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  1. #1

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    Fiberglassing a Byron Hellcat

    Hi I really need Help Fiberglassing a Byron Originals F6F Hellcat. What I need to know is... 1.What do I use on the wood to seal it?. 2. What oz cloth do I use? 3. What do I use with the Fiberglass?, all of which need to work with spray paint. I don't have an airbrush,so I don't want to use paint for automobiles. . It scares me..I don't want my wings to "wave." Thanks for any help on this. Steve

  2. #2

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    RE: Fiberglassing a Byron Hellcat

    Hi Steve,

    what I would do is: sand the model and apply the fiberglass with finishing resin. You can use .5 or .75 oz cloth. If you want spray paint I recommend you lustrekote, or 21sr century.
    good luck with your project.

  3. #3

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    RE: Fiberglassing a Byron Hellcat

    I would recommend you visit the Pattern forums... regular and electric. These folks have developed very lightweight finishing systems that you would find beneficial... The most popular thread is about a Black Magic VF3 build... the designer of this plane, Mike Hester, goes through his finishing methods in great deal...
    I'm certain that in the scale or warbirds forums, similar threads have been posted as well.

  4. #4
    speedracerntrixie's Avatar
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    RE: Fiberglassing a Byron Hellcat

    The Byron kit has a polyester fiberglass fuse and foam wings and tail. It's the foam peices that need fiberglassing as some strength is needed. If I recall, Byron did state that the foam surfaces could be covered in Econokote but I have never seen any done in such a manner.

    First off, you need a good quality epoxy resin. The use of anything else will dissolve the foam. West systems is most readily available and you will need to use the slow hardener. It is a 5 to 1 mix ratio and it is very inportant to be very accurate when mixing. This would apply to any epoxy system. Because you are going strait over foam, I would suggest heavier cloth then .75 oz. 1.5 to 2 oz will give the strength and dent resistance needed.

    Clean the surfaces well with dish soap and water. When completly dry, drape the cloth over the surface and smooth out. Mix about 4 oz total of resin and pour a small amount to the center of the surface. With a playing card squeegee the resin outward. Take your time and let the resin saturate the cloth as you go. Try not to use too much. You will be surprised how far a little will go.

    Let cure for 48 hours at a temp no less then 65 degrees, trim the excess and lightly feather sand and cover the opposite side in the same manner.

    Prep for paint should be a light sanding with 220 grit followed by spray can laquer primer. It is important that all foam be covered with glass and epoxy before primer as the primer will dissolve any exposed foam. When satisfied with the primer finish you can spray with Rust-oleum and for that scale finish clear with matte finish Lusterkote.

  5. #5

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    RE: Fiberglassing a Byron Hellcat

    The Hellcat was a wire cut wing and stab that MUST be sheeted with balsa before the finishing process. After you sheet the wing, then you can either finish in a film or glass and paint. That plane really deserves a full glass and paint finish job. As above, 3/4oz cloth and Pacer Zpoxy finishing resin is your best choice for the wings and tail. You need to use polyester resin to glass the formers in the fuse.

    It is very good looking plane when finished, and it flies awesome. It is NOT for beginners, or even intermediates. The building process needs to be altered some from what is in the instructions. They use some iffy control hookups and such.

    It should be painted with a gun and auto or epoxy paint. A rattle can finish will not get the finish that the planes deserves. It can be done, but be prepared to sand and repaint often. You will get runs, dry spots, and not enough coverage all at the same time with a can. It simply does not put out a consistent, large pattern of paint.

  6. #6
    Campy's Avatar
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    RE: Fiberglassing a Byron Hellcat

    As for the glassing, you may want to consider using the waterbase polyurethane method.

    The advantages are:

    A noticeable weight saving compared to a resin job (average is 3 - 4 oz on a 60 size bird).
    MUCH easier to sand.
    No concerns about if the poly is going to "attack" the foam (this may be a concern
    using resin - the wrong type will attack the foam)
    Accepts finishes just as well as a resin job.
    No odor/fumes
    Soap and water clean up

    Disadvantages:

    Only about 60% of the strength of a resin job (if you need the fiberglass for strength
    you need to make your structure stronger)
    Has about 1/2 the dent resistance of a resin job.

    Hope this helps

  7. #7
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    RE: Fiberglassing a Byron Hellcat


    ORIGINAL: Campy

    As for the glassing, you may want to consider using the waterbase polyurethane method.

    The advantages are:

    A noticeable weight saving compared to a resin job (average is 3 - 4 oz on a 60 size bird).
    MUCH easier to sand.
    No concerns about if the poly is going to ''attack'' the foam (this may be a concern
    using resin - the wrong type will attack the foam)
    Accepts finishes just as well as a resin job.
    No odor/fumes
    Soap and water clean up

    Disadvantages:

    Only about 60% of the strength of a resin job (if you need the fiberglass for strength
    you need to make your structure stronger)
    Has about 1/2 the dent resistance of a resin job.

    Hope this helps

    I used that method once.. It ended up being a nightmare and weighted 3-4oz MORE than a comparable size model i used my Epoxy resin finishing method on (using 100% polyester cloth as peel ply during the first resin application, and a 50/50 mixture of epoxy and Micro-balloons for the 2nd coat of resin. I've used this method on 6 different models now and the weight increase was negligible and their was no sanding required between the first and 2nd coat of resin).
    Thomas W.
    Euro-sport Evo, Scratch built 1/7 F-14D Tomcat, 26.5% Gee Bee R2

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    RE: Fiberglassing a Byron Hellcat

    how was the polyu a nightmare? seal your wood and paint the cloth on with the poly, it dries in 30 minutes. about 3 coats later sand to smooth and the apply the poly again. another 3 coats and you're about done. more sanding and then switch to primer. i found it extremely easy.
    David

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    RE: Fiberglassing a Byron Hellcat

    i should have some of the poly u details somewhere in one of my build threads:

    http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_6819340/tm.htm
    David

  10. #10
    invertmast's Avatar
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    RE: Fiberglassing a Byron Hellcat


    ORIGINAL: dhal22

    how was the polyu a nightmare? seal your wood and paint the cloth on with the poly, it dries in 30 minutes. about 3 coats later sand to smooth and the apply the poly again. another 3 coats and you're about done. more sanding and then switch to primer. i found it extremely easy.
    It didn't fill the weave of the cloth as well. It ended up warping wing and fuselage skins (which is pretty damn impressive considering the wings were foam core and straight as an arrow before hand). And it ended up adding more weight to that size airframe than using my epoxy, polyester cloth and micro-balloons method.
    I count 3 times you have to sand your part using the poly method. I only have to sand once and that is after the last finish coat of resin/micro-balloons and before primer.
    Thomas W.
    Euro-sport Evo, Scratch built 1/7 F-14D Tomcat, 26.5% Gee Bee R2

  11. #11

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    RE: Fiberglassing a Byron Hellcat

    most importantly you have to seal your wood before using water based anything. there was, however a lot of sanding on my project.
    David

  12. #12

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    RE: Fiberglassing a Byron Hellcat

    My biggest issue with the WBPU is the lack of ding resistance. It is pretty close to film covererd in that regard.

  13. #13

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    RE: Fiberglassing a Byron Hellcat

    you are correct Jeff but it looks alot better than plastic cote.
    David


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