Build your first flying scale Jet - Chapter 6 - Covering the wings

Using the plan as a guide, a piece of tissue to fit the top of the wing is cut slightly oversize

Position the piece of tissue at the wing root and hold in place while brushing dope thinners through the tissue.

Once it has stuck to the root rib, brush thinners along the leading and trailing edges and smooth the tissue out with your thumbs, spreading outwards to remove any folds or creases.

Add more thinners to the leading and trailing edges as necessary and work your way towards the tips.

Be especially careful at the tips, you need to apply enough tension to get the tissue to sit down snugly on the tip rib

Before flooding thinners through the tissue at the tip block, the tissue was dampened with water so it would conform to the curve. The tissue is worked over the tip block and smoothed down by hand.

When dry, the leading edge and root rib were trimmed with a scalpel blade, and the trailing edge with a sanding block. The blade in the picture was not as close to my other hand as it looks, by the way, so my fingers were not in any danger!

The process is repeated for the underside of the wing - this is a bit easier as it is flat.

Both wings now covered and ready for watershrinking.

OK, I know I really should be using an old spray bottle to wet the tissue, but sometimes it's just simpler to take a brush over to the kitchen tap and do this. Wipe off any obvious large drips before the next stage. The fuselage tissue was shrunk in the same way (though you don't have to pin that down while it dries)

Here we are back at the tried and tested high tech "spice jar" method for holding wings flat while the tissue dries. To keep the wing away from the surface, the leading and trailing edges are sitting on strips of 1/8 balsa. You can see at the outer tip of the trailing edge I have inserted a 1/16" thick spacer to introduce a little washout into the wing. The same packing was put in for the other wing as well.

The final stage is to brush on a coat of 50/50 thinned non shrink dope to seal the tissue and provide a good base for the paint. With Esaki tissue, one thinned coat is all you need. The wings were returned to their spice jar jigs while the dope dried. If possible leave them overnight to fully set (if your wife doesn't need the jars).

The fin and tailplane parts are cut out of 1/16" sheet, and the tailplane halves glued together. Use some nice light wood for this. The leading and trailing edges are sharpened by sanding to give a more streamlined section. Whether to cover these with tissue or not is always a tricky one for me - sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. This time I decided not to, and just brushed on two coats of sanding sealer, sanding between coats. Some wood grain will probably still be visible after painting - tissue would cover this, but for the scheme I have in mind, the multi coloured areas should take the eye away from that.

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