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Tuesday, January 23, 2007


There has been no recent post as I have been busy for 3 weeks now making the plug for the wing tips. The idea is to build the left and right tip as one piece and cut it in half . This will also make a very strong 1 piece wing for a hot slope ship.

The tips were cut from blue foam using accurate templates , the taper was hand sanded to a nice rounded shape . This was then covered with 3 layers of 163 gram cloth and epoxy resin . This was then sprayed with polyester spray filler , water papered down and finished with 2k.

For some reason 7 round blisters appeared, I assume that paint or thinner got to the foam and melted it, not detered I cut these out and filled the hollows with paste of epoxy/balloons, sand again and spray again , as you see in the photo it looked ok, but was not smooth enough, so I finished it with a coat of 2k clear (a bit old I think) .

The result was a finish like crocodile skin (old crocodile skin) . It also refused to harden so could not be sanded, out with the scaper , lots of hours later I was ready to spray again.

Success at last , it came out well, but .............while I was admiring the finish I noticed to my horror that the wing had warped badly on the right tip, it looked like a propellor DAMM IT

I decided it was back to the drawing board, I can only assume that different densities of paint, filler and epoxy had pulled the thin trailing edge up, a blue foam plug was not going to work for me.

Plan B take the existing center section which has been moulded. glue on two prehaped superwood tips, make some templates and try again.

Take the templates and start marking high spots and sand , superwood sands well ,as it has no grain, keep checking , you can get a good result if you take care.

I mark high spots for sanding and later fill low spots with filler epoxy/balloons.

I now paint with finishing resin ,prior to sanding , spray filler and finish coat.

I have now been down this road many times, so just to keep motivated I assembled the pieces already built, as soon as we have wing tips moulded .Built the last pieces , then the STILLETO can fly.

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Piet Rheeders said...

Hi Mike the Stilleto looks great but why did you take my colors?

I hope that you will complete it soon, by the looks of it is a really big ship.
Is it possible to upload a 3 view sketch with dimensions and weights?


Anonymous said...

Hi Mike

I must say I really like the work you are doing here. I don't think many people can appreciate how much work is required to build a good quality mold.

Then the tip plug's warped, did you layup the 163gram at 45deg bias? I often find lay-ups done at 0-90 generally warp.

Keep up the good work.