Monday, 7 January 2013

Building a Fokker DR1


The New Year

Ho for a new year.

It starts with me having to blitz my computer because nothing was working anymore so I feel a little disorientated as this is no longer the personally adjusted machine that it has been for the past year or so. I daresay it will get back that way in time, but for now it feels a little odd.

I've gone all into making models again. Towards the end of last year I was building a  scale model on Mont Saint Michel (really!) but I was stupid and took it out during a party to show it off and the spire of the church got knocked off and is now lost. So I have put that down until I feel up to finding a new spire somehow and finishing it off. More on that if/when I restart it. However, this is about the Red Baron's fighter plane...

The Model

 About 8 or 9 years ago, I was tempted into subscribing to a partwork magazine that would end with a 1/8 scale model of the Red Baron's Fighter plane. I thought this would be a good introduction to modelling at a easy pace of a few pieces each week. (I should say re-introduction, because I have been making models on and off all my life, just not very well). 100 issues later (that's £399 later) I had a lot of magazines and had hardly stared on the model itself. Only then did it occur to me just how much I had spent on the model and I started to wonder if cutting my teeth on a £400 model was a good idea.


Curiously enough, when I look around on the internet, no-one seems to think the model is over priced and the feeling is that generally it is worth the effort. So I decided to try to get the thing out again and see what I could do. To my amazement, I still have all the issues and all the bits. These posts are definitely not going to be about how brilliant I am, but more like how mediocre I am at this sort of thing, but I love making things (when I get up the courage to do so) so her I am trying once more. Do not expect the finished article to look anything like you find here or here.
This is the picture from the cover of issue 1. In fact the full finished model is covered in red plastic. I'm not sure how good that effect will be so I might do what others have done and just leave it uncovered as above.

Progress Report

When I unpacked the parts again I found that I have got to the end of issue 8 which meant I had the little winglet between the wheels largely constructed and the two lower wings. I may go back and comment on the earlier issues and I may not.

Issue 9

Issue 9 is all about capping the ribs of the wings and joining them together. This involves bending 36 strips of wood into the right shape and sticking them on the the wings over and under each rib. You then have to put the whole thing somewhere safe until it is required later in the construction.
The last four upper caps to stick on duly bent into shape plus my handy homemade file.

I just completed that today and am moving on to issue 10 which starts the construction of the engine.but these are metals parts and I need a very small drill bit to make them fit together properly so there will be a delay while they arrive in the post.
The completed lower wing. The biggest problem is finding somewhere safe to keep it as it doesn't fit into any of the boxes I can find... It's also slightly warped - whether that is from the 8 year wait from starting to make it and completing it today or from the fact that the parts were warped when I originally put it together (entirely possible) I don't know. I wonder if there is a way to straighten it now.

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