Finishing - page 6
3/1/06 - I finally got the skull and crossed bombs and the "053" painted and it looks great. I've been looking forward to this day for only about two years! It's always stressful when I paint but evermore so with this tail. Lots of bumps to mask over means more chances of bleed under and always lurking is the dreaded paint pull up when the tape comes off. I really don't want to sand down and repaint anything at this point.
I used frisket film from Badger that I bought 15 years ago and it's still in good shape. Just to make sure I did a test run and the frisket worked great. The frisket film is an 8 1/2" x 11" clear film with low tack adhesive that sticks just enough and conformed around the panel lines very well. I tried printing the 053 and the skull on the film but the 053 stuck but the skull would not. The frisket film is backed with paper so I flipped the skull and printed it onto the backing paper. I taped the printed sheet to another sheet and taped both to some .030 plastic and cut out the skull and 053.
With the frisket's on and everything else taped up I thinned the paint, Testors Model Master Insignia Red, FS 31136, and started painting. I was determined to spray several light coats to avoid tape bleed under and I got a nice light first coat on but my airbrush was just a bit under sized and was painting stripes. On the second coat of the left side I tried to not paint stripes and got it on thicker than I wanted ( typical of my paint jobs). Two more light coats and it looked good, no runs, sags or light spots. Wanting to tear off the frisket and get a look I opted for patience and waited until the next day.
Peeling back the frisket revealed little bits bleed under on the left side which I carefully scraped off with an exacto knife but overall I was happy. The right side was much better, no bleed under and it looked great. Patience and several light coats is definitely the way to go. I could learn something here!
I taped off the panels, top & bottom, one at a time and buffed with #0000 steel wool opposing directions. I started on the bottom just to make sure it will look OK and it sure does! It gives the Aluminum paint a grain that looks like aluminum sheeting and smoothes out the paint that gives it a bit of a shine that helps the look too. Even the bottom where I did not spray panel lines looks great. I suspect the the grain will help when I do the weathering wash too to give the wash something to stick into.
I drew the trim tabs on with pencil and then ink. I wish now that I had cut into the rudder before covering so the trim tab would look more realistic like I did on the aileron trim tab but if you don't look too close it looks pretty good. I made trim tab control linkages from some styrene to complete the illusion. The tail section is pretty much done now. I just need to install the servos and put the hinge pins in for good.
3/2/06 - I got the panel lines drawn on the wing. It was much easier because there are not very many. The hardest part was determining exactly where they should go since everything I have that shows the panel lines shows them differently. I chose the 3 view from the 1/48 scale Monogram kit that I have and put everything else away. I couldn't use the Palmer plan because he only has the bottom panel lines drawn. I'm not putting the bottom panels on until after paint.
The weather is bad out side so I'm not sure when I'll get the wing panels done but I'm hoping to have it done and get the wing and fuselage painted ASAP.
3/4/06 - I bought four Castle Creations Phoenix 45 amp Electronic Speed Controller's at my LHS, Sheldon's Hobbies in San Jose. I got a great deal at my LHS, $80 each after tax. Forty-five amp ESC's may be a bit over kill but they don't weigh or cost much more and I won't have to worry about over-amping them. A very nice thing about Castle Creations Phoenix ESC's is that they have up gradable software using their Castle link software and USB link. Which helps to keep all four ESC's in balance to each other and very easy to set up too.
The plastic 7 cylinder "Wasp" radials arrived and look OK. Not super detailed but for $2.50 ea. they are not bad and I can detail them up a bit. I think they may be about the right size too.
I ordered the motors, props, prop adapters and battery packs from Hobby-Lobby. I went with the AXI 2820/12, Poly Quest 4000 mAh 3s packs and Graupner 10-7 three bladed props. Four of each! There went my hobby budget for the year! The Polyquest packs will just fit through the hole in the bottoms of the nacelles for the superchargers. I can velcro on the supercharger and I'll be able to get the packs in & out without too much trouble I think.
I wanted to and it was recommended to me that I should use one or two big packs and run all the motors/ESC's off it so that when the battery dumps all the motors would shut off. Having the battery in the nose of the aircraft would help with balancing but there is no way to cool the packs and the ESC's ( the speed control HAS to be near the battery) and I would get hit by voltage losses on the long wires. Having the motor/ESC/battery in each nacelle simplifies things a bit, keeps the wires short and provides good cooling air. I don't plan on running the batteries down to cut off voltage so I should have no problems with motors cutting off.