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Old Apr 26, 2003, 01:33 PM
Forever WTTM Pilot #7
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Daytona Beach, Florida, United States
Joined Aug 2002
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Please post this message and pix again. I'd like to see what you're doing with making your own cowlings.
Thanks,
Buzz
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Old Apr 26, 2003, 01:39 PM
Who Says Penguins Can't Fly?
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I'd like to see the lost info as well.
Note for confused zoners, There was a weird hour one day where all new posts showed up on the parkflier forum, but the content wasn't there. Buzz replied to this thread started by Jim C, and now his post is actually first.
-Michael
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Last edited by aeropenguin; Feb 05, 2004 at 10:06 PM.
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Old Apr 26, 2003, 01:40 PM
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I spend $4 and order a new one......
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Old Apr 26, 2003, 01:42 PM
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Lexington, Kentucky U.S.A.
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It looks like my post vanished in the Twilight "e'Zone" of 4/26

Here it is again...

The inspiration for this project and what a Tiger Moth looks like after free falling into the ground from 80~100 feet! I believe a strut pulled loose folding both wings on one side.
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Old Apr 26, 2003, 01:44 PM
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Step one - Make a form

The first step is to make a form. I used a chunk of balsa and shaped it using contour gage, hobby plane and sand paper.
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Old Apr 26, 2003, 01:47 PM
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Step two - Heat Shrink Plastic

Next I used a 16 oz plastic cup pressing the form into the bottom of the cup and then clamped the cup and form into a vise. The purpose of the vise is to limit the shrinkage of the cup as its heated.
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Old Apr 26, 2003, 01:48 PM
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Here is the cup & form in vise with about 60% of the heat shrinking complete.
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Old Apr 26, 2003, 01:51 PM
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...O.K. this time with the picture.
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Old Apr 26, 2003, 01:55 PM
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Step three - Cut to shape

While heating I keep my hot air gun moving in small circles heating a strip from top to bottom of the form and slowly move around the perimeter of the cup. I take three or four revolutions around the cup to slowly and evenly pull the plastic to the form.

After heating, unclamp the form, trim off the excess cup and use a Dremel to make holes for propeller and air flow.
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Old Apr 26, 2003, 01:58 PM
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Ready to fly again...

Cowling in place as the final repair to put the Moth back up in the sky.
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Old Apr 26, 2003, 02:00 PM
Who Says Penguins Can't Fly?
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Bay Area, California
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AMAZING!
I never knew that those plastic cups can heat shrink like that!

Now, can you tell us how to becom a pro on sanding down cowl replicas? Like, um, YOU!

Wow! Can this be used on clear plastic cups for modling canopies for scratch build projects?

Thanx!
-aeroP
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Old Apr 26, 2003, 02:02 PM
Who Says Penguins Can't Fly?
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Bay Area, California
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oops, I missed your last pic:

1. so, you painted it awterwards, right? It looks like the original!
Is it stronger or weaker than the original?

MAN, your moth looks like NEW!

P.S> how long did the entire proccess take, and how long did just the molding itself take?
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Old Apr 26, 2003, 02:10 PM
Forever WTTM Pilot #7
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What a great idea! I had no idea these cups would heat shrink. So, if I do this with a yellow cup, no painting! Like others have said though.... making the form would stop me. Maybe you could sell them to those of us who despise trying to get two flimsy half cowlings glued together correctly!
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Old Apr 26, 2003, 02:10 PM
an earth bound misfit, I
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Hi Jim, very slick! Terrific job. Thanks for sharing with us.

BC
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Old Apr 26, 2003, 02:36 PM
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aeroP -

Yes, its painted after heat shrink. I spray it with sandable primer, and sand most of the primer off then paint it with the finish color.

Cups work pretty well for deep pieces like a nose cone. The trick is to use a cup as close as possible to your final shape and size to reduce the extra material that you have to move around. Yes, this works works with the clear cups as well. Distortion of the clear material becomes a consideration though. I'd use sheet material for items where a uniform clear finish is needed like a canopy. If you have an unusual shape you can use a variety of bottles found at your local grocery as well.

This really is pretty easy...

Time??? Form took about 20 minutes. Heat shrinking, grinding holes and cutting to final shape less than 10 minutes.

The final shape is stronger than the original. If you overheat the plastic it can turn brittle.


Buzz...

I hear you on the glueing together the half cowlings! This works alot better. Making them for sale? Haha! That would turn my hobby into work!


BC... you bet!
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Last edited by Jim C; Apr 26, 2003 at 03:07 PM.
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