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Curtiss Condor by Glencoe: Where Murphy's And Parkinson's Laws Intersect....


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14 hours ago, Corsairfoxfouruncle said:

Amazing attention to detail Im hoping this will be as good as Im expecting. 

 

Thank you, Dennis. I share your hopes....

 

Setting the gap will be a treat.

 

 

James

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You certainly haven't picked an easy project James. Although I am enjoying the opportunity to watch you correct all its issues.

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On 3/29/2024 at 12:56 AM, Col. said:

You certainly haven't picked an easy project James. Although I am enjoying the opportunity to watch you correct all its issues.

 

 

Thanks, Col.

 

All its issues couldn't be fixed short of a new fuselage....

 

 

James

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Opened the bits and bobs bag:

 

Xrv5Q2J.jpeg

 

Started in shaping the wings, lower first.

 

Here's the leading edge, rounded:

 

HIWI6bf.jpeg

 

And the trailing edge, thinned:

 

RxmdgC0.jpeg

 

And at this point a problem becomes apparent:

 

GGydyyJ.jpeg

 

The distance between the starboard wing-root and nacelle is greater than that between the port wing-root and nacelle. This matters, it would show and it affects strut alignment.

 

TGwJlQ8.jpeg

 

I sawed through, and trimmed out the extra. The wings, having a double-convex airfoil, have a hollow center:

 

V6hizvH.jpeg

 

So the joint won't be fragile:

 

vxg3sKb.jpeg

 

Above is test-fit, here it is cemented and cleaned.

 

A1rbOs0.jpeg

 

Here it is with the (still un-assembled) fuselage, and caps fitted on the nacelles. Fit is a pleasant surprise.

 

TVF1sym.jpeg

 

The upper wing leading edge has been rounded, and its trailing edge thinned as well. The leading edges were aluminum clad on both wings, and their rounding took care of this nicely.

 

At this point, the real problem with the fuselage presents itself. The dorsal profile of the aeroplane curves up and back from the cockpit glazing to a point above the first cabin window, then goes straight back to the the rear of the last (door/lavatory) window, where it curves down and back to the fin. The model's dorsal profile doesn't reach its highest point till past the first cabin window, and begins sloping down about where the third cabin window is. Major surgery could correct this, but would not address the great flaw of the kit's fuselage.

 

pCMmeC5.jpeg

 

It is far too short from bottom to top.

 

This distance on the kit piece is about 31mm, by the dimension of sections at leading and trailing edge it ought to be about 34mm. Worse, most of this shortfall, if not all of it, comes above the lower wing's centerline. If the accurate gap between the wings (about 33mm) is constructed, the gap between fuselage top and upper wing center section, which should be about 7mm, will be at best nearly 10mm. That's a point draws the eye, and even a casual glance between photo and model would catch something odd there. So the gap has to be trimmed to look accurate, I expect by about 2mm. Since all the struts slant up and out, a bit of adjustment to their angles might do the trick, or the length of the flat upper wing center section be trimmed a bit. That's another catch-the-eye point; the panels slant up from where those struts attach.

 

Many key dimensions are noted on the Matt drawing. I multiply this by 305, then divide the product by 81 to get a millimeter dimension. Where measurement gives an integer (or nearly) on the scale bar I do the same. Failing this, the Matt drawing fortuitously printed out at 1/120 scale, and this bears the same relation to 1/81 as does 1/72 scale to 1/48 scale, so for rule of thumb it's half again, rounded down, added to the measure on the drawing.

 

 

James

 

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Some surgery neatly executed! Fortunately, there is a constant wing chord at this point.

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Posted (edited)
On 4/3/2024 at 8:56 AM, Toryu said:

Some surgery neatly executed! Fortunately, there is a constant wing chord at this point.

 

Thank you, Toryu

 

It is a help that there's constant chord, and that there's no stagger. And I did wind up checking the chord, it's one of the dimensions that's right enough by my fairly crude means of measurement from the plan.

 

Some of the errors are just weird. The fuselage height (but not length), and the upper wing span, both scale out pretty close to 1/87 rather than 1/81.

 

 

James

Edited by Old Man
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Posted (edited)

Scouting report on the gap, no pictures.

 

Having sorted out which pieces of the kit are the interplane and nacelle cabane struts, I found the odd errors of dimension in this kit may have worked for once in my favor.

 

The Matt drawing gives the gap as an inch shy of 10 feet, but measures it from lower surface of one wing to the lower surface of the other, which is not so helpful in addressing the model. Vertical from upper surface of lower wing to under surface of upper wing is 23mm on the drawing, which by rule of thumb ought to scale up to roughly 34mm for the kit.

 

Since the Condor sets the lower wing well above the bottom of the fuselage, it matters how much of the fuselage fills the gap in the center. On the profile plan, 17mm of this is filled by the fuselage, leaving 6mm between fuselage and upper wing, which by rule of thumb is 9mm in scale.

 

The distance from the bottom of the fuselage to the upper wing measures 30mm on the plan, 24mm of which are fuselage. The 6mm gap between fuselage and upper wing is one fifth of the total distance from fuselage bottom to upper wing. It is this proportion which an eye looking from photograph to model will gauge whether the gap 'looks right' by.

 

The kit's fuselage is 31mm high, with 23mm of that above the lower wing. One quarter of total fuselage height is a hair less than 8mm, which added to the portion of fuselage height above the lower wing, gives a 'kit gap' of around 31mm, three less than the 34mm it ought to be by measure off the plan.

 

The interplane struts by measure of the plan are 24mm, scaled up to 36mm. The kit's interplane struts measure 33mm long. This shortfall comes pretty close to the difference between real scale gap and 'kit gap' necessary to preserve proportion between fuselage and the gap between it and the upper wing.

 

So with just a little trimming, the kit's interplane struts will do with a fuselage to upper wing gap of about 8mm. They're short for accuracy, but fine for verisimilitude. It will be possible to set this gap independent of any other assembly, because two small struts constituting a fuselage cabane (omitted in the kit) are set on the centerline, and so if cut to measure and put in place these can serve as a gauge by which to set the gap entire.

 

My intend is to get the fuselage closed and get the struts set properly up this weekend.

 

 

James

Edited by Old Man
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You make an interesting point there James; working to make the model 'look right' in its stance will give a more satisfying result than slavish adherence to absolute accuracy at the expense of aesthetics.

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15 hours ago, Col. said:

You make an interesting point there James; working to make the model 'look right' in its stance will give a more satisfying result than slavish adherence to absolute accuracy at the expense of aesthetics.

 

Thanks, Col.

 

With this, getting it to strike the eye right's about the best can be done. You'd need to scratch-build a fuselage, and cannibalize wings off another one, to get it jibed with the plan.

 

 

James

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Here's a test-fit of the wings.

 

pblrhBJ.jpeg

 

Fuselage is just taped, the lower wing's center clips the bottom together. I've set up a sort of 'flying jig'; pieces of 30 thou sheet. They're placed a bit outboard of the center section. A centerline is marked on the upper wing, and so is where the gauges should meet it. Near the tips are marks for interplane struts.

 

c4pwd0Q.jpeg

 

BgT6X0a.jpeg

 

hr66sSJ.jpeg

 

I aimed at 31mm for the gap, but they came in a bit over. The fuselage to upper wing gap here is about what it ought to be in scale, if the thing was in scale....

 

So I went for another take. the gauges are tacked on at their bottoms with a bit of CA, and so can be readily snapped off, and attach to the upper wing with white glue only. So after a bit of shortening, down to 30mm, and some cleaning up on the lower wing, and placing an 8mm gauge on the fuselage centerline, I repeated the exercise.

 

eFbEN0b.jpeg

 

Omm6Vty.jpeg

 

I think this looks about right, I may trim the gap another millimeter still, if struck with ambition.

 

Here's a look at a kit interplane strut tacked in place.

 

HUgbCSB.jpeg

 

It's angled too far out, but part of this owes to the upper wing panels having no dihedral, while the lower one does. Still, I'll probably have to trim them a bit. The nacelle cabane struts are far too short, and will have to be scratched. Once I've closed the fuselage, I'll set seriously about the wings....

 

 

James

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The place holder to get the gap right is a good idea. I may borrow it for my P-6E which has interplane struts of wrong length.

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Posted (edited)

I was struck with ambition when seriously contemplating closing the fuselage.

 

The nose seam was not so rough as it looks well above. Pressing the nose got things close enough, and while this spread the rest of the fuselage, that's not a problem. Glue nose first, then the rest. The real problem was that the front facets of the glazing weren't raked at the same angle. I figured it could be made tight, but trying risked damage to the clear panels that couldn't readily be repaired if the fuselage was closed. I did not like the triangular glazings in the cockpit roof; one was blemished by CA excess on the inside, and they really didn't reflect the drawings.

 

So I did something I'd contemplated before starting this up, but decided not to. I sawed off the cockpit roof. Doing that now meant removing the glazings, but I could do better. I found there was enough 'flex' in the old plastic that I could raise the fuselage height, just aft of the cut, by wedging beams of heavy styrene rod, which sufficed for about 2mm of lift, which greatly benefited the profile. Then I set about making a new cockpit roof.

 

This is a 'wish me luck' picture in the middle of it, when the tricky bit started.

 

1V5IvTP.jpeg

 

Everything is keyed to the notch behind the side glazings. The solid 'glazings' are to establish a level for the roof's assembly. The rear portion is a sort of barrel vault of 3.2mm x 2.5mm rod, assembled to end-pieces and liberally reinforced with CA gel on the interior. The front piece is based on a 'plan view' matching the front glazings and a rear end-piece matched to the front of the rear piece. I cut a triangular piece of 0.5mm sheet, bent it by a bit of rolling on a tweezer nose, fastened it in front, trimmed it at the back. It's nice when something new works, and easily, too.

 

jdLyM8s.jpeg

 

It's all rough, but right enough for the stage.

 

Here's the front piece complete.

 

jqKz3S8.jpeg

 

9mlLScZ.jpeg

 

You can see the beams jacking up the fuselage height.

 

Here's the rear piece in behind, after some fettling.

 

JicIvCG.jpeg

 

There's still some blending to do, but not so much as it might seem; the black isn't gape but paint, from slopping black all over the interior of the front piece.

 

5Wt0HiU.jpeg

 

With the new roof comes new glazing, sides first:

 

VQ1oVfB.jpeg

 

It's 1mm clear, and a pain to work with. I took to taping one surface so measures could be marked, and a piece has a chance of being found if dropped.

 

Here the front pieces are in as well:

 

iJTmSlv.jpeg

 

The clear panels are glued to the roof only at this point. There's still some fettling of the mating surfaces between the clear and the fuselage sides before a final fit. One is widening the nose a bit; right or wrong the protruding corner of the front glazings must be accommodated. Once all is ready, the roof/glazing assembly should press down into place once the fuselage is closed with little fuss or filler.

 

H8rBZ8B.jpeg

 

For compare, here's the profile photo of the aeroplane in question, and one of the original kit piece.

 

WtjpwDw.png

 

d1Lgket.jpeg

 

 

James

 

 

 

 

Edited by Old Man
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  • Old Man changed the title to Curtiss Condor by Glencoe: Nose Sorted
15 hours ago, Corsairfoxfouruncle said:

Wow thats some serious dedication to accuracy. 

 

Thanks, Uncle.

 

The nose is, again, something sure to draw the eye, and so it ought at least to look right. I'd decided against this course in favor of slotting in the clear panels, and that might have sufficed if I'd paid enough attention setting the front rake. I figured if I'd best do it again I might as well do it fancy. This took the best part of a weekend.

 

 

James

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Plugging along here, Gentlemen.

 

Here's the built up sides of the nose....

 

dMCKYT5.jpeg

 

I notched into the side at the pencil line, stuck in some thick scrap, slathered things with CA gel, and sanded a lot.

 

Here's the cockpit roof/glazing resting in place....

 

E6jpqjo.jpeg

 

I put some more thick scrap onto the nose.

 

GPE9W9G.jpeg

 

And sanded down....

 

ehh964L.jpeg

 

With that done I closed the fuselage. This was a step by step process. The halves are not quite the same height. I did the front upper first, pressed tight and level. I then did the rear under and tail area, taking care to force the join to the base of the fin tight as I could manage (if it just 'goes in natural' the horizontal tailplane slots will be at much different heights, this gets them into ready trimming distance). Upper rear was next, then lower front, with the latter getting a 30thou shim. The lower wing still notches in nicely....

 

cWcbaqD.jpeg

 

xU7vimY.jpeg

 

The bottom needs shimming, but matches the profile, and the most important mating, of the upper surface roots to the fuselage, is nice and tight.

 

It seems I must sort out the motors before I can set the center sections. The measure on the kit between nacelle centers is, by the plan, actually at 1/81 scale, which, since every other wing component is under-scale, complicates things. The lower front of the fuselage, too, will need its chin built up a bit.

 

xUPuEg2.jpeg

 

Though exaggerated by foreshortening, the nacelles a bit oversize, at least relative to the fuselage. I've sanded them down some, and will do more. I expect I'll need to reduce cowling diameter, too. Which presents a problem. The motor is to press into the rear of a cowling ring it is much too large for. Since the moulded face-plate representation is far too wide, sanding down the cyliners threatened to leave mere nubs.

 

T00OEMn.jpeg

 

At this point, with the motor not quite fitting I forced the reng down over it. Each cracked clean, and I patched with 2mm scrap.

 

izc4G3B.jpeg

 

Of course, this only increases the cowling diameter. With the odd scale there's no hope of swapping something in, and I'm going to try and fettle what's here.

 

The 'plug' at the motor's rear that mates to the nacelle face is smaller then the faceplate, so I think I can trim away with an Exacto and extend the cylinders towards the center in frontal view....

 

yLgOMUo.jpeg

 

I expect I can also thin the cowlings from the inside.

 

Motors and cowlings, nacelles, and chin are the next order of business.

 

 

James

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  • Old Man changed the title to Curtiss Condor by Glencoe: Fuselage Closed
11 hours ago, Toryu said:

Wow, you're grinding away on that kit...!

 

Thanks, Toryu!

 

It does seem an unending source of fresh bits to hash out.

 

It's taking over modelling time: I've four other projects on, ranging from 'just about finished' through 'nearly done' to 'well underway'....

 

 

James

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'Chin' is built up, and engines/nacelles sorted....

 

6o80OZt.jpeg

 

This is filled with side pieces and a bottom piece of heavy sheet, and a new cap put on the nose.

 

ejx2Jb5.jpeg

 

Cockpit roof only tacked into place with white glue at this point.

 

Here's a better look at what's been done with the engines.

 

PATIdgj.jpeg

 

Trimming down the front plate to leave cylinder representation went well enough. I split the cowling rings, and reduced their diameter a bit, sanding down the cylinders to match. The nacelles have been shorted by two to three millimeters, and their tops sanded down considerably. Things got thin enough patching with CA gel was needed (see port front...),

 

a5wBpZJ.jpeg

 

13krWTr.jpeg

 

T8pdDFw.jpeg

 

This is all just test fit, stuck together with white glue. Things look in proportion to fuselage height, and are a decent distance from the fuselage sides.

 

I'm putting this aside for the rest of the weekend. It's taking over my modelling time, and I've several other builds I want to get a bit more done on. Next round, I will, finally, be able to get started seriously with the wings....

 

 

James

 

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2 hours ago, Corsairfoxfouruncle said:

Even if you don't finish it in the group build timeline it will still be a very impressive piece of work. 

 

Oh, I'll get it done. I just need a few hours on other things at the bench. I've got an almost complete Chinese Gladiator display, a near-done Dutch CW-21, a Bulldog in Sudan I'd like to get more done on, and a P-82 I'm foiling.

 

It's actually a pretty fun build. Everybody I've seen comment on the kit says it's god-awful, but not really how or why. About the only thing I might still fail to talk myself out of is trimming some space out of the lower wing between fuselage and nacelles on both sides. The propellers, of all things, are over-scale by more than a millimeter.

 

 

James

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  • Old Man changed the title to Curtiss Condor by Glencoe: Chin and Motors/Nacelles Sorted

The trimming and right-scaling seems to go on forever. You really persevere getting it right - bravo!

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On 4/28/2024 at 8:58 AM, Toryu said:

The trimming and right-scaling seems to go on forever. You really persevere getting it right - bravo!

 

Thanks, Toryu.

 

It's getting towards the end of the fettling stage.

 

I did get in some work on the P-82 and Sudan Bulldog, it was a nice break....

 

 

James

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 4/28/2024 at 3:12 AM, Old Man said:

The propellers, of all things, are over-scale by more than a millimeter.

In comparison to the other issues of this kit that milimeter seems minor.

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7 hours ago, Col. said:

In comparison to the other issues of this kit that milimeter seems minor.

 

 

Quite minor, but it may be useful. How close the tips come to the fuselage is something noticeable. That's a clearance they cut pretty close.

 

I'll be getting back to this over the coming weekend.

 

 

James

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