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Author Topic: First Ever Balsa Build - Peanut scale Found Centennial  (Read 759 times)
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Dunc
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« on: January 31, 2020, 09:02:28 AM »

As the title suggests I've never ventured into balsa building before. So why now? Well I saw one of these models being flown on YouTube and since then I've had an urge to give building and flying one a go.

Plan was obtained from outerzone and I got it printed at my local printers.

Building board is an old ceiling tile freed from my workplace. I've covered it in clear tape just for tidyness.

Glue seems to be one of those items where everybody has their favourites, personally I struggle using CA for anything so I opted for a fast(ish) setting wood glue. I'm using wooden toothpicks to apply.

I read somewhere about using baking paper on top of the plan to prevent parts sticking to it, so I've pinned some over my plan.

Pins are from my other hobby, making my own shirts.

Balsa I bought online after studying the plan to see what sizes I needed. I had no clue how to estimate how much I needed so I guessed!

Let me know how I'm doing and if I'm going to make a massive mess of something, let me know.

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First Ever Balsa Build - Peanut scale Found Centennial
First Ever Balsa Build - Peanut scale Found Centennial
First Ever Balsa Build - Peanut scale Found Centennial
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MKelly
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« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2020, 09:50:09 AM »

Looks like a pretty good start Dunc, the fuselage frame looks very tidy.  I much prefer wood glue over CA as I think it gives better control, lighter joints, sands better and is less prone to fracture during abrupt landings.  Sandpaper is your friend - a few moments smoothing out parts before assembly and framework before covering will make the tissue job much easier and the finished model nicer.  Keep everything as straight and light as you can and this should be a flyer.

Mike
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skyraider
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« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2020, 11:34:41 AM »

Echoing what Mike said. Your ahead of the game by "not" pinning through the parts especially
when it comes to peanuts. Keep that in mind through out your build and you'll do just fine.
Really, a very clean build and excellent start.

Skyraider
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DavidJP
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« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2020, 12:00:16 PM »

Yes all looks fine Dunc,  so keep going.  If you are doing the Peanut I would not bother with knock off wings -just lightly glue them on.  The magnets no matter how small could well be stronger than the joints and heavy!
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Dunc
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« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2020, 12:34:09 PM »

Thanks for the support everyone. I've got cracked on since the last photos were taken so I'll update you a bit.

I followed the instructions on the plan that says to build one side on top of the other. It seemed a bit odd when I first read it but in practice it all made perfect sense.
Everything seemed to be going really well but during the separation of the 2 parts I had a couple of joints fail. I reglued them and now I have 2 sides of a fuselage, I'm very happy.
Next step says to cement together at rear end and add cross pieces forward to wing T. E. My photo shows the rear end getting glued together, a bit of weight and some pins to keep everything straight.

I'm not sure of the easiest way of making sure everything stays true when I'm glueing the cross pieces. Any tips on that would be grand.

Otherwise I'm really enjoying putting this little thing together and looking forward to seeing a proper fuselage shape come together.

@david Thanks. I'll glue my wing on when it comes to it. I was wondering about the weight issue of magnets but I suppose on larger models it matters slightly less?

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Re: First Ever Balsa Build - Peanut scale Found Centennial
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ZK-AUD
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« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2020, 01:39:28 PM »

You may have some cunning plan in mind for the rear end but from your photos it appears that you've not built the tail plane support and rear upright into your fuselage frames.  Have a close look at the plan and you'll see what I mean.  In the alternative if you do have some innovation planned for the back end please share!
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Dunc
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« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2020, 02:48:34 PM »

Haha what a great catch! Obvious now I take a better look.
Thanks ZK-AUD. Definitely no cunning plan here just a rookie error. I have an opticians appointment next week, might help!

I've positioned the franework over the plan and will add the missing parts before moving on.
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Re: First Ever Balsa Build - Peanut scale Found Centennial
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ZK-AUD
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« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2020, 05:00:08 PM »

Excellent.  I take it that the photo above was taken part way through the remediation  and the tailplane support was still to go on top?

If this is your first build I recommend having a look at Mike Stuart's awesome website www.ffscale.co.uk

In the techniques section you'll see a topic Build you first flying scale model.  In this Mike takes you through the whole build of a Veron Comper Swift from start to finish including covering finishing and flying.  Highly recommended

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Dunc
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« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2020, 05:52:38 PM »

Excellent.  I take it that the photo above was taken part way through the remediation  and the tailplane support was still to go on top?

If this is your first build I recommend having a look at Mike Stuart's awesome website www.ffscale.co.uk


Exactly that. Just thought it showed exactly what I'd missed, i've glued them on now though.
That's a great resource I'll enjoy reading through it. Looks like it will keep me in a the right direction.
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Russ Lister
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« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2020, 06:11:14 PM »

I second the recommendation of Mike Stuart's site .... it was his site that first got me hooked into free flight scale back in 2003 .... and his link to the small flying arts forum of that time that got me into aeromodelling forums.
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lincoln
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« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2020, 05:25:00 AM »

Mike Stuart's page can be inspiring, too.

I think you've made a good choice of subject for a first balsa flying scale model. Looks like it has good proportions and should be relatively easy to trim. 
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Dunc
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« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2020, 01:04:19 PM »

Some fabulous builds on Mike's site and the walk through of the swift is superb.

On my project  I sorted out the missing horizontal stab supports, thanks again for the heads up. I also worked out a way (not necessarily the best way) of attaching the cross pieces. Instructions stated to start at the rear,  so I've pinned on the top down image and started to glue the bottom crossieces in. My thinking is that I'll turn the model over to do the same for the top side.
Photos show horizontal stab supports and bottom cross pieces glued in place. Excuse the lighter acting as a prop!

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Re: First Ever Balsa Build - Peanut scale Found Centennial
Re: First Ever Balsa Build - Peanut scale Found Centennial
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TheLurker
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« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2020, 05:10:06 PM »

Quote from: Dunc
Excuse the lighter acting as a prop!
Smoking materials are traditional building aids.  Read any constructional article in an old Aeromodeller and you will like as not see a packet of Weights or Capstan, as well as match-boxes by the dozen being used to prop up bits whilst the glue sets.

I admire your pluck, building a peanut scale model for your first go at stick and tissue.
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flydean1
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« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2020, 10:17:50 PM »

When gluing in the stab support, leave make the stab slot slightly oversized to allow adjustment of the stab incidence.  That and move the rear motor peg forward.
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Dunc
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« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2020, 09:10:12 AM »

Quote from: Dunc
Excuse the lighter acting as a prop!

I admire your pluck, building a peanut scale model for your first go at stick and tissue.

Haha it reminds me of the joke about a man asking for directions in Ireland, he's told "if I were you I wouldn't start from here"!
It honestly seems to be the way I go at things. When I started sewing the first thing I made was a tailored shirt, the collar took me ages to get right but I got there.

Progress is steady, not done much this weekend as I was brewing some beer. It takes a day as I'm "scratch" brewing, it also involves tasting the last batch which doesn't make good companion with glueing tiny bits onto slightly larger bits of balsa.
I've put all my cross pieces in and proceeded as directed to the cowls. I'm a little unsure of myself here so taking my time. The bottom section is 1/16" sheet, same as the sides. When handling the sheet it bends easily with the grain so I was thinking that the grain should run in the opposite way to the sides?
The top is 1/4" and requires hollowing. I was going to just use some sand paper and block but would take any tips. I'm also wondering about the rear edge of this part, do I sand a slope? It kind of looks that way in the last photo.

I think I'm going to need some bits before too long as I haven't the wire for the landing gear or anything to use as the rear peg. The plan calls for 0.15 diameter wire for the LG and aluminium tube for the peg, it doesn't give a diameter. I'm in the UK and could do with a pointer as to where to get these.
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Re: First Ever Balsa Build - Peanut scale Found Centennial
Re: First Ever Balsa Build - Peanut scale Found Centennial
Re: First Ever Balsa Build - Peanut scale Found Centennial
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TheLurker
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« Reply #15 on: February 03, 2020, 03:32:05 PM »

Quote from: Dunc
I think I'm going to need some bits before too long as I haven't the wire for the landing gear or anything to use as the rear peg. The plan calls for 0.15 diameter wire for the LG and aluminium tube for the peg, it doesn't give a diameter. I'm in the UK and could do with a pointer as to where to get...

SLEC, Vintage Model Co. and (I think) Balsa Cabin, amongst others all do piano wire and Al. tubing.  Helpfully, both SLEC & VMC take telephone orders.  Never used Balsa Cabin for bits but others here have. 

https://www.slecuk.com
https://www.vintagemodelcompany.com

There are quite a few other UK based on-line suppliers of bits and bobs I daresay others will drop by with recommendations.
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ZK-AUD
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« Reply #16 on: February 03, 2020, 04:01:55 PM »

Dunc,

This seems to be going well for you

Keeping the weight down is the secret to getting great flights even for your first build so here's a suggestion.

Make up a nice light sanding block of say 3/16 sheet -  6" x 1" will be all you need and use double-sided tape adhere some fine paper - (maybe 320 or 400 grit).  Once your fuselage is complete, gently and carefully sand each side and then the top and bottom until you take it all back from  1/16 square to something closer to 1/20.  Keep you block across the whole side so you keep it nice and even and go lengthwise from front to back. 

Go carefully so that you don't knock out any of your uprights.

When I do this I take it down even further towards the rear where strength is not so important and where light weight is!

Don't be tempted to regard this as an 'advanced technique' just because it is not an orthodox approach - start the way you mean to go on and get used to doing it from the outset.

If you keep the weight down you can then get away with guitar string wire for your U/C - lighter and cheaper than model wire
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ZK-AUD
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« Reply #17 on: February 03, 2020, 05:29:47 PM »


[/quote]

The top is 1/4" and requires hollowing. I was going to just use some sand paper and block but would take any tips. I'm also wondering about the rear edge of this part, do I sand a slope? It kind of looks that way in the last photo.

[/quote]

Best tool for hollowing that out is a thin-walled brass tube sharpened by scouring a modelling blade around the inside.  Suggest one around 1/2" diameter for removing bulk material and smaller diameter for getting into the edges
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Dunc
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« Reply #18 on: February 04, 2020, 05:10:04 PM »

Hi ZK-AUD,

I'm really quite pleased with this model so far. Yes it's fiddly but I'm enjoying the challenge.
I hear what your saying about getting into good habits from the start so I'll have a little go at sanding the fuselage, carefully.

Thanks again
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Dunc
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« Reply #19 on: February 12, 2020, 06:47:01 AM »

I've not given up folks, just slowed down a bit!

Since my last post I've done a few bits to the plane.
I've followed Mike's advice and sanded down the sides, top and bottom of the fuselage, probably not as much as Mike would but since I'm new to this I didn't want to overdo things but wanted to try the technique. It was a bit nerve wracking.
I've hollowed my cowl top and sanded it to shape (roughly, I'll do a finer sand later. This has now been glued to the fuse. At this point I wondered what to do next so whilst the stick was close by I completed the horizontal stab. This I will give a sand down a bit using the same method as Mike described.
Finally I've started on the wing. My wife doesn't seem to mind some sanding whilst she watches TV so I spent a pleasant evening on the sofa making the ribs.
My method was to photocopy the section of the plan showing the ribs enough times so I had a paper copy of every rib. Scissors to cut them out and a pritstick to glue them onto the balsa sheet. Once cut out I stacked them, clamped them and sanded for a uniform shape. The only thing I didn't do was cut the slot for the spar.
I'll probably restack them between some scrap and use a small saw to put the groove in, hopefully this will prevent any splitting as I'm a bit worried that this could happen on such thin sheets.
So far the only problems I've encountered have been caused by our cats. They insist on getting on the workspace when I'm not using it. I've had to repair some bits as our fat black and white plonked her less than graceful paws through the model.


Attached files Thumbnail(s):
Re: First Ever Balsa Build - Peanut scale Found Centennial
Re: First Ever Balsa Build - Peanut scale Found Centennial
Re: First Ever Balsa Build - Peanut scale Found Centennial
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Dunc
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« Reply #20 on: February 12, 2020, 07:14:20 AM »

My non patented protection from feline damage cover!
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Re: First Ever Balsa Build - Peanut scale Found Centennial
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TheLurker
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« Reply #21 on: February 12, 2020, 07:33:00 AM »

My non patented protection from feline damage cover!

I find box files handy for storing the sub-assemblies of small models during the build. Can be stuffed on shelves out of harm's way. They're usually big enough for models up to 20" or so span.

This sort of thing ...

https://www.whsmith.co.uk/products/whsmith-black-laminated-board-foolscap-box-file/5013872005573.html


Model's coming along nicely.
Lurk.
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Russ Lister
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« Reply #22 on: February 12, 2020, 07:49:53 AM »

Progressing well, Dunc  Smiley

Box files .... now why didn't I think of that?!
I use 'Really Useful' boxes a lot ... but they are quite expensive.
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Dunc
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« Reply #23 on: February 18, 2020, 06:22:18 AM »

I think lurk is on to something. I'll grab a scrap one of these from work.
Just a little update this time around before I go back to researching covering methods. This seems another one of those where everyone has a way that works for them. So far I'm thinking I'll use a uhu stick glue to attach the tissue as these are easily available and I'm familiar with how to use them! When it comes to the shrinking / sealing side of the job, I'm less sure. I was going to attach the tissue dry then shrink with water.


It seems I can use and get in the uk:

Cellulose dope, shrinking
Cellulose dope, non shrinking
EZ-dope

Does the EZ dope shrink?
After water shrinking, will I need further shrinkage from the dope?
I have some stick left so I may make a little frame and see how this tissue works before headed to my model. Talking of which.

I've completed the horizontal stab and the vertical, lightly sanded.
The wing is almost done. I've got all my ribs glued in which was a bit of a troublesome affair but I got there with lots of pins. I've put the dihedral in the tips, wasn't sure what I was doing but I pinned the wing and cracked the LE and TE. Pinned it in place and put a small amount of my glue at the crack points.
I only need to put the spar in place and sand the LE and TE to shape.

So far my weight is 6.2g. Am I too heavy or about right?




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Re: First Ever Balsa Build - Peanut scale Found Centennial
Re: First Ever Balsa Build - Peanut scale Found Centennial
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« Reply #24 on: February 18, 2020, 06:50:47 AM »

If you use glue stick then remember to seal the edges with PVA before water shrinking. The glue is water soluble and the tissue will pull away from the structure as it shrinks. Guess how I know that!
Ron
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