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Old Jan 06, 2014, 05:26 PM
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Balsa USA 1/4 scale Sopwith Pup build thread

(I've searched, but I can't find a build thread for this kit. I'm following one on RC Universe, but it's old and kinda dead. If there's a build thread for this here, please let me know!)

I've just started this kit. I'm back into kit building after a 35 year hiatus (yikes!), but eager. I bought the kit from a gent who is, unfortunately, unable to build it due to health issues. He also purchased the aluminum cowl, machine gun kit, and Dubro 7" wheels.

I have one upper wing panel built, working on the other half. Going slower than I thought it would. I'm struggling with where on the continuum I want to live, from building the kit "straight" as designed, to extreme scale detail. I bought Jim Kiger's Replicraft plans for scale detail information, as well as the Windsock Datafile special, and Profile Publications No. 13 books, for scale detail information.

The BUSA kit is really nice - the die cut parts are mostly cut from very nice stock, sharp dies, pieces just fall out for the most part.

There are a couple of rough spots, and confusing spots in the build - I've resolved them so far. One spot is, in the manual, there are two different parts labeled W3 in the "Key to Diecut Parts," page 6, 3rd figure down, one W3 is in two pieces, the other in three: puzzling. In addition, I had to trim a the middle part of the W3's to add clearance for the upper sheathing. Other than that, pretty good so far.

I'm interested in anyone's views on any aspect of this.

Thanks,

jv
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Old Jan 06, 2014, 05:30 PM
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I'm doing a 1/3 scale right now.

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2028693
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Old Jan 06, 2014, 05:39 PM
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Yes, thanks, I saw that thread already. Seems there are lots of differences in the design and details.

Good luck!

jv
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Old Jan 06, 2014, 09:55 PM
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Good luck to you as well!

But, yeah, no idea about a W3 on this one. There are just ribs... so many ribs....
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Old Jan 07, 2014, 06:44 PM
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jviss

I had one briefly. The fellow I bought it from had a change of heart and bought it back about a year later.

I tend to think all builds on this site are electric (it did start out as the Ezone after all!) What are you thinking for power?

Stephen
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Old Jan 07, 2014, 07:35 PM
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jviss

I had one briefly. The fellow I bought it from had a change of heart and bought it back about a year later.

I tend to think all builds on this site are electric (it did start out as the Ezone after all!) What are you thinking for power?

Stephen
Thanks for your reply. I am thinking of a four-stroke gas engine, like a Saito FG-21. I'd like to have a reduction unit and swing a scale prop. Just dreaming about it at the moment.
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Old Jan 07, 2014, 09:28 PM
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There's a guy on youtube that has videos of his entire build process of the 1/4 scale BUSA Pup...I think it's in 12 parts or so...

http://www.youtube.com/user/1964Iain/videos

Balsa USA 1/4 scale Sopwith tail construction (9 min 46 sec)
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Old Jan 07, 2014, 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted by bicyclemonkey View Post
There's a guy on youtube that has videos of his entire build process of the 1/4 scale BUSA Pup...I think it's in 12 parts or so...

http://www.youtube.com/user/1964Iain/videos

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTSwx...2513C0BC958A99
Cool, thanks!
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Old Jan 08, 2014, 09:12 AM
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Another thought about power.

A fellow flier in this area has a lot of the BUSA kits. He likes to use gas engines that are "one size" bigger than called for. He then flies them on less than half throttle. The two stroke gas engines make a very realistic sound when flown at lower throttle settings, including some sputtering and coughing It also means he is swinging a slightly larger prop with the bigger engine. He said he had to be really careful on takeoff and when on the ground due to the large prop. Throttle changes are slow.

I asked him about gear drives and his answer was the gas engines are relatively less expensive than the smaller motors with gear drives. He did admit that having a gear drive system would be pretty cool.

charlie
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Old Jan 08, 2014, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by portablevcb View Post
Another thought about power.

A fellow flier in this area has a lot of the BUSA kits. He likes to use gas engines that are "one size" bigger than called for. He then flies them on less than half throttle. The two stroke gas engines make a very realistic sound when flown at lower throttle settings, including some sputtering and coughing It also means he is swinging a slightly larger prop with the bigger engine. He said he had to be really careful on takeoff and when on the ground due to the large prop. Throttle changes are slow.

I asked him about gear drives and his answer was the gas engines are relatively less expensive than the smaller motors with gear drives. He did admit that having a gear drive system would be pretty cool.

charlie
Yes, gear or belt, but some kind of reduction would be cool.
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Old Jan 09, 2014, 06:31 AM
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Wing pic

He's a pic of an upper wing panel. Not crazy about the quality of my work, but it's solid and functional. It has been years since I built anything, and I'm still a bit rusty.

The left panel is to this stage, too. I'm waiting for a replacement of one of the dihedral braces, which was warped beyond use; shear webs yet to be installed, as well as rib reinforcements near aileron, strut mounting pads, and control horn mounting pads. Leading edges not yet carved, and wingtip carving not complete.

I'm considering:
  • pluggable wing panels
  • scale-like aileron hinges
  • scale-like control horns
  • scale-like strut mounting sockets and flying wire attachment points.

I haven't worked out the details for pluggable wings, so I'm open to suggestions, as well as suggestions on any of these, including "just build it as designed!"
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Old Jan 09, 2014, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by jviss View Post
He's a pic of an upper wing panel. Not crazy about the quality of my work, but it's solid and functional. It has been years since I built anything, and I'm still a bit rusty.
your pic says otherwise, looks pretty clean too me!
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Old Jan 09, 2014, 08:27 AM
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your pic says otherwise, looks pretty clean too me!
Thanks very much! Yea, it looks better in the pic, and I'm quite critical of my own work. I should have done the lowers first.
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Old Jan 09, 2014, 12:58 PM
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Looks nice.

Why do you want to reinforce the ribs in front of the aileron. Looks good to me the way it is.

Scale hinges and rigging really do like nice, especially if you fully detail the model. Not as difficult as it seems either. The thing to do is plan and design it now so you can build the proper support structure into the wing before covering. Not only plan the scale bits, but, how will you disassemble and assemble the wings. Screws and nuts? Pins? How will you attach and detach the rigging? Will you leave the top wing center section in place and plug in the wing panels or build the top wing as one piece and remove from the cabanes and structs (I've done it both ways)? etc, etc, etc.

I take the less scale approach only because I really dislike the assemble/disassemble process at the field. I tend to use non scale hardware to make that part easier.

Also check out all the available 1/4 scale hardware available from places like Mick Reeves, Dubro, BUSA, Arizona Modelcrafters, Proctor, etc.

charlie
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Old Jan 09, 2014, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by portablevcb View Post
Looks nice.

Why do you want to reinforce the ribs in front of the aileron. Looks good to me the way it is.

Scale hinges and rigging really do like nice, especially if you fully detail the model. Not as difficult as it seems either. The thing to do is plan and design it now so you can build the proper support structure into the wing before covering. Not only plan the scale bits, but, how will you disassemble and assemble the wings. Screws and nuts? Pins? How will you attach and detach the rigging? Will you leave the top wing center section in place and plug in the wing panels or build the top wing as one piece and remove from the cabanes and structs (I've done it both ways)? etc, etc, etc.

I take the less scale approach only because I really dislike the assemble/disassemble process at the field. I tend to use non scale hardware to make that part easier.

Also check out all the available 1/4 scale hardware available from places like Mick Reeves, Dubro, BUSA, Arizona Modelcrafters, Proctor, etc.

charlie
Thanks, Charlie. The reinforcement I am referring to page 11, step 37: "Use the 1/4 sq x 36" strip for the stiffeners on the inside aileron rib and rib W-1 (see Section "C-C"). These prevent the covering from bowing the ribs."

I understand about the rigging time. I was toying with the idea of a "hangar" for the fully-assemled, rigged plane that would go on my dinghy trailer, so I could just tow it to the field, 5 miles from home.
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