Saab J29 part 5- we’re getting there!

Well, it’s spring time! The J29 build has been going quite well. Wings and tail are done. Fuselage is practically done. Engine, fan and tank is fitted and now it’s just one or two fiddly things to complete such as the hatch area, canopy etc. The hatch ended up being quite a tricky item to get to work, since the hatch opening clashes with the root area of the wings, so I think I’ll move the hatch forward to miss it in a future model. looking good though 🙂

Anyways, as always, here’s are the latest pics.


Having figured out just where to make the hatch cut – and believe me, it took a lot of head scratching – I just grabbed the model knife and junior hacksaw and started cutting. It left a really confusing mess, leaving less access to the motor and fan than I anticipated. So, to regain access, the plan is to remove a little more structure off the front, near the nose and glue it to the front of the hatch. Then the open areas of the infill sheeting, next to the duct and former’s, will be filled in and made neater. Hopefully then I’ll gain a larger area to get at the engine and fan.

Lower half of the fuselage with the engine and tank in place. Check out the funky coloured fuel pipe!

Here’s the fuselage halves placed to get the idea of the model. Some sheet infilling to do.

and another shot

Here’s the tank. It looks a bit rough in this shot, but was later filed smaller, neatened and cleaned up before mounting. Ducted fan models are thirsty on fuel – think I may need a bigger tank!

Getting to the final and nice stages! Carved and sanded solid block balsa used for the front and rear inlet and exhaust areas. I just formed these in sections of thick block strip I had lying around, glued as in the pics then carved and sanded to shape. I’ve tried very hard not to use excess infill sheeting, but just to handle the model, I had to fill in with sheet where I hold the model just to work on it and also to eventually launch it. Even with reasonably hard 1/8 stringers I still managed to crack one or two!

Here’s the tailpipe being carved starting with the exhaust hole. Once that’s done I can begin shaping the outside.

Here’s the hatch area fully sheeted in soft 1/16″ balsa. I modified the opening to make it larger, giving more room to hand start the engine via the spring start. Definitely looks a bit rough inside, but will look better after sanding.

Here you can see the fan in place. I actually had to have a bush made for mounting the fan on the engine because the hole in the perspex bush was too big for the prop screw. 420 Engineering in Birmingham did a nice job! Also because of the thickness of the fan and the the spring start behind, I had to source a longer prop screw to fit them. Quick search on the web and I ordered a bunch of 37 mm long socket head screws so all good in the end 🙂 Check out part 2.

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