Questions and Answers If you have general RC questions or answers discuss it here.

Lost art of glassing a warbird

Reply

Old 10-04-2006, 06:44 PM
  #1  
tfarmer96
Thread Starter
 
tfarmer96's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Wylie, TX
Posts: 1,969
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default Lost art of glassing a warbird

Well I am about to start my 2nd Topflite spit build. I would like to glass this one. I cant find anyone in my club who can tell me how to do this. Can anyone point me to the ABCs of this seemingly lost art?
tfarmer96 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2006, 09:40 PM
  #2  
N1EDM
My Feedback: (2)
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Brockton, MA
Posts: 4,191
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: Lost art of glassing a warbird

I'm about to enter that arena too, with a Golden Age racer. if it's OK with you, I'd like to 'lurk' around here and find out any new techniques you might find.

One chap suggested to me to coat the wood with hair spray prior to applying glass and cloth. The cloth sticks better (i.e., doesn't slide around when applying the epoxy) and the epoxy doesn't go that deep into the wood, saving weight.

Bob
N1EDM is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2006, 10:08 PM
  #3  
mmattockx
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Calgary, AB, CANADA
Posts: 2,427
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: Lost art of glassing a warbird

Check out these two threads in the Classic Pattern Forum:

http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_3973867/tm.htm

http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_4017336/tm.htm

The last couple of pages on each show the fuses being glassed. There are lots of ways to do it and none of them are wrong, just different. These two are sound methods and will get you started.


Mark
mmattockx is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2006, 10:21 PM
  #4  
saramos
 
saramos's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Northridge, CA
Posts: 3,037
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: Lost art of glassing a warbird

Here are a couple of links to online tutorials.

The very informative site by cafeenman, Paul Johnson.

http://www.airfieldmodels.com/inform...nish/index.htm

The very inspiring site by Tom Pierce

http://www.tompierce.net/SBD/html/paint.htm


There was also a good tutorial on fiberglassing on Arts Hobbys website, unfortunately, I just descovered they are closing their doors and their website has been taken down

Though not free, there is also the Black Arts video series by Dave Platt. The third video in the Building and Fiberglassing covers the technique using K & B polyester resin.

http://www.daveplattmodels.com/


Here's Joe Huntley's tutorial on using Deft products

http://home.mchsi.com/~jahuntley/help.html#Tip%202

Here's a page that has a lot of links to various how-to's

http://www.glasgow-barnstormers.org.uk/howto.htm

Scott
saramos is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2006, 07:29 AM
  #5  
tfarmer96
Thread Starter
 
tfarmer96's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Wylie, TX
Posts: 1,969
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: Lost art of glassing a warbird

I started this thread so i could stop bugging saramos. Thanks man you have been a wealth of knowledge.
tfarmer96 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2006, 09:27 AM
  #6  
saramos
 
saramos's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Northridge, CA
Posts: 3,037
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: Lost art of glassing a warbird

Your questions have never bugged me. When I get to the point of glassing my P-51B, I'll post my process using West Systems epoxy. The only problem is that I am a fairly slow builder, and have a couple of tricky problems to work out on my build before I can get to the glassing. I have to say, the waterbased poly method that several people here on RCU (Campy) and the results by Tom Pierce have really caught my eye.

Scott
saramos is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2006, 10:18 PM
  #7  
Campy
Senior Member
My Feedback: (1)
 
Campy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Baltic, CT
Posts: 3,613
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: Lost art of glassing a warbird

Here is a basic "How To" on glassing with polyurethane. The principals are the same if you want to use resin. The poly method has about 1/2 the weight of a resin job, but only about 60% of the strength/hardness/ding resistance of a resin job. Much easier to sand and NO FUMES.

Glassing with Water Base Polyurethane


1. Sand the model with 220 grit and remove any highs/lows you may find.
Fill as needed with lightweight filler and sand.

2. Give the wood 1 thin - medium coat of wood sealer. I use the
commercial stuff. What this does is twofold - it stops the balsa
from soaking up too much of the poly and at the same time protects
the balsa from the water in the polyurethane.

3. When dry, sand lightly with 220 to remove the "fuzzies".

4. Some people say to apply a light coat of 3M #77 adhesive to the
wood at this point. I have found that this is more trouble than it
is worth since if you have a wrinkle, the complete piece of fiberglass
has to be removed to straighten it out.

I prefer to lay the fiberglass cloth on the part/area to be covered and
smooth it out using a SOFT brush. Brush FROM THE CENTER TOWARDS THE
EDGES. The static electricity usually holds it in place. I normally
use 1/2 oz (.5 oz) or 3/4 oz (.75 oz) fiberglass cloth.

5. Using WATER BASE polyurethane and a FOAM brush, start at the center
and brush towards the edges of the fiberglass. All you want to do is
stick the fiberglass to the balsa, so excessive amounts are not needed.
Any additional pieces of fiberglass should overlap each other about
1/2 - 3/4 inches.

Let this dry. DO NOT SAND !!

Brush on another coat of polyurethane. This coat can be a little heavier.

Let this coat dry. DO NOT SAND !!


6. Mix up some polyurethane and microballoons. I use 1 part
microballoons to about 5 parts polyurethane. This will be on the thick
side.

Brush on a medium coat of this mixture and let dry.

7. Wet sand this with 220 or 320 grit paper. BE CAREFUL, AS YOU CAN
VERY EASILY SAND RIGHT THROUGH THE FIBERGLASS.

8. Check the fiberglass carefully to insure the weave is filled. If
the weave is not completely filled, repeat step 6 and 7.

9. SPRAY a coat of water base polyurethane on the plane and let dry.
DO NOT SAND !!

10. Spray a THIN coat of primer on the plane. When this is COMPLETELY
dry, block wet sand with 220 or 320 grit as much of the plane as
possible to highlight any highs/lows you may have missed during your
sanding/prep. The areas that can not be block sanded, CAREFULLY sand
by hand. (TIP: CA some of the wife's/girlfriends fingernail file boards
together. Wrap the sandpaper around them so you can block sand in tight
areas. The CA helps prevent the boards from disintergrating in the water)
Fill any low areas with a lightweight filler and sand when dry.

Apply a THIN coat of polyurethane to these areas.

When the poly is dry, repeat this step until you are satisfied that all
the highs/lows are removed.

11. SPRAY a thin coat of polyurethane on the plane. When dry, spray
the primer.

12. When the primer is dry, you can apply your rivets, panel lines and
other detailing desired.

13. Now you can spray your paint.



Campy is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2006, 01:14 AM
  #8  
Flak
Senior Member
My Feedback: (1)
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Olathe, KS
Posts: 1,677
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: Lost art of glassing a warbird

Lost Art? Heck, that's all I do. Glassing is an easy process. This adds strength, longevity, and a smooth look to your Warbird. There are many videos available on line or at your LHS. Good Luck.
Flak is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2006, 07:08 AM
  #9  
tfarmer96
Thread Starter
 
tfarmer96's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Wylie, TX
Posts: 1,969
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: Lost art of glassing a warbird

You would think that. I rolled in to my LHS and ask and was told "you dont want to do that" Maybe its just the fact i am the only person in the club that flys warbirds. I have an edge 540 that sits in my truck most of the time because i would rather fly around the field with a warbird instead of hovering and the such. I take a lot of crap for it.
tfarmer96 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2006, 07:16 AM
  #10  
tfarmer96
Thread Starter
 
tfarmer96's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Wylie, TX
Posts: 1,969
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: Lost art of glassing a warbird

Im about to open a whole nother can of worms and make you guys think im an idiot! I think im good with the glassing now, but how do you put the pannel lines and rivots on the bird? Sorry guys.
tfarmer96 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2006, 08:36 AM
  #11  
CafeenMan
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Spring Hill, FL
Posts: 4,734
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: Lost art of glassing a warbird

Glassing is easier than monokoting and it's faster to apply. You can squeegee on a piece of glass in less than 5 minutes. You can't monokote a fuselage side near that fast. Of course you pay it all back when it comes time to sand.

Campy - I have to say I REALLY don't like your method. It may work and give good results but it's a lot more steps than

Sand, Glass, Sand, spray primer, sand, touch-up, sand, paint.
CafeenMan is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2006, 11:21 AM
  #12  
cobra314
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Moore, OK
Posts: 5
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: Lost art of glassing a warbird

Check out www.rcscalebuilder.com They have a Top Flight section where there are a lot of Spitfire builds and also some great tutorials on how to do a variety of things from laying glass to making panel lines.
cobra314 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2006, 05:48 PM
  #13  
saramos
 
saramos's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Northridge, CA
Posts: 3,037
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: Lost art of glassing a warbird

I did both the panel lines and the rivets in the primer stage, once the surface has been glassed and weave is filled. Panel lines are done during the application of primer, and rivets are added after the application of primer.

Panel lines are made by creating raised areas and grooves in the primer using tape. For butt joints, you will need to find 1/64" chart tape, which is becoming harder to find. Here's a source:
http://www.dealtime.com/xDN-Office_S...k~r-1~CLT-INTR
For lap joints, you will need masking tape and masking paper.

Butt Joint panel lines.
I work on one side at a time (top wing, bottom wing, top fuse, bottom fuse, ect)
Working from a set of drawings, mark out all the panel lines on the surface. Now comes the fun part. Apply the 1/64" tape on the panel lines and cut them to length. The tape will tend to flip its' adhiesive side up because of it coming on a roll. It can get frustrating at times, but hang with it. Once all the chart tape is down and the lines are to your liking, it's time for primer. I use Duplicolor High Build Sandable primer. You want to spray the primer over all the panel lines, being careful to not get runs and to feather the edges of the primer away from the panel joints. Allow to dry and add another 1 - 2 coats. Once this is dry, use the tip of a knife blade to lift the end of the tape up, then pull the tape off. Sometimes the adhiesive of the tape stays in the groove. If the primer is very well dried, you may be able to scrub it out with a toothbrush and solvent. I didn't use this method because I didn't want to spend the time to find a solvent that would disolve the adhiesive and not attack the primer. I took a small allen wrench and ground the end into a slight hook and used it to carefully pull scrape the adhiesive out. Once the grooves are cleaned, lightly sand the primer with 320 to get rid of any rough edges left from lifting the tape. You now have butt joint panel lines.

Lap joint panel lines.
These are easier to make. Draw the panel lines on the model (use something that won't bleed). Now, lay the masking tape up to the edge of the joint and on the side which will be the lower panel. Add some masking tape/paper on the lower side to prevent overspray. Spray the primer over the joint, feathering the spray towards the center of the raised panel. Apply 2 -3 coats. Once dry, remove the masing tape and lightly sand with 320 grit to get rid of any rough edges.

If you have a section where butt joints meet or cross a lap joint, such as where a fuse panel line meets a wing fillet, you will have to build up the joints in the proper order. Do the butt joint on the lower panel before the lap joint. Do the butt joint on a higher panel at the same time as the lap joint. This will keep your joints crisp.

Flush Rivets.
Once you have a primer coat and panel lines, it's time for rivets. You will need a soldering iron with a removable soldering tip and ideally, one with a temprature contol. I actually ended up using my trim iron. You will also need brass tubing. On the 1/7 scale Spit, I ended up doing 1/16" rivets. You may need to slightly grind the inside of the tube to make it a thinner wall. Cut the tube to about 2 or so inchesNext, you will need to mount this 1/16" tube into your soldering iron. I did mine by building up with 1" long, ever increasing diameter brass tubing until it fit my iron. Each time I added a tube, I punched a dimple into the tubing to lock it into the smaller tubing. I suppose you could also use a high temp silver solder. Regular solder will not work. Once the tip is fitted into the soldering iron, I found it easier to work with the tip bent to almost 90 degrees.
Mark out all your rivet lines. Next, try and get an even spacing of rivets and try and make all your intersecting lines of rivets to intersect at a rivet. This can be somewhat time consuming. I found the Top Flite rivet guide to be helpful here. Most my rivets ended up being between 6 to 8 rivets per inch. I put a tic mark where every rivet would go. This way, I could make any corrections in pencil before burning in the rivets. Once all the rivets are marked out, it's time to burn.
Well, burn isn't quite the word. It's more like melt. Once the tip is heated, press the tip into the primer for a moment and lift. It should leave a 1/16" ring melted into the primer. If it doesn't, the iron is probably too cold. If it smokes or slips around, the iron is too hot. This takes a little time to get the hang of it. You might want to practice on some scrap first. Once you have it down, just go to town. Once done, again, lightly sand with 320 grit to get rid of any rough edges.

Raised rivets
I don't have as much experience with raised rivets and am not fully satisfied with my results. Tom Pierce, on his website has a description of his method. If I recall correctly, he uses a slightly watered down mix of TiteBond. It may be my mixing, or something else, but personally, I found it to be too thin. I use one of those small sqeeze bottles with the stainless steel needle tips. Just get a small drop formed at the tip and dip it to the surface where you want the rivet. Nice thing is, if you don't like the results, wipe it off with a damp rag and do it again.


Hope this helps

Scott
saramos is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2006, 09:34 PM
  #14  
tfarmer96
Thread Starter
 
tfarmer96's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Wylie, TX
Posts: 1,969
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: Lost art of glassing a warbird

Ok looks like I have some good direction on how to make a warbird look like a war bird. I do have an additional question.

I read to lay down a coat of silver on the plane before you paint the plane that way when you weather the bird it looks like aluminum under the paint. Fair enough, but how do you weather it? Use a scrubbing pad to markup the leading edges etc?
tfarmer96 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2006, 08:17 PM
  #15  
tfarmer96
Thread Starter
 
tfarmer96's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Wylie, TX
Posts: 1,969
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: Lost art of glassing a warbird

I glassed a wing I built today and all I can say is why would anyone put-up with monokote when you can glass an airplane. I can’t believe how easy it is! I say that now and only have done one wing, but it went well. I guess we will see how it really turned out after I prime and paint it
tfarmer96 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 11-24-2006, 09:22 PM
  #16  
N1EDM
My Feedback: (2)
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Brockton, MA
Posts: 4,191
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: Lost art of glassing a warbird

I just went through a very long thread on RC Scale Builder. It's about 38 pages long, but the finishing techniques are on the last 8-10 pages. There's a tremendous amount of info as the builder puts the finishing touches and details on his P-51B.

http://www.rcscalebuilder.com/forum/...587&PN=1&TPN=1

I hope that this helps,

Bob
N1EDM is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2006, 04:17 PM
  #17  
iron eagel
 
iron eagel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Middleboro, MA
Posts: 3,271
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: Lost art of glassing a warbird

Bob,
Check out:
http://www.airfieldmodels.com

I have used his method and it worked out very well.
Regards
Paul
iron eagel is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2006, 06:38 PM
  #18  
N1EDM
My Feedback: (2)
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Brockton, MA
Posts: 4,191
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: Lost art of glassing a warbird

Thanks, Paul.... I will.

Bob
N1EDM is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2006, 09:52 AM
  #19  
Mikel-t
My Feedback: (12)
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Ellicott City, MD
Posts: 408
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: Lost art of glassing a warbird

A heck of a lot of good info here, very helpful. My question : How much thinning of the epoxy should be done?. Last time i tried it I used somekind of rubbing alcohol that contained water which did not help the wood. So, alcohol the 99% kind seems what I should get but do I want to make soup or molassess out of it? Thanks Mikel-T
Mikel-t is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2006, 10:06 AM
  #20  
tfarmer96
Thread Starter
 
tfarmer96's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Wylie, TX
Posts: 1,969
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: Lost art of glassing a warbird

I used the brushing lacquer method. It’s thin as water and worked great. If you do this make sure you use a respirator the fumes will make you loopy. I didn’t realize how bad the fumes were until I went back to the garage with out my respirator
tfarmer96 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2006, 11:05 AM
  #21  
iron eagel
 
iron eagel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Middleboro, MA
Posts: 3,271
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: Lost art of glassing a warbird

MikeL
I thinned it about 50-50 using MEK. But as T Farmer mentioned the fumes are bad! Be sure you are working with ventilation or use a respirator, or best yet both.
iron eagel is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2006, 11:08 AM
  #22  
iron eagel
 
iron eagel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Middleboro, MA
Posts: 3,271
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: Lost art of glassing a warbird

One other note about this when you spread the glass, use plastic like glad wrap to remove the excess epoxy. it keeps the glass from moving around too much. leave it on till the epoxy hardens then remove and sand before your next coat.
iron eagel is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2006, 05:55 PM
  #23  
RVM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 1,977
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: Lost art of glassing a warbird

So you can glass and paint an airplane, and if done right, it doesn't add any more weight than using MonoKote or Ultracote?
RVM is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2006, 06:13 PM
  #24  
CafeenMan
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Spring Hill, FL
Posts: 4,734
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: Lost art of glassing a warbird

Yes.
CafeenMan is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2006, 06:25 PM
  #25  
RVM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 1,977
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: Lost art of glassing a warbird

I'm in.




ORIGINAL: CafeenMan

Yes.
RVM is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service