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It’s the Pitts…. - Page 2 Empty

It’s the Pitts….

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Post  duaneh on Mon Mar 23, 2020 8:48 am

Once again, Thank You, Eric!
I think this one will finish out well under that, which bodes well for flying.


I took a little break from chopping balsa, and covered the I struts. The size made it interesting. I ended up clamping the tabs in a small vise, and using the trim iron to cover them. They came out pretty good.
It’s the Pitts…. - Page 2 100_1918

Sheeting the forward deck is the least fun part of building any biplane. I can't put it off any longer, so let's get started. I cut the first piece of sheeting, then made the notches for the cabanes, a little at a time, checking the fit each time. Got it to where it would work and applied the glue. Started attaching it to the bulkheads, and it split full length!  Damn!

So, here's my second attempt, and it was more successful.

It’s the Pitts…. - Page 2 100_1919
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Post  Cribbs74 on Mon Mar 23, 2020 3:43 pm

It’s coming along well. What plans do you have for the canopy?
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Post  duaneh on Mon Mar 23, 2020 9:59 pm

I'm going to have to make a canopy, there's nothing available that's even close to what I need. I will carve a plug. After that:

Plan A is to heat shrink one from a plastic bottle. A lot of guys do this, but I've never tried it.

Plan B is to take the plug to Brian at Dynamic Balsa, about an hour from me. He does a lot of vac-forming, and I'm sure can pull one for me.
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Post  duaneh on Wed Mar 25, 2020 8:42 am

Yay!
I got the fuse front deck sheeted. I was able to get it in 3 pieces, plus 2 tiny scraps for fill in the 'vee' of the cabanes.
The key was to pre-cut pieces slightly oversize, moisten and rubber band them around a 1" dowel. When they dried, they had a curve that approximated what I needed.
I rough cut the cockpit opening. The marked lines represent where the canopy will fit. I will wait to do the final trimming until the canopy is in hand.


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With the front of the fuse at its final size, I was able to finish shaping the cowl.
It’s the Pitts…. - Page 2 100_1923It’s the Pitts…. - Page 2 100_1922
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Post  duaneh on Sat Mar 28, 2020 9:40 am

I’m now at a point where I can start covering, so a review of the documentation is in order. For such a well-known airplane, it’s surprising how hard it is to find photos.
Here is a Cox ad that features the full size plane. One thing unique to Art's Pitts is that the blue 'rudder' stripe is actually on the fin.

It’s the Pitts…. - Page 2 Cox_ad10


Here is a very interesting picture. Presumably taken shortly after the Cox sponsorship ended, the logo has simply been covered with a Gumout sticker. Note also the front cockpit windshield is in place. And most importantly, this is the only picture I have seen that shows the undersurface of the wings. The top wing appears to be solid red behind the LE stripe, the bottom wing white with red stars. Also, the inboard star appears to be larger than the outboard.
It’s the Pitts…. - Page 2 N13as10


Finally, a big Thank You to one of our forum sponsors. I can’t imagine trying to create these tiny graphics myself.
It’s the Pitts…. - Page 2 100_2012
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Post  rsv1cox on Sat Mar 28, 2020 9:49 am

Following your thread.

That sure is tiny, the picture next to the coffee cup is revealing. Great job, deserves that new Cox engine.

Bob
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Post  getback on Sun Mar 29, 2020 7:15 am

The Pitts is coming right along , i bet those struts were a Pain to cover too and nothing like a wood split LOL Nice decals Matt sent you !! Shamrock
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Post  duaneh on Sun Mar 29, 2020 11:52 pm

I got a good start on the covering. The wings are done. It was a little tedious putting on all the red stripes, but the scheme is Monokote friendly. All straight lines.
Notice the wing dowel and screw holes. This will be a “take-apart” airplane. Makes maintenance and repairs a lot easier.


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The stab was easy, just solid red. I got the white on the fin & rudder, tail stripes will be next. I would really like to get the N# on the tail, but I just don’t think I can do it. Too small, and it isn’t just black letters, there is a white border around them.


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Post  MauricioB on Mon Mar 30, 2020 3:04 am

ohhh! duaneh !! ... that looks wonderful !! ... what a beautiful job !! ... Small Cox Logo Sincere congratulations !! Small Cox Logo
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Post  akjgardner on Mon Mar 30, 2020 4:13 am

great job
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Post  getback on Mon Mar 30, 2020 5:12 am

The N13AS doesn't seem to bee outlined with white ? Either way Fantastic Fun ! Biplane
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Post  Mark Boesen on Mon Mar 30, 2020 3:38 pm

This should be a kit, it would sell well! Congrats, she's lookin good!
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It’s the Pitts…. - Page 2 Empty Cowl Finishing

Post  duaneh on Wed Apr 01, 2020 1:19 pm

I've been working on the cowl a little at a time. The finishing process takes a while, but it's done now.

I decided early on that I wanted the cowl to be glassed and painted for durability. I’ve done many giant scale RC ships this way, it was really fun to apply the same process in miniature to this tiny cowl.
After construction and shaping was complete, I covered it with ¾ oz. glass cloth and finishing resin. Before sanding, it was really ugly.


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I sanded  with 100 grit to knock down the edges, smoothed it with 220 grit, and applied a flow coat of resin. Also brushed resin on the inside for fuel proofing. When that cured, I wet sanded with 400 grit. Looking much better.

It’s the Pitts…. - Page 2 100_1927

Next was a white base coat, necessary to get a bright red for the final color. Then, we are finally ready for color. I used Rustoleum rattle can paint. Finished weight of the cowl is 5 grams. We had a sunny day today, so I took it out on the deck for a picture.It’s the Pitts…. - Page 2 100_2015
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Post  akjgardner on Wed Apr 01, 2020 2:03 pm

BRAVO.... Very Nice Work
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Post  OhBee on Wed Apr 01, 2020 5:24 pm

I'd be afraid to fly it! Lookin' good!
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Post  getback on Thu Apr 02, 2020 6:57 am

Now thats when your work really pays off , that looks fantastic !! What was ur style of resin for the glass cloth ? sunny
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Post  Cribbs74 on Thu Apr 02, 2020 10:55 am

Stellar work!

Concerning lettering and decals, it wouldn’t be much effort for a sign shop to print lettering onto vinyl for easy application. My brother in law does double color lettering all the time. I would send you his way, but he operates on a larger scale.

He has in the past done some vinyl work for me in the modeling realm, but I don’t bother him with that stuff anymore.

Just find a small outfit online and see what they can do.

I only bring this up as your model deserves the very best!

Ron

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Post  Marleysky on Thu Apr 02, 2020 12:16 pm

Cribbs74 wrote:Stellar work!

Concerning lettering and decals, it wouldn’t be much effort for a sign shop to print lettering onto vinyl for easy application. My brother in law does double color lettering all the time. I would send you his way, but he operates on a larger scale.
He has in the past done some vinyl work for me in the modeling realm, but I don’t bother him with that stuff anymore.
Just find a small outfit online and see what they can do.
I only bring this up as your model deserves the very best!
Ron

I keep seeing a couple of companies mentioned in other sites of people who do make vinyl stickers for rockets and planes:

https://stickershock23.com/product/name-tags-registration-number/

https://callie-graphics.com/

I’m gonna use one of them as soon as I build something thats “Stickerworthy” !
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It’s the Pitts…. - Page 2 Empty Canopy

Post  duaneh on Sun Apr 05, 2020 9:03 am

Thanks for all the positive comments, guys.
Eric, I used Zap epoxy finishing resin on the cowling.



There’s just no way around it. This airplane needs a clear, not painted, canopy. I checked with all the usual suspects, nobody makes one small enough to fit. I’m going to have to make my own. I’ve been hearing about people making canopies by heat shrinking plastic bottles on a plug, but haven’t tried it. Well, let’s try now.

First, I need a plug. I traced the side and top views of the canopy on a piece cut from a scrap 2x4, and cut the profile on the band saw. Then carved and sanded it to shape. I had to epoxy the plug onto a piece of scrap wood to hold it during this process.

It’s the Pitts…. - Page 2 100_2016

I decided to use one of the really thin plastic water bottles rather than a soda bottle, due to the size of the part. I stapled the plastic to the base, and hit it with the heat gun. The plastic shrinks dramatically at first, but then stops. No amount of additional heat will induce it to shrink further. So the key is to hold the plastic as tightly to the form as possible before shrinking. The staples were good for this. It took me 4 tries to get a useable canopy, but it was a good learning experience, and the raw material is free.

It’s the Pitts…. - Page 2 100_2017

I normally paint the canopy framing before gluing it to a model, but this is too small to handle. So, I went ahead and glued it on. The fuselage will give me something to hang onto while masking & painting.

It’s the Pitts…. - Page 2 100_2018
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Post  OhBee on Sun Apr 05, 2020 12:51 pm

Wow!...that came out nice.
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Post  Tee Bee on Sun Apr 05, 2020 1:51 pm

Impeccable worksmanship! I love Pitts Specials and yours is looking fantastic!
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Post  roddie on Sun Apr 05, 2020 3:30 pm

Inspirational! Definitely for me.. Re-creating in miniature has always appealed to me. I enjoy seeing this level of craftsmanship applied in the way that you have in this Pitts model. Biplanes occupy a special place in my heart..

Are you familiar with pilot Sean Tucker? Here's a real fpv video in a Pitts S2C formation-flying with others. (CAUTION could cause motion-sickness if one fixates on the horizon..)

(spoiler) fast-forward to 6:00:00

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Post  duaneh on Mon Apr 06, 2020 1:33 pm

Roddie; Thanks for posting that video, very cool.  Yes, I am familiar with Sean Tucker. I'm about 5 hours from OshKosh, WI., and the EAA convention has been an annual trip for 40+ years. Tucker was one of the first to move away from traditional aerobatics, to a style that incorporates elements of '3D' flying that we see in RC.
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It’s the Pitts…. - Page 2 Empty Finished!!

Post  duaneh on Tue Apr 07, 2020 1:45 pm

I got the leadout guide made, and the last of the trim applied. I went ahead and made the N# by cutting the individual letters out of monokote. It's not perfect, but looks OK, considering the letters are only 3/8" high.
I'm going to call this project done.
It's a super nice day today, so I got some pictures outside. The natural light does wonders for making better pictures.


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I wanted to use a Pennzoil can in this picture for scale, but didn't have one. So you get my coffee cup again.
Thanks to all for the help and encouragement, especially Eric and Roddie, you made it a better airplane.

Oh, almost forgot, the finished weight came out to 3.0 oz.
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Post  Mark Diedrichs on Tue Apr 07, 2020 3:41 pm

I'll drink to that, what great detail!! Wonderful work! BTW extra cream, no sugar!!! Mark
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