Wingnuts have again produced a remarkable kit this time of the DH.9a “Ninak”.

As with all the WnW kits the detail is superb with nice crisp mouldings and an easy to follow brilliant full colour instruction “book”.

I will be building this model to depict an aircraft which has nearly completed a front end repair after a nose over landing. It will have a brand new engine just installed, a new radiator but no prop at this stage, and all the engine covers will be off. Because of the damage suffered the side panels either side of the engine have been removed and will be replaced with new ply. The remainder of the aircraft will be shown as complete.

This is the brand new engine to be fitted into the airframe. This is the engine supplied with the kit and WnW have done a beautiful job producing it. I have done a full build log of this engine where I show how to add the extra details, go here for the build log

I have done most of the “woodwork”, it was base coated with Gunze yellow then varying combinations of oil paints. When it was all dry I coated all parts with Humbrol Matt Cote. As the forward fuselage frame will be visible I have wood grained both sides in the area where the engine will be situated. The seat wicker is painted using Gunze middlestone. Assembly of the fuselage frame and the cockpit and observers station will now commence.

This shows a trial fit of the fuselage frame within the fuselage. The frame has been painted a darker shade to the inside of the fuselage with the CDL showing at the back of the fuselage. The forward section will have the side panels removed allowing the forward fuselage frame to be exposed along with the engine.

I’m getting a little ahead of myself here but I wanted to see what the engine looked like sitting in the frame and also to check for fit in case any modifications were required, but as per Wingnuts reputation, the fit is perfect, I only had to scrape a little paint away from the joining surfaces.

I’ve started to fit all the bits and pieces inside the fuselage. I connected the pilot and observer throttles with 0.2mm copper wire. The very pistol, radiator shutter control and light switches have all been painted and fitted. The two cables running from the shutter control are 0.1mm wire painted with stainless. The instrument panel has had some work done, I will spray it with a coat of satin then apply the decals. The seat is nearly done, I used the kit seat with no modifications, Wingnuts have done a pretty good job replicating a wicker seat.

The inside of the fuselage is now complete apart from the seats. I added stirrups to both rudder pedals and control wires connecting the two pedals. I also added electrical wiring to the light control switch box, they will also go to the battery once the seat is fitted. I have started cutting away the engine side panels, this will allow full exposure of the engine, a trial fit is in the photo on the right showing roughly the appearance I am trying to achieve. Bullet drums are painted with Mr Metal Color Dark Iron then buffed, air pimp is painted with Mr Metal Color Brass and again buffed, control columns and connecting rod are painted with Mr Metal Color Stainless. All control cables and the frame tension wires are painted with Stainless.  Everything has fitted perfectly but paint must be removed to allow for an easy fit

The instrument panel is now completed, the decals went on beautifully and fit each instrument perfectly. The seats are also fitted, the ‘leather’ was base coated with Gunze H313 Yellow, I then applied Raw Umber oil paint and used a cotton bud (cotton tip) to stipple the surface, once it was dry I sprayed it with Humbrol Matt Cote. After 24 hours I made up a very diluted mix of Raw Umber and brushed it over the surface leaving the resulting colour. I connected the wires from the light switch box to the battery, the wires have been coloured red and black using permanent markers. Wingnuts have done a superb job with everything fitting together perfectly, all that was needed was the removal of any paint to allow parts to fit exact.

I made the metal brackets simply by drawing the shape I wanted, printed them out and using a scalpel to cut them out and glued them in place, a quick alternative to making and using PE. I’ve started adding some plumbing and wiring running from the engine back to the firewall. The engine is now fixed in position.

The fuselage is now closed up, a small amount of filler was required along the join lines. I completed the engine to firewall plumbing and electrical wiring, I also reduced the height of the intake tubes. As you can see by the photo on the right, the cockpit and observers areas are quite open so detailing these areas is well worth the effort. The fuselage halves went together very easy and there were no fit issues with the fuselage frame.

The fuselage has been painted with Humbrol No.106 battleship grey. All the brackets on the fuselage were painted with printer ink, the brass caps done with Mr Metal Color Brass, fuel pump propellers with Humbrol tan, the fuel pump with Mr Metal Color Stainless and buffed and the two breather pipes are 0.6mm brass tube replacing the plastic pipes. The cockpit padding looks overly shiny that is because it has just been painted with oil paint and is very wet, it will take a day to dry then it will be coated with a matt coat. When everything was dry I sprayed the fuselage with Humbrol Matt Cote, the cockpit padding will be done later. The PC10 will be painted on the rear of the fuselage next.

The observers machine guns and mount is nearly done, still needs the bungee cords. I added leather handles to the two ammo drums and painted them with Humbrol 62 leather. The gun sights for the pilot have been added, the front one is PE supplied with the kit, the two fuel pumps are done as is the Aldis sight. The machine guns are painted with Mr Metal Color Iron and when dry were buffed with a soft brush.

The radiator is just about done, still needs a clear matt coat over the radiator shutters, the shutters are painted with oil paints. The rear part of the fuselage has been painted with Humbrol 155 and has been clear coated. Both windscreens are now fitted with the metal mounting brackets painted with Mr Metal Color Stainless then polished. I have given the underside of the flying surfaces a coat of CDL, I used Gunze 313 Yellow with 20% Gunze 21 Off White added, once dry I will do the pre-shading. The undercarriage is sitting loose for photo purposes and also as a trial fit,it fits perfectly.

The struts have been painted with a base coat of of what I used for the CDL as mentioned above, I then applied Raw Sienna oil paints to simulate wood, I wanted a very light coloured wood which is what I have achieved. The strut brackets are done with black inkjet printer ink and the pitot tubes are painted with Mr Metal Color Stainless, they will all be sprayed with a clear Satin finish. The radiator is now completed and fixed in position along with the two radiator stays which are painted stainless. The undercarriage is also fitted along with the horizontal stabilizers and the fin.

These photos show the fuselage and tail decals on, as per the usual standard from WnW, the decals applied beautifully with no silvering and they adhered extremely well.

I made the rudder control arm from a length of flattened 0.5mm brass tube, I drilled a 0.4mm hole in each end then inserted it through the slot in the fuselage side and out the other side, it’s held in place with CA. Into each hole I placed a small length of 0.4mm brass tube and applied CA to hold them, these will be for the control cables to pass through.

The cabane struts are now fixed in position. It is essential to clean off all traces of paint from the mounting points on the struts plus from the fuselage where the struts are to be fixed. Once this is done the struts fit very neatly into the fuselage and are flush with the brackets on the fuselage. I trial fitted the upper wing centre section and it lined up with the locating pins on the struts perfectly, no adjustments were necessary. The struts have a good surface area to be glued to the fuselage so I used plastic glue to ensure a strong bond.

I’m using 0.12mm monofilament for the control linr and tail rigging. I made 8 brackets to fit on the tail plane, 4 on top and 4 under the tail. I flattened 0.5mm brass tube, I then drilled a 0.3mm hole in one end, I cut the length to 2.5mm then drilled another 0.3mm hole in the end, I rounded the corners then bent one end up at about a 30 degree angle, this will face the fin. I positioned the brackets then in the outer hole I drilled a 0.3mm hole through the tail plane. Remove the bracket and insert a length of 0.3mm brass tube through the tail, now place the bracket over the tube, slide it down to the tail and secure with CA, repeat the process for the other 7 brackets. Snip off the tube protruding past the bracket and paint the brackets black. The rigging is secured with 0.4mm brass tube drilled out to 0.3mm, CA holds it well. The double rudder cables are fitted also with brass sleeves, I have painted the rigging with Mr Metal Color Stainless. The rudder rigging runs extremely close to the fuselage so care must be taken when painting, I slipped a piece of thin plastic between the cables and the fuselage to prevent any accidents. The elevator control rigging is next, it will have turnbuckles near the control horn.

The elevator control rigging has been added to this side. I drilled a 0.3mm hole on the top of the pulley on top guide and on the bottom of the pulley on the bottom guide. The rigging is attached to the control horn on the elevator, it then passes through the hole in the pulley then connects to a turnbuckle near the control horn next to the fuselage. I have also highlighted the fabric stitching by painting it with Gunze Hemp.

These photos show the completed tail end rigging and control rigging, the turnbuckles are added to fall in line with original photos I have seen.

I painted the tyres with Gunze 416 Black Grey, the wheel covers with Humbrol full gloss white. When the white was dry I applied the red decals and the tyre decals. I sprayed the completed wheels with Humbrol Matt Cote. Wingnuts have supplied weighted tyres which are a nice touch.  

The bottom wing and all the struts are now fixed in position. I have also fitted all the wing mounted turnbuckles to the upper surface of the bottom wing, hard to see in these photos, they are 0.5mm brass tube with 0.13mm copper wire eyelets. The eyelets are also fitted to the fuselage for the cabane strut rigging. When fitting the struts make sure they align with each other, I ran a straight edge across the top of all struts and adjusted them before the glue set, this makes fitting the top wing a lot easier, the forward cabane struts sit a little further forward than the wing struts. I always allow the struts to set firmly, at least 24 hours, before I attempt to fit the top wing.

The top wing is now fitted, it mounted very easy with all the locating pins and holes aligning perfectly. The only part to watch out for is to make sure the fuel lines go into the two holes on the bottom of the top wing tank. I fitted all the eyelets into the bottom of the top wing before I fitted the wing, it is only a case of now fitting all the rigging. I will start with the cabane struts and work my way out. The twin Lewis guns have been removed for the rigging process, this is to avoid damage to the gun assembly.

I have completed about half of the rigging, I’m using 0.12mm monofilament painted with Mr Metal Color Stainless. The cabane struts were the most difficult to rig due to the tight confines, it is always advisable to complete the cabane rigging first then work outwards.

These are the photos of the completed model. Wingnuts have produced a remarkable kit with no problems encountered at all during the construction. The fit of parts is brilliant and the detail is excellent. As described earlier, I chose to leave all engines cowls off to allow a full view of the engine, the side panels would not normally be removed. Rigging is quite complex but easy to fit due to the large gap between the wings, the only issue I could pick is that the undercarriage is a little flimsy, and even when rigged it has a lot of flex. I recommend this kit, it is suitable for the modeler with a little modeling skills and some rigging experience.

If you have any questions about this model or this build log please feel free to contact me.

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WnW DH.9a