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Scale Accessories for RC Airplanes

Scale Accessories for RC Airplanes

For our Question of the Week” we’d like to know what turns you on about scale RC airplanes. When it comes to scale model airplanes, its all about the details! Small additions that help bring the model airplane to life. It is easy to improve any model’s appearance by adding scale accessories. For the MAN editors’  perhaps, the most important one, is a scale pilot figure–one with the correct equipment and goggles.

Be sure to check out our exclusive “Scale Accessory Guide” coming in our December “Scale Special Issue” of MAN.

Tell us what your favorite piece of scale detail? Working flaps, scale propeller, dummy engine, retracts? How about a functional bomb drop or a sliding canopy? Instrument panel… machine guns, accurate nose art? Tell us what you like when it comes a top notch scale airplane…

ziroli Rotary

Dummy rotary and radial engines?

Arizona Model Aircrafters Cockpits

Accurate cockpit and instrument panel details?


Accurate Airplane Markings and Insignia?

scale pilot

Scale, period-accurate pilot figure?




Updated: August 18, 2014 — 3:08 PM
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  1. Hello and thanks for the opportunity!

    While any additional scale appearance and/or functional item will always enhance a scale airplane, one of my favorite additions is the pilot’s ability to fly the plane in as scale a manor as is possible. For most of us a distance of several yards and more past the plane is when the appearance of the scale item blends into the entire plane. What is left is the entire plane’s overall appearance for what it really is: namely, flying as the original full-scale plane flew. If you can learn to build scale details like functional split flaps, oleo landing struts, stitching, marking, and engine detail, waving pilot figures with buckling seat belts, mud on the rudder peddles, and a quarter-scale pack of Lucky Strikes on the dash board with real tobacco in them [yes, I have seen that] then you can learn to fly that one correctly – which, for scale projects that are intended to fly, is the only thing that is necessary to complete your masterpiece.

    Keith A. Voelker
    Cincinnati, Ohio

  2. Everything you mentioned is important for a scale model. If the full scale plane had it, so should the model. With that said, I really like a well detailed cockpit. There are many models with scale outlines, working flaps, retracts, bomb drops, etc. However, the cockpit is where my eyes are first drawn to when I look at a scale model. There are so many features to most cockpits that one can spend almost as much time in the cockpit detailing as building the rest of the plane. Accurate gauges, levers, knobs, all of these and more are all important, as well as an accurate pilot. I dislike seeing a beautiful model but missing the pilot. It is a whole picture kind of thing. One glaring omission or error can ruin an otherwise beautiful rendition of an aircraft. The more detail you can add, the better the results. Doing a scale project requires many skills and patience, along with large blocks of time. But look at Top Gun level aircraft. They always draw attention due to the level of detailing, which gives the model that “realistic” look.

  3. I agree with Keith and Dan, I think detailing is very important, To me it’s personal satisfaction, even though like Dan said it is very time consuming. But well worth it in the long end.

  4. An accurate and realistic scale pilot is the most important to me. There are many available at high prices. Anything priced for the average modeler is just plain ugly.

  5. Hell Gerry; neat article. I believe that we modelers are really ‘Walter Middys’, doing our best to emulate the real thing as our experience and budgets will allow. Many Kudos to you and your staff for continually presenting us with a taste of what is out there! As an aging modeler, I really appreciate all the great things available to us. Prices can range from affordable to Holy s—! I have been modeling for almost 60 years and can enjoy it more today than ever.We will continue to look for ‘the better mouse trap’, but you folks keep digging, we all appreciate it! Bruce K.

  6. Gerry,
    Thanks for your invaluable contribution in our sport. I
    I find it very sad when a scale modeler invests many hours in getting scale details like accurate flaps, scale landing gear weathering on the paint but they do not have a functioning canopy… In view of that, I would love to get help, tips, or a web site that can help me to introduce mechanically actuated sliding canopies in my scale projects.
    Alkis Koizis

  7. Where to get scale instruments?

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