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  1. #1

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    Benz Bz IV - 1/6 scale engine scratch build

    Well I've watched the fabulous work being done by the RC modelling community on this forum for some time now and I can stand by no longer. Many excellent builders have inspired me to roll up my sleeves and get started.

    So here goes...
    I will scratch build a 1/6 scale German WWI Benz Bz IV model aircraft engine (non-working). If all goes well I intend to stuff it into a LVG CVI, a 1/6 scale German two-seater that I will have to build.

    Here a some photos of the actual engine: front, intake/port side, exhaust/starboard side:

    the Fox
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  2. #2

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    RE: Benz Bz IV - 1/6 scale engine scratch build

    Flying Fox:

    Will be quite an undertaking to say the least, but well worth the effort. That's one thing with the German aircraft with those straight six engines, you have to model that too or it just won't look right. Build it on the heavy side because you will need the nose weight, take it from experience, Pfalz D-XII, D-IIIa, Halberstadt DV, Albatros D-Va, Fokker D-VII.
    If you are in need of plans for a really scaled out LVG CVI, I have a perfect set of them I'll sell you, just leave a post or PM.

    Dan

  3. #3
    abufletcher's Avatar
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    RE: Benz Bz IV - 1/6 scale engine scratch build

    Welcome! Will you be modeling "the whole hog" or just the part that shows? And will the eventual LVG VI be electric or gas? I'm also working on (somewhat frustratedly at the moment) a 1/6 scale Benz, but I'm doing the Benz III for an Albatros CI.
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  4. #4

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    RE: Benz Bz IV - 1/6 scale engine scratch build

    Dan,

    I am looking forward to replicating the detail on this inline 6 engine - if not the key focal point it will certainly be one of the main focal points of the model what with all the wires, bolts, rubber hoses, tubes, springs, rocker bars, etc. I hope my building skills and learning curve will match my expectations.

    Thanks for the advice on the nose weight. That is one of the challenges of a WWI bird isn’t it - to build a structurally strong but very light caboose on these airplanes that have short noses. I will have to make a very lightweight observer/gunner since he is stationed far behind the center of gravity.

    As for adding lead to the nose - the engine itself will be modelled quite lightly however the block will be hollow, thus allowing space for lead shot to be epoxied in.

    I have Frank Mizer‘s plans set, whose do you have?

    Cheers,
    Brian


  5. #5

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    RE: Benz Bz IV - 1/6 scale engine scratch build

    Don,

    Thanks, yes I will be going all out, “whole hog” on the font end modelling the entire top half of the engine from the engine mount on up.

    The winter shroud hides too much of the cylinders so it will be excluded. I hope to have the engine cowl panel on the intake side removable so as to show more engine detail.

    Perhaps by using 4 magnets the entire engine could be removable to allow access to the real engine and battery/servos/receiver beneath. Will have to wait and see how it turns out.

    Gas or electric, hmmm… I have only flown gas powered models and was thinking of the new streamlined RCV? Engines although I wonder about cooling issues when a gas engine is fully enclosed. Do these engines run reliably in an extremely hot enclosed environment?

    I have never used electric so this option would be new for me. I really like the no fuel no mess and flick the switch easy engine start aspects of electric. With gas engines though I am used to long 20 minute flights at the field when no one else is around! Are there issues with rechargeable batteries that limit you to short flight of only 10 minutes or so before recharging and then that process itself takes 30 minutes or more? I don’t know if I would like that. What do you think?

    I am awaiting the outcome of your cylinder mold experiment. Hopefully the cast will cure. I have never done this either so I guess each of my cylinders will be done by hand, individually with some replicating process and jigs to keep me sane. Gianfrancesco is certainly an expert source for information and inspiration isn’t he.

    Btw - fabulous work on the “elephant ear” radiators for your Albatros CI. The radiators are a truly a piece of art. I can understand why you need a break though, that’s a lot of tedious detail. Just think of the end though when the model is sitting on the field and spectator’s eyes are drawn in closer and closer to the multitude of detail on your bird - fabulous!

    Cheers,
    Brian

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    RE: Benz Bz IV - 1/6 scale engine scratch build

    Flying Fox:

    I'm afraid my prints are as your's too, Frank Mizer's. I did blow them up to 1/5th and 1/4 scale, that's about 139" wingspan on that 1/4, to big!

    Take care....

    Dan

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    RE: Benz Bz IV - 1/6 scale engine scratch build

    Here is a photo of the LVG CVI serial number 7198-18 belonging to the Shuttleworth collection. I think it is currently being restored. Notice the light ‘orange-brown’ finish on the plywood fuselage. My plane will be modeled after an LVG that had the more typical ‘mahogany stain’ (reddish-brown) finish.

    In particular it will be LVG CVI 4802/18, flown by pilot Lieutenant Weymar and observer/gunner Lieutenant Haselhoff. One of the reasons I chose this particular aircraft was the distinguishing white with black bordered “4” and arrow painted on the fuselage along with “Eleynor” on the port nose and “Mia” on the starboard nose. See photo.

    I was also instantly hooked when I saw the following photo of Lieutenants Weymar (left) and Haselhoff (right) clowning around with their ground crew/mechanics. These two characters really add some “character” to the LVG and thus my particular choice of aircraft.

    Some construction photos of the engine block and more to come tomorrow...

    Cheers,
    Brian
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  8. #8
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    RE: Benz Bz IV - 1/6 scale engine scratch build

    ORIGINAL: Flying Fox
    Perhaps by using 4 magnets the entire engine could be removable to allow access to the real engine and battery/servos/receiver beneath. Will have to wait and see how it turns out.
    Getting to use anything like a "full" (or even "half") dummy inline with a gas/glow engine will take some doing. You're only options are to mount the engine inverted (in which case it sticks out the bottom) or sideways (in which case it sticks out the side). Personally, I wouldn't risk trying to one of the RCV SP series engines in this sort of enclosed cowl. I thought about it for my CI but decided to go with the more reliable CD series. The reason I asked about electric is that it does easier to build a dummy engine AROUND an electric engine.

    I am awaiting the outcome of your cylinder mold experiment. Hopefully the cast will cure. I have never done this either so I guess each of my cylinders will be done by hand, individually with some replicating process and jigs to keep me sane. Gianfrancesco is certainly an expert source for information and inspiration isn’t he.
    I think the silicone will eventually cure, but there's still no guaranteeing that this, my first attempt at casting, will succeed, in which case I'll need to somehow acquire more silicone. If it weren't that I feel I really need to add casting to my modeling skills, it would probably be simpler to have just made the 6 cylinders one by one using the disk method (and this would have been super simple if I had had the disks laser cut). But the prospect of cutting out all those disks after doing all the flanged for the Hazet radiators just seemed like too much.

    Anyway, you've certainly picked a serious project. I think you'll find that the dummy engine will be just one among dozens of serious scale adventures on this build. Have you already given some thought to how you'll manage 1/6 scale lozenge covering? BTW, I also have the Mizer plans (and also experimented with enlarging them to 1/4 scale).

  9. #9

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    RE: Benz Bz IV - 1/6 scale engine scratch build

    Don,

    The RCV SP engine would be a beautiful fit entirely inside the LVG cowl/fuselage and it would pretty much fit underneath the dummy engine - somewhere I have a scaled drawing showing the engine profile matched to the side of fuselage, will have to find it and post it. As you say, Personally, I wouldn't risk trying to one of the RCV SP series engines in this sort of enclosed cowl. and I agree, these engines require a cooling airstream but then I wonder why was such a streamlined engine such as the RCV SP was developed in the first place - was it not designed to be enclosed with minimal to no cooling airflow?

    Hopefully someone with some experience with these engines will chip in with some advice. It sure would be the best option. The RCV CD engines have a nice slim profile too and yes inverted would be the way to go. Only a small portion of the cylinder head would protrude out the bottom of the nose. This would be the least sacrificial to the profile.

    I really need to find out about the electric motors option though. I will have to look into this carefully. I’m hoping the hollow inside of my dummy engine block will allow for easier ’hacking’ up to accommodate whatever engine choice I end up with.

    I’d thought about scaling up to 1:5 or 1:5.5 as I suppose it would be easier to reproduce detail at finer scale - of course then you will just want to model even smaller details so maybe this doesn’t really matter.[&:] At least the aircraft would be larger and probably more stable in flight. I could certainly accommodate a larger model in my workshop but not sure if one would then fit in my car for transport! The nice thing about a larger model is that you have more room on or inside the structure to work - my thumbs always seem to get in the way when doing the tiny parts![:@]

    [/quote]“Have you already given some thought to how you'll manage 1/6 scale lozenge covering?”[quote]
    I intend to spray paint the lozenge pattern using overlapping stencils, one colour at a time. As you are probably aware the lozenge colours are quite an enigma and some threads on other websites are tied up in conundrums over the issue. For now I will go with the following colours based on my own personal preference based on what I have gathered from the literature and online info. The colours shown will be refined somewhat when I get around to it.

    Enough for now - have some work to do and then will post my initial construction photos.

    Cheers,
    Brian
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  10. #10

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    RE: Benz Bz IV - 1/6 scale engine scratch build

    Benz Bz IVu - Construction

    After examining many photographs of the full-size Benz Bz IV engine and the attached 3-view and other data,
    I drafted up a 1/6th scale plan view of the engine. One must carefully examine photos of the engine and compare every detail with the 3-view here as the later is not completely accurate – it contains several errors and is a simplified drawing.

    I printed out two copies of the plan views cut them out and glued them to basswood to create the top and base of the engine block. My roto-tool sure came in handy for sculpting and sanding the intricate shapes. To be honest without that one tool I do not think I could accomplish any of this. Many of you arwe probably quite familiar with this nifty little tool but I am not as the last time a built a model was about twenty years ago!

    The engine block is made from 1/8” basswood top, base and back, with balsa sides and a shaped block of pine for the front. The triangular “support” fins are 3/32” basswood. The top plate is removable for now and is secured by two vertical dowels which join it to the bottom plate. I will only be modeling the top half of the engine as this is all that is visible on the aircraft. In fact much of the detail on the engine block itself will be obscured but I am hoping to have a removable side panel on the left side cowl - this will show much more of the engine in static display.

    It’s a good thing I have a roto-tool – couldn’t do any of this without it!
    Next step now is to add all the little details to the engine block. This will take some time... but I will post a few photos as I make progress.

    Cheers,
    Brian
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  11. #11

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    RE: Benz Bz IV - 1/6 scale engine scratch build

    Okay - how do I post photos so they are a much smaller size and then they expand when you click on them?[:@]

  12. #12
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    RE: Benz Bz IV - 1/6 scale engine scratch build

    Brian, that's a very good start! And you're right that the 3-views are inaccurate in many ways. I found that out when I started modeling the Benz III cylinder. I tried to work off relative dimensions in photos as much as possible.

    Regarding the problem with the photo uploads. There's probably nothing you can do about that. Other than just deleting and reloading multiple times and hoping that eventually it works. Since RCU switched servers a few weeks ago, this has been all screwed up.

  13. #13

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    RE: Benz Bz IV - 1/6 scale engine scratch build

    Brian
    What is the source for your lozenge study?
    Thanks

  14. #14

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    RE: Benz Bz IV - 1/6 scale engine scratch build

    Wingwarper,

    Before I explain please understand that I am a rank amateur at all this. You might consider the opinions of others that have far more knowledge on the subject of German ‘Lozenge’ or polygon camouflage patterns. At the same time though I am certainly interested in expanding my knowledge on the subject and welcome others’ opinions.

    I intend to spray paint the lozenge pattern using overlapping stencils, one colour at a time following the process shown in Vol 1 No 6 of the The AreodromeRC News, June 2005. You can find the article at http://www.aerodromerc.com/webzine/AerodromeRCV1N6.pdf. I think I attached this article up in an earlier post.

    As you are probably aware the lozenge colours are quite an enigma and some threads on other websites (Aerodrome Forum for example) have become rather tied up in conundrums over the issue. Lots of excellent information on lozenge camo is tucked away in there but difficult and time consuming to weed through all the banter to find the real gems.

    Dan San Abbott (DSA) published a study of printed fabrics titled: German Army Air Force Camouflage Systems that appeared in 'World War 1 Aero, No.129," August 1990, pp 2 through 13. You might find worthwhile. It covers history of camouflage and printed fabrics in day and night colors and four and five color patterns with color notations. You should find it at http://www.theaerodrome.com/forum/ai...e-systems.html

    According to DSA, Ross Walton at Vintage Fabrics used DSA’s full size lozenge patterns and colors for the four and five color fabrics. Glenn Torrance used the information DSA had furnished Ross Walton. G Torrance provides fabric a various sizes but not at 1/6 - too bad, so I'll just have to do it myself.

    Mark Miller has thoroughly examined the lozenge issue by compiling studies from various interested parties and published his results in” German 5 Color Lozenge Camouflage Scheme, located at http://www.wwi-models.org/misc/Color...oz2/index.html. He also provides a link to Alan Toells’s interpretation.

    Many analyses are based on photos of 90 year old fabric. I’m not sure if or how they compensate for the yellowing, fading and aging effects of both the dope and fabric colour pigments over such a lengthy period of time as well as colour correction of the photographs themselves.

    My preference therefore tends towards Dan San Abbott’s analysis of actual fabric samples. Thus, number 8 - Fabric Samples from Pfalz D.XII aileron from the Mark Miller article is my preferred choice. DSA provides Methuen or Munsell references for his colours and better yet he will provide actual paint chips or printed colours for a cost if you contact him.

    Allan Flowers has crafted a magnificent 1/6 scale Siemens Schuckert D.III The attached photo shows his wings and lozenge colours samples from DSA. See Allan’s build at: http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_75..._1/key_/tm.htm

    Hope this helps explain my choice of lozenge colours! What do some others of you think?

    Cheers,
    Brian

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  15. #15

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    RE: Benz Bz IV - 1/6 scale engine scratch build

    When the NASM restored the Albatross DVa there was fabric rolled around the steel structure that was essentially AV and Weather free. This is the color sample that they used to re-produce the colors on their Albi.
    BobH.

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    RE: Benz Bz IV - 1/6 scale engine scratch build

    Thanks, but what I really wanted to know was what is the reference for the L*a*b* numbers on what appears to be a screenshot. Are they yours or from a specific study?

  17. #17

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    RE: Benz Bz IV - 1/6 scale engine scratch build

    Wingwarper,

    Sorry, I misunderstood you. Yes the L*a*b numbers are mine from my own study and I created the composite image that provides all the info for each colour.

    Somewhere on the Aerodrome Forum in the myriad of Lozenge discussions I found the images of the 5 Colour Lozenge upper and lower fabric samples from the Pfalz airplane. I believe the actual fabric samples were analyses by Dan San Abbott but someone had matched the colours and created the little square patches. Notice that the square colour patches match the fabric colours.

    I imported these images into Corel Photopaint and used the eyedropper tool to sample the colours in the square patches. The program generates L*a*b, CYMK, and RGB colour numbers. As you probably know using RGB is a waste of time. It is my understanding from what I have read that the L*a*b numbers are the way to go. I am told that my numbers are a close match. The best thing to do though is to order actual colour chip samples.

    Cheers,
    Brian


  18. #18
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    RE: Benz Bz IV - 1/6 scale engine scratch build

    Lozenge is without doubt the Mother of all Modeling Conundrums! Not only do you have the "fun" of arguing about 18 different colors (on the 4 and 5 color, top and bottom) but then you can also argue about the shape of the polygons and how the overlapping colors created a border. On, yeah, and then you can argue about how the seam was positioned. Then once you're finished arguing about all the historical facts, there's the challenge of actually modeling it.

    I love it! Personally, if I ever get around to an LVG VI, I'm leaning towards silk screening (though Batik is also an option).

    No wonder you're starting on the dummy engine!

  19. #19
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    RE: Benz Bz IV - 1/6 scale engine scratch build

    Have you looked into which prop was used with the Benz Bz IV engine? If you're going to go to all the effort of making a nice dummy, you'll also want a good, historically accuracy static scale prop. I ended up modeling one of the laminated Integral Propellers (German division of the company) which goes with the Mercedes. But for reasons I still don't understand, decided to model the Benz Bz III instead.

    BTW, do you have the LVG VI datafile? It contains several good close-up photos of the Benz IV engine.

  20. #20

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    RE: Benz Bz IV - 1/6 scale engine scratch build

    Thanks Brian
    I had never seen this particular analysis which is why I asked. I think you've done a good job....the colors look pretty close. I thinkL*a* b* isa veryaccurate way to describe color and is a universally accepted standard. As you know RGB is designed for computer screen color applications and in order to actually mix paint must be converted to a sytem like Munsell or L*a*b*. I just finished a color analysis project using a colorimeter which generates an L*a*b* number.

  21. #21
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    RE: Benz Bz IV - 1/6 scale engine scratch build

    FF

    In your last picture you show a group of lozenge strips. It looks like you have printed test or working samples on natural or white solartex or equivalent. Please tell the story. I like your colours. Are you giving them an overlap or just straight edges. Thank you.

    Stephen

  22. #22
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    RE: Benz Bz IV - 1/6 scale engine scratch build

    That's the custom fabric that Allan Flowers had made for his SSW-DIII.

  23. #23

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    RE: Benz Bz IV - 1/6 scale engine scratch build

    Lozenge - oh I just love lozenge… love-hate relationship I think, [&:] and yes “fun” is the right word to describe dealing with it whether it is from having the great opportunity to examine actual fabric samples or like most of us modellers to banter back and forth over the findings and interpretations and try to decide which colour scheme best suits our purpose. In fact it’s not even “lozenge” by true mathematical definition but rather irregular polygons. Colour, shape, overlap, fabric weave, warp, stretch, shrinkage, weathering and other effects of time… choose your lozenge topic and banter away - just keep it in perspective right!

    I am amazed at the whole concept of lozenge camouflage, especially for WWI era. Basically a pointillism artistic concept used as camouflage. Notice how as one recedes further from a lozenge covered wing the various colours of the lozenge tend to blend together and assume the general colour of the background terrain below - in effect an ideal camouflage. Reminds me of today’s fighter aircraft with pale sky grey camo and how quickly they become invisible in the sky. I've always wanted to model a WWI two-seater and one with lozenge so the LVG fits the bill.

    How to model lozenge - ideally after choosing my version of the correct colours I would like to have the lozenge pattern printed onto fabric using a printer but I’m probably just dreaming in Technicolor. I’ll end up using stencils. I’m not familiar with batik or silk screening are you? Aren’t they similar to stencilling? Maybe they are easier methods?

  24. #24

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    RE: Benz Bz IV - 1/6 scale engine scratch build

    Stephen,

    Abu is correct, you should check out Allan Flowers' build - it's beyond fantastic!
    His method is how I would like to do my lozenge when I eventually get around to it although I fear the cost of having it done will be prohibitive.

    Not looking forward to the joys of stencilling and inevitable colour bleeds under the masks.

  25. #25

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    RE: Benz Bz IV - 1/6 scale engine scratch build

    Could not make a realistic dummy engine w/o a scale prop too. I have not yet looked into the prop but I do want to make a scale static prop. I think I recall you doing so - was it not for your Snipe? I will be relying on your expertise for the “How to” when it comes to that.
    Can you point me in the right direction? So I can bookmark it. I’ll even have a go at making the prop logo.

    I do have both the LVG CVI Datafiles. Just bought the new one, it’s fantastic wealth of info. I’ve had the older one for years now - I’ve always wanted to do the LVG, just liked the looks of it.


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