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  #1  
Old 05-20-2010, 06:25 PM
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FGMM Douglas Dauntless SBD

This one is going to be straight stock, with one or two small exceptions. I don't think the exceptions will be enough to disqualify it as a stock build though - Chip's directions often tell you to use toothpicks, or Cheerios or buttons etc as optional parts to improve the model.

I've had this kit printed out for at least a year, but never started it. It's on 110 lb stock, which is pretty heavy for 1/72 scale. This is an older, hand drawn design of Chip's from 1998, so it might provide some unexpected challenges.



I started my build with the fuselage. In the spirit of "stock", I used the glue tabs & overlapped paper assembly method. When I formed the front fuselage segment, I left the cockpit flap unattached (for now). It's obvious that it will need to be seriously trimmed to fit properly, plus it looks like I'll need it open for access to the center wing. The engine blank completes this section of the fuselage. Instead of attaching it via the sawtooth glue tabs, I turned it into a bulkhead by laminating it to 1mm card instead. I'll insert it from the open front before I attach the cowling.



Next came the aft fuselage section. I left all the glue tabs on, including those on the vertical stab, and overlapped the paper. This part was pretty tricky to form, but it turned out fine. After pre-shaping the piece as much as possible, I started gluing at the extreme rear underside of the tail. When that was dry and strong, I glued just the frontmost stabilizer tab, and let that dry. Then I glued the forward fuselage tab. After that came all the rest of the leading edge stabilizer tabs in one swell foop, and finally the trailing edge.



This is all I accomplished today. More to follow
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  #2  
Old 05-20-2010, 06:58 PM
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One of the great airplanes. So far, it looks terrific. I'll be watching closely in hopes of building this one myself and making use of all the things you learn in the process.

(The other) Don
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Old 05-20-2010, 07:06 PM
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This is a great plane...hero of Midway.
I look forward to seeing more of the build.
Thus far it looks very good.
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Old 05-20-2010, 07:19 PM
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Great plane and the kit is... well, I looked at this one but decided against it. You seem to be doing very well indeed with it, Don. That tail section in particular is a common "issue" area in this era of FG kits. Your coloring looks darker than the copy I have; did you print it darker, or are my eyes failing even worse than I thought??
Chris
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  #5  
Old 05-20-2010, 08:39 PM
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I appreciate your comments gents. Don, I'll try to uncover all the pot holes and pitfalls. So far: don't glue the cockpit tab until later in the build. The engine blank goes on the front of the fuselage section, not just behind the final cowl ring, as the directions say, the rear section of the fuselage is a bear. Score where the vertical stab meets the fuselage (but don't score that tab just forward of the tail - you have to roll that one). Chris, I completely understand your decision to bypass this one - I looked at if for a year before jumping in. I didn't do anything special when I printed it. It was one of the last things off my old Lexmark, which did tend to print dark.

I just joined the fuselage sections together. That was interesting. Pictures tomorrow.
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Old 05-21-2010, 09:16 AM
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To complete the fuselage assembly, the rear section is designed to slide over the front section. Just smoosh it on there as far as it will go. It seems like a weird construction method, but when I had it all together and compared it to a three way side view of the dauntless, it was pretty darn close. I am disappointed that the joint is so obvious. It's due to the thick 110 lb paper, made worse by the overlapping glue tabs which doubles the paper thickness. But, stock is stock, and this is the Fiddler's Green assembly method in these early kits. Can't be helped.



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I don't always build models, but when I do... I prefer paper. Keep your scissors sharp, my friends.
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Old 05-21-2010, 09:26 AM
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The fuselage looks excellent so far. I'm saving every word and every photo in my Paper Modelers Vade Mecum for future reference.
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Old 05-21-2010, 09:48 PM
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IMHO, Don, this is a very nice looking build. From the photos you can't see the joint thickness. Would you recommend using 65 lb stock instead of the 110? I really can't see how it could look any better.

Garland
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Old 05-22-2010, 05:51 AM
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This is looking good. I'm with Garland...great job hiding the joints.
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  #10  
Old 05-22-2010, 07:36 AM
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Thanks fellers. For someone who always uses internal glue tabs, these overlapping joints really stand out. I would recommend 65lb stock over 110 lb - especially in 1/72 scale as with this Dauntless. At the time I printed it, 110 lb was all I had on hand, and I was just burning up ink before I retired my old printer.

I've made progress in the build since my last post - the wings and cowl are now completed, but I doubt I'll be posting any pics until Monday - working over the weekend - long shifts.
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I don't always build models, but when I do... I prefer paper. Keep your scissors sharp, my friends.
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