Kit Building: Tail
We predrilled the hinges along the edges,
but neglected to take any pictures. Perhaps I'll remember
before covering the last stabilizer and elevator!
have gone a bit overboard, but every sharp gusset on the tail
feathers was lovingly sanded smooth and round and covered with
aircraft anti-chafing tape where the fabric might slide over sharp
edges when shrinking.
||Anti chaffing tape is used
solely to prevent the fabric from catching on sharp edges as it
shrinks. Fabric sticks to metal when glued, not tape.
Also, fabric that is glued directly to metal does not shrink very
much, and therefore the anti chafing tape needs to be used
sparingly and only in areas where there are sharp
edges over which the fabric will slide as it shrinks.
Less is more!
||Covering the tail feathers is turning out to be very easy
- much easier than we thought. We started with the rudder,
then the vertical fin, and then the stabilizers and elevators.
The "socks" are nicely sewn and fit
very well. My wife's old iron (a non-auto-shutoff model
which is better for this type of project) was calibrated with a
digital thermometer ($40 at a model airplane store) to about 325°
The first assembly we did we shrunk in stages starting at about
275°, but by piece 3, we went right to 340°
and were finding it shrunk perfectly right away - a bit on one
side, and then a bit on the other to keep the shrinkage even and
not warp anything.
||Here you can see my Dad looking quite
pleased with a nicely
shrunken vertical fin. I later dropped it on a lawnmower and
scuffed an edge. An easy repair I found with a small scrap
of the nylon sock I had trimmed and some diluted Poly-Tack glue.
|As can be seen in the last photos in this
section, I have bits of wheels everywhere and completed tail
feathers in the background.
sure to take your time with these and figure out which will be the
top sides of your stabilizers and elevators. Keep the wrapped
seams underneath so you don't see them on the finished
airplane - it will look a lot nicer!
forgot to take pictures of my hinges as I fitted and drilled them.
Jim Kayer of Orillia Ontario was kind enough to send us these from
The Fine Print - Caution
Ideas, illustrations and photos are the author's own
work and are for information only.
Builders of Challengers should always follow the Quad City manual.