turnbucklesModelers have their own sphere of interest and in many times we can hear even some classification like jet plane modelers, WW2 modeler, X-plane modeler etc. etc. This for surely we could note that there is some age which specially attracts people. Maybe one of the most interesting ages in the aircraft history is the early age, pre WW1, WW1and interwar age. What specific for that time is that aircraft of tinny construction and they used much of rigging in their construction.

Using of that much of rigging is the result of weight saving and attempt to make rigid and in the same time useful construction of the aircraft. For rigging was used metal wire or cables and they are anchored for the main construction of the wing, fuselage and tail. Benefit was lightweight of the airplane but with penalty of drag. This was important in that time as well aircraft engine was not so powerful and weight saving was of great importance.

On the image bellow could be note how this rigging actually look like on the real airplane. This shot of Albatros C.XII 1096/17 from the Peter Grosz collection showing a bunch of turnbuckles. There could be noted with easy that cables are attached on the anchoring turnbuckles which was fit to the main construction.


Well- this image above is one of the reasons why many of the modelers actually do not work biplanes and triplanes and monoplanes which used this rigging. Adding of that much of point and linking with the modelers is in many cases nightmare for the many of modelers. And must say that it is impossible to make Fokker Eindecker or Sopwith Pup without this rigging. Model will look sick.

turnbucklesDuring the time modelers was using various solution how to solve this problem. One of the most using methods was drill through the wing and adding of wire inside. This is most easy method, everybody could do that but to regret even this pin point could somehow ruin the overall appearance of the model. Other solution is to drill just point hole and place precisely measured metal wire. Very rarely used method and this require skilled and experienced modeler. What we need is the easy solution which can be used by everybody and make realistic rigged scale kit.

We have luck that Bob Buckle from the UK makes something very specific on the model market- turnbuckles! They coming in the very small package but inside are bulk of turnbuckles far enough for one model project. The image presents actually their size and they are that miniature and even your breath could blow them all around of your room :)) Ruler show for comparison is in the millimeters [one inch is 25.4 millimeters].

Working with them is easy. You have to find all of the points on your scale kit where this anchor points have to be made. Then made just small drill hole, not through the wing, to make fit place for Bob turnbuckles. Then you continue regularly to build model and paint it. It is important not to attach it before paint because even the finest paint could fill small hole in turnbuckles. When whole kit is finished then in the small holes put with tweezers turnbuckles- note that you have to put small amount of the super glue on the end before do this. In some short time you will equip whole model with this turnbuckles. Then all you have to need is to connect all of these turnbuckles with wire. First put one end in the hole of turnbuckles and fix it with cement, lacquer, or anything which fix fast. Then connect it with other turnbuckles and fix it. Cut exceed of plastic wire [or material which you use for this]. This is it! Believe or not this is that relaxing and easy to do that you van even drink beer, juice, coffee and chat with your friends or family during this rigging process!!

For my personal opinion this is world’s number one after market product. Very simple, cheap and important. When you model some old airplane maybe you will like to replace decals with attractive one from aftermarket, maybe to put some super detailed engine or cockpit parts from aftermarket manufacture but be sure that you will have to add turnbuckles. And there is Bob Buckle turnbuckles just ideal for this. And just to know that it deliver it very fast!!

Author grant thank to the Bob Buckle for the sample of turnbuckles and special thanks to the Terry Phillips for providing of sample of archive image as historic background of this article.

Srecko Bradic

Model images- Bob Buckle and Srecko Bradic; Archive image- Peter Grosz collection.

Sample of turnbuckles is provided by Bob Buckle