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Old May 06, 2014, 10:29 AM
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Micro Scale Helis

There seems to be enough interest in micro scale helis to support a dedicated thread.

Personally, I would define "micro-scale" as anything using a 1:35 scale fuselage and smaller. I don't think the choice of mechanics matters much. Please let me know if you disagree.

Things we can discuss here:
  • Pictures of micro scale builds (of course!)
  • Best plastic model kits to use
  • Weight/thrust considerations & Cataloging of data (e.g. how much thrust to expect from a MCPX)
  • Plastic modeling techniques
  • Mounting/placing the mechanics
  • Navigation lighting (I use model train LEDs)
  • CP flight controllers (I am adapting the open source MultiWii as a better micro flight flybarless controller)
  • Micro scale heads (3D printing/ Nanoheli.net)
  • Where to find hard-to-find parts for micro builds
  • Planetary gear reduction (for a better main gear fit in the hull)

Hope this catches on, I am really having fun at my workbench with these builds.
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Old May 06, 2014, 10:32 AM
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To get us started. . .

I already posted this in another thread, but felt that I should use it here to get this thread properly started:

I used a 1:35 scale Revell Bell H-13H and Hobbyking's FBL100 (MCPX) mechanics for this build. I botched the takeoff which is embarassing, but it survived.

The quality isn't top notch, but I have since studied up on how to build better plastic models and I even built a few 1:72 kits just for practice with assembly, sanding, painting, various adhesives and where to use them, etc. I hope this pays off in my next built .

Flight time for this little guy is about 3.5 minutes on a 300mah battery. I have a ton of fun flying it--the scale detail really captures my imagination and I can't help but to hear the theme tune from M.A.S.H. playing in my head when I fly it!

Bell H-13H Micro Scale (MCPX) (1 min 29 sec)
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Old May 06, 2014, 11:02 AM
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Tools for micro scale builds

Some tools I have found indispensable for building micro-scale plastic fuses:
  1. A good book on modeling technique
  2. A good modeling knife
  3. An organization tray for paints, glues, Xacto Knife, etc
  4. Toothpicks! Great for distributing glue with pinpoint accuracy, painting small dots in cockpits, etc
  5. Buy some basic military paint color kits (just search Amazon for "Testors Paints")
  6. Invest $10-20 in very good paint brushes for detail painting and take good care of them!
  7. A good modeling knife and extra No. 11 blades
  8. Sprue (plastic tree) cutters
  9. Extra thin plastic model cement (use this for most gluing--it takes less than you think)
  10. Masking Tape for Models--(Frog tape can work too, but not regular household masking tape as it will leave residue on your models)
  11. Rubbing alcohol (can be used to clean paint brushes, thin certain paints, clean and prep your model for painting)
  12. Super glue. This one is important--the plastic model cement chemically melts plastic and welds it together put only for specific plastics. When you try and mount your MCPX mechanics to the body, you need a drop of super glue instead. Super Glue is also great for mounting small details like antennas and guns as the cement can warp it if you put too much on.
  13. Pledge Future Acrylic Floor Polish. Dip your clear parts in this to protect them from fingerprints, etc. Gives them a nice clear shine.
  14. Blue Tack/Poster Putty. Can be used for several things including as a paint mask when painting cammo.
  15. Surface Primer. Don't skip this--it makes a big difference in your paint job.
  16. Head lamp/Magnifier
  17. Micro mesh for sanding
  18. A file set for plastic models
  19. Plastic model cement. You want to use the thin cement as much as possible to prevent runs / globs, but sometimes you need a little more.
  20. Clear Parts Cement. MUST HAVE! Regular model cement clouds your glass/clear parts. This goes on white but dries clear.
  21. GOOP! Gets the oils off of your hands before you handle your model
  22. Model putty. Fill gaps/seams and sand before you paint for a smooth model
  23. An Airbrush. Nothing compares with the look of an aibrushed fuselage. It is well worth the money--you will feel like a pro painter and your models will look great!
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Old May 06, 2014, 09:22 PM
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Random Tips for Building Better Micro Scale Models

Here are some random tips (I will add more as I gain experience but here is what I have learned so far):
  1. When painting cammo on your fuselage, be sure to use lighter colors where you plan to place decals. I just finished a Huey Cobra 1:72 for practice and some of the black decals don't show up against the dark green & black cammo.
  2. Mask all of your glass/canopies BEFORE sanding. I got some putty on the canopy of that same Cobra and then scratched scratched it with sandpaper .
  3. Use a toothpick to spread/distribute your clear parts glue. Even though it dries clear, too much of it gums up the canopy.
  4. Don't use too much modeling putty on seams. It adds weight and is hard to sand off once it cures.
  5. Don't apply fragile parts like skids, guns & rotors UNTIL you have pointed up the main fuselage with putty, sanded, primed and then repeated (if necessary). With my ham-fisted attempts at sanding, I end up breaking these small details.
  6. Take your time with glass masking. There is nothing like paint over-runs on your glass to make the heli look crummy. If you mask and then use a razor to trim, don't put too much pressure on the knife as you will score the plastic.
  7. Think about whether you need to paint the interior of the fuselage before assembly or you might have a goofy looking model if you can see inside a big cargo door and the model is a light-colored plastic. Just a dark color will help.
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Old May 07, 2014, 02:57 AM
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Mini scaler

Great idea. I build so many years such models, but with hulls made ​​of PET (much lighter).
I could write a lot here, but my english is probably not sufficient for this. But would try at least to show images with short comments.
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Old May 07, 2014, 05:09 AM
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Lupusprimus,
I suspect that this is more of your work
looks great !!

And by PET do you mean vacuum formed plastic body shells ?
yes weight is key !!
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Old May 07, 2014, 09:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lupusprimus View Post
Great idea. I build so many years such models, but with hulls made ​​of PET (much lighter).
I could write a lot here, but my english is probably not sufficient for this. But would try at least to show images with short comments.
I hoped I would see you here Lupusprimus! Yes, you have much to contribute, so please do.

Anyway, Ihr Englisch ist besser als mein Deutsch!
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Old May 07, 2014, 10:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Choppa Nutta View Post
Lupusprimus,
I suspect that this is more of your work
looks great !!

And by PET do you mean vacuum formed plastic body shells ?
yes weight is key !!
Glad you dropped in Choppa Nutta! Hopefully you will share with us some of your great modeling tricks--especially those scenes (like the oil rig) and movie making talents!

Cheers!

Matt
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Old May 07, 2014, 10:57 AM
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haha cheers
anyhow, I've been looking at a slightly broken old & dusty 1:48th Bell 47 I have and I am thinking of doing a similar conversion to it as you have done though I've got to find the bubble for it and make some new skids from carbon rod and plastic etc.

One thing though seeing as you have cockpit detail on yours, you really ought to add a pilot
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Old May 07, 2014, 01:37 PM
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well I reckon you can probably guess what I am up to

comparing size of the circuit board between the Nano and Msr
the Msr board is wider but not as tall which makes fitting it into a 1;48th Hughes 500
possible but it is a bit too wide though plus the tail boom needs raising quite a bit where as the Nano could be squeezed into it but other compromises come into play besides the Bell 47 will end up being heavier so the Nano power will be welcome for that.

The intention for the 1;48th Hughes 500 is to use some zepron which I have had for ages but never got round to using, like depron but ready for heating up and vac forming in foam

So I've sawn the plastic kits screen in half to make two sides of a mold. The nice thing about doing it this way is that it will add a certain amount of thickness and size which will help to accomodate the width of the Msr board etc. it should be quite light too.

If it works out I'll have a go at making a wooden mold for the canopy and stretch form it to help keep it smooth etc. because it would be nice to have it clear

And the Bell 47 is on the table but have yet to find the bubble ....
I'll have to make my own skids for both though.

1;48th Huey Revell model in the back ground along side the Mcpx Hughes 500 for inspiration

If these two go well I can see a 1:48 Huey on the building board soon, though I'll have to buy another kit so I can make a mold for it
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Old May 07, 2014, 01:50 PM
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I did a NCPX Mi-24 Hind 1:48 scale. It has MCPX blades on it.
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Old May 07, 2014, 01:51 PM
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here is another shot
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Old May 07, 2014, 02:14 PM
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sweet
was that from a kit or did you scratch build it ?

I reckon it is 1;72nd scale though as I have a kit of one at the scale and measured it against the Nano to see if it would fit at that scale, Mil Mi 24 is a big heli and at 1;48 the rotor span would be 15 inches and the body nearly as long even with Mcpx blades or Blade 130's even, that aint 15 inches long

Nicely done though, I like the hind
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Old May 07, 2014, 04:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Choppa Nutta View Post
haha cheers
anyhow, I've been looking at a slightly broken old & dusty 1:48th Bell 47 I have and I am thinking of doing a similar conversion to it as you have done though I've got to find the bubble for it and make some new skids from carbon rod and plastic etc.

One thing though seeing as you have cockpit detail on yours, you really ought to add a pilot
Ha ha--I plan on it! I already bought another kit to "re-do" that build someday.

That one is a bit wierd--I had to get a 1:35 for that model to work. It must be a really tiny heli in real life.
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Old May 07, 2014, 04:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Choppa Nutta View Post
well I reckon you can probably guess what I am up to

comparing size of the circuit board between the Nano and Msr
the Msr board is wider but not as tall which makes fitting it into a 1;48th Hughes 500
possible but it is a bit too wide though plus the tail boom needs raising quite a bit where as the Nano could be squeezed into it but other compromises come into play besides the Bell 47 will end up being heavier so the Nano power will be welcome for that.

The intention for the 1;48th Hughes 500 is to use some zepron which I have had for ages but never got round to using, like depron but ready for heating up and vac forming in foam

So I've sawn the plastic kits screen in half to make two sides of a mold. The nice thing about doing it this way is that it will add a certain amount of thickness and size which will help to accomodate the width of the Msr board etc. it should be quite light too.

If it works out I'll have a go at making a wooden mold for the canopy and stretch form it to help keep it smooth etc. because it would be nice to have it clear

And the Bell 47 is on the table but have yet to find the bubble ....
I'll have to make my own skids for both though.

1;48th Huey Revell model in the back ground along side the Mcpx Hughes 500 for inspiration

If these two go well I can see a 1:48 Huey on the building board soon, though I'll have to buy another kit so I can make a mold for it

Nice! Not sure about Amazon UK, but Amazon US has a perfect 1:48 Huey for dirt cheap:

http://www.amazon.com/Revell-Huey-He...+48+scale+huey

I built one recently, destroyed it, and then ordered two new kits to rebuild one that lasts. I ordered the extra kit just because they are so cheap and I figure if I lose a gun or something I will have a spare.
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