Biplane Weathervane/ Deck Decoration

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Project by Jim Jakosh posted 10-22-2020 11:20 PM 1995 views 3 times favorited 33 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a project I wanted to do for quite a while. I was thinking about a weather vane that had a plane on it and I first was going to make an A-10 Warthog but it had no prop. Then it was P51 Mustang and I finally settled on a PT17 Stearman bi-plane. I flew twice in one and it was great so that settled that.

This is about 1/17 scale according to the specs for the real one. The fuselage is maple, the prop is Osage Orange and the wings are aluminum, the landing gear and the struts are steel and the motor and wheels are nylon. I even had the automotive paint custom mixed to match the original color scheme on a lot of them.

It is 18 1/2” long and the wingspan is 22”. If it were not perched on a pole, it would roll on the landing gear.The prop shaft is stainless and mounted on 2 bearings and the prop turns freely but it takes a lot of wind to move it because it is so small. It does swing in the wind freely on the bearing in the block right under the plane.

The fuselage is coated with West System epoxy and then it is painted with automotive paint and clear coat because it will live outdoors.

This was fun and took a lot of scaling photos of planes on Google!

I lost all my process shots …....................Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

33 comments so far

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

2951 posts in 2347 days

#1 posted 10-22-2020 11:38 PM

So. Dumb question, considering who I’m asking. You did not build this from a kit? What am I saying. Of course you didn’t. It’s an excellent likeness. An F2F or F3F has a bigger tail, and would probably work better as a weathervane. I’m just saying.

-- Mark

View lew's profile


13442 posts in 5039 days

#2 posted 10-22-2020 11:45 PM

So Cool!

We have lots of private airfields around here. There’s one about 2 miles from our house and the owner had one of these planes. You could always tell when it was airborne. That radial eight engine has a sound all its own! He would display it at the airshows but I never got a chance to take a ride in it.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View mdzehr's profile


503 posts in 1652 days

#3 posted 10-22-2020 11:57 PM

Reminds me of flying with my Dad when I was a kid about 50 years ago. Nice build Jim. Just curious… Is the plane on a bearing at the post pivot point to help it head into the wind?

-- Mike, Lancaster PA

View Eric's profile


2269 posts in 1157 days

#4 posted 10-23-2020 12:42 AM

That is really cool, great idea and great job.

1 question. How is the West System to work with? I see it associated with the boat building companies for plans. I am curious since I would like to get into boat build. Thanks

-- Eric, building the dream

View htl's profile


5597 posts in 2443 days

#5 posted 10-23-2020 02:04 AM

That is one beautiful project and so wonderfully made.
Looks like it’s ready to head for the clouds.

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs

View LittleBlackDuck's profile


8235 posts in 2104 days

#6 posted 10-23-2020 02:56 AM

Neat build JJ, though pictures 3 and 4 better represent me… mention flying and I go two toes up… hate flying, though don’t mind grounded planes.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View ralbuck's profile


6780 posts in 3550 days

#7 posted 10-23-2020 05:36 AM

Only one word even comes close to describing this build!


-- Wood rescue is good for the environment and me! just rjR

View Ivan's profile


17049 posts in 4151 days

#8 posted 10-23-2020 07:07 AM

WOW! THAT IS SO COOL!! This could fly if only engine is real!!

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View Cliff 's profile


2049 posts in 3007 days

#9 posted 10-23-2020 11:09 AM

JIM….....So Life Like and what a great concept for a Weather Vane.

Excellent Size too…It will really stand out. It looks very much to Scale. So lifelike as if it were about to take off.

It reminds me of the Tiger Moths I loved watching when I was a small child. They would Spin the Prop to start them.


-- Cliff Australia : Snoring is good. It blows away all the Sawdust.

View drogsod's profile


130 posts in 1079 days

#10 posted 10-23-2020 12:47 PM

Looks like it’s ready to take off right down the deck rail. Great work!

View bushmaster's profile


4148 posts in 3566 days

#11 posted 10-23-2020 02:00 PM

Wow, well done. Love it. Started building a biplane to fly in, with a friend, but we had ro sell it when i got my property

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

View BurlyBob's profile


9404 posts in 3549 days

#12 posted 10-23-2020 02:27 PM

I totally love it. Awesome job there Jim.

View GR8HUNTER's profile


9131 posts in 1996 days

#13 posted 10-23-2020 02:29 PM

WOW you done a GR8 job just on the model itself then to find out its a weathervane makes it sooooo much better very kewl GREAT JOB :<)) GRATZ TOP 3

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN :<))

View splintergroup's profile


6021 posts in 2506 days

#14 posted 10-23-2020 02:55 PM

Wow Jim! With the rate you crank out projects, you probably started this one last night 8^)
The detail is amazing, you need a carved “Jim” to be placed behind the stick!

Really great idea for a vane, it’ll out run a chicken or cow any day!

View tyvekboy's profile


2138 posts in 4297 days

#15 posted 10-23-2020 03:57 PM

Great weathervane. Like the detail and paint job.

Now I think you should make another one … A10 Warthog … since it takes so much wind to turn the prop on the bi-plane—so what if the A10 doesnʻt have a prop?

Thanks for sharing.

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

showing 1 through 15 of 33 comments

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