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Sliver Build Thread - A TD .020 Project

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Old 07-30-2017, 12:21 AM
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Default Sliver Build Thread - A TD .020 Project

So, way back in 2011, Steve "skaliwag" Adams and myself were tossing emails back and forth about model plane designs. I told him I wished to build something in the .010-.020 size range with a low wing and ailerons. Something with lines a bit rounder and sleeker than the typical boxy "stick" types I often build. Before long, skaliwag was drawing up ideas and bouncing them off of me as the emails progressed. A couple of months later, I received a package with some rolled drawings and some pre-cut wood parts to play with. Steve was quick to admit that all the bugs hadn't been worked out of the design and that I would have to apply some creativity to figure out how to make it all come together and resemble an actual model airplane. In the winter of 2012, I framed up the wings, all excited about having a new plane for a TD .020 that no one else would yet have. Shortly afterward, I ran into hurdles trying to figure out how I was going to build the fuselage and make it resemble the drawings. Busy with other model projects and life in general, I ended up shelving the Sliver project. Fast forward 5 years into 2017. Following a trip to the SMALL Fly-In, I had a renewed enthusiasm for building several new models for next year's event. I rescued the Sliver project from mothballs and years of dust, re-opened the dialogue with skaliwag regarding the design, and have been determined to see this project finally completed. Keep in mind, if you follow along, that this model is not being built from a complete kit. It's more a proof of concept and if successful, just MAY end up being kitted for the masses.
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Old 07-30-2017, 02:53 AM
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The wing panel pics are from 2012. I believe it has a 24" span.
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Old 07-30-2017, 02:55 AM
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The plans as drawn by skaliwag.
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Old 07-30-2017, 03:00 AM
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I resumed the project by starting construction of the fuselage. The pre-cut sides were only 1/32" thick. They were paper thin and flimsy so I laminated them to achieve 1/16" thickness and they are now much more robust. The forward doublers were installed and1/8" stringers glued into the corners. I glued the sides to the bulkheads while they were pinned upside down on the plans to keep everything aligned. After the firewall was shaped, it was epoxied in place. The upper bulkheads were then installed which lay the foundation for the turtledeck and the area behind the firewall.
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Old 07-30-2017, 03:11 AM
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At this point, I began adding 1/4" thick pieces of soft balsa cut and beveled to fit the forward section. I continued shaping and adding blocks of 1/4" as needed then started trimming them and sanding/shaping them into the desired contour of the airframe. The turtledeck was sheeted with 1/16" balsa.
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Old 07-30-2017, 03:18 AM
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More filling/sanding/shaping. This type of build is much more time consuming than a typical boxy, rectangular "stick" type plane but will be easier on the eyes when it's finished. I just made it up as I went along since the drawings didn't provide any details of the technique needed to achieve the overall shape. It's a satisfying project but probably not suitable for a new model builder.
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Old 07-30-2017, 03:27 AM
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The cockpit area was built up in the same manner, using spacers as appropriate to support the blocks at the proper height. This allowed careful sanding and beveling of the blocks without them breaking off during the process. I used Sig Bond alaphatic glue on the blocks to make sanding easier than if I had used CA. Once it was all set, I began shaping everything with sanding blocks. I then made a pencil line for the cockpit area and carefully cut out the section with an Xacto blade. So far, so good. I'll apply lightweight spackling to all the joints and cracks to smooth things up a bit.

​​​​​​​Feel free to chime in with ideas or opinions. I'll probably ignore them, but it may make for good conversation along the way.
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Old 07-30-2017, 02:18 PM
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After filling in some of the seams and rough spots with lightweight spackling, I did a quick sanding job to smooth it out and mounted the engine to the firewall for the first time. This is one of my favorite parts of building a new model plane.
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Old 07-30-2017, 02:26 PM
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Now you can start making those engine noises!
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Old 07-30-2017, 02:29 PM
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Talking

Yes sir!
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Old 07-30-2017, 04:41 PM
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Did the CARE package arrive?
Anything usable?
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Old 07-30-2017, 05:02 PM
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Yes sir. It was waiting when I got back to town. All good stuff. I'll try to put it to good use soon. Many thanks! Will be sending the box back with other goods.
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Old 07-31-2017, 06:34 AM
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Planes always look more sinister when the canopy is behind the wing like that. To be easier, some pink or blue foam could be added on top of a more box type fuselage. Quicker to carve up at least. You could really make the whole fuse out of pink foam, but that would not be right.
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Old 07-31-2017, 07:30 AM
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Fuselage made of foam ????? Wash your mouth with Dawn.
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Old 07-31-2017, 10:03 AM
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No foam on this one! I've got enough electric powered flying beer coolers hanging about already. This machine will be built entirely of smooth and satisfying Ecuadorian Gold and powered with a noisy, vibrating finicky slime-slinger. These things make me happy.
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Old 08-02-2017, 02:46 PM
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Lookin' good! Glad to see Troy building again.
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Old 08-03-2017, 03:43 PM
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Junk exchange complete !!
Need more ???????????????
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Old 08-03-2017, 03:48 PM
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It's no longer a matter of need. I think I'm good to go for a while. Planning to fly a larger variety of Cox engines at the next SMALL. Reedies and TDs of all sizes and then some.
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Old 08-03-2017, 04:34 PM
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Silly you !!
You think you are inventoried up.
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Old 08-05-2017, 06:16 AM
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Just keeping the thread alive. I'm working lots of overtime, so the Sliver project is on a brief hold. I did manage to join the wing panels and get the center section sheeted the other day between shifts.
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Old 08-06-2017, 07:02 AM
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In the pic above, fuselage caught my attention; recognize a technique used when building a .15 size kit where short section material is used to represent and space out the tail fairing blocks for shaping as you're doing. May have also been in a "Hints and Kinks" page of M.A.N. magazine allowing shaping and sanding of blocks to desired contour without the actual tail being in the way - works great! Looks great!
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Old 08-06-2017, 08:18 AM
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Thanks. I'm just "winging it" as I go.
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Old 08-08-2017, 09:30 PM
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Since you brought up the subject of tail fairing blocks.... My first attempt at making them failed after gluing them to the fuse with CA, lightly tacking the spacers with Sig Bond, and attempting to countour the blocks with a belt sander. The sander promptly grabbed hold of the blocks and snapped them off of the fuse, sending parts across the shop. On the next attempt, I epoxied the blocks to the fuse with the spacers taped in place. Once the epoxy had set well, I began hand shaping the fillets with a small sanding block. This worked much better.
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Old 08-08-2017, 09:31 PM
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Shaping by hand
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Old 08-08-2017, 09:33 PM
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Fillets done
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