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Posted by SteveSw | Oct 15, 2012 @ 08:43 PM | 2,171 Views
Just off the bench is my Skylake Sopwith Triplane. It's not one of the newer laser cut kits but one of the older router cut variety. Built pretty much stock but wanting something a bit different for my first of the building season, I decided to put her on skis.

I like to primarily build scale and when possible I like to emulate an actual plane. I feel it just adds to the enjoyment of the build although it can be frustrating at times.

She’s in the colors of N5486, the only Tripehound sent to Russia for evaluation during WW1.From what I have read, the red stars were added over the roundels during the Russian Revolution of late 1917. Don’t think she ever saw combat but I added the MG anyway as any self respecting Sopwith should have one. I used preshrunk tissue and dope and airbrushed on the national markings using stencils. The “N” number was printed on decal paper with the factory tailfin markings printed directly on tissue.
Posted by SteveSw | Sep 16, 2012 @ 01:18 PM | 2,581 Views
I’ve always thought the Corben Super Ace was a pretty plane. Recently, I bought the Penn Valley kit based on the old Megow plan of the early forties. Penn Valley offers two sizes of this kit and I opted for the 24 inch wingspan model.

I was pretty happy with the wood supplied and used most of it. What I didn’t like was that the plane was designed too light to my tastes. The nose was just a couple 1/16 sticks with no sheeting or gussets. In fact the whole fuselage needed some more bracing, gussets and a couple more cross pieces on the bottom. I know lighter is better but I had doubts this plane would last long enough in my hands get past trimming.

Living here in the northeast, I always seem to be having problems with tail surfaces warping. I’ve tried every technique known to man with limited success. What I have started to do is construct them using laminated sticks which seems to be keeping most of the warps at bay. I’ll just run a sheet through my balsa stripper and glue a bunch up before starting. I also used the leftover laminated 1/16 sticks for the forward part of the fuselage and also sheeted the first bay with 32nd balsa.

On the plan I noticed that there was no decalage designed in so I added 2 ½ degrees positive incidence to the wing by cutting down the rear wing support. Any more needed could be added at the tail later on. I also beefed up the wing saddle by swapping out the puny 1/16 sticks for 3/32nd so that the wing would be a bit stronger as this...Continue Reading
Posted by SteveSw | Jul 06, 2012 @ 08:29 PM | 3,135 Views
Just finished up building one of Iron Mike's designs, the Fokker Dr1.

I had bought his plans and short kit a couple years back and just never got around to building it. Must say that I was very impressed with the quality of the wood and the laser cutting. The parts fit the plans absolutely perfect which is a first for me and makes building much easier than having to fudge things later on.

I used domestic tissue and nitrate dope for covering. I made stencils and airbrushed on the markings.

As we know trimming a triplane is no easy task and I hope I'm up to the challenge. Mike supplied some good tips on setting up the wings so I trust it shouldn't be that bad.
Posted by SteveSw | Apr 20, 2012 @ 09:42 AM | 3,638 Views
Gotta tell ya, I really like the DPC/Aero-Werkes replacement wood packs for some of the older free flight kits.

Years back, I built the Sterling Fokker EIII using the stock kit wood and it was an easy build but heavy! It was a stable flier but not for very long. So when DPC/Aeroworkes started making replacement wood for this kit, I thought it would give me an opportunity to have another go at the kit and see if I could lighten it any further while it giving the scale treatment.

The wood was of good grade and the laser cutting, perfect. Trying to lighten it a bit more, I cut holes in the wing ribs using different sizes of tubing with the inside edge sharpened. Anyone who knows these old kits can tell you about how ungodly wide the trailing edges are. I cut the width in half but probably should have gone narrower. I made laminated wingtips to rid the wing of those needlessly heavy “planks” hanging on the ends. I like to add rigging when possible so I added small lengths of styrene tubing so that the “Stretch Magic” elastic thread I use will pass neatly through the wing.

This is a peculiar kit as you have to build and cover the wing and install it before finishing up the fuselage. Because my first one was so tail heavy, I wanted to remove as much rear weight as possible. I didn’t want to build (call me lazy) a totally new fuselage so I figured I try something different. I built the fuselage using the replacement formers and keels but widened the corner longeron...Continue Reading