Skeleton frame vs sections in aircraft models

Boris

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Hello all

Just a question
There are two ways of building aircraft models, one by making segments with wrapping and formers and then connecting them and another is making skeleton frame and then covering this frame with "panels"
To be honest, I almost hate the skeleton method.
I thought that skeleton method could help building difficult surfaces like in F-16, Su-33, F-22 and such.
Simple, round and oval shaped bodies cab easily be made from sections. And then I saw a model of MiG-9 designed in skeleton frame. But this plane has plain simple oval and round shaped fuselage. Is there a reason why need to design skeleton frame for such simple planes?
Also, Yoav Hozmi showed that even intricate shaped plane like F-16 can be designed in sections. Is there really a need to use a skeleton frame method?
 

Awry_Chaos

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Excellent question! As I've only built (almost) one aircraft so far, I'm looking forward to the answer to this question, especially from @zathros and @Rhaven Blaack and also any others who have built aircraft.

I think making segments and wrapping them around dormers would be a good way to go. The aircraft I'm building didn't use formers which kind of aggravated me. I'd love to build a plan with a skeleton frame as it would (to me) would add the detail and authenticity I want to go for as a modeler. Some interesting dioramas could be created using the skeleton frame method!
 
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Rhaven Blaack

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@Boris That is a very good question, indeed! Even though, I have not made many militaria aircrafts; However, I have seen the very same aircraft designed in the two different fashions that you are referring to, and I have asked that very same question. I have been told that it really boils down to the simple answer of the personal preference of the designer and to what all will be included in the model itself (i.e. whether or not the plane will have a cockpit interior, landing gear, internal missile bay, as well as other internal components that will be seen when the model is displayed).
Now with that being said, an internal skeleton does add more strength to a model and it also gives more areas to where internal components can be attached to (like all of what I mention earlier). With the ovals, the internal components (usually) only have just the "skin" and the oval to attach to (which makes for a weaker and more fragile model).
 

Revell-Fan

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With the ovals, the internal components (usually) only have just the "skin" and the oval to attach to (which makes for a weaker and more fragile model).
Unless the ovals are cut at the same places where the ribs of an internal skeleton would be. Of course you don't hae a horizontal stabilizer but if the parts are small enough it would not make too much of a difference. My concern is that you have to work very precisely when attaching the ovals to each other in order to avoid any visible seam lines.
 

Kolokolnikov

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I also assembled several airplanes and helicopters with different inner frames you are talking about. And I totally agree with Rhaven Blaack. Models witn sceleton frames is more durable than ovals frames. You just need to learn how to assemble it. You do not need to glue in a panel way. Assemble the skin separately from the seleton frame then fit it with sandpaper.

Pull skin on sceleton frame, look where it doesn't fit, took it off, reduce this place with sandpaper, pull skin on again, look again, and so on until the skin fits onto the skeleton. If you are afraid to ruin the cardboard, soak it with superglue.
 

zathros

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The best way is to study the real aircrafts frame, and derive your frame from that, if you are designing a model. In the "Renders and Illustrations" The ESKA and A90 I have there copy the frame structure of the real aircraft, as I was able to obtain the real blueprints. It mkes for a much better model, and you will find that since most aircraft are made of p[anel sections, the body paneling goes on easier, and leaves natural panel lines, not lines printed on, but real panel lines, which in reality are not so pronounced. I glue the panels directly onto the frame sections where they go, trimming to fit if needed. The "sock" method, of slipping a wing skeleton with formers into the wing shell can work very well. Sometimes a little bit of both methods are needed to get the results you want. The skeletons must be layered and reenforced, I usually use heavy books till they dry, to provide rigidity and long life. There's even more to it than what I have written, but it really depends on which aircraft you are building. IMHO :)
 

zathros

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Cardboard thickness is really important if you are dropping a completed wing over a frame assembly, too thick on the wing,, it won't fit over the frame. :)
 
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Kolokolnikov

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I agree with @zathros the selection of paper and cardboard is one of the most important steps for creating a paper model.
Also, no one canceled the sandpaper. If something does not fit somewhere, you can always modify it with sandpaper.

Also stick to the rule - do not rush, be patient, and if something does not fit, double-check it very carefully and be sure to read the instructions.
 

Kolokolnikov

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Sometimes you can loose this pesky mm in the middle. That means that the frame should be disassembled to do the sandwich trick. Assuming it can be disassembled with no damage...

The paper model allows you to start from the beginning. It is enough to print and cut again.
 

zathros

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This is a skinning technique I was developing for a Cessna 410 that worked out really well, and formed a stiff body without permanent formers, you needed some to form the shape, but one the shape was glued, the formers weren't needed. :)

skin1-1028-jpg.103714