FTFC22: Build-ruary by bwarz


Building Fool-Flying Noob
Oops - forgot to add #4 build placeholder.
FTFC22 Build log summary of the Curtiss P36 Hawk by Bwarz

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I'm creating the plans for this and I hope to have them online before the contest is over!

I've long been a sucker for WW2 aircraft, but I have a special affinity for radial engined aircraft - the Corsair, the Hellcat, the P47, and of course the P36. I just love the lines. My first plans that I did were of the P36 as a kinda mini. Ever since that design, before I even built a Master Series styled DTFB plane, I said I was going to do a P36. The alpha build is not yet complete but is definitely airworthy. This will mark the #2 beta build to finalize the plans so I can be a bit more comfortable providing them to whomever wants to build one!

Here is the alpha build in it's current state, riding in the back of the vehicle on its way to the maiden flight!
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Day 1 of the P36 build - prep work! 2/9

Tonight I carved up my paper plans and got them onto the foam board. It's a start!
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Just a note of learning on the way through this (reviewing my alpha build):
When assembling the hstab on any plane (as I have made this mistake another time in the past, but caught prior to maiden flight) ensure the angle of the hstab front to back is proper with what is to be expected. While I realize this make absolute sense, one does get excited when building and may not remember or simply overlook making sure everything is as straight and proper as you can get it.

Day 2 of building (or cutting as it were) 2/10
Got about an hour of cutting time in. Started with the formers and small parts so when I get to the wings I'll be nearly done. 2 of the 6 DTFB sheets are cut out.
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Day 3 - and still more cutting 2/13 - just about done though - I just might start gluing things together tonight out of sheer frustration :ROFLMAO:
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and a few more hours later we have this....
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Day 4 of building 2/14
Got a little bit of time in today and got some skins glued onto the spine. Had to bounce back and forth getting a few updates and tweaks to the plans
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Day ?? of building? 2/25
I got several days in but no updates. Got the servos all installed earlier in the week and ployurethaned the chassis yesterday before paintshop tonight. Something I learned... put more time into the poly if you are going to have bare foam. Maybe it was the silver paint, maybe it was a heavy hand on spraying. Either way (user error likely) the one fillet got etched pretty well as the solvent from the spray didn't care about the polyurethane. The other side I went a little lighter on it, several light distant coats first. The evidence is much less obvious. On another note, the rudder, which I mod podge'd first as a test didn;t care about the paint - but that was flat white. Either way, light coats no matter what for me lol More pics tomorrow I think (I do have one on the buildnotes thread, which probably could use more build notes :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:

Wrapping up - only problem I have is a maiden and the snowy weather here. Want to do the gear, don't want to fly it off of pavement - we'll see...

Day ?? wrapped things up over the last couple of days (literally the 11th hour on 2/28)
Wrapping up the MS P36 - Build level 5 as there are quite a few interesting features and from the plans as they exist there's a few on-the-fly trimmings to do. In all though, the built itself for the most part is straightforward - just takes a while! Pilot skill I'd put it at a 3 - it isn't squirrely to fly, and if you put do the flaps, you can slop it down nice. Not a terrible glide path either. A few pics to wrap this one up for the month...
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Always learning on these builds, and being my second MS design, I'd say that experimenting always yields something good. I also like the sanding of the angles after cutting with the knife to get a nice even angle on the FB - although watch as it is really easy to sand through the paper form the bottom (look close at the right aileron form the top:ROFLMAO:) I'd also say to experiment on things that you don;t mind if stuff fails - like the poly not stopping the silver paint from melting where I had to use bare foam (the wing fillets). Experiment with other mediums, and the forum is ALWAYS a great place to bounce ideas if you can;t find what you need searching. I also have a bad habit of hangar-rashing my builds before I even get paint on them. I think I'll do some searching to find how some of the experts on here fill the creases and such.

Back to the build - it easily took 3-4 hours to cut everything out for this - there's lots of parts! And be sure to have a fresh sharp blade (new or freshly sharpened) when cutting the formers. And cut the curves in multiple passes with as much of an angle on the blade as the curve will allow. Assembly - it goes together surprisingly quick up to a point (the skins and wing tops). There's probably a good 8-10 hours of build time here - and a solid hour plus of installing the servos and wiring things up. Give the wiring tubes a shot, just make sure you get the end near the opening for the servo. Don't Poly and paint (2 hours) and decaling (1-2 hours).

I'm fortunate to have a vinyl cutter (Brother ScanNCut) to make the 'decals' more easily, but artwork and such is available if you search enough online and you can print out as much as you can jam on a color print page and cut out by hand (so long as you are patient). Note also (this thread??) WikiMedia Commons searching for 'roundel' for the warplane decals in svg format, which produces a nice sharp image no matter how large or small you scale it. Even searching for fonts online and scaling things to the desired size (I used color-printed numbers/letters before I got the vinyl cutter on ebay). There's a ton of great hints, tips, and tricks on FT forums to add detail to your builds.

I also need to note that while the build is noted as a 5, don't be afraid to give a MS build a try. The key word here is patience. And a good amount of FB as you learn :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO: I'm hooked - I love to build - I love the people on here - I love to learn - and I'm having FUN!

Day xxx - March 9th
I realize the cutoff was March 7th, the maiden occurred on March 8th, and it is now March 9th, but it just seemed incomplete without the maiden video! The weather was Ok enough yesterday to get out and taking off from a half frozen really lumpy field, but it worked out nicely!
Not a very exciting video, but the takeoff and landing are good for a laugh!
With all the NOTAMs no-fly notifications in your area, I will not penalize you Maiden Vid points for this build.