Archive for November, 2018


Wire cutting a Glider Fuselage

I blocked out the foam with a profile and template locations 1-23.

Went to start cutting the profile right and left halves on the band saw only to find that my band saw didn’t have the clearance to cut 4 inch foam by a quarter of an inch. Now what? I considered going and buying and new larger band saw when I stepped outside in the back of my shop and saw that my neighbor’s bay doors to his shop were open and staring at me was this huge old bandsaw. I spent the next 2 hours there and cut the profiles and the cross sections.

I had a lot of foam left over so I took and piece and using the two formers I had cut already (F10-F11) and made a test cut freehand with the smaller bow I made using the old battery charger on 6 volts. I haven’t done this in years so I didn’t want to waste a actual section. The cut came out pretty clean and I was pleased.

Dug out my old “Feather Cut Bow” (remember those for cutting wing cores?) and will be stringing it up for better cuts on larger sections and wing core sections.

This was fun to do and it all came back to me. No matter what I will be using lite spackle on the foam to smooth over the areas were the bow hung up. After that I can glass it with 4oz and epoxy. 

I was thinking of using two layers of soft 4oz cloth but then again I have the strength of the foam so 1 layer may be enough and as always I want to keep the weight down. I’ll know after I get the first layer on because I’ll be able to see how strong it is. I can always add another layer.

The templates worked out well. The wire traveled well over the CA hardened edges. Tomorrow I’m going to cut more templates and more foam sections. Bit by bit I’ll have the shape of the fuse.


USS Defiant update

Progress on the Defiant

I forgot how hard it is to install this many lights and sound effects, switches and run it all down a tunnel to the base where the board resides. A Tenacontrol board at that. It has three plugs on the board that easily disconnect in case the board ever has a problem to easily replace it. Never put your board inside the model.

I just taped the model together for a look. I did a lot of simple tricks to get things to light up without removing or drilling out parts of the model as other have done in the past. 

I also used Don’s Light and Magic parts. Just wonderful products he makes.

The coloring on the model is all taken from the studio model and this will be roughed up, scratched and weathered to match the studio model. I don’t like my models to look like toys with pristine paint jobs, they just lack scale and life.

Video will becoming and I’ll get into more of this then. This model has lots of push button lighting effects and sounds that my client wanted. Now I say client because I’m not getting material money and a pat on the back along with social media kudos for building this model. When you get an actual profit for all your hard work, experience and expertise then you can call it a clent build.


Jantar Progress

Not much to see but it was a two hour drive to get this stuff and there’s nowhere to buy it locally in Ventura. Printouts of formers. Got to make a profile for cutting the blocks and stations for the formers. Cut formers on the scroll saw etc. This will take some time as I have client jobs at the studio building a Star Trek model for a client and visual effects for a feature film. I’d rather be building. 😉

On the Defiant I start adding the lighting today.


Year end Newsletter from SNG


Progress on the Jantar

It begins. First off to Lowes. I found a large sheet of marker board for 10 dollars. A sheet of model ply would have been a lot more than 10 dollars and I have more than I need for all the templates. The nice thing about this stuff is the white side for marking is easily cleaned off with alcohol so an Elmer’s glue stick works good for holding down the printed formers and once cut you can easily remove and clean off the glue. It’s easy to cut too. So you can be very precise.

I dug out my old Sears Craftsman scroll saw. Haven’t used it in years but it still works well and did a good job of cutting two test templates. After they were cut I cleaned them up, lightly sanded the edges smooth and hardened them with some medium CA. Once the CA dries I sanded again. This made the edge very hard and slick for the wire to travel over. I have even done this with just cardboard for smaller scratch built foamies.

Tomorrow I pick up my large sheet of 4 inch thick blue foam but before I do any cutting I have to make up today the profile of the fuse and the station points for the templates. Nice to be doing this again after more than 10 years of dormancy.  The movie business has a way of taking over every moment of your life at times. Something I don’t miss but building planes I sure have.


Scratching building a 1/3rd scale Jantar Standard 2 sailplane

I have been looking at a number of possible builds for me. It’s been awhile since I’ve made a fiberglass fuse from scratch but I have done plenty in the past. But rather then make a plug and fiberglass epoxy molds and produce a composite fuse, considering doing something I did once that worked out very well for a one off. I don’t want to make kits anymore, I’ve done that.

What I did was wire cut blue foam using model ply templates both outside and inside of the fuse and glassed it with West Systems epoxy. This has worked out very well in the past with 90mm sized EDF jets. But what I’m planning here has not been done (to my knowledge) for a third scale plane.

I wanted to do a sailplane with a less complex wing then a Duo Discus or ASK 21. The wing for the Jantar can be easily wire cut in white foam, sheeted in balsa and glassed. I’ve done this many times but at 1/3rd scale for the Jantar I would be 195.6 inches and a fuse of 90 inches.

I ask you more experienced 1/3 scale builders, would it be more practical to go with a 1/4 scale build using this style of building or just go for 3rd scale and see how it rides?

It’s a beautiful older design and I really like the looks of the plane. If I do build it at 3rd scale it would be my first.

So far I have found plans that I can clean up and enlarge. A source for blue foam and I have several bows for wire cutting.


Busy stuff at the Studio

Between doing motion picture visual effects for a low budget feature, building a USS Defiant for a client and getting back to my hobby I love the most I have been busy.

I’m in the planning stage of a 1/3rd scale Jantar Standard 2 RC sailplane with a 90 inch length fuselage and a wingspan of 200 inches.

I’m also in the planning stages of a documentary on model aviation I plan to start shooting next year. This has never been done before certainly not the one I’m planing because it will be a real film not just talking heads.

Here’s some pictures of some of the things I have been doing and some pictures of the huge model glider I’m starting to build.

November 2018

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