|Nov 26, 2008, 11:20 PM|
1/4 scale VQ models Cap 10b, no holes barred review and Build log.
After reading some pretty crappy reviews, "read vested interest and free gear= sparkling review, I've decided to take matters into my own hands, This is not an adverstisment for VQ models and everthing going into the plane, I have to buy, which means, this will be as objective as I feel I can be, and hopefully will give others a true description of the following gear, and maybe a few tips on how to build along the way.
I chose to start my story, now.
After the demise a few years ago of my scratchbuilt depron cap 10, I longed, nay, yearned for another, and when I say that VQ models were doing a 120 size CAP 10b (based on the "French Connection" Airshow team) my appetite for a fat scaley had been whet.
I waxed lyrical to my girlfriend about my need for a new plane, and as it was my 30th birthday, she obliged, and bought me one, hoopla! (did I tell you this girl is awesome!?) A week later, we received a phone call, to tell us that our coffin sized box had arrived.
We duely paid our money, even though we got completely stiffed on the price of freight, and received various stories as to why they had to stiff us, all of which I still think is complete and utter crud. But hey, that's a story for another time.
Wedging it into our hatchback, we drove home, and like a kid on christmas morning I opened the box, and removed all the parts, checking for problems, cracks in canopies and that sort of thing. Nada, everything was fine.
Within 20 seconds I had the fuse and wings out and butted it together and proceeded to drool, making airplane noises around the pool table.
Next post, WHATS IN THE BOX!?!?
|Nov 27, 2008, 12:31 AM|
She Looks good!
I'm a finicky builder, (think F3A), and it doesn't take me a lot to get grumpy with aircraft, and for the most part I shy away from ARF's because of 3 things.
Covering: It's either crappy film or poorly applied film, either way, I can't stand a prune for a plane.
Hardware, I mean seriously,some of the things I've seen packaged in ARF's I wouldn't use on a glider, let alone a 90 or 120 sized aircraft. This is the first painful point of any ARF, throwing away the unusable, unsafe plastic crap.
Structure, Wood that's not balsa, or ply, ugh that's enough to make me retch, and poorly glued joints, and use of overly heavy "crap" in planes makes me get furious.
So, I opened the box and took a good look at the covering. I'm pretty pleased to announce that it's all Oracover (or something like it) and everything's done as nice as I could do, A few wrinkes here, but good clean edges and no messy overlaps. Pretty Darn good!
Next, to the inside I opened the top of the CAP, what do I find? Nicely shaped laser cut balsa and ply structure, with a lot of effort gone into it to make a good strong, well glued structure. The firewall makes me cringe a little as the triangle stock in the corners looks like it'd break off if you looked at it funny. That'll need some lovin.
Finally,with much anguish, I opened the hardware pack. What's this? STEEL CLEVISES? Get outta town! All 2-56 (IMO a little feeble for a 1/4 scale aerobat with surfaces the size of DLG wings) but steel and all good. The horns are typical fare, and would be a travesty to put on a scale plane but more than good enugh for 40-60 sized sport planes, so that makes for a happy donation to my girlfriends trainer. The tailwheel is laughable, and will used only give another roller to my foam cutter. The main gear and the wheels though are good enough quality to be wedged straight into the plane....
....and they even supply a pull pull cable setup for the rudder, BRILLIANT!
|Nov 27, 2008, 01:09 AM|
On Closer inspection....
Things aren't all rosy though.
I have to say that While the balsa and ply structure is great, the covering is pretty good, the composite and ABS parts are horrible.
The biggest thing on the CAP 10 is the canopy, and it's a big canopy to pull. Looking at it under the plastic it seemed pretty good, but once out, it showed that the product is pretty bad, it's got lots of dust spots in it and isn't very clear. Hopefully I can do something with it to hide the fact that it's a bit crap.
The cowl looks ok, but only OK, the paint lines are a bit wobbly and the white gelcoat finish is tarnished, making the parts look old. ALso the layup of the cowl is heavy, and seems to be some shoddy looking S-glass. It will probably get a sand down and a respray once the plane is flying, and some more scale detail added to it.
The Pants also are the same crappy glass and also look 50 years old. A respray of these is also in order.
AND! They only gave me one seat! but, I'm not too worried, I wouldn't have those buckets of puss near my plane anyway.
Right, now that I've dispensed with the pleasantries, it's off to play with it!
|Nov 27, 2008, 08:57 PM|
Hmm, not so good after all!
Okay, this may sound a little finnicky to some, but as I said before, near enough isn't good enough (why buy an ARF i hear you scream...)
I finally got to put some bits together last night. The wings are plug in style and the joiner tube is some nice aluminium, I slid the wings on and put in the wing bolts (laughably heavy M5 allen bolts) when i realised they don't line up the the blind nuts in the wing. no problems, a bit of time with a file opened up the hole enough that the bolts screw in nicely.
I then set the wing up to check for incidence. the wings are 0° on both sides, brilliant!. I slip in the tail, which is a loose fit at best (had to be packed from the back side 3/32"! but it too is 0°. Things are looking good. Right, time to line up the tail, I measured from wing tip to stab tip until they were equal, and just as a precaution, measured from the nose to each stab tip. Whuh? They're NOT EQUAL!
It turns out that the wing joiner tube isn't straight, but a bit of shimming and messing around I got the wings as close to square as I could manage. Then Set the tail up, glued it in level with everything else. EXCEPT the fin isn't Square to the wings, OR the tail!
Till next time, servo's ahoy!
|Dec 02, 2008, 11:51 PM|
Well, this isn't as easy as I thought.
There are a few things about the servo setup I don't like about this plane.
One is that the elevators are at the back (I've never seen a real plane with servos hanging out of it) and the ailerons do the same.
If this were a pattern ship or a 3D (I shudder at that thought) aircraft I'd probably live with it. As it stands I'll live with the aileron servos until I can get my hands on some wing mounted digitals. The elevators definetely need to be hidden as anything that silly on the sides will just not cut it. SO! How to get around said issue? I'm going to have to come up with a way of getting the elevator and rudder servos in, and In line, so I don't have a differential problem later in life. Thankfully the throttle and choke (yes, choke!) servos are the proverbial peice of cheesecake.
Aaaaanyway. The time to start wedging servos into the fat cap was nigh, and considering the wings are easy to work on I started there.
All the horns are 3mm threaded rods epoxied into the control surfaces and then fitted with ball raced horn heads, I love these things, and if I could I'd use them everywhere. So bling! The other ends are connected with Dubro Solder Clevises and keeper springs on 4-40 rods. The kit supplies 2-56 and I'm sure it would be enough, but I just sleep better at night using 4-40 on something this size. The Aileron setup is simple. Set you servo arm in the right spot, using a set square, mark where the horn is to go, and drill a measured depth hole, fit your pushrod, and you're done!
|Dec 04, 2008, 05:59 PM|
Don't get caught with your pants down!
While all of the stuff in the fuselage was happening I set out putting the pants on, the top half is acutally ABS plastic vac formed into shape, and the lower half is glass. so lets start with the legs! Anyone who's messed with vac-formed static models will have no problem with any of this.
|Dec 04, 2008, 06:12 PM|
Now as I said before I didn't want to have my elevator servos hanging out in the breeze, so something needed to be done.
In my experience, a little time taken in setting up servos reaps great dividends in having straight, accurate and no slop setups.
THe existing structure allows for a centrally mounted rudder, but no elevator spots, and seeing as the elevator is higher than the rudder point, I'll use the rudder point as the elevator, and make a new rudder point.
|Dec 07, 2008, 05:22 PM|
Rudder and elevator setup
The rudder was setup using the supplied cable, but the 2-56 end connectors dindn't excite me much, so for the rudder horn I managed to find in my parts bins a set of aileron torque rod horns that fit the epoxied 4-40 threaded rod, excellent, the cable was then looped through these, into a crimp connector, and the loose end looped around the connector and back through for a no mess no fuss hookup. A slip on heat shrink over the ends covers up the whole lot for a "finished" look, very similar to the real one.
At the servo end I used ball links with threaded eyelets for adjustment into a decently sized aluminium servo arm. Very bling!
The Elevators are operated using a "Y" style pushrod made from carbon fibre arrowshaft (heavy duty 9gpi) for a solid setup. If I find it flexes too much under load I'll probably put a few pushrod guides in the fuselage, but for now it seems stiff enough. The Y ends were bound on and a 4-40 threaded rod was bound to the servo end with another ball link (I love these things) All in all a very painless process, done over two days while I was sick, and unable to stand for long periods. I use this setup on most planes, from 40 size up to this big bird.
|Dec 07, 2008, 05:29 PM|
Instrument Panel Sillyness.
Okay, so there's not much more I can do until the engine arrives, I've got a 26cc GrPro coming for this thing. So while All that's in the works, it's time to turn our attention to the office.
As it comes in the kit, it's pretty "toyish" looking, with a printed sticker for the Instrument Panel, and while it's kinda accurate, it just looks goofy in my mind.
I found a really good photo of a CAP Dash, and using my CAD program, I fitted all the instruments I could find photos for, (Aircraft spruce is a great resource for this) and printed out two copies of the dash. Why two? Well, we want this to look right don't we?
Grabbing one of the dashes, I punched out all the instrument faces using peices of brass tube, sharpened to a razor edge, then I ran around the inside of each hole with black marker, then applied glue to the entire back side, fitted this to a peice of clear acetate, and then glued the compete dash to the backside. All this work gives the effect of glazed instruments very nicely. If you were to do this on a smaller model, I'd suggest maybe using the clear film from a packet of aspirin or something like that.
Finally, adding a few details like knobs and things, the dash really comes to life!
While I was doing that, I aslo took some time to cut the base of the cockpit hatch to later receive a tub with pilot, and added some canopy rails and sprayed the whole lot matt black lusterkote before finally adding some 800 grit sandpaper the the whole aft area, to look like a velour, or soft material liner.
A BIIIIG change!
|Dec 07, 2008, 05:52 PM|
Oh noes! Disaster!
So, having sorted out my office for now ( the good bit about it being a hatch is I can add my pilot and tub any time), it's time to sort out that greenhouse of a canopy. Most CAP's have tinted glass, and Daniel Heligoin's (french connection remember?) one was no different.
Normally I use Tamiya's clear smoke spray cans to do my tint, but as fate would have it, the can I used, did nothing but spatter the inside of the canopy, much to my horror. (curare shouts $%&@ing tamiya!!!) a quick wipe with thinners proved that this was not going to get better, it just got worse with white stripes in the canopy now. AUUUGHHHHH!!!!!
I'll level with you. I ran away for about 4 hours and had a few beers and considered my options. After much wailing and gnashing of teeth, I grabbed some 800 grit and 1200 grit sandpaper and wet sanded the inside of the canopy until it was mikly. EGADS! I hear you all scream, but wait! There's a light at the end of the tunnel, and it comes in the form of floor polish!
Pledge (in the states known as future) is a polyurethane finish that works well to clear up static model canopies, so I thought, WHY NOT!?!?
I added some india ink to tint the pledge and with a foam brush, smooshed it around the inside of the canopy. it went from milky white to translucent again! I think a few more coats, and some cutting in between I could end up with a nice, clear, tinted canopy! Huzzah!!!
|Dec 10, 2008, 05:45 PM|
Put you pants on!
It's time to fit the one thing that I just love about CAP 10's their pants.
Before we fitted the leg fairings, and now it's time for the pantaloons. These, at the moment aren't very scale as they stop too short, this mainly is due to the moulding process used by VQ, and it couldn't really be fixed short of making them the same way that real CAP's are done, with an inner and outer fairing. Having said that, after some test flights I might go to town on them.
They're a simple bolt on peice, that mounts to the gear leg, all very painless and simple. To support the leg fairings a little better, I filled the gap between the pant and the leg with silicon.
It's starting to look VERY cappish now!
|Dec 10, 2008, 05:57 PM|
The cowl, it needs help!
It really does need some help. the cutout in the front for starters doesn't look right, it's too small and rounded. So out with the dremel to make some changes there, and it didn't take long before it looked right, (the CAP has almost a flat top to the cutout and small radii in the corners, whereas the kit version has an almost oval shape.
The real cowl also is hinged on either side of centeline and is fitted with a pair of hatches. So out with the scribing tool to make the panel lines, which was as painless as can be. The hinges however are a different matter. Using a meat skewer, I rolled it under a blade at 1/2" intervals. probably a bit big for scale but I'm not about to do 50 million cuts. Then the meat skewer was pulled through a hole in some scrap spruce with a sharp blade disecting the skewer. The result? two matching hinge looking things!
A quick hit with some 800 grit sandpaper showed up all the nasties on the black part of the cowl, namely some horrific print through, but it was sanded until everything was nice and matt. Then the hinges fitted, and hit with a couple of coats of Lusterkote matt black. Suddenly the cowl look realistic! Hurrah! ... and all for about an hours hard work.
|Dec 10, 2008, 06:03 PM|
Switches, they need to be hid!
Normally for most of my aircraft, switches are a peice of cake. make sure they're not in a position where they're going to get bumped for the most part, cut out the slot and fit in, easy. On this plane though, it gave me some sleepless nights, they need to be hidden in the fuse, but actuated from outside, virtually unseen. Where to hide them?
The thing I love about this aircraft at the moment is it's almost unnerving ability to swallow hardware without even showing it. So I set about making my switches barely visible. Making a ply holder fitted to the outboard side of the engine box keeps them out of harms way and clean, a hole drilled through the switch grip and a thin peice of wire threaded through the bottom of the fuselage makes them all but dissapear!. If anyone asks though they're part of an antenna array ok?
|Dec 10, 2008, 06:20 PM|
Oh yeah, it needs one of those doesn't it?
Considering the kit doesn't come with a tank I went out and bought one, that's not to say that I don't have drawers full of them, it's just that most are too big (20oz anyone?) or too small (8oz pleh!), I can't abide having massive tanks that get drained by a 1/4 each flight, as you're just carrying around all that fuel for nothing. I have heard cries of "I need it for reserve!", why, are you planning to go cross country or something?
With a quick trip to the LHS I furnished myself with all the neccesary goodies to make the perfect gasser tank.
The list goes as follows.
1 x 12oz dubro tank
1 x gas conversion stoppper
1 x sintered brass clunk
1 x length of super skinny tygon tubing
1 x packet of teensy zip ties.
How does all of this go together?
The gas conversion stopper goes without saying really, but the other bits? Let me explain.
The sintered brass clunk is THE BEST clunk I have found for the price as it will drain your tank to the last drop as they seem to absorb every skerrick of fuel around them. For the price, its the best insurance.
The super skinny tygon is great for clunks (and everything else) as it's very floopy which makes the clunks job of chasing the fuel a lot easier. Also while we're on the subject, make a habit of fitting zip ties to ALL your connections. Tygon expands a little when exposed to petroleum products, so make sure you don't have a clunk fall off because the line has expaned too much. Just treat them as little hose clamps.
Finally the use of a gas fuel filler blocked on the carburettor side is a great way to fill your tank. Just make sure you run a line DIRECTLY from your clunk to your carb, this way you won't have to worry about air leaks or any other silly issues stopping your engine.
Right, Now I think we're set to receive an engine, don't you?
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