Guillow's P-40 Kittyhawk Conversion - Page 2 - RC Groups
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Apr 08, 2009, 03:49 PM
Registered User
Lone Ranger's Avatar
Originally Posted by milesperpound
Lone Ranger,
Glad to see you are thinking about the Corsair. I am no expert but always open to new ways of doing things. Start a thread if you decide to build it. The 1000 series seem to be good conversions.
whooo hooo !! Got myself a corsair off ebay. Now I'm gonna be like a kid again waiting for the postman to arrive. May need some help with what to stick up front (only used brushed 480 so far on a couple planes). Will be watching you guys like a hawk


Sorry to butt into your thread but I'm dead excited (second or third childhood kicking in)
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Apr 09, 2009, 02:21 PM
Registered User
Time for a dumb rookie question. How did you line up the second side of fuse formers with the first. The guillows directions I've seen so far don't mention this and what I came up with came out less than perfect.

Really nice job btw, subscribed to both builds.
Apr 09, 2009, 09:36 PM
Registerd Beaver
Smokin' Beaver's Avatar
Originally Posted by skitillz
Time for a dumb rookie question. How did you line up the second side of fuse formers with the first.
Hi skitillz,
Welome to RC Groups!
Thanks for the kind words on the builds too

Mate, the only dumb questions are the ones you don't ask!

I've gotten used to Guillow's builds now & in this instance, I simply cradled the first half in my arm, put the second former half in place & hit it with the thin CA glue. Hold it for a couple of seconds and it's good to go.
When I lay in the side keels, I pull the rib back square if it needs it.

However, because I'm sheeting these ones, looks are not important.
I just sand it with good (new) sandpaper so when I lay the sheet on, I get as much surface contact as I can.

Usually in the instructions, they show a method of laying a small stick or two across the face of the former.
This is actually a good way of doing it too & I used to do it this way til I got the knack of doing it quickly.
This info is sometimes in one of the supplementary sheets in the kit.

Apr 13, 2009, 01:29 PM
Registered User
Thanks Phil. Who would have thought it was that simple. My problem is I'm using Elmer's wood glue instead of CA so it takes a bit to dry. (I read it's lighter and the slower setting time works for me as I'm still learning and it gives me time to position everything just right.)

When you do your sheeting do you roll it slowly as you zap it with CA or do you do water or ammonia or anything to get the curve set before gluing? And one final question I saw in the other thread that you make molds for your canopies, how do you remould them (vacuum forming or the plastic bottle method)?

Thanks again, can't wait to see new progress on these. I've been lurking on here reading tons of threads for a few months to try and pick up a few tips and tricks. Working on a 13 year old 309 kit (Cessna 150), when I get a little bit further along I'll post some pictures.

Last edited by skitillz; Apr 13, 2009 at 01:38 PM.
Apr 22, 2009, 10:53 AM
Registerd Beaver
Smokin' Beaver's Avatar

Progress pics

Hey Chris sorry for missing your post.

"When you do your sheeting do you roll it slowly as you zap it with CA or do you do water or ammonia or anything to get the curve set before gluing?

On the tail sections of small planes like this, I'll soak the aft sections in ammonia/water & shape to the frame.
Forward of that, I ususally use aliphatic glue (Great Planes yellow stuff) for the inner portion & thin CA at the edges of the skin sheet. (Does that make sense?)
The CA at the outer sdges of the skin hold it in place while the yellow glues sets & bridges any gaps.
I have used Gorilla Glue (called Vise glue over here) for the inner portions but found no advantage over yellow glue, yellow is easier cleanup.

I have a home made vacu-former which I use & buy the clear sheet from the LHS. For white Styrene plastic, I get scraps from the local signwriting company.
I've done the bottle shrinking also for certain types of moulds but I mostly like to use the vac-former as I have better control over the job.

I got the wings of the Zero 90% done & whilst tooled up did the Kittyhawks.
These took about 1/3 the time to build as the Zero so we're moving ahead well. I learned a couple of short cuts which were implemented on this build so hence the time savings.

I've put a sort of step by step jobby herre as I had a heap of pics.
May as well post them than let them wallow in the C/: of the PC.

Essentially I've done away with the outer frame of the wing.
This added weight & thickness & is fine if it were covoered only in tissue or film.
Serves no worthwhile purpose on a sheeted wing. Just adds weight & thickness to the TE.

The formers used were F1,F2,F3,F4,F6,F8,F10 & F12.
They were all clipped at the LE by 3mm and a curve sanded into the bottom. Pics on that later.

Bottom skin was cut to the plan view, had the ribs lines & aileron sections marked out.

With the entire skin laid flat, the false LE was glued into place.

Then aileron spars cut & glued into place with thin CA and their riblets & edges glued into place.
All the spars etc are from soft 3mm balsa - dead easy & quick to shape. They carry no structural loads so no need for strong stuff here.

All ribs & the lower main spar are fixed with thin CA.

The spar was set just where I felt it needed to go.
See later post on the ribs cut to match.

Apr 22, 2009, 11:27 AM
Rem The Wasp CV-7 9/15/42
SammyB's Avatar
Riblets are tasty! Thanks for doing this. I have always wanted to do one of these but was put off because of my lack of knowledge in stick building. Looking very nice.
Apr 22, 2009, 11:30 AM
Registerd Beaver
Smokin' Beaver's Avatar

Progress pics

Next was lay the ribs down onto the spar & up against the false LE.

The underside of the ribs was sanded with an upward slope, just by eye.
On the premise that anything better than a flat LE is good.
I shortened each rib by 3mm at the LE so that the rib moved forward to allow the sheeting of the top & bottoms to mate up nicety at the TE later on.
This also gave me a thicker section for the false LE to attach to & rovides for more material there when I want to sand the LE to shape later on.

For the spar slot, I put all the ribs together with their LE all flush and then marked the line.
40mm from LE on F1 & 20mm from LE on F12.
Then the slot was cut with a junior hacksaw.

Note to others here;
Do the port ribs & starb'd ribs in their own lots, doing what I did here gave me the wrong angle on the starb'd set of ribs. I had to re-cut and the slots got a bit sloppy.

I then laid the spar down & pinned the ribs into place. Make sure the rib front edge it firmly in contact with the false LE.
Tilt the F1 former inwards a few degrees to get dihedral later on. I just guessed and it looks fine.
I had to cut a second F1 rib - needs one on each wing. & kit design only provides for 1.

Glue only behind the spar & when that's done slide a small1/16" stick from the kit stock, (or whatever size you need) under the skin at the LE.
This lifts the skin upwards to the contour of the ribs.
Once it's touching the underside of each rib nice & flush & firm - hit it with thin Zap CA, hold it for 10sec & move onto the next one.

Next sand down the top of this false LE til it's flush with the top of the ribs. This is the fixing point for the top sheet later on.
The true LE gets laid along the false one & is flushed off to blend with the skin & then sanded to shape.
This gives a big area for the skin to attach at the leading edge & makes a very strong structure. As strong as any spar.
Once wrapped with Solite, this is really tough.
I've not had one of these wing types break even after cartwheeling the model along the ground.

Anyway more soon...

Apr 22, 2009, 12:15 PM
Registerd Beaver
Smokin' Beaver's Avatar

Progress Pics

Thanks Sammy, hope it's of some use

Last pics for tonight show the aileron control rod.

With this, I just lined it up on top of the spars and marked its position on the top of each rib with an ultra fine sharpie.

Make sure the entry into the aileron is correct, set the first torque rod and on F1, measure the distance from the leading edge to the proposed slot.

Mark this distance onto the other F1 rib on the other wing - so they both end up side by side (otherwise you'll get differential aileron control when you connect the servo horn to it)

The bearing are pretty obvious, just use a free fitting tube over the rod.

The aileron also has a bearing tube.
This has four purposes.
1) Later when you cut away the aileron, you do not want it glued to the rod. this lets it all slide out & away easily.
2) It provides for a stress free mechanical connection that can allow the rod to, if needs be, slide back & forth if the hinge lines are a bit out of the same rotational axis
3) provides a larger surface area of glue contact to the balsa
4)Will not allow the balsa around the contact point to bruise if knocked around in normal use, hanger incidents or flight loads.

Bearing tubes are installed into the notches with the tiniest dabs of Gorilla glue (or Vise glue over here in Oz).
This foams up just a little & grabs the tube, slighly moulding itself round the tube.
Not many glues will stick readily to aluminium for years but this one will forever.
The slots do not have to be super-snug fits as the foam will encompass the bearing and the bearing will sit where it feels happiest.

All good things for a nice free flowing torque rod.

OK - off to bed for me now.

So far my tally on the P-40 is ~16hrs all up.

Apr 22, 2009, 12:20 PM
Registered User
Thanks for the info Phil, going to try sheeting the body that way. I wasn't planning on sheeting the wings mainly cause with my level of skill they'd come out all bendy. I'm taking notes and I think i'll apply your wing method on my next guillows as they look like they belong on a tank (very strong).

Oh I had another question. On planes this size with high wings is it better to put the mass in the fuse closer to the wing or to the LG (servos, batt). Not building ailerons into this first kit and I'm wondering which setup would make it more stable.

Sorry for the million questions with the level of detail in your pictures I should just wait to see how you do all that

Thanks again and good job on these, they'll be ready to maiden in no time at this rate.

Apr 24, 2009, 11:29 AM
Limey Jeff
Jeff Glasser's Avatar
Hi Smokin beaver, great build thread, not the easiest of models to convert, but it can be done. Here is my own conversion of the Stearman, unflown as yet due to our lousey English weather! I hope you'll not need as much lead in the nose of the P.40!

I'll keep watching.

Apr 24, 2009, 01:47 PM
Registered User
Lone Ranger's Avatar


Very nice Jef, that's a lovely looking plane. Now that I have to build ! Make sure you let us know how it flys.
"Right now let me get on ebay and find one of them beauties"
Apr 24, 2009, 05:10 PM
Limey Jeff
Jeff Glasser's Avatar
Thanks Lone Ranger, If you do get a Stearman I'll help if I can, sadly I did'nt take photos' of the build, so it'll be by memory only, and that aint so good these days!

Apr 27, 2009, 11:15 AM
Registerd Beaver
Smokin' Beaver's Avatar

Progress pics

Hi guys,
Sorry again for the delay,

Not sure I understand your question - are you talking about high wing loading on these planes or high wing planes?(eg Cessna etc).

With a high wing monoplane (Cessna type) it makes little difference

With these low wing monoplanes, I haven't noticed any benefit of setting the gear lower or higher in the airframe to be honest.
Having said that, flying fighters is always an 'edge-of-the-seat' rush for me so I forgive myself for missing some of the fine points of trim.

Mate that Stearman is nothing short of awesome!
Incredible detail there, in fact I had to look closely to pick it from a real one. Thanks for posting those. I too am keen to see flight pics.

On to progress,
I haven't had tha camera as active this week but caught some of the main items.

Wings are now skinned & joined.
I'll cut the ailerons out later, just before covering.
The wing fixing bolt hard points are in now.
I elected to fix it using two bolts - one at the front & one at the rear.

I'm not particularly fond of removeable wings but there's not much option without having control horns exposed by using servo's in the wings.

Tonight I got to work cutting the tail feathers out of some soft 3mm balsa.
Doing both planes at once on this section.


Apr 27, 2009, 03:22 PM
Limey Jeff
Jeff Glasser's Avatar
Thanks for the comment on my Stearman Phil.
The weather here is improving, so hopefully she'll fly soon. Keep your fingers crossed for me. What ever happens I'll post pictures on here if you do'nt mind.
Your build blog is fascinating. I love the P.40, I do'nt care that it was out classed, it just looks right.
Here is my old Top-Flight P.40. Please excuse the wrong colour scheme!
Keep up the good work on yours.

Apr 28, 2009, 10:15 AM
Registered User

Stabilizer Incidence

Hi Beaver,

What incidence are you going to set the stabilizer at?


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