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Giant-scale Fuel Tank Installation – Workshop Build-along Sopwith Camel Part 18

Giant-scale Fuel Tank Installation – Workshop Build-along Sopwith Camel Part 18

So buttoning up the last bit of work on my Sopwith Camel, I installed the fuel tank and worked out the fuel line routing. I installed a 20 oz. tank from JL Products. This tank is great as it has no flexible internal clunk line to worry about. It has a rotary pickup design and is just about maintenance free.

To support the tank I used CAD to design a lite ply hangar bracket to support the tank and position it above the radio gear and servos. I measured the tank, drew the bracket and laser cut it to shape. The two brackets have tabs which I loop rubber bands around to hold the tank in place. radio control rc  fuel tank installation

To avoid chaffing I made the brackets about 1/8 inch wider than the tank and used Sullivan foam rubber padding to protect the tank.

radio control rc  fuel tank installation

The brackets are screwed into place anchored into the top former top cross piece longerons. This makes the tank and the brackets easy to remove at a later date if needed.

radio control rc  fuel tank installation

radio control rc  fuel tank installation

The brackets sit below the hatch base so there’s no interference with the cockpit and machine gun hump sections.

radio control rc  fuel tank installation

Here you see there is plenty of space around the tank and below, the radio gear and pushrods have plenty of room so there’s no chance of interference.

Well, nothing let to do but teardown everything and get ready to start the covering process.

Part 19:



Updated: March 31, 2016 — 10:51 AM


Add a Comment
  1. Great twist for fuel tank installation. Never thought of “hanging” one before. What caught my attention in the photos though were the wood dowel push rods. Please tell me more about using these in large scale models as opposed to the “pre packaged” or arrow shaft pushrod methods.

    Thanks much,

    1. Hi Jim. I am an old school modeler using newer methods I guess. For WW1 airplanes like this 1/4-scale Camel and my 1/3-scale Fokker Triplane I am less concerned about tail weight and more about control linkage rigidity. My triplane does use Dave Brown carbon tube pushrods with wire rod ends, but for the Camel, I used what I had on-hand. My local hobby shop is poorly stocked with giant scale hardware so everything is a special order and takes 3 to 5 days at best to get. I have been using old school dowels (1/4 to 5/16 inch diameter) for like forever, and the method has served me well. Basic 4-40 threaded wire ends, bent 90 degrees inserted in cross holes at the ends, wrapped with thread and CA glue, all covered over with black heat-shrink tubing for better looks. Also, the dowels are supported in two areas between the servos and the control horns. Just some scrap balsa sticks installed and supported horizontally and vertically by the fuselage formers. There’s very little room for the dowels to bow under load. Hope this helps

      1. Gerry,
        Thank you for the quick response. I’m pretty much old school also and believe in the KISS method as well. Looking forward to your future posts.


  2. Caution!! The rubber bands used will deteriorate within 6 months and drop the tank onto the servos, particularly in a gasoline tank set-up. A better method to attach the tank to the formers is to use plastic tie wraps.

  3. Personally, I normally use a loop of silicone rubber tubing to secure my gas tanks. I tie a knot and make my own rubber band. Gasoline fumes will eventually get to the sili rubber but it takes many years


    1. I agree, gasoline is tough on rubber parts. THat’s why it is so important to do regular condition inspections! I have seen too many deadsticks because a modeler just never checked his fuel tank and plumbing! Live and learn. thanks for the comments.

  4. Those screws sure resemble pop rivets

    1. LOL. That would defeat the purpose of my removable tank brackets wouldn’t it Gary? Actually they are from MicroFasteners, they are hex head sheetmetal screws similar to the ones used to secure servos in place. They are screwed into hardwood strips.

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