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How-tos

From assembly secrets to repair tricks


DIY Vacuum-Forming Machine

DIY Vacuum-Forming Machine

You know all those models you wanted to build, but did not attempt because they required a vacuum formed canopy? You remember reading about all manner of complicated vacuum formers that took a month to build and cost as much as a seven channel transmitter? Got $20.00 for materials, a few hand  tools and an […]
Exterior Details: Dummy Controls

Exterior Details: Dummy Controls

There’s an old saying that says “scale models are really never finished, you just stop adding details to them”! Each modeler has to decide for himself when enough is enough. For me, I enjoy adding  easy to see details to the top surfaces of the wings and control surfaces and in particular I add dummy control […]
Venom Fly 600x120
Easy Custom Covering Scheme

Easy Custom Covering Scheme

Here’s how to add a checkerboard design to an already existing color scheme. I used the E-flite Shoestring and UltraCote covering. Because we are using heat shrink covering, this technique can be applied to any balsa covered ARF you have. This is especially useful for club events, such as fun-flys, club 40 racing, or in this […]
Perfect the Positive Snap Roll

Perfect the Positive Snap Roll

At the start of their flying careers, some pilots can only perform certain maneuvers from a particular direction. The proficient pilot, though, must be able to execute figures in all directions. Being able to apply corrective inputs in all directions, no matter what orientation the aircraft is in, is a critical skill. The positive snap […]
Digital Downloads 600x120
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 […]
Don’t cook your speed control!

Don’t cook your speed control!

Avoid these common power system mistakes Electric fliers all have one thing in common regardless of the size or type of models they fly—the electronic speed control (ESC). It doesn’t matter if you fly helicopters, airplanes, giant-scale, indoor, or micro models; at the heart of your power system is the speed control, and if it’s […]
Easy RC Airplane Engine Testing — Keeping it Cheap and Safe!

Easy RC Airplane 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 Landing Gear Repair

RC Landing Gear Repair

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 […]
Custom Gas Engine Throttle Arm

Custom Gas Engine Throttle Arm

Many times the control arms as delivered on gas engines are not up to the job. That is, they are too small or wrong shape for the job at hand in getting a pushrod attached to open or close the butterfly valve. This is pretty easy to remedy without getting on the computer and searching […]
Balance your RC Propeller — 4 Steps for Better Performance

Balance your RC Propeller — 4 Steps for Better Performance

After you build a sport plane, there are a couple things you need to do before you head off to the flying field. For your engine to operate properly you first have the break it in, and before doing that, it’s important to balance your propeller. Why? Most, if not all, propellers will be out […]
Spray Paint RC Model Airplanes — Tips to Make it Easy

Spray Paint RC Model Airplanes — Tips to Make it Easy

Here’s a great workshop technique from editor Gerry Yarrish’s workshop. Over the years, the products may have changed but today, painting your model airplane with “rattle can” spray paint is a less expensive alternative than using an air compressor and an automotive touch-up gun rig. When you start building models that have formed plastic or fiberglass parts […]
Easy RC Scale Details — Turn a Straw Hat into a Vintage Pilot Seat

Easy RC Scale Details — Turn a Straw Hat into a Vintage Pilot Seat

So my Fokker Triplane had been finished for a few weeks and the airplane had 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 […]
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