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Mountain Model P-51 "Twilight Tear" Build

ranger351

Warbird Crazy!
#1
IMG_20161202_200309.jpg So I decided to participate in the fall balsa build along. But when I went to order the MM EVA. I came Across the MM P-51 and couldn't resist! I new right away that I wanted to dress her up with the P-51 Twilight Tear paint skeme! So I contacted Callie Graphics and had her make the graphics for it. I received my packages from them in a timely fashion and opened them immediately to inspect for damage. The MM was package very well with bubble wrap. But it did have a bit of damage to the cowl but I was able to pop it out. 20161116_090731-3024x2268.jpg 20161116_090450-3024x2268-2268x1701.jpg The build start date was December first and I have made some progress on the fuselage and will post some pics tomorrow. This is my first thread and I'm not that good with computers and I'm Learning as i go! So that it for now.
 

Joker 53150

Mmmmmmm, balsa.
Mentor
#2
You're off to a great start for your first thread! The only recommendation I can make for the thread is to add an extra blank line after your picture link. That'll start text after the pic instead of next to it so it flows better.

Callie does great work getting high-quality graphics out quickly, I've used her vinyl on a couple different planes in the past.

Oh, I added a link to your thread on the main build-along page. This should be fun to watch!
 

ranger351

Warbird Crazy!
#4
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Here's the progress that I've made on the fuselage. So far everything's fit together without trimming or sanding. I do have one sheet of parts that didn't get cut all the way thru and also doesn't have the part numbers etched onto them.
The instruction are good but I did find a part that wasn't mentioned in the instructions but was then shown installed on the next step. Now don't get me wrong here I'm not complaining about any of this! These are just the things that I've ran into so far. I believe if you take your time and pay close attention to the instructions and the pictures in them you can work your way thru it. I belive MM Is a small business run buy a husband and wife so I'm sure there busy with all aspects of the business. So these little things I've ran into could be easily over looked and are no big deal. I'm pretty sure I could call them and they would help me thru any issues I'd have! Anyway back to the build. I plan on modifying this plane quite a bit. I'd like to install retracts, flaps and a steerable tail wheel. I will be beefing up the structure and skinning the fuselage, tail feathers and the leading edge of the wings. I'm sure a bigger power plant will have to be installed but I will plan that when I have a better idea of weight. I know this sounds ambitious for my first balsa build! But I'm ready for the challenge.

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ranger351

Warbird Crazy!
#7
I have been working on the sheeting today. I've struggling with what to do here. But I finaly decided to cover the fuselage with poster board. In the picture you can see I covered the front lower cowl with poster board. I used two pieces to form it with a seam in the middle then glued with thick CA. The top turtle deck are the supplied balsa sheetings from the kit. In the front you can see the poster board strip I glued to the formers to space the balsa out so that the sides of the fuselage will butt up flush. I've applied and sanded the light weight filler on the turtle decks and the lower cowl to fill the grain and the seam. I then sprayed them with a coat of sandable primer. I plan to paint the fuselage instead of covering with solite. The only place I will be using solite will be the lower rear part of the fuselage.
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Joker 53150

Mmmmmmm, balsa.
Mentor
#8
Just a thought about the vinyl decals - they're normally applied over covering or 'glassed surfaces and the application tape can be pretty sticky. You'll want to be careful when applying over the paint and poster board so you don't rip it.
 

ranger351

Warbird Crazy!
#10
Got these retracts from eBay for 20 bucks! Thinking about using them. We'll see when I start building the wing.
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Anybody used them before?

Built a tail wheel mount. Located it in the scale P-51 location. It will have doors that will be permanently open. Would love to have a retractable tail wheel but she's gonna be tipping the scale the way it is!
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ranger351

Warbird Crazy!
#11
So turns out I'm not very good at documenting the build and maintaining a thread. Seems I get into building and don't take the time to post my progress like I should.

Here are some pictures i've took with a brief description.

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I've cut the plastic parts and fit the canopy. In this picture you see the cowl and the assembled air scoop. On the scoop and the cock pit seat back you have to build them from two halves and glue them together. Be careful not to cut the plastic to much. You can always trim and sand more later.

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Here I've build the tail feathers and covered the rudder with poster board. For the elevator I cover it with thin balsa plywood.

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In this picture you can see the magnet that I've add to the front too better hold down the access hatch.

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Here in this picture you can see the elevator covered in plywood. And the reinforcing I've made to the fuselage in the wing saddle and the tail wheel areas.
 

Joker 53150

Mmmmmmm, balsa.
Mentor
#12
Why the choice of light plywood instead of balsa? It's cool how that last pic has it all coming together and looking like a P-51 already!
 

ranger351

Warbird Crazy!
#13
Durability I guess! I just looked at the tag , its 1/32 birch plywood that I picked up locally and had laying around. Was just going to use poster board , but changed my mind at the last minute.
 
#14
I didn't see the Twilight Tear listed on Callie Graphics website, how did you come to choose that one?

Still no progress on mine yet, I haven't even popped the first piece out of the sheet. I wanted to get all my pieces in hand first, but it looks like the retracts are back ordered. I have some other retracts though, and I'm thinking I'll go ahead and adapt the build to what I have on hand. I was hoping to build as box stock as possible, but it's looking like that may not be practical. That being the case, I guess I can get going. I already have all the electrical and radio stuff so I can just adapt and move forward.
 

ranger351

Warbird Crazy!
#15
I emailed Callie and had her make the graphics up for me.
She will do custom orders if you have something you'd like done. You just have to have a image of the plane that she can go by.

The original Twilight Tear P-51 is only 27 mile from me at the Fagen Fighter WW2 Museum located at the Granite Falls MN airport. My brother in law has an Ercoupe on display there and we fly it quite a bit during the summer. Check out the website they have a bunch of flying WW2 trainers and fighters!
 

ranger351

Warbird Crazy!
#16
TexasWade what kind of retracts are you thinking about using! The retract housing is very small and would take a lot of modifications to house a set of e-flite 10-15 size retracts. I have a set on hand that I considered using. It can be done! I've seen guy use them on other build threads.
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These are the set I'm attempting to to use! The the only thing I'm concerned about is having the room for the air tank.
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Here are the retracts fitted in the wing.
 
#17
That's pretty cool, building the plane you get to see! I was inspired to choose and shop for graphics for mine when I saw you doing them. Did a little research and found a couple cool things.

1) Cavanaugh Flight Museum is maybe 20 miles away and they have a P-51 over there named the Brat III. Nice looking plane but doesn't have the invasion stripes that I like. But I can get a ride in it! Only $2000 *cough* for 30 minute ride which is a bit more than I can afford.

2) One that does have the invasion stripes though is the Angel's Playmate. I really like the look of that one and the pilot had an incredible story. He was shot down over Germany and found his way to a german airfield where he stole a FW190 and flew back to his base in it! I thought that was pretty awesome so I sent Callie's an inquiry. If it's not too expensive I'm going to go with that one.
 
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#18
I have three or four different sets of retracts I've hoarded in hopes of one day making a plane with retracts. I think two different Robarts, one great planes and maybe one other I can't put my finger on at the moment? All mechanicals though. Seems like I bought all of them as either 1/2A or 10-15 size. None have the ears like the GWS retracts that are out of stock, but I'm thinking the body size of one of them should be real close and I'll be able to just open up the bottom wing skin to suit.

Good luck with the air retracts, they look super cool! Hope you can get everything to fit and not wind up too heavy.
 

ranger351

Warbird Crazy!
#19
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Quick Moke up for motivation!

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I modified a park flyers plastics pilot to fit the cock pit. Had a hard time finding the right size. Will finish detailing the pilot when I'm finished with fit.

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Here are close up of the smoothed out and blended tail section.
 

ranger351

Warbird Crazy!
#20
That's pretty cool, building the plane you get to see! I was inspired to choose and shop for graphics for mine when I saw you doing them. Did a little research and found a couple cool things.

1) Cavanaugh Flight Museum is maybe 20 miles away and they have a P-51 over there named the Brat III. Nice looking plane but doesn't have the invasion stripes that I like. But I can get a ride in it! Only $2000 *cough* for 30 minute ride which is a bit more than I can afford.

2) One that does have the invasion stripes though is the Angel's Playmate. I really like the look of that one and the pilot had an incredible story. He was shot down over Germany and found his way to a german airfield where he stole a FW190 and flew back to his base in it! I thought that was pretty awesome so I sent Callie's an inquiry. If it's not too expensive I'm going to go with that one.
Just went and checked out the P-51 Angel's Playmate. That's sweet! I'm sure she'll do them graphics no problem. I paid $25 for the decals she made for me.