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Joe Huntley
Page 4 Questions 73-96, click links or browse page.
Question 73 First warbird kit ? Question 85 Source for 5oz glass cloth ?
Question 74 Sectioned fuse ? Question 86 Source for scale wheels for P-51 ?
Question 75 Glassing to heavy for 60 sized P-47 ? Question 87 Oil based poly or lacquer based poly ?
Question 76 4 blade prop for P-47 ? Question 88 First Warbird for beginner ?
Question 77 Plans or kits for Italian warbirds ? Question 89 Finishing fiberglass seams ?
Question 78 Corsair "birdcage" canopy ? Question 90 Ziroli Hellcat first warbird build ?
Question 79 Fiberglass components in scale class ? Question 91 ZDZ 80's for Ziroli P-38 ?
Question 80 Correct weight glass cloth for Yellow Spit ? Question 92 Making canopies ?
Question 81 How do I attach glass parts ? Question 93 Fiberglass cowl for giant P-51 ?
Question 82 Where to get "Skinny Dip" ? Question 94 Twin Tail rudder linkage ?
Question 83 Clear coat over flite metal ? Question 95 How to make slotted vents ?
Question 84 Top Flite P-51 scale additions ? Question 96 F6F kit for .30 or .40 engines ?

Question 73: "Hey Joe, All of the warbirds I have were all ARF's(2). What do you think would be the best warbird kit for me to try. I don't think I will have a problem with it as I am a full size aircraft mech. but all of that shaping of wood has got me a little spooked.
Thanks, Joe"

Joe: "Hi Joe Depends on what type of warbirds you want to do. There are several types of warbirds as well as several designers making various sets of plans. Most you don't have to shape any wood more than a wingtip or fin tip and those are pretty easy to do. For a first bird I would suggest a Nick Ziroli Design or a Roy Vaillencourt Design they both are very scale and loaded with instructions. There are others like Brian Taylor who is very scale outlines but I personally don't care for his box construction methods and there is a lot of carving on some plans like his 109 which the fin is carved and complicated to carve I know I tried and gave up frustrated as I can carve but not that good. So stick with Nick or Roy for your first bird to get used to it and because they are so easy to build and there are so many construction sites out there like mine where you can just follow along. Joe "

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Question 74: "Hey Joe, keep up the good work; I am following your Hurri with great interest! I too would like to build something a little bit bigger for once, I only did sports scale up to now. But I have one problem; I sit in a wheelchair. That makes it a little bit more difficult to move big parts around, especially in the workshop. If I build from a plan, can I divide the fuselage in two parts, without putting in too much weight, and having the risque that my plane falls out of the air? I would put rudder and fin servo's in the back. Thank you very much, Hans"

Joe: "Hi Hans Yes I have seen fuses that break in the middle for easy transport. I have never done it but it shouldn't be too hard it would be more like a wing. What I would do is figure out where you want it to break and make sure your fuse formers aren't full of too much lightening like most are. I would then get 2 sets of wingtubes from somewhere like Gator RC and mount one on each side of the fuse either on the sides or one on top and one on bottom (my choice). That wont add too much weight and then just figure out a way to fasten it all together it shouldn't add more than a half lb of added weight maybe a lb so it shouldn't affect flying characteristics and shouldn't cause you to add a ton of weight to balance since most of the joint would probably be close to the CG. Joe"

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Question 75: "Hi. I am building a Top Flite P47 Thunderbolt .60 size. The kit recommends using monocoat but I would like to try something else. I was thinking of glassing it but am very concerned about it's weight. Is it at all common to simply use epoxy resin to "glass" the plane without using any fiberglass? Basically just brushing the epoxy on, then sanding and recoating several times. To me, it seems that the epoxy coating would be fine for this aircraft since it only requires monocoat. Any advice here would be great. Thanks.
Steve St.Clair "

Joe: "Hi Steve I cover Glassing on my Help Page at I use polyurethane rather than epoxy resin as it is lighter. as for the monocoat weight difference you will find if you use the technique I show with the poly U and .5 oz glass you wont even see more than a couple Oz's difference in weight and give you a much better finish. You can use the Poly U without the glass but you lose strength. Ever crash a plane with monocoat? the monocoat helps to lessen the damage by providing a tough skin to your balsa also keeps you from accidentally punching a hole in the sheeting. Thus if you glass you want to create that same protection thus it is not good to leave the glass out of the process. I would suggest reading my article on how to glass with poly U in there I cover all the different types of resins used for model glassing and the pro's and cons on each. Joe "

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Question 76: "Hey Joe, I noticed the first P-47 in the gallery is a 1/7 scale with a 4 blade prop. Where did he find that prop??? functioning or static. Thanks Rob Gibson"

Joe: "Hi Rob I am not sure. Desert Aircraft has some 4 bladed Bolly Props that night be the size you need that's the only place I can think of right now. Graupner may have them or Master Airscrew but I cant be sure. Joe "

Update: "Hi Joe, That thunderbolt is mine(first one in the P-47 gallery) Its a "static" prop and available from Topflite. The Topflite 1/5 Thunderbolt, that I'm currently building, will have an operational Zinger 24-8 four blade using a ZDZ 80 for motivation...........
Regards,Richard McFarland"

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Question 77: "Dear Joe: Where can I find plans and/or kits for the Macchi and other Italian military planes of WW II? Please advise. Lou Robbio"

Joe: "Hi Lou thats a tough one as I haven't seen too many nice scale Italian planes out there. I know Dave Platt did a Macchi 202 you might try him The only other place I would try is traplet that's all I can think of. RCM I believe had a set of plans or you might try MAN. I am working on a set of scale Fiat G.55 "Centauro" plans myself but I don't look for them to be done til later this year just because you cant find Italian planes worth a darn out there. Joe "

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Question 78: "Hi Joe I am finishing up my zirolli corsair and have been looking at color schemes and I kind of like some of the early f4u-1 birdcage canopy corsairs . Is this canopy available or is there a way to convert the zirolli canopy to the birdcage type? I will probably run a inquiry on RC UNIVERSE TOO but I thought you might have some info on it . Thanks Tom "

Joe: "Sorry Tom I don't know of any but here's an easy way to make your own. Use the inside of your current canopy as a mold. Use some plaster of paris and pour into the inside of the canopy and let harden. When it is cured pop it out and let it dry for a day or so. Then put a few coats of poly urethane, varnish, shellac anything like that onto the plaster and when dry wetsand smooth then using some rubbing compound buff it up. Put several coats of Mold release on and then glass over it with 2 or 3 layers of glass. When its all cured draw on the glass the frame structure you want, trim it up and you have your frame. You can then use the old canopy for the glass for your frame. Joe"

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Question 79: "Dear Joe: How many fiberglass components are allowed in the scale class, not sport scale. I have a Ziroli Corsair and they offer a fiberglass fuselage. Are points deducted from the score because fiberglass was or is used? I am very new to this hobby and need all of the help I can get. Where can I get a sliding canopy for the Ziroli Corsair 93" wingspan? Thanks Lou"

Joe: "Hi Lou there are no points deducted for glass parts. The only problem you would get into that with is if you were in designer class and did not make your own molds. In designer class the contestant must design from scratch, create his own molds and parts if glass is used, and fly the plane. Expert or sportsman class you have to build it and fly it but can use either a kit or scratch build it the thing is if I remember correctly you must disclose any parts you did not make where they are from but I'm sketchy on that. Go to it will open up a pdf file of the current scale rules. Save that file and print it out it will have all the current info in it. As for a sliding canopy you will have to make your own I don't know of any kits but it isn't hard to do goto rcuniverse thread there Branded did a nice article on doing a sliding canopy for a corsair. Joe "

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Question 80: "Hi Joe I am going to cover my Yellow Spitfire wing soon and wonder what is the right weight glass cloth to use.I will use deft on it also. Paul"

Joe: "Hi Paul I use .5 oz cloth on my planes but some people use 3/4 oz and heavier. I have found that .5 oz works well for me. joe "

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Question 81: "Hi Joe, As you already know I am doing a Don Smith B-17. I was wondering just to attach all the glass parts to the airframe on such a plane so they look scale. I really don't want to put a bunch of off scale size screws in it and ruin an otherwise good looking plane. It looks like the side windows would be easy enough, but what gets me is the nose glass and turrets. Thanks, Hans"

Joe: "Hi Hans, well by glass I am assuming you are talking about all the canopy stuff so here's how I did it on the one I built and do it on all my others. Just get some 200 mile an hour tape and tape it to the plane then ya don't get those ugly screws :0) Seriously, what I do for all canopies and bubbles is to take the acetate parts and hold them in place and trace around them. On the nose and tail you wont be able to but you already know where the outline is. I then take my xacto and cut a groove on the bubbles and make a recess for the nose and tail. I can then recess the bubbles into this slot which I put some canopy glue in and then fare around the outside of it this gives me a nice flush fit bubble/turret that is solidly glued in place. I should point out that if the part allows I cut it long so I can do this. For the nose pieces I recess the wood slightly glue the piece in place and fare over it. Now when I am worried about it coming loose before I fare the outside in I cut the tips off some pins and put them in through the plastic and into the balsa inside. I use small headed sewing pins so the head holds them in place and can be fared over. If worse comes to worse I get those micro screws like use for eyeglasses but with long shanks so they bite into the wood and screw the glass pieces like the nose and tail to the fuse (after gluing it in place) I then fill the screw driver slots in them and convert them to rivets. If you look at most aircraft you will see that the canopy/greenhouse frames have rivets along them thus the screws hold the glass and turn into scale rivets. This works the same for fiberglass parts as it does for acetate parts. If I have you confused by now then I did my job so just email me with any other questions you need explained better. Joe"

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Question 82: "Dear Sir, Great site. I follow on a daily basis and it has been most helpful. I am wondering how I would find out where to get the Skinny Dip aluminum paint Bruno used on his Byron Mustang on the latest entry to the mustang fighter page. Thanks, Don Beason"

Joe: "Hi Don you can get Skinny Dip through Imp Scale I haven't used it before so I couldn't tell you any more than where to get it. Joe "

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Question 83: "Joe, I saw that you stated to seal Flitemetal with clear. Since it's actual aluminum what type of clear do you shoot?? Thanks, Joe"

Joe: "Joe I don't use flight metal you should go to the flight metal page for that. What I was mentioning was using aluminum paste and clear coating it and I used to use clear lacquer when I did that because it didn't seem to yellow. You might try clear poly U but I would check on yellowing properties with it. Joe "

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Question 84: "Hi Joe, I asked Jeff this question because of some of the conversation on his thread and he referred me to you so here goes. What lines or other changes need to be made on a Topflite Giant P-51 in order to make it closer to scale? Thanks, Don Beason "

Joe: "Hi Donnie you got me there as I am not up on Mustangs they just do nothing for me. However from what I have heard is there is quite a bit that needs to be changed on them. I came across a website for altering a top flight FW 190 to a more scale plane and there was a lot to change there. I would suggest finding a good set of 3 views and then goto the top flight page and download their construction manual if you don't already have the kit and compare the differences. The manual has small versions of the plans in them and you can use them to check your outlines. Everything else is cosmetic the only thing a person needs to look for when wanting to do a scale model is the outline as cowl, scoops, all that other is cosmetic and can always be custom made the way you want. Joe "

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Question 85: "hi Joe wonderful info you have on glassin g planes was wondering where you get the .5oz cloth you mention in your article im almost ready to glass my p-39 I will use deft thanks mike"

Joe: "Hi Brian I just get mine from my LHS its standard cloth they carry there. You can also get .75 oz which is just as good and the weight not any big deal from your local LHS or tower Hobbies the link to towers is at I have also gone to local fabric stores and gotten a bolt of silk which worked excellent and a lot of times you can get them for next to nothing when they don't have much left on the cardboard thing they have the fabric on. Joe "

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Question 86: "Good morning Joe, I am scratch building a P 51 D from Don Smith plans, and try too find (good looking) wheels or only tires for the landing gear. Until now without success. I am sure you have an idea. vriendelijke groeten from Holland. D.van Doornik."

Joe: "Hi vreiendelijke There are two places for some nice wheels. First is Glennis Wheels here in the US they are very nice and very scale and Very expensive In your neck of the woods I would suggest a supplier out of the UK with nice wheels and prices a little better they have tires up to 8" in diameter. I am getting my 1/3.5 scale Hurricane wheel from them and for my (2) 7 1/2" mains and my 3 1/2" tailwheel it is only gonna run me $75 US. both places have very nice products. I have seen glennis wheels and bought scale wheels wheels before and I recommend either of them. Joe"

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Question 87: "Hi Joe. When you mention "lacquer" based polyurethane, do you mean "oil" based polyurethane? I've been searching for lacquer based polyU like you've mentioned at stores like Home Depot. All they had was water and oil based.
They never heard of a lacquer based polyurethane. Thanks, Steve St.Clair"

Joe: "Hi Steve No I mean lacquer based I don't use oil based as I am leery if the paint will stick good over something with oil in it. You know how hard it is to paint over oil. Here is a direct link to the where to by section on my site and here is the direct link to the Spec Sheet on my site about the laquer based Poly U Joe"

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Question 88: "Hi Joe, I am a 14 year old and I have been flying for a little over a year now. I hope to get into the scale warbirds section of the hobby. I can fly solo on my Hobbico Superstar Select 40 now am looking into purchasing another plane. Since I am planning to eventually get into warbirds, I was wondering what I should get for a second plane. I only have so much money that I can spend due to my age, but I hope on getting a summer job at a local airport which will help with my money problems. What do you think would be an ideal plane for my second one? Should I get a warbird right away, or get something else? Also, what type should it be (a kit, an ARF, etc)? And lastly where would you recommend that I purchase this second plane? Thanks,"

Joe: "Hi Aaron welcome to the hobby. There are so many planes out there it is mind boggling. I wouldn't suggest an ARF because you will end up disappointed. Not that some ARF's aren't nice but some aren't built the greatest and limited offerings for warbirds and the warbirds just don't look good covered in monicoat and decals. They are ok for someone like you just getting going but they don't teach you anything. I suggest you get a kit and build your own. You will learn more about the building process which you will ant to know later as I am sure you will sooner or later want to do a really nice scale plane. Also you get the feeling of accomplishment when you are all done of having built it yourself. I would suggest for a first timer go with a Top Flight Kit as for the plane Might I suggest the P-39 Airacobra. The reason I suggest this plane is that it will get you the best of both worlds. First it has a tricycle landing gear which will make ground handling and take off's a lot easier, and second it is a gentle flying plane which would make a good second step from high wing trainer to a low wing trainer type plane. You can also download the instruction manual in PDF format from their site at then print it out and read it over to see if you can understand it to be able to build it. I have built one and they aren't too hard to build. This is nice because you can study the instructions until you are comfortable that you or you and your dad or a friend can build it. Then when you can afford to get the kit it will be no problem for you. That's my suggestion for a next step. Joe "

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Question 89: "Joe, I am curious how you deal with seams with fiberglass? How wide should they be? Should they be sanded flat? What other tips can you give us in relation to working with seams in fiberglass. Thanks,"

Joe: "Hi Jon I don't worry about them too much. I overlap maybe 1/4" to 1/2" depending on my mood. Once you fill in the weave and give it a wetsand any seam line will disappear. I use .5 oz glass and poly urethane and you can almost not see a seamline. Remember most glass is very thin so wont leave a noticeable line and once you are done glassing and wetsand it in prep for painting all seams will disappear. I try to put all my seams on leading edges if on the wing and on the underneath on the fuse just in case but usually you never have to worry about them. Joe"

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Question 90: "Mr. Joe, I wanting to tackle a "Ziroli" Hellcat as my first build, I'll be getting the wood kit for it from Precision cut kits, how hard are the Ziroli kits to assemble? I'll need alot of this a good idea? Tired of paying so called professional builders alot of money and would like to build my "own" plane to fly.....but have never done it....what do you think, thanks Donnie in Texas"

Joe: "Hi Donnie you couldn't have picked a better designer as he is very easy to build. Now not to get you too relaxed, but there will be a couple areas you will have to learn patience with. The first will be the sheeting/planking of the fuse. Since the hellcat fuse shape is what I basically call a 55 gallon drum with wings it will be challenging for you. You might be able to use sheets to sheet it as it looks to be a nice fat round shape so that balsa will bend around it easily. But since I haven't built one I cannot say that for sure and you may have to plank it. Either way it isn't hard just time consuming and tedious so when you get to that stage TAKE YOUR TIME. One suggestion I will give you that works very well for me and is a lot cheaper than redoing a section of the plane due to a screwup is to buy yourself several sheets of posterboard and use that to make sheeting templates. I will be illustrating this shortly on my 3 FW 190 projects I am working on.. Basically you just tape it over the fuse and with a good sharp xacto cut it to the shapes you need for your balsa sheets leaving a little extra so you can place it easier. The other place you need patience is when setting your tailfeathers and wing. You need a good incidence meter to make sure you have the incidences correct and also get a second set of hands with you i.e. wife, one of your kids, next door neighbor, parents, whoever you have available to help you at that stage. You will need to measure from a center point on the fuse to each tip of the wing and same with the stab to make sure it is straight. It is hard to do alone at your stage in the game later when you get a few planes under your belt you will come up with inventive ways to get around this. Now that I got you quivering and saying what the heck did you get into now the good things. With Nicks plans the fuse is simple can be built even by a newbie in 4 or 5 hrs. He has a top view on his fuse plans there will be thick dark lines you build a crutch over top the plans on top of them dark lines it is 1/4 x 1/2 in balsa for the mains and crossmembers and 1/8 x 1/2 for the diagonals/ every where a crossmember is is where your fuse formers go. After you build the crutch and glue the wing saddles in place you just flip the crutch over and jack it up about 6 inches See: my hurricane fuse page. Remember my hurri fuse was built upside down as it is 1/3.5 scale and the bottom too tall. But you will follow the pics and his plans you will have no trouble. The wing and tail is very basic lay down bottom spars add ribs add glue and they done. If you need any help feel free to email me or catch me on Yahoo Messenger under the nick ProfLooney. Joe"

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Question 91: "I gathering all of the stuff for a Ziroli P-38 and want to put ZDZ 80's on the plane, what do you think? Also, what mufflers would fit in the cowl the best? Do you know if the large scale Spring Air retracts will hold the weight of this airplane?
Thank you,"

Joe: "Hi Eddie first thing is that the ZDZ 80's are way overpowered for that plane and would be a waste of money and engine. The Ziroli P-38 calls for 30 to tops 56 CC's. I have had 1 of them and in mine the G-38 was fine and I shoulda went with G-45's but that would have been the most. I wouldn't even put G-62's in them so I would rethink your ZDZ 80's and go with something like their ZDZ 40's. As Far as large scale Spring Air Retracts I couldn't help you there as I have never dealt with them but once so I couldn't really tell you where to get them or give a recommendation. Joe"

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Question 92: "Do you know where I can find out how to create my own canopies and other plastic parts?? Any help would be appreciated! Thanks Rob Phillips"

Joe: "Hi Robert I would do a search on RCUniverse I know it has been covered in depth there several times just do a search for canopies here is one search i did for "making Canopies"

you can make your own homade vacuum form machine or you can "pull" a canopy. the easiest way is pulling. you just make a plug for your canopy then sandwich some clear acetate between a couple pieces of wood on each end for handles the heat it in the oven til it sags then take it out abd pull it down over your mold. that is the basics of how to do it it is covered more on RCU. Joe"

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Question 93: "Joe, do you know anyone who makes a fiberglass cowl for the giant '51? Jim Mails, President AMA Charter # 3746 Vernon, IN. 47282"

Joe: "Hi Jim i would try Fiberglass Specialties they may possibly have what you are looking for. they do a lot of aftermarket parts. Joe"

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Question 94: "Hello Joe, can you explain how to set up the rudder control linkage for a twin-tailed warbird like a B-25 or Bf110? Also, in answer to another poster’s question, RCM had a G55 Centauro plan in 1/5 scale, can’t say how scale it was. Thanks, Patrick"

Joe: "Hi Patric there is a couple ways of doing it. one is like ziroli shows on his b-25 plans and thats ussing a bellcrank to goto a second bellcrank then to the rudder that is if your servos are up in the fuse. and you do the same for the other rudder. a second way is to mount a servo in the rear of the fuse and run from servo to bellcrank then to rudder using only 1 bellcrank. a third method i have heard of someone doing is mounting t servos in the stab and run the pushrods direct to the rudder from the servo. Hope that helps some, Joe"

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Question 95: "Hi Joe I like know the best way of making the numerous slotted vents in the fuselage in the above plane and what is the best material I can use for this task. Also is there a special tool I can use for this job? Joe I'm going to try to build a 1/5 scale F3F-2 plane and I don't know how to make the cooling vents look like the real thing. Thanks John "

Joe: "Hi John you have two options here a 1 step or a 2 step option. Step 1 is you build and cover the area with balsa and cut the vent shape out then take some 1/16th ply and make the recessed vent pieces and glue them in place glass and you done. Step would be to do step 1 and then using that as a plug iron some Monocoat in place to use as a release barrier give it a coat of wax and make yourself a mold and pop out a glass part then cut out the section on your fuse and replace it with a fiberglass one. That's the two options I can think of especially when that plane had probably 15-20 of them suckers. Joe"

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Question 96: " have an OS .40LA and a radio system sitting in their boxes, begging to be airborne. . .and I'm interested in building scale F6F kit for a .30 - .40 engine, unfortunately I haven't had any luck finding one. Do you know of any? If not, who's a good laser kit cutter?-- Aaryn"

Joe: "Hi Aaron I don't know of a kit for that small have you tried Top Flight? otherwise you may want to get a little larger plane and just reduce the plans to the size you want. As for laser cutters I like Jessie at myself but there are others out there. Joe "

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