My First Plane - GWS Tiger Moth - A Newbie's Story - RC Groups
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May 02, 2003, 03:30 AM
The Enemy's Avatar

My First Plane - GWS Tiger Moth - A Newbie's Story

Well hello all,

As you probably guessed from the title of the thread...... I am a newbie, and I'm building a GWS Tiger Moth. I know this is nothing new to most of you, but it is to me. And I really wanted my "own thread" to document my experience.

I recieved it today, (thanks again Etonic) and decided to go about this a little more slowly than some of you experienced builders. Just so I don't make any mistakes, also so I can incorporate some of the feedback I get on building it.

My Tiger Moth is unpainted. SOooooooo, I really don't want to have the regular yellow moth that most people have. I would really like to do something out of the ordinary. What do you think of a metallic purple/blue Moth with black trim? (I'm hoping someday to work up to WWII fighters that will have realistic paint jobs, so no complaining.)

One of the other things I was thinking, but isn't so out of the ordinary, is that I will be sanding the foam "bumps" out of the fuse. But I also plan on filling the seam along the fuse with lightweight spackle. Would this cause any issues with painting?

Anyway, enough for tonight. (this morning..... its 3:35am) I will be posting details on hardware soon. I just wanted to throw this thread into the mix to get it started. Later all.

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May 02, 2003, 09:27 AM
Come fly with us in Henryetta

Lighter is better

On a lower powered model( at least in stock form) Like the GWS TigerMoth you want it to be light.
Don't go heavy on the paint. Metalic paints can be heavy and you won't see it in the air.

You might want to do some of the light mods like the flying wires and the like but I wouldn't put too much detail on it . Even more so if you are learning to fly with this plane.
It will get dinged up as you learn.
May 02, 2003, 09:51 AM
dusty bible = dirty life
Majortomski's Avatar
Welcome newbie, I hope you have as much fun as I've had in the last 30 years

As far as painting the tigermoth goes look at this thread

The previous post is true just keep the coats of paint very thin and light, and don't wast a lot of time on cosmetics, ie sanding and filliing, you won't see it any way and it just makes things heavy.

The secret to any sucessfull airplane is build in more lightness.
May 02, 2003, 11:58 AM
Go Forward, but Remember
reills's Avatar

Catch phrase

Some advice given me when I built my Moth (and it echos the above) put into a catchy phrase "Light makes flight."

I found that sanding off the bumps (I tried it under the cowl first) left the foam a little fuzzy. I figured that actually would add drag and nixxed the idea.
May 02, 2003, 01:03 PM
Registered User
I like the idea of you wanting to make your Moth different. We all want a little something special with each of our planes, however, I have to second the idea of not spending alot of time on cosmetics. Especially if this is your first plane. The TM was also my first, on my second TM now. The reason I am on my 2nd is because I "learned" on my first. It had been broken "all over". After you get the hang of it, you can always do more mods and cosmetic details. Good luck you'll love the TM.
May 02, 2003, 03:05 PM
an earth bound misfit, I
Basketcase's Avatar
Hi Enemy, good choice with the TM. A great plane.

As the others have said the primary consideration is to keep it as light as possible. But that doesn't mean you have to do without any details, just keep it in mind.

Here's a couple more threads that might give you some info: Air Warrior Belgy's blue Tigermoth My red & white TM.

A couple different paint jobs.

May 07, 2003, 12:45 AM
The Enemy's Avatar

Color choice

Well, after about three days of looking for suitable paint for my TM, I found some. But only after that did I realise that I hadn't made a final color choice. In the end I decided to go with a simple Metallic British Racing Green. It happens to be my favorite color, and the color of my first love, a 1962 Triumph Spitfire. (with tan leather)(Mmmmmm leather)

I've also been experimenting with various glues/epoxies. Would it be better to go with the original GWS glue? It is still flexible when it dries, and I thought that it might give a little more flex than a stiff epoxy would. Wouldn't this be more important considering the flex in the wings? Opinions definitley wanted on this. I was hoping to begin gluing tonight.

May 07, 2003, 01:01 AM
Registered User
butcherbird's Avatar
i'd go with epoxy. i've heard bad things about the GWS "comes in the kit" glue. i threw it away and used 15 min epoxy on my pico-stick, and never had any problems with the bonds. just make sure to use it sparringly....they say when it comes to small electric models you should "treat epoxy like lead." =) good advise
May 07, 2003, 02:37 AM
Silent Flight
daveWCO's Avatar

I agree with everyone above (how boring)! This has been said "a few" times before, but the GWS glue is a contact cement. It works, but remember to apply it to both sides, push them together, pull apart and let the glue get a bit tacky before going for the final hold.

My first and only TM was built with a "smorgasborg" of glues. CA, 6min expoxy, aliphatic resin, GWS glue and hot glue. All of the glues held fine, but I got a bit carried away with some of them (epoxy and hot glue) and the plane came out heavy. It still flew beautifully on the first half dozen flights, but I've since added more glue (add Probond to the list) and a dual IPS system to give it a bit more oomph.

Metallic green sounds nice! Perhaps some gold/racing yellow trim would go nice with that.

Again, build as light as possible!

May 07, 2003, 03:21 AM
Registered User

Color Choice

Sometimes solid dark colors can make it hard to determine if your inverted in flight.You might want to use A different color on the top or bottom of the plane to know where your at.I speak from expierence.
May 07, 2003, 04:36 AM
Houng-wen Lin
GWS4CEO's Avatar
Basketcase, Thank you.
May 07, 2003, 09:27 AM
Come fly with us in Henryetta
I have used the GWS glue and actually liked it. It does help to rember that it is a contact cement like has already been said. Also when using CA if you choose to get FOAM SAFE ca! Not all of it is!
Use as little as possible of what ever glue you decide on. It is so easy to use to much trying to make it stronger. Build it to fly not to crash.
May 07, 2003, 10:43 AM
Proudly 2.4GHz free!
dstrout's Avatar
I'll chip in here, too. I'm a newbie as well, so some of the lessons are fresh. First, all of the above is correct.

You can get the contrasting color by simply not paining the bottom of the wings -- you'll save weight and get contrast at the same time.

My newbie lessons learned list:

Buy lots of props -- I was averaging a prop a flight (where "flight" is defined as leaving the ground, not draining the battery ) in the beginning. Now I'm going several flight-hours between props. It sucks to go home because you are out of props.

No matter how much you want to, don't try to fly until there is no wind. As in, zero wind. That will at least double your chances of flying your maiden OK. Most of my crashes are due to too much wind -- I'm slowly learning to be patient, but it's hard.

Go with a light battery at first. I'm bad about trying to strap a couple of car batteries under the plane with duct tape & fly for 4 hours, but don't do it. A 270 mAh will be long enough & easier to fly for your first flights.

Lots of room is key. Folks post about flying in their cul-de-sac / driveway / living room / shower, but don't try it. A baseball / football / soccer field is minimum. The local club's field is better.

If you're nervous about flying in front of people (shouldn't be, but understandable), go in the early am. I fly alot right around sunrise. There's nobody there, no other planes / people / cars to hit, and no distractions. YMMV, but I think it works.

FMS is your friend. don't get discouraged, though, if you can't fly the FMS perfectly -- I think it's harder than, say, my beaver. Any time spent on it is good time, though. Do it whenever you'd like to fly, but there is any wind (see above).

Don't get depressed over crashes. Only when a plane has so much epoxy on it it won't lift off is it truly dead (or, you put a bigger motor on it ). it's always fixable.

sorry to ramble, I hope it helps some.

May 08, 2003, 08:37 PM
The Enemy's Avatar

Thank you for the advice! I really appreciate every bit of it. As promised I have a list of hardware for the plane.

9x7 prop
2x 9 gr. servos (from all-E-rc)
5amp ESC (ics-100)
aftermarket wheels (unsure of brand, will have weight soon)

I will be doing the flying wire mod, as well as beefing up the landing gear. If I think of any others I will post.

I used the GWS cement for the motor stick, epoxy for the fuse halves, and am now on the wings. I'm thinking I'll use the GWS cement for them. It has a little bit of give to it even after curing, and I think this would be important for any flex during flight. I was just wondering if anyone sees an issue in the future with this. Am I right in assuming that the epoxy (which cures hard) could possibly crack with too much flexing of the wings?

May 08, 2003, 09:01 PM
The Enemy's Avatar
How does one post pics? I've pressed the IMG button, but get prompted for a "text to be formatted". What is that?


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