Top Flite T-34 - RCCanada - Canada Radio Controlled Hobby Forum
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Old 05-08-2016, 09:45 AM   #1
mwavesdave
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Top Flite T-34


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I've just been delivered a partially built TF T-34. Fuse, tail feathers, and outer wing panels have been built, and some gear installed. It's an old build, with lots of ambroid glue, originally started by a long time modeller, and hobby shop owner. I'm happy to pitch in, and get the bird ready for it's new owner. Time has created a few little issues, and I thought that some of the techniques I'll use to correct, might be of use. It will be a slow go, as I've got a 1/5th F4F Wildcat on the go for a friend, a Royal P-38 as well, that needs to be done by summer. I'll have to juggle a bit, wait for glue or paint to dry on one, so putter on another, but certain I'll get them done in time, and in good form for their owners!
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Old 05-08-2016, 12:39 PM   #2
CF105
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Re: Top Flite T-34

Quote:
Originally Posted by mwavesdave View Post
I've just been delivered a partially built TF T-34. Fuse, tail feathers, and outer wing panels have been built, and some gear installed. It's an old build, with lots of ambroid glue, originally started by a long time modeller, and hobby shop owner. I'm happy to pitch in, and get the bird ready for it's new owner. Time has created a few little issues, and I thought that some of the techniques I'll use to correct, might be of use. It will be a slow go, as I've got a 1/5th F4F Wildcat on the go for a friend, a Royal P-38 as well, that needs to be done by summer. I'll have to juggle a bit, wait for glue or paint to dry on one, so putter on another, but certain I'll get them done in time, and in good form for their owners!
Cool! Btw if you're looking for a scheme, the RCAF had a few for evaluation.
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Old 05-08-2016, 01:17 PM   #3
mwavesdave
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Re: Top Flite T-34

Marc's already sent me photos, so that's what he's going with. I'm trying to convince the Shearwater Aviation Museum to make us of their vinyl cutter, and start producing graphics for sale, would be great for modellers, and help them with some cash flow.
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Old 05-08-2016, 01:29 PM   #4
mwavesdave
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Re: Top Flite T-34

Some shots of where the T-34 sits at the moment - in my workshop! Pun intended. The fuselage was all framed up and sheeted, with tail feathers installed. I added the top formers and stringers, and then sheeted. As it sat the fuse was very floppy, and was just starting to warp a bit, so it was imperative to get the upper parts done and sheeted, which add significantly to the overall rigidity of the structure. All of the components that were ply for the wing center section were way too badly warped, and of lite ply, so simply traced them all out onto 1/8th Baltic Birch ply, cut them out on the scroll saw, and then assembled. Center section went together with no issues. A lot of the top wing sheeting, previously applied, has pulled away from the ribs, either from time, or not enough weights during the glue process. Those that I can, I'm simply filling with medium CA and holding till its dry, for those that I can't, due to the ambroid glue partially filling the gap, I'll run epoxy mixed with wood flour (will post pics of that when I do it.). Once the wing center section was done, I sanded everything, test fit the outer panels, and then set up my high tech dihedral jig. A plastic drawer, with a piece of 1/2 in ply on top gave the perfect height. Wing center section is laid upside down on that, then outer panels and braces all glued up with epoxy, and slid into place. I left off the outer two wing ribs for the center section, and add those once the epoxy has set. Makes life a whole lot easier than gluing them into place, and then cutting slots in them for the dihedral braces.
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Old 05-09-2016, 11:56 AM   #5
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Re: Top Flite T-34

Wing issues weren't as bad as I first thought, the lower sheeting from the spar to the leading edge all have gaps, but with a light spray of windex, they've mostly fit back down onto the ribs. I'll post pics later, but for each spot, I use wood flour (leftovers from my sander filters) it's very fine powder, and I run a very small fillet along each rib, then a few drops of thin CA, that wicks into the ribs, sheeting, and the flour. It's not something I'd do unless you need to fill a gap, or hold down sheeting that's being a bit stubborn, as it does add weight to the structure. Last night I was able to get the sheeting installed on the Left lower wing, from the spar forwards, and this morning, most of the sheeting, spar forward on the Right wing. I've installed the aileron cover plate blocks, still need to install the rails for the flaps, as well as the landing gear rails, then all the wiring, prior to sheeting aft of the spars.
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Old 05-09-2016, 08:31 PM   #6
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Re: Top Flite T-34

Quote:
Originally Posted by CF105 View Post
Cool! Btw if you're looking for a scheme, the RCAF had a few for evaluation.
Great minds think alike Kevin!

I think the RCAF scheme used on the Mentor is reminiscent of a RCAF Harvard trainer and is a little known paint scheme for T-34. From what I can see, the only difference was that the tail feathers were slightly different.

RCAF apparently purchased 25 Mentors and they flew out of Penhold Alberta. The literature I read basically states that it was underpowered - at least that was the claim. It's essentially the same paint scheme than the Harvard

Eventually donated to Turkey as part of NATO contributions

http://www.canadianwings.com/cmsAdmi.../24205_001.jpg


I was looking at RCAF grey/silver w yellow but that's asking for trouble with our nice Nova Scotia grey skies so opted for highly visible yellow RCAF scheme - besides my eyes are getting old


PS: Dave aka "the RC building machine" is doing great work fixing and finishing the old bird.
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Old 05-09-2016, 09:15 PM   #7
mwavesdave
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Re: Top Flite T-34

With the gear here now, and the cowl, I can really get going on it. Kevin Drayson has donated a sheet of fibreglass, so that will let me do the cockpit interior, and it will be way better, knock on wood, than the plastic kit, and way stronger. Leeann says she'll donate a couple of flight suit Barbie dolls if you need them!
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Old 05-09-2016, 09:29 PM   #8
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Re: Top Flite T-34

Great!

Kevin - tks for donation. Owe you a few beers if you come to our Fun Fly in July

Dave - please tell Leeann that I appreciate her generous offer but would not want to deprive her Cessna from a pilot and co-pilot. I'll dig around for a Gi Joe pilot I purchased a few years back.
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Old 05-09-2016, 10:41 PM   #9
CF105
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Re: Top Flite T-34

Glad to help out!

I stumbled onto the RCAF Mentors fairly recently, can't even recall what I was researching. Probably Wildcats (obsessed? Who, me?). I've had the idea to re-cover my E-Flite T-34 in the silver/yellow scheme once I'm tired of just patching the current scheme.
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Old 05-10-2016, 09:13 PM   #10
mwavesdave
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Re: Top Flite T-34

Think the RCAF scheme will look good. Always nice to do something that reminds us of our aviation heritage!
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