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Member postings for Geoff Sleath

Here is a list of all the postings Geoff Sleath has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: BMFA numbers. Is this true, or a gross exaggeration?
13/11/2019 00:53:51

Well I didn't become involved in aeromodelling as an adult until my mid to late 50s and that was only because injury stopped me from sailing and serious long distance cycling. I was also in the process of restoring a 500cc Ariel trials bike which I abandoned as I would be unable to ride it competively. I just needed something that would occupy me at home and offer a bit of fresh air as well.

I seem to have taken sriously something that was started as a bit of a lark


Thread: Repairing a 3D Angel "Jigsaw"
13/11/2019 00:46:05

You're doing a great job. Somehow repairing someone else's disaster is quite therapeutic - you've got everything to gain and little to lose except a few materials and time.

It'll be interesting to know how much heavier the repaired airframe is and how it affects the flight performance.


Thread: Building Board Cover
13/11/2019 00:40:13

If you mean plan protection during building then I've been using cling film for years. The fact that it often isn't wide enough to cover a whole plan isn't a problem; I just overlap it as necessary. It's so thin and transparent it's not noticed. In fact, as I use magnetic blocks for building rather than pins, the lack of holes means I can be supermean and reuse it when building smaller structures like, say, ailerons.


Thread: DB 60" Sopwith Pup
12/11/2019 12:11:23

Well spotted, it is. I bought it for restoration at a knock down price but it doesn't match the set of drawings I got for it at the same time. I forgot to add it to my list of 'to do' projects in an earlier thread last week

The other model is the Ryan ST I built from a kit I 'found' in the club hut and bought to contribute to club funds (part of the kit bank of a sadly departed member). Without doubt the worst kit I've ever made. Still to be test flown - the weather beat me.

All the lightening holes in the Pup are from the CNC procedure. In the case of the wing seat soft balsa perhaps over done - but I'm not a designer. The kit has its issues (what doesn't?) but I'm still enthusiastic about it and would certainly recommend it. I know it'll be easy to assemble at the field and I confidently expect it to fly well


Thread: Help! Twisted wing
12/11/2019 10:37:18
Posted by will -0 on 11/11/2019 12:37:00:

Incidentally this is one reason I prefer to build wings "in the hand" rather than pinned down. I find the pinning down technique can lead to warps appearing as the pins are released as there are stresses built in which are masked by the pins.

I couldn't disagree more.

If the structure is pinned or held absolutely flat by another method (I now use a magnetic building board) and the components are fitted properly then it will not have in built stresses and will remain flat when lifted off the board. I've just built 2 pairs of wings for my Sopwith Pup with them firmly held on the board both for building and joining and they are both warp free as are numerous wings I've built the same way.

You only have to read Peter Miller's design/build threads to see that pinning a wing down on an absolutely true surface is the best (perhaps only) way have getting warp free wing.


Thread: DB 60" Sopwith Pup
12/11/2019 10:17:15

I fitted the cabanes and top wing platform (I even put the top wing roughly in place just to see it looking like a biplane for the first time).

Checking that the front cabane is square before stitching and glueing with slow epoxy.

fuselage 15.jpg

I stole a needle form my wife's sewing box (one with the biggest eye), cut off the point and used it to thread the super strong thread I use for jobs like this. It comes from a cone of thread that my wife rescued when she was working in a factory that manufactured clean room clothing when it was thrown out. No idea what it is but it's incredibly strong and I have literally miles of it I think. It'll last me out! DB supply a bobbin of thread for the purpose but I opted for my own which is a bit thicker, I think. My technique is to 'sew' 3 times for each hole and then fix it with a drop of cyano. My jig held everything firmly in place.

Binding and soldering the top was very easy and nothing shifted. There are often queries about what soldering iron to buy so I thought I'd show what the one I use for heavy soldering looks like.

soldering iron.jpg

I've had it for 60 years. I think my dad gave it me - either that or I stole it from him. It's 125 watts and has a wooden handle, though I'm sure newer ones will have plastic It's 125 watts and has a big enough thermal capacity once heated to make soldering piano wire a piece of cake. Not ideal for soldering integrated circuits, of course, but I have a smaller one for that!

The incidence of the platform is 1 degree +ve relative to the top of the fuselage (and the bottom wing).

fuselage 16.jpg

Here it's very slightly over 1 degree but the rear cabane is still held with tie wraps and a slight adjustment will be made before sewing and glueing.


Thread: S1581 Hawker Nimrod MkI
11/11/2019 21:04:47

The trouble with this thread is that it's way, way beyong my pay grade I'm just awestruck by the beauty of this model construction. It doesn't help that I think the Hawker Nimrod is a great biplane (not as great as the Sopwith Pup, of course but ...)

So sorry for not commenting


Thread: DB 60" Sopwith Pup
11/11/2019 20:54:36

I've got some Oratex covering but I'll need some matching paint for the cowl. Do you know if anyone supplies such a thing or am I goingto have to try B&Q for a special mix or a local art shop to try acrylics?


Thread: YT 72" Hurricane
11/11/2019 20:49:03

Reg Shaw's might be able to help with control throws. In his other 'alias' as Ian Redshaw I'm pretty sure he had a hand in the development if not the design. I certainly saw him fly one of the early ones at Ashbourne. Try a PM.

It should well powered with a Laser 150. I think the prototypes were flown with RCV 90s.


Thread: Help! Twisted wing
11/11/2019 12:25:49

I assume the smaller Cirrus Moth is like its bigger 58" version and has leading edge sheeting (neither the 58" DB Tiger Moth nor the 60" Sopwith Pup do) and I would guess is almost impossible to correct without serious surgery - eg removing the the sheeting, pinning everything flat and refitting/recovering.

The top wing is fairly straight forward and it would be easy to make a new one. Perhaps the best solution for the sake of a few bits of balsa. Do you have the drawing?

You could see if DB could supply a wing only kit or, failing that, the drawing. Eddie Stocker supplied me with a complete set of drawings for the 58" Tiger Moth I'd been given for £10 plus postage about 8/10 years ago.


Thread: Ebay sellers...
11/11/2019 10:50:52

It's a shame, really, because once upon a time I bet that was a very nice model but, as Peter writes, it would be better sent up in smoke to take to the air for one last time


Thread: DB 60" Sopwith Pup
10/11/2019 23:09:34

Dave: Glad you're enjoying it. So am I

Just checked my uprights and they are quite square. However, the main advantage of the jig is in keeping the fuselage under construction, straight. The uprights can be held in place using the SLEC plastic clamps which fit exactly in the grooves and using a normal square to check vertical. I've had mine for 20 years. It's on a piece of MDF board with battens screwed on the bottom to keep it flat.


10/11/2019 21:24:09

Today part 2.

Cabane fitting, next. The part that supports the front cabane mount is held back from the firewall by the extra 3mm ply which allows for the glow engine mount. As mine is electric I don't have that and that means the fixing point is further forward than shown on the drawings. To get the structure to agree with the drawing I've inserted a piece of 3mm balsa and taken about 6mm off the plywood itself. Because I'm intending to use the top hatch to fit my batteries I want it to be as big as possible. I also added some exta support underneath. I used aliphatic.

fuselage 14.jpg

The drawing has a diagram showing the angle for the front cabane support. I made a pair of jigs from the glow firewall 3mm ply supplied and fitted them on the fuselage with tie wraps. Where the piano wire is stitched and glued (epoxy) the instructions suggest wrapping with masking tape. I've used that method before and it works surprisingly well. I did the same with the rear supports - again tie wraps help a lot.

It's important to get the incidence of the top wing exactly right so I got out my trustly parallel rules, blew off the dust (well they got me across the North Sea before such luxuries as GPS navigation aids!) and made the measurement.

fuselage 13.jpg

There was me thinking they'd be parallel and all the measurement aid I'd need was a spirit level. I know it's only 1 degree but that comes at 5mm over a 250mm length. So it looks like myRobart incidence meter will be in use sometime soon.

I've also been thinking deeply about battery installation/changing but that's for later.


Edited By Geoff Sleath on 10/11/2019 21:27:45

10/11/2019 21:04:12

I seem to spend hours doing very little - or perhaps seeming to achieve very little but the model does actually grow

Last night I epoxied the firewall in place. I opted to use the 60 minute version to avoid panic as I tried with some success to clamp it securely - I even used an elastic wing band! I modified one part to allow me to add some extra glueing area by adding some 0.5" triangular stock outside the main central box.

fuselage 10.jpg

The balsa sheet is there to provide a location for the stringers that support the 0.4mm ply which forms part of the tapered cylindrical shape characteristic of the Pup's fuselage. I cut away enough to allow the triangular parts to glue both to the firewall and the outside of the box sides. Probably not necessary but I like my firewalls well attached and the extra weight, especially so far forward, is irrelevant.

The first job this morning was to fit the bottom wing 3mm T nuts so that it was properly fitted in its final position before I tackled the cabane for the top wing. So I clamped it in place and checked for square by my usual method of a bit of string attached to very rear of the fuselage and checking to each wing tip. It was pretty well spot-on so I bit the bullet and drilled a 3mm hole through the brass tubes of the wing and into the attachment plate. After drilling the first hole I dropped a bolt in to ensure nothing moved as I drilled the second.

I opened the holes to 4mm and contersunk the back to accept the T nuts. Glueing was once more 60 minute epoxy (taking care to apply Vaseline to the threads.) The wing fits perfectly and the 3mm bolts drop straight into the T nut threads.

I deviated slightly from the instructions and plans when fitting the 2 parts of the fuselage together.

fuselage 12.jpg

The top longeron has a big support triangle shown on the drawing. I couldn't find it so made my own. Subsequently I came across them but instead of part # 128 it looked like 123 and moreover was much smaller - so future builders be aware. I prefer mine

The other change I made is at the bottom where I added a long triangular support piece to spread the load. The balsa here is very soft - ideal for the wing seat but, IMO, not quite so much for a critical support component. I've effectivly added a 0.8mm ply doubler to the inside. You can see it clearly here on the port side. If I were building another, I'd leave the blanks in the lightening holes and actually glue them in. The balsa here is so light the weight increase would be difficult to measure. Just my feelings. No reflection on DB - I don't think I've ever slavishly followed instructions or plans on kits I've built. Going a little off piste is part of the fun IMO.


Edited By Geoff Sleath on 10/11/2019 21:07:23

Thread: How many on-going projects and unstarted kits do you have?
10/11/2019 00:08:36

plus a few other bits of projects etc, whether I do them or not, they're not coming to harm, there's no rush!! plus a few other bits of projects etc, whether I do them or not, they're not coming to harm, there's no rush!!

Reg: When you're my age there IS a rush

You never mentioned your narrow boat. Doesn't that need some work?

I know you built a super new workshop a couple of years ago but that 1/4 scale Wellington must take up a huge amount of space, to say nothing of the rest.


09/11/2019 15:52:26

Not counting unstarted kits, I have 3 started but, as yet unfinished models on the burner.

1: DB S&S 60" Sopwith Pup, which is very much on the front burner and actually being worked on almost as I write (waiting for glue to set )

2: Quarter scale Airsail AOP9 which hasn't beem touched for about 5 years. I was struggling to find a suitable engine and both petrol engines I tried wouldn't fit the narrow cowl (Zenoah 26, now in a Maher's Thunderbird and a Mackay 30, now in my GP Super Stearman). If I restart it, it'll be electric as a motor will be easier to get into the cowl.

3. Not an aeroplane but a boat. - a 1.2 metre long Thames spritsail barge. I've just about completed the hull, fitted a sail winch and sprit adjustment serv as well as a rudder servo. The lee boards are made as is the 'cheat' fin (but not the lead weight) and the rudder. I have to make all the simulated deck gear (winches etc), the 2 masts and the sprit. Then there's the 5 sails (main, top, mizzen, and 2 foresails) which is a bit daunting. One reason it's on hold is that I can't think where to sail it once finished. Lack of convenient model sailing water is what got me aeromodelling. I started this after a few aeromodelling misfortunes put me off the hobby for a year or more. The plans, DVD, and CNC cut hull frames etc ended up costing me nothing because Traplet refunded my £90 because the CNC cut parts were totally wrong - I did manage to bodge them to make a fine looking hull in the end though I say it myself.

Unstarted kits are a Blasacraft Hurricane, a Warbirds Hurricane, a set of Dennis Bryant parts, drawing etc for a 54"ws SE5a, a competition 2m glider designed by a club mate and a small model of the Wright Flyer I bought at Kitty Hawk as a memento. I think that's it. Ah, there a tiny SE5a kit I got from Banggood for indoor.


Thread: Autumn is been flying ?
09/11/2019 11:42:11

Flying very curtailed the last few weeks (even months?). My hands, particularly the right, don't take kindly to the cold despite numerous efforts with a variety of gloves and attempts at heating arrangements, so I call it a day when the temperature is in single figures. Funny really, as for many years I was a passionate motorcyclist and my only concession to winter was to fit a sidecar, handlebar muffs and ride on regardless. I even used to compete regularly in the MCC (Motor Cycling Club - oldest motor sport club in the world) Exeter Trial in early January which involved a couple of hundred miles riding, mostly through the night, and a few rough hills.

Anyway, as anyone watching my Sopwith Pup build log can testify, I haven't abandoned toy aeroplanes altogether and progress has been, for me, rapid and even successful! So I spend my time here, in the workshop, with occasional flurries on the forum as I wait for glue to set or my mind to settle


Thread: DB 60" Sopwith Pup
09/11/2019 00:23:20

You're welcome, Alan.

Now a bit more progress on the fuselage. I completed the front section but before I glued it all together I did a dry run and found a couple of components that were easier to glue together before full assembly. So to help other builders (if there are any here).

fuselage 7.jpg

These fit right at the back of the wing seat and are tricky to fit in when it all looks like this in the jig.

fuselage 3.jpg

fuselage 4.jpg

Then I ended up with a complete forward section except for the firewall, which I opted to leave until later because it will be fixed with 60 minute epoxy (it tkes longer than 60 minutes to set completely so best left overnight.

fuselage 8.jpg

and here

fuselage 9.jpg

The rear section of the fuselage is frame structure rather like a vintage model. Each side is built flat on the plan from 1/4" x 1/4" strip. It's fairly straight forward except for the diagonals which I find a great pain to get right. The joints are reinforced with 1mm ply semi circles. I built the second side over the first, separated with cling film, in order to be sure of 2 identical parts

After some thought I decided the easiest way to join front to back accurately was with the front inverted because the top is dead flat. The top longeron goes right from the back to the firewall, and the slanting bottom longeron ends at the back of the front structure.

fuselage 11.jpg

... and here it is. Looking almost like an aeroplane fuselage for the first time.

I couldn't resist trying the bottom wing to see if it fitted. It's perfect! I checked and it's absolutely square with the fuselage. The only tiny problem was that it was a bit too tight at the t/e and a couple of strokes with a Permagrit file and that went away. I think I may need to ease the fit a bit more to allow for covering but I'm pleased with it so far.


Thread: DB Sport and Scale 1/4 Pup Battery Hatch Details
07/11/2019 12:29:28

Ready to maiden? You don't need a gun for that George Let me know when you're ready because I want to be there when you do.

I assume your batteries are mounted across the fuselage from your photos. It doesn't look like they're very much forward of the CoG but if it balances then that's all that's needed. Is there any lead at all? It looks a neat arrangement but I hope you intend a battery strap in addition to the Velcro.

It gives me hope that I'll get away with minmal ballast because I intend 2 batteries (4S rather than 6S) right up behind the firewall dropped in place through a top hatch.


Thread: DB 60" Sopwith Pup
06/11/2019 20:15:28

Hi Alan

It's just a sheet of 1mm (approx) steel about 450mm x 1000mm in area, hough, it can be any size to suit the user. The magnetic blocks are very accurate triangular wooden blocks with a 6mm magnet embedded in one face. I think the wood is beech but I'm no expert - it is quite hard.

Someone was selling the blocks at Cosford last year as well as sheets of steel (though, of course, you could get the steel anywhere). I bought 20 blocks which is just about enough but I'd like another 10. Unfortunately the guy selling them wasn't there this year. I'm fairly sure he was an LMA member. I suppose I could make my own but I don't think I could match the accuracy of the ones I bought. There's always the opportunity to make other blocks for special purposes because the magnets are readily available - I use them for holding catches on models.

Much better than pins (though I sometimes use pins to hold parts together - eg holding the ribs down onto the leading edge) because, after a build, the drawings are as good as when you started as no adhesive seeps through the pin holes in whatever you use to protect the plan (I use cling film).




Edited By Geoff Sleath on 06/11/2019 20:15:50

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