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  1. #1

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    Molding composite fuselages

    I have been gathering the tools and material to start molding this Fall.Purpose of my molding is scale RC combat aircraft.
    I have found very valuable information in :
    1.Harry Higley - Master Modeling
    2. Jack Lambie - Designing and building a composite RC aircraft
    3. Fiberglast.com and cst.sales pages
    4. An excellent web page by Mike James
    5.Very good tutorial at scrollsander.com
    6. recent thread at scratch building by Paperairplanes

    Lots of stuff , but still having questionmarks in my head !

    1. I have the TR-108 basic mold wax. I bought it from johnrsweet.com, together with TR-303 heavy duty cleaner and TR-301 sealer - are they good for our kind of molding ? By the way , he has very good prize on kevlar !

    2. My plane is going to be the IL-2 Shturmovik . I would like to make the fuse and canopy one piece to improve strentgh at the wing saddle - is it makeable ? - for my first composite fuse ? or is too many sharp angles ?

    And of course I have many more questions, but that will come when I am actually doing it.


    Thanks guys for your wonderful info and discussion !!


    Bach

  2. #2

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    Molding composite fuselages

    Hi, I have never used these release products you mentioned, but I would hesitate to use only a paste type wax as a mold release.
    Release wax is basically used for "around the edges" .

    Although it is possible to use only a wax with several good coats, Your best bet would be wax then apply PVA for your first parts and to make the mold. There is nothing worse than cutting up your plug and mold and throwing it in the garbage because it dident release{I learned this way}.

    I suggest that when you make your mold you first wax it with Partall brand wax, and then use their PVA lightly sprayed on in several coats. This never fails so long as you get a nice coat of PVA on the part.

    After you have your molds the first couple parts I still use the PVA, then switch to a semi-permanent mold release after I re buff them. If your not planning serious production I would just use the PVA. Its easy to spray, cleans with water and does not hinder surface details like panel lines etc, and it is almost absoulutely positive that you'll get a good release every time.

    This is the system I use on my molded parts, It is definately not the only way to do it, but I have found that it works very well for me every time.

    I'm sure that your fuse would not be too complex to mold, but you will think so the first couple of parts you make! Expext a nice fuselage the way you want it after 4 or 5 or so parts. If you havent layed up a fuse this small before, on your first one your going to have fun{frustration}, but every time after you learn something and pretty soon you can do a perfect one in your sleep.

    Hope this helps out some.
    Good luck and have fun, Rick

  3. #3

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    Molding composite fuselages

    Rick,

    I definitely want to use the PVA, actually I have also purchased a release film from fiberglast called "Fib-release" .
    Anyway my question was mainly if this particular wax is good.
    I reckon it probably would, since the composite boat builders use it.
    BTW, is there any other thread on molding fuse here on the forum, apart from recent Paperairplanes "some plugs and molds pictures"?

    Thanks
    Petr

  4. #4

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    Molding composite fuselages

    I've been using an aerosol dry teflon powder. It hasn't failed me yet! Plus it's easy to use and easy to remove from the finished part.

  5. #5

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    Molding composite fuselages

    Bach ,

    Coudl u give me site references from where u have got information on these :

    1.Harry Higley - Master Modeling
    2. Jack Lambie - Designing and building a composite RC aircraft
    3. Fiberglast.com and cst.sales pages
    4. An excellent web page by Mike James
    5.Very good tutorial at scrollsander.com
    6. recent thread at scratch building by Paperairplanes


    Woudl appreciate it .

    Regards.

    Arjun

  6. #6

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    Molding composite fuselages

    BTW, is there any other thread on molding fuse here on the forum, apart from recent Paperairplanes "some plugs and molds pictures"?
    See my post in this forum on molding... It links to three in the pylon forum where I have chronicled building some composite fuselages and hollow core wings/stabs.

    Go here: http://www.rcuniverse.com/showthread...24&forumid=206

    Beware - these threads are long!

    Michaell
    Michael Luvara
    RCATS - http://www.rcatsystems.com
    Luvara Air Racing - http://www.LuvaraAirRacing.com

  7. #7
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    Molding composite fuselages

    Arjun,

    Mike James is easy... That's me! (Click the "www" button below.)

    Harry Higley books is at http://www.sheldonshobbies.com/listing/hig.html

    Scollsander.com is at http://www.scrollsander.com/

    Air Age Publications (Model Airplane News) site, where you can find the Andy Lennon book and others, is at http://www.modelairplanenews.com/index.asp

    You can get the Jack Lambie book through Fibreglast.com at http://www.fibreglast.com

    Use the "search" function (top of every page, here at RCU) to locate posts by Paperairplanes

    Good luck!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Mike James
    RC Design and Building - www.nextcraft.com
    New CD\'s shipping now.

  8. #8

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    PVA

    I have not used PVA yet, I have been using Part-all or Johnson Paste wax.... My plug was coated about 10 times, and my first layup was only a couple of coats of Part-all and it came out within 10 minutes.... took me about 5 minutes of thinking about how it will pop out. On the second layup, I really know where to use the hammer... just kidding I knew where you need to stick a thin piece of wood to help remove the fuse.

    I am doing a P38 mold project ... you can check it out at www.vicrc.com

    Good luck! as molding drive you nuts.... you can probably build 3 fuses by the time you make your first layup fuse... good thing its a hobby

    fw190
    Happy Flying!

  9. #9
    Mike James's Avatar
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    Plugs and Molds

    fw190,

    Nice work on your site!

    I agree about plug and mold making. It's a huge pain. It's only worth it at the end, when the molds are done and the first parts are pulled. Then you can go "Ahhhhhh".
    Mike James
    RC Design and Building - www.nextcraft.com
    New CD\'s shipping now.

  10. #10

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    Molding composite fuselages

    It certianly is alot of work, in the middle of the process you will be thinking" why the Hell am I doing this", but after you get a few nice fuselages its definately worth it.

  11. #11

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    Molding composite fuselages

    It seems to me that RC combat is one of the ideal candidates for composite molding, because you need to keep on rebuilding that same design over and over.For example only this season I've torn up 2 glass fuse kits (each about $115) and 6 coroplast fuselages. Coro is good but can't compare with composites as far as duarability, ease of repair, weight, and looks too.
    Back home (in Czech Rep) every other combat pilot has a garage composite manufacture.
    I will mention this excellent forum on RCCA website( RC combat website) !!

    Thanks guys !

    P.S.

    I hope that I can be little faster - after all I do not have to have all panel lines and other gadgets there.
    I'll start next week and give myself until christmas to finish it.

    Petr

  12. #12

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    Molding composite fuselages

    no rudeness or disrespect intended, but, someone needs to give a lesson on the purchase and application of release agents and composite materials. These materials can be purchased at a much cheaper cost. Please contact me with any of your material needs and I can save you atleast 10%. I can also supply you with the correct applcation methods for any of these materials.

  13. #13

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    Molding composite fuselages

    Well.... start typing. You can never know enough about this type of building process, and if you have something to share that you have TRIED then please enlighten us. Sounds to me like you want to sell something, or you know everthing.

  14. #14

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    Molding composite fuselages

    Rieow: this forum is about sharing information with each other, having said this, if you feel the need to charge for your info or have products to sell, please contact me to set up a commercial account, it would be my pleasure. thanks.


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