Saturday, January 21, 2017

Estes Galactic Taxi #1914 Build Part 3, Fins

I didn't have any 3/32" balsa so I glued up some scraps to make a full sheet.
Two of these pieces were leftover sides from some Estes kit laser cut fin sheets.

After the glue dried the new flat sheet was sanded flat with a block.

The low "Ventral" fin grain surprised me. That extension on the lower left looked too easy to break off. I cut a separate piece with the grain going in a better direction.

Here's all the fins cut out.
Some strange shapes here.

The instruction drawings of the fins aren't accurately drawn.
Pay very close attention to the leading edges, they are the only edges that are rounded.
The fins are confusing to glue on correctly. It helps that some leading edges are rounded for forward positioning reference.


  1. "I cut a separate piece with the grain going in a better direction."

    Good idea. Curves on fins are particularly challenging because it leaves some balsa grain vulnerable to easily breaking off.

    Do I see some of that gorgeous vintage CPH balsa stock in the picture?

    1. Okay Lonnie,
      I'm not getting it - What is CPH balsa?
      The original kit had die-cut balsa so cutting out those fins wouldn't be a concern for the builder. Once glued on the body tube that curved trailing edge would be strong enough I guess. I think Estes may have been trying to save some balsa. The way the fins lay out on a 3" wide sheet may have dictated the weak trailing edge.

    2. Oh, gotcha! That top strip with the purple SIG logo was probably the giveaway! That old stash of balsa I bought from CP&H has dwindled down a bit.