ESSO – interesting points found during building

For those who are thinking about to build this famous glider, here are some points that could be taken into account.


The tail fin has a movable rudder originally used to trim the gliding characteristics. Some modelers tend to somehow increase their size/area to achieve better response and maneuverability. I have built the rudder the same size as shown on the plan. Original size is effective enough even during catapult or winch launch.

The elevator is usual construction except for hinge, which in this case is made of carbon torsion bar (colored to beige to not disrupt the overall look and feel). I could say this method offers nice results and an unobtrusive look but is quite challenging.


I have built two ESSO gliders. One has reinforced fuselage with plywood (0,8mm) from bulkhead No.7 to No.10 the latter is built as-is. The reason to reinforce the fuselage was in favor of easier handling. It seemed to be simpler to grab the fuselage in my hand prior catapult or winch launch. I was afraid of ripping the covering on that part. I can remark both fuselages are more or less equally strong and only appropriate caution is necessary to handle the airplane without additional reinforcements.


I prefer to finish every model as close as possible to the original one. This glider is covered with silk (the second one with polyester fabric) and decorated with waterslide decals. It is hard to find original decals today, but my friend Peter from MG Bern sent me scanned originals and I was able to reproduce these decals – simply: Photoshop is your friend ­čÖé Decals are print out on the special decal paper using inkjet/laser printer. Sticking method is the same like plastic modelers well know – use water to separate the decal from its paper, use special decal glue and raddle the part of the model where the decal will be stuck and apply it. The last stage is to coat it with lacquer.

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