Thanks Navigator! I only wish I had a bit more time! Now that the weather has gotten better, outdoor projects are taking priority, so building time is cut down! I haven't even had any flight time yet this season!
Anyway, here's the next stage in the construction - the cowling.
We begin by using some balsa sticks to construct a framwork. The sticks go in two sections:from the side former to a ridge in the fuse side and form the former to the nosering. This was a pretty quick and easy bit of construction for the most part.
Here's the initial stage:
And the stage from the former to the nosering
A couple of views of the finished framework:
Now to add the sheeting. To do this, I soaked pieces of balsa sheeting for about an hour in rubbing alcohol and then worked it in. The rubbing alcohol dries pretty quickly. Once I placed it, I used CA and accelerator to lock the piece in place, then liberally applied CA to the interior joints of the the sheeting and frame pieces.
First the left lower side:
Then the left top:
Then the right top:
Here you can see the issue I had with the right top piece. First, it cracked when I attempted to shape it in place. Then, I wound up cutting it a bit short.
I added the bottom right piece, and then some extra balsa to fill the shape of the cracked top piece.
Then a thorough sanding. Here's that right side again, the sanding has smoothed out a lot of the problems. Before I cover it, I will sand again and use some balsa filler to smooth it out even more. Once it is covered, you will never know there was an issue there.
The fuse construction is almost completed. Next up is a wing fairing, then some work on the landing gear. Once that is done, I'll be adding in the radio equipment, and begin the finishing process - sanding, filling, and covering. I'll also be painting the open framework at the tail and adding in some rigging for looks. So the bulk of the construction is behind me, but the detail work involved in finishing it up to make it flight ready will still be time consuming.
Thanks for reading!