Britkit Build Off 2012 - Mercury Mars - Plans Published, see post #90 - Page 4 - RC Groups
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Aug 19, 2012, 07:11 AM
I like real wooden aeroplanes!
Sundancer's Avatar
Just as hot again today, I definitely don't function well above 35 degrees! I managed to get out on the shady west side of the terrace this morning before it got too hot, and finished the doping/ sanding sealing of the fuselage, then added the Balsaloc before the advancing sun chased me back inside. Ali was wandering the garden with her camera, photographing the roses before the afternoon sun frazzles them, so there are pictures!

Not going to complain too much about the weather though, whatever the temperature being here building model aeroplanes surely beats working!!!
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Aug 19, 2012, 10:41 AM
Registered User
Preferred the 'tash ....
Aug 19, 2012, 12:13 PM
I like real wooden aeroplanes!
Sundancer's Avatar
That's ancient history Jim. No chance of it coming back it would be a divorce matter as Ali has a severe aversion to facial hair of any description, and having invested 44 years in training her to appreciate model aeroplanes - and take good airborne photos - I can't risk losing her now!

BTW; re "Walkin' Shoes" - looking at my old MA plans book the other day I noticed that it was one of the two gliders featured as drawings on the cover. Definitely in exalted company as the other glider so featured was Hans Hansen's World Nordic winning "Aurikel"
Last edited by Sundancer; Aug 20, 2012 at 07:29 AM.
Aug 19, 2012, 01:50 PM
Registered User
>it was one of the two gliders featured as drawings on the cover.

Interesting, George - wasn't aware of that.

Present one - reduced to meet NFFS Classic Glider rules - has just been checked out and had a timer service prior to event on Friday .. and one more in September, the sum total of annual usage
Aug 20, 2012, 07:29 AM
I like real wooden aeroplanes!
Sundancer's Avatar
There you go Jim.

Besides Hansen's Aurikel at the bottom Walkin' Shoes is in the company of some other noted designers of the period, Mike Hawkins FW190 above, Bill Morley's Scimitar and Stan Cole's Me109 below.
Aug 20, 2012, 10:05 AM
Registered User
Thanks, George. MA never used that photo for the article and I wish I still had the original negative; probsbly the best pic of the model
Aug 20, 2012, 12:17 PM
I like real wooden aeroplanes!
Sundancer's Avatar
Covered the fuselage in mylar this morning before the temperature got out of hand. I couldn't resist putting the "ghostly" model together for some photos before I started tissue covering. I also weighed it, together with a1300 2S lipo it is 14 ounces/396 grams, so I am probably going to finish up about 16 ounces, an ounce over my tentative target and the same weight as the similar size Tom Tit 2X. The pleasing thing is that my efforts to get the CG far enough back seem to have worked, it looks to be coming out just right.

Jim; would you like a scan of the actual photo from the MA catalogue? It is only 2" square but very clear and shows theb structure very well.
Aug 20, 2012, 12:28 PM
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owlsabie's Avatar
That really is an unusual looking aeroplane! Good stuff
Aug 20, 2012, 01:20 PM
Registered User
Thanks, George but already have it on file here. It was a good clear photo, on 120 film from a Kodak Sterling III (or as it II?), before I went to 35mil. Good camera.
Aug 21, 2012, 07:13 AM
Sic itur ad Astra
sparks59's Avatar
The Mars is coming on well George. I love the skeleton view. I know its going to look even better when you lay the tissue on!
Aug 22, 2012, 11:14 AM
I like real wooden aeroplanes!
Sundancer's Avatar
Well Sparks, we have been experiencing temperatures more appropriate to your neck of the woods for the last week, and I have to say, for the first time ever, I have been having quite a struggle with the covering and finishing stages of a model using mylar and tissue. First problem was that, with temperatures in the upper 30's C, the Balsaloc seemed to be reluctant to "set", in other words the ambient temperature must have been close to that which re-activates it. When things cooled down a bit in the evening it was OK, and the mylar then went on as normal. However, when we were up to 40 the next afternoon, it softened again and started to let go in odd places, resulting in slack mylar. With everything re-stuck down all was well, but then the tissue covering stage also provided problems as the tissue was drying VERY rapidly severely limiting the time for adjusting it prior to applying the thinners. The latter also dried as it left the brush and the whole job is proving quite a challenge, I have had to do several areas twice, and one three times to get an acceptable result.

I am getting there, but I have to say the covering stage of the build which I usually enjoy the most has been a struggle this time and far from enjoyable, and I shall be careful never to attempt mylar/tissue finishing in these sorts of temperatures again. So for where you are, Sparks, I think you are wise to stick with heat shrink films - or do you have similar problems with some of these?
Aug 22, 2012, 12:01 PM
Sic itur ad Astra
sparks59's Avatar
Hey George,
Sorry to hear about your trials and tribulations on the covering job! But you got there in the end!
I don't have anywhere to work outside so the temperature is never an issue during covering as I'm working in the relative comfort of the A/C.

Of course the reverse is true when I'm out flying. The tissue and dope covered surfaces seem to fare very well, not appearing to be affected by heat or humidity to any great extent - although I'm not usually out in the heat of the day. It is often 40+ though.

The litespan type of coverings never seem to be so tight and do tend to go a little more slack if the plane is left in the sun for a while, but it tightens when the temperature returns to 'normal' levels.

Some of the heavier monokote / solarfilm coverings fare a little better, but still goes slack if I leave a model in the parked car for a few hours.

Waiting for the pictures!

Aug 22, 2012, 03:38 PM
The dog ate my clearance
brokenspar's Avatar
Originally Posted by Sundancer
Covered the fuselage in mylar this morning before the temperature got out of hand. I couldn't resist putting the "ghostly" model together for some photos before I started tissue covering.
Coming out great, 'Dancer.

Aug 25, 2012, 01:27 PM
I like real wooden aeroplanes!
Sundancer's Avatar


Well, I finally put the finishing touches to the Mars this afternoon. Final weight with a 1300/2S lipo is 14.3/4 ounces/412 grams, so the complete yellow tissue covering and black tissue trim, 3 coats of dope, cabin glazing and control hook-ups only added 3/4 ounce/16 grams. As my original guesstimated target weight was 15 ounces I am well pleased; actually it might finish up at 15 as the CG is 10 mm in front of the ideal position so it could get the odd 1/4 ounce as tail ballast. However, a bit forward is safe so I'll fly it like this first.

The covering phase was quite protracted, due in part to the high temperatures causing problems as mentioned above and in part to the somewhat tedious job of doping on all that black tissue strip trim and the tissue "shadow" letters. I like the final effect though, it was what I was aiming for and I think it suits the model.

I don't know when I will get to fly it as our very hot weather has come to an end - thankfully, it was too much - and at present (7 pm) we have sun/cloud and a very brisk 15/20 kph wind which is showing no signs of dropping. Sods Law that after a fortnight of calm mornings and evenings with thermal wind in the day it should change on the day that the model is ready to test.

It isn't the prettiest or most elegant model I have ever built, but it was an enjoyable, thoroughly traditional "sticks" build and the structure, apart from revised wing spars and built up tail surfaces in lieu of the sheet ones on the little rubber model, follows the original fairly faithfully. It does have, at least to my eyes, an off-beat charm and has the merit of looking quite different to any other model in my current stable.

So, flying report and photos as soon as the weather co-operates, in the meantime here she is in all her glory.
Aug 25, 2012, 01:34 PM
Registered User
owlsabie's Avatar
Another fantastic build George! The colous scheme looks great Should be a nice slow flyer?
Holding thumbss for improved weather and a successful maiden

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