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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) P-38 Lightning 1st static build (Read 8846 times)
Skyediamonds
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Re: P-38 Lightning 1st static build
Reply #44 - Feb 5th, 2020 at 12:46am
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ib:

Very valid questions.  Shows you're thinking two or three steps ahead of the build.  This is exactly the correct (& mind-numbing) thing to do whenever you're building "outside of the box."   Really impressed!!  This is where a lot of thinking (agonizing) goes on.  Ask me.

From my perspective, you've already (did a masterful job) of framing up the wings.  You're now at the decision point as to which way to cover.  Should you go the tissue route or use something more solid that will give off a realistic look as opposed to a skeletal appearance.

You have a number of options:

You can infill, but that's a lot of work and sanding, then filling in with a compound between the gaps and grains, then priming, and the list goes on.

The other option is to do what I'm doing with my Mustang project and sheet using thin sheets of glossy paper with a thin laminate of plastic instead of balsa wood.  The paper/plastic will be thin enough to mitigate the potential fit issues (not  completely, but enough to make it easier).  The "paplastic" also saves you lots of hassles of sanding and fitting because its already very thin.  It's also smooth & ready to paint.  You only need to scribe panel lines with a black ball point pen.  If you're so inclined to go a bit more in the detailing route, you can use a "pounce wheel" for making simulated rivets.  The pounce wheel is a small hand-held tool that sort of looks like a really bad pizza cutter.  See the enclosed photo

This "paplastic" sheet is what you see as "plate matts" on top of a desk in say, a bank, or restaurant displaying bank services or menu.  It's around, you just have to look. 

Prior to installing the "paplastic" sheets:  carefully cut them to the exact size needed to fit that section of the wing panel.  Instead of sanding down the balsa leading edge smooth, allow the leading edge to "stick" out above the rib outlines to account for the plastic thickness.  If you've already sanded down the leading edge, that's okay.  Just carefully sand down the ribs at the part where they butt up against the balsa leading edge.  This sanding down of the ribs only needs to go back about 1/2" from the leading edge, so you don't have to sand the whole ribs.  Because the plastic sheet is so thin, you only need to gently "touch" sand the ribs.  It doesn't  take much to lower the rib profiles enough to compensate for the plastic "skin."  Butt against the leading edge with the plastic sheet (or you can use laminated glossy paper instead of plastic) and feather out the sheets along the trailing edge. 

The thin sheets of plastic can come in large sizes.  They're easily obtained from local arts and crafts stores.  I don't know if Wal Mart has them. 

The only "hard part" is carefully fitting the plastic to the exact size and outline of that particular wing panel section.  In this case, you can use sheets of scrap paper.  You may end up using several "templates" until you get it just right.  Then simply trace the outline to the plastic.  I've enclosed a "few" sample pictures of my efforts  of covering the wing.  In this case, a practice wing section but you get the idea.  The silver paint was used to help determine how it contrasted with Flite Metal.  You don't have to use the foil

Once the plastic sheet has been cut and carefully trial-fitted to the exact size of the wing panel, use a ruler or straight edge and black ball point pen for the simulated paneling.  Gently press down on the plastic for that "depth" look.  You may wish to practice on some scrap first.

From there, you can either install the plastic sheet "as is" or add some rivet detail as described.  For the paneling and riveting detail, you'll need some reference photos, drawings or a small plastic model to help you determine where the paneling outlines go.  It's  only after you've finished pressing down with the ball point pen and/or pressing down with the pounce wheel, should you then glue the plastic sheet to the frame.  To do all of this pressing down while it's  on the frame will risk breaking the balsa frame.

Getting back to the balsa sheeting.  For the outer panels, you can sheet as usual.  Just use some Spackling Compound to help feather in the plastic sections to the wing.  You can sand down the panel sheet, but be careful.  Most likely you won't know how far you've gone down until its too late and the ribs start peeking through.

For the tail feathers, I'm using solid 1/4" balsa for my Mustang, so it's just a matter of personal choice.  The added thickness to account for the airfoil in the middle and its tapered toward the leading & trailing edge

I know I've mentioned this sheeting method before, but since you're already going "outside the box" with the sheeting, I'm thinking you might as well make it as easy and convenient as possible with less sanding, filling, sanding, priming, etc., prior to paint
  

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ibscrooge
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Re: P-38 Lightning 1st static build
Reply #43 - Feb 4th, 2020 at 6:18am
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I do have a question for you on sheeting the wing. Since sheeting will increase the thickness of the wing should I infill the sections attaching the center pod and booms or just go to town and sand halfway through the stringers to account for sheeting?? I am assuming sheeting will cause a fit differential with the pod and boom sections. Also if thickness is going to become an issue should I forego the scale version of the tail feathers for the solid sheet outline ??
  
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Skyediamonds
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Re: P-38 Lightning 1st static build
Reply #42 - Feb 3rd, 2020 at 11:37pm
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ib:
Beautiful set of wings!  If you're sheeting, let me know if you need any suggestions,  otherwise I'll just sit back and relax and enjoy the show.

You've done great!
  
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Re: P-38 Lightning 1st static build
Reply #41 - Jan 30th, 2020 at 5:38pm
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Have done some work on the main wings since those must be finished and attached before I can complete work on the center pod. Cockpit, under carriage, wing fillets are all plastic and the cockpit center section is all one piece. I plan on covering the wings with thin sheet so there will be lots of sanding to reduce the wing thickness to accept the sheeting. Also going to use strip balsa for the leading edge as it seems the kit supplied sticks are basically fossilized oak beams Grin!! Easier to build up and shape that way. Not sure how thin my sheeting can get so will check out Hobby Lobby on my days off to see what I can conjure up. Had thought about using thick sheet for the tail feathers since the model won't be flying but then decided I would rather enjoy working with all those little bits and pieces to  practice my techniques. Ok ok I enjoy all those little fiddley bits!
  

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Skyediamonds
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Re: P-38 Lightning 1st static build
Reply #40 - Jan 19th, 2020 at 11:23pm
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If it'll help any, you're doing a great job on the detailing of the cockpit interior and really impressive nose gear.  Couldn't do better myself.

Skye
  
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Sky9pilot
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Re: P-38 Lightning 1st static build
Reply #39 - Jan 19th, 2020 at 9:40pm
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Roll Eyes Grin Cheesy Wink Cool
  

If God is your Co-pilot...switch seats...
Your attitude will determine your altitude!- John Maxwell
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free. Jn 8:32
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ibscrooge
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Re: P-38 Lightning 1st static build
Reply #38 - Jan 19th, 2020 at 9:09pm
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I do have a dremel but currently it is residing somewhere in the depths of my garage without the needed cutoff wheel as I seem to have lost all the accessories somewhere. Thank you for reminding me about the dremel though I completely forgot I had one!! Roll Eyes Note to self.....start regimen of ginkgo biloba!!
  
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Sky9pilot
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Re: P-38 Lightning 1st static build
Reply #37 - Jan 19th, 2020 at 7:13pm
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You need a cordless dremel cutoff wheel setup.
  

If God is your Co-pilot...switch seats...
Your attitude will determine your altitude!- John Maxwell
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free. Jn 8:32
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ibscrooge
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Re: P-38 Lightning 1st static build
Reply #36 - Jan 19th, 2020 at 5:28pm
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Sky9pilot...Yes, there is a wire axle installed that is removable for me to be able to remove the retractable gear and will do so when I am ready to install the card stock bay. Though in the kit there is no bottom to the bay I believe I am going to at least attempt to install one though that may depend on the action of the gear whether that will be able to be added. Tried to adjust the gear but apparently my trusty worn out needle nose couldn't handle the wire and was unable to clip off the needed 1/4 inch on the lock down wire. Sigh! Now it's time to purchase new wire cutters at the nearest truck stop which of course doubles the price automatically and the quality will be dubious at best. Embarrassed
  
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Re: P-38 Lightning 1st static build
Reply #35 - Jan 19th, 2020 at 3:49pm
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Will the gear be removable for free access to the various components of the plane for finish?
  

If God is your Co-pilot...switch seats...
Your attitude will determine your altitude!- John Maxwell
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free. Jn 8:32
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Re: P-38 Lightning 1st static build
Reply #34 - Jan 19th, 2020 at 10:36am
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Thanks Sky9....I thought about adding some white to the strut but the more I think about it that would not have been incorporated in a wartime situation. Sticking with what I have but will add some highlights as you suggested. Finalizing the fit of the nose gear and looking for an old pen to deconstruct to use the ink tube for an axle of sorts on the strut. Going ahead with gluing on the nose cowl but stuck on whether to paint the plastic parts or cover with flite metal. Painting them would result in a different look than the metal when finished. All that's left is some adjustment on the nose gear before final install and then on to wing construction finally!!
  

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Sky9pilot
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Re: P-38 Lightning 1st static build
Reply #33 - Jan 2nd, 2020 at 9:31am
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In reply #31 the nose gear strut looks fine.  You might try some paint over the existing paint or dry brush technique where you wipe off most of the paint and hit the high part of the strut to highlight them to see if this give the result you're looking for.
  

If God is your Co-pilot...switch seats...
Your attitude will determine your altitude!- John Maxwell
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free. Jn 8:32
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ibscrooge
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Re: P-38 Lightning 1st static build
Reply #32 - Jan 2nd, 2020 at 7:14am
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Well so far the cockpit has been pleasantly surprising for me and† apart from some parts not having a 3D look I managed to work around that with some extra balsa and leftover plastic from vacu-forming. The more I work with these parts the more I seem to be able to achieve the look I want though to be honest I am not all that happy with my choice of paint for the landing gear. I wanted a look of well used steel but it seems to have come out more gray that metal and I am not sure at this point whether to forge ahead or remove the paint and start over but am afraid if I do so I may affect the glued parts. I worked around the plastic parts not having a back by using a balsa plug and some extra plastic. What remains is final assembly and painting but now I am on hold until I can reassess my paint choices and maybe get some input from everyone on both the landing gear and the interior.

On a funnier note the supplied pilot seems to be holding a traditional stick versus the much different P38 setup and wonder will anyone notice ??
  

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Re: P-38 Lightning 1st static build
Reply #31 - Jan 1st, 2020 at 12:45pm
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In keeping with the fact that my assembly plant is rather small and mobile I have determined that sticking to the display directions from the manufacturer is the best course. Of course I am in awe of Skydiamonds abilities which make mine pale in comparison I will however be using whatever bones he throws me for help in this. Am going to build using kit supplied plastics but will be adding hydraulic lines as well to enhance the visual effects though I am torn right now whether to complete this with the landing gear retractable or not as this will be static inside a looking box. Just checking the fit of the cockpit and landing gear before filling in the rest of the balsa infill.
  

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Re: P-38 Lightning 1st static build
Reply #30 - Dec 30th, 2019 at 4:08pm
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Been a while since I have made any progress due to the holidays but I have done a few things including some work on the nose gear which included using the pre-formed plastic parts and found they didnít match up very well. Many choice words later I believe I have done a fairly close representation and now ready for some preliminary paint before installing in the pod.
  

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