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Guillows Supermarine Spitfire MK-1 balsa build

Old 02-28-2008, 03:22 PM
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pburt1975
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Default Guillows Supermarine Spitfire MK-1 balsa build



I've got this kit sitting around collecting dust. Well, it was until it started creating dust last night.
I want to break into balsa, and while this may not be the best kit to start with it was the cheapest (was just sittin here, lol).
This one is just for the experience. If it gets covered, it will probably be with the tissue paper provided. Its more for static display and learning then it is for its intended purpose - rubber powered flight.
Lastnight was just a good once over of the plans and build manual. That took a lot of time, just trying to read and visualize the steps and find parts on the sheets. I cant believe the amount of pieces in this little kit.

No pics at this point and the progress is minimal.

All the balsa sheets have been sanded on the back to reveal the cut lines around the pieces.
2 sheets have had all the parts removed and sanded clean
Parts are being bagged per letter (parts are tagged with a,b,c + number combination)


Tonight the remaining 3 sheets get their parts removed and cleaned up, then judging time I may start doing some dry fitting of parts.

I've got some T-pins, wax paper, white glue and wood glue. Should I pick up some Super glue for this as well? or as a beginner, stick with the glue that allows more OOOPS time?


I'll get some pictures when theres some progress to see
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Old 02-28-2008, 08:36 PM
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Those are rgeat to learn with. balsa is easy it just takes some time to get used to your new media. Guillows aircraft always seem to be heavy ou tof th ebox but have great scale lines and canopies. I hav ebought them just for the canopies! have fun
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Old 02-28-2008, 10:17 PM
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Originally Posted by snrkld View Post
Those are great to learn with. balsa is easy it just takes some time to get used to your new media. Guillows aircraft always seem to be heavy out of the box but have great scale lines and canopies. I have bought them just for the canopies! have fun
Thanks snrkld, I've been researching the kit some today and it does not appear to be a "hard" build, but will take some modifying if I want it to be able to do rubber powered flight well. Its not the plan, but better safe then sorry. may make an elec conversion easier later too, lol.
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Old 02-29-2008, 01:59 PM
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Paul,
What wingspan is that one?
Guillow's had a lot of different sized ones.

They do fly well rubber powered.
And with small gas engines.
So they should also fly well with electric.
If kept light.

I knew the guy that did all the designing of those planes in the 50's and 60's.

Paul
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Old 02-29-2008, 02:35 PM
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pburt1975
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Hello Paul,
Its the 500 series, 17-1/2" ws (I believe). Not very big at all, lol.
If it goes electric, it'll be free flight. Just cant get all that micro stuff for this little bird.

Just how long have you been in this hobby man?


Got all the parts removed and sanded down and did a dry fit on the fuse formers and stringers. Looks good. Once the half skeleton of the fuse was mocked up I was ready to go, only it was almost 11 and morning comes early.
bagged it all up and it'll wait til tonight

I took a bit to play with the covering some too. Made a 4x4 (") frame and mixed up a 50/50 glue/water mix. Painted that on the frame and put the covering over it and pulled tightly. When that was dry, the same mixture of water/glue was diluted a little more and painted on the tissue paper. That sagged, from taught, almost 1/2" in the center of the square frame. It did dry up with a few sets of wrinkles here and there.
Im going to need more practice, those wrinkles didnt look good at all. And trying to "fix" them seemed to only create more.


I've already found a problem with the thrust bearing, theres a lot of play in it. The prop shaft can wiggle 2-4degs off center, meaning less chance of a straight, successful, flight. I cant seem to find a fix that does not require buying a new thrust bearing. Maybe if some heat shrink was put on the prop shaft where its in the TB? I may try that tonight. worst case is I'll have to cut the heat shrink back off.

Thats it, going out today to grab some T pins, super glue and a few different brushes. may even look around for some other colors of tissue paper.
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Old 02-29-2008, 10:32 PM
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Alpea42
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Here's the 36" w. s. Corsair by Guillows.I built it 25 years ago put a .10 engine on it .Didn't fly it.Put a .15 on it ,it was heavy and didn't fly it.Put a .20 on it, it was gonna fly.NOT LOL Now i'm putting a E- Flight 480 electric on it and some 9 gr. servos and its fly or die time.I'll let u know how it goes.They still sell this one.Saw it at LHS it now sells for $49.99.
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Old 03-01-2008, 12:16 AM
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Paul,
Don't worry about the thrust bearing.
You're not going for a competition timed run.

The tension produced by the rubber motor should keep the bearing pulled tight and the remaining wobble shouldn't be that bad.

Get some pictures posted.

Paul
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Old 03-01-2008, 05:26 AM
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Alphea, that came out real well. I hope your flight goes well. Then again, it is right nice sitting there as static display, lol.

Paul, I guess thats what I get for going to a guillows build forum huh? Some good tips on there tho.
Im taking pictures as I go along and will post some up soon.

Right now, its sitting on the work board, waiting for the glue to set on the left half of the fuse. So far, its going together pretty well.

My covering practice is going to need more practice. I've got clothes that have sat in the dryer for 3 days with less wrinkles.
When covering, after its tacked to the frame, I do go back with a 50/50 water/glue mixture and dampen the tissue right? Or do I just need to use water?
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Old 03-01-2008, 02:30 PM
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Paul,
I've heard about the covering technique you're using, but I've never tried that myself.

I've always attached the covering with dope or cellulose based glue and used plain water to shrink the covering.
A couple coats of thinned dope will add to the shrink and will seal the tissue.

Again, that's not the only way.
It's just the way I've done it.

I'm going to experiment with the wbpu on silk over an open framework next.

But I still will attach it the same way and shrink and seal it the same as before.

I thought about attaching the covering with white glue as you did and then shrinking with water then WBPU.
I don't know how well that would work either.

Paul
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Old 03-01-2008, 07:49 PM
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Here's the befor and after shot of the Guillows Corsair nitro to electric conversion.I wish I could say it's lighter but it feels like a 480 motor and 2200ma lipo are heavier than a O.S. Max .20 and muffeler
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Old 03-01-2008, 09:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Alpea42 View Post
Here's the befor and after shot of the Guillows Corsair nitro to electric conversion.I wish I could say it's lighter but it feels like a 480 motor and 2200ma lipo are heavier than a O.S. Max .20 and muffeler
Don't forget the 4 to 6 ounces of fuel.

Paul
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Old 03-03-2008, 04:14 PM
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Got the fuse all done with the stringers in place. Looking down the barrel it looks fairly true. Will get some pictures of that posted hopefully tonight with a proper update.

Kind of hit a road block on the wings. Stuff just is not lining up like it should with the manual. Plus I some how lost 1 of the small formers for the wing. Best I had on hand was basswood, so a new one was cut then sanded to shape, then sanded again to reduce weight some. Its now slightly thinner then the balsa with the kit and weighs only a tad more then the original piece.

All through these plans, they show the hold down pins going through the balsa. Every spot I tried that on split the balsa . After gluing a few pieces back together, Im now puttin the pins outside of the shape and locking the piece down with the head of the T-pin.
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Old 03-03-2008, 04:50 PM
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Looking over a few build threads and my spitfire is missing quite a few plastic pieces.

1- the canopy is gone??
2- the fairings at the fuse and wing spot
3- all the little metal pins they show in the instructions as well.

dangit, wonder if I can get these from Guillows without buying a new spitfire kit
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Old 03-03-2008, 05:43 PM
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Paul,
Don't try to put "T" pins through the balsa.
As you found out, the balsa will split.
I've not been lucky with pins through anything less than 1/8x1/8.
Sometimes if the balsa is firm or heavy, that doesn't work either.

The Spit kit you have, is it one that has die cut flat sides, or is it one that has formers in halves that glue to a keel?
What pins are you missing?
The fairings, are they supposed to be plastic?
The old kits were balsa or stiff paper.

Paul
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Old 03-03-2008, 05:56 PM
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http://balsamodels.com/phpBB/viewtop...t=spitfire+504

Here ya go Paul, thats a link to a build thread on the same model I have.

http://balsamodels.com/phpBB/viewtop...t=spitfire+504

Thats another Im also following. On page 2 of that thread, second picture down, there is a light colored spot between the wing and fuse. That piece or one like it is shown in my instructions, but not in the kit.

Most of the builders in that site suggest the 50/50 water/elmers glue mixture for shrinking the covering, but one mentions going back with 2 coats of dope?

Oh I thought about spraying my skeleton black to increase its effect through the covering. I like the skeleton look.
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Old 03-03-2008, 09:18 PM
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Paul,
That's the old construction. I like that type better than the newer ones with the die cut side.

The piece you're talking about is the wing fairing.
It's made out of stiff paper.
It's not supplied in the kit.

I built some of the first of these kits when they were about to be released.

A family friend was Lou Andrews, he was their designer and draftsman.

I built a bunch of these when I was 9 or 10 and he used to take them to club meeting and say if a 10 year old can build these, any one can.

On the plus side, I got a lot of free airplane kits.

And yes, they flew fine.

Today I think they're using much heavier and harder wood so they won't fly as well.
But they should still fly.

Paul
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Old 03-03-2008, 10:34 PM
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Paul, its like talking to a part of Model Aviation history man. Thanks for adding your experience to this tiny project!

I have contacted Guillows about this and to my surprise got a reply the same day. They can help me acquire the parts Im missing.

Im not sure how you mean "the die cut side"? IMO this whole kit is diesmashed bits that need removing and attaching.
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Old 03-04-2008, 02:46 AM
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The rundown

The plan. laid out and covered in wax paper to protect it
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Here's the pieces all cut out and sanded down
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Marking and making the notches
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The frame was pinned in place then the fuse
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Here you can watch glue dry
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And the last pictures I have of the fuse. The glue still wasnt dry enough to cut the excess off the stringers and I still have the wing saddles and notches by the cockpit to put on.
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Last edited by pburt1975; 03-04-2008 at 02:57 AM. Reason: fixing pictures
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Old 03-04-2008, 03:01 PM
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Moving at a snails pace, but moving none the less. Most of the hold up is just simply watching glue dry and the fact that work each night means a complete setup and tear down of the work area as I have no dedicated work area. Which doesnt happen until the kids are off to bed.

Got the wing framed and glued, minus the center pieces. The right side has formers glued in place as well. I ran out of Tpins or both sides would be done.
Wing saddles are on, the rest of the fuse parts go on tonight.

BTW, my white elmers glue went MIA between the last 2 work sessions. I used Hold the Foam, diluted down with water, this past time. Some test spots showed it holds just as well as elmers, just takes a little longer to dry.

Also Im curious, this build would go so much faster if the glue dried faster. Would it be possible to use Super Glue gel? Maybe on the stringers and ribs, but not on the frame of the piece? I've seen it suggested for some areas, but not for high stress areas... what are some high stress areas?
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Old 03-04-2008, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by pburt1975 View Post

this build would go so much faster if the glue dried faster.
I haven't built a guillows kit in years and always used white glue as a kid, but I would bet you could use 5 minute epoxy (sparingly) without adding too much weight.
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Old 03-04-2008, 03:56 PM
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Pburt1975, you should try and fly this baby and let us know how it handles rubber free flight. I think this plane is great for electric. If those little Cox warbirds can fly, so can this one. I would use a direct drive inrunner motor like a 12 mm Feigao, Medusa, or similar brushless little hot rod. They can be a little on the pricey side, but they are light, powerful, and efficient with a small LiPo. Just my observations.

Bob
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Old 03-04-2008, 04:12 PM
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I'd like to see it as Electric RC:

10gram outrunner from hobbycity
2 x 3.6 gram servos from blue arrow
AR6300 receiver 3 grams
1.6 gram speed controller
2s 450mah battery

20 grams total for electric conversion for RET or AET. I might have to try ..........

Good work so far pburt. Oh and I used Elmers wood glue for my cessna. It dries a little faster than white glue, and is tougher than the balsa around it.
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Old 03-04-2008, 04:32 PM
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I like the idea of an RC conversion. Just got done looking over stuff at UH but am stumped. Most inrunners tie into a gear box and are higher RPM motors. Im seeing 4000kv motors and 3500kv motors and thinking, I can just see a prop self distruct running 2s. At 4000rpm per v thats 29,600 rpm . Am I missing something? lol. Are smaller props (3x3 instead of 9x4) less prone to self destruction at high RPM?

This one is not going to be a good candidate for the conversion IMO tho. No planning was made in the beginning to stiffen areas or to include electronics. This one WILL be a great platform for a second build, planned for RC conversion. That should help some with electronics placements.

Since this is the 16.5" wingspan version (I was wrong when i said 17.5" ws earlier), would I be better using a magnetic actuator on the rudder and use throttle for elevation control? The weight savings would help
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Old 03-04-2008, 06:10 PM
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Paul, here's a shot of the cross pieces for formers.

For the Guillows kits, a left over piece of stringer material will work.

Add these after the fuse half is lifted from the plans.
They will help to align the second half of the former.

This picture is just to show what they look like.
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Old 03-04-2008, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by pd1 View Post
Paul, here's a shot of the cross pieces for formers.

For the Guillows kits, a left over piece of stringer material will work.

Add these after the fuse half is lifted from the plans.
They will help to align the second half of the former.

This picture is just to show what they look like.
Attachment 58432


Paul
Perfect!! Since I plan on a second build, that will come in handy!
Im ok to leave that piece on after construction too right? I dont like that this fuse will still "twist" some, but I guess some of that is expected from the frame design?
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