I decided for this build to start it’s own page. I was on the Face Book page for the Flying Aces and posed the question, “Who has a nice twin rubber powered scale kit?”
It didn’t take to long but a nice man named Keith Sterner turned up and said he was going back into the kit business after a long hiatus. He told me about Chris Starleaf’s Breda 88 an Italian ground attack twin engine plane from WWII. Once I had a look at the plane both the finished model and the flight video I was sold.
You can contact Keith for one of these fine kits by emailing him until he gets his website up and running at:
He has a PayPal account setup.
It took about a week and Keith send me the kit and it’s a honey. I can’t say enough good things about it.
I’m building the fuse right now but realized into the build that I need to build the wing before I can go any further as it will be needed to finish the rest of the planking and the wing saddles.
The kit includes everything but a few items of balsa you supply, as well as the covering and props. The laser cutting is great and the build style or method well thought out and very, extremely light.
Here’s some pictures of the build so far. They are pretty much self explanatory to anyone who has build a free flight stick and tissue model airplane.
A bit more progress today on the Breda 88. Started the wings and got one panel built. A bit tricky and I will use the suggested 1/16 sq. pegs to better support the ribs.
Next week I’ll get the other panel built and the wings connected before I can finish the fuse. It’s going very well.
I have managed to get the wing built so continuing wok on the fuse has started. I placed the wing saddles which can be tricky at first but once you start adding the parts it gets easy and the second saddles go easy. Now I can start laying in the rest of the stringers on the fuse. Once they are done I’ll start the cockpit area which is next.
This took about three hours to do and it’s really the first time I have laminated wood in this way. What I did (with the recommendations from Keith Sterner and George Bredehoft) was to take my 1/32 x 3/32 strips of balsa(I used a master airscrew balsa stripper to make them) and soak them in hot water for 20 minutes. After that I coated them with Titebond wood glue and put them together in a stack.
Using the kit supplied forms,( for the shapes of the vertical and horizontal stabilizers) which I waxed before hand with candle wax, I slowly, slowly wrapped them around the form. I would go in tiny increments so they would curve and not fold.
I used thin styrene strip plastic placed up against the laminates before I pinned them against the form to prevent indentations from the pins. Later, once dry, I will remove the pins and the plastic. Because the forms are waxed I can removed the laminates from the balsa forms. They are ready to use in build the tail feathers of this plane. Got all that?
I never would have if it wasn’t for the kind help from members of this extraordinary hobby.
Released the laminates from the forms. They released well using the recommended candle wax. For my first time this came out very well. I have since done the other horizontal stab and today I can move on to assembly of both stabs.
2-9-19 Breda 88…I screwed up!
So I tried to fit the wing to the fuse and in doing so realized my error. Don’t add the wing saddles to the fuse until you build the wing first. Then slip the wing in to the fuse and add the wing saddles to accommodate the wing, not the other way around.
I got it to fit but only after some rather expensive noises and cracks that I can easily fix.
Got the pivot wire hinge in for the DT on the tail. Soon I’ll do those nacelles. 😉
After a bit of fiddling and some adjustment and I was able to remove the wing saddles. They did break so I made new parts it was easy. then carefully I slipped the wing into the fuse and re-built the new saddles and stringer structure back around the wing.
It was later successfully removed without a problem of snag. I have since moved on to rebuilding the horizontal stabs and the vertical stabs which are now completed.
I have just figured out how the nacelles assemble. It took a bit of study with the plans and they look pretty easy I didn’t get far by the time my day had ended but they should finish up quickly next week.
So I got the nacelles and one of the cowls nearly finished on the Breda 88 from Keith Sterner.
The emphasis on this Chris Starleaf design is lightweight. Thus it’s very delicate and the nacelles can be a challenge. I built on half of the left nacelle and added the stringers. Everything was pinned down to the building board. To my surprise when I lifted the finished piece off the building board it distorted from the spring tension in the stringers being curved over the bulkheads.
All the wood is balsa and very light so the cross sections didn’t offer much resistance to this tension. So I removed all the stringers and the section went flat or level again. I decided to add the adjoining match bulkheads to the opposite side without and stringers. I laid upside down in the building board, pinned everything down and then moving right to left again sequentially added the stringers while keep a close eye on the cross section profile bulkhead to make sure it remained straight and making adjustments accordingly.
It worked; I have a pretty straight and true nacelle. I thought about replacing the cross section with a light ply one but was concerned about the weight and knew there was a good reason for it being balsa. This plane at its size can get heavy quick adding mods to beef it up.
I had time in the day for one of the cowls and they were a breeze. They are quick to build but if you build this model take your time and be patient with the nacelles.
Tomorrow I’ll do the other cowl and the balsa work that still needs to be ad to the front of the cowl and sand them rounded. I’ll add the nose block and machine guns with aluminum tubing as recommended.
Soon it will be covering time and paint. Loving this build.
3-30-19 Covering has started
The fuselage was and interesting challenge since the models I have covered in the past were very flat sided and little contour. This model has loads of curves and contours. Covering with tissue isn’t an easy task and it has been suggested by many that I do so using slice of tissue between three stringers length wise to avoid wrinkles and folds.
I was then shown a video of a man covering wet with tissue and stretching with on piece of tissue at a time both sides of the entire fuselage. I thought I might give this a try with Silkspan and to my surprise I got very favorable results. Not perfect but very good.
Basically you use your glue stick on the edges, pre-wet the tissue and slowly stretch it around the curves and using a hairdryer tighten it up, wet and pull again.
I have since covered everything but the nacelles and doped the wings and fuse.
4-5-19 More progress
Got the nacelles covered although I plan to go back over some of the areas that have some sag. Covering them in one section as was done with the fuselage was more difficult. I have since added the wing filets. I ended up covering the bond paper with blue painters tape and sealed it with thin CA. Once painted it should look nice. Painting is next!
I finally got some paint on here and since these pictures the spinners and some markings I’ll post tonight. In the end the wing filets look great. I was worried about them and I haven’t even put on panel lines and more weathering yet. 😉
More painting and markings slowly but surely as I work on the scratch built space station from 2001: a space odyssey for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art which I have been working on 7 days a week.
Update 4-23-19 Machine guns!
I had a little time today and adjusted the canopy and made that machine gun. From building my scratch built original series 66 inch long Enterprise I had a lot of photo etched brass left over and extras. It occured to me the inner coolers grids were perfect for making the heat sinks around the barrels.
Next up I have to make a paper interior that I’ll make in Illustrator and it will be printed off and folded. Should be fun.
So finally I’m back to the Breda. I worked on the DT setup today. A little different then setting up and Wanderer. Both tails are separate one a wire and rotate. So I added a plywood control horn the rubber band hook on to from the aluminium posts that pull them up. The DT once finished pulls them to level until it releases.
Should finish that tomorrow and then it’s time to make motors for her. I’m also going to sculpt some lightweight pilot-gunner figures, oh and add those nose machine guns.
5/18/19 DT setup installed
I setup the DT today and it works great!
I recovered the bottoms of the nacelles. Covering with one piece of tissue per side worked well on the fuse but not so well on the nacelles. All better now.
I added the nose canons, carburetor intakes and the engine cylinders. What’s left? Pilots, attaching the canopy, and making some motors.
I am almost done. The clutches for right and left hand turning props are adjusted and functional. Thanks to George Bredhoft for making them for me. Did some more painting and painted gray the bottom of the nacelles I recovered. Still need the pilot and gunner and to make the motors. I may do some more panel lines later on but for now it’s done. I need to glide test and trim first.
Last picture shows all three builds ready to test fly.