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  1. #1

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    Ziroli Skyraider Build

    I figured I would try and contribute a little to the forum. This will be a short thread to post some pictures of my build of two Ziroli Skyraiders. It started about three years ago with lots of breaks due to my job and family needs. I have one just about done and the second is a little behind. I'll try and upload all my pictures over the next couple of days.

    It all started when a fellow club member owed me some money. Instead of paying me he gave me a set of plans, the cowl and a canopy. I had enough wood to cut one kit of my own. I wanted to build my dad one too, so I ordered a second laser cut kit to save some time (or so I thought). I then placed a wood order and ordered a second cowl and canopy to give me enough to finish both planes and I was off on my three year adventure.

    The last two pictures are of what I was hoping would be the two end products.

    -Scott-
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    \"Mix ignorance with arrogance at low altitude and the results are almost guaranteed to be spectacular\"

  2. #2

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    RE: Ziroli Skyraider Build

    I built the two wings first. The kit I cut myself went together pretty good. I had a few small areas that needed sanding or adjusting but nothing major. The second wing I put together was from the laser cut kit. The cuts were very nice and the pieces looked good, but a lot of the pieces needed some major adjustment.

    When I hand cut my kit, I would mark the inner rib and the outer ribs for the spars, then line everything up and mark the rest of the spar cuts in a straight line. The laser cut kit cut everything as it was copied from the drawing. Most everything was cut right, but a few pieces were either copied wrong or drawn wrong on the original. I don't know, but I ended up cutting a couple of ribs out for the laser cut wing on my own. No biggie, but it was a little frustrating at times.

    One other thing I did not like about the laser cut kit was that the plywood that runs the length of the inner wing section between the spars was light ply. It should be okay, but on the kit I cut myself I used good 5 layer aircraft ply. My dad will get the stronger AC ply wing, and I will keep the lower grade light ply myself.

    A couple of the pictures show the wing bones lined up with a .40-.60 sized Bearcat ARF from DymondRC, which was later sold by Lanier I think. Huge difference in size on these two.
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    \"Mix ignorance with arrogance at low altitude and the results are almost guaranteed to be spectacular\"

  3. #3
    Warbird Joe's Avatar
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    RE: Ziroli Skyraider Build

    Looking good. I can't wait to see the finished product. I like the color scheme of the plane you selected instead of the traditional silver.

    Joe
    Black Horse T-28 Magnum 91 2 stroke Spektrum DX7 HAWKS Warbird Coordinator for Warbirds Over Ohio August 18, 2012.

  4. #4

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    RE: Ziroli Skyraider Build

    Quick picture of the wing joint for the three piece wing.

    Second picture shows a little more of the wing joint. One thing I will admit to is that I am a sloppy builder. Everythign comes out straight in the end, but the inside doesn't look pretty and probably weighs more than it should.

    Third picture shows some detail of the gear mount area. The laser cut kit had light ply included for the ribs that would support the gear mounts. No way was I using those. I made some new ribs out of 3 or 5 layer AC ply. Can't remember which I used. I also use gorilla glue or Elmer's pro bond glue when I can find it to add some strength to stressed joints. My dad doesn't like retracts so the gear will be mounted to a 1/4-inch ply plate that will have the same hole pattern as a set of robart rotating retracts. That way if he ever decided to put retracts in, all he has to do is un-bolt the plate and put the retracts in. The gear doors will not be cut out, but will be marked so I know where to cut if I need to add retracts to his.

    Fourth picture is of the wing mount block. My neighbors were putting in a new hardwood floor so I went over a couple of times and took their small scrap pieces. This block is flush with the bottom of the wing and then I filled in the space above it with a good sized balsa block to keep from having any crush issues. Also note the rib that the wing mount is attached to. The laser cutter included light ply again, probably okay, but I chose to replace it with a better 3 ply rib with a 5 ply doubler.

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    \"Mix ignorance with arrogance at low altitude and the results are almost guaranteed to be spectacular\"

  5. #5

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    RE: Ziroli Skyraider Build

    Next set of pictures include the aileron servo mount and the various wing pictures. The aileron servos will be mounted flush to the bottom of the wing with the servo arms hanging out in the breeze. Not very scale like but simple. The flap servos will be mounted internally under a hatch with an internal pushrod that goes out through theback of the trailing edge.

    The second picture shows the plywood mounts I installed for the main wing pylons. Hard to make them out, but they are the wood running vertical in the picture. They spread the load across three ribs and should give good support. The pylons themselves will be mounted using blind nuts and bolts that screw up through the middle of the pylon. The centerline pylon and the two big wing pylons will be made so that they can drop stuff. The outer 12 wing pylons will just be screwed on with non-dropable ordinance.

    The third and fourth picture shows the outer wing panels and the mounting strips I used for the small pylons. These pylons will just be screwed to the plywood using wood screws and glue. Nothing fancy.
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    \"Mix ignorance with arrogance at low altitude and the results are almost guaranteed to be spectacular\"

  6. #6
    LargeScale88's Avatar
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    RE: Ziroli Skyraider Build

    Nice build. All ziroli airplanes look fantastic when completed! The skyraider was a fantastic airplane that my grandpa flew years and years ago. Hes built a ziroli skyraider, but sold it, sadly. Keep us updated.

  7. #7

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    RE: Ziroli Skyraider Build

    Next three pictures show the wings after sheeting. You can see the open area for the aileron servo and the holes for the wing pylon mounts. Second picture shows the flap hinges. Simple but work pretty good. Once again the laser cut kit gave me fits with the light ply they used for the flap hinges coming out of the wing. I broke several of these off before I finished. I had to do some hacking to cut them out and replace them with higher quality wood.

    Third picture just shows the hole the flap servo goes into. For the hatch cover it will have a thin plywood base that goes in the hole first and then a bals cap over the plywood so that it can easily be sanded flat with the rest of the wing.
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    \"Mix ignorance with arrogance at low altitude and the results are almost guaranteed to be spectacular\"

  8. #8

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    RE: Ziroli Skyraider Build

    Next three pictures show the ailerons and the mounts for the control horns I am using. I use the Dubro large scale plastic control horns. I make an interior mounting base for the control horn that is tied into two ribs and glued to the bottom sheeting. Then I will glue the top of the control horn base plate to the insde of the aileron on the mounting plate. Then when the top sheeting goes on the ailerons, you can't see the top mounting plate. I have never had any problems with this style of mounting once I learned to glue the plate on really good. I did have one that popped off when I tried bolting the control horn to the aileron and had to cut the shetting apart to get the mounting plate lined back up.

    The last picture shows the bottom of the aileron with a piece of plywood in the hole keep the balsa sheeting from crushing when tightening the bolts. I wanted to make internal pushrods on the elevators but choose to do the elevator control horns the same as the ailerons.

    -Scott-
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    \"Mix ignorance with arrogance at low altitude and the results are almost guaranteed to be spectacular\"

  9. #9

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    RE: Ziroli Skyraider Build

    Pictures of the tail. Nothing special here. The control horns were mounted the same way as the ailerons in the previous post. If I did it again i would have gone ahead and connected the elevator halves with a tube and mounted a single pushrod to it using a brass tab soldered to the rod. Barry (DBSpit) over on RCScalebuilder has an excellent post on building a Skyraider and has some great pictures of how to do this. I almost posted this thread there but didn't want to embarass myself with a thread next to his.

    The last picture shows that the tail of this thing is almost as big as a .40 sized Spitfire.
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    \"Mix ignorance with arrogance at low altitude and the results are almost guaranteed to be spectacular\"

  10. #10

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    RE: Ziroli Skyraider Build

    Moving on to the fuselage!

    This is were the laser cut kit shined. Everything on the fuselage lined up pretty good and all the pieces fit together without much adjustment. My hand cut kit I did fit pretty good but I needed to adjust a few things to get the stringers to line up and get everything straight.

    I couldn't help but put everything together just to pretend I had a Skyraider. Unfortunately about this time was when my work schedule got hectic and I had to take an extended break from building the Skyraiders.

    The only thing special to note in these pictures is the green tape. This is Scotch 3M brand #2060 "Masking tape for hard-to-stick surfaces". This stuff is awesome for holding balsa wood together even if it has lots of sanding dust on it. unfortunately Lowes and Home Depot in my area quit carrying it. I haven't tried the green "frog tape" to see if it works the same. The other blue and tan masking tapes hold just long enough for you to walk away for the night when gluing pieces together. The green stuff will hold if it sticks initially.

    Another thing to note here is the mounting of the horizontal stab. I wish I had given it some more thought at this stage of the build so that I could make sure I had a good solid mount. Ziroli plans and instructions basically have you build the fuselage than then hack a hole in it to slide the H-stab through and glue it in. These is a little more to it than that, but that is about how I felt about it after it was done. Once again Barry (DBSpit) has a much better way of adding the tail to his Skyraider and I really wish he had done his before I had built mine because I would have copied his method. Sure my tail is solid, but it probably weighs more than necessary. I really should have given it some more thought before sheeting the fuselage.
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    \"Mix ignorance with arrogance at low altitude and the results are almost guaranteed to be spectacular\"

  11. #11

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    RE: Ziroli Skyraider Build

    Time to add the stringers and make sure everything is straight and line up properly. I use a laser line level and several bubble levels to make sure everything is line up correctly. With each new build I find myself getting better at certain things. I am also slowly accumulating better tools with each build to build straighter planes. The laser line level is one of those tools. Both the fuselages were framed out straight as could be and gave me a good starting point for adding the sheeting.

    About this time I also won an auction on EBay for an F-15 pilot from Dragon. I'll be adding him to the cockpit of my dad's plane just because his club mate's are more critical of things like scale details and such. He flies out in Missouri while I fly in East Tennsessee where you are good to go as long as you can put an orange "T" sticker on your plane.

    This is about the time when my wife started giving me dirty looks and started wondering what I was really doing in the basement when my two little boys accused me of playing with dolls in the basement.
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    \"Mix ignorance with arrogance at low altitude and the results are almost guaranteed to be spectacular\"

  12. #12

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    RE: Ziroli Skyraider Build

    Once the fuselage was all framed out, I slowly started adding the sheeting. My work was still taking up a huge amount of time and most of my free time was spent trying to keep my two little boys occupied. I would basically add one piece of sheeting to each side a night. I used good old fashioned wood glue for this. I usually use CA but have found that i get in too big of a hurry when sheeting with CA.

    I also came downstairs one afternoon to find my boys playing with one of the fuselages. I could only imagine what they had done to it since they have helped me "work" on planes in the past. I had to laugh when my youngest said "look daddy, it's a Vader Raider".
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    \"Mix ignorance with arrogance at low altitude and the results are almost guaranteed to be spectacular\"

  13. #13

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    RE: Ziroli Skyraider Build

    A little more sheeting and lots of sanding later I finally got to put everything together out on the front lawn to see what it all looked like. In the first picture you can see how I mounted the gear if you really strain your eyes. Basically I mounted a hardwood block to a good piece of 1/4-inch AC ply. I then sunk a metal tube into the hardwood block which the struts were then attached to. The struts I am using on my Dad's Skyraider were from an old Gee Bee that didn't make it through the last flying season. They should be plenty strong to support the 100" Skyraider. I haven't weighed them yet but I am not going crazy on adding detailing or anything so they shouldn't be real heavy.

    One thing about the finishing on these Skyraiders. I am not going crazy on the fiberglassing to get a mirror smooth finish like some people do. All full scale Skyraiders I have seen are dented and beat up pretty good. The ones flying the skies of Vietnam were probably beat up even worse. So I am basically just sanding the sheeting until it is smooth enough and then laying down the fiberglass. I am not using filler to smooth out low spots or anything. Once the glass is on, I will hit it with some primer, sand that lightly and then spray the colors. Some may think this is crude and poor workmanship, but I justify it in my mind as adding a scale appearance.

    I use .75oz cloth andbrush on miniwax water based polycrylic polyurethane floor finish. I prefer this method over the epoxy finish for several reasons. The smell isn't as bad and the cleanup is pretty easy since it is water based. Unfortunately I lost all the pictures of the glassing so nothing to show here.
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    \"Mix ignorance with arrogance at low altitude and the results are almost guaranteed to be spectacular\"

  14. #14

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    RE: Ziroli Skyraider Build

    Cockpit time!

    My dad like's to have scale looking cockpits, while I usually paint the inside of my canopy silver. I decided I better keep him happy by making up a decent cockpit. I also figured since I bought a good looking pilot he needed a decent place to sit.

    So, for two weekends in a row, me a my two little boys spent some craft time together. My wife loved it, the boys loved it and I was rewarded with a decent looking pit. The boys spent their time making sparkling cards for their grandmothers, not to mention a huge mess, and I borrowed some of their beads and plastic junkets to glue onto balsa and plastic sheeting.

    For the instrument panel i just found some instruments on the internet, printed them on photo paper and cut them out. I then took some plastic sheeting, cut it into squares, carved a hole in it and glued it on top of the photo instruments. as you can see, some of them were not lined up very good and I had some glue running all over the place, but I blame that on trying to assist the kids with their projects at the same time.

    I then took beads and plastic pieces and glued them in various positions to simulate levers, dials and other cockpit things. I painted them and the end result is a cockpit with beads and plastic things. Oh well, looks good enough when you put the pilot in with it, he covers most of everything up. Oh, and it looks even better when you close the canopy... and stand 10 feet away, looking into the sun... Anyway, it was a fun project and some good family time.
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    \"Mix ignorance with arrogance at low altitude and the results are almost guaranteed to be spectacular\"

  15. #15

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    RE: Ziroli Skyraider Build

    Almost finished product...

    Here are some pictures as it sits now. Couple of things to note here. I am using Klass Kote epoxy paint to paint these. I have to say this stuff is pretty nice. Sprays easy and is pretty forgiving. I have not put the clear on it yet and will spary the whole thing with a flat finish after adding all the nomenclature, markings and weathering. To my eye the colors are off from what they should be, but they are good enough for me and should be good enough for my dad. I started off following the recipes recommended by Klass Kote on their website. I sprayed the bottom gray color first and then the tan color, but to me it looks too brown. In the photos I have for references, the color should be more of a sand color, but maybe that is just this brown color after it has faded some. Maybe someone out there knows more about it than I do and can speak up and let me know.

    Next i sprayed the light green, once again following the recipe off the website. But as I mixed the color, it looked too dark for me so i deviated from the recipe some and ended up with what is shown. Probably too light, but once again oh well... I sprayed the dark green last, and same as before I deviated from the recipe and ended up with something a little too dark for my eyes. But don't take this as a complaint, I am happy with how it turned out, just wish I knew more to know how "off" I am from the real thing.

    Anyway, overall I have to say using the Klass Kote was a positive experience and would recommend it.
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    \"Mix ignorance with arrogance at low altitude and the results are almost guaranteed to be spectacular\"

  16. #16

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    RE: Ziroli Skyraider Build

    More color shots. Sorry about the multiple posts with only two pictures. I am trying to stay within the size restrictions of each post.

    I sprayed this using a cheap "automotive touch-up gun" from Harbor Freight. It actually worked very well except the overspray is too much to free hand the camo pattern so that it looks right. I realized I had to mask the colors off, but was trying to get a good looking edge without it being razor sharp. I settled on using 3/16" thick foam weather strip tape from Lowe's. I would have liked to use the 3M round blending tape the professionals use, but the price was way too high. I paid $3 for 17ft of the weatherstrip tape and it worked okay. Basically I just sprayed from the masked side to the side that needed painting to get a soft edge from the foam tape. It worked okay, but I have some areas where I ended up with no blending. Overall it looks pretty good though.

    Note the four tan stripes n the fuselage. The Skyraider guys in Vietnam used these to denote the squadron commander's aircraft. I figured it would be okay to add these to my dad's aircraft since I will let him be the commander of our Skyraider squadron (of 2 aircraft). Mine will be painted similar to his but minus the stripes and with a black bottom instead of the light gray.
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    \"Mix ignorance with arrogance at low altitude and the results are almost guaranteed to be spectacular\"

  17. #17

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    RE: Ziroli Skyraider Build

    Couple of detail shots.

    First picture shows my crude attempt at a hand carved static show prop. I still have to paint the tips, but it actually came out pretty nice. It is missing the cuff of the full scale Aero Products prop, but looks pretty good from 10 feet away. The cowl is just sitting in place right now, but will be mounted using dowels and rare earth magnets. The dowels will keep it in alignment and the magnets will keep it in place. Works nice and clean with no external screws to worry about.

    The second picture shows a couple of minor details. I added 1/64 chart tape when primering and then removed it before painting to simulate panel lines. Nothing new there, but it was the first time I had done it so I was happy with how it came out. I learned a lot and will apply it to future models. Another thing to note are some small raised panels. There are two in the second picture but are hard to see. Before primering I added some metallic Shurtape brand tape. When i weather it, I will sand and scuf the paint on these panels to simulate wear and tear and paint chipping. The two panels in this picture are the ammo boxes in the wings. I'll get a better picture after I weather this area to show it better.

    The last thing to note are the small decals I added here and there. My wife has a "Brother P-touch" label maker she uses for scrap booking and things. I figured i would give it a try for making decals. I downloaded the USAF amarillo style font from the internet and used that with the label maker to make these. The resolution degrades on the really small stuff, but work pretty good for what I needed. I think most of the decals are in too small of a font anyway so I will probably peel these all off and redo them in a little larger font.

    I have to say i have been impressed with the decals as far as their chemical resistance. I labeled some containers I used to mix up the Klass Kote paint and they stood up to lacquer thinner very well. They also seem to be good with alcohol and gas. Turns out we use the same labels where I work and they stand up okay to high concentrations of nitric acid and caustic solutions too.
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    \"Mix ignorance with arrogance at low altitude and the results are almost guaranteed to be spectacular\"

  18. #18

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    RE: Ziroli Skyraider Build

    Spot the mistakes...

    Okay, I realize most of you scale competition guys are laughing at me right now. For those non-scale competition guys I'll clue you in. While painting I got my greens mixed up on the left wing and painted the light green where the dark green should be. This wouldn't be a big problem except I painted the flaps and ailerons correctly. So that left me with a dilema. Should I just try and hand mix some more klass kote to match the colors I already sprayed to correct the mistake, or should I just try and cover it up with a little freestyle painting with the small amount of dark green i had left before it set up. I chose the later and just started freestyle painting on the camo scheme to get things to match up. So i guess my dad can't compete since his scheme doesn't match any documentation I have. Oh well...

    Second mistake I made is not as obvious. The flap in the picture won't go up. Why you ask? Well, because the one i painted turns out to belong to the other wing I built. No matter how close you try to build two wings, there are differences. Needless to say, no matter how careful I tried to be about keeping which went with which wing, i got them messed up in my hast to paint. Not a huge mistake, except i won't be able to hand mix the same shades of paint for the other flap I need to use. I think I am just going to trim the inner edge of the flap some so that it fits and call it a day. Painting the inboard side of the flap is mauch easier than trying to match the green and brown.

    So that catches all my pictures up through this weekend. I will try to add a few more pictures of the weathering and finished product. I am planning on going back to Missouri next month so I need to finish it so I can deliver it to my dad then.

    If anyone has any questions I will try and answer them. I would also appreciate some comments and criticism of my build and paint job. I am always ready to learn something new.

    Thanks,
    -Scott-
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    \"Mix ignorance with arrogance at low altitude and the results are almost guaranteed to be spectacular\"

  19. #19

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    RE: Ziroli Skyraider Build

    Scott, looks good and most guys would not know the color differences anyway. I am building a Skyraider also, I have mine framed and ready for primer, pics in my gallery. I am just waiting to get my skill level up to thetask of panel lines and rivets. Something to help with your decals to get rid of the glare is to spray some flat clear......Keep up the good work.
    Tony

  20. #20

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    RE: Ziroli Skyraider Build

    Here is a pic of mine, built from a fiberglass fuse and Ziroli plans. Powered by a G62. It flies great, but I had problems at Top Gun with the engine/muffler combination. That is fixed now. She has a great presence in the air, and low fast passes will give you goose bumps.
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  21. #21

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    RE: Ziroli Skyraider Build

    BTW the black bottom is apparently a rare find. From what I could determine these planes were flown out of Thailand and were part of a Special Operations Squadron (SOS) that worked the Ho Chi Minh Trail and other less desireable jobs. The black was also useful for night sorties. These planes could carry as much as fully loaded B-17 and a variety of weapons were available to them. My current project is to finsih a Kellog AE5 Skyraider, the two seater version. I hope is flies as well as the single seater. My paint colors came out of a rattle can, Krylon camo paints really looked the part. The weathering is done with chalks and an airbrush. I will try and find some of the close up pics of it for you.

  22. #22

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    RE: Ziroli Skyraider Build

    Doc,

    Yours looks very good. I am hoping the second one I paint will turn out better. I am trying to figure out the right recipes for the colors I need so I can mix the Klass Kote paint better. I am fixing the sizing of my decals now and masking off my unit markings and stuff. After those are finished I will start weathering and then shoot the whole model in a flat clear. I am hoping I can use the weathering to somewhat compensate the "off" colors. I also still need to finish off the pylons and sliding canopy.

    I found quite a few pictures of the black bottom skyraiders on skyraider.org. Probably not enough to document a competition model, but it surprised me how many there were.
    \"Mix ignorance with arrogance at low altitude and the results are almost guaranteed to be spectacular\"

  23. #23
    hellcat56's Avatar
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    RE: Ziroli Skyraider Build

    here is my Z Skyraider Best flying warbird I have
    G 62 pleanty of power
    Painted with Behr paint from home depot
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  24. #24
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    RE: Ziroli Skyraider Build

    Hi Lawrence:
    Can you tell me how you did your gear doors

    Dave
    ORIGINAL: hellcat56

    here is my Z Skyraider Best flying warbird I have
    G 62 pleanty of power
    Painted with Behr paint from home depot
    Doesn\'\'t \"expecting the unexpected\"
    Make the unexpected expected?

  25. #25
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    RE: Ziroli Skyraider Build

    I used the Zirolli supplied strut covers and made the wheel doors out of fiberglass
    each door has it own air cylinder to close and open
    hope this helps
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