PaperModelers.com

Go Back   PaperModelers.com > >

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 01-16-2010, 07:40 PM
DrLaser's Avatar
DrLaser DrLaser is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 283
Total Downloaded: 19.83 MB
Rigging Aircraft with Tippet

Introduction

I've been fortunate to live near the Card Model Convention site in the DC area, so I've been able to display my (mostly) Fiddlers Green models. When I display my dozen or so biplanes I am always asked about how I rig them (being as small as they are at 1/72 scale). An example is my 1/72 scale DH2.

Rigging Aircraft with Tippet-dh2-front.jpgRigging Aircraft with Tippet-dh2-side.jpg

While the DH2 is a complex example, I'd like to explain my technique using the Fiddlers Green Stearman Kaydet. Being a between-the-wars, single cell biplane, the Stearman is a good subject for this tutorial as the rigging is very simple and straightforward (as compared to WW1 and earlier planes). I hope you find this tutorial of some use for your builds, and I image at a larger scale it is very easy to do (but since I have only built at 1/72 scale I wouldn't know from experience).

The Tools

The material I use is tippet. At 1/72 scale, I don't think thread would do as it's pretty thick and it doesn't look right as a wire. I suppose there may be thin thread out there, but I found tippet and away I went. Tippet is a very thin monofilament used for tying the flies used in fly fishing (no wonder I get fishing catalogs in the mail). This material was suggested to me by a co-worker who happens to fly fish - I'd have never discovered it by myself.

Rigging Aircraft with Tippet-tippet.jpg

Tippet comes in many sizes, and I use the smallest size I can find, 8x at 0.003-inch diameter. That's 3 mils and a typical piece of paper is 5 mils or so. Be sure to use whatever size you deem appropriate. Even at 1/72 scale, I used a larger size when I rigged a Gee Bee Z, as the rigging was less like a wire, but more like a cable or rod (a picture of it is at the FG website). Tippet is normally clear so to see it you must color it. I use a Sharpie and stroke long strands of it many times making sure to cover all sides and let it dry overnight (a must). Color it black or silver depending on the plane. I used silver for the Stearman.

Rigging Aircraft with Tippet-tippet-colored-.jpg

Tippet is difficult for many adhesives to grab on to. White glue won't work. Even superglue has let go on me. But two things work reliably: tape and contact adhesive. Thin packing tape and cheap old tape works best (the "Magic Transparent" tape I don't recommend). What is nice about tape is there is no waiting. It's down, it's done. Next. But tape can be used only in certain applications.
I've been using POR contact adhesive with excellent results, even in very tiny quantities - just let it set overnight. It is used to glue tippet to the control horn tips on that DH2 above for example. I've also experimented with Elmers brand Contact Cement and Ultimate Glue with positive results.

Rigging Aircraft with Tippet-tape.jpgRigging Aircraft with Tippet-por.jpg

The final set of specialized gear you will need are very fine tweezers and a fine needle point. The tweezers are required to hold and guide the tippet through the tiny holes that you will make with the fine needle. I recommend you make a holder for a No.12 needle (the tiniest needle I could find).

Rigging Aircraft with Tippet-tweezers.jpg

Oh, you will also need a pair of very good eyes, or some form of magnification to see what you are doing.

Well I think this is a good start and next time I'll begin the riggin'.
__________________
John
peace thru light
Reply With Quote
Login to remove ads
  #2  
Old 01-16-2010, 08:15 PM
Don Boose's Avatar
Don Boose Don Boose is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Carlisle, Pennsylvania
Posts: 14,628
Total Downloaded: 68.07 MB
This is an outstanding and very welcome tutorial, John.

I have added it to The Paper Modelers Vade Mecum.

Don
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 01-16-2010, 08:17 PM
redhorse's Avatar
redhorse redhorse is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: McKinney, TX
Posts: 1,926
Total Downloaded: 0
This should be really interesting. I've found a number of fly tying items useful for my ship builds. Thanks for posting this!
__________________
Jim
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 01-17-2010, 12:15 AM
wag's Avatar
wag wag is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Suburban Minneapolis,MN,USA
Posts: 953
Total Downloaded: 111.38 MB
I'm always looking for new methods of rigging. Thanks for posting.
Wayne
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 01-17-2010, 06:35 AM
Paperwarrior's Avatar
Paperwarrior Paperwarrior is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 2,032
Total Downloaded: 188.06 MB
Thanks for the tutorial.

I've always had issues with rigging to the point I've given up.

After seeing this tutorial I immediately copied it and saved to my "how to" folder.

I just finished a FG Siemens Schuckert D.IV yesterday. I am now inspired to attempt rigging it.
Attached Thumbnails
Rigging Aircraft with Tippet-ssw.jpg  
Reply With Quote
Login to remove ads
  #6  
Old 01-17-2010, 02:42 PM
DrLaser's Avatar
DrLaser DrLaser is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 283
Total Downloaded: 19.83 MB
Rigging Aircraft with Tippet

Thank you all for the positive feedback . . on we go.

The Approach

It is somewhat difficult to add the rigging after the model is complete, so the key to my method is to build the tippet into the model as an integral part of the build from the very beginning. Rigging goes between wing and fuselage, and it would be hard to hide the attachment points. With my method all the attachment of the rigging to the paper can be hidden from view - no mess, just a mystery to how it's done.

Another key is to develop a detailed rigging plan based on the plane at hand. For more complex models (like the DH2), I need to sketch it out. The individual rigging wires need to be long enough to do the job and exit the model with enough extra to grab on to when it is time to snug it up and secure them. So even at 1/72 scale the tippet pieces are up to 10-inches long or more. Now, conside the Stearman:

Rigging Aircraft with Tippet-01-stearman-kydet.jpg

There are two pairs of flying wires going from the top wing into the fuselage. I will use two wires, beginning in the wings, to accomplish this for each wing half. There is a single landing wire going from the lower wing to two attachment points near the fuselage struts (the wires form a V shape), and there is a cross of wires between those struts. I will use one wire, beginning in the wing, to accomplish all that. There is a double bracing wire between the forward fuselage and the center wing section between the struts. I will use two wires to accomplish this for both sets of wires. Finally, there is the empennage bracing wires. I'll do all those with one wire beginning in the fuselage. All this planning allows me to estimate the tippet lengths, with margin. If it ends up too short - you are hosed!

The tippet has to be colored before cuttinng. The approach I use is to weight one end of a strand with a clothes pin and Sharpie it on all sides, inspecting it to insure complete coloration. Be sure to let it dry for many hours.
Note: Super glue will cause dry Sharpie ink to bleed!

Rigging Aircraft with Tippet-02-coloring.jpgRigging Aircraft with Tippet-03-coloring.jpg

Finally, the cardmodel design needs to have "rigging dots" on the design - perferably as part of the design rather than added after the model is printed. The dots as part of the design allows perfect precision. This is absolutely required for the wing and "tail feathers", but you can get away with out them on the fuselage to compensate for "assembly variances." I generally have to add these myself with a graphics program. For larger scales, I bet you can get away with adding them to the printed model, if you have a precise ruler or make a good jig. Precision is important if you want the wires to line up properly, and sometimes intermesh correctly (as will be the case here). On the printed part, punch the holes for the rigging with the needle tool while the part is flat. Even with the "rigging dots", use a ruler to guide your needle for extra precision.

Rigging Aircraft with Tippet-04-hole-dots.jpgRigging Aircraft with Tippet-05-make-holes.jpg

Since this article is about rigging aircraft, I will gloss over the details of actually building the Stearman and concentrate on the rigging for the discussion and illustrations, except where I think I have something unique to add. I will also note any problems I encountered with the basic FG Stearman design.

Next . . the wings.
__________________
John
peace thru light
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 01-17-2010, 03:48 PM
Gixergs's Avatar
Gixergs Gixergs is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Medway Kent UK
Posts: 2,289
Total Downloaded: 65.07 MB
Thank you for this tutorial and so well time as I have several WW1 planes in the pile at the moment,largely inspired by having watched the BBC's WINGS series again for the first time in just over 30 years!.
__________________
Three things I hate are people that can't count and that never finish their...
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 01-17-2010, 03:52 PM
Don Boose's Avatar
Don Boose Don Boose is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Carlisle, Pennsylvania
Posts: 14,628
Total Downloaded: 68.07 MB
Tracking. The explanation is very clear and the photos are very helpful. Many thanks.

Don
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 01-17-2010, 05:38 PM
Thomas Meek's Avatar
Thomas Meek Thomas Meek is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Fort Wayne, Indiana
Posts: 972
Total Downloaded: 41.26 MB
This is very interesting and helpful. Thank you for making it available, and please go on.

By the way, that DH2 is really outstanding, and the rigging is one of the reasons for it.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 01-17-2010, 05:50 PM
Paperwarrior's Avatar
Paperwarrior Paperwarrior is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 2,032
Total Downloaded: 188.06 MB
This is really good stuff. I am awaitting the next installment.

Thank you for the tutorial
Reply With Quote
Login to remove ads
Reply

Tags
monofilament, rigging, tippet

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:40 PM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Resources saved on this page: MySQL 8.70%
Parts of this site powered by vBulletin Mods & Addons from DragonByte Technologies Ltd. (Details)
Copyright © 2007-17, Paper Modelers.com