AFM10YGB -Airfix DH4 part 3, more "adventures"

Joined: December 20th, 2006, 2:03 pm

June 23rd, 2018, 12:12 pm #1

After recovering from the glue spill fiasco, I added the lower wings and then the landing gear parts.  One of the forward legs of the landing gear needed a little cleaning up where it attached to the fuselage so I went at it with an Xacto chisel blade.  I didn't think I was applying that much pressure but suddenly the entire forward leg of the "V" snapped off and was apparently launched at a high enough speed to completely vaporize it.  I never heard it land and an intense search turned up nothing.  Great.  No affordable kits on ebay from which to get a replacement and not a part I felt I could make myself because of the angles molded into both ends, plus I'd have to make the lower end match up to the broken edge of the remaining "V".

After searching and stewing for 2 days I decided one evening to just start making a replacement.  I ended up making it from 3 pieces of plastic sheet with brass wire pins to give it strength.  It took a bit of fitting to get it to match the other side but I think I've got it pretty close.  Now that I've got that done, I expect the missing piece will turn up pretty quickly.

DH4 gear repair.jpg
DH4 gear repair 2.jpg
Next up was adding the struts to the upper wing.  These are the type with a connecting bar at their upper ends that mate with slots in the wing.  I would have liked to glue them to the lower wing first and proceed that way but in order to fill and sand those slots it has to be done this way.  You can see that the cabane struts have pins on their ends that are supposed to mate up with holes in the fuselage near the cockpit.  I was a little worried about whether or not these would mate up correctly because I shimmed the lower wing to match the bottom of the fuselage when I attached it, I probably moved it downward almost 1/16".  A quick test fit of the upper wing with all the struts in place shows that it is probably all going to fit together but I don't have enough fingers to know for sure, it is hard to hold it all together without some glue.  Final assembly will be interesting.

DH4 wing with struts.jpg
Stay tuned to see what else goes wrong with this one!

-Dan
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Joined: March 30th, 2008, 7:09 pm

June 23rd, 2018, 3:24 pm #2

WOW. What a recovery!
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Joined: August 20th, 2010, 11:34 am

June 23rd, 2018, 10:38 pm #3

Great rescue job Dan - well done. And I agree about these two bay biplanes - we need to grow a couple of extra hands - yours look like  aces of trying to arrange for a hedgehog or porcupine to line up with a bit of pegboard but I know you can do it!
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Joined: October 5th, 2015, 5:16 am

June 23rd, 2018, 10:48 pm #4

Hello Dan,

Valiant recovery from more than the usual slings and arrows of model making.
Your replacement landing gear strut looks like it serve as a worthy replacement.
Just to add a little further confusion to this mix, the landing gear on Airfix  DH4 are, I've read, a little too short depending on the machine being modelled.
Those supplied by Airfix are apparently the early type and many,  depending on manufacture, were slightly longer.
It's a point of confusion that I'm yet to get some definative instruction on.
Perhaps others here can be more forthcoming  (my hope, as it's a question I need answered as well ).
Additionally, I think R.Rimmell included reasonable plans with his Scale Models article  (circa 1985-86) on building this kit.
This might be worth obtaining if possible

Great work soldiering on with this rather nice aircraft.
What scheme can we expect to see?

Cheers

AP
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Joined: December 20th, 2006, 2:03 pm

June 24th, 2018, 2:42 am #5

gcarter17 wrote: Great rescue job Dan - well done. And I agree about these two bay biplanes - we need to grow a couple of extra hands - yours look like  aces of trying to arrange for a hedgehog or porcupine to line up with a bit of pegboard but I know you can do it!
Thanks Graham.  I was a little reluctant to give the kit's strut arrangement a try given the many failures I suffered as a child attempting to build biplanes with similar setups.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed until this one is on the shelf but check out the near-perfect fit I've managed to get so far (without any glue).  The cabane struts snap into the holes in the fuselage and the interplane struts line up with the holes in the lower wing and the upper and lower wings align beautifully.  Not bad for a 1967 kit!

DH4 wing fit 1.jpg DH4 wing fit 2.jpg
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Joined: December 20th, 2006, 2:03 pm

June 24th, 2018, 3:05 am #6

AlbatrosPete wrote: Hello Dan,

Valiant recovery from more than the usual slings and arrows of model making.
Your replacement landing gear strut looks like it serve as a worthy replacement.
Just to add a little further confusion to this mix, the landing gear on Airfix  DH4 are, I've read, a little too short depending on the machine being modelled.
Those supplied by Airfix are apparently the early type and many,  depending on manufacture, were slightly longer.
It's a point of confusion that I'm yet to get some definative instruction on.
Perhaps others here can be more forthcoming  (my hope, as it's a question I need answered as well ).
Additionally, I think R.Rimmell included reasonable plans with his Scale Models article  (circa 1985-86) on building this kit.
This might be worth obtaining if possible

Great work soldiering on with this rather nice aircraft.
What scheme can we expect to see?

Cheers

AP
The landing gear height issue is confusing.  I've been looking for any kind of definitive answer without much luck.  I'm starting to think that there wasn't a certain point in time that the taller gear began to be fitted, but that it started with batches using one particular engine type or another and eventually may or may not have been retrofitted to some machines. 

I'm also just noticing that some aircraft had support struts under the tailplanes and some didn't, not sure what's going on there so I need to look through the drawings I have.

So finding a good photo of the machine being modeled is important, which is why I'm still not sure what scheme mine will be carrying!

-Dan
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Joined: October 5th, 2015, 5:16 am

June 24th, 2018, 12:40 pm #7

Hello Dan,

Scale Models November 1984 p 583.
Nice plans that also features different engine types.
Let me know if you'd like a scan.
Alas, these feature only the short landing gear. Reading the text Uncle Ray points out that later aircraft had taller landing gear and if modeling one of these to add 3 mm in length to the gear supplied by Airfix.
The Datafile may be more specific.

AP
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Joined: December 20th, 2006, 2:03 pm

June 24th, 2018, 1:18 pm #8

Hello AP,

I would love a scan but I think I already have those plans in Volume 1 of Aircraft Archive.  I know many of those plans were originally published in Scale Models and the ones in my book were drawn by G A G Cox, are yours the same?  By the way- the Airfix parts match the plans very well.  Thanks for the 3mm bit of info, I'll file that away for future use.

-Dan
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Joined: October 5th, 2015, 5:16 am

June 24th, 2018, 2:13 pm #9

Hello Dan,
Yep thems the ones....you have them.

AP
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Joined: September 9th, 2004, 3:43 am

June 24th, 2018, 3:55 pm #10

Good work on the replacement leg, Sir.

Wing fit is looking sweet indeed.
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