Question 49: "Dear Rob I am ready to cover my ME-109 in the above fun fighter series,but I am not sure which is the best method to cover the foam wings and Balsa fuselage. A fellow modeller mentioned brown paper and PVA? is this any good and how do you apply it? Could you also point me to a good site to get the color scheme right. Thanks for abrill site and I look forward to hearing from you. Dave"
Rob: "Hi Dave, I have heard some nice things about the Cambrian Fun Fighter airplanes, and they sound as if they fit their name extremely well. At the 42" wingspan size, I don't se any reason why the brown paper & PVA covering method would be a problem. I have personally never tried this method as yet, but I hope to give it a shot in the not too distant future. However, I have had some others relay info to me on this method. Wow, what a coincidence! I just received another email from a fellow modeler down under in Oz, who has just used this exact method to cover a 101" Zirolli B-25! Below is what he has to say, along with some photos of his project. Sorry that I can't give any first hand help with this one. Happy modeling, Rob"
"Hi RobMy imagination was fired by your answer to a question regarding brown paper covering of warbirds. After a few experiments to work out a technique that work for me, I've used it to cover my first warbird - a 101" Ziroli B-25 with 370/50 Plettenberg electric engines each powered by 10S4P lipos. Heavy brown paper panels were cut to size, 50/50 pva glue and water was brushed on the bare balsa (only 16th balsa needed sealing to prevent warping altho these warps disappeared when dry) , the panel was dipped like wall paper in the glue and then applied to the balsa. A credit card squeegee was then used to remove as much glue as possible leaving to quiet dry and stuck! This is my first warbird after 20 years building FlyBabies and Tiger moth type planes so I'm sure with a little more practice a very presentable job would result. I'm about a week away from the first test flights so will see if it all holds together in the air - my large model inspector is more than happy tho. 3kg of batteries should bring the AUW to about 35lb which seems about average for this plane with gas engines. Reckon brown paper is a goer! Richard"
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Question 50: "Hi Rob; I am finishing a topflight p-47 using the method detailed on Tom Pierce's website. Deft sanding sealer followed by 3/4 oz glass cloth with minwax satin polyurathane. Until this morning I was on my way to one of the easiest/best glassing jobs I have ever done. I took the wing outside for a final coat of primer and sanding, sun was shining on the wing and while I was admiring my work, bubbles started to appear in the primer. after sanding I found the the bubbles were between the covering and the wood. I guess that the heat from the sun caused the sanding sealer to out gas? I don't know, but what started out as a very nice and smooth finish now has these bubbles. I took the point of an #11 blade and poked holes in the cloth and pressed the gas out of the
bubbles and sanded around them. Any suggestions on how to proceed? Mike"
Rob: "Hi Mike, Well, first I would have to ask you a few questions. How many coats of Deft Lacquer Sanding Sealer did you apply, and how long did you let each coat dry prior to proceeding? On Tom's site, he says that he used 2 coats of Deft sealer and that it dries very fast, 3-5 minutes. Then after about an hour he sanded and then applied the Minwax Polycrylic. I am assuming that this is pretty much the same procedure that you used? I just went to the Deft website, http://www.deftfinishes.com/wood/clear.htm They give the following info about the sanding sealer:
AVERAGE DRY TIME AT 77° F (25°C): To Touch: 20 minutes
Recoat: 1 hours
Tack-free: 45 minutes
So this leaves me wondering, how long you waited between coats? Not enough curing time is the only thing that I can think of that would have caused your problem. Wow! I just noticed what may the cause of your problem!!! In your email you say that you used Minwax Polyurethane ... Tom uses Minwax Polycrylic ! The Deft Sealing Sander is lacquer based and uses a lacquer thinner solvent, and the Minwax Polyurethane uses mineral spirits or paint thinner, where as Minwax Polycrylic simply uses warm water.
Now what to do at this point? As you have already "popped" all of the bubbles, I would still let the wing set out in the sun for a few hours just to make certain that no further problems will arise. I would then hit everything again with fine sandpaper, and wipe thoroughly with a clean tack rag. Next, I would give it another coat of the Minwax polyurethane. I would hope that any trouble areas would already have shown themselves. I don't really see too many other alternatives. Trying to sand everything down to the bare wood and starting over is definitely a tremendous amount of work, and can cause numerous other problems as well. I reckon that this is a good reason to "test" compatibility thoroughly before using new products on a model...and to also double check to make certain that you are using the correct products! Best of luck, Rob"
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Question 51: "Hallo, please let me first congratulate you for your work. I am finishing a Vaily FW190 a8 and trying to find in detail the stencils applied on the aircraft. I want to make my own decals but i can not find the smaller details on the plane for example the signs on the ailerons' trim tabs. I even bought a Hasegawa 1/32 static model but i realized that the decals do not present real words but just red curved lines. Please be so kind to inform me if there is somewhere on the web that i could find these information. Thank you in advance Laurence Athens, Greece"
Rob: "Hi Laurence, Thanks for the kind words. Well to start off, I haven't found a web source as yet with good reference for all of the nomenclature on the FW-190. I usually resort to plastic model decals myself but as you've already discovered, they aren't always accurate or complete. I do know of a great reference book on the FW-190 that shows all of the nomenclature and it's locations. It is: "Aero Detail 6" "Focke-Wulf FW-190 A/F" and it was published in 1993 in Japan, by dai Nippon Kaiga Co., Ltd. The ISBN numbr is: ISBN4-499-22603-1 C0031 P2700E I don't know if you will be able to find this book in Athens, but once in awhile they show up on ebay.
As for making your own decals, it's not an easy job! especially when you're working with say a 1/48 or even a 1/32 plastic model decal sheet to enlarge. Without a good deal of file manipulation, and re-drawing, the images just get too distorted by just trying to enlarge them. Then you also have the added bonus of needing a special printer to make the properly ... an ALPS printer is what the majority of folks use to print decals. From what I've learned, the ink from a regular inkjet printer is not "colorfast" and you can also not print white. Therefore, if you need white in your decals, you hve to print them on white decal paper.
I hope that this will be of some assistance you you. Happy modeling, Rob"
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Question 52: "Hi Rob, I enjoy your tips and advise, but now I need some advise. I am building a Pica P51, 1/5 scale. I intend to use a Q42 that I have but I am not going to put retracts on it. My question is, What is the best way to finish this bird?. I have in mind to completely cover it with supercoverite fabric and then paint it. What do you think of this? I am open to lots of suggestions. If you feel that my idea is ok please let me know what kind of "Silver" house paint I might use Thanks again Rob, Mike"
Rob: "Hi Mike, Thanks for the kind words. First thing that comes to my mind is ... why would you use a fabric covering on a model that was an all metal aircraft? Don't get me wrong, fabric coverings are great, but if you want to replicate a metal finish, why not either glass it, or use one of the silver iron on coverings? In fact, just this past weekend I was at a fly in and there was a Nosen P-51 finished in silver Ultracoat and after covering the builder hit it lightly with a ScotchBrite pad which really made it look like natural aluminum! If you glassed it, it would provide a better base for paint, meaning that there would be no fabric weave visible. As for paints themselves, I wouldn't use latex to simulate the silver/aluminum, although there is a silver latex available, I haven't seen it used yet so I can't comment with any authority on it. As this is going to be a gasser, I would use an enamel such as Krylon if you don't have a spray gun, if you do, then I would probably use an auto enamel. Another alternative would be to glass it and then use a true metal covering such as FliteMetal. This last alternative gives a super realistic appearance, but suffice to say it is more work and more expense. Anyway, those are my thoughts on your question, if they don't solve it, they should at least give some alternatives to consider. Happy modeling, Rob"
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Question 53: "Rob, thanks for your efforts to answer all our questions ...do you a great job. I was just reading the question and answer on decal details and you may find this resource helpful. This site is for scale modellers and these folks are sticklers for detail, they also love to help out and are great at finding obscure details about aircraft ....http://www.aircraftresourcecenter.com/ ..hope this helps folks out, enjoy and thanks again. David"
Rob: "Hi David, Thank you for the kind words. I really enjoy the small contributions that I am able to make at RC Warbirds, but believe me...since taking over the Finish Forum, I have learned much more personally than I ever thought possible...it's a very enjoyable way to share this great hobby with others. Thank you yet again for sharing the link to the Aircraft Resource Center www.aircraftresourcecenter.com . I just had a quick look around, and it looks fascinating, I'll be spending many hours there for sure! I will pass this great site on to everyone at RC Warbirds. Take care, Rob "
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Question 54: "Hi I need some help for a project - I am looking for paints that can match the WW2 Luftwaffe late war RLM colors i.e. RLM 02 .... I would prefere spray paints but any suggestions would be great Thanks John"
Rob: "Hi John, Well, as you stated that you prefer spray paints, that poses a bit of a problem. I don't know of anyone that produces spray cans to match RLM colors. However, Testors http://www.testors.com/catalog_browse.asp?ictNbr=58 produces Poly Scale Military Acrylics in 1/2 oz. jars. They have lots of RLM colors, including 02 ! However, you would have to invest in an airbrush and compressor to use these. You can get a decent airbrush setup (also from Testors - the Aztek airbrushes are great...I have 2 of them) for around $300.00 and it will serve you well for many years.
If you consider going for the airbrush setup, you could also use exterior latex housepaint. I use this almost exclusively on my giant scale warbirds. I buy Behr ext. latex (flat) from Home Depot. It is inexpensive, easy to use and easy to clean up after. You can but a set of color chips from FTE http://www.franktiano.com/ and they can mix the paint to the color chips.
I hope this is a help to you. Happy modeling, Rob"
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Question 55: "just a question, how are panel and rivet lines engraved into the model that has been primed and is going to be painted, there are proberly many ways. thanks."
Rob: "Hi, Let's see, I think one page one of the Finish Forum, question # 12 I explain how to do panel lines so you can check that out there. As for rivets that' another good question, I'll explain the 2 primary methods used.
First and probably the most common is using a glue such as Tite-Bond or Elmers Carpentry Glue and an applicator of your preference. I use the bottles recommended by "Mr. Scale", Dave Platt they are manufactured by Gaunt Industries in IL. their web address is: https://www.gauntindustries.com/index.ace . They come in a few different guages and depending upon the size of your rivets required you will have to choose the best size for you. Other products are often available at hobby shops you just have to check around. Then you need to make your "rivet glue" I use Tite-Bond and cut it with water to get a consistancey about that of maple syrup. You don't want it so thin that it spreads when applied, and you don't want it too thick either. I have found that if it is too thick, when it dries, the middle tends to dimple. It takes a bit of practice and experimenting to get it right, but once you have it down it's a piece of cake!
The second method is by using a soldering iron/gun (of approx. 15-20 watts) with replaceable tips. Choose a brass tube (i.e. S&K Products available at most hobby shops) of the appropriate diameter for your scale, you will want to sand down the inner diameter of the tube just enough to put a slight edge to it. This tube is then inserted into the iron/gun. Again, do some experimenting to get down the correct pressure/timing so that you don't burn too deep into the glass.
With either method, you will have to do your research to plot out your rivets properly and pencil them in or make yourself a spacing template.
Next step ... plan to spend several days riveting! Hope this helps, Rob"
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Question 56: "Rob, was clear coat would you use on a solartex finish. ? One source has recommended. Miniwax Poylurethane spray. Thanks Mark "
Rob: "Hi Mark, I haven't used Solartex, but I checked with a couple of friends and the Minwax Polly U, should work fine. Also Nelson's clear should be okay too. Are you going to paint over the Solartex? If so, your clear coat has to be compatible with the paint used as well. I would suggest just making a small test base to check for compatability...it's always better to be safe than sorry. Sorry I couldn't be of more help with this one. Take care, Rob"
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Question 57: "Hi Rob, I came across your website while I was researching information on using Latex house paints on models and RC planes. I'm glad to hear it can and has been done. My question to you is, what should I look for in a house paint when I want to paint a model or RC plane with it? I know some can be thinner than other, but may not coat well, and some may be thicker, but they can be thinned with water. Thanks, Francisco"
Rob: "Hi Francisco, Yes, lot's of modelers have been using latex house paint for many years now with very good results. You are correct some paints vary in consistency, not only from brand to brand...but from can to can of the same brand! The trick is to experiment and see what works with your equipment, you will find what consistancy works best with a little practice. I personally use Behr exterior flat latex from Home Depot. The brand basically comes down to personal preference and what is available in your area that you can get custom mixed to your paint chips. When you get down to it, scale color is relative anyway...I have seen more variations of let's say RLM 75 than I would ever care to count...and this is also how it is on full scale birds too....especially back during the WW II era. There were many manufacturers and many suppliers of raw ingredients...so what was RLM 75 from factory A, was not identical to that from factory B or C and so on. Also, after being applied, climate and wear and tear had a substantial effect on the paint as well.
In short, I would say that just about any quality brand will give good results once you are comfortable working with it. To be honest, when I first usd latex, I went to Home Depot and asked the guy at the paint desk for a good quality exterior latex that could be custom mixed. He recommended the Behr, I took it home and experimented a little bit and have been using it ever since. I would also suggest. if you haven't done so already... going back through some of the previous replies for a bit more info on painting with latex. Best of luck, Rob"
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Question 58: "Hi Rob Your rcwarbirds site is great, and you are doing a great job in helping the uninitiated. I am a retired doctor who, like your self has had a passion for warbirds for over 50 years ! I have been in several countries, including your own, in representing Australia in various scale contests. I note recently in your Q & A section that you advocated using a variety of techniques in finishing, particularly in the weathering and "metal" department. I rather favor using litho plate for all my cockpit surrounds. Yes, it is time consuming, but it does give a more realistic look overall. Do you have some dislike of this material for cockpit canopies?"
Rob: "Hi Ken, Thank you for the kind words. Looks like we have a bit more than modeling in common! I live in Australia for a couple of years myself, in Broken Hill, NSW. I've been back in the states for about 5 years now, and I can't for the life of me figure out why I came back?
As for the use of litho plate, no I have no aversion to it's use. Truth be known, I've never used it on an RC airplane. I have seen it used by others with terrific results, but for my own purpose, it just never seemed to be worth the effort to learn a new method...okay, I do tend to be lazy and it sometimes takes a bit of urging to get me to try new things. The pictures that you sent look really super, and it is evident that you that you are a skilled builder. Perhaps, I can urge you to do a write up on your technique for using litho plate? I would be more than happy to share it with everyone. That is one of the greatest things about this hobby of ours, sharing knowledge and information with others...I have learned so much from doing my small bit here at RCWarbirds, and have found it to be a very enjoyable way to share and gain knowledge. Well, I hope that you will take me up on my offer? Take care, Rob"
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Question 59: "Hi Rob Thanks for the nice job on rcwarbirds.com (nice picture of you too, very funny ;-).
I have been reading your column for some time now, and found lots of answers to my questions.
Still I am faced with a problem in finishing my latest bird, a 1/8 scratch-built Aichi 'Val', electric-powered. With all the gear I had to purchase to complete it, I don't have a Euro left to buy a compressor and airbrush. So, is it possible to get a realistic look, just by hand-painting it? Maybe working with top-down gestures on the fuselage and front-rear on the wings would give a decent result? What would you advice?
I was planning to use acrylic paint on the Solartex surface because my local DIY-store can mix it to match the colour I need, which is the very light grey of the Pearl-Harbour era dive-bombers. Thanks in advance, Laurent"
Rob: "Hi Laurent, First, I would like to appologize for the delay in getting back to you, this time of year is very hectic with 5 children and grandchildren!
Yes you can acheive a very nice, realistic finish without an airbrush. Lot's of modelers use the small foam type rollers, about 2" in length and roll on the paint latex/acrylic etc. I don't know of availability in Belgium, but here in the states we have Home Depot stores which are like giant hardware/paint/lumber/plumbing/electrical stores all in one! I buy lot's of stuff there!
With the small foam rollers you can get a finish almost as good as with an airbrush...in fact, so good that most folks wouldn't be able to tell the difference. That would take care of your color coats. As for weathering, still not a problem. I have over the years weathered many a model without the use of an airbrush. There are many techniques that can be applied depending on the effect that you are trying to replicate. In the case of the Val, I think that your primary concern would be wear from normal use and the elements, such as oil stains/streaking, paint chipping/wear in heavy use areas and things of this nature. For most of this type of work you can use a "dry brush" technique. This involves putting a small amount of paint on the brush, then before you apply it to your model, stroke the brush on a piece of cardboard or newsprint until the only faint stokes of paint remain visible. After this is applied, to make the effect even more subtle, you can take either a damp or a dry tissue or the like and very lightly sort of buff the area to blend the color in.
As for chipping of paint, I covered this on page 1, I think it was question # 17. Another great product for showing wear on metal surfaces is called "rub n buff" here in the states it is available in most art or craft stores. If you can't find it in Europe, drop me a line and I can pick some up and send it to you, always happy to help a fellow modeler! Anyway, rub n buff is applied in very small amounts with a finger tip, cotton swab, anything really, then it is just as the name implies...rub it and buff it! It is very easy to over do it with this product, and care should be taken not to get carried away.
As always, before you try any new products or methods, practice on a test subject before applying them to your model!
I hope this is a bit of help, if you have any further questions, please don't hesitate!
Take care, Rob"
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Question 60: "I am an old model builder and thought I knew everything about static model building; as long as you keep your page up, I will eventually catch up! I am putting together the Guillows Corsair and Hellcat in 3/4 scale, I wish to show my son the joys of model building and try to get him away from the Xbox. Have you ever covered a build with thin balsa sheets or would you do it in thin alum. sheeting. (remember this is for static, show-off purposes only) Any recommendation will be greatly appriciated"
Rob: "Hi Mike, Welcome back! Wow...it's been so long since I've built a small model! Thinking about it now brings back some fond memories...I built so many of the Guillows kit's when I was a kid...loved to build them, hated to cover them with that tissue paper though! Actually, I've given your question some serious thought...although it in my opinion it would be quite a project to cover one in aluminum, but that is the way I would go. I think that would be such an awesome project when completed, and it would be a great experience for your son as well. Not only will he learn the joy of modeling, but he'll get an early understanding that you don't have to stay inside the box so to speak. I haven't looked into litho plate or the like for anything of this scale, but I'm sure that something is available. All you need would be I never even considered trying alternative coverings when I was building these kits...I really like the idea! I'm even thinking of etching panel lines, and rivet detail...that would be very cool. I think that the Hellcat would be a better choice for a first attempt with working with the aluminum/litho plate. it would give a bit of experience before tackling that Corsair wing! The thin alum. sheeting is easily cut with a scissors, and can be etched with just about any slightly sharp tool or device. I think though that once you cut a piece to size, any additional detail should be done before applying the sheet to the model when ever possible. From my memory, the old Guillows kit's could be on the fragile side so manipulating the sheeting would be safer done before application. I wish I could be of more help. I think your idea is an excellent one and the results should definitely make the models stand out from the crowd. I would love to see some photos when they are finished.
Have a Great Holiday Season, Rob"
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Question 61: "Hi Rob, i'm trying to recover my plane with monokote and there is residue of fuel on wings (glow engine been used) is there any way to clean that up. thanks Mike."
Rob: "Hi Mike, Happy Holidays! Okay, there are a couple of ways that you can go. If the wood is just mildly stained/infiltrated with glow fuel, lot's of folks cover the areas with Talc and let it set for a few days as the powder has a tendency to absorb the fuel/oil residue. I have even heard of people using stay-dri or believe it or not, kitty litter...but I thik the talc is better as we are usually talking about smaller areas. Also, there are several commercial "degreasers" available. I have used a few myself, don't recall the specific brands but there are many available in hardware, auto shops, and even the food market in the laundry section. I recall the process I used, I sprayed the degreaser on the balsa, enought to moisten it but not supersaturate it. and put a hefty layer of old rags underneath to catch any dripping. I let it do it's thing for about 24 hours, then wiped the area clean and repeated the process. After the 2nd go, it was about 95% free of the glow fuel residue, then I applied the talc. The next day it was dry and almost totally free of any glow residue. It was still slightly damp so I carefully hit it with the heat gun. After this it took monocoat without a problem.
However, if the wood is totally saturated, I would recommend cutting out the bad areas and replace the wood. This is more work in my opinion, but if the wood is really saturated it is the only way to salvage the model. It really depends on how much of the model is contaminated with the fuel and how badly it is saturated. Hope this helps, Rob"
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Question 62: "Hello Rob, I am not new to scale but new toalot of the processes used to scale out an airplane. The question I have is what is Lithoplate and how do we and can we use it? I see and hear a lot about its use."
Rob: "Hi and Happy Holidays! Hmmm...I haven't really used this technique myself. If you look back on page 3, question # 58, there may be a little info there? I am expecting in the not too distant future a write up about using litho plate, which I will publish in the forum. If you just want to cover a fiberglass or built up aircraft to look like a natural finish, there are some other products that are much less work than using real litho plate. Check out:
Aero Accessories http://www.aero-sports.com/aarc/ for their Aero Foil - Dean DiGiorgio
Scale Aero http://www.scaleaero.com/ for their Flite Metal - Ed Clayman
These are similar products, and sold by 2 great guys. Either will be happy to answer any questions you may have about their product.
Hope this is at least a good starting point for you, Rob"
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Question 63: "Hi Rob: Am building an old Jemco F4U Corsair model as static scale, or at least close to scale...........the decal sheet says to coat the sheet and decals with polyurethane before applying them. I plan to finish the balsa model (painted with Rustoleum enamel), and then cover it with "dull coat" of some kind. What's best to insure decals seat and appear properly?? Pete, Thanx for the help!"
Rob: "Hi Pete, Happy Holidays to you an yours! Wow, I built the Jemco Corsair many years ago, it was a fun model! If I understand correctly you are building this model just for static display and not for flying. I don't recall about coating the decals with PU however...but since you are concerned about them adhereing to the model after it is painted with the Rustoleum, I would be a little hesitant to coat them with the PU first? If there is enough on the sheet where you can cut out a smalll test piece, I would do that...spray it with a clear PU. and then give it a try on another test piece that was painted with the Rustoleum. I would also simultaneously try a test with a piece without the PU. This way you can see which looks better for your purpose. I am thinking it would be the piece without the PU. Also, at your LHS they sell different brands of "decal set" which is used by the plastic guys...I have found this to work well on my big birds too, especially where a decal has to go over an area with panel lines or rivet detail...it makes the decal really sink into the details of the model. As for a dull coat, Testors Flat Clear should work well...but as always, test it for compatability first!
One other thing that I am wondering about...they haven't made the Jemco kits for some time now, and depending upon the conditions in which it was stored, the decals may not be in very good condition. They may look okay, but may flake or even disintegrate when you go to use them...just be careful with them.
Take care, Rob"
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Question 64: "Im installing new Tru-turn spinners on my Robart P-38. Cant stand those screws-around-the-edge spinners. The cowls and spinners were done in yellow PPG, and Ive got the paint to match from the builder. Unfortunately, I finish almost exclusively in latex, and Ive got a great technique for putting very starter-resistant latex on aluminum spinners, but Ive got no clue about PPG. I assume a good scuffing is in order. Whats best for a primer? Thanks, Mark"
Rob: "Hi Mark, It sounds to me like you have the right idea. I would use some fine sandpaper to rough up the surface, and then shoot the PPG yellow. Was a clear coat used on the airframe? PPG is a pretty rugged finish when cured, but if a clear coat was used on the airframe, you may want to do the same on the spinners. The other alternative is to see if your paint store can match the PPG to which ever brand of latex you like to use. Chances are they can get a pretty darn good match. If you can get a close enough match, I would go with whatever you are most comfortable with using. As for primer, I haven't used PPG in a long time, I use strictly latex these days too! Any good quality auto primer should work fine. Happy Holidays, Rob"
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Question 65: "As i am finishing up my first warbird in Latex paint im wondering what is the best clearcoat for glowfuel"
Rob: "Hi and Happy New Year! Well, I usually use Nelson Hobby's flat clear (P101) which is available in 8 & 16 oz. bottles, for my latex painted warbirds...check out their site at http://www.nelsonhobby.com/
To be honest though, I don't usually clearcoat my warbirds. I run mostly gas engines and as long as you're relatively careful when fueling, it isn't necessary in my opinion. However, with a glow engine, it is pretty much a necessity. I use Behr ext. latex, and I have found that when it is fully cured (2 - 3 months) it is pretty resistant to 10 - 15 % glow fuel. Of course I wouldn't drench the model with it, but again, if you're careful when fueling, and clean up any spills right away ??? That has been my experience...but I can't guarantee it it, that is why i recommend clear when using glow fuel.
If you look back through some earlier posts I think I have covered this in a bit more detail. Also, if you have any specific questions about the Nelson Hobby clear, give Jerry a call, he is always more than happy to answer questions about his products...he's a good guy to deal with too! Happy modeling, Rob"
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Question 66: "Rob Bailey, I have looked high and low all over the web for some info on making corrigated alluminum skins for my Ford Tri-motor and have had no success. Can you please help point me the right direction. I want to do this in Marine Corps livery of the 1930's in 1/8 scale from a Cleveland planed and built model that I'am restoring . Thank You , Bruce "
Rob: "Hi Bruce, Good question! After giving it some consideration, and browsing a bit on the web, I've come up with a couple of ideas;
Evergreen Plastics corrogated sheeting. It is available at most hobby shops in various sizes and thicknesses, but my concern would be the added weight that this would cause. As your model is 1/8 scale, I think this would be a very close replication of the corrogated sheeting on the Tri-Motor. About the best selection that I've come across for Evergreen products is Bill & Walts Hobby's in Pittsburgh, PA, they're web address is: http://www.billandwalt.com/store/scripts/default.asp
The other thought would be to manufacture your own corrogated stock out of balsa sheet and strips. This would be a bit of work, but I think it would have a few benefits over the plastic sheeting. It would be less expensive and you have control of the scale (in more ways than one!) so you are not limited to "stock" sizes. Thinking about this a bit more while I've been typing, maybe you would want the strips to be a somewhat harder material than balsa, perhaps spruce strips? Again, any way you decide to go you should keep weight in mind!
I hope this helps. Take care and Happy New Year, Rob"
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Question 67: "Hi Rob ...still working on my Jemco F4u Corsair, and almost completed, but I still cant fine 1/7 or 1/8 decals for it. Have tried firms you suggested, but so far no good and the plane just 'sits" waiting for me to find the decals. Any additional help? Pete R."
Rob: "Hi Pete, Hmmm...I do know of one other possible source that could do you some custom decals. Hans, from Heavy Date Hobbies... email@example.com Not too long ago, he posted that he is out of the decal making business...but he may do a special request? I will email him and tell him that you will be contacting him if you would like? Just shoot me an email if you would like to give it a try. He uses an Alps printer, and ink has become extremely scarse for them.
Hey, did you ever look into Major Decals? They may have just what you need ... no website, but here is their contact info:
Northeast Screen Graphics,
A Division of Industrial Etching, Inc.
21 Fisher Avenue
PO Box 304
East Longmeadow MA 01028
For Sales: firstname.lastname@example.org
Also, the Top Flite Corsair is what about 62" ws...the decal sheet for it is available through TF for about $11.00
Don't worry, we'll find what you need somewhere! Rob"
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Question 68: "Hi Rob.My name's Nicola from Italy. I 'd want to cover my Mustang with a light aluminum film like Flitemetal.My question is: CAN ALUMINUM CAUSE RADIO TROUBLE TO THE RECEVIVER? IN THIS CASE, HOW CAN I PLACE THE ANTENNA TO AVOID RADIO BLACK-OUT? Thanks Nicola"
Rob: "Hi Nicola, Sorry for the delay in responding to your question. I wasn't positive about the answer to this one, so I talked with a couple friends who have used aluminum coverings much more than I have. What they unanimously told me was this; there should be no problems whatsoever in using coverings such as Aero Foil, Flite Metal, or the like so long as your Rx and especially the antennae wire are in good order. If there are and cracks in the plastic covering of your Rx antennae wire, any spots where the metal wire is actually showing through, it has the potential for a problem...not only from the covering material, but it is a problem waiting to happen period. Aslo routing of the Rx antennae wire is important, and should be carefully installed to assure that there are no friction points, places where it may be rubbing agains a former or the like. I hope that this answers your question. Take care and let us see some photos when you finish up the P-51! Rob"
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Question 69: "Hi Rob, You don't actually mention fabric covered models (solartex or coverite) in your excellent articles on latex paint finishes. Most WW2 warbirds have fully sheeted surfaces hence no fabric. Would the latex tend to lift or flake off on flexible fabric covered surfaces on a large model...say a 1/4 scale Cub? Regards Ron"
Rob: "Hi Ron, Good question! Personally I haven't used latex over any of the fabric coverings. However, a friend painted a Vailly Hurricane with latex and had excellent results. He used Solartex on the rear fuselage. This was about 2 years ago, and to the best of my knowledge he has had no problems to date. I saw my firends Hurri last summer and it still looked fantastic! The only concern that I could see possibly arising would be if the covering loosened up as iron ons sometimes do. Normally just hit them with the heat gun to tighten them back up...I don't know how the latex would respond under this situation? As for the latex "lifting or flaking" if applied in several light coats I don't see this to be a problem. The first step would be to apply the covering as tight as possible.
Thinking a bit more about this, I know that modelers have used lacquers and enamels over fabric, and these are much "harder" paints than latex...so I would think that latex would respond better than these other paints under these conditions as it is a "softer" more flexible medium. Normally I always recommend making a test piece first, however in this instance, time and temperature fluctuations would be the true test. I wish I could give you an answer with more certainty.
Happy modeling, Rob "
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Question 70: "Hi: I nearing the final finishing step on an electric 1/7th scale FW190 and intend to use latex paint matched to RLM 74, 75, 76 from some color chips I got from Dave Platt a few years ago. I'm planning to use Behr paint from HD. My question is what level of "flatness" do you recommend? It seems to me that the regular flat finish is too flat and I'm thinking that egg shell is going to be better. What are your thoughts and experience in this matter? Thanks Steve "
Rob: "Hi Steve, Well I reckon it's a matter of personal preference, but I like to use flat latex. However, I don't really see where using eggshell finish would be so bad...I just hate "shiney" warbirds, unless their natural metal!
Also, if you use the flat and find that you would like it a bit more shiney, you can always give it a light coat of wax to buff it up a bit...this wouldn't hurt to get a little more speed out of it either...hey it works on fullscale!
Take care, Rob"
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Question 71: "Hi Rob - I am an experienced builder of r/c multihull sailboats. 48 long by 48 wide with a 6 foot mast! Recently a very close friend retired from where we work, and he has always "loved" the Corsair fighter. He doesn't fly r/c planes, and I came up with what I thought would be a "brilliant" idea - something that I have not seen before and perhaps a niche market as I too am close to retirement. My idea was to build a solid foam model of the Corsair. Cover with .5 oz epoxy/glass and paint to meet the general colors and details of the Corsair. I was thinking something along the size of a 39 to 48 inch wingspan. Because it would be significantly lighter than a solid wood model, I came up with the idea of mounting two next to each other connected by 1/4 or 3/8 stainless rod, perhaps in a flying formation, with one slightly behind the other. Once mounted in this manner, the secondary metal mount would be to tilt the two as though they were entering into a turn. Add a free-turning prop to each, and then mount the collection of both on top of a post with a bearing based ability to swivel. Stick the post in the back yard of his home, and looking out the kitchen window he would see both planes as they aligned themselves with the prevailing winds - a rather unique windvane for the guy! So - questions, questions, questions - I would like to find a set of plans for the Corsair - and size isn't critical as I have access to a wide format printer, so enlargement to whatever size isn't an issue. Of course, building cost would be, especially if I proceed with two, and I can manage to hot-wire cut a foam wing, however that might be the component that I would elect to purchase - along with a decal set for each plane. Any assistance in making this idea become a reality would be appreciated - sources of wing supply, and similar, etc. is needed. I think I have the scratch building skills to make this work, and would determine after I am done if it is something to do to stay busy after retirement. Greatly appreciate your comments, suggestions and opinions. Thanks much Dick "
Rob: "Hi Dick, You definitely have some building experience under your belt! I've always loved to watch the guy's with their big sailboats, but the bug never really bit me. Sounds like a cool project you have in mind, and one that I'm sure would be much appreciated, and provide lot's of enjoyment too! Personally I haven't worked a great deal with styrofoam, aside from sheet wing cores. But if I were thinking about doing this, I would take the easy way out. There are several good park-flyer foam Corsairs on the market today. In fact GWS makes 34.6" wingspan (can be found at any bigger retailer Horizon http://www.horizonhobby.com/Shop/, etc.) and Dymond makes a 36.61" Corsair http://www.rc-dymond.com/ . Either of these can be purchased for about $50 - $60 , and then all you would need to do is glass and paint them. You wouldn't have to do the "design" work with the foam...why reinvent the wheel? But then...you may be just the kind of guy who would want to do it "just because"...some projects aren't any fun if they're too easy. Now, if you really want to do it all yourself...we modelers do seem to have a masochistic streak don't we?...you can find lot's of 3 views on the web. Here's a nice one:
http://www.suurland.com/blueprint_x.php?image=http://www.suurland-media.com/blueprints/fighters_propeller/chance-vought-f4u-1-corsair.gif&id=8006 For others, just do a search on Google for aircraft 3 views and F4U Corsair...there are several out there. Well, I hope that I at least gave you a couple of ideas. I hope that you send us some photos of the finished project!
Happy modeling, Rob"
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Question 72: "Hi Do you know anyone who makes beautiful Doll detailing for a Fiberclassic / Composite-ARF Mustang 1:4,3 ? Thanks, Thomas"
Rob: "Hi Thomas, Wow, you're in luck! I've been doing a lot of decal research lately so this is an easy one! I would try AeroLoft Designs in Arizona http://www.aeroloft.com/ They do a whole bunch of P-51 schemes, and they can size them to your specifications. They're not cheap, but they're just what you're looking for. Don't forget to send up pics when you have her finished!
Happy modeling, Rob"
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