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        Build Log Building a SA CAP 232 - my first kit and build

#1 mrm1 Jun 07, 2005 06:58 PM

Building a SA CAP 232 .40e - my first kit and build
After the crash of my World Models Fun World EP, I went on a search for a replacement. After much research (and arm twisting of my wife - because of the cost) I decided on a Stevens Aeromodel Cap 232 .40e.

This is truely a nice plane. And everything I have read about it tells me it is just the "fix" I am looking for.

I start this thread not to supplement the already 4 part excellent thread on this model, but rather to give an account of a novice builder. Thus hoping other would-be kit builders will be inspired to give it a go.

The other threads can be found at:

40A Cap 232 Stevens AeroModel Part 1

40A Cap 232 Stevens AeroModel Part 2

40A Cap 232 Stevens AeroModel Part 3

40A Cap 232 Stevens AeroModel Part 4

These are excellent reads on this plane and there is even much imput from the planes designer.


#2 mrm1 Jun 07, 2005 07:05 PM

The Kit as it came to Me
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I recieved the kit back a few months ago, but committed to my wife and family that I would not start the plane until I finished the addition to my house. We needed another bedroom :eek: (no we did not have a baby, we have 3 new teenagers).

I have actually been putting off the start now for a few weeks since the project completion, because the bundle of parts still looks a little intimidating to me. Yes it is all laser cut and jigged for precision fitting, but just so many questions.

I did cover the plans last night in clear contact paper, and I cleaned off my work bench this afternoon. So I hope to start laying it out tonight. I'm sure putting it together is no big deal, it's just getting started.

It is amazing to me how this pile of wood and platic will one day fly. :D I can't wait !

#3 mrm1 Jun 07, 2005 07:11 PM

Finishing before You Start
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Back about a month ago, I did order some decals to get that "scale" look when I complete it. One of the guys from part 4 of the main threads of this model offered to cut them for me for a small cost ($20). The will really finish this model off in style.

I plan to go slow because I have a guy locally who is an expert coverer who has committed to help me cover the plane, but he is on a month long drive about for all of June in an RV. He just finished a quarter scale Decathalon that would blow your mind. Incredible detail inside and out. He even refused to use shrink covering, searching for just the right cloth covering to really add to the scale realism. When I get a pic of it I will pust it up for you to see.

#4 mrm1 Jun 07, 2005 07:16 PM

I would definately recommend Stevens Aeromodel as a plane or kit choice. I have had post conversations and email with Bill Stevens and he has been very helpful.

When the kit first arrived, the canopy was damaged in shipping. Bill sent me a new one no questions asked and it arrived promptly in perfect condition.

Stevens Aeromodel

Their prices are very competitive.


#5 mrm1 Jun 07, 2005 08:52 PM

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OK, so there was no real reason to be overwhelmed by this kit. It's like a big puzzle, Just snap and fit the pieces together and off you go to the next part (don't forget to glue).

Got the Horizontal Stab done and will do the fin tonight.

First Beginners Building tip: Do Not Use Clear contact paper to cover your plans. As the CA wicks thru, it "eats" clear contact paper, I will cover with wax paper.


#6 new2rc Jun 07, 2005 09:31 PM

Already looking great Mike ;).

You are right, the laser cut parts and plans look top notch!

John and Christo

#7 mrm1 Jun 10, 2005 08:04 AM

Fuse Nearly Done
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Well I got the fuse nearly done and plan to finish up today. I have been taking my time on this model just doing a little-here-a-little-there. If one really put his mind to it, you could have the air frame done by now in the time it has taken me to get this far.

But, mine is coming out very strong and straight. As I tend to do, I am probably a little over kill on gluing. This will add some weight, but I think I will still be somewhere near the target of 45 - 55 oz. That large span in weight is due to my indecission on covering still. If I use what I have on hand (cost containment - ;) ) - that is Ultracote/ecnocote/black barron film, it will weight 6-8 oz more that if I purchase some Solafilm from Bill Stevens.

As I have time, I am going to wait and see, and then weigh the finished air frame and compare where I am to others frame weights. If heavier by much, I will order new film and cover for weight, if on target or liter, may use thicer film. The difference is solid colors that are not truely solid. In the lite films, you can still see thru the solids. I donot like the look of that.

Here are some pics so far. Check out the real size of this plane :eek: it's Huge :D


#8 kitfoxdrvr Jun 10, 2005 01:07 PM

I am watching this one closely. My box o' bits (my Cap kit!) is in storage until I move into my new home in July, so let us know of any issues you may have. I HATE waiting, but I will have a great custom shop once I get moved!

#9 mrm1 Jun 10, 2005 03:50 PM


I will keep you posted. I have already run into some things that are unclear to me in the plans and instructions. This is definatly no an ARF. The instructions leave a lot of room for self interpretation. I'm sure this is no trouble for an experience builder, but I am approaching this model and this thread as someone who has never built an RC Kit of any kind.

I have built very detailed rockets and stick built control like kits, but the do not have electronics.

Some things I am in the dark about now that I will be posting on as I get to those points. :

1. Assembling the Cowl: there is no explaination or drawings on how to glue this 2 piece plastic nose cover together.

2. Installation of electronics, servo postions, and push rod/horn installations. Again, plans/instructions are kinda foggy here.

That said though, the kit is very complete. It has everything except covering, Electronics, and paint for the cowl.

I also ended up with 2 canopys. One was damaged in shipping. I plan to paint one black from the inside out, And I plan to dye one dark smoke. I will posting my experiences and looks on both of these.

Bummer today is that I am almost out of Thin CA. I do not thing I will have enough to finish the wing. It has taken a whole bottle. I had 2 bottles, but one turned over on the bench and most of the CA leaked out. now it is kinda more like Medium thick CA so it is no good for the project. I will order some CA tonight.


#10 mrm1 Jun 10, 2005 10:10 PM

Fuse is Done
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Well finished up the fuse tonight (and what was left of my CA). Turned out fairly good.

I guess I cannot stress how important it is to BE VERY GENTLE ! While you can't see it now, as I was sanding the tail block I put my finger thru the top of the rear deck :eek:

Moral: Plane is Very light, But be very careful !

As far as I know, fuse is finished sanded. I still have to "loosen" up the fit of the tail feathers and epoxy in place the aluminum tube on the Elevator. Then shape the tail leading edges. But without CA to start the wing, I have nothing but time here.

So here are the pics:

#11 mrm1 Jun 10, 2005 10:15 PM

While the instructions call for making some sort of hinge and tap set up, I plan to attach the battery hatch with magnets built into the lid. This is what some have suggested for my GP Super Sportster EP and have had good success.


#12 new2rc Jun 12, 2005 10:27 AM

Great job on the fuse Mike!

That is a big bird indeed :eek:. Does it use balsa sheeting on the fuse? If so, did you wet it to shape the contour?

John and Christo

#13 mrm1 Jun 12, 2005 12:11 PM

It called for wetting the front sections, but over the turtle deck the instructions called for doing it dry. So I dry fit the balsa over the tail section and canopy area, and then wet srunk the whole area to pull it down and then glued the whole thing from underneath with medium CA to the 2 supports and center support.


#14 new2rc Jun 12, 2005 06:45 PM


Originally Posted by mrm1
It called for wetting the front sections, but over the turtle deck the instructions called for doing it dry. So I dry fit the balsa over the tail section and canopy area, and then wet srunk the whole area to pull it down and then glued the whole thing from underneath with medium CA to the 2 supports and center support.


Very nice Mike ;) Sheeting looks intimidating to me :rolleyes:. One of the things that scares me off kits so far. You did a great job with it.

John and Christo

#15 mrm1 Jun 12, 2005 06:53 PM

I really don't think this plane qualifies as a true "kit". It really is more like a big 3D puzzle. It is everything the Bill Stevens said it would be and more. So far so good.

The biggest intimidation for me is covering. And that would not bother me too much if I was using lite film, but I plan to use ultracote which looks better but is some heavier. But we will see, i may yet switch.


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