Other than waiting for the glue to dry on the pieces added today the wings are approaching the finish line for rough construction. I still need to install the inner-most ribs and the main wing-joiner which will give a small amount of dihedral, all of which should happen tomorrow. In the meantime I'm starting on the fuselage, which is HUGE! From firewall to the end of the fuselage (not including the rudder) it's over 6 feet long. Good thing I picked up a new bottle of Tite Bond, as the fuselage doublers on this beast are going to soak up a lot of it!
That looks really nice. Love the symmetry and the wood. It's not traditional for a "Stick" but can you imagine part of the wings covered transparent to show off the furniture? It's sad to cover it all up with opaque film. After all the time I spent decorating my airplanes the one that gets the most compliments is the "Contest Commercial" covered with crystal clear film and no color.
Before kicking off my morning build I took a drive to an estate sale where they're selling off a big collection of planes, kits, and parts. Besides adding a 1/5 scale Pica P-51 kit and a vintage Top Flite P-39 Aerocobra kit to my stash I also was able to pick up a lot of misc accessories that might be handy.
First up are some pulleys, which might be useful if I decide to do pull-pull cables for the ailerons. I recall seeing pulleys like this visible through inspection windows on vintage planes, and it might be a nice detail to add. It would certainly add more complexity as well, so I'm up in the air on this one for now.
Next I found some 1/4 scale aerodynamic control horns, which I've never seen before. Again, not sure if these will be used or not but they could provide a little extra detail to the build and would certainly look better than a generic control horn.
Moving on to the construction of the fuselage... Plywood is used quite a bit in this build, with both sides being made completely from light ply. The doublers are also light ply. The side with clamps has a few more pieces added and I'm using just about every small hobby clamp I have to secure the parts while the glue dries. After the other side is done I think the fuselage formers get installed. Instructions are a little vague on some of the details on these pieces and would benefit greatly from pictures or diagrams like the better manuals have, but so far there haven't been any issues I couldn't figure out.
Most work on the fuselage sides is done, so time to start joining them together. A while back I made those tall magnetic 90* jigs and they came in handy again finally. After epoxy cures on these four formers the firewall and rear formers can be installed. I'll probably then add the bottom sheeting but wait on top sheeting while I figure out how I'm going to run cables and such to the tail.
Putting the fuselage off to the side and getting back to the wing. First thing I need to do is get the dihedral set with the wings lined up. To make sure they are nice and straight I'm using a laser level to throw a line down the length of both spars (hard to see in this picture). The closer wing will be propped up about 3" on the end, although the instructions call for 4" - for me that just doesn't look as good. Once everything is lined up I can draw the lines and start measuring so the wings will sit flush together. At first glance it looks like each side will need about 1.5 degrees of angle cut. To test that I'll cut a dihedral brace at 3 degrees and see if that gives me the correct result.
Note to self: if you use a lot of epoxy you'll run out of it more quickly. So all I'm left with is 5 minute epoxy, no more 15 or 30 minute (30 is my preferred) to do the inner wing ribs today, but at least I can get all the parts cut and ready. I'm on the road for work the next few days so I can wait for Amazon to deliver more supplies. In the meantime I'll probably get the vertical stab and rudder started.
This is as far as I'm getting for the next few days, gotta get packed up for travel now. The outline for the stabilizer and rudder are cut and next will be the inner stringers. When this is all done I'll copy the outline from the plans and use it to cut away the excess material. Then sheeting can be done. It's moving quite fast, a feature I really like about the Stick design.
So my job involves travelling the state, which I enjoy quite a bit. Usually my last appointment for the day or week is a few hundred miles from home or where I need to start the following day, but sometimes things work out better for me. Today I wrapped up my day 4 of travel and my last meeting at 2, and found myself less than 20 minutes from home. Since the rest of the family was still working or at school I got busy making balsa dust! The inner structure of the vertical stab and rudder was finished up and glued, and then sheeting for both was joined to make sheets big enough to cover those parts. As with many of my previous balsa builds I wanted to incorporate some "vintage" balsa I got from my dad a decade or three ago into the build. Most of it has been used, but I did have a full sheet of 3/32" x 4" x 48" on hand from him. This would also give me fewer seams to glue as the material included with the kit is 3" wide. Now it all sits while the glue dries, and I can start unpacking from my travel.
Struts/braces for the tail are not called for on this plane, but I've got other large plane that have 'em and they look good. If I were smart I'd have built the structure in to the tail as it was under construction, but I can still make it work. Since these pieces aren't "functional" and mainly for looks I'm not too worried about making it all strong. Either way, more than balsa is required to keep from crushing the wood. I've got some very thin ply (1/32"?) and am shaving enough of the original balsa sheeting away to let me flush-mount the ply into the surface. Later on I'll drill the holes that will let me mount the tail braces. It's a simple detail that will look good on the plane (in theory). After the excess is shaved off with a #11 blade I'll come back and sand it flat before gluing the ply in place. A touch of balsa filler will smooth it out and fill any minor recesses.