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Posted by CaseySP | Mar 17, 2012 @ 12:57 AM | 6,417 Views
Painting completed.

Happily the entire finishing (fibreglass and painting) only added 70g to the weight - very pleased with that. But it has also moved the CG back 5mm - I'll need to add a small amount of ballast to restore it. Unfortunately the battery can't go any further forwards or it will interfere with the nose retract mechanism.

Main colours are titanium white, medium grey and paynes grey Reeves acrylics thinned with Windex and applied with an airbrush. The canopy is left over medium sea blue enamel applied with a brush. Decals left over from my Alfa MiG 15.

The paint scheme was inspired by one Stuart Warne used on his Alfa MiG15 - should actually be a Korean war era Chinese PLAAF scheme.

This was my first ever attempt at airbrushing. Not perfect, but it is a very steep learning curve and I picked up a lot of information from threads on this forum such as J Morgan's excellent thread on finishing models and watching you-tube clips.
Posted by CaseySP | Oct 16, 2010 @ 05:12 PM | 8,586 Views
This is my second Alfa MiG15. I enjoyed the first one so much, that after the demise of the MiG21, I couldn't help myself. If there is a better looking, better flying small EDF, I haven't yet seen it.

This one was built using the tips and tricks from my first build, as well as lessons learnt along 2 and a bit years of flying my first one.

In my first one I used a single aileron servo, a HS-81 to ensure there was good torque to handle the (potential) speed as well as ensure decent centering over a 9g servo. The single servo made aligning the ailerons (especially the recommended 2mm of reflex) a pain, differential all but impossible and the servo took up valuable space inside the fuselage.

This time around I found some ultra thin servos from HK which fit inside the wing nicely. Once the control rods are removed from the wing the weight gain is minimal, only 1g heavier then using a single 9g servo or 6.6g lighter then the single HS-81 of my old MiG 15. And all with the ease of setting up a two servo wing plus the ability to use differential.

Next step is to glue the wings on. Here I used a similar method to last time. First and absolutely critical is to remove the paint from the fuselage join area. I use methylated spirits. Next, rough the surface up a little with fine sandpaper to remove the glossy finish from the Alfa mold. Then lots and lots of little holes (approx .5mm) are pricked into the foam at the join area to really key the glue into. Give the metal wing...Continue Reading
Posted by CaseySP | Oct 11, 2010 @ 03:55 PM | 8,390 Views
Having been meaning to post this for some time. Sadly the model is no longer flying.

The MiG21 is an old favorite of mine. I remember building a plastic 1/72 Airfix kit long ago as a young boy. I was toying up with either ordering a new Alfa MiG15 to replace my old worn-out example (almost 100 flights at the time) or the newly released MiG21. The MiG21 won this time around.

Onto the build.

[Photos 6 & 7] First step was to fit a bungee hook. I don't hand launch and the MiG21 won't ROG like the Alfa MiG15 due to the scale sub-fin. The hook is a 1.5mm piece of chromed wire glued to a plate made out of 3 laminations of the 3mm ply Alfa wrapped the box in. The wire is bent to a "U" shape, with a longer end forming the hook. The plate is drilled through for both ends of the wire, grooved (for the wire to rest in), shaped to the fuselage/duct curve, and fitted with 6mm depron front and rear streamlining pieces to make a teardrop shape (in plan view at least).

I chose a spot on the fuse between the nose and the CG - about 1/3 from the nose. It happens to be in the centre of a service panel moulding.

[Photos 8 & 9] Wing spar and servo framework (wing box) was then built. The die cutting is more die squashing, so the fit of parts is a bit ordinary particularly compared to the latest laser cutting. I tacked the bit in place with CA then built up some fillets with a bit of PU for strength. The wings have very slight andihedral, so the spar must...Continue Reading
Posted by CaseySP | Apr 25, 2009 @ 09:18 PM | 8,275 Views
With the MiG in the maintenance shop, it was time to address the under-wing decals that had recently started to disintegrate due to the heavy dews and longer grass at the field.

New decals were drawn up in MS Word using the originals as a template. Near enough for rockets

The file is attached below if it is any use to anyone. You'll need to print these on white decal paper.
Posted by CaseySP | Apr 17, 2009 @ 11:32 PM | 7,257 Views
Lovely crisp morning at the airfield today. The birds were chirping, the autumn colours on display, no wind to speak of. The Corsair and Formosa had a few flights before I decided the neighborhood had had sufficient slumber. Time to take the MiG up and make some noise.

Plugged in a battery and the elevator servo started to twitch away. Initially it looked as if the RX was being swamped by the TX so I moved it away and collapsed the antenna. This stopped the twitching, but as soon as the elevator stick was moved, the twitching would start up again around centre, then it would stop as the stick was deflected further.

Discretion being the better part, no MiG flights today. Got home and isolated the fault to the elevator servo, a HS-55. Luckily the ESC wasn't damaged, so off to the shops to buy a new servo. No HS-55s in stock, but a box of Multiplex Nano S servos instead. As we know Hi-Tec owns Multiplex, so no suprises that the servos are identical with the exception of the colour of the case.

Just happy it happened on the ground and not in the air....
Posted by CaseySP | Mar 20, 2009 @ 06:47 AM | 8,317 Views
Bit old now...

I changed the power system in the Alfa MiG15 from what was described earlier below after seeking more vertical performance and bigger loops. I was also warned that the old motor was probably due to let the smoke out any time soon.

Couldn't be happier. The motor was a true bolt-in proposition as promised by Don, but the speed controller installation in the thrust tube and associated wiring was a bit of a headache as it all becomes a bit of a squeeze back there and you need to make sure nothing can foul the elevator servo.

Performance is amazing, and despite the greater performance and weight i get longer flight times then the old setup. The only noticeable negative impact is that I find I need longer to setup for a landing as the glide is much faster then before.

Motor: - Don's Wicked 4800kV
EDF:- Alfa with 5 blade fan (385W @ 32.9A)
ESC:- X-Power 40A BEC mounted in thrust tube
Battery:- Rhino 3S 2350 25C
Radio:- JR2610 TX, R770S SPCM RX, HS81 (aileron) HS55 (elevator)
Posted by CaseySP | Mar 20, 2009 @ 05:06 AM | 8,033 Views
Well the in-laws have left so I have had some time to get back to this.

Will try to convince my Brother-in-law to come out to the field with his DSLR one morning so I can get some in-flight shots.
Posted by CaseySP | Mar 10, 2009 @ 08:55 AM | 7,695 Views
Kind of a build log....

Been busy stripping and repainting my Alfa F4U Corsair into a RNZAF scheme - NZ5560 (JZ-M). After more then 12 months of flying it was time for a refresh and a change, plus I was looking for a more visible scheme to help with orientation on overcast days.

Still a work in progress - I have just run out of decal paper for the wing roundels and also need to do a little more (subtle) weathering.
Posted by CaseySP | Jan 01, 2009 @ 06:57 AM | 7,676 Views
Well, as I said in part 1, there was a twist to the tale. The P47 hit the dust again, this time it was my fault from a dud hand launch, leading to a torque roll into the ground. The nose was broken (but not as bad as last time), firewall destroyed, the cowel broken and flattened, the port (left) wing broke off and the port (left) tailplane was cracked at the fuselage and the top and bottom had separated at the trailing edge (perversely this proved to be a bonus).

I put it aside for a number of months while I flew my Alfa Corsair and MiG15, and worked on the GWS FW190 making it look more like an Alfa and less like a GWS.

Repairs were carried out much as before. The wing spar was doubled with a cut down ice-block stick, the wing skins doubled with 3mm depron along the breaks and the push rod straightened and re-fitted.

The tailplane was fixed by inserting a carbon rod through the opened up trailing edge to act as a spar, the elevator re-glued to the spruce joiner, and finally the trailing edge was resealed.

The cowel was fixed by taping up the inside, CA, and light weight filler. The outside was then covered in a layer of silkspan and WBPU. The fuselage was patched with depron, cracks filled with lightweight filler and given a good sand.

Finally, a new balsa battery tray was made up to replace the original ply one which was damaged after the crash. The new one is a copy of the one fitted to the Alfa MiG15. And of course a bungee hook is now fitted so this...Continue Reading
Posted by CaseySP | Nov 28, 2008 @ 08:56 AM | 9,503 Views
GWS Formosa Test Mule

A few details of my bungee ramp and hooks fitted to the aircraft.

The ramp was built from 15mm PVC pipe and 15mm connectors. You'll need:
  • 6 90 degree bends
  • 2 tee pieces with the top half cut off (see photos below)
  • 2 x 150mm lengths (back legs)
  • 2 x 400mm lengths (front legs)
  • 2 x 350mm lengths (spreaders/bottom feet)
  • 2 x 1200mm lengths (rails)
  • 6 metres 6mm bungee cord (shock cord)
  • 6 metres of nylon cord (spektra)
  • 4 x metal rings (key rings)

The whole ramp and bungee breaks down to a small bag (pinched from an outdoor chair) that I can sling over my shoulder for my short walk to the airfield. Also takes up next to no room in the boot (trunk) of the car for drives to other fields.

I have glued the 90 degree pieces to spreaders/bottom feet and the end of the rails as shown in the photos. This keeps the parts count down and speeds up assembly and disassembly.

The tee pieces have to tops cut off so there is no "step" in the rail to impeded the accelerating aircraft. These are also glued to the bottom of the rails.

The nylon cord is tied off on the ring attached to the end of the bungee cord such that there is one 2m length (for the aircraft attachment ring) and one 4m length (for the release ring).

You will note I use 4 metal tent pegs to secure everything. One peg has the end straightened out. This is my launch peg, it gets hammered into the ground leaning slightly towards the bungee anchor and with about 5cm out of the...Continue Reading
Posted by CaseySP | Nov 23, 2008 @ 05:49 AM | 7,520 Views
After the successful test flight, it was time for the finishing touches.

The remnants of the original paint were removed with methylated spirits, creases and joins filled with Red Devil lightweight filler, then a new coat of paint applied to replicate the colours of Francis "Gabby" Gabreski's P47 "HV-A".

No one seems to know exactly how the Gabby P47 was finished, so I chose a version that looked good for orientation - invasion stripes on the lower half only.

I found an article that quoted Gabreski stating that his planes were painted in RAF colours applied in the "German way".

So I used the following colours (all Tamiya spray cans):
  • AS-9 Dark Green (RAF)
  • AS-10 Ocean Grey (RAF)
  • AS-11 Medium Sea Grey (RAF)

I am indebted to Cuban08 (Sam) for sending me his decal files.
Posted by CaseySP | Nov 23, 2008 @ 05:32 AM | 7,137 Views
The next step was to replace and repair the crushed foam. New depron sheet was cut to shape and rolled to follow the original cross sections. Joins between the old and new foam were backed up with depron foam - also rolled to the right shape.

Glues used were UHU Creativ for foam, 30 min Z-Epoxy & Weldbond....Continue Reading
Posted by CaseySP | Nov 23, 2008 @ 04:44 AM | 6,721 Views
The first job was to replace the shattered fuselage longerons. Using the old ones as guides, new ones were cut from spruce stock, paying careful attention to not change the thrust angle of the re-attached firewall. There was enough good foam left on the starboard side to help out here.
Posted by CaseySP | Nov 23, 2008 @ 02:18 AM | 6,359 Views
I've posted these before, but may as well put them here in my blog, as there is a twist to the tail...

I had had some issues with the hatch flying off the P47 in gusty conditions. It happened three times of the previous flight, and a couple of times in other sessions. Nonetheless I pushed on until the hatch flew off again, except instead of flying harmlessly away, this time it embedded itself in the fin. This caused the P47 to immediately pitch straight down and hit the ground vertically from about 20 meters. Right in front of me too, so I had a grandstand view of it all happening.
Posted by CaseySP | Nov 13, 2008 @ 07:26 AM | 6,488 Views
My Alfa Mig 15 was damaged in the box, so I picked it up with a decent discount. There was fairly major creasing around the nose, with minor damage over the rest of the fuselage. The wings, fin and tailplane was in perfect condition.

Searching through the RCGroups forums I found a few threads that described how to remove creases using a covering iron and wet paper towels. Taking it easy, I was able to steam the worst of the creases out and under the decals they are barely noticeable.

The Mig is one of my favorites. So nice and easy to fly, handles a bit of wind without any problems, and the ROG impresses everyone who has not seen it before.
Posted by CaseySP | Nov 01, 2008 @ 08:15 AM | 6,432 Views
Here's a short video of my Alfa Corsair on the bungy launch ramp.
Takes all the nerves out of launching and saved this model on its maiden.

Alfa Corsair Ramp launch