3-29-2016 Balsa Zero- Gas to Electric Conversion

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Neons
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3-29-2016 Balsa Zero- Gas to Electric Conversion

Post by Neons » Tue Mar 29, 2016 8:37 pm

I bought this plane maybe 8-9 years ago on eBay. It is a very well made balsa kit. I see numbers on the inner fuselage parts so I determined it was a kit. I saved it for years figuring some day I will fly well enough to actually fly this model. In the first pictures on my counter it is just the way I bought it. I think it is a worthy model for a little more update than the GWS Mitsubishi Zeros. I think I will open up the bottom wing later and install servo less retract landing gear anyways. The canopy is a blue solid color which I thought was a masking tape to protect it. I will leave it that way. It is slightly odd shaped. There are no wing fillets on the model. I will add those and it will look so much nicer. The cowling is a glass cowl with a strange air scoop. Not scale. So this will be another semi scale model. This plane was being built for a nitro motor as it had an open tank area and a throttle cable tube with a solid ply firewall. That area will be for Esc and the battery now.

First I measure carefully to cut the tank area rectangle slightly smaller than the balsa lining inside. After it was opened I filed and sanded the edges smooth. Then I proceeded to make a wood drawer style box to slide smoothly into the new cutout as seen in the picture. without cutouts for wires and cooling.

The next part was to make a copy of the firewall to mount the new electric motor. After it was fit smoothly and a nice fit to the cowling I had to determine how far off this firewall I needed the prop back plate to end up with maybe 1/4 inch clearance. This meant to make a plywood rectangle box shape about 1 inch wide to do the job. I installed blind nuts and drill air intake holes and an outlet fr the motor wires. After glue setup I sanded in a degree of down and right thrust. Then I glued the box to the firewall with the motor shaft centered.
The firewall got six air holes behind the box.

The battery drawer has 5 pieces of wood. The bottom has a minimal space for the Esc. I also made wire plug access holes. The open tray allows battery drop in and cooling. Now what I did next was line up the motor straight and against the stock firewall and trace the drawer outline so I could glue it in place. With that done It was on to the cowling with a dummy fire wall to prevent motor sliding out of its position and act as a forward stop.

The dummy fire wall was matched to the motor box rectangle in 4 pieces then spot glued together. Pushing the whole assembly back into place I centered the shaft and the cowl angles. Slipped off I glued the firewall stop into the cowling. This also makes it easy for me to get at he motor should I have too. Not shown yet is how I pinned the cowling to finalize the locking of the assembly when in flight. It will be a cotter pin through the cowl into the fuselage original firewall. I will post it soon.

Remember: Click 2 times on a photo to ZOOM.
Attachments
Old Balsa Zero (2).jpg
As purchased years ago unfinished
Old Balsa Zero (1).jpg
Old Balsa Zero (0).jpg
3-2016 Balsa Zero Battery Tray (0).jpg
Started making the battery tray, motor mount, and firewall
3-2016 Balsa Zero Battery Tray (2).jpg
Cut outs for access and air. Underside
3-2016 Balsa Zero Battery Tray (3).jpg
Glued up. Top load for battery.
3-2016 Balsa Zero Battery Tray (4).jpg
Cowl firewall position thrust stop and alignment.
3-2016 Balsa Zero Battery Tray (5).jpg
All into position with motor collett
3-2016 Balsa Zero Battery Tray (6).jpg
slid in place. Pinning to lock removal not shown yet. It will have a cotter pin in a brass sleeve.
Last edited by Neons on Thu Mar 31, 2016 7:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Bob Pacheco

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Neons
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Re: 3-30-2016 Balsa Zero- Cowling Battery Tray Lock Pins

Post by Neons » Wed Mar 30, 2016 5:49 pm

A very simple way to lock the cowl in place was with cotter pins made to look like a part of the plane. The bottom pin is embedded into a dummy chin oil cooler air scoop. There is a common pin that goes across through the air scoop and through the cotter pin loop. This prevents the cotter pin from pulling away from the dummy oil cooler. In the first photo the hole has a short brass 1/16 inch piece glued in place for the pin to go into. The pin goes in with a good push and it also takes a good pull to remove it. By bending the cotter pin and re-straightening it makes it warped and harder to push in the brass hole. No problem falling out.
Attachments
3-2016 Dummy Scoop pin (1).jpg
3-2016 Dummy Scoop pin (2).jpg
3-2016 Dummy Scoop pin (3).jpg
Bob Pacheco

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Neons
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3-31-2016 Balsa Zero- Balsa Wing Fillets

Post by Neons » Thu Mar 31, 2016 7:37 pm

Today was a short and fairly fast process of making wing fillets. Maybe 2 hours total time spread out. I have to spackle and sand them a few times to blend in. Make note that when you bend balsawood and some other soft woods you want to help it with a dampening of 1he outside of the bend. I use glass cleaner with ammonia and a piece of rag dampened and rub it into the wood. Slowly work the bend holding both sides while arcing the bend. Up close to the leading edge is a very small sharp curved bend. You can roll it with a dowel or some hard round shape. It will roll the wood into submission. Try fits as you go. Even though the wood id damp CA glue will hold. the bond. It acts almost like a kicker.


First I made card stock patterns to fit the top and bottom sheet covers. As you will see there are 4 parts and a couple riblets to kelp keep shape on the trailing edges. Once sanding the edge tapers I glued the top of the fillet to the fuselage on both sides. Next I cut out bottom side flats for the fillets. I carefully sand and fit by trial and error to get them snug. Then I glued them in the underside sheets on the fuselage edge. I did not glue the outside edge of the 4 fillets.

Placing the wing in place and tightening it up snug, I flipped it over. Holding the edge of the fillets flat against the wing I glued the outer edges of the fillets while I have some pressure on them until it dries. The plastic package tape protects from any dripping glue.. Unscrew the wing and remove I start sanding all the edges down to a nice taper. I blocked up the rear of the fillet and sanded to shape. The last I did was spackle it all up and set aside.A note on Light Weight Spackle filler. I used to use DAP Spackle. They changed the formula by adding Latex. It sucks now. I read the 3M Light Spackle is better. It sands to a dust which is so much better. I think it has to be bought at Loews. Home Depot only has the Latex blend now.

Next I have to look through my stock and find some retracts before I tear into the wing to mount a set and get the wires through. If I do not have a set I will have a delay to order a pair.
Attachments
3-31-2016 Balsa Zero -Wing Fillet (0).jpg
Time to spackle.
3-31-2016 Balsa Zero -Wing Fillet (1).jpg
3-31-2016 Balsa Zero -Wing Fillet (2).jpg
3-31-2016 Balsa Zero -Wing Fillet (3).jpg
3-31-2016 Balsa Zero -Wing Fillet (5).jpg
3-31-2016 Balsa Zero -Wing Fillet (6).jpg
Bob Pacheco

ccosta
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Re: 3-29-2016 Balsa Zero- Gas to Electric Conversion

Post by ccosta » Sat Apr 02, 2016 4:38 pm

Bob,
You are a great builder. I love the battery boxes you have made on several planes starting I believe with the pink cadet thing. Anyway this is the one thing I need you to teach me. lol I want to learn how to make battery boxes especially for nitro conversion planes of which I am sitting on about 5.
Tell me when your available and I will go to your house to learn.
Keep up the great restoration I know that Zero will be a hell of a flier.
Carlos

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Neons
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Re: 3-29-2016 Balsa Zero- Gas to Electric Conversion

Post by Neons » Sat Apr 02, 2016 4:59 pm

Carlos. I never have a total plan in my mind. I am basically a move a step or two and figure out to conquer and make the next move. After all, I build scratch and there are no plans for things I design at time. I adlib mostly. So thank you for your nice comments.That is a great praise. I would always be happy to do a one on one with you on a plane.

I have nothing on the boards right now as it is getting to spring. But I would be happy to bring the Zero over so you can get a closer look and maybe 1 of those 5 planes we could cut out the firewall and I would get you started in stages probably with some sketches of what to do in the next stage. Mainly you need a jigsaw and some 1/8"ply and 1/8" balsa to get started.

A note to visitors in the website. Take a look at my Gas to E conversion Piper Cub and the Proctor Nieuport 28 here in the electric forums to see 2 other battery box conversions for nitro planes.
Bob Pacheco

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Neons
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4-13-2016 Balsa Zero-Install Servoless Retracts

Post by Neons » Thu Apr 14, 2016 8:02 pm

At some point I finally found out this is a Pica kit. So as I saved this plane for a lot of years for a future conversion and I am finally doing something to it I got to the point where landing gear will get installed.These are small and pretty well the right strength and weight for this model
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/stor ... duct=43340

The wire landing gear struts are a bit short so I fabricated a longer pair. I got my knife and Dremel out and dove into the wing to make a landing gear cutout that would be snug. After fitting, I made a "Y" splitter and drilled a channel for the wires. I fitted a pair of mounting beams in beyond the cutouts next. Once glued in I fit the retracts in for a test and tried them out. Some minor adjustments to the struts and some 1/64" lite ply around the wheel wells and they were working. Pre-drill the screw holes and secure them in. Delightful set of retracts. These make the old separate servo retracts old style now and a PITA.
Attachments
4-14-2016 Installing Servoless Retracts (1).jpg
4-14-2016 Installing Servoless Retracts (2).jpg
4-14-2016 Installing Servoless Retracts (3).jpg
4-14-2016 Installing Servoless Retracts (4).jpg
4-14-2016 Installing Servoless Retracts (5).jpg
4-14-2016 Installing Servoless Retracts (6).jpg
Bob Pacheco

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Neons
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Re: 4-29-2016 Balsa Zero-Airbrush Shading & Decals

Post by Neons » Fri Apr 29, 2016 8:23 pm

The shading in the wing picture was purposely dark When over sprayed with the soft off white it settled it all in place to a less harsh panel lines.
4-28-2016 Wing Shading (00).jpg
Top wing pic full ink & shadow shading
Bottom wing is off white over spray to level

Always double Click for ZOOM

I also placed my home made inkjet hinomaru decals on the plane and the blue wing leader and carrier stripes on the plane. I still have many items to do. Yellow leading edge, rudder numbers, canopy airbrush shadow reflex, antenna, wheel wells green, cowl lines, overall semi gloss Poly-u spray, and receiver. This is where I am today.
4-29-2016 Decals Applied (2).jpg
Much softer shadowing.
4-29-2016 Decals Applied (3).jpg

Some wartime history of the pilot:
[/b][/color]
A6M2 Type 0 Model 21
Unit: 1st koku kantai, 2nd koku sentai
Serial: BII-102
Pilot - Lieutenant Kiokuma Okajima. Hiryu carrier. Pearl Harbor raid, On 7th December 1941. The first wave.

BII-101 was flown by a buntaicho - first wave. Lieutenant Kiokuma Okajima of carrier Hiryu, led his 6 fighters down to attack Ewa Field, through the rolling smoke, executing strafing attacks until ground fire holed the forward fuel tank of his wingman, Petty Officer 1st Class Kazuo Muranaka. When Okajima discovered the damage to Muranaka's plane, he decided that his men had pressed their luck far enough, and began to assemble his unit and shepherd them toward the rendezvous area some 10 miles west of Kaena Point.IJN Hiryu
Artist: © Sidnei Eduardo Maneta
Lt. Kiokuma Okajima-Zero Hiryu.jpg
Picture thanks to Wings Palette
http://wp.scn.ru/en/ww2/f/1039/65/6
Use Copy/Paste
Bob Pacheco

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Neons
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5-9-2016 Balsa Zero - Painting Finished

Post by Neons » Mon May 09, 2016 5:16 pm

So here I have the culmination of my refurbishing and converting this model. It was some tedious time consuming airbrushing involved. The canopy had to be masked 3 times to get the lighter shading done and the final gloss coat with semi gloss frames. The rest of the plane was sprayed with a coat of semi gloss clear poly- paint. It was kind of hard to get this plane closer to a scale look due to whom ever designed the model The canopy and cowling are so far away from scale.

They actually added more horz. frames in the canopy. Silly looking. I just painted them over to the fake glass color to hide them the best I could. But it was worth it to make a more pleasant model. All the home made decals came out well also. I still prefer a foam plane over the balsa model as it is just over half the weight. It really shows up in the performance and slower landings with a low stall rate. I am concerned about this plane on landings. I will call this model finished. Time to just do some flying and less building until next winter.

Remember 1 or 2 click to Zoom in.
Attachments
5-9-2016 Painting Finish (13).jpg
5-9-2016 Painting Finish (12).jpg
5-9-2016 Painting Finish (10).jpg
5-9-2016 Painting Finish (9).jpg
5-9-2016 Painting Finish (8).jpg
5-9-2016 Painting Finish (7).jpg
5-9-2016 Painting Finish (6).jpg
5-9-2016 Painting Finish (4).jpg
5-9-2016 Painting Finish (3).jpg
5-9-2016 Painting Finish (2).jpg
5-9-2016 Painting Finish (1).jpg
5-9-2016 Painting Finish (0).jpg
Bob Pacheco

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