Top Tips, some you may know some you won't, but they all come in useful,
especially if you're new to the hobby!
you have any great tips that you want to share with other modellers, then
send them to us at email@example.com
or to the address listed on our 'Contacts'
the downward twist in wingtips that improves low-speed flight, is
sometimes used in airplanes with flat-bottom wings. A good way to
make sure each wingtip has the same amount of washout (or any at all)
is to get two straight wood dowels or carbon rods. Tape each to the
bottom of the wing near the tips. Set the wing on something so you
can see both rods, and sight down the wing so you can see see each
rod in relation to the other.
rods magnify any angle that might be present in the wing. Correct
the wing twist until you have the angle you want. This doesn't work
too well with wings that are rounded on the bottom, but is an excellent
way of making sure flat-bottom wings are true.
Tips About Epoxy
Wax Paper: Take a sheet of wax paper, and mix your epoxy on half
of the sheet. Then when done, fold the wax paper in half, trapping
the epoxy residue inside. This way you can fold it up with no mess
and throw it away, and it won't stick to the inside of the rubbish
Foam: When epoxying to styrofoam, such as attaching leading or trailing
edges to a foam-core wing, once the parts are coated well with epoxy
and put together, wiggle them around some to work the epoxy into
the pores of the foam. Then let it dry normally. This results in
a stronger bond.
Bed-Buddy: Ever been caught with cold epoxy? It's much more workable
and mixes better when its just above room temperature (about 80-85
F). I use a "Bed-Buddy" to warm it and keep it warm. A Bed-Buddy
is like a long sock with some kind of granular chemical in it that
stays warm for hours after you microwave it for two minutes. They're
designed to keep your feet warm at night, and you can wrap it around
your epoxy bottles too between each use.
Inverter: When your epoxy bottles start getting low, it can take
a while to get it out, especially when cold. Build a simple wooden
"inverter" to hold both bottles upside down, and keep them in it
between each use. This way your epoxy will always be ready for use.
an easy way to make sure your servos will fit in your plane properly,
especially helpful with scratch-built designs: Take the measurements
of your servos, and make a few from wood, identical to the real
ones. This may be easy if the manufacturer supplies full-size drawings
of the servos.
I made my servo blanks from pine blocks, a little plywood for the
mounting hole piece, and a dowel for the motor shaft. These servo
blanks will not only help in drilling the holes to mount servos,
but will assure adequate clearance on all sides. In addition, the
dowel is the correct size to press on an actual servo arm, which
will help in aligning pushrods or cables.
this method will help keep your real servos safe and clean during
the building process.
get a fin in correct alignment with a fuselage, try using thread.
Make sure you have an accurate centre mark near the top-front of
the fuselage, and tack-glue a long piece of thread to the top near
the nose, a distance from the centerline equal to half the thickness
of the fin.
the thread back to the tail, and hold it against the side of the
fin. The thread should touch the side of the fin evenly overall.
If it doesn't, then rotate the fin until it does, then tack glue
the fin into place, reinforcing it later. Last, remove the thread
Knives and Blades Safe in Storage
a small block of styrofoam and stick your hobby knife in it. This
way the blade won't be exposed, and you won't cut your hand if you
reach into a drawer or box for it. Always keep new blades in their
original container, and throw away used blades into a closed can
with a slot cut in the top, don't just throw them into the rubbish
bin by themselves.
propellers have very sharp edges when new, especially at the trailing
edge, which can cut your fingers. Always sand the edges smooth with
fine sandpaper as soon as you buy them. Be extra careful when turning
over someone else's motors by hand, because they might not have
sanded the edges of their props.
you need an extra-long screw or bolt for something, such as a wing
tank or mid-mounted wing, make one by cutting the correct size threaded
rod you need, then solder a wheel collar on one end. Next, using
a cut-off wheel, cut a slot in the wheel collar for a screwdriver.
If you have a small plane with a very tight engine installation
(usually resulting from a very streamlined cowl), often there's
no room for a nose gear assembly. Try drilling holes through the
engine mount to accept the nose gear wire, and hold it in place
with wheel collars.
steering arm can be placed below the engine, even on the outside
of the plane. This will work with most engine mounts, even the two-piece
ones as long as the engine is rotated 90 degrees.
Ever have wheel collars not hold on axles? Or maybe that nosegear
keeps twisting because the steering arm won't tighten? Try grinding
or filing a flat spot on the wire where the setscrew will go. This
provides a better surface for the screw to tighten against. Better
yet, grind a flat spot with a small diameter (worn out) cut-off
wheel. The small diameter causes the flat spot to actually be concave,
which helps the setscrew grip even more.
From Plastic Pop Bottles
Several things for RC airplanes can be made from 1, 2, or 3-litre
the colored base that come with some bottles for cowls. They're
sized about right for .15 to .25 engines.
On bottles that have the base molded into the bottom, cut the
bottom off, and this can become a "stand-way-off" 5-cylinder radial
dummy engine when painted properly.
The cylinder that's left after cutting off the top and bottom
of bottles can be used to form canopies and other parts. This
plastic shrinks easily with a heat gun and can be molded around
the colored base off of a 1-litre bottle, which should leave a
hemisphere at the end. Glue fins on the other end, paint it, and
you have a bomb for a large airplane. And if you want to drop
it, it probably won't break.
It's getting more and more difficult to find the "old style" soda
bottles with the hemisphere and cap on the bottom, which look
best for bombs.The
"new style" pop bottles have lobes molded into the bottom which
make up the base. This makes a lot more sense from a product processing
standpoint, but they don't make near as good bombs!
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