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Old Feb 23, 2013, 09:06 AM
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United States, MD, Adelphi
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First Build- Mountain Models L-4

Hi All,

Just started my first build (and first plane, lol). I knew it was going be tough but wow! Five hours yesterday and all I managed was the fuselage, of course I spent about an hour trying to fix a broken cabin side spar. I never worked with balsa before and didn't realize it was so delicate. If you have any suggestions for repairing these types of breaks I would love to hear them. They arent great pictures but if you notice anything unusual I would appreciate any feedback.

Thank you,

JC
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Old Feb 23, 2013, 11:27 AM
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Hi JC and welcome to the hobby. No one said it was easy, but you'll get a great sense of satisfaction once you're flying something you've built yourself.

Don't worry too much about breaks on smaller models such as this unless they are on parts such as wing spars or other parts that take a lot of load (in which case the whole part should be replaced). You could glue a piece of scrap balsa behind the break to add some extra strength if you're worried about it.

A bit of advice is to work for shorter periods (and hour or two at a time) and have a goal to finish a particular assembly within that time.

Hang in there and good luck. Looking forward to seeing the finished model
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Old Feb 23, 2013, 08:29 PM
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It's a somewhat ambitious first-build, not to mention first plane. It's a Mountain Models kit, so you've got a leg up right there.

Broken bits are usually no big deal, push them back together, check the flatness and alignment, and put a few drops of thin CA over the break. In the worst case, if the part's not too large or complex, cut a replacement from scrap balsa.

Brian's kits are beautifully laser-cut, such that 99% of the work can be done with thin CA. Carefully test-fit and align before you even think about applying the CA, and read the instructions verry carefully, they're usually very clear about when to glue. Quite often you'll fit together a complete sub-assembly with no glue at all.
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Old Feb 23, 2013, 10:19 PM
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DeeBee, Rafe,

Thank you for the feedback, some really helpful comments. Rafe, to your point I am loving Brian's work, even as a first time builder I can tell alot of thought went into this kit. I can definitely see how the kit developer could really make a difference, which is why I chose this model (I did alot of research!). The fuselage is coming together nicely, DeeBee, I took your advice and slowed down a bit and voila, no more breaks. I reinforced that one piece and feel more comfortable with it, so thank you both. Once I have the fuselage together I will post some more pics.

Thanks again,

Jon
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Old Feb 24, 2013, 11:17 AM
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Day three, fuselage is nearly complete. Had some trouble with the rear engine covering , see tape lol. That was a completely bonehead move on my part but I think I can sand it down. Had a little trouble with the gear mount too but it also will be fine. She is level and straight but isnt all that pretty.
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Old Feb 24, 2013, 11:20 AM
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Pics.
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Old Feb 26, 2013, 09:44 AM
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While I am slightly embarassed with my build so far I am not above sharing my humiliation if it prevents others from making the same mistake in the future. So in case some other new builder takes a look at this thread I want to point out a couple of things:

1) Thin CA usually comes with a pipette applicator (I didn't know this and it cost me about .25 oz in weight) Using the straight nozzle is quite difficult as controlling the flow is nearly impossible. The pipette not only reduces the flow but allows you to rest your hand on your work surface which helps to steady your hand.

2) You need about 1/10th the amount of thin CA you think you do. I was pretty heavy handed on the fuselage and it shows in both appearance and weight. This was primarily due to not using the pipette applicator but also due to complete inexperience on my part.

3) Slow down! Young Padawan, you may not have this problem but I am incredibly inpatient. Someone on this thread earlier pointed out that working five hours straight is not a good idea, they were correct. I have noticed improved results by finishing a small section, part, etc. and then letting it sit for awhile to set fully and contemplate my next course of action. It is also a good time to grab a beer and do some laundry (my wife has never been happier, about the laundry anyway).

4) Read your directions thoroughly. I could have saved myself considerable heartache (and time) by doing this.

Those things being said, it has been a blast so far putting this together! Brian's work and the overall fit of the components is excellent. Here a few more pics, the last one showing the feathers on the plane was just to fit and sand the fillets, I didn't glue them down yet ...
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Old Mar 05, 2013, 06:18 AM
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Airframe build complete, covering is going surprisingly well, at least the flat surfaces:-) dreading the fuselage, but ill get through it. Any suggestions on keeping it neat?
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Old Mar 06, 2013, 10:19 AM
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DO your fuse in sections, usally the sides first then the top and bottom, will help in keeping the trim lines straight, and by the way you build is good, and yeah 5 hrs. is a bit of a stretch, I have been doing mine in 1-3 hr lenghts with breaks inbetween for pics, I then set up for the next build session, that way it keeps the rythem going.
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Old Mar 06, 2013, 10:30 AM
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Thanks Hollywood, I am glad I read this as I was hust about to tack on the top first! I will post more pics once I get the covering on.
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Old Mar 06, 2013, 11:16 AM
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I usually try and trim the covering so the edge is on the corner so its not noticeable, or just slightly over the edge.
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Old Mar 09, 2013, 11:47 PM
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Finished covering, incredibly difficult but the final product looks quite good in my inexperienced opinion. Probably should have stuck with a regular cub though as the observation canopy was incredibly tough and I made a few errors. I am considering trying to remove the existing covering and just painting it, perhaps that was what I was supposed to do in the first place, lol any thoughts?
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Old Mar 10, 2013, 10:54 AM
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Paint the wood surface first before you try and remove the covering, did you use a heat gun to cover thighten the covering around the observation area, if you do just be careful not apply too much heat, I think if you paint the wood, the covering will look fine.
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Old Mar 10, 2013, 11:27 AM
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Great idea, I did use a heat gun but only farther down the wing I noticed how quickly it was tightening. I will paint and see how it looks. Thanks for the tip.
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Old Mar 18, 2013, 02:40 PM
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So how is it coming out? any new updates, maiden flight?
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