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This model has working wheels, a turning propeller, and a 4 ins wing span. It looks splendid hung from the ceiling with fine thread. I have chosen a colour scheme of turquoise with silver trim but of course, you can use any colours. The white plane in the photograph is made using white Fimo and painted with gold paint. The template is a guide to the size and shape and it is best if you can print it out so that you can trace it. It needs to be 4 ins from wing tip to wing tip.

MATERIALS:

  • Fimo in the following colours: Turquoise, black, white.
  • Silver acrylic paint.
  • Fimo gloss varnish.
  • A fine paintbrush.
  • Various tools for making the wheels: the end of a pencil or paintbrush or the domed end of a pen. A tool for punching holes for the axle: a fine icing nozzle for example. See instructions for more details.
  • A cocktail stick.
  • A pin.
  • Glue. Superglue is best.
INSTRUCTIONS- (Click pictures to see enlargments)

1. Wings and Tail-planes:

Print and trace the template for the plane onto baking parchment. Turn your tracing over so that the pencil marks do not mark the clay. Knead the turquoise clay well to get rid of air bubbles. Make a thick log about 1 in cms shorter than the spread of the wings and about inch diameter. Lay this onto the tracing and roll it with a round pencil for a "rolling pin" until you have a flat wing-shape as in Fig. 1 that is approximately the size of the wings in the tracing. Make a smaller log for the tail-plane and another for the vertical rudder and roll out in the same way. Trim the rudder as shown. Mark the top of the wings and tail pieces into panels with the end of a ruler but avoid touching the surfaces with your fingers to keep a shiny finish.

Transfer the baking parchment with the clay directly to the baking tray and bake at 130 C / 275 F for 20 minutes.

2. The Fuselage or Body

Make a log of clay for the aeroplane body approximately the size shown in the template, thinning it at one end as shown in Fig. 2. Cut away a rectangular hole for the cockpit and slice off the thick end. Make a seat by flattening a small oval of black clay, marking lines in it with your wool needle held horizontally and fold it up as shown. Trim if necessary and poke into the cockpit. If you want a twin-seater, make another seat and position in front of the first.

Position the fuselage onto the hardened wings and tail-plane, pressing on firmly to secure and using a little white glue to make it stick. Slice the tail end of the fuselage in half and ease the hardened rudder into the slot, nipping it back to secure.

Roll a ball of white clay of a similar diameter to the body. Cut it in half and press one half onto the front of the body. Pierce the centre with a pin, pushing it in until only the head projects slightly.

Bake again as above.

3. The Undercarriage:

Cut two thin logs and press onto the underside of the wings, trimming to fit. (Fig. 3) These are to provide a support for the axle mounts. Trace the axle mount shape off the template and cut out the tracing. Flatten a log of clay with your rolling pin to about 1/8 in thick, lay the tracing onto this and cut out the two axle mounts with your knife, turning the tracing over for the second to reverse the shape. Punch a hole in the bottom of each mount as shown, using a fine round icing nozzle or the tip of a ball point pen with its refill removed. Practise on a spare piece of clay first. The resulting hole needs to be large enough to allow a cocktail stick to turn freely.

Make a small tail-skid, (pictured in Fig. 4) by flattening a small log of turquoise and cutting off the end.

4. Wheels:

Form two 3/8 in balls of black clay for the wheels, flatten each with your finger into a chunky wheel, keeping it as round as possible and both of equal size. Press a domed pen end into each. (A large bead could be used.) Make two smaller balls of turquoise, flatten in the same way, and position onto the wheels as hubs. Press the domed pen on again and then make holes in the centre of the wheels with the wool needle, big enough to take the cocktail stick snugly.

5. The Propeller:

Make a small log of white clay and roll each end, leaving a raised area in the centre. (Fig. 3) Pierce with a pin, enlarging the hole slightly, and then twist each blade in opposite directions as shown.

6. Final hardening and assembly:

Bake the axle mounts, tail-skid, wheels, propeller and the whole aeroplane with its freshly added clay as above.

Glue the axle mounts to the inside of their supports on the fuselage making sure that the vertical side is to the front. (Fig. 4) Cut a cocktail stick to length so that it projects just beyond the mounts on either side. Position through the mounts and push the wheels onto it. (It may be necessary to enlarge the wheel holes to take the cocktail stick. Do this by twisting the tip of the knife in the hole to shave off a little clay.) Add a drop of Superglue to the ends of the cocktail stick in the wheel holes to secure. Remove the pin from the nose, using pliers if it is stiff, thread it through the propeller and replace as shown. The propeller should rotate freely. Glue the tail-skid into position. Paint the axle, propeller and nose with silver paint and outline the cockpit. Varnish all the turquoise clay. The wheels look best left matt.

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