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All Composite 1/7th P-40E Mould Build

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Old 04-06-2008, 12:24 PM
  #26
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Default RE: All Composite 1/7th P-40E Mould Build

I know what you mean about grinding in the registration keys Steve. I have a simpler method that you will see as we go along. No drilling, sanding, waxing etc...just faster and easier.
In some of the areas in the tail where there is a two-plane part, I've used dimples that I made with a marble, which is a similar method to the slotted keys.
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Old 04-06-2008, 10:19 PM
  #27
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Default RE: All Composite 1/7th P-40E Mould Build

I could not see any key ways in the pics. I didn't know you had that covered.

We normally use something like a 1/2 marble, or something similar on the 1st parting board.

Keep posting!

Steve
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Old 04-06-2008, 10:50 PM
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Default RE: All Composite 1/7th P-40E Mould Build

My mistake Steve, I'd intended on posting a pic with that last one.
If this attaches alright, you should be able to make out where I used the marble to make a semispherical registration impression in the clay when I did the first half.
I only did this in a few places because they often interfere with the direction of removal of the individual sections. But this piece pulls off perpindicular to the parting board, so it got some.
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Old 04-09-2008, 09:49 AM
  #29
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Default RE: All Composite 1/7th P-40E Mould Build

Well, I've started the second half of the fuselage mould now. I've tried to include more detail wrt materials that I'm using.
You can check it out here http://www.youtube.com/user/b1heqh54
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Old 04-17-2008, 08:01 PM
  #30
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Default RE: All Composite 1/7th P-40E Mould Build

I can't believe it's been a week since my last post - man time flys!!
At any rate, I put together another video today that you may find useful if you've never built a mould, but have thought about trying. I've tried to show that it's something you can leave overnight, or while you're off to work, and come back to at the end of the day for another go around. Well, you can have a look here http://www.youtube.com/user/b1heqh54 - the next one will be quite a bit sooner in coming - and there's some drama too!!! lol
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Old 04-23-2008, 02:06 PM
  #31
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Default RE: All Composite 1/7th P-40E Mould Build

Well, I can see the number of views increasing still, so I'll just keep on posting! lol
I promised drama - if you like to see someone else frustrated with themselves, then this video is for you. The build is moving along, despite my best efforts to hold myself back
This is the fifth episode in the series that I'm putting together at the request of a few others who thought that they would like to see a little more detail in the mould construction, and you can see it here http://www.youtube.com/user/b1heqh54
Feel free as always to leave a comment or question - or tell me I'm crazy if you like - you won't be the first, and probably not the last - cheers everyone - enjoy

Hey Steve - are you working on anything right now?
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Old 04-23-2008, 10:31 PM
  #32
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Default RE: All Composite 1/7th P-40E Mould Build

Hey, hows it going.

I'm working on getting wood cut by my Compucarve CNC router for my composite 109F/G. It takes a bit of patience to program the thing to cut to the right size. when the wood is cut by other means than your hand, it makes laying up way more fun.

Good luck

Steve
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Old 04-23-2008, 10:38 PM
  #33
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Default RE: All Composite 1/7th P-40E Mould Build

cool - I'm just sitting here wiring up stepper motors now - I'm building the same sorta thing right now - but before I get out the dremel, I'm gonna try to get a DVD laser to cut ply faster than 1ipm lol
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Old 04-25-2008, 01:22 PM
  #34
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Default RE: All Composite 1/7th P-40E Mould Build

for anyone reading along - ya - not even close on the diode laser - not worth the bother - oh well it was fun
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Old 04-25-2008, 05:13 PM
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Default RE: All Composite 1/7th P-40E Mould Build

I'm still reading along, keep us updated.
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Old 04-30-2008, 03:08 PM
  #36
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Default RE: All Composite 1/7th P-40E Mould Build

Since the last video, I've completed a couple of more sections to the mould and am moving along. I've had more than a few questions about why I chose to make the mould in so many sections. So I decided that since I'd recently completed four sections that make up the rear of the mould, I would take a few minutes to put together a quick video. I hope this helps to answer the questions, but it wasn't easy to do with the limited studio budget - lol
You can see the latest video here http://ca.youtube.com/b1heqh54
I can see that finished squadron of fuselages already!



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Old 05-03-2008, 05:09 PM
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Default RE: All Composite 1/7th P-40E Mould Build

OK - so I wasn't happy with the last video that I threw together
Too much, too little, and I just wasn't happy.
Anyway, Paris Hilton owed me a favour - so check out the latest vid here
www.youtube.com/b1heqh54

I'm also putting together a little vid on the cheap vacuum system, I just put together for this project - here's a pic, let me know what you think
PS. - I purged those tanks very carefully first with air, then with water - I am not promoting this sort of thing - take them to your Fire Department and ask for their help
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Old 05-25-2008, 12:54 PM
  #38
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Default RE: All Composite 1/7th P-40E Mould Build

OK, I know it's been awhile, but for anyone still following along, I've been making headway...just one section left.
I've just posted the latest video update on my youtube channel - it's number 7 in the series, and you can find it at this link here www.youtube.com/b1heqh54
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Old 05-27-2008, 04:24 AM
  #39
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Default RE: All Composite 1/7th P-40E Mould Build

Nice thread. Although I've got myself out of th eairplanes, I started making molds of giant scale r/c boats....if anybody's interested, a very lengthy and detailed build thread. [link=http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_7292440/mpage_1/key_/tm.htm]Plug & Fiberglass Mold Build[/link] Sorry for the slight detour from airplanes..I still fly them and have found this thread enjoyable, keep up the good work!

Here is a quick pic of the completed boat mold.

-Scott
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Old 05-27-2008, 04:36 AM
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Default RE: All Composite 1/7th P-40E Mould Build

Yep, done that a couple of times. Nice work, keep it up.
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Old 06-03-2008, 11:58 AM
  #41
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Default RE: All Composite 1/7th P-40E Mould Build

...just a quick pic update today
There will be another video shortly, but I wanted to keep the thread updated.
I've completed all of the mould sections, and will now move on to some access holes to allow for construction.
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Old 06-03-2008, 12:00 PM
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Default RE: All Composite 1/7th P-40E Mould Build

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Old 06-03-2008, 12:15 PM
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Old 06-04-2008, 10:02 AM
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Default RE: All Composite 1/7th P-40E Mould Build

Hi Slowlow,
I've been watching this thread with great intrest due to my hawker tempest composite project I'm working on. My question is how did you do such a sweet job on the plug panel lines and rivets. I'm sure this has been covered on other threads but yours look great and I would love to know your methods.
Thanks
Steve
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Old 06-04-2008, 11:15 AM
  #45
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Default RE: All Composite 1/7th P-40E Mould Build

Hi Steve - thanks for the compliment
All of the panel line and rivet details were done with epoxy finishing resin thickened up with a little bit of microballoons, or thinned out with methyl hydrate (denatured alcohol I believe it is in America). The same easy sanding stuff that you use for glassing. Zap etc.
First I finish the entire plane and get it perfectly flat and glasssy smooth so that I can see the reflection of a dime in it with a handheld light. After that I lay out the panel lines with a sharpie, I study the original plane to see which are lap joints and which are butt joints. If you can't find details of the order that panels were installed at the factory, a good rule of thumb is that you can start at the bottom of the fuselage and work towards the top. (this is assuming that your plane was manufactured in a similar method to the P40) So let's say they put the first panel on the bottom and rivet it down. The next panel will overlap the edge of the first one. Then the third panel is going to overlap the edge of the second etc.. So to create this effect, I lay down tape on the outside of the panel edge (bottom) and brush on some finishing epoxy and microballoons along the edge and extending into the centre of the panel section. After it has setup, but is still a little green and you lift the tape, you will get a nice crisp edge to the panel. Then you blend it in towards the centre of the panel. I like the subtle look of individually finished panels. It's subtle but if I put two models down side by side the one with individually finished panels will make me drool, and the other one will end up in a swap meet lol.
Where you have a butt type joint (usually vertical where panels meet) you do the same thing blending towards the centre, but you butt your tape up to the edge of the last panel to simulate two panels meeting.
Yes, it does take some time. First I finish the entire plane to paint readiness, then I finish each panel separately again.
After the basic panels are on, I move on to fairings etc like around the tail and wing fillets. Here I mix the microballoons a little bit thicker and I apply it in the same fashion but heavier. Once those areas are all sanded to look like metal again, I apply rivets to the areas where they were visible on the original. On this plane this happens on the heavier fairing panels around the wing and tail fillets and some around access panels. I don't put alot of other flush rivet detail on the fuselage because you really can't make them out on the original plane unless you walk up and look for them, and this one is only 1/7th scale.
The rivets are made with the same epoxy and microballoon mix applied with the end of a wire so that you can scale the wire gauge to the rivet size. Just dip it in, and dab it on. Practice somewhere to get the consistency of the epoxy so that it won't sag or run after you apply it. Once they have dried, you just sand the tops down flat.
It's all about the layers I find. By the time you're done, you will have an intimate knowledge of each panel Rivets aren't so bad - on the fuse anyway.
IMHO chart taped panel lines just don't do it for me anymore. Nothing against it, I just did that for too long.

Sorry for the wordiness.
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Old 06-05-2008, 07:46 AM
  #46
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Default RE: All Composite 1/7th P-40E Mould Build

SlowLow,
This is good stuff. Thanks for the quick reply. A few questions. When you say Blend in after tape is pulled I take it after it is hard. How do you sand it to get a consistent blend? How thick is the layer of epoxy at the taped edge, .010,.015 etc. I just want a idea. Do you feel I could use WEST and fairing compound thinned out. It sands quite well. For butt seams I don't quite understand. Are you laying down two pieces of tape or just one? How wide are the seam?

I have seen other places on this site you do not use PVA due to detail loss. Frankly I would be scared not to use it. I have had some stuck plugs in the past but never using PVA. I use a small spray gun and have had good results. What are your feelings here.

I use Vacuum bag infusing process wihich I find to yield a much lighter product. Here are a couple of pics of the wing and fuse plugs. The fuse and wing are now epoxy and polished but no panel lines. This is the point to start the panel lines
Thanks for your help
Steve
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Old 06-05-2008, 10:52 AM
  #47
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Default RE: All Composite 1/7th P-40E Mould Build

You bet Steve; blend after it's hard, but pull the tape a well before that. For blending I use a small block maybe 1"X3/4"X3/8". Don't know what I can say about blending technique accept practice makes perfect, and a good place to get some experience would be some bodywork on an old fender. lol I could say this - sand very lightly, and just enough to remove the scratch marks from the previous grit of sandpaper. For standard seams along a fuse or wing I thin the epoxy out pretty good so there isn't alot to take down - this will help the blending. In terms of grit, I might start with 180 and then move to 220, 320, 400, 600. That's usually enough, but you may want to take it up to 1000 or 1200 if you're feeling crazy. I use a nylon masking tape and I don't have a mic here at the moment, but I held it up to a standard sheet of paper which if memory serves, is about .004" - it's a little less .0035" maybe. (good eyes eh? calibrated them this morning!) Don't know about the fairing compound because I've never had the pleasure. I use the finishing resin thinned to about the consistency of milk, but here's the crazy part - I also add microballoons. Sounds funny I know to thin it with methyl hydrate and also use microballoons, but the balloons will gravitate toward the tape as it sets and it will still be very thin towards the centre of the panel. For butt seams I will finish the edge on one panel, and then apply the tape over it and brush on the epoxy mixture onto the adjacent panel so that they end up level. You will still see the seam, it's just that both panels come up to meet each other.
PVA - yes I know - the whole thing puts me between a rock and a hard place because I hesitate to promote subjecting other peoples hard work to risk, and yet I've never had a problem. Fear can be paralyzing. Let me say this - even while building the mould in this thread I took a few risks and tried a few different approaches to several problems. The idea is that no matter what the outcome, I will know what works best as time moves forward, and I have enough confidence to know that if I did it once, I can do it twice - probably better the second time. The only problem I have now, is that there are a couple of things that I would like to go back and improve where the new method I tried worked better than the original method that I knew yeilded acceptable results.
Here's what I know
- I don't try to mould a plug that has questionable surface finish
- 100% carnauba paste wax is the only wax that I have ever used (I did alot of research to end up there)
- I wax in small circles at eye level and I am absolutely anal about getting every microscopic nook and cranny
- I lay down no fewer than 5 or 6 coats of wax buffing like I apply
- I spend the money for a good high temp abrasion resitant tooling epoxy

I guess that all that fear I had the first time I ran out of PVA turned into a healthy respect for preparation, and that's about all I can say on that; the rest is up to you. No I'll say one more thing - if I was running a business and trying to get things done quickly I would be using PVA.

IMHO The other thing to remember is that even if you have to scrape part of your plug off of the mould tool with an old popsicle stick, the tool underneath will be good and you can make parts; parts with all of the detail of the original.

Good luck with panel lines. I'm looking forward to seeing the results.
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Old 06-07-2008, 06:11 PM
  #48
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Default RE: All Composite 1/7th P-40E Mould Build

Well video number 8 is now available on my youtube channel and can be seen on this page here www.youtube.com/b1heqh54
This episode is all about sacrifice and glory! lol
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Old 06-08-2008, 02:32 PM
  #49
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Default RE: All Composite 1/7th P-40E Mould Build

I can't understand what you talk , why you speak with mask


Very good work ,now is time to build one fuse for test
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Old 06-08-2008, 05:46 PM
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Default RE: All Composite 1/7th P-40E Mould Build

You bet Buddy! I need to make one so that I can cut it up to get former cross sections. I've been thinking about mixing some powdered aluminum into the epoxy for effect! What do you think about that?
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