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Old 01-29-2009, 02:44 PM
  #43  
Dereck
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,071
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On construction - I can best offer how I did my first scale model from a blank sheet of paper. Basically, bought Gordon Whitehead's book on scale model construction and read it cover to cover. Nowadays, it must be easy to pick up any of Peter Rake's small scale biplane plans, they're all around 36" span, and use his construction methods. After all, they seem to work.

Model shape. Time for a leap of faith here. My first scale own design was arrived at by that I've always done my own designs - have a photo of me at around 12 with an OD control line combat wing thing - and I figured if I picked a prototype that looked 'about right' in terms of areas and so on, all I had to do was scale up the outline from my documenation three view, the size of mine was determined by Gordon's book, add some structure - same source - build it and go fly.

That I chose the Hannover CLIIIA, a German WW1 two seater with exposed upright engine, rear gunner and a biplane tailplane, both with elevators was typical. I set the span by Gordon and guesswork, drew it all up, built it, took it out and flew it, which it did just fine. That was in 1982, last year an example from my plan turned up from Australia, but with electric power, which suggests I did something right. Every dimension, as far as I could achieve with pencil and ruler, was 'scale; I cheated on things like wing sections and tail sections, of course!

I don't want to appear to be tossing buckets of water on the fire of your enthusiasm, but unless you derive more pleasure from math than balsa dust, just get stuck in and build this model of yours, get it to the flying field and experience the greatest thrill in our hobby - test flying your own creation.

Okay, I'd draw up the rest of the model to 'scale', cast an eyeball over the vertical stab and gently doodle in a curve around the 'scale' shape to up the area by maybe ten percent.

Go forth and make balsa dust

D
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