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Flair Fokker D.VII Build

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Andy Blackburn27/01/2014 13:29:20
510 forum posts
487 photos
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> Any more thoughts on the Lozenge pattern Andy, or how to achieve it ?

I think I've more-or-less accepted that there's going to have to be a paint mask of some sort, probably involving the lozenge pattern printed on a CAD system as 5 separate masks that get overlaid on the surface one after the other. I'll spray it if I have to but I'd really rather brush-paint them - although I suspect that there's be too much paint bleed if they're brush-painted.

Still haven't settled on a colour scheme, but I have a couple of months yet... smiley

Stevo27/01/2014 17:38:24
2699 forum posts
419 photos

I still have the templates if you need them I'll have them back, but realyy no hurry for them back.

Dont spray them, brush or sponge them... then lacquer over the top. Looks so much more realistic!

jeff2wings27/01/2014 17:48:05
802 forum posts
1963 photos

Sorry Stevo , in what way would it be more realistic than a spray finish ??

Stevo27/01/2014 17:53:35
2699 forum posts
419 photos

I remember looking at the DVII in the Hendon museum, for longer than was really healthy!

And they looked er brushed on.... Obviously the fabric would have been printed and dope brushed over the top. A nice uniform modern 'printed' look almost looked a bit clinical... However I may be bordering on personal preference here??? I sprayed my DVIII with the Flair lozenge colours, And it looked good, (ISH) but the sponge brushed finish on the DVII looked better.

I guess that  if you brush all the colours off in the same direction, then spray fuel proofer, the hole finish looks brushed... Have I gone overboard?

I bow to superior knowledge blush

Edited By Stevo on 27/01/2014 17:54:58

Edited By Stevo on 27/01/2014 17:55:47

jeff2wings27/01/2014 20:58:05
802 forum posts
1963 photos

I was thinking more about the colour density in that with a spray gun you should be able to achieve a light ,semi-opaque look of a printed fabric ,if you can get that affect of even coverage with the sponge I will defiantly give it a go ,I did try to spray with mask and then a paint pad , not sponge , and the results were a bit (as in,very ! ) umm,forgettable ! embarrassed I think the Hendon DVII is like most museum exhibits, over restored and are far from " factory finish" of the time, just for interest.............


think I will bottle it and go for a single colourcheeky

Andy Blackburn29/01/2014 20:19:46
510 forum posts
487 photos
1 articles

Time for the strut plates, and if I'm honest I've been putting this off for several days!

The "standard" kit calls for 12 strut plates to be made from supplied steel strip (which has pilot holes already drilled) and 6BA nuts; however, since I'm using captive bolts for the centre section, I only needed to make 8.

After ruthlessly picking the brains of a fellow club member who already has one of these (Richard N), I discovered that:

  • The supplied 6BA nuts occasionally come loose from the plates
  • Model assembly is a lot easier with hex-head bolts
  • It's not easy soldering the nut in the right place

On that basis I've used M3 hex-head bolts, they're about 30% bigger diameter than 6BA so the nuts should have a significantly bigger soldering area, and after a bit of thought I made a jig from scrap 1/4" ply and some 1/8" dowel scraped and sanded down to about 2.4 mm so that an M3 nut just fits over the top:


The strut plates are cut from the supplied strip, the primer is filed/sanded off and the bolt holes drilled for a loose clearance fit - the book says 3.6 mm, the nearest drill I had was 3.5 mm and it seems to be OK.

The strut plates were tinned (I didn't dare try tinning the nuts as they're very small)...


...and the nut soldered to the plate; to do this, the plate was aligned by eye and taped in place, the nut was pressed over the spigot and solder + heat applied:


The nut tends to float on the hot solder, so it usually needs to be pressed into place with the points of a pair of tweezers for a few seconds until set.

After less than an hour's work and a bit of cleaning with a bit of kitchen towel soaked in acetone, I had 8 strut plates:


And it turns out that it wasn't as fiddly as I'd feared.

Andy Blackburn12/02/2014 19:56:04
510 forum posts
487 photos
1 articles

Top wing is finished (apart from paper tubes for the aileron servo extensions), ailerons hinged and servos installed, using pinned hinges as suggested:



It doesn't look bad actually, and in that state (with servos) weighs 12.5 ounces. The whole thing is quite flexible, so I might consider adding some 1/16" webbing to the rear spars (it'd be interesting to hear views on this). That'll have to wait for a couple of months though, because the building board is going to be busy with another project for a bit.

Stevo12/02/2014 20:03:32
2699 forum posts
419 photos
Theres no need for stiffeners.. it will go quite stiff when covered. However you will need some flexibility for it to sit properly on all the struts!
Stevo13/02/2014 09:26:33
2699 forum posts
419 photos

......and nice work with the soldering. When I did mine, they were already attached as the model was 80% built when I got it. The nuts were imperial, so I dremelled them off and soldered metric ones on, in situ... as soon as the solder flowed across bracket and nut, I sprayed cold water on it as quick as I could. I think I got away with it !

Andy Blackburn15/09/2014 13:51:17
510 forum posts
487 photos
1 articles

Having finally finished the JP (not going to use Profilm next time!), I've just started on the DVII again, should have some pics of the tail surfaces in a couple of days.

One thing I could do with a bit of advice on is the fuselage; I notice that the standard kit nose is quite a bit deeper than scale and it looks very "blunt", for want of a better term:


...whereas the full-size has the bottom engine cowl curving gracefully up to the propeller boss:


So I'm wondering why this was done, and if there's any reason why I shouldn't adjust the nose profile to be more scale? I think all it would require is a bit more block balsa to fill-in the nose underside and a new cowl, which should be do-able as a lost (blue) foam GRP moulding.

Edited By Andy Blackburn on 15/09/2014 13:53:50

Stevo15/09/2014 20:32:25
2699 forum posts
419 photos

PM Sent yes

I kept mine as was, but did a dummy engine from balsa and ply it simply velcoed in place.

d7 5.jpg


d7 8.jpg

d7 13.jpg

d7 57.jpg

Edited By Stevo on 15/09/2014 20:37:45

Edited By Stevo on 15/09/2014 20:38:56

Andy Blackburn16/09/2014 13:23:00
510 forum posts
487 photos
1 articles

That's a good idea, if I can find one. I'm wondering if the engine moulding supplied in the kit might be a little bit undersize?

Alternatively, it might be possible to mould something using plasticene and epoxy - there are only really six (notionally identical) cylinder heads and what looks like a fairly straightforward exhaust manifold.

Andy Blackburn24/09/2014 16:30:21
510 forum posts
487 photos
1 articles

I was originally intending to post pictures of the finished tail surfaces but it's been at least a week so thought I ought to show at least some progress...

I was initially a bit baffled by the presence of two sets of die-cut tail outlines and it was only after careful study of the plan that I realised that one is expected to laminate them (doh!):


The die-cut parts are from (nominally) 3mm sheet but the 1/4" wood parts are usually about 6.3 - 6.5 mm thick so the laminated outlines required some thin card packing to get them to about the right position (see next picture).

Normally, I use Deluxe Materials Speedbond for this sort of thing because it's convenient, quick-drying and isn't too difficult to sand, but I managed to acquire from somewhere a bottle of Deluxe Materials R/C Modellers Glue and steamed ahead on the rudder without really looking too closely at what I'd bought...


...and unfortunately, it dries flexible - rubbery, in fact. The rudder appears to be structurally OK, but it might be a bit of a mess when it's sanded. We shall see.

There's an obvious discontinuity in the curve of the printed parts where they meet (I suppose the stamps might be getting a bit old by now), so I cyanoed a bit of hard 1/16" sheet to the offending areas so that they could be sanded to the right shape later:


The elevators also required a bit of packing for the trailing edge, 1/32" to get it to the right position relative to the centreline of the rest of the structure, and an additional 1/16" to keep it level:


Here are the finished (unsanded) tail surfaces:


As other people have noted, there are an awful lot of parts in the tail surfaces, more than there need to be and I did think about using a thin sheet core and a more scale-like structure, but TBH I just wanted to get on with it and build something smiley.

The plan going forward is to complete all the ancilliary bits (tail, undercarriage fairing,struts, etc.), finishing up with the fuselage which promises to be the most interesting bit.

Andy Blackburn24/09/2014 20:12:48
510 forum posts
487 photos
1 articles

The colour scheme has always been a bit of a problem, but whilst leafing through one of the Windsock datafiles the other day I came across a couple of profiles that look very promising - lozenge fabric on the wings, but relatively simple fuselage and tail. This one looks pretty good:


...but this one might be a bit better (although I think the fuselage green colour should be more dark olive green:


Andy Blackburn19/10/2014 19:14:40
510 forum posts
487 photos
1 articles

I usually prep all the hinges before covering, it can save a bit of messing around and bodging at assembly time. I was originally going to use some Great Planes "fuzzy" mylar hinges as I have done for years, but found I'd run out and neither of the local model shops had any. However, I came across a hinge jig for pinned hinges that I'd had for years, so in a moment of desperation I gave it a go:


...and actually, it turned out pretty well:


All the slots in the tail surfaces are almost exactly on the centreline (easily adjustable), and it didn't take long. I seem to remember that they don't work that well on ailerons because it's difficult to get the jig in the right place, but for tail surfaces I'm a convert.

Tail surfaces completed with horns, rigging reinforcement, sanded for covering and a no-nonsense oversized elevator joiner weigh about 2.4 ounces:


I'm trying to get all the simple ancillary pieces out of the way so that the most interesting bit (the fuselage) can be built last, so next on the list is the undercarriage fairing:


This is fairly straightforward, the only gotcha I found was that the supplied spars (stamped with the numbers) were about 4mm x 5.5mm rather than 4.5mm square, and had to be replaced. Also, after reading one of the other build blogs (Andy Watson's, I think), the 10 swq axle was checked to make sure it fitted before the fairing was finished.

Here's the almost-completed item:


Should probably think about soldering up the axle plates next, then have a go at the interplane struts.

Stevo19/10/2014 19:42:27
2699 forum posts
419 photos


Much better.I use a Great Planes powered hinge slotter. Fantastic piece of kit. Dead centre... I can hinge an entire WOT4 in 7-8 minutes, accurately!!!!

Stevo20/10/2014 13:29:29
2699 forum posts
419 photos

There's one slight snag... the extra 'wing' (can't remember the technical name!) does swivel about a bit. I have seen some D7s etc with an extra 'strut' or small piece of piano wire to hold it in place - set it correctly with an incidence meter!

Andy Blackburn21/10/2014 13:16:29
510 forum posts
487 photos
1 articles

Ah! Thanks for the heads-up, Stevo...

Andy Blackburn23/10/2014 20:42:50
510 forum posts
487 photos
1 articles

Whilst I'm doing the interplane struts, I have a wheels question; I've more-or-less decided on the black fuselage/lozenge fabric wings/white/black tail colour scheme of Karl Bolle (Jasta Boelke), but this means that I can't really use wheels with black tyres because it'll look wrong.

Does anyone know where I can get hold of a pair of Williams 1/6 scale (4 3/8" vintage wheels with white tyres? They are advertised on the Williams Bros website, but I can find anywhere in the UK that stocks them

Edited By Andy Blackburn on 23/10/2014 20:43:35

Andy Blackburn25/10/2014 22:22:56
510 forum posts
487 photos
1 articles

As it happens, Joe at Proctor Enterprises has kindly offered to add a set to his next order from Williams Brothers...

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