Bristol M1C (oz3201)


Bristol M1C (oz3201) by Walt Mooney 1979 - plan thumbnail

About this Plan

Bristol M1C. Peanut scale model of the plane flown by Captain Harry Butler.

Quote: "FINDING A World War One airplane that is red and is not a Fokker triplane is a relatively rare occurence. Finding a Bristol M 1C with anything but a round cross sec-tion fuselage is a miracle. Both features in the same airplane turned my model building switch on. When I first saw the preservation profile in the August 1978 Aeroplane Monthly, I knew that I would have to build a model of Captain Harry Butler's Bristol M 1C as it is now preserved in Minlaton, South Australia. Before we go any further, take another look at the photo.

The propeller shown on the model was laminated from strips of mahogany and basswood, alternated. This looks great and works very well. Laminating a propeller is quite easy. Cut out nine strips, four of mahogany and five of basswood. Drill a 1/16in diameter hole in the centre of each one. Cut a short length of 1/16in diameter aluminium tube and thread the strips onto it, alternating the materials. Once you have a stack of strips on the tubing, you simply twist the stack to look like a rough propeller, and bond the layers together. Now carve the propeller to the shape you desire.

The structure of the rest of the model is pretty conventional, except for the outlines of the wings and the vertical tail. These were made by wrapping a piece of 1/16 square balsa around a form to get the smooth curve shown. (This is not the easiest way to do it, so, if you want, make them from standard sticks and sheet balsa.) To make a balsa stick bend around tight corners, it has to be softened. I soaked my sticks in household ammonia for about thirty minutes before I wrapped them around the form that matched the inside contour of the surface. Then I let them dry overnight before I used them to make the assembly.

The wings are assembled over the plan. A piece of 1/16 square is cemented on top of the outline along the leading edge to give a leading edge 1/8 in deep. The root rib is sanded to a quarter-rounded effect on the wing upper surface to give the wing the gulled effect shown in the front view.

The horizontal tail is built up directly over the plan. Use 1/16 square stock for the outline and 1/16 sheet to make the corner gussets. Select lightweight balsa for all the tail structure. The centre rib and the two intermediate ribs are made from 1/16 x 1/8 sticks set on edge over the plan. After the structure is dry, it is carefully sanded to the airfoil shown in the side view. (I do the upper curvature sanding before removing the structure from the plans because the structure is somewhat stronger with the plan backing it. Obviously, I don't cover the plans with waxed paper when building tails like this.)

The fuselage is a square box structure with the two sides built directly over the plans. It has a cross piece at the top and bottom of each upright. Formers, cut from sheet balsa, are added to the top and bot-tom of the box. The top of the fuselage to the back of the cockpit is covered with soft 1/32 sheet balsa. There are four side strin-gers on each side of the fuselage running from the cowl to the rear motor peg sup-port upright. There are four top stringers that run from the back of the cockpit to the same point on the fuselage, and there is one centre one on the top that runs clear back to the tail post. The bottom of the fuselage has two stringers that run from the landing gear back to the motor peg station. When all the stringers are in place, carefully sand them so they taper as they go toward the rear end. They should almost disappear at their rearmost point.

Make the engine cowl by cutting three circles out of sheet balsa to the size of the dotted circle in the front view, two from 1/8 sheet and one from 1/16 sheet. Cut a square hole out of one of the thick ones to fit the Williams Bros thrust bearing shown. Cut a 1-1/8 in diameter circle out of the other two. Cut two 9/16 in wide strips of 1/32 sheet, cross grain from a 3 in sheet and butt them together to make a 6in long strip with the grain going across the long dimension. Wrap this sheet around the circles and trim it to the correct length to just fit around. Laminate the two thick cir-cles into a single part, then cement all the cowl parts together to make the cowl. Sand the front of the cowl to the rounded shape shown, and cement the cowl to the front of the fuselage box. Now make the cowl cheeks and cement them in place over the side stringers. Carve the headrest from a piece of soft balsa.

Before covering the model, make sure all the structure is carefully sanded to the proper contour and has no odd bumps or snags that might make unsightly bumps in the covering.

This model should be covered with red tissue. When the tissue has been shrunk with a fine mist of water and has dried, give it two coats of thin clear dope. Finding the proper sized insignia may prove to be your most difficult challenge. I obtained some clear decal material from an art supplier and made my own; this way, if you slop the paint around on a clear decal, you don't have to recover the airplane.

The engine cowl and the cabane struts are painted with aluminium dope. Dummy cylinders can be added inside the front of the cowl. Cylinders and tyres can be painted black.

Make the flying wires from 2 lb test monofilament fishing line. The wires below the wing are parallel and are double wires. Those above the wing are single wires and meet at the top of the cabane struts. The wings should have about 1/8 in of washout. That is, the trailing edge should be higher than the leading edge at the tips, relative to the roots. With the structure as drawn, they will probably warp this way. Just make sure it's the same in both wings.

A loop of 1/8 in rubber powers this model nicely. My best time has been 35 seconds, with most flights being a little shorter. However, the model shown is fairly heavy; it weighs 3/4 oz. I know most of you guys out there can build it for half that weight, and yours will outfly mine! Have fun."

Quote: "This is the Harry Butler WW1 Bristol M 1C. It was used mainly in the Middle East as an advanced trainer but also operationally in Mesopotamia with 72 Squadron and 150 Squadron in Salonika. Designed and first flown in 1917 it had a then excellent speed of 130 mph but did not fight on the Western Front. Some at the time thought it’s landing speed was too high making it unsuitable for France."

Update 14/6/2023: Added further article (from MB March 1979) also transcript, thanks to JanNovick.

Supplementary file notes

Planfile includes article.
Article (MB).


Did we get something wrong with these details about this plan (especially the datafile)? That happens sometimes. You can help us fix it.
Add a correction

Bristol M1C (oz3201) by Walt Mooney 1979 - model pic


  • Bristol_M.1 | help
    see Wikipedia | search Outerzone
    Test link:
    search RCLibrary 3views (opens in new window)

    ScaleType: This (oz3201) is a scale plan. Where possible we link scale plans to Wikipedia, using a text string called ScaleType.

    If we got this right, you now have a couple of direct links (above) to 1. see the Wikipedia page, and 2. search Oz for more plans of this type. If we didn't, then see below.

    ScaleType is formed from the last part of the Wikipedia page address, which here is
    Wikipedia page addresses may well change over time.
    For more obscure types, there currently will be no Wiki page found. We tag these cases as ScaleType = NotFound. These will change over time.
    Corrections? Use the correction form to tell us the new/better ScaleType link we should be using. Thanks.

Bristol M1C (oz3201) by Walt Mooney 1979 - pic 003.jpg
Bristol M1C (oz3201) by Walt Mooney 1979 - pic 004.jpg
Bristol M1C (oz3201) by Walt Mooney 1979 - pic 005.jpg
Bristol M1C (oz3201) by Walt Mooney 1979 - pic 006.jpg
Bristol M1C (oz3201) by Walt Mooney 1979 - pic 007.jpg
Bristol M1C (oz3201) by Walt Mooney 1979 - pic 008.jpg

Do you have a photo you'd like to submit for this page? Then email

User comments

Hi again, Mary and Steve, thought I'd share with you one of my favorite modeling projects, a Bristol M1C Bullet [main pic, 003-007]. It seems that everything Bristol initially developed was "fast," and therefore all were labeled with the unofficial moniker "Bullet." In this case however, the Bristol M1 truly lived up to it's "press," registering in the range of 140mph in straight and level 1916! It could have been a real game-changer, had it been given the respect it deserved. Instead it was relegated to the Macedonian theater of operations owing to extreme bias by the Royal Aircraft Establishment toward monoplanes.
My model began life as a Walt Mooney peanut plan (oz3201) and was enlarged to an 18" wingspan - its present iteration.
Thanks once again to OuterZone for your outstanding services to this wonderful hobby.
Neal Green - 19/05/2020
Add a comment



Download File(s):
  • Bristol M1C (oz3201)
  • Plan File Filesize: 348KB Filename: Bristol_M1C_oz3201.pdf
  • Supplement Filesize: 483KB Filename: Bristol_M1C_oz3201_article_MB.pdf
  • Supplement Filesize: 26KB Filename: Bristol_M1C_oz3201_transcript.pdf
  • help with downloads


* Credit field

The Credit field in the Outerzone database is designed to recognise and credit the hard work done in scanning and digitally cleaning these vintage and old timer model aircraft plans to get them into a usable format. Currently, it is also used to credit people simply for uploading the plan to a forum on the internet. Which is not quite the same thing. This will change soon. Probably.


This model plan (like all plans on Outerzone) is supposedly scaled correctly and supposedly will print out nicely at the right size. But that doesn't always happen. If you are about to start building a model plane using this free plan, you are strongly advised to check the scaling very, very carefully before cutting any balsa wood.


Terms of Use

© Outerzone, 2011-2024.

All content is free to download for personal use.

For non-personal use and/or publication: plans, photos, excerpts, links etc may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Outerzone with appropriate and specific direction to the original content i.e. a direct hyperlink back to the Outerzone source page.

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site's owner is strictly prohibited. If we discover that content is being stolen, we will consider filing a formal DMCA notice.