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Best way to install horizontal stabilizers

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  • Member since
    November 2018
Best way to install horizontal stabilizers
Posted by twodb on Sunday, January 13, 2019 11:04 AM

Hi All!

I'm finishing up on my Revell 1/48 B-17G and am at the point of attaching the horizontal stabilizers. I've noticed that they have a pretty loose fit, as compared to the wings. Any tips on ways to attach them and to hold them in place so they have the correct dihedral? Type of glue? I've even thought of using Perfect Plastic Putty instead of (or mixed with) glue because of its thickness and ability to fill the inevitable gaps. Any thought are appreciated!!

  • Member since
    January 2013
Posted by BlackSheepTwoOneFour on Sunday, January 13, 2019 11:09 AM

Oy.... Perfect Plastic Putty is NOT glue. Glue with liquid glue, let dry. Fill in with PPP. Let dry. Wet sand with water. Simple as that.

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Sunday, January 13, 2019 11:10 AM

Hi,

 

I have never built that particular model so am unable to address it directly.

Getting that angle right though is a key to having the model look correct.

Glancing at drawings of G's online, for what they are worth, the stabs look to me to be pretty straight across.

Can you glue them with solvent and then go back with putty to correct any gaps?

 Modeling is an excuse to buy books.

 

  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Sonora Desert
Posted by stikpusher on Sunday, January 13, 2019 4:43 PM

Check the fit of the mating surfaces. Sand down the contact points to give a more solid fit. Check your progress repeatedly until you get it as good a possible. Then glue them in place.

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    May 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Sunday, January 13, 2019 5:17 PM

Somebody once taught me our eyes can work better than measuring and tools sometimes. I think horizontal stabs on model airplanes is one of those times.

Me, I apply glue to both of them, and sighting right down the nose and using the tail for perpendicular reference put the dihedral where it looks right and hold still for a minute. Done.

-Greg

  • Member since
    August 2005
  • From: Sydney, Australia
Posted by Phil_H on Sunday, January 13, 2019 5:33 PM

All of the above, plus, if the mounting tabs are a loose fit in the slots, shim with plasttic strip of the appropriate thickness and/or add support tabs to the inner structure.

  • Member since
    November 2018
Posted by twodb on Sunday, January 13, 2019 8:59 PM
Thanks for the replies! I figured the PPP solution was crazy-think. :) I have some Testors liquid cement in a bottle, but it seems way to thin to create a good bond. Likewise, thick CA doesn't seem to work well either. Surfaces are smooth and fit well, just kind of floppy. The idea of shims to tighten things up is a good one! I'm now leaning toward good old tube plastic cement to get a "welding" effect. Hold and then prop to correct angle (yes, pics do seem show them pretty much "flat" w/o dihedral).
  • Member since
    August 2014
  • From: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Posted by goldhammer on Sunday, January 13, 2019 10:26 PM

If you make about 3 applications of Testors or tamiya liquid glue, one after another on both mating surfaces, it will soften enough to push them tight and get a good bond.  Helps with gaps as well.  If you get a slight ridge of plastic squeeze out on the joint just sand flush

  • Member since
    August 2005
  • From: Sydney, Australia
Posted by Phil_H on Sunday, January 13, 2019 11:22 PM

goldhammer

If you make about 3 applications of Testors or tamiya liquid glue, one after another on both mating surfaces, it will soften enough to push them tight and get a good bond.  Helps with gaps as well.  If you get a slight ridge of plastic squeeze out on the joint just sand flush

 

 
Lightly press the parts together before applying the liquid cement.
Touch the brush to the joint and allow the cement to flow into the seam.
Wait a few seconds and press the parts together a little more firmly.
You should get that same raised ridge of melted plastic.
 
Applying thin liquid cement to separate parts and then pressing together is a roll of the dice. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.
  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Sonora Desert
Posted by stikpusher on Sunday, January 13, 2019 11:30 PM

Tube cement is less potent than liquid cements. The tube stuff is partial carrier medium, a resin of sorts, and once the glueing agent evaporates away, it leaves the resin behind. The carrier resin has very little bonding strength. I’ve had old models literally fall apart at the seams as the resin deteriorates with age, because the plastic was not welded together by the bonding agent in the glue.  While the liquid stuff is all of the actual bonding agent. After a time it evorates away as well, but leaves less residual mess. Some liquid cement brands are better and hotter than others. I have gotten away from Testors liquid cement and moved to other brands due to quality control problems with that stuff.

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    November 2018
Posted by twodb on Sunday, January 13, 2019 11:58 PM
Thanks for the chemistry lesson! That makes sense!! Recalling older models I had as a kid, that's exactly what seemed to happen. Since I already have a new bottle of the Testers, I'll try the wick method mentioned. I just wish my third arm and hand weren't in the shop! :)
  • Member since
    May 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Monday, January 14, 2019 9:10 AM

twodb
(yes, pics do seem show them pretty much "flat" w/o dihedral).

I agree with that, they usually are. I'm not sure why I mentioned dihedral in my post.

Dunce

-Greg

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Monday, January 14, 2019 9:16 AM

I often make sort of jigs for that job.  I weight down or tape down the fuseage so it fits level.  then I cut blocks of particle board or wood to sit under stabilizers so they fit level.  Then I apply glue and stickt them in place and wait for glue to dry.

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    March 2015
  • From: Close to Chicago
Posted by JohnnyK on Monday, January 14, 2019 9:51 AM

I built that model a while ago. I just took a look at it and I was amazed at how big the horizontal stabilizers are. I can see how it would be difficult keeping them horizontal until the glue cures. I agree 100% with Don regarding how to keep the stabilizers level. An option to using wood would be foam wedges.

Your comments and questions are always welcome.

  • Member since
    January 2019
Posted by Edwin on Monday, January 14, 2019 10:37 AM

Don Stauffer

I often make sort of jigs for that job.  I weight down or tape down the fuseage so it fits level.  then I cut blocks of particle board or wood to sit under stabilizers so they fit level.  Then I apply glue and stickt them in place and wait for glue to dry.

 

Or use Blu-tack. I‘ve tried sticking a blob of it at the fuselage just under the stabs, especially when fit is loose. Position stabs with Blu-tack as support, with the advantage that angle can be adjusted to your satisfaction. Then apply liquid cement at the seam. Carefully remove Blu-tack after cement has dried. If necessary, apply liquid cement at underside of seam of stab/fuselage joint. 

  • Member since
    November 2018
Posted by twodb on Monday, January 14, 2019 11:12 AM
Great suggestions, Don, Johnny and Edwin! The wings on this particular model fit very tight, with a tongue and groove type of arrangement that I wish the stabs would have also used (this would then be a non-problem). They have such a sure fit, I could almost leave them unglued to remain removable for transport if I wanted to, which I don't. :) I slipped them on and that allows for a very stabile platform. I think a combination of the blue tack and foam cut to the right height might be the answer...
  • Member since
    September 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Monday, January 14, 2019 12:17 PM

BlackSheepTwoOneFour

.... Perfect Plastic Putty is NOT glue. Glue with liquid glue, let dry. Fill in with PPP. Let dry. Wet sand with water. Simple as that.

Is there a problem wet-sanding with Perfect Plastic Putty, since it is water-soluable?  I thought people have reported elsewhere in the forum, that applying water, even after the putty had appeared to have cured, wound up liquefying the putty again.

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

 

 

  • Member since
    September 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Monday, January 14, 2019 12:18 PM

I'll use tape, by the way, to hold horizontal stabilizers in place while the adhesive sets up.

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

 

 

  • Member since
    August 2012
  • From: Parker City, IN.
Posted by Rambo on Monday, January 14, 2019 3:09 PM

the Baron

 

 
BlackSheepTwoOneFour

.... Perfect Plastic Putty is NOT glue. Glue with liquid glue, let dry. Fill in with PPP. Let dry. Wet sand with water. Simple as that.

 

 

Is there a problem wet-sanding with Perfect Plastic Putty, since it is water-soluable?  I thought people have reported elsewhere in the forum, that applying water, even after the putty had appeared to have cured, wound up liquefying the putty again.

 

as long as you don't flood it with water but enough to keep the paper moist.

Clint

  • Member since
    January 2013
Posted by BlackSheepTwoOneFour on Monday, January 14, 2019 4:51 PM

Rambo

 

 
the Baron

 

 
BlackSheepTwoOneFour

.... Perfect Plastic Putty is NOT glue. Glue with liquid glue, let dry. Fill in with PPP. Let dry. Wet sand with water. Simple as that.

 

 

Is there a problem wet-sanding with Perfect Plastic Putty, since it is water-soluable?  I thought people have reported elsewhere in the forum, that applying water, even after the putty had appeared to have cured, wound up liquefying the putty again.

 

 

 

as long as you don't flood it with water but enough to keep the paper moist.

 

 

Exactly. As long as you don’t saturate it, you’re fine. Sometimes I’ll use a sponge or small sanding blocks.

  • Member since
    November 2008
  • From: Central Florida
Posted by plasticjunkie on Monday, January 14, 2019 10:28 PM

This is how I do it and it works every time:

Set the fuselage down and it helps if the wings and mains and tail gears are on to get a straight and even alignment. Slide the stabs in place and hold them up with whatever will keep them at the correct angle, like small foam blocks that can be cut to size. I even use paint bottles specially the Humbrol tins. Use any object that will work. I have a small metal ruler that I use to measure to make sure both stabs are even to the workbench surface. Use some Tamiya thin glue and hit it several times so the join is flooded and let it cook for a few minutes. You can even try to carefully squeeze in the stabs and the melted plastic will in most cases take up the gap. Re check the angles again and let it cure overnight resting on the blocks.  

I like to use Plast I Weld with a Tiuch N Flow applicator for this but it takes a lot of practice to master the use of the Touc N Flow tool so for now go with the Tamiya thin glue in the green bottle.

 GIFMaker.org_jy_Ayj_O

 

 

Too many models to build, not enough time in a lifetime!!

  • Member since
    January 2014
Posted by Silver on Tuesday, January 22, 2019 11:54 AM

Lots of photos of aircraft ww2 on up rear tail flats or planes were never perfectly level.Do the best you can.I.P.M.S. Won’t get mad .

  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Sonora Desert
Posted by stikpusher on Tuesday, January 22, 2019 12:07 PM

Silver

Lots of photos of aircraft ww2 on up rear tail flats or planes were never perfectly level.Do the best you can.I.P.M.S. Won’t get mad .

 

No, they won’t get mad at all. But if you are entering the build into an IPMS contest, basic alignment being off will get a model eliminated from consideration as part of the basics. 

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Tuesday, January 22, 2019 12:14 PM

My father took me to see a JAL (Edit: CA) 747 that had suffered an uncontrolled rapid descent enroute to SFO.

The horizontal stabilizers were bent up at a very noticable angle beyond spec.

I'd certainly take issue with the assertion that they were "never perfectly level". Obviously the surfaces are usually tapered, but there are way too many different examples to examine. Example: Horsa glider.

And quite a few have anhedral.

 Modeling is an excuse to buy books.

 

  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Sonora Desert
Posted by stikpusher on Tuesday, January 22, 2019 12:53 PM

GMorrison

My father took me to see a JAL 747 that had suffered an uncontrolled rapid descent enroute to SFO.

The horizontal stabilizers were bent up at a very noticable angle beyond spec.

I'd certainly take issue with the assertion that they were "never perfectly level". Obviously the surfaces are usually tapered, but there are way too many different examples to examine. Example: Horsa glider.

And quite a few have anhedral.

 

 

the B-17, which this original question is about, has a pretty squared off alignment of the vertical to horizontal tailplanes.

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    April 2009
  • From: Longmont, Colorado
Posted by Cadet Chuck on Tuesday, January 22, 2019 3:18 PM

I'm with Greg.  Just keep it simple and eye-ball it.  You have to hold them by hand for a few minutes while the bond sets up, and adjust them as needed during this time.  

Gimme a pigfoot, and a bottle of beer...

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Tuesday, January 22, 2019 3:20 PM

This becomes more of a challenge with vac form models. There it usually helps to make a spar that goes all the way through, and has the right dihedral/ alignment.

After plunging 30,000 feet, have a 62 deg. nose down pitch and 90 deg.roll, these idiots called LAX to report conditions normal. Only then did they see that some of the landing gear were dangling under the plane and significant parts of the hydraulics were drained.

 Modeling is an excuse to buy books.

 

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