compartment instead of fitting all of them to the fuselage sides. The cockpit is now ready to be closed up.
This picture shows the completed cockpit and gunners position with the engine dry fitted for test fit, the engine mounting is very positive and fits very firmly. The guns are also only sitting there for photo purposes, I added a sight to the front of the Lewis guns. I have had no problems with fit of parts during this stage of assembly.
The fuselage closed up very well with very little filler needed on the seams. The engine fitted extremely well and mounts firmly. The fuselage was air brushed using Humbrol enamels then glossed to accept the decals. The decals are first rate and settled down beautifully. Two coats of Humbrol Matt Cote seals every nicely and adds just a touch of satin to the surface. Tailplane fitted very well and is now fixed in position as is the tail fin and the gun platform. Control rigging on this aircraft is double cables with turnbuckles so it was an involved process, Check my how to make turnbuckles for easy to follow steps. I did the elevator rigging first using 0.17mm mono, my turnbuckles and 1.2mm brass sleeves to take the mono loop, it’s all held together with runny CA. The elevator cables cross over half way from the bell crank to the elevator horns so care must be taken not to tangle the cables. Tension wires were also added to the fin and horizontal stabilizers using again 0.17mm mono and the 1.2mm brass sleeves. It is important to have all the fuselage and tail painting completed and the decals in position before applying the control rigging, I also sprayed two coats of Matt Cote after the decals were set. These photos show how the turnbuckles enhance the overall look of the control rigging and are accurate in size for this scale.
I fitted the undercarriage and bottom wing before I completed the control rigging, it gave me a more stable platform to work with. Bottom wing went on well but be sure of the alignment of the small struts. Undercarriage has good locating pins and fixes very firmly, I had to enlarge the holes just slightly to make fitment easier. The cabane struts are on but the rear pair took a bit of work to fit, they tend to foul on the fuselage frame work making fitment a little difficult. I needed to thin the lower end of these struts so they would slide into their appropriate slot easily. All bottom wing painting has to be completed before fitment as space under the fuselage is limited.
Wing struts have been wood grained and both ends of each strut have been wrapped with Tamiya tape cut to 0.75mm. I fitted the struts making sure they were all aligned, locating pins are very good. I now glued all the eyelets into the bottom and fuselage sides ready for the rigging.
After completing the painting of the top wing I glued all the eyelets into the correct
positions. Using my rigging method I fitted all the rigging that is required for
the wing rigging. The small mounting plates on the wing have been painted using printer
ink, the ink covers well but will not hide any detail. The wing pre-
Carefully fit the top wing to the struts checking the alignment in comparison to the fuselage and bottom wing. Make sure none of the rigging lines are tangled with the struts or within themselves, they should all hang neatly from the top wing. See photo. Allow the glue to cure fully, preferably over night, before attempting any further action on the wings.
Complete the rigging by attaching all the lines to the bottom wing and fuselage. A simple guide to rigging will be in a future tutorial soon. I connected all the cabane lines first, then did the strut bracing lines, then I did the wing rigging, drag wires are last. You will notice that this aircraft has double flying wires so care must be taken to get them in the correct position. When selecting a line from the top wing, check and double check to be sure you have the right line for the position you want it to go. Do not over tension the line as it could pull the wing out of alignment. I normally do one wire on one wing then do the corresponding wire on the other wing, this tends to keep everything nice and straight. Complete the model by installing the completed twin Lewis guns, wing control cables, prop and engine cowls if needed. Below are some photos of the completed model. If you have any questions please contact me and I will help you as much as I can.
Paint colours used
Fuselage outer -
Fuselage inner -
Wings upper -
Wings lower -
Wheel covers -
Wicker seat -
Seat padding -
This model was an absolute pleasure to build, Wingnut Wings should be congratulated for producing such a wonderful kit. There where some aspects of the build which where a little difficult but with moderate modelling skills there is nothing that would cause any major headaches. I would definitely recommend this kit.
The spark plug leads are made from 0.13mm copper wire stripped from multi strand electrical cable, any size close to that size would also be appropriate. I always run the wire over a candle flame before use, it makes the wire more workable.
The Falcon engine has two plugs per cylinder so I drilled two 0.2mm holes into the top of each cylinder. Around the outside of each magneto I drilled twelve 0.2mm evenly spaced holes to accept the plug leads. Dip the end of a cut piece of wire (longer than what is necessary) into runny CA (super glue) and quickly insert it into one of the holes in the top of the cylinder. I started from the rear holes in the rear cylinders, work on both banks of cylinders at the one time. Run these two wires back to the appropriate holes in each magneto, bend the wire so it sits where you want it to go then cut it to length so it fits neatly in the hole in the magneto, do not glue at this stage.
Continue adding plug leads two at a time working forwards (one for each bank of cylinders) following the procedure above until all 24 leads are in place. Once all the leads are in the magneto and you are happy with the result, add a small drop of CA to the base of the wire where it is inserted into the magneto, make sure it is very runny CA and only a small drop. Align the wires so they are all running nice and neat and lying flat and nearly straight (plug leads never run dead straight, they always have slight bends in them), a small gap between each lead is good as it shows them as individual wires. After the glue has cured fully, normally after 12 hours, paint the leads with a fine tip brush using Humbrol No.63 Sand, thin the paint by 50% to stop a thick build up of paint.
Allow the paint to dry fully then cut small lengths of 0.3mm (approx) soft copper wire and wrap around the leads to act as lead retaining clamps, these are placed at even intervals along the length of the wires. I painted the clamps with a dark grey paint.
At the end of the leads where they are inserted into the cylinder heads, add a small amount of off white gloss paint to simulate the actual spark plugs, this can be very tricky as there is not a great deal of room available with some of the cylinders.
Refer to the above photos for the completed plug leads, it can be a time consuming and fiddly job but well worth the effort.
I started with the engine which goes together very well and is well detailed. I added extra plumbing, plug leads etc. but straight from the box it builds up to be a lovely engine. The instructions are very well illustrated and show engine assembly in very detailed pictures. I painted my engine as per the recommended colours. For the brass colour I used liquid gold leaf which is available from any good craft shop or well stocked hardware store, it brushes well and sprays well. I added the radiator shutter linkage to take the shutter control cables and I also made and added the oil tank drain cock and oil lines, plugs leads are 0.13mm copper wire painted with enamels, see photos for detail.