HISTORICAL MINIATURES BY GEORGE GRASSE
WORLD WAR 1 AIRCRAFT IN 1:48 SCALE

 

Rumpler C.Ia (Han) C.4739/16, FA 24s, Galicia July 1917

by George Grasse

PLANET MODELS 1:48 SCALE RESIN KIT PM0145 MODIFIED TO THE RUMPLER C.Ia (Han)

This kit will will be modified to represent a Rumpler C.Ia (Han) built by Hannoversche Waggonfabrik A.G., Hannover-Linden.  There are three major outward differences between the Rumpler-built version and the Hannover-built version: 1) The Rumpler-built version had several engines chiefly the Mercedes D.III 160 hp or the Benz Bz.III 150 hp, among others.  The Hannover-built version used the Argus As.III 180 hp engine which is significantly different when viewed from the side.  It has six cylinders but they are paired as opposed to a evenly spaced cylinder arrangement; 2), the use of the Argus As.III  caused the forward fixed Spandau machine gun to be moved from the left side of the engine to the right side because twin carburetors protruded far to the outside; 3) the observers cockpit was raised to incorporate a larger diameter run ring that provided for more room and allowed the Parabellum machine gun to be manned in much less cramped quarters.  
 
 
UNDER CONSTRUCTION PHOTO #1
7 December 2009

JUST GETTING STARTED.  Fuselage halves starting to get "loaded" up with interior detail.  The engine underwent major conversion to an Argus As.III which powered all Hannover-built C.Ia aircraft (hence the "a" for Argus appended to the designation "C.I" as in Rumpler C.Ia (Han) C.4739/16.  The kit was lacking in cockpit detail, among many other things which I will document as the build goes on.  To enhance this model, I used Windsock Datafile 79 drawings by Ian R. Stair and Copper State Models drawings by Martin Digmayer from their kit of the Rumpler C.I.  The engine cylinder block was cut off and the cylinders were grouped into pairs.  I made the valve push rods from .012 piano wire, the valve springs from copper fuse wire, and the rocker arms from a softer metal.  For reference, I used WW1 Aero No. 104 which had a nice multi view German drawing of the Argus As.III engine.  See the bibliography.

 
 
UNDER CONSTRUCTION PHOTO #2
24 December 2009
FUSELAGE HALVES WITH THE ENGINE AND COCKPIT SUB-ASSEMBLIES INSTALLED AND THE MODIFICATION TO THE OBSERVER'S COCKPIT COMPLETED.   Basically, the kit's inner observer's "shelf" was trimmed back and a strip of thin copper was rolled into a circle and glued into place after a couple of trial fittings.  This forms a sort of "tub" and rests on the remaining edge of the "shelf".  I then added Model Master "Red Putty" to fill in the gaps and shape the slight "hump" of the Hannover-style rear cockpit.  This putty dries to a workable finish in about one hour and I was able to sand and do a little more touch up work to complete the modification.  I also took time to putty up the underside fuselage joints.  When all of the dried thoroughly, I "painted" the putty surface with my special mixture of liquid plastic.
 
 
UNDER CONSTRUCTION PHOTO #3a and 3b
26 December 2009
TWO VIEWS OF THE COMPLETED TAIL UNIT.  The bracing struts are cut-to-length brass rod.  The tips are trimmed and bent just enough to provide support and disappear into the slightly enlarged pre-drilled holes.  The control horns are from the 1:48 scale Eduard PE sheet and have their holes slightly enlarged to ease the .005 monofilament thread which will be added after the tail unit is painted.   The tailskid is a piece of Strutz rod bent to shape and will receive a dollop of 5-minute epoxy to simulate the steel shoe at the tip.  Holes in the uppersurface of the horizontal stabilizer correspond to the underside bracing struts and they will be filled, sanded, and painted over.
 
 
UNDER CONSTRUCTION PHOTOS #4a and 4b
27 December 2009
THE OBSERVER'S COCKPIT MODIFICATION IS JUST ABOUT COMPLETED.  The gun rail is .020 solder super glued to the top of the primed copper circular "tub".  A piece of brass tubing serves as the Parabellum gun mount.  Later, a butt cradle for the Parabellum will be added (it was used to stabilize the gun during landing and takeoff).  Note also the beginning work on the Spandau right-handed mount just in front of the pilot's cockpit.  The process is to cut and fit until the Spandau is properly recessed.  If too much of the cut-out is exposed after the gun is set in place, I will add a muzzle blast tray if necessary.  I think the gun will hide the gap.
 
 
UNDER CONSTRUCTION PHOTO #5
27 December 2009
 LOWER WINGS ATTACHED SIDE VIEW.
 
 
UNDER CONSTRUCTION PHOTO #6
29 December 2009
 LANDING GEAR ATTACHED.  The underside engine access panel with the sump drain outlet was made from sheet lead, drilled, into which a small piece of plastic tubing was inserted.  The landing gear struts are bent from one piece of flattened brass rod.  The axle is cut to length and super glued into the apex and then bound with a couple of twists of fine copper fuse wire.  The wire will be hidden when the bungee cord shock absorbers are wound into place.  Note the lower wing reinforcing pins visible throught the thin resin wings.  Attaching the lower wings is one of three critical steps to final wing attachment.  This step is always difficult because the lower wings have to line up (or your wing struts won't align).  Also, the angle of incidence has to be nearly perfect (or some of the struts will end up being too short or too long).  Study the drawings carefully and make sure the leading edges line up.  This is a good time to note that resin wings are notoriously out of shape, some call them "droopy" especially at the wing tips.  To correct for this, dip each wing component in a bowl of scalding hot water, say, for two minutes all the while keeping pressure on the wing tip so it will start to bend.  Pull it out of the water and manually hold the tip in an aligned position until the heat dissipates.  Repeat until the wing is straightened.  
 
 
 
UNDER CONSTRUCTION PHOTO #7
29 December 2009
 OVERALL VIEW TO DATE.
 
  
 
UNDER CONSTRUCTION PHOTO #8
5 January 2010
 ARMAMENT.  This close-up view shows the Karaya Parabellum Observer's gun and the Eduard Spandau pilot's gun in place.  So far, I think these are the best two examples of these types available in the after-market.   Faintly seen of the near the left wingtip is the aileron plate just aft of the rear outboard strut location; two aileron wires from the top wing will connect to the plate.  Note the wing walk (one on the port side also).  These were leftover PE radiator covers from the Copper State Models AEG C.IV kit.  Barely visible are several fuselage turnbuckles for rigging and one at the nose for a drag wire.   
 
  
 
UNDER CONSTRUCTION PHOTOS #9a - 9d
5 January 2010
9a 9b 9c 9d
BASE COAT IS ANDREA OCHRE LAMINATIONS ARE ANDREA DARK BROWN DARK AND LIGHT COLORED PENCILS APPLIED AND RUBBED IN COPPER STATE BOSS AND HAND-PAINTED RESCHKE DECAL ADDED
 
 
 
UNDER CONSTRUCTION PHOTO #10
9 January 2010
 LANDING GEAR DETAIL.  Note the turnbuckles in position for rigging.  There are two at the top of the rear landing gear struts.  I used Eduard's EU4406 PE sheet instead of making my own by twisting copper fuse wire.
 
 
UNDER CONSTRUCTION PHOTO #11
29 January 2010
 CAMOUFLAGE FINISH OF DARK OLIVE GREEN AND RED-BROWN.  The top wing has all of the .005 dark gray monofilament thread for rigging glued in place on the wing's underside.  Before painting, all of the rigging, strut, and aileron holes were drilled.  After the final coat of camouflage paint was applied, the holes were checked and re-opened as necessary.  Aside from a few fuselage details around the cockpits, the aircraft model is just about ready to have the upper wing installed.
 
  
 
UNDER CONSTRUCTION PHOTO #12
5 February 2010
THE CABANE "TRESTLE" AND A FEW DETAILS.  I made two sets of cabane "trestle" sub-assemblies.  Each set was was made from Griffin Models 1mm brass tubing.  One set was soldered and one set was bent into shape.  Each set is composed of two halves: left and right.  Each half has "fillets" added that are super glued in place, puttied, sanded, and primed.  Additionally, the cabane "trestle" halves are fitted by adjusting the length of each strut so that each half comes together evenly at the right height.  This step, next to the fitting of the lower wing, is crucial.  I always choose a metal cabane strut unit made from brass.  I do not use the kit's resin or plastic struts: they simply do not support the wing properly being too delicate.  I choose the bent version for its continuous and uniform strength.  The ends of each tube was fitted with a length of smaller diameter piano wire to serve as anchors when glued into each strut hole.  

Other items added at this stage were the Eisernes Kreuzen on the fuselage and rudder, rigging of the tail unit control wires, metal shoe to the end of the tailskid, landing gear rigging, datum line (this is too thick and there should be another on the starboard side), Hhenmesser (altimeter) hanging between the two front cabane struts, Drehzahlmesser (translated as revolution counter, tachometer, or RPM gauge) just inside the pilot's windscreen, leather coaming around the observer's cockpit (the gun ring is just visible), and the compass housing which contains an Eduard PE pre-painted gauge and is just visible over the edge of the left inner wing.

 
  
 
UNDER CONSTRUCTION PHOTO #13
7 February 2010
 TOP WING ATTACHMENT AND RIGGING:  This unflattering view shows the top wing in position with all of the struts attached.  Tamiya tape is used to gather up the monofilament thread and keep them away from the strut holes while the wing sets up.  The two clips are holding two rigging wires while they dry (normally, the aircraft is right-side up and suspended between two firm supports so the clips are dangling, pulling the rigging wire taut until the glue sets.  
 
  
 
UNDER CONSTRUCTION PHOTO #14
7 February 2010
 FINISHED.  For additional construction details, history, and photos, visit my Historical Miniatures Journal #7, February 2010
 
  
 
This 1:48 scale model is based on two photos appearing in The Imperial Russian Air Service by Alan Durkota, Thomas Darcey, and Victor Kulikov, pages 47 and 66, taken by a Russian cameraman showing the Rumpler C.Ia C.4739 of FA 24s after it crash-landed near Tsmenitzi, Rumania, on 20 June 1917, from damage inflicted by two Russian Nieuport 17 fighters of the Russian 19th Corps Fighter Detachment flown by Argeyev and Kozakov.  The crew were injured and became POWs: Uffz Bolweg (P) & Ltn d R Deter (O) per Casualties of the German Air Service 1914-1920, page 348, listed under 18 June 1917 at or near the village of Miklulince.  This model will be featured in my online February 2010 issue of Historical Miniatures Journal.

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Additional after-market kits used in the creation of this model:
 
    Copper State CS0105 Prop Bosses
    Eduard EU4327 Spandau Machine Guns
    Eduard EU4406 Turnbuckles & Control Horns
    Griffon Models GMBH03 Brass Tube .8 mm OD, .3 mm ID
    Karaya KAR405 Parabellum Machine Guns
    Aeroclub ACS002 Strutz Flattened Brass Rod

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Bibliography:

Durkota, Alan, Thomas Darcey, and Victor Kulikov.  The Imperial Russian Air Service: Famous Pilots and Aircraft of World War I.  Mountain View, CA: Flying Machines Press, 1995.

Franks, Norman, Frank Bailey, and Rick Duiven.  Casualties of the German Air Service 1914-1920.  London: Grub Street, 1999.

Grosz, P. M. Rumpler C.I, Windsock Datafile 79, "Fabric - colours and markings" section by Ray Rimmel, color profiles by Ray Rimmel, scale drawings by Ian R. Stair, Albatros Publications Ltd, Berkhamsted, UK, 2000.  Excellent for details from a number of other Rumpler C.I and C.Ia aircraft; basic cockpit layout on pages 32; nice cutaway on page 36; another three-view cutaway on page 20.

World War 1 Aero, The Journal of the Early Aeroplane, No. 104, April 1985.  Pertinent engine material came from page 42, Argus-Flugmotor Type As.III, 170 PS. 

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Copyright by George Grasse