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George Miller scratch builds a F-14 "TOMCAT"

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George Miller scratch builds a F-14 "TOMCAT"

Old 01-22-2016, 01:36 PM
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George Miller
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Default George Miller scratch builds a F-14 "TOMCAT"

I am going to start a thread on my latest project. The idea here is to give fellow modelers a view of how I am building this aircraft with the hopes it will help some fellow modelers on construction techniques I am using here. Because of the complexity of this construction and design, I felt it would be appreciated. It is going to get very involved.

The F-14 is quite a advanced model to be scratch building. I have always said: "The two most difficult model aircraft to build are the F-4 and the F-14." I know there are a lot of models that are difficult to build, but these are certainly two of them.

I have been building models for almost 60 years now and most of them are scratch build. I had a business, "Custom R/C Aircraft" and manufactured a complete line of scale RC duct fan jets. Here is a link to the site a very good friend, "Paul Marsh" has created that shows a lot of the stuff I have done through the years. If you click around on the photos, it will take you to the aircraft and other stuff on the site.

http://www.poweredmodelairplanes.com/pma/a10/georgemiller.html

So why a F-14 "Tomcat"?

Ya know, I think through the years I have just about built everything one can think of. All sorts of scale aircraft, pattern, racers, sport, etc. etc. So I am always having to come up with something new to get my attention.

I though the F-14 would give me a whole new challenge.

When deciding on a aircraft to build, the research begins. One has to decide what size they are interested in. What items are available that will be needed to build it. What other F-14's built by others are out there and how are they built. Also one has to download a complete collection of F-14 photos, walk-a-round photos, 3-views, and just about everything one can find on the F-14.

Another thing a modeler has to do is determine what he is going to use this aircraft for. True scale for competition will require different construction than if you are just building this aircraft for your own pleasure to fly at your club field. I don't do competition anymore, been there, done that. The object here is to just make it the best flying and most scale F-14 I can.

I found a few F-14's available. There is one that is about the size of your house and is actually a ARF. Complete composite model and will cost about $20,000.00 to complete. (This is not me, I do not consider a 20 grand ARF a model airplane)

Another is a couple little foamies made in China. It is shown on many of these China sites and I will not list the names of them here. I refer to them all as "Out of Stock" and the first time you need a part to keep flying it, "Not Available". And foam is not me either.

Another company makes two different size F-14's. One as a kit and one as a short kit. Both are smaller than I am interested in and I would not deal with this company anyway. I loved their way of just having the mains retract and just sticking out the side of the fuselage. (No Class)

Hobby Barn sells a set of plans ($65.00) and also a short kit from these plans. ($330.00)

There are also plans for different sizes on E-bay.

I decided to go the size of Hobby Barns F-14. I want to use 90mm fans and I fell this is the right size for them.

Now I do not believe in re-inventing the wheel. If there is a short kit the size I want and it cost $65.00 for the plans to get the templates of the formers and ribs, the cost of the wood and time to cut all these formers and ribs, not cost or time efficient.

I was able to get PDF files of the plans and I purchased the short kit from a laser design service I am not going to mention here.

So here I go.

The first thing I do is build the basic construction of the wings. I know these are going to be needed for fitting and sizing when building the fuselage.

I study the plans on how they are being built. I find that the construction for the pivot area of the wings is not to my liking and decide to change that to my own design. Rather than building that area up with a multitude of ply lamentations, I decide to extend the top and bottom ply mounts out to the third set of ribs with 1/4" hard ply.

The person who built this F-14 back in 1988 used only the stabulators as elevons to control the aircraft. Although I am sure this will work at speed, I feel I want better aileron control for slow speed and especially landings. I have decided to use the outer section of flaps for ailerons. Can't use the whole units because of them folding into the fuselage when the wings retract. (The actual F-14 does not have ailerons, it has wing spoilers that come out of the top of the wings.)

All the wing ribs had a round section cut out of the ribs in the area of the flaps, making these ribs very fragile and difficult to keep lined up. I glued the section from the scrap ply that fit this are in place. I never have figured out why these half round cutouts are there in the first place.



The next step was to assemble all the formers on the jig supplied with the short kit.



To be continued . . . .

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Old 01-22-2016, 04:36 PM
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George Miller
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Now I do not build model aircraft like most. Even if I am going to build from a kit or even this short kit, many changes will be made. First off, When I build the fuselage, it will only be used as a plug for making the final fuselage out of fiberglass. Second, if I am building from a kit, I am generally making a different version of the aircraft than they have kitted and this requires many modifications.

Tremendous advantages to making the fuselage out of fiberglass: 1. The fuselage will weigh about 1/3 of the wood one. 2. It is hollow instead of having a bunch of formers, blocks of wood, plastic hatches, etc. etc. 3. It is so much stronger than the wood one that it is beyond description. 4. sitting in the corner of your shop is this plug after you have built the aircraft. if you crash, you have the plug for making another one. Friend want one, no problem.

I lay my glass fuselage right off the wood one. No reason to make molds unless you are planning to make a whole lot of them. Molds take a lot of time and expense to make. You do have to use Isophthalic resin because of it's laminating properties. But I love it, It is a tooling resin, very thin and very ridged.



First thing I do here is assemble the jig that aligns all the formers. I then take a bunch of formers that are very thin in some areas and glue in the scrap ply that fits there. Being I am only using this built up fuselage as a plug, I do not need to leave these areas vacant and it makes the formers hold there shape better in these thin areas.

There are 32 of these 1/8 ply formers and half of them are to be doubled up to make 1/4" formers. I do not need to do that either. I just have to add a little piece of scrap ply to them where the fit the slots in the jig.

All the formers from the intakes back have a piece of ply added to them so they will all slide onto 1/4" dowels for line up.

Now the idea here is to place all these formers on this jig and start sheeting. I will tell you a secret: like almost all of these laser cutting company's, they have cut their stuff from plans provided by some modeler and almost always, they have never even tried to build the model. They do not have a clue how accurate, or not, this stuff goes together.

Right off, former #30 has the holes for the dowels spaced 3/8" to wide and will not slide on the dowels. I have to figure out what is wrong here. Is the former too wide or are the holes wrong? The former is wrong and I have to take 3/8" out of the center of it.

OK fine. I now have the formers on the jig. The next step is to start adding braces to the formers that are twisted or warped. Then start adding braces to the assembly to get everything aligned. If you look at this photo attached here you can see everything that has to be done before ever starting to sheet.



The most important step to sheeting a bunch of formers like this is to cut yourself a piece of 1/8" x 36" x 1/4" wide piece of balsa. This is your testing strip to lay across the formers in all the different areas to check their placement. Do all the formers line up correctly and make contact with this stick. If a former is drastically out, why?

One former is 1/4" too high. Another is right on the bottom of the fuselage, but 3/32" too low on the top. Any where I place this stick, there are formers that will have to be shimmed on way or another to make this fuselage without serious waves in it.

OK let's get to the truth of the matter here. Does this make this short kit a bad investment? The truth is: NO. I do not care if you cut your own formers for any aircraft you are making yourself, even computing them yourself, you will run into this. It is to be expected with this type of construction. The trick is to check the alignment of all formers as you build it with some kind of strip spanning over the formers.

I checked with "Jim" at Hobby Barn who this short kit is made for. These inaccuracies are known to him. Other modelers have run into the same thing.

Now what is sad here to me is I actually went to the effort to re-draw some of these formers and sent a very carefully worded E-mail to this laser cutter showing him the corrections he could make by simply correcting his computer that does the laser cutting. I told him I would be willing to continue to send corrections if he wanted me too. Never heard from him.

Between the tremendous amount of time I spent getting all my formers right and the sheeting of this large aircraft, it took me 472 hours to build it. (yes I keep track of my time and expense)



To be continued . . . .
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Old 01-23-2016, 10:24 AM
  #3  
George Miller
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In the last post you see the photos of the built fuselage and some while it was being sheeted. A lot goes on during this processs.

Notice that the canopy is glued to the fuselage. I buy two of these canopies and glue one to the fuselage so that when I make my glass fuselage I will have that area in the glass. I do this because I want the framing around the windows in the glass so I can glue the canopy behind the glass and get the effect of the scale framing. This gives a much better scale look. Even if I wasn't making this fuselage out of glass or do glass this area, I would still buy two canopies and cut one out as the framing and glue the other behind it.



The scale opening section of the canopy area will be a hatch on this F-14. I may even make this a operating canopy so the extra strength in that area is a good thing.

I also spent a lot of time fitting the wings to this fuselage. I sheeted the top of the wings and part of the bottom for doing this.

In the fuselage I added the ply for the pivot brackets. Doing this allows me to completely install the wings on their pivots and check for fit and incidence. And after sheeting this area, I drill through the holes in the pivot brackets so I will have the exact location of the pivot points in the glass when finished.



In my research, I have already decided which F-14 I want to model. It is the F-14B from VF-1 "Woldpack".





This being the "B" model, it has the new jet engines which have much different looking afterburner nozzles than the "A" model. This area was not included in the formers that make up this fuselage. So I was able to add the correct shaped formers for this area.

It is now ready for glassing.

I decided to take a break from the fuselage and finish building the wings.

These wings will require the aileron servos to be installed in them. I found that a pair of "Hi-Tech" HS645MG servos fit very nicely. I am also not much for extensions. Do not like any more terminals in my aircraft then I absolutely have to. So it was necessary for me to solder in a section of servo lead. I will need terminals at the inside of the wing to disconnect servos when I need to remove the wings for service or painting.

Yes, I bury my servos in my wings. Been doing that for decades. No, I do not make a hatch for getting to them. I buy the best servos I can with metal gears and high torque. This makes the nicest looking installation one can have.



To be continued . . . .
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Last edited by George Miller; 01-23-2016 at 10:36 AM. Reason: need to add photos
Old 01-23-2016, 11:45 AM
  #4  
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Hello again George,

Its Dean. So glad to see you active again after your smaller F-4. Hope you had enough fun with the trains. I guess the scale builder in you just needed another challenge. You might have trouble ever topping this build though. The Tomcat is certainty one of the most complicated builds out there. I always wanted to build one and am familiar with the plans you are working off of. I will have to get a set and follow along. I am a certified EDF nut now. The only trouble for me is I have too darn much stuff on the bench now, but I will make the room. I am subbed. Keep on truckin buddy.

Cheers,
Dean
Old 01-23-2016, 02:06 PM
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George Miller
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Default Hello Dean,

Well what a surprise this is. Nice to hear from you again. How's your F-4?

Yes this is going to be a very serious project. When I finished my last project, I spent some time thinking of what I wanted to build next. I knew I wanted to really jump out there and take on one of the three difficult ones I have always wanted to do but never did.

Always wanted to build a P-61 Black Widow. Don't even know why I haven't. Just too many projects get in the way.

And then there is the ultimate scale RC aircraft that takes you to the quote form the movie "Field of Dreams".
"IF YOU BUILD IT, THEY WILL COME"

The B-58 "Hustler"

If I was younger(and still had my machinist friend) I would love to take it on. I even though about it for a while, did research, and determined that making the landing gear for this one now-a-days would be beyond most machine shops and way beyond the price anyone can think of. And this would be a project taking many years to complete and to really be successful with it would take years of dedication to it. One could not make this aircraft and not take it around the states to show it off. And I am just not there at this age.

So I decided on the F-14.

I am making it the size that will use two 90mm fans. And I do have a set of pdf files of the plans.

These plans date back to 1988 and were done by a modeler in some foreign country. And there is absolutely nothing in these plans that will work for me. I have to totally engineer this F-14's inside for myself.

He shows this aircraft with tons of aluminum in the engineering of the wing mounting, electric motor and aluminum screw jack drive for the swing effect, all kinds of aluminum for the stabs, flaps, sub fins for the "A" model, and on and on. And he doesn't even have a clue what retracts to use in it now.

Considering he is using this built up fuselage, two Turbax glo fans(is that a joke or what), and everything else he shows, this thing must have weighed a ton. I wonder if it ever did fly?

And there are no instructions along with these plans. You are on your own.

So this is why I claim this as a scratch build. Nothing I have bought was much use to me without major modification. And inside this fiberglass fuselage will be all my own engineering and design.

But I will tell you this. My F-14 will have 17 pounds of thrust and it will come in weighing about 15 pounds at most.

So, if you want to follow along and make one with me, you are welcome and we will have some fun. The only thing I am asking you is: are you going to be able to make this fiberglass fuselage. Very important. The wood fuselage weighs 6 pounds. My glass fuselage will weigh two pounds. That four pounds makes a real difference in every way.
Old 01-23-2016, 04:50 PM
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George,

The build looks great so far. I am glad you decided to scale this bird around twin 90's, Its a perfect size. I hear you on the Hustler. It's such a gorgeous plane. The gear make it a nightmare and to keep it under giant scale the inlets would force the use of smaller then 90mm fans which tend to whine and not make the "wooosh" the bigger 12 blade rotors do.

My F-4 sits about 1/4 done. I have debated what to power it with. I even thought about converting Steve Korneys fan to electric. I will find something else to put that in. Your old F-4 would probably fly fine on a 120 but I have been testing fan units from The Hoaye company for a while and they now have a 5" 12 blade (127mm) that I will get. I will test it out on my current build which is an all wood Ziroli Panther. It it flies that hogger well then we will have a new reasonably priced fan in the 18+ lb category.

I agree with you on the value of the short kit. Just about every build will need tinkering to get it right, and you save hours not having to cut out all the parts. It is nice they included a fuse. jig, that probably saved you some time. Were the canopy's also available from Hobby Barn? I also agree that it is disappointing that the cutter has not yet responded to your efforts to fix his layout. Hopefully he will head the right way on that soon.

I will build this F-14 of yours. It will just have to wait a bit. I need to finish whats in the loop first, which is a lot. I wish I had more time. The good thing is here in Buffalo I can hibernate in my model shop all winter. I will follow your build verbatim. I need the experience on all the glass work to follow and I couldn't have a better teacher here.

George I have a lot of buddies over in the EDF forum on the other site. I would like to spread the word on your build. There are a lot of talented builders over there who would be interested. Let me know if its OK with you and I will post a note over there letting them know about this thread.

C-ya
Dean
Old 01-23-2016, 06:22 PM
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COOL....I'm Subscribed
Always keenly interested in other "Scratchers"
Old 01-24-2016, 09:59 AM
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George Miller
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HI Dean,

And that is the real problem with my kit F-4 now-a-days. It either requires two smaller electric fans or one big electric fan, or a turbine. Either way you are packing a lot of battery and will probably wind up with a short flight time.

To me the best fan on the market is the 90mm size.

The short kit does not actually come with the building jig. It actually cost another $40.00. I did get it with the kit because
this laser company also does a short kit of my A-10. So he sent it along with the short kit. And as I suspected, I had to correct some of the slots for the formers in the jig.

Hobby Barn does make the canopies for this F-14. They are very nice. Thicker than I would actually like for canopies, but that thickness is great for using one the fuselage that will be a plug.

The whole idea behind taking all this time to do a thread is the hopes that it will be of some help to other modelers. I have no use for the fame of what I have done in the past. It is just stuff I did. But I have developed a great amount of experience in scratch building almost all the aircraft I have through the last 60 years. I do hate to see all that building knowledge be lost in time.

So relaying this thread to your friends and other forum locations is really, really, appreciated by me. As it moves along, I feel it is going to get very interesting.

Thanks buddy
Old 01-24-2016, 10:00 AM
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Welcome F.O.R.D.-Doctor
Old 01-24-2016, 12:58 PM
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I need to go back to the construction of the fuselage. There was a area that I did not mention, but it is a trick I learned a long time ago. Probably no surprise to most of you.

I make all my own ordnance and tanks for my models. I make them out of "Estes Rocket" tubes and nose cones if I can find the right shaped nose cone. And I use 1/32 ply or plastic for the fins. Been doing this clear back to the kit days. They weigh almost nothing and are easy to make. Even dropped the tanks on my kit F-4's.




Now in this F-14 are some serious troughs for Sparrow missiles. It could carry four in the troughs in the fuselage, two more on a pylon that also held two Sidewinders. Although like all military aircraft it could carry various different combinations of ordnance, this is my favorite.

Now it shows carving these long troughs out of balsa on the plans. That must be fun. Look how simple it is to just use "Estes" tubes, cut open, and glued in place. I use a uncut section of tube when gluing them in place to make sure I have opened them up a little so the actual tubes I am going to use will fit in them. At the front of these tubes I just apply household sparkle with my finger and sand it to shape.



To be continued . . . .
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Old 01-24-2016, 08:27 PM
  #11  
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Great build, love the F-14!
That's some really nice looking work, very nice!
Old 01-25-2016, 06:51 PM
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George ,I met you years ago at the first couple of Best in the West jet meets hear at Edwards AFB . so its cool to see your still at it . good luck and ill be watching . looks great so far !
Old 01-25-2016, 08:26 PM
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George Miller
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Hi Air Sally,

It truly was one of my favorite fan fly's to attend. Just about the nicest bunch of fliers of all the fan fly's I went to back then. I loose count of how many of their fan fly's I attended.
Old 01-26-2016, 07:14 PM
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man that is some beautiful planking work on that fuse !
Old 01-27-2016, 09:21 AM
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Beautiful work George! I would love to have one of your F4's
Bob
Old 01-27-2016, 11:43 AM
  #16  
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Thanks Air Sally,

Funny thing about being as old as I am and having 60 years of building models. I do not do much in the line of planking over formers in my construction now-a-days. My last one like this was my EDF F-4 plug.

So as I am planking this very large fuselage, it is taking me back to my very early age of modeling. Back in the days when almost all you had were "Berkeley" or "Cleveland" kits. And planking was just about the only way it was. And there was no CA glues back then. It was Testors or Ambroid.

Yes, those were some days back then. "Oh to be able to do it all over again."
Old 01-27-2016, 11:51 AM
  #17  
George Miller
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Hi Bob-B,

I am retired now Bob,

And there lies the rub. I just can't get interested in supplying kits for modelers anymore. Been there and done that for many many years.

And in this new era with so much coming from China and the price they can get it for, the prices I would charge for hand laying glass fuselages, drawing plans that others could build by, etc. etc. would be a shock to most modelers.

My EDF F-4 is something to behold. It is 100% scale and flies like you could not believe. Two whole years in the designing of this aircraft. It is one of my most rewarding projects I have done since retiring.

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Old 01-27-2016, 12:15 PM
  #18  
Bob_B
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Hi George,
I understand, just wishful thinking on my part.
BTW I CD the EDF Jet Jam in June 16-19th, the field is located about 20 minutes from Louisville, KY at www.orvrcf.com it is a purpose built jet field.
I have pilots as far west as Colorado and as far east as Germany attending. It is a very laid back event at one of the most incredible model fields you will ever experience.

Here is the Fly RC article from last years event:

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...1&postcount=26

regards,
Bob
Old 01-27-2016, 02:07 PM
  #19  
George Miller
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Thanks Bob,

I will be making a trip to California for my son's 50th birthday at that time this year. Maybe next year and I should have the F-14 complete by then.
Old 01-27-2016, 03:01 PM
  #20  
George Miller
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I have a saying: "What makes a good modeler? Sanding."

It matters not how good of construction you do, it is the finished aircraft that everyone will see.

Seen a lot of modelers who spend a lot of money buying the best of everything and then do a lousy finish job.

And sanding is one area that a lot of modelers do not understand that well. Especially when it comes to picking the right grit for what they are doing.

Are you shaping or are you making it smooth? I never get down to any of the fine papers until I am using primer.

Take something this planking job, it has to be sanded with at least 80 grit paper to get all those planks sanded to shape.

And you will never get it right unless you are block sanding it. Without those "Great Planes" aluminum sanding blocks and the sandpaper that sticks to them, I would be in real trouble. And I still have to make my own sanders out of small metal rulers and ply, and I am using that sticky sided paper on them too.

Block sanding applies to any aircraft you are making and everywhere even if it looks straight. Even the canopy needed to be sanded to eliminate the hi-lo areas.



I have done this sanding job of the fuselage and am applying the .5 fiberglass cloth with epoxy to eliminate wood grain and make it smooth and hard for glassing.

I am sure most of the modelers out there have done this job before and have their way of doing it.

The first thing I did here is to do the missile troughs. I then can just pass over those as I am doing the fuselage.

My way is to lay the cloth over the fuselage in the largest area I can that the cloth will cover properly. I then use my 15 minute epoxy in about table spoon amounts of each on a scratch pad. I use 1/64" and 1/32" pieces of ply for applying it. Their flexibility allows me to apply it as thin as I can.

I start by laying a strip of this epoxy the length of the cloth to set the cloth in place. Once that has set I can work in both directions from it. And I just keep on with this procedure until I have run out of area to cover.



OK, I have all the cloth on now. And I find areas that are not as smooth as they should be, overlapping areas,and ares that the epoxy has not penetrated enough. I now take my block sanders to this fuselage and with 80 grit, I sand the whole fuselage to eliminate any high spots.

I have attached a photo here that shows a area of the fuselage before and after sanding.



And here are photos of the fuselage after sanding.



The next step is to apply another thin layer of epoxy. This will cover my thin spots and fill all the grain of the cloth.

To be continued . . . .
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Old 01-27-2016, 07:31 PM
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I agree with you George ...there are not many builders any more. and I can see how the planking job takes you back to the good ole days . back then you would have to "pin" the strips of wood to hold it in place for the ambroid to cure out ....CA was like the coolest thing when it came along.
Build is looking sweet .
Old 01-28-2016, 03:11 PM
  #22  
buckarooo
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George, I know you like to use Isophthalic resin when doing your glass layups so is there a reason why you used epoxy to glass your plug? Would you use the polyester if it wasn't a plug but a finished part?.

My Ziroli Panther is all strip planked. Its my first all wood build in quite awhile and I am liking it. I learned a long time ago that any glue line will be much harder then the surrounding balsa so when doing the planking I used medium CA on the former's and Titebond (alphatic resin) on the plank edges. I worked in small area's and immediately took the 80 grit to the area to smooth it out before the Titebond dried. That way I was able to fully glue the strips without the dreaded hard glue line that only gets worse the more you sand it. I too remember the days before "Hot Stuff" came out. How did we ever get anything done back then.

Dean
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Old 01-29-2016, 10:48 AM
  #23  
George Miller
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Default Hello Dean,

Wonderful Dean,

Always loved a Panther jet. Such great lines and looks so good in the air. Looks like it is going to be pretty good size. What are you using for power in it?

Had a modeler in the California club who had a big one with a turbine in it. He is sort of the joke in the club. A good modeler, but every time he comes out to fly, we fellow modelers would be taking odds on how many things would fall off his aircraft during his flights.

I do not know what happened during one of his Panther flights. I do know you have to watch the stall characteristics of this straight wing jet.(I've had two P-80's and they were both that way). Anyway, it went down in one of the biggest explosions anyone has ever seen at the field. Nothing survived. Just one of the reasons I do not like turbine powered aircraft.



Are you going to use this as a plug and make a glass fuselage? I will walk you through that procedure if you haven't done it before. Weigh your fuselage when you have it finished and think of the benefit of having this same fuselage at least half of it's weight, stronger and hollow.

The properties of Isophthalic resin and epoxy are day and night. Iso is a bonding resin and when cured it is still tacky and can not be sanded. This is how you are able to to lay up more than one layer of cloth and have them bond with each other. And also why you are able lay up a glass fuselage on a plug. When you are finished laying up a fuselage, be it in a mold or on a plug, you have to apply a coat of "PVA" over the glass to make it totally cure so it can be sanded. The "PVA" is a liquid wax and seals the resin form the air. Now you sit back and let it cure for about three days before trying to sand on it. Ya don't want to wait much longer than that. Because this Iso resin will continue to cure for weeks and continue to get harder and harder.

"MEKP" is a liquid catalyst that is used with ISO resin and according to the temperature you are work in, you add drops of it to the resin. As for mixing small amounts of Iso and getting it to work in these small amounts would be interesting at best.

That is not what this resin was designed for. I think trying to apply this thin of cloth and applying Iso resin this thin would be very difficult at best, if it even came out right at all.

I like this 15 minute epoxy for this job. I know how long it takes the epoxy to cure. I fell doing this job in small areas at a time works best for me. It allows me to get the cloth on as smooth as I can. Now it says it is completely cured in 3 hours, but I have found that it sands better if I wait overnight to sand on it.

The nice thing about modeling is that all modelers have their own way of building. And I think they all work. It is just how one does it.

I personally used thin CA throughout my planking job on this F-14. I use this small tubing you can get for your CA bottles. I first glue the plank to the formers and then run a line of CA down the plank and wipe it with a paper towel to remove any extra CA. I also do a section at a time and then apply another line of Ca to the inside of my planking. I have found that when sanding, I sometimes sand through the outside CA and part of the plank will suddenly need to be glued again. This inside CAing I am quite liberal with because it also strengthens the balsa.

I personally have not had difficulty with the glue joints on the planking. I do understand what you are talking about when you mention flatting the planks between the glue joints. I think it is probably just my sanding style. Or it may be the narrow planks that I make. I do almost all of my sanding across the planks instead of the length of them. I also use these aluminum sanding blocks I have mentioned before. And I do sand my planking all the way through any CA on the outside of the planks.

I think your method probably works as well or better than mine. It is just how us modelers do things differently to wind up at the same place.

P. S. I love your post. Asking questions of each other and sharing our modeling projects is what this is all about. Please keep me informed about your Panther.
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Old 01-29-2016, 04:22 PM
  #24  
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again this is some good info in here .....never to old to learn something new and different....I think you are right many ways to do things ,it is fun to share them with each other ,and try them out sometime.
Old 01-29-2016, 05:15 PM
  #25  
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Hi George,

I like the Panther lines too, although I am a sucker for anything with tip tanks. I will keep the wood fuselage for this build, if only to get it done quicker. Your Tomcat will be my first attempt to pull a layup off a plug, that is after I learn how from you.

By the way, Air Sally is one of those talented builders I spoke about. He makes beautiful inlet shrouds for various model fan units. They can be used in lieu of inlet ducting or for bench testing. The radius around the edge of the fan shroud smooths out the air coming in and greatly improves the efficiency. Many of our fellow EDF jet modelers have used them in their builds.



His son Corsair Nut is also a great builder. You should see the beautiful job he did converting a Byron F-15 to electric. Its one of the best looking and flying electric jets I have seen. I think he is following along. Maybe he will chime in and say hello.

Seeing how this Tomcat will be such a complicated build I am hoping to see all the best of the best here. What a great place for us all to share our techniques and experiences.

Dean
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