Attractive aircraft in it’s own way, the Aeronca C-1 is from the late 1920’s. It was called the “Flying Bathtub” because the pilot sat directly on the floor of the airplane. Always wanted to build a model of one and thought now might be a good time to come up with a foam board version.
The elevator of the Aeronca has a very narrow connection between the left and right side. If the elevator is being built with balsa and hardwoods there would be no concern about connecting the halves. But foam board does not have the torsional strength of balsa in this application. An exact foam replica from the plan would give a very narrow strip of foam board to connect the halves. So I decided to add a joiner made from 3/16″ x 1/2″ firm balsa. The middle pic shows what that looks like. Next is the need to cut a 45° bevel on the leading edge of the elevator. Normally cutting a bevel in foam board is easy, but with the addition of the balsa joiner the task becomes more challenging. Two possible ways to make a bevel in the balsa. One is to file or sand the bevel in the balsa before gluing it in to the foam board. Another is to use a power tool. I used a Microlux table saw. Just set the fence and make the cut. Comes in very handy.
Currently working on my first foam board scratch build, an Aeronca C-1. Saw this video of a full scale C-3. Thought it would be good to post.
Just started my first scratch build foam board model. Bought plans for an Aeronca C-1 from eBay. Usually when you think of buying model airplane plans you think AMA Plans Service; a very comprehensive assortment. But I found many plans on eBay. Anyway, you get plans, make a copy, cut the drawings out, glue them to poster board to make templates, then trace onto foam board and cut the parts out. Then assemble the model. One way to glue the cutout plans is to use Elmer’s Disappearing Purple School Glue. It is in stick form, like Chapstick. it’s purple to let you see where you are putting it. In a short time the purple disappears. Just started using it but so far it works very well.
So I have spent a fair amount of time looking at hot glue guns. On Amazon I noticed that some with different brand names look the same. The images below are of the TopElek, ccbetter, and BluSmart. And there are about three or four other brands that all look the same. Just more information for the smart shopper.
At the risk of getting deep into the weeds I’ll do this anyway. The picture below shows two glue guns and their glue bead samples. The gun on the left is the battery powered gun mentioned in a previous post while the gun on the right is a Surebonder DT-200F. As soon as I started using the gun on the left I noticed that it was easy to get a glue bead that was pretty consistent. It just seems more precise. They are both mini models which are good for smaller projects.
Heard about battery powered glue guns. Some have the battery in the handle or base. Others have a separate battery connected with a cable. Saw this battery powered glue gun at a local swap meet. I think it was $5.00. Already had the 5,000 mAh 3 cell battery sitting around. The gun has an XT60 connector. All I needed was a long enough power cable and an adapter. Bought a 36″ power cable on eBay and happened to already have the adapter from XT60 to Powerpole. It’s an inexpensive gun that I really like because it is easy to get a consistent bead of glue. Not all guns give you that. There’s no brand name on the gun but I have seen what appear to be identical guns on Amazon under names such as: Outfield, BluSmart, ccbetter, HXYTECH, TopElek, Vastar, WEIO, and others.
In a previous post I talked about strictly using Powerpole electrical connectors. The only problem that I have encountered is when I try to separate two connectors. When putting them together one slides up into the other using the slots on the side. Sometimes when you try to reverse the process it doesn’t work so well. So I use a couple of pliers or a small channel wrench. Works great. Haven’t broken one yet.
Another tool used in balsa model building that can come in handy for foam board models. The Easy Cutter is great for making clean cuts in skewers and popsicle sticks. And if you need cuts at angles, the Easy Cutter has a protractor that gives you pretty close approximations of several angles. I checked a couple of online suppliers and this product is still available.
After building balsa model airplanes for many years I have accumulated a variety of building tools. Not all work with foam board, but many do. The Master Airscrew Balsa Stripper is one of them. It easily cuts perfectly straight lines in standard foam board. The specs say that the maximum width of strips is 1/2″. Uses a #11 X-ACTO blades.