Well we finally finished this beautiful scale accessory. When it comes to scale RC planes, the biggest thing that ruins the scale looks of the plane is the smaller than scale flying propeller. Many warbird pilots will at least paint their props the correct color and add the yellow safety prop tips, but if you really want to get maximum attention, nothing beats a static scale (non-flying) propeller. I started this build-along series with the stock 3-blade Hamilton Standard kit from Nick Ziroli Plans and added a scratch built hub assembly for some added eye candy. Here’s how we put all the parts together.
(Above) There’s two ways to go here. Make your prop blades removable for easy storage and transport, or glue everything together. I glued everything as over time the removable blades wear and can get damaged. Gluing everything together also means you won’t lose anything.
The first thing to do is to drill into the base ends of the the blades with a 1/4-inch drill bit. Drill in about an inch or so and try to drill the hole straight along the blade’s centerline. Now cut three lengths of 1/4-inch birch dowels.
(Above) In the center of each blade socket, drill a matching hole in the wood core piece inside the hub assembly. This does not have to be extremely precise as you can enlarge a hole a little if the dowel does not match up perfectly.
(Above) On the back of each blade and its matching socket, place a mark so you can match each blade after you fit it and the support dowel into place.
(Above) Here you see each of the blades fitted into the hub. Make sure they all seat down firmly into the socket and that they are inline with the hub in side view. They should all set in the same disc plane.
(Above) Remove each blade and apply some 20 minute epoxy to the dowel, inside the socket and the base of the blade. Reinsert the blade into the hub and use the Ziroli kit supplied pitch gauge to set the angle of the blade. Now let dry before your move on to the other two blades. If any of the epoxy drips out of the joint, wipe it away with a paper towel and some alcohol. Let the whole prop assembly setup for a couple hours before moving.
(Above) Once the epoxy has completely set, you can mist on a couple light coats of matt or semi matt clear to seal everything. This will help the decals last longer and if you want to do some fine weathering with silver or dark gray and brown to pick out some of the details, the clear will seal the weathering in. Let the clear coat dry over night in a dust free area or with a large box placed over it to protect the finish!
That’s it! The new 3-blade static scale propeller is ready to hang on my new giant scale Top Flite Corsair! Oh yea, I got to build it first! Stay tubed, I will post a photo of the finished assembly when the plane is done!
To see the entire prop build-along, click this link: http://www.modelairplanenews.com/blog/2012/04/26/scale-3-blade-propellers-building-a-ziroli-static-scale-kit/
Assembly Tip: Since the hole through the hub was enlarged to fit my DLE 55cc gas engine, the smaller hole and dowel in the nose cone don’t fit. I made a small top hat shaped plug to fit into the larger hole in the hub and slip into the smaller hole in the nose cone. This automatically centers the nose cone when I glued it into place.