Thread: Build Log 1/8 Scale Sopwith Tabloid
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Old Oct 14, 2012, 03:12 PM
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Moab, Utah, USA
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Tabloid gets a nose job

It's a bit of an understatement to say that the engine cowling on this airplane is a bit tricky. It goes from a somewhat round profile at the aft end to a horizontal chisel shape at the forward end.

Pete's plan specifies carving and hollowing a block of balsa to make the engine cowling. I suppose viable alternatives would be to use fiberglass or vacuum pulled plastic as Hugh did. But even with fiberglass or plastic a form still has to be carved from some other medium such as balsa or foam.

The problem I had is that I didn't have a large hunking block of balsa from which to carve the cowling. So as with everything else when building scale models, if you don't have it, make it. I essentially made up the requisite block of balsa by glueing a bunch of 1/4" balsa sheets together. The advantage of building the block from quarter inch sheet is that I didn't have to add balsa to the block in places where it would eventually be carved or sanded away. I marked up the drawing of former F3 and the cowling side profile on the plans to use as guides for cutting and assembling the balsa sheets into an acceptable shape. I ended up with a structure that was pre-hollowed and required a minimum of carving and sanding to get the final shape.

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