Question 193: "Hi, I'm a Greek r/c fun of scratch building & I'd like your help in the following matter, if you don't mind. I'd like to scratch build an Aichi D3A1 or D3A2 "Val" japanese fighter of WWII. I intend on powering it with a 1.8 4-stroke ASP engine. Which scale should I look after into & where to find detailed plans for it ? It's a rather rare building project I assume, after a few days search on the internet. Thanks in advance.
Jeff: "Hello Costas. The "Val" is a great project. I also like this plane. To date I am not aware of any marketed plans for this model. Dave Platt built one recently, as I saw it at the 2005 Toledo Expo and show. He drew his own plans. One option would be to get a kit from Skyshark (www.skysharkrc.com) and use it as a basis for building a larger one. I think 1/7 scale would be the ultimate size; giving you a span of 75-83 inches. I am not familiar with your engine, but I think this would be about the size you would want. Good luck. Jeff"
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Question 194: "Jeff, Can you direct me to a source on making gear door mechs, I am build a Top Flite P51B 1/5. I can't seem to find any good drawings of publications on this building problem. Can you Help? Chris"
Jeff: "I would recommend contacting Waye Siewart at Aerotech Models
http://www.aerotechmodels.com/ He sells a very scale 85 inch P-51 all composite, is a Top Gun Contender, very helpful and knowledgeable and a great guy to deal with. Good Luck. Jeff"
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Question 195: "Hello ! My name is Aris and i am from Switzerland. Sometime i come to RCWARBIRDS to see for tips and tricks and i found to be very useful. I write You this email because i have a question regarding reinforcing a wingspar with carbon fiber. I plan to build the David Andresen TA 152H1 , and after reading in RCSCALEBUILDER website about some problems regarding wing faulire ( some people had the wings break just outside of where the retract are fixed on the wing ) and someone suggested to reinforce both side ( front and rear ) of both main spar ( upper and lower) of the wing with carbon fiber strips. My question is , what thickness You think is best for doing this task ? I have found diffrent Cf Strips and specifically the CF Strips from BVM ( scroll down ..) The wing of the model is 48" large..... The main spar is a 1/4 x 1/2 medium balsa 48" long. What You would suggest ? Thanks a lot for any kind of help. Best regards Aris"
Jeff: "Hello Aris, I am surprised to hear of a wing failure on one of Dave's design's. I have the 152 plans, as well as his LA-7. From what I can
see, they area looks bullet proof to me for normal flying, wear and tear. Dave is a local guy here in town, and a friend of mine. To best help you, I am sending him this e-mail to provide his expert insight and analysis. Who better to talk to than the designer. He is a very helpful guy. Jeff"
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Question 196: "Hi Jeff, Im looking at changing the wire landing gear on my retracts with oleo structs. Whats the difference between the straight and the offset variety? When and why should I use either? Is it just a question of which will fit? Thanks! Regards Justin"
Jeff: "Hi Justin.....the short answer is "which ever will fit". It is not really a case of advantage of one over the other. What you will want to do is find out what is scale for your plane, and go with that. If you are not worried about scale, ou will have to determine what will fir the thickness of your wing. Will the offset leg face in or out. Will the tire face the inner part of the wing or the lower side, etc. Jeff"
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Question 197: "Jeff, I have recently purchased a set of scale Spitfire Mk IX plans from "Traplett" (UK), and they are by HW Taylor. The plan number is MW 2107 (Previously C.A.P. No.7??)."
Jeff: "Sorry richard, but I have never seen or heard of these plans by HW Taylor. re they by chance Brian Taylor? Probably not, but thought I
would ask, as there is a lot of info out there on Brian Taylor. Sorry I couldn;t help, I'd like to see the plans tho if I can help. Jeff"
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Question 198: "Jeff Thanks for being the go-to guy. I read your advice about the Smith P-51, the 112" wing span. I was wondering if you could ask your friend what he used as an engine?. I have a Top Flight giant Mustang and I am looking for something to build that is a little larger. I live in Brazil and I need to line up my purchaces for when I go back to the states. Thanks for being here. Larry"
Jeff: "Hi Larry. Thanks for the kind words and for visiting RCWarbirds. I can tell you exactly what engines he had in them (He built 2). His
first was 47 pounds, and he installed an Air Hobbies 8.4 in-line twin, but it kept overheating, so he took it out and installed a Sachs 5.8. The 5.8 pulled it pretty good, but the ship was lost after about 3-4 flights when the ignition pick-up wire broke and he stalled it while trying to stretch and hit the field. His new one weighs 50 pounds, and he has been running a Q-100 with a 22x16 prop I gave him to try. This appears to be a perfect set-up. He has about 50 flights on it now. The rear muffler on the Q-100 allows you to keep the cowl cutting to a minimum. The plane is very fast and amzingly, it land at such a slow speed it is surprising. It floats in and does not have any bad habits. The plane is a bit tuff to build according to him,
but the effort was worth it. Good luck to you. Jeff"
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Question 199: "Hi Jeff, I purchased a big scale Corsair this winter which is about 95% finished from an elderly fellow. Not meaning to be disrespectful his mind is no longer all there so many corrections need to be done. It has been covered with silk and dope but needs recovering. My question is, what would be the best way to remove the old covering without damaging the balsa under it. Thanks, Dan Short"
Jeff: "Hi Dan.....I am afraid sanding is the best answer. I have done this just a couple of times, and on the first plane I did, i experimented. I found about the only way to do it is to start picking away with an X-acto knife, trying to go just above the balsa surface. There is no way to do this without having to touch up the balsa. Pull as much as you can, off with an X-acto kinfe. Depending on how firmly it was applied, you will typically get fairly good size strands, with silk hairs stringing all about. Once you get all you can off with the X-acto, take 100 grit paper and start sanding. You do not need to worry about getting it all off, and you probably will not be able to, if you plan to glass. Fill in the dings and sand. the resin will adhere all of the loose strands. Then, after a couple of coats of resin and some sanding, you may have to go with some body filler in some sopts to feather in any steps you may have from residual silkspan. In the end, the more you sand, the more the work, but the better the end result. Jeff"
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Question 200: "Hi Jeff my name is Alex and I live in Houston Texas and this is my moms email address because I dont have one( I am 15 so dont think im some loser living with my mom when im 40..) and I have 11 planes all of which are warbirds but none over 40cc. I have a da-50 and really want to build a killer warbird to go with it but I have no idea what to choose. I fly all my planes and do a pretty good job doing it( I think..) I have only crashed one due to an engine failure. I have never built a kit plane which may not surprise you because not many people do these days. Well the first plane I built was a kit plane, it was a guillows hellcat kit and I used so much glue I could hardly lift it. So that's why I moved to arfs. so if you have any tips on which warbird for a da-50 and some good advice on how to build this kit plane please let me know. And I am very bored right now so if you get this and want a list of my planes just let me know because of right now I have nothing better to do."
Jeff: "Alex, always good to see young people in the hobby. If you have a spare DA-50, then there are several options for you. If you want to go via the kit, I would direct you toward a Top Flight P-47. Another good option is the P-51 ARF or ARC kit from Top Flight. A DA-50 is a bit of overkill, but it will allow for some scale detailing. Another good choice is one of the P-47 or Spitfire kits from Yellow Aircraft. These are highly pre-fabed kits, so they border on ARF's, just a bit more work, but weasy to accomplish. If budget is your concern, then i think the P-51 ARC or ARF mustang is your best bet. Unfortunately, Top Flite has not come out with a P-47 ARF. The Hangar kits are a bit too small for a DA-50, but these would be a very good choice with some of the smaller eninges; especially if you are on a tight budget. Good luck! Jeff"
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Question 201: "Jeff, I have pretty much decided on the Yellow Aircraft Spitfire XIV. (I love the lines on that kit!)However, two things have me hesitant to make the final purchase. Keep in mind, I am relatively new to foam wings. (Though I have built 6 other warbirds, and tend to be VERY meticulous!) *wink* 1 - How hard will it be to re-engineer the placement of the aileron and flap servos, in order to hide the control horns and linkages on this kit? 2 - I am looking at the Evolution 50 for a power plant. Is this a good choice? What do we know about this engine, and its quality or reliability, as opposed to ZDZ or Cactus Aviation's 3W-55CS? (I am planning on building my own custom scale exhaust, and rear mounted muffler. Thus the Evolution, with its compact block and head, long nosed crank, rear exhaust, and rear-mounted carb seem to fit the bill perfectly.) Thank you for all your help! Chris Berrett"
Jeff: "Hi Chris, the Yellow Spit is about as fine a warbird, both looks and flying, that you can own. It, actually, would not be that difficult to conceal the linkages, for the most part:
1. On the flaps, temporarily install the flap and hinges. Then, simply mount the control horn (a small to medium size Robart style) on the top side of the flap in a some what scale location to where the flap hinge door indicator would be. It doesn't have to be perfect, it
would be cool to just have them. You rarely see them on a model. Mark where the control horn contacts in the flap bay and remove all of this area (foam and balsa), including the top of the wing. This is where you can install the scale flap hinge indicating door. Set it up so that as the flaps move down the control arm contacts the hinge door to open it upward. i usually use a small light weight spring to hold the door closed. Next, install the servo on the servo tray plywood in the kit. Then take a brass tube on a soldering iron (or heat any other way) and melt the foam from the back of the wing and then toward the leading edge side of the wing. Melt a channel in the foam at a downward angle from the top of the trailing edge to the lower surface of the wing servo pocket. You will have to fine tune and clean this up to attach the pushrod from the servo to the control horn.
2. On the aileron, you can notch the inside, leading edge corner of the aileron and add some 1/8 ply. Then mount a control horn on this location, and to the ply, on the side of the aileron, with some eopxy and a couple of small (#2) sheet metal screws. Then, melt out foam and remove balsa as required (as you did on the flaps) to conceal as much of the linkage as you can. The Yellow Spit wing gets pretty thin out toward the tip, so you may find it difficult to conceal the aileron linkage as much as you can the flaps.
You will find that larger Spit models sometimes use torque tubes and u-joints to move the ailerons and flaps, but that would be tuff to install in a foam wing, and I personally do not like that set-up.
Godd luck. Jeff"
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Question 202: "Hi Jeff, Would U happen to have in your collective database a source for 1/6th or 1/5th Giant Scale Twin Mustang Plans? Giantscaletwins only sells fiberglass kits: NO PLANS and I dont want to go that route. Thanks and have a great day!"
Jeff: "Sorry, but the only plans I know of are from Col. Art Johnson, but I do not know if they are commercially available. You may check with RCM. Sorry I could not be of more help.Jeff"
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Question 203: "Hi Jeff, Let me tell you why I am emailing you and I hope you don’t mind that I am doing so.I spent the better part of the last 2 weeks surfing RC sites and trying to find resources on scratch building (after I saw Matt Halton’s scratch built F-14). Since then I’ve seen some planes built with Ziorli and Platt plans and a few others as well. I used to build plastic models as a kid (never painted them) and even built I high wing RC trainer once (without many tools and guidance and I never flew it). Anyway…. 20 years later and I need a new hobby (currently work with computers). I really enjoyed building that high wing trainer and know I would enjoy building again because I enjoyed the process. I have no plans of flying these planes; they will just be static displays……to start with. :) My interests are military aircraft from jets to WWII props, mostly the WWII birds. Since I really haven’t stayed with it I don’t have a workshop or tools that a master builder would have and would have to slowly build them up over time. I did end up buying David Planks BF series 1, 2 and 3. He makes it look so simple and although he has all of the power tools, he looks like he does most of the work by hand including cutting out the wing spars etc. So I guess I don’t need a fully stocked work shop to begin with it will just take more time and effort.I guess all of the resources in the world wouldn’t be any good until you actually dive in and start building. How you would recommend someone starting out, small planes, kit planes? I’ve read enough beginners threads where they say to start with kits but I would really like to start with scratch and eventually build the bigger scale planes, but maybe that is not a great idea? Do you have any specific planes, kits or plans or that I should start with? I really don't want to do a plane like the high wing cessna, I want the WWII era planes. Thanks for listening and I appreciate any help no matter how little or small. Best regards, Scott Sharp"
Jeff: "Hi Scott, I differ from most people, maybe, I guess. Personally, I started out scratch building before I ever did a kit. Growing up around an airport, and being a hangar rat as a kid, I guess I was pretty familiar with this stuff and what makes an airplane (fly), and how they are (generally) put together. I started with some of the early ARF trainers from IndyRC, to learn how to fly. The first plane I ever built was a Pietenpol from some model magazine plans. It had a control line engine (.10 size) and flew fine. I only wish I had throttle control looking back. Personally, I find kits to be cumbersome, and require a lot of time and small parts to compensate the light weight for strength. I have built kits, and they are a good way to get introduced, but I just personally prefer scratch building. For the average person getting in to the hobby, and building, I would probably recommend a kit, only because it gives step by step instructions on assembly. This will make a person familiar with how structure goes together to form an aircraft. If you do not plan to fly the plane, then I think a set of scratch built plans are fine. I guess it depends on how familiar you are with aircraft structure and how it all fits together. The best way to scratch in the beginning is to get some plans, and have a kit cutter cut the kit for you. As you learn, what the parts are, compare them to the plans, and glue it all together, you can eventually cut your own parts. It is all about becoming familiar. As for recommendations, there are too many to offer. The big (popular) scratch build stuff is from Ziroli, Vaillancort, Meister, Bob Holman Plans, just to name a few. For kits, Top Flight and SkyShark are probably the two biggest. These all have websites you can Google and check out. Jeff"
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Question 204: "Jeff, I was wondering where you found the Husky 240cc engine that you had in your Corsair? Thanks Bill K"
Jeff: "Hi Bill, I actually found it for dsale on RCUniverse. It was a home made engine by someone named Randy Villnueve (sp?), I think. If you contact Bill Oberdieck at Taurus engines, he deals with Husky engines. and may be able to help you out. Jeff"
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Question 205: "Jeff, Hello, I'm going to try two fiberglassing projects. One project is glassing Top Flite giant warbirds and a Bud Nosen P-51. Another project is to make fiberglass molds of engine cowls, belly pans, etc. Would you steer in a direction for the fiberglass epoxy? Brands, ex. West systems, Composite Products, Klass Kote, others. Also if you know of a release agent for the fiberglass molds? such as a wax ex. Partall paste. Any help with websites or numbers will really help. Thanks, Jeff Gus."
Jeff: "Hi Gus, You will get a hundred different answers from folks when it comes to fiberglassing an airplane. I hear use of toilet paper to soak up the resin, credit or playing cards to squeegee and spread the resin, foam brushes, etc. I have tried several methods over the last 15 years when it comes to fiberglassing. This is what I have found to be the easiest, cheapest and least messy method that produces a good finish and is not at all heavy:
I use Envirotex, which is available from Menards. This is an epoxy lacquer product and is a 2 part product. I drink a lot of diet coke, so I end up with a lot of those McDonalds and Burger King plastic cups laying around, and I cut the bottom of these off to mix in. Hey, reduce, re-use, recycle, correct? Anywho, mix equal portions of the Envirotex in a suitable container, and mix it very well. You can buy boxes of 5000 popsicle sticks at craft and dollar stores pretty cheap.
After the Envirotex is mixed, thin this about 75% with denatured alcohol and mix thoroughly. You will end up with almost a water consistency. Next, lay the glass cloth on the plane and run a paint brush of some type over the cloth. This creates a nice static cling and the glass will lay flat while you work with it. Next, go to Rockler, or some other store and buy a box of camel hair brushes. These will be disposable, so don't buy one at a time or you will go broke. If you can find a Rockler store, you can buy a box of 36 in various sizes for about $14. They often put these on sale for $14 for 2 boxes. After the glass has been laid on the surface, brush in your mixed resin with light strokes so as not to distort the cloth. The only bad thing about Envirotex is taht it takes about 24 hours to fully cure, but the nice hard finish is worth it for the cost. After your fisrt coat, repeat the process and add a second coat of resin. After the second coat cures, wet sand with 220 grit to smooth out. From here, you can fill any remaining weave with filling primer. If you do not use filling primer, as I do not, then I will fill the weave with more Envirotex, or more often, I will use Minwax Polycrilic to finish it off. I tehn go back with 220 wet sand paper to smooth, then prime and paint. I hope this helps.
Now, as for fiberglass molds, I am afraid I have no experience with that, and I would not want to even fake knowing how to answer that question. Sorry. However, if you look around RCUniverse and RCScalebuilder, I know there are a few threads speaking of different processes. Best of luck....Jeff"
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Question 206: "Jeff, Gus here... Thanks for helping me out, I admire your work and respect your opinion. However, I do have another question PLEASE?!! I thought I read that you had a ( or have) a P-40 and you went with the Death Skulls- Burma Banshees. I you did, how did you transfer or apply the skull to the P-40? I'm trying to think of a way with the computer to copy it then take it to someone that maybe is in advertising. A printer maybe. Anyhow , Thanks again for the help and I hope to make to your field some weekend!! GUS."
Jeff: "Hi Gus, you are correct. i still have that big P-40. She is 8 years old now. What i did was take the squadron book and freehand drew it to another piece os paper. You can also trace it. i then went to a copier and blew it up to the size I needed. Then I took some shelf paper and cut out a paint mask. I then painted it and finished it off with black paint outline using a thin tip paint brush. Jeff"
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Question 207: "Any comments on Aerotech (P-51, P-47, KI-84) vs the Airworld (FW, P-51) in terms of glasswork, flying qualities, etc?
Jeff: "I am familiar with both. We are somewhat talking apples and oranges since they are using different materials and are much different in size:
The Aerotech models are laid up from Carbon Fiber as opposed to fiberglass. The one unusual thing about these kits is that you need to install a whip antenna off of your receiver and out the top of the plane. The radio waves cannot penetrate the carbon fiber, so it is not recommended to even run your receiver anteena outside of your plane. Wayne tells you how to rig up the whip antenna to your receiver. The Aerotech models are very scale with all of the superb details molded in. They are a bit smaller than the Airworld kits, and a bit heavy for their size, but they look and fly great. They are very strong. They are much more scale in appearance than Airworld.
The Airworld kits are off on scale outline, especially the FW190. The 190 has big rivets that are out of scale, and the entire tail plane is off. Also, the wing is a flat bottom. The P-51 is much closer and looks better then the FW190, in my opinion. However, they are larger, and have the details molded in and fly very good as well. I do not think they are as robust as the Aerotech kits. The Airworld glass is rather thin and flimsy. More-so on the P-51 than the FW190.
In the end, they both look good to the average Joe, and both fly very well. However, I would have to give the nod to Aerotech for looks and scale detail. They just look a lot better on the ground. If you just want a good looking, good flying, larger set-up, then Airworld is maybe for you. Jeff"
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Question 208: "Jeff, I am thinking of building a large-scale static model of a B-17 that my uncle flew during WWII. Do you have an opinion re WingSpan or Don Smith (or other) offerings, especially with regard to their detail parts? I have plans for both but have not decided on a kit. Tom Spence"
Jeff: "First off, I have to admit that I am limited in the 4 engine territory. Having never built one all the way thru. I had experience with the Don Smith B-29, having done some work with one, and the B-17 is similar, I am sure. I have had no exposure to the Wingspan B-17, except for the posting of the build job here on RCWarbirds. From what I see, the real difference between the two, is the building techniques used, which is really all I can speak to. From what I see, the Wingspan is very builder friendly with the use of jigs, tabs and self aligning parts. The Don Smith uses the old control line style/method of building. This is where you build half a fuse half, then sheet that half, and then build the other half on to that. It is a tried and true method, but you have to be very aware to keep twists and bends out of the fuse. It is best to build a jig to keep everything straight. A lot more effort seems to be required for the Smith. I am not saying that one is better than the other. It really comes down to what you are familiar with. Having grown up on Ziroli plans, I would find the Wingspan to be an easier build for me and a person with a lesser experience in building. Still a lot of work there, but less "thinking" appears to be involved with the Wingspan, and I think it could be assembled a little quicker. From what I have seen, both fly nicely. I have seen several Don Smith's fly and have seen Greg Hahn's Wingspan model fly as well.
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Question 209: "Hi Jeff - I'm looking to buy plans for a Macchi 202 with a wingspan of about 80 or so inches. Where might I buy such plans. Thanks, Pete Daino"
Jeff: "Check out www.impscale.com under axis plans. they have an 83 inch 202. Here is a link: www.impscale.com/html/macchi_2021.html Jeff"