The club that I belong to has a grass flying field. While it is cut once a week, if you go flying the day before grass cutting day, the grass can be thick; great for nose overs on takeoff. So for a long time I have been putting larger than normal wheels on my models. It all started years ago when I bought my first Multiplex FunCub, which came with Tundra Tires. Never have a problem flying off grass no matter how thick or deep with those wheels. So I continue to use larger wheels even on my foam board planes. When I take the Speedster in to a club meeting for Show & Tell, it will have the wheel pants option. But when I go to the field flying it will have the larger wheels.
One of my friends looked at a picture of my FT Speedster. First thing he said was, “Where’s the pilot?”. Good question. I decided to come up with one. Years ago I built an old time Sig kit called the Demoiselle. It came with a profile pilot. You can still buy just the pilot from Sig, but i decided to go another way. Did a Google search for pictures of vintage pilot with leather helmet and goggles. Came up with one that looked pretty good, then downloaded the file. I opened the pilot picture in a photo app that I have on my computer and applied a hatch filter. Then printed it out. Then drew in a mustache and cigarette. Then scanned the drawing and sized it down 50%, which seemed to be about the right size. In order for this to work properly you need a left side and a right side. The Preview app on my Mac allowed me to print, flip, and print. Then cut the figures out and glue them both to either side of a 3″x 5″ index card and cut it out. The pilot figure has a tab behind his head. That fits into a vertical slot that I cut in the turtle deck just behind the pilot.
This one comes from the Flite Test web site. If you build models from foam board eventually you will need to do a 50% score cut. A score cut will allow you to make a cut, then fold the foam board back on itself. You don’t want to cut all the way through. The tip from Flite Test is to take your cutting tool and round off the tip. Use whatever method you prefer. A couple choices are, a brick, sandpaper, or a file.
I had this old wire bender in the garage; hadn’t used it in years. And I needed to bend some wire for landing gear. You need to put the wire bender in a vise. While I have a bench vise in the garage I decided it would be nice to have one in my shop in the basement, but I didn’t want to drill holes in my Formica work bench. Harbor Freight has a vise that you can clamp to the edge of a work bench; no holes needed. It has been working great.
During the past few months I have looked at information about many hot glue guns; never saw this before. On Amazon there was a link for the TopElek Glue Gun. I clicked it. If you have ever bought from or browsed Amazon you have seen the detail photographs to the left when you view a product. One of those images says that their glue gun has a quicker heat-up; 1.5-3 minutes as opposed to 5 minutes of the “others”. It received 4 1/2 Stars with 209 customer reviews.
It’s difficult to neatly cut bamboo barbecue skewers. Seems like there are always strands hanging out or the tool that you are using cuts and crushes. This Fiskars tool is something we use in the garden and, as it turns out, it works great for cutting bamboo skewers; nice, clean cuts. You can probably pick one up at your local hardware.
Up until I started building foam board planes I hadn’t used hot glue guns. Now I am getting the hang of it. The mini glue guns are inexpensive, usually under $10 and they often come with several glue sticks. So I am trying out different brands to see the pros and cons. When I get that figured out, I’ll do a post to share what I discovered.
Not quite finished but close enough to take pictures. Still need to install the landing gear and wheel pants. Also set the control surface throw, balance, and do the range check.
While assembling the wheel pants on the FT Old Speedster I realized that the sides were a bit closer together at the front. So the poster board would not fit properly. A small one inch “L” shaped spacer will keep the two sides the correct distance apart at the front while you glue the poster board on. I decided to go with black instead of white poster board. Don’t glue the spacer in and be sure to remove it when the gluing is complete.