Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Better late than never

So, I haven't worked on my plane in a looong time It`s been on my mind again recently, so I`m going to post an update for the stuff that I did before the big bout of procrastination.

When we last left, I was about to start applying the fiberglass to the wings of the plane:

Fiberglassing the wing



I remember this going pretty well. There was a LOT of sanding, applying more fiberglass, more sanding, spackling, more sanding, and so on. It all got a bit tedious, but the output was pretty good. I thought I had pictures for the various parts of the build, but I'm currently unable to locate them.

I also thought I had pictures of me painting the plane, but they are also MIA. Sorry about that.

I used the following process:
  1. Applied 3 layers of fiberglass, sealing with Minwax Polycrylic (painted on with a brush) and lightly sanding in between each application.
  2. Applied extra minwax, sanded again, and a light layer of spackle (also sanded afterwards again).
  3. Applied a primer coat of gray Createx paint (mixed from white and black) with my airbrush.
  4. Masked off everything that wasn't yellow, and applied the yellow paint. A number of layers were required to get a good finish. There was light sanding with high-grid sandpaper in between applications.
  5. Masked off the yellow areas, and applied a base-coat of light blue-gray (the base color for the plane). This also had a few layers with sanding in between.
  6. Masked (again) the area with the dark green sections and painted those. You guessed it, more sanding in between.
  7. Applied the decals and did some (bad) detail painting with a hand-brush. Decals are a HUGE pain.
  8. Followed up with a few layers of polycrylic for protection (sanding!).
Some things I recall from the process:
  • My apartment kitchen is not the best place to do airbrush painting. It`s pretty small, and not very well ventilated. Also it makes it difficult to eat dinner in there.
  • If you`re mixing paints to color match, make waaaay more than you expect to need, and keep it in an airtight container. That way, when you need to touchup a spot (say, if you overspray somewhere, or accidentally markup the painted area), you won't have to try to figure it out all over again (I had to do this).
  • Getting bright yellows is a pain. I should have been more thorough with the primer on the light areas, or more careful not to mark them up with markers at all.
  • Don`t drop your airbrush on a tile floor, it tends to break.
  • You can never spend enough time sanding and spackling beforehand.
  • Doing details is hard.
  • Apply decals BEFORE applying polycrylic.
  • Cutting the polycrylic with some water makes it spray much nicer through an airbrush (same with the Createx paints). I used about 50-50 for the polycrylic, and about 80% paint : 20% water for the paints.
  • It is absolutely terrifying putting a swastika on anything.
Here's some pictures of the fully painted and decal`d plane:

Top View

Side View

Underneath the 109

Painted - Oblique

Painted - Side View

Painted - From the Front

You can see that I sealed up the hole for the servo for the retracts (it turns out I mis-calculated and the old hole wasn't going to work). I'm going to hold off on them for now, since I've been so slow to implement anything, I just want to get something done.

Currently, I'm working on getting the electronics sorted out:

Setting up the wiring

Hopefully it won't be another year until I post again :)