Lafayette Escadrille Nieuport 17C

Discussion in 'Gallery & Designs' started by Gil, Jul 27, 2006.

  1. Gil

    Gil Active Member

    Hello All,

    I've been working on a side project for several weeks. Several design varaiations were tried before white build of the one below proved satisfactory. It preserves the lines of the fuselage without segmentations. The aluminum cowl was previously developed for this project as were spoked wheels. Please forgive the smeared lines. The surface wasn't sealed and water was sprayed on the surface in preparation to forming.

    The paint scheme will be after the Lafayette Escadrille, hence the Indian Head symbol. -Gil

  2. Bowdenja

    Bowdenja Active Member

    Good job Gil! What scale are you buiding in? 1/25?

    Will it be Raoul's plane or maybe Victor's?

  3. EricGoedkoop

    EricGoedkoop Member

    Looks good, Gil.

    Do I understand correctly that the entire top and both sides of the fuse are laid out as one continuous part? I'd be interested to see it in the flat - I've been working on a Pup myself and managed to do the sides and rear deck as one part but had to keep the forward decking separate:


    The flat-to-round transition at the cockpit worked out well enough, to my tastes. There IS a seam between each side and the rear deck, but this is because I used different solid-colored pieces of card for the CDL and PC10 portions, glued together at the edges to make the flat part and then formed.

    Your cowl puts mine to shame.
  4. Leif Oh

    Leif Oh Member

    A breakthrough again, Gil. Everybody curious, of course, for more details. In your own good time, though! Got to be the best cowl I've seen in this medium. But the subject of your efforts this time is the seamless fuselage. Intriguing, and impressive, to say the least. - L.
  5. Gil

    Gil Active Member

    Nieuport 17C, Some Details

    Hello All,

    John, the scale is 1:33. The design scales well. I haven't picked the exact color scheme yet but am leaning toward blue cowl, wing and fuselage chevron stripe.

    Eric, No, the top consists of two pieces split just behind the cockpit coaming. Both sides and bottom are continous pieces. The seamless appearence is achieved by placing 1 mm thick longerons on the top and bottom side pieces. The fuselage sides are then joined together with formers much like a model airplane is built. The top cockpit/nose piece and rear decking are water misted and formed by wrapping them around cylindrical mandrels with strips of T-shirt material to allow the water vapor to evaporate. When dry they were joined with a joiner strip applied to the fuselage top, spiral wrapped with a long strip of plastic wrap to align and clamp the entire assembly together. When semi dry the plastic wrap was removed and the seams worked with a burnsihing tool. The bottom panel was applied in a similar manner but didn't need the plastic wrap. One other point is that all the edges were fine sanded before assembly. An additional former needs to be added aft of the cockpit to prevent a surface dimple from forming there. Other than that I'm very happy that it all came together as well as it did (a rare and only sometimes event).

    Your cowl is very nicely done. Ever think about doing it in aluminum? You're very, very close to being able to achieving it.

    The Nieuport shape is very near to the Sopwith shape and the thought has passed my mind more than once (Sopwith Strutter and Pup are also on the list).

    The photo below shows the layout. All work was done in Rhino


  6. cbg

    cbg Member


    I seem to recall a thread (or a portion from a thread) in which you detailed in part your method for bare metal cowls.

    Does that link still exist on this forum, or if not, could you post a quick tutorial for our benefit? Mucho thanks. cbg

    p.s. Did you finish your DH-2?
  7. Gil

    Gil Active Member


    Hi cbg, The DH-2 still remains to be finished. I ran into some issues with the composite wing construction method which were just recently solved. An earlier tut on aluminum forming was lost several sites ago and I've become discouraged by consistently loosing them when a site goes down or changes. I'll try to show enough detail to get those interested a start into the process but no tutorial here. -Gil
  8. EricGoedkoop

    EricGoedkoop Member

    Don't mean to hijack your thread but it does seem we're working in the same direction. The Pup went together much the same way as your Nieup - I made two 1mm thick side frames and glued them to the flat rear portions of the side skins. The front edges of the sides were then attached to the circular frontmost former (the firewall) and then the top and bottom of these forward sections persuaded into place and glued to the frame. Forward decking and the bottom were easy after that. I also added a former behind the cockpit at the point where the fuselage begins to taper, and another at the back end of the turtledeck/leading edge of the tailplane

    I hadn't considered wetting the card but may try it in the future.
  9. EricGoedkoop

    EricGoedkoop Member

    Thanks. It's aluminum duct repair tape on bond paper.

    I'm envious of your formed aluminum work but still dig the traditional paper model aesthetic, as limiting as it is in some cases.

    Go figure.
  10. Gil

    Gil Active Member

    Fuselage Longerons & English Wheels

    Hi Eric,

    Interesting coincidence! Building with side attached longerons and formers combined with a few building tricks yields an excellent and nearly seamless fuselage. Pre-forming the top sections with a slightly smaller radius than the fuselage allows it to self align when applied to the fuselage top. Wrapping it with a strip of plastic wrap clamps the piece in position and maintains edge alignment. It works like magic. The bottom is flat except for the nose duct and is applied in the normal manner (that is with plastic wrap clamping) finishing with an edge burnish to blend the two surface edges together. The sides should also be pre-formed to make the fuselage construction easier.

    Using aluminum duct tape is the same as glueing paper to aluminum tooling foil. Google on "English Wheel" or "Wheeling Machine" to see how compound curved panels are formed for full size aircraft and older style racing cars. Just scale it down to cardmodel size and you have the essentials of the process. I made a hand wheeling machine out of readily available materials and it works amazing well. I'll post a picture of it if your interested. In fact you should actually be able to roll the cowl structure in the post just using the aluminum tape.

    Later..., -Gil
  11. Leif Oh

    Leif Oh Member

    I have saved your Alu painting tutorial, Gil - but that's not what you're referring to here. Also saved a link to your cowl making tutorial, but as you say, that points to something quite different now...

    Gil, Eric - could I interest you in submitting anything you wish to have preserved to the Card Model Tutorial now being put together at Will be a pdf document, thus comparatively immune to destruction of the kind your previous work been through.

    Just give me, or even better Michael Urban at, a note.
  12. Gil

    Gil Active Member

    Good Solution

    Hi Leif,

    Funny you should come up with a good solution. That's a suitable solution to a long term problem. I was thinking about Kartonbau as it has a much better record for stability but even so having the item as a .pdf file is the much preferred way of insuring long term preservation of the work. Thanks for mentioning it, you can count me in. -Gil
  13. Gil

    Gil Active Member

    Landing Gear & Tail Skid Detail

    Hello All,

    It's always the little details that really slow a design down. I hadn't realized that the tail skids on the Nieuports were actually faired in. That bulging detail under the tail was actually built up of countoured wood sections that faired the fueslage to tail skid interface. It got me wondering why would the designer go to all that trouble to fair in the tail skid but install a flat plate windshield between the two interplane struts? After thinking about this it dawned on me that the windshield was a later requirement and from the looks of it was jury rigged to make do. Later on the windshields were contoured into the fuselage but not on the C1. War production pressures and military bureaucracies tend to be at odds at any rational change without it first having been properly routed through the channels.

    At any rate the following is a Photoshop rendering of the work so far. Landing gear construction details are being worked out and the tail skid fairing actually went through three prototype builds before I got it right. I now have these little beetle carapaces littering the workbench. Till next time..., -Gil

  14. Gil

    Gil Active Member

    Tail Group Blocked In...,

    A bit more design work. Wheels, axle and tail group are blocked in. Further design work on wheel strut and axle paper fairings will be needed. Tail group will follow Eric's "sandwich" style construction. Screen shots from Rhino are not antialiased so they show lots of "jaggies". Oh well, till later..., -Gil

  15. Gil

    Gil Active Member

    Flyboys is Almost Released!

    A sense of urgency is now pervasive on this design as the Premier of Flyboys is only 17 days away! USS Holland has priority after which the SS Venture needs the deck housing pulled and then on to the finishing the design of the Nieuport 17C..., And now I'm looking at a Lancaster and then there's the USS Macon/Akron design...., Need somebody want to do the Merlins..., Richard? Rip from a P-51 kit?


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