Peanut Scale: Walt Mooney : Peanut SE5

PeanutScale.com [This article was published in the March 1974 issue of  The Model Builder magazine.]

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PEANUT SE5

By WALT MOONEY : Sometimes we tend to overlook the obvious, and what could be “obviouser” as a choice for the most appealing and nostalgic scale biplane of all times? Still managing to be a little different, it’s the SE5 model, no “A”.

Peanut SE5 Special Walt Mooney The Model Builder
Low aspect ratio wings provide plenty of area within the 12″ span limit. Photos by Fudo Takagi.

There have been a lot of models of the SE5A, but not too many models of the SE5. The SE5 is a little simpler than its later version, and makes up into a very nice Peanut Scale. It has plenty of dihedral, lots of wing area because of being a biplane, and good nose and tail lengths considering that it is a World War One aircraft.

The model is fairly simple for a biplane, so the discussion that follows will just touch on the more difficult features. The aft end of the fuselage sides are constructed with a slot for the horizontal tail. Note that this slot is wider at the front than at the extreme aft end where it is only deep enough for the tail. The extra room at the front of the tail slot allows you to shim the tail leading edge up or down as required for flight trim.

Mounting the wings is perhaps the most difficult task. There are four cabane struts to support the center-section of the top wing. The forward pair are vertical in the side view and the aft pair are hiding behind the rear wing struts. Cut out a little of the top fuselage sheet covering so the cabane struts can be cemented in place on top of the upper longerons. It may help to make a jig block to hold the top of the cabane struts while they dry. This can be done by taking a piece of 1/8 sheet balsa the size of the center section and cutting a tight notch at each location for the top of a cabane strut. Push the top of the struts into these notches and then cement their bottoms in place on the longerons. This jig block is easier to locate than the whole top wing. It can be twisted and nudged into perfect positioning before the cement dries. When the bottoms of the struts are firmly in place and the cement is really dry, pull the jig block off the top and cement the top wing in place.

Peanut SE5 Special Walt Mooney The Model Builder
Note how stabilizer slot is widened at front to allow for incidence adjustment. Classic lines of the SE5 make it an excellent Peanut flier. Way back, the Megow kit was one of the most poplar.

Check the wings before all the cement is dry to see that they are parallel when you look down on them from above.
Note that this SES had short exhaust stacks and no head rest. It also had quite a large windshield.
And now, on to another subject … A question that we are often asked is, “Where do you find this or that model supply?” Another is, “Where do you come up with a three-view?” I suspect that our illustrious editor won’t let us have enough room to give complete answers to these questions (Try me. wcn) but we’ll have a little go at it.

First, LOOK AT THE ADVERTISEMENTS IN THE MAGAZINE. Almost always, if your local model supplier doesn’t handle a supply you need, it is advertised somewhere. Also if it’s not available locally, you can write to the manufacturer and manage to buy it. If you do this, enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope. Also mention the magazine that was carrying his advertisement. This makes two people happy; the editor, because he will probably sell another ad, and the manufacturer, because he now will have some proof that he is using his money wisely when he runs an ad in the magazine. The self-addressed stamped envelope, sometimes called “SASE,” will certainly help get a prompter reply because you’ve just removed lack of envelopes or money for stamps as an excuse for not answering your inquiry.
In the Peanut Scale line (and they spill over into other sizes also), we’ll list a few suppliers we have used and apologize for those we don’t include.

Peanut SE5 Special Walt Mooney The Model Builder
Coming next month, the Stinson Tri-motor Model “U” by Don Butman.

For high quality “wire” wheels (balsa tires, silk spokes, and carefully scaled), it’s hard to beat Fulton Hungerford of 1770 Lilac Circle, Titusville, Florida 32780. These wheels aren’t exactly inexpensive, but if you value your time and want a super landing gear on an old time model, they are a must.

Several others handle nose plugs, wheels, propellers, and miscellaneous supplies. These are:
Peck Polymers, P.O. Box 2498, La Mesa, California 92041.
W.C. Hannan, P.O. Box A, Escondido, California 92025.
Marlow Engineering, 6850 Vineland, North Hollywood, California 91605.
Williams Brothers, 181 Pawnee St., San Marcos, California 92069.
Sig Mfg. Co., 401 S. Front St., Montezuma, Iowa 50171.
Bill Hannan, of course, also sells plans, as do the following outfits:
“Raceplanes,” by R.S. Hirsh, 8439 Dale St., Buena Park, Calif. 90620. He has a very large collection of beautiful 3-views (or more) of many racing planes.
Cloudbuster Venture, P.O. Box 2921, Livonia, Michigan 48154.
Miniature Aircraft, Box 26263, Indianapolis, Ind. 46226.

Peanut SE5 Special Walt Mooney The Model Builder
A trimmed North Pacific plastic prop takes the pain out of carving one. Thin monofiliment fishing leader makes fine rigging wires. A little detailing goes a long way.

Another outfit has things that will probably interest all dedicated modelers, although they don’t sell model supplies as such. It is known as the Brookstone Company of Peterborough, New Hampshire 03458. Their catalog of hard to find tools affects me like Pavlov’s Bell affected his experimental dogs. I drool a little. I doubt if there is a live modeler around that won’t covet something in their wish book. Write for the free catalog and tell ’em Model Builder sent ya!

We’ll try to cover Three View sources to a small degree the next time we have an article in the “Peanut Gallery.”

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