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PICA P-40 Build.

Old 01-01-2008, 07:03 PM
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tenacious101010
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Default PICA P-40 Build.

I have a PICA 1/5 Scale P-40 I have begun. I traded for the kit after it was already started. I do not have the plans, I am thinking they would greatly simplify this build. Almost everything used on this project is swap meet purchased and is being recycled. I did find a new PICA spinner and a PICA cockpit kit.
I have a Saccs 4.2 to go in it. I need to run the engine since I bought it at the Sarasota swap meet. I also purchased a set of used Earl Ault retracts for $25 for it but have since traded them for a set of new Robart 150 B&Z retracts. I have an exhaust/engine mount that is like none I have seen before, I hope it works. I will post a picture of that setup.



Kit, PICA P-40 1/5 scale Traded a used airplane for the kit. $150
Engine Saccs 4.2 w/ electronic ignition, swap meet buy $150
Main Gear bought a set of used Earl Ault retracts and traded them for a new set of Robart 150s $25
Tail gear used robart unit from swap meet $15
Fuel Tank Had one in my spare parts box $00
Spinner New from Sheldons $35
Cockpit kit New from Sheldons $20
4 1/2 Main wheels New from Charlies $25


So far it looks like I have $420 in it, so far. I ordered a new Futaba 7 ch 2.4 radio with high torque servos I will be using on this plane. The kit was built to accept Century Jet retracts, but I modified the mounts to accept the Robart units. I added some wood cross members and mounted the tailwheel. There is a great build thread at RCSB and I lightened the wing ribs following that example. I have the engine mounted to the muffler/engine mount. I will run the engine on a stand and verify it runs good before modifying the fuselage to accept it.

It looks like I need a set of plans or good pictures to get the ailerons and flaps hinged. I also have no idea how thew rear wing attach goes together, I really do need some help in these areas.



I will try to post pictures as I go.


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Old 01-02-2008, 04:41 AM
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kbear
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Default RE: PICA P-40 Build.

That's an interesting mount/muffler. Any idea who makes it. Good luck on the build.
Old 01-02-2008, 09:20 AM
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Default RE: PICA P-40 Build.

Looks like an "Airhobbies" mount. http://www.aero-sports.com/airhobbies/mount.html


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Old 01-02-2008, 05:22 PM
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Default RE: PICA P-40 Build.

Thats exactly what it is, I was told it was for my Sacks 4.2 but found out later that is was not. The bolt pattern is diferent from mine. The exhaust had a diagonal pattern, my engine has a pattern that has the bolt holes level across from each other. I modified it and hope it will work.
Denny
Old 01-07-2008, 05:56 AM
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Default RE: PICA P-40 Build.

Build is at a standstill untill I can figure out where the hinges for the ailerons go. I have poked and probed to try to find them. I hope I wont have to strip the outer sheeting to find them. Anyone have plans for the PICA 1/5 P-40?
The ailerons are already built, I cant see where the aileron is beefed up for the hinges. Would it be possible for anyone with plans for this kit to scan this area for me or give me the measurements as to where the beef up blocks are located?
Thanks, Denny
Old 01-07-2008, 04:15 PM
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Default RE: PICA P-40 Build.

My confusion may at last be over as far as the hinge locations of the ailerons. I recieved the Futaba 7C radio today. I will make this drop a centerline fuel tank. I will have to buy another 7 ch reciever because this one is going into my Top Flite 1/5 scale P-51 so it can drop the wing tanks and bombs. I can now start on rigging the ailerons to the servos. This kit does not seem to accuratly reflect the area where the flaps and ailerons meet. I have looked at as many pictures as possible of this area on the bottom of the wing. I will have to come up with my own way to complete this area.
Denny
Old 01-07-2008, 06:46 PM
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Default RE: PICA P-40 Build.

Gonna post the pics here as I go, I had been adding to other threads, but wanted to do something that might help others that might build one of these. There is a great thread on RCSB but it did not answer a lot of questions that I had. I finally finished the Merlin and the trailer so I can devote more time to the P-40. The Merlin paid for our Top Flite 1/5 Mustang. That is my son Sean in the picture, he helped with the engine. I do have to finish some K-14 gunsights but I can work on the P-40 sporadicly till they are done. Here is the engine run stand. I took the carburator apart, it was sparkling clean inside. I will put it back together and try it again after I document the carb settings. I am sure before long I will be buying a rebuild kit. Right now its time to get this radio out and learn about it.
Denny
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Old 01-13-2008, 08:34 PM
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Default RE: PICA P-40 Build.

Worked on the Ailerons, they had been sheeted, I am going to strip the balsa sheeting from the ailerons, elevator and rudder to make them more scale and this will also allow me to glue in some beef up balsa for the Robart hinges. Havent started the engine yet, too busy getting the sandblast cabinet, trying to get the sights done and making some modifications to my H9 150 Mustang. I will get pictures opf the control surfaces when I get back to them.
Denny
Old 07-18-2008, 10:23 PM
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Default RE: PICA P-40 Build.

Well, finally got back to work on the P-40. Amazing how much reworking I have had to do on this plane. If I had a set of plans, it would be much easier for sure. I hinged and fit the ailerons to the wing. They were almost 3/8 inch thicker than the wing, had to sand a bunch on the bottom to gett hem to follow the contour of the wing. The flaps were a pain too. I did not use the balsa wedges that the kit called for, I made the flaps more of a scale shape and filled and modified the area between the flaps and ailerons. I made the flaps out of solid trailing edge balsa material, I hope they dont warp! I have the servo covers installed for the flaps and ailerons too. I am having to research each step by looking on the web and aviation magazines to figure out how this thing should look. I have the bomb drop figured out, and will need to figure the gear doors also. I am not going to use the goofy looking guns supplied with the kit either, they just look terrible. I am going to set aside the wing for now and start on the fuselage.
I will start on the fuselage by working out the pneumatic retract setup, I plan on using a small air cylinder mounted as far forward as possible in the fuselage and a rod to retract and extend the tailwheel. Next I want to make the same servo turn the rudder and tailwheel, so I will have to redo what has already been done there. I also want to make my first sliding canopy. I hope to operate the canopy in conjunction with the flaps. Flaps down, canopy open, flaps up, canopy closed. I would love to make operating cowl flaps, but not sure that will happen. I will take more pictures as I go. I have looked at a great build at RCSB, but there are not pictures of most of the areas that I need info on. The biggest issue will be how the wing is attached/bolted to the fuselage. That is a big reason I am stopping on the wing till I can get the wing/fuselage alignment figured out so I can install the belly pan and align it with the fuselage portion of the pan.
Old 07-19-2008, 07:36 AM
  #10  
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Default RE: PICA P-40 Build.

Can't help with the build. But is that a red Studebaker pickup I see in pic 1? I absolutely love Studies. If it is so you are a lucky man. I'd love a Champ pickup. Good luck with the build.

Mark Shuman
Old 07-30-2008, 04:28 PM
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Default RE: PICA P-40 Build.

Having a tough time posting pics, they may be too big
Old 07-31-2008, 08:26 PM
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Default RE: PICA P-40 Build.

I finally test flew mine last week. I started framing it in 2002! (I got distracted a few times) Although I didn't weigh it, I'm sure it's in the low 30lbs range. I didn't need any ballast to have it balance correctly. (I did mount the rudder servo in the tail) The G-62 with a three blade was enough power but not overkill. The plane really is docile for a large warbird, as I proved during my first flight. I didn't have my elevator throws dialed in correctly and pitched too hard in the flare during a few low approches, If it weren't forgiving I would have tip stalled and rekitted. I did use the flaps on the first flight which I believe helped. Good luck with yours, I still have to detail mine, but I just got tired of looking at it on my bench and decided to fly it. worth the effort.

Cheers
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Old 07-31-2008, 09:51 PM
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Default RE: PICA P-40 Build.

pullup,
Congradulations on getting yours into the air. I am glad to hear there are still people building these. What throws did you use on the surfaces? Did you set it to the CG in the manual? Any chance you could post a couple close up pictures of the fuselage where the wing bolts go in? I could use all the detail you can get since I dont have any plans. Actually if you could take pictures of that area of the plans, that would be a big help too. I would love to see more pictures of your plane, please post some if you can. Did you glass yours?
Thanks, Denny

I also decided on a G-62 for my P-40. I ordered one today, along with a pitts style muffler from Chief aircraft. I have the wing ready to install the sheeting on the top of the left wing, I will get that on tomorrow. I did get the bomb/fuel tank release working today and also cycled the gear. Felt good turning on the radio and seeing these things move. I felt like Gene Wilder in Young Frankenstein, ITS ALIVE! ! !
I hope the canopy rails will be here tomorrow so I can get started on that, will be a lot of work. I have never made a sliding canopy before. I plan on operating the canopy with the flap switch. I will use a servo to operate an air valve to move and air cylinder to move the canopy. I am planning on installing a cockpit kit from Dynamic Balsa, it is designed for the Ziroli P-40 which is said to also be 1/5 scale but seems to be just a bit over 1/5 scale.
Old 08-01-2008, 09:26 PM
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pullup
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Default RE: PICA P-40 Build.

To answer, some of your questions I set the elevator throw at about 1/2 inch up and down for the initial take off which proved to be not enough. the CG has to be set twords the fwd limit with the gear down as you get a pretty good shift aft when the gear is retracted. I also set my full rate at about 11/8 up 3/4down with about 20% expo, this proved to work ok except in the flare the up elevator proved to be too much and I overrotated a few times. For CG I just set it about 25% of MAC which seemed to work well. As far as the wing mount I'll send some more pics when I get home,(I'm on the road for a while) I just used the front dowel and two 8-32x3 inch hex bolts into blind nuts mounted in maple on the fuse. The entire airframe is covered in 3/4oz glass and zpoxy finishing resin. To be honest I used the plans and instruction book as guidlines and improvised on many things. It seems to me you have good building skills which will come in handy with this one.
Old 08-01-2008, 11:23 PM
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Default RE: PICA P-40 Build.

Pullup,
Your plane looks great, I hope you post more pictures of it. Thanks for the answers to my questions, it seems many things cant be built according to the plans. If you could post details about how you improvised, deviated from the plans and how you did your plane. I am sure it would be a big help to others. This kit is not as easy to build as the Top Flite kits I have build in the past ( P-39 and P-47), I have only built maybe 5 planes from kits and none were this big or this complicated, mostly square trainers and such.
I filled the hole in the bulkhead for the wing dowel and measured the correct placement of the hole and sure enough, it was half the diameter of the dowel too high. I have it redrilled and the wing at least can sit in the wing saddle. Now I just have to figure out how I am going to mount the maple block for the wing bolts, I just dont see how it is supposed to be installed. If I cant get a copy of that part of the plans or a good picture, I will figure out a way to secure the maple block so that it has a good positive mechanical engagment to the structure of the fuselage. I want the rear wing mount maple block to be very well secured to the structure of the plane. The drawing in the instructions look nothing like the parts I have identified for that area.
The wing is completely sheeted now and the wingtips are tacked on. I will wait to shape them till just before I am ready to glass the wing. I seem to keep denting things handling them, so the extra balsa will keep me from having to fix what I damage. I fit the tail wheel fairing today and figured out how I will secure it. I hope to get the tailwheel doors drawn out and cut out the opening for them tomorrow. I have never made functioning gear doors, but this will be my first try. I decided today that I will remake the ailerons, I just donrt like the way I made the forst set.
The canopy rails came in today and so did the small piano hinges for the gear doors. I am going to wait till I fit the cockpit before I start on the canopy and slide setup.
In my spare time, one of the things I do is restore WW2 Norden Bombsights, Gunsights and other aviation items, and I got to talking to Brian at Dynamic Balsa about it. Brian has agreed to trade me a P-40 cockpit designed for a Ziroli P-40 for some Norden Bombsight drawings, pictures with measurements and some other full scale warbird items so he can use them to reproduce them to a scale to be used for RC airplanes. He makes some great stuff there, you should check out his site. http://www.dbalsa.com/
He has many items I did not know were available for warbirds. I have restored many WW2 bombsights, throttle quadrants, gunsights radios and other cockpit items and I can tell you he has done a great job scaling these items down.
I have been having problems getting pictures posted on here so I will post them on in my aircraft, aviation and more album on webshots in case anyone can use the pictures to help them build their PICA 1/5 scale P-40. Heres a link, I will get the pictures posted there as soon as I can.

http://community.webshots.com/user/tenacious101010\
Denny


Old 08-02-2008, 11:43 AM
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Default RE: PICA P-40 Build.

Thanks for the compliment, but my airplanes look good only if you stand a good distance back. I'll post some pics when I get home again around 8/14.
I wish I had your machining skills, I'm sure you'll be able to add some nice details.
Old 08-05-2008, 11:12 AM
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Default RE: PICA P-40 Build.

I started posting pics on webshots, I hope they will be of help to anyone building this kit. The G-62 arrived today and already, I see that I need to buy a cup mount for it. It looks like the carburator will stick out of the side of the nose. I saw something about a short spacer for the carb, maybe I can move it in a bit, I will have to do some research on that.
I cut out the trim tab on the rudder and marked out the tabs for the elevators too. I just have this thing about trim tabs, they are easy to make and in my opinion, are a great detail that signifigantly adds to the realism of then plane. I took all the bombsight pictures to send to Brian, so I hope to get the cockpit kit soon so I can get started on the canopy and cockpit soon. I also recessed the hinges deeper into the rudder to make it rotate more like scale. I saw a picture of where the pivot point is, and it was not very scale the way it is in the kit. I now also have one each of the early and late exhaust stacks, I am hoping to have a really nice set of exhausts for this plane. I suppose I should try to figure out why my pictures havent been posting here, but I just have too much going on to mess with that.
Denny
Old 08-06-2008, 03:37 PM
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Default RE: PICA P-40 Build.

Modified the counter balance on the vertical stab and the rudder today. The proportions were off. A gentleman by the name of Ken has copied his plans for me and they should be here soon so I can get the rear wing attached to the fuselage. I spoke to Brian at Dynamic Balsa today, he will be making custom cockpit kit parts for the PICA 1/5 scale P-40. Each time I talk to him I realize how dedicated he is to accurate representation of the scale components her builds. I cant wait to see the P-40 exhaust stacks and cockpit for this plane. He is using actual P-40 exhaust stacks to scale his items for the P-40.
I also have been working on the front of the fuselage so it will blend into the spinner. The factory cut wood wqas not the right shape to match the cowl. I have the cowl rough cut and the two sections of the cowl glued and fiberglassed together. It looks like the final fitting will take quite a bit of time. The factory supplied cowl looks good except for the opening for the oil coolers, the splitters are not well defined and look very washed out. I will cut the whole thing out and start over. I ordered the cup mount for the G-62, it should be here in a few days.
Old 08-07-2008, 02:29 PM
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Default RE: PICA P-40 Build.

THANKS KEN!!! The plans arrived today and as far as the wing attach, it was as I was beginning to suspect, the parts for the wing attach in the fuselage all needed to be notched, and were too short to fit properly. It went together about how i thought it would but I am going to add a bit more wood to secure the wing mounting. It is probably just another case of me overbuilding the plane.
I finally have the cowl attached and need to do some fine tuning around the edges to make it blend good. I ordered some very small flathead screws to attach it and other things from micro-fastners today. I started rough fitting the canopy and windscreen just to get a general idea of where they need to go and it looks like I need to build the sides of the fuselage up higher (verticaly) to get the canopy rails up where they should be. I just sent the items to brian at Dynamic Balsa today, so it will probably be at least a couple weeks at least before I can get the cockpit and canopy started. I have some of the parts for the wing attach installed already and once I get the wing bolted in, I can ensure the incidence is correct for the horizontal stabilizer.
I have been looking at pictures of the P-40 and as with most aircraft, the fairings around the wing, vert and horiz stab overlap the surrounding skin of the plane. Combine that with me finding and reading recently about making canopies from coke bottles, I think I may try to make my fairings from coke bottles. I would also like to make the cargo/equipment door on the left side of the fuselage functional, a great place to put the charging jack, air fill valve, air pressure guage and whatever else might fit. I will get more pictures on webshots as I go. I feel like I am talking to myself in this thread for the most part but I hope by documenting my build, it will help others in the future.

Denny
Old 08-11-2008, 10:38 PM
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Default RE: PICA P-40 Build.

Well, The engine cup mount arrived today,. I bolted it to the engine and it looks like the engine install will not be too tough.
I have mostly been working on the canopy. I had to build up the sides of the fuselage on each side of the cockpit. It was just way too low. I hope I got it close to where it needs to be. I have the rails installed. It looked to me like the canopy rails are not straight the full length. It appears that as the canopy moves back, the rear drops so that the canopy will hug closely the contour of the top of the fuselage. I soldered a tab to help secure the rail about at the halfway point. The rail is secured by three screws. The canopy slides back smoothly some times, and other times, it binds a bit. I tried to make this better by using a jewelers file to remove any burrs from the brass rail.
The majority of the time I have spent the last two days has been in making the air cylinder mount, the pivot for the arms that will move the canopy. I just do not have the full movement of the canopy that I want to reflect the full scale aircraft. I will spend some time studying the current setup and probably get another piece of carbon fiber tube and start from scratch with my geometry of the pivot, cylinder mount and anything else that I think might make this work like I want it to. I spent most of today just reorganizing the shop, it was just getting to me. Being laid off sure has been good for this build as far as time to work on it. As far as buying parts to complete it, well, that will be a different matter. I will just work with what I have and I am sure it will all come together.
Denny
Old 08-17-2008, 09:38 PM
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Default RE: PICA P-40 Build.

Making the canopy slide has been a lot tougher than I thought it would be. I have been working on this for two weeks. I used carbon fiber rod for the pivot. I glued the ply arms to it with superglue. That may have weakened the rod, it seemed to twist when I tried to rotate it with the cylinder. I remade it using a carbon fiber rod, but used a brass tube to slide over it and glue the ply arms to. I may even put a screw thru the ply into the brass and carbon fiber tube. I will find out if this works tomorrow. I had to get ready for tropical storm Fay, at least some preliminary stuff.
I did get the additional ply fit to mount the engine and have the engine holes in the ply for the cup mount. I had to do a lot of cutting to get the pitts muffler in. I will have to do a lot of rework to close up the fuel tank area and the beat tunnel. I plan on using copper pipe fittings to direct the exhaust out thru the tunnel also. I am hoping if I silver solder the copper parts together, the silver solder will withstand the ehhaust heat. I will get some pics of the engine install and the canopy linkage and post them.
Denny
Old 11-18-2008, 04:26 PM
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Default RE: PICA P-40 Build.

Hmmm, it said the pictures uploaded sucessfuly but I am not believing it! Will try again here.........
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Old 11-18-2008, 04:38 PM
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Default RE: PICA P-40 Build.

Worked that time, here are a few more...... hese are of the fuselage. The stabilizers have been attached, the fillets made and its ready for glassing in these areas. You can see the cutouts for the exhaust and for the canopy rails in these pictures. I was looking at pictures of the full scale P-40s and noticed as the canopy moved aft, it also moved slightly downward. I cut and bent the rails to reflect this full scale detail. It works because of instead of using the "H" guides along the length of teh canopy, I put one short piece at the front and rear. This allowed the canopy to follow the bend in the rails. I still have to install the centerline fairing on the bottom of the fuselage and the wing. I also have to complete the air scoop on the nose and the fairings for the main gear. I am getting anxious to get some OD paint on this thing. I am still trying to decide on the paint scheme, it will be either a P-40 that was assigned to the 6th out of Panama or one with the shark mouth, hard to resist the teeth on this plane, such an icon of WW2.
Denny
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Old 01-03-2009, 10:35 PM
  #24  
tenacious101010
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Default RE: PICA P-40 Build.

Well, since last post I have been a bad bad boy. I got a bit burnt out working on this so much, I took a break from it. I have the fuselage on the shelf after finishing a few areas. I will have to glass 5 small spots on the fuselage where I sanded thru the glass. I will wait to repair this and do it when I glass the main gear fairings. I put the fuselage up and I got the wing back out.
I had stopped working on the wing at a point where I needed to fit the Main gear fairings but didnt like the shape of the kit supplied ones. The front of the PICA fairing is an equally round front, not like the full scale ones. I decided to cut off the front of the fairings. I had some foam, I believe it is polystyrene foam. I cut some shapes and epoxyed them to the remaining portion of the fairings.
I began shaping them with a very coarse file, cutting the side and top view profile. I then used 80 grit and shaped it a bit further. Finally I used 150 grit lightly dragging it across the foam to give a good gradual shape.. Tomorrow I plan on making a couple cardboard profiles so I can compare one side to the other. They are still not perfect but the shape is much closer to the full scale aircraft.
I also finally have the rear fairings epoxied in and one of the doors hinged. I have the small door ready to hinge on the same side. I dont have a good plan on how I will make one or both doors open and close. I saw some good P-40 pictures and saw that there is a pin indicator for the landing gear down and locked and for the flaps in the down position. I would love to make the pins and have them functional. It wont be easy, but I really want to do it. I need to look at it closer and give it some thought as to what it would take to make them work.
Denny
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Old 01-05-2009, 09:17 PM
  #25  
tenacious101010
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Default RE: PICA P-40 Build.

Yesterday I was able to get the foam epoxyd and sanded. As per my usual, I sanded thru the class cloth and exposed the foam and had to repair that tonight. Originally I used West Systems epoxy and epoxy resin with 3/4 oz cloth. I should have thought it out a bit more. This area will probably need a bit more strength being on the leading edge of the wing and could easily bump things so tonight I repaired the fairings using much heavier cloth. I can only guess that maybe it was 2 oz cloth, it seemed the strands were about 3 times as thick as the 3/4 oz glass strands. Anyway I have used the pictures on the wing and other pictures to shape the fairings. I will have to add a bit of bondo to build up a couple areas to the proper shape.
I am about ready to start on the gun barrels and fairings. I found that a couple old aluminum exhaust tubes that I cut off a muffler and some wood plugs I found at Michaels craft place, will make most of the gun fairing, I will just need to make some barrels, that should be easy.
I have handled several .50 Cal. Brownings but my best guess it that if the barel had a bore dia. of .50 inch, the Outside Diameter of the barrel must be around 1 1/4 inches. I wish I could find the pictures of the .50 cals from the nose turret of the Collings Foundation B-24. I restored them and several other items for them during the annual maintenance here in Florida. One morning I went out the back door of my house and saw the neighbors with kinda odd expressions on their face as they were looking at the 500 lb bombs that was reding for them too. Was really funny, they were dying to ask.... If anyone has the Outside Dimension of the .50 cal gun barrel, I would really appreciate that information. I will scale that down to 1/5 scale. I guess finding the locations for the guns and boring some holes the diameter of the aluminum tubing will be my next thing to figure out.
Denny
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