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Kyushu J7W


Posts : 191
Join date : 2017-02-18
Location : East Coast USA

PostSubject: RODEN - CURTIS H-16 WWI FLYING BOAT 1/72   Sun Feb 19 2017, 16:05

I must be some sort of glutton for punishment.   I have developed a real love of WWI and golden wing aircraft.    Though the fighters are available in  1.48 the bombers with one exception do not appear to be.   I had purchased for the stash this kit along with a Roden Gotha and Felixstowe F2A.  I was able to find an ICM Muromets Russian bomber at the flea market.      

Though this is a 1.72 kit the pic's I post will show the dimensions to be rather substantial.
The wing span will be in excess of 16 inches and the length with the tail rudder close to 8 inches.   This kit does come with  beaching dolly.  

I'm not sure how things show up on other peoples computer screens but on mine the pic below is just slightly smaller vs the scale of the physical model.   Detail is nice but the sprue attachments will take some care in removal especially for the smaller parts which are well done and show some great detail.  You might note the flash on the flying boat body upper edges.   Not too bad ......

Lots of small parts so this one will take time.  I am going to take a shot as some rigging though I may be biting off a lot more than I can chew.   Good thing the show date in early January.  Having the holidays will allow time to get to work and perhaps finish off a few other stalled cold war items at the same time.

  Sat down at the desk  and started going over the instructions, seeing all the struts and  thinking, well dummy, your the one who started this, what  did I get myself into.     Did not really do anything over thanksgiving other than put up holiday decorations and look at the open box once in a while.  

    I was not completely lazy and have  been searching on line over the last few weeks  for some 005 gage  straight wire. ( see my info request post ) for this.   No way in hell can I use fishing line, drill holes  or create stretched sprue after spending quite a bit of time  researching this.   As Clint Eastwood said A mans got to know his limitations......The red eyed monster will arise and the sledge hammer will come out from the garage.

I started painting the upper wing with my testors yellow paint.  I shook it up for a long time, but its been around a while.  You know how the little bottles of rarely used paints can get.  It still seemed just a wee bit  bit thick.  Then I thought of adding some thinner and that seemed to do the trick.      Though it is the right tone and gloss it was still too streaky for my liking  with a brush,  so I spent the morning stripping it off.       I also noticed that larger bottle of thinner I bought seems to be slowly evaporating, even though the cap is tight .   Something to remember ....bigger is not necessarily better.   The same thing seems to be happening to that special glue I bought for the Classic Air Frames kit.  This stuff is not cheap.

Today will be mostly trimming flash and painting the small parts, guns, engine parts  on the sprues with gun metal,rust,  aluminum, steel and black.  Will build the  cockpit but there not a lot to it.   The flying boat boat body, floats & wing undersides I sprayed with sea gray.   I think it looks pretty good.   You can see the difference between the kit plastic and sea gray on the fuselage halves and sprues with the floats.    I will pick up a small can of  spray yellow today and a small bottle of bronze or copper at the hobby shop and maybe a couple  of  crewmen if they have them .  

Will work on the engines over the weekend as that is where most of the tiny parts are.  I can see them flying off into space as I try to separate them from the sprues...  This has happened on a few of the Cold war builds of 1/144 bombers like the B-58 Hustler ..

.  I think if I moisten a  paper towel and fold it over the sprue as I try to remove the parts  it might catch them if they snap off into space to land on the black tile floor.   disgusted  

Good thing I have that little jewelers magnifying glass as it helped a bit this morning finding part numbers on the sprues.      I still have some new exacto blades as the parts are heavily connected to the sprues and could be easily damaged.    At times I seem to take longer removing things from sprues vs building.

That big yellow wing will  look great though.  Building the wing does take some trimming and sanding  as the connection points to the sprues seem  to be more than is necessary for the molds.   I  sprayed  the other sides of the wings the sea gray.   The greenish tint on the upper wing comes from my stripping off the brush enamel.      The upper wing is 16 inches.  Pretty impressive.  My build desk is the flattest surface I have with a small lip on the edge to help me keep the wing edges aligned.  I used one of the clamps  Captain Eddie brought to the  fly in to keep the center from bowing upwards.    The wings are very thin and come in three parts.  They just abut up to each other, no connecting pins, so there is not a lot of room for glue to take hold on the edges . One on line source suggested drilling and countersinking dowels, but I have neither the drill bits or the steady desk mounted vise   for that sort of thing.  I'm struggling to find rigging wire much less find a dowel that size.   That upper  wing is especially fragile  when handling.   I picked it up on one end and the other started to break off.  Will have to very careful with this one.

The yellow spray came out really great vs my brush work.  The top of both the wings are yellow.  Undersides gray.    I can still use the bottle for small touch ups that I'm certain will be needed.  

Why did I put on the insignia already you might ask.   One builder of these kits mentioned that he built up his model completely, then sat down to rig it.... After rigging it he suddenly realized some of the decals had to go under the rigging wire on the upper wings!    I could see myself doing the same thing so I figured lesson learned.  Applying the roundels went fine, but the 5 broke up into several pieces.   It took a while to fix it up.  

The office pan is a bit spartan. It  has some bit and bobs but its all covered over based  on the instructions. Trimming  and sanding the small parts took lots of time today with many more to go .   I have 6 straight days off at X-mass so will get more done next week.

Clamping a flying boat hull is difficult to say the least.     String held it together up front and around the bottom.      

Working more small parts today.  The steering wheels are  attached to the sprue at 5 points!!  These small boxes for the back of the deck I believe are ammo cans.   They come in 2 pieces!!! ...why for the life of me I can't fathom.    There is one small part that I could not figure out what it was.  The jewelers glass told me.  It was a fire extinguisher.  I managed to paint it red and the post aluminum.     Tomorrow I may take my C1  Nieuport with me  as an example to  another  brick and mortar shop near by . I want to see what I can find for rigging wire and a maybe few more odds and ends for the interior.    

Perhaps its my way of putting off the wing assembly....  

Scratch built a navigators desk, oil tank and two fuel tanks, a first aid kit and a couple of life rings.    Working on a radio.  Darn shame none of this will show up once I finish things.  

July 1917: The first air-to-ground and ground-to-air radio communications were accomplished by AT&T engineers at Langley Field in Virginia.

In the early days of aviation, pilots relied upon primitive means of communication during flight, including hand signals and flags. But during World War I, the U.S. military desperately needed radio communication between airplanes and the ground and between the planes themselves.

So in May 1917, General George Squier of the U.S. Army Signal Corps contacted Western Electric, AT&T's manufacturing subsidiary, to request an airplane radio telephone with a 2,000-yard range. On June 5, AT&T engineers met with the military to gather technical requirements, only to discover that there was practically no information about such essentials as the wavelengths desired, antennas and power supplies.

Undaunted and spurred on by wartime urgency, AT&T engineers designed the equipment using solid hunches, available circuitry and a few field tests. On July 2, they made their first air-to-ground transmission over a distance of about two miles. And on July 4, they accomplished a ground-to-air transmission over the same distance. By August 20, they had achieved two-way communication between planes in flight. Western Electric began shipping radio telephone sets abroad in October.

Although few of those sets ever actually saw service, AT&T had proved that rapid voice communication between military vehicles in the air or on the sea was possible.

Not sure what came over me . Shocked     Too many Christmas cookies and left over egg nog I guess.   The kit supplies the items from the seats forward, but nothing behind, except for that fire extinguisher and the ammo cans.  Probably for the very reason that section with the desk & fuel tanks is hidden.   I too wonder about small parts that can't be seen on my builds in the past that were supplied by the kit producer.    I have never scratch built anything, I thought in this case, give it a shot and see what I could do with sprue and other materials I could scrounge.    

Little radio in place.....    Wasn't that worth the wait.   Gotta start learning and trying somewhere, and if I muck it up, it will be forever sealed like Tuts tomb  Smile

Today the engines were center stage.   Only  3/4 of the way completed.  Mostly the engines surprising amount of plumbing remains to be done then on to the wing spars....  

  Tiny, tiny ( did I say tiny), very fiddly to handle. That carburetor manifold comes in 3 pieces, then it marries up to the cylinder heads .  Talk about driving  ya nuts.  

See the e-xacto blade tip.  Still a bit to do on the beaching dolly.    

I was about to give up and found this in a dusty hidden corner of the only other brick and mortar shop within 50+ miles of me.    Just stiff enough  to work  I think.   .015 and .020 gauge music wire.    I plucked a wire off my Marushin sea plane trainer to have it as an example when I went in there.    

My son went along to see what the place is like. The owner has a pretty good train hobbyist  customer base.  He at one time had lots of plastic models hanging from the ceiling but  very few now.  I would have bought his built Wellington if I had the chance.     One thing we both noticed was that people had their gift certificates in hand  and the gray and white hair of the customers.  A few with canes.    No kids or people of my sons age.

    Checked out the kits.   WOW prices are steep with the 1.48 Lancaster priced at $150 ...    I will miss the trips  to Hong Kong :mecry:

The Marushin wire, which I think looks pretty good to scale  ( see the where can I get wire post)  seems to be just a hair larger than the the .020 and the .015 is with out question smaller .  

   I went for both.  The rigging for the wing struts seems to be larger in the pics I've found and the controls appear to be a smaller gauge,  which makes some sense.

  For a little rover $2 a bundle I figured I can't go wrong.     Now where are those wire snippers.

Well I'm not sure how advanced I am.....  frustrated  

   Pretty much took a day off from the build yesterday and did some painting  and sanding on the sprues, rebuilt one of the motors, finished the beaching dolly, though I might do some paint changes on it later.  

    The instructions,  while not bad, do leave something to be desired,especially  on those engines, their supports and the subsequent wing attachments..  Been looking for period pics of all that plumbing as they did use the liberty engines. ......    


THAT IS A SMALL SEWING NEEDLE ...... and then the e-xacto knife tip.      I managed to trim most of the guns with out breaking them.  They are fairly accurate.    The ammo canisters were tough to get off the sprue and trim with out sending them into space.  The Scharf ring mounting bars are not hollow like the real thing but close enough, they  will be interesting to attach.    

Amazing how much time goes by just doing the small stuff ...but then you get into a rhythm and the next thing you know, a couple of hours have passed.

Very happy I found the wire today.... Not sure just how far I will go as this thing looks like a giant spider went at it in real life.   Smile

Still not quite satisfied with the beaching dolly.  Needs a couple of touch ups

This morning I was working on those small parts. The wind generators  are tough and trying to fit the scharff gun mounts saw more sanding and trimming of  both the mounts and the deck openings. Snapped off a gun and went looking for it on the black tile floor.    Also sneezed and blew those little wind generators and their mounts  on the floor before they had been painted silver.  

 Had to partially tear down an engine as the mounting tray was not quite fitting.  The engines have been the toughest part of the builds.   You really need some Mr. Magoo glasses to work on these.  I've seen a magnifying visor for sale and may invest in it.   The decals on Roden models seem to be very fragile.    They give you two rudder styles and if you use the USA Curtis rudder, as I am, the insignia bars do not reach top to bottom.  So since the bottom will show less, covered the top with the decal  and paint the bottom.  Also notice how the other decal is partially flaked.    I'm worried what will happen when I apply that one.

Cindy took my picture.    I'm much better now.   ;-)   There is some wine in the fridge...........will take it down stairs as I will completed those engines today.  

Taking the pictures helps me fix   things I can't seem to see when I'm working on the model,,,, Need  to straighted that generator post

Looking a bit more like an aircraft now.    

The decals are so fragile on the vertical  stabilizer, they actually flaked off !  I've never used that decal setting solution, does it help with such situations?    As I was about to add  the second horizontal stabilizer,  the rudder fell away.   The edges are paper thin so its a bit  hard to get a good join.   The USA version of this kit has that lip at the top of the rudder so once the second stabilizer set up,  I though try a little extra glue and hang it,  then  see if it holds.    

  Doug those clamps have come in real handy on several occasions.  

scuffed up the body a bit so I covered things and gave it a touch up.  

I said I would finish those engines tonight and I will.  Will still need some rework for those mountings.   The .015 gauge wire works fine.  Getting it to a the right  length and matching to those posts is not easy, but so far I'm happy with the preliminary results. Lots on the top wing alone to do.  

Adding struts, not as easy as it might seem.  The join points in some cases  are very hard to detect, also painted the wind screen.  1/72 is so much tougher to work with than 1/48, at least for me.  

Last night I was determined to finish those engines and mountings.  Finished one then went to do the other.      Spent a lot of time rebuilding a crushed engine housing due to my inattention to the pressure I was putting on the clamps    Embarassed      I spent  a lot of time on this one engine today.    


Got it back together,  test fitted a few items, but the glue is still not completely set up so I will let things dry out completely tonight.   The aircraft number on the fuselage side came off as I handling it to affix the struts.    I always wash my hands and dry them before working on the model.   I think they are a bit defective to come off and break up so easily.    I have the numbers from the other examples to use.   It' odd as I did not let them soak for a long time, just enough to break away from the paper backing.

Lots and lots of spars to trim and clean up . ... .  engines finished.   Next week mating up those wings and rigging.  

Grossly under estimated the time it takes for the rigging.   When working with the wire and my small needle nosed pliers even the exacto knife seems to get magnetized.   Not sure if you can see it in the pic on the left.    

This plays hell with trying to place the wires as they stick to the pliers or blade tip as I try to adjust.

    Top wing only work tonight  after I got home,  2 hours on this.     17 wires.  No guide holes are available here,  so you have to check the photos and where struts will be and make a few starter indentations with the tip of the blade.  

 A little more trimming  on the wire needed as you can't really make a template for them all.  The tolerances are just too close and they do cross each other as you can see.   You can also see what a nightmare these fragile decals may have posed had they not been applied first.        I still have to join the wings and I'm trying to figure out some sort of jury rigged assembly jig.   Mike if your reading these how did you handle your 1/48 Gotha?  

There are 4 more short wires needed to finish the top wing.  Even though the music wire is pretty stiff and straight, that length of the wing wire still required a bit of masking tape to keep it firmly in place till the glue sets up.

The rigging on this is substantial. I had to add the remaining 4 braces on the top wing this morning.  That makes 29 braces on the upper wing and a further 12 on the underside of the top wing.    

Now I'm doing the the flip side of the upper wing (12 braces) and once everything is reasonably dry on the struts below I will attempt to attach the upper wing today or tomorrow .    I need some sort of jig but have not had the time to give it any more thought.    
 Photos like this  help me see I need to straighten a few struts before they completely harden.   I can't seem to see this so easily when I'm at the desk.

I'm getting there but once the wing is attached there are a lot of bracing wires to go       blown away

Got the wing on then tried to move it and it all shifted, and fell apart.  Crying or Very sad  .....Finally pulled the engines and decided to do a few struts & braces at a time.  Let that set up to get it firm & then add a bit more.    This seems to be working better as a process.      

I'm not hurrying, but as I get more wire in place then stop, let dry, and do a few  more,  I find they are easily popped as the big wing flexes.   Had to modify one of the engine mounts a bit, but it slowly getting there.   Just one side of between the wings wires, accounts for 30 individual pieces.   I have not fully finished one completed side.  I think  there are 100 pieces of cut wire on this when its done.

The one thing I think I may have to take a pass on is the mid air  Y wire joins for the horizontal and vertical stabilizers long wires.   Not sure a glue joint will hold stiffly and not sag.       Those will be the last ones done.   Then paint the props.

Hanging it up for the night ..... I'm very close but between the flu bug , worn out eyes  and Santas little helper, I need to break.  We did not take down the christmass decorations as planned so we will extend the holiday one more week.

 Going to order a pizza and watch Christmas in Connecticut.  Its a picture made in 1945 and released on August 1th, just as the war was ending.   They were already talking about prefab housing and post war in the movie.    It struck me as odd  because even though they could churn out a movie pretty quickly on their back lots, Okinawa had been going on while they were developing the scripts and filming.  The govt  still thought at the time an invasion of Japan was needed.    Shows you what the home front was thinking.

I have 4 wooden motor mounts  painted and ready to slide in, the last wind screen MG to still mount.   It will take a dozen rather long braces to complete  the tail assembly  rigging  and 6 smaller ones for the lower section of the vertical stabilizer.   6 more for the main wing assembly area and 4 to run from the bow to main wing spars.   I have to add some small hub extenders to the props. Seems I seated the engines just a hair too far back  on the mounting trays Sad   Though they will work the props are too close to the wing from my liking so Im building up the hubs just a bit to compensate.    

Believe it or not I started with  15 feet of wire....  When I finish these last parts I will have used all  of it up.  It will be close, and I did not waste any.

ARRRGHHHHHHH  SO CLOSE   ........... I ran out of wire and will go back to the hobby shop tomorrow so I can finish.   105 Wires so far with 12 to go  and the side number decals.

Anyway.  Cockpit MG  , wooden motor braces, propellers,  bottom hull braces and bombs all added.  Bow wire rigging and remaining wing rigging completed along with the Y splice for the vertical stabilizer rigging seems to work ok.   About a dozen wires to go on the horizontal stabilizers..    I have just enough to do three long wires and I need 8 Embarassed

MLK day is  recognized holiday for my company so I will be off Monday.      I may  need to possibly rework the horizontal stabilizer rigging as the mountings may be tipped a bit too low.    


These last horizontal stabilizer rigging wires required a bit of extra rework on the posts..... but its done.     When the wife, who questions the toy airplane collectors maturity  ;-)    actually  compliments your model,  you know you have done something that impressed even her.  

 I did not keep track of the hours in this, but for those members who have been encouraging me, and offering bits of advice, I thank you.   Honestly, it helped to have the encouragement and suggestions as I thought why on earth did I pick this one to be my first rigging attempt.

I can not remember ever putting so much time into a model.    I can see how the people who really get into turnbuckles, wiring up engines, detailed controls,  cockpits & other detail, can love what they are doing.  This is why I did a bit of scratch work on the interior, just to test the waters.  

 I would have to go for a much larger scale to get into that sort of detail.    

The Curtiss Model H was a family of classes of early long-range flying boats, the first two of which were developed directly on commission in the United States in response to the ₤10,000 prize challenge issued in 1913 by the London newspaper, the Daily Mail, for the first non-stop aerial crossing of the Atlantic. As the first aircraft having transatlantic range and cargo-carrying capacity, it became the grandfather development leading to early international commercial air travel, and by extension, to the modern world of commercial aviation. The last widely produced class, the Model H-12, was retrospectively designated Model 6 by Curtiss' company in the 1930s, and various classes have variants with suffixed letters indicating differences.  

The Model H-16, introduced in 1917, represented the final step in the evolution of the Model H design.  With longer-span wings, and a reinforced hull similar to the Felixstowe flying boats, the H-16s were powered by Liberty engines in U.S. Navy service and by Eagle IVs for the Royal Navy. These aircraft remained in service through the end of World War I. Some were offered for sale as surplus military equipment at $11,053 apiece (one third of the original purchase price.)Others remained in U.S. Navy service for some years after the war, most receiving engine upgrades to more powerful Liberty variants.
With the RNAS, H-12s and H-16s operated from flying boat stations on the coast in long-range anti-submarine and anti-Zeppelin patrols over the North Sea. A total H 75 H-16s were received by the RNAS, commencing patrols in April 1917, with  30 H-16s remaining in service in October 1918. The US Navy did have some of the H-16s, arriving at bases in the UK in time to see limited service just before the cessation of hostilities.  ASW &  ASR roles were the jobs assigned.  

Great Britain was still the main customer for the H-16 - at the end of May 1918 the RNAS had at least 69 H-16s and 59 F.2As. The flying boats had a short life - salt water quickly destroyed the wooden hulls and their very intensive combat service left few opportunities for repairs and rebuilding. By early 1919 only a few examples of the H-16 as well as the F.2A were still in service with the RAF and soon they were declared obsolete and struck off charge. US Navy H-16s remained in service until the mid-1920s, when they were replaced by more modern flying boats.   The box art shows an H-16 flying over New York City.  Since the easily recognized Chrysler Building wasn’t completed until about 1928, this shows the H-16 at the very end of its’ career.

I can't say it was unexpected ..... little beasts.   Nothing that can't be repaired. But that Y splice  for the control wires was a real pain in the arse to get right.      

I tried to give him away to the little kiddies in lieu of a package of Skittles last night, but Cindy kept removing him from the candy bowl.    Evil or Very Mad

I will repair it but I need to work up the desire ........  Sad

If you score a victory but lose your wingman, you lost the battle.
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