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Old Nov 12, 2014, 02:28 AM
Aimin at the ground an missing
The Jackalope's Avatar
Canada, BC, Courtenay
Joined Feb 2014
328 Posts
Build Log
Thunder Tiger Japanese "ZERO" Fighter (Rare?)

Here is the Thunder Tiger MITSUBISHI A6M5c ZERO FIGHTER
I picked up this kit at the LHS. It looks to be a beautiful foam plane.

Wing Span(mm / in.) 34"(863.6mm)
Length(mm / in.) 28.3" (718mm)
Wing Area(sq. dmē / sq.in.) 203.1 sq.in. (13.1dmē)
Weight(g/ lbs.) 18.3oz.(520g)
Motor OBL 29/09-07A

The funny thing is, after some research, I have found NEXT to NO info online about anyone else who has purchased or built this plane. It's not brand new by any means, and best I can tell, thunder tiger no longer lists it. Anyways, figured I better log my progress for the next guy to pull one of these off a dusty shelf at the hobby shop. And if anyone else has had one, please pipe in.

Here are the only 2 other threads I have found on this model;
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...5#post29565890
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=800914

And here's mine!
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Last edited by The Jackalope; Nov 29, 2014 at 07:14 PM.
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Old Nov 12, 2014, 03:00 AM
Aimin at the ground an missing
The Jackalope's Avatar
Canada, BC, Courtenay
Joined Feb 2014
328 Posts
I have allready started the build a couple nights ago, so heres where I'm at so far;

The kit is complete minus electronics. All hardware comes nicely in sealed plastic bags.
The foam comes in 5 pieces, and looks top-notch. They even give you 2-part epoxy right in the kit (the little bottles are a pain in the A** to use, but if that bugs ya, buy yer own). The little Japanese pilot dude is pretty cool too.

The instructions that come with are clear, and have a fluent english translation on all the steps. No issues there! The build has been very easy so far, just epoxying parts together, and carefully trimming some plastics. An experienced builder could probably finish this in a day. I on the other hand, am building in the livingroom, and watching "The Walking Dead" with the wife.
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Last edited by The Jackalope; Nov 12, 2014 at 03:08 AM.
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Old Nov 12, 2014, 03:21 AM
Aimin at the ground an missing
The Jackalope's Avatar
Canada, BC, Courtenay
Joined Feb 2014
328 Posts
The canopy trusses are on the decal sheet, in individual lengths. however, there are no instructions as to what goes where. It took me a little while but i figured out where each piece went. probably looks sharper than my paint job would have worked out, so, I'm very happy with it.

Still working on a name for the pilot. Any suggestions?
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Old Nov 14, 2014, 01:25 AM
Aimin at the ground an missing
The Jackalope's Avatar
Canada, BC, Courtenay
Joined Feb 2014
328 Posts
The horizontal stab has a nice metal control horn right in the center, that connects the left and right sides into one, and keeps the control ROD hidden inside the fusalage. This diamond-ish shaped filet was trimmed out of the stab and glued to the fuse, but needed additional trimming to clear the control horn in full up elevator. I'll be aiming for lots of throw I think.

Now this kit doesn't have a working rudder But I want ALL surfaces available to me, so, I'll be cutting it out and making a hinge, and another servo setup. Just trying to figure out how to make the tailwheel steerable at the same time.
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Old Nov 14, 2014, 05:15 PM
Aimin at the ground an missing
The Jackalope's Avatar
Canada, BC, Courtenay
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Motor mounted, Cowl on, but the ailerons and 'new rudder' setup haven't been installed yet.
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Old Nov 22, 2014, 06:24 AM
Aimin at the ground an missing
The Jackalope's Avatar
Canada, BC, Courtenay
Joined Feb 2014
328 Posts
I couldn't decide, for about a week, if I should run the ailerons on a single 9g servo setup as the kit is designed, or to carve out the wings and do a "flaperon" style 2 servo system with 5g servos. I may have even saved weight just by losing the torque rods (10g for the pair). But I settled on the single servo setup just to keep things simple, and mostly to keep that clean look on the wing.

The aileron hinge winds up just being a piece of scotch tape once you've worked a bend into the foam (snaps), but it sure moves freely now.

I had one small issue with the ail-torque rods. they were 4mm too long to line up with the foam indents. So, I re-bent them to shorten them..............and snapped one of them whilst UN-bending it. I had just enough left to put a 4mm bend on it, C.A. an "L" shaped piece of rod onto it, and cover with shrink tube. Still seems strong. flight will be the deciding factor.
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Old Nov 27, 2014, 12:23 PM
This is kid stuff.
Mazzepa1's Avatar
USA, AR, Harrison
Joined Aug 2010
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I had one of these sitting in my closet for two years before I traded it to an FB.

I hope you don't make me wish I still had it.............

Not really, I hope it makes a good plane for you.
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Old Nov 29, 2014, 07:53 PM
Aimin at the ground an missing
The Jackalope's Avatar
Canada, BC, Courtenay
Joined Feb 2014
328 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazzepa1 View Post
I had one of these sitting in my closet for two years before I traded it to an FB.

I hope you don't make me wish I still had it.............

Not really, I hope it makes a good plane for you.
A few of my searches turned up old classified ads too of new-in-box sales. I wonder why? I'm pretty sure I'll be happy with it........or modify the heck out of it until I am!!! thats just how I roll.

I got the new Rudder system all sorted and installed!!

I had to scrap the stock elevator servo tray, and cut a new piece of ply to hold 2 servos instead, turned sideways and staggered, to keep the horns clear and accessible. Next, I melted out a slot in the foam of the tail section to sink a rod sleeve into and glue in place. this is all hidden once the tail is glued on. I cut out the rudder from the stab, but added another tab at the bottom protruding into the stab, like on top. Then I ran a rod from the bottom and from the top into the rudder and stab to make a freely moving hinge. It has Great deflection now, and should have some decent authority being hinged this way and not a tape hinge.

Epoxied in place, surface horn installed, and put z-bends on the rod. it's perfect!
VOILA! she's a 4 channel now!!
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Old Nov 29, 2014, 08:02 PM
Aimin at the ground an missing
The Jackalope's Avatar
Canada, BC, Courtenay
Joined Feb 2014
328 Posts
I opted out of doing a steerable tailwheel, for now, because every design I came up with seemed it might put strain on the rudder hinge during rough surface, and "rookie", landings.
She's supposed to be enjoyed in the air anyways. not so much taxiing down the field.

Fixed gear it is.
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Old Nov 30, 2014, 07:20 PM
This is kid stuff.
Mazzepa1's Avatar
USA, AR, Harrison
Joined Aug 2010
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http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=800914

Once upon a time, I had subscriptions to another thread or two on this Zero.

None had much in them, really. Some reports of the not unusual tendency of rc warbirds (built more to sell, than to fly) to stall/spin if the speed gets too low in a turn.

One guy did some some pretty extensive surgery to the wings to get some washout in. Said the plane was much more manageable then.
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Old Dec 01, 2014, 04:34 AM
Aimin at the ground an missing
The Jackalope's Avatar
Canada, BC, Courtenay
Joined Feb 2014
328 Posts
I was wondering about that. I have been told that the zero airframe is usually the better behaved of the RC warbirds due to the lower wing loading. I suppose I might negate that with the added weight of my rudder system and my big battery. (Turnigy 1600mah 3s, as apposed to the recommended AcePower 1050mah)
Oh, and did I mention that the only esc I have on hand right now is a Turnigy 55amp? Thunder Tiger recommends a 12 to 20amp esc, so, besides the 'fat", I think she'll run fine.

Just checked it. all in, rtf weight, is a chunky 594grams (approximately)
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Old Dec 01, 2014, 04:48 AM
Aimin at the ground an missing
The Jackalope's Avatar
Canada, BC, Courtenay
Joined Feb 2014
328 Posts
It does kinda suck that I have to flip her upside down and take the wing off with a screwdriver EVERY TIME I want to change the battery, but I'll make do.

I was working on the CG when I installed the elecs. As you can see, Batt, RX, and ESC are right forward in the current bay, as far as can be. However, I'm still about 10mm behind the recommended 55mm center of gravity mark. The size of battery doesn't seem to help because the Batt sits right on the root of the wing. hopefully I can make some of those mm's up with the wheelpants and machinegun barrels.
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Old Dec 01, 2014, 07:13 PM
This is kid stuff.
Mazzepa1's Avatar
USA, AR, Harrison
Joined Aug 2010
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Tracked down the most informative thread I remember on this plane.

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1499375
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Old Dec 02, 2014, 02:51 AM
Aimin at the ground an missing
The Jackalope's Avatar
Canada, BC, Courtenay
Joined Feb 2014
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Yeah, I remember in that thread, Flypaper2 talking about cutting out the canopy for the Batt install. I may try to do this one day, but only if I switch to the 2 aileron servos mounted in the wings. If I get all the control rods off the top of the wing, I could then mount the battery to the top of the wing in the fuse.
Maybe one day. I wanna see her fly before I change TOO much more.
I wonder how a "lower" cg would affect flying characteristics?
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Old Dec 02, 2014, 02:59 AM
Aimin at the ground an missing
The Jackalope's Avatar
Canada, BC, Courtenay
Joined Feb 2014
328 Posts
Last nights photoshoot, Before the landing gear covers, and guns. Got it bound to my DX7 and set up all the control surfaces.
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