Aircraft - "skin-wrapping"

Discussion in 'Tips, Tutorials & Tools' started by bholderman, Jan 19, 2005.

  1. bholderman

    bholderman Member


    Im into my second attempt at Kartonwe's Moran-Saulnier N but Im having a tough time with a basic element. That is wrapping the aircraft skin around the internal formers. Nobi's thread, Nakajima Ki-27 Build, shows the portion I am at, although a different craft.

    Do I start with one former at one end, or slowly wrap around both formers a little at a time (which is what I am currently trying). Like Homer Simpson, I have thick fingers (if your fingers are too fat, please mash the keypad).

    A step in the right direction would be appreciated.

  2. rickstef

    rickstef Guest


    There is my admission :D

    Brad, what you might want to do is use strips together with the formers, might give less of an headache

    also peek into the articles section, I think Ron had written something on the issues you are having

  3. bfam4t6

    bfam4t6 Member

    Personally I roll the fuselage section into a cylinder shape and when it's dry I instert the formers, using the seem on the fuslage and the crosshair on the former as a guide. If a section is tapered like an open cone I generally put in the smaller former first. Of course you'll need some sort of hole in your formers to maneuver them via fingers or tweezers. I don't know whether you are butt glueing sections together or using connecting strips, but if you butt glue, you can line up the former in the tube of the skin so that up is up and down is down. Then stand to tube on end on a flat hard surface, and use the eraser side of a pencil to carefull push the fomer down until it is flat. This should give you a very flush edge between the former and the edge of the skin. Best wishes.
  4. barry

    barry Active Member

    If you can't manage Dustins classic way put in the front former and the lower joining strip on the underside of the fuselage. On the next section put in the front former on the front of this stick a piece of paper formed as a 90 deg angle you will have to put triangle nicks into the edge that sticks to the former. Then glue the back of the first section on to the rim you have just formed (leaving out the rear former put the glue on in small sections. Iusually line up the bottom of the fuselage first then check it's OK at the top.

    If the designer put jointing strips in the design you glue the jagged edges to the former(doing it my daft way).

    Best of luck


  5. Leif Oh

    Leif Oh Member

    Guys, there is so much good stuff hidden on this site that we should all try to make an effort to go back and find it when needed.

    Ron's classic on joining sections is here.

    I know I found it immensely useful, see e.g. here.

  6. NOBI

    NOBI Active Member

    Hi Brad,

    My method is same with Dustin...round skin and glue together before add internal former. if connection strip method, glue strip into fuselage's skin before roll. each internal former have a guide for u to easily align. some trick is sand internal former to fit that cylinder of fuslage's part...if internal former is too big and u try to force to put it in cylinder, you will got a no good looking part and hard to put another part together. Ron's tutorial is a good way to start :D
  7. bholderman

    bholderman Member

    Thanks, guys. I have built a couple of the models from Currell, with better results, simply because he does use the connection strip. This model doesnt come with that, and I hadnt thought of creating my own.

    Just fyi, heres a link to the model:
  8. Jimi

    Jimi Member

    yup. nobi's right. too small and it will basically be the wrong shape. too big and it will flange the skin. Oh yeah, what i do is i insert the big section first. then insert the small section through the hole of the big one. I use a thick 220 gsm card which makes the structure rigid enough to support the weight without the need for a frame.
  9. Darwin

    Darwin Member

    I've got to agree with Dustin and Nobi, having gotten the best results from joining the skin segments into tubes before putting in the formers. My own twist is to glue a joining strip to the former before gluing the former into the skin cylinder. If the model wasn't designed for joining strips, that means the former needs to be cut a skosh undersized. Once one goes through a learning curve (read trial and error, with lots of both), you will get to where you (most times, anyway) get the part close enough for guvmt work on the first try.

    This leads me to stand on the soapbox for a moment. Coming from the traditional stick and tissue school, it seems we would get better results using the keel-and-former approach to fuselage design. I've found it a heck of a lot easier skinning the hull of a boat model than freeforming a segmented fuselage, and it sure cuts down on banana-shaped fuselages.
  10. Leif Oh

    Leif Oh Member

    Darwin, I'm all with you, coming from the same tradition. I would like to build a model (modifying an existing kit) with a rigid framework all the way, adding joining strips along all formers and stringers that come into contact with the skin, and then apply the skin in pieces.

    That way you could use much smaller pieces of skinning, and cut them more along the dividing lines that existed in the original. The idea would be to create less obvious joints. See the thread on Spitfire kits for some ideas.

  11. bholderman

    bholderman Member

    Again, thanks, guys. I sat down with the blasted thing last night with better results the second time around. Unfotunately, I had alreay started the process the night before, so I wasnt able to use any of the suggestions above.

    What I managed was applying glue to the top portion only of the 2 formers, waiting for them to dry in place (1 at a time). Once they were dry and a bit rigid, I simply worked my around each former a little at a time. Suprisingly, it worked fairly well. Well enough that I think a little practice on wheels and rigging (is it called rigging on an aircraft?), a third build will go pretty good.

  12. cecil_severs

    cecil_severs Member


    One more thing which you might want to consider is to stuff some tissue paper into each fuselage section prior to completely enclosing it. I do this for most of my aircraft builds. It really helps to hold the shape of the sections during handling. Lately I've started adding some glue to the tissue so that the final product has a nice solid "weighty" feel to it.


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