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Old Apr 07, 2009, 05:02 PM
Mike Brinker
tr6world's Avatar
SouthEast Michigan
Joined May 2008
555 Posts
Thanks Tony,

I appreciate the comment. I am taking time posting the details of this build so other ARF guys who may have wanted to try and build something can see some of the various techniques that are used. I consider myself a "hack" and I think Mark will vouch for that.. Connecting with someone who will take the time to explain helps assure the builder that they are on track.

I think on the day of the maiden, I won't be so quick to throw it into the wind as I feel like right now. I think Mark & I have put around 50 hours into this bird. Mark has made a big commitment spending time with me each week and teaching me the ropes......

I can't wait to fly the P-47.

Mike
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Old Apr 10, 2009, 12:07 PM
Mike Brinker
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SouthEast Michigan
Joined May 2008
555 Posts
Fiberglas The Fuselage

Now that the wing is ready for covering, we can begin to Fiberglas the fuselage. The glas will protect the foam from bumps, make it stronger and also allow us to get a nice smooth surface ready for paint. Most of the paints that spray out of a can will eat up this foam. The glas will allow for a real nice paintable surface.

Materials Used:
Z-Poxy Finishing Resin
3/4 oz Fiberglas Fabric Cloth
Flexible Credit Card as a tool
Scissors

There are 3 pieces to fiberglas. The fuselage, belly pan and top hatch. The technique is basically the same for all 3 pieces except we will be doing the fuselage in 2 halfs (right side, then left side).

Mixing The Resin
This stuff is kind of like 5 minute epoxy in the sense that you mix two equal parts of each (the resin & the hardner). After mixing well, the resin is carefully poured onto the surface of the fuselage and then brushed around using small paint brushes. Once the surface where the glas will be laid is completely coated it is time to lay the glas down.

Applying the Fiberglas
This material was cut to a rectangular shape so that the entire left side was completely covered and then sum....... From the center of the cloth outward, we used card stock and a very thin credit card type material to act as squeegees and carefully adhere the glas material to the fuselage. We were careful not to apply to much pressure where we could tear the cloth or create any wrinkles. The goal is to ensure the resin has saturated the cloth completely and that any excess material is squeegeed off.

Sanding
Now that all 3 pieces are covered, the next few days will be devoted to sanding them smooth. Once sanded they are ready to paint. Pics and results will be posted at that time. I am still undecided for the color scheme. confused: Anyone have any suggestions let me know. I was considering a "captured theme" but I don't know if i could bear to see the german insignias on an American plane. I want the bird to be visible while flying so stripes or contrasting colors are on my list.

The weather is going to be good this weekend..... Time to get some stick time going......!


Mike
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Old Apr 15, 2009, 08:56 AM
Mike Brinker
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SouthEast Michigan
Joined May 2008
555 Posts
Sanding Sanding Sanding

Sanding
Did I mention sanding? Fiberglas resin is very hard and to get a really nice finish, manual labor is required. Even after being careful not to leave goops of glas resin on the fuselage, there were still some spots where it puddled a bit. I used 2 different grit sandpapers to help get the bird as smooth as I could. 150 grit was used on the "goops" and to start to break through the resin and then I switched to 220. I used the sanding bar, small sanding block and freehand. After a couple hours of sanding she was ready to be primed. Well, almost.

Blemishes & Dents
I market any dents or other blemishes with a marker so that they could be filled with an automotive light weight finishing putty. Once filled they were ready to sand in a few minutes. This stuff dries really fast. Most of the putty was sanded of and the dents & blemishes were done.

Priming
Any visible foam was covered in tape including the backside of the firewall. Lacquer will eat the foam. Once sealed, 2 very light coats of a high build lacquer primer were used to get things started. This stuff dries in about 5 or 10 minutes. The process of spraying the fuselage, sanding and then doing the same thing over was amazing. It was immediately obvious where the high and low spots were. As each coat of primer went on and then sanded off, it was clear that fewer and fewer high and low sports were still left. After doing this 3 times, the fuselage felt smooth and was ready for 1 more final primer coat before the paint goes on.
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Old Apr 15, 2009, 07:46 PM
Trampling out the vintage
Joined Feb 2002
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Looks great Mike. What's your weight projection?
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Old Apr 15, 2009, 09:46 PM
ARFs make me BARF
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United States, MI, Roseville
Joined Dec 2000
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I'll pop in here Greg. We are looking for a 16 ounce or so loading, which with this wing area would be around 2 1/2 lbs. So far, it's quite light, the wing being the heaviest of the two items from all that 1/16 balsa.

Mark
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Old Apr 16, 2009, 12:05 AM
Mike Brinker
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SouthEast Michigan
Joined May 2008
555 Posts
Hi Greg,

back in post #61 you said "It's exciting to hope that this model will attain the smooth surface of balsa without as much weight." Well, you can stop hoping. I can assure you it does Each step of the finishing process strengthens the fuselage. Now that the primer is on and it has been sanded several times, it is very smooth and strong. I was really surprised after a few coats of primer. The fuselage is as smooth as a baby's but.

Once we get all of the pieces together we will weigh it, but is pretty light and large. I am still scratching my head wondering how I am going to throw this bird but I am sure I'll find a way.

Mike
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Old Apr 16, 2009, 04:08 AM
frenzyscot
Dundee, Scotland
Joined Oct 2004
652 Posts
good job and nicely presented!

have you chosen a color scheme yet?
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Old Apr 16, 2009, 12:07 PM
Mike Brinker
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SouthEast Michigan
Joined May 2008
555 Posts
Mark & I have had several conversations about this. The most common standard base colors for a jug are either Olive Drab Green, a lighter green, Silver (metal finish) or a Camouflage variant. The P-47 had some unique color added to the nose and tail making for many nice combination's.

Having said that, I want a color scheme that will not be hard to see in the sky or the treeline! I have a camouflage plane and it is hard to see with the trees and ground scape behind it. I like the OD Green with Yellow nose & tail. Adding invasion stripes will help when it is up there and the yellow will help a lot down in the treeline area. I almost bit on the "Captured Theme" with the German markings on it because it would be unusual but accurate. I just can't bring myself to see the jug with those markings so an American theme with the same colors is probably where we are headed.

I took one of Nick King's depictions of the margie II P-47 of the 368th fighter group and photoshopped the yellow colors into the front and tail. I am thinking it will be similar in color to this..... Mine won't have the external fuel tanks, bombs or wing pylons
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Old Apr 20, 2009, 03:41 PM
Mike Brinker
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SouthEast Michigan
Joined May 2008
555 Posts
Ducolam - Covering The Tail Surfaces

I covered the tail surfaces using ducolam. I have covered several planes in my lifetime, but never used this stuff. Ducolam has an adhesive backing on it. It is kind of frosted clear when you see it on the roll, but once you put it on with an iron, it goes clear. The best part of this whole thing is that it can hold paint well. Using this covering will make the wing (which I am covering next) and the tail section stronger without adding a lot of weight. I had no problems applying the ducolam around curves. I will provide some pictures and info on how I applied this covering in the next few days.

Mike
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Old Apr 22, 2009, 10:04 AM
Mike Brinker
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SouthEast Michigan
Joined May 2008
555 Posts
more on the covering:

Don't ask me where you can get Ducolam on the roll, all I know is it is available. We are using a roll that Mark has. The stuff is fairly easy to work with. It is not rubbery like some other coverings. As mentioned before it has a frosted look before heat gets to it, then becomes clear.

The pictures below offer a fair representation of the process. Using a hobby iron, cover the bottom surfaces first and then apply the top and slightly overlap the edges onto the to covering of the underside. Our heat setting was a little about 220 degrees.

The Technique:
During the covering process, it helps to have extra material hanging over the sides so you can pull and straighten out the material to prevent wrinkles. We tacked down the 4 corners of the piece we were working on so that it was tight and now wrinkles were present. Starting at the inboard side of the wing and working toward the wingtip and keeping the iron moving slowly back and forth from the leading edge of the wing to the trailing edge the covering will lay nicely. If the iron is kept in one spot to long the covering will bubble. Not long enough and it won't adhere...... After playing with it for a while you begin to get the feel I started on the smaller pieces first like the tail and ailerons before starting on the wing. Mark had to get me out of trouble several times because of mistakes I made..... like wrinkles and bubbles but overall I did OK and the finished product will look nice.
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Old Apr 29, 2009, 02:30 PM
Mike Brinker
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SouthEast Michigan
Joined May 2008
555 Posts
Putting it all together

Big Grins today as the major components were all permanently glued together!

The Wing
5 minute epoxy is applied to the fuselage wing saddle and the wing is laid in place and held in position with some handy weights. The stick that is used to apply the epoxy is left in the leftover epoxy and after 5 minutes I checked to see if the leftover stuff was hard/cured. Yep, hard as a rock and we can work on the belly pan.

The Belly Pan
Using the original wing root template, Mark traced the outline of the top of the wing along the side of the belly pan and made the necessary cuts. A little sanding and the belly pan fit like a glove onto the underside of the now single unit fuselage/wing assembly. Again, 5 minute epoxy was used. When they say "5 minute epoxy", they mean 5 minutes until it cures...... not 5 minutes to put it on. As I was yapping away with Mark I realized that the stuff was already curing! I quickly finish applying the epoxy to the saddle edge and got her in place. Nice fit and now it looks like a p-47 belly

Tail section
The tail section will have a working elevator but no rudder movement. The rudder will bond on the top and back end of the fuselage. This will make it really strong. Rudder really isn't needed since we won't have any landing gear...... hand launch only.

Elevator & aileron hinged
The control surfaces were hinged using 3 1/2 inch floppy disc material. this stuff is strong, light and easy to use. After slicing the hing points and inserting the hinges into the control surfaces, thin CA was applied where the hinge and control surface meet. The CA wicks into the hing slot and presto.......

I have attached some pictures of the assembled plane. Adding the motor, elevator servo, receiver will happen after I paint this bird.

Still some details to finish up including Fiberglas the belly pan to the fuselage and add some little extras before paint.

Mike
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Old Apr 29, 2009, 07:39 PM
ARFs make me BARF
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United States, MI, Roseville
Joined Dec 2000
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Looking good, can't wait to get paint on it
I used the template for the BOTTOM of the airfoil on the belly pan though. Other than that, cool beans
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Old Apr 29, 2009, 07:43 PM
Trampling out the vintage
Joined Feb 2002
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Looks just like a P47 to me. Great work, I'm already hoping for video of it flying. I know the flying pictures will be great since Mark is involved and he is famous for his skills there too.
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Old Apr 29, 2009, 11:16 PM
ARFs make me BARF
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United States, MI, Roseville
Joined Dec 2000
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With about a 16 ounce loading it ought to be a floater that can slow right down for easy pics......plus I leaned the best ones come from flying a tight circle around the photog
Mark
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Old Apr 30, 2009, 02:55 PM
Mike Brinker
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SouthEast Michigan
Joined May 2008
555 Posts
Yep, I plan on taking video and pics of the maiden . I have a flip video camera that takes some good video. Here is an example of some video I shot last month of Mark's Invader so the video should be pretty good....

Rittinger A26 Invader Meets Helicopter (2 min 59 sec)


Mike
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