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Posted by kajukenbo | Nov 29, 2020 @ 03:50 PM | 8,341 Views
A couple of months ago, I had a bad day at the field with my Eflight F4U-4. Usually, this Corsair model will settle into a three-point better than any tail dragger I own. For whatever reason, on that day I brought it in fast and tried a wheel landing on a bumpy section of our grass field. Instead of rolling along and settling in, it rolled for about three feet and nosed over quickly, bending the vertical stab and the top of the rudder. Dismayed, I took off again and attempted to ameliorate my failed landing with a nice follow-up.

I brought it in under power, full flaps...settled down on the wheels and...FLOP! It instantly nosed, breaking off the top 3 cm of the stab and rudder. I guess it was just one of those days Needless to say, I shelved the model until I could either replace the fuselage or repair the tail.

I decided to make the repairs, rather than shelling out the cash for a replacement fuselage. I work out of a hobby room in my home, have kids and pets, so I don't use or sand potentially toxic materials unless I can do it outside. It's just too cold for that right now, so no sanding epoxy or autobody filler in the house.

- Replaced the stab tip with a scrap piece of foam.
- Glued the rudder tip back in place and knocked the ridges off the wrinkles.
- Attempted some light spackle...but it didn't work due to the hardness/rigidity difference and thinness of the coat.
- Used acrylic clear coat to smooth out the burs of the sanded foam.
- Mixed a color close to the model. I usually can mix a decent match, but the eFlight color is odd- not a usual Navy color. It has a gray cast to it.
- Hand-cut new letters from white vinyl.
- Coated with Polycrylic.

Not new, but will definitely better than the damaged tail.
Posted by kajukenbo | Nov 15, 2020 @ 03:54 PM | 6,988 Views
The Fliteworks P-38 mimicked the Red Bull P-38 that does not have turbos. Instead, it has inlets for carburetors. If you want to modify the model to be a war-time bird, the carb inlets need to be ditched for turbos.

One option is to use the foam pieces from a J-Power/Blitzworks/Banana Hobby P-38 V2. But, as I pointed out in a previous post that the turbos on that model leave a lot to be desired. I used the Fliteline P-38 plastic turbos on that model for what I consider a huge improvement in the scale appearance.

Here's what I did to the Fliteworks model, in case you want to make the change to yours:

- Cut off the foam inlets, flush with the curve of the foam hatch.
- There is a depression where the turbo sits that doesn't exist on the Fliteworks model, so you will need to trace it and carefully cut the foam. I used a hobby saw, so that I could get a cleaner, straighter cut than a razor knife. A razor knife seems to snag and tear this foam easily.
- The forward part of the depression is very narrow, and it was difficult to get a clean cut, so I lined that portion with styrene sheeting. Shaping the foam depression is the most difficult part of the job, because of the foam's elasticity and thinness.
- Place the plastic turbo over the hatch, trace the outline, then carefully cut out the foam where the plastic turbo will sit. The foam will be very thin and can easily distort and tear!
- The nib on the forward portion of the hatch will prevent the hatch from...Continue Reading
Posted by kajukenbo | Nov 05, 2020 @ 10:25 PM | 6,468 Views
I decided it was time to update my ol' reliable flyer- the J-Power/Banana Hobby P-38. First up was the turbos. The turbos that came with the model are just laughable in their size, shape, and color, which is a real shame because the rest of the model is a decent P-38.

Believe it to not, the Flightline P-38 (a tad-bit larger model) has detailed plastic turbos that are just about the same size as the ones on the J-Power model. Still oversized, but much closer to a decent facsimile! They are very inexpensive. too. (These turbos are so cool that I would consider using them on my B-17.)

I cut off the old, molded foam turbos with a hobby saw, traced the outline of the new turbo, and cut a pocket for it to nestle into. Then, I tacked it into place on the underside with hot glue. I cleaned up the installation with some aluminum tape and dark green acrylic paint. I added a bit of weathering to the turbos and fuel staining on the booms.
I also added:

- A gun sight made from styrene sheeting, a straw, and a piece of transparent plastic. All scraps!
- A larger, more scale-sized pilot.
- A seat and pilot armor.
- Radio equipment! Old 9-gram servos emptied of their contents.

Not a scale masterpiece, but decently dressed up for a grab-and-go belly lander with hundreds of flights on it
Posted by kajukenbo | Oct 06, 2020 @ 08:41 PM | 2,524 Views

That's the sound I heard as one of my Black Widows came down in the field corn. I had pushed my flying time too far into the evening, and I lost orientation when the black plane was silhouetted against the setting sun. The model doesn't turn on a dime, so when it rolled in the opposite direction I had intended it took every bit of the 80' of altitude to turn it around. But, it was leveling out into the corn stocks!

The stalks had hit the leading edge of the wing square-on, causing some deep dents and breaking the wing halves loose from their mounts. The nose was trashed. The props lost most of their blades, and the cowls took a little beating, but not too bad.

The wing mounts went in with a little hot glue. No problem. Dynam designed the plane with a magnetic nose piece, which is really smart. Pull off the damaged nose, and snap on a new one.

For the dents in the leading edge, I cut out the damaged areas with a hobby saw and filled the gaps with blue insulation foam. It sands to shape easily. Then, I covered the repairs with aluminum tape. It provides a durable, smooth patch. I decided to leave the cowls as-is. Done!

The only part I'm having trouble repairing is the plastic wing intake that was smashed. Got one to spare?

BUT- a little paint and polycrylic and she's ready to fly again.
Posted by kajukenbo | Oct 03, 2020 @ 02:16 PM | 2,317 Views
Here is my latest P-61 build in OD green. I Love how these planes look and fly, and they are an excellent base for a hobby project. It will probably be 2021 before I get to fly it. I cut off the top turret and added a few scale details. I haven't decided whether to use pin striping for the red lines on the wings, or to paint some weathered remnants of lines.
Posted by kajukenbo | Sep 23, 2020 @ 08:38 PM | 3,626 Views
If you get a chance to grab one of these, it's a great flying model. Hobbico/Fliteworks made these from the J-Power V2 molds. With a little work, this P-38 can be an excellent semi-scale model. Fliteworks modeled the plane after the Red Bull exhibition plane. The full-scale plane was originally a Reno racer with carbs, so it had carb intakes, no turbos. With a little crafting, you can make your own turbos.

The model sold for almost half of what a Flightline model sells for! It flies on 3S, 3300 mAh, 50C batteries. I get five minutes of mixed flight on this size battery.

It flies REALLY well right out of the box. It cruises well, with enough power to do a nice vertical climb. I swapped out my props for some 3-blade Master Airscrew props. Don't expect a screaming 90 mph warbird, though.

The weak point of the model is the nose gear. There isn't enough support for the retract mount, so even the best grass landings will eventually loosen up the nose gear. Greasing this model in is easy, though. If you want to pull out the retracts, this model makes an excellent hand-launch/belly-lander.
Posted by kajukenbo | Jul 26, 2020 @ 12:45 PM | 7,875 Views
If you have a Dynam PBY Catalina, you should check out the kit that Park Flyer Plastics has for uprgrade/repair!


I had the wing struts come loose, resulting in a prop striking the canopy. Their kit includes a better canopy, nicely-molded cowls, and more neat stuff. The upgrade was easy and a fun exercise. Highly recommend it to Dynam PBY owners, especially if your bird is starting to look war weary!
Posted by kajukenbo | Jun 27, 2020 @ 06:49 PM | 6,470 Views
Added a few details today.

Here is the latest pic- see the Blog thread...
Posted by kajukenbo | Jun 24, 2020 @ 05:07 PM | 8,006 Views
I am kit bashing a Dynam P-61 Black Widow into an XP-61E. I won't go into all the details about the XP-61E, because the story can easily be found on the internet. Simply put, there were only two prototypes built, the P-82 was a better choice and the project was killed. Almost. The F-15 Reporter recon plane spawned from the project. The "F" designation is puzzling, since it was a photo recon plane- really ought to have been an "R". [I found out the 40's designations were different! See below!]

The XP-61E was a different airplane than the P-61 Black Widow. It wasn't hump-backed; it had a flattened deck, no third cockpit in the tail, and a bubble canopy. To make an XP-61E out of the Dynam model, the fuselage needs to modified and a new canopy crafted. In preparation for making the model, I researched the airplane and sought out any RC or static models of the airplane. So far, I haven't found any RC models of this airplane, and few references to static models.

I am halfway through the build, and working on an summary of what I've done up to this point. I have been posting bits on what I've been doing to the model on the Dynam Black Widow thread, but decided this is a more appropriate spot to have it. More to come!

Click on the comments to see the posts...

Updated 7/15/20