There are few 1/4-scale models of the Beechcraft Staggerwing, and the most popular RC design is the one from Nick Ziroli. It’s outline is very close to scale and it produces a great looking scale airplane. When it comes to making them look real, you need to use some scale parts and techniques. Here are a few close up pix of this impressive example.
Painting your model is the last bit of finishing and it’s the part most noticed. For great results use the same paint as used on full size airplanes. stits.com is the place to get the stuff. Poly Tone paint works great and is designed to work with the heat shrinkable Poly Fiber covering.
That big radial engine cowl reaaly benefits from a dummy engine installation. If you don’t have the cash for a Robart 4-stroke 7-cylinder radial engine, there are plenty of resin cast dummy engines that will hep cover up your RC gas engine. And the finer details like proper color, lifter rod tubes and spark plugs and wiring all add to the appearance.
So, you do have to get inside the airplane to work with and maintain the radio gear and linkages, so why not add functional cabin doors. These work great and give easy access to the internal parts. A removable cabin interior helps hide the RC hardware.
For the various RC radio gear and engine ignition switches placing them in a secluded area like here between the fuselage firewall and the engine cowling, greatly improves the model’s looks. They are just as accessible as they would be if you had just cut holes in the side of the fuselage and installed there there. Of course that ruins the scale looks of any airplane.
As with most Ziroli designs, the Staggerwing is designed to use the custom made Robart Staggerwing gear. Besides saving a ton of time and effort, the Robart gear work great and are very scale in appearance.
Those wheel also look great and are machined from aluminum.