The continuation of the realization of the cockpit

After having finished (for the moment) with the seats, I go on with the details of the cockpit and in particular a series of push buttons present on a lower dashboard (see red circle)

La photo originale de l’avion de 1936. The original photo on the 1936 plane

You can see that it is equipped with an instrument indicating the oil pressure and 4 push buttons, 3 on the part just below the dashboard and one on the lowest part below the dashboard.

The push buttons are made from 1 mm aluminium tube and round cut from 1.5 mm balsa wood.

The formwork of the lower part is also made of balsa wood and plywood for the facade part supporting the oil pressure gauge. Cellulose dope is applied to all the wooden elements.

Enduit cellulosique sur les parties en bois. Cellulose dope layed on wood parts

A coat of primer to coat the pores well before painting the different elements.

Dépôt d’une couche d’enduit garnissant. Deposition of a layer of primer.

The wooden block is painted black. I cut out a metal washer to make the outline of the instrument and the front part is glued on the wooden block. This part is drilled to receive the push buttons.

The metal tubes are inserted into the rounded balsa representing the button. The button itself has been painted with silver paint.

The buttons are glued to the facade and the wooden part. The 4th button is added on the lower sloping part.

The board with the instruments as well as the part made above are glued in place in the aircraft .

Note that the photos are taken in close-up and show all the defects that are less visible to normal eyes.

Front and rear seat adjustment system

I finished the seats by reproducing the slide systems that allow the seat to be adjusted forward and backward according to the size of the pilot.

I used 2 mm brass U-profile ordered in a model railroad shop.
One of the profile is glued with epoxy glue on the underside of the seat and another one on the trunk. The adjustment has to be done with care.

In the photos below, the seats are positioned forward and backward. The fixing in position is done with a scratch glued in place in the middle of the support box and the underside of the seat.

The front seats

I continued to reproduce the seats to scale to dress my cabin.
Reproducing the front seats, seems more complex than the back seat. Fortunately in the documentary resources provided by the GPPA, I have below the photos and diagram of the seats of the full-size aircraft.

original seat documents of the Potez 58

I have reproduced to scale all the seats, backrests and frames.

Drawing of the seats to scale

To make the frame for the backrest seat, I used 3 mm aluminium tube. It’s easy to bend and shape. However, on a hollow tube, bending leaves marks and dents in the tube. Some people recommend using fine sand to fill the tube and then bend it. Personally, I filled the tubes with water after sealing them with plastic film. Then I placed them in the freezer. After 2 hours, I was able to bend them with flat pliers. You have to go fast because it thaws quickly and leave the following ones in the freezer.

Afterwards, I cut a frame out of 15/10 plywood which will be glued to the frame and the seat of the seat.

The lower seat cushions are made like the back seat. Foam is cut to the right size. I then prepared cutting patterns and cut the fabric. The coupons are sewn on the reverse side and then flipped over like the real cushions.

Afterwards, I glued the seats in place on the plywood frame.

Then I made the backrests the same way I made the seats. The foam is less thick and should not fill the whole cover. Indeed, it will be necessary to connect the cover to the seat frames. This was done by ropes on the size plane. To reproduce this rope, I used sewing thread folded in 4 strands that I came to sew on the frame.

The seat had a front-to-rear adjuster and rested on a trunk. I reproduced this trunk in plywood 10/10. So I cut out the top and sides of the trunk.

Part of the box on which the seat will be placed

The assembly is done upside down with the top placed on a metal plate and held in place with magnetic brackets.

I added the side parts by using metal brackets to wedge them at 90°. The gluing is done with Cyanoacrylate glue. Afterwards, I cut pieces of 5 x 5 balsa wood to reinforce the angles.

The seat support boxes have been painted in dark grey to imitate a metal frame and the seats are placed on top of them. I still have to make the adjustment system with small profiles and seat belts.

Potez 58: The seats

After a long period of shutdown due to COVID-19 and the confinement period, I worked again on the details of the cockpit of my Potez 58. I am fortunate to have the original documents of the seats . Thanks to Air passion (GPPA) from Angers and its vice president Alban Dury.

The cabin is equipped with 3 seats. Two seats at the front and one passenger seat at the rear. I started with the seat cushions and the choice of foam came up very quickly. I tested the soft, hard foam and even styrodur expanded polystyrene.

For the seat covers, I first tried with skaï.

The result is really not great, firstly because the skaï is too thick for the scale and secondly because me and the sewing makes 2 … Anyway, I glue and I try to fold … But it’s not great. Luckily, Madame comes by and examines my work and gives me some notions of sewing. Then she finds me a piece of thin, smooth velvet and tells me how to make the patterns. In short, I have to reproduce the sewing techniques as they could have been done at the time on the cushions.

As you can see on the pictures above, there were many patterns and followed long evenings of sewing on the wrong side to turn the piece inside out and reproduce the seam on the top as on the real one.

Never has a plane part caused me so much pain. Below are the seat cushions. They’re not as good as I would have liked, but I don’t see how I can do better.

Then I started a trunk that will fit under the rear passenger seat. It’s made with a 15/10 PTC and I used a metal worktop and magnets as a square.

Then I put the pedestal, seat, armrest and backrest on the plane. Everything is put down without gluing and adjusting to see how it looks.

I still have a lot of work to do on the front seats, which are much more complicated with the sliding and replicating system for folding the backrest.

Ignition, the magneto

And yes, the magneto which allows ignition when starting the engine on large aircraft is not yet reproduced on the dashboard. It is located on the far left; the number 1 on the photo below and you can see that it is missing on my reproduction.

below is an enlarged photo of the instrument of the 30’s period

It should be 6 mm in diameter. To start, I cut a 6 mm thick aluminum tube which I filled with balsa glued in the tube and a 7 mm washer to make the base.

The whole is sanded and presented on the scale board. Likewise, the magneto contact is printed on the right scale.

It remains to stick the washer, the tube filled with balsa and the image of the ignition.

The handle of the contactor is made in a piece of ABS of 5 mm long which is painted in silver color before being glued.The rivets are made with white glue and I used a carbon rod dipped in paint to paint them as precisely as possible

How I reproduced the rivets on the dashboard

The dashboard is not yet finished. It lacks a lot of details and in particular the rivets fixing instrument and those allowing to fix the board on the chassis in the cockpit.

So I started laying the rivets with a drop of white glue diluted slightly in water. Here is the result below as soon as the glue is applied and once dry

It is now a matter of painting them in metallic color to look like the real ones. To do this, I took metallic spray paint which I put in a glass container. Another is filled with white spirit to correct errors and clean up; The rivets are painted with a fine 0.8 mm carbon rod just dipped in paint and deposited on the rivets without shaking. In case of error or bad deposit, I used a fine forceps at the end of a cloth dipped in white spirit and I was able to clean.

Below is the dashboard next to the image of full scale cockpit image . There are of course instruments to be made, the magneto on the left and the one on the right that I do not know. If you know what it is, tell me, it will be super useful for me. Thanks.

Dashboard instruments

I used the rare photos of the full-size aircraft from 1935 to model the locations of the instruments in the dashboard.

Subsequently, my friend Alban Dury from the Angers GPPA helped me a lot by identifying the instruments. Here is his verdict.

1: Magneto contact graduated in 0, 1, 2 1 + 2 meaning Off, contact on magneto 1, contact on magneto 2, contact on both magnets

2 : engine tachometer.

3 : Low speed anemometer (graduated in km / h and called landing anemometer). Presumably from the Badin or Aéra brand.

4 :High speed anemometer (graduated in km / h and called cruise anemometer). Presumably from the Badin or Aéra brand.

5: Altimeter (graduated in hectometers)

.6: oil temperature.

7 : Oil pressure gauge

In addition, Alban had some of these instruments at the museum so he made me pictures that I could use to insert them into the dashboard.

A bit of work in Photoshop and some of the instruments are positioned on the board.

Do not hesitate to tell me if I made a mistake or if the instrument is not ad hoc …

The aircraft dashboard

Let’s start equipping the cockpit with the dashboard structure. I am inspired by the 2 rare photos of it. I used layer to trace the shape of the table before to cut it in 2 mm (0564 In) balsa.

Once the shape determined and cut, I added sticks of hardwood and a wood piece, which will be glued on the front wall of the cabin. Of course, I paid attention to take the dimensions and adjust to position it correctly.

Bonding on the front of the cabin with hot glue

Implementation of the first details. The top which will be varnished to reproduce the wood look of the original

The glove box to the right of the dashboard

The left part of the dashboard with a device unknown by me, but which I reproduced

I like how it looks like

The cockpit

Any scale airplane model must have its cockpit reproduced. The problem with the Potez 58 is that the full-size aircraft no longer exists and that documentation is scarce. However, thanks to the Paris Air and Space Museum and our friends from the Angers GPPA thanks to whom I still had some documents.

Below, the appearance of the interior of the model under construction before any work on the cabin.

The first step was to cut the walls of the passenger and pilot cabin from 2 mm (0.08 In) balsa wood.

After many adjustments, the rear flanks are installed in the fuselage.

Then, still in 2 mm balsa (0.08 In), I added a floor with a cutout on the location of the servos.

Then I cut out of the foam a few templates representing the seats to position them and check their location and size.

ça prend forme…..

Finally, I see it, excited and happy

Yes, finally, I see it. After almost 10 years of imagining it, I can finally see it. A provisional cross, but which allows me to imagine the final version. I still have a lot of work, but finally I see it. Really excited and happy

Quelques photos de l’avion seul.