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Friday, March 25, 2016

Szybowiec Bydgoszczanka. Scracthbuilt 1/72nd Polish glider

(This is the building article, for the completed model you can go here:

Szybowiec Bydgoszczank....
The name of this plane is almost harder to pronounce -for us illiterate in Polish language- than it is to build the model.
The first word means "glider", and the second -I surmise- means "from the city of Bydgosz" or "Bydgoszoan" in our parlance.
I hope I don't upset any fellow Polish modelers, and if I am wrong please let me know.
Photos show a version with landing skids (not snow skis) and another with wheels. Images also show a few changes in the rudder position and minor details, so study your photos before committing. I made the wheels but as exchangeable items, gluing the skids on sleeves and barely fixing them with white glue.
I had already a folder on this strange machine for years when friend and fellow modeler Armando sent a request about it. I did another round of more detailed searches that rendered a very nice plan, courtesy of some Polish modelers to whom I am grateful, at least one model I don't have to make the building plans for! I saw on the Net a 1/48th scale version and a 1/72nd scale version (the latter in paper), and also a radio-controlled model.
With all the info gathered I started to think about the engineering of the model and opted for a pre-formed aluminum boom and modified airfoiled brass "Strutz" (courtesy as we know of Andrew from the Foglands).
Several other elements were done in various metals; a Fotocut chair was prepared, and the flying surfaces were constructed the usual way. Other necessary parts were scratched from styrene.
If it's true that this model does not have an engine/prop to worry about, it does have lots and lots of rigging and a very complex exposed fuselage structure. Rigging, as we know, is a word whose mere mention will give even the most experienced builders a case of the jitters.
The model will need a few decals, which I commissioned as usual from Mika at Arctic Decals.
As customary the photos will provide an idea of steps, procedures and technique, hopefully paving the way for other adventurous scratchbuilders.

An aluminum rod is bent to shape:
 Airfoiled brass "Strutz" are shaped and attached:
 Very fiddly, but done. Also added is the tailskid:
 Fotocut (Fred Hultberg) "wicker" seat:
 Seat ready:
 A frame that holds several mechanisms is made from styrene sheet:
 Solder wire and PE items account for the wheels:
 Many frame elements have to be prepared and added:

 Horizontal tail in progress:
 Taped down until dry:
 Work continues...:
 The skids are made and more elements are added to the fuselage:
Had separated two perfect control wheels that I found in the spares bin. Then forgot about them and kept building some other parts. And never found them again. So I had to do penance and scratch the thing:
 Skids are completed:
 Wing panels are formed:
 There is a master rib box attached to the fuselage, where the wing panels insert:
 So far so good:

 Master rib (one side) glued to the fuselage:
 The closing rib on the other side:
 Ailerons are separated:
 A view of the components:
 The skids temporarily attached:

 The wheels temporarily attached:
 Making of a pair of coupled control horns that are located behind the seat. Holes are drilled:
 The horns are then cut:
 One horn is slid on a shaft:
 Then the other:
 Then they are clipped away:
 The glider compared to the fuselage of another model in progress, the Daimler L.21:
 A spar is devised to attach the wing panels:

 The stabilizer is notched and given a dry-fit run on the frame:
The basic colors are airbrushed:
Some details are picked up in other colors, rigging starts:
 Rigging of the fuselage frame is under way:
The tail feathers in place:
Control cables in progress:
 Control cables in place and spar added:
The wings are attached:
 Still a number of things to do; among them the pulleys and cables associated with the aileron controls and then the general rigging. The funny thing is that as you advance, there are fewer and fewer places to grab the model safely from:
Preparation of the pulleys and the cables:

The rigging continues:

The decals I ordered from Mika Jernfors (Arctic Decals) arrive in the mail today. They are, as usual, excellent:

To be continued.....

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