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Best material for making fuselage master?


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I want to scratch build an aircraft fuselage shape to then use as a male pattern to vacuform over.

 

I am going to glue down a set profile plans to the material I end up using and then cut the profiles out to then put together with some stringers to get my rough fuselage shape.

 

Forgive my ignorance, but from a cost of materials and strength point of view, what material would be better suited for this task, thin balsa wood OR bass wood OR styrene?

 

What do you guys think?

 

Thanks in advance, Chuck.

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Thanks for the input.

 

I am going to make the basic form with bulk heads and stringers, then cover the exterior with masking tape. From there I pour resin from the inside to fill the voids between the bulk heads/stringers to the tape shell. Finally I remove the tape and sand and fill the shell until I am happy with the over all outline. Once I'm ahppy with the shape, I will use it for my vacform master. Does this kind of make sense?

 

Lot of work I know but I want to give it a try.

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Ha ha, yah I hear you!

 

For some reason for me trying to carve a shape is WAY harder. I guess I'm just not talented in that area. I didnt say it was the smartest way to do it, but I want to give it a try anyway.

 

Thanks for the feedback though, Chuck.

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Hi Chuck,

 

Pete's link to his build is very instructional and a great technique. It all depends upon what you are trying to make? There are several types of material and methods that can be employed as a means to your ends?

For the purpose of vacforming (or even 'crash', drape' or 'plunge' moulding by hand) a male plastic 'shell', a basic shaped piece of balsa wood will suffice - vacform is only really necessary if you are intending to form anything that has multiple curvature of a recessed nature.

 

If you could tell us what you are intending to scratch build, and which parts you are looking at for potential vacforming, we could probably advise you better? (there are many experienced members on this website who have as many techniques as years of experience using them, so someone should be able to advise you of a technique that will suit your style of building?).

 

HTH

 

Derek

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I have built several fuse molds for vac projects. The plan you've laid out is rife with problems. I know because it did it albeit without filling the fuse with resin. It was a complete failure. It would help to know what a/c your doing.

First pic shows stick built fuse that failed under vac pressure.

Second pic shows shaped balsa fuse laminated with.010 rod and sheet plastic to represent stringers and metal panels.296ca9b2324aeef81d92f2ee059de651.jpgb55fc3ed9612d6c2540507c8b5392459.jpg

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I have built several fuse molds for vac projects. The plan you've laid out is rife with problems. I know because it did it albeit without filling the fuse with resin. It was a complete failure. It would help to know what a/c your doing.

First pic shows stick built fuse that failed under vac pressure.

Second pic shows shaped balsa fuse laminated with.010 rod and sheet plastic to represent stringers and metal panels.296ca9b2324aeef81d92f2ee059de651.jpgb55fc3ed9612d6c2540507c8b5392459.jpg

 

 

That must have been your green YMF5 Radial?

 

MAN, that thing is SUPER sweet looking.............one of the best civi models Ive ever seen.

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