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Old 09-29-2008, 01:25 AM   #1
Bill G
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Default Guillows Sopwith Camel

I've always wanted a Camel since I gave my flying buddy my Wattage Camel. Different from some reports, it flys well and he loves it. Wasn't exactly scale though, so this one will be much better in that department.

I've heard good reports from those who have converted the Guillows Camel, and have their SE5A and DR1 flying well enough now, that I would think this should even be much better with ailerons. Guillows kits were designed by various people, where some like the Hellcat and Dauntless have semi-symmetrical, much more scale-like wings. This Camel kit has a semi-symmetrical airfoil with some undercamber, which should be better suited to this type of plane than the flat bottom. I was pleased to discover that it did not have the standard issue Guillows flat bottom airfoil. The ailerons are actually part of the "stock" build also, versus the kits where they have to be bashed into the wings, which is another nice touch.

The basic fuse and wing structures have been framed, and all the gear is far forward, as needed in the short nose WWI bipes. The Camel has a large fuse for the scale, which makes equipment mounting easy. The first fuse bay is large enough to easily fit a battery box behind the firewall, with ele/rud servos and receiver also. The plane will have functional ailerons also.


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Old 09-29-2008, 03:56 AM   #2
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Glad to see another build here! I'll certainly be following along.

Is the Camel the same wingspan as the Thomas Morse Scout (24")?

I like the way you mounted the servos using the side formers as supports. What size are they? I benched the Scout because I couldn't find any 2.5 gram servos in stock anywhere...I suppose I could have used the 3.7's...but on this size plane every Gram is critical.
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Old 09-29-2008, 06:01 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by barmonkey View Post
Glad to see another build here! I'll certainly be following along.

Is the Camel the same wingspan as the Thomas Morse Scout (24")?

I like the way you mounted the servos using the side formers as supports. What size are they? I benched the Scout because I couldn't find any 2.5 gram servos in stock anywhere...I suppose I could have used the 3.7's...but on this size plane every Gram is critical.
Yeah it is nice to see more builds. I have been looking at your Spad build also. Looks good.

The servo weight sure does count. The noses on these planes often have to be so heavy, that you certainly don't need to add any more weight to other areas. I only used GWS pico servos for the rud/elev, as they are mounted so far forward that they will contribute to needed noseweight. If I use independent aileron servos, they will probably be BA 2.5gm. All 6 of the 2.5gram BA servos I have work well, if that's what you are trying to find in stock somewhere.

This plane is 28" span which made it appealing, as the 24" planes are a bit small for Guillows construction and end up a bit heavy. My DR1 and SE5A are flying well, but they are far too heavy to be indoor planes. Pretty much require the same room as most other parkflyers.

Too lazy to load another pic at this time of night, but I have the wings finished and test fitted on the fuse. I had expected this kit to be a lot of work, being a die-cut, a biplane, and a Guillows, but it has really gone together quickly and easily. I like the design.
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Old 09-29-2008, 09:25 PM   #4
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Is this one of the Superstar kits?

Now for my last stunt, a forward flip on landing.
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Old 09-30-2008, 04:22 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by degreen60 View Post
Is this one of the Superstar kits?
Not sure what they are, but I hope it turns out like one. It is one of the newer Guillows kits with the more colorful box artwork, with the made in US sticker on the box.

I see your Wattage Sopwith avatar. My buddy has mine, which has been through the war but still flies fine. I'd like to get another to really detail out.

Guillows Sopwith:
The wings fit well and surprisingly the bottom wings seem to meet the fuse with equal dihedral, and neither panel is sweeping forward or rearward. Often you have to do a bit of tweaking for decent alignment.
Shaping the LEs before building the wing is a good idea, as there is still a bit of final shaping to go, but much easier than having to fully shape the hard stock LEs on the assembled wings. Added additional balsa around the strut mount slots, for additional area for covering attachment. Now to decide what sevo/linkage method to use for aileron control.


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Old 09-30-2008, 01:40 PM   #6
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Off to a great start already there Bill. I cant tell from the pic, what size motor ESC will you be flying that with?
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Old 09-30-2008, 02:11 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Bill G View Post
Not sure what they are, but I hope it turns out like one. It is one of the newer Guillows kits with the more colorful box artwork, with the made in US sticker on the box.
OOPs, I was thinking of the Comet Superstar kit. This looks to be 1/12 scale.

Now for my last stunt, a forward flip on landing.
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Old 09-30-2008, 06:24 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by degreen60 View Post
OOPs, I was thinking of the Comet Superstar kit. This looks to be 1/12 scale.
It's 1/12th scale, but they give you a pilot that appears to be more like 1/9th or 10th scale.
I put him together last night, but will use it in my larger Bristol M1c which needs a light pilot, to not add any more weight or rearward weight. This Camel will get a Williams Brothers vintage pilot.
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Old 10-01-2008, 05:26 AM   #9
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I decided to sacrifice a bit of added tail spar weight, to make the tail feathers look right. Sparring was added to both sides of the frames to give an airfoil shape and make the ribbing noticable under the covering. Will probably need a bit more noseweight to compensate, but these planes just don't look right when the wings have a fabric covered appearance, but the tail feathers look dead flat.

This plane built pretty quickly, and now is at the covering stage, after adding the aileron servo/s and linkage. The supplied pilot was assembled, but will be used in my larger Bristol M1c. I will be using a Williams Brother 1/12th scale pilot for this plane. Look at the picture below and you can see how large the Guillows pilot is, compared with a 1/12th scale (scale of this plane) Williams Brothers pilot.


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Old 10-01-2008, 03:24 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Bill G View Post
The supplied pilot was assembled, but will be used in my larger Bristol M1c. I will be using a Williams Brother 1/12th scale pilot for this plane. Look at the picture below and you can see how large the Guillows pilot is, compared with a 1/12th scale (scale of this plane) Williams Brothers pilot.
I fill each half of the pilots that come with planes with plaster(filled one with epoxy puddy). Then using that as a master use a Mattel Vac-u-form to make light weight pilots. I glue the 2 half togerher using Gorilla glue and water. The Gorilla glue expands and fills all cracks where the 2 halfs meet.

Now for my last stunt, a forward flip on landing.
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Old 10-01-2008, 03:27 PM   #11
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Wow, your pilots have yellow goggles. Mine had clear. Just bought them about a month or so ago. Just thought it interesting.
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Old 10-01-2008, 10:31 PM   #12
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On the goggles, some are yellow and some clear. I prefer the clear. I'll have to see if I have another pilot with clear to swap with. I don't know if they were into tinted lenses in WWI.


Interesting pilot making method Degreen. I need to get a vac former setup.
The thin pilots certainly do need something to add some sanding latitude along the seams. I flow the seams with thick CA, from the inside of the pilot, after tacking the halves together. It does add weight, if done wastefully. I find that buying CA in smaller bottles tends to help me conserve more.
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Old 10-04-2008, 06:46 AM   #13
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Well I broke down and got a sheet of 1/16" ply at the LHS, for wing and gear struts. Considering the recent price increases of these kits, it would be nice if they would go back to using ply, instead of that vinly crap they substitute now. The wing end struts were a bit of work to cut out from ply sheet, being a large one piece "U", but the real wood will be worth it in the end. The vinly would have to be painted to look like wood, whereas the ply can be stained to look much more realistic for struts. The vinly stuff breaks pretty easily too.

I've been taking the time to ensure good fit and alignment of parts on this build, before final assembly. It gets old to have to remember things like, "This part will need a shim when assembled", or "The landing gear is longer on one side, so don't forget to hold the struts on one side down a bit when gluing in plance". All the plastic farings and cowl are being test fitted also, as it's more difficult to adjust things after covering. I've also added wood around the wing strut mounts, to provide additional area for the covering to adhere to, as it will need slots cut into it.

The wheels supplied are solid wood, versus the plastic wheels Guillows used. Guillows has a nice vintage plastic wheel, but I believe it's too small for the scale, which is why they supplied the wooden wheels. I would have preferred plastic wheels, as the wooden ones weigh almost 12gms each. The hub area could have been drilled full of holes to lighten, since they have hub covers, but I opted to just make a set of wheels. The stock wheels also come out to be 34" in terms of scale, which I believe is a bit large for a Camel. That's almost 3 feet in diameter. The set I fabricated are about 31" full scale.

I made a Peter Rake style set of wheels, using balsa circle knockouts from various kits, which I saved over the years. The tires are made from vacuum hose, with a plastic joiner rod and thin CA at the attachment point. The final weight of these wheels is a bit over 7gms, which is considerably lighter than the stock wheel weight.


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Old 10-04-2008, 03:12 PM   #14
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Nice work on the wheels. I suppose the weight of the solid wood wheels would help with the C/G on a free flight models. I like the fact that Guillows supplied a vac formed cowl and "Camel Hump" area. Are the plastic wheel covers included with the kit's vac formed sheets?
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Old 10-04-2008, 06:59 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by pburt1975 View Post
Off to a great start already there Bill. I cant tell from the pic, what size motor ESC will you be flying that with?
Sorry I missed this post.
The motor is one that I believe my LHS got from BP, used with a TBird9 ESC. I believe this is the motor:
http://www.bphobbies.com/view.asp?id...7&pid=B2552589
I used them in my Guillows DC3 with good performance on 3s, with tiny Thimble Drome 5x3 props on 3s. Seem to be reasonably powerful for the weight/size/price.

Barmonkey, I thought about the heavy wooden wheel weight helping with CG. They would help, with the only issue being that they are not quite as far forward as lead that can be put in the cowl. The plastic parts are what attract me to these Guillows kits, as they look really good when detailed with them. A Camel just isn't right without the front fuse farings and canopy hump farings. The wheel covers came with the detail parts, and were the reason I bothered to make wheels, since I knew they would look decent with the covers. I made covers before that look like they are covering over spokes, but they were a bit of work to get all the folds in the cardstock properly, and assemble on the wheel. Didn't want to go through that again here. Here's how I would have done them, if I had:


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Old 10-08-2008, 03:32 AM   #16
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Continuing my recent build trend, I've been finishing all the detail/fabbed parts, such as pilots, landing gear, guns, etc. This makes the plane go together faster at the end of the build. You can really burn some time on these parts! Spent an hour just rounding the edges of the ply wing struts, which I had to make, as the kit's are that nylon stuff. Assembling the gun halves, sanding the seams, and painting them was close to 2 hours.

The Guillows pilot actually looks like the one on the box, but is far too large for the 1/12th scale plane. It will go in another plane, and a Williams Bros 1/12th scale pilot has been painted for this plane. Williams Bros pilots have no bust below the shoulder tips, so I had to add/shape 1/4" of balsa to the pilot, so that he is not staring at the gun butts. Still almost is.

I had a Zinger 8x4 wooden prop, which is scale in diameter for the plane, but does not look correct. From previous Guillows builds like this one, I have had to run 3s to get performance, but the prop may be a bit aggressive for the setup on 3s. Making the prop look better, and less aggressive, I reshaped the prop to give it the scimitar shaped vintage appearance.


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Old 10-08-2008, 03:47 AM   #17
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Ah, the memories........I built one of these as a kid in the late 70's.....Rubber band power....tissue covered....

It didn't live long....LOL

Murph.....Playing Model Airplane Lawndarts in the Desert.
I had the pleasure of flying Wiggy/WG1 in October 2009.
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Old 10-08-2008, 03:26 PM   #18
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I know you've done the card stock thing before, and doesn't sound like you wanted to deal with that this time. They can be "interesting" to put it kindly.

But if you're interested in ever trying it again,

Check this thread...

http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/show...081#post487081

I just made it, thinking of you!

btw, plane is looking great, love the updates.
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Old 10-08-2008, 06:35 PM   #19
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Murph, I guess it would take a strong wound rubber band to fly one of these. I imagaine we're close to the same age, me at 42. I know at age 12-14, I would have not paid the attention required to build straight wings using Guillows die cut parts. Go for building another one now.

7car, the cardstock does work well. I used it to cover my Rake Brisol kit included wheels posted above. I had thought of using Maxx wheels like the ones in your pic, and doing that. I've also used the ultralight solid plastic spoke wheels, with cardstock covers. Obviously thin tires, but still look reasonable. I had a set of solid vintage Guillows wheels from another kit, which look decent, but are too small for this kit. Used them on a Sterling Eindecker. I now have 2 sets of Sterling vintage wheels which look decent, but they weigh as much as a motor.

For whatever reason, there doesn't seem to be much in the way of manufactured vintage wheels in sizes under 3" diameter. Maybe we'll see more in the future.


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Old 10-08-2008, 06:49 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Bill G View Post
Murph, I guess it would take a strong wound rubber band to fly one of these. I imagaine we're close to the same age, me at 42. I know at age 12-14, I would have not paid the attention required to build straight wings using Guillows die cut parts. Go for building another one now.
Yep....39 here.....And no, I did not have the skills back then to build a Straight and True Airframe....LOL

Not to mention that wood glue was all I had available to use on it.

But it was fun to build regardless.

Murph.....Playing Model Airplane Lawndarts in the Desert.
I had the pleasure of flying Wiggy/WG1 in October 2009.
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Old 10-08-2008, 06:51 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Bill G View Post
For whatever reason, there doesn't seem to be much in the way of manufactured vintage wheels in sizes under 3" diameter. Maybe we'll see more in the future.
Yep, that's why I like the ones I pictured. About as close as it gets. And VERY light.
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Old 10-12-2008, 08:12 AM   #22
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Started covering parts tonight. Before covering, a the ailerons needed balsa padding around the clevises, to provide area to attach covering to. This was also done at the aileron servo arm exits and the center of the elevator frame, where it attaches to the fuselage.

The tail surface spars were built up and shaped with an extra layer of sparring, to give a scale appearance. Worth the extra effort to avoid the board flat look. GWS hinge material was used for hinges in the tail surfs.

The rudder and elevator linkage are also in place, using .025" instead of .032", to save weight. A bit of material was removed from the rear fuse formers also, to reduce tail weight. As of now, it doesn't seem that CG setting will be a problem, from testing with the tail surfaces loosely in place.


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Old 10-12-2008, 07:38 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Bill G View Post
The rudder and elevator linkage are also in place, using .025" instead of .032", to save weight. A bit of material was removed from the rear fuse formers also, to reduce tail weight. As of now, it doesn't seem that CG setting will be a problem, from testing with the tail surfaces loosely in place.
Save even more weight and look more scale, use pull-pull on the rudder and elevator.

Now for my last stunt, a forward flip on landing.
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Old 10-13-2008, 02:21 AM   #24
Bill G
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Originally Posted by degreen60 View Post
Save even more weight and look more scale, use pull-pull on the rudder and elevator.
I thought about that, but the .025" music wire is pretty light. It would look really nice to have the pull-pull, but it's work too. That's the real reason I didn't do it. I used pull-pull on my Rake Bristol M1c, which at its larger size of 47" span would have just looked wrong with pushrod linkage. On this little plane, it's not so noticable.
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Old 10-13-2008, 04:45 PM   #25
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Tail group looks great! I don't like the board flat look either. Nice choice.
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