Back into it after too long, and it quite obviously didn't make it to Forsyth this year. Lets hope for 2015.
Ref this pic:
The exhaust is fastened to the engine first, then put into the plane. With the exhaust sticking out, i can't get the engine in and out without making some more of the cowling removeable. More removeable bits will also make maintenance easier too.
I spent some considerable time thinking about different options, but it always came back to "i need to make more of the front end in a removeable fibreglass cowl". This i was nervous about, and furthmore didn't want to spend a small fortune on setting up a fibreglass production facility. I seriously considered grabbing the Top Flite ARF 1-piece cowl and making that work, but decided not to.
rather than the full front end, I decided to make the large side panels removeable, loosly similar to how the 1:1 scale does.
The very top section, including the carb inlet scoop, will remain attached and wooden structure.
I stumbled over a simple idea that gave me some confidence to move forward: Plaster of Paris mold!
So i brown packing taped my previously built up front end, as it will now become a plug. I then marked out where i wanted the panel with some pinstripe tape, and then waxed and waxed:
Roughed up a simple cardboard boxing, and then laid in a couple of layers of glass to get a good surface. Apparently plaster molds can be a bit rough, and it also takes a couple of weeks to dry properly. I figured having a glass surface on the mold will alleviate both of these issues.
Left it 6 hours, then dumped in a bunch of plaster:
And once it cured, popped it off and have a mold. The indendation caused by the tape gave me a clear line on where the edges of the finished product will be.
Pretty easy really.