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The Great LSM Twins Group Build ends July 3, 2024 ×

WNW D.VIIF - Wilhelm Hippert's "Mimmi"


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Hi All,


I just found this group build and think I will participate. I have been working on Hippert's Fokker D.VII on another site, but I am going to move the blog here so I can enjoy the company of others who build WWI. I will post a few old pics to get up to date and then continue here. I hope this is ok and isn't a flagrant violation of etiquette.




I have also been using the build to learn how to make my own masks. These are done with an inexpensive craft cutter, which is just a computer controlled plotter that deploys a cutting blade instead of a pen. In this case, mine is the silhouette portrait. It cost about the same as a mid-level airbrush and I suspect that over time it will be just as useful. The first thing I did was make a stencil for the “Mimmi.” that was painted on the upper wing. I used the native software to trace a scan of the "Mimmi." lettering on the top wing - this came from a "skin" I found on line for a flight simulator, I forget which one - and then cut a stencil using a sheet of Tamiya masking material. Unfortunately, in my excitement to use my new toy, I failed to take pictures, but here are the results. I sourced the lozenge decals from Aviattic. These look fantastic. Rib tape was post-shaded with Tamiya smoke and both upper and lower surfaces where given a burnt umber filter. Finally, the whole thing was sealed with Vallejo satin clear coat. Here are a couple of pictures.







Having satisfied my need to experiment with the cutter I turned my attention to building in sequence with the instructions. I did not take pictures of the cockpit build, fall has been busy for me and others have shown how the interior to great effect. Here are a couple aspects of the interior that I did document.






The fuselage of Hippert's D.VII was covered in a black and white checkerboard. To achieve this finish, I drew up a cutter file that consisted of a page of 9.5 mm squares and used the cutter to generate a sheet of square masks. I painted the fuselage white and then covered it with masks, when finished, I removed every other square and shot the fuselage and tail suraces with flat black paint. Here are the results.














I have now started to work up the engine cowling and weather the fuselage and this is where I am today.




Fuselage engine access panels weathered with oils.




Fuselage weathered with a series of burnt sienna oil filters and washes, as well as a little Tamiya smoke to add some depth.


That's what I got to date, next up is finishing the front end and undercarriage.


Thanks for looking,



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Hi Jonathan, thank you for the warm welcome, I am glad to be here.


A few quick updates and then I have to get back to my paying job. I have been working on some of the odds and ends, and experimenting with my craft cutter in the process. I am finding that I can use it for many aspect of the finishing process. Here are two applications.


First, Hippert's plane appears to have four symbols painted on the wheels. These have been interpreted as stars or crosses. I chose to depict them as four, five-pointed stars. I went on line, googled five-pointed star, grabbed and image and then imported it into the cutter's native software. I used the trace function to create a cutter profile and then resized it to about 3 mm in height.


Here is picture of the wheel covers with the masks in place.




And this picture illustrates the results. The backside of the wheel was masked with a circle I cut as well - the reflection is glossy Tamiya smoke, this will disappear with the final satin clear finish.




Finally, this picture shows the Heine prop included in the kit. Photos of Hippert's aircraft document an Axial prop, and I will use one for this build, but I thought I would experiment with the Heine one. Once again, this was done with masks and small strips of Tamiya tape. I designed several oval shaped stencils and used them to mask the laminations in the prop. The wood grain was done with a RB Productions stencil. I will likely go for a less contrasting pair of wood colors for the Axial prop.




That's all I got for now. Thank you for looking and keep up the good work.



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Hi All,


Thank you for the encouraging words. DaveJ, I am using a silhouette portrait craft cutter. It cost me about $150 US and is on the low end for these machines I am waiting to see how well it holds up to my use, but finding it does what I want just fine.



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Hi Dave,


Mine came from Amazon.com (I think). Ebay has them as well. Another modeler In Australia found that the shipping was prohibitive. You might try just googling "craft cutter" or "vinyl cutter" ands see what comes up. Several companies make similar tools and you might find one that distributed locally.



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Hi Dave,


Glad you found one at a reasonable price. I find myself using mine to make masks for lots of little things, especially circular items. I have been using Tamiya masking material - it comes in sheets - as my masking medium. Others have been using a vinyl sheet called "Oramask". 



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Wow...now that's an introduction! Welcome to the forum.  :notworthy:


And thanks - catching up on this impressive build you've also inspired me to finally take the plunge on a digital cutter. Looking at what I've spent on masks over the past two years, and how many times I've been frustrated by kit decals (I mean, c'mon Tamiya!) I'm hopeful it'll pay for itself over the next year or two.

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Hi Beas,


It's good to be part of this forum. Having a digital cutter is great. Tamiya decals - yup, kinda thick. It took me about ten minutes to generate early national insignia appropriate for the corsair - stick a star inside a circle and click cut.



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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi All,


I have been toiling away at my D.VIIF and am here to report a bit of progress. My recent efforts have targeted painting the prop and the application of lozenge decals to the lower wing. I will start with a discussion of the later and conclude with one of the former.


I sourced lozenge decals from Aviattic and I have to say that these look great, will snuggle down over the finest of details if applied with some careful attention and I will be using them again in the near future. Nonetheless, I have experienced quite the learning curve as I have come to grips with how best to apply them and in the end decaled the lower wings three times before I was satisfied with the results. Here are a couple of hints for those using these products.


First, use a gloss paint for your basecoat. In the end, I found that Tamiya X-2, gloss white followed by a future clear coat to work best. For my first attempt, I used flat white as a base, followed by some future and the end result was extensive "silvering". Aviattic's decal film seems to work best on a smooth glossy surface, as opposed to the "bumpy" glossy surface one gets with a flat base. Having botched my first try, I obtained a second set of decals (thank you!) and got to work. This time I had troubles with the decals conforming to the fine detail of the rib tapes. So off they came a second time and I cut a third set from the decals for the lower surface of the top wing. (Note: my girlfriend suggests I am an obsessive compulsive perfectionist ;)) This time, after applying the decals, I cut a small piece from an old, clean t-shirt and used it to gently run my finger over each wing rib. I repeated this process several times until the stitching detail was apparent through the decal. You need to be careful here, since it is possible to damage the decal, but I found that this technique resulted in the film conforming precisely to the underlying detail. Leading and trailing edge lozenge tape was sourced from left-over WNW decals. I let the decals dry and then weathered them with some Tamiya smoke - sprayed over masked rib tapes - and a series of burnt umber filters and washes. These decals are transparent, so one can do some slick stuff with pre-shading, but I felt it would be best to post shade the top wing given the large painted on "Mimmi" and I wanted to subject the decal and painted surfaces to the same weathering process. For the sake of consistency, I followed the same protocol for the lower wing. Finally, the wings were sealed with a coat of satin clear. As the following photos show, the final results look great. My issues aside, I truly think these are a fantastic product and I expect that my next go at lozenge with Aviattic's decals will proceed without any drama. Well, ok, I take that back - my next attempt will require cutting my own lozenge panels from generic sheets of span-wise lozenge decals. A job for the craft cutter perhaps?


Anyway, here are some photos:




Finished upper wing ...




... finished lower wing ...




... and a shot with the wing joined to the fuselage.


Ok, on to the propeller. This I painted by first spraying a dark brown base coat. I then sprayed a black-brown color through my RB Productions wood grain stencil. I love this thing - well done Radu! I then generated a cutting file and cut a mask for the curved laminations on the prop blade. Yet another use for the craft cutter. Using this mask and small strips of tape I masked the prop laminations and then sprayed it with Tamiya deck tan, followed with flat brown sprayed through the stencil. I also cut a mask for the prop boss. Finally, the wood surfaces got a coat of Tamiya clear orang and yellow mixed at about 50/50. Once the paint was dry, I slapped on the Axial decals and here ya go ....




That's what I have for now. I guess its time to finish the engine and start the final assembly.


Thank you for looking and everyone keep up the good work.



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