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


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Tonight I was going to begin applying decals, but couldn't come up with the correct model number, N2S-1 or the Bureau Number I wanted for the fin and rudder. So, I pulled out the computer and Silhouette Cameo and cut some paint masks.  One the real airplane, they are only 3" in height...that equates to 3/32" (0.09375") or 2.381mm if I've done my math correctly.   To date, I'd successfully cut 1/4" letter masks for the U.S.NAVY fuselage markings.  I had to play with the cutter finally setting on a force of 3, speed of 1 and passes 2 which worked well.   Slow and steady wins the race if you take a second pass.  The second pass really turned out to be the key.  A blade pressure force of 2 wasn't cutting through completely.  And a speed of two would displace the centers of letters/number such a 0, 4, 9, etc.  When I found the right combination, I cut several sets of masks...it was a good move too.  I parts of all but one set.  I also cheated and bumped the letter height up to 0.100 vs 0.09375"....so, my size is off by .00625".  My eyes aren't calibrated sufficiently to notice the difference, but wanted to be honest that I cheated a tiny bit.


The black dots on the transfer sheet (frisket) are alignment marks because the lines tend to disappear until in contact with the model.  Without them, I couldn't accurately align the mask. 

Below are the results.  Three out of four ain't too bad...both sides of the rudder turned out okay.  Once side of the fin was good.  The other side peeled off with the mask, despite cleaning the area well and dusting on the black in very light dry coats.  I'll get to cut a couple more sets of Bureau Number 3197, which was the 52 N2S-1 purchased by the US Nave in 1940.  This build is to represent that plane as it left the factory and began its career teaching Naval Aviators.  From 1946-1959, it earned its keep as my dad's cropduster.  Today, it is restored as an Army PT-17 and living in retirement in Iowa.  A future build  for me will be a conversion to a cropduster version of it.






Edited by JimRice
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Applied most the decals tonight.  Still have a couple of dope code stencils on elevators, the data block and prop logos yet to do.  Elevator and rudder stuck on with blu-tack at the moment until I get the tail flyiing wires installed.  Still need to touch up tires before gluing in place.  Engine assembly not yet glued either.  No tailwheel, gas cap, venturi tube, javelin struts and a few other minor detail parts. I also haven't clear-coated it with Future.  Still a few more hours of finish work before I can call it done, but expect it will soon join my Roden PT-17 in the display case...and better pictures and more shots when done.






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I cannot call it done, but I'm darned close.  Still have to add pitot tube...which I just painted tonight so it was still too tacky to handle.  Same with the javelin struts between the wires...though I did set them in place gently for one last photo.  Also need to add the prop decals and maybe a couple of small touch-ups tomorrow.  I dragged out the Roden and shot some side-by-side pictures for comparison.  I enjoyed both builds, but the ICM went much easier and faster.  I do still have more copies of both which I will build in the not too distant future.


I think I'm going to do a couple of quick fun small (1/48) just as a break from five biplanes in the last year.  Then I will have to attack my first cropduster conversion wihch will be my dad's old stock engine plane.  I also have some after market stuff for extra detailing on that one.  I still have plans for an all silver PT-17 or N2S-3 and at least one PT-13/N2S-2/4 (Lycoming engine with front exhaust) too.  Then there is the big 450 Pratt & Whitney cropduster version and eventually an airshow version...Bill Adams or Walt Pierce, but those are down the road a piece.  As I noted on previous posts, I'm a Stearman junkie and my need rehab before it is all said and done.


Here are the (almost) complete photos.  My 1940 Boeing, Stearman Aircraft Division N2S-1, Bureau Number 3197, the 52nd N2S-1 built for the Navy as I believe it would have appeared from the factory, prior to assignment to an unit and application of "buzz number" for that assignment.  I like the clean look as it is how we restored our first Stearman in 1978, in last photo at bottom.
































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8 minutes ago, BradG said:

Very nice mate. If you plan to take a few final completed pics I can wait to add those to the gallery.


Thanks. I will get you a few of the true completion for the gallery in a few days.

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