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Rigging Biplanes- Looking for help.

I would like some opinions from people about how to best rig biplanes. I have read a few articles I found online. If you have any experience on which technique you like best, which article you found most helpful, or just how you do it, I would love to hear from you.

I do have some FINE E Z line. I am building a 1/48 SE5A at the moment.
Thank you in advance for your input.


10 responses to Rigging Biplanes- Looking for help.

  1. For small biplanes that are pretty rigid, I like using fine stainless steel wire cut to size after measuring from point to point with calipers. Ez line is good too but harder to work with for me.

  2. OK I did not think of that.

  3. The above link has some very useful rigging info and pix.

  4. I have tried several techniques over the years and I found that the key element is the planning. Some modelers simply use streched sprue (it is possible to attach streched sprue with CA sagging and straighten them with heat but I found this quite iffy and finally abandoned this method). It is really depens on what You are looking for and how deep do You want to go with it. I position myself somewhere the middle, as I don’t try to make hyperrealistic rigging but make something look good. On my older builds I used fishing line but this material is too rigid so You can’t strech it enough (or You can destroy Your model). I tried EZ-line some years ago – a material developed for train modeling dioramas, practically thin and durable highly elastic rubber stripes – and it’s OK and convenient. I have models sitting in my self for years and they look as good as when they finished. Thedrawback is thet You have to attach the rubber stripes with CA onto the surface and it shows. My next bet is caenis fishing line or something similar. It is elastic enough but You can attach the rigging through small holes and has the advantage the You can simulate the turnbuckles with heated Q-tip handle or thin insulator rods. My average method is that first I carefully study the rigging diagramand I drill small holes where the rigging will attach. After the main assembly and painting I made the rigging itself with Caenis (with the turnbuckles as said) gluing the fishing line into one hole, next is to thread through the fishing line into the nextb right hole, bowse it and drop a little CA into the hole to secure it. Naturally You have to smooth and fill the attachment holes and tuch up the paint but its nota big deal – I found wing alignment a more prominent problem so It would be worth a queston to the Community aswell. Sorry for my English, I hope the things abowe helps a bit. Some pics as examples, all in 1:72, the Condor II ans Siskin were made by EZ-line and the Walrus with Caenis.

    4 attached images. Click to enlarge.

  5. Here’s a couple I did with stainless steel wire. I drill a shallow pilot hole at one anchor point for each wire. 1/32 Wingnuts Pfalz, 1/48 Airfix Walrus. I don’t get hung up on the turnbuckles too much because I think they usually look overscale and are often position at odd angles when guys choose to model them. You can represent them with a bit of paint on the wires like I did on the Pfalz. The Walrus rigging is all stainless steel except for the two antennas running from the top of the wings to the fin. I did those with EZ line.

    4 attached images. Click to enlarge.

  6. I use stretched sprue Jim, affixed with styrene glue; waiting patiently to cure, the next day applying heat to tight nicely. Has the tension to break easily even if slightly “accidentally” touched, repaired equally easily.
    I usually stretch “silver” sprue, resulting in “steely” looking line, looking the part.
    All the best!

  7. For both 1/48 and 1/32 scale I used to use use 0.008″ width brass wire, cut to length using drafting dividers to determine the length and held in place with white glue (it is more flexible than CA and can withstand temperature changes.)

    The reason I don’t anymore is that the lone local hobby shop that used to sell it went out of business and I don’t have any more/don’t know where to get it or who makes it.

    I have been working on a 1/32 Salmson SA-2 for the past 6 years. Been trying to rig it using EZ line and metallic buckles for the past 4 years so it is not going so hot as you might imagine.

    Would love it if someone made PE rigging for WNW kits like SBS does.

  8. I used some 5 and 0.10″ diameter wire and cut it to the proper length. I bought some white 0.10″ diameter styrene rod, which bent easily. It sprang back into shape easy. I made small holes in the wings with a sharp pointed needle in one of my pin vises. After a few “try’s” it worked out ok, but I went back to building models that did not need any wing wiring. RJW

  9. My blog has an article “How I do my by-plane rigging” and an other concerning tensioning of the rigging that may be helpful. Mine are all in 1/72 scale and I generally use 2 lb fishing line attached with CA glue thru drilled holes (# 80). It’s a bit tedious but the results are worth it. And it does take planning and measurement.

  10. I use a similar method to my friend Phil, invisible mending thread teshioned with the ends taped down top and bottom !!

    4 attached images. Click to enlarge.

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