1/16th Jenny Canuck

Memories of Flight School

by John Reid

Part 1

Here are four pics of the Jenny Canuck R/H upper wing that I have just finished. It still needs to be sanded and lacqured but I will do this when all four wings are completed. Topside of wing inboard and outboard and bottom side of wing inboard and outboard. I have a chase car 75% completed (the kind they used for the car-to-plane tranfer stunt). This latest in-progress diorama will be titled MEMORIES OF FLIGHT SCHOOL .It will depict an old Jenny Canuck in the mid-1920s being converted into a barnstormer. There will be a group of WW1 pilots dressed up in their old military uniforms after the Armistic Day parade somewhere in Canada, discussing their memories of training on the Jenny.

Here is a list of changes that I have discovered in order to change the Jn4c to the Canuck version. I will not go into a lot of detail, the purpose is to point out areas of concern that may interest the modeler. The canuck has (1) no down thrust engine (2) different rudder, elevator, and horizontal stab. shape (3) Double ailerons (4) interwing aileron struts (5) rear cockpit cowl shape (6) Dep type landing gear (7) metal tail units (8) Short straight exhaust & short straight collector (9) Prop 9 foot Flottorp (10) wing stagger (11) pointed trailing tips on all wings (12) center section straight trailing edge (13) lower wing trailing edge is straight (flush to the body) (14) changes in braces and wires on kingposts (15) position of rear cockpit windscreen (16) Horizontal stab braces (17) different tailskid at tip (18) RAF experimental airfoil.

This is what I have discovered so far. Also keep in mind that some changes such as wing stagger can cause other changes to the fuselage etc..This list is only meant as a guide. I will be doing a multipart article on this built and will post more info from time-to-time in the in-progress section of this website. Cheers!

Part 2

Please note that I am in no way connected with the Model Expo Company although I have given them permission to use some of my Albatros Diorama pictures on their website. All kits are courtesy of my pocket book and I am only writing this series of articles as a source of information for my fellow modelers. Also please note that the following text presumes that you already have the Model Expo instruction booklet and plans for the JN4c Jenny. I will only point out those areas where my build of the Canuck version differs from the JN4c.

The airplane kit:

Although it is quite expensive to purchase, this kit is of superior quality compared to this company's previous two subjects, the Albatros DVA and the Nieuport 28.The metal castings are now of a much better quality and are composed of a much stronger material with little or no deburring required .As far as the fit of the various metal parts I will have to leave that to a future article in this series as I am just now completing the lower wings. The wood and laser cut parts are of their usual high standard and the plans and instruction booklet are clearly written and should not be a problem for the experience builder.

Because this build will be the Canuck version of this aircraft I have had to make a number of modifications to the drawings. (Please see the list of modifications in part1)

The car kit:

The car kit is a 1/16th scale Minicraft Mercedes Benz no.11218. I have highly modified this kit to look somewhat like a picture that I discovered in the Time-Life book" Barnstormers and Speedkings".To date it is about 75% completed.I will send in detailed pictures when it is finished.

The figure kits:

These kits are all Model CellerWW1 airmen kits and not a mixture of Tamiya WW1 and modified WW2 kits as I have used before in the Albatros DVA and Nieuport 28 dioramas I find that the Model Celler heads are slightly larger and therefore look best as a group. I do not foresee a lot of modifying of these figures, as their various poses are relaxed and interesting as they are modeled. The figures will be of anonymous Canadian and American airmen of the era in order to fit into the dioramas storyline. I will however modify the Baron von Richthofen figure to become a Barnstormer of the 1920's

The hangar:

I have worked out the basic floor plan and established where the aircraft, chase car and figures will be placed. Before I attempt to build it in wood I will construct a model of the hangar in foam board and decide on the placement of windows, doors, hangar fixtures and furniture etc…..The hangar will be of the style of the era and will be cut away to reveal the interior. Some parts will be realistic and other parts left to the imagination. Everything will be protected with plexiglass. This part of the build I will save for the nice summer days in my back yard.

Starting The Build

The upper and lowers wings:

To date I have completed the upper wings without ailerons. These will be built separately. The lower wing drawings have been modified to reflect the numerous changes that were listed in part 1 of this series. One of the lower wings is now finished and it is just a shorter version of the top wing. It is therefore actually easier to build than the JN4c as there are no cutouts along the trailing edge and the wing tips require no bending of the wood.

All four wings of the Canuck are basically the same. The wing ribs supplied in the kit are already laser cut on plywood sheets (thank God!!!).I would suggest that before you break the ribs free that you stain and seal them while they are still attached to the board. I used a tan prismacolor permanent marker for staining and then spray lacquered the entire surface. Don't worry about the rib edges, as they will be sealed with glue when installing the cap strips. Staining at this time also insures that there will be no ugly glue marks on the wood surface.

I would also suggest that you glue down as many of the rib stiffeners that you can while the ribs are still attached to the board. These ribs are mostly lined up one under the other on the board, so to save myself from having to deal with tiny pieces of wood I simply glued down one continuous strip of wood and then cut the stiffeners to their proper length. Then, I freed the ribs from the board.

I had no problems with setting up the wing jigs. The only thing that I would caution you about is to make sure that you prefit all the parts together and not assume that the laser cut everything 100% correctly. Generally some areas need only slight sanding or filing.

When assembling the wings you will notice there are very small dowel stringers that run the entire length of the wing both top and bottom. The instruction booklet gives you two options here, of either gluing or not gluing down the under-wing stringers at this time. I choose not to glue them as I wanted to build up the wings drag and anti-drag wires using real wire and not use string as the kit suggest. I wanted to leave myself lots of room to work on these wires located between the ribs without the small fragile dowels getting in the way. The kit supplies the material for this small doweling as a square piece of wood. I carefully rounded the edges and at this scale it looks like small dowel.

If you decide to use the kit supply silver coloured string for the drag and anti-drag wires that would be fine too, as these wires on the real aircraft were actually wire cable. A friend of mine told me that he did just that and then soaked them with very thin CA glue to avoid any sagging.

I used beading wire and made my own turnbuckles out of wire eyelets and the plastic coating from telephone wire which I painted brass and silver. After all the rigging was complete, I then glued down all three stringers and the wings wire trailing edge.

I then began work on the wings leading edge plywood covers. These covers are on the top of the wing only. I would suggest that you not use the kit supplied plywood for this because if you have to sand it you may sand away the top layer of wood and leave an ugly looking stain mark where the plywood's glue shows through. I bought some thin paper backed maple veneer for this and it looks fine even after sanding,

I next installed the ribs cap strips and release the wing from the jig. I had originally planned to fabric cover parts of this aircraft including the wings. But after giving it a lot of thought and carefully looking at the pictures of my previous two dioramas. I decided that the strength of what I do is in the openness of the airplanes structure that allows for a lot of depth in the diorama .I also like the interesting lines and designs of the aircraft's open structure, so why cover it with fabric? Till next time, cheers!

Part 3

John Reid 2004