How To Turn a Straw Hat into a Scale Pilot Seat

Sep 01, 2013 No Comments by

So my Fokker Triplane has been finished for a few weeks and the airplane has flown several times without any problems. But there is that big issue of an empty cockpit. So, I converted my old Mini-Me 1/3 scale pilot figure into a WW1 leather helmet and goggles guy with a great set of cloths including a great leather jacket and some black trowsers. With a proper Triplane driver, I still needed to make the guy a good looking (and removable) pilot seat. Where to start?


Go to a dollar store and look for some woven straw place mats or a cheap straw hat with a wide brim. Cut out a horseshoe shape from some foam poster board and size it for your pilot’s butt. Roll the woven straw material around the poster board and mark for your cut lines. Cut out the material and use some ZAP Goo adhesive and and let dry with some weights added until dry. Cut out some more of the material and glue it to the seat top.


For seatbelts I cut some slots in the seat and glue in some Velcro straps. This way the pilot can be secured in place without gluing him in place.


To secure the seat in the fuselage I used a spruce crosspiece and a couple hardwood blocks and screws at each side of the cockpit


The seat does a great job hiding the radio gear and puts the pilot figure at the proper height so he looks correct during flight.


In the back where the seat contacts the aft former, I used some stick-on magnets to make a firm but easy to remove connection.


My new Mini-Me looks the part of a WW1 Triplane pilot. His seat is also accurate for that era of aviation. The clothing I used came from Wendy at .


Strapped in, The seat is now glued to the crosspiece. When dry remove the screws and the seat is easy to remove for access to the radio.


Add a couple of scale Spandau machine guns and we’re good to go! Anybody see where Snoopy went with his Sopwith Doghouse?!

Featured News, Gerry Yarrish

About the author

Senior Technical Editor About Me: I have a lifelong passion for all things scale, and I love to design, build and fly scale RC airplanes. With 20 plus years as part of the Air Age family of magazines, I love producing Model Airplane News and Electric Flight.
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