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Yellow P-38 build thread

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Old 07-26-2007, 09:52 PM
  #1  
samparfitt
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Default Yellow P-38 build thread

Well, I purchased a Yellow P-38 kit last week and I wasn't going to start it until Fall....I lied!
I could resist buying parts that will be needed and then started doing some work on her.
During the summer, this thread shouldn't get update too much since I'm suppose to be building new kitchen cabinets for my daughter's 1919 house.
I want to thank Mark Taylor for valuable info since he has already built a yellow P-38.

pic 1:
As you can see, I bought the kit where some work has already been done.
Doug did a fine job on aligning the outer wings to the center FG fuse plus he glassed half the wings.

pic 2:
Robart retracts instead of yellows are being used.
This will require some mods to the retract mount.

pic 3:
Yellow wheels and brakes are being used.

pic 4/5:
The first thing I did was wet sand, using 220 grit, all parts and then wiping everything down with alcohol to insure any releasing agent has been removed.
As you can see, this is one fine model that has a lot of design work put into it.
The vast majority of parts are all FG.
Also, with the entire center section all one piece, it makes it a lot easier to build since no worries about alignment, incidence, etc as all that's been taken care of.

pic 7/8/9:
I used a 1/16" drill bit and flat/round over file to open any openings that are suppose to occur on the plane.
ie: cowl, turbo chargers.

pic 10:
I just noticed there is a 'R' and 'L' cowl marking but I haven't noticed any difference!

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Old 07-26-2007, 09:55 PM
  #2  
samparfitt
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Default RE: Yellow P-38 build thread

pic 1:
Batteries and the nose steering servo are suppose to be in the center's nose but there is no easy access so I made a hatch which will also hide switches/air filler, etc.
I penciled the outline of the access door.
It would have been nice to follow the gun access door lines but that spans across the first former and I don't want to weaken the model by cutting across the former.

pic 2:
I used a dremel cut off disk(two added for the proper thickness) to make the groove for the piano hinge pin to fit.

pic 3:
I used Nelson's 1/2" wide piano hinge and #0X3/16' screws to hold the hinge to the door and fuse.

pic 4:
After installing the piano hinge first to insure the door will then be aligned, I used a razor saw to cut the other three sides.
I was going to cut along the seam between the two halfs of the FG but the glue used is too tough so I cut about 1/4" above the seam.

pic 5:
Hatch open.
Lots of room to now get into the nose.
The door and sides will later be re-inforced with ply and some magnets added.

pic 6:
I put additional epoxy on the fire wall where the fire wall is attched to the FG fuse to insure no future cracks occur.

pic 7/8:
I moved the center screw on the wing attaching bracket to the outer hole.
I had to put holes in the FG but the holes are on the bottom of the wing and it will make it much easier to attach the outer wing to the center wing. With the doors added later, it looks like I won't be able to access that screw if it remained in the center hole.
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Old 07-27-2007, 12:07 AM
  #3  
rrudytoo
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Default RE: Yellow P-38 build thread

I've been reading build posts for years but I have yet to see one on the Yellow P-38. This will be fun to keep track of and you do a great job not just on your models but on posting pictures and describing your processes. Thanks, Bud!

What engines do you plan to use?

I'm in the never-ending-rivet detail phase of my Yellow P-47. Actually, this is the first time I've elected to apply rivets to a model and, yes, they look great but I've only just begun and it's drudgery already. Ooh, boy.

Anyway, keep these posts coming. I'm probably as thrilled as you are!

Al
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Old 07-27-2007, 12:27 AM
  #4  
Baldeagle
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Default RE: Yellow P-38 build thread

Sam That is one nice kit. I will be watching. Rich
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Old 07-27-2007, 07:09 AM
  #5  
samparfitt
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Default RE: Yellow P-38 build thread

Al,
Thanks for the comments: that new camera makes taking pictures so much better.

Yellow really puts out nice kits: I think of them more of as ARC's since the wings are already sheeted.
All we have to do is build up the tail feathers, which is a 'piece of cake'.
And best of all, yellows planes fly great.
I'm sure your P-47 will be an 'easy' flyer.
I wish they would bring out more WWII warbirds (especially a 92" corsair)!
I think they have a winning combination at a good price to rival ARF's.
The fuse is FG and the wings are sheeted which is where all the work is if you were building from 'scratch/kit'.
It doesn't take long to get their kits to the 'ready to finish' state and then you can finish her as simple or as detailed as you want.

I'm putting two Zenoah G-38's on the P-38 (especially since I already have them)!
I saw Dennis Crooks Ziroli P-38 with counter rotating props so I was wondering if a G-38 can be converted.
I talked to Dick Bennett (B&B Specialties) and he told me to talk to Ralph at RC Ignitions in Arizona.
Ralph said it should work if he re-keys and reverses the rotor.
I sent the G-38 off to him this past Monday.
I should know next week if he can do it.

I'm figuring the G-38 swings an 18X10 2 blade so a 16X10 3-blade should work.
MAS has a pusher and tractor 16X10 3-blade.
Dennis is using Zinger 3 blade props on his counter-rotating props but he is using larger engines so I can't use his blade size.
I fellow pilot had some Zinger 3 blade props so I just picked those up last night.
That should look cool duplicating the P-38's counter rotating props!
The counter rotating props should also virtually eliminate the left torque pull from the engines.

If anyone has any experience on the counter-rotating props, G-38 prop sizes, etc, please post.
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Old 07-27-2007, 12:18 PM
  #6  
samparfitt
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Default RE: Yellow P-38 build thread

Retracts.

pic 1: The Robart retract extent below (top) of the wood mount so a hole has to be cut into the mounts.
After outlining the hole, I used a Forstner 1 3/4" to drill out the rectangular hole.
I drill a 1/4" hole along the edge to keep the forstner bit from overheating and also a place for wood chips to fall out.

pic 2:
First hole drilled.
Make sure you put a sturdy board below the mount so you don't drill through the top of the FG fuse.
The two spars and the retract mount is made of very high quality plywood.
The ply is 1/4" thick and 12 plys: normally plys are in odd numbers but this plywood has and an even number of plys.

pic 3:
Second hole drilled.
I then used a razor saw and a dremel grinding bit to clean up the opening.

pic 4:
Since I put a big notch into one of the spars, I need to sister a couple of supports on each side.
I made a paper template of the area and traced it on some 1/4" thick ply.

pic 5:
Some epoxy and clamps will secure the sister supports to the spar.
I also found that former to the right in the picture was loose so I epoxied it, also.
All the other formers and seems on the fuse were very secure.

pic 6:
Retracts in the up position.
Note: sister plys on spar were not glued in yet in this picture.

pic 7:
Here, you can see the cylinder going below the mount.
The large fork connecting to the oleo also goes below the mount.

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Old 07-27-2007, 01:52 PM
  #7  
samparfitt
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Default RE: Yellow P-38 build thread

First coat of primer.
I like putting the primer on early.
I used a local brand from the auto shop which is a two part mix so it is as hard as nails when dry but easy to wet sand.
I did it outside under the tree: even outdoors, I used a good paint respirator and lots of latex gloves: this stuff is nasty.
It also lets me know where all those pin holes are.
Not too many: I've seen a lot worse!
I'm glad I finished painting and all was dry enough to handle: it just rained the usual 'cats and dogs' (or 'dogs and cats' as mentioned by the german 'bad guy' in Diehard).
I painted the bottom half of the fuse first, then went on to the elevator and did the bottom half of that and then did the rest of the small parts. By the time I was done with all the small parts, the fuse and elevator were dry enough so I could flip them over and finish priming the top halves.


-----------
Stuff:
It's been a good day.
Gear mounts fixed, FG parts primed and three packages from UPS.
All that 'stuff' adds up, $$$ wise, for large planes!
Got six HS-645 servos and a HS-5625 and fived sets of large robart door hinges (among other 'stuff').
From Dick Bennett, I got some double choke/throttle linkages, thin carb extensions (white instead of the usual brown color), etc.
The last picture has the Zinger 3-blade prop sets with two mounting plates to hold the props.

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Old 07-27-2007, 03:33 PM
  #8  
twinman
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Default RE: Yellow P-38 build thread

For someone who lied about getting started..you are really in high gear. Will be watching closely. Just a thought, you might look over the new Twin Sync not only for safety, but holds the engines in ABSOLUTE sync. Have one of the prototypes and well worth it in many ways.
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Old 07-28-2007, 08:26 AM
  #9  
Metalmorphous
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Default RE: Yellow P-38 build thread

Hi Sam,
I too will be watching I had the opportunity to build our Yellow 38 about 3 years ago and its still the flag ship of our fleet. I too posted the build with the additiion of our seamless aluminum plating process here one RCU and I have attached the link below if you like to take a look, lots of pictures and that can sometimes help when building, I know it did when I was building mine and I was amazed at the knowledge our fellow modelers have. Looks like you’re making great progress and looking forward to seeing her completed.


http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/Meta...1870990/tm.htm


Ron
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Old 07-28-2007, 05:28 PM
  #10  
rrudytoo
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Default RE: Yellow P-38 build thread

Ron,

Your series of posts on the construction and plating of your P-38 ended in October of 2006 with a maiden flight in the then-near future. How did that go?

Al
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Old 07-28-2007, 10:58 PM
  #11  
samparfitt
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Default RE: Yellow P-38 build thread

Well, it's Saturday, which means flying all day so by the time I got home and ate, it was 7 PM.
Mark Taylor sent me the instruction manual, which was missing, so I spent about an hour reading that.
The manual seemed pretty short giving me the impression that the P-38 can be built in a week....NOT!
Everything in the manual is pretty much like their P-40, again, only not as detailed with a picture manual that comes with the P-40.
I only thing that surprised me was that regular 50 oz servos can be used.
I find that those regular servos get gear teeth broken not by flying but bumping into them (and things), so I'm sticking to the metal gears 133 oz HS-645's and the 164 oz HS-5645 if two surfaces are being moved (such as the inner flaps).

I'm building what motivates me and tonight it was the elevator and rudder servo trays and supports.
The plans gives a drawing of the trays and where they go.
The plan shows 'U' shaped trays but I thought the servo won't sit vertical if it's against the fuse wall so I made my trays with 1/4" on the sides and 1/2" on each end of the trays.
The supports have little notches in the drawing to get by the seam where the two halves of the fuse meet.
The plans show the top of the servo trays as 3 1/4" from the bottom of the boom (fuse) and this puts the tray below the seam.
There was a lot of marking and sanding to get the tray to match the support (that's why it's now 11:45 AM!).
To cut rectangular holes in the trays, I used a forstner bit to drill holes and then utility knife and files to get the hole the proper shape for the servo (also a long process).
I also drilled the servo screw holes into the tray since it would be very difficult to drill those in after they are epoxied in.
I also used 1/4" thick ply versus the recommended 1/8" ply.
The plan calls for one support and the former to provide the other support.
I chose the put a support on each end.

pic 1:
Four trays and 8 supports.
The holes in the supports are for the servo wires.
ps: making good use of my daughters cabinets that I'm building: they make a good place to put my plane parts!

pic 2:
Some epoxy applied.

pic 3:
Putting the booms on their side allows gravity to hold the trays/supports in place.
Tomorrow, I'll flip the booms and do the other side.

Let's see: planes all charged, ready to go flying tomorrow morning.....aaaahhhhhh!
I love this time of year!
Weather's been great: 60's at night and 80's during the day.
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Old 07-29-2007, 09:32 AM
  #12  
Metalmorphous
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Default RE: Yellow P-38 build thread

Al -- I dont want to step on Sams thread so as soon as I learn how to attach video I will update my thread, but thanks for asking

Ron

Sam Its a wise decision to upgrade the servos,, too much to loose because of a week gear.
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Old 07-29-2007, 08:23 PM
  #13  
mobyal
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Default RE: Yellow P-38 build thread

Outstanding again, Sam!
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Old 07-29-2007, 08:26 PM
  #14  
samparfitt
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Default RE: Yellow P-38 build thread

Not a whole lot done since I was at the field from 10 am until about 6 pm and then did some work at my daughter's house.
Only thing done was early this morning; I flipped the center section around and added the other two servo trays.
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Old 07-31-2007, 12:13 AM
  #15  
samparfitt
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Default RE: Yellow P-38 build thread

Tank installation.

pic 1:
notched the 2nd former back for the tank tray.

pic 2:
tank tray, the front support is 3/4" triangle stock, 1/8" thick ply and another 1/8" ply as spacers (with a 1/64" ply added to give a little room for the tank tray.
The back support is also 1/8" thick ply with two pieces of hardwood epoxied to the ply.
Both supports are epoxied in and the tank tray is supported at each end by the supports.

pic 3:
The back support: will get 2 bolts into blind nuts to hold the tank tray is place.

pic 4:
Looking through the wing rib, the inside front support epoxied to the fire wall.

pic 5:
Note the tank tray has notches to go around the 2nd former: this is to keep the tank tray horizontal.

-------------
Main gears.

pic 6:
extra 1/4" thick ply epoxied to original main support.
A large piece of 1/4" ply is bridging the gap between the new and old ply.

Pic 7:
Can see where the right side of the main gear is supported by the new ply.

pic 8:
Main's temporarily mounted.


-----------------
On her feat.

pic 9/10:

pic 11:
Zinger props.

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Old 07-31-2007, 12:32 AM
  #16  
samparfitt
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Default RE: Yellow P-38 build thread

steering servo.

pic 1:
original center nose front former with two pre-drilled holes to hold the steering servo.
Bolts will go into this and hold the steering servo tray with blind nuts.
Without the hatch that I previously cut out, this operation has to be extremely difficult to do!

pic 2:
Drilled out a large hole for the steering servo connecting rod.

pic 3:
Robart's steering mechanism on the nose gear.

pic 4:
Steering servo tray ply parts.

pic 5:
tray epoxied.

pic 6:
I used a one foot by 1/8" diameter drill bit to drill out an outline of the large hole for the connecting rod.
I then used a dremel grinding bit to clean it up.

pic 7:
Steering servo and tray temporarily mounted.

pic 8:
First main problem.
The main's wheels are hitting the bottom of the turbo charger.
The yellow's wheels are 5 1/4" diameter instead of 5".
I had a 5" wheel and it works OK.
I'm not switching wheels since I have yellow's brakes.
I found that Yellow's retracts are 1/2" longer struts than Robart's so Yellow's probably is far enough out to clean the TC.
Yellow's retracts must also go lower into the well because I moved Robar'ts back a 1/2" and now the doors won't close.
I have a 5" dubro wheel which I could cut the plastic rim out.
I need to get Yellow's tire off the rim: their P-40's wheels screw on.
I'll have to check if this is true for the P-38 wheels as I don't want to assume and screw up expensive wheels.
I'm hoping to put the dubro 5" tire on Yellow's rim.

Pic 9/10:
If that doesn't work, I'll have to trim the TC well and probably part of the TC at the back of the TC.




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Old 07-31-2007, 12:39 AM
  #17  
samparfitt
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Default RE: Yellow P-38 build thread

Hinges:

pic 1:
I used Robart's large door hinges.
Only Robart's large door hinges will work.
They were epoxied after the hole was cut in the inner door detail.

pic 2:
I used a jig I made to insure the hinges go on straight.
Very simple: 1/8" thick ply and a 1/16" thick ply CA'ed in the middle.
Clamp the jig to the door, clamp the inside part of the hinge to the 1/16" thick ply: which aligns the hinge up with the inside wall of the door. Push the other side of the hinge into the hole and epoxy it in the door.
After it dries, tape the door on the fuse in the closed position and epoxy the other hinge to the fuse.
I laid the fuse on its side so gravity held the hinge in place while the epoxy dried.

pic 3:
Door in the open position.

pic 4:
closed position.

well, it's 1:30 am, time to rest.
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Old 07-31-2007, 12:59 AM
  #18  
timothy thompson
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Default RE: Yellow P-38 build thread

very nice how much was the kit
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Old 07-31-2007, 05:48 AM
  #19  
Doolittleraider
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Default RE: Yellow P-38 build thread

Hey Sam.
Here you go again. I have to let you know I got an few issues with you. First you build to fast. You make us guys who work full time feel insecure. Second your posts none the less forced me to buy a Yellow P-40 last week which I just started. Of course that I have already started it I feel bad looking at the speed of this post.
Thanks for nothing!

All joking aside, Thanks for the great P-40 post you are really one of the reasons I got it. The others being I always wanted a P-40 and I love my Yellow P-47. I really appreciate you posting your build. its great to use for refererance. I wish you sucess with the P-38!
All the best
Peter Miller
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Old 07-31-2007, 07:10 AM
  #20  
samparfitt
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Default RE: Yellow P-38 build thread

tim:
I got this info off of rcuniverse from warbird-rcu:
'Yes the price is $1275.00 for the kit only and the retracts are $575-630 depending upon the brakes and tires. The spinners and other options are extra. I got a qoute on all of it and it was around $2300 -2450 for all. Shipping is $145-150. Hope this helps'.
I got mine from another modeler so I'm assuming these prices are correct.

Call Charlie at:
YELLOW AIRCRAFT International
10-C Roessler Rd., Woburn, MA 01801, USA
Tel: (781) 935-9868 • Fax: (781) 935-9828
Business Hours: Mon-Fri 9am to 5pm EST

Charlie is a real nice guy to deal with.
He's always willing to answer my questions when I call.


----
Yo Pete,
Thanks for all the nice comments.
(sounds like I'm paying you to say all that stuff!)
After I lost my Yellow P-40 in a fire, I've got to order another one (at least the 2nd build should go faster!).
The high quality of these 'kits' (more like ARC's) makes building them easy.
A case in point are those P-38 gear doors: there's no way I could duplicate that detail and they fit the fuse perfectly.
All I have to do is glue in some hinges.
Imagine trying to build those from scratch: it would probably take a week to cut them and get them to fit and work.
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Old 07-31-2007, 09:24 AM
  #21  
Baldeagle
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Default RE: Yellow P-38 build thread

Sam Your work is awsome. I have been working 3 days making dive brakes for my Val and still not done. Thanks for posting. Rich
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Old 07-31-2007, 10:53 AM
  #22  
samparfitt
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Default RE: Yellow P-38 build thread

Yo Rich,
Yeah, but yours are home built!

Putting new tires on for the mains (should have taken them to Auto tire Discounters!).

pic 1:
The rims screw off just like yellows P-40 wheels.
Another jig to remove the rim from the tire.
Two chisels in a vise and slide one sides rim over the chisels.

pic 2:
A piece of oak with two holes drilled in it and two punches put into the holes and then just start twisting (like we did last summer..Chubby Checkers).

pic 3:
A dremel cut off tool for the Dubro plastic rim, a hack saw to remove the bulk of the center of the new Dubro tire and an oscillating sander to clean & smooth up the center.
That dubro center rim plastic is some tough stuff: not like the plastic toys from the sixty's!

pic 4:
The Dubro tire is about an 1/8" narrower than yellows rim.

pic 5:
Gear down with both doors on.
I had to remove the opposite door to epoxy the second door on.
Fortunately, Robart uses screws to hold the two hinge halves together making painting/repair much easier.

pic 6:
The tire fits...just: it just touches the bottom of the turbo-charger.

pic 7:
And the best part, the doors now completely close!
Amazing what a quarter inch makes!!!

pic 8:
So which is the worst of the two options:
1. butcher the TC
2. use an ugly tire!!!
I'm going with the ugly tire!

pic 9:
hmmmm: the yellow texan tire (winter project!) is the same as the yellow P-38 tire.
4 7/8" diameter versus 5 1/4": I can just order two AT-6 tires from yellow!
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Old 07-31-2007, 08:55 PM
  #23  
samparfitt
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Default RE: Yellow P-38 build thread

Door hinges (cont)

pic 1:
Side view of hinge alignment with surface of door.
The bottom of the hinge should align with the inside surface of the door lip (which is 1/16" down from the surface).

pic 2:
Nose door in.
This completes all doors are installed.

----------

pic 3:
The elevator connecting rod from Dubro.
Allows easy screwing of 4/40 rod which will be attached to a carbon fiber dowel.

pic 4:
All my wire extensions wires arrived today.
Two 36", four 24", six 18", six 12" and seven 'Y's.
I just randomly ordered them and hope I have enough.
They are all heavy duty twisted wires.

pic 5:
The balsa parts needed for the vertical fins and rudders.

pic 6:
Vertical fin support CA'ed and dry fitted.

pic 7:
Vertical fins dry fitted.

pic 8:
With rudder.

pic 9:
Rudder parts sanded to shape.

pic 10:
Control horn ply will be added to balsa hinge support.

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Old 07-31-2007, 10:18 PM
  #24  
Doolittleraider
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Default RE: Yellow P-38 build thread

Sam,

Did you really lose it in a fire? What happened?
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Old 08-01-2007, 05:29 AM
  #25  
samparfitt
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Default RE: Yellow P-38 build thread

My detached shop had a fire and two 8' P-51's (Ziroli and Giant Scale Planes) and a Yellow P-40 were in there.
The structure was OK but the contents had a lot of damage.
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