The Osprey folds its Wings…

I am concerned about this project, and what it does to the mind by way of obsession. I can’t think of another reason why I would choose to try to do a wing fold conversion on a biplane. But I did.

Ever since seeing photos of Hawker Ospreys of 800NAS with folded wings, I have felt obliged to build one. The process was, well, interesting. I know how I’d do it in the future if I had to, but this one didn’t turn out too badly. Anyone with any knowledge of aviation will spot mistakes straight away, but this isn’t a build for a museum so I’m going to chill out and think positive. It looks like an Osprey and the wings are folded.

Osprey_IV__DSC8804

The donor kit was the Osprey III/IV by A-Model that I have built before. The kit started as before with the fuselage taking shape. Then came the modifications.

Osprey_III_wingfold_01

First was to mark up the wings for cutting. There are clear marks where the fixed and folding portions meet up, which is helpful.

Osprey_III_wingfold_02

Once cut, the lower plane inboard sections can be fitted to the fuselage and the tension struts to the fuselage put in place.

Osprey_III_wingfold_03

Then the upper centre section can be fitted to the cabane struts above the fuselage.

Osprey_III_wingfold_04

Then the outer (folding) portions of both wings can be attached with the struts and a short length of polystyrene rod to represent the braces used in reality to support the inner edge of the upper wing.

Osprey_III_wingfold_06

After that, we can start painting. All over aluminium dope with cerrux grey on the nose metalwork and the red and blue stripes of HMS Ark Royal.

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One photo reference I found showed an Osprey of 800NAS with a red tail but with a striped panel superimposed – my guess is that this is a flight leader’s aircraft. I used the usual distressing powders and oils to make it look a little ‘lived in’. Then the big moment…

Osprey_III_wingfold_09

Joining the wings went more simply than I had anticipated, with the two sides lining up roughly the same. I just have to photograph from the right angle to hide the worst gaps… I painted the inside of the fold lines an interior green and added a small bracing rod on the lower planes – I can’t see the Admiralty allowing the wings to be unsecured completely when folded.

Osprey_III_wingfold_10

So that is the pair completed – an Osprey III with folded wings and an Osprey IV with wings out.

Next will be another modification project to replace a model i have already done, but with a new set of decals. Intrigued? then watch this space!

One thought on “The Osprey folds its Wings…

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