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Green RC Models Sopwith Camel ARF Review

Take to the skies of the First World War with the Green RC Models Sopwith Camel! This built-up ARF is a great choice for those wanting to make the move toward scale subjects. With everything included except receiver and battery, you'll be patrolling the front lines in short order.

Splash

Introduction

The fighting aircraft of the First World War have always held a special fascination for me. These fabric covered craft capture my interest in a way few other flying machines can; a bookcase full of WWI titles serves as tangible manifestation of this obsession. Itís only natural Iíd extend my attraction into the realm of model aircraft. Recently, several electric powered, built-up balsa ARF WWI subjects have appeared on the market. While most of them look nice, the Green RC Models Sopwith Camel is the one that most struck a cord for me. Distributed by Poweline Hobbies, this model arrives at your door nearly complete with just about everything youíll need to get it in the air.

Letís see how it goes together and how it flies!


Wingspan:37.8"
Wing Area:450 sq. in. (approx.)
Weight:29.5 oz. RTF
Length:25.6"
Wing Loading:9.44 oz/sq. ft.
Servos:4 micro servos (included)
Transmitter:Futaba 6EXAP
Receiver:Castle Creations Berg 7
Battery:Vampower 11.1V 1300mAh LiPo
Motor:Outrunner (included)
ESC:20amp (included)
Manufacturer:Green RC Models
Available From:Powerline Hobbies
Retail Price:$199.99

Brief History of the Sopwith Camel

The Sopwith Camel, along with the Fokker Dr.1, is one of the most well-known aircraft of not only the First World War, but of any era. Thanks to a cartoon beagle, the Camel has transcended aviation circles and become something of a pop culture icon too.

Designed by Herbert Smith of Sopwith Aviation and designated the F 1, the Camel received its nickname from the hump shaped covering enclosing twin Vickers machine guns fitted on top of the fuselage and firing through the propeller arc. Another distinctive feature of the squatty little biplane is the straight upper wing and significant dihedral of the lower wing.

The Camel was often powered by a 130 h.p. Clerget rotary engine and this contributed to its terrific maneuverability. With a rotary, the entire engine revolves at high speed with the propeller. This great clockwise spinning mass allowed the Camel to make extremely tight right-hand turns. It also caused many fatal accidents for pilots learning to fly the aircraft. Anyone whoís had the fortune to see and hear a vintage rotary in action wonít soon forget the experience.

First joining frontline service in 1917, the Camel proved a match for any other aircraft of the war. With nearly 5,500 built it was the most successful scout aircraft of the period in terms of number of enemy destroyed.

The Green RC Models Camel carries the markings of an aircraft flown by American ace George Vaughn. A replica of this Camel, built in the 1970s from original plans and drawings, is on display at the United States Air Force Museum in Dayton, OH. Vaughn is well-known to WWI aviation buffs as one of the highest ranking American aces with 13 kills; six of those while flying Camels. Born in Brooklyn, NY, Vaughn first flew with the RAF before joining the 17th Aero Squadron of the newly created USAS. According to records he was flying Camel 6034 on September 22nd, 1918 when he shot down two Fokkers during an attack in which his group was outnumbered five to one. For this action, and another encounter on September 28th, Vaughn was awarded the DSC.

Kit Contents

If you intend to build right out of the box with little additional detailing, only a few extra items are needed to get in the air. Much pre-assembly has been done for you: the upper and lower wing sections arrive joined with the flying wires attached, the motor is bolted to the fuselage (more on that later), rigging for the pull-pull system is in place, all surfaces are hinged, and the decals have been neatly applied.

When you spend a few minutes examining the parts you quickly realize there's great attention to detail. Small things like a spring-loaded hatch for access to the battery and pre-installed combing with a black painted cockpit interior take this kit a step beyond the typical ARF. There are quality control stamps and stickers on the individual components so maybe someone is checking everything over before it leaves the factory.

Kit Includes:

  • Generic brushless outrunner
  • Generic 20 amp ESC
  • Four generic micro servos
  • Prop and collet
  • Several bags of hardware (none of which are labeled)
  • Dummy machine guns
  • Windscreen
  • Mock rotary engine in the cowl
  • Several pages of photo instructions and written instructions
  • A bit of extra covering and balsa for repairs - nice touch!

Kit Requires:

  • Receiver of your choice (4 ch. minimum)
  • Battery
  • 2 12 inch servo extensions
  • Y-connector for the aileron servos depending on the receiver used
  • Thin CA adhesive
  • 5 minute epoxy
  • Silver paint for the gun cover
  • Exacto or hobby knife
  • Various small screwdrivers
  • Forceps
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Assorted tools most modelers will already have on hand
  • A bit of patience and Zen-like calm

Assembly

The Camel arrives in an olive green covering but unfortunately this covering is uniform on all surfaces; full size Camels had creamish colored undersides of clear doped linen (CDL) on the bottoms of the wings and fuselage. A single color Camel has little appeal to me, and I also worried about orientation issues due to lack of contrast between top and bottom. The only option I had, other than recovering the model, was to paint the CDL undersides myself.

Since I decided I'd be painting, my assembly steps were different than someone who chooses to assemble the Camel straight from the box. It takes some planning to paint, but is worth the extra effort.

I called Powerline hobbies on a Thursday afternoon to place my order and the kit arrived the following Monday. It was double boxed with only the slightest ding on the outer cardboard from shipping. I opened it up and gave everything a quick glance. The covering was nearly flawless and no shrinking was required. Even the decals seemed to be applied perfectly.

When it came time to get going a few days later I began to examine the parts closer and ran into my first snag. There seemed to be a small wrinkle on top of the bottom wing, like one of the ribs was a too high and the covering was catching on it. I ran my finger over it, and as soon as I did could feel the rib was cracked and loose. The rib immediately next to it was also broken and loose inside the covering. This was Friday night so I was unable to contact Powerline until after the weekend. Since I was unsure of their return or warranty policies I put everything back in the box in case I needed to return it.

Monday morning I called Chuck at Powerline and told him about the problem. I fully expected to return the wing for a replacement but Chuck said he'd send me an entire new wing, top and bottom, and to keep the old one for spares. He said he'd get it out to me that afternoon and even picked up the shipping. Wow! I'll be repeating this a couple times in the review, but Chuck and Powerline are class acts when it comes to customer service. The new wing arrived on Thursday and I was able to start that weekend.

Wings

Since top and bottom wings arrive assembled with flying wires installed, all the builder needs to do is insert the servos, run the wires through the wing, and attach the linkages. At most these steps should only take a couple of hours. Because I was painting, it was a bit more involved.

Painting

Since I wanted a CDL finish on the undersides of all surfaces including both upper and lower wings, taking the wings apart was the best way to proceed. This was simply a matter of unscrewing the struts on the bottom wing and making sure I kept track of the small nuts and bolts and taping the rigging wires so they wouldn't get tangled. Including prep and masking, painting only took a couple hours. When I painted the wings I also did the bottom of the fuselage and underside of the rear stabilizer and elevator. I'm VERY happy with the way the paint came out. In fact, I like it much better than the unpainted parts. With the airbrush you can add a bit of variation in the paint and make it seem more like a "real" surface.

I let the paint cure overnight then proceeded to finish assembling the wing.

Installing the Aileron Servos

One servo is used for each aileron and they're located under covers on the bottom of the lower wings. They're positioned inside the roundels which help conceal them. You need to pry off the servo covers being careful not to disturb the string you'll find taped inside as you'll use this to run servo extensions inside the wing. The supplied servos fit perfectly into the covers and are attached with included screws. Be sure to center the servos and mount the arms before you attach them.

The kit calls for 12" servo extensions but I used E-flite lightweight 18" extensions. They're about the same weight but allow extra wiggle room when attaching the wing and positioning the receiver. I used Blenderm tape to make sure my extensions wouldn't pull free from the servo and tied on the string to feed them through the wing. With the help of forceps and gravity it only took a few seconds to thread them.

The servos covers are predrilled for four screws to secure them. I opted to use two screws per side as the cover fits tightly and it looks cleaner.

The kit supplies short wires with Z-bends for aileron attachment. I like these to be adjustable and opted for Dubro Mini E/Z Connectors on the servo arms. I made new pushrods with Z-bends and attached these to the control horns. The small rubber washers on the E/Z connectors needed to be trimmed so they wouldnít bind on the wing. Remember, the ailerons come pre-hinged so there's little to assemble.

I left the wing halves apart then moved on to the fuselage.

Fuselage

The fuselage arrives nearly complete with motor and ESC attached and strings for the pull/pull system in place. There are even marks for locating where you'll be inserting screws for the landing gear and wire bracing.

I haven't made much mention of the instructions as the build is straightforward for someone who's put a few planes together, but when you need assistance, good luck with the supplied instructions. Even though there are photos, they're of such poor quality, the detail you need won't be there. Also included are several sheets of printed instructions. I think these were written by one of the first people to build the kit and Powerline decided it was a good idea to send them along to other buyers.

Ruder and Elevator

As with the wings, the tail surfaces come pre-hinged and attaching them to the fuse is simply a matter of removing some covering from the bottom of the horizontal stabilizer for a good wood to wood bond then epoxying it and the rudder to the fuse using slots in the pieces to guide you. I use the hot tip of a soldering iron to remove the covering as I worry about damaging the wood with an Exacto blade.

Again, the entire process takes a few minutes for someone with experience.

The Dreaded Pull/Pull

After leaving the tail to dry and cure overnight, it was time to tackle the pull/pull controls for the rudder and elevator. Since this was my first pull/pull I was a bit nervous about how it would go. Here the included photo instructions were of limited use but the written instructions were better. By carefully studying both, it's not hard to figure out what to do.

First I installed the servos then attached the control horns to the flying surfaces. Make sure while doing this, and when attaching the tail feathers, you don't accidentally allow the pull/pull strings to get dragged into the fuse. While I'm talking about the strings, you may wish to replace them with Spectra or a similar material. The supplied material is heavy thread. I question its longevity and itís something you should check often for wear.

I then attached the included hardware to the control horns; if you've gone fishing a few times you'll recognize the snaps and swivels. Study the included photos carefully for this step.

Once the hardware was installed I concentrated on getting the strings sorted out. There are two strings to the rudder and four strings to the elevator so you'll probably find the rudder easier to rig. It's important none of the strings are rubbing against each other in the fuselage. I spent a long, frustrating time trying to figure this puzzle out before realizing they'd been attached incorrectly at the factory. After a quick snip and a couple of new knots I had them all running smoothly.

The instructions call for attaching the ends to snaps which then attach directly to servo arms. The other end is tied to a spring on the control horn. This would work but won't allow fine tuning later. Dubro has a pull/pull system that's adjustable but I looked at it and realized I could easily make my own as I already had everything I needed on hand. I used micro connectors and piano wire with an eyelet bent onto the end. The control wires are then clipped onto the eyelets and the tension can be adjusted via the micro connector. Simple.

You can see in the photos there are little springs to help tension the pull/pull wires. These work great but make sure you don't lose any! You don't get spares with the kit, and it may be hard to find replacements. Use a bit of thin CA on the knots for extra security.

It took me an entire evening to finish the pull/pull. Once you get everything tight, lined up, and smooth it looks great and adds lots of realism.

When the pull/pull was done, I attached the rigging wires on the tail. Look closely at the included photos and you'll find the wires easy to attach. The written instructions describe how to tension them with forceps before crimping the supplied metal tubes to secure the wires. They look super on the finished model and provide needed strength, so make sure not to skip this step.

As previously mentioned, the motor comes pre-soldered to an ESC and attached to the fuselage. The first kits were supplied with 370 sized brushless outrunners, and when it was decided these werenít quite up to the task of powering a model that weighs over 26 ounces, newer kits started shipping with a slightly larger 400 sized motor.

I decided to cut the ESC from the motor and use bullet connectors. This makes it easy to swap out motors or replace the ESC if necessary. I soldered a Deans connector to the ESC for my battery.

Space is at a premium in the front of the Camel, and the way the model's designed, the battery is held in place under the motor with Velcro straps. This might work for small batteries but I couldnít fit mine without needing to take off the cowl each time I changed the battery. Removing the prop, unscrewing the cowl, swapping batteries, then putting it all back together isnít something I wanted to do before every flight.

Finally, I cut a slot in the firewall so part of the battery could be slid under the motor and easily removed without taking the cowl off. I measured the size hole Iíd need and made it slightly bigger to accommodate other batteries. Using a Dremel I cut through the thick firewall and sanded the edges smooth.

This is probably the biggest concern most people will have with the kit and, as with other WWI models, weight is necessary up front for a proper CG.

I chose a Berg 7 receiver, and there was plenty of room for it in the battery compartment. It took a few minutes to get all the wires out of the way of the pull/pull system (this is a CRITICAL step) but thereís lots of places to tuck them into and come out with a clean looking setup.

Completion

The wing attaches to the bottom of the fuselage with two nylon bolts. Make sure you have everything neatly squared away inside the fuselage before attaching the wings; once you secure the rigging, removing them will be a tough job. Normally both wings are attached as one piece but since Iíd painted my model I joined the top wing once the bottom one was attached to the fuse.

To attach the upper wing I first fitted the outer struts then the cabanes. It took finesse to get everything in position and getting the tiny nuts onto the connections at the cabanes was challenging. After lots of fiddling around with a screwdriver and forceps I got them all on. Trust me, it wasn't my favorite part of the build.

When the wings were on I hooked up the linkages between the upper and lower ailerons.

Landing Gear

Attaching the gear is a simple process; it's held to the fuse with four screws whose positions are pre-marked. I replaced the wheel collars with Dubro collars from my spares box - the ones that came with the kit had an odd sized allen screw and I couldnít get a wrench on. I painted the wheels white to match the Camel on display at the Air Force Museum.

I used epoxy to secure the tailskid, a neat part made of varnished wood with a metal spike inserted to prevent wear while dragging on pavement.

Cowling

I painted the front of my cowl white to match the example flown by Vaughn and did some dry brushing to give life to the dummy rotary. The cowl was fitted and secured with three screws. You could magnetically attach the cowl too.

Final Rigging

The wings are pre-wired and, like the rigging on the tail, held together with crimped metal tubes. Be sure to use the small springs at the attachment points. Use forceps to get the wires tight (but not too tight) before crimping them.

Hereís a great example of how better instructions make better builds; some members on RC Groups were complaining the wires that support the landing gear were pulling out upon landing. To solve the problem they used springs at the attachment points Ė a good fix. Well, those springs are meant to go there when the plane is built. If you carefully study the photos supplied with the kit youíll see the springs are indeed on the landing gear wires. Because of poor instructions, people probably put those springs onto the tail support wires instead of on the gear where they belong.

Small Details

While the outline is close to being scale there are areas of the kit that arenít so close, but a little detailing will go a long way towards a great looking model.

If you look at the upper wing youíll notice an area cut out of the ply sheeting under the covering. The covering could easily be cut out to duplicate the skylight found on the original Camel. In fact, if you look at the photo instructions youíll notice this area is open on the model in the pictures. The model in the photos also appears to have a two-color olive drab/CDL covering scheme as well.

A brown Sharpie pen gave a wood-like effect on the prop and I painted the ends white to match my references. I replaced the bullet prop nut with a castle nut I found at the hardware store. I cut a small ribbon from silk and attached it to a wing strut with lead foil straps. In my references Vaughnís Camel had a long red streamer attached to the rudder but I like the way mine looks Ė especially in flight.

There are attractive cockpit decals posted on RC Groups and I downloaded one, modified it slightly in Photoshop, printed it on matte photo paper in my laser printer, hit this with flat lacquer to seal the ink, and secured it in the cockpit with a drop of white glue. The guns got a dark grey spray then a silver dry brushing. I left the giant gun sight in place. Yes, it looks like something from a cartoon but I find it amusing. Considering the guns look more like Spandaus than Vickers anyway, Iím not too concerned.

Youíll notice from the photos my Camel has a matte finish. I donít care for the gloss of Mylar covering and certainly not on WWI aircraft. There are several options to dull things down; one is matte finish in an aerosol can that is applied like any other spray finish. More involved is matte varnish that's brushed on. If you choose this, itís easiest to apply before the model's been assembled.

Final Flight Preparations

Once the Camel was put together I did a quick CG check and decided to run-up the motor the Friday night before I planned to maiden the plane. This did not go as expected!

The Case of the Exploding Camel Cowl

I secured my battery, tightened on the prop and slowly ran up the throttle. Everything was smooth at half power and as I neared full throttle the entire front of the plane exploded in my face! Flying cowl fragments rained down as I killed the throttle and watched the motor dancing on the wires connecting it to the ESC. After a few stunned seconds and a quick check to see if I was bleeding it was obvious what occurred - the motor mount had come apart, the motor detached, and the cowl caught the brunt of the impact.

The motor came off because the mount was originally secured with some sort of hot glue. Even though I thought Iíd tested its strength the factory glue was not near adequate. I reassembled the mount with epoxy and ran thin CA along the firewall and blind nuts. I also used thread lock on the screws.

As you can see, the cowl was shredded but was the only thing damaged. Pieces were found ten feet away; I'm still finding small bits here and there. Once again I had a couple days of perfect weather to sit through until I could get on the phone to Powerline. And once again Chuck went above and beyond to ship out a replacement Monday afternoon. In some ways what happened was a good thing; if the failure occurred in flight the entire model most likely would've been lost.

Balances and Radio Set-up

My RTF weight was 26.5 ounces before I checked the CG. Because of the battery position I needed some weight in the cowl to get a balance I thought would work. I added two ounces of lead as far forward as I could get it for a RTF weight of 28.5 ounces and an estimated wing loading around 9.1 ounces per square foot.

The included servos seem to center OK, but one or both aileron servos are somewhat noisy. HS-55s would be drop-in replacements if I decide to change them out.

I used the included prop adapter but chose an APC 9x6 SF prop in place of the 9x6 prop supplied with the kit as it seemed to be made of very soft plastic.

The written supplemental instructions give recommended control throws. I set dual rates and expo on my transmitter. I set high rates for 100% throws for ailerons and elevator and cut that to 55% on low rates. I left the rudder at 100% on both rates. I usually fly with exponential too. After the first couple flights I switched exclusively to high rates and find having the entire elevator on landing is important.

Even though Iím using separate channels for the aileron servos I didnít set differential for the first flight and didnít mix in any rudder. I've since added differential and find it helps counter adverse yaw.

Flying

Maiden Flight

I headed to the field on a sunny fall afternoon and double checked all control surfaces and links. Everything seemed fine so without witnesses in case of disaster I pointed the model into the light breeze, put in elevator to keep the tail on the ground and advanced the throttle. It needed rudder to keep it straight but was up off the short grass in quick fashion.

At once I knew I had a handful and needed just about all my skill to keep it flying and get it trimmed. It felt twitchy and something wasnít right. I flew for six minutes and lined up for a landing. I was amazed how slow it came in and I gently set it down. When just about to a complete stop it nosed over in slow motion coming to rest on the prop.

I looked it over and decided to give it another go on a fresh battery. The second flight was much like the first with a difficult to control model and another gentle landing.

I added another half ounce of lead in the nose thinking what I was seeing was probably the result of a rearward CG. The next day I got to the field and once in the air it was still tough to control. In fact I thought I was going to lose the plane several times. I realized it must still be tail heavy as the nose was pitching up in turns and I needed a bunch of down trim. The landing was fantastic, however, and it looked quite authentic gently bouncing to a stop on the grass.

After another half ounce of lead I got in the air again and finally had it settled down. Big difference! You need to find a CG about 50 to 55mm from the leading edge of the upper wing.

Taking Off and Landing

Early aircraft are known for challenging ground handling. Even though the wheels on the Camel are quite big thereís an axel and fairing between them thatís very low to the ground. On grass itís easy to catch this and flip the model if you arenít careful. For takeoff I hold up elevator till the model picks up speed and when the tail's ready to come up the modelís flying - with all the wing area this one doesnít need much speed to get off the ground. You'll also need to feed in right rudder to keep it straight - maybe more than you're used to on a taildragger.

Landings require some power and good timing. The big round cowl, thick wings and rigging creates lots of drag; with the throttle cut the model is coming down in a hurry. Fly it in at around a third throttle and flare close to the ground. Cut the throttle and try to feed in elevator as soon as it slows. Done correctly youíll be rewarded with a nice roll-out. On grass a nose-over is possible but since landing speeds are slow itís not too much of a concern. I've come to really enjoy the landings.

Basics

The Camel is capable of slow flight. Initially I was worried about the weight but it really floats along. Most flying is done a bit over half throttle which surprised me; with the small motor I was expecting to need more to keep it aloft. Turns need to be coordinated with rudder for smooth flying so make sure and use that left thumb. Remember, this is a short-coupled, draggy airframe that demands attention so be mindful of torque when advancing the throttle. Itís also sensitive to wind and crosswind landings can be tricky. The stall is gentle and difficult to find as the speed is so low. So far the stall break (more like a mush) is straight ahead.

Aerobatics

The Camel is not a 3D plane. The provided motor is adequate for more than scale-like flight but it's not a rocket. You can perform loops, stall turns, and Immelmann turns. Make sure you have plenty of altitude before trying anything.

Flight Times and Flying Area

I set my timer for seven minutes which gives a good flight before boredom/complacency sets in. It also allows plenty of reserve for several landing attempts if needed. I try to be gentle with my batteries and since most flying is around half-throttle, the battery is barely warm upon landing. Iím sure you could push it but better to buy another battery or two than try to squeeze an extra couple minutes.

Even though this is a small model, I like as much room as possible to enjoy my flying; needing to constantly turn takes the fun out of things. You can easily fly this one in a soccer-size area and experienced pilots could use a baseball outfield.

Is This Plane For a Beginner?

While a beginner may be able to assemble the plane, when it comes time to fly they'd quickly go from owning a nice model of a Sopwith to having a big Messerschmitt on the field. This is a plane for someone whoís graduated from a trainer, mastered a low wing, and is ready to advance to more scale-like subjects. While not exactly difficult to fly, this model requires patience, finesse, and at times a gentle touch. Save it for a fourth or fifth model.

Photo Gallery/Flight Video

Downloads

Conclusion

I like this model! For me this is what the hobby is all about; the Camel looks fantastic in the air and Iím happy making nice circuits around the field. If I want to do wild aerobatics, go fast, or fly on windy days, I have other models. The Camel is made for calm mornings or evenings. Against a nice sunset itís easy to let your mind wander back to the 1918 Western Front as the Camel floats by in near silence.

With few minor difficulties encountered, I highly recommend this kit to anyone with an interest in early aircraft. I faced unfortunate circumstances that delayed my build several weeks, but the results are worth the troubles. Experienced builders could have this together in a couple evenings. If you choose to do some painting or detailing, allow a leisurely week or more to finish. Yes, it's an ARF and probably heavier than a true kit build, but the great looks and high quality make it a winner. This Camel has inspired me to build my own WWI subjects. I think the best models always give you the momentum to move onward and upward.

Pluses:

  • Very complete package
  • Great scale looks for an ARF
  • Rigging and pull-pull adds to the scale feel
  • Cool landings and looks super in the air
  • Overall high quality

Minuses:

  • Motor mount must be properly glued!!!
  • Battery placement and CG can be tricky
  • Small parts may be difficult to obtain if you lose any. No spares included.
  • Poor instructions

Thanks to the RC Groups members who answered several questions I had concerning the build and to Chuck at Powerline for the replacement parts. Thanks to my flying buddy Eric for grabbing the video and manning my Nikon for the in-flight shots!

Last edited by Angela H; Oct 26, 2007 at 04:23 PM..

Discussion

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Old Oct 26, 2007, 07:24 PM
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Taylorman's Avatar
Cleveland, Ohio
Joined Jul 2006
1,563 Posts
Great review fokker Ace.

I have the same airplane and can attest to the accuracy of this review. Not only in the build but also in the flying.

I've got five flights on mine so far and it sure is a beautiful flyer. It's not a beginner airplane though. You really need to use coordinated control when you fly it. It flies very scale in all respects.

I love flying mine especially in the evenings.
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Old Oct 26, 2007, 08:13 PM
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orenda635's Avatar
GTA, Ontario, Canada
Joined Apr 2004
827 Posts
Looks like a decent model. I like the fact it comes with a brushless motor and ESC pre-installed. It's good for people like me who aren't big into electrics but may want a smaller plane. $199 isn't bad for the package.

You make an interesting point about the CG. However, it's a problem with all Camels. The problem with the Camel is it's stubby nose. There's not a lot of plane in front of where the CG should be. I have the big Hangar 9 Camel and it comes with a huge chunk of lead hidden behind the cowl just to balance the thing. I needed it and I've got an oversized engine in it to boot!
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Old Oct 27, 2007, 11:06 AM
Registered User
USA, CT, Farmington
Joined Nov 2003
891 Posts
While the overall review was good and very detailed, I was disappointed with the video. The reviewer claims that aerobatics are possible, yet there wasn't any evidence in the video, just lazy circuits. I'd also like to see the model available without the motor, ESC and servos, as a lot of modelers have these on hand. This would bring down the price a lot and make it very attractive. Very nice looking model though and I enjoyed the review!!
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Old Oct 27, 2007, 11:49 AM
Fokker Ace's Avatar
Joined Aug 2006
1,552 Posts
Taylorman, thanks for the comments! Even though spectators say it looks simple to fly and looks gracefull, it does require some work to keep it up there. Several things have suprised me, mostly that takeoffs represent more of a challenge (at least for me!) than the landings. Glad you have one too and I'm sure you like the looks of yours as much as I enjoy mine!

Orenda, I mention balance on WWI planes briefly. Even though the nose on this one is longer than scale it's still short compared to more modern aircraft. I read that a huge piece of lead comes with the H9 Camel, but that one must look great in the air. For the price of this one you're getting an ARF with more detail than most - I think it's a good value considering little else is needed and all inluded items are very useable.

Imodel, the in-flight photos and video represent 11 or 12 minutes total flying. I'm lucky I got anything at all and didn't need to wait till spring to finish this! As it was, a friend left work early so we could get this footage and my aim was simply to have enough to work with. I flew circuits he could easily follow - as we had one shot due to weather and sechedules - and mostly wanted to show how it looked in the air for the stills and get a full takeoff and landing for the video.
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Old Oct 27, 2007, 12:52 PM
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Taylorman's Avatar
Cleveland, Ohio
Joined Jul 2006
1,563 Posts
Fokker Ace,

Take-offs weren't too bad for me, but I have quite a bit of tail dragger experience. I cut my teeth on the Eflite J3 Cub, then progressed to a Carl Goldberg Husky, then the Green RC Curtis Jenny. Rudder control is key. Let the tail start flying then compensate for P factor, tork, etc w/rudder. When you get it right the Camel makes a nice scale and really cool looking take off!
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Old Oct 27, 2007, 01:03 PM
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Joined Aug 2006
1,552 Posts
It's getting it started rolling on an uneven grass surface that is the challenge. Once it picks up a little speed its fine, but it's that first few seconds between dead stop and rolling. I have to make sure I find the smoothest patch I can as the field has some ups and downs - I think you can see what I mean at the end of the video where we got a few seconds of taxiing footage.
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Old Oct 27, 2007, 04:43 PM
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Spackles94's Avatar
Birmingham, Alabama
Joined Feb 2007
7,876 Posts
Nice review, Fokker Ace!

It looks like a really nice plane, I love the scale details of it.

What technique did you use for getting the matte finish on it? I've got a plane I'll be working on soon, and I'd like to get a flat finish as well. Did you use the spray can or the brush-on method?
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Old Oct 27, 2007, 05:11 PM
Doing it in the Lateral Axis
modfly's Avatar
USA, OH, Akron
Joined Dec 2006
15,360 Posts
Wow..what a sweet plane..very impressive!..Just added to want list..
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Old Oct 27, 2007, 05:43 PM
Fokker Ace's Avatar
Joined Aug 2006
1,552 Posts
Spackles, I use artists' matte medium and brush it on. I use this for other artwork so usually some on hand. You can buy it at art supply stores or large craft stores. A pint goes for around $10 and you'll do a few planes with that amount. Follow the instructions on the bottle and you'll find it simple to apply. The results will look close to a fabric finish.

Glad you guys like the plane. Anyone with an interest would be happy putting one together!
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Old Oct 27, 2007, 06:14 PM
War Eagle!
Spackles94's Avatar
Birmingham, Alabama
Joined Feb 2007
7,876 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fokker Ace
Spackles, I use artists' matte medium and brush it on. I use this for other artwork so usually some on hand. You can buy it at art supply stores or large craft stores. A pint goes for around $10 and you'll do a few planes with that amount. Follow the instructions on the bottle and you'll find it simple to apply. The results will look close to a fabric finish.

Glad you guys like the plane. Anyone with an interest would be happy putting one together!
Cool, I might have to try that! I do have flat lacquer spray handy, though. I might just test it first and see how it looks. I'm all about saving money (read: use elsewhere to buy more planes ). Thanks!

By they way, the photos are stunning -- great job!
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Old Oct 28, 2007, 01:57 AM
Warbird crazy!
new2rc's Avatar
United States, CA, San Mateo
Joined Sep 2004
3,767 Posts
Really enjoyed your review, Fokker Ace.

Very comprehensive and your mods look awesome!

It is very graceful in the air and you did a great job on the T/O and landing.

No doubt coordinated turns are the order of the day as it should be for such a scale bipe .

John and Christo
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Old Oct 28, 2007, 07:43 AM
"Have Glue - Will Travel"
dawnron1's Avatar
Ft. Worth, Texas
Joined Jan 2004
2,428 Posts
Fokker Ace,

GREAT job on the review! This answers several questions I had about the Green Models Jenny(same pull-pull setup) and I agree, the photo illustrations are pretty rough. And you're right, being a fisherman I recognized the hardware

Thanks!

Ronnie
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Old Oct 28, 2007, 09:53 AM
WHAT THE...
barmonkey's Avatar
Evansville, Indiana
Joined Jan 2005
1,576 Posts
Nice review...Thanks for all of your work. I have been following the thread here at RCG, and I can't wait to get my hands on one.

I looked at their website, and found no way to order online. Also, the Green Models (Maxford USA) site does not have it listed...although they do have that very nice 40" Gee Bee racer. When the time comes, should I just call Powerline Hobbies to order?
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Old Oct 28, 2007, 11:29 AM
Canucklehead
orenda635's Avatar
GTA, Ontario, Canada
Joined Apr 2004
827 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fokker Ace
Orenda, I mention balance on WWI planes briefly. Even though the nose on this one is longer than scale it's still short compared to more modern aircraft. I read that a huge piece of lead comes with the H9 Camel, but that one must look great in the air. For the price of this one you're getting an ARF with more detail than most - I think it's a good value considering little else is needed and all inluded items are very useable.
Sorry. I didn't see it. I speed read.
Yes, the H9 does look fantastic in the air. Too bad I don't have any pictures or video of it flying. It's a handful though. This one looks great too. It's a great price. It's unfortunate that a lot of this stuff isn't widely available in stores. I hate paying for international shipping.
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