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Been waiting a little while to post this, but since the first full part is now out I feel comfortable posting this. So this is the first part in a series of videos I am doing on the Stearman that I built for this years contest. I had originally planned to release this monthly following the first full part, which I will post tomorrow, but because of the large time investment of editing all of the footage these will instead be coming out bi-monthly. So look forward to it.
I’d been wanting to build the Revell Stearman for a while but kept putting it off because I knew I wanted to do an earlier Navy N2S-2. With no proper Lycoming R680 (with front exhaust collector) out there I waited…until finally picking up an “Engines & Things” R680 and robbing an exhaust collector from one of their other 9-cylinder engines; I also did some modification to the seats, rounding the backs and removing the molded in belts. With an open cockpit, these are pretty prominent, so I used some HGW fabric belts to dress them up. Tedious (X2!) but they look great. The remainder of the build goes together very nicely, great fit, no filler and very little sanding. I decanted Tamiya “Camel Yellow” for the overall paint, and used Tamiya’s vinyl “tape for curves” to mask off the red bands (Instrument training aircraft had the wide bands painted on them). With the paint dry and decals (Caracal Models, great sheet!) on I weathered it lightly with an oil wash. Then it was on to rigging. I typically am not a biplane builder because the rigging puts me off but after hearing about “Wonder Wire” I thought I’d try it out. Fantastic stuff! Makes rigging a breeze as long as you are careful about drilling your holes in the proper place, and at an angle close enough to the wire angle. One item that had me perplexed, was the “Spreader Tube” This is a component on biplanes that sits at the intersection of the wing rigging wires to keep them from beating against each other. The wires run through the tube. I thought about how I could drill holes through such a tiny piece of rod, so precisely that all SIX wires would run through at a perfect angle…yeah, not gonna happen! Instead, I did what most biplane builders likely do, and laid the spreader tube across the wires. It looks convincing enough in this scale. I added fuel lines and the clear sight gage to the underside of the upper wing tank. Next will be a coat of clear to seal everything up, and then wheels and engine installed.