Dragos' Brown B-1 racer (beta)

Discussion in 'Aircraft & Aviation' started by rockpaperscissor, May 18, 2012.

  1. rockpaperscissor

    rockpaperscissor Member

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    I offered to do a beta build of Dragos' Brown B-1 racer, and was very happy when he took me up on it (love those classic racers).

    Initial observations: The file is A4 size, but Dragos left enough kerf on top and bottom so that it can be printed at 100% on letter size paper too - smart. Its 56 pieces are arranged neatly, and there is a clearly labeled drawing of the finished airplane on the parts page to serve as instructions. There are no glue tabs or glue strips provided with the beta. The wings are laid out against the paper grain, which will make it more difficult to obtain a smoothly rounded and crinkle free leading edge. Rotating these parts 90 degrees would be preferable, if possible. The model is equipped with a seat and instrument panel. I don't know if Dragos has any further cockpit details in mind for the model's final release. The assembly style is paired bulkhead. There is a tall, narrow hump down the center of the aft fuselage which I expect will offer a challenge when forming the skins.

    I've started cutting paper, so there will be more soon. Sorry about the photo, I can't get it to post correctly. It keeps coming out as a negative in the preview. Weird.

    Attached Files:

  2. Zathros

    Zathros Guest

    A beautiful plane. I was going to design a paper model of this, but now that it is made, I am looking at another. Great choice!

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  3. rockpaperscissor

    rockpaperscissor Member

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    Thanks for posting the photo of the actual airplane, Zathros. I should have done that. I've made some progress with build.

    Fuselage assembly: There are 7 main fuselage sections, and a 3 piece spinner. All the sections were small enough that I was able to edge glue the skins - no glue strips or tabs required. I cut the bulkheads so that the black lines were just removed, and after just the slightest bit of sanding, the fit was pretty much perfect on every section. The dorsal hump didn't present a problem after all. Correct alignment of the cockpit section rear bulkhead is critical, and there is no centerline reference, so you really have to be careful here. I glued the seat and instrument panel in place before closing up the front. I'm using glossy brochure paper for this one. It's a lighter weight paper than the 65lb stock I usually use, and a racing plane should be nice and shiny.

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  4. Alcides

    Alcides Member

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    Wow!!! Fantastic job in a very tiny pieces Don.
  5. Zathros

    Zathros Guest

    This modular assembly method is very neat. It is one of the more beautiful mono-planes made! :)
  6. rockpaperscissor

    rockpaperscissor Member

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    Thanks for the positive comments fellas. Well, work has continued, and now the fuselage is all built up. With this many segments, the danger of a banana developing is high. To minimize the risk, I started assembly with the center cockpit section, gluing on segments evenly on each side. Everything fits very well. Kudos to Dragos. There is a very slight banana, but overall I'm happy with the result. From the tip of the spinner back, the total length is now 3 3/8".

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  7. Zathros

    Zathros Guest

    If you filled those seams and painted that model, it would look like the real thing. The fuselage is nicely contoured, all your model are one step away from being "perfect", and they are Ivory Soap perfect now, 99 44/100ths% perfection!. It seems no matter what is done, these seams are the bane of paper modeling.

    You plane is a beautiful model,and I believe you understand I am not criticizing your work, just talking technique, (for the benefit of anyone else reading this). There are many modelers these days talking about seams and edges, and some guys, like F131, sharing his technique, which would not be applicable to your model), has explained some pretty novel ones.

    I like to build aircraft, so I have some ideas but again, on an aircraft like this, which shows not seams, there are few choices. Excellent build. The elegance and simplicity of this shape means if you mess it up, it will stick out like a soar thumb. You definitely captured it's shape! :)
  8. rockpaperscissor

    rockpaperscissor Member

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    Yeah, the seams are pretty glaringly obvious, but with paired bulkhead assembly, this is what you get. The seams show up particulary well here because of the small size of the model and the number of seams (9 in just over 3 inches if you count the spinner!). The light color of the airplane doesn't help either. When cutting the skins, I removed the black lines, and I also recessed all the bulkheads back a smidge from the paper edge in an effort to minimize their appearance, but the result was less than satisfactory, I'm afraid.
  9. Alcides

    Alcides Member

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    Your build continues well Don. I always amazed how small that racers were. I've to say in some way I like the seams all the mark of a paper model.
  10. Zathros

    Zathros Guest

    I think the Banana shape matches the first picture I posted rather well. This plane would have benefited from the designer designing the panels longitudinally, as visible in the attached photos. I may visit this plane when I finish off the BiPlane I'm working on. You nailed this model though, you have taken it to it's limit, and it looks great!

    Designers have to take the lines of the models into consideration. This plane doesn't have a vertical line it in, except for the cowl and rudder hinges..

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