#45 Modle Airplane Building Clinic >> Stevens Aero FullHouse << - RC Groups
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Oct 01, 2012, 03:17 PM
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Build Log

#45 Modle Airplane Building Clinic >> Stevens Aero FullHouse <<

Hidey ho good people. Welcome to my first foray into turning a box of sticks into something that will fly. I will be building the FullHouse from Stevens Aero. This build log is a part of Murocflyer's Model Airplane Building Clinic. Link here: https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show....php?t=1691768

Here is a link to the kit: http://www.stevensaero.com/StevensAe...t-p-20591.html

How did I get here? Well... a long time ago ... ok it was the late 80's not really that long ago. I tried to start the R/C hobby with a Duraplane trainer .40. If you don't remember these, they were basically a square pvc tube with foam wings and a .40-size motor bolted onto the front. Even with the help of the local r/c club I never managed to solo the blasted thing. Then life happened, and I told myself that someday I would try again.

Earlier this summer, I finished a move and found myself with a nice, new, empty workshop and loads of unused storage space. Determined to do things right this time, I picked up a simulater (RF-6), and then discovered the ultra-micro foam rtfs. I fell in love with the little things and now have several (Nieuport bipe, T-28, P-51D). But for my first bigger plane I wanted to use my new, empty workshop to build from a kit.

My initial short-list was what I knew from years ago: Sig Kadet Sr./Seniorita, LT-40, Telemaster, and PT-40. But I have always liked finding niche products, so the old standbys weren't too appealing. Then I began googling and ran across some smaller builders and my list expanded some.

For this build I set the following goals:

1. Relatively simple kit to build even for a first-timer
2. High wing 4-channel trainer
3. An off-the-beaten-path design

The Stevens FullHouse seems to fit that bill quite nicely. Plus it looks ideal for adding floats.

I've prepared my work area, and verified I have the supplies I need as per the kit's instructions. As of now, my flat building board is a 2'x4' ceiling tile set flat on my worktable. One more trip to stock up on sandpaper and #11 blades and I should be all set to go when the kit arrives. In the mean time I've looked over the building instructions. There are a few spots that are giving me the willies. But otherwise they seem very clear, consise, and easy to follow. My initial concerns are:
- all of the sanding-to-shape areas; especially the cowl.
- And of course the first-timer fear of covering the model at the end.

I'm a little behind the schedule for the build clinic, but the kit is now ordered and I am heading out to the driveway to hold my breath until it gets here ... in 5-7 days.
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Oct 01, 2012, 03:25 PM
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Mr_McGlue's Avatar
Story is similar to mine. Last tried flying in the 80's etc. Son got me back into it.

Good luck looks like a fun plane!

Oct 01, 2012, 11:55 PM
Master of the 1 point landing
ckimmey's Avatar
Hey, join the club. My last plane in the 80's was a Hots- the single pice one designed for a .19-.25 (and I put a .40 in it). I got the P-51D and Albatros micros and hated them. I have been flying again for the past month or so and have hours on a very simple 1oz balsa "Finch". If you ever crash the P-51 beyond repair, take the electronics and build one- the plans are here: http://www.indoorflyingmodel.com/FinchFreePlans.html
Fun flyer even in a light breeze. Flies heavier than 1.0 oz

Welcome back
Oct 08, 2012, 02:06 AM
Promoting Model Aviation...
Murocflyer's Avatar
That plane ain't built yet?

Oct 08, 2012, 11:44 AM
Registered User

I was away this weekend, and returned last night to find the package waiting for me. No pictures yet. I haven't done more than set up my workshop and inventory the box.

Updates are on the way, I promise.

Of course I have in-laws inbound this Friday. :/
Oct 08, 2012, 07:37 PM
Registered User
Hidey Ho Good People. We're off!!

Now before I begin, lets all keep in mind that the last time I built something out of wood was in 8th grade - 1983. I got a "D".

With that firmly planted in all our minds, here is today's progress:

Determined to not make any major mistakes I am trying to follow the instructions to the letter. I unpacked and sorted all the wood sheets. While doing so I lightly sanded the backs as instructed to remove any residue.

And on to step 1! Now there weren't any instructions for removing the parts from their sheets. I am gently freeing them with my trusty #11 hobby knife. For the most part the laser cutting has been very good. There were a few spots of hard wood though that weren't cut all the way through. They took a little more effort but came out without any damage.

The parts didn't quite fit together. A little sanding was needed to avoid forcing them.

Then comes step 3.... and my first question. The part in question had four circles printed on it but not laser cut at all (pictured below). The picture in the manual shows them cut out. I'm assuming I'll need to open those up. What is the best way to open larger circles? Or can I leave them like they are?

I haven't gone much farther until this is sorted. I dry fit the various formers and assembled the fuselage sides. But haven't ca'd yet.
Oct 08, 2012, 08:38 PM
Look out below
mcnowhere's Avatar
Best of luck! I don't think they would not laser cut for a reason. That almost looks like dashboard.
Oct 08, 2012, 09:33 PM
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fleaz's Avatar
The part in question is the instrument panel. The circles are purely decoration and don't need to be cut out.

What parts didn't fit?
Oct 08, 2012, 10:58 PM
Promoting Model Aviation...
Murocflyer's Avatar
There were a few spots of hard wood though that weren't cut all the way through.
You will see that with all laser cut kits. Some of the balsa is denser than other pieces and sometimes the laser does not cut all the way through in some sections.

Oct 09, 2012, 07:22 AM
Registered User
That's good to know. I'll just leave them there then and plow ahead.

When I said "didn't fit" it was more to focus on not forcing them together. The central crutch (f1a & b) was a little thick. So the tabs didn't fit into the side rails. It's something that anyone experienced wouldn't think twice about, and in fact the instructions are very good about explaining it. I mentioned it more to focus on "see, I'm not forcing parts together!". A little sanding and everything is nice and snug.
Oct 09, 2012, 11:17 AM
Promoting Model Aviation...
Murocflyer's Avatar
If it is a hard fit, I usually pinch the balsa tabs a little bit between my fingers which reduces the thickness of the tabs and allows it to slide in the slot easier. Does that make sense?

Oct 09, 2012, 11:22 AM
Registered User
fleaz's Avatar
That's what we recommend in the instructions. The thickness of the wood can vary quite a bit coming from the mill, which is something we have no controller over.

Oct 09, 2012, 11:34 AM
Promoting Model Aviation...
Murocflyer's Avatar

I hope you don't mind, but I'd like to mention why your build thread is in the Beginner Training Area of RCG for those that may not know what a Stevens Aero FullHouse airplane is.

The answer is simple. The FullHouse is a beginner airplane from design. It is easy to build and easy to fly. Since the OP is a newbie at building airplanes, this is a fantastic test and will be great to see how the build goes. I am forecasting that he will have some trouble along the way and some questions throughout the build, but that is not uncommon for anything new that we take on. Shoot, learning to fly was challenging enough and we all stuck with it. I am happy to see the OP share this build with us and I look forward to its completion and successful maiden.

From the website :

Overflowing with vintage charm, this modern four channel kit, by Stevens AeroModel, sports a wide flight envelope, affordable electric power system (SA Sport BL450), and optional float set to produce a versatile flying partner for student, intermediate, and experienced modelers alike.

From your first student flights to entry level aerobatics, pilots of all skill levels will appreciate the inherent stability offered by this high wing cabin design. Rank beginners and low airtime pilots will additionally benefit from the shock absorbing landing gear, durable airframe, and light wing loading, the hallmark of a superbly engineered primary trainer. Intermediate pilots will find the Full House (500) to grow their developing skill set and ideal for impromptu thermal hounding, entry-level sport aerobatics, and epic sorties at the local watering hole.

The Full House (500) kit features a beginner friendly build that is satisfying enough to wow even the most seasoned of modelers. Designed and manufactured in the USA using industry leading construction methods and innovative laser cutting techniques, Stevens AeroModel hand selects only the highest quality AAA balsa and hard woods from select state-side mills. To ensure builder success the thoughtful design and materials selection is backed by a thorough step-by-step photo illustrated instruction set, clear drawings, and comprehensive top-shelf hardware package. StevensAero.com cordially invites you to experience the satisfaction and improved flight performance that is only achieved through building your very own Full House (500).

Kit includes:
Photo illustrated step-by-step assembly manual.
100% laser cut balsa and hardwood parts from AAA hand selected wood.
Pre-formed shock mounted landing gear.
Magnetic battery hatch release.
Hardware including push-rods, control horns, connectors, rubber bands, tail skid, and one pair of 3.0 in. Dave Brown Lite Wheels.
Oct 09, 2012, 08:13 PM
Registered User
Hidey Ho Good People. Whew today's progress!

I'm up to step #31: Sand the block in the closeup picture below to match the curve of the fuselage walls. Yippee. But that means that the upper half of the fuselage is complete. Next I sand, and build the bottom half of the fuse. The instructions say to carve the larger portions of the block to a rough shape first. The last time I tried whittling, I ended up in the emergency room getting 6 stitches. I still have the scar to prove it.

For the most part today went smoothly. I did manage to snap a couple parts, but a little ca fixed everything. I should really be more careful! I'm still probably using too much CA. The thin ca comes out quite quickly. I think it is going to take a little practice to better control the amount.

The most annoying part today involved bending the fuselage side sheeting. I moistened the surface with windex, and gently bent the balsa sheets to shape. That all worked very well. But then my blasted tape wouldn't hold to the wood! Grrrrr. In the end, I finally figured out that the tape would stick to itself just fine. So I wrapped the tape completely around to hold it while it dried. The embarrassing thing is how long it took me to figure it out. So what is the secret of holding sheet balsa to form while it dries?

I'm finding the build to be quite enjoyable. I suppose it helps to laugh at yourself from time to time.

@Frank: I probably should have mentioned why I'm posting here first. Thanks for covering for me.

@Mark: And thank you for looking over my virtual shoulder. I really do like this kit. If I whine about something don't take it as a slight on the kit. It is probably just me being a noob about working with balsa.
Oct 09, 2012, 08:33 PM
Registered User
fleaz's Avatar
I'm eager for input, especially from a beginner. We try to make most of our designs suitable for newbies, yet enjoyable for the experienced builder as well. Observations from your experience will help in future designs.

The secret to the tape thing: Each end of the tape needs to be attached to a dry portion of the frame, or just wrap it all the way around as you did.

Glue: It takes time to learn how to efficiently apply CA. Even I tend to apply more than I need.

Discovery of the week: Parchment paper! Lay a piece over the plans when you build the tail surfaces... better than wax paper or the poly bag your kit was shipped with.


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