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Thread: Building the Valom SE5(a) in the WGF style

  1. #1

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    Default Building the Valom SE5(a) in the WGF style

    I've recently showed my Mannock SE5 in the official painting thread. As mentioned there, my aim is to match the original "Wings of War" look with minimal additional effort. That means no rigging, a minimalistic pilot figure, and a somewhat simple paintjob (be warned: there are silver guns, too!). I use my smartphone cam and the included image editor for my convenience in creating the single posts in time - so please excuse the possible inferior image quality.

    So let's start:

    Parts used:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Red: not used
    Green: suggested cuts to acquire the sprue parts for the peg and the pilot

    Additional parts needed:
    - 1-2 staples
    - 1 tick/pin

    Tools used:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Notes:
    - The white block is made of Styrodur. Its used for arranging and fixing the wings, before the struts are added.
    - The sandpaper has a grit size of 1000. I let the sandpaper soak in water before I use it.
    - Plastic glue: I've startet modelling with a needle glue, but over the years I preferred the one with the pencil. In my opinion it is superior in controlling the amount of glue to apply.
    - the driller has a diameter of 1 mm (1/32")
    Last edited by Karo7; 03-24-2019 at 11:02.

  2. #2

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    Cut off all needed plastic parts with the help of the pliers. Try to cut off the parts as close to the sprue as possible to avoid damaging the parts:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    The cut off plastic parts:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Use the pliers to cut off the last big sprue parts. Clean the parts by stroping them with the knife. Clean especially the cockpit opening, as this part is easy visible on the finished airplane:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    The two fuselage parts have a slot on the bottom rear. Ignore it, as it is barely visible afterwards (2). Don't clean the area where the bottom wing will be placed (1) at this stage. We will clean it in a later step, when it is easier to adjust the position of the wing by cleaning the complete fuselage:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Carefully file the areas where the fuselage will be glued together:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    The two slots in front of the bottom wing help positioning the landing gear, but they are to small and have to be made slightly bigger with the help of the knife:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    The position of the landing gear:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    The slot after the treatment:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Clean the fuselage in soap water:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Hold the fuselage with the tweezers, apply the glue with the pencil and put the parts together:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Use the small wooden pegs to fix the fuselage parts. Check especially the front opening, the cockpit opening and the end of the fuselage for correct alignment.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Strop the area between the elevator flaps to remove a little bit of the part. This is needed later for the correct positioning of the rudder:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    File the underside of the rudder to achieve a smooth contact area when gluing the part to the fuselage:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    File the inside of the rudder to provide a correct positioning:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Heat up the needle for 1-2 sec. with the tealight and push it carefully in the holes of the wings to make them deeper. Don't worry if you push through the wing. A small amount of filler fix that and the roundels will cover the outer spots: (Alternatively you can use a small driller instead of the hot needle)
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Clean up the melted plastic:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Wash all plastic parts with soapwater:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    File the front of the fuselage to achieve a smooth area for the glue:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Attach the radiator:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Use a peg to fix the landing gear wing:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Attach the wheels. I prefer attaching both wheels together for easier alignment of them. I also prefer to attach the wheels in this early stage, as they help positioning and holding the landing gear build:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Session lenght: 2h (including making images)
    Last edited by Karo7; 03-26-2019 at 17:00.

  3. #3

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    Nicely done Florian!!!

  4. #4

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    Excellent, clever use of the peg to hold the landing gear wing, I have wonky wheels because I didn't think of this.
    Look forward to the next installment.

  5. #5

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    Beautifully explained Florian. Looking forward to the next part. I have a Valom kit which has been sitting in a cupboard for a long time now. I think I shall try and follow your examples - see what happens. thanks. REP inbound.

  6. #6

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    Clear and concise stuff, Florian!

    Thanks for posting. I look forward to more of the same.

  7. #7

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    That's really great, Florian. Well done indeed.

  8. #8

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    Thank you all for the motivating comments. I had the intention to make a tutorial for the build of my D.VII Berthold a few month ago. I made images of the whole build with a digi-cam, but didn't find the time to put them in a thread.

    The method I use now is much more convenient. I hope to make the second part with applying the bottom wing, elevator and rudder, this night.

    I will adjust the paint job on my recently build SE5a to the match the comming release of the WGF models and show the process on the SE5a shown here, too.

  9. #9

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    Part 2:

    The area where the fuselage parts are glued together have to be cleaned:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    First I do the "rough" work by stroping the line with the knife. Be careful not to carve in the fuselage:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    This step is fully optional for a WGF-style miniature, but it's kind of a modeling routine for me. I file the line carefully with the wet sandpaper. I move the paper in a circular style, until there's a smooth surface. Be careful not to make a B-firing plane out of the SE5 by filing the MG away:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Now the connection line is clean and smooth:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    The bottom wing doesn't fit in the gap. This was an issue on both kits, so it's kind of default. A perfect alignment of the bottom wing is mandatory to achieve a correct position of the struts and the top wing in the following steps:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    File the rear part of the gap for the wing, carefully. The file has to be guided 90° against the fuselage:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Use the grit of the cutting mat to review the correct alignment of the wing and fuselage before gluing. Here the alignment isn't correct:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    File the front part of the gap for the wing, carefully. The file has to be guided 90° against the fuselage:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Make a further "dry" review. Now everything is fine:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Check the other axis for correct alignment:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Glue the parts together by applying the glue on the fuselage. Correct the alignment of the wing and fuselage while the glue is setting, if needed:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Attach the headrest with the help of the tweezers. Be lavish with the glue as an exception, to fill a potential gap between the fuselage and the headrest:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Attach the elevator. Give the glue on the elevator and push it into the fuselage slot. The alignment on both kits had the same issue - seems to be another default. Gently bend the elevator to achieve the correct position:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Now everything is fine:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Apply glue on the rudder part and put it by using the tweezers on the fuselage. Use the line between the fuselage parts as orientation:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Check the correct alignment with the help of the grit:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Cut out the landing bar - this time as close as possible to the PE-part:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    File the landing bar to provide a good surface to surface connection when applying the glue. Try to almost completely fix the PE-part with the pliers to avoid bending of the part. Wash the part:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Apply glue on the landing bar part and put it by using the tweezers on the fuselage. Use the line between the fuselage parts as orientation for the alignment:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    The pegs on the wings protect the landing bar while the glue is cures:Click image for larger version. 

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    Session lengh: 1h (Inc. Images)
    Last edited by Karo7; 03-27-2019 at 12:52.

  10. #10

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    Super stuff!

    The first five pictures only show as "Attachment"s, though.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flying Helmut View Post
    Super stuff!

    The first five pictures only show as "Attachment"s, though.
    Thank you for the hint. I have uploaded the images, again.

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    Part 3: (the fun part)

    Although I was consciously generous with the amount on glue on this part, there is still a little gap:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I applied glue all around the headrest to fill the gap. The glue flows in the gap more easily than applying a filler. The excess glue will be filed away, later:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    The resin exhaust is cut off from the sprue and cleaned up. Be aware, that the file dust of resin is poisonous (instead of plastic file dust, which is healthy for your lungs ;-)) and can cause cancer - so use the wet sand paper to bind the dust. The resin exhaust will be glued with super glue which is applied with a needle or a piece of wire. The glue spots are under the motor part on the fuselage and just under the two recessed spots:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Cut a straight line into the styrofoam:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    The distance between the wings is 9 mm:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Cut a second straight line in the foam. The distance to the first line should be around 10-11mm:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Now you can push the model in the foam to improve the correct positioning of the first pair of struts:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Check the top wing from different perspectives to review the correct position:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Take the MP1 Strut with the tweezers, apply superglue only to the lower end and place it in the holes. If the top wing was place correctly, the strut should "snap" into the right position:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Same procedure with the MP2 Strut:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Remove the top wing:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Use a peace of wire to apply a small drop of super glue and put the struts MP1 & 2 into position:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Review the correct position by comparing with the other pair of struts:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Apply super glue on all four struts and place the top wing into position. Arrange the position of the wing until the glue is dried:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Drill a small hole in the underside of the fuselage, just below the middle of the area where the pilot is placed:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    The inner struts of the kit are to small. Make some new out of staples:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Inner front struts:
    File the staple on the upper side to a small pin. The lower side is filed to a slanted shape, to improve the position on the fuselage:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Apply super glue in the upper end go the inner strut, puh it into the top wing an place it in the correct position. Apply super glue with the help of an needle on the lower end, afterwards:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Inner rear struts:
    File the staple on the upper side to a small pin with an angle of about 45°. The lower side is filed to a slanted shape, also, to improve the position on the fuselage:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Apply super glue in the upper end go the inner strut, puh it into the top wing an place it in the correct position. Apply super glue with the help of an needle on the lower end, afterwards:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    All struts are in place now:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    File the excess glue around the headrest with the sandpaper:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Cut a piece out of styrofoam which is little bit smaller than the fuselage (mine, on the image is to big, as it has the same wide as the fuselage):
    Click image for larger version. 

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    The cut should left enough space for the struts to lean against the foam:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    The wheels and axle in position:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Place the first struts in position with super glue:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    The finished undercarriage. Note the position of the struts on the axle. It is different compared to the suggested position in the instructions:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Apply filler on the holes of the wings, if you have drilled through them, accidentally:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Cut off the axle of the propeller, as is is far to long:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    The peg is made of a sprue, which is carved into a conical shape. The upper side is 2 mm wide, the length is 4 mm:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    The finished peg:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Drill a shaft into the peg:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Cut the sprue to a length of 8 mm:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    File the upper part to the shape of a WGF pilot. The lower part should be filed into a flat v-shape to fit in the fuselage. Drill a shaft into the pilot:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    The pilot and the peg, connected with a piece of a paperclip:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    The filler on the wings where filed away with sandpaper:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Review the position of the pilot and peg from different perspectives:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    The finished undercarriage:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I applied glue around the peg, to fill a small gap. The excess glue will be filed away, afterwards:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Review the position of the pilot and peg:
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    The wheels and undercarriage is glued into position with super glue. I apply the glue on the front struts first. The rear struts are glued, after the positioning of the undercarriage:
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    The propeller is glued into position:
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    The parts for the Lewis. Rail (made of a stable), gun and magazine:
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    This shows, how the Lewis is place on the rail. Note the slightly bended rail, to fit better on the top wing:
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    The finished Lewis:
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    The rail for the Lewis is glued on the top wing with super glue:
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    The MG was placed in position with the help super glue and tweezers:
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    After the plane is finished, the glue around the peg is filed away with the sandpaper:
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    Session lengh: 4h (Inc. Images)
    Last edited by Karo7; 04-12-2019 at 08:29.

  13. #13

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    wish this thread existed before i tried assembling the valom se5as i worked on. wouldve saved me some sweat!

  14. #14

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    That’s fantastic work, Florian. I loved your use of the grid and the styrofoam blocks. A++++ job.

  15. #15

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    Thanks for posting this, I know that one of the metal plane kit suppliers provide jigs to fit the Wings and struts but your styrene jigs are a great idea, for the brass bits including the undercarriage.
    The way you have laid out the pictures is far better than a verbal description.
    I have the Fokker Elll kit to make soon so this has been a very informative posting for me.
    Cheers

  16. #16

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    I will add the comments tonight. My next kit is a Valom E.III, also. The next part is about painting.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  17. #17

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    Excellent work, Florian!

    Having seen all the problems that you had to overcome with the preparation and fitting of the parts, it makes me very disappointed with the quality of the kit.

  18. #18

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    Part 4: Painting and decals:

    First I applied multiple coats of Vallejo white primer:
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    Unfortunately the white base coat began to crack. This was the first time I had this problem. Maybe the spray can was to old or to cold or the humidity or temperature wasn't ideal.

    I don't wanted to invest further effort by stripping down the paint. I hoped that the damaged areas could not be seen after the paint was applied and that the varnish prevents further areas from chipping off:
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    I use a wet pallette for mixing the paint. I always dilute acrylics with water and apply them in multiple thin layers to avoid brush strokes or covering of fine details. I typically need 2-3 layers until the paint covers completely.
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    The colours shown are made by Reaper Miniatures, but were relabeled by a German publisher, but the English names are identical.

    Under side: 50/50 mix of Polished bone and Amber gold:
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    Upper side: 50/50 (new PC10 -> Mannock) or 65/45 (weathered PC10 -> Lewis) mix of Muddy green and Dark skin:
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    Attachment 266347

    Propeller and outer struts (Mannock). 50/50 mix:
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    Outer struts and wheels (Lewis). An off-white tone is often more appealing to the eye than a harsh pure white:
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    Pilot and exhaust:
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    Tires and outer struts (Lewis). When painting small areas, I add a small amount of retarder into the paint, to get a more creamy consistence. This helps applying the paint and prevents the paint tip from drying:
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    Machine guns:
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    Motor parts: Vampire grey (Reaper)

    The painted model, so far:
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    Now a gloss varnish should be applied to protect the paint. I did this step on Mannocks plane. The following photos show Lewis plane, were I skipped the varnish for test purposes, as I've red, that the silvering of decals is prevented by the decal softener, not the pre-varnish. That's correct, but the decal softener dissolved the paint, so I don't recommend skipping the pre-varnish.

    Decals:
    Here you can see the cover(?) layer around the decal. It is to big and has to be cut of with a small scissors. Be carefull there is a fine white surrounding around the roundels - don't cut it off. Generally avoid to cut directly by the decal print, as the decal tent's to crack. The Valom decals need only 10-15 seconds soaking in water until ready to be applied. After positioning of the decal, I carefully push a paper towel on the decal to soak off the excess water. Than I apply the decal softener, let it react and carefully push the decal around the rounding s and in recesses. I redo this step until the decal fits right to the shape of the model:
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    The decal on the rudder needs special attention, as it doesn't fit very well. Make a dry check and cut a slot into the decal to achieve a perfect position. Redo this step until you're satisfied with the result. The area between the two rudder decals has to be corrected with appropriate tones of red/white/blue paint, afterwards:
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    All decals gave been applied:
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    Now it's time to add a further coat of varnish to protect the decals. This will help fading the decals with the paint, too. I suggest the "bulletproof" (or beer'n'brezel proof) varnish for perfect protection for gaming miniatures: apply a coat of gloss varnish, let it dry thoroughly, and then apply a coat of matt varnish.

    The finished planes, ready for combat (note the different PC10 appearance):
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    Session lengh: Painting 1,5 h + Decals 1 h (both inc. Images)

    My next builds are the Valom Fokker E.III. Maybe I post some of the tricky steps in a slightly shorter tutorial.
    Last edited by Karo7; 04-12-2019 at 08:35.

  19. #19

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    Yikes! I hope that it works out that you can cover those spots. Unusual...but as I found out with the E.III using old materials can be trouble.

    Painting in thin layers gives an excellent result - and teaches patience.

  20. #20

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    I wonder if it was mould release agent that caused the undercoat to flake off,sometimes it's a good idea to wash plastics in a soapy solution to remove any surface coatings from the injection moulding process.

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vagabond View Post
    I wonder if it was mould release agent that caused the undercoat to flake off,sometimes it's a good idea to wash plastics in a soapy solution to remove any surface coatings from the injection moulding process.
    No, I can foreclose this, because I always wash miniatures and model parts with soap water. I think the can wasn't shaked well enough, because there was only little paint left in it. Additionally the can was standing in the cold basement. I should have put it in a warm water bath before spraying.

  22. #22

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    Nice Work Florian. I think you may have forgotten to mention how long the 'fun' part took. I need to compare your hourly rate to the current NEXUS/ARES value.

  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by SeaJaySee View Post
    Nice Work Florian. I think you may have forgotten to mention how long the 'fun' part took. I need to compare your hourly rate to the current NEXUS/ARES value.
    I've added the duration for the last two parts. I guess you can deduct 33-50% for taking pictures, and adding notes on them. I needed about a further hour after every part to select photos and adding comments.

    If you calculate a hypothetical loan per our to the purchase cost, Valom models lead the ranking of the most expensive plane option. On the other hand: I love model building so the invested time was very rewarding for me.
    Last edited by Karo7; 04-12-2019 at 09:21.

  24. #24

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    Thanks for the great instruction and advice , I will consider making and painting my first model (and will be this one if I do).
    Thanks
    Mark

  25. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Karo7 View Post
    I've added the duration for the last two parts. I guess you can deduct 33-50% for taking pictures, and adding notes on them. I needed about a further hour after every part to select photos and adding comments.

    If you calculate a hypothetical loan per our to the purchase cost, Valom models lead the ranking of the most expensive plane option. On the other hand: I love model building so the invested time was very rewarding for me.
    And there's the rub. Having seen this you may have persuaded me to invest in some Valom kits. I've warned myself off them with some of the reports of how difficult they are to assemble but your pictures make it look straight forward and you've shown some neat assembly tricks. I do love a 1/144 kit but my collection is mostly Revel/Dragon jets.

  26. #26

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    Thank you Mark. If you never build a model, I recommend neither to begin with a biplane nor with the 1/144 scale. You should avoid metal parts and short run kits for your first try, also.

    Take a good quality kit in 1/72 or 1/48. Maybe one of the new Airfix kits (out of a new mold) or one by Eduard (Weekend Edition or just the sprues from their website). I suggest a plane with a simple design like a Me 262, a Gloster Meteor or a Dassault Mystere.


    It would be a pitty, if your first attempt is frustrating and you abandon this fascinating hobby, therefore.

    My first model kit was a Fairy Swordfish Floatplane and the struts and float undercarriage annoyed me so heavily, that I avoided model kits for years.



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