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Aerotech Supermarine S5

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Hello there,


I’m having trouble getting my head around the way the wings are represented and could do with some advice. Whilst the overall profile looks great there are a couple of features that are are a bit of a head scratcher.



The first is a pronounced raised ribbed detail that match on top and bottom of the wing surface. I can’t quite work out what this is  - All the references I have managed to gather so far do not show evidence of any such raised features, the wings appearing almost smooth and featureless - apparently they were covered in a Plywood skin on the S5. If not structural or perhaps representative of joint tapes? Could this alternatively be a representation of the cooling system, I know part of part of which ran through or across the wings? These moulded ribs are ‘boxed in’ with a similar ribbing along most of the leading and trailing edges. Any thoughts anyone?






The other thing which is quite noticable to my eye is the scale thickness of the wings along the trailing edges. Again, referring to references this area this edge appears very sharp/slim (the trailing edges of the elevators and tail plane have similar such concerns) 







This is my first resin aircraft kit so I’m not sure of the limitations of resin over long flat horizontal areas but have assumed this relative wing thickness is maybe needed to guard against the resin warping or drooping down? 



With those to two points in mind, if (and it’s a big if) I decide to reduce/remove/redo the ribbing and thin down the trailing edge to much closer to scale thickness am I going to run into any potential issues in this area? I could really do with some sage advice before I decide whether or not to set too with the sander on such an expensive kit.


Cheers, Torben

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I've been up and close to the real deal and it does not have wing surfaces with details like that. It also does not have those golf ball sized rivets on the fuse and floats.  The rivets I'd personally sand off and the wing I can't really tell if they should be filled or sanded down???


Here is a low light pic I took a few years ago that gives a good reflective look at the surface tecture



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Opps, not paying close enough attention and just looking at appearance. My pics are of S6 not S5 but I still think the surface detail on that kit is clunky.  Shouldn't be that hard to tiddy up with some sanding and filler though. Just some elbow grease. Filling the wings smooth then use a rivet wheel like Radu's offering to add the radiator holes???



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The surface details seems very coarse, I'll see if I can dig up some more details this afternoon. I have collected some drawings that are quite detailed.


The Profile Publications gives a good description of the wings and radiator system, you can find a copy of it here: https://rclibrary.co.uk/files_titles/1861/Profile_039_Supermarine_S4-S6B.pdf





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Thanks Ron, Zac and Gunnar, all really useful stuff. 


Regarding the rivets, I believe the first S5 (219) had raised rivets which were flush fitted/sanded down on the the latter two S5s and subsequent S6s - but certainly worth a little extra thinking about.


Gunnar, those plans area better than any I’ve found so far and construction descriptions in the Profile PDF link you posted are priceless! - I believe now these raised ribs are almost certainly representative of the cooling system (30g copper sheet). I’ve also found another image which shows them a little more clearly... as well as quite a bit of wear and tear on the fuselage.




Looks like I’ll be breaking out the sanding sticks at some point to take these back a bit.


Cheers again, all reference very gratefully received!




PS Anyone know the thickness of 30g Copper sheeting?

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I think 30g refers to a standard wire gauge; 30 Gauge is around 0.012 inch (twelve thou.) or 0.32mm, so very thin in 1/32( 0.001mm).


Thx Jumpjack - I thought as much. 


Further research has this as one layer of thin copper sheeting with an equally thin corrugated sheet sandwiched underneath, between which the coolant water flowed. The top sheet seems to have been screwed to the ply wing surface so that each radiator panel was removable for regular maintenance inspections.


Either way, something that would have been pretty flush and flat to the wing surface. 


After pretty much exhausting all at desk research on the S5, in particular this radiator issue and surface riveting (much of which was double rowed)  or the overlapping metal skinning...



(image posted under fare usage, I hope - if not a will remove as required)... I’ve reached the point where my inner rivet counter is pretty much in open warfare with my desire to tell a story and simply just enjoy building a cracking model. :frantic:  :BANGHEAD2:


Ho hum... it is ever thus in Torbenland... 


I’ve come to the conclusion that the only sane way forward on this occasion is to nudge, tweak and enjoy. Essentially, fix that which really, really bugs me, namely scale thickness in the trailing edges of the wings, elevators etc and the raised detail of the radiators and not get hung up on the double riveting or further nuances that I will never have full access to full reference to on this historical aircraft of which there are no survivors. I certainly see much sanity in the approach Eric G has taken with his wonderful Aerotech builds. My goodness if I can get that good I’ll surely be a happy modeller! 


Nuff said, let’s get on with some actual modelling next time...



Edited by TorbenD

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Committed now!  :blink:





...and yes those are orbital sander marks! Despite my fears over potential fragility the resin appears very robust so far.


Beyond my trusty orbital, a respirator, the great outdoors and some low winter sunshine so a could I easily see the low relief detail disappear was all that I needed. This is the first, major sanding/re-profiling, the rest will be done much more slowly by hand going down further and further into finer grades once I have the shape I want.


Although there is still a way to go, the trailing edges are already looking much finer and closer to scale thickness.







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If you are busy with your orbital sander, just keep it going on these rivets, more appropriate on a steam locomotive than on a racing thoroughbred IMHO...


Gotta say, although I have a few Marsh Models in the stash, as I like their choice of subjects, I am not really impressed by their finesse. I really expected this one to show some progress compared to the others, but it does not look like it ...



Edited by MostlyRacers

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