The Fuselage

2/17/04 - Official start date of building phase- Started on fuselage left side - 1 hour

2/18/04 - Finished putting in left side formers and cross braces - 2 hours. Work is slow. The kids are out of school this week.I talked to Sierra Giant scale and sent them dimensions for the landing gear. Also talked to Century Jet Models to find out about their Centurion gear designed for the Palmer B-24. There may be a problem. Their gear might be designed for 4" wheels but the plans show 4.5" gear. Up-date- Talked to Century Jet Models. Their retracts are made for 4.5" wheels. I ordered a set. See below on 4/27

2/19/04 - I received the engines today. Four O.S. .25fx from Donald's Hobby Center

2/24/04 - I Ordered the Flite-Metal covering. I'm getting 62.5 sq. ft. I figure I only need around 40 sq. sq .ft. but they had a deal on 62.5 ft and it gives me some for practice and mistakes.

2/26/04 - So far I have both fuselage sides framed and connected to each other. The picture is the fuselage upside down looking towards the tail. The flat balsa plank is the flight deck. I am now waiting for the tops and bottoms of the fuselage formers to arrive from the kit cutter.  I called them and unfortunately they haven't sent the parts out yet but will in the next day or so. Fortunately I don't need them yet. I am working on the turrets and still need to build the cockpit and finish working on the bomb bay doors so that will keep me busy for a few more days. I also need to get the retracts. I have been in touch with Darrell at Sierra Giant scale for some scale retracts but they just don't seem to work very fast. Time is running out for the nose gear install.

I have glued together and trimmed the tail turret and built a machine gun from 1/8, 5/32 & 3/16 O.D. aluminum tubing. I need to get brass (5/32) for the outer gun shroud though. The aluminum is too soft and bends too easy. I also glued up some scrap wood to make some plugs to vacuum form a nose turret & ball turret. The drawing for modification of the nose for the turret is done.

2/27/04 - Ordered the landing gear today! I finally made a decision on that one. I cut my losses and went ahead and ordered the recommended gear from Century Jet Models, inc for $325. My loss is only time. Darrell at Sierra Giant scale told me today he could do it but it may take a couple months. I spent too much time trying to get closer to scale. In hindsight I should have asked "how long would it take" sooner. So I called Century Jet and ordered the B-24 retracts. For an extra $20 I'm having them change the struts to 1/2"  because it will look more scale and they said 4.5" wheels should be OK. We'll see. Total for gear- $345 They will ship around 3/4/04. Got more work done on the rear turret insides today.

3/6/04 - Finally received the fuselage former tops & bottoms and dorsal fin/rudder parts. I've been working on the nose and tail turret interior and re-designed the turret mounts to make them removable (More proof that the designer (Palmer) never built this design. He has the turrets built in). It would be very hard to sand, fiberglass and finish the fuselage with the turrets in place. The tail turret interior is looking good. I used styrene plastic from Evergreen plastics to make the turret interior. I made a trip to the local hobby train store, "The Train Shop" which has two walls full of styrene. I bought some corrugated metal sheet, .030 flat sheet, small angle, channel and tubes. It's like scratch building a plastic model. I may have built the A6B model but I'm not sure. I have some pictures of turrets and they all are different.  I'm happy with it so it's good enough for now.

I've been working on the bomb bay door and slot and after some trial and error, i think I have a pretty good design that meets my stringent criteria, simple and tough. I'm building mock-up # 3 of the front port side bomb bay. I want to work out the door mechanics on the mock-up. The doors will be made with 1/64 ply and the track runners are 1/8" brass channel cut into 1/4" lengths and glued onto a strip of 1/64 ply. Then that strip is glued to the bay door. So far it works pretty good. When I get it done I'll post some pictures.

Next after the bomb bay is to glue on the fuselage formers, then design, build and install the ball turret and tail skid retract mechanisms, put in the nose gear mount, and then sheet the fuselage. I'll do it different than Palmers instructions. I'm going to sheet the bottom and side of the fuselage while it's pinned flat to the work bench. Then I plan on turning it over, placing it into a crutch and gluing in the top formers and finish the sheeting. That should do it for the fuselage.

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Updated July 14, 2009