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.

Potez 58 : Les sièges

Après une longue période d’arrêt due au COVID-19 et à la période de confinement, je’ai recommencé à travailler les détails de la cabine de pilotage de mon Potez 58. J’ai la chance d’avoir les documents originaux des sièges. Merci à Air passion (GPPA) d’Angers et à son vice président Alban Dury.

La cabine est équipée de 3 sièges. Deux sièges à l’avant et un siège passager à l’arrière. J’ai commencé par les assises et le choix de la mousse s’est posé très rapidement. J’ai testé la mousse tendre, dure et même le styrodur.

Pour le revêtement, j’ai tout d’abord essayé avec du skai.

Le résultat n’est vraiment pas terrible, d’une part parce que le skaï est trop épais pour l’échelle et d’autre part parce que moi et la couture, ça fait 2…. Bref, je colle et j’essaie de plier … Mais ce n’est pas top. Heureusement, Madame passe par là examine mon travail et me donne quelques notions de coutures. Puis elle me trouve un morceau de velours fin et lisse et m’indique comment faire les patrons. Bref il faut reproduire les techniques de couture comme elles auraient pu être faites à l’époque sur les coussins.

Comme vous pouvez le voir sur les photos ci-dessus, il y avait de nombreux patrons et s’en est suivi de longues soirées de couture sur l’envers pour retourner la pièce et reproduire la couture sur le haut comme sur le vrai.

Jamais une pièce ne m’aura autant fait souffrir. Ci-dessous les coussins d’assise. Ils ne sont pas aussi top que ce que j’aurai souhaiter, mais je ne vois pas comment je pourrai mieux faire.

Par la suite, j’ai commencé un coffre qui viendra dessous le siège passager arrière. Il est fait avec un CTP 15/10 et j’utilise un plan de travail métallique et des aimants comme équerre.

Puis j’ai mis le socle, le siège, l’accoudoir et le dossier dans l’avion. Tout est posé sans collage et ajustement pour voir ce que ça donne.

Il reste beaucoup de travail sur les sièges avant bien plus compliqués avec le système de glissière et de reproduction du système pour rabattre le dossier.

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

Le tableau de bord

Commençons l’équipement de la cabine de pilotage par la structure du tableau de bord. Je m’inspire des 2 rares photos de celui-ci. J’utilise du calque pour tracer la forme du tableau avant que je découpe dans du balsa de 2 mm.

Une fois la forme déterminée et découpée, j’ai rajouté des baguettes de bois dur et un fond qui seront collés sur la paroi de devant de la cabine. Bien sûr, bien prendre les cottes et ajuster pour le positionner correctement.

Collage sur le devant de la cabine à la colle chaude

Mise en place des premiers détails. Le dessus qui sera verni pour reproduire l’aspect bois de l’original

La boîte à gant à droite de la planche de bord

La partie gauche de la planche de bord avec un dispositif inconnu par moi, mais que j’ai reproduit

L’ensemble prend forme.

The engine cover continued

I continued working on my engine hood with the closing system. To do this, I took the piano hinge to which, I removed the axle and I blew up a few passafe links from the axle so that I could put hooks.

Each half hinge is glued to the parts to be closed with epoxy glue

Then I used a thin piano wire to make a closure system.

Below the photo of the full-size aircraft to view the details to be reproduced

You can clearly see the rivets, a line of sheet metal above the hinge. So I started by drawing the sheet lines with a sharp tool to dig the surface. This line is visible at the arrow on the image below

Once all the lines had been drawn, I applied 2 coats of filler

The same open hood…

Reproduce the engine cover

After finishing the doors, I start the mockup details of the front part of the Potez 58. Below is an enlarged photo of the front part with the engine access hatches behind the hood.

We can clearly see that it is a metal sheet which covers the formwork part of the fuselage. I first drew lines on the fuselage of my model, where the details to be reproduced should be.

I could have been content to make them with lines of structures on the nose, but it would be too far from reality. So I « undressed » the nose of the fuselage.

To reproduce the cover, I used 4/10 plywood and the 7 mm piano hinge. I assembled the various elements with epoxy.

Then bonding on the nose of the fuselage.

I then did the same thing on the other side …

I’m happy with the result. My doors open and will allow me access to different elements, such as the candle heating battery. On the full-size plane, the hood was fully hinged to the bottom, but for the model, I glued the lower part.

It remains to reproduce all the details such as the rivets and the closure system.

Fuselage covering

I started finishing the fuselage in September.
I used a 25 g per square meter of glass fiber bonded to the nitrocellulose coating.
The fuselage is sanded to rectify as much as possible all the defects which have been corrected beforehand with light balsa coating.
Everything is ready, I’m outside, because it’s going to sniff beefy and it’s not great to breathe that.

A layer of coating is passed over the entire fuselage and the technical hatches below. Let it dry.

When dry, lightly sand to remove any fibers from the wood that you feel on the surface. We cut the fiber coupons that will be placed on the fuselage. Attention, the fiber is super fragile, so I used masking tape to put in the place of the cut and thus avoid that « it frayed ».

I covered with a layer of nitrocellulose coating starting at the center.

Do not forget to cut the passage of the control cables

The layer is put, it is left to dry.

The advantage of nitrocellulose coating is its rapid drying capacity. 30 minutes later, excess fiber can be removed. To do this, always Alallou technique, a wedge to sand on the edges. It’s fast and efficient.

The upcoming sequel, I was caught by the night … The days are much shorter in September and during the day I work.
However, I will be quick because I have to take advantage of the good weather.
It would be impossible to do this indoors, or with a gas mask.

Model scale details for fairings

For the finishing of the wheel fairings, I used a detailed enlargement of an old photo of the size which allowed me to see that I have to redraw the shapes. Which is done with a cutting disc. I have a total of 3 fairings.

I first redid a general sanding with very fine water paper to smooth the defects and remove all that is unnecessary.
First step, the domed rivets on the bottom of the fairing. I haven’t changed my habits and I’m still using a lab pipette and this time I took « Titebond » to rivet. The first rivets are installed.
An entire face is finished. Immediately after filing, the rivets seem very visible, but the next morning, they became barely visible, but nevertheless very present when touched (last photo)

After reproducing the rivets, I also added a sheet metal joint which is visible at the level of the wheel fastening systems. I did it with white glue. I am not very satisfied with the result which lacks realism for my taste. The lines are not regular enough, but I will be satisfied with it.
The detail to reproduce

The sheet metal line made with glue

Once dry. The tracing line is visible in transparency

Passage of a layer of filler.

Une couche de gris argenté. Séchage au soleil. Et oui il y avait du soleil hier…

I then proceeded to masking to add the red streaks. I must admit that it made me nervous … Really not easy with all these shapes and curves … Pfff …

Then red paint

Removal of the masks and here is the result…

Fairings continued

While waiting for the rest, I redid 2 wheel fairings. Indeed, I had damaged one. The technique has not changed, the plywood templates are glued to the roofmat, which are cut out. The templates are removed before sanding the shaped part.

I packed the 2 pieces in packing tape. Here they are below near the one already made.

Two layers of fiberglass fabrics twill at 220g / m2 and epoxy resin. As usual, I used a « divine sacred condom » to improve the surface finish.

After drying, we unmolded, or rather we destroy the roofmat… And here are the 3 pieces

I still have to use finishing resin, and coated to finish the job.

The engine hood is finished

Everything is said in the title…

I finished my rivets, I coated with a primer and sanded lightly with water.
Then 2 layers of polyurethane paint….

What do you think ? I hope you are still a few to follow me, or my work is not great and you dare not tell me. In short if you follow, do not hesitate to comment.