I will be adding 0.1mm mono bracing wires with 0.3mm brass ends so I have removed the moulded pretend wires. I have also added extra fuselage framing to act as an anchor for the bracing wires. Inside of the fuselage will be painted CDL (clear doped linen) and the framing painted as timber.

Inside the fuselage was painted using Humbrol 121 with 30% white added to simulate CDL. The light timber colour is raw sienna oils over the CDL while the darker timber is 50% raw sienna, 25% burnt sienna and 25% burnt umber. Once dry, it will all receive two coats of Humbrol Matt Cote. I drilled 0.2mm holes in the fuselage frames to take the bracing wires.

This is a dry fit of the cockpit section, all the timber work still needs a coat of clear. Cockpit floor has been painted with aluminium. Instrument panel is nearly done, I will clear coat it before adding decals. Not a lot of the instrument panel will be seen once the cockpit coaming goes on as it is set well forward.

This photo shows the fuselage frame bracing wires in place. I used 0.1mm smoke coloured monofilament and fitted brass ends to each cable. The brass tube is 0.3mm, I drilled it out to 0.2mm to make it easier to thread the mono through, each brass end is 1mm long (24 in total). It’s all held together with CA.

The instrument panel  is built OOB, no PE or after market accessories, I think it builds up to be a nice looking unit as is, the next step will be to add the decals to the instruments.

I hollowed out the box which holds the pistol, makes it look a little better than a blob of plastic with a pistol hand grip sticking out of it.

The oil tank is now fitted and painted Humbrol Aluminium 27001 and the filler cap is painted Humbrol Brass 54.

I had to file a little bit off each side of the seat to allow it to sit neatly without pushing the bracing cables against the side of the fuselage. The small wheel on the left side of the seat is painted Humbrol Aluminium.

Here are all the bits just about ready. I had to make a starter magneto which sits to the right of the pilot, Wingnuts did not include this item with the kit?

These three photos show the cockpit floor and seat now fixed in position. I have added the control cables from the rudder bar with the inclusion of turnbuckles. I connected all the cables to the rudder bar first, before gluing the seat in position I threaded all the lines through holes under the seat, I then glued the seat in position and pulled the lines tight holding them with a drop of CA. This method is far easier then trying to rig after the fuselage is closed up. There are also control cables from the control column but these are barely visible. Prominent here is the hollowed out pistol box, the aluminium floor under the timber framework and the oil tank. Everything has been coated with Humbrol Satin Cote and the seat has been coated with Humbrol Matt Cote.

I have made a winding handle for the starting magneto, as you can see it is very small. The photo show it unfinished, I still need to round the corners a bit. The pictures on the right show how I made it and the materials I used, it’s all held together with CA. Drilling a 0.3mm hole through the side of the 0.5mm and 0.4mm brass tube was the hardest part. I held the brass tube between the jaws of a flat nosed pair of pliers, holding the pliers on their side and using the flat jaws as a guide I drill the 0.3mm hole right through the tube with no problems, I did the same for the 0.4mm tube. Once the 0.3mm tube was pushed through the holes and glued, I cut off the excess then sanded them smooth. I pushed a piece of 0.3mm brass tube into the two small hole in the plate to act as screws.

The fuselage is now closed up, the right side went on very easy. The instrument panel is awaiting decals so it is not fixed in position yet. Note the starting magneto which I made from scratch, it sits to the right of the pilot. The firewall is installed but be careful when fitting this item, it has to be square and hard against the right side of the fuselage. It is important to have all the control rigging completed before closing up the fuselage, it would be near impossible to do if left until this stage. Head rest and fairing is also fitted here but not glued, I still need to do a little work to make it sit perfect on the fuselage.

These four photos show a trial fit of the unfinished engine. I have detailed the engine with a lot of added scratch built parts. A complete build log and detailing guide for this engine can be found here. I still need to add the instrument decals before final fuselage close-up can be completed. The extra engine detailing certainly enhances the appearance of the engine, so I will be leaving the engine cowl off so the engine can be displayed fully.

These two photos show the near completed engine. The spark plugs, plug lead tubes and all the spark plug leads are fitted. The centre manifold assembly is also fixed in position. The plug leads are painted with Humbrol N0.100 Satin Red Brown.

This is the completed engine. The added detail certainly makes the engine look good and will definitely enhance the overall appearance of the completed model, especially is the engine cowls are going to be left off.

The cockpit coaming is now fitted as is the cowlings forward of the cockpit. The head rest and fairing is also fixed in position. Very little filler was required after all the panels were fitted, the fit of parts is extremely good. Very hard to see in these photos but I fixed all the instrument decals, once dry they were given a drop of gloss clear to simulate the glass cover. The fit between the lower wing and the fuselage is great, no filler will be needed here at all, the tailplane is also a very good fit. I drilled 0.3mm holes in the tailplane, elevators and fin to take the rigging wire, it is always a good idea to drill these before painting, stops any accidents happening from the drill skipping across the surface.

I replaced the kit supplied fin with the Brian Fawcett replacement set, it also comes with a new rudder (available from Pheon Models). To remove the fin I used a razor saw, then very lightly sanded the cut area to give a good surface for mating. Once I was sure of a really good fit I applied CA to the bottom of the fin and attached it to the fuselage. To give me a guide to make sure the fin was sitting correctly, I fitted the tailplane (horizontal stabilizers) first, I then had something to check that the fin was sitting at 90 degrees. The Brian Fawcett fin is very good with nice crisp detail, the rudder is excellent also with fine detail, but be careful, the rudder is thin and will bend easily. I drilled 0.3mm holes in the rudder control horns, the horns are moulded with the rudder.

I have completed the pre-shading on the underside of both wings and the tailplane. The method I used and how to do it can be found here under the easy pre-shading method. I still need to give a few coats of clear and add the decals to the bottom of the lower wing.

Because I am building this model with the engine cowls off I decided to use brass sheet for the radiator instead of brass coloured paint. I used very thin brass, I cut it slightly oversize then glued it using CA. I left the glue overnight to cure fully before filing and sanding the brass back to the correct size. I polished the brass with fine micro mesh pads, it gives a result impossible to obtain by using paint. The new filler pipe was turned from 2.5mm brazing rod, the dimensions were taken from the plastic part removed before the sheeting was applied. I fixed this new pipe with CA and polished it with micro mesh pads. A trial fit with the engine revealed that all my plumbing pipes which I made from copper wire lined up perfectly and slipped straight into the appropriate holes. The brass certainly gives the radiator a more pleasant appearance.

This is the completed radiator. The black section on the front of the rad is done with black printing ink. I drilled all the holes in the front of the radiator using a 0.4mm drill bit. The sides and over the top are painted with PC10. I have sprayed the radiator (not the brass) with Humbrol Matt Cote.

The colour is finally starting to go on, the fuselage has been completely painted and to protect the matt paint from marking I gave it two coats of clear. Gloss clear will have to be applied where the decals are going then when complete another coat of clear matt. The pulley inspection panels are completed apart from the clear plastic covers, they will go on after the final clear coat. The belly photo shows the PC10 wrapped around the wings and tailplane, it also shows the pre-shading very clearly which as described earlier was done the very easy way.

The scheme I have used is;

F5910 41 Sqn, Conteville, France. August 1918. Capt. W. G. Claxton.

The decals are from PHEON MODELS, they are very good decals, thin and adhere very well to the gloss surface, I would definitely recommend Pheon Models decals. I have also coated over the entire model with Humbrol Matt Cote, this seals the decals and protects the matt paint. The cockpit padding will be coated with satin clear to give it a slightly glossy appearance.

Two photos showing the engine and the radiator fitted to the airframe. I will add fuel lines, throttle linkages and electrical wiring from the firewall to the engine. The cockpit padding has had a coat of satin clear.

The first photo on the left show the starting magneto winding handle, I described earlier how it was made, also note the Aldis sight and the windscreen. I cut both ends off the Aldis sight and replaced them with the same length 2mm brass tube, I used CA to hold the brass tube in place. I painted the sight with Humbrol Satin Black so a clear coat is not necessary. Like the engine and radiator, real brass looks better than what could ever be achieved by painting. The photo on the right shows a temporary fit of the propeller, I still need to coat the prop with a gloss clear coat.

The cabane struts were wrapped in cloth then painted, to try and emulate this I cut 2.5mm strips of aluminium foil, the foil I used is only ½ a thou thick. Very carefully, I wrapped the strips of foil around each strut, once each strut was completed I put a drop of CA at each end of the strut to hold the foil in place. I sprayed with my PC10 colour building up each coat until I was happy with the result. Once dry I sprayed several coats of Humbrol Matt Cote. The result is a fairly close representation of the cloth bound struts of the real aircraft. Be very careful if attempting this as the foil is fragile and breaks easily, for each strut I had 3 - 4 attempts before I finally had a complete unbroken run.

The exhaust is now fitted, it was first painted with Humbrol Rust then “dirtied”with graphite dust, two coates of Humbrol Matt Cote seals it. I have fitted all the eyelets to the wing and fuselage as well as the undercarriage ready for the rigging, details on eyelets can be found here.

The undercarriage has been done as a light wood colour, I used Gunze Radome as the base then wood grained with oils, once dry I gave the wood a coat of Humbrol clear orange.

These two photos show the completed struts (just sitting there for the photo). I first painted the struts with Gunze Radome, then I created the wood grain with Raw Sienna oil paint. Once dry I gave it a coat of Humbrol clear orange. The metal brackets on each end of the struts are painted with black printer ink, once dry they were coated with Humbrol Matt Cote. I drilled 0.2mm holes in the metal brackets for the rigging lines, be careful doing this as there is very little meat there to drill into.

The tyres are coloured using graphite dust from a propelling pencil and applied with a small stiff bristle brush. It has been coated with Humbrol Matt Cote, the graphite will rub off when handled so the clear coat must go on as soon as the graphite is applied. I have completed the tail end rigging, I used 0.12mm monofilament and 0.4mm brass tube, all held together with CA.

As with all my models, I attach all the rigging lines to the underside of the top wing before I fix the wing to the aircraft. The rigging lines are looped through an eyelet then secured with a 0.4mm brass tube cut to 1.2mm long, CA holds it all together. The monofilament (fishing line) is 0.12mm.

Rigging technique can be found here

The top wing is now fixed to the struts. Before fitting the top wing make sure that the cabane strut locating holes in the top wing are clean of all paint, the fit of the struts into these holes is very tight and any interference will make installation of the top wing very difficult. All the rigging lines are now hanging loose ready for connection to their appropriate eyelets on the bottom wing and fuselage.

Below is a series of photos of the completed Wingnut Wings SE.5a. I encountered no major problems during this build and would recommend this kit to anyone who has moderate to advanced modelling skills. If built OOB it makes up to be a beautiful model but any amount of added detail will only enhance an already brilliant kit. The addition of the Brian Fawcett fin and rudder set and the use of Pheon Models decals has turned this into a delightful looking model of one of WW1’s outstanding aircraft. Wingnut Wings has to be congratulated for producing such a wonderful kit.

Paints and materials used during construction

Cockpit - light wood - base coat of CDL then Raw Sienna oil paint

            Dark wood - base coat of CDL then burnt Sienna oil paints

Cockpit fabric - CDL (Humbrol 121 + 30% white)

Instruments - black printer ink - Humbrol Aluminium 27001

Seat - Gunze Red Brown H47

Engine - cylinder blocks - Humbrol Satin Black No.85

           Crankcase - Humbrol aluminium No.27001

            Rubber hoses - dark grey

            Plug leads - Humbrol red brown No.100

            Plug insulators - Gunze off white H21

Brass accessories - Gunze Mr. Metal Gold 217

Under wings - CDL (humbrol No.121 + 30% white)

PC10 - Humbrol No. 155 + Humbrol Rust No.113 about 10 - 15%

Cockpit padding - Humbrol leather No.62

Propeller - Base coat of Gunze wood brown H37 then Burnt Umber oil paint

Undercarriage struts - Base coat of Gunze Radome H318 then Raw Sienna oils then Humbrol clear orange.

Wing struts - as undercarriage struts

Fuselage stitching - Gunze Hemp H336

Wheels - Graphite dust on tyres - Humbrol Red No.19 centres

Wing gun - timber hand grips - Gunze red brown H47

               Brass on Foster mount - Gold leaf

Exhaust - Humbrol rust No.113 then graphite dust

Both guns - 50% Humbrol polished aluminium + 50% Humbrol gun metal then graphite dust

Black strut brackets, control horns, undercarriage brackets - black printer ink

Copper wire - 0.13mm - 0.9mm - 0.65mm (plug leads used the 0.13mm wire)

Brass tube - 0.3mm - 0.4mm - 0.5mm - 0.8mm - 2mm

Aluminium foil - ½ thou thick

All metal parts held with CA. (super glue)

Here are the decal options available on the Pheon Models SE.5a decal set. There is a large range to choose from, all depicting certain aircraft of WW1.

The excellent booklet included with the decals explains each of the schemes. These are high quality decals.

The completed model showing the stagger wire assembly.

Wood grain is shown here very well

Click any small picture for a larger image