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Scale Modifications to the 1/3 Scale Balsa USA Sopwith Pup

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Scale Modifications to the 1/3 Scale Balsa USA Sopwith Pup

Old 11-01-2014, 11:24 AM
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AndyF
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Default Scale Modifications to the 1/3 Scale Balsa USA Sopwith Pup

I decided that I didn't like the 1/3 scale Balsa USA's Sopwith Pup lack of scale detailing and construction so I made some modifications.

Years ago I purchased a new kit but never built it. Then back in February 2014 a friend gave me a 1/3 scale B.USA Pup that he bought at the Toledo Weak Signals show a couple of years ago. It had been built but it wasn't a great construction job and over the years that it had sat it slowly deteriorated. That was the state in which I received it. At first I started to shore it up and make repairs to it but construction was so bad that I could just apply a little pressure and the formers would just pop off with little resistance. Over the months of playing with it I became more dissatisfied with the air frame and I decided to modify it to make it close to scale with a scale cockpit.

I will be posting pictures here and I will attempt to catch up to where I am now.

Unfortunately I didn't take a lot of early pictures but here is what I have:

I had already removed the thin plywood decking over the cockpit and forward section of the fuselage. You can just make out the sheeting on the sides of the fuse.
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Old 11-01-2014, 11:34 AM
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AndyF
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Here I have torn out most of the rear turtle deck. you can see in the background the new framing on the tail - this will later come out in favor of a scale treatment.

The old formers and decking removed.

New formers installed.

New stringers installed.

Side view
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Old 11-01-2014, 11:51 AM
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Here is the fuse before I tore out the bulkheads

One bulkhead remeoved.

Sanding the side smooth.

All of the bulkheads removed.

Down to the back of the firewall.
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Old 11-01-2014, 11:56 AM
  #4  
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Reinforcing the fuse sides. I decided the side of the fuse needed some strength so I laminated 1/8" aircraft ply to the lite ply. You can also see that I sanded off all of the black paint that was on the firewall in the earlier pictures.

Next I pinned both sides of the firewall through the aircraft plywood.

Then I sanded everything smooth.
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Old 11-01-2014, 12:00 PM
  #5  
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Good luck with your rebuild. Having done a few myself I know sometimes rebuilding turns into more work than starting new. Post some pictures when its finished. What are you going to power it with?

Dennis
Old 11-01-2014, 12:01 PM
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The I made the decision to make the cockpit as scale as possible so I cut out the sides... I removed the triangular formers

I cut out the left side...

Then I prepared the right side...

Here it is after both sides were cut out.


I'll post more pictures later.
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Last edited by AndyF; 11-01-2014 at 12:49 PM.
Old 11-01-2014, 12:05 PM
  #7  
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Originally Posted by Propworn View Post
Good luck with your rebuild. Having done a few myself I know sometimes rebuilding turns into more work than starting new. Post some pictures when its finished. What are you going to power it with?

Dennis
I originally planned to use an RCGF 61 CC gas motor but now I'm thinking about going with a G62 with a reduction drive so I can spin a 33" prop.

This going to be more like scratch building than building a new one because I have had to make most of the new stuff working off original drawings and then scaling and cutting out parts.
Old 11-01-2014, 12:20 PM
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When I started this project, I didn't have access to scale drawings so I worked from pictures and took measurements from the B-USA plans and then made some educated guesses. These pictures show the main formers that are in the cockpit area.

This picture shows the new former shapes before cutting out the inside.

This picture shows the outlines of the inside of the formers.

Here is a picture of the fuse with the new formers glued to both sides and with the stringers. I added the foot boards for the scale look.

I stained the cockpit area with Minwax Colonial Maple stain and then I polyurethaned it
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Last edited by AndyF; 11-02-2014 at 02:45 PM.
Old 11-01-2014, 08:35 PM
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I decided to mock up the turnbuckles for the fuselage bracing. Since they aren't adjustable, I used some 2-56 threaded rod a couple of pieces of brass tubing, and some jewelry pieces that my wife found at the craft store.
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Old 11-01-2014, 08:50 PM
  #10  
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This one shows the turnbuckles mounted in place. I used a piece of 1/4" brass flat strip and drilled a hole in it and attached the turnbuckle with a small nail that I peened over like a rivet. I cut a small slit in the 1/4" square stringer and glued it in place.

In this picture I've added the rigging wire. They are attached at the bottom out of site with very small screw eyes. You can just make them out in wires on the bottom of the fuselage behind the cockpit.
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Last edited by AndyF; 11-01-2014 at 08:57 PM.
Old 11-02-2014, 02:54 PM
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Here are a couple of overall shots.
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Old 11-02-2014, 03:02 PM
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In this series of pictures I have created a rudder bar from pictures. I also created the seat from looking at pictures. This first seat was too deep and did not match well with the cockpit opening so I created another. Also noticed the leather anti chaffing pads that I added where the wires cross.
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Old 11-03-2014, 12:41 AM
  #13  
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WHAT??? No wicker seat?????
Old 11-03-2014, 04:50 AM
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Subscribed. Very nice work Andy.
Old 11-03-2014, 08:13 AM
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AndyF
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Originally Posted by Steve Percifield View Post
WHAT??? No wicker seat?????
Hi Steve,

Actually the Pup had a "bullet proof" 16 ga steel seat bottom and 18 ga seat back.

Andy
Old 11-03-2014, 08:15 AM
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Thanks Mike.

I have a lot more pictures that I have to download from my phone so I can post them here.

Andy
Old 11-03-2014, 09:37 PM
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I found a couple of old pictures that show my pup before all of the work.
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Old 11-03-2014, 09:55 PM
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These series of pictures show the construction of the rudder bar. I started with some .064 aluminum sheet and cut out the shape which I guestimated from the pictures. (I have construction drawings now and I may re do it now.) I cut out the wood pieces and glued everything together with CA. I sanded it, shaped it and carved the top to look more like the real deal. Then I made the strapping for the cables. Finally I stained it and added a couple coats of polyurethane.



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Old 11-05-2014, 05:46 AM
  #19  
bracketman
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Great work Andy, keep it up I'm watching.
Old 11-06-2014, 03:43 PM
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Here is the rudder bar test fit into the fuselage.


The next task is to make the elevator cable pulley that fits in the torque tube.

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Old 11-06-2014, 04:22 PM
  #21  
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Unfortunately I didn't take a lot of pictures of my control column setup but his is what I could find.



If you look at the right end of this picture you will notice the belled end. I did this by chucking the tube in my lathe and then heating it up with a torch while spinning it and then inserting a metal rod into the center and then slowly rolling the edge to get the desired bell effect. You also notice that there are a lot of parts to the set up.
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Old 11-06-2014, 05:04 PM
  #22  
AndyF
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For my instrument panel setup I ordered the deluxe instrument panel from Mick Reeves but I decided that I really didn't like the supplied panel with the vinyl wood graining running vertically instead of horizontally, so I created my own panel using 1/8" lite ply laminated with a piece of 1/32" aircraft plywood veneer. I drilled all of the holes for the instruments and then used the Mick Reeves parts and pieces.

I didn't like the compass image provided with the Mick Reeves set so I developed my own compass tape with Photoshop. I printed it on photo paper and then cut it out and glued it in the compass housing. I used a white paint brush bristle for the indicator. I think it came out okay.

The pocket watch on the instrument panel didn't come from Mick Reeves, I had it in another 1/3 scale gauge set so I used it here. Notice the triangular shaped stick handle.

This is my recreation of the ammo belt drum crank. The last picture shows it painted.
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Last edited by AndyF; 11-06-2014 at 07:46 PM.
Old 11-06-2014, 07:54 PM
  #23  
BobH
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You're doing really good work!.
What color dye are you using for the interior wood? It looks great.
Old 11-06-2014, 08:22 PM
  #24  
AndyF
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Originally Posted by BobH View Post
You're doing really good work!.
What color dye are you using for the interior wood? It looks great.
Thanks Bob. I'm using Minwax Colonial Maple stain and then I polyurethaned it with Minwax Polyurethane satin finish.

Andy
Old 11-06-2014, 08:43 PM
  #25  
BobH
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Andy,
thank you .. It really looks good

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