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Author Topic: Rigging biplanes  (Read 1647 times)
otto
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« on: September 01, 2017, 04:02:03 PM »

A discussion started with a T-80 tank ended to biplane rigging:
http://massimotessitori.altervista.org/sovietwarplanes/board/index.php?topic=2288.0
Modellers are strange people! Grin
I think this is a topic worth of discussion: VVS had several biplanes and, after I bought this book, the Nieuports on my shelf became restless...
http://mmpbooks.biz/ksiazki/361
I would like to compare what I know about rigging to other modellers' experience. First of all, TURNBUCKLES. For my 1/32 Pfalz D.IIIa I made the turnbuckles by following the tips I found here:
http://www.ww1aircraftmodels.com/page8.html
Gas-Patch models makes 3D-printed metal turnbuckles. They are beautiful but expensive:
http://www.gaspatchmodels.com/turnbuckles/
You should also be careful to use the proper type, which changed if used on simple wires, like WW1 German or French, or on flat wires, used by WW1 RAF and nearly all interwar biplanes, including Soviets.
In my opinion, making the turnbuckles makes sense in 1/32 scale. Up to 1/48, you can effectively simulate them with little drops of white glue, working them with tweezers to make them look like eyelets.
You can use many different materials for rigging: let's see them.

WARNING! Always make holes the same direction of the wire: if you put a wire at 30 or 45 in a vertical hole, you will ALWAYS see a "knee" of the wire in the insertion point.

SPRUE
It is fragile and difficult to make in great quantitis of the same thickness. It is good when some "sag" is needed, like on ships or i particular cases like on Pe-2's short wire between the canopy window and the antenna wire.

FISHING THREAD
I had my best results with it. You can glue it with CA on one wing. Then, cut it long enough to be tight when inserting it in the hole on the other wing. Then put a drop of CA on the end, insert it quickly in the hole and hold stretching it by pulling with tweezers a few seconds.

In case some sag remains, CAREFULLY approach a hot toothpick (burnit and extinguish it) to the thread. If it doesn't break, it will stretch.
After it's mounted,I usually paint the fishing thread Humbrol 56.

ELASTIC THREAD
Like these:
http://www.essebiemme.net/html/sbm_wire.html
http://www.wingnutwings.com/ww/accessories
https://www.uschivdr.com/shopping-categories/shop-rigging-and-various/
It's easier to install than the fishing thread because you don't need to cut it at perfect length. But, if you stretch it too much, if you apply it on an antenna mast,the tension could bend it. You can also paint it.

METALLIC WIRE
I never used it, because I fear that it could change its tension with temperature. I prefer the "real" stretching effect of fishing or elastic thread.
RB Productions has many sizes of steel photoetched flat RAF wires, like this:
http://www.radubstore.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=2_68&products_id=321
These could be useful on Soviet biplanes like Polikarpov fighters, that mounted flat wires. They often had fairings and streamlined spacers, like the I-152 below.

This has up to now deterred me from making a gorgeous I-15 series biplane.

I hope that more skilled modellers on this theme will share their experience.
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Massimo Tessitori
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« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2017, 09:50:08 AM »

Hi Otto,
thank you for your tips.
The books on Russian nd Soviet biplanes of the ww1 era look full of interesting examples. only, I see that they are very expensive for my occasional only interest into the theme.
The thin fishing wire is the method that I've utilized for my I-153/I-15bis till now (but only now I know that they utilized flat wire).  I used to pass sandpaper on their tips to improve the adesion of cyanoacrylate glue. 
Just, the thickness of the wire increases visibly when I paint it. I hoped to find some wire already of grey or gun metal color to avoid this.
About elastic wiring: sbm  100 in particular looks promising, it has to be painted as the fishing wire but it would resolve any case of bad tensioning. I've looked for references about the durability of its elastomer, the answers were not related to the wiring use but it looks that we could expect more than from the usual gum of elastics.
Well, an unexpensive old biplane of Revell looks ideal for some experiments.
Regards
Massimo
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otto
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« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2017, 01:49:20 PM »

Hello Massimo, I used EZ-line elastic wire on my Yak-1b (2011), Pfalz D.IIIa (2012) and MiG-3 (2014), and it's still in place. The stretched sprue I used on my Fokker Dr.I in 1997 is still perfectly tight! On the Pfalz I used fishing thread for the main rigging and it's perfect. All in all I think fishing thread is still the best material, but the secret is fixing it properly with cyanoacrylate, no matter which material you use. I don't find it's necessary to scratch the thread with sandpaper, the most important is cleaning the holes in the model from any remains of paint.
I have 0.08 mm and 0.06 mm fishing line, it's perfect for 1/72, even after painting. Thinned Humbrol paint gives a good effect without adding much thichkness.
Regarding the flat wires, I think it's not possible to reproduce them properly in 1/72 and even in 1/48. I never tried in 1/32, but I never saw any "definitive" solution from other modellers.
Look here:
http://www.drivefly.it/gallery/polikarpov-i-15-bis.php
http://www.drivefly.it/gallery/short-184.php
http://www.drivefly.it/gallery/royal-aircraft-factory-s-e-5.php
Even the best modellers avoid the trap of overdetailing: trying to make flat wires or "real" turnbuckles in small scales leads unavoidably to oversized details.
The last number of Skymodel shows, among the rest, a SVA5 from Andrea Vignocchi and a Be-12 from Lorenzo Borgesa, two of the best Italian modellers.
http://www.aurigapublishing.it/rivista.asp?periodico=Sky%20Model
« Last Edit: September 02, 2017, 01:52:15 PM by otto » Logged
Massimo Tessitori
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« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2017, 05:47:09 PM »

Hi Otto,
the links to the site drivefly are really good to see well made models. Pity that the photo galleries aren't provided with written comments, I would have been interested to know more.  The I-15bis of Foresti is certainly a model that deserves to be observed with attention.
I agree that there is a limit to the details that worth adding. Besides I have a lot of kits in my stash, so I am willing to give them a sense more than trying to make masterpieces.
Now, a thunderstorm is arriving... it's better to turn off my pc.
Regards
Massimo
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Seawinder
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« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2017, 08:54:49 PM »

I'm with Otto on using thin fishing line (known in the trade as tippet material). I generally use either .004-inch diameter (also identified on my roll as 2.2 lb. test) or .006-inch (4.9 lb.) for 1:48 scale flying wires. I use invisible mending thread (which is more like .002-inch) for control lines. The one thing I'd add in the way of useful techniques is something I picked up at one of the WW1 forums: to keep the line taut while applying the glue, attach a common wooden clothes pin to the end and let it dangle. It gives just enough, but not too much, tension.

Cheers,
Pip
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Massimo Tessitori
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« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2017, 01:57:07 PM »

Hi Pip,
looks interesting, but I am not sure to have understood well. Have you any drawing or photo on how the pin and the wire are positioned during gluing, please?
Regards
Massimo
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Seawinder
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« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2017, 04:42:56 AM »

Hi Pip,
looks interesting, but I am not sure to have understood well. Have you any drawing or photo on how the pin and the wire are positioned during gluing, please?
Regards
Massimo

Hi Massimo. I don't have any photos, but it's quite simple: I've got the "wire" (monofilament) CA-glued into its partial hole in the bottom of the upper wing and threaded through the full hole in the lower wing so it's hanging down below. At that point I attach the clothespin to the hanging end and let it dangle. This tensions the "wire" just the right amount as I apply some CA to the point where it goes through the lower wing to secure it.

Hope this helps.
Pip
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Massimo Tessitori
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« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2017, 01:38:18 PM »

Hi Pip,
it is clear now. So the hole in the lower wing is passing through and needs to be filed and retouched.
Is this done after the painting of the model?
Regards
Massimo
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otto
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« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2017, 06:17:38 PM »

Hello, Pip
Your method adds great strength to the biplane assembly. The shortcomings are:
-You need to close the holes in the lower wing, then touch them up or entirely paint the lower wing after rigging.
-This method is good for small scales, where you supposedly do not have to make "real" turnbuckles.
With my method I make partial holes on both upper and lower wings. After gluing the thread (with or without turnbuckle) in one wing's hole, I trim it (it must be longer) carefully, cutting every time a very short part, until it is tensioned when it fits in the partial hole of the other wing. Then, I put a drop of CA on the thread's end, I carefully insert it in the hole and hold it pulled with tweezers about 10 seconds. If everything went well, the thread is tight and adds some strength to the model.
However I think that, especially in small scales, elastic threads are a good and easy solution.
In any case, rigging biplanes requires a lot of care, especially to avoid glue goes where it should not.
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