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Friday, February 24, 2012

How not to make a canopy...

I blogged last week about losing the canopy of my Sbach 342 in flight. I also wrote about how I was not optimistic about getting a replacement from Hobby King (still waiting as I write this). So, I made one. Despite my having absolutely no idea, it came out alright, and more importantly, I learned a few things so version 2 will be even better!

I made a paper mock-up of the base.

Transferred it to file folder cardboard.

I then cut out a styrofoam copy, and sanded it to shape.

Took a little work getting the angle. I have better ideas but at the time, this was my crappy method.

And then I completely ruined it when I found out Bondo melts styrofoam... 

I peeled off the Bondo and tried to save it with Hobbico filler. Didn't work either.

So, I made a wood frame. Got the angle right this time.

Covered it with sheet balse, trimmed it and sanded it.

Used the filler to, well, fill the rough spots.

Sanded it smooth.

Sanded out some spots to lighten it.

Then primed it.

Painted it with black gloss lacquer, several coats.

Applied Monokote points in red and white. Bolted the canopy on, taken from salvage of the Eflite PulseXT. I had to work it on, and found that window glue, nor CA worked well, and made a mess as the canopy didn't fit perfectly. I used felt to line the edge of the canopy to help it fit. 

Its hard to tell, but one of my failures was getting the back of the new wood canopy to segue into the back of the fuse. There's a large gap and the canopy comes out high. But it works! 

I plan to build another one using the lessons I've learned, and I think it will be perfect!

By the way, I ordered a canopy for a 1250cm Sbach sight unseen from Nitroplanes hoping it would be a complete one like the original. Its not... its a ginormous piece of clear plastic. It covers the whole plane...

1 comment :

  1. UPDATE: Still getting ignored by Hobby King after their initial repsonse that theynwould not help as they just don't supply parts.... I would suggest stating away from ordering aircraft from Hobby King until they rectify this problem of customer support for aircraft. With all the planes they sell surely they can open one or two for parts.