First aircraft - Rob's FJ-1

Discussion in 'Aircraft & Aviation' started by Larry Marshall, Sep 8, 2006.

  1. Rick Thomson

    Rick Thomson Member

    I've tried the white glues here, but I don't care for them much, too much warping of wings etc.

    UHU is pretty much the same as the good old LePages glue that we all (well at least all we Canucks) recall from school.

    The Alleskleber bottle has an applicator that lets you vary the dosage, from a fairly narrow line or spot, to a wide area. The stringing is the reason I swear at it, but I suffer more or less in silence.

  2. When I was in school we glued our rock tablets together with glue made from boiling down ligaments from wooly mammoths :)

    I assume, however, that you mean that yellowish (orangish?) stuff that came in a bottle with a rubber applicator on top, right?

    Interesting. The pictures I've seen of it on the web suggest that it comes in a tube like Duco. Thanks for the description. It does make sense to glue paper with something that doesn't have water in it.

    Cheers --- Larry
  3. Ken Horne

    Ken Horne Member

    Hi Larry,

    I still mostly use Aileen's Tacky. There are a couple of tricks that I use. I squirt a drop into a plastic tray (I use the lid of a Pringles Chips tube) then apply it using a 6" length of 1/16 aluminum rod. The rod has been flattened at each end, and I have filed one end round, like a canoe paddle, and the other end straight and somewhat pointy, like a cutting paint brush. (Man there are days when I really think I otta buy my own digi-cam) The tool is a great applicator, plus it is very easy to clean once the glue dries.

    I waste a lot of glue. Pretty much, I have to drop another drop for each part that needs glue. Once it starts to skin over at all it is useless. The lid, like the applicator, is great as the glue just peals off when dry.

    Another trick that you as a woodworker are familiar with is double glueing. For so many parts I'll spread a thin coat on the bits and then wait for them to dry. Let the two pieces dry seperately. This coat will really bite into both pieces. The next bit of glue will be the one to glue the parts together. You don't need much either time, and though this sounds like a long route, it is actually quite quick as the thin appplications take so little time to grab.

    I still wonder though about the long term. I really don't trust these plastic glues, and would rather something that would penetrate the cell structure rather than sit on top, but I've gotta say that I do appreciate the clearness and the ease of cleaning/rolling off small excesses.

  4. It helps if you squint :) I"m afraid this one will not do the designer justice.

    I wanna be :) I use Duco a lot when working with wood but I'm still trying to figure out the mundane when building card models. When I work with wood I thin Duco with acetone and squirt it out of a syringe bottle but that's too thin for card joints. Also, because I fumble more than most when trying to assemble, the quick dry aspects just doesn't give me enough time when joining fuselage sections, particularly with these models with no formers.

    YOU can get it at Walmart. I have to smuggle it in from the US :) But I do have half a dozen tubes of the stuff so I guess I can build a few models with it :)

    If it blobs over a little bit it can be wiped clean - VERY quickly - before it sets.

    I'm about to chalk this one up to experience and move on. I've built, or tried to build 3 nosewheels and I still don't have one that looks right and/or will support its own weight :)

    Cheers --- Larry
  5. This is a good idea. the only trouble I've ever had with these tips is having them come off the tube sometimes. This is what my setup looks like. I don't know the Testors tips. This one, I think, is a Zap CA tip but I'm not sure. The red thingie is 3 layers of EVA foam (craft foam). I bend over the wire and glue two layers below and one layer above the bend. The result is a square 'thingie' that will stand on the table with the wire sticking up in the air.

    Never can have too much information. What else is hobby talk for if not to trade methods. Thanks for the tips. I think my next screw up...err...I mean model, will be done with Duco.

    Cheers --- Larry
  6. Well, err...there was this cathartic squishing of the failed landing gear you see...and I's not really presentable :)

    My first set I tried to imbed a toothpick in it. Too thick and it looked bad to me. The second set, I screwed up the wheel portions so badly that I never tested them for stiffness, though I'd used a piece of .041 wire so I think it would have worked. I'm inclined to believe that I'm not going to ever be pleased with these simple wheel models and that to make me happy, I'm going to have to build them up with some bristol stock so I can get some shape to them. Aircraft tires don't have square edges :)

    I've also got a basement full of plastic in all shapes and sizes :)

    I wasn't advocating it for card modeling. I thin it when I work with balsa as I double-glue and it does a nice job of soaking into the wood. I tried it on cardstock and it's not a pretty sight.

    I'm with you on this. I do wonder, however, if there aren't at least two forms of paper modeling. What I see you doing with the more complex kits you're doing (and what I'm experiencing with the Eindecker I'm working on) is creating parts and as you assemble you make a new part fit a stable sub-assembly.

    BTW, this is my Duco tube:


    In the case of non-former stuff it always seems as though you're trying to mate two pieces and the only thing maintaining the shape of either of them is your 'will' to have them be in some configuration. In these cases, my inexperience requires more time to align things, though in the end they aren't aligned to my satisfaction :) I think I'm a former kind of guy,

    At this point, I've got to improve my joinery regardless of what glue I use or what building type I attempt. I suspect my next couple (dozen?) models will leave much to be desired until that happens. No big wouldn't be any fun if it was easy.

    Cheers --- Larry
  7. Bowdenja

    Bowdenja Active Member

    Larry.............. here is a quick down and dirty landing gear struts for Rob's Fury. Just roll these up after cutting and glue the wheels and other support pieces to them. They should support the plane better.


    Attached Files:

    • LG.pdf
      File size:
      39.9 KB
  8. Pretty neat! The biggest problem, though, is looks, not stiffness. These are simple gear and I shouldn't fret over them...but I have. My abilities to do it aside for the moment, the nose gear is a single-piece folded in half, generating a nearly 2-dimensional strut that comes down to a 'tire/wheel' that is flat on both sides with a ring in the middle. The result is a tire cross-section that's more like a truck tire than an aircraft tire. UGLY!!!

    The silly thing is that I've made so many screw ups with this first model that none of it really matters so this is all 'internal fretting' rather than real problems :) If I'd done a good job on the model, however, I'd be looking at creating gear with rolled struts, separate gear doors and a wheel shaped like a wheel. Definitely not FG style but it would suit my sensibilities better.

    Thanks for the stiffeners. I like how they will provide some semblance of proper dimensioning to the struts.

    Cheers --- Larry
  9. Ken Horne

    Ken Horne Member

    Hi Larry,

    May I suggest NOBI's Hawker Sea Fury as a next model (though if you are like the rest of us you already have a few dozen of those in the line up!)

    It has a lot going for it. Foremost it is a beautiful model of a great aircraft. Second it used formers and strips which is just one step more than the FG models. Third the undercarriage is very nice. The struts are like the ones John sent you and the wheels are laminated and sanded to shape. They look great. Perhaps most importantly, the designer frequents this forum and seems always available to answer questions. And of course if you like this model he'll be glad to sell you more :)

    You can see a couple of pics of my model at

    and download it from
    click on the number 9 at the bottom of the page.

    Cheers all

  10. cgutzmer

    cgutzmer Guest

    Would you mind posting a closeup pic of those stiffeners in action on a model or something? I dont quite understand how they should work.... Maybe I am just slow too....
  11. Bowdenja

    Bowdenja Active Member

    Chris.......... Sorry:oops: , I'm not a very good teacher, and I should have realized that it might help to have some comments with the PDF:oops:

    Print the PDF with no scaling (none) and cut parts out.

    You might want to print on lighter than normal paper because you will roll each part into a cylinder starting from the widest edge toward the narrowest edge or the edge that has spaces removed. You can roll by hand or put a small diameter wire inside the cylinder. I usually roll cylinders on my mouse pad because it's foam backing GIVES enough to help the paper naturaly form into the cylinder. I also use a dowel and the mouse pad to pre-shape my larger parts before I glue them into their cylindrical shape.

    In this case the top one(nose gear) left to right.........middle one top to bottom......... bottom one bottom to top. These are the main landing gear.

    These smaller narrow strips make up the thickness of the landing gears oleo struts and supports.

    Cut out the wheels from the FG model and laminate several thickness together, I usually eyeball this, WAG, and shape them into a rounded wheel with sandpaper. After sanding I use a black Sharpie. Cut any other parts from the original model sheets to make it look more realistic and glue the wheels to the cylinders you glued up earlier.

    Wait until the glue has dried completely before gluing to the model.

    Sometimes I soak the cylinders in CA (super glue) to give them more strength, if I don't use a piece of wire for internal support.

    Mostly I build my planes wheels up, because kids like to fly them (I'm really a big kid) and I think planes look out of their element with wheels hanging down.......

    Hope this helps, no camera at work.............

  12. cgutzmer

    cgutzmer Guest

    Thanks John helps a ton :) I still wouldnt mind seeing a pic of a finished product though - I like pics ;)
  13. You MAY suggest anything you care to suggest, Ken. I have a copy of Nobi's Sea Fury printed and I've also ordered his Kate from DeWayne. While I like the Sea Fury kit, I don't find his website to be that inspiring. For instance, while he claims that his Wildcat comes with 3 paint schemes, the only photo of it at all is a tiny photo of the B&W prototype.

    Yep...looks really good. Then again, your Hawker Hunter looks just as good and it doesnt' have formers. And I guess that deserves an explicity statement that I understand that my trouble with these formerless models is due to my lack of experience/ability with card models. I like Rob's designs, though, and want to give a few more a try. I've cut a set of parts for the P-80 and for a Panther. I've also printed most of the others. I SHALL master formerless construction .... some day :)

    This process of designing parts such that rolling them generates a cylinder with varying diameters was the first really cool thing I discovered in card model design. Richard does it for his Oberusel engine cylinders and I just thought it was KEWL!

    Clearly reflects modeling techniques to aspire to, Ken. Beautiful model.

    Cheers --- Larry
  14. Ok...then I'm missing something. How? In fact, double-How?

    When doing a model like a FG, formerless model,

    How do you decide what the part should be shaped like?

    How do you keep it that way without forming the joint with the next segment?

    Here's an example:

    The nose segment of Rob's Fury has a lot of markings (guns) that let you know how the segment before and the nose segment must be squeezed from round to get the markings to line up properly. this case the answer to the first "how" is answered. But with no former, I don't see how I can maintain the sort of 'squeezed' shape required.

    More generally, most of the intersegmental joints had no markings so how can I guess their shape without having a former?

    Cheers --- Larry
  15. 46rob

    46rob Member

    I guess a bit of explanation about the design philosophy of FG models is in order. First--FG always includes a set of 3 view drawings of the plane, in addition to an exploded view. This is to give you a rough idea of the shape of the plane. It is assumed that the model will most likely be glued up with white glue, which, as I 've said before, tends to shrink a bit as it dries, drawing the sections into a bit of a curve. The other thing that happens, is that when the white glue dries, it has a bit elastic structure of it's own. So, when you shape the fuselage sections, and let them dry in the proper shape, the fuselage cylinder will tend to hold that shape. FG also suggests that a bit of packing can be put into the models, especailly the big ones, like the B-36, to beef up the strength a bit. I've found those plastic bags the groceries come home in work fine for this. I also like to tuck a scrap into the brace them as well as helping to hold their shape, so they fit tight in the wing openings.

    A way to counter the 'springback' of the card, is to shape the part as closely as you can before gluing. My technique is to use a gutter nail. I hold the part in the palm of my hand, and work the nail over those areas I wish to curve. I don't curve the whole thing equally. For example, on the Fury, I'd put a tight curve in the center part of the piece, and tight curves about 2/3 of the way out each side. that, when glued, gives the 'pear shape' that the Fury's fuselage had.

    I guess a lot come from familiarity with the aircraft. I'm luckier than most, as I work in a big aviation museum and am in daily contact with everything from the NC-4 to the F-14.
  16. Sage advice, for sure. In truth, several issues are being muddied together in this thread. One has to do with different levels of detailing and precision in different kit/designs. Another has to do with design methodology (formers vs non-formers). The most important one, however, has to do with builder experience and it over-shadows everything else. There are lots of fine examples of models built from Rob's designs as well as other designs sold through FG. Mine just happens not to be one of them :)

    I learned a lot in the process, however, and I want to do another with the same joinery just to get experience doing it.

    I guess I'm just too stupid as I don't see how anyone can 'roll/bend' something 'to shape' when the piece nothing but a loop of paper and there is nothing to retain a roll/bent shape.

    Exactly how it should be. I posted a photo of all the internal structure for my Eindecker project and while everything wasn't in perfect alignment, the whole mess was sitting there, without glue, as one piece. But I don't see how to accomplish anything similar with these formerless models. It almost seems that you have to shape the parts as you're gluing them to other segments.

    If it's not obvious already, I don't mind being the butt of the joke. Why else would I present a thread on the build of my first card model ever (grin)? I should presented that gear except that I didn't think of it until you mentioned it and I fear you'd had to look at crumbled gear along with banana peels and coffee grounds at this point. You'll have to get your humor from this quick snapshot of the end result of this build instead :)


    The silver lining is that one should always improve on ones previous models. I'm fairly confident I can do that in this case.

    Cheers --- Larry
  17. blueeyedbear

    blueeyedbear Member

  18. blueeyedbear

    blueeyedbear Member

    Hey, Larry,

    On a different tack:

    I started building models back before the end of WW II out of balsa, bass wood, and tissue paper. Clear canopies were made of scraps of clear cellophane (would you believe that I actually soaked the emulsion off of poor photo negatives). Mostly they were scratch built from plans in the model building magazines (check out Now and then I would choke down two boxes of Wheaties and send off two box lids and a quarter for a paper model (check this one

    When plastic kits came out, I could afford them and worked in plastic until the mid 1990's, when I switched to paper, but I still use lots of plastic stock. [Prices are unreal now, and the thing is 1:32 scale or larger --- how about a 1:16 scale King Tiger with remote steering and canon that goes Boom. Only a couple of grand!]

    Find a good hobby shop (not a craft store), and prowl around. Packs of assorted styrene rods, tubes, strips, and sheets, as well as clear styrene and butyrate sheets in various thicknesses. Packs of brass and copper wire and tubes (talk about strong legs under your planes!). And beautiful cast resin wheels and such. Photo etched brass detail parts. Super glue in several thicknesses and in larger bottles (store in the fridge) than those in the craft stores. And debonder for when you glue your fingers together. In the railroad section, clear, red, green, and blue "lights", tiny little brass ladders and hand rails, and all kinds of things. For what its worth all CA glues seem to be made by Pacer Technologies, so go for price, not brand (most hobby shops carry a line with their own label).

    Make the "Leg" out of tubing (brass for a heavy model). Cut the leg a bit long so that the end will touch something. When you glue them in place, put a gob of glue when the end will touch the other surface. Wrap on strips of paper for the "rings". Use the original oleo strut (or make some out of heavier paper). Make the fork that the wheel goes in out of several layers of heavier cardstock and glue them together with medium CA. If they are soaked thru, they can be sanded like wood. When you get the gear finished, get out your model paints and paint the gear and the gear the appropriate colors. You can get so involved in finding a color photo that shows what you need, that it may be three days later when you wake up and wonder why you have spent so much time "Googling"!!!

    I know ----I'm a heretic. Plastic and metal tubes. Model paints. If it turns your really good model into a contest winner, great. If you just like it more, OUTSTANDING! If it makes you like your model more, you have probably had more fun building it and you get more "That's Paper?" comments from your friends.


    A tip for all of you:

    To make your lights look more realistic, color them with markers, then apply a small drop of 5 minute epoxy and hold the model until it sets. For landing lights, use a spot of Testors Chrome Silver enamel, dry over night and then add the expoy.
  19. Ken Horne

    Ken Horne Member

  20. This presentation is a bit sloppy but I hope it suffices, Chris. This is a very clean and cool way of forming landing gear struts. The results can be cleaner than this if one isn't in a hurry, isn't trying to photograph the process, and has more skill than I do :)


    This thread is going as I hoped it would. We're talking about a bunch of basic stuff, including model design. I only hope that nobody gets the impression that there is anything wrong with Rob's designs as that is not the case.

    Cheers --- Larry

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