a model U-1A Otter

Discussion in 'Aircraft & Aviation' started by -Jim G, Feb 6, 2010.

  1. -Jim G

    -Jim G Member

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    Here are a few pictures of my latest model - a 1:48 scale DeHavilland Canada Otter:
    [​IMG]

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    I still have a few minor pieces to glue on and all the glue was not yet dry when I took these pictures.

    This model, along with several other versions will soon be published by Design Group Alpha.
  2. bulldogowner

    bulldogowner Destroyer of Spam Moderator

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    Very nice clean build!
  3. -Jim G

    -Jim G Member

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    Actually, the build for this model is rather quick and dirty. I just wanted to know that the markings lined up OK. Took about four hours to throw it together. When I take my time I can do a better job at getting the seams tight.

    I really like the diversity that paper models have in difficulty of build. My models are rather simple and quick, whereas I see builders like Bomarc that take months to build a perfect model and I am awestruck.
  4. Bomarc

    Bomarc Member

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    Hi Jim

    While I appreciate your kind words, the Mitchell is far from perfect. And I would have had this model done sooner, but no sooner do I think I will be sitting down to a productive modeling session, does the wife wants to (insert "honey-do" hot item that must be done now here). But your are right, paper modeling does offer a diverse range of subjects and skill levels, with room to expand or contract as the builder see fit.

    The Otter looks great! I was following the email chatter about it via Colonel Don and was looking forward to seeing it. I'm woefully behind in my model purchases, but yours has been added to my ever growing list....

    Mike
  5. boosed

    boosed boosed

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    I'm delighted to see this one, Jim. Glad you made it an 18th Otter airplane.

    Based on info in one of the Otter forums, 81690 flew into a mountain nothwest of Nha Trang, Vietnam, on 12 December 1963. The crew were the first Otter air crews to lose their lives in Vietnam.

    Don
  6. gregh

    gregh Member

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    Wow, thats all i can say. looking forward to building it.
  7. -Jim G

    -Jim G Member

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    Mike,
    I guess when you come right down to it, a real Mitchell is not perfect either and you seem to be building those imperfections perfectly into your modelsign1

    I am very much looking forward to your build thread of the Otter with a full scratch built interior :cool:

    I am glad that you were party to some of the e-mail conversations regarding the ARMY version(s) of this model. Who knew that the Otter is such an historic airplane?! I am thrilled to have learned so much history in the past couple of weeks.
  8. Elliott

    Elliott Senior Member

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    On a side note, after helping Chris upload DGA models onto his site, I am really impressed at the breadth and depth of the different planes you folks have produced. Some I knew about, many I did not. It proved to be quite an enjoyable education.

    Your latest Otter looks good from where I sit. Thanks for posting the pictures!
  9. -Jim G

    -Jim G Member

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    In the past few weeks I have been corresponding with several people that had experience with the U-1As and I have managed to correct the ARMY markings on the Otter model. Many thanks to Don Boose who put me in touch with these folks.

    During this period I learned a lot of history. Otters sometimes found themselves in the thick of the action and their pilots and crew showed some true heroism.

    Presently, I am finishing up building a civil floatplane version of this model, but once I am finished with that I will do a build thread for the Army Otter.
  10. -Jim G

    -Jim G Member

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    Building an Army Otter

    With the corrections in the markings made, I will show how I build the otter. Compared to many models this is a simple build, but it is peculiar in that the best way that I can figure to build it is to start at the aft end and work my way forward.

    [​IMG]
    First thing I do is paste the wheel disks onto cereal box cardboard. I also cut out the propeller front and pasted it to some spare cardstock. This will get these parts solid before I need to work with them.

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    The next thing I do is to cut out the tail cone and the smallest bulkhead.

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    I start with the bottom of the bulkhead and glue it into the tail cone one tab at a time, leaving half of each tooth exposed to serve as joining tabs for the next fuselage section. I have the next fuselage section cut out and ready along with the next bulkhead.
  11. silveroxide

    silveroxide Well-Known Member

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    The shape of that former is a great Idea. The majority of models with formers are basic without the extension. It leaves out the making of connecting strips. I may experiment with it next time I design a fighter.

    On a side note, I used to parachute jump out of the Otter back in the early 70,s when I was stationed in Panama. It was a very nice jump. We stripped the seats out and huddle in the back for the jump.
  12. -Jim G

    -Jim G Member

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    I don't know how I thought of combining the tabs with the former, it just seemed natural for this model.

    One of the reasons that I do these models is to honor veterans. Thank you for your service. Among the model versions that we have ready for release is an early 1970's drab US Army livery with black markings.
  13. Bomarc

    Bomarc Member

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    I like this intergral tab/former method. It seems it would add some rigidness to the bulkhead once the tabs are bent over.

    And that would be when, exactly? No pressure Jim.....

    Mike
  14. -Jim G

    -Jim G Member

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    I find that once the bulkhead is glued in place the assembly becomes quite rigid. When I first came up with this concept I thought that I would need to laminate the formers. I was pleasantly surprised when I found that an unlaminated bulkhead was rigid enough. BTW, I build with 110# cardstock.
    Mike! Actually as soon as I can get instructions together, the model will be released. This build thread is what I am intending to release as instructions. Once I am done with this thread the model will be released. I also need to do a build thread for an Otter on floats.

    It takes me a lot longer to build a model when I am shooting pictures.
  15. Elliott

    Elliott Senior Member

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    Seems like the integral tab* (is that the "official" name?) would be a lot less frustrating for those of us who are less experienced/reluctant-to-tackle-anything-with-formers.

    *What key is the copyright symbol anyway?
  16. -Jim G

    -Jim G Member

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    OOOOh! Maybe I should quick claim naming rights to the integral tabs... I could call them '-Jimtabs':mrgreen:
  17. Elliott

    Elliott Senior Member

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    Jimtabs......I like it! Better hurry!
  18. -Jim G

    -Jim G Member

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    Fuselage and formers

    [​IMG]
    Form the second fuselage section and bend the bulkhead tabs.

    [​IMG]
    After gluing the bottom seam apply glue to the inside of the aft end of the 2nd fuselage section I attach the tail cone. I reach through the fuselage section with my tweezers and cinch the tabs down on the glue.

    [​IMG]
    Glue in the second bulkhead in the same manner that I glued in the first one( one tab at a time - starting from the bottom). I cut out the 3rd fuselage section and the 3rd bulkhead.
  19. -Jim G

    -Jim G Member

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    [​IMG]
    I form the 3rd section so that it takes on the shape of the bulkheads - oval in the back end and flat topped with a rounded belly in the front.

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    Glue the bottom seam and apply glue around the aft end to attach the tail cone.

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    Once again I reach through the fuselage section with my tweezers and cinch down the bulkhead glue tabs. Then I install the 3rd bulkhead - bottom tabs first and gluing in the tabs one at a time.
  20. -Jim G

    -Jim G Member

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    Cabin

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    Here I have formed the 4th fuselage section (cabin) and glued the front glue tab on the bottom seam. I wait on gluing the aft tab until last so that I can get my big fingers inside the cabin while I am gluing the windscreen.

    [​IMG]
    The next thing I do is to form and glue the fuselage section ahead ofthe windscreen.

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    Now is the time to form the wind screen and glue it to the tabs. I think this is the hardest thing to do on this model. If I can get the edge of the windscreen to line up with the glue tab, then the joint comes out good. If not, it is time to reprint that page and try to get it right the next time.