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Old Feb 16, 2007, 10:42 AM
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portablevcb's Avatar
Albuquerque, NM USA
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CF,

If you don't have any CA finger prints on a MM kit you are doing something wrong

FYI, after watching CSI on the tube saw them use a CA 'fog' to bring out fingerprints on objects. I think one of the real CSI folks builds models

charlie
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Old Feb 16, 2007, 11:43 AM
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Joined Dec 2005
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Fingerprints and CA- it's not just on the telly:

http://www.ccs.neu.edu/home/feneric/cyanoacrylate.html

and check this one out:
http://www.evidentcrimescene.com/cata/glue/glue.html

Back on topic: I found the tail skid/wheel mount to be a serious weak point in my first dandy fuse. I reinforced the bottom aft end of the new fuse with a small triangular piece of ply laminated to the balsa bottom. Then I used a Dubro tail-wheel mount (see link below) and the smallest tail wheel I could find. It's strong enough and keeps the elevator off the ground. My original tail skid punched through the bottom of the fuse after a few landings. The fuse died when the motor got loose... don't ask.

Here's that link: http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...p?&I=LXDCT9&P=

I can send a pic of the tail tonight if you want...

N
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Old Feb 17, 2007, 01:48 AM
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Bailey, CO
Joined Apr 2006
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Designing a Color Scheme

Quote:
Originally Posted by Controlled Fall
<snip>
At any rate, some of this material is old as I have spent a lot of energy worry and procrastinating about ruining, I mean, covering my model. <snip>
Dear Controlled,

You are not going to ruin your model by covering it. You can always pull the covering off and start over.

I am going to be covering my Mountain Models MiniFlash this weekend. Covering is what makes your a kit-built model distinctive. I generally make a small outline sketch of the model, make lots of copies of the sketch, and then use colored pencils in a trial-and-error method until I get a color scheme that looks right.

Here are some of my crude sketches of MiniFlash Color Schemes. These sketches also allowed me to determine a bill-of-materials. My MiniFlash is going to be unique, which is the best part of kit building. As I cover a model, I generally deviate from plan. Something that looked good on paper may not look so good in on the actual model. I generally find myself simplifying my intended color scheme.

I try to put darker colors on the belly of the plane. The most import things to remember about covering is you want to be able to see the plane, and be able to tell if it is upside-down, or right-side up!

Thanks, Bruce
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Old Feb 17, 2007, 09:55 AM
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Snohomish County, Wa.
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365 Posts
Color Scheme

And has been mentioned in other threads recently, make sure your covering scheme works in black&white. Because that's what it will look like when the plane gets very far away from you, or in bad lighting. If you have a digital camera, trying taking a picture of your colors using B&W mode to see how much contrast they have.

I like to use a totally different pattern on the top and bottom of the wing - say stripes running wingtip to wingtip on the top, and LE to TE on the bottom. And as everyone will tell you, darker colors on the bottom.

Although I like a nice looking plane, in my book appearance takes a definite back seat to maintaining orientation in flight.

-dm
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Old Feb 17, 2007, 05:25 PM
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Bailey, CO
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MiniFlash Scheme Color and Monochrome

Quote:
Originally Posted by mccrohan
And has been mentioned in other threads recently, make sure your covering scheme works in black&white. Because that's what it will look like when the plane gets very far away from you, or in bad lighting. If you have a digital camera, trying taking a picture of your colors using B&W mode to see how much contrast they have.

I like to use a totally different pattern on the top and bottom of the wing - say stripes running wingtip to wingtip on the top, and LE to TE on the bottom. And as everyone will tell you, darker colors on the bottom.

Although I like a nice looking plane, in my book appearance takes a definite back seat to maintaining orientation in flight.

-dm
Dear dm,

Thanks for the tip. The covering is Coverite MicroLite (SoLite). The scheme has a base of white. Dark blue and red are the main colors. The sun burst stripes on the wing are trim sheets in yellow and florescent orange. Accents are metallic gold.

I have attached both the color and monochrome version of the actual colors I plan to use. The actual proportions will change, but I think this scheme is going to work.

Thanks, Bruce
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Old Feb 17, 2007, 06:09 PM
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Looks good. The contrasting pattern should work well.

-dm
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Old Feb 19, 2007, 06:42 AM
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Chantilly, VA
Joined Dec 2006
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Initial Covering Success!

I made a promise to myself that I wasn't going to post again until I stopped procrastinating and got covering. I didn't get as far as I had hoped, but I did take advantage of the 2-3 hours I had while all the women were asleep.

I must admit that you can study and read all I want but once again, I have learned that the stuff you read makes much more sense after you've taken a stab at it. For example, much of what Martin wrote in his excellent 2002 tutorial was much more clear once I had actually done a few surfaces.

As my pictoral below indicates, I only did the flat stabilizer surfaces. It gave me an understanding of how covering behaves, and I learned a few things about how to iron.

At first I was going to keep it simple, just two colors. One for the wings, one for the fuse. I had read this article http://www.ultimatecharger.com/color.html
and was aware that there are techniques that help beginners like me, but I kept thinking to keep it simple. Until Bruce and dm started sharing most excellent coloring advice...

I was allowed out of the house yesterday but I had to bring the two year old with me And I couldn't believe it, the LHS was closed on Sunday! I guess flying is a religion! I had planned on getting some trim tape to provide orientation guidance...to be continued. At any rate, I went by Lowe's and picked up a dremel tool and that can of acetone I keep harping about. And bonus, my daughter behaved the whole time!

Anyway back to covering. I guess I'm doing this right. I cut out the shape, remove the backing, and "tack" a few corners at low heat? (My iron has a scale from 1-4 but no actual temperatures.) When tacking I use a setting of 1 to 1.5 which I picked up from Martin I think. Then I hold the covering while I seal the entire perimeter of my surface except for a 1" vent. I got a little confused about how to handle the edges.

If I am covering a horizontal surface, I think I seal the covering to the vertical edge as well as about 1/8" of the opposite horizontal surface? (picture below)

And I'm not sure, but when it comes time to "shrink" do I increase the heat setting of the iron to 2 (or more)? I do not have a heat gun.

If those were already covered (ha!) elsewhere, I apologize as I could not remember.

I found myself having to cut and trim on the fly and experimented with different rounding techniques. All in all, I was pleased with my results. I got some unexplained smutz on one of surfaces, and I did learn quickly that blades will dull and let you know they are dull! I tried to do a little more before bed, but that was a mistake as I was tired and accidentally bit some balsa in addition to the excess trim. At least the balsa was already painted blue!

And as far as bonding balsa to balsa and covering to balsa, it will be a mixed bag as I did not consistently think about it when I was covering the surfaces involved with bonding! So when it comes time to glue, I guess I'll have a learning experience!

Next steps:
Cover the fuse!
Sand and cover the wings!
Add some trim to improve appearance and help me with orientation (but don't wait until next Sunday to hit the LHS...)
Install hardware.
Fly!
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Old Feb 19, 2007, 12:18 PM
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Bailey, CO
Joined Apr 2006
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Color Scheme

Quote:
Originally Posted by Controlled Fall
<snip> At first I was going to keep it simple, just two colors. One for the wings, one for the fuse. I had read this article http://www.ultimatecharger.com/color.html
and was aware that there are techniques that help beginners like me, but I kept thinking to keep it simple. Until Bruce and dm started sharing most excellent coloring advice... <snip>
Dear Controlled,

I know the fellow that wrote the "Coloring R/C Aircraft" article personally. Dr. Suding and I used to work together at Lockheed Martin. He is one of those guys you meet that you instantly know is a million times smarter than most people!

Don't get wrapped around the axle worrying about a high-visibility color scheme. A simple color scheme has the virtue of being easier to repair. I have attached a suggested scheme in the colors you have, blue and orange. Please pardon the crudity of the drawing. I donít have a Dandy so the proportions are off. You can doll the plane up with MonoKote/Coverite peel-and-stick trim sheets. I have a star template that I really like. All my planes have stars.

I took a look at the Mountain Models Dandy video. Wow! That is a heck of a good flying three-channel plane!

Thanks, Bruce
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Old Feb 20, 2007, 11:41 AM
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Are you using the trick of putting blue painter's masking tape all around the edges of the piece of solite before peeling off the backing? It sort of looks like it from your pics... Definitely makes handling the solite much easier. I cut my pieces of solite big and then apply tape to the edges. The tape not only keeps the solite from wrapping up on itself, but can be used to tape the edges down to the worksurface, with the item to be covered underneath. I find this eliminate s then need to have more hands than I am currently equipped with. The tape to the workbench keeps the covering reasonably tight while I start to iron.

Make a frame of balsa using some scrap, and cover it and play with the heat from your iron. Find out exactly how high you can turn up the temp w/o burning a hole. Then turn it down just a bit and you've got the best temp for shrinking w/o using a heat gun.

-dm
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Old Feb 20, 2007, 11:02 PM
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Chantilly, VA
Joined Dec 2006
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dm,
Actually I did not use tape, but I can see where you got that impression. The shiny blue is the covering. The dull blue is the ill-fated paint job from a couple of weeks ago. So I covered "blue" balsa with blue covering. The backing was not that difficult to separate, but if that should change then I definitely have plenty of blue painting tape around to help out.

I also tried to burn my covering, but I chickened out once I got up to 3 (on the scale of 1-4) as I could feel the air changing due to the heat given off. I realized I had the technology to settle this matter for once and for all. This info probably exists somewhere, and I probably did a poor job of googling it, but for my Tower Hobbies iron:

Setting......Temp (F)
1...............150
1.5............165
2...............220
3...............270

If anything, I wasn't applying enough heat last weekend as I kept it under 2 for much of my work. I'm beginning to wonder if I actually shrank it.

Haven't been able to work on plane lately. That job of mine is getting in the way
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Old Feb 20, 2007, 11:45 PM
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Chantilly, VA
Joined Dec 2006
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Bruce,
Thanks for the covering suggestion! Its very close to what I was planning: blue fuse, orange wings, white trim and elevator (once I bought some white film). I may try that idea if I can handle all the orange
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Old Feb 21, 2007, 08:39 AM
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portablevcb's Avatar
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The covering instruction sheet has a description of how to tell if your iron is at the proper temp. Very unscientific, but, it works well. You take some small scraps of covering and place on the iron. Depending on how much the covering wrinkles tells you how hot your iron is.

charlie
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Old Feb 21, 2007, 11:53 AM
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Bailey, CO
Joined Apr 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Controlled Fall
Bruce,
Thanks for the covering suggestion! Its very close to what I was planning: blue fuse, orange wings, white trim and elevator (once I bought some white film). I may try that idea if I can handle all the orange
Dear CF,

Robert Suding's article advocates a highly visible horizontal line running along the side of the fuselage parallel to the thrust line. The demarcation between the orange and the blue on the fuselage gives you the reference line to quickly determine if the plane is climbing, diving or flying level.

The scheme I suggested is very easy to pull off. Cover the bottom of the fuselage in blue. Trim the bottom covering flush with both edges of the fuselage. Cover the sides completely with orange covering. Trim the covering with about 1/4" of covering over the top edge. I recommend that you cover both fuselage sides with orange all the way to the bottom edge. Do not wrap the orange covering over the bottom edge onto the blue bottom. Trim the orange covering carefully flush with the bottom. Cover the top of the fuselage with orange. Trim the top covering flush with the sides. Cover the bottom 1/2 of the fuselage with blue. Wrap 1/4" of blue around the bottom edge.

Thanks, Bruce
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Old Feb 22, 2007, 06:50 AM
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Covering is a tedious process that requires lots of patience. I am slowly and surely making progress and learning as I go. I basically have enough time to do 1-2 sections of my plane a day.

I finally got to run by the LHS during my lunch hour the other day, and I have to say, they were so much more helpful on a weekday than the weekend. I was receiving tons of advice on covering. I wish I could have stayed longer, but I had to get back to work!

While I was there I picked up my white covering and more razor blades. You guys are right, they don't last long! I covered the top of my elevator with white Ultracote. The LHS strongly recommended it, but I found it much more tempermental than my cheaper Towerkote. I got some blue smudges on the lily white surface. I couldn't tell if I was dragging it from the flip side of the blue covered elevator or if my iron was stealthily dirty from my earlier work. At any rate, it cleaned up nice with a dab of acetone on a rag. (I would have done the darker color first, but I didn't have the white yet )

I put a picture below of my technique for determining iron temperature. It was late at night, I was stupid tired, and I'm not sure if I allowed enough time for the iron to reach equilibrium as I ramped up the heat. What I learned is that there is a lot of temperature variability on the surface of the iron...as much as 30F. Despite those disclaimers I'm pretty comfortable I know where to set my iron now.

The only documentation that came with my Tower iron was the numerical recommendations for Monokote, Towerkote (Low 1.5-2, Medium 2-2.5, and High 2.5-3). There was no documentation as to what temperature these settings correlated to. The Towerkote instructions mentioned that I needed to tack at 225F but did not really specifiy a shrinking range. It emphasized the preferred use of heat gun, which I do not own and predict I would be a burner of holes if I did.

The Ultracote directions, on the other hand, were quite specific about temperature settings. There was even a curve of shrink % vs temperature! So after my IR thermometer experiment and talking with the LHS employee, I've been undercooking my film and will be using more heat in the future.

Bruce,
Wow, you've given some top notch advice. I think I can pull off that coloring scheme (other than my white elevator) as I'm still on the bottom of the fuselage.

For those of you who are still tracking my progress, bear with me. Mrs. Controlled Fall has needed a lot of help with the little Controlled Falls lately! I will have more pictures posted this weekend.
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Old Feb 22, 2007, 09:43 PM
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Chantilly, VA
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DOH! Need to spend more dough: Charger

I can be smart, and then again, I can be a dumb

At least I caught this tonight rather than at the field.

Back in December I ordered an EZ* from Tower Hobbies. They supplied a charger which I've used without problems when the weather has cooperated. Those are Tamiya connections--which aren't very popular based on what I've read.

When I ordered the Dandy I did it in two phases, model first, hardware second. As I stared at my battery, the connection, and the soldering iron with the same trepidation I approached covering--I had an embarrassing realization. I can't charge my batteries with my little RTF charger. These are JST connections!

I've been getting email bombed by Tower lately. They've got a Triton Jr for $80, and the Hobbico MkIIfor $50. Would there be something else I should consider or am I pretty golden with those kinds of selections?

So far I've three Nimh batteries (6-8cells) and do not foresee the jump to LiPoly any time soon. I assume these chargers operate off a car battery. Would there be any reason to look for something that could be charged at home (AC power)?
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