Thread Tools
Dec 21, 2014, 06:39 AM
Thread OP

Christine's Ivan Pettigrew Sealand Build Thread

With the help of Mike and David of Wet wings model flying club I was talked into having a go at my first ever scratch built aeroplane having only previously built artf's and a couple of simple scratch built Depron models. The model chosen for this is the Ivan Pettigrew Shorts Seland.
David has forced me into writing a build thread as he feels sure people will be interested in sharing how I did it.

First of all I would like you all to see a photograph of the finished model and a video of part of the maiden flight on a very cold morning in December 2014

My test pilot for the maiden flight was David (how much) Chairman of Wet Wings Model Flying Club.

RC Short Sealand maiden flight 12th December 2014 (3 min 53 sec)

So here goes, the story in pictures of the build, enjoy.....

A picture of the start of the build, it should look familiar to all Ivan Builders

The first fuselage side takes shape

The second side

Joining the two sides over the plan and getting everything square and level.
David suggested I made some 6mm Depron templates cut with a steel square to hold the fuselage sides in perfect alignment while I started adding the cross braces.

Pulling the lower back end in proved difficult, so Mike suggested I saw slots with a razor saw, to ease the bending of the wood which was then reinforced with a thin strip 1/32 ply

The lower formers and keel are added next and it starts to take shape

The depth of the 'V' was increased slightly and the chine was flattened forward of the step by about four inches in other words flattening the curve in an attempt to prevent porpoising. In testing the results are proving to be very positive.

Now the step.

First picture of the step sheeting in place and formation of the Hull taper. The pictures that follow show how the step was" Sharpened" with the application of 1/64" ply, Mikes idea, very effective too! which was blended in to the front section of the 'V'. Then the hull was glass clothed once the side sheeting was in place.

Now for the fuselage upper section.

The nose cone and 'V' take shape, lots and lots of sanding takes place here until the hull shape is perfected.

The next set of pictures show some of the construction and assembly of the Fin, Rudder and Tailplane assembly. Sorry about the pics being slightly out of focus!

The completed fuselage.


I began by cutting out the wing ribs from 1/16" balsa using a template which was cut from1/8" ply so that all the ribs would be perfectly uniform. The wing taper ribs were cut from a jig which was constructed from 6mm depron and two ply end pieces which you can see in the picture below, doing the construction this way ensured that both wing tapers would be exactly the same. The use of these templates was very successful.

Centre section strengthening.

Picture to show the aileron construction detail and finishing.

Once the basic wing was completed the bottom was sheeted in 1/16" balsa so that all the wiring, lighting, aileron servos and motor nacelles could be installed next.

Please keep watching, more updates will follow soon.

Hello everybody and happy new year to all welcome to 2016.

A year has passed us by but now I am ready to continue with this build log. I will continue with the wing build, sheeting the wing and ailerons and showing how I constructed the nacelles.

Here is a pic of the motor firewall before it was installed in the nacelle

A closer look at the nacelle sheeting, I used 3/32 sheet balsa for the planking, after glassing they are quite strong.

Now we will have a look at the cowls, I thought of using blue foam to make the cowls, but after advice from my friends we decided to use the services of Vortex Vac Forming here in the UK.
Here is a pic of the Blue foam cowl, Its Ok but the Vac formed cowls proved to be much better as you will see below.

Please go to hashtag 15 for continuation of my build thread.

Last edited by zatopec; Jan 07, 2016 at 11:58 AM.
Sign up now
to remove ads between posts
Dec 21, 2014, 08:40 AM
Slip the surly bonds...
Sopwith Mike's Avatar
Very neat building zatopec...(any relation to Emil, that great middle-distance runner of the 50s?)
Dec 21, 2014, 08:42 AM
Registered User
Trevorh's Avatar
Excellent - brings it all back to me! I remember fitting temporary diagonal bracing pieces across the fus, just where you have the Depron plates, in order to help keep things square. In the end, there didn't seem to be any point in removing them, so they are still there.

My build thread is tucked away on my website so doesn't show up in RCGroups searches so all the more reason to complete yours here. Keep up the good work!

Dec 21, 2014, 08:50 AM
What could possibly go wrong?
nickchud's Avatar
Super! and very well documented too. Keep the pictures coming.

Dec 21, 2014, 03:32 PM
Slip the surly bonds...
Sopwith Mike's Avatar
As a general comment, and not a criticism, the last picture above shows the planing hull surface as a two-part "V" (to keep the construction simpler than a concave "V" in the real thing. Ivan does the trick in the Catalina.

I found it very useful to put a 3 x 3mm stringer along the break in the V to give some glueing surface for the two sheets, rather than rely on an edge to edge join.
Dec 21, 2014, 04:31 PM
Subscribed, this is my next build so looking for all the tips I can get
Dec 24, 2014, 05:56 AM
Thread OP
Thanks everyone for your interest so far. The Christmas holiday will interrupt my ramblings for a few days, but I will resume as soon as I can. Do keep checking for further posts.

Dec 24, 2014, 07:21 AM
Registered User
balticS2's Avatar
That would have been a very classy maiden in any circumstances, but with water thrown in, wow! Nice job on the camera too. Looking forward to more.

Dec 24, 2014, 07:45 AM
Oh no, not again!
jhspring's Avatar
That was a terrific maiden, congrats!. Very impressed with how smooth your landing an t/o were. You really have a winner on your hands. Looking forward to the next installment.

Dec 24, 2014, 09:16 AM
CH Spring
Very nice!

Well done!

Dec 24, 2014, 01:47 PM
Registered User
pmdevlin's Avatar
this was Christine's first scratch build, having seen the plane on the maiden first hand, its an absolute beauty, with impeccable water and air manners.

It has differential throttle than can be seen at the start of the video, that is turned off when in flight. Sorry to jump in Chris, couldn't resist sharing my pleasure, congratulations, having only passed your "a" solo test earlier this year, and 12 months ago still on a buddy lead, you have come a very long way!
Dec 30, 2014, 11:10 AM
Registered User
how much's Avatar
The "Twins" this morning!

Yes I know there are three twins?

We don't let zero degrees ruin a wind free morning at wet wings mfc

Dec 30, 2014, 01:00 PM
Gravity sucks.
mrittinger's Avatar
Very nice job, better than my first scratch build!
Jan 01, 2015, 01:19 PM
Registered User
how much's Avatar

Thanks for sharing all the little hints and tips that helped you along with your build.. Some of us just take for granted how we do things without having to think about it..
Build blogs like this genuinely help to share the knowledge with those that don't know how and will help give them the courage to have a go themselves

Keep up the good work

Jan 10, 2015, 07:19 AM
Thread OP

Christine's Ivan Pettigrew Sealand build thread

I have updated my build thread, Please see hashtag1 for original thread.


The floats were carved from blue foam rather than being build up as on the plan, its a lot easier to make something out of foam rather than taking a long time to make the built up version!

After I had flown the model I decided to shorten the float struts by 5/8" and to angle the floats upwards at the front by approx 5 degrees, because there was a tendency for the floats to dig into the water on landing. the alteration was a success.

Covering and graphics:

The graphics were supplied by Callies Graphics.

Just a few pictures of the graphics fitting. The whole model was covered in Oracover from Hobbyking and the orange yellow and white trim is Solartrim.

Just a couple of pics of the radio installation and battery tray.

And Finally!

Ivan Pettigrew's Version, Shorts Sealand in flight at Carr Mill St Helens, North West England UK, our water
flying location.

Thanks for following this build log , I hope you have all found it interesting.

Christine (Zapotec)
Last edited by zatopec; Jan 07, 2016 at 10:59 AM.

Quick Reply

Thread Tools