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Dave Hurrell Be2c Scale project

A highly detailed build of a WW1 favourite

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Essential viewing......

Essential viewing......

Steve's BE2c build

Stevo01/04/2013 20:01:17
2699 forum posts
419 photos

It's been a long time coming, but finally got this underway. My Grandad flew and repaired these in WW1, so it's homage to him really!!

I have started this build log elsewhere, but I think I would reach a wider audience on here.

I decided on the Dave Hurrell plan, Laser 70 powered. full scale details and all that erm... er... rigging.... I've bought it up to date, in that I'm using laser cut parts, steam bent and laminated wing and tail plane tips, and spruce/balsa laminated spars. Contrary to the plans, it will be an early type, with landing skids (machined from Ash) and exhausts exitting uner the fuselage. No roundels, just Union Jacks smiley Closed loop rudder and elevators and ailerons too, just like the original.


So here's the first bit... The aileron actuator.. fully ball-raced with no slop for the single control wire that wraps around the entir etwo wings. I'll update the servo later...

be2c 1.jpg


Here's the templates for laminating and steam bending...

be2c 5.jpg

And the clamping jig for the wing spars..

be2c 11.jpg

Here's tail fin/rudder, bent and laminated..

be2c 14.jpg


And machining those Ash skids and U/C struts

be2c 15.jpg


be2c 17.jpg


And here's the skids from solid Ash, from the local timber yard for a fiver...


be2c 18.jpg


Now for the U/ C jig.... U/C will be 10SWG Piano wire, solver soldered etc... Then encased in Ash of course.

be2c 22.jpg

Ive done the rear legs, I'll post pics soon.

Edited By Stevo on 01/04/2013 20:23:51

Stevo01/04/2013 20:22:05
2699 forum posts
419 photos

Almost forgot... Scale suspension too. Track rod arms are from 2mm piano wire and brass collets. Elastic will be Shirring elastic. Axle is 3.2mm Piano wire with a brass 'aerofoil' section slipped over it - to be covered in Solartex. I have to add bump stops incase of elastic failure!

be2c 19.jpg

jeff2wings01/04/2013 21:47:17
809 forum posts
1989 photos

Fantastic work Stevo ! smileyyes love the early Be 2 b & c as well cool BTW would the u/c not be strong enough just useing ash on it's own ? think Dave H did this on his Sopwith Tabloid that had u/c skids ( and wing warping )

Tim Hooper01/04/2013 21:50:36
2911 forum posts
2412 photos

That looks great! So... not a quick build then?

I'm not familiar with the suspension set-up you're using, but will a 1/8" axle be butch enough for a .70-powered model?


Hugh Coleman01/04/2013 22:13:32
518 forum posts
11 photos

Oooh. Going to be watching this one very closely.

I am building this too. 'Cept I started with the fuselage.

Glad you are going to do an early one... It's very pretty. Mine is going to be "Zebra" - A black and white striped fuse with a late (BE2e) style tail and PC10 wing uppers.

I was going to use an OS70 FL converted to petrol, but I have decided that leccy may be simpler.

I had my wing ribs laser cut by a local mob.

I will be interested to see how you tackle some of the less clear parts of the plan.



Stevo02/04/2013 09:05:52
2699 forum posts
419 photos

Well thanks indeed guys! Such a quick and positive response.

Regards points raised –


AXLE - I take anyone’s advice on the axle – DH specifies a 10SWG (3.2mm) axle, but I am quite happy to beef this one up a little of course.

ASH U/C – I did think very long and hard about this one. I would like some spring in the U/C, and for it to be easily repairable in the event of the earth rising up to meet it in haste. Some of the joints between the struts and skids (IMHO) may be a little weak and lead to possible failure. The width of the struts divided by 6 (1/6 scale) and the diameter of the piano wire make covering it in Ash a little easier, and not too fine. The front struts will be Ash on their own, with 2mm wire ends. I’ll get some photos of the wire U/C up later today, which has been silver soldered and soft soldered where appropriate. Also the skids are detachable for possible repair. I would love to see anything on DH’s Tabloid U/C though!!

HUGH - Great to see another one on the way Hugh! I’m really happy to swap any ideas etc on this, pity you have built the fuselage as I have drawn this out in CAD, and may start cutting them today. What were the “less clear parts of the plan.” ??!! I haven’t seen any.. well, not in the last 10 minutes, anyway… Should you need any of the wing/tail laminating jigs don’t hesitate to ask. Your colour scheme seems fantastic. Had a quick look at your pictures - and printed them off !!

I modified my fuselage stringers - the DH plan has 7 and the real Be has redrew them all out again... Have you got the Fox prop extender?

DAVE HURRELL – I know very little about this guy – could anyone fill me in?

General - The Aerodrome forum helped me somewhat, I briefly chatted with John McKenzie, who built the Be2b for the Hendon museum about exhaust sizes etc.



Edited By Stevo on 02/04/2013 09:17:34

David Davis02/04/2013 09:20:31
3841 forum posts
741 photos

Stevo, Hugh! That makes three of us but I'm building Roy Scott's much simpler and less scale BE2e.

basic fuselage structure.jpg

I don't know that much about Dave Hurrell but I believe he is or was an Air Vice Marshall or some similar rank in the RAF, and that he's designed, built and flown lots of WW1 models especially two seater aircraft such as the BE2c and Armstrong Whitworth FK8.

Stevo02/04/2013 09:26:09
2699 forum posts
419 photos

Another one? Are we all like busses? 3 at once?

A colleague of mine (Mike Watters) has built one from the Roy Scott plans, SC70 powered... I'm sure he's on here somewhere. I saw it at Shuttleworth last year and posed my Fokker DVIII alongside devil on the flightline...

BrianB02/04/2013 14:06:40
31 forum posts
7 photos

Hi Stevo,Been in touch with Dave Hurrell today and told him about your build,he says the Laser 70 will be fine in Be2c and will have ample power.The original flew very well and was a good model.Should you wish I can put you in touch with Dave as he is happy to give any help if you need it.Good luck with your build,looking very good so far.David H is now retired from the RAF and was indeed a Air Vice Marshall.He has had many WW1 plans published and really does lots of research regarding each project.A really good bloke and currently flies a lot of scale edf.

Edited By BrianB on 02/04/2013 14:13:47

Stevo02/04/2013 18:57:01
2699 forum posts
419 photos

Well I've had some amazing replies.... I was going to start my last thread with "is DH still with us..." but realised I would have made a complete idiot of myself... I would have meant "is DH still modelling..."

Glad to hear that he is very much part of the scene... An email address for him would be fine, if you could PM it to me... Is there a list of aircraf he has designed? Thanks indeed BrianB.

Thanks for all the good wishes. I really hope to give it (and DH) justice.

I readjusted my CAD files today, after some initial cuts, with a second attempt tomorrow. I have offered them to Traplet (FOC) but the see fit to never return my emails... Once I've done and proved them, I'll offer them to anyone who needs them for a small charity donation.

Stevo03/04/2013 17:22:40
2699 forum posts
419 photos

Next installment!

The U/C of 10SWG was bent in a wire bender (what an investment!) and fitted to the jig. TOP TIP here - make a set of U/|C wire from coathanger wire - easily bent by pliers - then adjust it. Now you have an easily made template!

The skids attach by 1.6mm brass plates, all silver soldered...

be2c 26.jpg

And here's a shot of them attached... (adjustments to the geometry are forthcoming!) after adding cross wires, soft soldered and bound in the traditional way. Suprising how it stiffens it all up! There will be rigging attachment points of course.

be2c 28.jpg

Now for the jewel in the crown. One set of accurate laser cut parts for the fuselage...

be2c 27.jpg

Note the rear decking pieces - cut for 9 stringers, as the original.

Stay tuned!

Stevo03/04/2013 17:31:48
2699 forum posts
419 photos

Oh and yes indeed - the U/C axle will now be 4mm.. thanks for your advice.... My birthday yesterday, and the Mrs got me some Williams Bros Palmer Cord Wheels... What an angel...

Stevo09/04/2013 14:15:51
2699 forum posts
419 photos

Main struts are from 10SWG piano wire, however, the two rear struts meet behind the axle, which rests on the skids. The net result is that they had to be redesigned! They are encased in Ash, I rough shaped the struts, sliced them in two with a bandsaw and routed the recess for the wire. I finished it off with a mini gouge – which my late father made from an umbrella strut!! Aliphatic glue was used to hold them together, and then finally shaped.be2c 36.jpg

The two front struts are solid ash as they don’t take too much of a load. The black brackets are in fact 1.5mm brass, with all attachment points silver soldered. The cross braces are again piano wire, soft soldered in place and bound where I can.


All the wood was dyed with a dilute solution of Mellow Pine, to simulate darkening of the wood due to age. Finally it had 8 coats of gloss lacquer (fuel proof).


The design on the wheels was from the Aerodrome forum, with the exact lettering for inside and outside covers. The text was adjusted in CorelDraw, and printed off onto waterslide decal sheet. MicroSol settled them onto the ‘spokes’, and when dry they received three coats of satin fuel proofer.

be2c 33.jpg

Thread was tacked on with CA, and wound around each strut. (Time consuming!!) When complete, they all received a coat of matt fuel proofer.


The aerofoil section on the axle was an aluminium extruded section, epoxied in place. Natural Solartex was round around it and ironed on. The track rods were made from collets of two different sizes, and piano wire – all silver soldered.

be2c 34.jpg

You can see a ‘hoop’ over the axle – this is from 1.5mm piano wire, epoxied in place. This is so that of the elastic gives way, the axle does not spring up and the skids dig into the ground and the aircraft flips over.

be2c 38.jpg

Rigging points are 2mm solder tags – there are now some extra ones due to the skids.

be2c 32.jpg Oh, almost forgot, the axle stubs are 5mm brass tube, soft soldered to the main axle, and a 1.2mm hole drilled through the end to take a split pin or similar. this means that the wheels / axle assembly is easily removeable.

Edited By Stevo on 09/04/2013 14:20:51

Edited By Stevo on 09/04/2013 14:21:43

Tim Hooper09/04/2013 21:21:18
2911 forum posts
2412 photos

Remarkable craftmanship!


Stevo11/04/2013 18:20:14
2699 forum posts
419 photos

Progress indeed, and this should take away your guess work!!

The fuselage was built over the plan, but I deviated from the script. The braces between the longrons were 3.2mm spruce, the longrons were counterbored by only 2mm and the spruce pressed in with loads of glue!

One side was built over the other for accuracy and symmetry, then some more changes. A 1mm hole was drilled all the way through the longron, either side of the spruce. I then routed a 1mm wide groove between the two holes …… Logrons were sanded to a radius between the formers enhancing the scale effect: -

be2c 44.jpg

I got hold of some extra strong (I couldn’t break it!) thread, and CA’d it in place, after pulling it as tight as I can. The thread laid in the groove I routed, which will be filled in a wood colour. This had the effect of the thread pulling it all together - and strengthened it.

be2c 43.jpg

Throughout I used a SLEC jig to keep it all square and symmetrical.be2c 39.jpg

Stevo13/04/2013 18:36:38
2699 forum posts
419 photos

I added the rear turtle deck from 1/32 play, and managed to scallop the edge – Not sure if that’s exact scale but I love it. Comments please?

be2c 51.jpg

Servo tray was from 3mm ply

be2c 53.jpg

Rudder fuselage horn was from 1.5mm Paxolin, mounted onto a Perspex boss with a 4mm ballrace pressed into it. Totally slop free!!!

be2c 54.jpg

Here’s the engine mounting, from 6mm plybe2c 52.jpg

jeff2wings13/04/2013 21:50:22
809 forum posts
1989 photos

Looking very nice Stevo yes ! like the work on the u/c .Did a similar thing with the thread on my Pfalz much better than wood bracing when the sun ( sun ? ) shines through the covering , btw you are going to change those plastic saddle clamps , ar'nt you ?? wink

Edited By jeff2wings on 13/04/2013 21:51:37

Stevo13/04/2013 21:57:35
2699 forum posts
419 photos

Plastic saddle clamps... Ermm... Ooops... Thought you wouldnt notice frown

I'll make up some brass ones <embarrassed>

PS - any ideas where I can get some 1/6 scale instruments from?

jeff2wings13/04/2013 22:17:16
809 forum posts
1989 photos

Wot ? are you going to make a scale harmonica for the pilot ?? crook with the very basic instruments in the BE and others of this period the scrapbox should give up the materials needed .

Stevo13/04/2013 22:19:22
2699 forum posts
419 photos

Hahahaha BRILLIANT... I chuckled!!! I used to be a guitar maker, so I could make a miniature... Nice looking DVII

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