SE5a Full Fuselage 3D Maiden report - Page 2 - RC Groups
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Jun 24, 2007, 06:56 PM
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kdahlhaus's Avatar

Please do. I've followed your DR-1 and hope to build one of these larger biplanes this summer.
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Jun 24, 2007, 08:04 PM
building building building!
aerophilia's Avatar
Originally Posted by Nigelp
Hi Guys,

If anyone is interested I have enough pictures to turn this into a build thread - I know Peter is interested - LOL 'cos I did a few bits umm - 'slightly differently' !

Happy landings (& hopefully not deadstick !!!!)


Yes Please!!!
Jun 24, 2007, 10:29 PM
Suspended Account
badaltitude's Avatar
That's a beautiful SE5.

I'm in awe of the finish...hope you get the esc issue worked out.

Count my vote for the build thread!
Jun 25, 2007, 03:06 AM
Brit in Bahrain
Nigelp's Avatar
Start by cutting the templates and gluing to cardboard - or your favourite material.....I used 3M 77 spray glue. Effective but messy !

Attach templates to foam (I use 1/2" wide double sided tape) Don't use carpet tape or you will never get the template off !

Start cutting & cutting & cutting.....(I might be tempted to shortcut this process if I could find some blocks of foam that I could cut to the overall size of the fuz core.)

You will notice a few changes....

1. I changed the cutouts in the 3mm side pieces for the rear cabine struts to allow for a sweep back - same angle as the wing struts. (I actually filled these holes in later with bits of scrap foam, after I had glued the fuz together..the 'holes' proved to be usefull position markers but I was going for 'splayed out' cabine struts rather than Peter's vertical struts - hence the mod.) - (same applies to the 'cut outs' in the fuz for the plywood cross pieces for the flying wires - of which, more later) - if you cut the slots out out - leave them, it's not a problem.

2. Slightly changed the shape & size of a couple of lightening holes - but on reflection - it doesn't make any difference.

I glued the fuz layers together with 3M 77 - again messy ! You could use almost any kind of glue for this - just make sure everything is lined up, straight and at right angles.

In Peter's drawings he used an outrunner which was 'front mounted' so the bulkhead was the 'face plate' outrunner (Komodo 283 v2) was rear mounted onto an engine mount - so I did some measuring and positioned my engine bulkhead as per the pictures.
Last edited by Nigelp; Jun 25, 2007 at 01:55 PM.
Jun 25, 2007, 03:15 AM
building building building!
aerophilia's Avatar
You Beauty! This is excellent. Thanks Nigel.
Jun 25, 2007, 05:19 AM
Brit in Bahrain
Nigelp's Avatar
Next step.....

You will notice that I didn’t cut the slot for the undercarriage – as per Peter’s plans. (more on that later) but if you have already cut the slot – no problem – you can either use it as is or fill it later.

After a trial fit of the motor – (don’t forget about 2 degrees right thrust) I glued the sides on. Again, make sure that everything is square and lined up. I found it was a good idea to mark out the battery and receiver hatches before I glued the sides.

Regarding cooling airflow over the ESC – I have decided to cut a square inlet hole in the front – right above the motor, running through to the battery hatch – won’t show much once it is painted green ! Trouble is – putting the hole through means, in my case, going through the upper part of the engine bulkhead – which is buried in the fuz - retroactively !!!!!!!!!! It’s a pita, however, the inlet, plus a large circular air outlet in the bottom of the fuz just aft of the receiver hatch should give a good throughput of air (once it is painted will attach a couple of photies.) If you are building – now might be a good time to do it !

Once the sides are on it is time to mark out the vertical tailplane cutouts – you need to be accurate here (measure twice – cut once…LOL) ask me how I know this …..?

Now on to sanding the shape of the fuz. With the benefit of hindsight here (we all have 20/20 hindsight !!!!!) With a bit of adjustment to the outer fuselage pieces at the cutout stage I could have re-jigged them slightly to give myself more ‘meat’ to sand on the top edges which would have allowed me to curve the topsides a bit more to make it a bit less 'boxlike' – however………I didn’t think of that until it was too late !
Last edited by Nigelp; Jun 25, 2007 at 09:02 AM.
Jun 25, 2007, 07:37 AM
Team FlightPower AUS
pmjass's Avatar
Build photos look great Nigel.

Jun 25, 2007, 10:32 AM
Brit in Bahrain
Nigelp's Avatar
Thanks Peter,

Next part of the build log:

At this point I decided to paint the fuz. I already knew which scheme I was going to use (the ‘Fiddler Green one) so I printed out blanks of the marking shapes (actually very slightly smaller than the ‘real ones’ I was going to use) glued them on with a glue stick and started painting.

I used a ‘rattle can’ filled with green water based acrylic paint but on reflection – artists acrylic (water based) and a foam brush would have been just as good and maybe even better – since you can bet that the full sized version wasn’t spray painted ! (coloured dope ?) Only thing I would say here is TEST the paint on a bit of scrap foam before you start dissolving your model !!!!!!!!

The ‘Maybe’ was added on either side after painting, with a very small brush and lots of - ‘tongue hanging out of one side of the mouth’ ! Same with the cylinder heads – although they were a lot easier! (as a point of interest – I didn’t mark the positions of the cylinder heads before gluing them on – just eyeballed them. Of course Murphy’s law intervened (!) and if you look at a head on shot of the model – one cylinder head is slightly higher than the other – so measure and mark is a good idea!

For the exhaust pipes – I wanted something round and light…..drinking straws ! (You need to be aware of the tops of the hatches and make sure that the exhaust pipes are fitted with sufficient clearance. Painted them up and made some tiny balsa / cardboard brackets to attach them to the fuz sides. (I didn’t bother with the exhaust manifolds but I recon that smaller diameter straws would have worked fine.)

After painting the fuz I just printed out the markings on my inkjet printer, cut them out (carefully !) – and glued them on (3M 77 of course !)

To cut out the battery and receiver hatches I used a steel rule and a very sharp knife (I use a surgical scalpel) The edges are cut at an angle of 45 degrees in towards the centre (learned that one from Gene Bond on this forum – thanks Gene!) it works very well indeed. To fit the hatches I glued a 1/32” ply tongue on the leading edges and used a pair of very small rare earth magnets (one set into the cover and the other into a small vertical piece of foam fitted on the inside of the fuselage. Obviously, had to fit small ply ‘handles’ to open the hatches (believe me – there was no way they were going to open on their own !!!!) but they are not obvious. After fitting the hatches I just did a small paint ‘touch – up’ to make sure that no white showed.

The cockpit coaming was just crying out for some kind of covering – my wife found some scrap leatherette (upholstery shop – free !) Gluing it was a total pita and if I do it again I will simply make a tube of it and then stick it on top. Having said that – I am quite pleased with the results – definitely better than a bare area (even though it is a “stand off 10 yards and squint” scale)

Next – pilot figure and wheels.
Last edited by Nigelp; Jun 26, 2007 at 07:43 AM.
Jun 25, 2007, 12:16 PM
Registered User
praymond's Avatar
Gosh what a nice build, and design!!!

Peter, are plans going to be available?? My big Baron needs pal!!

Jun 25, 2007, 12:48 PM
Brit in Bahrain
Nigelp's Avatar
Paul - build it, youll love it !

My ESC cooling hole is right where the circle is on this view, 'cept I am going to make it square right up to the 'radiator shutters' (corrugated cardboard) either side...working on it now.

Jun 25, 2007, 06:44 PM
Registered User
bubbafusion's Avatar
Great build log Nigel. Can't wait to see more. I hope to start some foam cutting tonight, but I'm a slow worker.
Jun 25, 2007, 08:55 PM
-+- PhlatBoyz -+-
kram242's Avatar
Great looking plane!.. Will there be plans for this?
Jun 26, 2007, 03:05 AM
Brit in Bahrain
Nigelp's Avatar
Next installment:

I have a ‘thing’ about pilot figures…..I personally think profiles, IMHO, look a bit naff – no pilot just doesn’t look right (so who is supposed to be flying this plane?) so you have to have a pilot ! Living 3,000 miles from the nearest model shop means that if you order one, you have to hang around for weeks, then find they sent you the wrong one or it is not to scale – so make one ! If I can do it, anyone can !

Worked out the scale. Drew a front profile and side profile – based on me and a mirror, glued them to a piece of florists foam and started carving with a sharp knife, needle files and one of my wife’s nail files…..After carving to my satisfaction (I am no sculptor – believe me) I gave him a coat of waterborne Miniwax poly acrylic – let him dry and then painted him with a small brush and artists acrylic. (My long suffering wife actually found some white, silk, hair ribbon in a shop which she thought was about scale for a pilots scarf – so she bought it for me!) It looks great as a scarf (IMHO). My painting is not quite up to the standard of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel – but it makes me smile! I’m sure you guys can do way better than I did.

The windscreen is a bit of plastic, shaped with scissors (use the TLAR principle here) and sandwiched with cardboard and a bit of toothpick on each side to simulate the adjusters. Two holes in the fuz to fit the two bits of plastic I left sticking out of the bottom of the cardboard – and bingo. Painting the cardboard black required a small brush and again, lots of ‘tongue sticking out of the side of the mouth’.

Once that was all sorted it was time to do a ‘trial fit’ of the horizontal and vertical stabilizers…..They got painted along with the fuz. (my non-modelling artist daughter painted the rudder ) Don’t glue the stabs yet !!!!!! You need to fit the wings first and then make sure the stabs are exactly at right angles in all planes. (I must confess that this was about the time that I first started making aeroplane noises – it was beginning to look like a plane !!!!)

I didn’t have any scale wheels but as I fly on rough ground (miss the road and boy are you in the rough !) knew I would need a large diameter. Looking through my bits I came up with a pair of 83mm / 3 ¼” diameter foam wheels that looked about right but were too wide – so I cut one in half, vertically, to make two ! Glued two discs of 3m Depron on each side and painted them….green inside & black & white outside. Originally I was going to try sanding the Depron covers to represent spokes but in the end just used them “as is”.

Next – the wings……
Last edited by Nigelp; Jun 28, 2007 at 02:09 AM.
Jun 26, 2007, 07:39 AM
Registered User
Nice build thread keep it coming, wish I could get the plans for this beauty
Jun 26, 2007, 08:15 AM
Team FlightPower AUS
pmjass's Avatar
Your wish has come true.

Plans can be downloaded from:

The plans are free; however, I'll happily accept any donation that you feel is appropriate (PayPal to The funds will be put towards more foam and consequently more designs.

I understand that this may not be appropriate or possible for most, in that case if you build one, a post and some pics if possible would be good.

Peter Stapleton
Team FlightPower Australia

Originally Posted by habutti
Nice build thread keep it coming, wish I could get the plans for this beauty
Last edited by pmjass; Jun 26, 2007 at 08:21 AM.

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