|Mar 16, 2004, 02:44 AM|
Building & flying a 55” EPP P51 Mustang Miss America
A few weeks back, I posted here to see if there was an interest in the CAM range of models (www.combatairmodels.com) and even though a few people posted some answers, there was much less interest than I was expecting.
Whether this is because not many people have an interest in EPP PSS models or these particular models do not appeal to you, I cannot tell.
It appeared that the CAM models are very different to the Leading Edge Gliders or Patton PSS EPP models. They are not some of these High Performance gliders (wing section used is S3021, not as fast as RG15/14…), but this is not the philosophy of Bruno at CAM.
Bruno intends to offer a range that is fun to fly but still looks fairly scale. One deciding factor concerning the wing section is that it had to allow installation of standard servos.
I have seen his models fly and decided to import a few for the guys at my local slope. We now have 2 P51 and 2 Spitfires that should be flying soon. I will have an F5 Tiger soon too.
Quite unusual is the size of the models. They are not 48 inches, they are not 60 inches, they are 55 inches (a deciding factor was the size of the boxes that are available to Bruno).
I am posting here the assembly technique because I can see you guys with LEG or Patton planes spend hours trying to get that perfect scale finish, and even though I admire your work, this is not what EPP models are about to me.
At the slope, we want to use our models for combat too, hence we do not want to paint our models. My P51 will also be very aerobatic by adding a rudder, and I can’t stop thinking about knife-edge when I look at the side area of its fuse.
So this thread is about a simple building technique to obtain a fairly scale (semi-scale I guess) finish and still be able to use the model for combat.
I used the same technique as for EPP flying wings, the only difference being that I used Solartex (a heavy but strong covering) instead of Oracover/Solarfilm and others.
I will also post my impressions about the flying and certainly some airborne shots and videos will follow.
My set up is 4 Futaba S3001 servos (I have had some in my flying wings for 2 years without breaking a gear ever, I even broke twice the servo arm after a hit on my aileron – the control rod is very rigid – and the gears are still fine), a Multiplex Pico 4/5 receiver and a 4 cells pack of HE1100 NiMh. I am also using a switch with harness.
I did a few modifications to the model too: I made the wing removable and fitted a tow hook on the model.
Some of you might still be using the expensive 3M77, but I found a much cheaper alternative that seems to work as well: I tried Spray Glue for In Car bass box (people that make their own bass box use it to stick the carpet to the MDF) and simple Carpet Spray Glue (the latter being the cheapest one at £3.99 for 500ml). And they seem to do the job as well as the 3M77 (£15 in UK,when it was available that is)
Also, I used 5mins epoxy and Silicon (the type used for gluing/fixing fish tanks, which is also the type of silicon recommended to do the hinges on the Aeromod range of moulded gliders) when required. The main reason for using these glues is that I had them available and didn’t know the UK alternative for the Shoe Goo you guys are using in the US.
Here is a picture of what comes in the kit. All I needed to complete the model was Spray Glue (3M77 or similar), 3 (4 in my case) standard servos, a receiver, a receiver pack, a switch harness with charging plug and some Solartex (blue, red and white). I also had to purchase some semi-flexible control rods (Sullivan type) and made a U shape piano wire for the 2 elevator halves (I used 3mm instead of the 2mm advised because I was not happy with the 2mm one).
Shown here is the the P51
|Mar 16, 2004, 02:45 AM|
I started the building with the fuselage. Cutting a band of sandpaper allows you to sand the fuse very easily and still have a nice symmetrical round shape at the end. You only need to move the sandpaper band from side to side whilst holding the fuselage in between your legs. I sanded the fuse to shape, trying to be as close as possible to the full size P51 (thanks to pictures found on http://www.airwar.ru/other/drawe.html). I used 240 grit sandpaper to finish with 600 grit.
|Mar 16, 2004, 02:46 AM|
I then installed the elevator servo with its control rod, and the rudder servo. They were positioned as much forward as possible for balancing purpose. I only positioned the receiver pack after the model was covered to avoid any need for nose lead.
|Mar 16, 2004, 02:47 AM|
At this point, I decided to start working on the wing since I needed to position it before I could glue the tail surfaces.
I glued the spars in their slot, making sure the wing was not wrapped. For this, I spread some silicon in the slot then pushed the pine wood spars in on a perfectly flat table. The 2 halves were then glued together with 5mins epoxy, making sure some dihedral was built-in (the tip of the left wing should be 8cm above the flat surface on which the right wing rests). The wing joiner was then epoxied, and I sanded the wing top and bottom surfaces to remove all the EPP hair, as well as the leading edge in order to round it.
|Mar 16, 2004, 02:50 AM|
I then cut the ailerons slots and sanded a 45 degrees bevel on the ailerons. They were then reinforced with strapping tape.
Time to cut the servo wells. Putting them in front of the spar allowed me to completely burry the standard servo. I then used silicon to fix them into the wing, and routed the servo wires to the root and through the EPP in order to solder the wires to a 6 pin green Multiplex plug that allows me to quickly connect the servos to the receiver. To route the wires, I used a hobby knife with a sharp blade and just pushed the wires in the EPP.
For the removable wing system, I used 2 screws at the front of the wing and 2 at the rear. I know it might be a bit overkill but I wanted to be on the safe side since I will be doing combat.
|Mar 16, 2004, 02:51 AM|
I had to harden the EPP where I intended to locate the screws, so I first enlarged the screws holes with a soldering iron, then filled the hole with epoxy to harden it. I made 4 plywood plates: 2 to be glued in the fuse with 2 nuts on each, and 2 to be glued on the wing’s bottom surface with 2 holes so that the screws rest on a hard surface and apply a constant load on the wing.
I made 2 holes in the fuse for each plate, then epoxied it and positioned the plates with their nuts (nuts were glued to the plates previously).
With the wing in place on the fuse, I then drilled the holes in the epoxy inserts and then glued the supporting plates in place.
|Mar 16, 2004, 02:52 AM|
I decided to cut the P51’s radiator under the wing to fix it to the removable wing (it was in the way of the bolts’nuts), which means that the fixing screws had to go through it. So I glued the rear supporting plate in it after it was glued to the wing (making sure it was inline with the part that remained on the fuse). Because of the length of the screws, I had to position this plate quite deep in the radiator, so I then filled the big hole with EPP and made some smalls holes to allow the screws to fit. I did a similar thing on the front supporting plate, and I am very pleased with the overall finish.
Here is a picture of the radiator after sanding but before being cut.
|Mar 16, 2004, 02:55 AM|
After I worked on the wing, I could also finish working on the fuse, and I glued the tail surfaces making sure they were square and aligned with the wing and the fuse. I used silicon for this operation, after having sanded the Coroplast with 240 grit paper to allow the silicon to hold.
I had to cut some Coroplast to create the hinge on the rudder. I then positioned the horns and cut the semi flexible rods to length.
The switch with charging plug was located at the front and the receiver under the wing saddle, with aerial routed on the sides of the fuse in the EPP
After this, I sprayed the fuse with glue and applied strapping tape in chosen places.
|Mar 16, 2004, 10:03 AM|
the english website has in fact never worked I believe.
Check out the french version, there are mainly pictures anyway so not hard to understand
I have done much more work on the P51 than I posted,I am about to finish the covering job and will post pictures gradually.
You can order the models from Bruno in France or I will be selling them within UK (or anyone else that wants one) for £80.
I can get any model from the range you like but as stated above,I sold all the models I brought back on my last trip (they were preorders if you like).
I really want to fly the models myself to get a good feeling before I stock more.
Glad to see you enjoy the pictures,my goal is not to advertise the models,but show the technique I am using to get a fairly good finish on a PSS and hopefully get more people to fly PSS because I think we don't see enough on our slopes (in fact,I have never seen one).
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