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Model Airplane Tips & Tricks

Model Airplane Tips & Tricks

From aluminum foil to household corner molding, these cheap and easy workshop tips use common items or scrap material to make your RC airplane modeling time easier and more enjoyable. Have a great tip you’d like to share? Email it to man@airage.com!


When you’re painting, it’s important to protect parts from overspray. This could include pushrods, landing gears, motor mounts, etc. You can use masking tape, but that can be difficult to remove. An easier method is to tightly wrap all the parts that need protection with aluminum foil-it’s far easier to remove than tape. If you still need that sharp tape line, just mask off where the part meets the painting surface.


Here is an easy way to make sure you have your Allen bolt for attaching your canopy to your fuselage when you get to the field. Just make this handy bracket to hold your bolts inside the aircraft. The bracket is cut from plastic corner molding or aluminum angle iron. Cut a piece about 2-3 inches long and drill four holes into it for the bolts to hang in place. Epoxy or screw the bracket somewhere out of the way inside the fuselage. Now when you pull you bolts out of the canopy, just slide them into the brackets and they’ll be there the next time you are ready to assemble the plane.


If you paint foam with acrylic paint it gives it a nice look and makes it a little more durable. Acrylic paint is great to use because it will not react with the foam, and it will leave a flat dull finish, which is great for warplanes or military aircraft, but not so good for aerobatic and civilian aircraft. You can put a shine on the finish by using liquid acrylic long-lasting Shine floor wax. It will dry in about 20ñ30 minutes leaving your color scheme with a good-looking and shiny paint job.


Running wheel pants on any surface will wear them down and dirt and grass runways are especially rough on them. Here’s an easy way to reinforce them. First, cut out a small square shim out of 1/64 plywood sheet. Place this shim inside the wheel pant, over the attachment point, where the Allen screws bolt into the blind nuts. Glue them in place with CA or epoxy. Now thin out a small batch of epoxy with rubbing alcohol and coat the entire inside of the wheel pants. This will help to strengthen it while still keeping the weight down. This should give them a fighting chance on rough fields and the not-so-perfect takeoff and landings.

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  1. For holding cowel and canopy screws, I use small rare earth magnets epoxied to the inside of the cabin. They take up almost no room and hold the screws securely. The nylon wing bolts are screwed back in their holes.

  2. Received your survey request. I could not complete it as you asked what plane type I had but you left out gliders and sailplanes. So I presume our magazine would not be a good choice for me.

  3. Looks like a good way to store bolts and nuts for those planes with wing struts and those biplanes with multiple attachment
    points for the wings and struts, etc. But I usually just store my canopy bolts in the normal hole with the canopy attached. Why would you want the canopy to be unattached when you transport the plane?

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