New Products Flash Sale
KiwiKid's blog View Details
Posted by KiwiKid | Dec 29, 2008 @ 08:45 PM | 5,837 Views
This is my Bristol Scout built from plans (not by me). I purchased it as a bit of a wreck following an altercation with a fence (first pic), repaired it repainted it and repowered it as an electric with a Mega motor, 75amp Esc and 3300 25C battery. Flies very well and is fully aerobatic (with a bit of a dive to build up energy). A great pleasure to fly and is certainly something a bit different. Will post some flying pics and a vid in due course.

Posted by KiwiKid | Dec 29, 2008 @ 01:11 AM | 5,555 Views
This is my ESM Petrel I purchased new off our local equivalent of Ebay. I got it because I liked the shape and its 2.6m wingspan. Bit of an impulse buy and subsequent investigations revealed it was an overweight fragile discontinued dog with fleas in its stock form. With the help of the good people on RCG I made the following fixes:
*Replaced the 180g steel wing joiner with an 8mm solid cf rod
*Inserted 4mm cf rods into the wings to stop the bad habit of clapping wings at the first sight of thermal turbulence
*Installed a 5mm cf strip on the horizontal stabiliser
*Model came without a motor. It was originally intended to be powered by a brushed motor with very mediocre performance, but I installed a Mega brushless direct drive motor, 50 amp Esc and 3300 mAh 25C 3S lipo which gives it plenty of poop and a 20 minute motor run time. I used the large battery as the weight was needed for balance
*Replaced the stock spinner and prop (which exploded in my face) with an aluminium spinner and carbon folding prop
*Replaced wing securing rubber bands with zip ties
*Added fuselage decals

Now flies very well and is fully aerobatic. Will post some flying pics and a vid in due course.

EDIT 02/09: Got it together to post a vid, here:

Posted by KiwiKid | Dec 10, 2008 @ 07:21 PM | 9,252 Views
These are some build pics of my RNZAF Skyhawk adapted from the excellent GWS TA-4J kit. Various mods were made to the stock set up:

1) Strengthened elevator and recessed elevator servo inside tail fin - vid here:
2) Wings glued to body and supported with cf rod
3) Underside of wing and fuse glassed with servo covers fitted
4) Installed a HET 6914 Fan and HET 2W20 motor powered by 2X 2250mAh 4 cell 25C batteries with a 75 Amp ESC and separate 3 Amp BEC. Produces around 800 watts
5) Fitted jet intake strakes - smoothing airflow to fan and also reducing intake size to match FSA
6) Installed splitter inside fuse to smooth airflow to fan
7) Fitted thrust tube and support ring - 55mm exit diamater
8) Rigged up a flashing dorsal mounted anti-collision light on top of fuse
9) Added two 1/12 scale pilot busts and a second instrument panel
10) TA-4K mods - flattened top of tail, added antenna behind cockpit and a drag chute housing
11) Fitted semi scale undercarriage, refuelling probe, bombs, drop tanks and arrester hook - static display only as they all come off for flight. Built as a hand launched belly lander. A handhold was fitted on the centre line with sandpaper expoxied on for better grip.
12) Decals made for No. 75 Squadron of the RNZAF for TA-4K NZ 6254 as flown during the 70’s with SEA (South East Asia) camo

Hmm, now I see why the blighter took so long to build. Just have two flights on her so far that...Continue Reading
Posted by KiwiKid | Oct 24, 2008 @ 08:15 PM | 6,026 Views
My LHS organises an indoor fun fly once a month (primarily to generate a demand for spare parts ) at a venue where we have three tennis courts worth of space. Some pics below of my indoor fleet, also have alot of fun outside with them too. My club organised an expo recently incorporating indoor flying displays etc and a static display of some of our models - some pics of the static display also below.

...Continue Reading
Posted by KiwiKid | Dec 27, 2007 @ 08:39 PM | 6,781 Views
A neat model that popped up recently is the EPP Eagle. This was my Xmas project, its an easy to build barrel of fun, being strong and very versatile. You can fly it as a roust about park flyer, thermal or ridge soaring glider and indoor flyer and also terrorise the local bird population.
Build thread is here:

Links to the manufacturer and a painting tutorial are in the first posting.

Heres a link to some vids of the Eagle flying down at the park and at an indoor venue and with an onboard camera along for the ride:

Posted by KiwiKid | Sep 04, 2007 @ 08:36 PM | 7,782 Views
Seen recently at the secret Luftwaffe testing facility: the new Messerschmitt Me 163c rocket powered point of defence fighter and the prototype Horten Parabola reconnaissance bomber ...Continue Reading
Posted by KiwiKid | Aug 08, 2007 @ 07:38 AM | 8,648 Views
Recently threw together an indoor Stryker. Its the fourth one off the production line, but the first for indoor. Built it over two nights. The fins are made of 3mm depron so are one crash wonders, but I just keep a supply of replacements handy, although I haven’t had to use any yet. Just made up a card board template from a standard Stryker fin and can knock out a depron fin in no time. Elevons are 6mm depron with a thin c/f strip c/aed to the trailing edge to give rigidity. I am just using a 280 brushed/geared motor set up as I had three sitting around doing nothing. When these are used up I will replace with an outrunner.

I have also used it very successfully as a ridge soaring glider. The motor is just stick mounted with two screws so comes off in about 30 seconds and then you have a very good ridge soarer. Just fly it on the ridge with a 650 mah battery which would probably last all day.
AUW for indoors is 10.5 oz and it is a barrel of laughs. Need to get some more around so we can try indoor pylon racing. Another benefit is that you can fly it in restricted areas outside which is a plus.

Heres some pics, the white Stryker is the indoor ship, the bomb dropper is a converted std Stryker which is alot of fun. We have competitions at my club field aiming at targets. I also drop a parachute and lollies from it. The "Vulcan" is a roust about park flyer, medium weight and very agile with a brushless outrunner set up, while the "Flanker" is a...Continue Reading
Posted by KiwiKid | Jul 11, 2007 @ 08:38 AM | 7,886 Views
I learned to fly on a Parkzone Stryker and have enjoyed a variety of fast and varied models since. A friend of mine recently rewound one of my burnt out outrunners (donít ask) and, looking around for something to put it in, I realised I had run out of models. Feeling that I had missed out a bit on the slow side of flying I decided to get a GWS Slow Stick. They are cheap as chips and quite versatile, being good indoor flyers and able to take a bit of wind outside. First job was to tweak up the performance a bit with the addition of some full wing ailerons and a strengthened wing. Then I added some light strings and wing tip lights for night flying and, just recently, built the excellent auto gyro accessory kit from

Some pics below.

Here is a link to some build pics for the auto gyro accessory kit posted on the sight:

There are plenty of SS vids around, but here is a short one from the website showing how the SS flies with the autogyro kit:

There are some more pics and vids in the customer gallery on the site.

In a secondary posting here there are some pics of some strange light effects I stumbled upon mucking around trying to take a night shot - also, some pics of mods others have made to their Slow Sticks.

...Continue Reading
Posted by KiwiKid | Jun 10, 2007 @ 12:13 AM | 7,402 Views
This is my Little Stick masquerading as a Moraine-Saulnier down at the park.
There are some build pics in an earlier blog here:

Posted by KiwiKid | Jun 03, 2007 @ 12:43 AM | 8,045 Views
Ripping around the park with my V-Diamond. Hopped it up a little from the recommended set up with a Multiplex Permax BL-480/4D, Hyperion 2100mah 20/30C battery, Hyperion 50amp ESC and 6 x 5.5 prop. Havenít had a radar gun on it yet, but the same set up on my Stryker takes it to 130 kmph. Flew it for awhile with landing gear then took it off saving 2 oz and some drag. Installed a hand hold/landing skid which works well.
Thread and review links are in an earlier blog entry here:

EDIT 03/09: Vid is here:

Posted by KiwiKid | Jun 01, 2007 @ 04:04 AM | 7,220 Views
Some fun down at the park with my scratch built delta ridge soaring glider converted to electric. I did it up in French livery as it had a sort of Miragish look about it. It is powered with a geared Astron motor, 2500mah 20/30C Hyperion battery and 50 amp Hyperion ESC and still flys well as a ridge soarer.

Posted by KiwiKid | May 30, 2007 @ 02:55 AM | 10,925 Views
When I was getting close to finishing my last build - the DH1 (details here: - I started thinking about my next project. As the DH1 was a slow WW1 bipe I thought the next one should be a fast pusher jet. I have always thought that the SU-27 Flanker (and its numerous derivatives) was one of the most aesthetically and aerodynamically appealing designs ever created. It also has that cold war "ememies hardware" attraction. So the model was sorted, now for the colour scheme - so many options to chose from, but in the end I kept coming back to the Ukrainian Air Force demonstration teamís Flankers with the cool racing stripes and splinter camo.
After spending three months on the DH1 I wanted this to be a quick build and had a look at a few Flanker kits and ARFs around, but in NZ freight cost is always a PITA. I was fortunate in that a flying acquaintance of mine has made a few Flankers for other flyers in the past. He very kindly knocked me up an ARF body that is a work of art and slightly over 1m long. I powered it up with a Multiplex Permax BL-480/4D, Hyperion 2500mah 20/30C battery, Hyperion 50amp ESC and 6 x 5.5 prop. Havenít had a radar gun on it yet, but the same set up on my Stryker takes it to 150 kmh. Added a cockpit, canopy and pilot, a dob of paint and some decals I made and she was done.
Some pics below.

EDIT 11/07: Finally got it together to make a vid. Link is here: Reading
Posted by KiwiKid | Apr 15, 2007 @ 08:35 PM | 12,175 Views
I have always had a hankering to build a DH1 or 2 as their shape is unusual and suited to electric flight. After some searching I found an ARF model made by LX Models . Their standard DH1 model has a 76cm wingspan, but I managed to source a 1.0m beastie from a model shop in HK. They apparently make a 1.3m model but I couldn't find one anywhere. The LX website is pretty toxic and they never answered my e-mails. I must say I am very impressed with the quality of the model. The only gripe I have is that some of the linkages were a bit basic and attachment methods would not have lasted five minutes in flight. Just replaced them with some quality hardware.
Off and on it took me three months to build the DH1, the most time I have ever invested in a model so I was rather relieved when she just climbed away on the maiden flight as though it was the hundredth flight.
It flies brilliantly with excellent control responses. With 4 ailerons and the tail controls right in the slipstream she is very agile. Does nice loops but is a bit reluctant to roll - more likely a technique I will have to learn. It does pretty well though as I guess the original was never designed to roll at all.
Some pics below.

EDIT 11/07: Just posted a new vid:

...Continue Reading
Posted by KiwiKid | Dec 18, 2006 @ 11:06 PM | 8,085 Views
The latest dent in the bank balance. This model is a shameless knock off of the KingCat turbine, right down to the commonly used colour scheme, but is sure a fun model and is a real blast to fly. Hopped it up a little from the recommended set up with a Multiplex Permax BL-480/4D, Hyperion 2100mah 20/30C battery, Hyperion 50amp ESC and 6 x 5.5 prop. Havenít had a radar gun on it yet, but the same set up on my Stryker takes it to 130 kmh so it should be in that vicinity. Other mods were mainly strengthening to take the extra Gs and the addition of larger wheels and a pilot. Thread and review links are here:

Review and vid:

EDIT 03/09: Vid is here:

Posted by KiwiKid | Nov 03, 2006 @ 08:48 PM | 11,565 Views
I purchased an elliptical wing glider as a crash wreck recently for 20 bucks.
Had to strip off the old covering, repair about 20% of the framework and recover with tissue and dope (my first experience of this). Read up techniques on RCG and was quite pleased with the finished result - rather fragile covering though so have to be careful handling it.
I recalled that the Horten brothers built an elliptical wing glider which they called the Parabola, so decided to do this model up in German markings to represent what a production powered version of their Parabola might have looked like as a reconnaissance bomber.
Sheís powered by a Hyperion HP-Z3007-26, with a 2500mah 3 cell lipo and 30 amp ESC generating 245 watts. AUW with battery is 2.1 pounds so she motors along nicely.
Its amazing what the Hortenís managed to do without the aid of a computer or advanced materials. My Parabola cheats a bit by having winglets, but they look cool and make it very stable. Glides extremely well and is much more manoeuvrable than I thought it would be, some pics below.

Posted by KiwiKid | Aug 23, 2006 @ 09:09 PM | 8,081 Views
For my second balsa build I chose the relatively straight forward Little Stick. Motor is a Hyperion HP-Z3007-26, powered by a 2500mah 3 cell lipo and 30 amp ESC. Does a nice rise off ground and has proven to be very aerobatic. Comes in pretty hot, but I am getting better at nailing the landings and it sure is a tough design so can take a bit of rough handling. Final touches will be a pilot and machine gun stapped on by the rubber bands securing the wing.

Posted by KiwiKid | Aug 18, 2006 @ 04:43 AM | 7,618 Views
Seen these brilliant pics by Palmer Johnson? :