Sandancer's blog archive for April, 2011 - RC Groups
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Archive for April, 2011
Posted by Sandancer | Apr 26, 2011 @ 01:53 AM | 25,544 Views
The cockpit that came with mine (RC Castle) had a Gunner, albeit a member of the B-25 flight crew, and he just didn't look right in there!

I was able to acquire another pilot, and although they were the same, the facial features are a bit different, so I'm passing them off as twins! I had to do some minor surgery on him. That plus a little foam removal at the floor of the cockpit so his head would clear the lower canopy in the rear, and I got him sitting comfortably in the original seat position!

I also followed Tom H's tip and turned the antenna around to the scale inclination. A screw inside the canopy holds the antenna in place.
Posted by Sandancer | Apr 23, 2011 @ 10:30 AM | 24,550 Views
My Stuka was missing the upper magnet in the cowl/fuse attachment point, so this is how I solved that little ditty.

I'm using these 10mm x 2mm rare earth magnets from HK, and they have a surprisingly strong bond when placed end-to-end. Because of the limited space, these work great. There was already a slot in the cowl, so all I needed to do is carve a slot in the fuse, apply some epoxy and slide 'em in.
Posted by Sandancer | Apr 08, 2011 @ 02:39 PM | 28,976 Views
Here is my un-boxing and evaluation of the.... FMS 55.9" STUKA Ju 87G-2!

I ordered mine from RC Castle 3/31/2011 and received it 4/05/2011 EMS to SW Mo. Once again I want to thank Raymond for his excellent service! Mine was delivered in excellent condition, no damage what-so-ever.

Much like the B-25 Tondelayo and the Corsair F4U there is very little to complain about:
--The upper magnet assembly (magnet/steel plate) wasn't installed on the cowl.
--There should be a cover of some kind (clear) to cover the round "Directional Antenna" cavity just behind the canopy.
--The Gunner is a bit on the "Pygmy" side compared to the pilot, who by the way, has no resemblance to FMS's original "Goofy"! The Gunner is actually one of the members of the B-25 flight crew.

NOTE:.....There is an issue concerning the wing hinging! Apparently on some of the early editions the hinges were glued on over the paint, and were coming loose with very little effort. This may have been a suspected cause of the Nitroplanes demo crash? My good friend Bernhard/Beltpilot experienced the same misfortune with his plane as well.
The first thing I checked was the hinges. I found all of mine to be quite secure, but to be sure I managed to work one loose just to see what was going on. It appears the manufacture took the care to tape those areas off before painting on mine, so apparently FMS has already taken steps to correct this issue! I...Continue Reading
Posted by Sandancer | Apr 07, 2011 @ 11:39 PM | 31,540 Views
This is my build of the Starmax 63" P-51D "GUNFIGHTER"!

This is my Walk Around vid of the "GUNFIGHTER"!
It also shows how I configured the 1-piece wing so I can remove it quickly and easily for transport.

Starmax P-51_Walk Around (6 min 41 sec)

UP-DATE 7/08/2011: Starmax Parts Listing:

After conversing with Taft Chen / Vice-President StarMax Technology Industry Limited, I am pleased to present a listing of Replacement parts for the 63" P-51, along with the associated parts numbers.

These listings are posted under the Dago Red version, but Mr. Chen instructed that when ordering, instruct to which version eg: Gunfighter / BBD/ Shangri La / Dago Red you are wanting.

You will need to contact him regarding pricing, and all orders are paid thru Paypal and will be shipped EMS. Also, Mr. Chen noted "sometime factory is busy, so delivery time will be long if there is busy for production other planes"

You can contact Taft Chen at:
...Continue Reading
Posted by Sandancer | Apr 07, 2011 @ 11:27 PM | 18,053 Views
Starmax P-51 Nav Lights (2 min 50 sec)

I'm getting the electronics all sorted out, and I've decided for now, I'm am going to use the stock 85A ESC that came with the plane. If it proves to be un-worthy, then I have one of the new Turnigy 85A w/5A BEC ESC I can pop in there. I'm still going to use a CC 10A BEC wired in to power up the Futaba R6008HS Rx.

I have installed a HiTec HS-82MG for the elevator, and a Blue Bird Max BMS-380MG to control the rudder/tail wheel steer (Note: I'm not sure HK carries the 380 in metal gears anymore?) For now I am going to retain the stock aileron and flap servos as they continue to operated flawlessly, and haven't squawked back so far.

I have installed a 14-Pin multiplex harness in the 1-piece wing to assist in an easy and quick way to remove the wings for transport purposes.

I've also installed the Turnigy 3 Channel Servo Speed/Direction Regulator in-line with the Radiator Vent Door.

I have disabled the two Nav Light leads on the stock ESC as I am going to use the Lazertoyz Maxi-Light to control the extensive light system I have installed on the plane. The Maxi-Light will not only control the stock Nav Lights on the wing tips, but the two beacons, one on the tail, and the one mounted on the intake scoop. It also gives me the option of controlling the two landing lights I have mounted on the wheel struts so I can turn them on & off at will. I know the P-51 only had 1 on the port LG, but I had to add an...Continue Reading
Posted by Sandancer | Apr 07, 2011 @ 11:26 PM | 15,346 Views
To be up-dated!
Posted by Sandancer | Apr 07, 2011 @ 11:24 PM | 17,733 Views
I couldn't live with those "Bombs/Drop Tanks"?.....or whatever they are, so I set out to change things up a bit!

The first thing I needed to figure out was how to mount the pylons to the wings? Using the recessed area for the original "whatevers" I made a couple of 1/16" mounting plates. To attach the plates to the wings I epoxied two 3mm blind nuts. To get the bend in the plates to conform to the curvature of the wing I clamped them to a form and subjected them to some intensely hot water, and then a nice suntan under the broiler in my oven.

I already had a set of pylons made up so all I needed to do was sand the needed curvature in the base to fit the wing, so I used my oscillating drum sander to achieve that. Once the plates had cooled down I attached them to the pylons with a couple of screws and then mounted the finished pylons to the wings with 3mm x 3/16" button heads.

With the Fourmost Bomb Release I am able to exchange either the 500 lbs. Bombs, or the 75 gal. Drop Tanks....Continue Reading
Posted by Sandancer | Apr 07, 2011 @ 11:23 PM | 15,841 Views
One of the features I liked about the Starmax was the Radiator Vent Door, so I set out to see what it would take to make mine functional.

Starmax Gunfighter_Radiator Vent (2 min 2 sec)

The first thing I need to address was alignment of the linkage. I wasn't crazy about trying to run linkage from a servo mounted on the tray down to where I planned to mount the horn on the vent door, so I designed my own dropped & channeled servo tray out of some 1/16" plastic. I first cut the hole for the HXT 900 9g servo, and then took the hot air gun and started forming the tray. Once I got the dimensions and depth I wanted for the hole between the rudder and elevator mounts, I dropped the entire assembly down in there, and had a much better alignment for the linkage.

The door, on the other hand, was a bit more difficult. Because it fit so tight in the bay opening, I knew I would have to remove it so I could clearance it so it would swing clear and not bind the servo. To get the door out I had to cut the foam swivel hinges on the sides. I used a piece of FMS fiberglass spar material for the new hinge rod, and anchored it with two 1/2 x 1/2 square tubing plugs on both sides. I drilled the square centers of the plugs out to accept the round spar, and fit them to the side of the fuse. I epoxied one of those larger aluminum 30mm tall control horns to the door so I would have enough room for the linkage to clear the pivot spar.

I...Continue Reading
Posted by Sandancer | Apr 07, 2011 @ 02:28 AM | 21,537 Views

I wasn't comfortable with the way the ailerons were extended to the wing tips, so I decided to make mine accurate and scale.

My thoughts that this would increase the chance of a tip stall was confirmed by Tom H, and he agreed. To quote Tom: "You have to stop an aileron a good full tip chord from the end of the wing to keep the down aileron from inducing a tip stall."

So I went to work to correct this. First I filled the tip grooves with several layers of epoxy. To help reinforce & strengthen the wing tips, I shoved a .098 X 3.5" CF rod in just shy of the nav light. I then started the process of filling and sanding, and once that was all done, I cut the control surfaces out of the wings. I re-hinged using the Super hinges from HK and medium CA. Once everything looked good to me, I repainted the wings with Krylon Metallic Bright Silver.

I had planned on adding new invasion strips because the stock stripes were to wide for the Gunfighter and overlapped the gas cap indention's. I'll use Oracal 651 Intermediate vinyl for my striping.

UP-DATE 5/18/2011: Because of the various mods, eg: Ailerons, re-hinging, LG brackets, & Bomb pylons, I wanted get these done independently before I assembled the 2 wing halves into a 1-Piece wing. To do so, I cut two .394 spars 7" long, and used them to anchor both wings together fore and aft. Once everything was test fitted, I applied GG, set the wings, and waited for the glue to cure...Continue Reading
Posted by Sandancer | Apr 07, 2011 @ 01:17 AM | 20,831 Views
As large as the elevator is on the Gunfighter, it was way to flimsy for me, so I've put a 0.325 X 0.125 X 19 5/8" Carbon Fiber spar in it. The spar made a huge difference in the flex, in fact there is none now. I also re-hinged using the Super hinges from HK.

I also tried some Rust-Oleum Ultra Cover Hunt Club Green satin paint, but it's a bit darker then the Gunfighter green, so I'll do some mix & match with Testors and see if I can come up with a closer match.

UP-DATE 4/25/2011:
After numerous attempts at finding an acceptable paint match for the "Gunfighter" green, I finally came up with a perfect match. A 1:1 mix with Testors MM Medium Green #FS34102 and MM Olive Drab #FS34087 will produce an exact match. Then to match the sheen of the factory green I applied a coat of Testors Crystal Clear Satin.

To finish off the elevator I applied Oracel 651 vinyl strips for the invasion stripes....Continue Reading
Posted by Sandancer | Apr 07, 2011 @ 12:31 AM | 18,592 Views

I got the cockpit amenities finished for my temporary 1/7 scale ESM WWII pilot. His replacement will be the 1/8 scale Aces of Iron WWII pilot when I get him back from Master Painter Greg Pierson.

I'll also be tinting the canopy here pretty soon. I'll post the results when I'm done.

UP-DATE 5/03/2011: I received my Aces of Iron WWII U.S. Pilot, European Theater pilot back today from "Master" painter Greg Pierson. You can contact Greg at Reading
Posted by Sandancer | Apr 04, 2011 @ 12:18 AM | 15,685 Views
I opened up the cowling and engine compartment to allow more air flow into the ESC/Battery bay for added ventilation for the electronics. I also added magnets to the cowl for ease of removal. Because I opened vent holes to the exhaust stacks I wanted to make sure I still got adequate air into the fuse, so I enlarged the hole leading into the battery bay. Along with the ramp, that shouldn't be a problem.

There seemed to be an issue concerning the firewall coming loose from the foam, so to safe guard that from becoming an issue on mine, I decided to reinforce the firewall.

First I wanted to grind a groove between the firewall and the surrounding foam to give additional material for the epoxy to adhere to. I used a Dremel stone like the one pictured below. Once I had the groove cut, I mixed up some 2-ton epoxy, added a little heat to make it more of a runny consistency, pored it in to the engine compartment along the edges where the grooves were cut, and then tilted the nose around so the epoxy would flow all the around the firewall. Once the epoxy dried, I went back in with the same stone and ground away any epoxy that would interfere with the motor mount.

The firewall is now securely in place!
Posted by Sandancer | Apr 03, 2011 @ 11:41 PM | 15,529 Views
I had some "piddle time" so I thought I would copy Kevin Greene's mod on the exhaust stacks. I used my Dremel with a coned shaped disc to cut out the holes in the stacks. I cut a hole thru to the engine compartment, and then took the Dremel with a rounded head cone attachment and cut a channel down to the last stack.

I painted the opening and channel with flat black to fill in the back drop. The inside of the stacks were painted MM Steel to give some contrast.

I found out, using a my own version wind tunnel which comprised of a cigarette and some compressed air, that when air pasted by the exhaust tips it actually sucked the air out of the motor compartment. With these exhausts at the top of the motor compartment, keeping the heat away from the lower vent ducting should work great!