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Building the Red Baron Triplane

I’m building the beautiful Dancing Wings Hobby Fokker DR1 S17 kit. This is the 770mm wingspan version, they have a larger version, but I wanted to pair it with my Guillows Sopwith Camel 801 which is about 710 mm (28″).

Building notes

I’m following the excellent and very detailed videos of CJ on My RC Channel for this build. Based on what he shared and what I have discovered, here are some very important things to understand when building the Dancing Wings Hobby S17 Fokker DR1 balsa model kit:

Don’t follow the “instructions”

The out of the box instruction sheet should be used as an informative guide, not as a series of “step by step” directions. The sections are labeled “1”, “2” etc, but this is not how you will build it.

Frame the fuselage against one side panel

The key to getting everything to line up properly is to build out a ‘box’ from the middle of the model against one of the side panel pieces. Start with the two formers F22 and F34 and then the top piece F29. Then add the battery/servo shelf F28. Now you have a frame to start adding to.

Build up the front of the plane back to, and including, the F35 former.

Then add the firewall F23 and finish building the fuselage from F36.

Make sure to clip the carbon fibre rods into the top before glueing the sides tight to the F36, F37, F38 otherwise you will have a hard time feeding the side pieces through.

Mislabeled pieces

Some pieces are mislabeled. The ones I have found (with CJ’s help) are:

  • One of the F17 pieces you will find (yes there are two different pieces labeled F17) is actually F13. It’s the smaller one. This goes in front of F12 at the very end of the fuselage.
  • The F33 either doesn’t have a label or is mislabeled B3. Either way, there is no piece labeled F33. This is the one you need. (picture).
  • There are two “T shaped” pieces labeled F2 and three square pieces labeled F2. The F1 and T shaped F2 pieces get inserted into the firewall as per the picture. The 3 square F2 pieces are doublers that are then used on each of the other F2’s and the F1. Here is a picture:
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