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Composite Warbird Build 1/7th P-40E Warhawk

Old 12-03-2008, 04:55 PM
  #26  
sixdeuces
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This thing really looks great. Thanks too for the videos... very useful stuff. I've been contemplating a P-40 at this size for a while now, so this is right up my alley. Keep up the good work!
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Old 12-03-2008, 05:10 PM
  #27  
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Hey thanks - I always enjoy getting these posts - it's a nice break from sanding...sanding...sanding...sanding...
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Old 12-04-2008, 12:29 AM
  #28  
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Scuffed everything up after the cloth was on with some 100 grit and hit it with another thinned coat of epoxy before retiring last night. Found some time this afternoon to get at it with some 150 grit on the longboard and hit it again with some el cheapo primer. Still plenty of work to do, but it's further along than it was...
Of course I had to do the requisite mock up to make sure that the wing still fit the saddle. I'm not happy with fit up front where the bellypan, wing fillet, and leading edge meet up. The fit is still good and tight, but there's room for asthetic improvement. I'll do some more finishing on the underside before getting to those things though.

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Old 12-06-2008, 01:09 AM
  #29  
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...just taking some photos for my own future reference - thought I'd post a couple for those of us who enjoy watching bodywork - personally, I find pictures much more entertaining than the real thing

I actually laid down another super thin coat of epoxy on the top surface of the wing since the last post trying to fill a few minor fisheye type situations, but it didn't really change very much, so I sanded it off, primed it again and was forced to get out the glazing putty this afternoon. Things are moving in right direction again. What am I doing? sanding, sanding, sanding, sanding, sanding.........
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Old 12-08-2008, 01:32 AM
  #30  
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I promise not to make you sit through every step of the finishing process, but people keep asking me how much sanding is really required. I can't give a straight answer, but I should be able to bore you enough to get the idea across! lol Today, I hit the topside again with some glazing putty, and then sanded it with 220 followed by some 600. It's starting to take shape. The underside needs a guide coat of primer before I can tell where I'm at after a couple of thinned coats of epoxy. Actually, I put some microballoons in the last coat on the underside to help with the sanding last time so it shouldn't be too far off. Unfortunately it's below zero out in the shed, so I will have to set up a little spray booth inside the backroom in the basement and ventilate out the window. Stay tuned....
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Old 12-19-2008, 09:10 AM
  #31  
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I found a couple of minutes to do some more sanding on the P-40 wing plug this evening. As you can see, there is still much work to be done, but none the less things are shaping up. With the holidays coming up, I hope that I will get a little closer to putting some panel lines etc, in place, but first things first, I must have a flat surface worthy of moving forward.
One of the things that gives me a kick is giving back to a hobby that kept me out of trouble as a kid, gave me distraction from the pressures of studying through my college years, and gave me something to call my own as I let the multinational corporate organizations rape and pillage me for all that my two engineering degrees and experience could yield them. (the trick is most definitely to bend them over first) Throughout this project I've hoped to inspire others. If you are out there and still need some motivation here's something to think about.
It began only weeks after posting the first video to youtube. First it was boat manufacturers, then it was artists. A couple of weeks later it was tool companies in the States, then it was Chinese ARF manufacturers. Today, it was a manufacturer of glass fuses for some of the names that I've only ever read about in Top Gun reports. If you are a young person out there who is looking to start a business, I would have to say that I have never seen market potential like I've seen here. You will not have to search for customers - they WILL contact you - no matter how anonymous you think you are....
Don't let others dissuade you, think it through for yourself. I only wish I had time to help them all.
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Old 01-25-2009, 06:40 AM
  #32  
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Over the course of the last month I've been spending my spare time on some of the areas on the underside of the wing plug that need special attention with respect to draft/release considerations. It's one thing to decide to mould wheel and flap bay details, but it's quite another thing to maintain a level of calm persistence as you spend hour after hour after hour holding a little tiny sanding block as your fingers lock up and eventually refuse to hold the darn thing forcing you to stop until the next day.
At first I spent a great deal of time building up draft in the wheel and flap servo recesses with glazing putty. It was boring, but my 4" wheels fit the bays like they should, and release shouldn't be a problem. It's taking some time, no question about it, but every day it moves closer. One of the things that consumes time is the method that I'm using to build up fillet radii in the the tight spots.
In order blend everything in the flap bays, I'm brushing on a light coat of thinned finishing epoxy. I leave it for 8 hours and then sand, prime, and repeat. The thinned epoxy flows very nicely into the corners and has a self-leveling characteristic that just can't be beat. You spend an inhumane amount of time sanding - but what you don't want is a beautiful wing plug sitting in the corner trapped inside a fibreglass sarcophagus
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Old 01-30-2009, 12:13 PM
  #33  
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Since my last post I've done some more work in the flap bays but to be honest, I woke up one morning after having sanded all night in my dreams and was very disheartened to find that it was still the way I'd left it the day before. LOL So I figured that a break from that task was in order, and I moved on to something else that had been aggravating me for some time now.

Overall this kit has been a joy to build, but if there was something that I would improve it would be the wing fillets. The precut ply fillet bases need to be extended further out the wing near the leading edge. There's nothing I can do now with the fuselage complete and it slipped by me or I'd have fixed it. So having stared at this annoyance for months I needed to do something to ease my mind. I decided that with no options for achieving a scale look, I would improve the fit so that when someone noticed the form deficiency they could comment on how I tried to fix the fit instead! lol

There's still some finish work to be done obviously, but it's shaped in for the most part. So now I can go ice fishing this weekend and at least feel like I made a little progress.
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Old 02-20-2009, 10:18 AM
  #34  
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Default Slow and steady wins the race.

I've been delaying this post primarily because it's difficult to demonstrate progress at the rate that I know others enjoy watching. However, I've been asked to put down my sanding block and share; so share I will.
As many of us know any good finishing job goes through an alternating state of ugly, better, ugly, better, ugly, better until you decide at some point that better is just not going to happen again. I tend not to like to share pics of the ugly, but I suppose it does provide some insight into what a blended surface looks like under that final coat of primer, and that is what you're getting tonight.
I've been working away steadily on the mounts for the mains. This is an area which will never been seen after the exterior pods containing the doors have been installed, but none the less it deserves proper attention as it will form deep cavities in the finished mould which will need to release. I've tried to show pics which give an overview of the process, but won't bore you with the repetition that's actually involved. In order to achieve a final blended look, I've now applied thinned finishing resin and then sanded it level three times now. I know it looks ugly, but it's getting pretty close. Hopefully the next series of pics will be nice and shiny!
It's worth noting that over the years I've learned that this is not something that you can power through and get done properly in a week or two. It's tempting to think that with constant effort you could get this sort of thing done in short order but in fact what time has taught me is quite the opposite. It sounds corny I know, but when you want something you can be proud of, you don't build it; it builds itself through you. You have to work in short spurts and then just walk away. Don't worry about walking away, it will call you back and when it does you'll be at your best. You can't force your will on something like this and that's the point. It's not a project to be managed, it's a manifestation of something intangible. I know what it sounds like and twenty years ago I'd have been laughing out loud for sure. Live and learn I guess, live and learn.
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Old 02-23-2009, 03:13 AM
  #35  
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Default Better Safe Than Sorry

I'd originally moved away from work on the flap bays because I was beginning to have dreams about it. This is usually a good sign that a break is in order, so the gear mounts got some attention. Well I made enough progress on the mounts that today my eyes moved back to the flap bays and I quickly remembered what it was that I found discouraging enough at the time put me off.
There's a lesson here. As you spend more and more time on something you naturally get more and more emotionally involved with it. This is what a little time and perspective helps to diminish. After glassing and then finishing every corner of those flap bays, the last thing I wanted to do was apply some more epoxy and do it all again. I knew it needed doing, but instead I sat there for a couple of days with the wing in the corner just looking at it dreading the thought. Meanwhile nothing was happening except that I was reinforcing the notion of my dread. I decided to move onto something else. Today it happened - it started calling my name. It never ceases to amaze me how the biggest obstacles seem to be self-realized and if you can find a way of moving on, time will often erode them.
After taking a good hard objective look at the situation with fresh eyes I can see that most of the corners that I worked so hard to get clean are not conducive to the moulding process. I knew this - I've locked things in fibreglass before - but I sure didn't want to come to terms with it because I'd just spent all that time getting them "darn near perfect" lol
The pictures should speak for themselves. What they won't tell you is that there's eight hours cure time until they can be blended before flipping the wing and repeating. It may take two applications to get things good and uniform, so that's likely three or four days of patient waiting, and I suspect that that may also have had something to do with the hurdle. All in all, it's a "better safe than sorry" situation!
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Old 03-06-2009, 08:01 PM
  #36  
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Default Ongoing Saga

...just some quick pics today of the ongoing saga in the flap bays
I need to do something else for a while again, so I'm headed into finishing the flap servo bays before coming back to finish this area.
2 weeks - 6 coats of epoxy - one side and then the other - much sanding

Upside:
1 - ease of mould design/construction (might have had to split mould down centre of each rib)
2 - ease of part release
3 - ease of mould prep (waxing)
4 - improved rigidity of wing structure through form in a high stress area of the wing

Downside:
SANITY
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Old 03-07-2009, 02:14 AM
  #37  
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Workmanship is outstanding. I'm sure the finished product will be also.

Paul
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Old 03-07-2009, 12:10 PM
  #38  
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Thanks Paul - Things like that are always good to hear.
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Old 03-08-2009, 06:12 PM
  #39  
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The dearest woman in the world stands behind me as I type this morning. She would like you all to know that if any of you ever find yourselves doing anything like what you see in these pics, alone before breakfast on a Sunday morning, you should re-evaluate your priorities.
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Old 03-09-2009, 03:57 PM
  #40  
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After yesterday's episode, I found myself immediately speechless when asked to explain my compulsion on the spot. To that end, rather than pour salt on an open wound, I decided to put some creative energy into effect and revamp the welcome video on my youtube page. No comments required, but I do think it helped a little. You may not find me online next Sunday morning, but everyone needs a little structure I suppose! LOL
I do have some fun with these videos and I can hardly wait to finish this wing plug so that I can get another one up!
Nothing new, but if you're bored with a minute 45 to kill you can check it out here [media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zwg1NilAgsU[/media]
Until next time...
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Old 05-07-2009, 06:01 PM
  #41  
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Default Time Tide and an Iron Will

Although I haven't been able to spend the kind of time that I would like on the P-40 project lately, I do try to take a couple of minutes each day to make a little headway. It's slow going, but I'm closer than I've ever been! lol
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Old 05-11-2009, 05:25 PM
  #42  
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Very nice!!!!!
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Old 08-02-2009, 12:12 AM
  #43  
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Default How to Fibreglass a Sheeted Wing Video

Bored today.

[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M2EHbxmtHlk[/media]
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Old 08-02-2009, 04:32 PM
  #44  
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Nice video, looking forward to the moulded wing.

Paul
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Old 08-02-2009, 04:47 PM
  #45  
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Thanks Paul - I have to admit that I'm getting a bit anxious myself.
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Old 08-08-2009, 01:58 PM
  #46  
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Default P40 Panel Lines

The work on panel lines has begun. Warning - if you are not a patient individual then this is not a technique for you to try on a wing that you've just made nice and shiny
Better to tape off 5 or 10 linear feet on scrap board stock to develop your technique first.
Epoxy is thinned to 50% with Methyl Hydrate (denatured alcohol)
Microballoons are suspended in thinned epoxy
150, 220, 400, 600, 1500 grits with a block (1"X3/4"X3/8")

Why thin and then add microballoons?
The thinning is so that the epoxy lays down like water. This will make it easier blend towards the inside of the panel. The microballoons will migrate toward the edge of the tape as the surface tension in the curing epoxy causes it to hump up and over the edge of the tape. Because the epoxy has been thinned, you must continue stir the microballoons into the epoxy as you dip your brush into the mixture. The microballoons tend to fall out of suspension and float to the surface much more quickly with the reduced viscosity. Apply initially with the wing laying flat and then after about an hour of a 6hr cure lift the wing up and allow gravity to help the microballoons migrate over the tape edge. (you can see some of this effect in the pics but I actually fell asleep and waited too long this time - just more care required when blending later)

Good pictures are difficult because of the glare, and there is still some work to be done on this seam but hopefully some of the effect can be seen.
How long will this take you? I spent 5hrs sanding along this length of seam for a quick picture.

Is it worth it? In a word - YES, so please no insults about my sanity. I know I have issues. lol
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Old 08-14-2009, 04:27 AM
  #47  
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WTF that thing gave me some serious blood flow to my buddy down below..!! Man that is so ssswwweeeettttt looking!! You are one smart dude!! I wish i was tha talented to do something like that from scratch on my own. I have only been in this hobby for 2 years now but i have emassed a great fleet and im moving on to 60 sized planes. Im so addicted to this hobby!! Cant wait for the finished product!!

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Old 08-17-2009, 05:02 AM
  #48  
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...just a few quick pics of progress on the panel lines tonight - still some work to be done on these ones, but I wanted to make sure that I get regular pictures.

A wing or fuselage that turns out good and flat, and shiny is something to behold to be certain, and other craftsmen will often comment because they have a respect for the amount of work that went into it. But once you start adding panel lines and that perfect form becomes interesting, well then to me it becomes something else. This is where regular Joe's begin to stare and they aren't really sure why. There's just something about giving the eye something to bounce around on.

This brings up a question that I often ponder on whilst sanding away in my own little zone...is this art? What do you think Ladies and Gentlemen? Not my work in particular but is what we do art? I really don't have an answer - I guess that's what keeps me asking it. My gut feeling is that once you start detailing a machine that is capable of flying without any of the drama that we cross a line. I really don't know and art is not something that I can say I've studied formally. What do you think? To be honest I kinda think that artists might be a little offended by my query - oh well!
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Old 08-17-2009, 07:32 PM
  #49  
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Dude what you are doing is art, end of story.
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Old 08-17-2009, 10:46 PM
  #50  
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It's better than "Art".

Art has no purpose other than to be "Art".

This will have a function other than just look fantastic.
So I think it's better than "Art".

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