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New CARF P-51D Project

Old 07-22-2020, 08:30 PM
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The air up valve found a convenient home with the miracle switch on the belly. Since Iím not going to use the gas cap there itís a perfect combo to screw in the fitting and air up. Last large air tank is installed in the belly as well.






Rx batteries located and wires and plugs done
Old 07-25-2020, 09:45 PM
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Some more cockpit detail. The hood just wouldnít work for me so I cut it out and built a new one from scraps. I used G10 sheet and bass wood to make the new shape. Made the rib detail from Evercoat body filler and a simple scraper with a guide edge. Then just sand and primer with some styrene .010Ē dots for texture.









Old 07-26-2020, 04:12 AM
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Looks great Chris!
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Old 07-26-2020, 06:03 AM
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Looks much better, great job.
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Old 07-26-2020, 09:08 PM
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Finished up the instrument hood and I cut out the canopy to start to fit that to the frame. Here again, broken record, the fuselage is. It symmetrical and the frame doesnít fit right. I trimmed the frame to the lines no problem and set it on the fuse only to see the front hoop doesnít match or fit with the windshield hoop. They sit at different opposite angles so not parallel to each other. The only change I made to the windshield frame was to add about 4mm to the back of it to widen the sides. I lowered it slightly in order to get the frames more parallel but still they donít match.

How have you guys that have built this plane dealt with the canopy frame? Iím considering some pretty radical cuts and changes to make this work but Iím trying not to push the nuke button on this dang frame.



Old 08-03-2020, 07:15 AM
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Hi Chris, haven't been on RCU for a while. Your CARF is coming along very nicely. One thing I would add some caution about is your Miracle combination/dual power switch on the bottom on the model. Those are WELL KNOWN to be defective after only a few flights. I had some on my planes and learned this first hand - I pulled them all out. Still have some brand new ones unused in the package! A fellow RC club member told me about them prior to that and he was correct, prone to failure. Just my suggestion, go with Electro-Dynamics power switches. They are a cut above other brands and are about the same price. Lane
Old 08-03-2020, 03:45 PM
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I second that on the power switches, total junk. Electro- Dynamics is a great option.
Old 08-03-2020, 08:32 PM
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Thanks Lane and Karl, I’ll make the update. As a matter of fact I think the gremlin I was experiencing last year on the P-38 ignition was a single switch but it wasn’t one of these. It was a black plastic version but it has the same switch parts I think. I flew the P-38 about 10 times and then had ignition issues which prompted me to change all the stuff out.
Old 08-11-2020, 12:34 AM
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Looks amazing, really good job chris!!
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Old 08-11-2020, 05:14 AM
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That's some really nice work.
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Old 08-15-2020, 10:02 PM
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Canopy frame update made. The two frames are aligned and the back part has been bonded to the frame again. The fuselage is not symmetrical by about 6mm so getting the back part of the frame to just cover the top edge of the fuselage was tricky to get it kind of even. This is just eyeballed to make the best of it. I don’t know how other guys are building this but it’s all kinds of messed up to start with!

The front windshield is .125 inch thick polycarbonate I happened to have a scrap panel with a hard coating on both sides from work. It might look cool as bullet resistant glass because it has a very light blue tint. I added some framework to built it up as well. Simple and easy details.










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Old 08-15-2020, 10:14 PM
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To CARF Customer Service:
1)The canopy vacuum formed part has blems from the mold. The mold needs to be updated for this model because it makes deformed areas on the canopy around the frame edges. There are no trim lines or any kind of guidance.

2) The provided sheet of clear plastic for the windshield came scratched from the factory. I opened the new package and the plastic had already been scratched and then packaged!!!

These simple issues just add to the overall CARF experience as a builder making it very frustrating and disappointing. I’ve outlined several issues which are legitimate and straight forward throughout this build. I hope somebody is reading this that can make a suggestion at CARF. These are real and serious production and design issues especially for the the cost of this kit.
Old 08-16-2020, 06:24 AM
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Pity that the company doesnt seem to be interested in improving their product. There are issues with their other planes as well.
The only way to encourage companies to do the right thing by its customers is to stop buying their products.
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Old 08-18-2020, 08:31 PM
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The canopy frame is done and mounted. I used a brass tab with two 4-40 SHC screws and two brass threaded inserts in a plywood block epoxied to the fuselage. This holds down the canopy bubble frame along with two phenolic CARF hooks up front. Iíll leave the bubble to be glued later after paint. I got the canopy frame as tight to the fuselage as I could. I sanded the fiberglass skin with a block to thin it and even it up some but the part still looks layered. The OD green will help blend this in better and thatís why Iím going with it instead of silver/aluminum so these details donít stand out.
The canopy track slot will remain open to help vent the fuselage.


Old 08-18-2020, 08:37 PM
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Starting to look at the engine again. Has anyone tried the bolt on carb arms? It comes with one on the choke but in order to tidy up the installation it should have on the throttle as well. Iíd have to grind a flat on the shaft and thread lock it on there because Iíd be removing the retaining screw and plate on the side of the carb. If you have any info let me know, I donít see an issue with this but maybe someone has tried it and can share their experiences good or bad.




Old 08-19-2020, 05:36 AM
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Default Carf p 51

All in all I think you have done a really good job.
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Old 08-19-2020, 04:51 PM
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Thanks, this project is taking way too long and it’s funny because I get excited to get going and then something comes up to irritate me. I just need to power through this thing and get it flying.
Old 08-19-2020, 05:35 PM
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I hear you.. Don't look as closely at the project until you get it flying.. that might help.
Old 08-30-2020, 10:23 AM
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Engine installation in progress!
Took a look at the Kolm behind the cam covers and I did find some loose silicone gasket material in the middle bay. I looked around and cleaned the covers then added some Liquid Molly synthetic engine oil from a pen applicator I used to use in one of my cars, awesome oil. Since the engine has been sitting for a long time I figured I better see if it’s dry or what’s going on. All looks good so I put the covers and exhaust pipes back on. I used high temp silicone gasket maker and safety wired the exhaust bolts. I want to see the how the intake manifold bolts hold up before I go through the work of cross drilling and safety wiring them too. I safety wired the engine mount bolts as well because they are of minimal length and have no other locking assistance like a split washer. Rather than make custom length bolts, etc., I opted to wire them instead.
There are two case breather lines and the tank vent line which have been routed to the lowest part of the engine compartment. I added a tiny hole in case I have a raw fuel leak so it can drain which will alert me to that problem instead of pooling in the fuse.
Im not finished with baffling the engine compartment so as the cowl is fitted it will get to the second half of the baffle system.

Also, I could not leave the cheek intakes the way they were molded. They should be flush with just a panel line not sitting proud on top the of the surface like an add on panel. The full scale holes are about an inch in diameter so I’ll be making a metal pattern and refinishing them soon.










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Old 08-30-2020, 10:33 AM
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On the Miracle Switches I decided I’m going to track down similar toggle switches that are Mil-Spec and just replace them individually. I don’t want to redo the cut outs and body work for different switches. This way I get high quality switches designed for vibration and harsh environments and they will drop right into the housings. From my first look around they are not very expensive and they’re abundantly available. I’m looking at Digi-Key and Morse currently so I’ll order these soon and update the Mustang and P-38.

If anybody has a source for mil-spec toggle switches let me know!
Old 08-30-2020, 01:01 PM
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Have you tried a magnetic switch? Jeti has one for 50$ and it works fantastic.
Jeti Electronic Switch Dual with Magnetic Key DPS 40
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Old 08-31-2020, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Chris Nicastro
On the Miracle Switches I decided Iím going to track down similar toggle switches that are Mil-Spec and just replace them individually. I donít want to redo the cut outs and body work for different switches. This way I get high quality switches designed for vibration and harsh environments and they will drop right into the housings. From my first look around they are not very expensive and theyíre abundantly available. Iím looking at Digi-Key and Morse currently so Iíll order these soon and update the Mustang and P-38.

If anybody has a source for mil-spec toggle switches let me know!
The last ones I bought I found on Ebay-they were actually used but great condition. When you snap one of them, you can feel the difference-designed for Uncle Sam, and I'm sure to much higher specs than we modelers will ever throw at them-
PS You deserve a medal for all the reworks you have had to do on this project. Maybe one day CARF will rework this kit and fix the major stuff...
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Old 08-31-2020, 07:52 PM
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Haha! Thanks but you know I’ve only scratched the surface on this kit. If I had the time and space I’d go full Invertmast and make a new kit from scratch. The master model is not that hard to do but there is so much more after that. The best line that’s fitting is “I don’t want all the labor pains, I just want the baby”, pretty much sums this up right now!
Old 08-31-2020, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by karl hibbs
Have you tried a magnetic switch? Jeti has one for 50$ and it works fantastic.
Jeti Electronic Switch Dual with Magnetic Key DPS 40
I havenít but I prefer to keep things as simple as I can. Plus for $50 you can get really nice high quality toggle switches.
Old 09-06-2020, 11:11 PM
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Went down the rabbit hole again today with the exhaust pipes. The vacuum formed parts included in the kit are great for mixing epoxy in them, throw them away. The fiberglass parts are not much better for fit or appearance so I tried working with the pipes but gave that up. The fairings are ok but they are not the right shape. Iíll use them anyway but Iím making new pipes from PVC and brass tubing. This is a temporary set up and I plan on replacing these later on.

















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