My First Kit Build Contender build - RC Groups
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Jan 27, 2013, 08:43 AM
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Build Log

My First Kit Build Contender build

Ok So ive built a few ARFs both regular size and giant size. So I decided to take the plunge and build a kit. So i searched around and told my gf to get my a Top flite contender for xmas. Well i got it and ordered everything to build it.

I finally have a weekend to start the build. Alot of new stuff and alot a learning involved till i got the hang of things. I had a friend come over and help me build it. We got the rear Stab and elevators built. And we built the ailerons as well. Heres some pics of what we have so far. If anyone has any tips please feel free to share with me, since im a noob
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Jan 27, 2013, 08:46 AM
ARFs Are Me
TomCrump's Avatar
Welcome to the world of building I I hope that you find it a pleasurable experience.

I glued my first sticks together back in the late '50s. I still enjoy the process today.
Jan 27, 2013, 09:43 AM
An itch?. Scratch build.
eflightray's Avatar
I found this thread if it help - Top Flite Contender conversion

It's from the Glow to Electric Conversions forum. (I did notice you started a thread in the - Electric Warbirds forum, so assume it will be electrified).
Jan 27, 2013, 11:47 AM
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yea that and I didnt know where exactly to post this at. Then i found the building thread. But yea i want to make it electric. I read alot on converting it and dont think it will be a big issue to do so. But yea its fun.

I had a little problem with one of the ailerons. I kept getting twist in it. I had to fix it several times to get it straight enough. Im going to start on the wings today.
Jan 27, 2013, 02:52 PM
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gene6029's Avatar
Looks like you are progressing pretty well there. I too want to welcome you to the building part of the hobby. I hope you find it as educational & enjoyable as it is for me. Good luck with the rest of your build......Gene
Jan 27, 2013, 07:39 PM
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Ok built some more today. I started on the wing. That was a little challanging to get everything to line up correctly. Here is a pic of the wing progress. Im at the point to sand and start sheeting.

What do you all use to sand the wing and also how do you glue the sheets together edge to edge to make them look nice and what type of glue do you use ?
Jan 28, 2013, 07:17 AM
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gene6029's Avatar
Chaos, i use a piece of sand paper attached, or folded around a block of wood or metal tee bar to sand with. They are easily home made or bought from places like Tower hobbies. This way you can control what you are sanding easier than just useing sandpaper & your hand. As far as glueing two pieces of balsa together on the edges, one way to do it is lay them down on a flat surface, edge to edge. Next put a piece of masking tape, ( i use the blue low tack ) along the joint to hold them together. Flip it over & open it up like a hinge. Apply your adheasive spareingly onto one side of the joint, then close it back up. Wipe off any excessive glue. You may have to weigh it down until dry. I have used all types of glues & they all work, some better than others, but elmers carpenter glue works fine & cleans up with a damp cloth. Sorry for the long post, but this should get you going....Gene
Jan 28, 2013, 09:27 AM
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no long posts are fine. The more info the better. Yea ive used the elmers carpenters glue before but not sure if that was the best for this application. but good call on the masking tape
Jan 28, 2013, 10:20 AM
Visitor from Reality
I've used a couple of alloy metal rulers - one 36", one 48" - for years for getting straight edges on balsa prior to joining as above. It's rare a balsa sheet has straight edges and a ruler with good old #11 knife is the quickest way I've found to a straight edge.

Favourite glue is 'Titebond II'. I don't bother buying a big bottle - its surprising how little you will use and a large bottle is likely to go 'off' sitting around between projects.

If you are going to electrocute your model, suggest you figure out how to build a battery tray and access hatch into the fuselage real early on - sitting looking at a well night finished 'glow' model and wondering how to get the e-power stuff in there is not good. Another point to address is balance - electric motors are a fair bit lighter than glow lumps. If you end up having to put the battery right up front to achieve the CG, you're pretty much stuck with the size and weight of battery that nails the balance. Use a lighter pack and the CG will head off aft - not good.

Great model, good luck with your electrocution

Jan 28, 2013, 04:41 PM
Leroy G.
Leroy G's Avatar
Good to see another guy take up building, you will learn alot along the way, part of the fun doing it. There are rewards to go along with it like the gleam in your eye when you get it done and take it to the field.

Have a great build then enjoy it Leroy
Jan 29, 2013, 06:56 PM
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yup. once i start on the fuse i will look at battery trays and how to mount the electronics in there. And make sure i build a hatch in there too. Well i ordered the T bar sanding bars. and i went out and got a metal ruler. The T bar's were pretty cheap from tower. How would you guys sculp the trailing edge to make it flowing with the ribs?
Jan 30, 2013, 05:53 AM
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gene6029's Avatar
Chaos, thats where your sanding bars will come in handy. I slide my wing over paralell to the bench edge, then with the sanding bar make long passes from one end of the wing to the other putting pressure on the trailing edge you are trying to taper. Be carefull not to sand any off the ribs them selfs. Try & protect them from getting bumped withthe sanding bar, even if you stretch masking tape across them. That way if you bump a rib with the sand paper it doesnt remove any wood. If you draw a line with a pencile or pen thru the center of the trailing egde, it will allow you to see that you are sanding uniformly. Do one side at a time then flip the wing over & repeate the taper on the other side. Dont sand it to a point, just a taper with a flat back edge that matches your airfoil. I would sand it to the same thickness as the leading edge of the aileron & flap that butts up to it. Also, if you havent removed the tabs attached to the wing ribs, you may want to remove them before sanding the trailing edge or put a strip of wood the full length under the trailing edge to support the pressure of your sanding. Hope this helps....Gene
Last edited by gene6029; Jan 30, 2013 at 06:06 AM.
Jan 30, 2013, 07:44 AM
Registered User
well im sanding the bottom of the wing's trailing edge. The jig tabs are on the top side of the wing and help line up the trailing edge for gluing. And I think think that will require much sanding except to make it smooth. plus in the instructions, it wants you to practically complete the bottom side of the wing then flip the wing over and complete the top side. Im going to work on it tomorrow and make the covering for it. Glue the sheets of balsa together.
Feb 01, 2013, 10:00 PM
Registered User
ok got stuff in from tower some sanding bar's and a razor plane. I got the trailing edge about done. Tell me your guy's thoughts if you like it or not please
Feb 02, 2013, 06:48 AM
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gene6029's Avatar
Very nice job! Looks even & straight. Looking good, keep it up!....Gene

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