Actually, the Sopwith Camel gets its name because of its hump like fairing used to blend in the twin Vickers machine Guns set just in front of the cockpit. So that is a very obvious feature for any model Camel. Here’s some pix of how I developed and sheeted this important portion of the model’s profile.
As shown in a previous Build-Along posting, the Hump and cockpit section is built on a removable hatch section that is built directly on the fuselage. The shape is defined by the top formers and the support structure under the sheeting. I also cut out the sections from the forward formers so the machine guns from Williams Brothers’ will set level and clear the engine cowl later on.
I like using rare-earth magnets when ever I can to secure removable parts on a model. For the hatch cover, I used six magnets. The openings the magnets fit into were cut with a sharpened piece of brass tubing in my electric hand drill. The magnets are secured with ZAP thin and medium CA glue.
So the first section to be sheeted is easy. There’s no taper so the sheeting is simply cut to length and glued in place centered over the formers. Also note the glue strips at the edges of the base. They give the sheeting something substantial to be glued to.
The front sloped section is sheeted with three pieces of sheeting (all sheeting is 1/8-inch). I use a sheet of paper to work out the shape of the sheeting required. It is first glued to the bottom edge and then wrapped at an angle around the former and support framework.
Here the second half of the front has been sheeted.
Here you see the third center piece of the sheeting completing the job. By angling the two outer sections, it minimized the stress placed on the grain. If the sheeting was applied with the grain running straight and parallel to the model’s centerline, it will probably split when asked to form around the top curved corners of the hump. Even if water is used to dampen the sheeting. Here I applied medium to soft sheeting (dry) to the entire section.
Once all the sheeting has been glued into place, use a sanding bar to blend the hump sheeting into the Cheek Fairing sheeting. All the seams are in scale locations so will look realistic when finished with fiberglass G10 Sheeting material.
Here’s the front of the model waiting for the engine cowling. The Hump section sheeting is glued to a former on the hatch section that fits behind the top former shown here.
The fiberglass cowling from Fiberglass Specialties, (10.5 inch diameter,) fits like a glove! www.fiberglassspecialtiesinc.com
That’s it for tonight! The cockpit section of the hatch cover will be covered with thin plywood sheeting and the balsa sheeting of the hump will be finished with fiberglass cloth and Finishing Resin form ZAP. After the fiberglass has been applied the openings for the machine guns will be cut open.
Until next time, Build something!
To see the next posting in this series, click the link: https://www.modelairplanenews.com/blog/2014/08/06/workshop-build-along-sopwith-camel-part-11-working-on-the-front-end/
To see the previous posting (part 9,) click the link: https://www.modelairplanenews.com/blog/2014/07/21/workshop-build-along-sopwith-camel-part-9-gun-hump-and-cheek-fairings/