On the bench.

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The next project is never far away! Keep up with developments in the Nuviation workshop as they unfold.

I am very late starting this project – six months behind schedule before I even opened a glue bottle, but the next model is now underway. This is a BFW M23c – a golden age racer from Germany, designed by Willy Messerschmitt and in many ways the forerunner of the Me109. My model will be to approximately 1/5th scale, giving a wingspan of 78″ and a total length around 46″. The wing will be built in two halves so the disassembled model should fit easily into even a small car.

A quick search on Google revealed this excellent 3-view by Vincent Crockett.

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Having drawn the plan, a set of laser cut parts was ordered and these arrived a couple of weeks ago.

The tailplane consists of a central core made of two laminations of 3mm poplar ply, around which a framework is constructed from 1/4 x 1/8″ balsa before applying a 1/16″ skin of balsa to one side. The central slot in the ply is then used to cut a matching slot in the balsa skin, additional blocks were then added ahead of the rear spar to accept the elevator hinges later.

Meanwhile, the rudder was made from 3/8 x 1/8″ balsa strip and 3/8″ sheet parts.

The tailplane is complete, sheeting added both sides and cut through to match the fin slot.

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Talking of the fin slot, the fin has been sheeted on both sides, leaving the plywood tab exposed to fit into that slot…

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Elevator construction follows the same pattern as the rudder.

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And of course, I just had to put all the bits together just to see how they looked…

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The fuselage sides were assembled – being very careful to make a left and a right side.

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Forward formers were glued in place and the fuselage sides were joined, keeping everything square in a building jig.

 

Rear formers and planking complete. If I was doing this again, I would use thinner strips but it worked out fine.

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Tail supports blocks added with a spacer piece to keep everything square. The tail skid was made from a strip of steel, bent to shape and drilled to accept a pair of screws. Piano wire would work just as well.

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The tail blocks have been planed and sanded to shape.

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Meanwhile, I have made up the battery hatch skeleton and the skins for the hatch have been soaked in water for an hour before being fixed to a former and left to dry.

 

Moving on to the wings, the first step is to pin down the lower sheeting, lower spars and ribs. I designed in washout from the outset so the tails of the ribs nearest the wing tip are propped up on removable tabs. As long as the lower edge of the tabs are snug against the building board, the correct incidence angle for each rib is set automatically with no measuring required.

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