13th Sqadron F6F build log

SSgt Duramax

Junior Member
Ok, I had promised that I was going to not only build the 13th squadron F6f by @Niez13 but I would make a build log. When I was researching the plane, I didn't find one, and I had seen some folks say they want one so here we are. The 13th squadron site has some amazing plans and I have also built the zero too!


If this is your first master series type build, do yourself a favor and watch the P-47 build video by FT/John Overstreet.

So I had been procrastinating on this for a while. I finally got most of the parts cut out aside from the skins. Cutting out all of the formers was agonizing and tedious, but necessary (PS does anyone in San Antonio have a laser cutter? )

I also use different types of glue throughout the build. Sometimes I like a longer set time, and sometimes another option is lighter and stronger. You can complete this build using explicitly hot glue.

My parts pile so far.


First up, put a score in the wing and fold it according to the templates.

Here it is, I used a ruler to ensure that it folded straight. I just barely scored it to help guide the fold. Repeat for other side.
Next Install your spars, I used a combo of hot glue and wood glue (hot glue keeps it in place while the wood glue dries). Repeat for both sides.

Then glue in your wooden spars. I think this is some 1/16x1 birch I found on sale at hobby lobby. Glued in place with wood glue, and clamped until dry.

I installed/routed the servos and wires. You need 2 6 inch extensions, and a Y harness, unless you are doing dual ailerons, then I guess you would just need 2 12 inch extensions. I did not glue the servos in, which ended up paying off. So don't glue them in yet!

Start with your inner upper wing skins, first start by removing the inner paper, and sculpting the whole skin master series style over a table corner (Watch the P-47 video!)

Then move your focus to the front of the wing skin, it should start to look like an airfoil.

They should easily fit over just like such.

Optional: Bevel the leading edge of your skin. The official masters style build technique doesn't require this, but I think it looks better and gives the glue more area to bite. I just used a 150 grit sanding block.

I dampened one surface, taped down the leading edge tightly (be sure to line it up perfectly) applied a little water and some white gorilla glue. I weighted it down and let it sit for about 30 minutes. I only did the leading edge and spar, and came back later and did the trailing edge. After about 5 minutes, come back and if any glue has oozed out the front trailing edge, wipe it off, it is easier now than to try to cut/sand it off later.

Also, don't use paint cans, I got lucky my first time, but my other side has two little circle indents on it. Yuk! I use jugs of oil or coolant typically. Anything heavyish that will distribute weight evenly and not have stress risers.

Repeat the process for the outer skins. Be sure to bevel your aileron hinges and treat them with glue to ensure they don't delaminate. The servos had to be pushed down a little, if I had glued them in, I wouldn't have been able to close my wing. Run the glue along the leading edge and spars, as well as the inside of the skin where it butts up to the inner wing span. The white gorilla glue will expand. If you have any little gaps from your shaky hand cutting the foam, the gorilla glue will totally expand and cover your mistakes! Wipe off any oozing out after about 5 minutes (it seems to expand the most during the first 5-10 minutes).

Completed wing assembly. This wing is big, with a thick root, and relatively light. I have zero doubts this plane will fly well on this wing. I still need to trim up some edges. Yes, there will be a gap between the wings.

Next up, fold your body, it is a B Fold on the top, and a quasi A fold on the bottom. Make sure it is nice and square. I like to wood glue one side, and tape it down to a 90 degree aluminum L angle stock. It will hold it a perfect 90 degrees flush while drying. Hot glue works here as well and would be quicker. You can still do a variation of the aluminum angle move too.
Unfortunately, half of the time when I build these low wing planes, the wings don't quite line up perfectly. Which means you have to d some adjusting.

I like to take one of these half round bastard files and sand it down slowly. They're only $3 at Harbor freightYou can go in guns ablazin with a razor, but this is easier and slower, but more accurate .

The fuselage frame is glued securely to the wing good n straight with the gorilla glue.


Next up the H stab. Get your score cuts done.

Then make sure that both sides are able to fold over without interference. Mine wouldnt line up so I had to trim.


Next get your bevels going. Double bevels for the leading edge. I beveled the elevator and not the H stab which seemed right seeing how the parts fit.

You want to be careful not to cut through your paper. You dont want unsightly tape on your master series plane. I accidentally messed mine up trying to do the "sharpie bevel" which when it didnt work i tried to razor it. I poked a sizeable hole in my paper, so I just made a new one. It was worth it making templates. Since i prioritized not cutting the paper my bevels were ugly. It is good to smooth it out so it folds easily.
Be sure to bevel that little tip part too. I didnt on my first one and it wrinkled.


Then white gorilla glue to hold it closed and along the leading edge.


Then get your tailfeathers glued together. Finishing the vstab/rudder is just like any other FT build.

Then we need to get the formers on. It is common sense, but slide B on before A. Just line them up with the spots on the plans/templates. I put little pin pricks where the formers go. The formers are different colors just because I made them out of scrap foam, there is no particular reason. You can finagle former g on there tactically by sliding it on sideways then rotating, but you have to cut former H.


Then glue your tailfeathers on.


Run your coffee straws for your servos through formers D-H. Then mount servos and hook up your elevator and rudder like any other flite test build, or use linkage stoppers if you choose.

I put my servos between formers C and D.


I ran out of parts. Time to cut out skins.


Peel the paper off.


Start by working your foam and then tape it. I put a sharp crease in the top and taped it for about an hour.


A trick i figured too late for my zero, but if you tape the bottom lip where it folds under to a broom stick, then roll it and it puts a nice curve on the bottom.

After some trimming, as the skin was too "tall (could have been my fault making templates or a printing error)


After trimming about a quarter inch off, you can still see there was too much skin material.


Same process for the next skin. I had to trim this down the same amount as well.

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SSgt Duramax

Junior Member
Cut out your remaining cowling pieces, carefully! These are easy to wrinkle. I assembled these two before I mounted them on the plane. I must have wrinkled about 3 pieces before I finally ended up with a non wrinkle one (which eventually wrinkled).


Here it is attached with gorilla glue taped on for drying.


The bottom hatch is very straight forward, you make the former structure, then you put the skin, then sand/trim to fit.



Alright, filler/minwax time. There are some places that the panels didn't line up or there was a gap. I tried a technique where I layered the spackle and the minwax a few times to increase the strength of the filler. Sometimes it has cracked on a rough landing, but it wasn't protected by anything.

Minwaxed and ready for paint! I also ran wood glue down all the corners with exposed bare foam to ensure the paper didn't delaminate. It won't, not from the edges anyways.

I experimented using different things to make the canopy out of. This clear one was from cheapo gladware from the dollar tree. I also tried DTFB, and eventually ended up with posterboard, there is no wrong answer, I didn't like the way the gladware fit, and at the end of the day, I wasn't going to put a cockpit in it, so it didn't need to be transparent, maybe another day!

First coat on, lightly misted over the minwaxed airframe. Make sure to let the minwax cure 24 hours before you paint or you will have problems.

Here we are all painted up. The color was Krylon Ink blue, and I think it came pretty close to being scale. It looks good and I still have some paint left.

Test fit the motor. The D3530 will give me pretty of oomph. It has more juice than the C pack motors, but not quite as much as the new FT warbird radials. (Although I have a couple of 3536s on the way in and one might make their way on to this). This motor, while a little nose heavy on my P40 gave me unlimited vertical with a 10x4.5 prop when I tested it, which you see installed below. I literally took the power pod out of my P40, trimmed it down, and shoved it in. Other prop possibilities are a 9x6, and I also took the dive for $4 on a 9x9x3 prop to see if I can't get a more scale experience. The motor is up to the task if I want to do a 11 inch slow fly prop too, but where is the fun in that?

My paint job started getting out of hand. I was just going to do two tone, then I realized I had the wrong kind of blue, so I had to do the 3 color one. Also I pinched the wingtips together. Do this before you paint and stuff. It caused the paper to bubble up real bad.

So much so that I had to do wing tip repair. I just cut the paper off, and glued more paper back, treated it and painted it. It worked out, and you can barely tell that there was a repair done.


You can see what it looked like bubbled up on the aileron, I eventually fixed that too. By the way, the wing still isn't together, I am just going to cut some posterboard and cover it, or just leave it.

I did a light coat of spackle, minwax, more spackle, and more minwax, and sanded/blended it.

And this is how it eventually turned out.

Got the middle stripe going. I tried to make an intermediate blue, I did ok based off the pics, I could have added more gray. I did a 50/50 mix of gray and navy blue, but I should have probably done a 60/40 gray:blue ratio and added some more white. If I were to paint this again, I would do the middle, then the top and bottom, or work my way up, I kind of did it backwards.

Time for some decals/stickers. Well, they aren't really, I google image searched a decal set for a F6F and picked the ones I liked out of it. I kind of eyeballed how big the roundels appeared on the plane, measured the F former, and came up with the idea that the roundel should be about 4-4.5 inches tall. I went with 4 inches, but maybe I should have went 4.5. Oh well, 4 inches was 225% larger than the image I was working with, so I scaled everything else up accordingly.

I printed them out on a good quality printer (we have one at work, I would think this would cost no more than a couple of dollars at office depot or whatever). I carefully cut them out, it took about 20 minutes cutting out these, but I did it during my lunch break when I usually sit in my car and twiddle my thumbs and play phone games. I then sprayed super77 on the back of the "decals" and carefully adhered them to the plane. I used masking tape to mark where they go or mark key points so they would be even.

Sidenote, the yellow frog tape for delicate surfaces is great. I have had zero issue with it pulling paint off or delaminating foam so long as you are careful and peel from the middle and not the edges.

I figured since I went all in with the paint, it needed the cat mouth too.


Taped the canopy on to hold while the glue dried. Clear gorilla glue takes FOREVER to dry. I just hand painted the canopy with acrylic then minwaxed over it.


Here we are almost ready to go! I still need to hook up my ailerons, find my neodymium magnets to affix the hatch (I am getting ready to head to lowes to get helicopter repair parts anyways, might just buy some more), get some velcro in for the batteries, and figure out how to secure my power pod. I also plan on shooting it with some satin clear coat to protect the stickers and get rid of that minwax dribble over the wing. I also plan on adding soot from the exhaust. I am currently experimenting with techniques.

Weight with no battery is 1lb 5oz so right at 600 grams. I have no clue what the thing is supposed to weight, but it is lighter than the FT MS P-47 from what I can find (what the plans say it should weigh) and a little heavier than the FT P-51 MS build (I think it was like 500 or 550 grams). Not bad considering all the paint and filler. I joked in another thread that I like to build light so that I can then cover it with paint!



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SSgt Duramax

Junior Member
Sweet! Looks good! Better than anything I am capable of! Lol
Nah, you can do it. This would probably be a good one to start with. Honestly, if the masters are something you want to try, I would go with the speed build kit as to avoid having to cut formers.

SSgt Duramax

Junior Member
Updated first post with progress.

I am on vacation now, so no progress until the new year.

When I get back my motor should be in and I will be able to finish it up after the new year. All I need to do for maiden is finish the skins, then install the powerpod/minwax and it will be ready for maiden.

I plan on running a 3530 in this like nerdnic runs in his basic set ups. I will test it out in my P40 before it gets the seal of approval on this. Should make about 1300g of thrust on 3S. Should be plenty.
Ok, I had promised that I was going to not only build the 13th squadron F6f by @Niez13 but I would make a build log. When I was researching the plane, I didn't find one, and I had seen some folks say they want one so here we are.
No need to apologize for a build log! This is one thing I miss from the "old" FT forum. Build threads. This sort of thing should be a basic foundational part of this forum.

Much, much too much material in the first post. Ugh. :D
I figured either put it in the first post so the next person that finds it can follow along, or it will be spread out.
One thing is the thread can lose traction and get buried real quick, and nobody knows it's here. If you give it out in pieces it's like getting a bump (to the top) every time you post something new.

Plane looks fantastic. Good on you, that's something to be proud of.

SSgt Duramax

Junior Member
One thing is the thread can lose traction and get buried real quick, and nobody knows it's here. If you give it out in pieces it's like getting a bump (to the top) every time you post something new.

Plane looks fantastic. Good on you, that's something to be proud of.
Thanks. Thats why I bumped it when I updated it. ;)

A build thread subsection would be nice though.