|Building With Foam - A beginners guide to building model airplanes with foam|
|Shipping:||$5.00 (US) $9.00 (outside the US)|
The back cover displays a few of Keith's very fine looking foam models
In the past few years, we have a seen a bloom of foamie mania like never before. However, as proliferous as this method has become, its not always easy to find all the info and tips you might need on the often disjointed web. Keith Sparks, with 15 years of foam building expertise, brings us this book to tie together in 78 tidy pages all the info you could ever want about building with this unique material.
First, let me say that the purpose of this article is not to divulge large quantities of this book, or post lots of pictures and excerpts, but to give you quick taste of the books contents and target audience, so you can decide for yourself if it will be useful to you.
That said, lets take a quick overview look at the chapters, and get a scope of this book. All the chapters contain black and white photos, as well as clearly drawn diagrams and instructional pictures.
|1. Types of Foam (P. 1-3)|
|2. Getting Started (P. 4-9)|
|3. Wire Cutting (P. 10-18)|
|4. Shaping Foam (P. 19-23)|
|5. Bonding and Finishing (P. 24-36)|
|6. Fuselages (P. 37-54)|
|7. Support Structures (P. 55-62)|
|8. Hardware Attachment (P. 63-77)|
|A. List of Product Suppliers (P. 78)|
Here we are introduced to the major types of foam. Keith discusses manufacturing processes, densities, and were you can find it. He also gives us quick insight into which foams are best for which applications.
The next section goes into quite some detail on creating your own foam cutting bow and cutting board as well as creating some other rudimentary tools. As with all the chapters, this section contains great little common sense tips here and there.
because lighter flies better."
Keith next begins to extrapolate out the mechanics of foam coating, starting with the templates and their design. In his instructions, it is evident that he has made hundreds of them, as he covers every facet. As the chapter turns to wire cutting, my mind began to stretch, as he covered every angle of it imaginable. Cutting with or without a bow, automated cutting; Its all there.
In this section we are introduced to many of the techniques of foam shaping. This includes cutting and sanding by hand, as well as when power tools are appropriate and how to use them effectively. Once again, I am impressed with the down to earth, practical, and safe approach he takes to everything.
This section begins with outlining the major adhesives, and tips for when they are best used. Keith also goes over gluing techniques, and clamping tricks which make the job easier. Covering materials, which includes everything from tapes and plastics to balsa and paper are discussed next, as well as an excellent in detail section on fiberglassing foam models. A quick touch on painting, and its off to the next chapter.
Keith outlines the three main types of fuselage construction, and as usual gives us the pros and cons to each method as he gives us instructions and pictures. He also includes a page devoted to choosing fuselage skin thickness for your aircraft. The next subsections are devoted to combined constructions methods, hatch and seam strategies, and wing saddles.
This chapter explores the many methods of providing additional support and strength to your foam model. Wing mounting, Bulkheads, landing gear mounting, and firewalls are just some of the topics. There is also some info specifically for glow models, as well as instructions for cowl construction.
This is a lengthy chapter which covers how to deal with mounting, hinging, hardpoints, and a whole lot of other high stress points on an airplane. Servo mounting and control linkage are also discussed in detail. Bear in kind that Keith has experiance with all sizes and types of models, so no type of model is left out anywere in the book.
Well, there you have it. The writing style is simple and easy to read, and the use of pictures and diagrams is strategic. It is not a tome, and not difficult to read through, but it is a fairly conclusive reference manual. It is fine book that will not overpower the newcomer, while still yielding useful information and insights to the experienced builder.Last edited by AMCross; Jul 27, 2006 at 03:21 PM..
|Jul 24, 2006, 12:35 PM|
Thank you Sam,
The book has been doing very well with some paying the postage to the UK.
I'm currently looking for a distributor there.
I'm still testing the limits to foam construction, My latest project is my first attempt at Electric Ducted Fan.
Here is a link . . .
|Jul 24, 2006, 04:06 PM|
Thanks Sam - great job!
I can tell you when you look at Keiths planes it is amazing they are crafted from foam.
Nice to know he is not afraid of sharing all his trade secrets!
|Jul 24, 2006, 10:48 PM|
Wow, that is amazing! I can't wait till you get it in the air.
Thanks, for your input.
Ditto on Keith's stuff btw; it blows me away.
|Jul 26, 2006, 07:10 AM|
You might also try large model parts distributors
such as Ripmax, Perkins, etc
|Jul 26, 2006, 10:24 AM|
I've contacted Traplet three times, the last time was 4 months ago and I sent them a book to see.
Still no word.
Sam's bought 15 books last year had I haven't heard anything else.
Thanks for the tip , I didn't know about the other two I'll have to give them a try.
|Aug 01, 2006, 09:16 AM|
You could also try the larger mail order sellers,
such as Sussex Model Centre (SMC), Slough Radio Control Models (SRCM),
Steve Webb Models, etc.
If they don't want to buy direct they might be able to suggest a distributor ?
Glad if I can be of help.
|Aug 03, 2006, 12:24 PM|
My book arrived and I read it cover to cover. Good one sparks.
Could use a few more FFF guides and tips. Especially on the topic of "Common structure for scatch building" -- somthing like strong-box and tail-group structs, etc.
|Aug 29, 2006, 04:39 AM|
I have also read this one back to front.
Came in very handy for my Ju88 build.
Highly recommended to anyone thinking of learning about foam building.
|Sep 05, 2006, 01:43 AM|
I have read the book too and agree, but itís most handy in the shop.
The E-zone is a good place to get some of the same information but when itís at your fingertips, well you get the idea.
Iíd have to say you hit the nail on the head.
Very nice piece. I normally donít read reviews because they seem slanted at times.
After some thought Iíve formed a new opinion. A red flag should pop up if you never see a review on a product.
|Sep 05, 2006, 08:49 AM|
I know what you mean about slanted reveiws, especially with printed publications. I think the zone has the best reveiws however, because our only obligation is to ourselves and each other; Im gonna report the truth because I want the guy down the line to do the same.
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