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Posted by BlazingStar | Dec 02, 2017 @ 12:10 AM | 6,850 Views
Once again, too long since I've done any modeling or flying but found some beautiful lithographs from the 1960s to get excited about WWI models again.

Learn more here Heritage of the Air Collection

These are scans of donations to the CAF SoCal museum library.
I got them scanned in for posterity and sharing here.
They are numbered rhandomly and I'm happy to see we have almost a full set.
Would love to see the actual paintings someday.

Hope you'll enjoy them as much as I do....Continue Reading
Posted by BlazingStar | Jul 06, 2017 @ 07:08 PM | 10,237 Views
I've come in possession of a complete set of Windsock Datafiles publications from issue #1 through #140

What a treasure!

After cleaning each copy from years of dust I decided to at least scan the covers of each issue for posterity.

I'll post the covers here as I get them scanned.
Here's the first batch - this will take some time!

I know there are others here who will enjoy looking at the covers as much as I do....Continue Reading
Posted by BlazingStar | Mar 01, 2017 @ 06:57 PM | 10,191 Views
Putting the Banggood Pup together put me in the mood for another StevensAero indoor plane.

Luckily (??) I had the Ricci triplane on the shelf from 2015.
I remember when I bought it, I thought I'd never work up the enthusiasm for it, but seeing the thread on RCG with a wonderful result made me give it a try.

I had intended to do another step by step log with photos, but why bother?! It's a SA kit with a thick, well laid out set of instructions and photos.

Here's some notes and pictures of where I deviated from the kit.

Colors! It's a goofy looking plane in the margins of history, so I passed on the period appropriate recommended color scheme.
And if the balsa carving gods are feeling benevolent, I might end up with a pilot at the controls as in the picture (that's a stress-ball figure by the way, and came in handy at times during the build)
Posted by BlazingStar | Feb 09, 2017 @ 12:11 AM | 10,677 Views
Boy, I resisted the SE5 kit from Bang good - looked like a knock-off of a StevensAero SE5 and I already had one. Also I'd rather support the CO company.
But... Stevens hasn't been making indoor flyer kits at the rate they used to and my friends were going to make this Sopwith Pup from Banggood, so I joined in.

First impressions....
It's not a bad kit.
That's not the same as saying it's a good kit.
The "instructions" are sorely lacking and sometimes misleading.
I do appreciate the use of screws to join major parts together and have a removable power/Rx tray, although truthfully I don't see myself needing to take it apart much.

There's a semi-active thread on this airplane and I don't want to hijack it, so I'll post some pictures and notes here.

Our first problem was that many of us had difficulty getting the ply parts to glue together using CA.

The experten in the group attributed this to too little moisture in the wood.

No problem though, I used 15' epoxy or good old titebond wood glue much more than CA in this build.

Here's the results of a couple of hours of work with the epoxy building the birdcage front fuselage section, the Rx tray and both of the motor mounts.

Flight Officer Snoopy showed up to make sure things were going along well, and we had a good discussion about what paint scheme to be used.
Posted by BlazingStar | May 08, 2015 @ 02:11 PM | 10,313 Views
My fellow club members and I have really been enjoying this little stearman.
IMHO it's perfect!
sweet little flyer and fun to watch.
Here are a few pictures of my version.
As you can see, the cockpits are occupied with FZ P38 pilots, the registration number is altered, cylinders and prop painted, and rigging has been added (incorrectly, but oh well).The weathering was necessary to camouflage some damage (broken lower wing root from being too enthusiastic in more wind than is advisable).

...Continue Reading
Posted by BlazingStar | Feb 22, 2015 @ 02:40 PM | 12,487 Views
I've been laminating balsa strips for wing tips me such with good success and enjoy the process.

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Important things I've learned:
  • For smooth bends use 1/32 balsa
  • Soak the strips in warm water with a little white vinegar added for at least a couple hours. I use a plastic tube with end caps I scrounged from somewhere.
  • Unused soaked strips and water should be discarded or they will grow mold and rot!
  • Wipe excess water off of the strips apply a thin coat of regular wood glue and bend around the form while keeping it under mild tension to keep the strip from cracking.
  • The outline of the form I cut from 3mm foam shaped to the part needed.
    Make sure the razor is perpendicular to the form or you'll get a miss-formed piece.
  • The form is pinned down and the strips are held in place with pinned small blocks of balsa as I go around. Repeat for the next strip, repositioning the balsa blocks as
    you go. If you use pins alone, you'll end up with nice grooves of crushed balsa,where the pin is located.
  • The form should be treated with some release agent to keep the first balsa strip from sticking to it. I've tried rubbing the form's edge with regular candle wax or crayons neither of which worked great for me. Either there was too little and the strip would stick to the form, or there was too much and some wax would come off with the formed piece and give me trouble when time came to glue things together.
  • What I learned today, and the reason for this post to help me remember is to cover the edge of the form with plumber's Teflon tape instead of messing around with wax!

Now why didn't I think of that???!!!
Posted by BlazingStar | Feb 13, 2015 @ 07:23 PM | 13,900 Views
I got a partially built Peck Polymers Peanut Lacey M10 from my friend Chuck's hobby room.

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Description: The bones for the 13" Lacey M-10.

I have no idea where he got it from, how long he had it and why he never finished it before he left us. But I thought I'd finish it for him.

It's in pretty good condition.
The major parts are already built but the box did not contain the plan, any instructions or other parts that were needed.

I placed a request on RCG HERE and a very nice person PM'ed me what I needed to complete this model. It is much appreciated!

This will be my first rubber FF model. I sure hope it'll fly well.

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Description: Looks pretty good as is!

...Continue Reading
Posted by BlazingStar | Jan 26, 2015 @ 10:21 PM | 11,092 Views
This is my third and final go around with modesigner's 14" DH2

This time a much more careful assembly
Looks much better than my previous builds

Baked in an airfoil into the wings and made sure of a good dihedral
Lighter MVP brick
Lighter 6mm motor
No CG issues!
Kevlar pull threads

Here's the maiden. Either not enough power, or not enough elevator throw!
There is hope

Third 14" DH2 (0 min 41 sec)

Posted by BlazingStar | Sep 26, 2014 @ 06:19 PM | 12,063 Views
I came across the following picture of the Maximilian Schmitt Monoplane on the web somewhere and even though the shelves are overflowing with unbuilt kits, I thought it would make a neat addition to my even more overflowing micro models.

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A further web search came up with a few more pictures, but no real specs or plans or three views. And there does not app to be a thread on one here on RCG or other sites.
Maybe not surprising since the key words in this next image seem to be "strange ship" and " freak ship!

Right up my alley! You had me at strange....

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Here's another artist's rendition which looks somewhat different from the other one.
Suits me! I'll pick and choose what I like (or rather - what I can do)

...Continue Reading
Posted by BlazingStar | Feb 24, 2014 @ 01:50 PM | 11,768 Views
IH8VTEC got two kits for a 22" wingspan DLG glider sold here on RCG and I put one together in a couple of days.

22" span of blue foam. Seems super fragile even with the fiber tape support on the underside. I have a really hard time figuring out how to grab/ toss this thing. The AUW is right at 24g using a microVapor Rx and a 30mAh lipo.

I thought I'd "improve" on the stock setup of foam pod with the Rx stuck to the top and the 1mm CF pushrods running on top of the wing.

So.... I used 0.5mm CF pushrods running internal to the boom, a much cleaner setup although I'm having to address issues with the servos binding.

For the pod I used a 4g lightbulb packaging. It looked a lot like a bird's head to me and I couldn't resist. The Rx and lipo attach to a CF square stock CA'ed to the boom and are easily accommodated inside the clamshell pod.

If I ever get it to fly properly, it'll look really nice in the air.

Heres a 4 min video of a 14 minute maiden outing with a couple dozen tosses.
An exercise in frustration

Eagle Or Dead Duck? (4 min 2 sec)

Posted by BlazingStar | Feb 05, 2014 @ 04:06 PM | 11,896 Views
So there are these 3 trees on the edge of the park where we fly…
Flyzone Micro Barnstorming (1 min 35 sec)

I was having fun weaving in and out of the spaces between the trees. They seemed a lot closer than they do in the video.
Funny thing, the flying got a lot worse when the video camera came out. Or maybe the wind came up.
Either way, I need to repair a broken lower wing. But this was just the sort of fun thing the cheap flyzone micro foam bipes are good for.
No regrets.
Posted by BlazingStar | Feb 05, 2014 @ 02:49 PM | 14,161 Views
I am trying out the magnetic building board method on my current build.
The board and a few 1"x3/4" magnets were purchased from A2Z a long time ago and sat there eating dust while I tried out the "pin down" method.

In retrospect, the materials could have been had for much cheaper: use a cookie sheet for the board and buy the smaller 1"x1/4" magnets (and lots of them) from a hardware store.

The main advantage to this method for me was that the magnets being square and stackable would help in keeping my build pieces square.
And there is no pin holes in your wood. Although I'm finding the black dust (ceramic?) on the new magnets to be more annoying.

Also the magnets are really too strong for small bits of balsa in micro builds.

Lego bricks to the rescue! I read about this somewhere and decided to give it a try and like it a lot. Take a few lego brick of whatever size suits you and magnetize them by sticking neodymium magnets into the holes on the bottom.
Other plain blocks can be stacked on top if you need longer verticals.
Take care to stick all the magnets in with the polarities going the same direction on all the bricks.
Magnet sizes that work:
5mm round x 2mm thick for the thin lego bricks
5mm round x 4mm thick for the fatter bricks.
The magnets fit in very snugly and I have not needed to glue them in so far.
That's it! Super easy. I prefer the 3x rectangular bricks with two magnets inserted. The hold is good and strong.

Just press-fit the 5mm magnet discs

Here you see all the magnets and bricks I've tried. I find the 3x2 rectangular lego bricks and the 1/4"x1" regular magnets to suit my needs best

And colorful too

Posted by BlazingStar | Feb 05, 2014 @ 12:16 AM | 13,521 Views
Someone told me I should try placing my postings in a blog rather than adding threads to the forums. I'm not sure what advantage this offers or how the postings will be found by anyone interested, but I thought I'd give it a try by adding my most recent project here.
The Rake Sperry monoplane.
I had planned for this to be my first build off of plans, but I ended up getting the short kit to save some time.

To my (non-expert) eyes the wood looks good and the laser cutting is excellent. I specially like that the part numbers are not etched onto the wood but can be read on the accompanied parts map. This makes for less sanding to remove the etching.
This will be my first short kit and I decided to give the magna-board building a try as well.
Also I decided to cover the plans with clear packaging tape instead of my usual wax paper this time and see how that goes.

The laser parts in this kit fit very well.
The magna-board is working out so far. But I need more magnets than the few that came with it


1/4" magnets from Lowes work even better since they are not as strong.
...Continue Reading
Posted by BlazingStar | Mar 22, 2013 @ 04:27 PM | 12,099 Views
Wow, I can't believe it's been a year since I attempted this conversion!
Just the recap... The idea was to do a quick and dirty D8 using existing parts and pieces: FZ Dr1 fuselage and LG, reshaped rudder, struts and CF from a defunct 4site, and the wing (here's where I went wrong) from a um P51

I fashioned a new wing using 3mm depron tracing on a 3 view drawing plan and gave it some undercamber by rolling over a table edge.

It has more wing area that the p51 wing and worked better:

Fokker D8 With New Wing (1 min 20 sec)

But maybe it could use some dihedral?

Fokker D8 - Dihedral (2 min 21 sec)
...Continue Reading
Posted by BlazingStar | Mar 02, 2012 @ 02:40 PM | 11,642 Views
Here's a short video of the D8 maiden

Fokker D8 maiden (0 min 9 sec)

great snap roll to invertged flight right at take off a better pilot would have continued the take off inverted...

Seriously though, this was the fourth attempt.
Notice the left to right oscillation. What causes that?
I had the rudder throws reduced to very small movements with D/R setup.
On one occation when it did stay up for a few seconds (no video) that left to right severe bank continued.
My highly critical eye indicates that something may be wrong

Ideas welcome!
Posted by BlazingStar | Mar 01, 2012 @ 01:01 AM | 12,164 Views
I had a chance to rework the D8 pull-pull system, but no remaiden yet.
The magnets holding the fuse halves together turned out to be a great idea
Just undid the spars holding the wing to the bottom half of the fuselage and opened the model up.
You can't really see the new lines in the attached video. Here's what's new:
  • Replaced thread with 4# fishing line.
  • Replaced heat shrink channels with Teflon tubes.
  • Replaced 90° rudder bellcrank with a bellcrank from um p51.
  • Moved elevator contrl line exit points forward to avoid sharp angles.
  • Added lots of physical down trim to elevator. - maybe too much, we'll see if I have to open her up again.
  • Control surfaces appear to be centering OK. The rudder centering is a little sluggish but sure is improved.
Magnets to the rescue...

New location and angle for the elevator control line

...Continue Reading
Posted by BlazingStar | Feb 25, 2012 @ 06:18 PM | 12,454 Views
I guess this counts as a Dr1 mod?
FZ Fokker Dr1 to Fokker D8 conversion

This will be a longish post with some details.

The fuselage, elevator and landing gear are from the Fz Dr1.
Super Solvent was used to strip the red paint off of the foam and it worked very well.

I scalled plans for the D8 with the idea of cutting a wing out of 2mm depron.

...Continue Reading