Tail Feathers Done (Mostly)

After three short months I have finally finished the tail feathers – well mostly finished anyway. I still need to add the hinges and round the leading edges of the elevator halves and the rudder. To give a more scale-like look, I decided to cut the elevator and rudder tips with curve instead of the straight cut called for in the plans. Below you can see where I marked the elevator for the curved cut near the tip. To generate the curve, I enlarged a section of a three-view drawing on a photocopier (by trial and error) until it matched the size of the stab-elevator assembly. This was transferred onto thin card stock to make a template.

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If you look closely, you will see two lines drawn onto the elevator tip. The curve of the “scale” line (bottom line) extends slightly past the solid balsa tip. I modified the curve slightly (the top line) to blend directly into the existing gap – close enough to scale for my purposes. The curves were carefully cut with a jewelers saw. The left tip came out perfect, but unfortunately, the right tip ended up a bit rough. To fix this, I carved the trailing edge of the elevator back slightly and laminated on a piece of scrap 1/16th sheet balsa. Once sanded and blended in, the curve matched up with the elevator perfectly.

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The same techniques were used to complete the curve on the fin-rudder assembly.

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