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Author Topic: FireBaby Build  (Read 16700 times)

Offline Rick Bollinger

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FireBaby Build
« on: November 30, 2012, 11:59:34 PM »
With all the activity lately about the Firebaby I wanted to try one. The wings are made from 1/16 balsa. Clear doped then covered with a decal I was able to make from a scan from the original wing. All the aluminum parts were copied from the kit. The tan colored part at the top is a mold for the canopy. Dug out a old Baby Spitfire cleaned it up and it seems to run good. I plan on running it on a balloon like the original. There are a lot of firsts here for me so this has been a lot of fun.
Rick Bollinger
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Offline afml

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Re: FireBaby Build
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2012, 04:23:57 AM »
AWESOME job Rick! y1

Keep us posted on the progress!
"Tight Lines!" H^^

Wes

P.S.: So like.....
You just scanned the original wing to make a decal??
How did you keep the wing from rolling & warping from the decal application??
Gonna do the same with the stab?
Thanks for the pics!
Wes Eakin

Offline Rick Bollinger

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Re: FireBaby Build
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2012, 06:50:51 AM »
Wes, I wet the wing put in a "airfoil" shape. Then wet the center to put in the dihedral. When all was dry I used tightening butrate on the bottom and non tightening on top. The decal is a self adhesive clear full sheet mailing label. Then I used clear lusterkote to seal it up. Rick
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Offline john vlna

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Re: FireBaby Build
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2012, 10:21:55 AM »
Rick,
really nice, just like the original almost. may have to try one myself, I have a baby spitfire.

Offline fred krueger

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Re: FireBaby Build
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2012, 09:38:04 PM »
Rick,

I have one thing to say......WOW!!  You had more patience with the wing than I did.

Fred

Offline Rick Bollinger

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Re: FireBaby Build
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2012, 08:09:26 PM »
Thanks Fred, I do need some advice on the horz stab. The original had a red cloth hinge running the length of the stab. I want to put the hinge on top of the decal. After I put 2-3 coats of clear lusterkote on. What adhesive would be best and what type of hinge material? Or should I just cut the decal out around the hinge and just put it on over the bear wood like normal?  Here is a scan from the original stab and after my wife photoshoped it for me that I will make the decal from.
Rick Bollinger
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Offline fred krueger

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Re: FireBaby Build
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2012, 08:25:39 PM »
Rick,

Here's a scan of a Firebaby stab/elevator that I purchased a while ago on eBay.  This one has the hinge material on the bottom which would eliminate your problem.  It appears to be cloth of some type.  The stab on my 'replica' model uses fabric binding tape that I purchased at Hobby Lobby.  I glued this to the wood with Ambroid.

Fred


Offline GGeezer

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Re: FireBaby Build
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2012, 08:35:00 PM »
Hi Rick,
You did such a good job on this replica that I was initially skeptical that you had just photographed the original! I copied a photo and enlarged it and could see that the firewall and wing mount parts were not punched for a variety of different motors like the original... so they definitely are repos.

I also have an original eBayed Firebaby that I reconditioned. The stab hinge was mostly detached and very stiff. Trust me, the FB is very light on the lines and that hinge has to be very free moving.

I removed the original cloth hinge and replaced it with a red Monocote hinge of the same dimensions ironed on. I don't know what kind of decal material you are using and whether you are top coating it but the iron on hinge may also work for you. I have done a fair amount of flying with my FB and the hinge is holding nicely.

I love the metal work you have done on your model and have some questions:
1. What type of aluminum did you use for the wing mount and firewall?
2. Did you make tooling to press form the firewall?
3. I have had difficulty finding the thin hard aluminum that was used on the original's fin, what did you use?
4. My reconditioned FB is missing the original canopy, would you consider selling me one when you form yours?

Again... great job.

Orv.

Offline Rick Bollinger

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Re: FireBaby Build
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2012, 09:43:34 PM »
Fred, I wish my stab was in that good of shape it sure would have made things a lot easier. And you are so right. I looked closer at my old stab and the hinge IS on bottom. I am so use to the horn being on the bottom but it is on top on the FB.

Orv.I am a sheet metal worker by trade. Althow not usually this kind of work (unfortunately) A lot of the techincs are the same.
All the alum I was able to get is I believe a 50 series. It is fairly soft which is OK. I would have liked to had some 6061 for the rudder but what I got is adequate. The wing mount is .026, the firewall is.032 and the tail is .016. I got all the aluminum at my local Ace hardware store. It was in the display with the brass tubing and music wire. The firewall I made a plug using epoxy putty. I left a handle on the back so I could clamp it in a vice. Cut the aluminum about 1/8 - 3/16 bigger than the outside of the plug no more or you will not be able to form it. Use a small hammer like a tack hammer just a couple oz's. And start tapping the metal around the plug. It takes time and can be frustrating  HB~> . I have tried twice to pull a canopy with no luck yet  HB~>.
Rick Bollinger
AMA 931589

Offline john e. holliday

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Re: FireBaby Build
« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2012, 08:21:22 AM »
Get a clear soda bottle or what ever color tint you like.  Just needs to be big enough for the plug to fit.   Looking at the picture, put pointy end towards the  neck of the bottle and pack open area under the block with scrap wood of some kind.   Grab you hot air gun used for MonoKoting and got at it.   It should shrink up/down real tight.   Mark your cut lines before removing from the block. It takes time and practice,  I went thru several/many soda bottles before I got my P-47 canopy I liked.  Still not perfect, but I am satisfied.
John E. "DOC" Holliday
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Offline GGeezer

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Re: FireBaby Build
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2012, 12:22:50 AM »
Thanks for the info Rick.
What is your canopy plug made of?
Although with some practice you can make the soda bottle method work to an extent but it will be challenged by the rather narrow section at the back of the canopy. Here is an option.
I have the skill and the thermoforming machine to do the job... you have the plug. If you send me the plug, I will pull as many canopies as you need and a couple for me too. I will then return your plug along with the canopies. Your only cost will be the shipping to me. I use PET-G (same as soda bottles are made of) for most of the canopy work I do.

Orv.

Offline Rick Bollinger

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Re: FireBaby Build
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2012, 07:15:40 AM »
John, thanks for the tip. I was able to make a decent one out of a soda bottle. But I think I will take Orv up on his offer.
Orv. Pm me your address and I will get it out to you. I made the plug useing durhams rock hard water putty. There are 2 bolts comming out of the bottom. If this will be in the way I can make another no problem.
Rick Bollinger
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Offline GGeezer

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Re: FireBaby Build
« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2012, 01:29:10 PM »
Hi Rick,
The water putty should work well. The bolts in the bottom will be needed to secure the mold to the platen.
The reason I want to make this deal with you is that you have a cast duplicate of the original canopy. I would have to sculpt one to the approximate dimensions. This would take a lot of time and wouldn't be as accurate.
Although I have a policy of not advertising on group sites, I will break this policy this time.
I am a cottage-industry manufacturer of free flight model supplies so you can send the plug to my business here:

GizmoGeezer Products
45 Kirk Crescent
Saskatoon, SK  S7H 3B1
Canada

Ship it "USPS First Class Mail International". It is real easy to do but you will have to go to a Post Office. It should ship for around $5.00. Do not ship Priority International because the price will be over 20 bucks.
Declare it as a "returned hobby part" with a zero value otherwise it will trigger a sales tax charge on my end.

Orv.

Offline Rick Bollinger

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Re: FireBaby Build
« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2012, 03:15:31 PM »
Well its done #^. I't feels heavy the scales say 4.3 oz but it feels more like 18. Will soon see if it will pull itself off the ground.
 Rick
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Offline Rick Bollinger

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Re: FireBaby Build
« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2012, 03:34:12 PM »
Oh I almost forgot. The stab hinge I almost ruined. Tried the red strip cloth like the orig. Used a strip off a bandanna. Grabbed the Sig bond that was just laying on the bench without thinking. Checked on it a couple hours later and discovered not a good choice. I have always used Ambroid for this and have 2 tubes. Luckily I was able to get it apart without damage. Just ironed on some mono.If it doesn't hold up I can go back to cloth with Ambroid.
Rick Bollinger
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Offline Mike Keville

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Re: FireBaby Build
« Reply #15 on: December 05, 2012, 08:44:57 PM »
At the risk of sounding like Doc Holliday . . .

Nice job!
FORMER member, "Academy of Multi-rotors & ARFs".

Offline john e. holliday

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Re: FireBaby Build
« Reply #16 on: December 06, 2012, 08:31:03 AM »
I feel honored now Uncle Mikey. #^ #^
John E. "DOC" Holliday
10421 West 56th Terrace
Shawnee, KANSAS  66203
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Offline Bill Smith

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Re: FireBaby Build
« Reply #17 on: December 06, 2012, 09:20:34 AM »
really good job.

Offline Larry Renger

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Re: FireBaby Build
« Reply #18 on: December 06, 2012, 09:38:40 AM »
All I can say is WOW!  I own a replica Firebaby, but yours is more authentic.  Umm, got line guide?

BTW how did you make a mold for the canopy out of water putty (I know what it is, just not the process to make a mold from it).
Think S.M.A.L.L. y'all and, it's all good, CL, FF and RC!

DesignMan
 BTW, Dracula Sucks!  A closed mouth gathers no feet!

Offline Rick Bollinger

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Re: FireBaby Build
« Reply #19 on: December 06, 2012, 12:44:31 PM »
Thanks Everyone, I do have a line guide. Just did not have it on for the pictures. The canopy, I have the original. I just taped off the ends of the canopy. Used a light coat of oil on the inside. mixed up the water putty a little on the thin side and poured it in. I put 2 #10 bolts head down and clamped it between 2 epoxy sticks until dry. Clamped the plug in a vice and used a Diet Pepsi bottle. I did use a paint stripping heat gun. Its not a perfect canopy but it fits pretty well and is a canopy. (Thanks Doc.)
Rick Bollinger
AMA 931589

Offline Larry Renger

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Re: FireBaby Build
« Reply #20 on: December 07, 2012, 10:56:17 PM »
Thanks!
Think S.M.A.L.L. y'all and, it's all good, CL, FF and RC!

DesignMan
 BTW, Dracula Sucks!  A closed mouth gathers no feet!

Offline Will Davis

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Re: FireBaby Build
« Reply #21 on: December 11, 2012, 05:49:09 PM »
Wow, looks better than the original I have, very good job on the reproduction

Will Davis
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Offline Mike Keville

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Re: FireBaby Build
« Reply #22 on: December 11, 2012, 06:30:45 PM »
FAR outshines the original I have here.  Nice job!
FORMER member, "Academy of Multi-rotors & ARFs".

Offline Bootlegger

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Re: FireBaby Build
« Reply #23 on: January 02, 2013, 12:13:42 PM »

  Can I get some info on the balloon tank, such as phisical size, fuel capacity, where to get them and most importantly, how long do they last??

    Thanks, and that is a good build...
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Offline Bootlegger

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Re: FireBaby Build
« Reply #24 on: January 02, 2013, 12:15:00 PM »

  OOPS,something else, how do you set them up??? y1
8th Air Force Veteran
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Offline don Burke

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Re: FireBaby Build
« Reply #25 on: January 02, 2013, 02:28:55 PM »
  OOPS,something else, how do you set them up??? y1
They need something on the airplane to keep them from flopping around.  The canopy on the Firebaby is for this.

I used to make them this way.
Get a small balloon, probably from a party store.  Then with either a piece of hard wall plastic tube or fuel line with a piece of brass tubing inside at a place just short of the balloon length, wrap a small rubber band or copper wire to seal the balloon to the the tubing.  Hook fuel line long enough to reach the engine.   Then with the airplane vertical, nose down, fill the tank with fuel until all the air is gone.  Important, don't stretch the balloon.  Pinch the line and hook up to the engine.  Atmospheric pressure provides the "push" along with suction from the engine.

Hope this was what you were looking for.
don Burke AMA 843
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Offline Bootlegger

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Re: FireBaby Build
« Reply #26 on: January 03, 2013, 12:52:20 PM »

  Thanks Don, I appreciate the help.
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Offline Randy Ryan

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Re: FireBaby Build
« Reply #27 on: January 28, 2013, 01:28:00 PM »
Beautiful, just gorgeous!!!! I have such a deep affection for the first FireBaby, my Dad taught me to fly CL on one with a Baby Spitfire (which I still have) He put me on his shoulders and my older brother launched for me, flew a couple aided flights and soloed the same day, I was 6. That was in 1956.
Randy Ryan <><
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Offline Mike Lauerman

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Re: FireBaby Build
« Reply #28 on: April 11, 2013, 06:28:03 PM »
The only real thing I felt I missed out on, the Firebaby. 1949, asked Dad for a Firebaby, they had a large stock at the LHS.
We had been ROG'ing A-J Hornets, but Dad was of the mind that "Gas Motor Planes" were of the O.K. Super .60 variety, period.

Every time I see the Christmas Story air, Darrin McGavern's voice rings out with Dad's squelch: "You'll CUT YER FINGER off!"
Sadly, he was killed before we ever got into I.C. power... Luckily, I was 'sponsored' by kind older friends that took my Monogram and Strombecker talents serious.

I did get a repro Firebaby from Frank Macy years later, in '82. One of my most memorable characters.

Offline Garf

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Re: FireBaby Build
« Reply #29 on: October 16, 2013, 03:04:32 PM »
I have a few copies of the original plans if anyone is interested.

Offline dankar

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Re: FireBaby Build
« Reply #30 on: March 30, 2014, 09:28:58 AM »
I built a Firebaby from scratch. Plus made extra kit also. I made my own graffics and not as nice as one posted but not bad. I got copies if templates for bi-version and made parts for such.  Just need to add top wing and good to go. I also made rubber band AJ Pursuit. Did graffics also. Used good colored markers from local craft shop.
Thanks Ty for copies of templates. You da man !!

Offline Shug Emery

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Re: FireBaby Build
« Reply #31 on: April 14, 2014, 09:44:37 PM »
That is a beaut)))))))
Shug
Whoooooo Buddy)))))))

Offline Robert Whitley

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Re: FireBaby Build
« Reply #32 on: November 21, 2020, 07:27:29 PM »
I have an original in need of restoration.
Thanks for the ideas and inspiration.
I have the original OK Cub as well as a brand new commemorative on that I was able to get just before they quit the model aeroplane business.


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