RC Airplane Modeler’s Tips

RC Airplane Modeler’s Tips

Everyone appreciates a good building tip or trick — especially when it makes our hobby easier and more enjoyable! Here are a few of our favorites. Send your tips to MAN@airage.com!


Model Airplane News - RC Airplane News | RC Airplane Modeler’s Tips
Propeller Balancer (Clear Spray Paint)

While balancing plastic propellers instead of removing material from the heavier blade, use clear spray paint to add weight to the lighter one. Often, only a slight amount of weight is required and a light application of paint sprayed on will do the trick. Wait for the paint to dry before rechecking the balance.


Alignment with a String
Alignment with a String
Many built-up fliers require you to glue the tail surfaces to the fuselage. For your model to perform right, they have to be installed properly aligned with each other. The vertical fin and rudder need to be 90 degrees to the horizontal stabilizer and elevator. A simple way to accomplish this is to tape a piece of string to the tips of the stabilizer and loop it over the top of the fin. Apply slow-setting glue then tape the string snugly into place. Use a square to make sure the fin is 90 degrees to the stabilizer then lock it in place with a third piece of tape on top of the fin.
 Clevis Opener
Clevis Opener
An easy way to open snap-shut clevises is to use a common screwdriver. Simply slip the blade into the clevis and twist. It works much better than trying to use your fingers and/or fingernails.



Model Airplane News - RC Airplane News | RC Airplane Modeler’s Tips

Clear Scuff Guard
If you fly from a hard surface like a paved runway or parking lot, all too often the underside of the wingtips can get scuffed up pretty badly. Simply add a layer or two of clear shipping tape and your wingtips will have an added layer of protection. Clear tape can also be used to protect the soft under-belly of foam flyers that don’t have landing gear.



Magnetic Small Parts Holder
Magnetic Small Parts Holder
An easy way to keep small screws, nuts and washers from getting lost on your workbench is to add a stick-on magnetic strip to a plastic food tray. You could also use an old solid magnet to keep the metal parts from rolling around.
 Workbench Organization
Workbench Organization
There’s nothing worse than having to stop working on your model to make a trip to the hobby shop to replace a lost screw or nut. To greatly speed up assembly of your model airplane, you need to stay organized. Use an old egg carton or a plastic container box to organize all the small parts and pieces that come with your model.


Easy Servo Grommet Installation
Easy Servo Grommet Installation
To properly install your servos in medium to large electric models, you should install the small brass eyelets that come with the servos. Without them installed, the servo attachment screws can crush the rubber grommets preventing them from isolating the servos from vibration. Use a long, small-diameter screwdriver to quickly press them (brim-side down) into place.


  1. Re.prop balancing clear plastic tape (scotch tape) on the back of the prop works well too and if you put on top much it’s easy to peel off some.

    1. I don’t think that would work on a fueled plane

      1. I agree with Paul, no way using tape to balance props.
        I fly control line stunt and balance my props with paint.

  2. I found that for Clear Scuff Guard GORILLA brand clear tape is far superior to shipping tape. It costs more but you aren’t using that much and you will be amazed how well it handles the landing abuse. It is much thicker without being too thick.

  3. Prop balancing – Use white mail polish on the tip of the light side tip. I t also helps to see the prop when it is running.

  4. A partially sharpened #2 pencil also works very well, has the right taper and wood to grip the grommet.

    check our club website: http://www.blacksheepclub.org

    Club News – April 2015 newsletter

  5. For prop balancing: With the prop on the balancer, two drops of CA are placed on the light tip – one drop on front, one on back. The drops are smoothed out with a plastic-wrap covered finger. Spritz with accelerator. Repeat as required, then lightly sand the CA’d surfaces (for better paint adhesion sand both tips), recheck balance, then spray paint both tips with white paint. One final balance check and your done.

  6. if you get the right screw driver you can put all 4 of the of the eylets on and works great

  7. I find that if I use a ball driver to put on both the rubber isolators and the brass eyelets on with a little spit , super quick ! With the isolators wet , I use the ball driver to slide it into place and then with the eyelets stacked and while the rubber is still damp, slide in the eyelets .

  8. A sharpened wood pencil also works great for installing eyelets

  9. If you’ve a lot of 1/8″ slots to cut in formers for stringers, then 4 cutting off disks in your Minidrill mandrel make a handy 1/8″ cutter.

  10. Re Alignment of fin, I usually use a long piece of tape. Repositioning is easy. I also have a tape measure with an eyelet in it & the metric side is graduated on both edges. Perfect for aligning wings & horizontal stabs.

  11. Re prop balancing: For safety, paint the prop tips with a bright (and fuel proof if necessary) paint. Applying paint to the front and back of the lighter tip will sometimes bring the prop into balance.

  12. I have used all OF THESE METHODS FOREVER!

  13. Paul and Eldon,
    Scotch tape works fine for foamys and small electrics, been doing it for years…

  14. My servo attachment screws never crush the rubber grommets. And I don’t use brass eyelets in the grommets. I mount servos using brass machine screws. Drill the hole in the wood slightly undersized, and the machine screw will cut its own threads. The right size outer diameter screw will fill the grommet hole nicely, and the screw need be tightened only enough to fit the underside of the screw head snugly against the grommet surface. The multiplicity of small threads in the wood provide secure and durable mounting, and the screws can be run in and out any number of times. Thin CA will make the wooden threads even tougher, if needed.

  15. Cheap pushrods & extensions to snakes bicycle spokes & metal clevis’s from old IBM typewriters.Zig Zag bracing in wings & open framed structures etc from bamboo kebab skewers

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