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Apr 17, 2019, 01:00 PM
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Build Log

Dave Platt 1/5 Scale Bf-109


Hi All. After having done my first composite scratch build jet, I started getting into Warbirds and made the switch from electric to gas as well. One of the frustrations about getting these ARF's, is they usually end up getting discontinued after a short production run and the parts end up being more and more difficult to find if you should happen to need them. Also, the ARF kits that seem to be available are kits that sell well, obviously, like the P-51D or P-47. Furthermore, I can only find one 60 size BF-109 arf from Seagull Models, and all the others are mainly giant scale and cost an arm and a leg...or how about more than I feel like spending at any rate. So, I opted to try my hand at building from plans. I felt like that if I went this route, if I needed parts, I could re-build from the plans if needed. Plus, I am a modeler and builder at heart anyway. So, I chose the Dave Platt 109 kit which I ordered from BelAir kit cutters. Great work and I received the kit with in about a week of my ordering it. I actually started the kit at the end of November and had been steadily working on it since then, but have gotten side tracked a number of times by other things. Look! A squirrel!
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Apr 17, 2019, 01:02 PM
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I started out with building the fuse first, at least up to a certain point. The fuse itself is rather large and so are the plans. I have a large table I built to cut foam wings, but it's doubling as sturdy build table as well. I didn't start off thinking I would do a build log, so I don't have pics from the very start. Here the plans for the fuse are laid out and I've made some good progress. Oh..and never enough Levels..
Last edited by erospawn; Apr 17, 2019 at 01:10 PM.
Apr 17, 2019, 01:12 PM
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Some more pics. I hate sheeting/planking. Cans of latex molding material, C-clamps, tools and other odds and ends often end up as tools for weight or keeping things aligned
Apr 17, 2019, 01:18 PM
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I decided I wanted to make a full cowl so in order to make that happen, I used foam to fill the forward section of the nose. I then used my homemade hot wire foam cutter to shape the nose. The idea here is to complete the fuse, glassed, primed and sanded, then make a fiber glass cowl. Once I made the cowl, I would just cut the foam stuff off and then make an engine mount. It also occurred to me that if I wanted to make an accurate cowl, with a couple of panel lines and details, I would need to make a mold first, then make the cowl from that mold. I'm still not certain where I want to go with that just yet. The logic is, if I am going to go that far with the cowl, and as there are a couple panels I also need to make, what's to keep me from just making a mold of the entire fuse? Not much.. I would detail out the fuse with panel lines and access doors panel lines etc.. before doing so though.
Last edited by erospawn; Apr 17, 2019 at 01:26 PM.
Apr 17, 2019, 01:32 PM
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Speaking of hard to find kits or parts.. My H9 Bf-109.. I had two of them.. One went down because of a bad rx battery and one, which was electric, had the battery get disconnected, all my fault, and down it went... The fuse, with minor damage was all that made it on the first one and the wings with no damage, were all that was left of the second one.. So, since I couldn't find a replacement or parts, I Frankensteined the two together and went with a gas engine.. The result was this one..Great flying plane.. a good challenge on take and landings....I was getting pretty good on both.. Unfortunately, I lost this one recently because I took off with a partially open or closed choke depending on how you look at it. It lacked the power on take off, got airborne, dropped a wing and nose itself into the ground... This time, nothing left that I wanted to take the time to fix anyway.

Basically, I was distracted during my start procedure. I had to choke twice for some reason and on the second try to start it, I must have only pulled the choke open partially. Either way, it ran and sounded like it was ok.. Went to take off... no power. I really like that plane and it was just cool looking..
Last edited by erospawn; Apr 17, 2019 at 01:39 PM.
Apr 17, 2019, 03:00 PM
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After skinning the fuse, I started working on the tail section.
Apr 17, 2019, 03:06 PM
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The fun begins.. Its seems to me the wings are always more complex to do for some reason.. But they aren't any more complicated than the fuse is I guess. The plans only show main flaps, but I always like the split flaps. After a bit of research, I saw what those split flaps were for and how they worked, however, I opted not to go through that much detail and just do the basic flap design. I saw someone else's build plans and modified them appropriately to include the split flaps. Although, they weren't that hard to make and could have been more of an Ad-hoc addition without having to modify the plans to incorporate them...but it helped. I also learned that it is critical to check wing incidence while putting the wings together . Also, making sure the dihedral is correct as well.. Not exacting tools, but a tape role under each wing half kept the dihedral correct..
Last edited by erospawn; Apr 17, 2019 at 03:14 PM.
Apr 19, 2019, 10:41 AM
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Sheeting the wings and working out wing incidence to make sure all is good with the wing saddle on the fuse. I like to re-enforce the area above where the gear would go in order to minimize damage in case the gear get ripped out...which is somewhat a common occurrence on these war birds..
Apr 19, 2019, 10:33 PM
Play that funky music right
kenh3497's Avatar
Looking mighty fine!

Ken
Apr 21, 2019, 08:01 AM
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I'll be keeping an eye on this build. Your initial post was like reading my own thoughts. I have a Top Flite P40 kit I bought years ago, but haven't started it yet. I built Guillow's kits as a kid, and a couple of rc trainers back in the late 80s, but never anything as in depth as a gas warbird.

The ARF market is slim and repetitive, like you said. The main issue I have with kits is time. I don't have much of it, and that's the most disheartening thing about a crash (for me). I think I will try the P40 and see if the building bug bites me.
Apr 21, 2019, 10:10 AM
Play that funky music right
kenh3497's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by HillbillyJones
I'll be keeping an eye on this build. Your initial post was like reading my own thoughts. I have a Top Flite P40 kit I bought years ago, but haven't started it yet. I built Guillow's kits as a kid, and a couple of rc trainers back in the late 80s, but never anything as in depth as a gas warbird.

The ARF market is slim and repetitive, like you said. The main issue I have with kits is time. I don't have much of it, and that's the most disheartening thing about a crash (for me). I think I will try the P40 and see if the building bug bites me.
Could you squeak out 10 minutes a day. That will get a couple parts glued together every day. Progress would be slow but steady. Steady wins the race!

Ken
Apr 23, 2019, 10:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HillbillyJones
I'll be keeping an eye on this build. Your initial post was like reading my own thoughts. I have a Top Flite P40 kit I bought years ago, but haven't started it yet. I built Guillow's kits as a kid, and a couple of rc trainers back in the late 80s, but never anything as in depth as a gas warbird.

The ARF market is slim and repetitive, like you said. The main issue I have with kits is time. I don't have much of it, and that's the most disheartening thing about a crash (for me). I think I will try the P40 and see if the building bug bites me.
I have two little girls. I work full time, sometimes on the weekends too. I get home from work, go for a run and then cook dinner for the family. After I get all that done, I head out to the garage and spend a couple hours building and then go to bed..wake up and do it all again. My problem is I can't sit still for very long..I have to keep my hands busy.
Apr 23, 2019, 10:21 AM
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So, starting to finish out the wings here. Wings tips glued on and sanded. I also worked on the split flaps. The modifications I made seem to work out nicely here. In the final pic, I glassed the wings using 3/4 Oz glass. Considering it was cold in the garage I decided to bring it into the office where it was warmer, to cure over night.
Apr 23, 2019, 10:27 AM
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Well, the first image seems out of context.. but, these are the retracts are got from Shindin machine..huge for sure.. At any rate, I'm, prepping the fuse for glassing next. Basically, filling in depressions and sanding to a smooth finish before sanding.
Apr 23, 2019, 10:33 AM
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The wing finished curing and I've cleaned it up and am continuing to finish it out. I'm working out the logistics of how the gear are going to go in. The retracts themselves are a bit larger than the opening for them to fit in, so I'm working out how the gear rails will fit and what modifications I'll need to make in order for the retracts to fit snugly..


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