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Author Topic: Henri Farman HF-27, Scratch-Build In 1/72, FINISHED  (Read 5307 times)
Old Man
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« on: October 24, 2015, 04:35:07 PM »

Though the subject of this build is not a Russian machine, this type was used in quantity by the IRAS, with, I believe, some even surviving into training use into the Soviet period. So with permission from Massimo I am putting up a WIP thread on the build.

I only recently got a look at photographs which nailed down building this as a machine used by the South African forces in German Southwest Africa in 1915. Here is one of them:



The project was started a few weeks ago, but I will begin at the beginning, which is usually the wings, as they are relatively easy, though laborious. The wings were made from 1mm sheet, and cold bent to camber, with the undersurface regularized by sanding with heavy paper taped to a large pill bottle, and upper surface sanded to necessary taper to front and rear. This took very little time, about an hour for both wings (as opposed to about eight hours, and a lot more dust, when sanding an airfoil section into thick sheet). Blank center on lower wing is where nacelle will go.


Here are the upper and lower wings with ribs established.







The pictures I can find of this machine show no traces of either cane strips or tapes reinforcing fabric at the ribs, so I have reverted to an old method of sanding and scraping the 'valleys' into the surface of the plastic, leaving raised 'ridges' between.  A newer tool, however, Thin 'swizzle-stick' strips of sanding stick (replacing coils of sand-paper or sand-paper wrapped on various dowels) have been a great help in this. These 'swizzle sticks'are narrow strips of the padded emery sold as 'salon boards' in beauty sections (or as 'sanding sticks' by hobby suppliers). The strips run between 2.5mm and 3.5mm, which is a pretty good match with most 1/72 rib spacings, and come in grits ranging from very coarse to fairly fine. The ribs are marked in with pencil (best to work from the center out, rather then from one tip across to the other). Then the space between the linesis hit  with one of these emery strips of coarse grit, taking care to leave the pencil marks intact. This is followed by scraping with the edge of a curved blade (a #10), which smooths things down a bit. Follow this with a narrower coarse grit emery strip, and then scrape again with the blade. It is one of those things which is simple to do by itself, but must be done right many, many times. With a little practice you can get fairly precise in the effect. Once every channel is in, I smooth further with something like 600 grit paper, moving chord-wise, not span-wise. After this a coat of primer (I use Tamiya Fine White, but everyone has a favorite), will give you a good surface.


Here are the upper and lower wings with scallop trailing edges put in....





Scallops are cut in with a knife and regularized with a dowel wrapped in sand-paper. Rear portion of the wing surface is sanded and scraped down to get the trailing edge to a proper thin-ness. Some work was needed on the 'valleys' in the upper surface, but most of the thinning can be done to the under-surface.

Here are the wings with a coat of primer....





Since the nacelle structure is so interwoven with the struts and motor attachment, I decided the nacelle would have to be built with the lower wing (in the manner employed by the old Revell and more recent Eduard kits of the Dh-2).

Here is a piece of 0.5mm sheet cut to the proper length and width of the nacelle, shown first upper surface, then lower surface. It is not stuck directly onto the front of the wing piece, but rather the center was notched to receive it. After seams were eliminated, a sheet of 0.25mm sheet was added as binding reinforcement.








Here is the nacelle floor shaped, and with the parallel portion of the nacelle sides attached....



To be sure things were the same height, I cut a long strip of 0.25mm/10thou sheet, and trimmed out of it two lengths running from the rear of the covered portion to where the bend begins to provide the sides.

For the nose, I took a length of the remaining strip sharp bend got the 'point' and pressing with a tweezers got the rest of the rough shape. Lying this over the piece got me some pencil lines for cutting, and once it seemed to fit glue was applied, to the bottom and the mating edges. Wife lent a third hand here, as both mine were fully occupied holding the wing the new bit in place at the proper curves, and she dropped a good deal of accelerator onto the general area. Things held well, and then it was just a matter of a bit of patching in a small gap on the port side and general seam cleaning, inside and out....





I started the internal structure with 0.5mm rod laid around the joint of floor to wall. I then started on the verticals. My intention was to do just the portion of the forward central interplanes that were under the rim of the nacelle, but I used a longish bit of 1mmx0.5mm rod to do so, figuring this would be easier to align and that I could trim it down later. But it seemed so well aligned with the locating holes for the rest of the struts that I figures to go with the flow, and trimmed it of at the proper strut length (27mm from the lower wing surface). I put in its mate on the other side, and built both up with an additional length of 1mmx0.25mm strip, and proceeded to do the rest of the structure of the crew area of the nacelle....





I then did the structure in the rear portion of nacelle, including the rear central interplanes....



At this point, I gave the upper wing a shot at resting on the central interplane struts, and I was, and remain, reasonably happy with their spacing and alignment....



There were several false starts on making and mounting the motor, but then I got this picture of a South African machine, which wife cleaned up a bit in Photoshop, pulling even more detail out of the shadows....



Some reworking of the extreme rear of the nacelle was required, but nothing too serious.

Here is the motor in early stages, fitted to its bearer and mountings, on a partially re-worked nacelle rear:







The motor started with a central disc out of 2mm sheet, which once I had locators holed for the cylinders (using a spare 9-cylinder radial as a template) I sanded to nonagonol faceted. The cylinders are lengths of 2mm rod, with caps of 2.5mm rod added later. Discs of 1mm sheet, one in front and two in back, wre added to the crank-case, and the basic blank was in hand.

The interior has been painted, and most of the internal rigging put in (with painted 0.004" brass wire). The nose 'cap' is just resting in place. This was made from a block of two rectangles of 2mm sheet laminated together, after which everything no the desired part was cut and sanded away. A bit of extension was added in the rear on each side, but these may be cut off, as they do not seem to be evident in the S.A. pictures. Wife has previously remarked on seeing items like this that they resemble the 'stick on' nails girls use nowadays, buyable by the pack in the beauty section, and she may have a good point....



Here is a look at the nacelle rear in final form, ready for the motor to be attached....





(I notice in these pictures I knocked a bit off the port 'shackle': it has been replaced)

Here is the engine, painted, about mid-way through detailing, front and back...







Here is the motor with lifters and rods and ignition leads complete:



Copper tone is a wash of brown over sprayed silver, topped with clear orange (washable marker picked up with Future).

Finally, here is the motor attached to its mountings at the rear of the nacelle.









I have now begun doing the interior furnishings (seating arrangements and fuel tank are already in hand), and once that is complete, will be able to finish the exhausts and do fuel feeds, paint the large pieces, and then do the radiator and water-pipes. I am hoping to get through that lot this weekend....
« Last Edit: November 19, 2015, 02:28:03 AM by Old Man » Logged
Massimo Tessitori
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« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2015, 02:32:09 PM »

Hi Old Man,
I'm impressed for your scratchbuilding work. I'm interested to see its completion.
Regards
Massimo
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Old Man
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« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2015, 12:03:35 AM »

Thank you, Sir.

Have gotten a good deal done since last posting up. Though the pictures stop a bit short as you will see, interior and motor arrangements are complete, basic painting is in hand, upper wing is on and rigged, and the undercarriage set up (though not et painted, and lacking its wheels). This weekend will be devoted to the tail assembly, which is pretty much all there is left.

A couple of things cost me time.

First, once I decided on doing a South African machine, I felt the basic interior needed some revision. When I was intending a late service English machine out on the Northwest Frontier, I figured 'it's dark and dirty in there' would be fine for the interior, but the South African machines were new, were in modern terms a 'pre-production batch', and were something H. Farman hoped would lead to substantial orders. So I felt a 'best foot forward' finish was appropriate, and the factory standard for Henri Farmans seems to have been interior of metal panels (I suspect the whole nacelle was covered in aluminum) painted white or very pale buff, and structural members painted black or very dark grey. Painting white over what I had did not go well, and I wound up up having to do things no modeller should do, or having done, own up to doing. But I did emerge from the passage with a couple of tips worth passing on. One: if you are using Model Master style acrylics, and you have an unsightly thickness of paint building up where it is not practical of safe to get at it with conventional methods, a cotton bud (Q-Tip) wet with rubbing alcohol will do a good job of smoothing down and removing the paint (it might evn work to blend colors in a 'soft' demarcation, the way thinner over enamel can), and will do so even if the stuff is pretty well cured. Two: Titanium White from an artist's acrylic tube covers very well, even when cut down with Future.

Second, I learned a bit more about the engine mounting. Someone brought to my attention a better resolution version of a picture I had seen before but not studied closely, a profile shot, and it showed some upper fittings similar to the 'shackle' arrangement prominent at the lower corners in the South African picture. As photographs will, when you have reason to thing something is there, I could discern these now in the South African picture. When I tried to put them in, the motor dislodged, and a good many little bits at the rear began to come loose. It was extremely aggravating, and hard to tell for a while if I was making progress or losing ground.Finally got through it, however....
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Old Man
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« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2015, 12:20:08 AM »

Anyway, here are the pictures....

I was asked elsewhere how I would keep this from being a tail-sitter. The possibility had not occurred to me, and did not seem too likely. But it seemed worth taking out some insurance, and so....



The seating arrangements and the fuel tank conceal a good deal of lead....



Here are some pictures showing the finished interior and mounted motor, wings and nacelle in the early stages of painting.







Here are some pictures showing the construction of the exhaust manifolds (they are not yet painted). Note how pipes wrap around the nacelle framework. The nose cap is on, and painying nore advanced. he camera flash exaggerates the yellow, and the difference in tone between wings and nacelle. Te white piece across the interior is just a spacer wedged in place, to prevent bowing in the nacelle sides during handling for the extensive work at the rear.





The pipes feeding fuel to the motor ran alongside the exhaust pipes, in the thicker section of the vertical element, and feed into the charging manifold through the pipes which branch off level where the thicker portion of the vertical ends. Here is a shot showing the fuel feed from the tank, and the housing of the carburetors and the exhaust outlet below the nacelle....



Here are some shots of the completed motor area, with the radiators and their plumbing in place. A bit of pre-rigging has been done in reparation for attaching the upper wing.







Here some additional elements: the underside of the upper wing, the horizontal tailplane, and the rudder. The bit of decal is a representation of the Henri Farman logo which wife put together for me. It took considerable manipulation to manage.



Here are some shots of the upper wing attached to the four central interplane struts. At this point things are extremely wobbly....







The finish is somewhat conjectural. Henri Farmans used bleached linen, and it was common to employ a linseed oil varnish when a machine had a rotary motor, as early Henri Farman machines did, since this stood up better to the oil than normal varnish. It has a distinct yellow tint. Photographs of early HF-27s do not seem so translucent as would be expected from from plain doped linen, so I suspect some pigment was involved in the covering. Tones for wings and nacelle seem very close, suggesting a paint over the metal matched to the fabric color. While this became a general French practice during 1916 (the 'yellow finish' of early SPADs and others), examples have been noted from much earlier.

Here are some pictures from the early stages of adding struts and rigging. The method is to work out from the center, to keep on top of potential alignment issues, with each strut made and fitted individually.







As I said, progress has outstripped pictures, and all struts and rigging are in, and the undercarriage is on, though not painted, and without wheels....
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Massimo Tessitori
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« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2015, 06:16:47 AM »

Impressive scratchbuilding work indeed.
Regards
Massimo
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Old Man
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« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2015, 02:36:00 PM »

Thank you, Sir.

A taste for the odd ducks and paths less taken drove me to the art.

The contest deadline is midnight tonight, and here is were things stand now,

I am coming off a pretty intense two day run, including an old fashioned all nighter (not something I do much nowadays), and have gotten a great deal done,,,

Here is the thing pretty close to where I left off last time, with the undercarriage complete:





The bit projecting from the upper wing are the start fo lugs to which the upper longerons attach.

I caught a break, finding wheels of appropriate sizes in the spares bin (as well as a properly sized and shaped propeller which I have put aside).

Here it is with the basic tail boom assembly on:



What you see is the second pass. I first tried using 30 thou rod, but it was just a hair too flimsy, and in any case, I wiped it out dropping the model (strictly speaking, I did not so much drop it as nudge it towards the tail setting it down, and it slid over the edge of the bench tail first). You will read comments saying elastic line adds no strength to a model, but they are wrong. Six or seven strut to wing joints popped (in the excitement I did not count), but all the rigging held, and repair took no more than twenty minutes. I up-sized the longerons to 35 thou rod, and having all the dimensions known made replacing the boom assembly go much quicker than before, too.

The longeron structure is assembled to the model, lower longerons first. I used a length of 20 thou rod for a vertical (temporary) spacer at the rear, to support the upper longerons in assembling them. The struts were cut from 1mm x 0.5mm strip, and trimmed till they just fit without displacing the longerons. The temporary spacer popped out as I was fitting the last of the rear struts, which saved me the trouble of cutting it.

Here is the longeron assembly painted, wit basic rigging in and the rudder attached:



Here is the model with the tailplane in place, and all structural rigging in:



This was the last picture taken, but things have progressed a bit beyond it. Control rockers are on the nacelle, aileron horns and pulleys are on, and the long control runs to the rudder, elevators, and ailerons are complete.

What remains to be done is addition of about half a dozen short bits of wire to the tail (braces and bit of control wire), ten short bits and four loner bits of rigging associated with the ailerons, making a skid/ruder protector for the tail, making a windscreen, and adding the propeller, along with, of course, a bit of touching up in spots....


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Massimo Tessitori
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« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2015, 05:23:33 PM »

Hi Old Man,
very good work. It results an unique model.
Regards
Massimo
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Old Man
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« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2015, 02:31:36 AM »

Glad you like it, Sir. I appreciate the opportunity to post it up here. I like your site a great deal. I regret I have not been able to find out more about Russian use of this machine.

Now that this is done, I intend to get started on a Spanish Civil War project. I want to take a run at making an I-16 tip 10 from an ICM tip 24 kit.
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Old Man
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« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2015, 02:45:50 AM »

Here are some pictures of the completed model, finished as a 'South African Air Corps' machine at Karibib or Omaruru, in German Southwest Africa, during late May and early June of 1915.































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KL
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« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2015, 03:43:35 AM »

Bravo Old Man!  Really nice and interesting model.

I found two photos and a profile in one Russian book, I hope you will find them interesting (and start building Duks Farman 27...)







cheers,
Konstantin


P.S.
Question: why are the tires on your model brown?  aren't they black?
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Massimo Tessitori
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« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2015, 06:42:26 AM »

Hi Old Man, well done.
I wait to see the I-16 type 10, I've the ICM kit and I could do such conversion in future. The Type 10 gives more possibilities than the 24, having been employed both in the Second world war , in the Spanish civil war and in China.
Regards
Massimo
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Massimo Tessitori
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« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2015, 05:32:24 PM »

About the profile andthe photo of the DUKS-built plane, I see considerable differences on some struts. I wonder if there were more than one version of this plane built there.
Regards
Massimo
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Old Man
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« Reply #12 on: November 20, 2015, 04:45:13 AM »


Question: why are the tires on your model brown?  aren't they black?

Glad you like it, Sir.

Tires in the early days were not 'blacked' with carbon in processing the natural rubber. They generally showed a sort of grey, with sometimes a pinkish tinge. They picked up dirt and soil pretty quickly.

Those are excellent photographs. I wish I had had the one from the rear when I was still building this.

I was glad to se the profile backed up by a photograph, because the crew arrangement is very similar to an English machine I am sure was a field modification in India. Here are two pictures of it:







The first picture I believe first appeared on the internet in 2011, coming from someone's grand-father's photo-album of his RFC service. It stumped some knowledgeable people for a while here:

http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=165635&hl=

The second picture I scanned from a book, 'First In Indian Skies', a history of 31 Sqdn RFC.

It would be interesting to know if Dux delivered any HF-27s with this arrangement, or if, again, it was a field modification.
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Old Man
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« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2015, 04:50:00 AM »

About the profile andthe photo of the DUKS-built plane, I see considerable differences on some struts. I wonder if there were more than one version of this plane built there.
Regards
Massimo

I think the best way to phrase it, Sir, is that the photograph does not support the profile. The profile is off in numerous respects: gap too narrow, upper portion of rudder extending much too high, nacelle too long, and the picture does not show, nor have I seen anywhere, the sort of engine mounting the profile depicts. Nor should the lower booms slant upwards like that.

The photograph that inspired the profile is fascinating, though.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2015, 04:57:06 AM by Old Man » Logged
Old Man
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« Reply #14 on: November 20, 2015, 04:56:09 AM »

Hi Old Man, well done.
I wait to see the I-16 type 10, I've the ICM kit and I could do such conversion in future. The Type 10 gives more possibilities than the 24, having been employed both in the Second world war , in the Spanish civil war and in China.
Regards
Massimo

I agree, Sir. Someone really ought to put out an I-16 tip 10.

A couple of years ago I took the other route, and converted an A-Model I-16 tip 5 into a 10:





I thought this time I would try from the other direction. With the A-Model you get the right bottom for the nose, but have to make the guns; with ICM, work has to be done under the nose particularly. The A-Model kit is pretty chunky compared to the ICM, and it looks a bit 'off' if they are displayed side by side. I confess I prefer the ICM, not just for crispness and ease of assembly, but for its slimmer build....
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