Caudron G.IV (Late)

  • 25 posts
  • Last reply 2 months, 1 week ago
  • Copper State Models, Windsock Datafiles
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  • Rob Pollock said 3 months ago:

    I’m building my stash, that is, the only model I have, which is Copper State Models’ 1/48 Caudron G.IV, the French Reconnaissance/Bomber Aircraft from the mid-Great War era. It’s a very demanding model.

    Behind the pretty box top is a more practical, sturdy card box.

    I’m using Windsock Datafiles very useful reference on the subject.

    The instructions are in a nicely printed colour book of around 25 pages. The detailing is very like WnW.

    Not a huge fan of overly fussy cockpits but here there’s a fair bit remaining on view, particularly in the forward, observer area. The pilot area is a wedge of black seat, although with a bit of further detail buried deep within.

    Here you can see the nice PE fret and the fine detail in the moulding.

    I’ve completed the crew nacelle, which is delicate and complex.

    Underneath, you can see the observer’s triangular viewing window, which has a ‘timber’ grating, on which is overlaid acetate and a PE cover.

    Not sure how this one will go. As I said, a very demanding model, but beautifully made and presented by CSM. I think, with postage, it cost around £50 from Latvia, although there are a few distributors here in the UK and I imagine in other European countries, and the comparative price at a major modelling retailer in the U.K. is about £70 + p/p.

  • Louis Gardner said 3 months ago:

    This looks like a fantastic build and very realistic at that. You’re the man with these WW1 biplane models. The rigging is something that I would normally not want to do. But you have it down to a science.

    I have always liked the Great War planes. I have built up a few RC WW1 biplanes over the years. They simply look elegant in flight. This is one that would really be cool to see built up with a wingspan of 80 inches or so. A person could have a field day with details on this type.

    I’ll be looking forward to seeing your next installment. Well done.

  • Craig Abrahamson said 3 months ago:

    You continue to astound me with the choice(s) of models, sir. The term “glutton for punishment” leaps to (at least) MY mind.

  • Rob Pollock said 3 months ago:

    Wait till you see the rigging diagram….

    3 attached images. Click to enlarge.

  • Rob Pollock said 3 months ago:

    Some work on the engine nacelles. Very well engineered sections with PE panels around the front of the units.

    Something I noticed was that the colour callouts are general, rather than being for a particular paint maker. It may not sound important when you’re dealing with Black or Steel, but the Caudron was painted in a bright yellow, but with further dirty or brownish yellow sections (not the main colour), and this applied both to the wings, usually left in a CDL finish or camouflaged, and to the crew/engine nacelles as well.

    After a few false starts I settled on Humbrol 74 (Linen) for the brighter nacelle areas, although not in fact linen areas, and Vallejo Model Air Yellow Ochre for the darker areas. This, coupled with a weak Lamp Black for bolt heads and around the front of the engine nacelles (castor oil was filthy stuff), seems to be giving me the finishes I’m looking for. I haven’t decided whether or not to use a little graphite powder and polish the nacelle cowls or just leave it as is.

    Rather than setting numerous anchor points for the rigging, the kit supplies a complex arrangement of PE anchor plates. On the nacelles, they fit just over the strut tips and similarly elsewhere. By the way, all metal is painted a light blue (Humbrol 157). I still have to add these pieces, but wondered about the implications of setting these points in place without knowing exactly how the top wing will fit.

    As I’ve been finishing off the nacelles, except for the anchor pieces, I’ve had a look at the lower wing. The slight drooping effect of fabric over the frame has been rendered perfectly, and you can see the delicate trailing-off at the rear scalloped edge.

    I would get more excited by this, but so far everything I’ve done starts swimmingly but becomes hard work. It’s not the engineering. I think it’s the multiple surface types and colours in such small areas, and it’s not possible to finish sub-units by colour and then simply join them together. Not a criticism of CSM, just the nature of the project.

    Clearly, I need to be sharper and to assume less, to make this work.

  • david leigh-smith said 2 months, 4 weeks ago:

    What an absolute belter of a kit.

    I have to say the technical challenges you have shared with us these last couple of months have been a joy to watch although I very much sense the effort you are putting in. These kits seem to present tests at every stage across the modeling disciplines, from lack of research material, complex build, to subtle and esoteric finishes, intricacies of rigging, and the generally harder search for authenticity. You can’t let your guard down. Which is why I can’t take them on despite loving the genre.

    Your sheer effort is inspirational. The fact you have the artistic talent too is just rubbing it in.

  • Rob Pollock said 2 months, 4 weeks ago:

    It’s true about the research. This aircraft is recorded as in the colours described, but others in total white and still others in blue. There are two extant machines in the U.S. and France, and they’re not the same.

    It really is a difficult set of circumstances. An absolutely fabulous kit, but you really have to earn your spurs. That said, I’d buy CSM’s Whitworth without hesitation, simply because the excellence of the kit is equalled only by its difficulty.

  • Rob Pollock said 2 months, 3 weeks ago:

    The bottom wing has been painted and the rib tapes oversprayed with a lighter yellow. There are two thin PE strips with turnbuckle anchors at each end, fixed front and rear of the crew nacelle placement area.

    A little closer look at the delicate detail here.

    When the fuselage is in place the upturns slot in perfectly to the sides of the nacelle.

    I mentioned previously that the turnbuckle anchor points are complex sets of PE that have to be bent to show the anchor point holes.

    I thought everything had to do with the PE sets, but in fact I’ve had to use 40+ eyelet anchors around the three nacelles.

    Here is the bottom wing with the PE sets in place. They won’t be painted until I’ve managed to get the rigging line secure, in case paint fouls the tiny rigging apertures. The sections in blue are the metal panels that sit beneath the engine nacelles. You may have noticed the highlighted areas, or shadows along the surface. I used a little graphite powder, rubbed on lightly with my finger, to pick out fabric contours and to accentuate shadows on either side of the rib ‘tapes’.

    Here, you just about make out the little eyelet sprigs on one of the engine nacelles.

    Here’s the top wing, for comparison. Pretty big! You can clearly see the oversail areas on the hinges.

    The three nacelles are now in place on the bottom wing.

    Here are four of the eight main struts, painted.

    The top wing has been painted, and the national roundels applied. They appear top and bottom of the oversail areas, but not at all on the bottom wing. I still have to apply the PE anchors to the underside of the top wing and compete a little weathering around the hinges.

    The top wing is balanced lightly on the cabane struts here, without glue, just to get an idea of the overall size. After the above-mentioned work is complete, I’ll set the struts and the top wing.

    Here is the top wing completed. You can see that I’ve added a little weak Lamp Black to the bolts and also a little rust, for effect.

    I’m taking a chance on not completing any rigging runs before setting the top wing, but there is so much rigging everywhere, I was concerned that I’d end up working over myself with the tail areas if the forward areas were rigged first.

    Time will tell if I’m an i***t, or not.

  • Rob Pollock said 2 months, 3 weeks ago:

    And with the top wing in place on the cabane and main struts.

    And the outriggers.

    Although the tiny PE rigging anchors are relatively easy to get into place, once the required bends are made, it was difficult setting the struts, even though the etch allows a hole for the strut-end directly over the hole in the plastic. I think the tolerances are so small that even a small amount of paint affects the fit, and naturally the struts are painted prior to fitting. I also found that the etch tends to ping away at the slightest pressure (lost two). It took three attempts to get everything set. I’m still not sure if I’ve fouled any of the rigging apertures during the process.

    I’ve decided to rig the (main) model at this time, as the complex tail and undercarriage assemblies have their own construction and rigging challenges, and from what I can see I think the rigging to the main planes are reasonably independent of the other work. I think the rigging for this is equal to about five aircraft.

    In the next image you can see something of the complex rigging arrangement between the crew and engine nacelles. It’s a very tight area to work in, and many of the runs are doubles. The archive photos in the Datafile were useful here. Even though there was a lot of information in the instructions for both the main and control rigging, it’s a bit of a cat’s cradle so every little extra bit of information helps.

    And here in the next images the rigging is completed to one side.

    Usual practice is to begin rigging at the cabane area, working outwards towards the wing tips alternately so that both sides are tensioned ‘against each other’ as work progresses. I didn’t in this case, because there are 20+ contact points for the wings at various struts so that the whole structure is very stable (I dropped it once by accident, and there were no issues.). Also, the rigging is so very complex, I decided to complete one side completely, both main and control rigging, to effectively create a template for the rigging on the other side, by way of a quick reference without having to revisit the instruction diagrams constantly. Also, I think in doing so, I’ve found areas where trouble can be avoided second time round!

    Another couple of days or so on the rigging to the main planes and then I can begin work on the boom and undercarriage.

    I also painted the spinners. The mahogany is Vallejo Woodgrain with an added drop of red ink. They still need to be matted down.

  • Rob Pollock said 2 months, 2 weeks ago:

    And here a couple of photos of all the planes with main/control rigging completed. I still have to touch in the anchor points with French Blue, as well as the rigging lines themselves, and to do a little more touch-up in and around the areas.

    It’s taken five days, working steadily for several hours each day, to get to this point. I think it’s the most complex rigging assignment I’ve ever undertaken.

    My view of the etch anchor points is mixed. I opened the attachment holes in the wings a little, as there was naturally a little primer/paint in these areas from earlier processes. The etch pieces have pre-drilled holes plus the attachment tabs; the latter need to be bent into position and the whole piece lined up over the hole in the wing. All good so far, and the attachment process was straightforward, keeping in mind the absolute requirement to keep the tiny tab points clear of glue, and I spent a lot of time trying to ensure these areas were clear of glue. However, and probably inevitably this wasn’t entirely successful and I had to ‘doctor’ the areas a little at later rigging stages.

    I would add too that although an early test showed the top wing fitted on to the cabane and main struts perfectly, later, after the etch was set, I found the fit on the main struts ‘rode high’ which left the cabanes with a small gap. Easily enough fixed, but it set me thinking about what the issue was.

    I think that because the main etch strut hole is ‘perfect’ in most respects because it’s metal, because the struts are painted by this point the tiny bit of paint top and bottom means that the ends don’t quite seat themselves into the wing hole, with the result that although all the main struts can be made to look fine, it still leaves the cabanes to be resolved. I think I probably should have cleaned the strut ends just a little of paint and they might have fit that little bit better.

    Next, to get on with building the tail boom and undercarriage, which also have to be rigged.

  • James B Robinson said 2 months, 2 weeks ago:

    This is going to be a stunning piece when finished. You have the patience of Job for sure!

  • Rob Pollock said 2 months, 2 weeks ago:

    James, I have to admit having just touched in all the anchor points with French Blue and with a weak wash of Lamp Black overall, including applying the blue to the rigging lines, I have sat down with a beer, and it’s only half three in the afternoon.

    Tomorrow is another day.

  • paul teixeira said 2 months, 2 weeks ago:

    WOW, the instruction manual is exactly like a WNW model’s instructions. Anyhow you have my attention with this build! What a beautifully molded model and awesome details included. What a unique and beautiful airplane to model. Its great you have the courage to take on this one b/c it looks so challenging. Rigging looks fun. I never saw this plane or model before but I really want one. Wish it was 1/32…would be a little less of a challenge for me. Really want to see more!

  • Rob Pollock said 2 months, 2 weeks ago:

    Thanks, Paul. The standard of the kit is exceptional. The fact that it’s a double bay machine adds to the complexity certainly, but the rigging is early-to-mid-war so it’s very like aircraft of the first decade of flight, with double rigging and numerous drift wires. I mentioned the kit etch anchors a couple of times – I should add that I’ve used around 60 eyelet anchors from Bob’s Buckles, my usual go-to, in addition to kit PE.

  • Rob Pollock said 2 months, 2 weeks ago:

    And on we go.

    The dynamo sits at the front edge of the top wing. It’s exquisite, with just two pieces of finely moulded plastic and two etch, it looks the business. The housing will be painted in blue with metal-effect enamel to the gear sprocket and spinner.

    The booms are complex (What in this model isn’t!?!), with principally a wood-effect finish, banded in tapes, with PE rigging contacts that have to be folded around the boom arms. There’s also a PE skid to the rear of the boom. You can see here too I’ve had to add 14 additional rigging eyelets.

    Once the booms are in place, the wheels can be added, and then there’s another PE section that sits over the bungee areas, I think meant as deflectors of a sort. The booms attach in slots in the tops of the upper wings, and at the undercarriage areas there is a four-piece framework each side to support the lower area of the boom.

    The wheels themselves are made up of the tyre rim and front and rear hubs, all separate so to make painted a little easier. Apart from the painting, all I’ve done is rub over the hub faces with a little graphite powder.

    Looking ahead at the daunting rigging arrangements, I noticed there were four lines running from the forward PE rigging sections on the booms, to points along the rear of both engine nacelles. I nearly missed these, as they’re fairly hidden in and around other rigging in the diagrams. They’ve now been drilled and had eyelets set.

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