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Old 01-13-2014, 10:46 PM
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altbob altbob is offline
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Bleriot XI - heavily modified!

Hi guys,

I wanted a plane to display as a bookends with my FG Gossamer Albatross, another historical channel crosser, and what better plane that the Bleriot XI ?

I've always been fascinated by this particular plane, with its comparably modern monoplane profile coming just 6 years after the Wright Bros. Looking at the standard FG plans, I think they leave a lot to be desired, so I've been busily scouring the internet for plans and photos of the real plane, many versions of which are in air museums around the world, including an original flying example at Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome, not far from where I live. I plan to make mine in a similar fashion to that of Mike Smith, whose balsa stick "improved stock" version can be seen on the FG Bleriot XI page:



I plan to go a bit further if I can, including a working prop, dummy engine and working rudder and elevator. I will pass on making the wings actually warp...

I hope there is interest in such a project here and people are not offended by my use of unconventional materials beyond paper. I am fairly good at sculpting with epoxy resin, so as needed, I plan to use that skill on this project. If there is interest in what I'm posting please let me know. I have a feeling that this will take me a pretty good amount of time to complete, and it never hurts motivation-wise to know that others are interested. Not to mention, I am still somewhat new to this, so I am always interested in reading people's tips.

So, to start, here's a photo of the boom section of the fuselage, which I am using as a plan for the wooden build:



The wood is cut from coffee stir sticks that I grabbed from the local coffee shop. Much denser than balsa or bass wood, I don't know what kind of wood it actually is. I have to cut it length-wise with a metal ruler and X-Acto knife to make it the proper width. I can get about 3 usable strips per stick.

The plan is to cut the paper out after this dries and add the rigging. Next up, I will begin to tackle the front half of the fuselage. Again, comments welcome!

BTW, if someone could tell me a better way to upload images I would appreciate it. I'm currently using Photobucket. Thanks!

Last edited by altbob; 01-13-2014 at 10:58 PM.
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Old 01-13-2014, 10:51 PM
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Darwin Darwin is offline
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Bob, you'll get no complaints from me. Looking good, and I'm appreciative of what you are doing. It's more of a pain, but you can also use bamboo skewers as a source of stripwood...and completely authentic, too.
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Old 01-13-2014, 11:08 PM
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altbob altbob is offline
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Hey Darwin, thanks. I have some bamboo skewers on hand, but they are way too big in diameter and round to boot. The photos I've looked at of the actual plane (and the one at Old Rhinebeck Areodrome - photo below from my last visit in September) show the wooden sections to be plank shaped.



BTW, I realize that the FG "contest" is long since over, but looking around the forum I didn't see anyplace to post this that was more appropriate. Mods: if if should be somewhere else please feel free to move it and let me know where it ended up...
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Old 01-14-2014, 12:24 PM
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Bengt Fredén Bengt Fredén is offline
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Blériot XI Modificaton

Hi altbob,

I would (boldly) have posted the thread under "Aviation", even though some parts of the model are not made out of paper. We have to be broadminded in this forum! I really like your careful FG Blériot XI modificaton. (It will be yet another great model tribute to the memory of Chip Fyn).
I have actually thought of modifying the fine FG Levavasseur 'Antoinette' VII model along the same lines, but I just haven't got around to doing it yet.

Why not use the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome Blériot as your modeling subject, and paint or draw a "7" on the tail feathers? It looks like it is also yellow in the linen fabric... just a thought.

The rigging intricacies of the real thing - this is (one of) Swedish aviator Mikael Carlson's own full-scale flying Thulin-Blériot XIs:



Best regards and New Years Greetings from Sweden,
Bengt



PS. The web site of accomplished vintage aviator and airplane constructor Mikael Carlson: The Aviator
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Old 01-14-2014, 12:47 PM
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Rubenandres77 Rubenandres77 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by altbob View Post
...
BTW, if someone could tell me a better way to upload images I would appreciate it. I'm currently using Photobucket. Thanks!
You can upload the photos to the forum itself.
Here it is explained how:
How To: post pictures to a thread
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Old 01-14-2014, 01:48 PM
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Bengt Fredén Bengt Fredén is offline
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Photobucket

I am using Photobucket, too, Rubén,

all the way back since 2005. It is a great place to store loads of photos, and easy to use, at no cost. For newer Mac OS X system users than me, there is even a backup system for ALL your photos and videos on your hard drives. Not bad!

Best regards,
Bengt

PS. Thanks for the useful photos uploading link, though! I will try it!
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Old 01-14-2014, 02:57 PM
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altbob altbob is offline
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Thanks Ruben for the tip about photo posting. Here are some other images of the Bleriot from Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome ("ORA"), taken in 2009, which was the last time, I believe, that I actually saw it fly, on it's 100th birthday! I go every year, usually on Father's Day, although now that my son and I are into flying RC planes we may switch to going on the RC Model jamboree day (which is what we did this year).

Bengt, what a great idea to paint a "7" on the tail! Only thing is, the tail shape is different from the FG kit. Come to notice it, the tail shapes varied a lot on the Bleriot from model to model. Perhaps I'll give it a try. it should not be too hard to cut that number out as a jpeg, scale it down and print it out on tissue paper and glue it on like a decal. Indeed, maybe the simpler solution is to just print the entire tail out on paper and make the part from that. Thanks for giving me something to ponder!

One thing to note, the engine on the ORA Bleriot in these photos is not the Anzani 3-cylinder that appears on the Fiddler's model. I am actually modelling the Anzani, which actually goes inside the frame (which is the engine that the original XI had), as opposed to the ORA engine, a later "Y" configuration model, which is sticking out on some kind of firewall (see the close up in the last photo) and is a more modern engine type.
Attached Thumbnails
Bleriot XI - heavily modified!-ora-8.1.09-025.jpg   Bleriot XI - heavily modified!-ora-8.1.09-024.jpg   Bleriot XI - heavily modified!-ora-8.1.09-023.jpg   Bleriot XI - heavily modified!-ora-8.1.09-014.jpg   Bleriot XI - heavily modified!-ora-8.1.09-012.jpg  


Last edited by altbob; 01-14-2014 at 03:47 PM.
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Old 01-14-2014, 03:00 PM
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Rubenandres77 Rubenandres77 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bengt Fredén View Post
I am using Photobucket, too, Rubén,

all the way back since 2005. It is a great place to store loads of photos, and easy to use, at no cost. For newer Mac OS X system users than me, there is even a backup system for ALL your photos and videos on your hard drives. Not bad!

Best regards,
Bengt

PS. Thanks for the useful photos uploading link, though! I will try it!
Photobucket is great. I've also used it for a long time.
It is my choice when I wish to share the same photos in several forums. Saves a lot of time instead of uploading the photos every time to every different place.
A very good service.
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Old 01-14-2014, 03:03 PM
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altbob altbob is offline
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Here is a set of plans that I am making extensive use of to scratch build the engine and other parts. The last 3 are actually instructions to put together a Russian made plastic model kit that I found on the web. Useful insofar as it lays out the basic order of construction. The Bleriot model in those instructions appears to be a later version used in WWI although the differences are rather subtle. Mainly the auxiliary fuel tank in the boom (which I plan to omit).

I would like to come up with a way to do all that lovely rigging inside the boom. Getting the thread inside is going to be hell though!
Attached Thumbnails
Bleriot XI - heavily modified!-bleriot_xi_scale_view_1.jpg   Bleriot XI - heavily modified!-bleriot-instructions-1.jpg   Bleriot XI - heavily modified!-bleriot-instructions-2.jpg   Bleriot XI - heavily modified!-bleriot-instructions-3.jpg  

Last edited by altbob; 01-14-2014 at 03:32 PM.
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  #10  
Old 01-14-2014, 03:29 PM
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Rubenandres77 Rubenandres77 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by altbob View Post
...
I would like to come up with a way to do all that lovely rigging inside the boom. Getting the thread inside is going to be hell though!
I have a GPM Bleriot XI that I started a couple years ago but haven't finished yet.

In the mean time I also started a RAF Se5a. It also has some rigging, similar to the Bleriot.

You can see my attempt at this kind of rigging here:
RAF Se5a (ribbed plane)

I used silver embroidery thread, cut to size and glued with a drop or two of CA glue.

Is very time consuming, and lots of patience are needed. But it is doable.
the details are explained in that unfinished build report.

You seem to be gathering a good amount of documentation, and that's very good to create a nice-looking model

Kind regards.
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