Finishing - Page 1
10/10/05 - Now is the time to get the airframe ready to accept the Flite-Metal, I have gone back and forth a few times on whether to just paint and get it done and flying or continue on and cover with the metal but in the end I have to go with the metal. It will just look so good covered in real aluminum that I have to do it.
There are few things to do before the metal. The list is getting enjoyably short.
List of things to do ;
- Make and install top antenna
- Make top hatch? The pilot's escape hatch is a perfect place for air & charge access, but it means cutting another hole in the fuselage.
- Cut out nacelle bottom sheeting for turbo-superchargers
- Make final adjustments to fuselage/wing gap
- Make final adjustments to tail mount gap
- Make final adjustments to turret openings
- Make final adjustments to Bomb Bay door slots
- Cut window openings
- Wing tip lights? I may wait until the covering's on.
10/11/05 - I mounted the front & rear turrets and they are fine. No adjustments needed. I worked on the fuelage/wing gap and got the left wing to slide in better but I still need to work on the right side and fill any wide gaps. Because the wing slides straight on the tube but the wing is angled on the tube, it's possible to get a tight gap at the top of the wing only. A tight fit on the bottom means I'm not getting it off.
10/14/05 - I worked on the windows today. I should have kept going on the Fuse/wing mating but I got off track and started on the windows. A long time ago I cut out the windows and now I think it would have been better to wait because one of the windows is off a bit and now I have to fill it in. It should be easy to fix but it's still a small waste of time. Since the windows on the plans are drawn kinda sloppy I measured, drew and cut out window templates in 1/64" ply.
10/24/05 - Originally the windows are just cut out of the balsa sheeting as per plans and I was ready to use that but it doesn't make a good crisp line or make it easy to install the clear plastic. I came across pictures of a Don Smith B-24 build on a www.rcuniverse.com forum a while back that has thin ply for the window frames. I really liked that idea because it looks very scale but I found it after I fiberglassed and thought I could make the fiberglassed balsa work. After making the window templates and finding that a few windows were off just a enough to mess me up..why did I cut them out so soon, so many months ago!. I got the big idea of going the better route and using the thin plywood templates.
To get the alignment of the windows just right I need a good jig that will hold the fuselage in the right spot. I used the parallel lines drawn on the plan side view as a reference for the jig. Using this method I can easily put it back in alignment while working if needed.
Cutting into the fuselage at this point was hard to do but I had to do it to move forward. Using the template as a guide I cut the fiberglass skin with the knife and then used the router attachment on the Dremel and a 1/8 cutting bit.
Made all the window frames out of 1/64" ply and routed out all the windows, 13 in all. I glued them down with medium CA then sanded down any high spots and used filler to make everything flush. I thought about not using the filler because the frames look scale but with the flite-metal it will look better if everythings flush. The frame will be another layer of flite-metal. It sure looks a lot better now and the windows will go in easy. One more thing that I don't have to think about anymore!
10/28/05 - To clean up the wing/fuselage gap I put a layer of tape on the wing to simulate the aluminum covering and then put waxed paper over that and slid the wing into the fuselage. I mixed up some 20 min. epoxy and added micro-balloons into a paste and spread it into the top gaps. When it dried enough, I removed the wing and sanded it flush.
10/29/05 - Got a little work in today.
- Cut out the Turbo-supercharger holes in the nacelle bottoms.
- Cut the slots for the ball turret guns to retract into the fuselage.
10/31/05 - Finished trimming the ball turret gun slots after installing the ball turret.
Sprayed a coat of filling primer on the fuselage to highlight any places I still need to fill or sand.