By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more
Forum sponsored by:
Forum sponsored by CML

An idiot's guide to building a Barnstormer

Or how an idiot went about trying to build a Barnstormer 63

All Topics | Latest Posts

Search for:  in Thread Title in  
Nigel Day18/03/2014 20:01:27
1158 forum posts
213 photos

So, after lurking around here for a few months following the build blogs of the experienced and inspiring, I’m about to build my second model, a Barnstormer 63”.

At the speed I build, Phil, Danny and others will have ironed out all the really tricky bits by the time I get to them. That’s the plan anyway.

I have an over-developed sense of humour and I’m not easily offended. If you read something in this build blog that you think is wrong, or feel I need help with, by all means chip in. Even if it’s only to ask “Why did you do that Nigel?” The more interactive this is, the better.

I suspect that my efforts will be entertaining and they might even be instructive – albeit in a “I’ll know not to do it that way again” kind of way.

I learnt a lot whilst building my first, a Ben Buckle Junior 60. It’s still to fly as I haven’t run the engine in yet nor had much practice on the sim. Hopefully when I get a nice day and can make it to my local flying site I’ll find an understanding ‘pro’ who’ll get it up in the air for me and/or land it.

There's no shed to build in so my ‘workshop’ is split into two ‘benches’. The first is in my office and covers one of two desks I have there. This is where the sawing and cutting out takes place, especially when the weather’s not so nice. The other is in our ‘family room’ where I have 2/3 of a dining table. My wife does her craft bits on the other 1/3. You can see the photos here.

The ribs, cabanes, wheels and plans all came from DB Sport. The rest from various sources and cut up by me. I’ve tried to make sure that they’re all the right size and true but only time will tell……

I just need to finish sanding a few of them to size and we’ll be off.

In the meantime, a few questions.

1) What electric motor (make, size etc), ESC, battery and prop etc would anyone recommend? I don’t expect to be trying advanced aerobatics in it but neither do I plan to only putter about with it. This model will probably be my main trainer for a little while. It would be nice to get the lot from one place and whilst I’m not totally penniless, I don’t need the mut’s nuts either.

2) I’m adding ailerons so what kind of dihedral (if any) will I need?

3) Because I’m going electric I’ll need to adjust the nose a bit – by reducing the size or building up a mount of some kind between the motor and F2. What do folks recommend?

That’ll do for now. I’m sure I’ll have plenty of questions later.

kevin b18/03/2014 20:35:14
1705 forum posts
128 photos

Hi Nigel and welcome to the deep end of the swamp. Now you've done it, there is no going back. This is turning into a good laugh and I am looking forward. to Greenacres.

The only issue I will take up with you is the thread title. It should be "Another......" I'm sure the mods will put it right.

Good luck with the build . I will follow with interest. I'm waiting for the wind to die down to below gale force so that I can get someone to test mine.

kevinb. "Shedstormer"

Danny Fenton18/03/2014 20:46:06
9311 forum posts
4125 photos
Looking forward to this Nigel
john stones 118/03/2014 20:48:28
10821 forum posts
1482 photos

Yep cant be that bad if you can build a Super 60wink

lets keep the build area tidy though, they are sticklers for a tidy workplacecheeky

looking forward to it NIgel

cymaz19/03/2014 09:43:24
8905 forum posts
1179 photos

BRING IT ON............photobeer

Like the picture showing a pub guide and a BBQ apron......the man's a genius. 

Edited By cymaz on 19/03/2014 09:46:35

Josip Vrandecic -Mes19/03/2014 10:05:48
2993 forum posts
260 photos

Hi Nigel ,at first, you are a person with positive thinking, and secondly, you are from enough to wish you all the bestthumbs up

Note : My dear friend Al, now lives in  Croatia,He is also from Cornwall....that reason for good mood...face 1


Edited By Josip Vrandecic -Mes on 19/03/2014 10:06:42

Nigel Day19/03/2014 10:36:17
1158 forum posts
213 photos

Thanks Kevin, Danny, John, Cymaz and Joe.

It looks as though there good be plenty of banter here. Excellent!

It was only a Junior 60 John, not a Super 60. The covering's iffy at the wingtips (I'm going to try a heat gun to shrink it embarrassed } and the nose but certainly looks OK otherwise. How it'll fly is anyone's guess.

The apron is actually to protect me from glue and other cr*p Cymaz. I guess that removes half the street cred eh? That said, it does get used when the weather is good enough.

Hi Joe. Despite what Yorkies say, Cornwall seems to be God's own county. It's a bit remote but a beautiful place to live. I had a web coder working for me from Bosnia. Lovely guy to work with and great grasp of english 'slang'.

I'm hoping to get started properly tomorrow (Thursday). It's my wife's day volunteering at a local National Trust property so I get a clear run. wink

john stones 119/03/2014 10:49:43
10821 forum posts
1482 photos

there you go Nigel your not an idiot after all, you spotted my deliberate mistakewink

only did it to boost your confidence smiley I wasn't implying you'd had it that long it had matured devil

Danny Fenton19/03/2014 10:59:25
9311 forum posts
4125 photos

For it to be a "proper" build blog you need to get to at least the bottom of page two without actually opening the glue wink 2

As for motor, prop, esc etc etc, I should steal domebody elses set up, should guarantee success wink 2 Just make sure they have flown it succesfully smile o

Better savor those pics of the office and dining room, a permanent layer of balsa dust will soon descend......



Nigel Day19/03/2014 11:18:07
1158 forum posts
213 photos

You joke Danny but a previous boss of mine who was keen on anagrams realised that my name makes 'delaying'. He thought it quite appropriate - and he wasn't alone. smiley

Wait until I get going John. Then you'll realise that I was right all along. I started the Junior 60 build over 4 years ago and then parked it after completing the wing halves. It's 'only' taken me 6 months to complete it from when I picked it up again last September.....

kc19/03/2014 19:18:12
6202 forum posts
169 photos
I suggest making the nose so the Lipo can go right behind the motor so keeping the weight well forward to avoid using lead to get CG right. Equally making the bulkheads with a cutout big enough to push the lipo back if required.
In other words avoid using stand off type mounts.

Maybe aim for 4.5 pound to 5 pounds all up weight and a 4S3000 Lipo and 400 to 500 watt motor as a minimum. What do the experts think?
Nigel Day21/03/2014 17:57:20
1158 forum posts
213 photos

Thanks kc.

PatMc recommended Turnigy 3548 900kv, 60A esc, 12x6 prop on 4s 4000 lipo

and was seconded by Pete B so in the absence of anything else, that's what I'll go with.

Nigel Day21/03/2014 18:15:47
1158 forum posts
213 photos

Right, so I'm finally off and running.

First proper progress report (and before the end of the second page!) and I've already learnt lessons, made mistakes and avoided others.

I've tried building two sides of a fuselage on top of each other and whilst it worked OK, I didn't put anything between them and had a little fun splitting them afterwards. I don't fancy doing one, covering it with cling film etc and then doing the other (too slow) so I've adopted another approach.

When i got my plans, the first thing I did was to get 3 photocopies. The original went into storage (just in aces), one went on the drawing board and another went upstairs to the cutting/sawing/sanding bench. The third was cut up into pieces. I took the fuse section and placed it on the drawing board, next to the fuse section on the main plan.


If I'd been really clever (and I'll do this for the wing), I'd have edited the scan of the plan to produce a reversed version. That way I could build a left and right-hand side together. As it is, I need to leave the tail infill area off one of them until I've taken it off the board.


Fortunately everything else on the fuselage (as built on the plan) is the same for both sides.

I'd read about the measurements of bits on the templates differing from the plan and had checked the parts out, I thought. When I came to check where the F4 former fitted, I realised that the forward body sides were about 1/16th too long.


Luckily I'd taken the approach of cutting all the pieces and fitting them up dry. I took the sides off, shortened them and put them back.


I'll glue the gusset and the brace to the longerons with the former in place to get the correct spacing and then remove it until I join the fuse sides.

Where the bottom longeron joins the front sides, it needs to bend. Rather than rely on the glue keeping it flush and a decent joint, I thought I'd try bending it using a kitchen cleaning spray, as has been suggested elsewhere. It's drying in place as I write this so I'll let you know whether it worked or not in the next exciting episode......

kc21/03/2014 19:23:19
6202 forum posts
169 photos
I noticed that Pat used a 900kv as he was using 4S while someone else used a 1100kv because he used only 3S. So they used a motor with a suitable Kv for the battery they used. That's the important part that went unmentioned in your other thread.
Actually they both used bigger ( heavier) Lipo's than I expected so maybe they would go further back. It all depends on how heavy (at the tail end )your model turns out, so it's best to make provision for enough adjustment of the Lipo position.
The reason for building one side over the other is to ensure they are exactly the same width and the uprights are in exactly the same place. Its easy to feel a tiny difference in width etc but harder to spot by eye whether they are exactly on the lines of the plan. Having them exactly the same makes it easier to avoid banana shaped fuselages!
kc21/03/2014 19:33:30
6202 forum posts
169 photos
I think the triangular gusset should only be glued in when the former is glued in. Reason is it needs a strong glue joint otherwise it wont do much. If the sides are even slightly different the former position may have to be adjusted to get everything square. You dont want to be limited too much by having glued a gusset in too early.
Nigel Day21/03/2014 19:35:22
1158 forum posts
213 photos

Thanks kc. I'll make sure that I have flexibility for battery placement in the nose when I come to add the various trays/shelves that I might need.

It'll be interesting to see how close the fuse sides will be then! surprise

Yes, I was having second thoughts about gluing the gusset and cross-piece anyway. I'll leave it until I join the fuse halves with the formers.

Edited By Nigel Day on 21/03/2014 19:36:47

Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator21/03/2014 23:53:52
15748 forum posts
1460 photos

Nice start Nigel. I'll enjoy watching this one come together - I'm confident it will be a shiningly good example of the type!


john stones 122/03/2014 00:27:31
10821 forum posts
1482 photos

good stuff Nigel

you're a naturalwink

Danny Fenton22/03/2014 00:47:44
9311 forum posts
4125 photos

Glue before the bottom of page! 1 well done, a good start too. I think a layer of clear plastic sheet between fus sides, if you build one above the other is a must there Nigel but you got away with it thumbs up

Looking forward to the next installment



Nigel Day22/03/2014 08:13:52
1158 forum posts
213 photos

Thanks BEB, John, Danny.

Yes, but what type BEB?

A natural what John?

We'll see if I got away with it when I put the sides together Danny.


All Topics | Latest Posts

Please login to post a reply.

Magazine Locator

Want the latest issue of RCM&E? Use our magazine locator link to find your nearest stockist!

Find RCM&E! 

Latest Forum Posts
Support Our Partners
electricwingman 2017
Wings & Wheels 2019
Cambridge Gliding Club
Sussex Model Centre
Advertise With Us
Latest "For Sale" Ads
Do you use a throttle kill switch?
Q: This refers to electric-powered models but do you use a throttle kill switch?


Latest Reviews
Digital Back Issues

RCM&E Digital Back Issues

Contact us

Contact us