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Aug 18, 2012, 12:27 PM
Scout CX | mCX2 | mSR | 120SR
North_of_49's Avatar

Hobbyzone Super Cub & Glasair 4" Alaska Bushwheels

Will add to this as I progress.

Same method I used on my Champ Bushwheels...

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(2 pieces are for just one tire)

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Tried to find black high density closed cell rigid foam like the blue but in black. And find a black bottle cap. Neither the scrap piece of blue foam I tried or the red Coke bottle cap took black RIT dye very well.

Final proof of concept shaping the blue foam (the two discs eventually get glued together to get the width I want). These 4" tires on about 1-1/8" bottle caps are true to scale on the HZ Super Cub to the real 35" tires on 10" rims Alaskan Bushwheel makes... it's their largest product.

... next step is doing it all in black

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The real deal...

Last edited by North_of_49; Nov 16, 2014 at 09:32 PM.
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Aug 19, 2012, 04:08 PM
Watt Waster
Tsavah's Avatar

Mak'in Wheels

Always a good show and tell subject, but getting my hands on the better foam is a bit tricky for me. Most of my models are a tad bigger, so I am wondering what would be a good glue for the foam shown. I have been keeping an eye out for stiffer knee pads. I am interested in your experiences and ideas. Thanks for sharing.
Last edited by Tsavah; Aug 19, 2012 at 04:10 PM. Reason: Spelling ...
Aug 20, 2012, 01:19 AM
Scout CX | mCX2 | mSR | 120SR
North_of_49's Avatar
Hi, Tsavah

I'm going to glue the halves together with Gorilla Glue Dries White 2x faster... how's that for a product name?

This type of foam I'm using is really close to the foam Du-Bro uses on their foam wheels which is what you see on my Champ Bushwheels. It's very high density (but lightweight) so it can be sanded really smooth if you want...looks and feels almost like a velvety rubber when sanded with a fine grit... you can even get it sort of shiny..

Was trying different methods today of making the rim part... I want it to be an all-in-one unit made from the foam... no separate rim & tire.

Here's a few things I tried as a proof of concept before doing it to my actual cut out discs...

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Aug 28, 2012, 03:02 PM
Watt Waster
Tsavah's Avatar
Hope to learn more from you in the near future. Found in Youtube a few wheel making ideas, some using hot wire. Some used different kinds of foam taken from furniture store trash. Most look like extra firm EPP. I have been hunting for some video on using pool noodles, which is a type of EPP, but having trouble finding the video again. I was also wanting to review how the guy was making his wheel hubs. I know many use plywood with metal tubing for the axle bearing and some use a bit of balsa for the center between thin plywood discs. Thanks for sharing.
Latest blog entry: Center of Gravity - Airplanes
Aug 28, 2012, 06:35 PM
Scout CX | mCX2 | mSR | 120SR
North_of_49's Avatar
Yeah, I wanted them to be as light as possible... can't get any lighter than just using the foam itself and designing the hub (rim) right into it (all one piece) which was my first plan...

... the plastic bottle cap idea came to me as I found out how much work it actually was to "rout" all the different size circles to form a scale looking rim... when I finished I noticed it looked just like various items I'd seen around the house or store, so I tried out some of them just to make it easier... requiring only one hole to be drilled with one of the spade bits to slide it down into.

In the end, I went with the bottle cap with its height shaved down and the threads removed because it was light weight, looks like the real rim and was exactly the size I wanted to be true to scale

The foam kneeling pads I'm using are the same stuff Du-Bro makes their dark gray foam wheels out of... it's a fairly rigid high density closed cell foam. Some kneeling pads use a different foam that's more spongy, rubbery and is actually heavier... it's not rigid at all... this is not that stuff.

The pool noodle thing was the first thing I thought of... that's the same stuff as gray pipe insulation... I used some to prototype my Champ's bushwheels... but I didn't want it for my final product... not a very smooth surface. This high density stuff can be sanded to a very smooth velvety feel that actually looks like smooth rubber. If you've ever felt the Du-Bro wheels made from it you know the feel ... or the Super Cub's stock wheels or Champ's wheels or a bunch of other plane's wheels that use it... same stuff.

If anyone knows where I can find the thread of the guy who encapsulated foam wheels in a balloon to get a true rubber surface I'd really like to see that... can't find it... don't even know if it's this forum.

I did find it a while ago!
Last edited by North_of_49; Jan 25, 2013 at 02:07 AM.
Sep 03, 2012, 07:30 PM
Watt Waster
Tsavah's Avatar

Rubber Wheels

Originally Posted by North_of_49 View Post
... EDIT If anyone knows where I can find the thread of the guy who encapsulated foam wheels in a balloon to get a true rubber surface I'd really like to see that... can't find it... don't even know if it's this forum.
Oh dear, I think I know what you mean, but don't seem to have subscribed. I did happen to see and save a few Youtube video links on my Youtube channel. What about dipping the foam wheel in some of that handle grip plastic that comes in the long can like tennis balls? When you do a plastic grip on tool handles you pull out slowly for a thicker coating, but in your case you might want to pull out a bit faster for a thin coating. I am curious if the stuff shrinks enough to form a tight grip on the soft foam and resists damage.
Latest blog entry: Center of Gravity - Airplanes
Sep 03, 2012, 07:43 PM
Scout CX | mCX2 | mSR | 120SR
North_of_49's Avatar
Yeah, Plasti-Dip. I have some... I dipped my RC car shock springs with it to color them. It's pretty heavy which is why I didn't even entertain the thought. My goal is to get to the size I want with absolute minimal added weight... want this Cub to fly nice and slow and scale

.. besides, I have it in blue... to buy another can is 25 bucks There's a spray on version that you could probably use to control the thickness, but I don't really think it would be very durable landing on pavement. Then again, neither probably would be a balloon.

I have some black foam now... I just don't like what I paid for it (kneeling pad) because it came as a 3-pack with a hand spade and hand rake... haven't opened it yet. Have been working on other aesthetic mods all weekend... proper scale windows and striping with a color change. I'm modeling it after this Cub (picture below). I just printed up some proof of concept decals of the logo text you see on the cowl and fuse... looks awesome... just need to head to Staples and get them printed off on Avery white printing labels...

Last edited by North_of_49; Sep 23, 2012 at 02:04 PM.
Mar 05, 2013, 05:11 AM
Scout CX | mCX2 | mSR | 120SR
North_of_49's Avatar
Really need to finish these

Apr 26, 2013, 05:32 AM
Nasir Khan
Originally Posted by North_of_49 View Post
Really need to finish these

subscribed !
Jun 09, 2013, 12:01 PM
Scout CX | mCX2 | mSR | 120SR
North_of_49's Avatar
I'll be using these on my new Glasair Sportsman as well, which I've converted to a tailgragger.

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full scale Glasair Sportsman taildragger
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4" tires scale to
- 35" on Super Cub
- 31" on Glasair

Actually, I ended up just using the nylon hubs from the E-flite J3 Cub 450 wheel/tire set

Last edited by North_of_49; Apr 18, 2014 at 10:56 PM.
Nov 16, 2013, 10:31 AM
220 221 Whatever it takes
captdave221's Avatar
I actually would like to see how you put on the black balloon and what size/ where did you get them. The balloons I mean. Thanks
Nov 16, 2013, 02:04 PM
Scout CX | mCX2 | mSR | 120SR
North_of_49's Avatar
Originally Posted by captdave221 View Post
I actually would like to see how you put on the black balloon and what size/ where did you get them. The balloons I mean. Thanks
16" black balloons (12" are more common in party stores etc. but are too tight and will probably not last because of that... at least on 4" wheels they are too tight for my liking).

I looked online and came across a place called The Balloon Store or Balloon Outlet or something like that... they have a local store here in Edmonton but you can order online. I'll check and verify that later today or tomorrow.

I just snipped the stem of the balloon off and cut the tip off (I usually don't cut the hole where the tip is, creating a hole for the other side of the rim, until I've cut the stem off and put the balloon onto the foam wheel and lined it all up the way I want. I also reinforce the small hole I cut where the tip was with a plastic ring glued around its edge ... I'll post pics later which will explain why. The hole created from cutting the stem off will be larger and you need it to be... to get the balloon over and onto the tire. This makes it a little harder though to get a tight wrinkle-free surface afterward (on that side, which I put to the inside on the plane) if you want to use a small rim, but I have a solution for that to that will be evident in the pics I'll post later. I know it's probably hard to picture what I'm saying without pics.
Nov 16, 2013, 03:34 PM
220 221 Whatever it takes
captdave221's Avatar
Nov 18, 2013, 08:31 AM
Watt Waster
Tsavah's Avatar

Balloon Bush Wheels

Been wondering if it would be easier to use a glue over some EPP type of foam to get the same results? The glue is marketed as Goop, can be thinned with Xylene (if I spelled that right) and gives EPP types of foam (thinking the heavier 1.9 lb option) a tough skin. Was reading a while back some guys building slop flyers (probably should call them bullets) out of EPP where giving their birds a Goop skin. The idea was to attempt to keep the zoomers in one piece if they happened to pile in at more than 100 mph. They do this crazy loop thing when the wind is up, and can get near 200 mph. Keep in mind they aren't using motors, just the wind.

They thin the Goop in a thick glass jar with a tight fitting lid, putting the Xylene in first, and then adding the Goop adhesive. No matter how you look at the process, the fumes are toxic and require very good ventilation. I am thinking spin out an EPP wheel, dip it in the thinned Goop, and let it cure for near a week. The first hour or two the wheel would need a slow rpm spin until a thick enough skin had formed. Otherwise there is a high probability the Goop skin wouldn't be even and round. The thinned Goop will run, or droop if not slowly spun. I would imagine most will set up some sort of clock work near the speed of a second hand on a watch.
Latest blog entry: Center of Gravity - Airplanes
Nov 18, 2013, 12:31 PM
Scout CX | mCX2 | mSR | 120SR
North_of_49's Avatar
Sounds like alot of work, Tsavah... for something that might not even turn out that well... but maybe it would. If you try it, let me know how it goes.

Still have pics coming soon guys of how I applied the balloons. You don't really need the balloons if you use black or gray foam, they just gave me a nice seamless one-piece one-color surface because my 4" wheels were made up of a sandwhich of 3 glued pieces to get the thickness I wanted... and one piece was blue because I had a piece laying around that was already the thickness I needed for the middle piece of the sandwich (in other words, laziness ).
Last edited by North_of_49; Nov 18, 2013 at 12:36 PM.

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