Grumman TBM/TBF Avenger Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
building the mold and a fiber fuselage

I built the mold in 4 parts. This will make the removing of the fuselage much easier even if building it is much more work - quality counts even more than time saving!

The mold is almost finised. I broke all curbs and sanded them carefully. You can hurt yourself very much from small glass shivers hardened by the epoxid. After that I drew wholes into the mold for screwing it´s parts together when I´ll build the new fuselage.

Then the big moment came - getting the white whale out of it´s cocoon ....
Carefully I pulled of the first quarter of the mold. No damages - strike!
Beat by beat went the next part of the mold and soon I received my mold
from the mastermodel. I just had to clean it a little bit and then I prepared
it for building the first new fuselage.

First of all I waxed the mold carefully. Then I painted it with epoxid, thickened
by fine milled cotton flocks - it makes the epoxid keeping it´s place in the mold
and prevents it from flowing away. For this kind of work I use an ordinary brush.
Then I glued two layers of fiber glass mat into the epoxid.

A small layer of styrofoam was next and after that one more layer of fiber glass mat.
So I receive a thin fiber sandwich which is lightly and stable. On the right side
you can see two half molds waiting for connection.

But gluing it has to wait a little. First this border has to make way for the central tube
that reinforces the fuselage against the wings.

By surprise Lt. "Doc" Miller appeared to observe the development of his new
airplane and to compare the fine details to the 1/48 model. I think he was satisfied!
Two days later the first fuselage left the mold.

1785g or round about 63 oz is not bad for my first try.
With it´s new produced cowling it looks almost like a big bird.

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date 04/2010