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Posted by UpNup | Feb 15, 2018 @ 02:55 PM | 3,936 Views
The Williams Bros Models Pilot figures have been around a long time. They typically have very wide eyes that look garish.

1. Sand the sides of the eyelids. They’re too wide. Ignore the outer edges and keep everything in a normal eye-shape oval.

2. Use the tip of an Xacto knife to scrape off the plastic nearest the nose, deepening the eye socket just a bit.

3. Paint the whole face with a flat paint that resembles skin tones. Keep in mind that Caucasians aren’t really white, but a sand-colored tan. I started with a raw wood color and mixed in just a bit of red and yellow to warm up the tones. I mixed everything in a white egg carton. While you have the flesh tones, mix in enough red to make it pale pink. Paint the lower lip (only) and inside the eyeballs nearest the nose.

4. Paint the eyeballs white. I mixed in a drop of gray to soften the brilliance. Stop painting the white way short of the edges outside to make them more realistic. Stop short of the pink near the nose.

5. Paint the iris blue. Some say brown doesn’t work as well. I mixed in some white and didn’t blend it thoroughly to give it streaks. Make the circles hide the top part with the eyelid. Too far up and they’ll look sleepy. Too low and they’ll look scared. Make them equal or they’ll look crazy.

6. Make a dot with a Sharpie in the center of the iris circle. Make sure they match. Pant a circle of black paint. Come back later and put a tiny white dot to show...Continue Reading
Posted by UpNup | Feb 02, 2018 @ 11:16 AM | 1,632 Views
Formers for the Ford Flivver need to change to accommodate the Rimfire .25 motor. The hatch and cowl must be re-thought. My hobby shop recommended tearing out the battery tray, eliminating the pilot and put in a mid-size motor mount (Great Planes). But, well, I like the pilot and lipo tray. So I started at this point deviating from the plans. I already have mini servos in the wings and tail so the precedent has been set. I did buy the GP motor mount as a safety net I can always revert to if my ideas don’t work.

To make the plywood formers, I turned to the plywood jigs provided with the short kit (wingtips, rudder, and elevator laminations). I don’t have saws so I used a click knife and Xacto knife to cut out the parts and 80 grit sandpaper to finish.
Posted by UpNup | Jan 19, 2018 @ 04:15 PM | 1,496 Views
Here are some costs that I did not anticipate when I started flying RC airplanes.

75.00 AMA -- Dues & Magazine
75.00 Club Dues
134.99 DX6e 6 Ch Transmitter
22.39 Battery Case
TOTAL: $307.39
Posted by UpNup | Jan 19, 2018 @ 04:10 PM | 1,453 Views
Cost Tax Item purchased
89.99 6.58 Rimfire .25 Outrunner Brushless motor
80.00 FF Short Kit
79.99 13.96 AR636 6-Channel AS3X Sport Receiver (SPMAR636)
56.58 3s 2200 Batteries ($30 ea. X 2)
39.55 15.95 Balsa Shipping $16
35.96 4 Servos _ New Power Digital Servo ($8.99 ea.)
34.99 ESC ZTW Beatles 60 Amp
19.95 3.5 Wheels - 3 3/4" Golden Age
17.99 Great Planes Brushless Motor Mount GPMG1255
16.34 1.1 Balsa
16.14 MonoKote Aluminum
14.98 6.78 FF Plastic Model via eBay (incl. shipping)
14.34 0.97 Balsa
13.59 Monokote Sapphire Blue
12.79 Balsa
9.60 0.68 Printed FF plans 1/5 Scale (AeroFred RCM)
9.59 Sullivan Pull Cable Kit #521
6.99 0.88 Paper Craft - White lettering
6.99 Spinner and backplate
6.97 Sandpaper assorted pack
6.50 Wheels - 1 7/8" Golden Age tailwheel
5.99 Scissors
5.98 0.42 Music Wire 3/32" and .062 in. X 5
5.97 0.87 Loctite Super Glue
5.49 Y-harness - JR Compatible Servo 12 inch
4.99 0.5 Balsa
4.67 Bulk Dura-Collars (wheels)
4.66 7.27 Pilot (shipping)
3.58 Balsa
3.58 Balsa
3.49 3.03 1" CA Hinges (24)
3.06 0.5 Spray Paint
2.99 Propeller
2.99 12" servo extension
2.98 Music Wire 1/8" X 36" X @ $1.49 ea.
2.49 0.29 Thumb tacks
2.44 Testors Paints for pilot
2.39 0.16 Balsa
2.00 3 2 Quick Links - control arms
1.95 2.63 Steel Straps
1.18 Landing Gear Straps (4) 1/8"
1.07 0.07 Balsa
1.00 0.07 Waxed paper
0.99 0.06 Kwik-link 1' - servo control and clevis elevator
665.75 69.27
$735.02 TOTAL Ford Flivver 1/5 scale build from plans
Posted by UpNup | Jan 16, 2018 @ 06:39 PM | 1,455 Views
Little things mean a lot. Weight creeps up. Things begin to skew. But some little things look awesome and are worth the effort.

The seat back for the Ford Flivver is not mentioned anywhere. I made a template and found some black sheet called leather. To get a quilting effect, my wife sewed seams across lines I’d made. These help the back look better than just painting brhind the pilot figure.
Posted by UpNup | Jan 07, 2018 @ 06:58 PM | 995 Views
The back of the Ford Flivver 268 has an incredible top deck.
1. I had to add two 3/32” sheets to the Long headrest I had blogged about previously.
2. Instead of stringer sticks, the plan wisely calls for three triangular slats angled to go the entire length.
3. The 3/32” sheet would not bend so I had to plank the sides of that deck.
Posted by UpNup | Dec 29, 2017 @ 08:17 PM | 1,756 Views
The Ford Flivver has walls that are extremely rigid. But! All was well gluing together the frame formers. And all was well gluing down the 1/64” thick plywood foward sides.

The 1/32” sides needed glue and all that wetness began to bow everything. It was so bad it popped the sides of two plywood cross-beams. And it kept on bowing. I went into action and pulled everything out of the middle except for the side formers.

I threw the sides on a Formica counter and starting piling on the heaviest books I owned. The side panels began flattening out under the weight. When I removed the books 15 hours later, the glue was dry and the sides were flat.

Too much drama.
Posted by UpNup | Dec 27, 2017 @ 02:15 PM | 1,922 Views
Back in the summer, I made the instrument panel. Not having a guide, I used a penny for the oil pressure, a quarter for the tachometer, and ply/balsa carving for the on/off switch.

Today was the time to put it all into the top hatch. The Ford Flivver plans included a loopy template for the forward cockpit. I made an aluminum cutout from a pop can, but it didn’t work. However, I managed to find one curve that I liked, so I made that work. All that trouble a few months ago finally began to pay off.

I don’t know about you, but God has done some things in my life that I just had to scratch my head at the time and move on. But later, I saw how what I learned or a skill that I had developed made me smile and go, “So THAT’S why I went through that!” And boom, I use it to help someone. I’ve had cancer, had my position cut at work (twice!), cared for my wife when she had leukemia. And you just don’t get answers to the “Why God?” question at the time. Years later, we benefit from a stronger marriage, an ability to counsel others in crisis, and have an incredible new job opportunity that I would have missed stuck in the old job. And on this job, I don’t travel much, so there’s more time to build this plane.

The plans called for 1/4” thick and 3/8” wide planking, but I used 3/16” thick and 1/4” wide balsa strips. I used my rotary tool to neatly cut away the balsa cockpit wall extenders. After sanding with an 80-grit block, I touched up some cracks with balsa slivers and then hit it with some wet lightweight spackling.
Posted by UpNup | Dec 22, 2017 @ 10:00 PM | 1,596 Views
Behind the Ford Flivver #268 pilot’s head is the world’s longest headrest. It reminds me of the helmets cyclists wear during time trials. They’re built to be aerodynamic and so is the Flivver’s headrest.

Making this 16 inch by 1 1/8 in. balsa piece that runs down the spine of the airplane intimidated me. I had to buy two balsa blocks, use the plan’s measurements and figure out how to cut them down and glue them together. After hulling out the bottom, I painted it silver with a brush. The silver paint is so fluid that it didn’t leave brush marks.

EDIT: To make it fit right, I had to add two laminations of 3/32" balsa sheeting. I put wood glue on one side and sprayed Windex on the other. I tied everything down with rubber bands. This put some dents along the bottom, but they were superficial and easily sanded out.
Posted by UpNup | Dec 13, 2017 @ 10:21 PM | 1,362 Views
When building the ribs, I mounted the servos with screws and glued them on plywood rails at an angle. The idea is that the servos must be perpendicular to the control horns to work correctly. The control horns were cut from the clear cover of an Apple iPhone earplug box. I cut them out with my rotary drill. I sanded them and painted them with Testors aluminum (dull silver) paint.

In this set, you'll notice that I've glued metal beads down the tops of the ribs. On the original wings, there are these beads just under the skin. It's like they are clamps or U-shaped staples of sorts holding down some kind of wire or line running down the tops of the ribs. My concern is that they'll melt through Monokote when the covering is ironed on. I plan to test it. The little metals beads were found on a 2 pound exercise cuff that my wife used. It had "runs" in them like a women's hose that dripped these tiny pellets. And they worked perfectly if they won't damage the covering.
Posted by UpNup | Dec 10, 2017 @ 08:16 PM | 1,546 Views
The Ford Flivver 268 plans are tricky in places. The fin and rudder have details that have to be closely followed.

The fin is 1/8 in. thick to build over the plans. When finished, you have to add 1/32 in. sheeting on both sides.

The rudder is 3/16 in. thick with extremely long and curved laminations. I made everything from cuts to sheeting. However the rudder has no sheeting.

The moment of truth is when the tail wheel bracket has to be inserted into a hole in the rudder and a trough has to be delicately run down the lower spine of the rudder. My alignment was off by only 1/16 in., but that threw the tail wheel off by 1/4 in. To resolve the problem, I could have re-soldered the bracket, but realized it could lead to new problems. I used a metal file to slim the top of the bracket insertion rod and cut the insertion hole on an angle. By gluing on a 1/64 in. plywood curved side, I covered where the bracket popped through the soft balsa.

There are two 1/8 in. dowel rods inserted into the bottom of the fin. Now, that means the 1/8 in. balsa rail gets cut through in two places! I cut the holes carefully and sliced the sides. Then I sanded flat the parts so that the sides didn’t bulge. I used CA to quickly fix the dowels.

When I put the 1/32 in. sheeting on, everything laid flat. I used yellow wood glue on the fin and it alarmed me when the balsa began to limber up. I moved quickly to glue both slides. I layed the glued fin on a Formica kitchen countertop and...Continue Reading
Posted by UpNup | Dec 02, 2017 @ 12:52 PM | 1,896 Views
One of the most unique noticeable characteristics of the Ford Flivver 268 is its tailwheel. The plans provide some but not all details. In 1990, apparently Dereck Woodward that wrote the plans did not have access to a Williams Bros. 2 inch diameter Golden Age wheel. It matches the 3 3/4 in. wheels used in the landing gear. It beat having to make a ply and balsa tailwheel. However, during the tedious soldering I melted the plastic hub on one of the two tailwheels. Brass hubs conduct heat extremely well.

1. Buy or make your 2 inch diameter tailwheel. Drill a hole in the axle that is just slightly larger than 1/8 in.

2. Cut a brass axle and shorter hub. I found the brass tubing at Hobby Lobby. You will need a hacksaw and a very light touch. Run the 1/8 brass hub through the wheel to make a hub and then slide the smaller diameter brass tube through the hub. Cut to fit. Then use pliers to mash the ends flat, making sure the hub and wheel spins freely.

3. Bend and cut the wires. Solder the pull-pull brass strip to the vertical post being careful to place it perpendicular to the wheel axle. Then solder each piece of wire as directed. Tin every metal torch point prior to soldering.

4. Place a wet piece of cardboard next to the wheel hub. This will help wick away some of the heat from your soldering iron. An industrial high heat soldering iron is recommended. But touch the axle no more than five seconds at a time. Do not let that plastic wheel melt. Keep checking that it...Continue Reading
Posted by UpNup | Nov 29, 2017 @ 07:32 AM | 1,576 Views
Building the Ford Flivver requires constantly looking at plans, building directly over the plans, reading an article written in RC Modeler June 1990, and a three view from the Williams Brothers plastic model kit.

My trip to Dearborn to see the original was astounding. Nothing videoed, written, photographed or talked about in a forum compared with the original.

All this reminds me of my faith in Jesus. One of his followers named Paul said we only see now as if thru a darkened glass, but one day face to face. Becoming a follower of Jesus is like these model builds. We try to make them scale, using quality copies as reference, but the original is what we focus upon. Are you looking at imitations or do you pore over the Bible looking for Truth? And yet that personal relationship with Jesus is astounding. Get to know Jesus as I have and you’ll find that direct connection beyond compare.

Meanwhile, I’ll keep building this plane and referencing the best plans and reference material possible.
Posted by UpNup | Nov 28, 2017 @ 10:47 AM | 1,696 Views
Building a plane from plans means that you make mistakes. But those glitches are not a fatal flaw, but an opportunity.

My right wheel was rubbing one of the three landing gear wires. I built the gear just like the left one. And that meant I threw a wire right into the wheel.

Second chances are wonderful. Now the wheel rolls fine. And I painted all three wires black which is more true to the original.

Grace comes at a price. The fix took a night and dragging out the soldering equipment. Life doesn’t often have grace. As a Christian I know that my life flaws are forgiven by my faith in Jesus. It cost Him His death on the cross. He lives today so that I can be forgiven, cleaned up, and set rolling along again.
Posted by UpNup | Nov 23, 2017 @ 09:06 AM | 2,309 Views
Things change when you see the original. Seeing the only existing Ford Flivver 268 was a treat. You know you're working hard at a build when you travel several hours to see the original. The Ford Flivver is on display at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. The museum is very well done and worth the $22 ticket plus six dollar parking.

What changed for me was the detail that doesn't exist in the Williams Bros. plastic model and in the RC Modeler June 1990 article and plans. Dereck Woodward built the 1/5 scale plans I'm using off of the plastic model. For instance, the plastic model shows a gas cap in front of the windshield. The plans don't have it. But the real FF has a gas cap and some kind of other port, probably for oil. There were many other details that I noted and placed as captions in the photos.

Anyone building scale should certainly consider viewing the original. You'll have limitations like I did. Couldn't measure anything. Couldn't climb underneath or peer into the cockpit. But there is enough detail to keep me busy on this build....Continue Reading
Posted by UpNup | Nov 18, 2017 @ 05:08 PM | 1,784 Views
Enjoyed spending a couple of hours today at the AMA’s National Model Aviation Museum in Muncie, Ind....Continue Reading
Posted by UpNup | Nov 17, 2017 @ 08:21 PM | 1,941 Views
Elevators coming along for my Ford Flivver build.

Had to run to Hobby Lobby for the 3/16” square sticks and 3/16” sheeting that the plans called for. The collection of balsa was there but it was an organizational mess.

The laminations on the curved parts went well, except the left elevator. It was warped about 1/8”. Even though the wood glue had set, I wetted it thoroughly with Windex and pinned it down.

The wings were built using CA, but I went with Gorilla Wood Glue (non-foaming) on all of the elevators.

I’ve got an internal control horn that is to be added later.

If you haven’t noticed, I’m building on the exercise matt my wife uses just siting on top of glass.
Posted by UpNup | Nov 10, 2017 @ 05:17 PM | 1,951 Views
The wing on the 1/5 scale Ford Flivver came together. It was far more technical than anticipated. Cross-grain web shearing had to be cut and fitted between each rib. I was glad for the short kit laser cut ribs, but still had to swing by the store for 1/16” sheeting. I finally tacked a second set of plans to the wall for reference. I’m glad that I chose to do the landing gear first as it was important to get the insertion holes drilled correctly into ply before sheeting. There are at least 60 hours of work into completion.
Posted by UpNup | Oct 06, 2017 @ 05:40 PM | 2,282 Views
The RC plane plans I’m building called for my pilot figure to sit on a 1” block of wood. I received my Balsa order and realized I could add an inch to my pilot’s chest. All I had to do was cut, sand and raise it up, right? Matching colors again and getting the seams to match was a bigger chore than I thought, but well worth it.
Posted by UpNup | Sep 28, 2017 @ 10:38 AM | 1,883 Views
Looks like Arcy Plain is at it again. This time he got his math a little skewed.