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.”
Just discovered a model called the Jupiter Duck. Free plans are available HERE for download. Went to Kinko’s and had a set of the plans blown up to 200%. Then I stumbled across this one. More on the Jupiter Duck in future posts. In the mean time watch this video. Slowest flying R/C model I have ever seen!
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.
Finally got the internal servos and pushrods finished. Check the pics below. Included is a pic of the pushrod guide that I installed in the fuselage. I used this method instead of the one shown on the Flite Test build video. The method shown on the video with the foam board keepers bends the pushrods and puts tension on them. So the servos need to work more. This method takes some strain off of the servos.
This video shows how the combo of internal pushrods and the slot in the stick fuselage work. At first the slot seemed a bit on the long side, but it turned out to be just about right.
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.
My FT Simple Scout #1 is finished. I took it out to the field for a photo shoot. Didn’t do a maiden yet. Our October club meeting is coming up next week so I wanted to make sure it was in one piece for the Show & Tell.