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Author Topic: My first build in 50 years--Guillows Series 500 Hellcat  (Read 897 times)
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BalsaGuy55
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« on: January 07, 2018, 08:42:59 PM »

Certainly a lot has changed since the last time I built a Guillows kit when I was about 12 years old (I'm now 62).  Unlike then, there are now resources to actually learn how to build a model correctly, such as this great forum.  When I built these kits before, the was no internet and I didn't have any mentors or anyone really to teach me.  Now, the available resources are incredible.

I have posted some photos of my Guillows Hellcat.  I made a number of mistakes.  Building the plane was easy.  The hard part was tissue covering, although I think I got better as I went along.  I still have a long way to go.

Here are some build notes:

1.  I used Titebond Quick and Thick adhesive, which sets much faster than the other Titebond glues.  It's not water-proof, but I didn't see any problems with glue joints when I did my tissue covering.

2.  I used a 50/50 mixture of Elmers's glue and water to  both affix and seal the tissue instead of real dope.  I have become very sensitive to chemicals and really don't want to use the usual stuff, but the Elmer's glue produced some mixed results.  It seems to seal the tissue ok, but I noticed that on a really humid rainy day, the tissue  seems to start looking like I had just coated it--loose and wrinkly.  I think I might try Krylon clear acrylic spray for my next build and use my respirator.   I used Peck tissue for covering.

3.  I built a "functioning nose block" because I want to learn how to trim and fly this series.  

4.  I substituted a Peck thrust bearing for the Guillows kit version.

5.  The decals were a disaster.  When I slid the decals off the sheet, most of them simply split in several places despite exactly following the instructions.  I ordered another sheet from Guillows and will try again with Micro Sol and Micro Set.

6.  I used Testor's spray and bottle paint for the various plastic parts and painted while wearing my respirator.  I did not paint the tissue so I could minimize the weight.

7.  The landing gear are detachable for flight.

8.  The total weight without rubber and the detachable landing gear is about 30 grams.

So, I do have a few newbie questions:

1. I have read many posts about the rubber "motor" for these planes, but I still don't understand how exactly to set up multiple loops.  Do you use one continuous loop and fold it back on itself to make four strands or do you actually use two separate bands together to make four loops?  Sorry, for such a silly question, but I can't seem to find the answer.

2. I have purchased a box of FAI 1/8" rubber from Peck  for my motor.  What length and number of strands would be recommended for my Hellcat?

3. I failed to build "wash-out" in to the wing tips (I will certainly do it on my next build).  I found out that this is recommended after I had finished and covered the wing.  Is there another way to get the same effect?

4.  I have read that it is a good idea to build extra dihedral into the wing.  For the Hellcat, the Guillows spec is 7/8".  When I build my next kit, how much should I increase the wing angle?

4. I want to add stiff packaging cellophane for rudder and elevators to help with trimming. What dimensions would be recommended for the tabs?  

There are some true masters on this forum.  I have been amazed at the photos of the same Hellcat kit that I built by those who really know how to do it and it gives me a lot of inspiration.  I also have the Series 500 Avenger and FW190 laser kits.  I think that I am going to start on the FW190 next.


Attached files Thumbnail(s):
My first build in 50 years--Guillows Series 500 Hellcat
My first build in 50 years--Guillows Series 500 Hellcat
My first build in 50 years--Guillows Series 500 Hellcat
My first build in 50 years--Guillows Series 500 Hellcat
My first build in 50 years--Guillows Series 500 Hellcat
My first build in 50 years--Guillows Series 500 Hellcat
« Last Edit: January 07, 2018, 09:11:28 PM by BalsaGuy55 » Logged
faif2d
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« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2018, 09:09:10 PM »

Nicely done!  On the rubber loops, you are correct double over a longer loop to get 2 shorter loops or 4 strands.  I would suggest a 4 strand motor about 1 1/2 As long as the prop to the rear attach point.  This will give you a softer burst of power and the motor will run longer too.  I agree that we are in the golden age of stick and tissue because of the internet and sites like this one!
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« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2018, 09:53:19 PM »

Well done,BalsaGuy.

Scott
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« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2018, 05:34:50 AM »

Very tidy job after a half-century furlough BalsaGuy55, congrats.

Stephen.
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« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2018, 08:13:11 AM »

Very tidy job after a half-century furlough BalsaGuy55, congrats.

Stephen.

That's exactly what I thought!  Smiley

Get hold of a copy of Don Ross' book 'Rubber Powered Model Airplanes' which contains a wealth of information and is very readable:
http://www.flywords.net/index.html

Re adding washout now you've covered and doped, this is certainly possible.  Hold each wing tip over a steaming kettle or pot of water until reasonably saggy, then carefully bend the last quarter of the TE up with your fingers.  Sight forward from the rear to ensure you bend in a similar amount (1/16th or whatever the instructions state) to each wing.  Once the tissue has fully re-dried there will probably be some spring-back, so its a matter of trial and error.  But don't overdo the twisting each time, else you risk weakening the balsa joints.
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« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2018, 08:44:37 AM »

Is that a crystal radio set in the background?

 Grin

-Dave
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« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2018, 11:33:00 AM »

 Grin well done bg. been there done that.

jim Grin
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« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2018, 01:19:41 PM »



Get hold of a copy of Don Ross' book 'Rubber Powered Model Airplanes' which contains a wealth of information and is very readable:
http://www.flywords.net/index.html



I second that motion. Nice choice on the Hellcat it has a fine reputation
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BalsaGuy55
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« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2018, 01:32:28 PM »

Is that a crystal radio set in the background?

 Grin

-Dave


Hi Dave,  It's a regenerative receiver I built (my other hobby)  Smiley
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BalsaGuy55
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« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2018, 01:33:58 PM »

Very tidy job after a half-century furlough BalsaGuy55, congrats.

Stephen.

That's exactly what I thought!  Smiley

Get hold of a copy of Don Ross' book 'Rubber Powered Model Airplanes' which contains a wealth of information and is very readable:
http://www.flywords.net/index.html



Re adding washout now you've covered and doped, this is certainly possible.  Hold each wing tip over a steaming kettle or pot of water until reasonably saggy, then carefully bend the last quarter of the TE up with your fingers.  Sight forward from the rear to ensure you bend in a similar amount (1/16th or whatever the instructions state) to each wing.  Once the tissue has fully re-dried there will probably be some spring-back, so its a matter of trial and error.  But don't overdo the twisting each time, else you risk weakening the balsa joints.

Thanks so much!  I have ordered his book and look forward to reading it.   I'll also try the steam kettle trick.  Smiley
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BalsaGuy55
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« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2018, 01:35:50 PM »

Nicely done!  On the rubber loops, you are correct double over a longer loop to get 2 shorter loops or 4 strands.  I would suggest a 4 strand motor about 1 1/2 As long as the prop to the rear attach point.  This will give you a softer burst of power and the motor will run longer too.  I agree that we are in the golden age of stick and tissue because of the internet and sites like this one!

Thank you for that!  Finally, I understand it.   Smiley

Dan
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« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2018, 03:57:05 PM »

My first model.
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Re: My first build in 50 years--Guillows Series 500 Hellcat
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BalsaGuy55
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« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2018, 04:52:26 PM »

My first model.

 Smiley

Was that a Guillows kit or scratch build?
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« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2018, 12:39:29 AM »

It was a kit but I don't know who made it. The picture is from about 1952 or 1953.
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« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2018, 05:50:13 PM »

That is a nice build for being away so long!! Logair
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« Reply #15 on: April 17, 2018, 04:30:53 PM »

BalsaGuy55,
That's a great looking Hellcat  Grin
Love the removable landing gear
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« Reply #16 on: April 17, 2018, 05:40:17 PM »

Your "HELLCAT" does look great BalsaGuy55 !!!   Shocked   Congratulations on a job well done. Cool   Thanks for posting your pics and story, and good luck with your test glides and flights.

LASTWOODSMAN
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« Reply #17 on: April 17, 2018, 09:50:47 PM »

Nice looking Hellcat.  Funny how things work out.

The first plastic model I built was a Lindberg F6F Hellcat that my older brother helped me build.  I was about 7 or 8.

At about 10 I attempted my first balsa model.  Monogram had a series of very heavy kits.  I did attempt to fly it.  Lasted about 4 seconds and rekitted itself against my uncle's garage.  A F6F Hellcat.

Many years later in 1981 at the Rebel Rally in Jacksonville we held the very first FAC event in Florida.  WW2 Mass Launch.  I won it, with a Comet F6F Hellcat.  Model finally died a few years later down at Palm Bay.  Haven't built a Hellcat since.
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« Reply #18 on: April 18, 2018, 01:41:25 AM »

Nicely done. That's an attractive model. Probably best if you keep it that way by flying it outside over grass only. Unless you have a big indoor space with a soft floor. I recall that the turning radius at any given combination of bank angle and wing angle of attack will be roughly proportional to the weight. And the kinetic energy to be dissipated on impact roughly proportional to the square of the weight.

I like the Don Ross book too. However, my favorite is Making Scale Model Airplanes Fly by William McCombs. It's got an amazing amount of information, though you'll need little tiny eyes or a magnifying glass to read it. It's not the highest quality printing, and it's stapled together. But it's very useful. From time to time it comes up on Amazon, and I've seen it advertised in the NFFS digest, but I'm not current with that at the moment.

Some of the other guys here probably have more stick and tissue experience than I do, though I've been reasonably successful with what I've built. In any case, I'm going to wade in.

Re: your notes

1. New glue to me. Thanks for mentioning it. Will have to try some.

2. Even lightly doped tissue may loosen up a bit when it's really humid. BTW, Esaki Japanese tissue is very nice. Not that Peck's is bad or anything, but, unless they've changed Peck's, the Esaki is lighter, and you can even use it wet, requiring fewer individual pieces for curved areas.

3. Good move. Make sure it's snug so that it goes in and stays in the same place every time.

--------------

5. How long did you soak the decals? I seem to recall that if you leave decals in water long enough, they fall off the paper instead of tearing. Decals may look shiny. I think there are various things you can put on them to dull  them a bit and match the tissue.

-------------

8. Ouch, but probably inevitable with a relatively stock Guillow kit. You can probably still make it fly ok outside. If my Sterling Monocoupe peanut, made from virtual oak, could fly, your Hellcat should be able to do the same. But I shouldn't have flown the Sterling kit inside.

Next time you do a warbird, do yourself a favor and make it from a Diels kit, or Golden Age Reproductions, or  some other light brand. Was your kit die crunched or laser cut? Dense wood is necessary for dull dies. Peck's has taken over the Golden Age kits now. Many of the GAR kits ARE faithful reproductions of the old kits and will need the same corrections to be consistent fliers.

re: your questions

----------

2. Depends on the propeller you have, and the weight of the model. Bigger props with more pitch require wider motors or more strands. If the motor is heavier, it may need to be wider too. Getting this just right is probably more important inside than out.

3. I think it was Chris Parent who used to bring a hair dryer to indoor contests to adjust washout, etc. If I were you, I might try to fly the model first before making a lot of adjustments. Sometimes, you end adding washin on the wing to the inside of the turn. This could be a Gurney flap if you want to do it quickly at a flying session.

4. It's hard to say just how much. There's an interplay between the size of the vertical stab, the dihedral, the length of the fuselage, etc. I had a model which flew best with a vertical stab about the size of two postage stamps, so instead I built one bigger but with a floppy rudder. That's a trick I picked up from the McCombs book. Smaller adjustments in vertical stab size may be less noticeable. I think my next model will have a foam tail at first, trimmed to the right size with scissors. If you're building a popular model, I imagine you can find build threads and flight reports.

4 number 2: Quite small. It doesn't usually take much, maybe 1/8 inch? I usually see a little bit more, though.  You can always make them larger. And then there are the less conspicuous Gurney flaps. Or twisting the surface a bit.

If you really must build another Guillows kit for flying, you might do well to see just how little wood is actually necessary. For instance, check out the old Comet Seversky P-35:
https://outerzone.co.uk/plan_details.asp?ID=476
I built this from a GAR kit, more or less stock except a smaller canopy and other details to make it into an S-2 racer. Except up in the nose, and around the motor peg, it's strong enough. It's survived a lot of flying. I moved the motor peg forward so that the center of the motor was about where I expected the c.g. to be. This makes changing motor sizes less of a big deal. I reinforced the nose and a bit on the side behind the nose where I hold it. As I recall, the new model weighed 34 grams. It's supposed to be 25 inches, but I think mine might be a bit smaller. Maybe even 23 inches. At the size of yours, that would be like 18 grams. Anyway, that might give you some ideas for what appropriate wood sizes are. If you start to lighten a Guillow kit, don't go too far in any one place unless you lighten it correspondingly in a bunch of other places. Lighter models don't hit as hard and don't have to be quite as strong.

Anyway, nice job!






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BalsaGuy55
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« Reply #19 on: April 21, 2018, 04:24:15 AM »

Thanks Lincoln for that very detailed reply.  I have built 5 more kits after that first one and I'm slowing learning how to do it.

It's great to have folks such as yourself who take the time to thoughtfully write up their suggestions.  It is what makes this such a great forum.

Best,

Dan
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