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Saint 1

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Saint 1 last won the day on September 9

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  1. 😄 Thanks John. PSS... it's quite an addiction isn't it, there's rarely a day, or night even when my mind isn't given over to some random thought relating to it. Even my wife won't throw anything away without first asking "might this be any use to you for one of your planes?". Some have it far worse than others mind, as yet I've not crossed the Atlantic 'on holiday' just for a tube of glue 😁
  2. Lovely choice of colour scheme Pete. Looking at Sunday's maiden flight I think I would look at moving the CG rearwards a little if you can, ideally without adding even more weight in the tail. Are you able to relocate any of the radio gear further back at all?
  3. Once again we had a good time at The Orme last weekend for the last PSSA meeting of the season but I decided against trying to maiden my Sea Hawk so no aerial photos now probably until we return in the Spring I'm afraid. There were good 20+mph winds on the Saturday but being from a North Westerly direction it meant either a tricky landing amongst the rocks and gorse to our left or a lengthy walk up to the top where there is a substantial and flat grass area. I flew my Correx BAe Hawk a couple of times and landed that to the left ok and then later on flew my 1/8 Super Corsair. This time I decided to land up top which was great, once I got there! Thanks to Harry Twist for navigating me around the rocks and getting me there safely whilst still flying. As the afternoon moved on the low sun on the landing circuit became another problem and so I decided not to risk the Sea Hawk. More accomplished pilots than me would and did fly their larger planes and land them without incident but equally there were others that weren't quite so lucky so for better or worse I decided to call it a day. Lack of wind on the Sunday made it virtually impossible to fly any PSS planes so that was it for the weekend. So all I can offer you for now are photos of my BAe Hawk and Super Corsair in action and another of me and my Sea Hawk very much on terra firma. All photos courtesy of Phil Cooke.
  4. Thanks everyone, Jan is flattered by your comments. You are right Ace in that it wasn't a 5 minute job, more like a week on and off with much head scratching along the way so producing more is not something she would wish to pursue on a regular basis plus there would be a couple of challenges going forward. Firstly there would be the logistics of her needing access to any aircraft model for the duration and then secondly we haven't been able to source any more of the fabric we have used. I bought it from a place selling roll ends, it has a waterproof outer, foam middle and mesh inner all fused together, I presume, being lumo that it must normally be used for some kind of work wear. It is really durable. Despite us asking on a number of occasions up to now they have never had any more come back in stock. Here's a photo of the material so you can see the construction...
  5. Thanks everyone for the kind comments, hopefully the weather will be good for us at the Orme and we'll get some good aerial shots. I have to share a few photos of the super bespoke protective bags my wife has made to keep it safe in storage and transportation. Now that'll just leave the unsafe bits when I'm at the controls to worry about 😁
  6. The glossing of the fuselage went as well as I could’ve hoped other than having to dash out and get another spray can part way through so it took three cans in total. The finish is more sheen than gloss but I’m pleased with it nonetheless and I was soon able to assemble everything properly for the first time, fitting the elevators and rudder along with their servos and linkages and installing the radio gear up front. I have been on the final page 22 of the build guide for quite some time. ‘covering and final finishing’ – Just four words but they took 5 weeks to complete! All that remained after final finishing was to set the CG and control surface throws. The CG point as specified on the plans is 40mm forward of the stage 7 former which on my build equated to being 82mm rearward of my wing joint leading edge – marked on my joint face by the pencil line in the photo below. I have used another couple of those soft close cupboard door buffer pads to make for easy location of the CG point on the underside. The CG point looked quite a way forward to me on first inspection but having subsequently used the rcplanes online CG calculator for a 2 panel wing (taking into account the faired sections) it equates to about 12% static margin so probably not a bad starting point for a maiden. (10% margin would move it back by around ¼”). As a check I got in contact with John Woodfield to ask if he could confirm whether or not he had subsequently altered his CG away from the plan figure. Unfortunately he had recently sold his Sea Hawk so couldn’t check for certain but from memory thought he’d started as per the plan and then gradually moved it rearwards so I will likely have to do similar with mine. Achieving the plan CG point meant I needed to add a further 185g of nose ballast over and above the 240g I had previously built into the balsa nose giving me an AUW figure of 3.188kg or just over 7lb, remarkably similar in both size and weight to my Correx Super Corsair. I have programmed in 3 rates settings on my ailerons and elevator with the medium setting matching the specified control throws so for the maiden I’ll have the option of either increasing or decreasing the throws in flight if necessary. So that’s it, all I need now are some favourable conditions on the Orme next month, the nerve to let someone throw it off and hopefully sufficient ability to be able to land it safely again. Thanks to all those who have provided help and advice along the way, especially to Phil Cooke and Harry Twist – sorry for bombarding you both with so many questions. Here’s a few photos of the finished plane along with both my Super Corsair and me for size comparison.
  7. The sun shone this morning, need I say any more 😁
  8. You may well be right Andy, but I live in hope. I'll give it a week, failing that I'll be making a temporary spray booth in the garage. I'm sure I still have my school days flexi-curve somewhere, I'll have to dig it out, if it's not perished by now that is 😁
  9. Thanks for that Andy and thanks for the tip re wet sanding, that’s something I’ll have to consider on any future builds, I’ve not attempted to sand either the sky or grey on this build, they’re both as sprayed (and touched up) prior to me spraying the gloss coat. I’m nearly there with it now, I’ve done all the detailing I intend to and all that remains is for me to spray the gloss coat over the fuselage but the poor weather has now put that on hold until the weekend at least so for now here’s how the rest of the detailing went… I’ve found that marking panel lines on surfaces with compound curves is not the easiest of jobs There are a series of panels over the top of the fuselage, rearwards of the canopy, two banks of six, they open so I presume they are engine related but I don’t know for sure. I marked them out on the fuselage as best I could using tape and then cut a rectangular hole in an old credit card to then use as a template to draw each panel. This went reasonably well barring one or two slips but I got through a number of marker pens in the process. Marking onto the sky colour had previously gone well but the grey colour had dried to leave quite an abrasive finish which I think started clogging the fibre pen nibs. I marked an area to position the four gun ports on the underside of the nose, applied the outermost two vinyl stickers we had made previously and then spaced the other two equally between them. That was a mistake, which I’ll come back to shortly With the gun ports applied I was able to draw the panel line around them and then add the panel retainer holes. I drilled a few holes of varying sizes in the old credit card until I found one that looked about right to me and then placed the edge of the card against some tape to ensure each hole was a consistent distance in from the panel edge. Suitably pleased with the result we went on holiday for a week and whilst we were away I did a bit more researching and realised my gun ports weren’t spaced correctly, so the first job when we returned was to carefully relocate them. I had spaced them equally when in reality there are two each side with a much larger gap on the underside. I managed to rectify things by just relocating the two innermost vinyl stickers without too much drama but then also had to reposition two of the holes as well. I tried using some methylated spirit to remove them which worked to a degree but also spread the ink over a wider area in the process so there was quite a bit of touching up to be done also. So, not the prettiest job but we got there in the end. The undercarriage panels are quite noticeable so I wanted to add those too. It took me an entire morning to mark them out and draw them on, the compound curves of the nose being particularly awkward to draw on to. Again, not perfect by any means but I’m glad I’ve given it a go. I also added the continuation of a flap from the wing. There were a couple more filler cap type features on the top of the fuselage I thought worth adding so with the help of our daughter once more we produced them as waterslides. And that is it for me detail-wise, there are a couple of features protruding on the underside of the fuselage that I have chosen to omit as they would invariably get knocked off on landing anyway. With everything else already glossed I have at least been able to build the wings up by adding the ailerons, servos and servo access panels. I put a smear of petroleum jelly around each Robart hinge pin and then secured the body of each hinge in place with super phatic glue which seems to have worked. Now I just need a nice calm, warm and sunny day to finish coat the fuselage 🙏
  10. Thank you Harry, it wouldn't have been half as good without all the help and guidance I've received from yourself, Phil and all our fellow PSSA gang along the way and of course reference to the invaluable mine of information to be found in all the past mass build blogs.
  11. Thanks chaps, I must admit I'm somewhat pleased with how it's turning out too, I know there are bits that aren't perfect but so long as I don't mess up finishing off the fuselage then it should look pretty good when all together 🙂
  12. Thank you Tosh, I'm no paint expert by any means and am still learning as I go but if my blog gives others some help and inspiration along the way then that's great. A lesson I learnt this time and forgot to mention in my last post was using newspaper for masking the fuselage when spraying the grey was a bad idea. Some of the print transferred itself onto the sky paintwork, I was subsequently able to clean most of it off but some areas needed another coat of the sky to fully restore it. And you're absolutely right, I will be extremely nervous come maiden day, landings have never been my strong point 😄
  13. I made a few more detail items and once again old biros have proved to be a most useful source for such things I made the small air scoop on the right hand side over the wing from an old pen top, a little bit of filler and a piece of thin ply and then the wing tip pitot probe from a biro inner, which still had some red ink in so that might prove messy should I ever damage it! I also made the two little aerials on top of the fuselage using pieces of snake inners which I made a push fit into some soft close cupboard door buffer pads so like the pitot probe I’ll be able to remove these for transportation. I finally decided where to fit my receiver switch, it’s snug but there’s just room for it behind the ejector seat. It’ll be out of sight but just about accessible with the canopy removed. With everything in primer it was now time to start with some colour. As per Phil Cooke’s recommendation I decided to use Lifecolor paints from airbrushes.com. After some research and from their ‘Mimetic’ range I used UA095 – Sky for the underside and UA516 – Dark Sea Grey for on top, along with the Lifecolor thinner. Six of each colour and a 250ml bottle of thinner proved about right for the task. I used the airbrush and compressor I bought last year for my little Alpha jet build I’ve not had much experience of airbrush spraying, all my previous Correx builds have been finished with rattle cans and/or vinyl so once again I’m on something of a learning curve here. That said it all went reasonably well and before long I had everything painted up in the sky colour. It took 4 or 5 coats to get a consistent even finish. Initially I had been using a 0.2mm spray nozzle but soon found the larger 0.4mm provided much better coverage. At times I was suffering with a gradual build-up of liquid paint in the nozzle which if left unaddressed would then splatter onto the surface I was spraying so found that soaking this away with paper towel every so often would help. I was mixing the paint like for like with thinner so maybe a different ratio would have helped or different pressures, I was spraying at around 20psi. With the sky done I couldn’t resist finishing off the arrester hook and applying some gloss. After some careful masking it was then onto the grey. The grey seemed to cover so much better than the sky had done. The blob on the tail fin was a nightmare to mask. I first masked off the plane and sprayed the whole blob in Tamiya flat yellow after which I then masked off the yellow and sprayed the black. I had a bit of seepage in places so there was quite a bit of touching up required afterwards but it didn’t turn out too badly. And then I masked and sprayed the concave exhaust surfaces in silver too. I finished my pilot and ejector seat off, making his harness straps by folding masking tape back on itself and cutting the required width and then painting. Perhaps he could really do with an oxygen mask and maybe a visor too so maybe I'll have a go at that sometime. I added my instrument photos to the unit I had made previously, after which I was then able to spray and fit the canopy. The Callie graphics vinyls were a delight to apply. I had to cut some of them where they overlapped the servo covers and ailerons. I was a little fearful when applying the fuselage roundel that the opacity of the vinyl might not have been sufficient when bridging between the grey and sky colours but my fears were totally unfounded. The ridge from my masking between grey and sky can be seen but the colours of the roundel are completely unaffected by the fuselage’s colour change. I wanted to add some further detail over and above the Callie graphic vinyls so with some assistance from my daughter in the graphics department we made some additional waterslide decals. I printed them onto clear waterslide paper so their colours got dulled down a bit once applied to the fuselage but they look ok nonetheless. I decided I wanted to add one or two panel lines, something else I've never attempted. I’m not sure quite how far I’ll go with them yet but for now have added a few around the exhaust, the trim tabs on the rudder and elevators and the flaps on the wings. There’s more still to do on the fuselage. Initially I planned on using some water based ink art pens I had since there was a good range of colours to be had but found they didn't mark that well and smudged all too easily so ended up using a black ultrafine Sharpie instead. Before finishing the fuselage and whilst the weather was good and warm I chose to spray a gloss finish over everything else instead. I am using Plastikote clear gloss and will probably break into a third can by the time I’m done. So here we now have a little SHINY kit of parts, all now ready for assembly All that remains for me now is to finish detailing and then glossing the fuselage and I’ll then be able to put it all together, if all goes to plan I reckon I should have a finished plane by the end of the month.
  14. I’ve made some good progress over the past week or two so thought it was time for another update... I made a joystick from some random pieces I found; a rubber bung, some tubing and electrical wire and then fashioned the grip from a blob of car body filler. I decided to attach the canopy frame using a dowel at the front and two magnets at the rear which seems to work quite well. I also intend letting the canopy overhang the fuselage rear fairing by a few mm to aid location too. In the absence of any nice 3d printed item I’m going to use a photo for the instruments as I have done many times previously on my Correx builds. I couldn’t find a suitable image of the instruments for my specific Sea Hawk but found one similar. I printed off an interim paper copy at a suitable scale and then used it as a guide for making the instrument binnacle. As well as making the binnacle I added some extra strips of balsa along each side to provide more surface area for gluing the canopy... And then made something resembling the unit that sits on top of the binnacle, I’m not sure exactly what it is other than some form of head up display and it may even be unique to the aircraft from where the cockpit photo has come because every aircraft I look at seems to be slightly different After doing those little bits I finally had everything I needed to make a start on the glassing. Initially I tried using the kitchen scales to weigh out the resin and hardener but soon realised they weren’t up to it, only measuring to 1 gram. So I bought a better set that measures down to the nearest 1/10 of a gram. I made a tentative start on the control surfaces, starting with the ailerons, underside first followed by the upper sides the following day. Thanks to Phil Cooke’s earlier tutorial the rest of the bits and pieces all came along in no time. I found I was having to mix 2.5 times the weight of resin/hardener combined to that of the cloth which is more than Phil had been doing but it seemed to work for me. I then moved on to the tailplane, fin and canopy fairing. After blending the various cloth overlaps I was in a position to make a start on priming the wings and control surfaces. I used a high build primer to better fill the weave of the cloth. I found I needed four coats with much sanding in between before I had something like a reasonable finish. I couldn’t put it off any longer, I had finally reached the point where I needed to glass the fuselage itself! Phil thought I should be able to cover it in just two pieces; one lower and one upper piece. That sounded like being quite a challenge but Phil was indeed correct. I was more than amazed at how readily the cloth would form around the various curves and recesses and especially so going right into the intake on the tip of the nose. After that I was up for anything so then also applied a single piece right around that little tailfin blob too! Spraying the wings and control surfaces had been easy enough but I could see that spraying the fuselage was going to be something more of a challenge due to its shear size so knocked up a support frame using any wood I could find and a couple of steel rods (Rover 'k' series head bolts in actual fact ). This worked well and I was soon able to get the first coat sprayed. It's starting to look like a plane now. I’m now up to the third coat and once again it’s looking like four coats will be the order of the day. In between I’ve also managed to prime and get a base coat of black sprayed on to the cockpit parts so things are moving on nicely on that front too. In other news my paint order from airbrushes.com arrived this week and amazingly, after barely a week my graphics have also arrived from Callie Graphics, way out in New Mexico, so there should be no stopping me now! There are still one or two more detail items I’d like to add first but other than those it shouldn’t be too long now before I can start spraying the finish colours.
  15. This week has been mostly a week of gathering information, materials and a little more knowledge so there's not too much to show for my efforts. I decided to get in touch with Callie at Callie-graphics.com to see whether she might have any graphics available for a Sea Hawk since I couldn't see anything listed on her website. By good fortune she did have 1 file available of the Sea Hawk that until very recently had been at Cornwall Aviation Heritage Centre - WV798. I placed an order for a set of 1/8 scale graphics and so that has decided for me which version of the Sea Hawk I was going to try to emulate. Apparently, delivery time can be anything from 3 to 7 weeks currently, a fair old wait but still in time for our mid-October Orme meeting which is a nominal target date I have set myself for this build. I installed 240g of weight into the nose and have now glued it in place, more weight will undoubtedly be required in order to achieve the plan's CG point, the remainder will have to be placed inside the cockpit opening up against the front bulkhead (in front of the rx battery). A fair bit of filling was required, primarily to smooth out the blend areas between the wings, wing fairings and fuselage. I used Upol Dolphin glaze for this, something I have used previously on many of my Correx builds, it sands easily and leaves a nice smooth finish:- This week I had the very good fortune to pay a visit to Phil Cooke's 'hangar' for a demo on glassing which I found immensely informative - Thanks Phil, I owe you. 👍 You are so much more organised than I will ever be! I already have the glass and resin but have since placed orders for various other useful tools too so once they have all arrived I will be able to make a start on the glassing myself. Unfortunately there doesn't currently appear to be a suitable 3D print file available for an early ejector seat - (I was needing a MK1 or Mk2) so whilst waiting for things to arrive I've had a go at making one. Every photo I found on the net seemed to vary so what I've created is a somewhat simplified amalgam of all of them but predominantly something like these:- I sketched round my pilot figure and then drew a seat profile to match and started blocking it out with balsa. I added some sides using some 0.9mm ply. Then after some sanding and using various bits like biro tubes, electrical wire and flat carbon strip ended up with this:- It's missing a fair bit of detail but I'll probably just add some harness straps between the pilot's shoulders and seat now and leave it at that. I made the two pull handles from brown electrical wire with some 2mm wide Tamiya masking tape wrapped around. Fitting the pilot's arms is going to need a little thought as he's a bit of a tight fit and I want to make him and the seat easily removable for access to the receiver and battery. Once I've figured that out I'll then need to make a little joystick for him too. The next little job after that will be to make an instrument binnacle...
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