Thread: Build Log 1/8 Scale Sopwith Tabloid
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Old Oct 11, 2012, 01:55 PM
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Moab, Utah, USA
Joined Apr 2003
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Three sheets to the wind

With the basic fuselage structure built it's time to spruce it up a little bit. The full size Tabloid had the forward portion of the fuselage sheeted with aluminum and the aft portion was fabric covered. On Pete's model the aluminum sheeted portion of the fuselage is sheeted with balsa. It is up to the builder to make the balsa look like aluminum.

The forward fuselage sides are built up from 1/8" balsa sheet during the initial build. The top needs to have 1/16" balsa sheeting added over formers that form the proper curve. The sheeting for the top needs to be a bit over five inches wide. So at least two pieces are needed when using common three inch and four inch wide balsa stock.

Sheeting over the first three formers is straight forward as they are all the same height and width. However, the last former is a bit shorter and narrower which forms a slight compound curve at the aft end of sheeted area to which the sheeting must conform. For those reasons I decided to sheet the fuselage top in three sections each approximately 1.75 inches wide. The first section I laid down the middle. Then it was just a matter of massaging the edges of the two outside sections to make everything match up. This was basically planking with very wide planking strips that made the sheeting conform to the aft compound curve relatively easy. I did moisten the outside of the sheets when glueing them to the formers to make them more pliable.

After sheeting the forward portion of the fuselage I attached the rear fuselage formers and stringers to the turtle deck. This area, of course, will eventually be covered with simulated fabric.

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