started my 1st plane... not happy so far - RC Groups
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Oct 15, 2001, 09:24 AM
Registered User

started my 1st plane... not happy so far

I wanted to start building my 1st plane on Saturday night... it's a GWS Pico Cub FD. Well, I've been a machinist all my life AND I've built lots of RC cars so I knew what my major problem would be: I like everything to be an exact science... I like precision!

Well, the first thing I had to do was to mark the angle of thrust... no prob. Then, I had to spot glue the IPS mount (ie: hunk of wood) to one of the fuselage halves. Well, I didn't care for this part too much... I had to line up my pencil mark along the raggy edge of a hunk of styrofoam so I did my best.

Now for the fun! I had to glue the fuselage halves together. The directions say to use paper tape to hold the fuselage together while the glue dries... which would have worked out really well if I was going for the "big white stripes where the yellow used to be because the tape had to come off sometime" look!

Plus, being new to gluing stuff together instead of my normal nut, bolt and screw routine, the glue oozed out everywhere... no prob, I wiped it all off and checked it an hour later... still clean! Well, the next morning there were huge glue gobs everywhere so it looks like I'll have to remove a lot more pretty yellow paint getting the glue off.

I've read through the directions a few times and I'm sure things will get worse. I admit it seems like a very simple plane and is only supposed to take 2 hours to build but I've never even seen an airplane up close before... I know nothing about planes! Plus the directions seem very vague and don't really explain anything.

I'll get it done and it least it will look like crap when it inevitably gets rammed to the earth LOL

Is there a paint that matches nicely so I can make my plane look decent again when it's done? Does anyone have any tips for me before I continue? I would appreciate any advice I can get!

I'm really not discouraged or anything... I just have to accept that airplanes don't go together the way I like things to go together. I'll get used to it

Last edited by JCV; Oct 15, 2001 at 09:26 AM.
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Oct 15, 2001, 10:00 AM
Registered User
Larry @ SR's Avatar
Hi Jay...

Don't give up. As of October 7th, I've been at this for 50 years. There are kits and then there are KITS. There are big differences in quality from company to company. You just have to find the items you like and then stick with them whenever possible. It will get easier as you go along.

Oct 15, 2001, 10:11 AM
Rehab is for quitters
LuckyArmpit's Avatar
I know this feeling first hand!!! Just started building my own aircraft from scratch and am on my 2nd. I was also a former
Tool and Die Maker (forge tooling) by trade. Gluing I've found out
requires just enough to make a good bond. My current home built plane in my opinion, is ugly as hell! I made a slot to glue in
the vertical stab with a weller soldering gun. Well, the slot I made was way too wide and looks terrible. And I got glue all over
as well. But, the more you work with this stuff the better you get.
Plus, lots of guys on this board will help with tips etc. I've gotten more tips than I ever imagined from this board. Just keep at it
and you'll get to be really good.

Oct 15, 2001, 12:13 PM
Registered User
you can use a yellow sharpie marker to cover the white spots, its almost a perfect match.
Oct 15, 2001, 12:52 PM
Dave Segal
The appearance of a trainer is totally irrelevant. It is an expendable machine and the only concern is it built straight and true. Lose no sleep over the white stripes and go fly it and have fun.

Dave Segal
Oct 15, 2001, 12:59 PM
tic's Avatar
Talk to "shadetreeflyer".. he's in the same boat.. he has the Hawker Hurricane foam kit from hobby-lobby.. I've seen it, I've seen the instructions.. to me, it's a nightmare, and I've been fooling w/ this stuff for a year... SR kits are renowned to be complete, fit correctly and have great photos/instructions.. My hobbylobby speedy was an example of the opposite.. Fortunately, the owner of hobbylobby built one, and posted how to do it/ w photos!... he even took the time to e-mail me all the photos and construction tips.. When I get stumped, I take the whole thing over to a buddies house that's been building for years and years.. He usually cusses the kit manufacturer, then finds a way to make it work...
Oct 15, 2001, 01:02 PM
Most Exalted Windbag
Yeah, but you don't have to have white stripes.

One of the things I bought at the crafts store that has proven helpful is a set of small tubes of acrylic colors. The three primaries are there plus black, white and another.

To get the white spots on my Tiger Moth (same yellow as Cub) yellow again I put a dab of primary yellow on a piece of plastic to act as a palette. Then I used a stiff oil painting brush and got a very light, dryish coating on the very tip. I then lightly dusted the color on the blemishes. The fix is virtually invisible. A real coat of wet paint wouldn't have matched the matte finish of the plane.

Don't worry about it.

Oct 15, 2001, 03:13 PM
an earth bound misfit, I
Basketcase's Avatar
If you don't mind another 2 cents, I just built a tigermoth and did not care for the bumps all over the fuselage. I'm not sure if the cub has these too. After I got the white stripes from the tape I sanded all the bumps off, then painted the fuse with Testors Yellow. I found out if you put it on too thick it will soften the foam, light coats work great though. Then the wings and rudder and stab looked wrong so I painted them too. Finally I ended up with a Cub Yellow Tigermoth (trainer yellow?).
It was a little extra unplanned work but turned out very well. I also followed a lot of mod tips from this BB and they were a tremendous help. The TM is my second plane, I started with a Litestik.

quote "but I've never even seen an airplane up close before... I know nothing about planes!"

You didn't say about your plans to learn to fly, if you have help it's great though not really necessary. If you're experienced with cars you should not have too much trouble learning to fly. But, if your not doing so already, I would highly recommend practicing with the free FMS flight simulator before your first flight. I feel it really helped me a lot.

I only recently started flying after years of car and boat experience and it's a completely new thrill. Flying is a hoot.
Just get that plane together, start practicing and worry about making the second one perfect.
Best of luck - Wayne
Last edited by Basketcase; Oct 15, 2001 at 05:41 PM.
Oct 15, 2001, 03:32 PM
Registered User
Thanks for all the replies!

I guess I'm not the only one with these problems

I do have a freind that plans to help me learn to fly and he's a seasoned builder too so I want my cub to look good when I bring it to him LOL

I plan to take my time, try my best to build it right and then go fly it!
Oct 15, 2001, 05:30 PM
Old Desert Rat
Arizona Chuck's Avatar
JCV, I think you are asking chickens to soar with the eagles. It is a very good kit, for $40. If you want top quality you will have to pay top prices for it. If you want perfection, you will have to do it yourself. Which, to me, is the best way. Look at it on the bright side, you only have "up" to go. Learn on that beater plane and then build your dream ship.
Oct 15, 2001, 07:55 PM
Registered User
Dorme's Avatar
Well. I'm a machinist also, and when it comes to building some of these kits, it is best to just get it together as fast as possible in order to fly it to see if it really is worth taking the time to make it look good! I know it doesn't make sense, but it will after a few crashes of your best looking planes, while the old pelters just won't go away.
I have a Pico Cub and threw it together, threw some paint on it with an old brush, fly it, bashed it up, broke the wing a few times, and it still flies, although it is now supporting a few extra oz. of epoxy. But it flys scale and the bent prop shaft gives a nice sound in the air as it lumbers through the turns. For $50, it's a pleasure to fly and I don't get upset about the way it looks or flies or crashes.
Now the planes I've taken some time with make me very nervous flying them. Who wants to crash a plane you've spent all winter on? Fly the hack an' whacks a bit before you commit yourself to trying that beautiful P-51....or you will be committed.

Where are you in NH? I'm in Somersworth, near Dover.
Oct 15, 2001, 08:46 PM
Registered User
russ6421's Avatar
I went at mine a differant way. I built both a right and left side. I installed the servos on both sides glued the rudder on one hafe and elev. on the other hafe the plans showed to cross the push rods, I didn't i ran them stright back hooked up all the controls. Then I glued both hafes together useing epoxy all done and all controls installed. It worked for me