Wednesday, December 26, 2012

When I'm right, I'm right

I told you this could suck...and I was right.

Back in August I wrote about my desire to learn how to rig bi-planes, and I set out with great enthusiasm to build Eduard's little 1/72 Nieuport Ni-17. I did my research, finding several good articles about how to rig and assemble bi-planes, and I embarrassed myself by going into a beading store in New York City to find appropriate nonfilament wire. I bought a set of Eduard photoetch seats at the IPMS Nats in August.

The project started well. The major assemblies of the airplane went together neatly, and my painting of the airplane was outstanding. (If I have a strength as a modeler, it's painting and weathering.) But then I had to assemble the bad boy, and that's when everything went south.

First of all, I found that the attachment points for the various struts and other fiddly bits are rather small and shallow, and none of the holes ensure that the parts will be properly aligned. In addition, a friend tells me that these Eduard 1/72 kits are like this, so the Nieuport was probably not the best choice for my first attempt with a bi-wing. It simply wasn't clear to me when each part should be attached, so I winged it (pun intended), figuring there'd be some wiggle room when the time came to bring everything together.

Not so. Super glue isn't very forgiving when you try to move it around, so when I joined the fuselage/lower wing assembly to the upper wing, nothing aligned nor fit. The vertical stabilizer promptly popped off, and other bits and pieces decided they'd had enough and left the party. After much cursing I finally got everything together, figuring I was done except for the rigging, but then POP! The struts detached from the upper wing and everything lost whatever tenuous rigidity it might have had.

So the model sits in pieces as you see it. I'm not the kind of guy who will belabor a failing project, so I'm done with this.

Here's the deal. If one of you can salvage the Nieuport, drop me an email and I'll send it to you at no charge. I have only two conditions. First, I ask that you have at least some experience with bi-planes and rigging in order to do the kit justice, and I ask that you be willing to send me decent photos of the model when you finish it. I'll even send some high-res photos I took of Kermit Weeks' airplane back in August to help you with the rigging and such.

I'm going back to my Trumpeter 1/72 Su-15 now. I know how to build a jet!

1 comment:

  1. I'm in the same boat as you. I love 1/72 and I want to build biplanes, but in 1/72 they're just too damn fiddly.

    You might want to try a kit with less lines and sturdier struts (one of the Revell oldies but goodies like their Fokker D IV), or you can scale up.

    I got a few bipes in 1/32 and they are MUCH more forgiving. Granted, I went for the best and splurged on one of the very well engineered Wingnuts kits, but now I'm hooked.