my first attempt at 1/72 scale planes (build log with video) - RC Groups
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Oct 20, 2007, 01:30 AM
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Heliman420's Avatar
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My first attempt at 1/72 scale planes (build log with video)

Hi everyone, i have been browsing through the (micro/indoor) forum for the last few weeks,aside from the helicopter forums i usually frequent,
and was amazed to see such small beautiful scale models, made from rolled foam!! and powered by a picco z tail rotor!!
after reading micromads thread. i was inspired to atempt to build my own 1/72 scale spitfire.

for my radio gear im going to use,
plantraco 2ch rx
fr 20mah lipo
3mm actuator from indoorflyer
picco tail motor and prop.

while i wait for all my radio gear to arrive. I started building my airframe,

i decided to use 2mm foam plates, just because i had a bag of 150 sitting in my closet that i bought for model making awhile ago

i used the templates posted by rguillot in micromads thread,
i sanded the plates to a thickness of 0.8, mm. the first fuses were rolled from 1mm, but this was too heavy.

0.8 was perfect and the fuse was rolled with relative ease.

the wing was cut from 1mm (for strength) and given a slight airfoil, and sanded with very fine sandpaper to profile the LE and TE. a thin strip (0.5mm) was added to the LE of the wing, and also sanded to flow with the rest of the airfoil,
the finished wing came out quite strong, with little flex.

i made my nose from, regular packaging foam(another material i just happen to have plenty off) and sanded to fit.

the finished bare airframe (no canopy/motor/rx gear) came out heavier than i expected 0.8.7 grms guess i have to get some durobatics, and try again.....

but i decided to finish this one and see if it will fly.

i decided to paint it the standard camo theme(i have never painted camo like this before) so it was hit and miss, i tried some different colors on some of my first fuses to try and get the color right.. for paint i used acrilyc witch i got from an artist friend, i mixed up the color, and diluted it with water, till it was quite thin. i painted the bottom, sky blue first, then the rest of the plane.

i then weighed the finished airframe, and was shocked to see a weight increase of 0.2 grms giving it a total weight of 1.05 this is really heavy compared to the other models ive seen on here. i guess i painted on too thick.

i did some glide tests with the motor installed, and it glides really well, (better than some of my previous large models) so i will continue with it. my next one will be made from durobatics. and that should solve the weight problem.

i still have to make a lightweight canopy to finish the airframe,

now i have to wait till all my gear come in to see if it will fly or not.
here are some pics of the build so far.....
Last edited by Heliman420; Oct 22, 2009 at 02:07 AM.
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Oct 20, 2007, 01:53 AM
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Looks good! Good luck with the flying.
Oct 20, 2007, 03:21 AM
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CubbyMan's Avatar

my first attempt at a 1/72 scale plane

Hi heliman 420,

I am happy to hear that a fellow Vancouver modeler has decided to go and build 1/72 scale models.Keep up with your work cause i know good things come to people who have patience . Maybe we could meet where you fly in here in Vancouver Beautiful camo finish on the spit

Oct 20, 2007, 04:04 PM
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Heliman420's Avatar
thanks guys,

cubbyman, i usually fly my helis at burnaby lake (hoodsupflyers club) but havent had a chance to fly lately due to the weather, i also fly at local parks/fields, in the kitsilano area,

im going to try and make a lightweight canopy today for the spitfire, to complete the airframe. im also thinking of making some decals, but i think that might put it over the edge. as it might be too heavy already.......
Oct 20, 2007, 05:05 PM
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CubbyMan's Avatar

my first attempt at a 1/72 scale plane


Just try to find very thin packaging material,maybe you'll find one. I've used that material for my Kingfisher. One of the people i fly with is a member of the Burnaby Lake Hoodsupfyers, we fly at park not far from where i live(Falaise park,a few blocks from Rupert and Grandview H-way) every Wednesday at 9 am as long as it's weather permitting.Let me know when you maiden your Spitfire,i might have the chance to meet you

Oct 22, 2007, 07:54 PM
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Heliman420's Avatar
i have decided to make another airframe due to the fact that i think this one is too heavy to fly with the picco z motor and prop combo,i estimate my flying weight will be 3.5 grams with the plantraco rx battery and 3mmact, (too heavy imo)

my new airframe weighs in unpainted at 0.6 grams, i have sanded the plates to paper thickness, but the airframe seems really flimsy compared to the first one...... and the wing will have to be reinforced to stand a chance of flying. i think i will have to order some durobatics tonight..... and try again...
Oct 22, 2007, 09:12 PM
Registered User
Wow how do you make theses things I am inpresed. I love scale. I have a top flite p-40 and other than the takeoff it is a doll to fly. I might just have to try a plane little bigger than yours using the U-Build-it plane electronics. Maybe a f6f, hellcat or wildcat.
Oct 22, 2007, 10:04 PM
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Heliman420's Avatar
the AH U build It gear might work nicely, althou im not too familiar with the plane, whats the weight of the components?

as for the plane itself, rolled foam is quite easy to do and produces good results,
i only have one template the "spitfire" posted by rguillot, im sure others can be made the same way.
Oct 23, 2007, 12:45 PM
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Uwe Steller's Avatar
I would give this a try, if Cubbymans Hellcat flies fine at 5g, why should your spit be too heavy at 3,5g ? It looks so nice, and what looks nice, flies nice, mostly ...
Oct 23, 2007, 01:10 PM
The ceiling is the limit!
micromad's Avatar
It should fly easily at 3.5 grams. All my Spitfires usually come in at 3- 3.4 grams.

Oct 23, 2007, 03:20 PM
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Heliman420's Avatar
thanks alex, i was worried about the weight, i didnt think it would fly over 3.4 grams,
i tried to keep the weight down as much as possible, but the paint put on more weight than i expected, and i thinned the acrilycs quite a bit with water. I estimate my second airframe will be 0.8 painted, and around 3 grams flying weight.

im havig a bit of difficulty making the canopy, im familiar with the heat shrink method,
but dont have any currently,(might have to get some) so ive been working with thin clear plastics instead, but havent had any luck producing a decent looking canopy......
Oct 23, 2007, 03:36 PM
Only nerd in the village
The 14ohm 4x11mm pager produces almost 2 grams of thrust with a stock PicooZ prop so I think it will fly a 4-5 gram model if the airframe is not too draggy.

Oct 23, 2007, 04:19 PM
The ceiling is the limit!
micromad's Avatar
Just find some really thin plastic and heat it up then push the mould through. I did this all the time until people pointed out I was adding unnecesary weight to the airframe and could make them so much lighter using heat shrink.

Do you think the piccoz motor and prop could pull a 3.8 gram hellcat around? I was wondering this because I know they produce a lot of thrust but then its got an enormous cowl on the front which produces a lot of drag. Have you had any experience with dd hellcat's?

many thanks

Oct 23, 2007, 04:39 PM
Only nerd in the village
I haven't flown a 1/72 Hellcat but as you say it has a lot of drag and you should probably use a geared motor.

Oct 23, 2007, 05:28 PM
The ceiling is the limit!
micromad's Avatar
Yes you are probably right. I have gone right off geared motors these days. Personally I dont think you can beat dd especially on these Spits, the performance is amazing.

Btw when do you expect the pz motors in stock?


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