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Winter Build 2018/19: Hangar 9 P-47D Razorback

willsonman

Builder Extraordinare
Mentor
It is essentially aluminum ducting tape. It is nearly identical to flite metal.
http://www.flitemetal.com/

I say nearly identical because the only difference is that the material I'm using is only SLIGHTLY thinner. Same aluminum grade, same adhesive, and same everything else as far as I've been able to determine. The BIG difference is the price. I got a roll off Amazon for $30. The FM kit for a bird this size is $60
 

willsonman

Builder Extraordinare
Mentor
Packed everything up yesterday afternoon and set off to NoVa. Lots of flooding in spots and VA roads are really bad. I mean, they are not PA roads but I am seriously spoiled by roads in MD. MD has proper drainage, lacks potholes, and the paint strips on the road lines have a reflective bit to them so you can actually see them in the dark, when it's rainy. Anyway, I had a GREAT time with Carl and Jon. Such a great club they have. The project even seemed to impress the local nay-sayer. I managed to get the XT90 connector soldered onto the ESC before I left. so I was able to fully power everything up and not worry too much about my current draw.

I had a great question at the meeting: how many servos? Currently there are 12 servos with another 5 to be installed. Still a far cry from the 29 used in my Corsair but it does pull a bit of current.

I will say that I am still quite impressed with the stock form of this airplane. Looking at Carl's was confirmation that I really am taking things a bit far with this model, which is sort of the point. But as Carl would point out, for what you get for the cost, it does seem a bit lacking in spots. Still, she is exceptional in the air and the shortcomings are all static on the ground.

Overall it was a great reality check and kind of a terrifying moment when I realized just how far I need to go over the next. 40 days... yes, 40 DAYS!
 

wilmracer

I build things that fly (sometimes)
Mentor
I'm running errands now but took pictures and actually recorded the full demo Joshua gave. I'll share some pictures and get the video to Joshua today. He isn't kidding.. we have several guys who are VERY picky about their models and our most vocal guy (who has been a member of our club for 62 years) was VERY impressed with Joshua's work. He is a hard guy to impress and he was fawning over the model.
 

wilmracer

I build things that fly (sometimes)
Mentor
A few shots from last night. The gentleman in red is Bob Burnett. He's been flying and building FOREVER. He has been a member of our club, NVRC, for 62 years :eek::eek::eek:. He is a very talented builder, almost exclusively with balsa. He preaches giant scale gassers but knows electrics inside and out. It takes a LOT to impress him, and if he's not impressed he'll let you know :p

He LOVED the model. The picture below was after Joshua showed him the functional oil-cooler waste gates.

And that's our own @rockyboy grinning and holding the model so Joshua can demo the gear, doors, and landing light.

Last night was one of the best meetings we've had in a long time. Thanks Joshua for sharing the model!
 

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rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
Thank you @willsonman and @wilmracer - that was a great club meeting and you both really helped make it that way! :D :D

Josh, we've got to figure out a way to help you brave the Virginia roads and come down to our meetings and events more often :D
 

willsonman

Builder Extraordinare
Mentor
Had a fairly productive weekend. The rudder has now been covered along with the majority of the H-stab. I'll wrap up the H-stab this evening and start moving onto the wings. I'll tackle the bottom of the wings first. The wain reason for this is that I do not want to scratch or mar up the surface of the top of the wing as I work on the bottom. I have a soft towel I'm working on but I just do not want to risk it.
 

willsonman

Builder Extraordinare
Mentor
H-stab completed and I moved onto a wing. Learning more as I go. I got the pylon covered and it was not terribly hard but I had to be patient. I'm just not used to a process taking so long so I am constantly having to force myself to slow down and do this right. After looking at the status of my roll of aluminum, I realized I've made far too many mistakes and needed to order a new roll. Funny thing was... the 2-day shipping was cheaper than the standard shipping. OK BY ME!! See the in-progress shots. One, I placed my hand for scale and reflection. The inner gear door came out perfect. I also had a casualty. I cut my right index finger on some aluminum. Not bad, but enough to force me to respect this process even more.
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wilmracer

I build things that fly (sometimes)
Mentor
It is looking more gorgeous every time. Why can't they make 'standard' covering more like this (with the 3d panels and rivets)?
Well... You see how much time Joshua is putting into this covering job. I imagine an ARF with pre-applied aluminum panels would be $$$$$. There is also a weight penalty for all that sexy-ness. Most manufacturers already fudge the advertised weight a bit on the low side. You can find composite models with "real" panel lines and rivets in the mold, but they aren't in the ARF price range either.

Keep up the great work Joshua!
 

willsonman

Builder Extraordinare
Mentor
Indeed, you get what you pay for. Even the ARFs that have panel lines and some rivets in a fiberglass fuselage will not look perfect. If you want this level of detail, you have to do it yourself. There is just not a market for it.
 

willsonman

Builder Extraordinare
Mentor
Last night I finished up the bottom of the first wing and then tackled the top. The tips were the most difficult part as there is a lot of stretching of the aluminum that has to go on due to the curves. The light really distorts the finish compared to the pictures. Honestly, there are some imperfections that you can really only see from about 6-inches away. I'm hoping that the majority of them get evened out during the polishing step. This wing is now complete. Not bad considering it only took two evenings.
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I want to reiterate that the rivet application for this project will likely be much faster than in other builds I've done. Since I will not need to use heat as part of this process, I am able to not have to worry about burning myself. The tool is also less cumbersome so it should afford me a lot of time saving.
 

willsonman

Builder Extraordinare
Mentor
Thanks guys.

Been a busy couple of days. Had to have my final x-ray on my ankle. All checks out and in the doctor's words... I am free to fly. I also need to renew my driver's license. MD has instituted a new system that requires you to be there in-person and after standing in line for 30 minutes just to check in, it was another 2-hour wait... I left. My foot really hurt after standing for that long at the end of the day. Then I had a very long day at work in the lab. I got home and was totally drained. So, due to all of this life stuff I've not made too much progress on the other wing.

I was able to make some progress on the bottom. The pylon went much faster than the previous one. I was able to make the area around the landing light very clean and had no issues stretching the aluminum around the bevel. I should be able to wrap up this wing this weekend and move onto the fuselage. You really can tell in certain angles that I had to work the plastic main gear door on this side but if It ever bugs me enough, I can always make a fiberglass one fairly easily.
IMG_7887.JPG IMG_7888.JPG
 

willsonman

Builder Extraordinare
Mentor
Productive weekend. I got the other wing finished. Fairly straightforward since I had learned what to expect from the other wing.

I set the wings aside and moved onto the fuselage. The first order of business was to remove the cowl. This was fairly easy and just the one servo connection for the flaps. The green and red areas will not be covered. They will get re-painted. The red is a bit too dark for my liking. It should be a bit more vibrant to match the Silver Lady scheme and the green is a bit on the blue side for my liking. This darker area on the top is critical as it was a means to reduce reflection and glare to the pilot. It is a must keep feature. I'll paint the aluminum on the hatch accordingly. I taped off the silver areas and sanded the paint smooth using 220-grit paper. I cleaned any residual dust with some windex and then used a bit of tape on my fingers to remove any stuck on particulates. Kind of like a lint brush. Each panel was then covered with the foil and the bottom required a bit more tool work due to the compound curves there. Not a big deal but again, the key is slow work being careful. I then moved onto the flaps. Each was individually covered so the the gap was covered beneath the subsequent flap. I never tire of getting shots showing the base reflection because I know how much better it will look once it is polished.
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The goal this week is to try and finish the fuselage. I still need to sand it back and apply panel lines before I can cover. This should not take terribly long. I'll mask off the intercooler flaps so that I don't scratch the foil there. This will likely be the most difficult area to cover but my methods are proving themselves to work pretty well. I'll be in GA one month from today showcasing this build. Lots of finishing work in the coming days so stay tuned. You will not want to miss the final days of this build.
 

Mid7night

Jetman
Mentor
So amazing! I've just begun my own metal experiment, and even though I'm covering mostly 'flat' pieces of foamboard, it's exceedingly difficult to get a clean result, so I'm even MORE impressed at your results here on your model! You are truly a patient man!
 

willsonman

Builder Extraordinare
Mentor
Thanks, Ben. You know, patience is not my strong suit. I'm learning but it is not without difficulty. FB is going to be problematic to use this covering. The issue is the soft substrate. Even with the paper on there will be point pressure that will compress the foam beneath the paper. Glassing with epoxy will help but adding the glass AND aluminum will create a substantial weight penalty. I'm talking about a single coat of 3/4oz glass either. You really do need a substantial substrate to apply this to and then the surface needs to be smooth AND hard. The preparation and planning is a BIG part of making this finish a success.

I will say that this is by far the most difficult technique that I have learned. It heavily relies on multiple facets of preparation and forethought. To do it is not terribly difficult but it is a multi-step process where if one step goes wrong... its all over. It truly has been a test of my attention to details on every square inch of the build.
 

willsonman

Builder Extraordinare
Mentor
Another evening of progress. I removed the tail gear cover and applied the foil to the cover and doors.
IMG_7901.JPG

I then took my 220-grit paper and sanded the entire fuselage. Some spots needed more attention, particularly where the glass cloth overlapped. From there, I used my reference print to draw out panel lines. Surprisingly there are not that many but that complicates things when it comes to applying the foil. Still, there are not many problematic areas and I should be able to get the foil applied pretty well.
IMG_7902.JPG IMG_7903.JPG

I then had more time to plan out my application so I started with the vertical stabilizer. I'm much more adept to working the foil around tighter corners now so the leading edge is silky smooth. There is a mix of lateral and point pressure to do this that I hope I can adequately convey in my video work. Keeping with the idea that overlaps are from the front-aftward, I started at the aft end of the fuselage on the bottom. As overlaps from the top down make sense too. There are access panels that are secured with fasteners, rather than rivets to it is important to follow that idea as well. From this stage on it is a matter of applying one side and then the other, so what you see on one side is the same as on the other.
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