Advice please? Rigging and antenna wires

Discussion in 'Building Questions, Tutorials and Guidebooks' started by conkerking, Jan 22, 2010.

  1. conkerking

    conkerking Member

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    What do you use for these? I have only ever bothered to put an antenna wire on one build, a Bf 109 I started out with. I just used black cotton thread, but it looked a bit a) thick and b) hairy. I thought maybe fishing line or something? Any tips?

    Thanks
     
  2. otftch

    otftch Active Member

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    You can use thread but coat it first with beesxax.It will not collect dust and will not be fuzzy.An old ship modeler's trick.
    Ed
     
  3. conkerking

    conkerking Member

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    Ah-ha! Thanks for that!
     
  4. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    For antennas, I've used 2 lb fishing line but for 1/48 and smaller, this is actually still too thick to my eye. Best material I've found for small scales is dental floss. You need to separate the individual strands and use just a single strand.

    Have not done any rigging.
     
  5. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Normally, in anything under 1/24th scale, cotton thread is too thick to look right; it might look acceptable to the naked eye at first, but take a photo, and it'll look like rope!
    Depending on scale, and the type of antenna wire or rigging required, I use either stretched sprue or 'invisible thread', the type used for mending clothes etc.
    In 1/72nd scale, you'll just about get away with this, but Wojtek uses the very fine 'threads' from ladies tights, which looks spot on for this scale. The advantage of stretched sprue is that it can be stretched to (almost) any gauge you need, the disadvantage is the method of fixing and taughtening, where it can snap easily when very thin, as it is fixed at one end then pulled tight. For rigging, particularly on biplanes, although it's sometime since I did one (got three on the stocks though), stretched sprue or fishing line of various gauges can be used, IF you are able to cut to the desired length and fix eadily. If not, then the 'invisible thread' is often better, as this can be fixed at one end, using CA, then pulled into position, through a pre-drilled hole if possible or required, fixed with CA, then cut and trimmed when set. This material can also be 'adjusted' for gauge by painting, in whatever colour is required, and, if the existing gauge needs to be retained, then, being virtually transparent, a run along one edge,with the edge of a paint brush, will colour the line without increasing the gauge. If used 'raw', it can simulate a bare wire, again depending on scale.
    Other materials, again depending on scale and requirements, can be thin brass or copper wires, and various resistance fuse wire.
    Obviously, the materials and methods are many and varied, and we each have our prefered methods etc, but hopefully this will give you some ideas.
     
  6. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    I use fishing line,1Kg for 1/32 scale. Big advantage is that you don't have to fix it taut. I fix it as tight as is reasonably possible then run a heated spatula blade some distance beneath it to tighten it up. Don't get too close or you're starting again!
    Insulators I make from "Clearfix" dabbed on the fishing line, or in the case of those german conical affairs posh a sharp pencil into some heated plastic card and cut out and drill the resulting cone.It's sort of very basic smash molding!
    On most ww2 fighters the antenna wire was stainless steel so a silver/grey colour is appropriate.
    Steve
     
  7. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    I use my pre-wife's hair.

    No kidding. Dab of super glue holds in place.
     
  8. conkerking

    conkerking Member

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    Great technique, but won't work for me, my wife's blonde. Entirely the wrong colour. Is this the excuse I need to find myself a bit on the side? :lol:
     
  9. conkerking

    conkerking Member

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    What is "Clearfix"? I've seen it mentioned with reference to wing tip nav laights, again something up to know that I've simply not been bothered with (whip antennae, there's another one...) Sounds like useful stuff.
     
  10. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    The Clearfix is a kind of a glue for fixing "glass" parts of models.It is a thick liquid of the "milky" tonality. But being hardened fully it becomes transparent.Therefore it is a very useful for making "glasses" for indicators at a pilot panel for instance. These insulators can be made of that as well but have to be white painted for example.
     
  11. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    For a whip antenna you can try paint brush bristle (from a decorator's type paint brush).
    Steve
     
  12. conkerking

    conkerking Member

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    Thanks for all the tips guys.

    I picked this up from the local fishing supplied shop today:

    [​IMG]

    It's a braid, as opposed to a single filament (apparently). Nice dark grey colour. At 1/72 scale there's about, oooh, six miles worth of wire on the spool, so it should keep me going for a while.

    I put some on a 1/72 Seafire I did ages ago and for the scale it looks OK.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    Well, see, in my opinion, that looks a bit too thick. If you were to study photos of a Spit from the scale distance respresented by the photo of your model, the wire would barely show up in the picture, if in fact you could see it at all.

    Maybe someone could chime in with the actual gauge of the full scale antenna wire. Divide that by 72, and you're prbably looking at a human hair being more true to scale.

    I'm not knocking your model though. It's quite well done actually.
     
  14. kgambit

    kgambit Active Member

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    Diameter of human hair ranges from 17 to 181 µm (millionths of a meter), with an average value of 90 µm. At 1/72 scale, that average scales to 6.48 mm / ~ 1/4 " real size.

    The best substitute I have found is Coats and Clark Transparent Nylon 0.004". It comes in either clear or a dark grey color. At 1/72 that scales to .288 " or just about the thickness of human hair. :)
     
  15. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    #15 Wurger, Jan 24, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2010
    As Terry said I have been using the very fine 'threads' from ladies tights. Here one of my 1/72 scale Spits with the antenna wire made of that.The main advantage of the material is the you don't need to paint the thin threads. These are of black, grey and graphit colours.Painting a such thin things always makes them thicker what makes their look quite unnatural.
     

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  16. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    #16 Crimea_River, Jan 24, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2010
    See below
     
  17. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    So ladies. When you see Wojtek following you with a pronounced stoop, tweezers in hand....

    Dwight, I've looked high and low for the thinnest nylon line but have not come accross that stuff. My 2lb fishing line scales to about twice that. Where did you get it?
     
  18. B-17engineer

    B-17engineer Active Member

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    :lol: Wojtek following ladies with a scissor. "Ma'am I am building a spitfire and I need some string for rigging of your tights..."

    I use sewing thread. For well one of them atleast.
     
  19. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    :lol: :lol: :lol:
     
  20. kgambit

    kgambit Active Member

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    #20 kgambit, Jan 24, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2010
    That image of Wojtek is priceless. :lol:

    Andy, I got it from my wife's art supplies. (She paints, quilts, knits, does pottery and tons of other stuff so she has a lot of stuff that I can borrow.) :) Anyway I asked her where she got it and she didn't remember. She thought it might have been at either Walmart or Michaels. Failling that, she suggested trying a shop that specializes in materials for quilting / sewing. It comes in two gauges: 0.004 and 0.005 " and two colors: clear and dark grey in 300 yard rolls.

    They have a store locator and I did quick search for Calgary for you. Here's what came up:

    MICHAELS #3912 3160 27TH ST NE CALGARY AB T1Y 7L5 403 250-9833 map
    WAL-MART CANADA #3012 3835 MEMORIAL DR NE CALGARY AB T2A 2K2 403 235-2352 map
    FABRICLAND MIDWEST #0001 495-36TH ST. NE CALGARY AB T2A 6K3 403 248-8380 map
    WAL-MART CANADA #3013 1110-57TH AVENUE NE CALGARY AB T2E 9B7 403 730-0990 map
    BEEHIVE YARN NEEDLECRAF 333-36 AVENUE SOUTH EAST CALGARY AB T2G 1W2 403 243-3699 map
    GINA BROWN'S HOLDINGS LTD 107-5718 1A STREET SW CALGARY AB T2H 0E8 403 255-2200 map
    FABRICLAND MIDWEST#60 7130 FISHER ROAD S.E CALGARY AB T2H 0W3 403 259-4320 map
    MICHAELS #3937 8180 11TH ST SE, BAY 400 CALGARY AB T2H 3B5 403 640-1633 map
    WAL-MART CANADA #3010 9650 MACLEOD TRAIL CALGARY AB T2J 0P7 403 258-3988 map
    FABRICLAND MIDWEST #0004 6710 4TH STREET N E CALGARY AB T2K 6G9 403 275-3474 map
     
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