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Old Sep 28, 2011, 10:05 AM
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United Kingdom, England, Peterborough
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Build Log
Building a West Wings DH-80 Puss Moth

Hello All

This is my first build. If I hadn't been able to browse forums like this, I would have been completely stuck, and I have also had some very friendly advice over on the Building forum (thanks guys).

I'm going to post a few pics and notes as I go along, partly as a way to say 'thank you' and partly to help others, as I couldn't find build logs or pics from anyone else for this kit.

The kit is print wood, 24in wingspan, supplied with all the usual stick & tissue materials plus prop, rubber motor, UC hardware, decals etc. I'm no great judge but the kit components seem to be nice quality.

I got it because I wanted to try building something that would at least stand a chance of flying, would be an easy ish build, and had a nice scale look as well.

Thanks in advance for any tips or comments, please help me keep up my level of commitment!

Ian
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Old Sep 28, 2011, 10:21 AM
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First of all a few pics to show the overall build - so far I have put the fuselage together, with just a couple of pits & pieces (undercarriage and nose block) still to do.

From a newcomers perspective, part of the challenge has been to puzzle out all of the different pieces of information that make up the build - neither the instructions nor the main plan drawings nor the call-out drawings on the plan have _all_ of the info, so I had to sit & figure it out - all part of the fun! There are still things in the plans that are a little ambiguous, but nothing that badly holds the job up.

The first thing I figured out is that the first build of each fuselage side 'slab' is actually pretty simple - two longerons per side and some uprights and infill. I build them on top of each other separated by cling film as the instructions suggest, and that worked fine.

There's a 'master' former (F8) that sets up the assembly of the two sides into a whole fuselage, on top of which go extra longeron / stringers.
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Old Sep 28, 2011, 10:24 AM
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Pictures of fuselage up to this point:
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Old Sep 28, 2011, 10:28 AM
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As you can see, the fuselage is pretty straight but I haven't got it quite perfect. I did re-cut one or two of the notches for the dorsal stringer, but even so it has some kinks.

I think one of the reasons for this is the order in which I built it. Doing it over again, I would put in the 'master' former (the one with thicker uprights, one frame behind the start of the nose infill) and the stern post, and get everything lined up spot on, then put the other former tops & bottoms in one at a time, checking for straightness and squareness at each step.
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Last edited by grimupnorth; Sep 28, 2011 at 10:51 AM. Reason: Added pic, oops.
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Old Sep 28, 2011, 10:43 AM
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The next challenge was to form some balsa sheet for the nose cowling - after combing through threads on these pages, I took the advice to soak the sheet first (I gave it 30 minutes in hot water with a squirt of glass cleaner added) and then wrap it round a former (in this case a kitchen implement) & leave overnight - seems to have worked.
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Old Sep 28, 2011, 10:49 AM
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What I'm working on next is the undercarriage - confusingly, the plan says to lengthen the UC to allow clearance for a 175mm prop. This caused me a bit of head-scratching, and I got some good advice over on the building forum (thanks everyone).

However the supplied prop is small enough for that not to be an issue, and in any case as I have learned, ground clearance is not really an issue since rubber planes don't take off or even land on the UC very much.

So, next job is to bend some wire :-)
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Old Sep 28, 2011, 12:29 PM
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The supplied prop isn't really ideal for the model, being a bit and with too little pitch.

I used a wooden prop on mine which I originally carved up for a KK Achilles, I can't remember off the top of my head, but I think it was something around 8" which is about 200mm or thereabouts.

Carving a balsa prop isn't massively difficult, just a bit time consuming
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Old Sep 28, 2011, 01:57 PM
Could be?!
Phugoid1's Avatar
Derby, England
Joined Jan 2011
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I have this kit in my stash to build (an ebay bargain), so following along with interest.

Andrew

PS I like you screen name, I assume you mean the north of England maybe?
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Old Sep 29, 2011, 01:24 AM
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Hmm yes MCarlton you are not the first person to observe that I will need to carve a prop, I am getting the message :-) I will save that job up until the rest of the kit is finished.

Andrew, I'm from the north of England (north east actually) now living as an 'expat' in the south. That, together with an 80s/90s pop culture reference, is the reason for the screen name!
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Old Sep 29, 2011, 03:38 PM
Could be?!
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Ah, The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu (aka the KLF)?

I had the Grim up north thing thrown at me when I lived "daan Saaf" at Uni in the early nineties (even though I'm from the Midlands!)

You don't have to carve a new prop. If this is your first build then it might be best to go with a commercial one, just buy the peck prop the next size up. I'm not putting you off from MCarltons suggestion (which is a perfectly good one), but there is plenty else to learn first time out.

SAMS have all of the sizes....

http://www.samsmodels.com/

Although the bigger prop will get you better duration the smaller prop is more likely to be easier to trim first time out IMO, then you can graduate up to the bigger prop later on.

Which ever you use don't forget to balance the prop, the commercial ones are rarely balanced.

Andrew
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Old Sep 30, 2011, 04:15 AM
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Hi Ian, nice build!

I'd second Phugoid there - nothing wrong with the 6 incher, it will make trimming easier but it just won't get you as long a flight... however that may not bother you at the moment.

If you are flying outdoors and hand-launching I'd be tempted to put a Peck 7 or 8" on it. My first model was a WW Topaz (also 24" span) and if I recall correctly it had a 9" prop, although it wasn't a very good one.

I's also recommend a winder so you can use a 'proper' longer rubber motor... and of course get it lubricated.

Just thinking ahead a little: what tissue did the kit provide? Do you know how you plan to finish it - any particular colour scheme?

Look forward to seeing it in the air!


Jon
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Old Sep 30, 2011, 07:16 AM
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Thanks Andrew & Jon. Andrew, yes you got the reference right!

Andrew, I will wait & see on the prop - lots of building to get done first. Sams Models are not far from where I live.
Jon, how would I know whether the supplied kit rubber is 'proper' or not?
The kit comes with two different colours of tissue, I have no way of knowing whether it is good quality or not, ask me when I have tried to apply it!

Back shortly with an undercarriage pic

Ian
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Old Sep 30, 2011, 07:23 AM
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I just meant the proper length ... the WW rubber should be fine.

It might state how long the motor should be on the plan but with a winder 1.5 to 2 times the length of the fuselage is possible for longer duration.


Jon
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Old Sep 30, 2011, 07:30 AM
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Last night I had my first go at bending piano wire and mounting an undercarriage - I borrowed an idea (from somewhere on the internet maybe on these boards) of fixing undercarriage using thread glued in place around a former.

Here's a picture - wings coming next I think.
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Old Sep 30, 2011, 08:06 AM
Could be?!
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Derby, England
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I've built a few of these west wings models and they tend to come with about one "prop hook to peg length" of rubber (when knotted) -I think they assume you don't have a winder.

I think generally they tend to come with "domestic" tissue, ie not Esaki, It's not too bad, but it doesn't shrink a massive amount, and the wet strength is limited.

The stuff in my kit is two colours. Blue and silver to match the suggested colour scheme, I've always been a bit affraid of silver tissue, as I'm told it can be a bit tricky one way or the other.

Keep up the good work Ian.

Andrew
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