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The Great LSP Twins Group Build Starts Jan 24, 2024 - End July 3, 2024 ×

1:32 scale - Siemens-Schuckert D.III


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Hi all,
I've used the kit under panel and opened up the louvre vents and added the panels retaining screw and louvre rivet locations.
Also filled the original pilot's foot step and created a new one in the correct position.
Finally added the missing panel line at the fuselage former.

Mike

underearly2.jpg

footstep3.jpg

newline.jpg

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Hi all,
A few updates for the build.

When I temporarily joined the fuselage halves I found the seat support frame was too short and didn't reach its locations in the fuselage sides.
To correct this I cut the frame cross members and added 1.4 mm diameter tubes to extend the width of the frame.

seatsupport.jpg

The 'Brengun' photo-etch side formers and box cover were added - tricky to fit under the cockpit side 'Z' frames and required thinning the frame and filing the photo-etch.

PEframes.jpg

The 'Brengun' set has a side panel, the location of which is not clear in the instructions.
However a photo shows where it locates.

sidepanel.jpg

sidepanel1.jpg

The front decking panel and the replacement 'Gaspatch' machine guns were modified to allow the guns to fit the panel.
The kit supplied ammunition feed and ejection chutes were used and pinned through the gun breech block with 0.5 mm diameter rod.

gunpanelassembly.jpg

Mike

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Hi all,
I did some research to ascertain the purpose of the rectangular access panel under the early D.III aircraft.

underearly.jpg

It seems that the loaded belts of ammunition for both machine guns were stored in the ammunition container fitted under both guns.
The loaded ammunition belts were fed to the gun breech blocks through feed chutes.
The empty ammunition belts were directed from the breech blocks through chutes to box containers, which were fitted to the fuselage sides inside the cockpit.

All of the empty ammunition cases from both weapons were ejected through a tube connected to the lower front of each breech block and from there into a combined ejection pipe which was routed down to the bottom of the fuselage.
On the later D.IV aircraft the cases were discharged out of the aircraft from the ejection pipe opening under the fuselage.
However, in the early D.III aircraft the cases were retained in a container inside the fuselage and to access the container for emptying, the rectangular access panel was fitted under the fuselage.

newejectorchute.jpg

Mike

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Hi all,
Cross bracing wires were fitted between the tops of the rear fuselage cabane struts and the inside of the fuselage.
These wires were attached to a small rectangular frame, located on the top centre of the cockpit front decking panel.
Each of the four separate bracing wires were attached the corners of this frame.

rigging2.jpg

The model has the rectangular attachment frame moulded solid, which does not represent the actual frame.
The ‘Brengun’ photo-etch set has two frames, either of which (or both) can be used, but attaching them to the decking panel and rigging is not explained.

I removed the pre-moulded lump and drilled two holes of 0.5 mm diameter at approximately 60 degrees, down and through the front decking panel.
Two lines of 0.08 mm diameter mono-filament were passed through 0.4 mm diameter tube, then through the photo-etch frame.
The lines were looped back through the tubes the secured in position with thin CA adhesive.
The following shot shows it test fitted. The frame will be finally fitted later in the build during the rigging phase,

Mike

rigging4.jpg

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Hi all,
I really should build models out of the box (OOB).
I followed the instructions for embodying the ‘Loon Models’ resin wing tips for the early version aircraft.
Now I've found that the span of the lower wing is 12 mm too short (6 mm at each wing tip).
As can be seen, when the modified wings are laid onto a correctly resized drawing, the span of the upper wing is correct, but the span of the lower wing is not.
The original kit is for the later D.IV aircraft, the lower wing of which had a slightly shorter span when compared to the upper wing (disregarding the extended balanced ailerons).
So now, having embodied the modifications to both wings, I'm not sure whether the 'Loon Models' instructions for cutting away the kit wing tips are incorrect or the wing span of the original kit supplied lower wing is too short?

wingspan3.jpg

wingspan2.jpg

wingspan.jpg

Anyway, I'll need to cut the lower wing at both sides and along a rib line then pin and pack the wings to the correct span.
This will also mean relocating the lower wing location holes for the outer wing struts.

Mike

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Hi all,
To correct the span of the lower wing:
Wing cut through 30 mm from the wing roots.
Two holes drilled (0.5 mm diameter) into outer wing sections.
Rods (0.5 mm diameter) inserted into holes.
Wings pushed together to indent rods into wing centre section (marks for drilling).
Two holes drilled (0.5 mm diameter) into centre wing section.
Two packs of 6 x 1 mm plastic card cemented together.
Two holes drilled through packs to match rods in the wings.
Packs fitted onto wing rods.
Wing sections and packs aligned then secured together with CA adhesive and liquid cement.
Packs filed and sanded to match the wing profiles.
Wing strut location holes filled and re-drilled 6 mm further inboard.

Mike

wingspan4.jpg

wingspan5.jpg

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Hi all,
The fuselage is ready to be closed up.
The kits cockpit was modified by the following:

Addition of photo-etch rear bulkhead, fuselage formers, fuel/oil cock control panel and side box containers.
Added tube for spent cartridge chute.
Added cross bracing to fuselage forward area and cockpit floor (0.4 mm tube - 0.12 mm mono-filament). 
Added rudder and double elevator control line (0.4 mm tube - 0.08 mm mono-filament). 
Added instrument decals (not supplied in the kit).
Added 0.3 mm lead wiring for magneto starter, starter switch and Tachometer drive, twin gun trigger cables and twin throttles (control column.
Replaced kit supplied oil priming pump and oil and fuel cock controls - 0.4 mm tubing.
Added 0.4 mm lead wire for oil priming pump pipe.

Mike

pitdone1.jpg

pitdone2.jpg

pitdone3.jpg

pitdone4.jpg

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Hi all,
The fuselage right side is now fitted and the rudder and elevator control lines rigged.
Next step is to fit the pilot's seat harness, including the shoulder straps through the rear firewall slots.
Then I can close up the fuselage and fit the seat,

Mike

controllinesdone.jpg 

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Hi all,
The fuselage now closed up, including:
Top decking panel
Underside louvred panel
Engine fire wall
Tail plane
Fuselage head rest fairing
Underside access panel and hinge.

Most joint and seams needed filling and sanding.
Next it's applying primer to check for surface imperfections then on with the build,

Mike

preprime1.jpg 

preprime2.jpg 

preprime3.jpg 

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Hi all,
The fuselage of this aircraft was coloured blue and was applied over what were the original National markings (fuselage and rudder). However, the markings were still visible under the applied blue colour and therefore need to be represented on the model. The colour profile of this aircraft and others from Jasta 15 appear in several books and the profile artist for the one used does state that the over painted markings are speculative and based on previous aircraft flown in Jasta 15.

faded.jpg

The following photograph, although of poor quality, shows a large white cross with the black cross at its centre on the fuselage. The rudder seems to show a very faded black cross under the white coloured rudder with the later black cross superimposed.

plane1.jpg

The colour profile has the previous rudder marking as the old style ’Cross Pattée’. However, when the photograph is changed to a negative, the marking, although difficult to see, does appear to be more of a standard cross in shape. 

neg1.jpg

neg2.jpg

Between March and May of 1918, the ’Idflieg’ ordered that the National markings be changed, but initially no dimensions were given and confusion at the various Jasta’s led to a wide
variation in the shape of the new cross markings. The older ’Cross Pattée’ marking was used earlier in WW1 and I personally doubt that this underlying marking would have been on an
aircraft in 1918, especially when you consider that the first production batch of D.III aircraft was placed in March 1918, the same month the ‘Cross Pattée’ was discontinued. Therefore I've chosen to use the later cross shape as the underlying marking on the rudder, rather than the older ’Cross Pattée’.

I'm intending to chip the paintwork on the forward metal panels and engine cowl, so I've applied a base coat of 'Alclad' Duraluminium (ALC-102).
Then a coat of cheap hairspray, as I can't get on with chipping fluids, which I find tend to bead up.   

hairspray1.jpg

hairspray2.jpg

The figures I chose to use are the pilot and airman from the ‘Aviattic’ - “GötterdÄmmerung” pilot and airman (ATTRES 024) 

figures1.jpg

Mike

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Hi all,
The base colours of red (engine cowl, propeller spinner and forward fuselage) and blue (fuselage and tail unit) have been applied (both darkened slightly).

red1.jpg

red2.jpg

 

red3.jpg

The masks were used to create the fuselage and rudder 'over painted markings, which were then airbrush over to give the impression of being over painted.
The fuselage markings will be partially covered by the pilot's personal markings and a decal will be used for the rudder cross.
The fuselage markings are strange looking but based of the photograph I posted earlier (evidence of the confusion the orders of March/May 1918 caused).

masksfus1.jpg

masksfus3.jpg

masksfus2.jpg

masksfus4.jpg

I've 'hair sprayed' an under coat before applying the red, as those areas have metal surfaces that I want to chip slightly.
The overall semi-sheen finish and weathering will be applied once the wing decals have been applied.

Mike

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi all,
I've applied the linen effect lozenge decals from 'Aviattic' to both wings, ailerons and the elevator.
Also added 1.0 mm wide strips of 5 colour lozenge to represent the rib tapes and edging.

ribtapes1.jpg

ribtapes2.jpg

ribtapes3.jpg

The wing outer 'V' struts were tubular steel covered with a Spruce wood fairing.
The fairings were then covered with the lozenge linen or in some cases, the lozenge pattern was hand painted. 
I've used the same 'Aviattic' lozenge decal that used for the rib tapes.

strutloz3.jpg

Mike

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Hi all,
I don't think I've spent as much time cutting and applying decals to any model, as I have on this one.
The upper wing/ailerons are 45 degree 5 colour lozenge ('Aviattic' ATT32019 underside, ATT32018 top surface).
The lower wings/ailerons and elevator are standard 5 colour lozenge ('Aviattic' ATT32075 underside, ATT32013 top surface).
All rib and edging tapes were cut from 'Aviattic' ATT32073.
National markings and pilots personal markings were from the ‘Pheon’ (32023) Siemens Schuckert D.III decal sheet.

I had the problem of repairing the model after I dropped it during final preparation for applying the decals.
I managed to catch it between my legs, but in the process clamped the wing tips which transformed the D.III into more of a Vought Corsair!!

corsair.jpg

I had to break off the upturned lower wings, clean up, re-pack, re-drill and re-pin then reassemble.
All in all it didn't turn out too bad.

The surfaces are gloss sealed so as not to damage the applied decals. The final finish and weathering will be done later in the build.

Mike

decalsdone1.jpg

decalsdone2.jpg

decalsdone3.jpg

decalsdone4.jpg

decalsdone5.jpg

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Hi all,
Moving along slowly.
The engine and cowl have been fitted with an 'RB Productions' 9/32nd flat rigging wire used to represent the cowl retaining strap.
Photo-etch quarter turn fasteners have been added to the main panels and wingnut fasteners to the two side and one underside access panels.
Both machine guns are on as well as the fuel tank contents gauge.
Very slight paint weathering was applied (sponged) and a light sheen sealing coat airbrushed to act as the base for dirt weathering.
Before that I need to fit and rig the undercarriage assembly so as to prevent damaging the PE fasteners on the underside access panel on the fuselage. 

Mike 

lightsheen1.jpg

lightsheen2.jpg

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Hi all,
The undercarriage is now fitted.
The top of each strut were drilled and rod pinned to fit into holes drilled into the fuselage.
The axle, which was mould rectangular, was re-profiled and the four retaining straps added using lead wire.
Cross bracing using 'Gaspatch' metal turnbuckles and anchors with 0.5 mm diameter tube and 0.12 mm diameter mono-filament.
The steel core bungee suspension cords were represented by 'EZ' Heavy line (White), wrapped and painted with thinned 'Tamiya' Buff (XF57).

Mike

carriagedone1.jpg

carriagedone2.jpg

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Hi all,
The wash has been removed to leave a weathered coat, then sealed with 'Alclad' Light Sheen (ALC-311) lacquer.
Also the elevator has been rigged (ailerons and rudder have no external control lines),

Mike

washdone1.jpg

washdone2.jpg

washdone3.jpg

washdone4.jpg

elevcont1.jpg

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Hi all,
The pre-rigging was first added for the cross bracing, flying and landing wires. Mono-filament 0.12 mm diameter and 0.5 mm diameter tube. 'Gaspatch' metal 1?48th scale turnbuckles and anchors.
Underside of the upper wing, top surface of the lower wings, engine cowl and the tension frame for the cross bracing wires of the rear cabane struts.
Then the upper wing was fitted - always a tricky time of the build.

Then next step is to fit the rudder and elevator then complete the full rigging,

Mike

prerig1.jpg 

prerig2.jpg 

prerig3.jpg 

prerig4.jpg 

prerig7.jpg 

prerig6.jpg  

wingon.jpg 

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Hi all,
The full rigging has been completed now for the flying, landing wires and the various cross bracing wires.
The elevator has been fitted and its four control lines installed.

Remaining jobs to complete are the aileron control rods in the upper wing, engine cowl retaining plates bracing wires), propeller and its spinner and finally the windscreen.
After that it will be completing the figures and display case/base,

Mike

rigdone1.jpg 

rigdone2.jpg 

rigdone3.jpg 

rigdone4.jpg 

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Hi all,
Apart from the propeller, which Alex at 'ProperPlane' is attempting to make, the model is complete.
The rudder is fitted.
The windscreen in the kit is just a thin acetate outline, which is not very realistic, so I modified a 'spare' windscreen.
The aileron control rod assemblies, which I modified earlier, were fitted into the cut-outs I made in the upper wing.
Finally the bracing wire at each side of the engine cowl was held in a metal retainer, which I made from spare photo-etch harness buckles.

Until the propeller is fitted I'll carry on painting the two figures and ladder,

Mike

rudderon.jpg 

ailconton1.jpg 

ailconton2.jpg 

cowlretainplate.jpg 

cowlretainplate1.jpg 

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