Building 4 Star 60 Day 37: Covering, Fuel Tank and Rudder Hinged

Cockpit Painted

On Saturday I got to work on my plane again and made some more progress on covering and installation of the fuel tank.  One of the discussion Peter & I had in a previous session was what I’d like to do with the cockpit, use covering or paint it.  I decided to go with painting it as I felt under the heat of summer with no airflow under the canopy that covering would wrinkle and be a waste, so Peter stained the cockpit green, seen at the top.

I continued where I left off last session by completing the covering of the fin in white.  I was able to utilize the knowledge I learned from John in my last session about covering.  I was impressed with the result.  I didn’t quite get it right the first time so had to switch around the covering and start again (as the glue along the one edge was no longer good after pulling up the heated covering).  Throughout the process I had to make some incisions at the top and bottom to allow the covering to come around properly, which includes removing excess when I could.

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Building 4 Star 60 Day 36: Tail Covered

Top of stabilizer covered

Tuesday was an excellent covering session and nice to get in back to back days working on my plane.  Covering is definitely a time consuming task and the tail with all its intricacies took a lot of concentration and patience.  Throughout the process I learned how to do things better, namely so that I do not get the wrinkles when rounding corners causing a jagged/rough looking edge with wrinkles in the fabric.

I started with covering the bottom of the stabilizer in orange and the top yellow to match the colour scheme of the wing (picture below and above, respectively).  Measuring the surface at its widest point and longest point to cut a piece at those dimensions plus three inches to have play and room to grab.  For each piece the process I went through was (see bottom of article for better approach):

  • Woodpecker the surface
  • Line the piece up at the fuselage
  • Tack it down starting at the centre and working my way out
  • Start up by the fuselage and apply heat from trailing edge to leading edge (width of iron)
  • Repeat moving down the stabilizer
  • Ensure all edges are fully ironed down
  • Cut excess from trailing edge and tip
  • Fold leading edge (as have excess) around the entire edge, pull tight & iron it down
    • This is where the wrinkles really come in!
  • Trim excess from trailing edge
    • Doesn’t necessarily look pretty as the wrinkles cause the blade to catch preventing a clean line and instead you get a jagged rough line
  • Do your best to iron out all them wrinkles

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Building 4 Star 60 Day 35: Tail Covering Started

Fin-Stabilizer Transition Covered

Being Family Day in Ontario I got over for an afternoon building session with Peter.  I started off where I left off, the rudder.  I used the heat gun to shrink the covering over the ‘holes’ in the rudder and then using the markings on the fin figured out where the hinge marks were hiding under the covering that was over the leading edge.  I then used the back tip of an x-acto knife to open up the hinge slots, hard to see below 🙂

Rudder Hinge Slots Exposed
Rudder Hinge Slots Exposed

After that was finished up brought the fuselage up onto the workbench as I’m now on to covering the fuselage!  As you’ll notice from the pictures I am doing the fuselage and fin white.  Because you want your seems to be such that the covering is overlapping from front to back, prevents the air from getting under and peeling back the covering, we start at the table and work our way towards the nose of the aircraft.

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Building 4 Star 60 Day 34: Covering Rudder + Hole Made

Started Rudder Covering

It was great to get back working on my aircraft after a 16 day hiatus due to being away for birthday weekends amongst other things.  Though I wasn’t able to make it Peter did tinker a bit as he got the engine mounted, fuel tank set up and the throttle connections hooked up.  I forgot to take some pictures of that.

After checking things out and refreshing myself with the project I got to work with measuring out where a hole needed to be placed in the fuselage doubler that lines up with the high speed adjustment on the engine.  Once I determined where the hole needed to be I drilled a small hole first to ensure I wasn’t to far off and then used a bigger drill bit to open up the hole more.  Testing with the same type of wire that will eventually be attached in place the hole alignment sufficed for now.  This will allow us to find the hole after covering the fuselage and not have to mark up the fresh covering we put on to measure it out.  At some point once the wire is attached we’ll run the engine to make sure the hole is positioned well enough such that the wire can move freely within the hole with the engine vibrations.

High Speed Adjustment Hole Made
High Speed Adjustment Hole Made

John stopped by for a visit to watch me work, lol.  He seems to quite enjoy this; however, I do to as tend to pick up some tidbits along the way 🙂 .  We need to remember to create another hole for a wire to adjust the low speed.

The other task for the evening, which took the majority of the approximately 2 hrs I was there is covering the rudder, seen in the featured image above.  This started with covering the top and bottom edges followed by the trailing edge.  These pieces took quite a bit of time to get done, especially along the bottom where the tail wheel wire and mount (rubber piece) are.  To cover the remainder I used one solid piece that I sealed to the leading edge and then folded over to cover both sides of the rudder and ironed down all of the surfaces and will need to go back and finish up with the blow drier to tighten up the covering over the exposed holes in the rudder.

I probably could have just summed that up to be that covering the rudder in general due to its intricacies was awkward and required a fair bit of concentration and patience 🙂

Dirty Marbles: A Board & Card Game

I was introduced to the board & card game combo Dirty Marbles years ago by friends of the family.  Being a lover of board and card games I fell in love with the game almost instantly.  The game is played using a board similar to the one displayed at the end of this post and a regular deck of 52 playing cards.  Unfortunately I haven’t been able to play in years, though I still talk about the game, due to not having a board.  Thus, I thought it would be an interesting project to develop the game myself with the networking/multiplayer component.  Since this thought first occurred to me back in 2014 I now have different ideas for implementation, like perhaps as an iOS app, Android app and/or desktop application for greater flexibility in play, but also added complexity (mainly because I’m still learning iOS and thus only have a faint idea as to what I would need to do for notifications).

My initial thoughts on a starting point were as follows:

  • Console app first
  • Multiplayer, on a single machine
  • Prints:
    • ‘-‘ for empty slots
    • First letter of colour for player marbles,  followed by num so can choose the one to play???
  • View:
    • P to print board
    • H to print hand contents of human players
    • M to move, ask for card and marble num, move if valid and print board or error message otherwise

Of course that is but the tip of the iceberg and some key features I want to implement include:

  • Graphical User Interface
  • Multiplayer, network play
  • Save/Load Games
  • Difficulty levels (Artificial Intelligence)

Now I am thinking of still getting the logic down first but doing an implementation for iOS and/or a Windows C# application first.  When I will actually get to start this I do not know as I currently have other projects preceding this one.  I don’t expect that I will implement every idea but I wanted to put this one out there, finally as it’s been in draft since 2014, for if I’m ever lacking in projects or have an over abundance of free time. 🙂

Dirty Marbles Board
Dirty Marbles Board


If you are curious to check out my most active project right now, which isn’t in the development realm but hands on building, is building a Sig 4 Star 60 which you can check out.