Guillows Aeronca Champ and Hellcat.. - RC Groups
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Nov 28, 2007, 03:03 PM
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Vyceroy's Avatar

Guillows Aeronca Champ and Hellcat..

After a 20 year lull in Balsa building .. i decided to finally build a Kit that a Late friend (RIP Jack) gave me ..

The last balsa plane i built was a Goldberg Eaglet at least 20 years ago .. I figured it was time to get back to it ..

First off i could see the Guillows kit has not improved one little bit over the years (Really makes me appreciate the laser cut kits) .. Why would anyone Die cut anymore?? I would think printed wood would be better ..

Here are a few pics of the RTC plane .. I am going with a Little silver bullet Outrunner and 3-4 gram servos..

My big question now is what do you guys think i should cover it with?? I can use tissue .. i can use silkspan .. or i can use Econokote Ultrakote or another lite Iron on film ..

Any suggestions would be helpful ..
Last edited by Vyceroy; Nov 03, 2008 at 02:37 PM.
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Nov 28, 2007, 03:05 PM
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Vyceroy's Avatar
More pics ..
Nov 28, 2007, 03:40 PM
confused poet
HanksGB's Avatar

I covered mine with so lite. I find it to be the easiest to work with on models this small.

Here is a link to my post build thread.

Nov 28, 2007, 04:36 PM
Registered User

covering your Champ

IMHO...If you already know how to cover with silkspan and/or tissue, I can't imagine why you'd want to step down to an iron-on material. Personally, I'd use lightweight (OO) silkspan, dye it with RIT for your main color, and finish with non-tautening nitrate clear dope. Trim could be more dyed silkspan, decals, or lightly airbrushed acrylic as per those plastic models.

Bob Benjamin
Nov 28, 2007, 04:38 PM
Registered User
E-Challenged's Avatar
I think that Solite is similar to Microlite which is another popular light weight iron on covering, If you don't mind more transparency you might want to use Lightspan AKA Corverlite. If you want to duplicate the typical Champ two tone yellow and orange fuselage color scheme, things get trickier. Probably the easiest way is to cover the fuselage in yellow iron-on , mask and airbrush the orange over the yellow. You could also cover the fuselage with yellow Microlite and very carefully apply orange Microlite covering over the yellow. If you are trying to keep the model as light as possible, a single color Microlite or Lightspan type covering is proabably best. To get a small Guillows model to fly well, you will need to use a very light receiver and servos ( 3.6 gram) and light power system ( See RC Hot Deals ) for a tiny brushless outrunner and speed control that will spin a 5" prop on a 400mah 2-cell lipo pack. You may consider using a 12 mm "inrunner" brushless motor, like the Faigao and a direct drive GWS prop. Take your time deciding and get more advice as needed. Good luck!
Nov 28, 2007, 05:05 PM
G G Ghost Pirates !!!
Vyceroy's Avatar
Bob, dope is my biggest problem tissue covering.. as a kid i always used an Elmers/water mix on my tissue .. but i cant honestly tell you how heavy it was .. i just prefer not to use the Dope if possible ..
Nov 28, 2007, 06:34 PM
Foamy Builder 167
NCNeal's Avatar

Hi Ron.

I can't get an idea of the size. Can you post some pictures sith something for reference? What do you think the end specs will be? Wing span, Length, weight?
Nov 28, 2007, 06:38 PM
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Vyceroy's Avatar
wingspan Neal is 24 inches i will try to put a pic up later of it with something for scale ..
Nov 28, 2007, 07:31 PM
Two left thumbs
The Champ is a cute little bugger! I noticed that in one of the face-on photos it appears that the two cabin sides aren't parallel at the wing root. If that's not an optical illusion, be sure to square it before too much more work gets done or it's gonna handle a might funny!

Since I have a terrible time with these super-light plastic coverings, I plan to go the silkspan/dope route on my present build. Yeah, I'm old-fashioned, but as the saying goes, I like what I know and I know what I like!

I'll be following this to see where all the innards go.

BTW, is the Bellanca Junior still in the air museum at the Charlotte airport?

Last edited by GeoffinIN; Nov 28, 2007 at 07:34 PM. Reason: Added content
Nov 28, 2007, 08:19 PM
Suspended Account
Did you cover the Eaglet with film? If so the Champ would be a doable in Solite, Nelson Film or Coverite's Microlite. As you can see film offer many advantages over tissue and dope. Take a look at the tail fillet on HanksBG's Champ.
I use the property of film to assemble and cover at the same time. I like to cover the sides of the fuselage and add side windows prior to gluing the wings on. I also cover the bottom of the wing as the struts interfere with the covering. I can glue the strut and adjust dihedral and washout (twist) through the top of the wing as there isn't any covering on the top surface. After all is dried I cover the top of the wing and the rest of the ship. Yes; the side are not parallel in any plane (geometric term) by design.

I like die crushed parts as I don't need to sand off the Laser Slash marks. With dope or film covering the burns look like Crap! Most of the damage from the die crushed part can be repaired by soaking the crushed wood with water. This allows the crushed wood to expand back to size. this plus a good sanding on the back side of the sheet allow the parts to fall away almost as fast a as Laser cut parts.

The Higley's book Tom's Techniques taught me all I know about film covering.

Do look at these threads :

Last edited by Konrad; Nov 30, 2007 at 04:59 PM.
Nov 28, 2007, 08:41 PM
G G Ghost Pirates !!!
Vyceroy's Avatar
Geoff i dont think its there anymore .. now they have a replica of one of the Wright Flyers ..

Konrad ..thanks for the links and info .. i will check them out tonight .. i have some aerofilm for this size model .. well actually i got it by accident .. wife bought wrong thing .. so i will use this film to make the Scheme pictured ..
Nov 28, 2007, 09:00 PM
Suspended Account
Be warned silver (gray) is the hardest color to cover with be it tissue or film.
Tell the wife for me; That was not a mistake.
I now only use dope and tissue for my Peanut planes 13 inch wing span rubber powered ships. These new ultra thin coverings have made Dope obsolete.
Now if you want the best and worst of both world, dope and film covering you might want to look at this covering Litespan. It is a plasticized tissue, I love it for these 30 inch or smaller ships
All the best,
Nov 28, 2007, 10:50 PM
Victoria Super Mortem
UBILDIT's Avatar

Smokin cool..

Looking good there Julio!.. Did'nt know you had it in ya. I say cover it with 3mm bluecore then paint it with sharpie markers.. To heck with all this film and tissue stuff... oh and seal it all with hot glue, oh and use bottle caps for the wheels and the bottom of a 20 oz. coke bottle for the cowling.... Perfect eh??

Nov 28, 2007, 11:15 PM
Registered User
AmpAce's Avatar

Nice looking build of the little "Airknocker"!

As for covering, I would also vote for the Nelson "Litefilm", "Solite", or Twentyfirst Century "Microlite". They are all the same thing. They are quite easy to use after a little practice. I'm an "old guy" with limited dexterity in my hands, and even I can wrap up an airframe with it, so I'm sure you will be able to do it!

Another product you might try is "Doculam", ducument laminating film, if you can find it. I had to buy two 500 foot rolls to get it. Personally, I don't like it very well, so I sold one roll, but still have most of the other. It is clear, and is about as light as the abovementioned films, has heat activated adhesive on the back, and is paintable, which the above light films are not, for practical purposes.

There is a long thread in this forum about it, called "Doculam Discoveries". I'm sure you can easily find it, or do a search.

I would definitely advise against using Ultracote or Econocote. They are much too heavy for this size of light weight model, and the strength of the shrinkage would probably damage the framework of your plane.

Best of luck with the little Champ!

Nov 28, 2007, 11:30 PM
Suspended Account
Bill Covert's Avatar
24" should do real well with this plane. I built the Cessna 150 and cheated by adding 1/2", to make 20.5". Flies fine at 6.5oz. Figured I'd blast the "that's too heavy types" out of the way for you.

Recently put a little $15 Aoxing outrunner in it, that mounts perfectly, versus the 12mm DD Feigao that was thrown in it originally.

The plane has Microlite (like Solite) on the wings and tail, but the fuse is 1/32" light balsa sheeted with Econokote. No gain in having to add paint weight over Solite on sheeted balsa, since it is translucent and shows the wood underneath.
The Microlite can be painted, but holds paint like crap, and has to be painted slowly. It tends to loosten it, and I carefully reshrink it under a sunlamp.
Still a nice covering over foamies for lightweight, where you have to cover it with some paint to look like anything.

Moot point for builders, but on these separate panel wings, attention has to be paid to matching incidences. I had to cut and remount a panel, since the plane was a sidewinder at first, with a degree of mismatch in incidence.
Last edited by Bill Covert; Nov 28, 2007 at 11:35 PM.

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