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1935 Curtiss Condor, from static model plans, 200%, converted to electric RC ...

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    Another version of my spraying booth, preparing for coating the underside of the wings. A bin-bag , some spare card and a piece of bubble-wrap for masking; not the most sophisticated, but it'll do the job...

    Once dry, it's time to paper the fuselage. The tissue is not of the very best quality, and I'm not the best craftsman at this stuff, but all in all it goes off quite well enough...

    With the use of the heat-gun, the covering is over in record time. In normal fashion, it takes a day for each piece to be dry and shrunk enough to continue, but this tumbles down to half an hour per piece with the blower. Early evening, then, I can once again adopt the cardboard cabin for spraying the fuselage. Nose down in a box, a couple of sheets of paper to mask the wings and we're off..! Here's the underside done; the yellowy stripes at the wing roots are the painter's tape, not yet removed. The white speckles on the nacelle are only reflections from the flash, but they do look odd in the photo....

    And this is how she is looking tonight...

    It'll be left overnight, now; I've a couple more details to sort out, such as painting in windows and the like. Not a bad day; I'm quite pleased (and tired, again...). More tomorrow; the end is in sight, I think.


      Some finishing touches...

      The passenger windows are painted on. I made a painter's tape template from a piece of packaging plastic with a square cut out. The first window falls in the snout part ...

      Vallejo acrylic paint, brushed on from my 'wet palette', a handy trick I learnt from t'web a while back. For the fuselage windows, I measured out a paper guide, to help with alignment, using the same template...

      Not perfect, but it worked out better than I had expected, as I'm generally not very good at these detail finishes.
      Here's another detail I had spent some time thinking about: the logo on the tail. I finally cut a pair of circles from bright red Chinacote, ordered specifically for this job, and prepared last night a pair of water-slide transfers (decals, for some of you...) by painting the company ensign with gloss white Humbrol enamel. Once the fin and rudder were clamped together, straight, the roundels were ironed on, and the transfers carefully soaked, then slid into position. I had done a few trials beforehand; just as well, as it very nearly turned badly, twice, but I managed to struggle through and save the day. Again, then, not perfect, but I'm pleased with the outcome...

      I'm unlikely to become a rival for Callie, though..!
      With that done, and the fuselage painted, I can glue the empennage onto the tail section. I'm using Gorilla Glue for this, as I want it to take up any disparities, and get a good key under the tongue at the base of the fin, through the tailplane. The levels and 'square ' are checked, then double-checked, and it's clamped up (then checked again..!)...

      Tomorrow I'll add triangle stock to each side of the fin, and make some kind of fairing, to be painted to match. I'll then be able to connect up the control rods and waggle the surfaces (hopefully..!).

      Now for the exciting part. I'd built provision, in the upper and lower wings, of doubled ribs, spaced apart to create slots into which I can glue fixing tabs for the main wing struts. Time, now, then, to pierce the covering and glue in these tabs...

      Titebond, as these are wood-to-wood joints. The tabs have been pre-drilled to match their respective struts, all ready and waiting, which will be presented tomorrow, when the tabs are set. Once again, checks will be extensively made to ensure correct alignment, as best I can, and the struts will be bolted on with 2mm screws and Nyloc nuts. Still more details to sort out, but I may be able to get it all done tomorrow, if health allows. Nearly there, then..!


        Hi Douglas

        Good stuff. I've always wondered why nobody/no accessory supplier has come up with simple, positive snap-in strut connectors for bipes. Maybe they have and I've been out of it for too long. Years ago, I used all types of horizontal sliding round rods in the wing that passed through holes in the inserted strut tabs, but the actuator always had to come out somewhere (generally underneath).

        Keep it up - it's all interesting.

        HNY by the way, too.

        Martin Sl.


          I've finished the construction of the Condor, connected everything and tested that it all works. The control surfaces waggle correctly, the motors turn, each with the right rotation, and, if I open the throttle just a bit, the 'plane moves forward (and not backwards..!). There are still decorative details to be sorted, and, of course, it's not the right weather for flying (or even taking photos outside; it's chilly and wet...), so I think I can declare this Curtiss Condor Build to be in enough of a finished state to qualify. Here, then, is the latest picture, in its 'finished' state...

          I shan't be doing any more on her this year (not well, I'm afraid...), but I'll be sure to update with better photos once the decorative touches are done (lines to be painted, axle stubs trimmed, registration letters to be applied etc...), and, naturally, a video shoot of her maiden flight in the Spring, I hope. Remember, though, that it took me over six months to get my Svenson Prima flown, after having completed building the kit. Fast, I'm not..! I'll prepare a photo to be added to the OZ plan page once the deco is done, too (and before the first crash into the maize field..! ).
          I'll post a note to signal 'It's finished' in the OZNoP 2018 thread, and thank all those who've followed this, with their helpful and encouraging comments.
          Happy New Year to those about to fete the event, and those that have already done so.
          Onward And Upward.


            I've bought a second-hand printer, a supply of various media and a pack of print cartridges, and have managed to print the decor pieces I was waiting for. Aided with advice from Our Eldest, my picture model was transferred through Illustrator to printable form, then printed onto self-adhesive vinyl A4 sheets. These were cut out with my hobby knife and applied to the 'plane. We're far from Callie standards, I know, but I can say that 'we did this ourselves'...

            I've a couple more things to tidy up (a little painting, insert landing lights, dummy motor support struts, a bit more fairing around the empennage...) and it'll be thumb-twiddling time, waiting for a flying window.
            Meanwhile, as reported elsewhere on the Forum, I've a new toy, a Christmas gift from Our Youngest: a 3D printer..! It's not yet assembled, as it will need an enclosure (the 'den' is where I do cutting, sanding, spraying and more, and these things are delicate, I'm told...), so I found a second-hand IT cupboard, and had assistance again from Our Eldest in adapting it to the dimensions of the new device (an Alfawise U20, for those clued up in these matters...)...

            A night shift this evening, I think, to get these struts in place, so that, if there's any sunshine tomorrow, I can get a couple of definitive photos in natural daylight. More tomorrow, then...


              The full-size Condor needed a lot of strutting, which has to be duplicated. The outer and central struts I've already done, as they're structural; here now are the inboard struts, which are simply balsa, to be glued in place...

              In the foreground are the first pair I made, only to find that the plan has them much too short. In handling them, I broke one, so I've reinforced the longer pair with the blue tips (tissue, glued on with Titebond...) that can be seen drying. The motor-to-fuselage V-struts (the all-blue pair...) were already finished, but I reinforced those, too.
              A triangular reinforcement has been glued onto the empennage, too...

              Maybe 'overkill', as the fin is already slotted through the tailplane into the fuselage, but, clumsy as I can be, I prefer a 'belt and braces' approach. The fin won't fall off, that's pretty certain..!

              This evening, I braved the cold to fit the struts, using a hot-glue pistol, and patched up the rear with film and tissue...

              All that's left to do now, then, is a few spots of blue touch-up paint, and a bit of inspiration required for making a pair of landing lights, to be stuck onto the very tip of the nose. Approximately 1cm diameter; I'm still not decided what material would be adequate for them. A thin slice of dowel, painted silver..? A headlight 'borrowed' from a Lego car..? Strass from the jewellery box (but I don't have such a box, so ...)..? Just paint 'em on as 'blobs'..? I'm been pondering this for a while, but will have to resolve it soon, and it's all that's left to do, really.


                Some rays of weak winter sun this morning, and a quite sharp frost. I'd finished last night the little details and touch-ups (I've decided against rigging guys; it would add nothing but complications at this scale...), so I took her outside and shot these photos...

                Next step: flying..! When..? Almost entirely dependant on weather, but I would be surprised if there's much activity on that front before the Spring, now. Patience, there'll be a video of whatever transpires, fear not. Meanwhile I've quite a lot of building to be getting on with. Back, then, with more news as and when; until then, thanks for reading this and giving me so much encouragement.


                  This thread is without doubt my favourite read, glad you have been able to post some more. You've ended up with a nice model, for sure. A mad idea about windows occurred to me - I feel sure it's been tried already -someone here may know. Rather than painting them on, could they be represented by little squares of silver Mylar film? I'm not however sure if it would be more or less realstic than silver paint. Thoughts anyone?


                    Originally posted by Alan Smith View Post
                    This thread...
                    Wow..! Thanks for the complement..! As for windows, it really depends on the scale of the model and its construction technique. I thought of several possible options, such as cutting out from the covering and sticking a transparent film on the inside. This would work for the Condor, as she's hollow, with stringer flanks, but I decided that, at this scale, it would be very difficult to have something convincing enough to be worthwhile. It may be different for a true-scale 'museum' piece, but I'm afraid that that's well beyond my modest abilities. In the end, I decided on sobriety, and painted on with grey acrylic, without trying to render details such as curtains inside, or even a glass, transparent look. There are other details missing, too, such as the landing lights on the nose, or the radio aerial, which I've decided to ignore, as, to my mind, a clumsy 'bodge' would distract more than it would add to the overall impression. Think of it as being, in some ways, like Van Gogh. He didn't paint every petal on his sunflowers, now did he..? An impression was the objective, rather than photo realism. I'm not going to cut my ear off, though..!



                      All that's left to do now, then, is a few spots of blue touch-up paint, and a bit of inspiration required for making a pair of landing lights, to be stuck onto the very tip of the nose. Approximately 1cm diameter; I'm still not decided what material would be adequate for them. A thin slice of dowel painted silver..? A headlight 'borrowed' from a Lego car..? Strass from the jewelry box (but I don't have such a box, so ...)..? Just paint 'em on as 'blobs'..? I'm been pondering this for a while but will have to resolve it soon, and it's all that's left to do, really.

                      Try this ... Use an LED bulb for the light up front. Maybe you can even make a light work. Nice build. The Condor is a particular aircraft I like as well but I would build it with Glow engines.
                      Last edited by ReKit; 02-02-2019, 03:55 AM.


                        Originally posted by ReKit View Post
                        ...Try this ...
                        Thanks for the suggestion; I have a few bits and bobs that might fit the bill. I'll get her in the air first, though, as there could be other lessons learned from a maiden flight, or even some touching up or repairs..!
                        No flying weather for a while to come, though, so I'll carry on with other building in the meantime. An Aeromaster to finish (I start covering this week-end, I hope...) and a Kirby Motor Tutor to get started on. I've also a vintage Piper Cub kit to 'salvage', so no lack to stuff to be working on..!


                          Off topic- a bit - I had a further thought about windows, was turning out a cupboard at work yesterday and came accross some smoky-silvery anti-static bags used for electronic components. They might look better than plain paint,or plain silver mylar, especially if laid over a suitable background colour - I shall experiment when the weather gets better in my workshop.



                            I've some of those (yes, I, too, hoard packing material that could come in handy one day..!). Good Call; I'll try it, too.


                              Best wishes when time comes for the maiden. Looks great, so far.


                                A perfect day for trying out The Condor. Bright sunshine, the light breeze gust-free, and I'm feeling well enough to give it a go. Off to the flying field, accompanied by Our Eldest... Here, then, is (drum roll..............) The First Flight Of The Condor..!


                                Hmm... More glue needed, it would appear. An analysis of what went wrong, anyone..?


                                • JVESPER11
                                  JVESPER11 commented
                                  Editing a comment
                                  I didn't see ailerons. There wasn't sufficient dihedral for rudder only roll control. Elevator throw may be a bit excessive.