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Old 02-06-2011, 03:37 PM   #1
baz49exe
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Default 64" Vickers Wellington Scratchbuild

I was pleased with the way the threaded rod method worked for the 42"span builds ( Macchi 200 Saetta and Me 163B Komet) so I decided to have a go and try it out on something larger and a twin as well, just to really push the boat out!
I am posting it as it may prove useful to anyone else who is looking in these difficult times for a very cheap way of building larger models. The 2 inch thick EPS foam board used is just about as cheap as you can get.
I needed decent three view drawings complete with fuselage sections drawn and their positions marked on the fuselage side view. I found what I was looking for on a Russian site and chose a Vickers Wellington as my first attempt.
I downloaded the drawings and used Brava reader to scale and tile them in A4 to print out and stick together for a working drawing. I have since discovered Poste Razor ( free to download) which makes this process even easier and is just perfect for converting three view drawings on line into paper print working plans.
I wanted to use the motor setup and radial cowl which I used in my GWS Zero as it is a good match and I have moulds for the cowl already made. On scaling the drawings up to match the cowl/motor setup I discovered that it would be a near perfect match for an early Pegasus engined model of the Wimpy when scaled to 64" span. Just what I wanted.
The plans were printed and I was ready to go.( pic 1)
I always start with the fuselage first just to see if it is possible to form it at all. They have all worked so far. The printed fuselage sections were cut out and pasted onto hardboard so that when dry they could be jigsawed to form hot wire formers. The fuselage centreline is usually marked as a cross on each former and the former was drilled at this point to take the threaded rod.
I started from the nose and the first former was trapped in place on the rod with a nut and washer either side of it. It was placed onto the plan to mark the position of the second former but first blocks of foam were skewered into place in layers to fill the gap. The second former was clamped into place in the correct position and the whole assembly was hot wired.
The rod can then be broken down and the sections can be hollowed with a sharp knife before glue is applied to the contact surfaces and they are clamped together to form a hollow section of that part of the fuselage. (pic 2)
This process is repeated until you have a hollow fuselage with accurate sections along its length.
(pic3)
As the high midwing requires a large setion of the middle of the fuselage to be cut away I will silk and varnish the whole fuselage to give it strength before any cutting takes place.


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Old 02-07-2011, 04:15 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by baz49exe View Post
I am posting it as it may prove useful to anyone else who is looking in these difficult times for a very cheap way of building larger models.
I'm always looking for a cheap way to build any size of model.
I remember a few years back, picking up the Guillows 27-28" kits for $21. They want around $40 now. Just before reading your post, I was thinking about posting about how I have only several evenings into enlarging and printing a plan, and now have a framed up fuse. Now at this point, what would be the great advantage of a kit, as the wing build is easy to do without having pre-cut parts, and the fuse is already framed up? Point being, I've already gotten past the difficult part. For a bit extra effort, it's well worth going the scratch building route.

The section method you're using works well. I always preferred to just "have at it" with a large block of foam, until I tried the section method. I came across a really good grade of foam that was used for wine bottle packaging. The stuff was perfect for forming fuse sections, and I used it for my FW250 build. I quickly realized that the section method creates a much more accurate profile, than sculpting the fuse from a single block.

BTW, I almost started printing my Saetta plan, when I started my new build. It's definitely in the cue for someday soon.
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Old 02-07-2011, 08:18 AM   #3
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Bill, you are dead right! This is an easy way to make a light, accurate fuselage out of the cheapest of materials. Believe me the foam I use is the nastiest recycled EPS wall and roof insulation board. It has irregular density beads which does make hot wire cutting slightly more difficult but nothing spackle and emery paper can't sort out. When covered with 5mm silk and varnish it's amazingly resilient as well. Light too, the Wellington fuselage weighs 9 1/4 ounces complete.
Have you tried the " Poste Razor" program to scale drawings? It is a scratchbuilders gift. Not only does it handle most file formats. It offers you a percentage upscale with tiling and gives you an overview with the tiling for the chosen percentage upscale overlaid. By counting the A4 sheets you can see immediately what span you have achieved. It even gives you overlap options on the tiles and then saves the whole plan to an Adobe Acrobat file for batch printing. It's free for life! What more could you ask for?
Great to hear that you have a Saetta ready in the wings. I saw the fuselage shape of the Saetta and just knew that it would be a good first build to try out the method. It practically built itself!
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Old 02-07-2011, 07:08 PM   #4
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Before I started cutting the fuselage slots for the tailplane and fin I thought it would be wise to spackle and silk the whole structure. As it turned out this worked well as it supported the foam surface and held the knife cut edges together making the cuts more accurate. I used to cover the assembled airframe but now I will cover each part before assembly.
I usually use sheet balsa for tailplane and fin construction but we had recently aquired a large piece of EPS foam sheet in some packaging so I tried it. I used some clear plastic packaging sheet to produce patterns from the plan for the parts which were then marked and cut from the sheet. The fin was braced with a kebab stick fitted lengthwise as a mini spar and was then spackled and covered with silk and varnish. The tailplane was braced with a strip balsa spar at the leading edge of the elevator hinge line. Hopefully this would mean that I could use cyano to fix computer disc hinges into slots cut into the face of the balsa and attach the elevators at a later date.
Before the tailplane was pushed into place a "u" shaped piano wire elevator joiner was placed at the rear of the slot for later attachment to the balsa elevators.
The slot was cut for the tailplane first which then was secured with wood glue, when dry the slot was cut on the top of the fuselage and the fin was glued into place in a similar manner.
Wings next, I think.


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Old 02-08-2011, 04:45 PM   #5
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The wings are dead simple just being cut out as blanks from a paper wing plan overlay copied from the plan view and taped onto the 2 inch foam board. The two blanks had root and tip formers attached and then left and right wing halves were hot wire cut. These halves are just about the maximum size that my basic cutter can manage.
Next a wing spar was made up from two pieces of 4mm by 12mm spruce with a ply centre joiner used to set the correct dihedral. The spar was placed over the bottom wing surface and a groove cut to accept it. The groove was filled with panel adhesive and the spar was pressed into place. The balsa wing tips were cut to shape and glued to the supporting spar ends. Next the wing tips were filled with scrap foam and when sanded to the correct profile the whole wing will be spackled prior to a silk and varnish finish. I really wanted to get the silk on as soon as possible to add strength and help to prevent building damage.


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Old 02-08-2011, 09:39 PM   #6
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Default Nice Wimpy!

Hey there! Look at this Wellington thread. I agree with Bill on the section method- you almost can't go wrong with the sections and fitting them together for the overall build. Very accurate.

"Dum spiro spero." (While I breathe, I hope).
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Old 02-09-2011, 07:53 AM   #7
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Hi Bob, you are dead right, I like things simple and you can hardly get a fuselage build that is simpler than this. If you have the profiles to hand it will practically make itself!
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Old 02-09-2011, 06:50 PM   #8
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Having silked the entire fuselage it was time to mark out and cut the wing mount. Having marked out one side of the fuselage a spike was held level with the tailplane and pushed through the fuselage to mark the correct position for the cut out on the opposite side. Seeing how little material is left at the spine of the fuelage above the wing I was glad that I silked it first but it was obvious that the dowel and bolt wing fixing would not work here as it would allow the fuselage cut out to flex open and might possibly break the back of the plane. (pic1) I consoled myself with the thought that most of the weight was actually in the wing and that the fuselage actually weighs very little.
To restore the integrity of the fuselage when the wing was installed I needed a method that would stop the fuselage from spreading while at the same time locking the wing into place.
The answer for me was to glue the removed bottom fuselage section to the bottom of the main wing. Ply plates were epoxied into the front and rear of the centre section so that they extended into recessess on the bottom of the fuselage either side of the wing bay.(pic2)
Ply plates were set below these recesses holding 3mm steel machine bolts pointing down wards so that the wing plates can slip over them and be held into place with a nut locking the whole assembly solid and preventing any movement at all.(pic3)


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Old 02-09-2011, 11:21 PM   #9
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Default Two ply plates vs. two dowels and one plate.

I was going to ask why would the two dowel method flex any more than the two ply plates with bolts, but I saw it in my mind's eye. Two plates with those bolts can apply upward pressure on the wing and belly "block" against the "spine" of the fuselage to keep any gap from appearing between wing and fuselage where they mate up. Have you had separation between wing and fuselage before? As they say in the London Tube: "Mind the gap."

"Dum spiro spero." (While I breathe, I hope).
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Old 02-10-2011, 07:28 AM   #10
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Bob, that's a very good question and I spent a very long time thinking about it. I have had low wing solid balsa glow models eventually flex on the wing joint when using the dowel front fixing ( especially when the grease lubricates the dowel fixing ) and all my foam builds to date have been low wingers, except the Komet, which is a one piece model!
When I looked at the narrow spine and the huge ( for me) wing bay, I had visions of the mid air disaster. The dowel will slide in the tube allowing a degree of flexing and widening of the wing seat so I figured that two plates locked by bolts would prevent any stretching movement and would lock the whole mount solidly. Well that's the vision, reality will tell . It might not even fly.
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Old 02-10-2011, 11:52 PM   #11
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Barry, if this plane doesn't fly first time out I will be shocked. I suspect you will successfully troubleshoot whatever problems arise and this plane will be a "honey" as we Yanks like to say.

"Dum spiro spero." (While I breathe, I hope).
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Old 02-11-2011, 07:43 AM   #12
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Hey Bob, thanks for the positive vibes and for the mylar computer discs which arrived today. Very thoughtful of you, now I can hinge the ailerons.
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Old 02-11-2011, 07:23 PM   #13
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Luckily the drawings had nacelle sections included so they were made using exactly the same method as the fuselage. I started thinking about really small fuselages and micro models at this stage of the build. A Cox model size fuselage would be a fun build! It proved easier to cut the finished nacelle in half to fit it in place on the wing rather than cutting the wing slot and sliding the nacelle onto the wing in one operation. I tried it but the nacelle would not fit that way.
Next the balsa battery tray was constructed to take a 1000 to 1500 lipo and was let into the top of the nacelle so that it angled down into the cowl area. A 10mm stick mount was epoxied into the front face of the nacelle under the tray to take any of the stick mount motors. The removed top section of the nacelle will make the battery bay access hatch with the motor, ESC and front half of the lipo resting inside the cowl where if all goes to plan there will be plenty of cooling airflow. (pic1)
The 20 amp ESC was placed under the battery tray and an AX 2308N 1800kv Brushless Micro Motor was mounted an tested with a GWS 7 by 3.5 HD prop and a 3C 1000 lipo.. It gave 136watts so times 2 that will mean 272 watts available on the setup. That is just spot on as the model is weighing in at 2 and a half pounds well within the 100watts per pound figure that I hope will be plenty for a scale flying bomber which is what I really would like it to be. (pic2)
The moulded pop bottle cowl was added to check that all would fit well. Now to repeat the same for the other nacelle. ( pic3)


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Old 02-12-2011, 12:54 AM   #14
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Thats pretty awesome!
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Old 02-12-2011, 03:35 AM   #15
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Baz you can push some power out of those motors. I have the same Axon motors (slightly different bell appearance) in a 19oz Guillows DC3, which flew far beyond my expectations. The fact that it flew at all on old Thimble Drome 5" 3-blader glow props was amazing. I run them on 3s, and they seem as if they could be ran harder.
6"x4 3-blader Master Airscrew props, or maybe even 7" 3-blade props would be possible with that motor, on the Wellington.


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Old 02-12-2011, 07:41 AM   #16
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Thanks Flyboy, I'm still trying and learning in this great hobby.
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Old 02-12-2011, 07:51 AM   #17
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Bill, thanks for the information. I originally tried the motors because of the price HK was offering them for complete with the finned alloy mount. Reckoned they would be a replacement for 2408-21T motors.
Really like your twins, especially the three bladers which really makes them look great!
Did you mount the ESC's in the fuz and run the extended motor wires to the outrunners or did you keep the ESC's close to the motor and run long battery wires from the fuz out through the wings?
I'm still wrestling with this one to decide which way to go.
I am sure of one thing though and it is that I am going to base future twins on these little motors. Even if it means scaling down.
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Old 02-12-2011, 05:50 PM   #18
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Baz I mounted the ESCs in the fuse. I believe they are Castle TBird-9 ESCs. I haven't had any issues running them and some other quality ESCs at around 75% max continuous rating, even without cooling. The only issues I've had is with overloaded BECs. I should check it on the meter, but off top of head I believe the were drawing a few less amps per motor than the max continuous rating. I'm much more worried about overheating BEC chips than fets, as I don't think the ESCs cool well with or without moving airflow, when ran hard. The heatsink design with shrink wrap over it, is just a bit less than the ideal cooling fin geometry for mosfet power devices.

I think you'll have a good chance of success with those motors, as the Guillows plane is a tank at 19+ oz, without much wing, although I did cheat the span a bit. I have a hard time seeing how high aspect ratio wings are more efficient than low aspect, but the DC3 was the first plane that convinced me that they are. I never had similar weight small warbirds with less span launch nearly as slow and easily as the DC3. The Wellington has a good span also. It actually a good story, as the little rock hard tailwheel was bouncing all over the place and the tail was raising early. I had ground handling issues, and finally got the plane off at a very low speed. It almost got going, and fortunately came down undamaged. After seeing how it wanted to fly, wallowing around at a very low speed, I took it over to the field for a hand toss. No problem whatsoever with a hand toss. I'm sure it would rog with something better than the park road, like a perfectly paved tennis court, or a rubber tail wheel.
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Old 02-12-2011, 07:00 PM   #19
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Bill that's great as I fully intend to hand launch this model as well. It's not very heavy so it should go however time will tell. From what you have just said it sounds as if you preferred to extend the ESC to motor wires rather than the ESC to battery ones. Am I reading that right?
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Old 02-13-2011, 01:51 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by baz49exe View Post
Bill that's great as I fully intend to hand launch this model as well. It's not very heavy so it should go however time will tell. From what you have just said it sounds as if you preferred to extend the ESC to motor wires rather than the ESC to battery ones. Am I reading that right?
That's the general rule, although I've violated it at times.
I'd like to get my hands on some low ESR caps, to parallel with the caps on ESC batt leads. There are some threads that show ideal uF rating and manufacturers, although I can't find them off hand. My Seabee is pushing the limit on the Castle TBird36, and Castle has decent filtering also. Really could use the added input caps to be safe.
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Old 02-13-2011, 03:36 PM   #21
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Next the elevators were cut from sheet balsa and sanded to profile. As there is already a balsa spar on the hinge line of the tail plane it was easy to slot the rear of both elevators and tail plane and cyano mylar hinges cut from diskettes into place. The bottom of the elevator was then grooved on both sides to take the arm of the wire joiner and it was test fitted and glued into place checking that the elevators were both angled equally.
The mounting lugs were carefully cut off a 9gram servo so that a square hole could be cut into the fuselage under the tail plane to receive it. The wires are channelled through the hollowed fuselage.( pic1)
Next the ailerons were completed and hinged as well. The ailerons are sheet balsa with a foam backing applied to make up the correct extension of the wing profile.(pic3)
They were hinged at the top using the balsa sheet slot and mylar method in the same way as the elevators. ( pic2)
I now need to cut some control horns for the ailerons and elevator.


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Old 02-13-2011, 04:53 PM   #22
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Now I have nothing against Almost Ready to Fly models (most are wonderful), but this plane is beautiful beyond words and simple to build with the section method of cutting EPS foam. Barry uses a hot wire cutter, but one could easily use a steak knife to do this and then fine cut it with a hobby knife and medium grade sand paper. I think a first time builder, taking their time, and using the fuselage sections cutouts and the "fuselage bolt" method could easily replicate this model or any other plan taken from a 3-view. Which is the entire point of this build.

"Dum spiro spero." (While I breathe, I hope).
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Old 02-13-2011, 07:31 PM   #23
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Thanks for the kind comments Bob. You are dead right; it is easy to build using this method. I think I'll have a go at the steak knife idea as I'm fed up with standing outside in the freezing cold with the hot wire cutter.
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Old 02-18-2011, 12:01 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by baz49exe View Post
Thanks for the kind comments Bob. You are dead right; it is easy to build using this method. I think I'll have a go at the steak knife idea as I'm fed up with standing outside in the freezing cold with the hot wire cutter.
Barry, I see a built-up depron plane in small (re. Cox warbird size) scale in the near future. Instead of thinking big- which is nice- think small. When can I see more Wellington pics?

"Dum spiro spero." (While I breathe, I hope).
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Old 02-18-2011, 01:22 PM   #25
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Bob, I have to admit that I got distracted, seriously so. I could say that I was awaiting the electronics from Hobby King which would be partially true but I have to confess that as you know I started a BV 215 build two weeks ago, ( I need help!) using exactly the same construction method as the Wellington and it's ready for the shakedown flight.
I'm not really happy with the taped hinges and will probably install a balsa sub spar and balsa elevons but time will tell.


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