Saturday, January 7, 2017

Estes Solar Warrior (#3225) Build, Part 5, Fin Gluing

I'm starting something new today.
If I find a mistake or real concern in kit instructions, I'll start the paragraph with a "GOTCHA".
Hopefully this will prevent a possible build error for someone assembling a kit along with the blog.

This picture was taken before the fins were removed from the sheet. The flat surface was very rough. Not a big problem, this will all be filled with CWF and primer/filler.

GOTCHA: The instruction illustrations are wrong here.
The drawing makes the "I" fin piece look like it is flipped. The leading edge is straighter than shown (not swept back) in the inset picture. Always double check the fin grain to be sure it is running parallel with the leading edge.

The "I" piece orientation is pretty obvious when you dry fit the "J" piece to the front.

The "J" piece needed some sanding with a block to get a better fit before gluing.

You don't want to round the leading edge of the "I" piece before gluing them together.
GOTCHA: The instructions lead you to round the leading edge of the fin pieces before gluing together. If you rounded the leading edge of the "I" piece before gluing the "J" piece on you would be gluing the flat base of "J" to a rounded edge!

I round the just smaller "J" piece and glue it to the still square larger "I" fin.
After the glue dries you can round the leading edge of the larger fin piece feathering in the inside corner.


  1. When you glue the strakes to the main fins, do you lay it on a flat surface and use a straight edge and wax paper or glass? I remember you using a glass or plastic sheet in a previous build.

    1. Hi BAR,
      Somebody gave me a plexiglass cutting board. One side is smooth, the other side has a pebbled surface. Waxed paper is taped to my counter top. The two fin pieces are glued together using a straight edge. I can then set the smooth side of the plexiglass over them for weight. With the smooth counter top and glass weight on top I can usually get a good match.