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Microaces Focke-Wulf 190 A-8/R8 "Black 8" ARF Review

Fine art coupled with a sense of history combine in a single model from a new company, arguably among the most unique, rugged and fine-flying micros on the market today.

Splash

Introduction


Microaces Focke-Wulf 190 A-8/R8 Black 8
Wingspan:16" (406mm)
Weight:2.3 oz (65g)
Length:14.8" (375mm)
Construction:Depron Aero 3mm sheet foam airframe and tire parts, carbon fiber wing and fuselage reinforcement rods, carbon fiber elevator joiner, steel pushrods and landing gear struts, textured vinyl stickers, plastic receiver mounting tray, plastic pushrod horns, plastic propeller and wheel mounting hardware, foam spinner
Servos:Generic 1.7g analog aileron servo; elevator and rudder servos are incorporated with the required Spektrum receiver (not included)
Transmitter As Tested:Spektrum DX6i six-channel aircraft
Receiver As Tested:Spektrum AR6400L DSM2 six-channel ultra micro with integrated rudder and elevator servos (SPMAR6400L)
Battery:Microaces 3.7V 300mAh lithium polymer with Blade/E-flite micro connector
Motor:AP05 5000Kv brushless outrunner
ESC:Oversky XP-7A
Propeller:GWS 5x3
Typical Flight Duration:
Minimum Operator Age:14+
Minimum Operator Skill Level:Intermediate
Manufacturer/Available From:Microaces Ltd., 33 Springdale Road, Broadstone, Dorset, UK BH18 9BN
Price (Deluxe Kit):£63.95 including VAT for UK buyers; £53.29 excluding VAT (approximately US$85.73 excluding VAT for buyers outside the UK)

There are a lot of banner ads here on RCGroups.com, posted by companies with a deep interest in the great hobby of radio control.

Such an ad led me to Microaces Ltd. of Broadstone, Dorset, United Kingdom. Microaces is a new company, but you would never have guessed it by their website. It's as polished, as professional and as beautifully rendered as anything you'd see from a more established online vendor, perhaps better. Here's their YouTube demo video:

The site itself can be found here and the YouTube "Microaces TV" website with its video assembly tutorials together in one place may be found here.

Microaces Ltd. came online in the final quarter of 2012 with two hyper-detailed semi-profile micro flyers each with a choice of two color schemes. One is the iconic North American Aviation P-51D Mustang available as the Cripes A'Mighty flown by Major George Preddy of the 352nd Fighter Group and the Old Crow flown by Captain Bud Anderson of the 357th Fighter Group.

The other is the subject of this review, the Focke-Wulf 190 A-8/R8 Black 8 flown by Unteroffitzier Willi Maximowitz. It's available as the Focke-Wulf 190 A-7 Red 13 flown by Major Oskar-Heinz Bär. All are available as airframe-only basic kits and as deluxe kits with an AP05 5000Kv micro brushless outrunner, a tiny 1.7g aileron servo and an Oversky XP-7A ESC. Guidance comes from a readily available Spektrum AR6400L six-channel ultra-micro receiver, requiring the use of a Spektrum, JR or Spektrum-equipped Futaba spread spectrum transmitter.

A Supermarine Spitfire Mk1a and a Messerschmidt Me 109 are under development as of this writing and are scheduled for an early 2013 release. The Spitfire will represent N3162, flown in the Battle of Britain by British ace Eric Lock. It will be presented in its 1940 trim.

As small as these models are, none of the fearsome presense of the prototypes is lost thanks to rugged, textured, fine art-quality stickers printed at the highest possible resolution down to prototypical stenciled markings, rivets and weathering. They will not only add structure to the model, they look like three-dimensional renderings of the artwork found in fine coffee table books. Even some of the inks used in the printing process are textured; the black and some of the red insignias have a fine-grained texture which visibly and tactically set them apart. The histories of the prototypes are posted in detail at Microaces.com and on the decal sheets as well; they literally bring the models to life.

An e-mail sent to Microaces was immediately answered by founder Jon Porter. Jon cheerfully agreed to send me the deluxe model of my choice.

Tough choice, indeed. I'd reviewed other P-51D subjects for RCGroups.com in the past since the Mustang is my favorite WWII warbird, bar none. I'm especially proud of the fact that my grandfather Salvatore worked the line at the North American Aviation plant in Inglewood, California during the war.

I'd never done a German warbird before and the stunning black and silver livery of Maximowitz's Black 8 caught my eye. Even Maximowitz himself is represented as he appeared in the summer of 1944, down to his favorite fur-collared jacket and rank insignia. Jon got one to me via the Royal Mail complete with the power system, the tiny aileron servo and three li-pos.

Jumping ahead, that original model suffered from a defect in the rudder compounded by a corresponding error in the manual. The bevel on the forward edge which allowed the rudder to deflect didn't allow the hinge area of the stickers to come together, resulting in a badly offset rudder and one which would not properly operate at all. Jon told me that the tooling was such that it was discovered to be nearly impossible to create a highly accurate 45-degree angle on the rudder where it meets the tail, so off came the bevels on the replacement model.

Such are the growing pains of a new company.

Jon asked that I include that issue in this review since he is placing customer service above all else and cheerfully replaced the original sample with a brand new one less the motor and ESC. As a result, the photos will show a mix of the assembly of both models.

Sit back, relax and read on as we bring history to life!

Prototype

Black 8 was a heavily armored Fw-190 flown by ace pilot Unteroffitzier Willi Maximowitz for Sturmstaffel 1, an experimental fighter force dedicated to halting the allied aerial bombardment of Germany in WWII by all means possible, going so far as to make its pilots sign a promise to shoot down a minimum quota of Allied aircraft on a daily basis. This was the first unit to fly the Sturmböcke or "battering ram" aircraft; the armor plating on the unit's aircraft was intended to be used to ram Allied aircraft out of the sky if possible.

Maximowitz amassed 27 kills in Black 8 before being shot down and killed over the Eastern Front on April 20, 1945.

While the model isn't armor plated, the incredible vinyl covering makes it about as crash- and damage-resistant as any model aircraft can be made...although I don't recommend that one goes about ramming other micro aircraft out of the air.

Kit Contents

In a deluxe kit, almost everything needed is included in the sturdy, custom-made box with its custom packaging:

  • Precut Depron Aero airframe parts
  • Precut Depron Aero tires
  • Artistically illustrated and detailed textured vinyl stickers
  • Preformed wire pushrods and landing gear struts
  • Precut carbon fiber reinforcement rods and elevator joiner
  • Hook and loop tape strips
  • Self-adhesive sponge pad to aid in securing the receiver
  • Plastic motor mount, receiver mount, pushrod horns, spinner, prop mount hardware and wheel mounting hardware
  • Outrunner motor and ESC (deluxe kit only)
  • 1.7g micro servo and arm (deluxe kit only)
  • GWS 5x3 propeller
  • Printed assembly/setup manual
  • Artistic print of the prototype suitable for framing

The following items are needed to complete the Fw-190:

  • Microaces 3.7V 300mAh lithium polymer battery with a suitable charger and Blade/E-flite micro charging connector
  • Spektrum AR6400 or AR6400L DSM2 six-channel ultra micro receiver and a suitable Spektrum, JR or Spektrum-equipped Futaba aircraft transmitter with a minimum of four channels

Building supplies are minimal:

  • Depron-safe contact cement such as UHU Por or Beacon Foam-Tac or foam glue such as Aleene's Fun Craft Foam Glue
  • Thin foam-safe CA and kicker for seam touch-ups if necessary
  • Tweezers to aid in applying stickers
  • X-Acto #11 hobby knife or equivalent with fresh blades
  • Small phillips screwdriver
  • Light oil such as from a Trinity Products micro oiler, sewing machine oil, etc.
  • Optional Dubro #848 micro control horns as substitutes for those supplied with the model

Although it isn't mentioned in the manual, I recommend the use of a spray bottle filled with plain water in order to help align the stickers.

Assembly

Rudder, Horizontal Stabilizer and Elevator

After the obligatory safety and liability information in English, French, Spanish and German, a series of excellent computer-generated pictoral instructions guide the builder with assembly. A legend before the first step shows where gluing, no gluing, lubrication and parts and sticker overlap are required.

Here are some photos of the sticker sheets:




Assembly begins with the rudder, its numbered stickers and one of the pushrod horns. There's no guesswork regarding the servo horn; its location is marked on the sticker along with crosshairs showing the location of the mounting pin.

The striped tabs at the end of stickers number one and two will eventually be used as the rudder hinge, so naturally it should not be taped to the beveled hinge area of the rudder itself.

This is where my trouble began with the first model.

I'd emailed Jon to tell him that I'd begun assembly of the replacement. He told me that in order for the rudder to properly deflect and to maintain the proper distance for the pushrod, the beveled areas must first be shaved off with an X-Acto. This allows the striped tabs to stick together to create the hinge. With the bevel in place, the hinge halves merely stick to either side of the bevel and not to themselves. The pushrod horn should not be installed at this time despite the manual. The first run of horns proved to be somewhat brittle and might not stand up to the twisting required to hook up the pushrods at the end of assembly.

The stickers stick well, so the tweezers and the water bottle come in handy here.

The horizontal stab consists of a carbon fiber elevator joiner, tape strips which secure the elevator and act as hinges and no fewer than eight of the outer stickers.

Where were the tape strips?

I was looking for a separate sheet, but they turned out to be a part of sticker sheet number four. They were hard to see because of the repeating Microaces logo on the background of each sheet. It's a rather brilliant use of the strong vinyl covering, serving as tough control surface hinges as well as holding parts together beneath the outer stickers.

No fewer than eight stickers come together with a carbon fiber elevator joiner and another control horn to complete the stabilizer. The attention to detail was already apparent; nearly microscopic warnings (Nicht Verstellen, or "Do Not Adjust") were clearly legible on the prototypical trim tabs.

I did another slight variation on the second model with Jon's blessing. Instead of merely taping the elevator joiner to its slot, I glued it in place with the foam-safe CA before applying the stickers, resulting in a much more evenly deflecting elevator later on.

Fuselage

Steps five through eight cover the basic fuselage assembly beginning with the attachment of the tail wheel wire with one of the vinyl strips. It was here I caught a small error in the manual; the wire is almost - but not quite - a mirror opposite of what's shown in the picture. That picture shows the axle pointing toward the right side of the model, but doing so will angle the gear forward instead of back. Jon confirmed that the early printings of the manual were in error; the axle should indeed face left.

Also not quite a mirror opposite is the fuselage half which begins the assembly. There are differences between both halves and they're clearly visible in the manual.

As shown in this video of the initial assembly steps, the fuselage is best assembled with contact cement or foam glue. Jon is shown assembling a P-51 fuselage with UHU Por contact cement, but the basic steps apply to the Fw-190 as well.

No retailer I called had UHU Por. Most had never heard of the stuff, but it's available through Amazon.com. Matt Jones of YardbirdRC.com had forwarded some excellent Beacon Foam-Tac contact cement when I reviewed his Yardbird RC Mini Su-30 pusher prop jet a couple of years ago, but it may have been lost or discarded when I moved to a new home.

Jon has discussed the possibility of enclosing a tube of UHU for a nominal fee.

Some online research regarding other adhesives safe for Depron led me right back to RCGroups. A number of scratchbuilders reported outstanding results with Aleene's Fun Craft Foam Glue, which I found at the local Michael's craft store. It looks like ordinary white glue, but it's far tackier and does a fantastic job of permanently bonding foam, not to mention bonding itself to one's fingers. Best of all, it's applied like contact cement. Spread it on thinly on both surfaces (which is how I found out how well this stuff sticks to skin), let dry for a few minutes and stick the parts together. Jon showed the fuselage of the P-51 being carefully stuck together from nose to tail and I followed suit with the Focke-Wulf.

Step six entails the installation of the fuselage's first stickers which include the first of two separate swastikas for the tail. I hadn't even thought of the swastika when I requested this sample - I simply thought it would be a fun change of pace to do a German plane - but I have to give a lot of credit to Microaces for making them optional. I'd assumed I'd find the usual stylized Iron Cross or an upended black square or something like that in lieu of a swastika which I could use in the build. Instead, these are the historically accurate real deals and it is up to the builder to whether or not to use them and rightfully so.

This really had me torn as to whether or not to use them despite the go-ahead from RCGroups; it's a common problem with a lot of German modeling subjects of the period. If they are unused, the only things that would be visible are the very faint, fine alignment lines.

I know this deservedly hated symbol still evokes a lot of emotion nearly 70 years after the fall of the Third Reich and the last thing I wished to do was to offend anyone. In the end, I elected to use them as scale details in the same way Microaces uses them in their promotional material and how others with German planes use them for scale accuracy, nothing more.

Step 7 will require the centering of the aileron servo before installation because once it's in, it's in for good. While it's never a good idea to manually move servos, ordinary handling during the build and operation later on showed this little 1.7g servo to be a tough customer.

In for the duration as well is the clear plastic pushrod tube for the rudder and elevator shown in step 8. Each pushrod is supposed to get a couple of drops of oil before they're slid into place and the tube tacked down.

That's what happened with the first model, in any case. I did something slightly different here on the second model, again with Jon's blessings.

The manual was a bit vague regarding how the tube should be attached, leading to the other issue with the first model, namely that of binding pushrods.

The photo I posted farther up which shows the tailwheel wire also shows the rear alignment mark for the tube. The front aligns evenly with the retainer tab on the receiver tray. So, while the manual shows the tube lined up along the center line of the fuselage's geometry, it doesn't need to be.

If there were any one thing on model #1 that really frustrated the heck out of me, it was trying to connect the pushrods to the receiver servos once the receiver was installed. Again, the manual was vague as to how the fronts of the pushrods should be aligned, prompting Jon to publish both an online tutorial as well as this addendum:

He was also kind enough to forward this photograph of a prototype Fw-190:


Installing both the receiver and pushrods was far easier than first installing the pushrods and receiver separately and then trying to clip the rods to the servos later. Worse, the pushrods were constantly getting in the way on the first build, so I'd removed them during the build until I was ready to use them. The tube's alignment both front and rear turned out to be perfect on model #2, evidenced by freely moving pushrods. Test fitting the rudder and horizontal stab showed that the rear ends of the pushrods would eventually line up perfectly with the pushrod horns.

There's no channel in the foam for the tube, so when decal 15 is tacked into place, the outline will be clearly visible under the foam.

Tail

Steps 9 and 10 complete the basic fuselage with the initial intallation of the horizontal stab and the rudder attachement. Good thing I had kept all of the little punched-out Depron bits up to this point since the tab used to hold the rudder down was one of those bits. It's been cut on the sheet behind one of the fuselage halves and can easily be mistaken for excess material.

The final stickers on the rear of the fuselage along with the optional swastika and the printed tapes which secure the stab complete the job. Those tapes, stickers 19 and 20, must be bent in order to attach the stabilizer to the fuselage at the fillet. This took both careful bending and careful use of the tweezers to get the stickers in place.

Jon explains it in detail here:

Wing

Assembling the wing is made simpler with some suggestions found on the Microaces YouTube channel:

The first few steps involve applying the outer stickers to the wing and ailerons, but by step 14, it's necessary to install the aileron torque rods, lightly oiled so as to not stick to the sticker which covers them.

To help keep the wing flat without interference from the torque rods, Jon suggests the use of the foam component tray at the bottom of the shipping box. Works like the proverbial charm. He also suggests using an X-Acto to open up the seam a bit where the wing joiner will go.

That same tray comes in handy after the wing joiner is installed in step 15. The instructional video suggests applying contact cement or foam glue to the joiner where it attaches to the wing, pulling it out and allowing the glue to set. The joiner is reinstalled and the wings sufficiently tacked down for the proper dihedral built into the joiner.

The completed wing is then inserted into the fuselage with the torque rods properly aligned inside each side of the servo arm; completion of the wing-to-fuselage assembly continues with foam fillets sandwiching the tab of the wing joiner and with a series of intricately cut stickers. By that I mean that Microaces has brilliantly added a series of tabs which help to hold narrow, curved trim stickers and which were designed to be hidden under other stickers. The result is a sticker which is both impossible to remove and which adds strength.

Sticker number 34 has a tab which must be folded under before application; this will serve as the pocket for the drop tank's retainer wire.

The stickers on the upper part of the wing fillet proved to be difficult to install since they must first be folded before installation. Even if they're folded before they're completely removed from the sheet, they tend to stick somewhat prematurely and it took a few tries to get it right. Despite the tenacity of the stickers over large areas, smaller areas tend to be less tenacious, especially near the hinge areas of the ailerons.

Some foam glue will solve the problem; one Microaces fan on the RCGroups Microaces discussion forum claimed great success with UHU Por lightly thinned with Zippo lighter fluid.

Completion

The assembly enters the home stretch with the installation of the forward fuselage doublers, the motor and mount, landing gear and receiver.

Since I'd preinstalled the pushrods on the Spektrum receiver, I thought it best to slide them home for good, clip the reciever in place and attach the rods to the control horns before installing the motor mount.

A round, adhesive-backed foam pad shown in step 33 should first be installed if the builder elects to go the same route that I did regarding the electronics.

Jon told me that the current crop of control horns is made of a more brittle plastic than he would have preferred. The attachment of the rod ends to the horns installed early in the build is in fact the last step in the manual, requiring them to be twisted in order to install the rod. I wound up breaking both on the first model, electing to use Dubro #848 micro control horns. These tough nylon horns are larger and have a much longer mounting pin than the originals, but they're designed to poke through the opposite side of the control surface and may be trimmed as needed. I used the innermost mounting holes to maintain the geometry of the rods, which needed only slight bending at the curve near the end in order to get the rudder and elevator perfectly straight.

Recall that the rudder on the first model was mounted improperly, making it impossible to align. Not so on this second attempt. The control surfaces worked perfectly once I reversed the elevator and rudder settings.

I'll jump ahead once more and show the final installation of the tiny Oversky ESC and the rather unusual fact that each unit has its own power lead, giving what may appear to be a choice of battery connection.

I'll save you future Microaces customers some frustration.

Attaching the battery to the receiver will power the receiver, but not the ESC. Therefore, the battery is to be connected to the lead of the ESC, thereby powering both. I tucked the receiver's lead into the motor mount to get it out of the way.

It is also necessary to reprogram the receiver so that it will operate the ESC since the factory default is for a brushed motor. Simple enough; once the receiver is bound, the transmitter's throttle/rudder stick needs to be at full throttle and full left elevator after it's powered up. The battery is plugged in and the LED will blink in response, signifying a successful change. The throttle will now power the ESC.

After applying a few more decals including two under the wing which will serve as pockets for the removable landing gear, the basic airframe is complete.

Building the landing gear and removable drop tank is straightforward; to keep the stickers on the outsides of the tire halves centered, I first inserted the hubs through the center hole of the sticker before applying them. Once assembled and installed, the landing gear are cambered inward, odd though it may look. As for the drop tank, a prebent wire is assembled within the halves which in turn is held in place with the pocket made with decal number 34 back in step 20.

The manual shows the landing gear, drop tank, electronics access doors and propeller installed in steps 31 and 32. I had some real issues getting the pushrods installed on the first model, making me wish I'd kept them of before doing so. They have to come off later in order to set the CG anyway.

I kept them off on the second model, returning to install the parts after the board, its cushioning pad and the ESC were installed. I'd also preinstalled the pushrods rather than try and wrestle them in place per step 34, so in they went followed by the Dubro control horns I'd mentioned earlier.

There is precious little room in which to work inside the battery compartment, especially given the extra added "bulk" of two battery leads. One for the board, one for the ESC.

Once the Spektrum board is programmed to operate an external ESC, both units are then powered through the ESC's battery lead. Cutting the battery lead from the board is an option, but one which might void even Horizon's generous warranty. Jon suggested coiling the wire inside of the opening where the wires pass through, which worked. Tucking the motor lead inside the motor mount (after making sure the motor was spinning in the proper direction) gave plenty of room for the battery.

Four cushioning grommets are supplied for backing the three mounting tabs of the motor, but one is a spare. It can be used to add a bit more thrust angle if necessary, but mine didn't need it.

WIth the prop, spinner and battery in place less the gear and tank, the CG came out exactly at the recommended 33mm behind the LE of the wing.

There is a lot of aileron throw, more than I'd thought possible with a torque rod setup. I went with 60% rates and 40% exponential per a user on the Microaces discussion board and I'm glad that I did.

After some final adjustments to the elevator pushrod, the Fw-190 was ready to take to the air at last!

Flying

The Focke-Wulf's first flight came on a dead calm but overcast day; it was now or never.

That flight took place off the grass of a practice field at Palm Desert Soccer Park in Palm Desert, California. The grass was relatively short, but I thought the model would catch, especially with all the underside goodies in place.

It didn't. It rose into the air straight and true and very much to scale, needing only some down elevator trim. It looked absolutely fantastic and better still, it was downright fast.

Even with gobs of expo and comparatively little aileron throw, the model wanted to dip the nose in turns. Airspeed and up elevator tamed the little beast, but it was clear some adjustments would have to be made to the settings.

What struck me was the sheer realism of the thing. The graphics make the difference in this model; I really noticed details such as the oil stains under the wings as it went by.

Landing wasn't quite as easy as taking off. The nose-heavy nature of the full house setup meant that a bit of power was going to be necessary. Even with power, the 190 simply nosed over, even after repeated tries.

With the gear and tank removed, the model was transformed.

There is plenty of power on tap for it to simply launch out of one's hand. Grasp the canopy, power up, let go, bye-bye model.

Utterly gone were the nose-heavy tendencies. Now the Focke-Wulf tracked in turns like a thoroughbred with no bad habits. It even appeared to have picked up some airspeed.

This was no twitchy, hyper-sensitive micro at the mercy of the elements. This was a quality park flyer with enough airspeed, stiffness and mass (although it's far from heavy) to keep it flying straight and true.

The glide path on landings was a lot longer; I simply glided in and let it basically land itself.

Any more fun would have to wait for the video shoot, which would happen at the Coachella Valley Radio Control Club near Thermal, California. Club videographer George Muir agreed once more to meet me there to shoot the raw video.

Almost everyone who walked by the bench area pulled up to look at the Focke-Wulf; they'd never seen anything like it. All asked about price, availability, ruggedness, flight characteristics and such and I was more than glad to oblige.

While George fired up the camera, I fired up the Focke-Wulf and off it went in a slight breeze less the drop tank with that graceful, scale-like poise. I was expecting the nose-heavy habits in the turns since I'd neglected to readjust the aileron expo and throw.

Those present were mostly veteran R/C pilots and even they were simply blown away by what they saw. Club president Dan Metz, who has become enamored of micros as of late, was especially gobsmacked by the model.

Setting up for a smooth landing for the camera proved difficult. A slight breeze had come up and trying to power down for the landing seemed to exacerbate the sensitivity of the ailerons and threatened a tip stall. I finally got it to touch down on the paved runway without a noseover.

The tailwheel doesn't steer with the rudder, but the model will steer on the ground with rudder input. I couldn't get it to swing around all the way in order to get it back to the pits, so I simply cleared the runway and walked out to get it.

I couldn't wait to get the gear off and try again.

The model left my hand like a shot and by now, I'd become brave enough to attempt a roll. Roll it did, doing so perfectly without bumping the elevator.

The club has a lot more room than the soccer park, so, I really opened it up and just had fun flying. Here again was a micro that simply went where I wanted it to go, all without the benefit of a gyro.

Landing was a cinch. I just let it glide in with minimal throttle and it eventually plopped down on its belly.

Aerobatics/Special Flight Performance

The scale-sized control surfaces limit aerobatic performance somewhat. This isn't a 3D plane by any means, but the ailerons have enough deflection to get it to roll as quickly as one.

Other basic aerobatics such as loops, Cuban Eights and Immelmann Turns are as close as the sticks.

This is a model to be enjoyed as a scale flyer and believe me, I'll be doing just that.

Is This For a Beginner?

Sorry, but no. This one is for intermediate to advanced fliers. The small size might tempt a beginner, but that size doesn't necessarily equate with gentle performance. This "Butcher Bird" lives up to its namesake's nickname with high speed, highly responsive performance.

It's remarkably rugged and will take hits that would damage or even destroy another micro, but no model is crash proof.

Someone comfortable with flying an aileron-equipped model will have a blast with this or any Microaces kit if the aileron response is tamed a bit with a computerized radio.

Flight Video/Photo Gallery

















Downloads

Conclusion

A lot of time, effort research and money have gone into the development of the Microaces Focke-Wulf 190 A-8/R8 Black 8 and its stablemates. The result is a truly unique model which combines cutting edge technology and materials with a deep and reverent sense of aviation history. Birth pangs such as the issue I had with the rudder have been addressed and the upcoming Supermarine Spitfire Mk1a and Messerschmidt Me 109 will have a revised rudder mounting system.

With a profile design such as this, the sky is literally the limit on what Microaces can produce. There's even a poll here on RCGroups as to what the next Microaces design should be; it can be found here.

Between the first-class design and marketing, the great looks, the overall fun build and the dedication to quality and customer service, I can give no less than two thumbs way up for this model. I am now an unabashed fan of Microaces and I'm looking forward to adding more to the hangar. I cannot recommend this RCGroups sponsor highly enough.

Thanks upon thanks are due to Mr. Jon Porter for providing not just one but two examples. The first model is not beyond hope and I'll be getting it airborne before long. Jon is a pleasure to work with and those who purchase a Microaces kit will have his knowledge and aid as close as an email. He's worked hard to get Microaces off the ground and is dedicated to making his customers as happy as can be.

George Muir is the peerless videographer of the Coachella Valley Radio Control Club and he did his usual magnificent job shooting the Focke-Wulf against the beautiful desert mountain backdrop.

Angela Haglund works tirelessly to review, edit and post these reviews. None are possible without her.

From all of us of the RCGroups family, thank you for swinging by! Enjoy your stay on the internet's largest and most comprehensive collection of hobby websites!

Pluses and minuses

There are a slew of wonderful pluses with this model:

  • High quality materials and packaging, quite likely among the finest in the industry
  • A brilliant fusion of model aviation and aviation history
  • Unprecedented, high-resolution printed detail
  • Incredibly rugged; there's little chance of damage or hangar rash with a Microaces kit
  • Top notch customer service from an RCGroups site sponsor
  • Excellent flight characteristics, especially with the undercarriage removed
  • Relatively simple to build
  • Small design and instructional problems have been immediately addressed with design changes and instructional build videos
  • Making separate stickers of the swastikas on the tail showed a great deal of thoughtfulness given their meaning beyond mere historical detail
  • The perfect excuse to get a Spektrum-compatible radio

The minuses are:

  • Might fly slightly nose-heavy with the landing gear and drop tank in place
  • Some initial difficulty in aligning and installing the stickers, but the process became easier with practice
  • Stickers have a tendency to lift in places with little surface area such as the aileron hinge areas but are easily glued down
  • The design of the very stiff pushrods make it difficult to install them on the receiver once the receiver is in place
  • The aileron servo is inaccessible once installed
Last edited by DismayingObservation; Dec 06, 2012 at 09:02 AM..

Discussion

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Old Dec 06, 2012, 07:10 PM
The sky is my playground.
Dora Nine's Avatar
United States, NH
Joined May 2005
7,676 Posts
Extremely cool designs. I need to get atleast one of these.
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Old Dec 06, 2012, 07:18 PM
Transmogrified.
DismayingObservation's Avatar
Southern California
Joined Feb 2006
2,895 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dora Nine View Post
Extremely cool designs. I need to get atleast one of these.
Absolutely do so. I might just keep mine in the trunk of my car for a quick blast around the park before I go to work. It is not only a great flying micro, it's a great flying model, period. After really cutting loose with it yesterday, I found out that I can add some more roll and a bit more expo. I'd like to see it roll faster and it's still a bit touchy at stick center. That's as close as the menu on the DX6i. The insufficient expo is what likely made it feel nose heavy on the turns. I'll play with the numbers a bit more and report back when I find a suitable combo.
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Last edited by DismayingObservation; Dec 07, 2012 at 08:58 AM.
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Old Dec 06, 2012, 08:39 PM
Registered User
Sunnyvale, California USA
Joined Jan 2003
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I didn't know that about the rudder. I did the same thing as you on model 1. I wonder if I have to purchase another 190 to cut off the bevel and get rudder stickers?
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Old Dec 06, 2012, 08:56 PM
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I didn't know that about the rudder. I did the same thing as you on model 1. I wonder if I have to purchase another 190 to cut off the bevel and get rudder stickers?
I'm simply going to cut the rudder off of mine, trim off the bevel and get some small CA hinges in order to remount it. Shouldn't be too much of a problem to readjust the pushrods as necessary and I'll get some of those little Dubro horns while I'm at it. I wouldn't go through the expense of an entire kit. Jon was nice enough to send the new kit so that I could start fresh; that's the kind of customer service he wants to convey.
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Old Dec 07, 2012, 04:43 AM
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United Kingdom, England, Dorset
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I live a few hundred yards from these manufacturers, never knew of their existance.I don't know why I have posted this.
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Old Dec 07, 2012, 06:11 AM
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I didn't know that about the rudder. I did the same thing as you on model 1. I wonder if I have to purchase another 190 to cut off the bevel and get rudder stickers?
Tora,

If you're in need of any spare parts give me a shout. I have plenty of 'bits' left over from masses of trial cutting of Depron. As for stickers I have some spares there too but it depends on which model. Let me know & I'll see what can be done!

Jon
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Old Dec 07, 2012, 06:18 AM
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I live a few hundred yards from these manufacturers, never knew of their existance.I don't know why I have posted this.
Hi neighbour!

Kettle's on if you need a brew & a look-see at the prototype Spitfire.

Jon
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Old Dec 07, 2012, 09:01 AM
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Hi neighbour!

Kettle's on if you need a brew & a look-see at the prototype Spitfire.

Jon
Sounds great, Jon! Breakfast time here, tea time there. I may just have some tea this morning instead of coffee in honour (I don't know why we Yanks don't spell it that way) of Microaces.

PS: Good thing I didn't spell "morning" as "mourning." 'Twould be a slight change to the definition...
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Old Dec 07, 2012, 09:57 PM
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Sydney, Australia
Joined Aug 2004
87 Posts
Hi Jon,

Quick question off topic.

Would the radio board from my crapped out Eflite GeeBee UMX slot straight in to the airframes of these guys? It's the AS3X board so I'm not quite sure how it will react in these planes.

Cos i want one bad
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Old Dec 08, 2012, 02:46 AM
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Hi RockApe, the short answer is no.(Sorry). It's not the right shape to fit into the Rx clip and there are all sorts of other technical issues to regard CoG, voltage etc.

These profile birds dont have a lot of room on the fuselage if your trying to hide the electronics so the AR6400, 6400L and the Target Hobbies ($20 solution) are the only 'clean fit' options. Many of the non UMX ultra micros have the 6400 brick in, so it is possible to get one 'scrap' too.

Jon
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Old Dec 25, 2012, 11:02 AM
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United States, CA, Livermore
Joined Oct 2004
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Just finished building Red 13, and then I saw this review! Fussed with the rudder, too bad the only manufacturing error in an amazing kit is on the first step of the assembly! LOL that is just bad luck, but after awhile I realized this, you don't notice the little hatch marks on the rudder bevel once built but the review here would have you moving the bevel in the foam back and that is perfect and simple. I did find the hinge gluing surface too small on my rudder since I did not cut the foam so I simply cut it off, made xacto slots, and used doubled up "straps" as CA hinges.
I also did not find those precut straps. For a long time I was just cutting strips from excess material, until I started cutting into the prepared strips that is!
Another issue was of course the pushrods which are difficult to connect at the RX, also they were very bendy, with the supplied wide pushrod tube the elevator would not move up. Even though I figured out that it was the elevator bevel covering lifting from the foam and jamming against the stab that was opposing the elevator travel, I decided to slot some small diameter tubing I had and slip it around the two pushrods separately, then tack it down to the foam and apply the decals over top. So now the pushrods cannot deflect at all.
I was also frustrated with the supplied ESC/RX not turning the motor. My RX is removed from a first run of the Parkzone Su26 and it is difficult to get the motor to turn, it seems like I have to play with the sticks for awhile until it starts to work. I am not sure I understand your solution, it sounds like I just have to hold the throttle stick in the low/left rudder position as I power up, but I will go check that now. I haven't flown the little butcher bird yet but she is ready to go and a thing of beauty, just an amazing kit really and really novel, I love it!
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Old Dec 25, 2012, 09:01 PM
miataman
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Erie Pa.
Joined Oct 2007
670 Posts
Jon, I placed an order this afternoon and just now see i verified the wrong street number. How do I fix this?
I did send an email to support.
JCS
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Old Dec 26, 2012, 03:18 AM
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Hi JCS,

Sent you a reply email - that was an easy fix.

Your order will be winging it's way out the door tomorrow if all things are equal!

Jon
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Old Dec 26, 2012, 10:09 AM
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My RX is removed from a first run of the Parkzone Su26 and it is difficult to get the motor to turn, it seems like I have to play with the sticks for awhile until it starts to work. I am not sure I understand your solution, it sounds like I just have to hold the throttle stick in the low/left rudder position as I power up, but I will go check that now. I haven't flown the little butcher bird yet but she is ready to go and a thing of beauty, just an amazing kit really and really novel, I love it!
In the case of my AR6410L brick, the transmitter is first turned on and the throttle/rudder stick held at the extreme top left of travel, i.e., full throttle and full left aileron after everything has been bound. The manual mistakenly shows it as "Mode 1," but the illustration and the rest of the captions are correct for Mode 2. Have an assistant plug in the receiver battery. The brick's LED will come up solid and blink three times within a few seconds, meaning the switch has been made. I think that I switched mine over by plugging into the board's harness instead of that of the ESC and I haven't had to redo it since. Mine loses its bind to the transmitter every so often, but it's rebinds easily and keeps the throttle control setting.

Hope this helps!
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