At the end of my previous post in this build log, I was ready to mount the wings and start rigging them. I’ve already drilled the lower surfaces of the upper wings and the upper surfaces of the lower wings so that I can thread monofilament between the two wings. To start with, I’ll thread all my monofilament through the underside of the upper wing, glue it all in place, then close the upper surface over to conceal all the internal attachment points. Then I’ll mount the upper wings with all the monofilament dangling from their lower surfaces. Fortunately, the locating lugs for the wings are entirely on the upper surfaces of both the upper and lower wings, which means I can then mount only the upper surfaces of the lower wings, using the three interplane struts as spacers to get the positioning correct. This lets me pull through the monofilament, glue it in place, and then close the lower surfaces over all the interior attachment points. I can get all my rigging in place with all the glue concealed inside the wings!
First though, I needed to find a way to get the upper wings in place symmetrically. Many people use all sorts of wooden jigs to achieve the perfect positioning, but in the absence of such equipment I’ve always found that, if you own a sufficient number of little pots of different sizes, you can usually find a way. Here’s how it worked this time:
The critical realization on this occasion was that I could lock the tailplanes (and therefore the fuselage) into a horizontal position using the shoulders of a couple of pots of Tamiya paint. Some slow-drying epoxy on the locating lugs, and a lot more pots, and I had my upper wings mounted with zero dihedral and left to dry overnight.
(The little bits of tape are controlling the festoons of nearly invisible monofilament dangling from the wings.)
With the upper wings solidly in place, I flipped the model over, glued the interplane struts into the upper wings with Loctite’s cyanoacrylate gel, which retains a brief period of flexibility before it sets. Then I slipped the epoxied lower wing surfaces into position in the fuselage slots, and had enough time to flip each interplane strut into its locating hole in the lower wing, all pre-glued with a little dab of CA gel, before making a final tweak of alignment to get everything square.
(The monofilament is now taped to the tailplanes to keep it out of the way.) After letting that dry overnight, I finished things off by threading the monofilament through the surface of the lower wing, painting it in situ with Tamiya flat aluminium acrylic before it was finally pulled tight, and only then making the final tightening, so that the painted portion of the monofilament was pulled right down level with the yellow surface of the lower wing, without ever running the risk of accidentally brushing the aluminium paint on to the yellow surfaces.
With the lower surfaces and their premounted floats in position, it was just a matter of detailing. I decided to add the undercarriage, because the plane looked just too odd without it, even if historically justifiable.
And I had enough reference photographs to figure out where all the ropes and metal shackles went on these aircraft:
Here’s what I figured out:
And here’s the final result: