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Old Mar 09, 2011, 12:22 AM
"Auntie Samantha"
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Starmax 63" P-51 "Gunfighter":Un-Boxing & Evaluation

I got this Big Dog delivered to my front door today, and couldn't wait to open her up and give my evaluation!

What I'm talking about is the Starmax 63"/1600mm EPO P-51D "GUNFIGHTER"!





I have to admit I was reluctant to order the Starmax due to the poor reviews it received early on, but after going over her this afternoon with my trusty "fine toothed comb" I will say.....this plane is AWESOME! The graphics are great, the spinner-backing plate is center drilled, the paint looks good...no thin spots, the detailing is impeccable, and the size will blow you away!

There are a few glitches, but we've come to expect that! The seam on the upper panel could have been closed up. The aileron and elevator will require re-hinging. One of the wire leads got dislocated and ended up getting glued under a wing panel. One prop paddle was installed backwards, but that was an easy fix. The Hamilton Standard and spec decals were installed out of correct orientation.
I haven't figured out why Starmax has 2 control rods for the vert. stab/rudder, and only 1 for the elevator?
Also, why do the manufactures still insist on using these PZ 312s E-Tracts instead of the PZ 514s?
The out of scale location for the LG is bugging me too!

This plane can be easily transported with the capability of make the wings 1-Piece, or if you prefer, you can leave as is. With the spar installed, the wings are quite stable and have little flex.
The radiator scoop is open and functional, and works great with the working exit door.
The dash panel is nicely detailed.
The vert. stab/rudder is hinged with pivot pin hinges. The flaps have 2 plastic hinges each. The elevator and ailerons have the proverbial foam molded hinges and should be re-hinged. The elevator should need a spar installed, as it is a bit flimsy for a plane of this size.
The retracting tail wheel is a pull/pull steering assembly, and the cabling is nicely done.
The servo tray is ply, and has the capability of adding additional servos eg: Radiator exit door. With the size of the cockpit, there is plenty of space to work on the tray if larger servos are desired.
The ply tray runs forward towards the battery bay and there is a battery strap installed, but there is plenty of room in the forward section to slide a battery as far forward as the firewall is desired. Not to mention plenty of space for larger capacity batteries, with out any additional cutting for clearances.
It has been mentioned that the firewall has been loose in some of the early planes, but from what I can see, it seems alright. But to be safe, I'll reinforce mine with epoxy.

Overall I think the GUNFIGHTER is an excellent addition to the hanger, and I'm looking forward to getting started on her ASAP!
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Old Mar 13, 2011, 11:23 AM
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The flaps split at the wing root is a scale feature. Take a look at photos of the actual bird with flaps down and you'll see this. I'm quite impressed that they would incorporate this. I look forward to following your progress here. You did a beautiful job on the FMS bird.

Todd
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Old Mar 13, 2011, 06:23 PM
"Auntie Samantha"
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Originally Posted by Prowler901 View Post
The flaps split at the wing root is a scale feature. Take a look at photos of the actual bird with flaps down and you'll see this. I'm quite impressed that they would incorporate this. I look forward to following your progress here. You did a beautiful job on the FMS bird.

Todd

I agree with you Todd, that's a nice little touch Starmax did there. I also notice they opened up the radiator scoop and it runs right the channel to the exit door. As big as this bird is, you might need to put a screen on there to keep the birds out.
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Old Mar 14, 2011, 11:58 AM
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That's very cool indeed. Now, I'm wishing I'd bought one of these instead of the FMS version. Well, who's to say I can't have two Mustangs?

What sort of mods do you have planned to upgrade the landing gear?

Todd
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Old Mar 14, 2011, 09:59 PM
"Auntie Samantha"
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Originally Posted by Prowler901 View Post
That's very cool indeed. Now, I'm wishing I'd bought one of these instead of the FMS version. Well, who's to say I can't have two Mustangs?

What sort of mods do you have planned to upgrade the landing gear?

Todd
Shoot, I have 3 now! I'm running out of stables for the Mustangs!

I would like the option of installing a set of DSR-46 Titans, but with the present location of the LG, it's impossible. If I move the LG forward to the scale location, I can use either the PZ 514s or the DSRs. I would anchor the units much like I did on the FMS P-51 with wooden rails.
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Old Mar 14, 2011, 11:00 PM
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Well, I look forward to seeing which way you go with it. Will your look more scale in size? The stock gear just looks too small.
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Old Mar 14, 2011, 11:40 PM
"Auntie Samantha"
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Originally Posted by Prowler901 View Post
Well, I look forward to seeing which way you go with it. Will your look more scale in size? The stock gear just looks too small.
Yes, I'll use the VQ oleo P-51 struts with the Robart 3" Goodyears.
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Old Mar 15, 2011, 01:55 PM
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Thanks Now back to your regularly scheduled upgrades
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Old Mar 15, 2011, 06:09 PM
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Too bad about the prop! The yellow on the tips is twice as long as it should be. Worse yet, P-51 did not use H/S prop, but Aero-prop. (Well, at least the stencils look closer to scale)!
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Old Mar 15, 2011, 06:14 PM
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Nice!

Thanks for the Blog Review!

I must admitt that this model is very nice!

Having two FMS P-51D Mustangs, version #3, directly from China, I can appreciate the MOLD process to have a one piece wing assembly so transport is easlier!

Had a question....your last picture about the wing bolts securing, I just don't see where they go in?

Wonderful!
PS
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Old Mar 15, 2011, 10:25 PM
"Auntie Samantha"
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Originally Posted by Lancer31 View Post
Too bad about the prop! The yellow on the tips is twice as long as it should be. Worse yet, P-51 did not use H/S prop, but Aero-prop. (Well, at least the stencils look closer to scale)!
I agree, but I already have a proof sheet of H/S logos. I'm thinking I might make up another proof sheet for this one, and I'll add the Aero-prop to it.
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Old Mar 15, 2011, 10:29 PM
"Auntie Samantha"
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Originally Posted by PittSpecial View Post
Thanks for the Blog Review!

I must admitt that this model is very nice!

Having two FMS P-51D Mustangs, version #3, directly from China, I can appreciate the MOLD process to have a one piece wing assembly so transport is easlier!

Had a question....your last picture about the wing bolts securing, I just don't see where they go in?

Wonderful!
PS
I think you'd love this plane Carlos. Here is the bolt anchor locations.
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Old Mar 16, 2011, 07:55 AM
Right Rudder
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Sandancer,

Thanks for that last picture and pointing out where the bolts go in!

Yes, this model sure looks good and I just may pull the trigger!

PS, oh, I mean Carlos
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Old Mar 26, 2011, 02:15 PM
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Retract Mod

I was putting mine together this weekiend and of course the retracts wouldnt work...I have some of the larger electrics to use but I have a question about your modification. Did you do anything different to anchor the wooden rails you made other than glue them to the foam? I was thinking abour drilling out the foam and seting in some dowel rods similar to the plastic things that are in there now....

PO's me that these things come with all the crappy components and wierd little odd problems like they do but it is a beautiful plane if you can get it right
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Old Mar 26, 2011, 03:26 PM
"Auntie Samantha"
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Originally Posted by pc2209 View Post
I was putting mine together this weekiend and of course the retracts wouldnt work...I have some of the larger electrics to use but I have a question about your modification. Did you do anything different to anchor the wooden rails you made other than glue them to the foam? I was thinking abour drilling out the foam and seting in some dowel rods similar to the plastic things that are in there now....

PO's me that these things come with all the crappy components and wierd little odd problems like they do but it is a beautiful plane if you can get it right
I sent an email to Starmax voicing my dismay at why they used these cheap ChangeSuns E-Tracts in this size of a plane! (Haven't receive a rely yet!)

Although I installed longer rails in the FMS birds with epoxy, I decided I would try this method and see how it works? I couldn't use the 2 inner anchors on that plastic wing support because of the notches to clearance the 3mm strut anchor bolts in the 514 trunnions. What I did was drilled holes in the foam about a 1/4" and some on the back side of those flanges. I then mixed up some epoxy, heated it up and then poured it in those holes along with all 4 of those wing support anchors. So far they seem to be quite solid. I was only able to get the starboard wing done as I ran out of 4-40 blind nuts, and had to wait for some more to get here. I'm hoping to get the port wing done this weekend and get a vid up tomorrow showing the results.

I would say, your idea of anchoring some dowels might not be a bad idea!
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