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Oct 29, 2015, 01:38 PM
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Build Log

The Flying Depron Doghouse and Snoopy

Updated 10/18/2016

Peanuts Movie Snoopy Patrols over San Diego by Otto Dieffenbach (0 min 48 sec)

Step 1: Yes, I do want to build a flying Snoopy Doghouse

Excerpt from Model Aviation, December 2015

“Just before New Years 2015, the family decided we should go to a movie. I was settling into my seat with popcorn and coke when the trailer for the new 3D Peanuts Movie flashed on the screen. There he was, 3D Snoopy flying across the screen in pursuit of the Red Barron.
I flashed back to 1968 when my Dad and I attended Toledo, the Weak Signals’ annual radio control convention. This was the first time I saw a radio controlled Snoopy Doghouse fly in the sky. I was mesmerized and I had to have one.”

Just as with the original nitro powered balsa Doghouse, this updated quad powered Depron version is a real crowd pleaser and a joy to fly. Having everything in 3D with vertical takeoff and landing capability provides a huge quantity of WOW.

This build log covers the building of the Flying Depron Doghouse, the custom build of the quadcopter power system and the carving of Snoopy. The building of the Doghouse is in the easy category, the carving of Snoopy is in the moderate category and the building of the custom quadcopter power system takes some advanced building skills. You will need to be proficient at woodworking and soldering or know a friend that is.

The article in Model Aviation gives a good overview of some of the challenges and is a good read before committing to this build. My first quad powered Doghouse was made from inch polystyrene sheet and was 15% larger than this build. The larger Doghouse is hard to store and transport and served as the motivation to design a smaller Depron version.

The smaller and easier to store Flying Depron Doghouse cutouts are available from Although the Depron shapes are easy to cut yourself, the routing for the carbon skeleton is difficult and time consuming. As an added bonus, cutouts provided by Hoosier are all interlocking. I also offer the quad build complete, ready for mounting in the Doghouse on my website

The pictures for this build log were taken from two different builds. I’ve built two Depron versions; the regular and a transport version that comes apart for shipping. I note some of the differences in the build log. I built the transportable version for air shows and my trip back to Colorado for my 40th Reunion at the USAF Academy.

As with all my build logs, as I make improvements I will post and highlight them within the log. Please provide comments to help improve the log.

Please join me in the search for the Red Barron!

Peanuts Movie Flying Snoopy for Comic-Con by Otto Dieffenbach (0 min 47 sec)

Flying Snoopy and R2-D2 Attend the Comickaze Halloween Party (1 min 37 sec)
Last edited by Otto Dieffenbach; Oct 18, 2016 at 10:12 AM.
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Oct 29, 2015, 01:39 PM
Thread OP

Step 2: Gather your materials

Bill of Materials

6mm Depron sheet foam for cutouts or Parts from
1 pound density Polystyrene block foam 15 x 12 x 9 inches
1/16”hobby plywood
1/8 inch plywood scrap
5mm plywood (Home Depot, small sheet)
Five inch square dowel 48” long (Home Depot)
Two Midwest #5854, .196 x .118 x 40 inch Square Carbon Tube
Three 1/8 inch Carbon Rod 48” long
One 3/32 inch Carbon Rod 36” long
One 1/8 inch wide flat carbon 16” long
One DuBro #852, 30” Micro Pushrod Set
Two Parkzone Flap Hardware Set PKZ4921
One roll Scotch clear packing/boxing tape
Sixteen 3mm screws with locking nuts 20mm long
Small and medium zip ties
Two 8” Battery Straps
Two cans of Michael’s Design Master Holiday Red (Print Coupon)
Foam Safe CA and Accelerator
5 oz bottle of Clear 2x Faster Gorilla Glue
30 minute Epoxy
5-6 minute Epoxy
3 Feet of 12 AWG multi strand power bus wire
3 Feet of 26 AWG servo hook up wire
Two male ESC to battery plugs
Two APC 7 x 4 E propellers
Two APC 7 x 4 EP propellers
One sheet of 150 grit sandpaper
Rosin Core Solder and paste
Lightweight Spackling Compound (Ace or Home Depot)


Four Cobra C-2213/12 motors
Four 40 amp ZTW Spider Series ESCs
Two 5 amp HobbyKing BECs
Four Hitec HS-85MG or HS-225BB servos (Five if you want to animate Snoopy’s head)
One HobbyKing KK 2.1.5 or Mini Controller Board
One KK Flash Tool if you will Flash the board yourself
One 6 Channel Receiver
Two 3” Male/Male connectors for receiver to controller
Two 3s 2200mah 40c batteries

Tools (or access to)

Scroll Saw
Drill Press
Dremel with cutoff and small sanding drum tools
Soldering Irons (Gun and pencil)
Monokote Iron
X-acto Razor Saw
Sanding Block
Small sponge
Last edited by Otto Dieffenbach; Oct 18, 2016 at 10:13 AM.
Oct 29, 2015, 01:43 PM
Thread OP

Step 3: Unpacking the Doghouse Cutouts

Either cut and rout your own Depron using the pdf plans attached or order the cutouts from

Un-box the parts and clean up the edges with sandpaper and hobby knife.
Last edited by Otto Dieffenbach; Oct 29, 2015 at 03:20 PM.
Oct 29, 2015, 01:45 PM
Thread OP

Step 4: Join the Roof and Floor Halves

Use Foam Safe CA to join these sections to form the floor and roof halves of the doghouse. Use lightweight spackle to fill any gaps and smooth the surface.
Oct 29, 2015, 01:46 PM
Thread OP

Step 5: Fit Check the Doghouse Parts

Without glue, assemble the Doghouse to confirm all parts fit correctly. Note that these photos show the first prototype cutouts. The stab was incorrectly placed. This error has been corrected and the stab is in the proper position.
Last edited by Otto Dieffenbach; Oct 29, 2015 at 03:25 PM.
Oct 29, 2015, 01:48 PM
Thread OP

Step 6: Carbon Rod Roof Stiffener

Cut lengths of 1/8 inch carbon rod to the length of the two routed channels in the two roof panels (approx. 33.25 and 10 inches). One 48” rod should do both channels in one roof panel. Use a Dremel cutoff tool to cut the carbon rod. Wet the roof channels using a small sponge and run a very thin line of Gorilla Glue down the length of the rods. Place the rods in the channel with the glue side down. Monitor (wipe away) the excess glue as it expands and dries. Wipe with a paper towel. If you get glue on your hands clean with Acetone (get a gallon from Home Depot).
Last edited by Otto Dieffenbach; Nov 02, 2015 at 09:36 AM.
Oct 29, 2015, 01:50 PM
Thread OP

Step 7: Side and Floor Front Edge Stiffener

Check the cut lengths before cutting. Take two of the inch square 4 foot dowels and cut two 17.25 inch lengths, one for each side panel. Save the remaining scrap for the roof front edges in the next step. Take a third square dowel and cut a 25 inch piece for the floor front edge. Glue the two side and floor front edges to the Depron with CA.
Last edited by Otto Dieffenbach; Nov 02, 2015 at 09:38 AM.
Oct 29, 2015, 01:51 PM
Thread OP

Step 8: Roof Leading and Bottom Edge Stiffeners

Check the lengths before cutting. Take the two remaining full length square dowels and cut two 27.25 inch lengths for the roof’s bottom edges. Take the two scrap pieces from the prior step and cut each to a length of 22.25 inches. Note the roof leading edge dowel will be cut longer by the width of the bottom edge dowel. First, glue the bottom edge dowels to each roof panel with CA and then the leading edge dowels.
Last edited by Otto Dieffenbach; Nov 02, 2015 at 09:40 AM.
Oct 29, 2015, 01:52 PM
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Step 9: Join the Roof Panels

Joint the roof panels with CA. Use a square to insure they are joined at 90 degrees.
Oct 29, 2015, 01:53 PM
Thread OP

Step 10: Add Roof Ply Gussets

This step adds great strength to the structure. As shown in the photos, you need to make four 1/16 ply triangles for each roof section to secure the dowel joint together and the dowels to the carbon rods. Use 5 minute epoxy, making sure to use plenty around the carbon rod area so it fills the routed cavity around the rod.
Last edited by Otto Dieffenbach; Oct 29, 2015 at 03:28 PM.
Oct 29, 2015, 01:54 PM
Thread OP

Step 11: Joining Sides to Floor

As you can see in the second photo, I relocated the horizontal stab slots on this trial set of cutouts. The correction has been made by Hoosier Cutout Service. Choose a side to be the left and right. It is time to bevel the top edge of each side 45 degrees for eventual flush mating with the top. It is easy to make and error so go slowly and check everything twice. I lay the edge to be beveled on the edge of a straight building board. I then use a sanding block held at 45 degrees and gently sand the edge to 45 degrees. You might want to use the Dremel sanding drum tool to first sand the dowel. After beveling both sides, glue them to the floor with CA using a square to keep them at 90 degrees.
Oct 29, 2015, 01:55 PM
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Step 12: Add Floor to Side Ply Gussets

Make two small 1/16 ply right triangles and 5 minute epoxy them to the front of the dowel intersection.
Oct 29, 2015, 01:57 PM
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Step 13: Hinging the Control Surfaces

The tabs and slots should help this step. Identify the lower and upper stabilizers and respective rudders (see picture in step #3). Identify the horizontal stabilizer and two elevators. Test fit (no glue) the stabilizers tabs in the floor and side slots. Bevel the top of the upper stabilizer to a point, lightly sanding a 45 degree bevel on both sides.

Please think this next step through before sanding the bevels on the control surfaces. It is best to have the 45 degree bevels on the lower sides of both elevators and on the same side of the upper and lower rudders.

To hinge the flight surfaces, I sand a 45 degree bevel on the front edge of the control surface. On a flat surface, I lay the control surface, bevel down, in its desired position next to the stabilizers trailing edge with a 1/32 inch gap between them. I then lay a length of Scotch boxing tape down the length of the control surface. I then flip the surface and stabilizer over and bend the control surface back over, on to the stabilizer and tape this side. I then run a Monokote iron, set at medium heat (2), over the tape completely bonding the tape to the Depron.
Last edited by Otto Dieffenbach; Nov 02, 2015 at 09:45 AM.
Oct 29, 2015, 01:58 PM
Thread OP

Step 14: Taping the Floor and Sides

Carefully wrap Scotch boxing tape around the dowel (front) edge of the sides and floor. Seal this with the Monokote iron. At this point you may want to spray the inside of the house and both sides of the stabilizing surfaces red. It is easier then after assembly.
Oct 29, 2015, 02:00 PM
Thread OP

Step 15: Mounting the Stabilizers

Use CA to glue the stabilizers into the floor, sides and to each other. Use a square to align the upper stabilizer to 90 degrees.

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