Struts!? HELP

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Struts!? HELP

Postby BigReg » Mon Jun 18, 2018 11:13

I am building 12 First World War fighters by Valom. The struts are etch metal , very thin and are required required to be glued onto plastic with either little dents to mark positions. Some have no fixing points, like the cabane struts. Also there are no plans to show angles etc. Anyone got a simple answer for a ham fisted soon to be 70 year old modeller???
Thanks in advance,
David
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Re: Struts!? HELP

Postby F_IV » Mon Jun 18, 2018 11:52

I'm wrestling with the same dilemma on my Fe2 which needs 16 struts to hold the top wings on.

I plan to have the wings drilled with the holes filled so they don't go right through the wing surface. A deepish countersink if you know what I mean, making sure the struts are a smooth easy fit and not too tight.

After that (and presuming the lengths of each strut are carefully correct) I'll glue each strut into the lower wing as neatly as possible. I figure in the ensuing assembly any clumsiness and spills under the top wing will be much less visible. I hope to get the wing in position and wiggle each front interplane strut into position until I feel it drop into hole, then tack a couple of strategic ones and repeat the process with the rear struts. I'm hoping water-thin superglue will discretely hold it all together. After that I'll add the cabane struts one by one.

That's the plan anyway. :?

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Re: Struts!? HELP

Postby MerlinJones » Mon Jun 18, 2018 13:35

Whilst drilling tiny holes for strut placement is a good tip, I cannot emphasise the importance of the right glue for the job, which makes the whole process so, so much easier.
(Take care with drilling, though...you don't want to reduce the gap between the upper and lower wings too much!)


Superglue gel...aided and abetted with Zipkicker accelerator.

Tiny dots of the glue can be applied to exactly where you want them and the glue can be left awhile before it sets.
Hold the strut on your glue dot, in your locating 'dimple', until it stops wanting to fall over, but is still moveable.

Be aware BEFORE you start of exactly the right orientation of your strut. I use cardboard templates, based on 3-view drawings), to place my struts against, thus getting exactly the right angle of lean.

When you're sure you've got your strut exactly where you want it and how you want it, apply the Zipkicker to set everything in place.
To do this, I usually use a piece of paper, dipped in the stuff, which I then apply where it's needed. You do not want to flood your plastic with Zipkicker, as you won't be able to apply any more superglue to your model for a long while, as it'll immediately set!

Regarding the order of struts to apply, I usually fix the main interplane struts to the lower wing first.
I then either add the upper wing, or use a piece of stiff card, standing in for the wing, (it's lighter than the plastic wing), to ensure that everything's level.

Once the upper wing's in place, I can apply each cabane strut by gluing it to one point and then letting gravity drop the other end of the strut to where it needs to go. I might glue it to theupper wing and let it drop onto it's drop of glue on the fuselage, or vice versa.

NOTE that, without the cabanes secured, the upper wing has the potential to swing from side to side. This shouldn't be too much of an issue, provided you take care.
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Re: Struts!? HELP

Postby smeg1959 » Tue Jun 19, 2018 2:52

Welcome back, Merlin! We've all missed you. Any chance we can entice you into the current Group Build? :D

Some really valuable tips here even for those of us unlikely to build more than a couple of biplanes in our lifetime. Even with the F-Toys' CR.42 I refinished for a previous group build, I had difficulties realigning the struts when I dismantled the thing prior to repainting and reassembling.
OTB ...
Group Build 8 - Vickers Type 432 (sole prototype), Hawker Hurricane Mk I (1 Sqn RAF), NA Harvard Mk II (74 OTU DAF), Spitfire LF Mk IXc (601 Sqn RAF), Focke-Wulf Fw190A-3 (RAE Farnborough)
Shelf of Shame - Bell P-63C-5-BE (G/C3.6 Armee de l'Air)
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Re: Struts!? HELP

Postby MerlinJones » Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:30

smeg1959 wrote:Welcome back, Merlin! We've all missed you. Any chance we can entice you into the current Group Build? :D


You really DO need to get out more! :D I've never really been away, just lurking occasionally and peering at the world of 12-squared from beneath a pile of the huge 1/72 Review kits I'm given to play with.
As for the RAF 'group build', it's likely that I'll be building an RAF 1/144 kit sometime this year. :P
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Re: Struts!? HELP

Postby MerlinJones » Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:31

Did I mention superglue gel? :lol:
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Re: Struts!? HELP

Postby F_IV » Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:12

It's on my shopping list now, thanks for the tip!
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Re: Struts!? HELP

Postby BigReg » Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:33

Thanks for all the hints guys.
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