Chris Parent's Nieuport 24 bis
This Nieuport 24 bis is based on the Nieuport 27 kit by
Greg Thomas. Chris reckons this is the best kit he has ever seen.
For more details
of Thomas Designs kits click here or to contact
the manufacturer click
Here are Chris's notes made while the model was in an uncovered state:
In the picture above you can see all the major assemblies including
the 24 bis type tail surfaces. The elevator/stabiliser
is 107% of scale, and the rudder is somewhat less than
105%. Every drawing I have shows a different size and
shape for the rudder, so I got it as small as possible
without making the horizontal tail look absurdly
large. For shape, I took the drawing with the lowest
profile rudder to keep it as far out of the swirling
air (off the prop) as possible.
I made a balsa spinner for the specific 24 bis that I
am modeling. Strangely enough, it had the rarely-seen
hemishphere spinner. It also had unrounded ailerons,
so I had to re-do the ailerons to include this. It
involved some splicing of the basswood outlines, but
it worked out just fine.
I went ahead and made a balsa cowl as well. The kit
cowl is perfectly fine, and more scale in thickness,
but I was in the mood so there you go.
Both the spinner and cowl are covered with white Esaki
then coated with some old CA. (I keep near-dead CA
around for this purpose. The result after 400 grit wet
sanding is extremely smooth.
I decided to
go for a break-away mount on the lower wing. In a crash, I want the
lower wing to come off without making a mess of the
fuse, and also (with any luck) without requiring a
major repair to the wing. Thus I am going for the
joint you see at the top of the lower photo compilation . The 1/64 ply on the
fuse provides a hardened area to which the wing can be
glued. At the rear of the root area (on the fuselage) you
can see that I have a gusset and an extra cross
member. This is supposed to allow the wing to push in
at this point without crushing the fuselage. The 1/64 ply
tab will fit into slot, but glue will only be put on
the rib surfaces. The tab goes through the fuselage
sheeting, the small 1/16 doubler behind the sheeting,
and a 1/16 gusset built into the fuselage box stucture. On
the wing root, I added a small piece of really hard
balsa right at the rear end. This is to keep this spot
from crushing if I land on a lower wingtip.
On the bottom of the fuselage you can see the slot into
which the rear gear struts will extend. The struts
will freely float in and out of the fuse as the
landing gear flexes.
The picture at the bottom of the compilation below shows the current state of the fuselage
structure. The odd bit of balsa in
front of the stab area is a scale feature made from
soft 3/32. You can also see some of the small pieces
of balsa into which the tail surface control wires
will go. Come to think of it, at the bottom edge of
the top picture below you can also see a small 1/16
doubler inside the fuse sheeting. This is also an
attachment point for some rigging. I will rig the
model with the Lycra thread that I think we all have.
Interestingly, the real plane was rigged with 3mm wire
in most places, and 4 mm in one or 2 places. This
makes the Lycra thread a fairly scale diameter if I
only stretch it enough to keep it straight.
As I suppose is obvious, a break-away joint with
non-stretchy rigging would be a disaster.
Now I am moving on to the (ca)bane of biplane
modeling: measuring and fitting cabane struts for
correct incidence. At least the Nieuport has a
triangular configuration in the rear which I find a lot
easier than 4 completely unconnected cabanes.
Is this a gorgeous model, or what?! - Here are some notes from Chris, made before the first flights :
The model is on target to be 90 grams w/o rubber,
but balanced. I could be off slightly on the CG, so
the weight may creep up a little if I need to put
something in the spinner.
90 grams sure sounds like alot, but it's a big model
at 1/12, 27" span so it should be light enough to fly
reasonably well. I will do initial test flights with a
test rudder. I can then adjust the rudder size based
on any spiral or dutch roll tendencies.
The fuselage graphics are freehand painted with
acrylics. They took me a little over a week, but it
seemed the most authentic way to go with what must
have been freehand painted on the original aircraft.
The tailskid is mostly hollow balsa with a tonkin cane
(bamboo) piece for the steel skid. There are a number
of deviations from the N. 27 kit to make it a 24 bis -
the tailskid, landing gear axle, and bungee system are
Instument type and location are conjectural (except
for the throttle) but it seems clear that the 24 bis
had no instrument panel per se and that the dials were
mounted on a fuselage member.
The cockpit coaming is EVA foam colored with a marker,
then sprayed with laquer. After the laquer dries you
can make it crack by pulling on each end of the foam
strip. The effect is pretty leathery. The coaming
grommets and stitching are ink.
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1/24 scale Supermarine Spitfire Mk.1
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