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Author Topic: Ercoupe Build (slow)  (Read 16089 times)

Offline kevin king

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Re: Ercoupe Build (slow)
« Reply #150 on: January 07, 2022, 12:12:32 PM »
And ain't I making fast progress?  I'll be lucky to have something flyable -- I think I have too many irons in the fire.

Tim, I find fast builds and fast paint jobs go against my "Do it right the first time" thinking. Seems like the time you save now will just be paid correcting things later.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2022, 01:59:36 PM by kevin king »

Offline Tim Wescott

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Re: Ercoupe Build (slow)
« Reply #151 on: January 08, 2022, 04:49:31 PM »
A significant portion of the fleet have been modified to have rudder pedals. This is one airplane I have zero time in but have always had interest in flying both the original and modified versions.

This one has no rudder pedals, so in that regard it's like the factory prototype.
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The problem with electric is that once you get the smoke generator and sound system installed, the plane is too heavy.

Offline Tim Wescott

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Re: Ercoupe Build (slow)
« Reply #152 on: January 08, 2022, 04:52:58 PM »
It's the weekend, it's sunny, and I really need to lay some paint on this.  I've just about used up today's sunlight, but I'm getting the little bits & bobs ready for paint.

On reflection, I decided that to paint the two hatches, I'd CA washers on the backs, then hold them to a piece of scrap iron with magnets -- which I'm doing here.  Time will tell if it works out, or if I just blow the things off the magnets and onto the dusty floor.  It feels firm enough to stand up to spray paint, though.

AMA 64232

The problem with electric is that once you get the smoke generator and sound system installed, the plane is too heavy.

Offline Tim Wescott

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Re: Ercoupe Build (slow)
« Reply #153 on: January 22, 2022, 07:07:53 PM »
All silver!  Or -- mostly all silver.  I decided it's better to have to go back for a second coat tomorrow than make runs or sags today.

And it's true what they say about painting your plane silver revealing all sorts of unexpected flaws -- for instance, I didn't realize just how long it's been since I've cleaned the cobwebs off that window until I looked at this picture!  (And the plane has some nasty divots -- I'm pretending really hard that I didn't see them, because I'm trying to be in pure FIFI mode here).

Need to find out what happens if I try to color sand a silver base coat.
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The problem with electric is that once you get the smoke generator and sound system installed, the plane is too heavy.

Offline Mark wood

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Re: Ercoupe Build (slow)
« Reply #154 on: January 22, 2022, 07:33:47 PM »
All silver!  Or -- mostly all silver.  I decided it's better to have to go back for a second coat tomorrow than make runs or sags today.

And it's true what they say about painting your plane silver revealing all sorts of unexpected flaws -- for instance, I didn't realize just how long it's been since I've cleaned the cobwebs off that window until I looked at this picture!  (And the plane has some nasty divots -- I'm pretending really hard that I didn't see them, because I'm trying to be in pure FIFI mode here).

Need to find out what happens if I try to color sand a silver base coat.

What are you using for silver Tim? Just sand and go forward. Real silver Ercoupes are done in just plane silver dope which has aluminum powder in it. It isn't super shade perfect by any level in real world airplanes. Don't fret the small stuff. Just make it go. It'll be badass cool...
Life is good AMA 1488
Why do we fly? We are practicing, you might say, what it means to be alive...  -Richard Bach
“Physics is like sex: sure, it may give some practical results, but that’s not why we do it.” – Richard P. Feynman

Offline Tim Wescott

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Re: Ercoupe Build (slow)
« Reply #155 on: January 22, 2022, 08:44:08 PM »
What are you using for silver Tim? Just sand and go forward. Real silver Ercoupes are done in just plane silver dope which has aluminum powder in it. It isn't super shade perfect by any level in real world airplanes. Don't fret the small stuff. Just make it go. It'll be badass cool...

It's Sig silver, and it's just there as a blocking coat -- white is next, and hopefully it won't be sparkly.
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The problem with electric is that once you get the smoke generator and sound system installed, the plane is too heavy.

Offline Mark wood

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Re: Ercoupe Build (slow)
« Reply #156 on: January 23, 2022, 06:07:44 AM »
It's Sig silver, and it's just there as a blocking coat -- white is next, and hopefully it won't be sparkly.

It won't be sparkly. In that case I totally wouldn't worry about it. Of course, I wouldn't worry about it regardless.
Life is good AMA 1488
Why do we fly? We are practicing, you might say, what it means to be alive...  -Richard Bach
“Physics is like sex: sure, it may give some practical results, but that’s not why we do it.” – Richard P. Feynman

Offline Tim Wescott

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Re: Ercoupe Build (slow)
« Reply #157 on: January 23, 2022, 03:47:31 PM »
@#$%.  Just @#$%.

The picture doesn't do it justice.  It's truly horrible.  There's some sandpaper in that fin's future, for sure.

Oh well -- it's the only sag on the plane, and it's all one color now.
AMA 64232

The problem with electric is that once you get the smoke generator and sound system installed, the plane is too heavy.

Offline Mark wood

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Re: Ercoupe Build (slow)
« Reply #158 on: January 23, 2022, 04:36:33 PM »
@#$%.  Just @#$%.

The picture doesn't do it justice.  It's truly horrible.  There's some sandpaper in that fin's future, for sure.

Oh well -- it's the only sag on the plane, and it's all one color now.

Worse things could happen.
Life is good AMA 1488
Why do we fly? We are practicing, you might say, what it means to be alive...  -Richard Bach
“Physics is like sex: sure, it may give some practical results, but that’s not why we do it.” – Richard P. Feynman

Offline Tim Wescott

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Re: Ercoupe Build (slow)
« Reply #159 on: January 23, 2022, 04:45:26 PM »
Worse things could happen.

True.  I almost dropped it onto the dirty floor a couple of times, while it was still wet.  I think I need to get fancier with my plane-holding system (it currently features saw-horses, vice-grips, and a lot of juggling when you change positions).
AMA 64232

The problem with electric is that once you get the smoke generator and sound system installed, the plane is too heavy.

Offline Mark wood

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Re: Ercoupe Build (slow)
« Reply #160 on: January 23, 2022, 04:47:25 PM »
True.  I almost dropped it onto the dirty floor a couple of times, while it was still wet.  I think I need to get fancier with my plane-holding system (it currently features saw-horses, vice-grips, and a lot of juggling when you change positions).

I just recently upgrade my game on that for exactly the same reason. I made a mount that fits on the end of a microphone stand I have laying around. It was worth the hour or so it took me.
Life is good AMA 1488
Why do we fly? We are practicing, you might say, what it means to be alive...  -Richard Bach
“Physics is like sex: sure, it may give some practical results, but that’s not why we do it.” – Richard P. Feynman

Offline Tim Wescott

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Re: Ercoupe Build (slow)
« Reply #161 on: January 23, 2022, 06:55:31 PM »
I just recently upgrade my game on that for exactly the same reason. I made a mount that fits on the end of a microphone stand I have laying around. It was worth the hour or so it took me.

I'm thinking of making a mount I can clamp onto the end of a sawhorse, that'll let me tilt & whirl the plane, then clamp it down solid.

Or just screw it onto the sawhorse, since 50% of the use those sawhorses get is as painting tables.
AMA 64232

The problem with electric is that once you get the smoke generator and sound system installed, the plane is too heavy.

Offline Tim Wescott

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Re: Ercoupe Build (slow)
« Reply #162 on: February 12, 2022, 03:20:10 PM »
Well, it's all white now, with two coats seeming to be enough.

I did manage one run in the white -- fortunately it's on the bottom of the plane, so depending on how bad it is I may not even bother to try sanding it out.  I did try to take a picture of the run, but trying to photograph a run in white paint is not an easy thing.

I thought I'd show my backwoods painting fixture.  1/2" square aluminum, surplus from a job long ago, with a plate bolted onto it that goes into the motor mount holes -- all typical there.

The special "I live in the sticks" part is the vice grips.  The one on the aluminum square is so I can handle the plane one-handed, without touching the paint.  The one on the sawhorse actually holds things in place while I'm painting.

I can rotate the plane on it's long axis any amount I want, as long as it's increments of 90 degrees.

So far I haven't dropped a wet plane into the dirt, so, fingers crossed.
AMA 64232

The problem with electric is that once you get the smoke generator and sound system installed, the plane is too heavy.

Offline Tim Wescott

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Re: Ercoupe Build (slow)
« Reply #163 on: February 12, 2022, 03:26:04 PM »
Obligatory picture of a white plane.  It never ceases to amaze me how much the covering loosens then tightens up again when you spray it.
AMA 64232

The problem with electric is that once you get the smoke generator and sound system installed, the plane is too heavy.

Online gene poremba

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Re: Ercoupe Build (slow)
« Reply #164 on: February 23, 2022, 07:38:25 AM »

 Tim, i enjoy looking at your progress on the aircoup. I dont comment much because unless i have something to contribute i just read and learn. That said, i look for ward to your build pictures and progress......Gene

Offline Tim Wescott

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Re: Ercoupe Build (slow)
« Reply #165 on: February 23, 2022, 07:57:21 AM »
Tim, i enjoy looking at your progress on the aircoup. I dont comment much because unless i have something to contribute i just read and learn. That said, i look for ward to your build pictures and progress......Gene

Thank you Gene.

At the moment my work-life balance is heavily weighted in favor of "work".  The only physical thing I've done with it is to go over it very lightly with 2000 grit paper, to take off the high spots that feel like bits of dust that stuck to the paint.

This isn't as bad as it could be, because the stage I'm at with the plane is looking over the pictures of the original and contemplating masking and spraying the red.  I need to get past "OMG I need to do that?!?!", through "OMG, I do need to do that :o" and finally to "OK, I'm going to do that."

When I get a chance to touch it again, I'll be sacrificing frisket, newsprint, and tape to the Masking Gods, and hoping I get it mostly right.
AMA 64232

The problem with electric is that once you get the smoke generator and sound system installed, the plane is too heavy.

Offline Tim Wescott

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Re: Ercoupe Build (slow)
« Reply #166 on: March 06, 2022, 05:40:36 PM »
So I had planned on squirting red on it today (good painting weather), but I had utterly failed to schedule for the day or two of getting it masked -- bad me.

I took the side view photo and scaled it to match the model; I'll use that for the numbers and the swoosh on the fins.  I'll probably take a first cut (as it were) with frisket; if that doesn't work I'll make up a cut file and see if I can hit someone up for some masks.

Here's my size check of the photos.  Because the side view had some distortion I had to play some photoshop games to get the fin sort of right, and it's still not right-right.  But it's close enough for a pattern for the swoosh -- or at least I'm declaring it so.

Looking at the width of the pinstripe between the red bottom and white top of the plane, I'm thinking I want to ink that -- except that it needs to color match the paint.  So I either need to just use a red Sharpie and accept that the shade won't match, or I need to figure out how to make an "inked" line with dope (lots of retarder and a good old dip pen or drafting pin?)
AMA 64232

The problem with electric is that once you get the smoke generator and sound system installed, the plane is too heavy.

Offline Tim Wescott

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Re: Ercoupe Build (slow)
« Reply #167 on: April 26, 2022, 05:22:33 PM »
So I had planned on squirting red on it today (good painting weather), but I had utterly failed to schedule for the day or two of getting it masked -- bad me.

"Day or two".  Oh, yes.  Of course.

I'm not sure what happened between March 6th and the end of the month, but on the 30th I crashed my main stunt ride, and have been resurrecting it full time.  I missed the Jim Walker Memorial this past weekend (and I ended up judging every Stunt event, anyway).  Just got that done enough to hang up, look out side, say "rain, @#$%" and turn to other things.

Getting ready to cut out lettering.  Here's the template -- this will help me get matching radii on all the corners, in hopes that it won't look too too bad.

If it works nice, when it comes time to outline things in black I'll under cut it, and use it as the guide for the pen.
AMA 64232

The problem with electric is that once you get the smoke generator and sound system installed, the plane is too heavy.

Offline Tim Wescott

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Re: Ercoupe Build (slow)
« Reply #168 on: April 28, 2022, 10:14:07 PM »
OK, that was a dead end.  I realized that what with working with a picture that was taken at an angle of a curved fuselage, parallax lens distortion blah blah blah, taking it from a picture was not going to work.

Back to the drawing board -- or drafting program.  Did a bit of magic in Gimp (basically open-source Photoshop) to get it part way to being straight and square, then imported it to LibreCad (open source 2D CAD program).  Then drew the idealized letter outlines over the picture.

Am now cutting out the masks.  Freehand on the curves, straightedge on the straights.  I just spent an hour, I'm about 1/4 of the way through.  Should get it done over the weekend.

This would have gone faster if I'd contracted with someone to make masks -- but I'm not feeling like I have calendar time, so I'm going to spend some me-time and get this done.  It'll look fine.  From ten feet away...

Maybe I'll make the Regionals.  Maybe...
AMA 64232

The problem with electric is that once you get the smoke generator and sound system installed, the plane is too heavy.

Offline Tim Wescott

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Re: Ercoupe Build (slow)
« Reply #169 on: April 30, 2022, 04:46:51 PM »
Port letters applied.  They're not going to be perfect, but I'll be happy with a "looks good from 10 feet away" sort of finish.

The top shot shows the letters still on the frisket paper backing.  I cut strips of frisket to hold the letters in place, and added masking tape "handles" to the ends.  I used those to transfer the letters to the plane.

The horizontal tape is my guideline; it's my best guess at matching the position on the plane of their letters. 

Note in the picture my cell phone, with the prototype picture on it -- the scale documentation came from Airborne Media, which basically sells you a zip file with a web site on it.  Because I'm a tech-head, I set up my shop computer as a local web server; more sensible people can probably figure out how to load this stuff onto their phone or a tablet.  At any rate, it's kind of the modern equivalent to having the scale documentation right there while you're building.

On to the other side...
AMA 64232

The problem with electric is that once you get the smoke generator and sound system installed, the plane is too heavy.

Offline Tim Wescott

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Re: Ercoupe Build (slow)
« Reply #170 on: April 30, 2022, 07:11:18 PM »
Well, that went quicker than I thought.

Sometimes the second time I do something it turns into an ugly snarly mess.  Sometimes it's better.

Thankfully, this time it was better.
AMA 64232

The problem with electric is that once you get the smoke generator and sound system installed, the plane is too heavy.

Offline fred cesquim

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Re: Ercoupe Build (slow)
« Reply #171 on: May 02, 2022, 03:58:32 AM »
Well, that went quicker than I thought.

Sometimes the second time I do something it turns into an ugly snarly mess.  Sometimes it's better.

Thankfully, this time it was better.

looks good, hope to see it flying soon!

Offline Tim Wescott

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Re: Ercoupe Build (slow)
« Reply #172 on: May 03, 2022, 10:27:58 PM »
So, this is taking a bit longer than the two hours or so that I predicted (d'oh).

I'm kinda guessing on where the paint lines go -- and learning about just how many pictures I want for the next scale subject.  If you hear about a ruckus and an arrest for obstreperous trespassing at a fly-in somewhere in Oregon, that'll be me crawling around, under, and over someone's plane, taking pictures.

Bottom wing masked.  Frisket semicircles for the curvy parts (which probably are't visible, but the big fat blue tape lines do not just meet in a mess like that).  Tan vinyl curvy masking tape defining the straight parts, and blue to hold down the tan, because I've learned that it doesn't always want to stay down.

I maybe might get it painted this weekend -- I hope so, 'cuz time's a wastin'!
AMA 64232

The problem with electric is that once you get the smoke generator and sound system installed, the plane is too heavy.

Offline Tim Wescott

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Re: Ercoupe Build (slow)
« Reply #173 on: May 05, 2022, 08:47:55 PM »
Ready for some clear to seal the tape edges, and then some red.

Still maybe-might on painting this weekend: it's going to be rain, rain, some rain, and then perhaps more rain.  Since my "paint booth" is the covered porch off the end of my shop, it needs to at least not be raining before I can paint.
AMA 64232

The problem with electric is that once you get the smoke generator and sound system installed, the plane is too heavy.

Offline Tim Wescott

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Re: Ercoupe Build (slow)
« Reply #174 on: May 10, 2022, 04:36:29 PM »
Someone has vandalized my aeroplane!  They've gone and painted it all red!

Even though it's a workday, this is the only sunny day predicted for a good long while, and I need to be at a show with that thing in 17 days.  So (thank goodness for remote work!) I snuck in a break and squirted some paint.

No runs -- that's a personal victory for me.  I think there's one sag in the entire paint job, and that's a mild one in the silver undercoat.  There's a couple of patches that are a bit thin -- I'm going to inspect them and decide what to do, but I'm leaning heavily toward just letting sleeping paint lie and squirting clear on this whole thing.
AMA 64232

The problem with electric is that once you get the smoke generator and sound system installed, the plane is too heavy.

Offline Tim Wescott

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Re: Ercoupe Build (slow)
« Reply #175 on: May 11, 2022, 10:26:56 PM »
After some waffling about the fact that my one heavy coat of red is light in places I decided to heck with it -- I'm going to strip off the masking.

I still need to do the swoosh on both fins, and the numbers on the other side.  But -- this thing may end up looking like a plane!

I still need to do the accent stripe along the white/red interface, and I'm pretty sure that the numbers are outlined in black -- but things are definitely coming together.
AMA 64232

The problem with electric is that once you get the smoke generator and sound system installed, the plane is too heavy.

Offline fred cesquim

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Re: Ercoupe Build (slow)
« Reply #176 on: May 12, 2022, 10:56:02 AM »
After some waffling about the fact that my one heavy coat of red is light in places I decided to heck with it -- I'm going to strip off the masking.

I still need to do the swoosh on both fins, and the numbers on the other side.  But -- this thing may end up looking like a plane!

I still need to do the accent stripe along the white/red interface, and I'm pretty sure that the numbers are outlined in black -- but things are definitely coming together.
GREAT looking bird!! sweet

Offline Tim Wescott

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Re: Ercoupe Build (slow)
« Reply #177 on: May 12, 2022, 12:50:30 PM »
GREAT looking bird!! sweet

As long as I don't let anyone get within six feet of it, they'll think it's perfect.
AMA 64232

The problem with electric is that once you get the smoke generator and sound system installed, the plane is too heavy.

Offline Tim Wescott

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Re: Ercoupe Build (slow)
« Reply #178 on: May 12, 2022, 08:05:23 PM »
Gear straps/covers.  Made from aluminum that I had lying around, somewhere around 16 to 18 gauge (right around 1/16", at least).

They'll get painted red -- along with that radio hatch cover that's standing out like a sore thumb (or maybe zombified -- sore kinda implies red, and that's exactly what it isn't).

I really ought to do nice Ercoupe-ish pants, but I'm just not going to go that far this time around.
AMA 64232

The problem with electric is that once you get the smoke generator and sound system installed, the plane is too heavy.

Offline Chris McMillin

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Re: Ercoupe Build (slow)
« Reply #179 on: May 13, 2022, 03:25:43 PM »
Looking good!
Oh, do Ercoupe-ish pants, especially if they are on the photos of the airplane you're modeling. They look great and this model is worth it.
Chris...

Offline Tim Wescott

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Re: Ercoupe Build (slow)
« Reply #180 on: May 13, 2022, 06:13:39 PM »
Looking good!
Oh, do Ercoupe-ish pants, especially if they are on the photos of the airplane you're modeling. They look great and this model is worth it.
Chris...

Well, the one CL scale contest in my area for the year is in exactly two weeks, so it's going to have wires sticking out of the wing for that first contest.  The original has covers over the legs, but it doesn't have those nifty Ercoupe spats -- I may have done that on purpose, to hold down on the detail work.

Somewhere toward the beginning of this thread there's a picture of the front landing gear I made, with a Real Live Yoke brazed onto the music wire.  It'll look a lot better painted, which will also happen after this year's contest.  You'll find out here if it doesn't survive it's first landing.


AMA 64232

The problem with electric is that once you get the smoke generator and sound system installed, the plane is too heavy.

Offline Tim Wescott

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Re: Ercoupe Build (slow)
« Reply #181 on: May 13, 2022, 06:56:42 PM »
Looking good! ... and this model is worth it.

It's benefiting a lot from photography.  There's lots of little details that are proving a learning experience for me.  It's going to be a five- or six-foot finish.  If it were a stunter then even with a full fuselage it'd probably only be good for 16 or 17 points from a real stickler of a judge.
AMA 64232

The problem with electric is that once you get the smoke generator and sound system installed, the plane is too heavy.

Offline Tim Wescott

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Re: Ercoupe Build (slow)
« Reply #182 on: May 15, 2022, 09:56:15 PM »
More things that benefit from photography.  Control surfaces drawn on, and I've made a start on the trim lines.  I was going to try to use matching dope, then decided to just use a red sharpie -- which seems pretty close.  I'm declaring it close enough!
AMA 64232

The problem with electric is that once you get the smoke generator and sound system installed, the plane is too heavy.

Offline Tim Wescott

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Re: Ercoupe Build (slow)
« Reply #183 on: May 17, 2022, 03:20:56 PM »
Perfection is not being achieved.  But the contest is in ten days, and somewhere in there I need time for dope to dry and test flights to be performed.

I hand-drew the tight curve toward the back of the swoop-te-do; I don't really like it, but perfection is the enemy of good enough.  I'll cover it in clear, make it to the contest, and it'll mock me until the end of my days...

To do better on the longer part of the swoop, I made a rule out of old, heavy, mouse-chewed balsa.  It seems to have worked well -- and by luck, the curves match on the other side, so I can reuse the same ruler.
AMA 64232

The problem with electric is that once you get the smoke generator and sound system installed, the plane is too heavy.

Offline Tim Wescott

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Re: Ercoupe Build (slow)
« Reply #184 on: May 17, 2022, 05:14:56 PM »
The tools are getting lower and lower tech here.

Center line is with an old metal drafting pin, the window edges are just with a brush.

On the prototype this is a pair of windows with black edging -- I'll do that with a felt pen, tomorrow, then the whole thing will be ready for clear.  Hopefully.  Maybe.  I tend to think I'm done, then find one last little thing.
AMA 64232

The problem with electric is that once you get the smoke generator and sound system installed, the plane is too heavy.

Offline Tim Wescott

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Re: Ercoupe Build (slow)
« Reply #185 on: June 16, 2022, 10:34:38 PM »
Well, it's been hung up under a sheet in my airplane room, because I ran out of clear.  That pint of Sig Litecoat that I was sure I had turned out to be a pint of Supercoat, and the finish is taut enough, thank you very much.

A quart of Certified clear just arrived from Aircraft Spruce -- I'm going to find out whether mixing & matching Sig and Certified is clever or stupid.

I seem to remember someone saying that Sig gets its dope from Certified.  Got my fingers crossed, because the Great Supply Chain Crisis of the 20's has hit Sig's dope supply, and I don't know when I'll be getting any really-o truly-o Sig dope.  It's on back-order, but it's not here.

So, results will be somewhere between perfectly OK, and my first official flight being accompanied by a soft "fwoop" as all the clear dope splits off the airframe and does an imitation of Wonder Woman's Invisible Airplane, spinning in the breeze as it slowly settles to the tarmac.
AMA 64232

The problem with electric is that once you get the smoke generator and sound system installed, the plane is too heavy.


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