borntoolate's blog - RC Groups
borntoolate's blog View Details
Posted by borntoolate | Mar 31, 2017 @ 05:26 AM | 5,819 Views
These 1875mm B-17s are very fun to build, mod and fly. It is one of my favorite planes to fly and I have 4 of them operational. I decided that a plane this size absolutely needed a working bomb bay. So, I dug into my hangar and got the parts together for B-17 #4 - to be named "The Duchess". The plan was to use the knowledge gained for others before me. There is no sense re-inventing the wheel. I will acknowledge that "Slacker" and "Quitcherbitchen" played a big part in my project. Their experiences helped me along the way. I selected a V1 Fortress as I did not want to cut into one of the pretty V2's hiding in my shed.

This was my first experience with the cutting of carbon fiber sheet. Some say it is very difficult and you will wear out blades. My experience is a bit different. I traced the templates for the spars (thank you, Adam!) and had no trouble cutting them out on my table top jig saw. There was a bit of a mess but nothing that could not be cleaned up. If you do cut carbon fiber, please use the correct type of respirator. You do not want to inhale carbon fiber dust.

After assembling the wing, I traced the fuselage opening on the top of the wing so I could cut it out cleanly. I could have just hacked it out but I wanted to preserve the foam bomb bay doors molded on the bottom of the wing. For a more scale look, I shaved these doors to a thin veneer. It was about 1/8" thick. I then glued these veneers to the plywood doors I had...Continue Reading
Posted by borntoolate | Jan 09, 2017 @ 01:31 AM | 5,681 Views
B-17 China Doll has joined the heavy bombardment group. She is complete and awaiting a maiden flight. She joins her squadron mates - Aluminum Overcast and the Meathound.

China Doll was commissioned to honor our friend, Suzanne, at the B-17 factory. She was extremely helpful to many of us in our quest for spare parts. She not only provided the parts that we needed, Suzanne was very customer oriented and truly went out of her way to ensure we received just what we needed. Sadly, Suzanne has moved on from the company however, we developed a great working relationship and I am happy to have her as a special friend. I wish her success in her next adventure.
Posted by borntoolate | Nov 07, 2016 @ 04:45 PM | 5,852 Views
After losing my original Ruptured Duck to a loss of signal 2 years ago, I knew one day I would replace her. While not totally done - she needs port and starboard rear fuselage windows and I need to remove the yellow tips from her props and paint the hubs black - she is now airworthy. She joins her 3 sister ships in the Medium Bomber squadron.

Posted by borntoolate | Oct 20, 2016 @ 05:40 AM | 5,862 Views
The B-25 is one of my favorite aircraft. I had the opportunity to acquire a slightly damaged B-25 from a friend in the area. Now, I already have a couple of FMS B-25s, but it is hard to turn one down!

So, I bought the damaged lady for a very low price and took her back to my hangar. I let her sit for a week or so before I started to go through her to see what needed to be done to bring her up to flying condition.

She had suffered a broken front fuselage and a damaged nose gear. The other minor damage was a damaged cowling and prop.

After some thought, I decided to remake her as a Navy PBJ Gunship. This is the version with a solid nose featuring 8 .50 caliber machine guns. I had previously vacuum formed a number of these solid noses for my own B-25J Gunship as well as a few to my friends scattered around the globe.

I proceeded to disassemble her and then put her back together. I did not do this to imply anything was done incorrectly by the previous owner, I just do it for my own peace of mind.

I installed new servos for the elevator and rudder and put new extension cables. I taped all connections and tested and centered each servo before moving on to the wings. The wings did not need much work. I just tested and centered each servo, then taped the connections.

I did remove the landing gear doors and their servos. I prefer to not bother with the doors. Instead, I glued the doors in place and cut slots for the gear to retract into the nacelles. I also removed...Continue Reading
Posted by borntoolate | Feb 17, 2015 @ 09:47 AM | 11,631 Views

This is not a new modification. I am just adding it to my blog as I neglected to do so when I made the modification:

I decided to add bomb bays to my existing fleet of FMS B-25 bombers. It is not too difficult and is a lot of fun to drop bombs on targets when we fly. Here is the mod.

On the bottom of the fuselage of the B-25, there is a panel line approximately 2 inches back from the nose gear door. Using that panel line, I measure back 8.5 inches and draw another line. Do it on each side of the bottom of the fuselage so when you draw a line across, it will be square with the front line. Make sure they are straight. If you make them angled, it may impact how well the doors close.

Then I use a very sharp long razor and slice across the fuselage on the lines. Please make sure that all your wires are nowhere near where you are cutting. It is a pain to repair servo wires.

Next, using the sharp blade, cut along the low panel line that runs the length of the fuselage. You don't have to cut this cut with the long blade. Retract the blade so it just goes through and cut all the way from the front line to the rear line you drew earlier.
Don't be tempted to cut the doors in 2 pieces yet. It makes a really nice fit it you hinge the doors prior to cutting them apart.

Remove your wings off of the aircraft. The reason for this is so you do not accidentally slice any servo wires... ASK ME HOW I KNOW!!!

Now you need to cut inside the fuselage in the wing root.
This...Continue Reading
Posted by borntoolate | Dec 02, 2014 @ 08:04 PM | 9,447 Views
Here is my B-17 99% completed. I just have some cosmetic mods to do in the nose as well as adding the twin .50's.
Posted by borntoolate | Nov 29, 2014 @ 08:41 PM | 9,422 Views

I wanted to improve the battery compartment in order to fully utilize the space for different size batteries.

It was pretty easy to do this mod. I measured and cut 1/8" plywood to fit the floor of the forward fuselage. I removed, with a long sharp razor knife, some blocks of foam.
This enabled the floor to fit flush. I had to cut the new floor in two sections in order to fit them in the fuselage. Before epoxying the floor sections in, I covered them with sticky backed velcro. I then epoxied the two floor sections in and made sure they remained flat while the epoxy cured.
Posted by borntoolate | Nov 24, 2014 @ 01:12 AM | 9,313 Views

I completed her on Saturday and the weather cleared enough to maiden her on Sunday.
Posted by borntoolate | Nov 11, 2014 @ 09:02 AM | 9,563 Views

Here are a couple of pictures of the B-17 with it's OD upper and grey under colors.
Radio has been installed. Just need to install the windows,put on a couple of coats of WBPU and the decals. She will be ready to maiden.
Posted by borntoolate | Nov 01, 2014 @ 01:10 PM | 9,495 Views

Here are a couple of pics of the wings being dry fitted to get an idea of the size.
This thing is big!.
Posted by borntoolate | Oct 28, 2014 @ 09:41 PM | 9,585 Views

I have filled in the rather severe panel lines as best I could. I am not happy with the result, but I feel I could be working on them for weeks! I airbrushed a coat of grey paint on the fuselage and tail surfaces. The grey will remain as the underside color. The upper will get some OD green paint.

I forgot to add, I also trimmed the curved rudder to make it more straight - like the full scale plane.

Posted by borntoolate | Oct 13, 2014 @ 06:52 PM | 10,260 Views

I have started to build my first 1875mm B-17. I will not get too fancy on the mods. I will probably fill in all the oversized panel lines first. I have planned to add a retractable tail wheel and maybe a operating bomb bay. I might also make the turrets rotate. I say maybe, because this thing is big and it is taking a larger amount of time than my other builds.

I do plan to do a repaint (thanks mainly to the panel line situation). I am not sure what scheme I will do on this first bomber, but it will most likely be an olive drab upper and grey undersides.

Work was delayed on this plane because I needed a bigger space to do the build. The new space is ready and I have started.

The first thing I did after, un-boxing it and checking for damage , was to peel the decals off. They are rather thick decals and it was very easy to peel them off of all surfaces. I saved the decals just in case I needed to measure them when ordering a new set from Callie. The next step was to remove all of the "glass"parts. This took a bit of prying. I was lucky, I only scratched one of the windows. I left the clear parts in the tail gunner's position alone for the time being.

To date, I have nearly finished filling in the cavernous panel lines. I used lite weight spackel from Home Depot. It is not a difficult thing to do but the sheer size of the plane makes it a long process. I found it best to do this in 2 or 3 steps. I would fill them in and let them dry completely before sanding with #400 grit sandpaper. After sanding I repeated to process to fill it the low spots that were missed on the first round.

I brushed on a coat of WBPU to cover more of the minor low spots and to give the plane an all-over uniform surface to ready it for painting. I want it as smooth as possible before spraying the first coat of paint.
Posted by borntoolate | Jul 13, 2014 @ 12:16 AM | 10,462 Views
I finally got the latest B-25 finished up and scheduled a maiden flight at Skypark Airport. Here is a video of the control surface checks.

Before I get comments on the accuracy of the aircraft, the actual B-25 "Poontang" was a B-25C. I decided early on to not convert the FMS "J" to a "C". I previously converted a "J" into a B-25B - the Ruptured Duck of the Doolittle Raid fame.

I may convert the Poontang into a "C" at a later date. Then again, I may not!

Posted by borntoolate | May 19, 2014 @ 11:25 AM | 11,306 Views

I modified the "glue-on" tail to a "screw-on" tail for my FMS Zero. Not a difficult mod. Here are some pictures that I think pretty much explains it:

Posted by borntoolate | Apr 21, 2014 @ 09:48 PM | 10,958 Views
I decided to modify the 1100 mm P-51D from 3S to handle 4S batteries. The mod was pretty simple as mods go. I exchanged the 30a ESC for a 60a ESC from Hobby King. There are a series of pictures below to show this easy mod. It took about 90 minutes, not including touch up paint drying time. I can now fit a 4S 4000 mah battery. Result - a much better performing airplane.
Posted by borntoolate | Apr 17, 2014 @ 06:29 PM | 11,410 Views
I saw the beautiful job that Karltrek did on his FW190 last weekend at RSA in Cupertino. I knew I had to add the flaps to my FW190. After looking at the construction of the wing, I decided to try to make split flaps. I used 1/16 " sheet styrene and 1/4 " round styrene tubes. It was actually pretty easy to do. Slicing the wing foam was probably the hardest part. I used small sections of 9/32" brass tube to act as hinges. As the plane is not super scale anyway, I think it came out ok.
Posted by borntoolate | Mar 18, 2014 @ 10:05 PM | 11,197 Views

I have corrected the seam on the drop tanks. I do not know why the factory has not corrected this issue. My 1100mm P-51D has the same issue. I have corrected the tanks for that one also. Very easy to do. Using a very sharp Xacto, I sliced off the vertical seam. The better you do this part directly reflects on how much sanding, filling or covering you will have to do later. I know others have done this mod. My method was to buy half-round styrene. Simply glue the styrene in place along the horizontal line of the tank. I used Testor's liquid cement. It comes with a handy brush which make glue application easy. I then taped the seam in place till dry. Some light sanding and/or filler and it is ready for paint. The strip styrene comes in various sizes. I used .125 " half round on this mod. If someone is going to try this, the styrene comes in 14" lengths. It is not enough to go completely around the tank. Save yourself a lot of extra work and start at the pointed end of the tank, make a nice bend in the middle of the 14" length. This way, the next piece of half round styrene will butt up nicely against your first piece and your seam will be nearly invisible. I started from the round end of the tank and I struggled to get a nice "point" at the aft end. When I do this again, I will take my own advice and make it much easier and quicker.
Posted by borntoolate | Mar 15, 2014 @ 12:58 AM | 11,972 Views
I decided to not wait for my new receiver to arrive, so I "borrowed" the one in the FW190. I got DingHao! all powered up and all controls adjusted after the servos centered. Before I attempted to drop the gear, I had a last minute visual inspection.
Good thing I did as almost all my gear doors were "glued" shut by my application of clear satin Polycrylic!

I ran an exacto knife around all of the edges to free them up. They were down pretty tight. I shudder to think what would have happened if I tried dropping the gear!

Well, everything worked out. I really, really like the new 6 second scale gear and doors. I cycled them a few times and they are just great looking. I started some minor paint work while they were in the open position. She looks good on her feet!