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Martyn's F-86 Sabre Build Blog

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Martyn K12/08/2019 13:13:55
5041 forum posts
3677 photos

As we have started bagsying (I haven't used that word since I was kid - far older than the spell checker reference dictionary) colour schemes, I have decided to go with this very loud scheme. It will be a real test of my painting capabilities.

Bring out the dancing girls laugh

I'll get my kit when I get back from my holidays hopefully. At the moment desperately trying to get some of the WIP models finished


Martin Gay12/08/2019 14:05:00
318 forum posts
244 photos


Your kit is ready for posting. Do you want me to stick it in the mail tomorrow? You could receive it by Thursday!


Alan Gorham_12/08/2019 14:39:10
1149 forum posts
133 photos

Wow! We might have to call you "Flash Harry" Martyn. That is bright!

Martyn K12/08/2019 14:48:07
5041 forum posts
3677 photos

Hi Martin - responded by email but yes please...

Alan - Loud and proud - I like inspirational schemes

Martyn K12/08/2019 14:52:51
5041 forum posts
3677 photos

A few more to keep the appetite whetted





May start work on the artwork stencils while I am on holiday. That Skyblazers logo looks challenging


Martin Gay12/08/2019 16:20:49
318 forum posts
244 photos


Does this help?


It is available in .cdr .ai and .wmf formats here:


Monz12/08/2019 19:46:47
550 forum posts
31 photos

Very nice Martyn!

Martyn K13/08/2019 16:23:53
5041 forum posts
3677 photos

Thanks both

and yes Martin... Very helpful

Oliver Holmes18/08/2019 00:07:51
2 forum posts

I considered this scheme for my build but decided not to go for it. Good luck.

Mark Kettle 112/09/2019 12:22:46
2491 forum posts
1504 photos

Martyn a true American finish, brilliant.

Martyn K01/11/2019 23:11:35
5041 forum posts
3677 photos

Its 1st of November and its traditional to make a start.


Its a Battery Box. laugh

Just needed a little bit of fettling of the end cap to fit nicely.

However, the round holes appear to be at the wrong end..

I don't think that is important or cant be easily remedied if it is a problem..

In the meantime, I am still reviewing the plan.

More to come


Martyn K02/11/2019 11:55:37
5041 forum posts
3677 photos

Made a start on the fus this morning. The fus may appears to be built around the central 3 formers so started there. A bit of very light fettling to get the 4 ply parts to fit and laid up over the plan. Used squares to ensure that the vertical parts were indeed vertical



With that assembly dried, I built the same assembly for the other side, using the left hand side as a jig to make sure the parts will align when the two halves are matched up


More to come. Hopefully get the left side framed up this weekend


McG 696902/11/2019 12:14:19
2894 forum posts
1097 photos

Hi Martyn,

A quick starter you are.

I'll have to wait until a few more threads are appearing in order to allow me to 'pinch' some tricks.

If I'm allowed, what is the purpose of those holes in the corner of your battery box?



Martin Gay02/11/2019 13:28:43
318 forum posts
244 photos

Hi Chris,

The holes have no specific function, they are there to easily identify the side pieces when assembling the battery box.


Martin Gay02/11/2019 13:32:18
318 forum posts
244 photos


Your Sabre is progressing well. All the joints look nice and tight.

I prefer that to loose joints, even if is does require a little tickling of the pieces with a file. Makes for a strongly constructed model in my opinion.


Martyn K04/11/2019 13:32:54
5041 forum posts
3677 photos

A bit more progress on Saturday.

Getting the LHS pinned down and framed out. All very straight forward so far


The fus was a simple extension of the centre 'box' and went together quite easily

Some 1/8" sheet hard balsa was stripped for the rear outer frame and pinned down.


The formers added and all push gently together so I can remove the excess glue..


I actually missed fitting the ply tail mount and had to redo that.

All the ply to ply joints need a little manipulation to get a good tight fit but its not onerous. Just take your time and it will go together quite well. One of the joints was so tight that I couldn't separate it after a dry fit so simply left it and wicked some cyano in.

Nothing done yesterday as it was the UKCAA AGM them minute writing.

3/16 square longerons cut this morning then scarf joints - they will be fitted this evening.

More to come


Peter Garsden08/11/2019 11:55:20
1674 forum posts
1254 photos

Great scheme Martyn - could be done in Solarfilm/Oracover methinks also

Martyn K11/11/2019 13:16:07
5041 forum posts
3677 photos

Moving on and apologies that this is a little late.


while waiting for the glue to dry I assembled the wing building jig. This was a real treat although I plan to assemble the wing slightly. I didn't glue my jig, just relied on the good fit between the horizontal and vertical parts. The idea is that I can strip it down and store it until I break the wing after the maiden.

dsc_1292.jpg It really does go together well


Back on the fus. The remaining stringers were added. I used balsa but TBH, I wish I had used Spruce.


F3 and F5 were a bit tricky. They need adding at the same time that you glue the stringers in but the natural curve of the stringer will try and lift them so the stringer needs pushing down with weights to hold it in place while the glue dries. Not a big problem


Scarf joint for the stringers. The are longer than 36" so a joint is required. I stagger my joints so that are not all in one place.


With all the stringers in place and while the 1/2 was still pinned down. I added the first of the two planks. I prefer to make my planks as wide as possible - especially on the relatively flat area. These are 20mm wide. I soak one side (the outside with a spray bottle) and pre-form the curves by gently bending between my fingers. Mark and glue the frame then clamp then into place and leave them to dry. I use clamps to hold them down as well as pull them together. Wide strips = less glue and less filler if your joints aren't brilliant. I tend to sand a taper (as the front and rear on the plank will normally be around a smaller radius) and also slight bevel to get a good joint. One thing to watch if you have never planked before is that it is OK to bend the plank down the length, however try and avoid bending it laterally as well as they will put stresses on the join and also induce a fuselage twisting action.


Close up..


Where possible I try and terminate the joints on a former so when the next plank goes on it will have something to glue to. I also stagger my joints as much as possible.


Edited By Martyn K on 11/11/2019 13:35:26

Martyn K11/11/2019 13:33:12
5041 forum posts
3677 photos

With those first two planks in, the half should be stiff enough and torsionally resistant. I now deviate from the instructions and assemble the 2nd half directly over the first half.. Why? So I cam take advantage of the flat bottom. Don't forget the wing plate...dsc_1302.jpg

like this. It need a bit of fettling to get it to fit. 5 minutes with a sanding block. Nothing too bad..


The wing 'box'had already been assembled so it was a simple job of getting it to fit..


Wing plate in place


The second half assembled. No problems


The matching two plans now added to the right hand side


While waiting for the glue to dry, I made a start on the wing. Bottom spar from hardish balsa. The plan says they are 1/4 x 1/8 balsa, they are actually 3/16 x 1/4 balsa


Each rib then had the spar slots recut to accommodate the sweepback. I used a 6mm spar slotter from permagrit

The observant will notice a second deviation from the plan. I haven't added the lower sheeting. Two reasons, 1. I want to fit servos etc before the lower sheet is fitted and 2. I can use the frame to align the ribs while the glue dries - like this..


Lots of clamps and no pins


False LE and TE added - this required the ends of each rib to have a vertical taper cut. I used a razor blade


And while the glue was drying on the wing I carried on with the planking taking advantage of the fairly flat area to add wide plans. I don't have sufficient space to use as many clams as I would like to the pins are out.


Plank 3 in place


The two lower areas each side of the wing mounting area ae very flat and can be easily sheeted over. Very very wide planks


The other wing half in progress while waiting for the glue on the fus to dry..


The plan specifies a 3/16 ply LE plate. I only had 1/4 ply handy so trimmed of 1/16" off the front edge of R1 to R3

The upper spar added. I have used spruce for the first 60% of the wing spliced to balsa at the tips.


And there is the joint.

More to come,


Martyn K02/12/2019 09:44:34
5041 forum posts
3677 photos

A bit of a delay - apologies..

There has been some progress though. I have a new laptop that is adding to my typing turmoil as it has a different keyboard layout


Added a short central brace (top and bottom from 6mm balsa. Links the two halves together quite nicely


Started work on the elevator horn. Mine is made from 1.5mm glass fibre sheet to the same layout as the plan. A brass bearing tube with supporting washer epoxied in place as a pivot. This site inside two hardwood blocks with brass tube bearing. Shouldn't be any wear problems.



Meanwhile the planking goes on


and on..


The wing seating area now cutaway. I wish that I had half cut that former before I glued it into place..


The upper side of the wings sheeted and glued into a test fit fives me a nice indication of size.


I will fill the wing roots in when the wing gets bolted into place


A test fit of the horn, its offset because I am using an internal rudder torque rod


R/E servos fitted. Lower than shown on the plan because I am using pushrods rather than snakes


Fin sanded to shape and fitted. The hinge line for the rudder has been moved forward about 3mm to clear the elevator hinge


Measured the angle directly off the plan and checked it was vertical by using Mk1 eyeball against the wing. It needed a little packing to sit against the ply side plates


Added a little more sheeting around the fin. There is not much of a curve here and one piece of 3mm balsa fitted nicely


and more planking...


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