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Warbird Replicas Spitfire LF mk IXc

My build of this kit

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Ady Hayward23/02/2015 10:01:10
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734 forum posts
1224 photos

Fitting the wing to the fuselage is a critical operation as it ensures everything is square to the fuselage and not only will it look right, it will also fly right. The front locating dowel is engaged into the fuselage former and the wing carefully placed in position. It may be necessary to relieve some of the fuselage material to allow the wing to seat, but only the smallest amount required needs to be removed. Check the symmetry of the fuselage/ wing from the front to ensure that the wing is not canted off to one side. and that the tailplane will also be in the same alignment as the wing.
The next step is to attach two equal lengths of thin cord or fishing line from the centre of the lower fuselage at the fin end and ensure that the wing is square to the fuselage in plan view by ensuring that the lines are of equal length to each prominent point on the wing tips ie. the aileron tip at the cut outs[ or the rib positions at the trailing edges. When satisfied with the wing alignment mark the wing centre on the wing and fuselage so that they match.

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I then pinned the wing to the fuselage to immobilise it and screwed a nylon bolt with a tapered end through the wing fixing plate in via the cockpit.

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When the bolt touched the balsa wing it was screwed in a few more turns so that the point marked the wing skin.

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The bolt was then screwed through the remaining captive nut and the wing was removed and the marks were drilled out to 7mm and the wing fit checked again using the wing bolts through the correct side.

Adrian

 

Edited By Ady Hayward on 23/02/2015 10:01:56

Ady Hayward23/02/2015 10:11:31
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734 forum posts
1224 photos

The wing fairings were the next task, with the first operation being the positioning of the fairing/ wing seating. The thin ply sheet is let between the wing and fuselage such that the inside edge is flush with the ply fuselage doubler.

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CA adhesive was run between the ply plate and the fuselage so it stayed stuck in place. The next was to stabilise the plate with one of the four fillet formers provided. This former fits at the trailing edge with the long section running span-wise. 2 pieces of the spare 12mm (1/2" triangular balsa were cut to 150mm length and then a series of cuts were made around 80% through the section some 3mm apart increasing to 10mm at the rear as shown in the photographs. (Ensure that a LEFT and RIGHT section is cut).

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The sections were then bent around the leading edge such that the rear end was some 135mm from the leading edge and then were glued to the fuselage and plywood fairing bases When set these were shaped to give the blending of the fuselage to the wing roots.

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The balsa top covers were offered into position and the forward ends marked so to give the position of the cut-outs for the top sheet. The balsa section is cut down 1.5mm (1/16" so that the top fairing sheet had a decent area to fix to.

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The edges were feathered to give better blending and the sections were glued in place and allowed to set.

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Adrian

Ady Hayward24/02/2015 18:37:05
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734 forum posts
1224 photos

Hi Folks.

Progress is still going on. The following process takes a lot less time to do than explain so here goes:

The rear wing fairing started with the fixing of the 2nd wing fillet support being attached rearwards of the first so that it will support the leading edge of the rear fillet section. I marked a line (From the drawings) at the rear point of the fairing some 15mm upwards and parallel to the fuselage sheet line.

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The upper fairing sheet had the top and bottom edges feathered and then was offered into position where a line was drawn to mark the position of the top edge. PVA adhesive was applied to the top edge and leading edge and then stuck in position until set.

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The lower sheet section was then glued to the underside of the fairing, fuselage and edge of the ply fairing base.

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Adrian

David P Williams25/02/2015 15:40:03
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818 forum posts
282 photos

Great stuff Ady - following with interest. Just received my kit from the new batch, destined for an SC52fs.

Ady Hayward25/02/2015 21:35:30
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734 forum posts
1224 photos

Hi David,

Congratulations on your purchase. I'm sure you will not be disappointed with it and many thanks for the kind comments. The motor mount is the only major difference between the Lekkie and IC versions so the build blog will still be very viable. Please add your build to this blog if you would like to contribute. The more ideas and infos the better.

Adrian

David P Williams26/02/2015 10:34:26
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818 forum posts
282 photos

Examining the box contents everything looks good. I bought the electric retracts and epoxy cowl too, bit more robust for the four stroke. Won't be building it anytime soon though - too much on the production line at the moment, finishing a couple of Atoms, then back to the Chipmunk to finish that, then a funfighter for Greenacres, then maybe the Spitfire. I just bagged a kit while they were available.

Ady Hayward02/03/2015 23:51:25
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734 forum posts
1224 photos

Hi again,

I'm still plodding on with things. I chose to spend a little time filling and sanding and addition of the rear control surfaces. I managed to carefully open one of the bends on the elevator joiners supplied and fitted a short length of tubing to act as a simple bearing. The joiner was bent back into close to the original shape and checked thoroughly for any signs of stress which thankfully there were none. In hindsight there was very little to gain with this exercise. The joiner was offered to the rear of the tailplane and the void to the rear of the fuselage was filled with soft balsa ensuring that the elevator joiner was securely positioned along the centre of the tailplane and was free to rotate.

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Each of the elevators and then the rudder were sanded to shape. The elevators each had a slot made in the leading edges and holes drilled into the control surface to accept the elevator joiner.

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When satisfied with the fit each elevator was offered to the fuselage and the root was sanded so that it allowed the elevator to fit to the tailplane and align with the end of the fuselage as seen in the photographs. A small piece of soft balsa was then cut to shape and was glued in place to match the elevator root each side. (In the shadow)

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The rudder was simply sanded to the desired shape and set aside for covering etc the elevators were also set aside ready for the covering process.

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The wing/ fuselage join was next and again I digressed slightly from the build instructions in that I instead of using the trailing edge stock for reinforcing the point where the wing bolt heads bear onto the wing I used some liteply instead. I cut two pieces of ply around 20mm x 25mm and drilled the bolt fixing hole to suit so that the ply was supporting the wing and spreading the load, but also fitting just inside the fuselage line.

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Pieces of soft balsa were used to fair in the area forwards of the wing trailing edge and sanded so to follow the rear fuselage line and blend into the wing underside.

 

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A similar task was carried out at the wing leading edge.

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Adrian

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited By Ady Hayward on 02/03/2015 23:59:41

Ady Hayward07/03/2015 09:17:40
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734 forum posts
1224 photos

Hi Folks.

Nothing much to show at the moment. I have given everything two coats of Water Based PolyUrethane (WBPU) rubbing it down after each. Weight gain was minimal but all surfaces to be covered have a very smooth surface to attach to. The wings will be covered in 25g/ sq metre glass cloth and the fuselage and control surfaces will be covered with 18g glass cloth. Pics will follow when I cover the relevant parts.

Adrian

Ady Hayward09/03/2015 00:35:28
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734 forum posts
1224 photos

Now the fun bits......
The Spitfire has fabric covered control surfaces all round the tail end and metal covered ailerons. The metal skinning needs nothing more than a smooth finish to replicate the metal surface, but the fabric covering shows the internal structure to some extent. The method that I have found works well is to use thin strips of masking tape which are placed in the corresponding position of the structure.

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The result is that when the covering is in place there is a little sag between the ribs.

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The trim tabs are picked out by scoring the surface before and after the covering is applied so to highlight them.

I have covered the control surfaces with 18gsm glass fibre cloth to keep the weight down and also to give the tail feathers a more satisfactory appearance of cloth over frames as opposed to the ailerons which are all metal.
The glass cloth was cut about 15mm oversize all round and I started with the undersides.

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I laid one of the cut glass cloth over each of the control surfaces in turn which were then given a coat of WBPU working from the centre outwards making sure that there were no bubbles, creases or wrinkles visible. When the surfaces were dry I then gently sanded off the excess glass cloth and repeated the process on the top surface making sure that the surplus cloth was on the underside where it can be sanded back and blended in with the surface.

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Adrian

Tony Bennett09/03/2015 06:46:56
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5071 forum posts
129 photos

nice work sir

like the masking tape idea.

Steve T09/03/2015 13:04:29
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488 forum posts
74 photos

Must try to remember the masking tape when I get to my build, next winter! I could almost do with a print out of this post to supplement the Warbirds instructions and plan, shows what a good job you are doing Adrian keeping us so up to date and informed. 👍

Ady Hayward09/03/2015 13:30:38
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734 forum posts
1224 photos

Hi Tony, Steve.

I cannot recall where the idea came from but it has worked well for me on a few models that were balsa, foam and depron builds. It is simple to do, the only drawback is working with thin strips that want to curl up but with a little perseverance all ends well.

Steve. I usually copy the blog page and paste into a Word document. This works well enough to have a hard copy of anything submitted. I'm glad the blog is of use and just wish more modellers could try a balsa build and post their experiences. It all goes to help people over the hurdles that go with building an aeroplane.

Adrian

Geoff Gardiner11/03/2015 20:54:53
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357 forum posts
618 photos

Hi Adrian.

Have been enjoying following your build. I also like your masking tape trick on the rudder and elevators. Do you use one layer of tape per strip or several (to build up a bit of depth)?

Geoff...

Ady Hayward12/03/2015 09:17:03
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734 forum posts
1224 photos

Hi Geoff,

Many thanks for your kind comments.. The masking tape is only single layer I find that the definition and sag is sufficient to give the effect of structure underneath mainly because the tape allows the wbpu to fill the weave so leaves it glossy and the fabric between still shows the weave. More layers will work but in my view are probably not worth the effort.

Adrian

Jon - Laser Engines12/03/2015 10:15:17
4597 forum posts
172 photos

watching this makes me want to get my warbirds hurricane kit started....must wait, too many projects ahead of it...

Ady Hayward14/03/2015 00:02:10
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734 forum posts
1224 photos

Well I'm here at the covering bit. It may seem daunting but in actual fact is almost identical to the time old method of covering with nylon or tissue.

As explained earlier the wings are covered with 25g per square metre glass cloth and the fuselage, control surfaces and tail feathers are covered with 18g per square metre glass cloth. The fixing medium was water based varnish, in this case Wilco brand Ultra tough quick dry satin varnish.

First were the tailplane halves so the cloth was cut with some 20mm of surplus all round except for the root where the excess was around 5-10mm over.

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The process started with the underside covered first wrapping around the surface all round working the varnish from the centre outwards wetting the glass cloth thoroughly but with the minimum varnish necessary. When dry the edges were sanded very gently with 400 grade wet/ dry used dry to cut the glass cloth on the leading edge centre line and the trailing edge upper edge. The upper surface was covered next in the same fashion wrapping the cloth well under the edges. When dry the cloth was sanded off in the same way except that it was cut from the trailing edge lower edge and round the tip and leading edge some 5mm inwards from the edge so effectively the top skin wraps further around with the edges out of sight. The edges can easily be partly feathered in especially at the tailplane root where the fuselage glass cloth will overlap.

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The fuselage was covered in two halves with the overlap being quite generous around the wing fillet by around 150mm and to also include the fin. The cloth was laid over the fuselage and stabilised by a few pins, one just in front of the tailplane, one at the top of the cockpit side at the rear bulkhead, the fuselage centre at the front former and the last at the bottom of the fin post. This allows the glass to be folded under the tailplane so the lower tailplane edge can be marked with a soft pencil or crayon from the tailplane leading edge to the trailing edge. The glass is then cut some 2.5mm above the line with a further small cut upwards and downwards at the tailplane leading edge thus allowing the glass to be positioned around the tailplane with a small overlap onto the tailplane root. The upper section of glass cloth can also be stabilised with a pin at the trailing edge of the fin at the top.

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The glass cloth is then wetted out from the fuselage centre along the centre portion towards the tail, around the tailplane and up to the fin top where like the tailplane the surplus cloth is wrapped over the centre and on to the other side. The glass will be found to form around the compound curves quite easily. If it appears to be in the wrong place then keep it wet and it can be carefully lifted off and repositioned. The glass was then wetted out down to the wing fillet where with some careful cuts with sharp scissors the cloth can be worked around the fillet and wrapped over the fillet to cover the fillet underside and any other fuselage area where the cloth cannot be manipulated. Again some pins may be useful to hold the cloth in position. The remainder of the glass is then wetted out to cover the complete half fuselage and overlap the centre by some 20mm or so. Any gaps can easily be covered with a suitably sized piece of scrap cloth wetted into position.

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When dry the excess cloth is cut/ sanded away leaving a small overlap over the vertical centre line. The same process is carried out for the opposite side. When dry the whole can be carefully sanded to blend in the cloth edges, blemishes etc.

Ady Hayward14/03/2015 00:45:59
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734 forum posts
1224 photos

It is possible to cover the whole wing upper or lower surface with a single piece of glass cloth but there is also an increased risk of it all going not to plan so experience suggested to cover the wing as four separate panels.

The wing was covered in a very similar fashion to the tailplane with the cloth being cut a little bigger (Around 25mm all around) than the wing. Some scrap glass cloth is wrapped around the aileron root and tip sections ensuring they were kept tight so no air pockets could form until set and then had the edges feathered in to the surrounding wing skin ready for the main covering.

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The cloth as positioned over the wing underside and held in place with a few pins at the tip and mid span at the leading and trailing edges mid span and at the wing centre. The cloth was then wetted out from the centre outwards until the whole lower wing surface is covered. The aileron opening was cut at the edge of the root and tip ends and the cloth wrapped around onto the wing upper surface.

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All edges were then wrapped around with about 5mm of cloth adhesion on the wing upper surface and the centre section having an overlap of at least 25mm.

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When dry the glass was cut at the leading edge centre line and the trailing edge and wing tip upper edges and the glass cloth edges were blended into the wing surface using the 400 grade wet/ dry paper. The same process was used for the opposite wing underside.

The wing top surface was covered in two parts in the same manner as the underside but having the glass cloth wrap around the leading and trailing edges by at least 5mm so all of the cloth edges are out of sight on the wing undersides.

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The edges can be carefully blended in to some degree but they will disappear during the finishing process.

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Adrian

Tony Bennett14/03/2015 07:11:29
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5071 forum posts
129 photos

nice work.

must try glassing one day.

Ady Hayward14/03/2015 08:33:09
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734 forum posts
1224 photos

Many thanks Tony.

With wbpu it really is easier than it looks.

Adrian

Steve T14/03/2015 14:26:01
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488 forum posts
74 photos

I am def going for glossing next build cover, well done Adrian, this really has made it so much easier to follow than all the other sites I have trawled through, lack of photos on all of them has been my issue before, great job mate!

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