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Ugly Mustang strip and rebuild, can it be rescued?


Jon - Laser Engines
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As much as i really do not need more models, i have ended up with a CMPro 72'' P51. 

 

I have been after a suitable model to continue testing the laser inline engines as nothing i have in stock is either suitable or can be put together in a reasonable period of time. 

So, Mike (who is also testing our inline in a YT P51) offered me this CMPro offering for resurrection. 

 

The previous owner of this model decided it needed a new paint job, which is fair enough. Sadly however, they decided to paint it with what looks like dulux emulsion and applied it with a yard broom. This paint is flaking all over the place and is up to 1/16 inch thick in some places! There are also some weird things added all over the model. It has also had its retracts out at some point and dummy drop tanks under the wings have caused damage when being torn off

 

This is our starting point..

 

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Lovely paint finish on the wing tip. And yes, that tip is just a raw balsa block with no finishing. 

 

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Weird wooden extensions to the wing fairing

 

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The intake for the rad scoop looked weird....

 

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Until i realised it was a bodge of balsa and filler! I then found the correct intake buried under it all

 

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paint thickness....

 

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Edited by Jon - Laser Engines
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Having made a mess of the photos on the last post im splitting them up. 

 

So, what to do? 

 

Well there are some scale issues to correct. New fin/rudder profile and new wing tips. I am also going to make the flaps a little larger as well. The nose is a little long but i cannot do much about that so it will stay. 

 

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I also needed to modify the fuselage to allow a firewall further back so the inline engine will fit. Out came the stick of inches and once everything was marked and measured out the razor saw came out to play for some fuzelage amputation. 

 

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With the front section chopped off (it will be gutted and turned into a cowl later) i knocked up a firewall from some nice beefy ply

 

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Which fits as you might imagine

 

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I also did some faffing around trying to work out the best method of paint removal as i think taking it all off with save a good few lbs on its own!

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2 hours ago, David Davis said:

God it looks awful Jonathan! Even I wouldn't fly a model like that!

 

I have to confess, i dont know what was going through the mind of the person that did the work. In that shot of it from a distance it looks...ok, but close up its as rough as a badgers backside. 

 

But, i think it can be saved with a little work. I just need to find some silver film covering for the wings that wont break the bank

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Well, today has been a bit of a nightmare. 

 

I started with some paint removal from the fuselage. After my palm sander sent my hand numb i went to using a chisel to scrape it all off. This was effective but time consuming and i still have a long way to go. 20211205_133644.thumb.jpg.2ad1f75cdc2bfe0d865040f8c6c23d40.jpg

 

I then turned my attention to the wing. I chopped off the wing tips with my tenon saw, then yanked all the control surfaces off. 

 

After that i started stripping the covering and was really shocked by how heavy it was with all the paint on it. As you can see, it just splinters off and reveals some nice markings. I dont know why you would paint over it. 

 

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Anyway the wing looked a bit dodgy when first stripped as all the painted areas in the next photos were where previous repairs had either glued the covering down or, in the case of the under side, was solid filler. 20211205_122733.thumb.jpg.19531be58cd7cdb9b890f4e9aa8d617a.jpg20211205_122756.thumb.jpg.49975a5052d6a6b18fdd228d058bd17c.jpg20211205_122802.thumb.jpg.e4ea25422bd95cad1c5ed8daa5c41d4a.jpg

 

 

It was at this point that things began to go rather wrong. Every time i peeled back a piece of wood i found something nasty. This meant a larger area needed stripping. I then found even more nasties. This was made worse by the fact that the wood use has to be the softest and most fragile balsa i have ever known. Just looking at it makes it all fall apart. But, all 4 main spars are broken, some in 4 places, and the previous 'repair' work was a massive bodge job and needed to be stripped out. I need to replace all of the leading edge ribs, much of the sheeting, and make some ply webs to take the load off of the damaged spars. All in all, its a right dogs dinner. 

 

 

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12 minutes ago, Jon - Laser Engines said:

My work bench often ends up a mess simply due to lack of space and the fact that i always seem to need every tool i own. Having too many jobs on the go is not helpful either. 

A messy workbench is the sign of a genius at work! 

Jon I'm with you on fixing that wing. It's annoying to do, but very satisfying when you can save a wing (or fuselage) like that . Once done it will be better and stronger than new. Good luck with the rebuild.

 

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