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Author Topic: Hutch's P-38 Lightning  (Read 9872 times)

Offline wwwarbird

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Re: Hutch's P-38 Lightning
« Reply #50 on: February 15, 2017, 05:53:09 PM »
Actually it was re painted OD and went to the South Pacific.

 Thanks for that info Jim, interesting stuff!  y1
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Wayne Willey
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Offline Brett Buck

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Re: Hutch's P-38 Lightning
« Reply #51 on: February 15, 2017, 09:16:02 PM »
Yeah, I don't think the P-38's saw too much action over Germany, and "YIPPEE" probably spent most of it's time posing over Burbank.

   They were extensively used in Europe, as escorts with much longer range than the P-47 or other available airplanes. They were supplanted by P-51 which was a generally better airplane, of course. A lot of the issues they found on the P-38 were because it was in a different performance range that the other existing fighters at the time. In particular it was the first airplane that could easily get into the transonic speed range, and then its pretty thick airfoil was a serious issue that was impractical to completely solve, once they realized the issue.

    Brett

Offline wwwarbird

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Re: Hutch's P-38 Lightning
« Reply #52 on: February 15, 2017, 10:19:53 PM »
  In particular it was the first airplane that could easily get into the transonic speed range, and then its pretty thick airfoil was a serious issue that was impractical to completely solve, once they realized the issue.

    Brett

 Yeah, now that you mention that Brett I think I recall that the P-38 had some sort of issue with compression of airflow or something at extreme speeds in a dive, rendering the plane uncontrollable and/or unrecoverable.
Narrowly averting disaster since 1964! 

Wayne Willey
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Offline Brett Buck

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Re: Hutch's P-38 Lightning
« Reply #53 on: February 15, 2017, 11:56:54 PM »
Yeah, now that you mention that Brett I think I recall that the P-38 had some sort of issue with compression of airflow or something at extreme speeds in a dive, rendering the plane uncontrollable and/or unrecoverable.

   There were two problems, both related to transonic flow. The first- the controls "locking" in a dive at high altitude - was transonic flow over the wing. The airplane would dive at high altitude, where the speed of sound was slower because it was cold, the flow would choke over the top of the wing and the dive just got steeper. At lower altitudes this went away, but by then you are going like a bat out of hell, nearly vertically, and have to try to pull out. Sometimes they got out of it, and other times they didn't. They eventually diagnosed it, and came up with a deployable spoiler for the bottom of the wing, which altered it enough to retain control. The other was a severe buffeting in the stabilizer, which caused by transonic flow over the wing root. they spent a long time trying to solve it as a flutter issue, but the real solution was a large fillet around the pilot's pod.

      What it really needed was a much thinner wing. Then, as now, they wanted a thick airfoil to both improve the turn, provide space for internal parts, and for strength. But the thicker the wing, the more the air is accelerated as it moves around it, so at some speed, it deviates from the assumption of an incompressible fluid, hence a a compressibility problem. By the time they realized that, it was in production and trying to use a thinner airfoil would result in a complete redesign of the airplane.

     There were also substantial difficulties with the Allison engines. The P-38 was one of the few/only airplanes that had all the turbosupercharging intended for the maximum performance version of the engine, and it took a long time to work it all out. The airplane was designed as it was to house all the parts, the two scoops on the booms, for instance, were the turbosupercharger air intakes.

     Brett

Offline wwwarbird

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Re: Hutch's P-38 Lightning
« Reply #54 on: February 16, 2017, 06:39:14 PM »

 More interesting stuff, thanks Brett.  y1
Narrowly averting disaster since 1964! 

Wayne Willey
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Offline Brett Buck

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Re: Hutch's P-38 Lightning
« Reply #55 on: February 16, 2017, 11:13:17 PM »
More interesting stuff, thanks Brett.  y1

  You are welcome. Most of what I know about this was detailed very nicely in the late, lamented Lockheed Horizons quarterly magazine/house organ. It included an interview with The Man himself, Kelly Johnson, founder of the Skunk Works, designer of the Lightning, P-80 Shooting Star and it's brothers, the C-130,  F-104, U2, A-12/SR-71, D-21 and D-21B drones, the CL-1200 Lancer (which, had it been built, might have been a tough opponent for an F-15) and many others. ]

     Brett

Offline Trostle

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Re: Hutch's P-38 Lightning
« Reply #56 on: February 17, 2017, 01:05:23 AM »
Yeah, I don't think the P-38's saw too much action over Germany, and "YIPPEE" probably spent most of it's time posing over Burbank.
 

I am not sure if I really understand some of the comments regarding P-38 operations in Europe.  Anyway, just to set the record straight --

In August, 1942, the pilots of a P-38 and a P-40 share credit for the first German aircraft destroyed, a Fw 200 Condor, in the European Theater of Operations by the USAAF off the Icelandic coast,  In North Africa, P-38's saw action against German aircraft and then moved on to other locations in the Mediterranean, including Italy, where they were used against the Italian and German aircraft.  In the Italian theater, P-38 pilots are credited with 608 enemy aircraft destroyed in the air.  In the European theater, P-38's were used for bomber escort starting in November 1943 with significant numbers of victories, were later replaced in this role by P-51's and were then used through D-Day for bombing and strafing missions.  The German pilots called it der gabelschwanz Teufel (the fork-tail devil).

Keith

Offline Mark Scarborough

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Re: Hutch's P-38 Lightning
« Reply #57 on: February 17, 2017, 08:15:57 AM »
 

I am not sure if I really understand some of the comments regarding P-38 operations in Europe.  Anyway, just to set the record straight --

In August, 1942, the pilots of a P-38 and a P-40 share credit for the first German aircraft destroyed, a Fw 200 Condor, in the European Theater of Operations by the USAAF off the Icelandic coast,  In North Africa, P-38's saw action against German aircraft and then moved on to other locations in the Mediterranean, including Italy, where they were used against the Italian and German aircraft.  In the Italian theater, P-38 pilots are credited with 608 enemy aircraft destroyed in the air.  In the European theater, P-38's were used for bomber escort starting in November 1943 with significant numbers of victories, were later replaced in this role by P-51's and were then used through D-Day for bombing and strafing missions.  The German pilots called it der gabelschwanz Teufel (the fork-tail devil).

Keith
I cant beleive I forgot/missed this info, I read the book " the Fork tailed devil" about the development of the P-38 and for some reason I simply dont recall it being that active in the european theater,, thanks for bringing this to light Mr. Trostle and Brett
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Offline wwwarbird

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Re: Hutch's P-38 Lightning
« Reply #58 on: February 17, 2017, 11:04:53 PM »

 I guess what I really meant back there was that I knew the P-38's were used some in Europe, but I've just always associated them more with Pacific operations. Once the P-51 came along things changed pretty quickly though, especially in Europe.

 Thinking about all of this I just tracked down a photo that I recalled from long ago showing a large formation of P-38's decked out with invasion stripes, probably from D-Day or very shortly after. Also, the first P-38 I ever saw in person was in Oshkosh about 1980, all polished aluminum with big red "Der Gabelschwanz Teuful" nose art. Not sure where that one is these days.
Narrowly averting disaster since 1964! 

Wayne Willey
Albert Lea, MN U.S.A.
IC Aircraft Modeler, Ex AMA member

Offline wwwarbird

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Re: Hutch's P-38 Lightning
« Reply #59 on: March 31, 2017, 09:01:27 PM »

 Well, I haven't touched the '38 for three weeks or better, pretty disappointing and way behind schedule for spring. Picked up a nagging cough that just won't go away and hanging out in a cloud of balsa dust just hasn't sounded fun. Still fighting it, waah, waah, waah...
 
 Before that though I did get the engines mounted, spinners fit, and the engine nacelles about 98% sanded to shape. Keeping the shapes the same during the process was a bit of a trick, sand on one for a bit, then the other, back to the other, back and forth back and forth. Anyway, getting very close to busting out the silkspan at this point...

Narrowly averting disaster since 1964! 

Wayne Willey
Albert Lea, MN U.S.A.
IC Aircraft Modeler, Ex AMA member

Offline wwwarbird

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Re: Hutch's P-38 Lightning
« Reply #60 on: March 31, 2017, 09:11:53 PM »

 Comparing the profile outline I started with to my redone version...
Narrowly averting disaster since 1964! 

Wayne Willey
Albert Lea, MN U.S.A.
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Offline john e. holliday

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Re: Hutch's P-38 Lightning
« Reply #61 on: April 01, 2017, 09:51:44 AM »
Making matching engine cowls/nacelles/fuselages is a lot of fun isn't it.   If the doctor doesn't clear me and the weather clear up you will be air borne before me.   You construction is looking great.
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Offline Michael Boucher

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Re: Hutch's P-38 Lightning
« Reply #62 on: April 05, 2017, 04:20:47 AM »
HI Wayne, I Hope you still don't have the cough. If you do or for the next time, try drinking pineapple juice. It contains four times the stuff in cough medicine to get you to stop coughing. The P-38 is outstanding! All the best, Michael Boucher
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Offline wwwarbird

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Re: Hutch's P-38 Lightning
« Reply #63 on: April 05, 2017, 06:45:42 PM »
HI Wayne, I Hope you still don't have the cough. If you do or for the next time, try drinking pineapple juice. It contains four times the stuff in cough medicine to get you to stop coughing.

 Thanks for the tip Michael, I'll keep it in mind. Does it help if you put a little vodka in with it?
Narrowly averting disaster since 1964! 

Wayne Willey
Albert Lea, MN U.S.A.
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Offline wwwarbird

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Re: Hutch's P-38 Lightning
« Reply #64 on: October 12, 2017, 08:54:05 PM »

 "Building Season" is fast approaching, back on the '38 soon...
Narrowly averting disaster since 1964! 

Wayne Willey
Albert Lea, MN U.S.A.
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Offline wwwarbird

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Re: Hutch's P-38 Lightning
« Reply #65 on: November 03, 2017, 08:56:26 PM »

 ...spent a couple hours sanding and shaping the '38 booms tonight, it's on for the season.  ;D
Narrowly averting disaster since 1964! 

Wayne Willey
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Offline wwwarbird

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Re: Hutch's P-38 Lightning
« Reply #66 on: November 09, 2017, 09:59:31 PM »

 No photo worthy developments but I've officially stepped into Building Season, cleaned up the shop, and have been working on the '38 the past three nights now. Silkspan covering of major components has begun. First up was the twin booms and they are now covered. Next will be getting out the polyspan and covering the wing...  ;D
Narrowly averting disaster since 1964! 

Wayne Willey
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Offline john e. holliday

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Re: Hutch's P-38 Lightning
« Reply #67 on: November 10, 2017, 01:49:08 PM »
Well don't feel lone some.
I was always taught to respect my elders, but it keeps getting harder to find one.
Today I broke my personal record for most consecutive days lived.
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Offline wwwarbird

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Re: Hutch's P-38 Lightning
« Reply #68 on: November 22, 2017, 11:01:06 PM »

 Finished covering the wing tonight, Polyspan from tip to tip. Gotta let it dry overnight then out comes the heat gun.
Narrowly averting disaster since 1964! 

Wayne Willey
Albert Lea, MN U.S.A.
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Offline john e. holliday

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Re: Hutch's P-38 Lightning
« Reply #69 on: November 23, 2017, 09:41:13 AM »
Watch that heat gun.  But, it is easy to repair a hole if it pops up or appears. 
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Today I broke my personal record for most consecutive days lived.
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Offline wwwarbird

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Re: Hutch's P-38 Lightning
« Reply #70 on: November 23, 2017, 08:46:42 PM »

 Came out good Doc, got'er pulled down nice and tight with a couple thin spots but no real issues. I still say Polyspan is the only way to go but it definitely takes some finesse with the heat gun.

 Right after that came two good heavy coats of 50/50 Brodak clear...
Narrowly averting disaster since 1964! 

Wayne Willey
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Offline john e. holliday

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Re: Hutch's P-38 Lightning
« Reply #71 on: November 24, 2017, 10:17:46 AM »
Looking good. H^^
I was always taught to respect my elders, but it keeps getting harder to find one.
Today I broke my personal record for most consecutive days lived.
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Offline Gary Mondry

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Re: Hutch's P-38 Lightning
« Reply #72 on: November 30, 2017, 08:45:13 PM »
You dope with a foam brush???  Doesn't it come apart and leave foam bits on everything?  (apparently not)  Does it take one brush per coat?
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Offline wwwarbird

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Re: Hutch's P-38 Lightning
« Reply #73 on: November 30, 2017, 09:51:36 PM »
You dope with a foam brush???  Doesn't it come apart and leave foam bits on everything?  (apparently not)  Does it take one brush per coat?

 I only use the foam brush for adding the clear coats after the covering has been applied. I do everything up to that point with a regular brush. I've found that the clear coats lay out much better and dry smoother and more evenly using a foam brush. The foam brush holds a lot of material too, which allows you to control the flow once you get a feel for it. A two inch brush works very well, as that's pretty close to an average wing bay width.
 At this stage I'm using roughly a 70/30 mixture, 70 thinner, 30 clear. Starting at one wingtip and brushing T/E to L/E you can work your way across a wing pretty quickly. It only took about ten minutes to go across this 60" wing. On open bays I usually only do one coat per session, preferring to allow for a 24 hour drying time between coats.
 As an example, tonight I did what will be the last coat on the wing. I did the bottom side first and then let it dry just enough to be able to flip over, about 20 or 30 minutes. During that waiting period I did another heavy coat on both sides of the fuselage pod. Then I went back and did the top of the wing, all with the same brush, no deterioration. The brush does swell just a little but I haven't had any trouble with them coming apart. You do of course only get one session out of a brush, because you can't clean it. Determined by my local Home Depot, this routine works out to 77 cents per session.
Narrowly averting disaster since 1964! 

Wayne Willey
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Offline Gary Mondry

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Re: Hutch's P-38 Lightning
« Reply #74 on: December 01, 2017, 11:29:36 AM »
No kidding.  I would never have tried that, convinced that the thinner in the dope would melt the foam before I got done.  Now, maybe...

Thanks, Wayne.
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Offline john e. holliday

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Re: Hutch's P-38 Lightning
« Reply #75 on: December 01, 2017, 11:58:00 AM »
I have tried the foam brushes and they do work, but if you get interrupted they don't.  Like wife saying it's time to eat or grand kids need a ride.   Also when I dope a wing I don't do one panel like top side and then the bottom side as such.   Usually start at either tip or center and do a couple of rib bays, flip over and do same rib bays with a couple of extra and flip over.   When done I go to other half of wing.  It was a chore with the B-25 as that is huge plane and I didn't fabricate a paint stand for it.   In fact I brushed the dope out side of the shop to have room to maneuver.  Any way I anxious to see this P-38 of yours in the air. H^^
I was always taught to respect my elders, but it keeps getting harder to find one.
Today I broke my personal record for most consecutive days lived.
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Offline wwwarbird

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Re: Hutch's P-38 Lightning
« Reply #76 on: December 01, 2017, 08:03:43 PM »
I have tried the foam brushes and they do work, but if you get interrupted they don't.  Like wife saying it's time to eat or grand kids need a ride.

  LL~ LL~ LL~
Narrowly averting disaster since 1964! 

Wayne Willey
Albert Lea, MN U.S.A.
IC Aircraft Modeler, Ex AMA member

Offline Brett Buck

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Re: Hutch's P-38 Lightning
« Reply #77 on: December 01, 2017, 08:28:14 PM »
No kidding.  I would never have tried that, convinced that the thinner in the dope would melt the foam before I got done.  Now, maybe...

   This may have been discovered by, and it was almost certainly first described in a nationally-distributed magazine, by none other than the inestimable Dirty Dan Rutherford back in Model Builder magazine.

     Brett
 

Offline Gary Mondry

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Re: Hutch's P-38 Lightning
« Reply #78 on: December 01, 2017, 09:34:42 PM »
I'm not surprised.
I miss Dan's creative writing style...
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Offline Brett Buck

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Re: Hutch's P-38 Lightning
« Reply #79 on: December 03, 2017, 06:11:33 PM »
I'm not surprised.
I miss Dan's creative writing style...

   It's just my opinion, and no offense to anyone else, but Dan may be the best model airplane magazine writer I have ever read.  Always entertaining even when he really has nothing to say, verbose but so well-constructed that you don't get the "wall of text" effect, proper grammar, etc.

     Brett

Offline Dan McEntee

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Re: Hutch's P-38 Lightning
« Reply #80 on: December 03, 2017, 08:51:45 PM »
   It's just my opinion, and no offense to anyone else, but Dan may be the best model airplane magazine writer I have ever read.  Always entertaining even when he really has nothing to say, verbose but so well-constructed that you don't get the "wall of text" effect, proper grammar, etc.

     Brett

     As a collector and reader of model magazines, I have read a few in the last 50 years and would whole heartedly agree with this statement. As a good second place but with a completely different writing style is Dave Thornburg of "Do You Speak Model Airplane" fame. Ted Fancher is right up there also.
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Offline Dennis Saydak

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Re: Hutch's P-38 Lightning
« Reply #81 on: December 04, 2017, 09:21:03 AM »
Hi Wayne; It's great to see the P-38 project coming along so nicely.  I have to sincerely thank you for taking it on for me while I was unable to because of medical reasons. I'm currently recovering from total hip replacement surgery and looking forward to finally getting active in the hobby again. I plan to be back in the shop in another week and look forward to finally finishing a few stalled projects. I may even get in the shop today to work on a small project.............I need to make me a back scratcher.  y1 y1
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Offline wwwarbird

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Re: Hutch's P-38 Lightning
« Reply #82 on: December 04, 2017, 10:11:03 PM »

 I was wondering where you'd been Dennis, good luck with your recovery and looking forward to some build posts from you.

 BTW, I'd been thinking all along that this thing was 60" span, not sure though if I'd ever even measured it. Getting near ready to attach the fuse pod and booms I had the tape measure out tonight to find wing center and create some reference points, it's actually 65" wingspan.  :o
Narrowly averting disaster since 1964! 

Wayne Willey
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IC Aircraft Modeler, Ex AMA member

Offline john e. holliday

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Re: Hutch's P-38 Lightning
« Reply #83 on: December 05, 2017, 08:31:55 AM »
Yeah Don likes them big for a twin.   Guess I should measure the B-25.  I know the thing had some work done out side the shop and does span the back seat of my Suburban.
I was always taught to respect my elders, but it keeps getting harder to find one.
Today I broke my personal record for most consecutive days lived.
John E. "DOC" Holliday
10421 West 56th Terrace
Shawnee, KANSAS  66203
AMA 23530

Offline wwwarbird

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Re: Hutch's P-38 Lightning
« Reply #84 on: December 11, 2017, 07:39:08 PM »
 ...sanding, filling, priming, sanding, filling, priming, fitting, sanding some more, filling some more, a little primer, sanding, sanding, measuring and checking fits, sanding, filling, sanding, sanding...
Narrowly averting disaster since 1964! 

Wayne Willey
Albert Lea, MN U.S.A.
IC Aircraft Modeler, Ex AMA member

Offline Dennis Saydak

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Re: Hutch's P-38 Lightning
« Reply #85 on: December 12, 2017, 11:04:14 AM »
...sanding, filling, priming, sanding, filling, priming, fitting, sanding some more, filling some more, a little primer, sanding, sanding, measuring and checking fits, sanding, filling, sanding, sanding...

Sounds like there might be nothing left after you get through with it.   ;D
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Offline john e. holliday

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Re: Hutch's P-38 Lightning
« Reply #86 on: December 12, 2017, 12:09:12 PM »
Now you know why this old man does not have 20 point finishes.  In fact I ask the judges to move back about 20 feet before giving appearance points.
I was always taught to respect my elders, but it keeps getting harder to find one.
Today I broke my personal record for most consecutive days lived.
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Offline wwwarbird

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Re: Hutch's P-38 Lightning
« Reply #87 on: December 13, 2017, 07:50:32 PM »

 Slow progress. The fuse pod is glued to the wing now, but I'm finding the need for a LOT of filling and sanding before the booms will be ready to mount. The fuse pod and twin booms are built up and sheeted in construction and the sheeting on the booms has a lot of high/low spots that showed up after the silkspanning process. The problem boils down to a wood selection issue with the sheeting. I don't know the proper term, but it's like when you get a real soft, almost mushy, piece of wood that even though it's sanded perfectly smooth beforehand it gets all grainy and uneven once the dope and silkspan cures. Once I get them finished up to a satisfactory compromise I'll re-add the new cooling scoops I made and then finally get them mounted to the wing...
Narrowly averting disaster since 1964! 

Wayne Willey
Albert Lea, MN U.S.A.
IC Aircraft Modeler, Ex AMA member


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