Building the Azur I-16 (part 2)


Let us resume our odyssey. In part 1 I got all revved up to do some very basic stuff, mainly removing Azur’s idea of cockpit details and thinning of some areas close to a scale thickness. Its really about getting in the right frame of mind and prepairing the proverbial blank canvas. And figuring out how the heck to build the landing gear. There are two things going on here: 1) Figuring out how to make the actual parts structurally sound enough to support the model and 2) making the gear more accurate. The second complicates the first. While some may think I am mad,…. I enjoy it (really), it’s like figureing out the solution to a puzzle. (or I’m just mad…)
So here is what I decided to make. Figure A shows the struts connection into the axel which will get connected to the bottom of the wings. Figure B shows the look I’m going for and Figure C shows the sandwich of little plastic bits that will become the axel. All of this was based on a photo from Squadron Signal # 162 Polikarpov Fighters in action, page 41. I didn’t have much to go on, so was making my best guess.

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Here are some really boring shots of the axel pattern being made… Making this stuff is basically an exercise in patience…file, drill, glue, cut, repeat. Its easy to make this stuff. Its amazing how fast a complex little doo-hickey builds up.

The half round will be the bottom of the axel for the strut. I used half round stock so I could glue it to another square section of stock. This would make it a block that I could fix into the bottom wing of the model. (The Block part is not glued on yet).

Block section glued on and hole drilled thru. I filled a “return” (the round groove on the edge) to make this look more like an axel when veiwed underneath. This part will have three functions: 1) Look like the real strut from underneath, 2) locate and align the struts and 3) be a stucturaly sound infra-stucture to support the model.

Here is the master set up to be cast. I’ve glued it to a section of quarter inch strip stock. This is how you would typically see small resin parts cast. The quarter inch section is a resavour and sprue for the resin when it gets poured. Your probably asking yourself, “why didn’t I just make two?” Well, I wanted both parts to be exactly the same; this will make it easier to put in all the alighnment blocks in the model if I know both supports are identical. Also, because its easy for me to cast stuff, I can concentrate on making one really good master, then cast it. You will also notice that the metal rod is in the part. I’ll leave this in when I pour the rubber mold.

Here is the open face mold for the part. Before the resin is poured I put the .035 rod in the mold (This is known as an insert mold). Once the resin has been poured, the part is removed from the mold and the rod (i.e., insert) is pulled out, leaving a .035 hole behind.
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This is a casting, apart and together. Beeyootifull.

Heres a test/dry fit with doublestick. Basicaly, the axel will get affixed to alignment blocks, which will be glued to the bottom wing plate. Remember, I plan to cast this aircraft, I dont want to be fiddling with the landing gear alignment on each model. I only want to figure it out once. Ok, looks like were in the ball park.
I’ve taken my trusty front view here and figured out that the struts from the frontal axis are paralell to the center line of the aircraft.

Figure A shows that the bottom of the wing is not paralell to the center line of the aircraft. If I lay the alignment blocks in there (assuming they have flat sides) the struts will be at 90 degree angles to the bottom of the wing (as shown by the solid line). I want them to be straight up and down, as shown by the dotted line. Figure B shows the angle I need to cut the alignment blocks at so that the axel and struts will be straight up and down. Finally, Figure C shows the cut parts and proper alignment.


Lets do all four alignment blocks at the same time. I will doublestick them to a plastic scrap and use a 1-2-3 block and line up one side all even-like. This way I can: 1) grind the same angle on them all at the same time and 2) (more importantly) the angle on all of them will exactly the same.


Heres the disc sander, I’ve angled the bed to the correct angle, then face the blocks off.


All cut. (Yes you are looking at a picture of four peices of plastic that I ground down at an angle).  (On the internet).

I doublestick em’ back into the model…


Looks good.


Now, lets see how close we are on the side alignment. I take a 1:1 side view and cut out a template….


Looks good. That was pure luck.


Holy batmite! Better quit for now, or it will be frying pan time. See you in part 3.