Sunday, March 24, 2019

Custom SLV Build #10044, Part 9, White Undercoat & Sanding

TIP: I'll usually paint a model with the nose cone slightly pulled out, maybe 1/16". This gets a bit of paint inside the shoulder. When the model is on the launcher sometimes the nose cone isn't fully seated in the tube. If you take a picture before the flight you won't see the unpainted shoulder. In this kit, the nose cone is black plastic.

Here's the model after the first white undercoat has dried. I've done some light sanding on the surfaces, smoothing out any glue blobs. Look close at the launch lug fillet. I did have to sand down through the paint to smooth it out.

The body tubes joint wasn't smooth. After sanding I could see this would require another white coat, sanding again and then a final coat of white.

The shroud joints also needed more sanding. The paint does act like a final filler after the sanded CWF and filler/primer coats.

Here's both of the shroud adapters after the last heavier coats. The final finish coat should be applied slower and thicker, but not heavy enough to cause runs.

Interesting thing about this Custom kit, the sticker decor does help cover up any flaws in the shrouds.

There is a little distortion in the pictures, the shrouds are actually on straight.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Custom SLV Build #10044, Part 8, Fin & Launch Lug Gluing

The instructions say to glue on the dowels centered over the tube joint. They are painted black afterwards with a small brush.
The dowels would be hard to paint black after gluing in place.

I set them down on a strip of masking tape and hit them with a coat of filler/primer. The backs won't get any paint so they can be glued to the tube later.
After sanding the dowels were stuck down again and sprayed gloss black.

The six small fins were glued onto the lower BT-60, even with the end of the tube.

After three were glued on, the remaining three fins were glued between those.

I probably should have scraped off the launch lug locations before the fins were glued on. I was able to scrape the filler/primer for a glue line but had to be careful between the fins.

The builder has to assemble the 12" parachute.
The tape disks and shroud lines are adhered the old school way, a simple loop of the shroud line and a tape disk.

I wanted a stronger attachment. The disk was pressed in place, a hole punched and the shroud line tied on.

Custom SLV Build #10044, Part 7, Dowel Trim

Two dowels are provided for trim. Short lengths go over the joint between the two body tubes.

Sand the dowels smooth with 400 grit before cutting them to length.

Both dowels are cut to 1 1/2" lengths, four lengths from each 6" dowel.
GOTCHA: I checked the length and found the dowels were just short of the 6" length needed. I wanted all eight dowels to be the same length so I cut them all a little short at 1 7/16" long.

TIP: It's easy to roll a knife blade over a dowel to cut it. It's also very easy for that cut line to travel.
Go slow - Roll forward a half turn around the dowel then roll back to your starting pint. Roll back a half turn and joint the cuts.
Make sure the blade is perpendicular to the dowel and take it slow until the cut line is established.

Before filler/primer is sprayed, set all the dowels on a straight edge to be sure they are all the same length.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Custom SLV Build #10044, Part 6, Upper Shroud & Tube Gluing

On the left I'm rolling off the inside burrs so the ring will slide over the BT-20 a little easier.

On the right are both 20/50 rings stacked and glued even with the top of the second upper BT-20 tube. 
The instructions say to apply a ring of glue 3/4" from the bottom of the lower ring. A dry fit showed the glue line should go a little below that. Dry fit the shroud and trace the low edge with a pencil to find the line.
Note there is very little glue where the shroud edges will make contact.

TIP: Before gluing any two tubes together with a coupler, sand the ends flat and do a dry fit. You might be surprised how many kit tubes are not cleanly cut.

After the tubes were joined the assembly got a shot of filler primer and fine sanding. There were some high areas especially around the seam joints.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Custom SLV Build #10044, Part 5, Lower Shroud Assembly

Looking ahead in the instructions -
The two remaining 20/60 rings are glued together. These will support the base of the card stock shroud.
TIP: Plan ahead - Be sure you have a good fit over the BT-20 tube before gluing the rings inside the shroud base. You wouldn't want to have any problems trying to force a tight fitting ring over the BT-20 with the flexible shroud on top.

The ring is lightly pressed in place with no glue. Try to get it evenly spaced around the edge.

TIP: Apply a LIGHT glue fillet around the edge, applied with a Q-tip. You won't need much glue, too much glue could soften and deform the shroud edge.
TIP: Don't just blindly glue the card stock adapter in place. Slide it down and check the fit. Rotate the shroud around the tubes until you find the best fit at the joint. Mark the best fit with pencil on both parts (see left). At the top, draw a pencil line around the top of the shroud. This is your glue line for the top joint.

Apply a small bead of glue on the top of the BT-60 and a hair below the pencil line.
DON'T USE MUCH GLUE! You wont need it.

Slide the shroud down the tube from the top, turn the shroud and line up the pencil "best fit" lines.

TIP: While the glue is still wet, "mold" the wet soft edges with a Sharpie barrel or smooth, clean dowel.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Custom SLV Build #10044, Part 4, Shrouds - Oops!

After trying to form one of the larger lower shrouds I found a problem.

GOTCHA: Look at the ruler next to the shroud sides. One side is 1/32" wider than the other! You couldn't get a good fit on the BT-60 side of the adapter.

Here's what I mean - 
The wide end of the shroud is uneven.

TIP: Always scan and print up extra shrouds. You never know when you might need extras. I wish every kit included more than one!

Here's my quick-fix -

I cut the arc a little wider on the outside. It's worth a try!

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Custom SLV Build #10044, Part 3, Engine Mount Placement

Here's how the instructions say to lay in glue beads in the 3" BT-60 tube. When assembled, the top and bottom rings are to be flush with the ends of the body tube. The instructions imply a lot of glue, on all parts.
I cut the replacement BT-60 tube at 3 1/16" so I could have an overhang and a fillet ring at the bottom.

The top rings will be flush with the tube edge.
A ring of glue was applied around the inside top after the bottom rings were slid in - otherwise most of the glue would be slid around throughout the inside of the tube.
On the left is the top ring, flush with the edge of the BT-60 tube.

On the right is the back end. You can see the slight body tube lip extending beyond the ring face. This allows me to apply a glue fillet in that lip edge.