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Joe Huntley
Page 6 Questions 121-144, click links or browse page.
Question 121 Warbird for display ? Question 133 Control surface fiberglasssing ?
Question 122 Arrow shaft for pushrods ? Question 134 Corsair gull wing sheeting ?
Question 123 Scale hinges for Corsair ? Question 135 Top Flite P-40 advice ?
Question 124 OS 61 for Top Flite P-39 ? Question 136 Ziroli P-51 flap construction, hinging ?
Question 125 Covering a Top Flite P-39 ? Question 137 Yellow P-38 servo selection ?
Question 126 Ziroli plans ? Question 138 Glassing inside of flap on Byron P-51 ?
Question 127 Larger wire size or optical for large scale ? Question 139 Fiber glass cloth needed ?
Question 128 Detailed plans for warbirds ? Question 140 Top Flite P-40 from E model to F model ?
Question 129 Composite wings for warbirds ? Question 141 Sliding canopy for Ziroli P-40 ?
Question 130 3W 100B for 45lb Corsair ? Question 142 Top Flite P-51 elevator torque rod ?
Question 131 One piece wing into 2 or 3 ? Question 143 How to make bows for cockpit canopies ?
Question 132 Sky Raider plans ? Question 144 Ziroli Hellcat construction question ?

Question 121: "My name is Shawn Tabor. I am a retired USAF officer looking to either obtain or build a World War I S.E. 5A, an aircraft that I saw offered by a company called, Dynaflite (of which I can find no number or homepage for) or a P.E. 6 Hawk, Spad XIII or some such older aircraft. This aircraft is for display only and a prop for my child to display GI Joes with. Therefore I'm looking for
the 1/5th or 1/6th scale. I take it that all the kits are a mixture of Balsa and perhaps fiberglass. I don't suppose they make a P-51 in all fiberglass? Anyway I'm hoping you can point me in the right direction.
Thanks, Shawn "

Joe: "Hi Capt.well where to begin :0) I will first cover your WWI type planes. If you want the best looking static model I would go with Proctor models. their planes are museum quality and can be flown or static display. Their planes are to drool over and so much fun building. matter of fact I am thinking on getting their Jenny next. their URL is For your Dynaflight S.E.5a the Url is I have not had any experience with their models so I really couldnt tell you anything on them. They are all balsa that I do know. As for an all glass P-51 yes there is one out there that I know of and is from Fiber Classics Which you can get from US distributor Planes Plus I hope this info helps. Joe"

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Question 122: "Joe, I want to use fiberglass or carbon fiber push rods in my Hanger 9 P51 to eliminate RF interference / coupling into my Rx antenna. Can you suggest any that are better than others? Hal"

Joe: "Hi Hal in reguards to your question either of the two are fine and neither is really better than the other. the carbon fiber would be a little stronger than the glass due to the way it is made but either will work fine for your application. I like to use carbon fiber Arrow shaft blanks (a blank arrow shaft is what the industry calls an arrow shaft that has not been cut to a certain length and all the stuff like notches, vanes, or tip added it is just the shaft) you can goto your local archery shop or bass pro shop and tell them you want a blank CF shaft and they can get it for you. or you can just use the ones from your LHS. The plus for the arrow shaft is it is stiff as heck and wont bend much the downside is you usually have to make your own ends for them. Joe "

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Question 123: "Dear Joe: Where can I find information and/or examples of true to scale hinges for all control surfaces for a 1/5 scale Corsair or any other warbird? Would they be functional or solely for appearance? I am trying to build as true to scale as possible. Your advice has really helped in the construction of this aircraft. Thanks for all the help. Lou"

Joe: "Hi Lou There are many different types and ways planes hinge. One of the most common is like you can see on the stab and elev construction on the Ziroli B-25. You can look at the pics on my const page at Basically you will run a wire through the control surface you are hinging and it will connect to the fixed surface but little nubs that stick out. It is kind of hard to explain but I believe that page will help you out. on the side of the little ply nubs you useually glue some balsa to give it the thickness you want. each of the nubs has a hole drilled into it for your wire to go through. on my page you will see i am layering the LE of the elevators and the dark line you see is my wire being sandwiched in. You might also go to nick Ziroli's page and click on the gallery link then on the construction gallery there should be some good closeup shots of the hinging there too. if this doesnt make sense email me and i will see if i can get you a drawing of it. Joe "

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Question 124: "I am about to begin building a TF p-39. I haven't yet purchased an engine though. I was curious to see if it would be too underpowered (to fly even) with an OS .61 if I used .5 oz of glass on it. This is my second plane, but I want it to look scale. However, I am young (14) and therfore do not have a significant amount of money to spend on this plane. Are there any other ideas you have for me as well? Any insights and suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for your time -- Aaron."

Joe:"Hi Aaron I think the OS .61 would be borderline with any top flight kit as top flights kits are waaaay heavy anyways. That being said by sheeting what little extra you would have to and glassing it you wont be adding enough difference in weight to worry about just keep thinking keep it light. Joe"

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Question 125: "Hi Joe, I'm about to begin buiding my first warbird, a TF P-39 (my second plane). I've been searching the web for good paint schemes to use, but have so far found none that stand out. Do you have any links to help me out? Also, I don't know what to use to cover the plane. I want it to have a fairly good scale appearance, but it being my second plane, I don't want the covering to be too hard to do. Do you have any suggestions of what to use to cover (not monocote though) the P-39 that is fairly simple to do, but looks good too. Any insights and suggestions would be greatly appreciated to me. Also any websites that explain the process would be helpful. Thanks a lot -- Aaron."

Joe: "Hi Aaron I would sheet the entire plane with balsa and use .5 oz glass on it then paint it. It is easy to do and a good portion of that plane is sheeted anyways. I had been working on that and had the perfect paint scheme but i think my friend has the mag I will get him to scan it for me it was the standard OD and brown camo scheme which was unusualy for the P-39 as a majority were plain OD green and it had a donald duck noseart on it.
here are a few links for you:"

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Question 126: "Joe, I have been into R/C model aircraft for about 3 years now. I really enjoy building R/C aircraft but have only had experience building aircraft from kits which include instructions on how to proceed. Currently, I am completing a Top-Flite F4U Corsair .61 and then will venture onto a Top-Flite Giant Scale P47 Razorback kit which has been given to me. After that model, I would like take the next logical step in my evolution as a builder and build a plane from Nick Ziroli plans, namely the B-25. What are your feelings about making the transition from standard aircraft kit building to building from a Ziroli plan. I would hate to get in over my head and ruin a model. My current plan is to purchase a pre-cut kit of the B-25 to match the plans. Any suggestions that you think would help would be great. I have spoken with builders in my area and most (if not all) have only built from kits and can not offer help. What do I need to be aware of? Brian"

Joe: "Yes it is logical and easy to go from kit building to plans building. the only difference to remember is you have to gather your own kit together other than that they basically build the same. The ziroli B-25 isnt too terrible to build but i would probably go with his 101" first then later go to the 118" if thats your goal. the main reason is the 118" is just enlarged from the 101 and you have to do a lot of calculating and stuff to make up for the size differences as every measurement on the plans and instructions are for the 101" Joe"

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Question 127: "Hi Joe, I have a short and simple one this time. I was told by Jeff (13 foot Corsair) to use 22 gauge wire on all extensions in a giant scale I'm building. The old Futaba 134 servos going in have 26 gauge leads in them. Will this cause a problem? I looked at the inside of the servo and the leads solder to the board. Maxx Products has 12" 22 gauge with male ends. How hard is it to convert the leads to 22 gauge and is this necessary? I bought two new Futaba 5301 servos and they have 22 gauge wire. That's why I ask if there might be a problem with the old 134s. Thanks for your time and advice. It's respected. Jim"

Joe: "Hi Jim I am not up on wire sizes as i never concerned abt them. I like the fiber optic servo extensions dont have to worry abt the length of them in giants and they cheap too you can check them out at Roger is a really nice guy and can set them up for you for any length you want or you can easily do it yourself. The reason i like fiber optics is because you cut down on interference not just mask it and it dont matter how long they are you wont lose signal strength. Thats what I would offer for my 2 cents worth Joe "

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Question 128: "I am interested is designing my own plane. As a design engineer I have had the opportunity to design and prototype many products using very sophisticated 3D modeling programs. I also have at my disposal a wide variety of tools from CNC mills to laser cutting machines. I would like to use this knowledge and equipment but I am at a loss for plans. I have thought of purchasing a set of plans from one of the known designers and then convert the plans to be imported into a cad program. From this I could produce a 3D model and for instance have a CNC mill cut a plug for a fiberglass mold or use a laser cutter to cut each piece. But as someone who is not happy relying on others to do the work for me I would like to design the plane from scratch. Where I am at a loss is how to get the information on exact shapes and profiles for bulkheads, wing ribs, canopy shape, etc. Designers like Don Smith and Nick Ziroli must have gotten detail drawings to base their plans from. Or is it the case that these designers have just taken crude 3 view drawings with little or no dimensional data and scaled them to fit their needs. If so than that would account for the lack of true scale outline that I have read a lot about in many rc forums. Are detailed dimensional drawings available, and what can you tell me about how these designers get their info? Thanks, Mike"

Joe: "Hi Mike there are various ways to accomplish this. Most designers find good factory drawings to work from by either contacting the company that produced the aircraft, the Smithsonian records, restoration draftsmen like Paul Matt that reproduce factory 3 views with dimensions etc for museums, From people that are restoring aircraft which usually have a lot of factory info, Bob Banka's scale research, or SARS (Canadian company like bob banka). In order to get your fuse formers that is pretty easy to loft out using your 3-views. If you email me off-line I can help you with that my email is Dave Platt also has a pretty nice set of video tapes which teach ya a couple ways to do this also but a lot of his stuff though is good and will get you started is a little off the wall for the building techniques as he builds on top of glass and is a hard technique to use for most cases. Joe"

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Question 129: "I have another question for you. More often these days you see many planes with composite fuselages and components. It is somewhat rare to find a plane with a composite wing. As a matter of fact the only ones I've seen are Corsairs. With the strength to weight ratio of composites and the ease of construction/detailing I am curious why more planes do not have composite
Thanks Mike"

Joe: "Hi Mike a good reason for it is the costs. Manufacturers like to try and keep their costs into something that will sell. The Jet guys know they are going to pay a lot for their jets so there is a market for them. There are a few IMAC guys out there buying all composite planes so a market there. With the scale warbird guys right now there just doesn't seem to be a big demand thus manufacturers don't want to shell out a lot of money for development if they cant make a return on them thus most only go with fiberglass fuses. Mick Reeves puts out some kind of fiberglass sheets that you can use in place of balsa for covering wings thus no need for glassing. Joe"

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Question 130: "Hello Joe: I continue in the building of the Corsair. Would a 3W-100B with 9+ horsepower be too much engine for this plane? I expect the weight to be around 40-45 lbs. Thanks Lou"

Joe: "Hi Lou I would say that 100cc should be a good match for that plane with that weight. Joe"

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Question 131: "Hi Joe! I'm building a Pica spitfire 1/5 (88"). The plans are made for a wing in one piece... Because of transportation I want to make them in pieces (2 or 3). Do you have any advise...? Regards Ruud Holland "

Joe: "Hi Ruud Making a 2 piece wing is pretty easy. at the center of your wing usually you have1 or 2 W1 ribs. if you have 1 rib just make another and fit them side by side. this will be where your wing splits you can make them out of 1/8 ply or 1/4 balsa works better and will weigh the same and be as strong as the ply. Rule of thumb for balsa is twice the thickness of the ply for the same strength. by using the balsa it is a little thicher so gives you more to glue to for support. Next TACK glue your ribs all in place and take a long drill bit and drill through the first 4 ribs on 1 wing half at the highest point of the rib. This will mark the spot on the ribs for your wingtube. Now gatorrc at has some nice wingtubes and for your size plane I would go with say a 1" tube. you now want to drill or cut the wing tube holes slightly smaller until you can fit and adjust them. after you get 1 set of ribs done just set them over the ribs for the other wing half and mark and cut them out. Remember when drilling to try and keep your bit as level as possible. when you get your wingtubes in they will have instructions in them for mounting them. if you have any more questions feel free to ask or check out my Spitfire project on my website in the wing section at shortly I will be adding my wingtubes and little blocks of wood so I can screw it together. also you might want to drill a 1/4" hole through the 2 W1 ribs. add 1 in the front and 1 towards the back and glue a 1/4" dowel rod in one of the w1's this will help with aligning your wing as you just slide it in the hole in the other w1 rib. Joe "

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Question 132: "I have been skawerring the internet trying to find someone that has plans for an AD-1 SkyRaider or AM-1 Mauler. If you know of anyone that has a plan either of a large or small scale could you please put me in touch with them. Thank You,

Joe: "Hi Daniel Nick Ziroli has a nice skyraider it has like a 100" ws for a G-62. As
for the Martin Mauler, several years back I built one from a set of plans out of RCM it was for a .60-.90 size and was pretty scale and detailed. Joe"

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Question 133: "Hi, I have started fiberglassing my first plane following your article and all is going very well. My question is, what do I do with the control surfaces on the wing and tail? Do I fiberglass them also? And if not, what do I do to them? Thank you. Scott"

Joe: "Hi Scott the control surfaces on most WWII planes were fabric covered. if the plane you are doing had fabric covered control surfaces I like using Solartex which you can get from balsa usa. I would check my documentation to find out if your control surfaces were metal skinned or fabric covered. if metal skinned sheet them and glass them with the rest of the plane if fabric covered cover them with some type of fabric. Joe"

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Question 134: "Joe, I am building the Ziroli corsair and am in the process of sheeting the wings. I have a significant but not pertinent question. Just related to safety/security... Would you tack a whole piece over the gull on the wing or meet two frsh pieces, fill and sand them into a curve? Regards, RORY_S"

Joe: "Hi Rory it all depends on the thickness of the sheeting and if it will curve nicely. Personally I would probably use full sheets on the underside of the gull as it should be easy to do, but be sure to mist some water on the outside of the sheeting to help loosen the fibers in the wood and relieve some stress, and then plank the topside of the gull with 3/8" wide strips. Joe "

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Question 135: "Hi Joe: I'm getting ready to built a Top Flite P-40 despite all the horror stories I have heard about it. The model will be powered by an O.S. 1.20 with fuel pump and retracts by Century Jet. I need your help in answering this questions for me.

1. They say the modle tends to tip stall on landings. Should increasing the washout help?, if so, for how much?
2. Should I balance the model gear up or down? I read that if balanced with the gear down as per instructions, it will change the center of gravity of the airplane when retracted.
3. How do you select a three blade propeller for this model?
Thanks a lot !!!!"

Joe: "Hi I would do the following:

1: I would make the washout abt 2 deg which should help and i dont know what the incedence is but would make it 1 to 2 deg incedence too. I would not worry sop much on the tip stall on landings as I would the nosing over which was notorious on the P-40.

2: Always balance a plane with retracts when the re retracts are retracted as that is how it will be flying and for the TO and Landing you can adjust with the controls that short distance but you dont want to be fighting it while flying.

3: For selecting a 3 blade prop you first need to know which 2 blade you are going to use after that it is a simple matter of checking the chart I have on my help page at basically you drop the diameter and keep the pitch for a 3 blade and drop the diameter and the pitch to goto a 4 blade. up to a 16" dia 2 blade you only drop 1" ie a 16-10 2b prop would be a 15-10 3 blade but above that you drop 2 inches ie an 18-10 2b would be a 16-10 3b

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Question 136: "Hello Joe, First my compliments on the good advice you give on the Rcwarbirds web site, Keep up the good work! I'm at the stage of gluing the sheeting on my Ziroli P-51 wing, according to the instructions the flaps and ailerons should be cut free after sheeting. My question is about the flaps, to obtain the scale hinge line the ribs should be cut through inside the wing under an angle (see attached drawing), which will be difficult as half the ribs are plywood. Should I cut them off and finish (sheet) them separately from the wing? Another option is to cut straight through, and build up the radius on the flap afterwards How would you solve this Any suggestions welcome, Thanks in advance, Gert."

Joe: "Hi Gert well I guess I shouldn't say this but i will "what are instructions?" really by now i don't bother with the instructions on most planes because they pretty much all build the same. only on special planes like my spit where I have never done an eliptical wing or if there is special stuff on a wing I really read them. that being said the P-51 I would consider a standard plane and would just look and see what the plans showed. The whole thing really depends on the washout. I have seen planes where you have to put a washout jig on the very tips of the ribs but most it usually sits under the rear spar. If in these plans they don't sit under the rear edges of the ribs I would cut them off before building the ring. I was told by Don smith once after getting a laser cut kit that the reason he doesnt let his laser cutter cut them off or score them so they cut easier latter is that6 it is easier to build the wing this way. to me it doesnt make sense as you have noticed you have ply ribs and you are working in a tight area trying to cut 2 different angles which can be a pain and also increases the chance of breaking something. So in conclusion cut the suckers off and you can build them over the plans later it will make life easier. Joe "

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Question 137: "Howdy Joe, I just received a Yellow P-38 kit for my b-day and I have a question on Servos. I usually use Hitech servos in my planes and I was wondering if the use of coreless or digital servos on some of the control surfaces would be very benificial over using something like the 625MG servos on all control surfaces and flaps. If there isn't a major reason to use coreless
over digitals, I would rather save on some of the cost. Also I was planning to use Futaba GYA351 and GYA350 Gyros on the rudder and ailerons to help out in casi I had an engine out emergency. Your advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Kevin"

Joe: "Hi Kevin as for servos I only use 1 brand and type and that is FMA Servos The reason is I cant afford them outrageous Brand name servos and I been using these for years with out a problem. I use the PS905MBB it is a Ball Bearing all metal gear servo. Specifications: Dimensions - 1.59"L X 1.59"H X 0.79"W; Weight is 3.0
Oz; Torque is 110.0 In. - Oz. @ 4.8 V and 135 in-oz @ 6V; Transit time for 90 degrees is 0.34 sec @ 4.8V and 0.27 sec @ 6.0V; Mounting is by four-point shock mount. Double ball bearing output and they only $28 bucks a piece. I have some digitals I got with my JR 8103 but until I got them this is all I use. As for the Gyros I cant help- ya there never used one before but the Scale Masters Rulebook says you are allowed them on rudder only so I am guessing people do use them. Joe"

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Question 138: "Joe I just bought a byron p-51 from a fellow club member he had started on the kit but never finished it, I have a few questions, On glassing the foam outter wings. I was told to glass the top and the bottom of the wings along with the inside of the flap and aleron area, If i glass the outter surfaces of the flap and aleron and the inside mating surface of the wing the fit between the wing area will be to tight and if I remove material" foam" prior to glassing so they fit correctly after glassing they might look bad. Please advise I want this to be a top gun quality bird"

Joe: "Lance I seldom actually glass the inside of my flaps though I do use some poly U on it to seal the wood so when I paint it the grain wont show. the reason I say seldom is because it depends on the fit. if it is a really tight fit I will add just poly u and wetsand it to a nice fit. if there is a gap I will glass it and sand it to a nice fit. I never work with foam so most of my stuff is all built up and allows for room for glassing and finishing so a person can sand to a nice fit. if my ailerons are metal covered on the full size plane I will glass it with the rest of the wing if not will fabric coat. you would really be surprised at how thin your glasswork will be with polyU compared to glassing with say epoxy. A lot of people cheat when glassing and makes for problems and that is they will put a couple coats of their resin of choice then fill the weave with micro ballon mix or some other stuff so they dont have to put so many layers of resin on. what they dont realise is that resin mixes with the weave so as you sand and may sand into the weave it will still be a preyy good surface to finish with. if they sand into the weave there is no resin there just filler and they have to apply more layers over it again. with poly U my glass is paper thin on my plane and differences in heights are not noticed.

Most important thing to realize is this. If you add glass to the outside skin on your wing it will make it thicker be so much thickness now you glass the inside of your flap area and the outside of your flap you are making it match what it originally was because you are adding the same thickness all around the wing and flap area thus if you want to glass your flap area too you will be giving a better look than if you dont but you can just build it up with poly U and not use the glass.

Do I have you confused yet? I hope not but sentually if you add glass to the wing you should add glass or a layer of resin of some type to make the flap thicker so it will match the wing. Joe"

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Question 139: "I'm currently glassing a TOP-Flite Cessna using the deft technique and half oz. glass .I have already glassed the whole thing but I was wondering why you need the fiberglass cloth ?Wouldn't just covering it with polyurethane be enough.Is it a strength issue or is there some other reason to use the cloth,and also what about the control surfaces ,the cessna has fully sheeted elevators ,ailerons flaps and rudder ,would these need to be glassed with cloth to?.
Like I said I have already done it with cloth But was just wondering .If monokote is enough strength for it ,I don't see why you would need the cloth , unless you can tell me another reason that I'm not realizing .The only reason I was glassing this one for the guy I'm building it for ,is because he owns a paint store ,and wants to paint it using those extreme colors that change colors at different angles.Should look pretty good white with color changing stripes.I'll send you a pic when it's done. Thanks, Jonah "

Joe: "Hi Jonah sounds like a nice project. Fisrt the control surfaces should be done also so that they will match up with the wing and tail when done. The reason for the cloth is twofold. 1: it does add some strength to the surface and 2: it helps to keep the poly from cracking. you know when they lay concrete they put the wire mesh in? thats to keep it from cracking. even though the concrete is hard just like poly the vibrations can cause it to crack. also you get expansion and contraction with temperature change so it is necessary for strength and to keep your finish nice. Joe "

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Question 140: "Joe, I am in the process of assembling/building the Top Flite P-40 Gold edition. The basic problem that I have is that the model is an E version and I would prefer the have the F model as the F has a better selection of potential "finishes" that can be used. I would prefer to use markings from the MTO. I do know that F model 1 through 699 had the original fuselage length, and 700 and later models had an additional 20 inches added to the fuselage, which made the section aft of the pilot look thinner. Can you assist me in revising the fuselage to create the F model?"

Joe: "Hi Lewis Heres what I would do. First figure out where the extension is located ie is it just behind the cockpit or is it futher back say the middle of the rear section of the fuse. Next calculate how many inches that 20 comes to at the models scale. I would guess it would prob be within the 2" - 3" range so 1 fuse former sb enough. pic a spot on the fuse and take the former in front and behind where the extension will be. Sandwhich in between the two a pice of balsa the same thickness as the fuse formers (3m spray glue or equiv will help a lot) then sand down to give your new former the proper shape and notch locations. helpful to do this is drilling a couple small holes in the fuse formers so you can pit pieces of wire in to help properly line up the 2 fuse formers to get an accurate shape on your new part. After you have the balsa part made just trace around it on a piece of ply and cut it out. You will also have to take your top view and cut it at the location you are extending the fuse and add a piece of paper in the area the same thickness as your extension. thats all there basically is to it. I was doing a Ziroli once and the one I was doing was an "L" model and one thing I didnt notice right away and later found out there was several models with similar things was the stab location. it was further forward on the Ziroli model but was back further on the "L" model so be sure to check that too. Heres a link to my old website with my project on it theres a scheme there that is totally unusual you might like. I am planning on redrawing the Ziroli one day to the "L" model so I can build another at an accurate scale model of the plane. of special note on it was the several different types of stars and bars not very standard at all. Joe"

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Question 141: "Hi Joe - I recently purchased a set of Ziroli plans for the P-40, and a short kit from Laserlizard. I was wondering if you could point me in the right direction as to who would have a cockpit kit, and where/how to purchase/build a sliding canopy."

Joe: "Hi Mike the only place I know of for the cockpit kit would be dynamic balsa the sliding canopy kit I think is under their accessories but not sure I peeked and just saw rails but I know they have a kit somewhere but it may not be listed on their site. Joe"

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Question 142: "Hi Joe, I am building the Top Flight 1/5 gold edition P-51. I have a question regarding the installation of the torque rods used in the elevator. My concern is that if I follow the instruction which state to drill a 3/32 hole in the elevator halves to accept the torque rods over time the torque rod will cause the 3/32 hole in the balsa to erode or elongate causing many unwanted problems. My idea was to drill the hole and insert a brass sleeve for the torque rod to slide into and if so how tight or loose should the
brass fit on the torque rod. Please let me know if I am on the right track. Troy"

Joe: "Hi Troy the brass tube idea would be the way to go and I would make it so there is no slop in the tube. You want a tube that will just barely slide over your rod. Remember brass is a soft metal so if there is slop it will also wear though not as easily as the balsa would so keep it snug but not to where its binding. Joe"

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Question 143: "Joe: What, in your opinion, is the best way to construct bows for cockpit canopies? In my case, it's the BT-13. What is a better material to use? What is your first step in starting the procedure? Thanks, J.B."

Joe: "Well if I understand you you wanting to make your own framework then add the glass yourself. This is what I am going to do for my hurricane and this is how I am gonna do it. Over the cockpit area put a block of foam (the kind like florists use or similar which you can sand easily) then sand to the shape you want for your canopy. Don't worry about the indents for the frame just keep it smooth. Next you poll the foam off and glass over it, trim it to final shape, then sand it smooth. After that pull the foam out of the inside and sand what's stuck to the interior off. Now you have the outside piece made spray some 3m77 or similar glue inside it and line the interior with plastic. I use the thick drop cloth type you can get at walmart in the paint section it comes in rolls of like 10 ft x 25 ft for a couple bucks. Works great for covering plans too. Make sure it lays perfectly flat with no bubbles then glass the interior and when cured trim it to match the outside shape.

DO NOT REMOVE INTERIOR GLASS YET!!! after the interior is trimmed use your reference and a sharpie and mark out the greenhouse on the outside glass. After everything is the way you want it start cutting out the panels which will leave just the framework. Do your prepwork to the frame i.e. sanding, rivets, etc but don't worry about making screws yet (most frames have dzus or other types of screws so that maint crews can unscrew and replace damaged glass. Now is a good time to primer your framework and you can paint it if you want at this time also. When everything is done you can spray the interior of the outer frame if you like and stick your acetate to it. After your acetate is in place carefully slide the inner framework in place. Once in place and all lined up use some small screws and depending on the size of the canopy I like to use small screws like you find on eye glasses or circuit boards. Well that's the way I do it I hope this helps as it gives a very realistic and scale canopy. Joe"

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Question 144: "Joe, I am starting to build a Ziroli Hellcat, and I just received my kit from Precision Kit Cutters. On the plans are marks on the fuselage formers where they should be cut to create the fuselage hatch below the wing. These marks are not on the formers I received, but that is ok. My question is when I should cut them? It seems that trying to cut through those formers will be
difficult at best after formers are attached to the fuselage and it is sheeted, but cutting them before hand would make constructing the hatch difficult as well. What is the best method to handle this? My thought was to cut the formers before they are attached to the fuselage and then place the pieces back over the plans to line them up and to use scrap pieces of balsa to temporarily hold the cut pieces in place while the fuselage is assembled. This seems it would make removing the hatch after the fuselage is sheeted much easier, and would be able to get a much straighter cut line. Any thought, ideas will be appreciated. Thanks, Leon"

Joe: "Hi Leon sorry for the delay but I have been gone at scale masters. I would mark them out on the formers and cut them out then take some CA and just tack them in place. Once you get the fuse built it is just a matter of popping them loose. I do this quite often and it makes for easy construction all around. You can also cut them out then just use some 200 mph tape (i.e. duct tape) and put it on both sides to hold the pieces in place then after framed up a quick slice with an exacto will free them and once removed can easily take the tape off. Joe"

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