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WWI Era Discuss all your favorite WWI warbirds here!

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Old 07-11-2014, 08:09 PM   #1
Griff Murphey
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Default DCPM Pfalz XII project

Hello, I am building DPCM's 16" span Pfalz D-XII and presently have it framed up almost ready to cover. I am planning on covering with hex tissue I will print myself. Radio and power will be Flyzone micro guts from Tower hobbies, 3 ch. no aelierons.

I plan on painting mine like the one in the Australian War Memorial museum. There are a couple of others around particularly the ones at Seattle and the Musee d'Le Air. Looks like they all have light gull gray struts. Is this correct? I would have thought varnished wood.

Another question, should I try to match the patterns up on the aelierons with the wings as far as the hex camo is concerned or were they covered independently and supposed to NOT match?

Thanks for input!

Ok I got a reply from a friend who is a WW-1 researcher - he found a photo, a closeup; the struts look very metal, are held on with bolt type fittings. The photo is WW-1 and the struts are a very dark color, look black.
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Old 07-28-2014, 04:38 AM   #2
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Default Some photos

Just installed the motor. The wing root area was supposed to be managed with ribs and formers, but I felt it would be too fragile, impossible to sheet up... so I carved it out of 1/4" balsa sheet, and hollowed the interior as much as possible. I felt the landing gear needed more support as well, by the original plan, the gear legs would simply be glued to the tissue or ribs. The landing gear will have plenty of wood to support it. One of my big lessons from flying the foam Flyzone biplanes is that the lower wings take most of the hits.

This also allowed me to recreate the slight indention of the wing root on its undersurface. The D-XII has a really interesting underbelly contour.

The Flyzone micro motor is mounted on 1/4x16" fitted basswood strips, laminated so as to form a 1/4" square right through the gearbox. I've used this on three other models, and it works great.

The cowling is easily removed for battery changes and engine repairs or changeouts. It's held on with micro magnets.

Dave Cowell of DCPM told me that this is a reissue of an original Deils kit from 1948, which may account for some of the interpretive demands on the builder.


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Old 07-28-2014, 04:48 AM   #3
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Default Wing root

Here is the wing root. The lower wing was strengthened with a third spar. All spars are basswood, so the three spars are engaged in the balsa wing root. I might pad them with a little silicon sealer. The photo shows the wing about it be slid into place for a test fit.

There will be a little weight penalty but I think the the strength added to the center section supporting the lower wings and landing gear will be worth it.

Dave Cowell of DCPM was kind enough to give me an extra sheet of wing ribs so I was able to replace the half ribs with full ribs, which I felt would be better support for the strut receptacles.


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Old 07-28-2014, 04:50 AM   #4
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Default The airframe

Here's the pile of structure awaiting covering. The strut mounting plates are supported on both sides by good strong ribs, thanks to Dave.


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Old 08-27-2014, 05:12 AM   #5
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Default Painting and about to begin assembly

Painting coming along well. I copied the one Planes of Fame has. Final assembly next.


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Old 09-04-2014, 05:31 AM   #6
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Default Installing control horns

Use of a "gust lock" type stabilizer holds control surfaces in neutral while control horns are ACC'd to control surfaces. Control horns are Flyzone long N-17 type, cut off flat and sanded. Control surfaces are reinforced with basswood where they will glued; ACC penetrates the tissue and grabs the underlying wood. These are quite strong.


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Old 09-04-2014, 06:22 PM   #7
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Looking real good there. Nicely done.

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Old 09-14-2014, 07:40 PM   #8
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Default Der Pfalz is Pfinished!

Here she is.


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Old 09-14-2014, 07:41 PM   #9
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Default Aft view

Aft view


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Old 10-23-2014, 05:35 AM   #10
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Very nice. Also neat project making this FF design to Micro RC
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Old 10-23-2014, 01:36 PM   #11
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Thanks. My daughter and son in law got out with me and took a bunch of flying pix last Sunday but they have not sent them to me yet.

This is the one photo taken with my camera. Plane is pretty small, climbing, at left...


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Old 10-23-2014, 06:29 PM   #12
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Beautiful work! Congrats!
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Old 10-30-2014, 05:03 PM   #13
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I couldn't find DCPM.....
But DPCM makes some nice model kits....

Nice plane, I wasn't sure the eflite motor would be up to the task, shows what I know. Being on a ship, the size of the models I am able to build is limited. I have built 2 Stevens areomodels on board. Nice to see more of a selection.

I'm either going to get good at flying em, or get good at fixin em!
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Old 10-30-2014, 06:40 PM   #14
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Being perfectly honest with you it is a bit heavier by about a half an
Ounce than the foam Flyzones. You build an internal cage with the Pfalz then add formers to that and then stringers. Plus all the balsa I used in the center section - and wing root, yes it is a little heavy. Performance is not the best. Currently I have a big old rubber power prop on it that I trimmed from 155 mm to 130mm.

It is an ok flyer but not a real fun flyer. Yes, underpowered. Apologies for misstating the MFR's acronym.

I think the Aerowerks Albatros D-1 with a nearly flat sided fuselage would be better. Flat fuselages with well supported wing roots are what you want. Build up nice and light.

Still an enjoyable build and "some" Fun to fly.

If you are on a carrier maybe you can fly in the hanger deck, if you can catch it empty (LOL). I flew a Comet rubber powered SBD off off of LPH 11 NEW ORLEANS in 1975 twice and it landed back on the deck both times underway, amidst parked CH-53s. Third time I intentionally wanted to see it fly away and ditch but the wind shear along the side of the hull dragged it pretty much straight down, so it was not very impressive.
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Old 10-31-2014, 06:23 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Griff Murphey View Post
If you are on a carrier maybe you can fly in the hanger deck, if you can catch it empty (LOL). I flew a Comet rubber powered SBD off off of LPH 11 NEW ORLEANS in 1975 twice and it landed back on the deck both times underway, amidst parked CH-53s. Third time I intentionally wanted to see it fly away and ditch but the wind shear along the side of the hull dragged it pretty much straight down, so it was not very impressive.
Griff, actually, I am on a carrier and I too have flown small rubber powered aircraft on the flightdeck (in port) and in the hanger bay. As for flying in the hanger bay, not the best idea, I had a friend of mine try to drive a rather expensive electric RC truck in the hanger bay while under way once. With all of the radars and other electronic transmissions produced by the ship, the truck went absolutely crazy! It came SO close to driving out the elevator doors and into the ocean while we chased it around. Scary at the time, absolutely hilarious afterwards. The owner of the truck didn't really see the humor in it...

I'm either going to get good at flying em, or get good at fixin em!
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Old 10-31-2014, 01:33 PM   #16
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Whoa! Talk about RF interference! I had not thought about all the electronic emissions!

With the air group ashore when in port, the hanger deck ought to be pretty good but....

They had a lovely hobby shop in Subic Bay on base; I was with the marines at the MAU camp in the summer after doing the Viet Nam evacuation and built a big Cessna 172 2 channel and several nice rubber powered stick and tissues. Picked up some interesting Keil Kraft made in UK stick and tissues in Hong Kong but I bet the balsa is like parchment now. Have a cute picture of a Guillow Sopwith Camel on New Orleans' flight deck with CH-46s behind, actually quite convincing. Bought some of the early Mabuchi e-flite motors back in those days....
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Old 11-15-2014, 05:33 AM   #17
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One more... Having trouble adding more than one photo At a time


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Old 11-15-2014, 06:30 AM   #18
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Awesome shots. Definately looking at getting one....

I'm either going to get good at flying em, or get good at fixin em!
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Old 11-15-2014, 02:53 PM   #19
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Thanks. My only regret is my lack of knowledge about what to buy to put together a Powerplant and flight control system beyond using the Flyzone micro guts. You can do ok with the Flyzone stuff in a micro but you have to keep the gross weight under 2 Oz. to have a good flyer. I like Flyzone's system - simple - cheap (about $55 per plane) but you gotta build em light and use a bigger prop.

I used at least 3 coats of 50-50 clear dope and 3 coats of crystal clear because I wanted to seal the tissue better, (like to fly early on wet grass) and I built up the center section wing roots in balsa. I still feel it needed the balsa, but I could have cut back on the clear.
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Old 11-15-2014, 03:48 PM   #20
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hey griff,

you did a great job on her!!!!! the pictures are very cool in flight,i can't seem to get folks at the field to be able to use my camera while flying.
awesome paint job.

narrow is the place to land...wide is the space to crash....choose the narrow way!
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Old 11-15-2014, 04:14 PM   #21
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Thanks. I am an old plastic modeler but had not run my airbrush in at least 8 years. The colors are all eyeballed Testors mixes and I used the new Testors Airbrush Thinner. It is kind of pricey but you don't need much - I go about 25-30 pct thinner and 75 pct paint. Clean up with plain lacquer thinner.

My daughter and her husband were shooting the pics with their phones. All of my pics are with an iPhone 4.
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