WnW Sopwith Dolphin
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Build log in progress

The wicker seat supplied with the kit is quite good except that the open weave across the back of the seat are all closed up with flash. I opened these up by using a 0.3mm tungsten carbide drill bit which cuts through with ease. To get a more squared look I then used a 0.35mm broaching file in each hole, still not perfect but because the weave is so small and fragile I didn’t want to break any of them.

I have decided to use the RB Motion aluminium spark plugs for this engine, they are 1:24 scale but look perfectly okay in this engine. I cut off all 16 of the plastic plugs and drill holes a suitable size to suit the new spark plugs, the plugs will be painted once they are fitted to the cylinders. The RB Motion plugs have excellent detail and will enhance the look of the engine.

All the “wood” bits have been removed from the sprues and cleaned up, they were then sprayed with a base coat of Gunze H313 Yellow FS33531 semi gloss acrylic paint, this is in preparation for the oil paints that I will be using to simulate the timber look. The oil paints will take a few days to dry thoroughly before any further work can be done on these parts.

I have painted the cylinders using Humbrol Satin Black and the crank case has been done with Humbrol Aluminium Metallic No.56. I have also completed the magnetos by using the same black, gold and Humbrol No.133. I also removed the top ignition wire tube and replaced it with a length of brass tube, I drilled a hole in the centre to allow the wires to come out.

The wicker seat has been painted using Gunze H71 Middlestone, this is an acrylic paint. The seat cushion has been painted with Humbrol Leather No.62, this is an enamel paint. The timber frame that the seat sits on will be painted to represent wood, this will be done using oil paints.

The cylinders have now been fitted to the crank case. I have also fitted the 16 RB Motion aluminium spark plugs, I still need to paint the white section of the plugs. The magnetos have been fitted in position and will be wired to the spark plugs as soon as the painting is completed.

The manifold has been trial fitted and the pipes painted with 215 Mr Metal Color Copper. I still need to add the hose clamps to all the pipes. The spark plug ignition leads to the 8 spark plugs on the inside of the cylinders will need to be done before the manifold is fitted.

The engine is now completed apart from the ignition leads, these will be added after some paint dries. I painted the white section of each spark plug using Humbrol No.130 Satin White, a small drop of CA on the bottom of each plug holds them into the cylinders very well.

The ignition leads are made from 0.12mm copper wire and once fitted they were painted with Humbrol No.63 Matt Sand. I made the tiny ignition lead clamps from Tamiya tape painted with a brown Faber-Castell Pitt Indian Ink artist pen, the engine is now finished.

Most of the fuselage internal parts are now painted, there is quite a bit of painting required especially on the fuselage frames. I still need to add the rigging wires to the framework. Every thing has been given a spray of satin clear so once dry more work will continue, the instrument panel still needs to have quite a bit of work done. It is getting close to being assembled.

I have added the fuselage frame rigging using 0.12mm Modelkasten elastic thread. The inside of the fuselage has been painted with Gunze H21 Off White to represent the CDL, Gunze H333 extra dark seagray and Humbrol Metallic No.56 Aluminium. I have placed the fuselage frames in the fuselage sides just to get a feel of what they look like, I am still working on the instrument panel.

The engine is now fitted in place. It took quite a bit of manipulating to get the engine to fit correctly, the main issue were the magnetos, they are a fraction too wide and to get the engine in it had to be tilted back and down quite substantially then forced into position, luckily no damage occurred to any of the parts while the “rough” manhandling took place. With all the cockpit internals and engine fitted it show the aircraft to be very busy at the front end. I will now spray the entire assembly with a coat of satin clear.

The instrument decals went on extremely well, I used a small drop of Mr Mark Softer then finished off with a hair dryer. All internal parts are now added, no issues were encountered fitting the parts but all traces of paint have to be removed from all mating surfaces, once assemble the unit is quite strong.

I have now completed this stage of the build. I fitted the top frame which mounted on top of the cabane struts, it fitted perfectly. I also fitted all the rigging for the cabane struts, for this I used Modelkasten 0.12mm elastic thread, once fitted they were painted with Mr Metal Color 213 Stainless. The frame is now ready to be fitted to the fuselage. So far the build has been very enjoyable with only the engine fitment causing a few issues.

I trial fitted the fuselage frame into the two fuselage sides just to try the fit, the fit is absolutely perfect with no interference at all, even the join line between the fuselage sides will not require very much attention to get a good smooth join.

The fuselage has now been closed up and the nose section fitted along with the top engine cowling. All parts fitted extremely well with no force required to seat any of the parts.

The fuselage has been painted using a mixture of 2.5 of Humbrol matt 155 to 1 part of Humbrol gloss 10, once dry I sprayed the fuselage with Hobby Color H30 gloss clear. I applied the decals to both sides of the fuselage, the decals are of the usual top quality and went on without the use of any decal set solution, all that was needed was a hit with heat from a hair dryer. After letting the decals dry for a few hours I then sprayed the entire fuselage with a coat of satin clear. The instructions called for the front half of the fuselage being a gloss but after doing this it looked very toy like and unrealistic, the satin finish gives a better look. I also used the kit supplied decals for the rudder.

The tail plane and fin/rudder have now been painted and fitted. The decals for the rudder are a very good fit and only required very minimal trimming once dry. The locating pins for the tail and rudder are very good and lock in beautifully.

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