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How-tos

From assembly secrets to repair tricks


Resin Casting Scale Parts

Resin Casting Scale Parts

Once you get to a certain level of scale modeling, you’ll start making parts that need to be produced in multiples and, most likely, are not commercially available. This is easily dealt with by making a master part and then reproducing it with a mold and resin casting liquid. Resin casting is considered an advanced technique, […]
Easy RC Model Engine Testing — Keeping it Cheap and Safe!

Easy RC Model Engine Testing — Keeping it Cheap and Safe!

When ever I test run and adjust a new engine, I prefer to set it up on a sturdy test stand/table instead of on the model airplane. Here is my Zenoah GT-80, 80cc twin-cylinder gasoline engine for my Fokker Triplane that I am test running. Fuel tank (and smoke oil tank) are installed and the throttle […]
RC Airplane Scale Workshop Building Tips

RC Airplane Scale Workshop Building Tips

When it comes to building  airplanes, all scale modelers seem to have mastered the art of Imagineering. Where sport models are utilitarian and have basic Monokote finishes and switches are easily accessible and located, scale planes are all about looking realistic. Here are some basic workshop building and detailing tips as well as a few […]
Mixing Custom Scale Colors

Mixing Custom Scale Colors

One of the trickiest jobs for a scale model builder is mixing custom colors for their RC scale project. The difference between accurate and “pretty close” can be the difference between winning and not even placing at a scale contest. For those who are considering going the next step in scale accuracy, this article digs […]
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Laminating Balsa Parts Made Easy

Laminating Balsa Parts Made Easy

When building model airplanes, especially scale WW I subjects,lamination work for parts of the wing and tail are a requirement. This technique has been used for decades but to new RC model builders the technique of producing lightweight curved parts may need some explaining. Here’s how I do it. There’s nothing exotic about the technique. […]
Stop the Vibration!

Stop the Vibration!

RC Prop Balancing Made Easy. I have been often asked, “Do I need to balance my prop?” and the quick answer is always “Yes!” A properly balanced prop will give you more rpm from gas, glow and electric engines. A balanced prop will reduce the wear and tear on your aircraft by greatly reducing vibration, […]
Easy Landing Gear Repair for ARFs

Easy Landing Gear Repair for ARFs

Damaged landing gear caused by landing off-field is probably the single most common repair needed during an RC model’s lifespan. While flying a 30cc Ultimate biplane from Aeroworks, an engine out on the downwind gave us a bad case of landing gear down.    Test Pilot and MAN contributor Aaron Ham was doing an inverted pass […]
Painting Proper Scale Markings — Get the Stars-and-Bars right

Painting Proper Scale Markings — Get the Stars-and-Bars right

If you are one of many modelers who acquired an ARF-type model of an American airplane, the chance that its star-and-bar markings is correct is about one in 10. It’s sad but true. Among models built by usually careful modelers and displayed at meets, like the Toledo Show and Joe Nall, the situation is somewhat […]
Scale RC Pilot Figure Painting — Add life to your fighter driver

Scale RC Pilot Figure Painting — Add life to your fighter driver

I put a huge amount of detail in the helmets of my Best Pilots pilot figures because its the topmost thing that’s viewed when your pilot is sitting in the cockpit. Most flight helmets are leather and that’s what’s shown here. The following technique works like magic in replicating leather of all kinds, but it […]
Wing-to-Fuselage Fillets

Wing-to-Fuselage Fillets

Advice from expert scale designer and builder Nick Ziroli: Instead of adding the fillet after the wing and fuselage are built, I make the shape of the fillet areas as part of the fuselage formers themselves. This requires having at least the wing center section built and attached to the fuselage, but to make sure […]
RC Warbird Tail Repairs

RC Warbird Tail Repairs

I’d like to present this article as one more example of how doing repairs to your favorite warbird can be done if you take it one step at a time, and “eat the elephant in bites” rather than fretting over the entire sad picture. I will also say it was a privilege to work on […]
Built-Up Wing Repair

Built-Up Wing Repair

We all make dumb moves when flying. Practice is the best cure for this problem, as the ones who make the least dumb moves are usually the ones who fly the most.  Since I have moved about an hour’s drive from the flying field, I no longer go flying several times a week. And this […]
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