Part of the fun of Scale modeling is finding sources for the parts, bits, and pieces we need to finish and detail our aircraft. Another aspect is checking out what other modelers are building, flying, and competing with. These sources can stir your creative juices and encourage you to start or finish what you’ve been working on.
There are many websites for Scale modelers. One of my favorites is the Flickr site for the National Association of Scale Aeromodelers (NASA) that is maintained by Mark Lanterman. The site doesn’t have only a few photos of models in flight on it, there are many. Included is a photo set of Bob Patton’s progress on his huge Cessna with a 173-inch wingspan. As Bob’s wife, Tina, said, “Bob doesn’t build anything small.” From the photos, you can see what she means.
The NASA Flickr photo site has thousands of photos to view. This can stir your creativity and encourage you to return to your shop.
Several sets of building photos are included, as well as pictures from world championships, the AMA Scale Nats, the NASA Scale Classic, Top Gun, various fly-ins, Scale Masters, RC, Control Line, and Free Flight Scale. There is something for everyone. You never know, you might find yourself or your work there!
To access the NASA Flickr site, go to the NASA website’s main page and click on “NASA Photostream on Flickr” in the middle of the page on the right side. On the next page, click on the “NASA Flickr Sets link.” From there you can select the photo set that you would like to view. Scroll down the page and check out all of the photo sets. Sit back and have fun. You never know whom you might see.
Cessna C-165 Airmaster Build
I have begun building my Cessna C-165 Airmaster and I’m pleased with the plans, as well as the short kit I purchased from Bob Holman Plans. The numbered parts are easy to punch out. This is a timesaver for experienced builders and a godsend to beginners who are building their first plan-built model. With plan-built models, you have the plans but have to either purchase a kit (all of the wood) or a short kit.
A short kit usually provides all of the shaped or formed parts including the wing ribs, fuselage formers, firewall parts, and sometimes even landing gear parts. Having all of the parts labeled is a great help for a first-time plans builder. You won’t have an instruction booklet to work with, but there are links at www.rcscalebuilder.com to forums about many designs.
The Cessna has three flap types: mid-wing, trailing edge (TE), and the ever-popular fuselage center section large flap that is located under the cabin. All of the flap types are depicted on the plans, along with all parts such as hinges, flap material, servos used, etc. to help the builder. A placement tab located at the wing ribs’ TE keeps the wing straight without warping. After adding the spars and leading edge (LE), the tabs can be cut off and the lower TE can be installed.
I’m adding retractable landing lights in each panel on my Cessna, as well as navigation lights. The landing lights are located under the wing, while the navigation lights will be on the LE of both panels.
I made a list of parts such as balsa and plywood sheets and sticks, radio gear, engine, cowl, tires, and landing gear that I need for the airframe I’m building. Because mine is a C-165, it has mid-wing flaps. I told Bob Holman about the flaps before I purchased the short kit from him and he fed the information into the computer. The correct wing ribs arrived at my door. Bob offers special flap types needed for specific airframes. Great!
When you purchase the balsa and plywood for your project, buy some extra pieces because as sure as the sun comes up tomorrow, you’ll need them. At least that seems to be what I’ve found in the past.
Another great source for beginners building from plans is Bob Bishop’s website. Bob and Jerry Bates have collaborated on several projects. Check out what is available in Jerry’s catalog, which has included aircraft such as the Cessna C-165, the Curtiss Hawk, and the Bellanca 14-19-2 Cruisemaster.
Before I cover the wing plans with waxed paper, I check out the plans and see where I need to make additional holes. The holes for servo wires come precut in the ribs.
For my Cessna, TnT Landing Gear Products cut the T6 aluminum landing gear blanks with the correct angle and bend, along with the wing tube for the three-piece wing.
Rough River Scale Rally
All of the details have been worked out between Rough River Dam State Resort Park officials and Rough River Scale Rally organizers to hold the event May 16-17, 2015, in Falls of Rough, Kentucky. This is a Scale fly-in. There will be seminars on static models, building tips, as well as flying. A full-scale runway is available. The park campground is closed for 2015, but there are nearby motels.
This should be a fun event! Dale Arvin will be the contest director. Check out the NASA site, listed in “Sources,” for more information.
NASA Scale Classic
The dates for NASA’s second Scale Classic have been announced. It will be held September 25-27, 2015, at the Lexington Model Airplane Club field in Lexington, Kentucky. There will be several invitation-only competition classes made up of pilots who competed in RC and Control Line Scale contests held across the country.
There will also be classes that anyone can compete in such as Fun Scale Open and Fun Scale Novice. A themed event for pre-World War II air racers will be open to all pilots.
In my December 2014 column, the caption for Guy Forshey’s Scale models on page 106 should have read: Guy Forshey with two of his 1/4-scale light civil aircraft: his new Aeronca 15AC Sedan (red/cream) and his Aeronca LC (yellow). Sorry about the goof.
Fair skies and tailwinds.