Spin: Priming

All the parts of the Spin are primed with white radiator lacquer.

Say what? Why prime an aircraft that is going to be covered in foil?

Yes, I can’t help it: I have to try my own ideas again. The Spin is going to be covered in transparent white and red, so the interior is going to be visible. And I’m not too happy with the colour contrasts of the different parts made from carbon fibre and wood, the scorch marks left from the laser cutting are hard to completely remove, too.

And that’s why I tasked myself with priming the construction before applying the covering with film.

Joyrider: Covering

The upper wing's mounting, the undercarriage's mounting and the seatback are finished.

After the details are finished I can finally focus on the covering. Some model builders seem to regard covering as an irksome work and necesarry evil, but I actually enjoy it. To me it’s like a metamorphosis: the bare framing of the aicraft, as pretty as it is, equals a caterpillar, which is yet to become a butterfly.

Nonetheless it’s a lot of work all the more if one wants to get a creases-free result. In the process, I didn’t manage to take a lot of pictures, but I’d like to give an example and point out some crucial points.

Joyrider: Tailplane Assembly

Construction is finished.

Finishing the vertical stabilizer only leaves the tailplane’s assembly. Here, three important objectives have to be met: the horizontal stabilizer must be in parallel to the long axis, so must the vertical stabilizer, and the vertical stabilizer has to be at right angles to the horizontal stabilizer.

The most important contribution to the right angles is provided by clean, perpendicular cuts, which I can achieve easily thanks to my table saw. In order to further stabilize this orientation, I’ve constructed two guides from balsa wood and sanded them into a streamlined shape.

The vertical stabilizer's guide is in progress.
The vertical stabilizer’s guide is in progress.

Joyrider: Vertical Stabilizer

Before sanding the tip.

The structural work is coming to and end: since the horizontal stabilizer has made much progress, it’s the vertical stabilizer’s turn.

Horizontal stabilizer and elevator reinforced.
Horizontal stabilizer and elevator reinforced.

Horizontal stabilizer and elevator reinforced.Even while building the horizontal stabilizer I realized I made a design error: the thin leading and trailing struts have been glued to the tips as butt joints, lacking adhesion area and thus stability. I rectify this by reinforcing the corners with small wedges of balsa wood. And this enlightment directly flows into the vertical stabilizer.

Joyrider: Horizontal Stabilizer

The landing gear’s completion left only one step to finish the structural work: the tailplane. I copped out for a while to face this step because the tail plane ultimately makes or breaks the aircrafts stearability:

If it’s too small, you can’t control the model aircraft. If it’s too big, the bird responds like a proper boulder. This effect is additionally influenced by the fuselage’s length, as I’ve already mentioned while building the fuselage. That’s why I’m really glad to have found Christian Forrer’s web site, including an excel sheet for calculating model dimensions, before I started constructing my biplane in earnest. Based on the finished parts, I was able to determine the minimum size for the tail plane and get on with it.