Ares Games

Ramblings Over the Front

The Shapeways Siemens-Schuckert D.I Project - Part I

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The purchase of the Reduced Aircraft Factory Siemens-Schuckert D.I was made August 30th, 2022. I obviously have an issue with working on projects in a timely manner...well at least the hobby ones. I am sure work would not appreciate such delays. The D.I has been sitting on my desk at home all this time, staring at me, taunting me, daring me to give it a try. When I finally become motivated to work on my Rumsey Nieuport 11 (which is still missing the RUM on each fuselage side), and then the Chapman N.11, I realized that I could paint planes decently well, and fiddling with decals was not so bad after all. Using the Vallejo decal fix and decal softener on the Chapman N.11 took adding decals from a seemingly daunting task to one I could master. With that, I decided it was time to give the SS D.I some attention. Taunt me, will you!

The base material for this plane is the Gray PA12. It is a little more expensive than the white natural versatile plastic (being about $1.50 more), but after to speaking with Daryl at R.A.F., with his reassurance that the PA12 was an easier material to work with, that is the direction I decided to take. The finish of the PA12 is far smoother than the white versatile - a coat of primer will do the trick without having to do a PVA/water mix or dip the plane in Future. That alone is worth the small extra cost as prepping the plane went from several days of applying a cost of thinned glue, letting that dry overnight, then another coat, letting it dry, and so on, ad nauseum.

Here is the D.I as it comes from Shapeways:
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While the camera phone really picks up on the surface and makes it appear rough, the surface is actually rather smooth to the touch.

Time for a coat of primer. I had consider just starting with a thin coat of the base green, but CrashCraig mentioned that he used a coat of spray primer on his PA12 planes with good results, so I thought I would give that a try. Pulling an old can of Testor light gray primer from the den closet, I took the D.I to the balcony and applied a single coat, after convincing the can that it did want to provide some paint. Results as follows:

Again, the phone provides a bit of a different view than good old Eyeball Mark I. The wing ribbing is still noticeable to the naked eye, but disappears in the photo. I do see the need for a second light coat.

The next step will be determining what colors to use and getting that first base coat in place.

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