Continuing on with the build I started and finished cutting out all the pieces. It was actually quicker than I thought, although some of the pieces are much more intricate than what I've seen in FT builds. A nice sharp blade went a long way. I also took a look at the plans and added color to my black and white plans so I could tell when to score vs cut.
Following along with the build instructions
of FPRC's article, I assembled the internals of the fuselage. I forgot that my plans where scaled to 80% so some of the slots to join the pieces were a little tight. At this point the build seemed weak and flexible and I was unsure how the rest would turn out.
I decided to strip the paper off some of the long pieces. This turned out to be a bad idea as the long pieces, which define the shape of the fuselage, were easily bent. This problem was easily fixed later when the skin was added to the fuselage.
The pieces of foam board to skin the back of the fuselage has a lot of 50% cuts to get the proper shape. I quickly found that going over the 50% cuts with the end of a small flat head screwdriver really helped the piece bend into shape easier.
Next the foam skinning was glued to the back of the internal framework. This took multiple glue and forming sessions, working from the bottom to the top as per FPRC's instructions
The skin for the front of the internal framework was applied in much the same way as the back, using two separate pieces. For the midsection the foam has markings where the wing will attach, but there is no actual cut out yet. I assume this is to preserve the strength of the foam as you wrap it around the internal frame. Once the foam is attached you can cut out the hole for the wing.
Inside there is still plenty of space to route wiring and fit a battery and ESC. The framing has holes cut out to fit the FPRC powerpod, but I decided to just mount a firewall to the front.
The control rods were actually added before I finished skinning the fuselage. I actually recommend putting in the control rods for rudder and elevator as soon as the internal framework is built.
The front cowling shape involves some interesting geometry. It is a bit of a pain to glue in, but not as difficult as it looks. I will clean it up more when I cover the plane with tissue paper and minwax later.
This sums up the construction of the fuselage. It actually was a very quick build. Compared to what I thought earlier about the framework being weak and flexible, the skinned fuselage feels very strong and rigid. Next up I will work on the wings.