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Author Topic: 1/18th scale Spitfire for rubber power  (Read 16535 times)
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ZIP.58
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« Reply #425 on: November 19, 2021, 04:30:14 PM »

I have been following the construction since the beginning and can only say: fantastic.

Greetings from Switzerland
peter
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Prosper
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« Reply #426 on: November 20, 2021, 05:33:52 AM »

Greetings from England Peter! Thanks very much for the compliment.

Well I've been having fun. Really.

OK, not really.

I knew that the cockpit glazing could be tricky from previous experience - not the Spitfire particularly, but in general. I plunged another windscreen last evening which came out better than the first but is still not what I want. It's the optical distortion that bugs me - the transparency can look fabbo from one aspect and then bloody awful from another. In pic 1 it looks sharpie-nuff, if you'll excuse the pun, but in 2) . . . .

I found that the particular sheet of PET I had used was pretty scratchy, and now have selected a better piece (they're ex-confectionary containers BTW). Next I spent some little time getting the plug's surface fit for a prize - multiple coats of cyano, wet and dry from 400 to 1200 grit (dry) followed by 2000 and 3500 (wet) and finished of with Brasso. Now I don't know whether to smear oil or silicone on the surface before plunging, or not.

Ironically this early curved windscreen was immediately picked up by pilots as being unsuitable for combat, and was changed before long, according to Alfred Price.

However that brings me to the next problem - what shape was it? And the armoured screen? As if I haven't spent enough time trying to 'get' the shape of the windscreen itself, there's the armour too. I couldn't reconcile the dimensions in the drawings with any possible fit to the windscreen . . . unless the armoured sheet is much wider than the flat portion of the windscreen. Once I considered that possibility, suddenly I was seeing this in photographs. I believe this is the answer, and I'm fiddling with card patterns.

So I'm bogged down again. The only advantage of making the details concurrently with the basic airframe itself is that perhaps, I'll be able to say "80% finished. . . .and only 20% left to go!" Grin Grin

Stephen.

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ZIP.58
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« Reply #427 on: November 20, 2021, 06:41:47 AM »

I know the problem. Chris and I also have it with our D-3800/3801, and Chris would like to make his canopy slideable like the original. "Man" is a model builder and he will come up with a solution to the problem. Huh Huh Smiley Smiley

Greetings, Peter
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packardpursuit
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« Reply #428 on: November 20, 2021, 04:32:28 PM »

"Don't trust any drawings unless they are from the factory and draughted at the time the aircraft was built. Even then there are caveats."

It's been my experience that "as drawn" by the factory and "as built" by the factory are often two different things, entirely!
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Prosper
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« Reply #429 on: November 20, 2021, 05:37:34 PM »



Quote from: ZIP.58
I know the problem. Chris and I also have it with our D-3800/3801, and Chris would like to make his canopy slideable like the original.
I just looked at the very nice cockpit detailing on your thread. It deserves to have a sliding canopy, if it's possible to make one.

After I'd done the same spit-and-polish routine on the other two plugs, to get them smooth and shiny, I plunged a test mould of the hood and rear light. For the latter I smeared the tiniest bit of mineral oil over the plug. I'm not sure it made any difference - I'll have to make a few more tests. For the hood I used the rest of the poor-quality sheet I mentioned in the last post. I just wanted to see if the shape was right. The pics show the canopy segments perched approximately in position. Now I'll make what I hope will be the segments I'll actually use.  The hood on its own weighs 0.4g, which is okay by me.

By the way, the problem of the uneven finish causing bad optical distortion is still present to some degree despite using highly-polished plugs. My guess is that it's to do with the temperature of the plugs; room temp. plugs hitting very hot plastic. I notice that the excess plastic which is cut away from the component - but which has likewise been heated then stretched by the plunging action, is crystal-clear, and free of optical wobbles.

Stephen.
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piecost
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« Reply #430 on: November 20, 2021, 06:00:28 PM »

Loving the build. The plastic kit guys use an acrylic floor polish which they dip the transparencies in to remove scratches. It really makes the glass look better. Worth a thought.
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RolandD6
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« Reply #431 on: November 20, 2021, 11:31:57 PM »

"Don't trust any drawings unless they are from the factory and draughted at the time the aircraft was built. Even then there are caveats."

It's been my experience that "as drawn" by the factory and "as built" by the factory are often two different things, entirely!

I support Packardpursuit on this matter. I have an electronic copy of many Waco drawings that I believe came from the NASM archives. Off and on I am drawing the full size structure of the QDC, the first Waco cabin airplane. Many drawings are indistinct to put it mildly  because the originals were large and many have been scanned at 300 dpi. It is very evident that the first version of many drawings (circa 1931) have had minimal updates so you have to go though what were change requests at the time to figure out just what was done when the first few airplanes were built. Sometimes you have conflicting change requests, ie. a change was recorded and then later on the change was reversed. At present I am trying to figure out the rear fuselage turtle deck. The drawing I have does not correspond very well with photographs of the prototype QDC. Also the drawings do not detail how the turtleneck frame was fastened to the steel tube fuselage frame. I have managed to find some photos taken of a currently flying example during its rebuild. That particular airplane uses shaped wooden blocks bandaged to the steel tube frame and I presume the plywood hoop formers of the turtle deck are screwed or nailed and glued to the wooden blocks.

On the matter of factory 3 views it is better to assume they have errors until proven otherwise. Often they are a marketing tool which is not always kept up to date possibly because of the cost of producing marketing materials. So far it appears the factory 3 views of the QDC and the model that followed (UEC) are reasonably reliable. The UEC was very similar to the QDC. Basically it used a modified version of the QDC steel tube framework. The engine was changed from a Continental A-70-2, (Continental’s first radial engine) to the Continental W-670. The forward fuselage was changed a little bit and the rear fuselage was extended by 18”. The tailplane, fin and rudder were essential the same. Extra framework bars were added to the UEC windscreen.

The UEC wings were similar to the QDC wings except the QDC used flying and landing wire bracing and the UEC was the first WACO cabin airplane to use a rigid strut to brace the wing against flying and landing loads. I have not studied the wing structure of both airplanes enough to comment further.

My 2 cents worth

Paul
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Prosper
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« Reply #432 on: November 22, 2021, 06:38:49 AM »

Packard and Paul, I agree, these are the caveats I mentioned.

Thanks Piecost - I have tried that in the past with no luck. That's why I've got 3500 grit abrasive - I've tried the whole routine which is sposed to give you a thin and ultra-clear result. Ultra whitish-bloom was the best I got.

In fact the problem here isn't scratches so much, but I think is either something happening between the face of the plug and the surface of the plastic, or some kind of internal turmoil in the plastic itself which causes it to scramble the light going through it.

I did some more work on the windscreen and bulletproof excrescence yesterday. Now I think I can make a decent reproduction without needing to manipulate the fuselage overmuch in order to get the shape and fit right, and I feel the need to crack on a bit, which in this case means making the propeller and hardware, and joining up the fuselage sections. After that I should be down to pesky stuff like tailwheel, exhaust manifolds, cockpit detail, rudder and what have you.

The picture shows the spinner/hub assembly. I imagine that for anyone who hasn't seen the way I make this unit, the picture has about the same clarity as mud. I hope the added notes help, but I will post pics as I go that will make things transparent. I should say that the template shown is ideal: I'll be making this with a domestic power-drill, and using plunge-moulded bits and pieces, so how neat the actual result will be is anyones's guess. I hope to start work today.

The Mk. I Spitfires, once fitted with VP props, sported two kinds of spinner - sharp or blunt - depending on the prop they were fitted with. At some point a different sharp spinner appeared; longer and fuller in shape - perhaps the Mk. V?

The Mk. I sharp spinner always looks to me a bit squashed, and there's a considerable change of angle between the top line of the cowling and the spinner profile. This is different than the last assembly I made for the P.R. IV model, so I can't cheat and use that assembly. Furthermore the metalwork installed in the last model wasn't beefy enough for the thickness of rubber motor the bird needed, so I'm making stronger bits this time.

I like to have the motor hook ahead of the nose former. Because of the  squashed spinner, in this case the hook will only be a fraction ahead of the nose former I think.

Notes

1) Plunge-moulded spinner cap.

2) Space for lead weight.

3) Space for freewheel.

4) Balsa spinner - blades slot into this.

5) Plunge moulded static component - plugs into nose former.

Stephen.
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Prosper
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« Reply #433 on: November 22, 2021, 12:45:31 PM »

Right, here's where I've got to:

1) marking balsa for the spinner/hub. This whole effort is based on 'quick and dirty' methodology. I used to use a compass-cutter type device to cut circular blanks - too slow!

2)sqaure blanks, cut from the sheet with scissors for speed; the centres punctured with a file. The wood is hard 1/32", 0.8mm. Not as hard as I'd like but it'll have to do.

3)blanks stacked up. The centre hole is opened up with files until the bolt fits tightly in place (4). I cut the square corners off roughly and then turned the spinner with a power drill (5) - spinning the 'wrong' way to avoid loosening of the nut. At this point there is no glue used - the block of discs is held together by pressure from the nut and bolt.  Glue anywhere on the surface that's being turned leads to eccentric results - unless the whole surface is covered, of course.

When the correct shape was arrived at, I dosed the surface with copious amounts of CA, let dry for quite a while, then returned the spinner to the drill for finishing. I had to re-coat and repeat in fact, to get a nice surface finish. See pic 6.
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Prosper
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« Reply #434 on: November 22, 2021, 12:51:57 PM »

Once this was done I thought it best to plunge a spinner cap to see how the fit of spinner and cap was. I used the plug from the last model, gambling that it would fit this shorter spinner. Wronggg . . . 7) shows the plug on a bamboo stick, the whateveryoucallit that you plunge through, and an excellent result first time - only the wrong shape. I had to turn the plug in the drill twice, ending up with two duds and finally an (I hope) acceptable cap. See pic 9.

8 ) While all this was going on I hunted down the plug for the other plunge-moulded component; the 'nosecone', which fits into the nose former. Again this was the wrong shape for the shorter spinner of the Spitfire Mk. I, and I had to glue a couple of extra discs to the tip.

10, 11) With the spinner's surface finished to an acceptable state I could remove the nut and bolt and hack away the inside of the spinner, counting laminations until approx 5mm depth of laminations remained intact at the front of the spinner. Then I flipped the bolt so that it sticks out of the front, and the next op. is to turn the inside of the spinner/hub in the lathe drill.

Stephen.
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NorthloopCup
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« Reply #435 on: November 22, 2021, 07:37:18 PM »

The 2 types of spinner cap on the mk1 spitfires were, to my knowledge, the DH and Rotol type. The DH is the short pointy spinner cap. Obviously the Rotol item is the more blunt spinner. The later Rotol fitted to the mk v’s onward, has the longer spinner cap. Happy to be corrected though.

Keep up the good work. Really great to see the progress.
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Prosper
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« Reply #436 on: November 23, 2021, 09:45:00 AM »

Thanks for the info NorthloopCup.

Last evening I had a bit of a second wind, and embarked on I think the only job in aeromodelling which I truly detest - which is drilling and reaming brass tube to fit a propshaft. Amongst mankind's list of shortcomings seems to be the inability to provide the needy with at least one size of brass tube which actually fits any common diameter of piano wire. This job takes ages, is dirty and entirely unsatisfactory in that the drilled and reamed tube is never concentric, breaks drill bits, and the moment the reaming work has opened up the tube enough to prevent the wire from jamming rock solid, is the same moment that the wire suddenly shoots through the tube and you find the fit is too loose!

Anyway.

First I cleaned up the interior of the spinner/hub. Spinning this with a drill and using files or abrasive paper subjects the workpiece to great leverage, and the balsa was too soft to take it. I did most of the work by whittling at the inside. Pic 2 shows a clear dent or depression in the centre of the spinner - this is where the washer dug into the soft wood. I don't think it's fatal but it's hardly ideal. What might also be visible - just about - is the eccentricity of the outer and inner diameter of the brass tube, for the reason mentioned above. All is not lost . . . the bolt leaves a big hole, which has to be filled with sumfink. I use rolled paper. Although a tight fit is advisable, until glued for good, this paper leaves the brass tube free to move somewhat.

That's where the centreing tool (pic 3) comes in. If the spinner with brass bush in place is threaded onto the central wire, and sits with its lower circumference conforming with a circle marked around the wire, then the bore of the brass tube is concentric. Innit. Then the tube can be locked in place with lots of cyano. The solid, grey look of the rolled paper is because of all the cyano it's absorbed. The centreing tool works for the nosecone too, and it can be used to mark blade sockets and what have you.

So far today I've only had a few minutes - time to plunge the nosecone and cut a strip of 20 thou (approx 0.5mm) plastic card which has to fit into the nose former - last two pics.

Stephen.
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vintagemike
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« Reply #437 on: November 23, 2021, 01:32:02 PM »

There is a product I use on my hand turned pens called micro mesh, it is a series of abrasive squares that range from 1500 grit to 12000 grit. Try looking for Turners Retreat or Stiles and Bates, they usually have stocks.
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NorthloopCup
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« Reply #438 on: November 23, 2021, 05:06:35 PM »

No problem at all.


The micromesh that I have is made by Alclad - item ALC301.
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« Reply #439 on: November 24, 2021, 12:13:13 PM »

Thanks Northloop and Vintagemike. Micromesh. Never 'eard of it. I'll be looking into that.

This a.m. I finished the nosecone and made the blades. There's a tradeoff between the cone and the spinner/hub: the hub needs to be thick-sectioned to support the blades but the cone needs to be wide to give good access and permit a forward motor hook. One way to get the best result is to have minimum clearance between the two, but I've found out the hard way that grass blades, grass seeds and worse, seed stalks (thin but unbelievably tough and wiry) get trapped and can't be got out. On at least two occasions in the past I've had to unsolder and dismantle the whole apparatus just to clear it of trapped herbage. Now I accept that more clearance is necessary, so that stuff can be seen and hooked out.

The blades are rather weak - the hardest 1/32" balsa in my stash just isn't hard. I don't know if these blades will survive well. They're not glued into the spinner yet.

Pic 4 shows why I call it a nosecone. It's conical, and it goes in the nose.

Tomorrow I won't be doing any work on the model, nor perhaps the day after - but joining the fuselage sections comes next.

Stephen.
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TheLurker
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« Reply #440 on: November 24, 2021, 12:46:44 PM »

Quote from: Prosper
The blades are rather weak - the hardest 1/32" balsa in my stash just isn't hard. I don't know if these blades will survive well.
Are they too delicate/fine for the strimmer line fixing solution? Or perhaps 1/64" ply as alternative?  The heavier(?) ply might also reduce the amount of dead weight required for nose ballast.
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« Reply #441 on: November 24, 2021, 05:38:31 PM »

1/64 Plywood - that's interesting. If it were bonded well enough, so that it could be sanded thin at the T.E. without fraying or splintering, and if it could be twisted if heated up, then yes. I only have a scrap of 1/64 ply but I'll buy a sheet next time I'm ordering aeromodelling materials. It's the kind of thing any respectable gentleman modeller ought to have to hand anyway. As for the weight, if it turned out significantly heavier than hard 1/32 balsa impregnated with CA then I might worry. I think I avoid a whole set of trimming issues by having light propeller blades. I just weighed these blades - 2.2g without paint, for an 8" disc diameter and generous area. That's about the same as a 6" two-blade plastic prop.

This is way too small for the strimmer idea I think. I can't see how it could be incorporated. Ivan Taylor invented the method IIRC, and he makes bi-iig models. What I do is fix the blades into their sockets with smears of UHU glue - this revolting stringy yuk does have its uses - the blade normally pops out without breaking. And if the blade does need to be removed, UHU glue is very heat-intolerant - a small dose of heat melts it.

Stephen.
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ironmike
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« Reply #442 on: November 25, 2021, 11:11:55 AM »

Ive had good luck using 1/64 and 1/32 ply blades
for years. Boil and bake they will take a shape.
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« Reply #443 on: November 25, 2021, 08:10:25 PM »

Can you get material from Volare' products in America? They have brass tubing 3/64" OD x .035 ID for 1/32" wire, 1/16" OD x .050" ID for .047 wire and 5/64" OD x .066 ID for 1/16" wire. Even with pricey shipment, it might be worth it to avoid drilling brass tubing. I have used these sizes and they work great.
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« Reply #444 on: November 25, 2021, 10:03:13 PM »

Stephen,
             I have been watching with interest the build, and the ingenuity being applied, showing the depth of understanding of the materials being used. Facinating. On the question of flexible blades I may be able to shed some light on the use of small blades. I currently have a 3 bladed prop made for a Comet P51 of 6" diameter. I have used a 1/64" ply core and  a 1/16" balsa outer that is sanded to an aerofoil section. nice sharp leading and trailing edges. The blades plug into a brass tubes and are an interference fit. The spigots are from 3/32" strimmer materialthat is glues in place after trimming. The challenge is making a neat job of the hubs and I have used another layer of 1/32 ply that is tapered to avoid a hard spotand epoxied the strimmer material in a channel. The strimmer material I used was square and not of a domestic size. The stubs were rounded off before fitting and the fit in the tube checked. Our club members have used Ivan's sysyem for some time wth very good results. When I next get the camera out I will post a photo of the arrangement. Weight is generally not a concern because the prop weight replaces nose ballast.
Keep up the good work.
Ricky     
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« Reply #445 on: November 27, 2021, 05:14:42 AM »

Thanks for the help, folks. I'll certainly be ordering 1/64 ply when I make my next online foray for 'modelling stuff', now that Mike confirms its workability. Ricky, I follow your description but a photo would be good if you remember sometime. The issue here is that the max depth of the socket would be about 7mm. Is that enough?

My general approach is to view the blade as a spring, with the stiff carbon-reinforced root leading to the very thin tip - i.e. the stiffness reducing from root to tip - ideally without any abrupt discontinuity in stiffness. Inasmuch as absorbing landing shocks is concerned, this works well except for the difficulty in predicting the behaviour of any given bit of balsa sheet (balsa is a natural substance . . . etc). It goes alongside the provision of a nosecone that although firmly in place, can also pop out when the prop disc hits the ground. When this setup works there's no need for anything fancy at the root/hub, and I use a weak UHU bond to allow the blade to pop out as a failsafe - it's not intended to happen every hard landing. Indeed, it's not a good thing because in levering itself out, the blade can often crack the laminations of the hub - easily re-glued but still a nuisance.

The wire/tube issue . . .

I've noted that, Hughes Aircraft, thanks for providing the sizes. The 0.047 is equivalent to what I'm using here (1.2mm). The thing is, I'm fairly sure that wire and tube which fit each other must be available here (mustn't it?), but two obstacles are met: one, the confusion of sizes - inches and S.W.G., then Imperial and metric. I'm not sure wire and tube are always sold using the same units they were manufactured in. The other hitch is the way vendors list their products. "Brass Tube - 1.5mm 2mm 2.5mm 3mm" is what I mean. Or something like "Brass tube for Speedwing conversion. £2.50".  

Another thing is the clearance that Hughes Aircraft has kindly given - 0.05 I.D. for 0.047 wire. 3 thou. Imagining what 5 thou plastic card is like, I'm wondering whether that's more clearance than I find acceptable. Given that my brass bushings are usually 5 or 6mm long depending on the application, I wonder if 1.5 thou either side might permit quite a wobble in a 5mm length? Perhaps I'm just asking too much in terms of tolerances.

Another thing is the strange sizes I have. I can buy piano wire in 0.34mm; 0.41 - 51 - 61 71 etc, then 1.0 - 1.2 . . . .mm. It couldn't be that piano wire is sized in order to produce a certain frequency of sound when struck or plucked, could it? Could 'piano' be a clue??

Today I'm fiddling with the reflector sight, which (on reflection Smiley) I realise should be done before joining the fuselage sections. Yesterday afternoon I soldered the prophook and freewheel.

Stephen.
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« Reply #446 on: November 29, 2021, 11:56:19 AM »

Quote from: Prosper
Today I'm fiddling with the reflector sight, which I realise should be done before joining the fuselage sections.
This has held me right up. Finally today I got it fixed - not as I wanted but it'll have to do. The sight is quite a big item, and it seemed to me that just making some transparent disc and fixing it behind the windscreen at a slanting angle wouldn't be enough. However, I didn't bargain for the extreme fiddliness involved in trying to make some kind of replica - let alone the bracketry with which it's mounted to the fuselage. I got some of the bracketry done but gave up and fixed the sight in place in a crude way, since the stupid mini-project took all weekend - or at least as much work as I could do in a cold workplace. 8° this morning - too cold for me!

The rectangular duct ahead of the sight is presumably for air.

With the sight dispensed with for better or for worse, I fixed the tail section in place. Next I had a bit of work to do to the front of the main section, preparatory to fixing the nose section in place - and was I glad I hadn't fixed the tail until the last moment . . . within a minute or two working at the front I'd dinged the tail several times against the tabletop, and caught the tailwheel strut against sanding blocks and whatnot. No damage - all low-energy stuff - but if I'd fixed the tail on earlier in the build it would have been damaged or broken by now, I'm sure. This is partly or mainly to do with my seeing glasses, which have a very small focal area. Everything outside that either doesn't exist, sort of, or is entirely distorted.

Stephen.
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Russ Lister
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« Reply #447 on: November 29, 2021, 12:04:27 PM »

It was worth the fiddling  Smiley
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« Reply #448 on: November 29, 2021, 02:23:21 PM »

What an amazing build.  Thanks for bringing us along!
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« Reply #449 on: November 30, 2021, 12:03:43 PM »

Thanks Russ; thanks faif2d Smiley

First post:

I've got the fuselage glued up. Apart from numerous slight asymmetries and wonkiness that are barely noticeable and down I guess to the limits of my building skills, there's a pronounced twist in the nose section. This will be forced straight when the fuselage and wing are joined, but I don't like it because I don't know how it came about, and also it will mean a built-in stress, not a good idea because it could mean something springs apart under that tension when the model hits the ground. Unlikely I think, given the overall strength of the thing, but annoying all the same.

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Re: 1/18th scale Spitfire for rubber power
Re: 1/18th scale Spitfire for rubber power
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