Jump to content

Chris McG F-86 Sabre Dog build blog

Recommended Posts

Hello gents,

Thank you, Phil for your prompt response.

I’m afraid my post brought some confusion.

Basically, I was worrying about my shed time due to our new confinement rules. Hence also being afraid that the Dog would/could not be ready in time. Not fun, but so be it if that’s the case… Not fun either, if we’re still not allowed to leave the country by then.

I just hope all of your PPSA events can go through as planned, Phil. yes

But I’m afraid your “don’t slow down your builds” is totally out of my control now…

@ John R > I’m not that convinced that the WHO has a special Slope Soaring Department…

The thermals needed for lift are really not that ‘hot’ anyway. They are just damp sea air locally warmed up by the sudden warmer cliffs/slopes. If you were living in the tropics, mosquitos or flies really love warm and damp areas and they can spread nasty ‘pandemic’ diseases like malaria…

@ John S > I’ll transmit your kind words to Iris… and Gaston, of course… wink



Link to comment
Share on other sites

You're mostly welcome, Martian.

I just hope a huge majority of forumites do spend some time to look at it and hopefully 'get the message'...

I'm far from a 'panic buyer' or 'pessimist' altogether, but UK, due to its geographical position has been only slightly touched so far.

But I'm afraid 'hard times' are underway for you gents.

Just in Italy, the sad record has been broken today > 672 casualties in 24 hours...

Keep it safe to all...

Cheers (if I may say so)


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Chris,

Hope you are well mate. I have been following along your exploits with the Dog and have to say what great building and problem solving skills you are showing.
My Peggy Sue build has been on the back burner for a number of months, due to work, but now because of this epidemic, my work has dried up, so, along with the isolation, it looks like I may get some time to get back on with it.
It’s such a shame that you cannot get on with this.

Take it easy and look after yourselves, let’s hope we all get out the other side.




Thanks for the link too👍

Edited By Mark Elen on 20/03/2020 20:01:45

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry to read that La Grotte is off limits Chris. Maybe you could find a small corner in your house to carry on with some parts of the build. I do all my building in a 5' 6" x 6' 6" [1.9 x 2.0]metre closet. My wife quilts in a larger room and I build airplanes, that's what will keep us sane over the upcoming months.


Edited By Steven Shaw on 20/03/2020 21:56:32

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi gents,

Thank you for the kind words, Mark.

Sorry to read that your work has dried up already. On the bright side of things you'll have some shed time now.

@ Steven > Unfortunately I don't have a place here at home, unless very small bits for 'finishing'.

But then, I might have found a 'legal' way to get to La Grotte... I'll have to test it out as soon as I can... but, shhttt...

Be safe, gents



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello to all,

I strictly followed our National confinement rules today and unfortunately had no visit at La Grotte.

The only thing I have to share is that I started to ‘construct’ the Dog’s future deco scheme.


Some moments (hours?) in Photoshop & Publisher gave me some provisional idea of the Dog’s mouth… and please don’t insist on convincing me that it looks like a shark mouth… wink

Hakuna matata Keep safe, all


BRU - BE / CTR Deco Scheme Control

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's tough being literally cut off from the workshop in these times - it is a place where you can go to forget whats happening outside for a little while. Maybe you can build an indoor model? They take time and finesse and a tiny board to work on you can put in a drawer when dinner needs to be served...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for your advice, Rob.

I have several indoor-type balsa kits or even a few life-boat type smaller kits to possibly build.

But I have not one bit of 'craft' basic tooling at home. blush

Anyhow, Iris is working from home now since a while and she is occupying the only possible spare room for her tele-conferences.

I am going to try out my 'escape' trick to get to La Grotte this afternoon. surprise

Shopping bag, dito list and mouth mask are already prepared.

Well there's no special 'trick' about it really. We're allowed to go out for food shopping, pharmacy or petrol station.

So, I'll just pretend going/driving to the local mini-market if someone asks... wink

Simples, but no idea if it's going to be needed as I'll very probably be the only one on the road...

Cheers & take care, all


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi to all,

I had my first visit at La Grotte since a short while now.

The short journey went really smooth with 2 and 4 cars respectively met during my drive both ways.

I slowly started the sanding of the first of the elevator halves.


The tip has still to be done but I wanted to make a cardboard template first to easily reproduce the shape for the second halve.

Shaping/sanding balsa blocks is not really my thing but I convinced myself to be ‘as slow’ for the next part. Just one bite at the time…

‘Matata’, but be safe, all


BRU - BE / CTR Slow Sanding Control

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello again,

I decided to have the other elevator halve sanded with both tips still to do, then to abandon the block sanding for a while and, after a marathon of measurements, to have a go with the canopy.

In fact, I started with Dirk’s great fiberglass frame and I only had to adapt/shorten Dirk’s guidelines slightly as the Dog’s fuselage is of course a bit ‘fatter’… cool


I was still in an internal fight regarding the exact positioning of the ‘office’ but - as usual - I had an almost scientific compromise… wink

The Vortex canopy was then a touch easier as it only has to sit inside the fiberglass frame.


As per Dirk’s suggestion, simple scissors are very adequate for both jobs. yes

Thanks again, Dirk.

Matata, but keep safe


BRU - BE / CTR Canopy Control

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, Dirk.

Hope you're ok too.

I had a bit of a build mojo depth but I'm sure I'll manage to keep it as 'short' as possible.

I hope that with my cutting, I can 'keep' your splendid frame to a good standard later on.

Cheers & keep safe, young man


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello gents,

A couple of days ago, Iris advised me that preparing some stuff that I like to work on would help getting my motivation back… “Focus on some of the tiny bits you like to do.”, was her advice.

Even in these though times, women are ALWAYS right, isn’t it? …

I guess cutting Dirk’s frame into bits was worrying me more than I thought and I changed my plans.

With the canopy prepared, I could transfer its shape to the fuse following my “scientific compromise” positioning.


A mist of ammonia to assist the shaping of the sides and a small block of soft balsa to form the back end curve.

Nothing very impressive here, I’m afraid.


I also prepared some laminations of 6mm light balsa triangles to construct the inclined front part of the canopy.

Matata mingi, but please, keep safe


BRU - BE / CTR Compromise Control

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi again,

A bit of progress with the canopy area.

I had the canopy front parts glued in without any problems except that they will need some ‘adaptation’ to the Vortex canopy later on. cool


I had a doubt regarding the build-up of the cockpit details with the available space and finally decided to have it in two parts, being the fixed part to the fuse and a removable central one - like a sliding-in ‘tub’ - allowing me to build up some detailing while I still have access to the internal sides of the fuse.


Gaston doesn't seem convinced at all regarding my projections, but do you gents think I’m already mentally ‘contaminated’??? … sad

Hakuna matata


BRU - BE / CTR Tub Control

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for commenting, gents.

@ Mark > I just try to be nearly as neat as you are with your PS2 build… blush

@ John > I guess Gaston is suffering a bit from that confinement we have since a while now… wink

@ Martin > thank you for the compliment, but as this is my first canopy build. I’m mainly ‘copycatting’ from other blogs just adding a bit of own inspiration, while I still have some that is… angel

I knew ‘salama’ means ‘safe’ in Swahili. Just like in ‘safari salama’, meaning ‘safe travel/trip’.

I thought ‘kaa’ did mean ‘crab’, but then I might be confusing with Lingala, the second language of ex-Belgian Congo.

But it could also be an imperative form, then meaning ‘be safe’ or ‘stay safe’… which in this case is probably more appropriate than ‘crab’… cool

I had a lot of different things handled at La Grotte; things like the pilot, some office furniture, some dummy wiring for it, etc…

I know I’m a slow builder but this time I’m nearly innocent… all those small details take so much time.

Matata anuwai


BRU - BE / CTR Details Control

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello to all,

Not really a lot of progress with those fiddly cockpit bits, I’m afraid. blush


At the back of the canopy, this is supposed to be an antenna (VHF?) but I don’t know for sure. Anyhow it’s a very current equipment for the Sabre K-series including the Dutch Q-259.

Before it left Soesterberg, our subject was obviously ‘demilitarized’ with the removing of the 20mm cannons but also the corresponding radar outfit and the gunsight.


The fuse front console remained and will - later on - become the base of a camera mount.

Matata mingi


BRU - BE / CTR Equipment Control

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...