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Am I Too Late for Training Day Group Build :) ICM Stearman N2S-3 Build


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I had intended to build this ICM kit for the ""Training Day" Group Build.  Needless to say, I didn't.  I airbrushed a few parts in one short session and stopped.  Life got in the way.

So, now I'm going to knock it out for the "In the Navy" build, despite my being an Army retiree...

I am a bit of a Stearman junkie.  I've already built the Roden PT-17.  I have both Roden and ICM's PT-17/N2S-3 and PT-13/N2S-2 versions.  I also have two Silver Wing PT-13 kits.  I'm thinking one of the Silver wings will be next.  But I build a cropduster conversion of the Roden kit next.


The pictures represent two longish sessions.  Aside from engine, all major subassemblies are done.  Time to begin priming and painting...and determining paint scheme.  It will likely be a simple all yellow without stripes...like first Stearman I restored with my dad and in which I ever flew.




























Here is my Roden I built last year.



Edited by JimRice
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25 minutes ago, JimRice said:

So, now I'm going to knock it out for the "In the Navy" build, despite my being an Army retiree...


Do you want me to move it over to the Group Build, Jim?



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Primed and painted...my Iwata HP-Cwas acting up and spitting slightly.  No water in trap, filter in place and Mr Surfacer 1000 thinned to milk-like viscosity.  Ended up using the old Badger 175 Cresendo for yellow.  It does a good job throwing lots of paint, as evidenced by my filter.   Yellow was Model Master Chrome Yellow...a NOS/unopened bottle I bought no later than 2003 when I lived in San Antonio.  I applied two mist coats letting each dry to touch prior to shooting a heavier final coat.  I likely should have added a white base coat over the primer first, but opted not and just shot an extra coat.


The 18+ year old $2.49 priced paint worked flawlessly...right up until I dropped an aileron. :(   I'll have to clean it up and reshoot it.  Maybe I'll spray it silver and leave it so it looks like a replaced aileron from a student's mild ground loop...

Now on to assembling and painting engine and prop, landing gear, struts, etc.  Frankly, I'm amazed I'm to this point this quickly...this kit is going together quickly.  I'm also not adding much other than addition of homemade/PE seatbelts...then there's not that much to a Stearman in the first place...and most of it wouldn't be seen anyway.





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Latest update.  It is getting really close to putting it all together, though, each time I look at it, I find something needing done or touched up.

Tried something different on painting engine I'd never tried before.  The seven cylinder Continental is pretty wide open between cylinders so after painting entire engine black, I masked around cylinder bases and stuffed tissue between cylinders and painted the crankcase.  It isn't perfect in that it doesn't quite reach the actual cylinderbase flange, but I'm happy with it.  Results are much better than hand painting.

Of late, I am finding myself picking up an airbrush for many small parts rather than brush as I would have done in the past.  The gravity feed Iwata is so much easier to clean and change  colors than my old siphon type Badgers.   This is my fourth model using it and it has made a huge difference.  I am enjoying using it much more than the old Badger 175, which is still great for painting large areas.   I'm really getting my mojo back for building.








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First test fitting of major components.  Should start final assembly soon.  I have to clean up the cabane and N struts and applied final coat of yellow to them. I had painted them still on sprues.  You can see nubs I haven't cut/cleaned off yet, but needed the N struts to see how well the wings would line up. The cabane struts are laying in front, still on clipped sprues.  It looks like it will be significantly better than the Roden Stearman in getting it aligned and glued.   I'll likely get it in the biplane jig tomorrow evening.


This is always a critical point for me as correcting even minor errors become infinitely more difficult after putting it all together.  I probably way over think it and keep finding reasons not to...but running out of excuses.   Maybe I'll commit to it tomorrow night.  I'm flying a friend to our mutual hometown tomorrow so she can visit a friend coming in from out of state.  With a major bridge closed in Memphis, Tennessee, getting in and out has been taking hours...we will simply fly over. :)

For comparative purposes, here is the WIP thread from my Roden build...which details difficult assembly even with a large heavy adjustable jig.





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I committed to assembly today.  First I cleaned up all the cabane and N struts and repainted.  Figured starting major components assembly would give me something to do while struts dried.  Now I’m sitting here trying not to pick up the newly joined lower wings/fuselage.   I used brush-on Gorilla CA for interior wing joints and Tamiya Extra Thin for exterior.  I’m trying to give it ample time to set up…. 

Now I am trying to find something to do until I can add the tail feathers.   I did finish flying up the engine assembly.  











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