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Gilbert .074 Powered Ringmaster Gee Bee Z Variant

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Old 12-02-2012, 08:28 PM
  #1
GallopingGhostler
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Default Gilbert .074 Powered Ringmaster Gee Bee Z Variant

Well, I finally did it. Needed to have something to make the homely Gilbert .074 look at home, somewhat modern, but somewhat vintage. Came across an old keith Laumer 1/2-A Gee Bee Z profile plan. Then wanted to have a little fun with it, somehow relate it to the Ringmaster Brotherhood.

I came up with the Ringmaster Gee Bee Z variant. It adapts the fuselage of Laumer's Gee Bee, but retains the cockpit, rudder, elevator and wing of the .049 powered Sterling Beginner Ringmaster. To make it quick building and inexpensive, I used 3/16" thick (5 mm) poster foamboard, $2 from Wal-Mart. To keep it "scale" looking, it needed a cowl. I took a 3" (76 mm) diameter vitamin supplement bottle (GNC Mega Men Multi) and took a section of the bottle.

Attached is what I have come up with so far. With the look of the cowl and the genuine Gilbert putting out the horsepower of a Cox Sure Start .049, you can almost feel the 535 HP from the Pratt and Whitney Wasp Jr. engine.
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Old 12-03-2012, 04:24 AM
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icerinkdad
 
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Default RE: Gilbert .074 Powered Ringmaster Gee Bee Z Variant

What a hoot! I have long enjoyed kit bashing and wondered how well foam board would hold up for glow fuel models. Keep us informed of your progress. If you have plans I would love a copy!
Bob
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Old 12-03-2012, 11:01 AM
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Default RE: Gilbert .074 Powered Ringmaster Gee Bee Z Variant

Thanks, icerinkdad!

The Ring GB has undercarriage and controls installed. I patched the various gouges around the foam board edges with Smart Non-Shrink Wall Fix. It is lighter in weight IMO and better than standard spackling compound for fixing dings and imperfections in foam, balsa, etc. It is snowy white in color, is easy to spread with the fingertips. Next is installing the wingtip line guide and preparation for painting.
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Old 12-04-2012, 02:12 AM
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Default RE: Gilbert .074 Powered Ringmaster Gee Bee Z Variant

Interesting concept. I'll be watching this one.
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Old 12-05-2012, 11:10 AM
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Default RE: Gilbert .074 Powered Ringmaster Gee Bee Z Variant

Looking GOOD !

Keep us up to date..
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Old 12-05-2012, 12:55 PM
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Default RE: Gilbert .074 Powered Ringmaster Gee Bee Z Variant

Thanks, Dan and Don! I forgot to install the landing gear before putting the wing on. No problem! I drilled a 1/16" hole near the wing, insert a half bent landing gear through it. Then used heavy duty needle nose and standard pliers to bend at hole location on other side. Then I completed bending the rest of the gear. I drilled 2 holes on both sides of the landing gear wire. I wrapped about 5 winds of bell wire copper around the gear, then soldered it with a 40 Watt soldering iron. Normally I would have coated both sides of the gear along the profile fuselage sides to help lock the gear in place, but forgot. It's stable and not moving.

After a thorough sanding, I brush coated the model with a thin layer of gyp board primer. This stuff is sandable when dry. One thing I found out immediately is that cardboard covered foam board can warp if you are not careful. It was night and I forgot to paint the rear portion of the right fuselage side. This morning I picked up the plane and immediately noticed the warp. The tail was curved over about a quarter inch (6 mm) toward the left. Again no problem, I recoated the left side and put a new coat on the right side. Dry a few hours later, the problem straightened out. Also there was a slight downward bowing (sag) of the wing. It is only slightly noticeable, not worth fixing.

With the PVA dry, the material has stiffened up quite a bit. It's looking good thus far. Next is sanding and applying another coat of PVA primer.
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:16 PM
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Default RE: Gilbert .074 Powered Ringmaster Gee Bee Z Variant

After touching up missed imperfections with spackling compound, a light sanding to smooth the primer, I shot the Ring GB with a light coat of Krylon Fusion Yellow, to be followed with another coat to even out the light spots.

Since this paint and trim paint are not nitro proof, the last coat will be a fuel proof clear coat.
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Old 12-06-2012, 03:07 PM
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Default RE: Gilbert .074 Powered Ringmaster Gee Bee Z Variant

I like that! Looking good. keep us posted on how it flies
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Old 12-06-2012, 05:07 PM
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Default RE: Gilbert .074 Powered Ringmaster Gee Bee Z Variant

Thanks, rcflyer-rick!

After a second coat of yellow, I've got her masked off and trim painted. The trim on the original Gee Bee Z was involved with scalloped wing, fuelage and elevator trim. It is more important to have something that looks reasonable but ready to fly soon, so I simplified the scheme, easy to tape.

In honor of the indigenious population surrounding where I live, I selected familiar colors, those similar to John Deere.
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Old 12-20-2012, 09:52 AM
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Default RE: Gilbert .074 Powered Ringmaster Gee Bee Z Variant

I've made progress, painting is done. Just waiting for the windy chilly New Mexico weather to pass so I can spray the plane with a fuel proofing clear coat.
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Old 01-11-2013, 06:07 AM
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Default RE: Gilbert .074 Powered Ringmaster Gee Bee Z Variant

Fuel Tank is in place but needs strapping, wing lead out guides are installed. Left are clear coating (awaiting warmer weather) and installing lead out wires.
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Old 03-15-2013, 03:12 AM
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Default RE: Gilbert .074 Powered Ringmaster Gee Bee Z Variant

Decided to fuel proof it by brush coating the variant instead of spray. Paint: Red Devil Clear Gloss Polyurethane. Just need to strap the tank, install leadouts and I'm done except for flying.
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