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Author Topic: My last Pistachio?  (Read 2605 times)
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Tim Horne
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« on: August 07, 2020, 03:12:16 PM »

I am on holiday at the moment and as usual I have brought my modelling materials with me. I have been thinking about a new Pistachio model for a while without being able to settle on a particular aircraft. Eventually I decided to tackle something that has been on my mind for years and do a Staggerwing.

Progress has been made and I have some parts complete. The reason for the thread title is that I have found the work harder even than I expected. It isn’t handling the small parts required for a Pistachio but the difficulty of seeing what I am doing! I will carry on with this build but whether I will manage another in years to come, time will tell. Maybe this is my last Pistachio.

The Staggerwing, or more precisely the Beechcraft D-17S, is in some ways straightforward and in other ways complex. Simple is the same wing shapes for top and bottom wings, the minimum of struts for a biplane and the possibility (which I am taking) of avoiding having to model the undercarriage because it retracts.
The complexity is the fuselage shape. Although simplifying is ok at this scale I can’t avoid the fact that the fuse goes from a round cowl, through basically square but with curved sides in the cockpit area then back to round by the stab leading edge. How successfully I manage this will be the difference between a fair or poor model.

I also don’t know how successful I will be posting photos. I am used to my camera and resizing on the computer. Here I only have my iPad. I don’t know how to tell how big the photos are or how to resize them if they are too big. I’ll find out soon!
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Tim Horne
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« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2020, 03:27:37 PM »

I started with the forms for laminating the curved wing tips, stab tips and fin/ rudder.

If this works then I have also successfully used the Hippocket picture resizer Smiley
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Tim Horne
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« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2020, 03:49:07 PM »

The fuselage sides are next. I am making this up as I go along and there has been a lot of head scratching just to get here. I think I know how this will eventually come together but I am also aware that I may be on fuse Mk1 and the eventual fuse might be Mk2 or 3.
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Tim Horne
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« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2020, 04:00:25 PM »

For the wings I decided to make things easier by shaping the ribs after construction. They are so small that I couldn’t reliably cut them out so I cut rectangles to the right length and height. You can see the ribs in the top left of the first photo. Notched them for the single spar and then assembled it all on the board. Once it was all set I removed it and sanded it all to shape......very carefully Grin.

I haven’t decided how much, if any, dihedral to add. The wingtips sweep up as the top spar is straight
The complete top wing is 0.21g.
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flydean1
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« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2020, 07:15:00 PM »

Suggest 4 degrees in bottom wing. Top "0" using the natural upsweep of the tips as you noted.  Circle to the right against torque.

Move rear peg location well forward.  Probably no further than the first top "vee" of the rear construction.
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Tim Horne
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« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2020, 08:38:47 PM »

Thanks Flydean, that’s very useful.

I have done the lower wings this evening. All four wings are 0.45g.
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piecost
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« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2020, 09:54:28 PM »

Very nice. Can you tell me what sort of balsa density and sizes you are using?
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DavidJP
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« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2020, 05:39:19 AM »

Useful topic Tim but am a bit ahead of you as I am past that kind of thing. I did find one of those headbands with the alternative lenses a help - and need still do but they do not help the clumsiness with my fingers that I also experience.  I think actually the cause of that is trying to do fine work on the one hand and also heavy stuff with the other.  A delicate touch soon becomes a hamfist!  So far you still seem to have the knack - stick with it.  I have also used, by the way a cheap pair of magnifying glasses from super drug.

For my part I am now enlarging Peanut plans by 50% or so.

Have a good holiday by the way - but one question - how do you get time for modelling?  I usually find we are going round a cathedral, a relic supposed to be a castle, and fine home of our enviable past or a very attractive garden.  Producing modelling kit would be frowned upon by the Ayatollah!
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SP250
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« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2020, 03:38:00 AM »

Coming on nicely Tim.
I'm interested to know what flavour of marmalade you are using and what for, in the tin lid.
Doesn't look like any glue I've ever seen and if it is glue, how do you stop such a large amount going off when a pistachio will use 1 or 2 percent of it.

John M
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Invader3
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« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2020, 07:13:47 AM »

Glad you asked that, John - I was beginning to feel I must be the only one who didn't know what it was  Cheesy

That's nice work, Tim - I've not had the confidence to try a Pistachio yet, still trying to convince my stubby little fingers to do Peanuts successfully!

Watching with interest,
John
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« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2020, 07:35:52 AM »

Tim,

I had similar thoughts whilst building my first pistachio, it felt like a lot of work and took much more time to progress, trimming it is another challenge.

But the final product was very satisfying to behold.

As you, I’m contemplating should i even purse another pistachio, time will tell.

I too used magnifying lense, and will have to continue using it even while building Peanuts.

Regards
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Squirrelnet
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« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2020, 02:15:37 PM »

Nice build thread Tim really enjoying watching progress. The Stagerwing is a lovely subject

Hope it's not your last and you manage to find a work around. I understand where you're coming from though, I struggle with peanuts both seeing the bits (long sighted) and in the patience required.

Sounds like nice holiday to me  Cool
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Tim Horne
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« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2020, 05:46:03 PM »

Thanks for all your positive replies, I now have some questions to answer!

Yes we are having a very nice holiday (on Orkney). The last few days have been glorious so I haven’t got any more modelling done as we have been out enjoying the weather. David, I have a very understanding wife who knows that holiday is some of the only time I get to build regularly and let’s me do it. Also there are 3 of us, myself, my wife and daughter and so they enjoy going out together and leave me to my building board. Compromise on all sides seems to work well for us.

Magnifying lenses have been mentioned and I think that is a route I will have to explore. At home I have a mains powered flexible arm lamp with attached magnifying glass which I use for anything tiny but here I am struggling without it. Maybe another topic to discuss such helps?
I do enjoy the challenge of building things like this but I expect that one day my fingers won’t be able to manage, given the abuse I’ve given them over the years. Have to find ways to keep everything working for as long as possible Cheesy.

Am I the only one to have realised the gluing properties of Robertsons smooth orange marmalade? You need to catch up! Makes a handy snack while you’re working and you can keep it under your hat when not in use Grin.
Sorry; real answer is that it’s superphatic glue which if you have used will know that it dries yellow. I put a spot in the tin lid and then use a toothpick to transfer drops to joints. Over months the dried residues build up. I forget it as it’s just always there. Same method for cyano glue but you can’t see the dried leftovers of that. I like it as it’s almost impossible to tip it over and you lose next to nothing if you do.

As to Prospers question; I am not very good at building light, most of my Pistachio models are too heavy to be properly competitive (5 or 6g rather than 2-4g which they need to be). I use a mixture of balsa weights because I would break a model built all of light wood. Years ago I bought a pack of 1/32 strip wood from Sams and I use that to provide strength. I don’t know what weight it is but I’d guess it’s 10 -15lb. It is very even and straight so I use it for fuselage longerons and wing spars. For the rest I have some very nice 1/32 from Nick Aickman both C and A grain at 4.5- 5lb which I strip down and use for the tailplane and rudder. The wing is C grain 5lb 1/32 x 3/64 for trailing and leading edge (leading edge upright). Same wood for the ribs as it’s nice and stiff. Tips and all other laminations are two layers of 1/32 x 1/64 4.8lb A grain. The spar is the Sams stripwood to help keep it all straight.
Fuse will be the same mixture. Top and bottom longerons in Sams strip to stop the tissue pulling in and give me something stiff enough to handle without breaking all the time. Front end uprights the same for strength. All other stringers and uprights from the 5lb 1/32 x 1/32.
For the sheeting around the cowl I used to sand down 1/32 sheet as much as I dared but I now have some beautiful wood from a friend who had to give up modelling a few years ago. He was an indoor duration flier, a friend and contemporary of John Barker. He gave me his indoor prop wood so I have some 5lb, 0.0095” which is lovely stuff.
I hope that answers your questions. Sorry for the imperial measurements, I’m too used to using them or mixing both which is even more confusing. It’s not very precise but I don’t think too much about weight details.

That’s probably the longest post I’ve ever put on here!
Just to be different, here’s a photo of my wife struggling to social distance on the beach yesterday Smiley.
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DHnut
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« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2020, 05:57:48 PM »

Tim,
        I was also wondering about what I thought was marmalade on the tin lid. All is now clear. I have never tried a pistachio but may now consider it. Peanut is fine and the same considerations apply. Thank you for the enlightenment on your building methods. Enjoy your holiday on what are clearly magnificent beaches that much better for social distancing than the South Coast.
Ricky
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« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2020, 07:44:15 PM »

Tim,

I forgot to mention this earlier, your pistachio is coming along nicely.

Here is the magnifier that I use, it’s very light and even has a small LED light.

IMHO, this is the best tool I’ve invested in.
https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20200809/1f9467c70aa1377f5422a9c5ab2f0544.jpg
My last Pistachio?
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SP250
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« Reply #15 on: August 10, 2020, 03:50:50 AM »

Thanks for the marmalade explanation Tim - I do the same, but with plastic tops from coffee or Pringles crisp tubes. 
That way the dried glue can be cracked off by flexing the plastic and start again with a clean surface. 
I found leaving a residue of dried glue speeds up the drying out of any new glue.  Depends on the brand too I guess. 
Lovely scenery from your holiday there and you have just made me add Orkney to my list of "must visit someday" list.

John M
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Russ Lister
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« Reply #16 on: August 10, 2020, 05:10:30 AM »

Enjoying watching your progress, Tim .... and snapshots of your holiday.
I really do hope that you can carry on making pistachios, but I understand the problems that you are facing.
I used to be able to do anything with the naked eye, but now I rely on a set of reading glasses from 1.50 to 3.50 ... even wearing two sets at once to get real close sometimes.
In the last ten years I have had trouble with frozen shoulders ... I couldn't hand launch properly at one time (this was particularly cruel to me at the 2013 indoor nats). My right hand is now weak ... though the ganglion that caused particular problems has now gone thankfully. I seem to have come through it partially though ... I can face building and flying with more enthusiasm.
I hope that you can work through it too!
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steve-de24
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« Reply #17 on: August 10, 2020, 05:45:03 AM »

Shadow,
A headband magnifier is on my shopping list but I'm not sure what level of magnification to get. What magnification do your lenses have? What would you recommend?
Thanks in advance,
Steve
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Tim Horne
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« Reply #18 on: August 10, 2020, 08:06:02 PM »


Here is the magnifier that I use, it’s very light and even has a small LED light.

IMHO, this is the best tool I’ve invested in.
https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20200809/1f9467c70aa1377f5422a9c5ab2f0544.jpg

Thanks for that Shadow, recommendations are always good. I will have to invest.
“The best tool I’ve invested in” would be another good thread. Not particularly modelling related but in my day job the day I got my first cordless drill changed my life Grin.

A cooler cloudy day today so I stayed in and did a bit more. Don’t get the idea that the Orkneys always look like my photo; that is not normal!

First was the stab. Then I started the process I dislike most with these tiny models. Trying to get a 3D fuselage that is square and straight Embarrassed. At the same time I started work on the cowl.
My last Pistachio?
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cvasecuk
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« Reply #19 on: August 11, 2020, 05:45:06 AM »


 Trying to get a 3D fuselage that is square and straight Embarrassed.
That applies to any size model for me!!!
Ron
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DavidJP
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« Reply #20 on: August 11, 2020, 06:30:12 AM »

I did notice the weather in your photo Tim - as you say a bit unusual but never mind.  It is extremely hot here and not a lot of fun as far as I am concerned.  You are making good progress...... oh and I can’t really complain about not doing any modelling on holiday - I am retired so can do it any time I am told...... so must be true?  However I must admit too that I am not exactly dragged kicking and screaming when we are off to visit places of interest or Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty etc. 

Continue to have a good time.  I could not help comparing your wife and her attempt at social distancing and the recent pictures of the Oiks on the beach at Bournemouth.  We have one or two beaches like that here but please don’t tell anyone.  We have not entirely completed our border crossings yet.
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Russ Lister
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« Reply #21 on: August 11, 2020, 10:01:56 AM »

Tim,
I machined these small square jigs to help keep things square .... with a bit of care they work really well for me.
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SP250
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« Reply #22 on: August 11, 2020, 10:21:12 AM »

I just use Lego bricks stacked or singly for square building jigs

John M
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« Reply #23 on: August 11, 2020, 11:05:31 AM »

Shadow,
A headband magnifier is on my shopping list but I'm not sure what level of magnification to get. What magnification do your lenses have? What would you recommend?
Thanks in advance,
Steve

My set came with lenses ranging from 1x, 1.5x, 2x, 2.5x & 3.5x...i use 1.5x most often as it allows me to work on the bits at ‘normal arm placement on table’ distance. I do switch to 3.5x when i want to get up close and personal with a peanut scale pilot.

Using 1x wasn’t enough and 2x & 2.5x meant that i had to hold the bits mid way closer or had to bring my head closer to the table top, both were tiring when working for the substantial amount of time.

Hope the above helps.

Regards
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Tim Horne
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« Reply #24 on: August 11, 2020, 11:24:10 AM »

Those are both good ideas Russ and John. Lego bricks are simple but I don’t have any. Can you buy just bricks? They all seem to be kits to build a “replica Death Star” or similar. I’ll have to investigate; maybe eBay.
I like your squares Russ because you can pin them down; that’s handy.

Actually the trickiest bit I find isn’t the initial squaring up. It’s when that has to come off the board and it’s so fragile. All the cross pieces are glued on just on the end grain of a piece of 1/32, and then you have to start bending the tail in and the nose and fitting progressively smaller cross pieces toward the tail. Once everything is glued in you have a fairly sturdy frame but getting there I find tricky.

Thanks Shadow. I didn’t know you could get sets with different lenses. More to look out for.
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