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SIG Rascal 168 Build and Kit review

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SIG Rascal 168 Build and Kit review

Old 04-01-2017, 02:50 PM
  #1  
acdii
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Default SIG Rascal 168 Build and Kit review

Last years Toledo show My wife put money down on a pre-order, and when it was finally released, I was short on funds so had to put it off, until now. Thank you IRS. So I ordered it Thursday at noon, and when I got home from work the next day, there it was. That was last night. Unfortunately, some balsa got damaged from some fool dropping it(not this fool), so will need to send them an email on the damaged pieces. Also missing two center section skin pieces.

Aside from that, the rest of the kit is in excellent shape, some of the plywood parts are falling out the sheets, so that's a plus. There are no plans for this plane, its a big puzzle. The manual is very well laid out, and very detailed. First few pages show all the sheets of balsa and ply in detail and there is a material list. The manual is single sheets double printed and held together with a clip so you can pull out each sheet as you work on it and not worry about a large manual being in the way. Tape it up on a wall as you work. Since the initial release and the kit I received some updates were added, but the manual hasn't been updated. There is an addendum for the cowl. There are two plywood sheets and two ABS halves for the cowl. There are also two ribs with bolts and T-nuts wrapped up not listed in the parts list, so not entirely sure where they go, will figure it out as I go along.

The Cowl, wheel pants, 4 aluminum tubes and sleeves, pushrods and hardware pack are in their own box, neatly wrapped and protected. Decals and window sheets are sandwiched between some of the plywood sheets. The sheets are stacked neatly and all fit in tightly, but a few do not drop labels are needed to prevent crushing, those ply parts are heavy! Check out that landing gear! It also comes with a very nice tail wheel

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Old 04-01-2017, 06:22 PM
  #2  
acdii
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So first thing I do with any kit is to inventory everything, and since some parts got busted up, I wanted to find which ones need to be replaced, and also make sure everything is there. There is a bundle of sheets and sticks, not very many considering the size of this plane. Some 3/8" for the fuse stiffeners, some 1/8" x 1/2" hardwood for stringers, and 3 sheets of balsa, one of which was split in half by the fool who dropped it.

Everything was there, and nice and straight.



Next up go through all the laser cut balsa sheets, and there are quite a few of them. All the large sheets were undamaged, but a few of the 3" and 4" ones were busted up, at least one will need to be replaced as I couldn't find the missing piece. Also found two pieces missing.



After sorting through all the scraps and piecing together the broken parts, I went through and inventoried the plywood parts, all looked good.

Small, very small sample of the parts.

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Old 04-01-2017, 07:00 PM
  #3  
acdii
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Let construction begin!

First up is to glue together the three fuselage side pieces



Then laminate the forward doubler to the inside of the left and right sides. These are huge, and take a lot of glue.



Once I got the glue spread all over I then put it in place, line it up and there are holes provided to place a bit of medium CA to lock in on place. To make sure it stays tight and flat I weight it down with battery packs.



Picked up about 6 of these cases with 10 batteries each, along with a few singles. They work great for large flat surfaces.

The next step is to glue 3/8" square balsa to the rest of the fuse from the doubler back top and bottom, but waiting on the glue to dry first so I can spin it around and lay it flat on the bench, so I jumped ahead a step and started on the laminations.

There are 5 of those and the firewall. I did the firewall first since that is epoxied. it is three pieces, two of them are scored, the third is cut all the way through with just 4 tabs holding it on, it is for a cooling hole if you use electric, since I will be using a DA-100 I left it in place and put the cut through piece in the middle of the lamination. I pinned it with small brads to make sure it stays square and put the 10 pack on it to weigh it down.



The other laminations are for the landing gear box and the front and rear wing hold downs. Those are 2 and 3 piece laminations and for those I used Titebond.

A little tip for these, since the tabs are cut off, don't waste titebond on them, but glue to the edge. When assembling, place a drop of medium CA on the tabs, and when you have the parts aligned, press the tabs to secure them Also don't waste time sanding the edges smooth until after the parts are fully laminated, otherwise they may not fit right. Face sand them all smooth, knock down any strings from cutting, but leave the stubs from cutting until ready to install.



So far these are the only tools I have used.



I took one look at the key sheet and said ohhellno. Fired up the bandsaw and made short work of those.

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Old 04-02-2017, 08:57 AM
  #4  
acdii
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Alright, Fuse assembly commences

Remember when I said don't sand until the laminations are done? Shifted a little.



So got the parts all cleaned up and started fitting. Step 5 in the manual is to epoxy the landing gear blocks together. Don't do this until you fit them in the fuse. If you get them assembled incorrectly they will not fit.



A little sanding of the slot on the rear part and it fits like a glove. Had I epoxied it first, it would have been a PITA to get assembled.

Two minor issues with the fit of the formers. The middle 1/4 Ply former that has the wing support v in it doesn't fit the slots in the fuse. The doubler slots are fine, but the outer slots are too narrow, so they have to be notched out.



The other issue is the wing bolt own plate at the rear. It appears to fit into the rear 1/4 ply former, but it is not notched to do so. I believe the RCG build pointed this out so will investigate the outcome of that.



One other minor issue is the fit of the firewall, the notch is missing in the doubler.



The manual is also missing a step. Somewhere between step 12 and 17 the forward former and firewall are installed, but not shown at which point to install them. Step 20 has you gluing the triangle stock to the firewall. Step 17 is contradictory in that it shows one view with the firewall and former installed and another without it. So based on what is shown that needs to be in place prior to the bottom sheeting, I will go ahead and install them now.



This is how it looks so far. All dry fitted of course. Still a little sanding to do before fitting the left side. Once I fit the left side then I will epoxy the LG parts. I am going to do that while its assembled using parchment to keep the glue off everything else while it sets.

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Old 04-02-2017, 04:46 PM
  #5  
acdii
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When I talked to Mike last year about this kit, his idea is for an easy to assemble kit that didn't need a lot of tooling, or experience for that matter, and yet have a nice flying giant scale plane. A huge workbench is nice, but not really needed for this plane given its size. Where it does come in handy is gluing the 3/8" spars on the rear fuse, but other than that, I pretty much built it on a 50" wide table.

I finished the assembly of the fuse today, so far I would say I have maybe 14 hours into it, at least 3 of those were doing inventory and fixing some of the broken parts. In addition to the above mentioned things to be watchful off, there are a few more to watch for. First is that the filler plates for the landing gear are larger than the notched piece, so those need to be trimmed. The second, there are two different parts that look like they fit at the very rear, so match them up. I have no idea where the other one is supposed to go yet, may be a mis-cut and not used. The other thing to watch for, the bottom sheeting goes on one way to match the angle of the firewall. Offset is built in at the firewall, so start there when assembling to verify fit. The manual says to start in the middle, but if you put it on upside down, you will wind up taking it off. Also the slots for the center 1/4" former need to be widened same as the sides. I also found that the two pieces in front of the horizontal stab are cut a bit higher than the 3/8" balsa, so some notching of the balsa is needed, and no, they aren't upside down. According to the manual the slot is on the bottom of the formers, and that's where they are. Aside from those little issues, it went together fast. Now that is is all assembled, time to take it all apart, sand everything so they look nice, put it all back together and glue it all up, starting with the landing gear block.





EDIT: A note her on this next picture. When I assembled this I missed something in a picture that was not mentioned in the writing. There are two pieces that go inside the very tail section, and as you can see they are not there. Further on in the thread I have more detail on this. If you are following this during your build, and the manual has not een updated, be watchful for these pieces and make sure everything lines up before glue up.
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Last edited by acdii; 08-22-2017 at 07:12 PM.
Old 04-03-2017, 06:16 AM
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Another one of the Usual Suspects has subscribed!
Old 04-03-2017, 08:36 AM
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Oh, yeah - me too. VERY interesting build so far. Almost looking like it might be in the air by this weekend at the rate you're going.
Old 04-03-2017, 09:42 AM
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Well if all goes as planned, tonight it will be glued together and ready for the next step, what ever that is, haven't read past where it is now, but I think it has something to do with the instrument panel and sheeting the nose.
Old 04-03-2017, 11:17 AM
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Subscribed! Well i knew the plane was big but the sheer size of the landing gear tells the story of how big it is! Either your're hauling the mail or this kit goes together very quick, probably both. Man that fuse is big.
Old 04-03-2017, 05:23 PM
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SIG is sending me replacement busted pieces. This is why I keep going back to SIG, they are the best in the business. Stay tuned, more building to come.
Old 04-04-2017, 05:38 AM
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Originally Posted by acdii View Post
SIG is sending me replacement busted pieces. This is why I keep going back to SIG, they are the best in the business. Stay tuned, more building to come.

Does that mean they will be prebusted from the factory? ;-))
Old 04-04-2017, 05:58 AM
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Well, yeah! Otherwise they would just be blank pieces of wood and I would have to bust them myself!


No new pics, but I did start gluing up the Fuse last night. Started with the landing gear block, epoxied it together. The reason I did it the way I did is, had I just squared it up, and clamped it, it may not have fit correctly and since it is edge to face glued, forcing it in place may stress the glue joints, weakening an important joint. I epoxied it to the fuse at the same time, and clamped it all together with the wedges. I then glued in the filler plates, placed parchment paper over them and attached the bottom sheet with more wedges to compress the fillers to the correct depth.

I then went ahead and reinstalled all the formers and top and bottom sheets that were previously all sanded. I still need to do a little edge sanding before gluing the bottom sheet in, missed a few bumps. After that started gluing the tank floor and main 1/4" ply formers, F2, F3 and F4 and the wing plates. I will come back to those with some tri stock and epoxy to give them more strength. The design is to use medium CA on all the joints, and given the construction, that should be more than enough, but I know how I fly, Hard, Lot's of G's, so every little bit extra reinforcement helps.

Where the joints were tight I used thin CA to wick in, and followed up with Titebond, where there were small gaps I use medium CA, then clamped it tight until set, and then followed up with a fillet of Titebond. If everything goes well I should have the fuse glued tonight, tomorrow should have just about everything else on the fuse done and start on the next steps which I believe are the tail pieces. Those are much smaller so I can build all those on my regular bench.
Old 04-04-2017, 06:20 AM
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You are moving right along!
Old 04-04-2017, 06:38 AM
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The two ribs with the hardware taped to them are replacement root ribs for the outer wing panels.
The ones supplied originally were about 1/2" too short.
Old 04-05-2017, 03:55 PM
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Well discovered an error in the manual, so have to do some surgery to the very rear of the fuse to correct it.

See these two parts?



They are supposed to go inside at this location. Didn't see them until I started looking for the instrument panel, and found the tail wheel mounts, discovered they are too big, at which point the fuse was already glued front to rear. So tonight I went through the manual again, and sure enough, these two parts are not specified, but it you look REALLY close at the image in step 4, you can actually see them, and no where else in the manual.



I was confused why the instructions mention the parts sheet and then go on to say the square balsa stock. Going to mark these up and talk to Mike if I see him at the show this weekend.

So a small set back, but nothing I can't fix, just glad I spotted it now and not after resizing the tailgear mounts. This also explains why the bottom sheeting is wider at that point. There are also quite a few pieces that look like others but don't fit anywhere.

So between the firewall installation which is missing, and these two pieces not mentioned, the only issues are the manual as all the pieces so far fit well.

What would make the manual better is reference marks between the parts sheets and each step, leave the parts sheets as is, but put letter/number combo marks on each part and the reference them in each build step (WP1).
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Old 04-06-2017, 06:21 AM
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Last night, Back on track. Wasn't too difficult getting the pieces apart with little damage. I just have to make a new end piece, but considering how much scrap ply is in this kit, won't be a problem. Doublers are in and now the tail looks correct, it had a little twist to it, but now it is straight.



I started cutting off the tabs and got a little sanding done, and also trial fitted the longerons on the side. This is going to look good when done. Leaving the top off the front fuse until I get a tank in there. It will be difficult strapping one down from inside, so going to devise a removable tank floor. This way I can remove it while working on the plane, and be able to get to the back of the firewall to mount the engine, and run the throttle and maybe choke cables, then slide the tank in and secure it with screws.

<look how nice it sands.

Next step while waiting on the epoxy to cure in the tail I started the horizontal stab. As always, SIG laser cutting is damn near perfect, all the balsa parts lined up with very few gaps. One skin and both ply parts are glued together, and put my battery boxes to work holding them flat. Today I will glue the other side on, and let that set up and move on to the next step. Heading to Toledo tonight, so you wont see any updates until maybe Sunday, weather here it supposed to finally touch 70* so I will most likely be working on my truck getting some things installed, and maybe if time start the Zaino treatment process.

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Old 04-06-2017, 06:23 AM
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Last night, Back on track. Wasn't too difficult getting the pieces apart with little damage. I just have to make a new end piece, but considering how much scrap ply is in this kit, won't be a problem. Doublers are in and now the tail looks correct, it had a little twist to it, but now it is straight.



I started cutting off the tabs and got a little sanding done, and also trial fitted the longerons on the side. This is going to look good when done. Leaving the top off the front fuse until I get a tank in there. It will be difficult strapping one down from inside, so going to devise a removable tank floor. This way I can remove it while working on the plane, and be able to get to the back of the firewall to mount the engine, and run the throttle and maybe choke cables, then slide the tank in and secure it with screws.



^look how nice it sands.

Next step while waiting on the epoxy to cure in the tail I started the horizontal stab. As always, SIG laser cutting is damn near perfect, all the balsa parts lined up with very few gaps. One skin and both ply parts are glued together, and put my battery boxes to work holding them flat. Today I will glue the other side on, and let that set up and move on to the next step. Heading to Toledo tonight, so you wont see any updates until maybe Sunday, weather here it supposed to finally touch 70* so I will most likely be working on my truck getting some things installed, and maybe if time start the Zaino treatment process.

Old 04-06-2017, 07:00 AM
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When you glue in the fuse longerons, use a scrap of ply to back up the joint.
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Old 04-06-2017, 10:12 AM
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acdii
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Actually for that I was going to use the cutoff from the strips as a backer. So Tail of the Fuse came out good, and placed the stab on it. That darn thing almost comes to my chin. Going for the removable build, otherwise I will have to trailer it wherever I go, this way I can slid the tail through the back window into the cab, provided of course the 6' wing section will fit in the 5.5 bed.



All but the elevators are laminated, and weighted down for the glue to set, these will be nice and flat.

BTW, this is the stab standing against the 1/8th scale B-25 Fuse. The B-25 has a 101 1/2" wing, the Rascal will dwarf it.



I have to say, this huge plane builds as quick and easy as the LT-40 does!!! So far I estimate about 22 hours are into this, including the 3 for inventory.


Here are all the parts for the tail waiting for the glue to cure. The Elevator will need the joiner fitted and epoxied in, then I can sheet them, cut them apart and sand. The stab, rudder and fin have one more piece each, the trailing edge with hinge holes, to be installed, and they can be set aside. Then onto the wing.



That's it for now, off to Toledo!
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Old 04-06-2017, 10:20 AM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by acdii View Post
Actually for that I was going to use the cutoff from the strips as a backer. So Tail of the Fuse came out good, and placed the stab on it. That darn thing almost comes to my chin. Going for the removable build, otherwise I will have to trailer it wherever I go, this way I can slid the tail through the back window into the cab, provided of course the 6' wing section will fit in the 5.5 bed.
We know you love it! ;-)
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Old 04-08-2017, 05:47 PM
  #21  
acdii
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I was a bit disappointed with the SIG display this year, they didn't bring the 168. I did talk to Herb and pointed out the error on step 4, and he said they will correct it. I also suggested putting identifiers on the sheet layouts in the manual for reference, and he said it's a good idea, so we shall see. If it helps future builders, it's a plus!
Old 04-09-2017, 03:59 PM
  #22  
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Was a nice warm day today, so I spent most of the day working on my truck, put a bed rug in, and what a PITA that can be, all the tucking, and pulling, and sticking, and unsticking, OY my hands and knees hurt.

When I finished, there was more to get done, but I was done, so I went and yanked the motor and related off the other plane so that I can get started installing it on the Rascal. I have a few pics though of the DA 100 hung on the firewall, and the stab and fin in place on the tail.



And just for kicks, placed the rudder against the rudder on my 1/5th Cub

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Old 04-09-2017, 05:23 PM
  #23  
Pork Chop
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Man that DA-100 looks awesome up front will you need to cut the sides of the cowl to get her to fit? You're trucking right along on this build
Old 04-10-2017, 06:40 AM
  #24  
FlyerInOKC
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Little difference between the Rascal and the Cub and the Cub sitting by itself looks big.
Old 04-10-2017, 08:05 AM
  #25  
acdii
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Originally Posted by Pork Chop View Post
Man that DA-100 looks awesome up front will you need to cut the sides of the cowl to get her to fit? You're trucking right along on this build
Thanks, the DA looks smaller than I expected it to. I plan to segment the cowl, so that it has a top and bottom like what my 10 DASH 300 Ultimate has on its twin Gemini. Hopefully it helps balance it all out, that tail is heavy!

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