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Mercury Galahad - Ben Buckle Vintage Kit

Tr33s

Well-known member
#1
So this is Day 2. First balsa build in 30 years. Lots of fitting and cutting to match the plans. No laser cut parts to punch out. So far have the lower fuselage halves glued and built on top of each other for symmetry. Many thanks to Colin Buckle for providing an extremely well put together kit! I’m loving the flexibility of building while putting in the time required to really understand the design. Thanks again Colin!
I highly recommend this book for balsa builders: https://rclibrary.co.uk/files_titles/1013/Construction_for_Aeromodellers_1955.pdf
Michael
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Jackson T

Well-known member
#2
So this is Day 2. First balsa build in 30 years. Lots of fitting and cutting to match the plans. No laser cut parts to punch out. So far have the lower fuselage halves glued and built on top of each other for symmetry. Many thanks to Colin Buckle for providing an extremely well put together kit! I’m loving the flexibility of building while putting in the time required to really understand the design. Thanks again Colin!
I highly recommend this book for balsa builders: https://rclibrary.co.uk/files_titles/1013/Construction_for_Aeromodellers_1955.pdf
Michael View attachment 160389 View attachment 160389 View attachment 160390
That's a cool looking plane you have there!
 

rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#5
Welcome back to building! A great project to make to dust with - I think I might have a Ben Buckle kit in a pile of kits I recently picked up as a club donation - if you're interested in another I can dig through the pile for you :)
 

Tr33s

Well-known member
#6
Welcome back to building! A great project to make to dust with - I think I might have a Ben Buckle kit in a pile of kits I recently picked up as a club donation - if you're interested in another I can dig through the pile for you :)
I’m definitely interested! Holler my way because I will build it!
 

Tr33s

Well-known member
#7
So a status update...Getting the fuse sides ready. Formers mostly done. I made a video but can’t figure out how to add it from my iPhone with pretty bad service. Anyway, I’m so glad to be building with balsa again! The Flite test planes are so cool, but my house is filling up too fast and I have run out of money for electronics. Yes, I know about swappables... 🤓
 

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Tr33s

Well-known member
#8
I like the style of that one. Looks like it should fly well. What type of covering are you planning to use on it?
So my plans to cover it are wide open. Since it’s vintage but not really scale I don’t know if I want to go fabric or Monokote with a racy orange bottom front/top white with checkered Monokote wingtips. Since it’s just a 3 channel easy flier I thought it would be cool to make it look fast. I’m open up suggestions...
 

Tr33s

Well-known member
#9
And if it survives a few flights - a wing with ailerons and less dihedral is in the works too. All in my head, of course. Who knows, maybe flaps too. Let’s get this build done first. Dreaming is what you do when the glue is drying.
 

Tr33s

Well-known member
#10
This will be fun to watch. Good luck with your build. I love old timers converted to RC. Thanks for uploading the book. There are lots of tips in there that would otherwise be lost to today's builders! (y)
It’s just a really nice to appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into anything that is built well and from the heart.
 

Tr33s

Well-known member
#15
This will be fun to watch. Good luck with your build. I love old timers converted to RC. Thanks for uploading the book. There are lots of tips in there that would otherwise be lost to today's builders! (y)
I’m going a little slow, but it’s a fun build. The instructions are sort of like: “You have a plan, and it’s sorta pre-cut. Make the pieces to fit the plan.”
That’s so awesome. Loving that it takes as much time to understand the plans as it does to build. Process is everything. So far so good. I reckon it will probably fly.
Edit: I really want to thank Colin Buckle for providing an excellent and well crafted vintage kit that is a challenging build for an apprentice craftsman. I can’t wait to get home and work on her every evening. - Michael
 
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Tr33s

Well-known member
#18
So I have the sides and formers ready to join her together. I have to make a decision about the nose and redesign her for a brushless motor. I think I will just extend the F1 former all the way to the top of the nose with 1/8” ply I have on-hand to make room for a larger battery compartment and possibly strengthen it to mount the motor. Before I do that I need to do a little more research on how much room I need, etc. I might need to move F1 forward just a bit, about 1/4”.
Also, I really don’t know what size motor, ESC, and battery I will need. But I reckon I can cipher it up pretty soon. I’m totally not getting out the glue again until that part is redesigned.
 

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Tr33s

Well-known member
#19
At this point I have decided to just leave out the spruce mounts for the fuel engine and use a homemade standoff motor mount. That is, using bolts and nuts from the hardware store that would have been available in 1960. It's what any kid would've done back then, and probably would work just fine now. It will require recalculating the CG, but that should be pretty easy.

By the way, I'm also taking the plans for the Travel Air Mystery Ship I ordered from the AMA and working on a foam board version. I built the wing, but am kinda stuck on the fuselage design. It seems like it matches up with the old tube versions of rubber-powered free flight planes. I'm also thinking about ordering the Master Series P-47 kit from Flite Test, but after watching the videos I can probably figure out the dimensions myself.

One thing I have found out for sure. These builds take time and patience. The process is laborious, and I love it.

Take care out there folks.

Michael