Author Topic: Tips for Fitting Aircraft Tail Fins/Rudders  (Read 620 times)

Dave Winfield

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Tips for Fitting Aircraft Tail Fins/Rudders
« on: May 04, 2015, 01:19:00 PM »
On all my 1/33(1/32) scale Aircraft...Mustangs, Thunderbolts, Texans...
the Tail Fin/Rudder assemblies are pretty much the same design.
A two sided part (folds in the front center) to create the entire Tail Fin and Rudder assembly.
A single former is positioned inside the vertical Tail Fin to give it thickness and shape.
The former also helps mate up the end of the fuselage.

I have always handled these assemblies the same way, but recently I tried something new...
which worked really well for me.
So, I thought I would share the simple procedure.
This example is using a P47 kit, but the method will apply to other similar style kits.

1. Assemble the Tail part by cutting it out,
score and crease the front center line,
apply edge colouring if necessary...
and curve and shape the bottom to match the lower fuselage (and to prepare the lower edge connection).

You can also apply a slight curve the edge all the way around the part.
Use the blunt round end of a dowel, or paint brush, to create a rounded edge.

DO NOT fit the internal former.


2. Match the Rudder former to the end of the fuselage.
In most cases it should be the same or very similar shape as the small end former in the fuselage.
If it is too wide, or doesn't match, you can reshape the former at this point.

Attach the former to the end of the fuselage, making sure it is:
- properly vertical
- slightly raised, to allow for the rudder part card thickness at the bottom.
Glue in place and allow sufficient time for a secure attachment.

3. Complete the Rudder/Tail assembly by edge gluing the part, all the way around.

To make the lower connection a little easier, try cutting and inserting a small curved joiner strip.
Glue one side of the lower connection, and then glue the other side in proper alignment.
Use a rounded dowel or tool to smooth out the seam and retain the proper curve to match the fuselage.

4. Last thing to do is to slip the finished Rudder part over the former (which is already attached to the fuselage).
If necessary you can trim the leading edges of the Tail fin (where it connects to the upper part of the fuselage),
but this area is covered by the Tail fairings, so any gaps or fit issues in this area will be completely hidden.

Apply glue to all edges of the former to secure the Tail part.

This method will also work with a double-former Rudder.

The double former provides additional Rudder shape and strength.



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Re: Tips for Fitting Aircraft Tail Fins/Rudders
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2015, 06:45:13 PM »
Very clever!
- Gerardo