After I glued the horizontal & vertical stabilizers together I realized that it was a flimsy arrangement. The vertical stab is nearly 12″ tall with no other means of support other than the glue joint. I saw a few YouTube videos of other 200% Jupiter Ducks that had struts on both the tail surfaces and wing tips. So i came up with this way of adding struts to the tail. Used coffee stirrers and BBQ skewers. The large black triangles pictured hold the vertical stab at right angles to the horizontal stab while the glue dries. How did it work? Way better!
Two Krylon products came in handy for painting the tail feathers of the Jupiter Duck. Easy Tack allows you to make a painting mask, use it, the remove it easily. You don’t want to make a permanent bond. Then for painting I used another Krylon product called Short Cuts paint. Seemed to work well on Depron. I used white craft paper for the mask. And when drawing the mask I just moved the poster board templates around and traced it again.
Took a trip to a local Hobby Lobby the other day to buy another few cans of Krylon ShortCuts spray paint. It seems to work well on Depron. As I was walking up and down the aisles I came across a section with a variety of wooden boxes and containers. One caught my eye. Looked just like a box that you would take to the flying field with your transmitter, batteries, and donuts. It’s about 16″ long and 7″ wide; all wood. Nice box. Stapled together. Also bought some styrofoam sheets that I came across. I feel like I have an R/C Airboat in my future. Scratch build. There are a lot of YouTube videos out there on how to build one. Also bought some craft foam spray primer. Didn’t know there was such a thing. And gesso. Used to use gesso to prime raw canvas in art school. It also works on wood and some other materials. I have some wooden paint stirrers that I may use for the motor mount on the airboat. The gesso will come in handy to prime the wood.
One of the problems with working with foam is making the control surface bevels. Most builders that I have seen on the Internet just use a sharp knife, either x-acto or utility knife; the kind with the break off blades. I have been having good luck using a hotwire to cut foam so I thought that I would try cutting the bevels with hotwire. I made a few hotwire guides from wooden yardsticks that I bought at Ace Hardware for 99¢. The wood is clean and straight. For the Jupiter Duck I made three. One for the elevator, one for the rudder, and one for the bottom of the vertical stabilizer. They are cut at a 45° angle. The original plans for the Duck don’t show tabs and slots for the stabilizers glue joint, but I decided to add them for strength since my Duck is going to be a 200% version. I’ll probably also add bamboo skewers to strengthen the stabilizers. In the pics below I showed the plan template in the yardstick guide to give an idea of what the relationship between them looks like. I have a couple videos in the works to actually demonstrate the process. Stay tuned.
Occasionally you may need to do some sanding or cutting of foam board using power tools. Doing that will certainly create dust. You can use a shop vac for your various power tools, but they are loud, bulky, and not easily transported from garage to basement. So if you have a handheld vacuum and a few hose accessories, you can make a relatively quiet, very portable dust collector. I used a Ryobi unit but I suspect that any brand can be adapted. I bought an extension hose and it came with extra connectors to fit various dust port sizes. I needed to make an adapter from some foam board wrapped with tape to fit onto the brush accessory. The brush itself can be easily removed from the plastic housing. I have a 5″ disc sander and a small hobby table saw that I connect to the dust collector.
Park Pilot is the Park Flyer magazine from the AMA – Academy of Model Aeronautics. Came across an interesting article on the use of various foams for model building.
It appears that Depron is gradually becoming scarce here in the U.S. I read somewhere that Depron is still being produced but not in the form that we use as modelers. That’s the bad news. The good news is that other foam board products are becoming available. And there are some products that we have come to love that are still available if you search around.
FliteTest has a new product available called Maker Foam. It comes in two thicknesses: 3/16″ and 8.5mm. Why mix fractional and metric measurements? Good question. When you look at the prices remember that you are getting folded sheets 30″ x 40″ bifold. Maker Foam is covered with white paper unlike the water resistant product that is brown. The white paper will certainly take paint better. Once I wrote FliteTest and asked if I could purchase a kit made with white foam board instead of the brown water resistant. The answer was a polite no. Wouldn’t you like to have the choice?
Model Plane Foam offers a 6mm thick product made from extruded polystyrene foam. It’s not paper covered but they do mention it being sandable (sandpaper), so if you miss sanding with the other products and 6mm is the right thickness for your project, this may be a good choice for you. When you get to the product page you will have choices of: Grade A, Grade B, Mixed Box, and Seconds.
There are a number of sellers on ebay that offer various foam model suitable products. I just recently bought a box of 12 sheets of 6mm Depron. It came from the U.K. so the shipping cost was high. But there are U.S. sellers, some that offer free shipping. The problem that you may run into is the size of the sheets. Many are 9″ x 12″ for smaller craft projects. But if you look around and don’t mind paying a bit more for shipping, you can find some of the original Depron in sizes good for model airplanes.
Amazon offers Great Planes Pro-Formance Foam in a few different sizes; 2 & 3 mm in the 47″ lengths. From the product details: “FEATURES: Ideal for building airframes as well as landscape scenery and buildings Edges and surfaces are sandable and can be painted with water-based.”
Foam board wheels are not very durable. The question is what to do about it. I came across some 1-3/4″ I.D. rubber O-rings recently and thought they might be useful to add some durability to the foam board wheels. The process begins with gluing the artwork to the foam board. There are places on the Internet where you can buy excellent art work for just a few dollars. Then cut the circles out. I used a Logan WA8001 FoamWerks Foamboard Circle Cutter available at Amazon. Glue the rubber O-rings to the wheel. Don’t forget to use the doublers behind the wheel for added strength. And you may find a Center Finder useful to find the exact place where the axle needs to go though. I bought the O-rings on ebay from Mr. O-Ring. Finally I used some rivet parts to act as a bushing inside the wheel. See my Rivets post HERE. The O-ring is 1/4″ thick so the finished wheel is 2″ diameter. Probably suitable for a smaller model such as the FT Minis. I am looking for larger O-rings or something similar. I fly from a grass field and have found that something more like a 3″ diameter wheel will allow me to taxi and get off the ground.
Several years ago Sig Mfg. sold three old time kits that had profile pilots as part of the kit. You can still buy the kits or just the pilot figures directly from Sig. Click HERE to visit the replacement parts page. Then view the parts for the Antionette, Demoiselle, or Deperdussin. The Demoiselle comes with torso, arms, & legs. The others just come from the waist up. You can order online.
The Scout looked unfinished without a pilot figure. So I came up with a solution similar to one I used before with the FT Old Speedster. Check that post out HERE. There is a hole in the foam board that is the top of the fuselage in the cockpit. I used a couple of pieces of foam board to make a base, then cut a slot for the profile pilot head to fit in. You may or may not want to glue the pilot in permanently.