P-51A from TF red box kit - Page 2 - RC Groups
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Jan 06, 2013, 09:00 PM
Scale Builder
Originally Posted by GenghizCohen
A note for anyone who, like me, is not so experienced in forming the nose shape of an aircraft the upper section of the nose is squarer than you might think it looks gracefully curved in profile, but when viewed from above it does not taper as much as you might expect, if it did the cylinder banks would not fit inside the skin basically the exhausts stacks are parallel, and just about the widest part of the nose.
You've hit upon one of the most oft repeated innacuracies in Mustang models and scale drawings Genghiz. From just forward of the exhaust stacks clear back to the cockpit area the Mustang fuselage is a constant width. The "pinch" in the nose where it narrows to meet the spinner is even more noticeable in the Merlin powered variants but it's there on the Allison birds too.

Will you be putting airfoiled tail feathers on your bird or sticking with the sheet balsa kit parts?
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Jan 06, 2013, 11:51 PM
Registered User
stuntflyr's Avatar
Whoever drew the plans for the Red Box kits really knew their stuff as far as human nature. They made it as exciting to build as the 60's stuff I built as a child and I feel the same seeing them now.
Jan 07, 2013, 03:49 AM
Cohen the Barbarian
Hi Stuntflyr, I agree with your comments, although in my case I longed to make these sorts of kits in the 70s. I gather that these kits build into great flying aircraft with a little care, and with a bit more effort will look reasonably scale (if viewed from a distance)

The tail will be airfoiled, I am thinking maybe a 1/8th core, ribs and 1/32 sheeting, should be OK strengthwise as I intend to glass the whole bird.
Regarding the nose shape, if it saves someone making a mistake, it was worth commenting on, I was all ready to shave the battery box corners to make a snipey nose, but then looked at the photos and 4 views (thanks again Chad and TLH) and realised it would a: be wrong and b: make a mess of the structure. (Phew)

It was a little milder today and I made some progress.
Jan 07, 2013, 05:46 PM
Cohen the Barbarian

Fuselage tail closed

Got the ends of the fuselage together, checking with Mk I eyeball indicates shes straight and true. Those blessed with Mk II and later may scoff, but the old Mk I is able to detect errors of a couple of thous when used carefully .
Jan 08, 2013, 06:03 AM
Registered User
Gree's Avatar
Looking good. I'll be following along... I like to see scale modifications on kits
Jan 08, 2013, 06:13 AM
Registered User
Ldm's Avatar
G , great job the cowl looks great !!
I am not 100% sure but for some reason I thought Dave Platt was responsible for the Red Box designs .. For some reason on my first kit I remember his name being on the plans (again guessing but for some reason I remember that ) .
I have to open the new one and see whose name is on the plans
Jan 08, 2013, 06:48 AM
Cohen the Barbarian
Hi Gree, enjoy the ride.

Thanks for the kind words LDM, I am pretty pleased with the result so far. Also you are spot on, design Dave Platt, kit engineered by Sid Axelrod.

Tomorrow we are scheduled for a little relief from the heat wave, should be a mere 85 or so, (27 C), then 95 ish on Thursday, before getting back to some serious heat. I hope to get the main hatch and cockpit dashboard area made up while the respite lasts .

Upper nose is rough carved, but needs to be blended into the hatch etc., will post pics tomorrow.
Jan 09, 2013, 02:08 AM
Cohen the Barbarian
Got quite a bit done today, sadly most of it was on other projects.

Formers for the upper cowling etc. have been cut, I am not satisfied with the shape of the middle one and will re do it this evening.

The pilot is on a charge for being out of uniform...
Jan 10, 2013, 02:49 AM
Cohen the Barbarian
Retracts and fibreglassing materials have been ordered, work continues.

The main hatch looks kind of ugly at the moment, but is coming along nicely .

I found a 1/72 kit of an A, although the manufacturer has used the wing sprue from a D. It will give some more information about fuselage shape etc., together with a couple of (I hope) genuine colour schemes.

Looking at the plans , it seems as though the wing for my bird is closer to the D planform too, and the wing chord as a percentage of total length seems too small. I am intending to build as is for the moment, and make a more correct wing later, if the urge strikes me.

Another detail problem is that both the belly and hatch area are currently too straight, easily fixed by adding 1/8 of light balsa, and feathering in all round.

The miscreant in the cockpit turned out not to be the pilot, but a member of the ground crew, sitting there making engine and machine gun noises...
Jan 11, 2013, 02:53 AM
Cohen the Barbarian

A little more progress...

The cowling and hatch are basically complete, with the extra layer for the belly is being moulded ready to be glued on. Total weight of the fuselage, hatch and cowling as it stands is 13 ounces. There is a lot of excess in the cowling. I am guessing to some extent, but hope to have the complete, fitted out fuselage come in at about 1.5 pounds, and a total flying weight of about 5.5-6 pounds.

I have ordered a nice Tru-Turn spinner, opting for the basic international postage (us$12) rather than the international expedited (us$185). I would prefer to buy from a LHS, but the nearest supplier of any kind is 60km away, and the nearest suppliers with a good range are more than 400km away, so I order most stuff online.

I have included a picture indicating the concept of how the main hatch will work. The CF rods will go through the rear 2 hatch formers and into the front cockpit former to locate the hatch. The catch will be mounted on the front 2 formers, and engage with the firewall. It will be operated by inserting a suitable probe through the carburettor air scoop, giving a clean surface. The second catch is simply to show the mechanism.

I have also found a partial solution for the weather conditions, a misting fan. It sprays a mist of water into the draft from the fan, cooling it by about 5 degrees (or almost 10 degrees F).
Jan 11, 2013, 12:08 PM
Registered User
Ldm's Avatar
great job, the lines look excellent !
Jan 11, 2013, 05:30 PM
Registered User
Gree's Avatar
Yeah looking good. I like your handle too...
Jan 11, 2013, 10:02 PM
Cohen the Barbarian

A couple of hours with sanding block and paper

Thanks for the kind words, they really help to keep me going.

Also Hi to all those people who look at this log without commenting, feel free to join in.

Any suggestions etc are always welcome. I tend to follow the techniques I learned scratch building model boats almost 40 years ago, all I claim is that my methods generally work.

Made an early start this morning, the pictures mostly tell the story.

General sequence
Preparation: ink in the exhaust stack locations (wont sand off as easily as pencil) and apply masking tape to the limits of where sanding is to occur (the tape is quite resistant to sanding).
Blend the sides of the cowling to the main fuselage, then blend the various thickness of the belly together.
Shape the front, blending it to the nose block
Shape the rear
Refit cowl to fuselage, sit back and admire improved profile... note to self, chin is still too prominent.

Next step is to do the same to the main hatch.
Jan 12, 2013, 07:56 PM
Cohen the Barbarian

Enter the mummy...

The bird looks pretty ugly at the moment, all wrapped up like a mummy, but once the glue is dry and a bit of sanding done, the whole nose area will be pretty much done, or at least the correct shape.

I have also made a start on the cockpit area.

I am likely to be away from home for a few days in the near future, so there may not be much action for a while...
Jan 17, 2013, 08:15 PM
Cohen the Barbarian

Back on deck... for a day or so.

Okay, back at home, dont talk to me about exes in general, driving 1708.6 km in under 24 hours to pick up a friend whose flight times and destination had to be radically changed at short notice or the sorts of mongrels who think it is okay to hack credit cards to steal money , and will probably blame their victims for causing hardship to their family when they get caught and duly punished.

Got some stuff ready to continue the project, retracts, filler, fibreglass resin and cloth. I will be spending some hours shaping the upper deck and hopefully will post an update this afternoon

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