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My Wildman 3X Andromeda Carbon Fiber

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Wally Ferrer

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I had some fiberglass 18mm engine blocks that Steve from Mach 1 was kind enough to send me, but I had already used cardboard blocks in my Trivecta 318 by the time I got them. So I will re-purpose them for the circle surface details on the sail fins- I'm thinking I'll just fill them with 15 minute epoxy, but not ready for that quite yet...

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Wally Ferrer

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And as promised, the fillets begin, again using Rocketpoxy with a few drops of black dye... I used a fondant tool to smooth them out, and clean up as the tape comes off...

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Wally Ferrer

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Thanks, a lot of it is just awkward. The experience thus far has been well worth it, between my first time with carbon fiber ever and my first time using fin pockets ever, I feel like I'm learning something. I have also benefited from Les' Agglomeration of Andromedas build thread helping me avoid some potential pitfalls...
 

Wally Ferrer

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I didn't get a shot of the pod tube in the last set. Also, I had some tape backing the first set due to a largish gap at the rings end of the sail fins. I learned that carbon fiber in this state sands relatively easily. Second set of fillets on...

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Wally Ferrer

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I take advantage of the masking tape. Once the epoxy gets thick, I smooth it with the fondant tool, I discovered I can be fairly aggressive with it removing the excess between the rings before I take the tape off. I use a small screwdriver to clean up the corners, all in all not too bad. Extra work for sure though... ;)
 

les

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Looks familiar....
Masking and doing the fillets around the rings was fun interesting
 

Wally Ferrer

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I am definitely leaning that way. It might be more work to not have done more surface finishing before assembly if I wanted a real smooth surface, but any texture that remains adds to the attraction in my current state of mind...
 

Nytrunner

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I am definitely leaning that way. It might be more work to not have done more surface finishing before assembly if I wanted a real smooth surface, but any texture that remains adds to the attraction in my current state of mind...
A thin layer of laminating epoxy helps the surfacing. Thats how Jim Jarvis finishes his carbon fins
 

Wally Ferrer

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Yes, I'm considering doing that (finishing epoxy), also considering doing just a clear coat on it for the texture and pattern. Lastly would be to just paint it black, letting the texture show through if it will. Decisions, decisions

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Tim51

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Looking very impressive. If you are intending to paint the airframe, you could use the old modeller's trick of masking off and using different 2 or 3 brands/ variations of the same colour to give the effect of separate panels/sections etc. Just a thought.
 

Wally Ferrer

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Thanks for the tip- I have been concerned about the surface details disappearing in all the black- that would certainly help prevent that... more to think about...
 

Tim51

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I have been concerned about the surface details disappearing in all the black
Exactly. I'd suggest a patchwork of matt charcoal greys and satin 'almost' blacks (like the heat tiles looked after the shuttles had been in service a while). Visible varations in tone will serve to emphasise the unusual shape rather than, as you say, swallow it all up in a single pure gloss jet tone.
 

Wally Ferrer

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Started adding the surface details, using .125" X .312" polystyrene strips for the pods. I used thick CA glue for this after roughing up the surfaces a bit...


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Wally Ferrer

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I used the fiberglass engine blocks for the round details, using thick CA to attach them, then filled them with 15 minute epoxy. I also attached the fiberglass rectangles with the same...

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Tim51

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Looking great - your photos give the structure a real 'architectural' feel. Have you made a decision on the maiden flight motor yet?
 

Wally Ferrer

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Not yet, I really need a final weight before I can choose one, but I think it will be an I motor that will get it to around 1000 feet for the first flight...
 

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This build is in no way my cup-o-tea but still is really interesting nonetheless. I like your attention to detail.
 

Wally Ferrer

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Using my dwindling tubes of JB Weld for the motor retainer, I began to wonder... Were there several retainer failures which led folks to start using JB Weld instead of their regular epoxy, or is it just because it handles a higher temperature? In the short duration of most high power motors, is this bond always, sometimes or never at risk of failure due to heat? I imagine this topic has been covered in TRF somewhere, might have to run a search for it. For myself, it seemed everyone just did it, so I did too- it might even be recommended by Aeropack, I haven't read their instructions in what seems like ages now- and I tossed the ones for this retainer a couple of weeks ago at least...

Regardless, motor retainer is on...

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mbeels

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For myself, it seemed everyone just did it, so I did too-
Me too. Very clean work. To me, JB weld doesn't seem to be as easy to work with as regular epoxy, but you got a really nice clean result.
 
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