Balsa Wood Mustang, part 2

After a prolonged, enforced break caused by the wire provided for the undercarriage proving too hard to cut, the build is back up and running! A new pair of wire cutters were purchased and the main undercarriage cut to size.

However, after some thought, and reading some forum comments against including the undercarriage on a flying model, I decided against adding the wheels. All that unnecessary delay! However, in the intervening period I had done a fair bit of reading on the subject and so the time wasn’t completely wasted.

With no wheels to prepare, all that remained before covering and final assembly was the sealing of the wood with the 50/50 PVA/water mix used on the Hurricane.

Unfortunately the rudder sustained a small amount of damage during sanding and required some very basic repair work.

After that came the covering. First of all the tail plane:

Then the rudder:

Then I thought about getting a bit clever and attaching the wings part way through the covering process as leaving certain parts exposed would give me easier access to clamp the wings to the fuselage while the glue dried. However, posting this idea on the Guillow’s Model Builders’ forum (yes, they have their own dedicated forum!) was met with general disapproval. Apparently, the wings need to be fixed to a flat surface while they dry after the tissue is sprayed with water to shrink the tissue, otherwise there is a serious risk of the wings warping.

(At this point I should probably clarify that I have decided to use this model as a ‘proof of concept demonstrator’, that is, function is everything . Therefore, the undercarriage has been sacrificed to save weight, and decals will be omitted to reduce the need for preparatory coats on the model for much the same reason. Ultimately, the model may not look like much but it should work as well as it possibly can.)

So, I completely covered the fuselage:

And then made a start on the wings:

Once these are all covered, the tissue will be shrunk and then ‘doped’ (I’ll be using the usual PVA/water mix) before final assembly.


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