Build Along With Wonwing-FAIREY FIREFLY

wonwinglo

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The supplied plastic vac formed lower cowl pan will do the job but to be honest it does not look as good as proper planking,I was termpted to discard it and block the lower portion of the nose,if I do the R/C micro conversion and fit a motor then I probably will do but I have an idea and that is to make this rubber powered radio control,yes it is becoming popular now to fit micro gear into rubber models and it works,so a 1S lipo,tiny receiver and two micro servos for the ailerons and one for the elevator.

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After much fettling the lower cowl fitted,not perfect but as near as,it was glued into place with Pritt 'Craft it' jewellery cement,if you have not tried this adhesive then you are missing one of the best all round adhesives on the market,it will stick anything and no fiddly mixing resins together either,a very versatile adhesive and cheap as chips too about 0.50p a tube if you buy 10 tubes.

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A good sanding took place and a first coat of sanding sealer on the planked area.

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Nose plug made up with balsa/ply laminate,nose button pressed into place.

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This is the rubber powered flying propeller,a home made carved scale one is in process,you need thin blades and plenty of pitch to fly well.

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I opted to use cartridge paper for the shaped rear cockpit front recess,the stringer behind will 'not' be cut as it will weaken the structure too much.

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Cockpits have been doped black plus area where the front canopy sits,a few bits of detail made from light depron to go into the cockpits.
 

wonwinglo

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Grabbing the chance to go flying so lets catch up with progress work on the Fairey Firefly.

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Tailplane & fin laid down on the building board.

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A few vital parts were missing so had to be made up,annoying when that happens but no big deal.

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Laying down the first wing panel,since this was taken both panels have been built up.

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Radio and compass made from Depron in the navigators area.

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The four bladed scale airscrew carved up.

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And the spinner added makes a big difference,this will be the dummy display airscrew.
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Carved at the same time were some dummy airscrews for my Douglas DC-3 Dakota.
 

wonwinglo

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Grabbing the chance to go flying so lets catch up with progress work on the Fairey Firefly.

View attachment 355070

Tailplane & fin laid down on the building board.

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A few vital parts were missing so had to be made up,annoying when that happens but no big deal.

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Laying down the first wing panel,since this was taken both panels have been built up.

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Radio and compass made from Depron in the navigators area.

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The four bladed scale airscrew carved up.

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And the spinner added makes a big difference,this will be the dummy display airscrew.
View attachment 355076

Carved at the same time were some dummy airscrews for my Douglas DC-3 Dakota.
 

wonwinglo

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Some more pictures of the Dakota propeller's under construction.

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To make three bladed props you have to cut out more blanks ie 2x blanks make sufficient blades for one propeller,they are then joined at the hub.
 

wonwinglo

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The build continues of the Fairey Firefly with the wings coming along,several modifications are being made to the wings the most important being the sheeting of the leading edges of the wings for added strength,the extra weight is forward of the centre of gravity so will be well absorbed into the structure,we have been busy so lets see the progress.

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Since these pictures were taken the ailerons are being built into the wings.

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The 1/32nd leading edge sheeting adds a lot of extra strength and looks better as well.

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The wings prior to leading edge sheeting.

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Scale propeller after a coat of banana oil.
 

wonwinglo

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Further work on detailing the wing,the plans suggest not fitting the wing tanks as they affect flying performance well I am going to prove them wrong ! the model looks good with those tanks and they are very much part of the character of the Firefly,I will trim her out to fly with those distinctive wing tanks.

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The wing tanks fitted to a wing attachment sheet piece added underneath the wing,note that the ailerons have been incorporated plus guns made up from paper straws and wooden meat skewers,the inboard wing radiators stand out better now since the top sheeting was added.

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Close up of soft balsa carved tanks not supplied in the kit.

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The scale propeller has been sanded and painted.

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Front and rear cockpits have been attached ready for framing up,the rear cockpit is merely wrap around plastic sheet,I used my favourite De uxe materials cockpit adhesive that white will dry clear overnight.

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Experimenting with the thin plastic wheel halves,a balsa disc was first sunk into the centre and some plastic balsa made from dust and PVA glue was scooped into them with an artists pallete knife,when dry they will be sanded flush and joined then brass bushes inserted,if they are not satisfactory then I will scratchbuild new ones from balsa discs.

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The start of the exhaust poprts,portions of paper drinking straw are first sliced off,then they are glued at an angle onto a popsicle stick,once dry they can be sanded and painted and fitted.

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Undercarriage doors cut from card and stiffened up with PVA ahesive painted on.

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The start of bending the basic undercarriage legs which are removeable for flight,paper will be wrapped around the legs to represent the oleo struts.

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View showing the vastly improved wing.
 

wonwinglo

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The exhaust stacks were made from a paper straw pieces glued together at an angle then sanded and fitted,save all the paper straws you can because they are a gift to model builders,no plastic straws or stirers now its either wood or paper,just what the scale model builder needs.

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Building up the dummy oleo legs for the undercarriage with heatshrink tubing slipped over the pre bent piano wire then shrunk up with an heat gun.
 

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wonwinglo

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I wanted proper wheel wells on the Firefly so had a think about the best way to tackle them,either way areas of the wing need to be cut away to install the wells so I settled for pre cut deep balsa wells that were sunk into the wing,this way the wells actually added strength with the loss of a few spar pieces that go around the wells just like the real thing,designers hate having to cut holes into their designs but it has to be done,and so this is how I tackled the problem.

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This is what the wheel wells look like from the top,black card is from some domestic product,fellow model builders know I am a magpie for scarp bits and pieces and save things like this for me for use in my models !

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The view from the bottom prior to fitting the inserts of black card,in effect only a small potion of spar plus some half ribs have been sacrificed.

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And with the card in place and a few small adjusting blocks added,much stronger in fact than before

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View with wheel wells installed and also the cockpits have been framed up.

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The block wells prior to cutting into the wing and fitting
 

wonwinglo

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I am thinking now 'Flaps' ! what if I was to incorporate the flaps into my model ? if set up correctly they would increase the wing area for starters and sure look good as well,the flaps extend from the wing on rails as can be seen in these photographs,I am going to devise something to include them into my model of the Fairey Firefly,they would reduce the wing loading dramatically,thinking cap on decision tomorrow.
As you can see they can extend fully out of the wing or be used partially out of the wing,very useful.

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wonwinglo

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Much flappery going on today as I got to it and devised some ground adjustable wing flaps,basically I opted for aluminium offcuts from streamlined strut tubing for the mountings,this is ideal as when wooden sticks are inserted they can be twisted into alignment and pushed tight into the tube,the same material is used on the plug in undercarriage where the piano wire springs tight into the tube.
Study the photographs to see how it is done.

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Alloy oval strut section pieces are inserted/glued into the trailing edge of the wings,wooden dowels push into the tubes and can be clinched by moving upwards into the tube and held by friction.

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They certainly give the desired effect,on the real aircraft they extend on rails in variable positions.

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Hardwood dowels were glued into the leading edges of the flaps.

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The wheels were joined together and skimmed with Squadron putty,then rasped up with coarse glasspaper and painted,brass bushing was then added.
You will remember the wheel halves were filled with plastic balsa after first inserting balsa discs glued into the wheel halves,a vast improvement on flimsy vac formed mouldings.
 

scottie3158

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Barry,
The great work continues the hand made props are very impressive.
 

wonwinglo

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Assembly is now underway and the wing fillets are being gradually built up,the plan simply states the use of paper but I like to build up a bit of structure where the fuselage meets the wing then build onto that with the paper fillets.

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The wing fillets are very subtle and to look realistic need to be done carefully,below you will see how I did them my own way.

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First to make things easier I painted the components and allowed them to dry overnight,the wheel wells will be cut through after the test flying just to give the wings a bit more lift,then if things go well they will be cut through to reveal the work that I did in that area.

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Looking underneath first balsa membranes were fitted where the wings blend into the fuselage,this gives me something to build onto.

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The curved paper fillets ( warm hands around any suitable round object ) glued into place.

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Here you can see the little bit of structure inserted into the joint.
 
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