HISTORICAL MINIATURES BY GEORGE GRASSE
SWISS AIR FORCE 1930s 1:48 SCALE

BÜCKER BÜ.133c "JUNGMEISTER" Nr. U-61 SWISS AIR FORCE 1937

by George Grasse

HERITAGE AVIATION 1:48 SCALE RESIN KIT HA4003 OF THE BÜCKER Bü.133c "JUNGMEISTER" Nr. U-61

 
BÜCKER BÜ.133c "JUNGMEISTER" Nr. U-61 MUSEUM PHOTO
This is the preserved Bücker Bü.133 "Jungmeister" number U-61 suspended from the ceiling of the Dübendorf Museum.  It is the basis for the model to be produced in this article.
 
 
 
 
BÜCKER BÜ.133c "JUNGMEISTER" Nr. U-61 3-VIEW
This three-view drawing was taken from Die Flugzeuge der schweizerischen Fliegertruppe seit 1914 (Aircraft of the Swiss Air Force Since 1914).  The Bücker Bü.133 is quite small having a wingspan of 6.60 meters, a length of 6.02 meters, and stands 2.35 meters high.  It was designed in Germany and intended as an advanced single-seat aerobatic trainer based on the earlier two-seater Bücker Bü.131 "Jungmann". 
 
 
 
UNDER CONSTRUCTION PHOTO #1
10 Sep 2012
MAIN STRUCTURES: The kit is resin except for white metal components.  Not shown are the wing struts, cabane struts, and landing gear struts which are to be replaced with brass.  The cockpit has been detailed and is covered for spray priming.  
 
 
 
UNDER CONSTRUCTION PHOTO #2
10 Sep 2012
BARE FUSELAGE:  This side view shows the poor fit of the lower wing which protrudes from the fuselage at the back, is flush at the front, but there are large gaps all around the wing root.  Before primer spraying, the lower wing will have to be trimmed and filled with putty.  Also, the tail needs small diameter supporting brass wire struts.  More than likely, the landing gear will be fabricated and attached to the fuselage.
 
 
 
UNDER CONSTRUCTION PHOTO #3
29 Sep 2012
 
LANDING GEAR:  The kit's landing gear is composed of three white metal parts: struts, wheels with fenders, and a central reinforcing strut (better shown in the next photo).  Two brass pins were positioned at the top of each landing gear strut.    The bottom of each strut had a small hole drilled out and a .012 piece of piano wire representing the wheel axle was bent at a 90 degree angle and glued.  Two corresponding holes for each landing gear strut were drilled into the bottom of the fuselage and the struts were glued in place.  The wheels were glued to the piano wire axle.  Note addition of the tail wheel.
 
 
 
UNDER CONSTRUCTION PHOTO #4
29 Sep 2012
LANDING GEAR CONTINUED:  This view shows the landing gear's central strut white metal part in the form of an "X".  Small holes were drilled at the forward bottom edge of the wing root and the structure was glued in place.  The brass parts on the wheels and fender supports made from Strutz material. 
 
 
 
UNDER CONSTRUCTION PHOTO #5
29 Sep 2012
 
WING STRUTS:  At this point in construction, the issue of the main wing struts had to be addressed.  As usual, I am not willing to use kit struts simply because they are too flimsy to support the upper wing especially during shipment.  Unfortunately, the kits wings do not have location markings for struts and rigging.  I used drawings and photos in Bücker Bü.131 "Jungmeister", Flugzeug Profile Nr. 29 to mark these locations on the upper surface of the top wing and under surface of the bottom wing. 1  I drilled out the main wing strut locations with a #56 twist drill.  The kit's wing struts were used as a template to make brass struts from my dwindling supply of Strutz material.  The ends were tapered to go deep into the wings for a secure fit.  Corresponding holes were drilled into the under surface of the top wing and, to be sure of gap and alignment, the top wing was positioned.  The rear struts had to be trimmed a bit for wing alignment.
 
 
 
UNDER CONSTRUCTION PHOTO #6
29 Sep 2012
TAIL UNIT DETAILS:  Study of photos of the actual U-61 in the Swiss museum reveals a number of tail unit details not supplied in the kit or cast on any of its tail unit parts.  The bracing wires were made from .009 piano wire.  The elevator cranks on the underside of the horizontal stabilizer were made from brass rod.  Both the elevator crank rods and rudder control rods were also made from brass rod.

Also of note in this photo is the addition of a supporting rod from the underside of the fuselage near the rear of the left landing gear to the center of the landing gear support structure.  This somewhat odd arrangement shows up in museum and vintage photos.2  There may be a corresponding wire brace opposite but more research is needed.  Note the filling and sanding where the bottom wing joins the fuselage.  The forward join was not quite as bad but the rear needed quite a bit of "putty floating" and fine sanding. 
 
 
 
UNDER CONSTRUCTION PHOTO #7
30 Sep 2012
FUSELAGE DETAILS:  Just a few items to enhance the otherwise plain resin casting.  The hole at the front of the fuselage is the carburetor air intake.  Next to it is an elongated piece of photo-etch material representing the cooling louvre.  Above, in white plastic, in an access panel.  Rivet holes have been drilled out just a bit.   
 
 
UNDER CONSTRUCTION PHOTO #8
3 Oct 2012
PAINTING OVERVIEW:  Yellows are difficult to cover in two applications but the secret is the base coat.  I sprayed two coats of light sand as the base.  Almost any sand color will do other than one that is dark or approaching light brown.  The two sprays that I often use are either Model Master 1963 Desert Sand (FS33722) or Tamiya Color TS-46 Light Sand, usually in two coats. 
The final color is Tamiya Color TS-34 Camel Yellow applied in two coats.  This final coat is a close approximation to U. S. Army/Navy #4 which was used on Swiss training aircraft.  For touch-up painting with a brush, I use Misterkit MKPUS17 Orange Yellow ANA614.  (Note that the top wing is not secured to the struts at this time).
 
 
UNDER CONSTRUCTION PHOTO #8a and 8b
3 Oct 2012
MORE OVERALL PAINTING PHOTOS
 
 
 
UNDER CONSTRUCTION PHOTO #9
13 October 2012
FUSELAGE PAINTING DETAILS:  Landing gear wheels are painted with my mix of Vallejo German Grey-Green, a World War I shade that evolved into RLM-02.  The tires are painted with Vallejo VC0995 German Grey.  The "V" near the tail represents the zippered access to the tail control lines and tail wheel.  Each German Grey "zipper" opens from the bottom to the top and the triangular flap is pulled up for inspection.  The rudder has a coat of Vallejo VC0947 Red.  Note that the panel lines at the front of the fuselage have been enhanced with my mix of brown-black liner.
  
 
UNDER CONSTRUCTION PHOTO #10
4 November 2012
SWISS INSIGNIA DECALS: The top wing, bottom wing, and rudder panels were masked off with Tamiya 6mm Masking Tape.  The panels were hand-painted twice with thinned Vallejo VC0947 red;  when dry, they were over-sprayed with poly satin.  The white crosses are decals made from white decal paper printed on my laser jet.  The images I use had a red surround but these are cut away so only the white cross remains.  The decal is applied in the usual water soaking method.  However, the surface sticks to any material used to pat the decal down to press out excess water.  I carefully absorbed as much water as I could by osmosis, e.g., placing the cloth adjacent to the decal but not on it.  The decals were left to dry on their own for 24 hours.  I then oversprayed with poly satin.  Because the white of the decal is somewhat translucent, I painted over them using a hand-painted, watered-down, one-coat application of Vallejo VC0951 Flat White.  Painting directly over the decal without the poly satin "shield" causes the decal to react with the paint and crackle.
  
 
UNDER CONSTRUCTION PHOTO #11
8 May 2014
TOP WING RE-SET:  After a long hiatus of over one year, I resumed work on this model.  The cause of the abandonment in November 2012 was the high setting of the top wing.  To correct this I removed the wing, rigging, and struts and started over.  The interplane struts were cut down and glued in place.  The top wing was fitted onto the struts to make sure the gap was correct. 

The rigging was completely revised as to method.  Instead of using Eduard turnbuckles and tying off each stretch of rigging, I opted for the "through the wing" technique.  This avoids tying as the monofilament thread is glued to the underside of the top wing first then, after the wing is glued in place, the thread is pulled through pre-frilled holes, held in place with clips, super glued in place, and, when dry, the excess is cut off.  The only exception was the rigging between the cabane struts.  Here, the procedure was reversed with the cut-off of the excess being made on the uppersurface of the top wing.  The last step was the application of modest amounts of putty to cover the rigging thread exit holes and then light sanding and repainting.

In the photo above, you can see the putty on the top wing and scrapings of paint on some of the struts when they were resized.  The underwing Swiss white crosses have not be applied yet.
  

COMPLETED MODEL PHOTO GALLERY 
 
  
 
------------------------------------------   FINIS  --------------------------------------------
 
 
Additional after-market parts used in the creation of this model:
 
    Strutz flattened brass
    K & S brass tube and rod
    Micro-Mark white decal paper
    Griffon Models GMBH04 .72mm ID x 1.00mm OD
 

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FOOTNOTES

1 Konig, Erwin.  Bücker Bü.131 "Jungmeister", Flugzeug Profile Nr. 29, center fold plan view of "LG+O2" and photos of Swiss aircraft pp. 34-37.

2 Dübendorf Museum.  Click here to see more images. 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Konig, Erwin.  Bücker Bü.131 "Jungmeister", Flugzeug Profile Nr. 29.  Illertissen: Flugzeug Publikations GmbH.

Urech, Jakob (editor) and Emil Hunziker (drawings).  Die Flugzeuge der schweizerischen Fliegertruppe seit 1914 (Swiss Air Force Aircraft since 1914).  Stäfa:  Verlag Th. Gut & Co., 1975.

 

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