What's It all About ???

This page is all about the building and flying of radio controlled model aircraft. It's a highly diversified hobby that takes in as many skills as you like to use. Everything from electronics to carpentry, to painting, to drawing and designing with a little bit of metal work thrown in. Some builders even go into doing their own machining, pattern designing, fibre glassing, moulding and engine design. You can use electric motors, 2 stroke or 4 stroke internal combustion engines or even minature turbine (jet) engines for power. My own models use 2 and 4 stroke internal combustion engines and range in size from about a metre in wingspan to well over 3 metres from tip to tip!

Monday, December 31, 2012

You need a Pilot in the Cockpit!

One of the problems for scale builders, and some others who believe there should be a pilot on board, is finding a suitable figure to fill that vacant space in the cockpit.  A real problem comes when there is enough room and you want to fit a full length figure, there are commercial items available but some of them cost a small ransom to buy. I have a couple of the excellent Blue Box figures which are now unfortunately out of production. Another alternative is the Dragon line but they are, at least in this country, very hard to find. Which brings us down to the readily available  12 inch dolls from Action Man and similar sources. A 12 inch doll gives you a 6 foot tall figure in 1/6th scale or a short arse 5 foot in 1/5th. Given the often restricted space available in some cockpits the 12 inch doll can be ideal in that scale.

The only problem with the Action Man type dolls is finding suitable clothing and / or uniforms. Your alternative there is to find one of the  Limited Editions (I have the GI Joe Action Pilot). The other alternative is to grovel to your Wife / Girl Friend / Mother in Law / Grand Mother and talk her into pulling out the sowing machine and running up some suitable clothes for your doll. I've found sources for things like Mae Wests, parachutes and the like available from China and Hong Kong at very reasonable prices.

As I build mostly scale in 1/6th and 1/5th I've built up a small collection of suitable pilot figures, I have a couple of  Blue Box - the Battle of Britain Pilot and the Western Desert Pilot, The Dragon Pearl Harbor Pilot and the previously mentioned GI Joe. As well as that I have a number of pilots I've made up myself with clothes kindly made by a Lady Friend of mine and accessories that I found on eBay.

There are a number of specialist manufacturers of pilot figures both here in Australia and in Britain and the United States. The figures range from cartoon like characters to carefully detailed and accurate representations of actual pilots. You can even get your own head sculptured if you are vain enough! The prices for these models vary from modest to fabulously expensive for the very best.

Check out the photos in  "Blue Box and other Pilot Figures" on the right hand side of this page for a few updates and new photos. You might also like to check out the links to "Proper Little People" and "Cosmic Pilots" as well.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


As noted in my last post I had 21 models, only one of which was airworthy. In order to bring some order to the chaos I divided the models into categories and started on the most easily fixed first. I fixed the float on the Ugly Stik Float plane, the wingtip and a carburettor fault on the Powerhouse and I've almost finished recovering the Kyosho Trainer. I even managed to make some progress on one or two of the unfinished builds.

Then my old friend Murphy's Law came visiting and everything went pear shaped - again! The rot started after I successfully sold a number of plans - I'm rationalising over 200 plans that I'll never get to build - or have no interest in building. My Club President - who is usually a good bloke - extracted his evil revenge on me. John is a dedicated  (choke) electrickery fan so I gave him about 20 plans that I had accumulated for electric powered models - as I said I have no interest in them. John was quite pleased with the plans but then he exercised his evil plot and gave me a plan in return - it's the Pilot plan for the quarter scale DH82A Tiger Moth. Now - being a dedicated scale builder - and not currently having a Tiger Moth - my 1/5th scale model has had it's day -  I just HAD to accept it - who wouldn't? So - that's one more major build to add to the list.

My next blunder was going onto eBay - I had to leave some feedback - and a model caught my eye - I tried to look the other way - I really did - BUT Murphy was lurking in the back ground and rubbing his hands with glee - I was trapped - and of course I put a bid on the damn thing - and of course there were no other bidders - and I won myself ANOTHER model. Now this wouldn't be so bad but the damn thing is not ready to fly - it's an uncompleted build that was obviously done by a newbie - with all the attendant faults. SO - it is also now on my rebuild list.

My final error of judgement came yesterday. As I noted in a previous post I recently bought a BNIB Nova Rossi motor complete with pipe and muffler - lovely motor and powerful as a bull. Then some one else mentioned they ALSO had a BNIB Nova Rossi for sale. I was immediately plagued by visions of some sort of aerobatic twin doing impossible maneuvers and making every one go ooooh and aaaaah. I am sitting here sobbing quietly to myself and examining the plan I have for the old Magnum twin - now if I scale it up a bit and fit retracts and ..... SOB

Oh - and Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
  - or what ever you celebrate - 
to all my Readers.

Monday, December 3, 2012

The Art of Screwing Up

Oh hell - if I count the two helicopters I have 21 models that are either in need of repair, are build projects that are behind schedule or have ended up unfinished and lurking in the back of the hanger. I only have one model that is still airworthy! In Military terms you might say I have a front line which is over extended on several fronts with a stretched to breaking point supply line. As Commanding Officer I'm about to be relegated to pealing spuds in a POW Camp! - That is - if I get lucky and my troops don't shoot me first.

Luckily for me this is only a hobby and model aircraft do not carry weapons - although stupidity and lack of safe practice can still bite the unaware - so - I can call a halt - re-organise and get my shit together without further sacrifice. I decided to reclassify all my projects, rebuilds and repairs by the amount of work I estimate it will take me to get each model airworthy. Using that formula the only variable I'll have to cope with is time for supply of parts and materials. Some of that variable will be influenced by available funds. I've divided everything into three groups: -

Group A: Repairs and unfinished projects with the materials to hand. This group is restricted to those models that will require less than a day to complete.

Group B: Repairs and unfinished projects with the materials to hand. This group is restricted to those models that will require less than 7 days  to complete.

Group C: Repairs and unfinished projects that require the purchase of materials and/or that need extended time to complete.

In Group A are; -  The Float Plane; The Powerhouse Old Timer; The Asso Champion; Red Ned; The Piper J3 Cub and the Kyosho Trainer.

1. The Float Plane: Repair minor damage to the port side float that was holed by an unseen submerged object.
2. The Powerhouse: Repair minor damage to the starboard wingtip caused by a ground loop.
3. The Asso Champion: Complete the installation of a retractable undercarriage.
4. Red Ned: Replace a gear stripped servo.
5. J3 Cub: Replace a broken port side wing strut and repair minor damage to port wing.
6. Kyosho Trainer: Recover the model with iron on material due to deterioration of original covering. (This is an ARF model)

IN Group B are; - The Senior Telemaster; The Bird of Time; The Fournier RF4; The Lanzo Bomber; The Wittman Tailwind; The Pheonix and my own design WWI style Monoplane.

The Senior Telemaster, The Bird of Time The WWI Monoplane and The Pheonix are all repairs and /or modifications, The others are all projects that are behind schedule. I have all the materials to finish this group already to hand.

The final group - Group C are the problem children. They require a major investment of time and/or funds to complete. The models in this group are; - The Lancaster, The Mosquito, The Wirraway conversion, The Aero Commander Shrike, The Hustler Delta, The Big Lazy Bee and the two helicopters.

I shall fight them on the building board, and the drill press and in the Lathe - I will not surrender! The Club's website is now up and running and as soon as I complete this months Club Newsletter I will mount a full frontal assault on the building board. That's my intention anyway. Now if bloody Murphy and his rotten Law stays on holiday I just might succeed!  Stay tuned and place your bets on whether or not I'll screw it up this time.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Do You Ever Get Distracted??

 They tell me that model aircraft are only a hobby and you shouldn't let a hobby get in the way of life - yeah right - Bloody Life sometimes gets in the way of my Hobby! I recently took on the Secretary's job in my Model Club and pretty soon found myself also being the Newsletter Editor and then I was also 'nominated' to assume the position of Webmaster. Now my club is a small one and every member wants to fly - but club responsibility?? They run a bloody mile. I know that this is a common problem with many clubs but it is particularly acute in mine. Small membership, some members pre-occupied with business and family matters and all they want to do is grab a model and go flying on Sundays - more responsibility? NOT LIKELY.

Now - I'm retired - I have reasonable computer skills - and I'm available - yeah - I know - I should have ducked while I could. But - old age brings slower reaction times and suddenly I was the only one left standing. So as the Club had NO Newsletter AND no Website you can see my problem - it wasn't so much taking over as starting off - a whole different ball game.

Now - I'm not complaining - as I said - I'm an old fart and have the time and the skills to do the job BUT it does distract from time at the building board - you cannot code a website and build a quarter scale model WWI Biplane with 210 ribs and all that rigging at the same time!

I now find myself with 9 projects that are behind schedule, another five that have sort of drifted to the back of the hanger and a complete mess in the workshop. On top of that I'm rebuilding two wrecks - yeah - I did rush out to the field and didn't top up the batteries - and only one model in flying condition.

SO - I have now been forced to reschedule the building list in order to bring some order to the chaos; The bigger projects - that is the Lancaster, The Mosquito and the Texan to Wirraway conversion have now been moved to there own 'Bigger Project' list - in other words I'm having to put them aside for the moment to do the repairs and finish off some of the smaller models if I want to go flying in the forseeable future. In the next day or so I'll post up a project list so those those who may be following specific builds will have an idea what is happening. Oh - on top of all that I've just had my 70th birthday. - Bloody Hell - I'm now three score and ten, which might add to the belief that only the good die young!!

Merry Christmas - or what ever you call it where ever you are -

Grumpy 42

Sunday, November 25, 2012

I haven't run away - really -- but the sun is shining and

Sorry I've neglected this blog for a couple of weeks but as noted last time I've been doing other things. The Club's website is now up and running in it's final format but there are still a couple of tweaks to go. But - just to keep me busy - I turned 70 years of age on the 23rd of November - I don't really feel that old except when I'm getting up in the morning and when the Doctor sort of shakes his head in the way that Doctors do when they can't believe you've given your body such a hard time - AND - hooray - the weather has finally discovered we are halfway through spring.

So what all this means is that I got out to the flying field during the week and at the weekend - and - well, yes - the building board did get sort of overlooked for a few days. I shall yell at myself in the mirror (shudder) and get back to building this week - photos of progress next week - I promise - sort of - the sun is shining and the ....... 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

I've Been doing Other Things!

Besides being Secretary of my Club I'm also the Newsletter Editor and now, the Webmaster of the Club's new Website. This has taken me away from the building board for a week or so and flying seems to be a thing other people get to do.

Anyway - it's some years since I built a website and so I had to get  the reading glasses out, brush off my HTML reference and try to put the bloody thing together - Yeah, well - last I heard we had HTML3 - now there is HTML5,  XHTML and a whole sh*t load of other stuff - ummmmm - steep learning curve. After a lot of coffee, swearing, muttering, assassination of gremlins, grinding of glitches and of teeth I've finally got a website started and on line. For anyone who is interested in how we do it way down here in Tasmania, or wants to have a giggle at my efforts, the website address is: -


As mentioned I'm also the Club's Newsletter Editor so if you want a copy emailed to you contact me on my email address - echo.echo100@gmail.com - the Newsletter is published at the beginning of each month and you will need MSWord or something that can open Word documents. I can send a copy in RTF format if you ask.

Hopefully next week I'll be back to the building board and,  if the weather God's are in a good mood, I might even get to go flying.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

In The "Good Old Days"

As readers will know one of my current projects is a Lanzo Bomber and, as it a classic old timer design, I've tried to build it as much as possible by traditional methods and with traditional materials - SO - that just had to include covering it with tissue instead of one of the modern iron one materials.

Tissue?? - yep - and a good old traditional shrinking dope. Now the older readers probably know what the hell I'm talking about but younger modellers might think I've lost a marble or two. So - for their information and amusement here is how we used to do it in the "good old days"

I've added this comment because some one commented on the dangers of using chemicals: 

Model aircraft dope contains dangerous chemicals which are both toxic and volatile! Do not use dope without adequate ventilation and preferably with a fume mask. Do not smoke or use the product near an open flame. Children should only use this product under Adult supervision

First job is to select the grade of tissue - it's usually available in light -medium and heavy grades. For this job I chose SILKSPAN medium grade. Then for the typical covering job you need to cut out 4 panels - that is top and bottom on both sides. Of course for things like the fin and rudder you only need 2 and for a big wing you might use 8 or more.

You also need a couple of brushes, a can of dope and preferably a bottle or can of Acetone for thinning and cleaning your brushes after use.

I apply the first panel buy brushing on unthinned dope around the edges of the panel and then applying the tissue over the panel before the dope has dried.I brush a second coat over the edges of the tissue to ensure it is firmly fixed all around.

Trim the tissue after the dope has dried and cut slits every cm or so around curved edges - tissue does not have the same 'stretch to conform' properties as the iron on covering

When everything is trimmed I use a water spray to lightly soak all the tissue. I wipe off excess water and leave the tissue to dry thoroughly - this step pre shrinks the tissue so you get a nice tight finish when you dope the whole structure.

I apply an overall coat of dope - thinned by 40% with acetone over the whole structure. For light weight tissue this is sufficient but for medium 2 coats and some times 3 for the heavy weight.

And when every thing is dry this is the result. Remember that tissue is translucent and any marks that would normally be covered by heat shrink film will show through the tissue. Some Hobby shops might be able to sell you coloured tissue or if not you can colour the thinned coats of dope with food dyes. Remember to use a fuel proofer if you are using an IC engine.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Bloody Murphy's Law

I don't know if "Murphy's Law" is known in other countries around the world but If not I'm sure you have something similar under a different name.

Murphy's Law states  
 "What can go wrong WILL go wrong" 
- there are some other less gentile versions as well.

Murphy's Law is well known and active in Australia. I was going to post a heap of photos over the weekend but - thank you Murphy - it didn't happen. I'm now in the process of rectifying that so if you happen to be on this blog right now check back in about an hour and I'll have the updates and photos on the Telemaster and Lanzo Bomber pages. The rest should be there a bit later tonight.

That bald headed old fart holding the Telemaster is me 


It's either a very big model


I'm a very small builder!

The Senior Telemaster has a wingspan of 94"

Friday, October 19, 2012

Slowly, slowly -

I've just added a couple more photos to the Bird of Time thread. The NovaRossi hasn't arrived yet but it will be here soon - in the meantime I've got some more photos for the Telemaster, the Lancaster, the Texan to Wirraway conversion and the Lanzo Bomber but it's late and I'm tired so I will post them over the weekend.

With a bit of luck I'll also have a couple more of the Wittman Tailwind and even the Asso Champion - Wallaby Bob has a new Girlfriend co-pilot and I've got the retractable  under carriage fitted.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

More pictures - and something different soon

I'm finally starting to get all those bloody photos sorted and onto the blog - it's been a bit of a circus but I'm getting there now - only a few at a time I admit - but they all  need to be cropped and sized to fit into this blog. Any way - a few I've caught up with have been added to the Senior Telemaster thread and the first update on my ambitious plan to rebuild a totalled Bird of Time.

The next update will be a little different - I've just bought a mint NIB NovaRossi 60 so I'm going to do a bit of an article on it - if you are an IC engine fan it might be worth a look. Should have it written by this weekend or early next week.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Photos, photos and - a few more photos

I've started to add the new photos to their respective pages. The first couple of recovered Lancaster photos are there and I've started a new page for the Bird of Time and the Asso Champion. There are some updates on the Texan to Wirraway Conversion and a couple more on the Lanzo Bomber page. If nothing new shows when you have a look - check back in half an hour - I'm still loading them and this #$%^& internet connection is  slow as a wet week.

Another Update

This post should be titled - "Just when you thought it was safety to go back to the building board" !! A fellow club member recently had an "unfortunate" equipment failure with his Bird of Time electric power assisted glider. Of course I absolutely adore that model so guess who ended up with the pieces? Now I need another project like I need a hole in  the head - BUT - I told myself - it IS a Bird of Time and it might be repairable AND the club member gave me all the bits! I'm a dedicated IC engine fan so the electric motor, lipos and other assorted stuff was returned to the owner. Now I have a project to rebuild a Bird of Time as the pure glider it was first designed to be. It's late at night here right now - well actually early in the morning - like 2 minutes to one AM! So - as I spent most of the evening pulling the thing apart - cutting out the broken bits and planning how to fix it I'm completely worn out. I've taken photographs of the damage and I have some of the Telemaster and the Lancaster as well - they are from the CD of recovered photos my mate done for me - but right now I'm to damn tired to post them - it will wait till the morning. Come back tomorrow if you are interested.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Week 30/09/12 to 6/10/12

Bear with me folks - the CD with all the recovered photos arrived in this mornings post and I'm just going through them to sort out what to put in the blog. I'm slowly recovering from the Surgeons knife and I'm beginning to get around a little better now so there will soon be a whole swag of new information and photos.

As soon as I clear up the backlog I'll start the new projects - Guess what the next one is? - Clue? - OK - It's twin engined - a scale WWII Bomber and was manufactured in the United States. The Royal Australian Air Force used a small number late in the war.

First off though I have to finish off the following: -

1. The Lanzo Bomber: - Currently the fuselage and Tail Feathers are done - wing to do.
2. The Wittman Tailwind: - Currently almost finished framing it all - covering and detail to come.
3. The BIG Lazy Bee: - Umm - dragging my heals a bit on this one - Fuselage 3/4 done - 
4. The Lancaster: - Fully Framed up - A lot of work to do on the fitting out
5. The Texan to Wirraway conversion: - Progressing - Rebuilding the fuselage
6. The Fournier RF4: - This one ended up in the back of the hanger for a while - dragged it out recently and building the wing.

Photos of all 6 projects will be -posted in the next week or so.

The Senior Telemaster is still waiting for suitable weather for it's maiden but I have photos of the finished model to post. The Asso Champion is also finished and waiting for it's maiden.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Week 23/09/12 - 29/09/12

As I mentioned last week this update is a few days late - sorry about that but the Surgeon had to fiddle about a bit longer than first anticipated. I'm sitting here feeling a bit sorry for myself and contemplating his assurances that the NEXT operation will be the last - yeah - right.- somehow I remember that assurance from once or twice before!

Anyhow - to  things more pleasant. I decided to get all fancy and equip the Asso Champion with retracts and a "sort of" detailed cockpit. There is not all that much latitude for getting to fancy under the cockpit canopy because the floor gets in the way and to fully detail it would require major "surgery" - ugh - that word again. So I've settled for an instrument panel and a passenger - it is a two seater after all - and the pilot that came with the model has a smirk (lear?) suitable  to accommodate a female passenger - photo soon. The model has cut outs already in place to fit the retracts - It's an "option" and I'm fitting mechanical retracts with a Futaba retract servo to operate them.

The Instrument panel - a piece of 1/16 ply, a piece of plastic from a shirt box and a couple of printouts from stock photos.

Instrument panel and the mechanical retracts I'm fitting

I'm pretty much restricted to doing jobs I can do while sitting down till I recover from the Surgeons knife so some of the bigger models have been put on the back burner until I fully recover. That means I've concentrated on the smaller models - the Wittman Tailwind and the Lanzo Bomber. Man handling a 90 inch Lancaster wing with 4 motors, half finished retracts and 6 servos is not going to bring me any thankyou's from the hospital if I bust something open.

By next week I should have the missing photos of the Lancaster build, a few of the Big Lazy Bee and an update of photos on the Fournier RF4 - my mate has worked his magic successfully and recovered most of them. The results are on the way back to me on a CD from the Mainland - Mainland Australia that is. I live in Tasmania which is that island to the south you can see on most maps of Australia - some times they forget we exist and leave us off.

I'm also posting a few update photos of the Wittman Tailwind and the Lanzo Bomber on their respective pages.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Week 16/09/12 to 22/09/12

The sun came out  last Sunday for our Working Bee at the club field - and we mowed the grass - cleaned up a few rocks and got started building a verandah to the club house - great - now we can go flying anytime - then - on Monday it rained and has done so all bloody week. Oh well - back to the building board - but damn it I want something I can fly straight away - so  - went to the LHS - Ah! - I have committed a sin dear reader and bought an ARF!!  I shall scratch build 6 more models as my repentence. 

Mind you I didn't settle for the standard foam electric contraption that lasts about 5 minutes - during which time you have to recharge the battery twice - hell no - I bought an Trione Asso Champion complete with a brand new Super Tigre 90 up front and built from 'proper' ply and balsa. It came with all brand new Hitec servo's fitted and an 8 chanel Rx. Never flown but described as 'second hand' - oh yeah - fine - I bought it for about one third of it's new value - and I can take it straight out - fuel it up - start the motor and fly away - YEEEAH!!!! - that is - if the bloody rain ever stops.  :((

As noted above I bought this model completed and did not assemble it myself  - however - The model was not set up so I had ample opportunity to examine and check the build quality while setting servo throws and all the other small jobs that are required prior to a maiden flight.
 My first surprise was that the "Chinglish" instructions were readable with only a few spelling and context errors in the manual. My second surprise is that, as far as I can find out, this is NOT a scale model. The Asso Champion, in it's various incarnations, is a home built all wooden construction 2 seater light aircraft with a fixed or retractable tricycle undercarriage. 

The model is a fixed undercarriage TAILDRAGGER with provision to fit retracts. I trolled "GOOGLE", "WIKIPEDIA", "ASK JEEVES", "YAHOO" and all the photo sites I could find plus delved into ever "HOME BUILT" website available but no where did I find a photo - or evidence -  of a taildragger version. 

Now - hopefully - I'm going to be drowned in replies from those more knowledgable than I telling me I'm blind, stupid, senile or just plain bloody thick between the ears and those replies would be most welcome. I'd like to know that I was just to bloody dumb to find the right information! Next week I'll publish a review of the model - hopefully the rain stops so I can give the thing it's maiden flight.

The Asso Champions very calm and conservative Pilot :) :) :)

On the model building front I've done some more on the Wirraway conversion, the Witmann Tailwind and the Lanzo Bomber. I'm still waiting for my mate to work his Photoshop magic and recover the build photos of the Lancaster, the Phoenix and the Senior Telemaster. Photo's of the progress on the first three are posted on their relevant pages.

Next week's update might be a few days late - I have to go into hospital for surgery and the surgeon has a nasty gleem in his eye.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Week 09/09/12 to 15/09/12

Another week has gone by and surprisingly the sun has even decided to come out today - 15 days into Spring and it finally shows it's face - hmmm. It's good though - the forecast for tomorrow is looking encouraging and this time we might even get the Working Bee going at our club field - the last time we scheduled one the bloody thing had to be cancelled at the last moment due to the weather.

Earlier this week I promised an update on the Lancaster, more build photos of the Senior Telemaster and the final finished photos of the Phoenix - yeah well - what is it they say about the best laid plans etc, etc. Sorry dear reader but you'll just have to make do with some detail photos of the Texan to Wirraway conversion, a couple of Snr Telemaster photos and some build shots of the Wittmann Tailwind. I've also added some details on extra work I've done to the Lancaster but - sorry - no photos yet. This photo recovery thing is  lot harder than I first thought so I've passed them all on to a mate who is a wizard with Photoshop. Hopefully he will be able to work some magic because if he can't I've lost all the detail photos of the Lancaster build, a substantial part of the Senior Telemaster, The Big Lazy Bee and a couple of other things I haven't posted yet.

An update on the rest

I've been distracted from building by a number of factors and I've found myself with to many projects on the go at the same time so this is the current state of play - I'm concentrating on the Lancaster, the Texan to Wirraway Conversion, the Wittman Tailwind and the Lanzo Bomber. The Mosquito, the Aero Commander and the Big Lazy Bee have been put aside for the moment till I finish the first four. Once they are done I'll approach the next three in this order - The Aero Commander, The Big Lazy Bee and then the next big project - the PRXVI Mosquito. I will do bits and pieces of all seven models as I go along but I'll be concentrating on the first four. If you have an interest in any other model I listed here previously hang in there - I will get to them - unless of course something else gets in the way. :))

Finally, now I have my camera back - and working - I'll re photograph the finished Senior Telemaster and the Phoenix - which has risen once again! 

One Photo I did manage to salvage. 

Have you noticed how damn BIG models seem to be getting lately?? 
I'm sure there's a bit of breeding going on in my hangar when I'm not looking too!!   

On another Subject

I collect stats on the number of readers of my blog and where they are from and I must admit I'm surprised at the number of Countries who have had a look in - just shows how universal our hobby really is! The list is quite interesting : - Afghanistan! (Coalition Forces?? - G'Day fellas.); Argentina; Australia (G'Day Glenn, Bob, Gregg, Stan, John, Grant, Mal, Trevor, Jack); Belgium; Brazil; Canada; Cyprus (G'Day BB); Czech Republic; Denmark; Egypt; Finland; France; Germany; Greece; Hungary; India; Italy; Latvia;  Malta; Mexico; Netherlands; New Zealand; Norway; Republic of Korea; Romania; Russian Federation; Serbia; Slovakia; Spain; South Africa (G'Day Tony); Switzerland; Thailand; Turkey; United States (G'Day Wally, Leon); and the United Kingdom (G'Day Gasser, Phil, Tony, Eric, Stephen, KK and all at Model Chat);  Also G'Day to my 5 followers - Matt; Allen; StuG; Thomas and Luana e Gabi Ferreira Oliveira from Brazil.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Progressive Updates

I've added some photos and information to the Texan to Wirraway conversion, added a new thread for the Wittman Tailwind build and updated some photos on the Lanzo Bomber page. Next will be some more photos of the Senior Telemaster, final photos of the Phoenix build and a major update on the Avro Lancaster. Next update and posts should be here in a couple of days.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Slow Progress

I'm sorry that I'm a bit slow posting the new photographs. The reason for this is that  I'm having to go through them and sort them out, some have been corrupted and they aren't in any recognisable order, the Senior Telemaster photos for example, are all jumbled in with the Lanzo Bomber, the Lazy Bee and some personal photos that don't belong on this Blog at all. For some reason there are some photos that have apparently been resized or reduced in resolution - it means the whole damn thing has degenerated into a slow and agonising process of recover. Of the 319 photographs I've only managed to sort out and prepare 73 so far - be patient with me - I'll get there in the end.

I'll keep working on it on a daily basis till I have it sorted - luckily I'm retired so I have the time - and the temptation to say - "to hell with it - I'm going flying" - is cancelled out by 75Kph winds and rain that  are the current weather pattern. Winter is over - spring is here???? Yeah, right !!!

I'm also experimenting with changing the look of this Blog to make it easier to read, so that accounts for the colour change and, it may be, you even clicked on to the Blog while some of my less successful attempts were confusing everyone - including me. So - at this stage - I've applied the KISS principle - Keep it Simple Stupid!! - and reverted to more or less the original layout with a plain grey theme. One of the things I also intend to do is move a few of the pages listed on the right hand side around. There are several finished and currently flying models listed - each on their own page - so I'm going to shift them to a "Finished and Flying models" page - that will make room for all the other projects I have on the go! Google tells me I'm currently using all 20 allowable pages so I'll have to decide what to cut out. Once again - be patient with me - I'll get there in the end.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Resurrection, Confusion & an Offer I couldn't Refuse

At last, the camera has been replaced and - much to my delight - and confusion - they've managed to retrieve 319 photos I thought I'd lost! - How the hell did they do it?? - I haven't got a clue, but I'm not going to question an unexpected gift. The only thing is I'm now confused because I suddenly have 319 previously taken build photos to choose from so I've just grabbed a few at random to add to the build threads. I'll go through the lot and sort them out over the weekend so be prepared to be driven nuts by update messages if you are subscribed to this Blog.

Then, on top of all that along comes a mate and dumps a heap of model stuff on my door step, I really needed some more building projects like a hole in the head - BUT - who can knock back a part built model complete with plans and all the materials needed to finish it off ??? I definitely can't. So I now have a Wittman Tailwind,  a DC3 (Dakota) and a Tiger Moth to add to my hangar.

The Wittman Tailwind

As well as that the CNC kit for my Cessna L19 Bird Dog has arrived and some one else gave me a collection of diecaste 1:72 fighter models. All I need to do is work out where the hell to display them !

Where do you display over 30 diecaste models??

Any way, there are a few new pics on the Telemaster and Lanzo Bomber pages plus a few new ones I've dumped here as well. Normal update tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Midweek update!

Just a quick update for anyone who is interested. The new camera finally turned up today so I'll be busy the next couple of days madly taking pics and preparing them for upload to this blog. I'm starting off with the Telemaster, then the Lanzo Bomber, the Fournier and the Lazy Bee. Then I'll do the Lancaster and the Texan to Wirraway conversion. The last photos to bring things up to date will be the PRXVI Mosquito and the other new project - a Cessna L19 Bird Dog built from a CNC cut kit - yep - I'm allowing myself to be a bit lazy on that one. The final up date will be to the Gallery but don't expect that till the end of next week. I'll be posting the first of the update photos on Friday. The Aero Commander will be a bit longer because there is not much to show in pics yet

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Week 26/08/12 to 1/09/12

Another month rolls by - the first day of spring already! That's for us half frozen southern hemisphere mob - you northern blokes are about to descend into Autumn - (Fall for American Readers) - and then WINTER. Oh how I pity you - no flying weather - a pile of off season projects - short days and long winter nights. But - as they say - what goes round comes  round - when we bake - you freeze - and vice versa.

Not a lot to report this week as I'm holding back on some of the projects so I can photograph the progress logically. Hopefully the saga of the camera is coming to an end soon as the Distributor has bought into things. Report at the end of this post.

Existing Projects - progress - or lack of it.

Lanzo Bomber. I have all the ribs cut out and now I'm starting to build the wings. The Tailplane, elevators, fin and rudder have been fitted to the fuselage and I'm gradually getting my head around installing the servos, fuel tank and RX battery.

Big Lazy Bee. I''ve finally got myself in gear and started to laminate all the curved pieces. It's a slow process and I can only bring myself to making one every couple of days. I have all sorts of excuses of course - the glue hasn't cured, It's a cold day and I better give it more time. I can find more ways to delay or avoid making lamination's than there are stars in the sky!!!

Telemaster. The model is finished, still waiting on the weather god for it's maiden flight.

Aero Commander. The fuselage bulkheads are fitted and I'm now up to thinking about how to get everything mounted inside the damn thing

Harvard to Wirraway. I've started to apply the knife and make a number of repairs to the bare bones fuselage. I borrowed a camera to grab a couple of preliminary shots till my own camera ( yep - THAT bloody disaster) is returned. Check out the pics and update on the Texan to Wirraway page.

Lancaster. Not much has happened this week - waiting for some parts to be machined for the retracts

Fournier. Still at the back of the hangar.

Hustler Delta. Build temporarily suspended

Now - the camera.

I've finally got the Dealer to admit liability and the Distributor is going to replace the camera with a new one. That is promised for delivery by Wednesday. I'm hoping the Distributor's promises are a bit more reliable than the Dealer's. If, finally, things get sorted out I'll update all photo's during the week. Check back Wednesday or Thursday if you are interested.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Week 19/08/12 to 25/08/12

The Weather God

The sun is shining - no wind to speak of and I've finally got my Mitsubishi Van back on the road - Ahhhhhh - flying time! Load the Powerhouse, the Kyosho Trainer and the J3 Cub into the van and head for the field. Arrive at field approximately 20 minutes later, unload 3 models and set up ready to fly - it is only 0815 hrs. Fill tank of first model - about to hit the starter and suddenly the bloody sky clouds over, the wind picks up to a gale AND - it starts to drizzle rain! Grrrr. Retreat to van - hastily disassemble 3 large models and sit with a hot coffee and much mumbling and cursing under breath. 30 minutes later the clouds disappear and the wind drops - repeat set up which, with large models, takes about another 30 minutes. Ready to go and - you guessed it! Clouds return - no wind this time - but it bloody pours rain. NOTE: Screaming and cursing and loud obscenities do not stop rain.  Finally give up, pack models in van and go home. Oh well it is winter time. Arrive home - unpack van - resign myself to another day at the building board.  Get out balsa, ply and other assorted supplies to work on current projects   - AND -  the bloody sun comes out, the day clears and is perfect flying weather for the rest of the day. I did not venture back to the field - no way am I going to let other fliers who might be there see a full grown man bawling his eyes out. I'm sorry oh great weather god - I did not mean to call you THAT and I will accept my just punishment.

The Harvard ain't a Harvard no more.

Regular readers may have looked at the Harvard page and even sympathised with the ups and down I've had with this model - and even followed with interest the continuing saga of crash and rebuild. As last noted it started life as a Texan and after a series of these crash and rebuilds I decided to completely restore it as a New Zealand HARVARD. This meant completely tearing the model down, stripping it back to the bare bones, modifying some of the structure and adding a lot of extra detail. Hmmm - then I discovered that the CAC Wirraway - an aircraft used by the Royal Australian Air Force was, in fact, a modified, built under licence version of the early NA16-2K  - the predecessor to the Texan/Harvard line. The RAAF never actually placed the Harvard on it's type list although some Australian pilots learnt to fly on Harvards and or Texans in the  Empire Training Scheme in WWII. The Wirraway however was bought in quantity by the RAAF and even, much to my surprise, used by other Airforces as well! "Y" squadron RAF used an ex 21 squadron RAAF Wirraway in Malaya in 1941-42 and the USAAF 5th Airforce used a Wirraway as an HQ Flight hack.

The Wirraway was built in 3 distinct versions (Mk I, Mk II and Mk III) and orders were placed for a total of 755 aircraft with deliveries between July 1939 and June 1946. I've never flown the type myself, my fixed wing instruction was done on the Winjeel, but I remember one was used as an instructional airframe at Forrest Hill during my early  days as an apprentice airframe fitter. SO - was it an achievable goal to rebuild the Harvard as a Wirraway??? - I had three versions to chose from and most of the changes were similar between the three. There are differences in armament and things like air intakes and the like but the major visible structural difference is that the Wirraway has a stringer and fabric covered fuselage as apposed to the all metal construction of the Harvard/Texan. The other visible difference is in the rudder shape of the Wirraway which is more rounded than the basically triangular shape of the Harvard/Texan. Hmmm said I to myself - it's do-able! First photos of the start of the conversion to follow shortly. NB - see -"Bloody Technology". I am most indebted to the following website for accurate information and drawings that will make the conversion possible:-


Those damned electric heli's.

It seems that I have a "conversion" bug providing yet another delay/re-organisation to my building programs. As noted a couple of weeks ago my brief flirtation with those "*lectric" whirly things left me cold and a mate is in the process of converting them to proper IC power. The conversion of the first victim - errrr model - seems to be going well and so in the due course of time I will have two Cox 049 powered helicopters to terrify myself with ! Then all I have to do is learn to fly the bloody things!

Bloody Technology.

I mentioned the problems I'm having with my digital camera - the very expensive top brand, highly regarded, all singing, all dancing , latest you beaut digital SLR. The saga - and the bloody yelling and stamping of foot continues but I've managed to salvage a few photos in between breakdowns. Check out the Lanzo Bomber page and "A Friends Trainer " for some pic's.

Progress and other Impossibilities.

Yes, there has been movement at the station, unfortunately in most cases you'll have to take my word for it - photos are an ongoing problem at this stage: -

Lanzo Bomber. I've now got the fuselage mostly sorted out and I've built the tailplane (stabiliser for the US readers) as well as the fin and rudder. I've just started on the wing ribs - luckily most of them can be built by the sandwich method. Photo's of the early stages of the build are now available.

Big Lazy Bee. I'm up to the stage where those bloody laminated parts have to be done so it's sort of gone to the rear of the pack. Sorry but the photo's are not available yet - in fact it's highly likely I'll have to take them all over again.

Telemaster. The model is finished, the undercarriage is fitted - I've done some taxi tests and the model is waiting on the weather god for it's maiden flight.

Aero Commander. Finally got those bloody fuselage bulkheads done and I'll be fitting them this week - all going well

Harvard to Wirraway. I'm still researching and deciding where to apply the knife.

Lancaster. Still fiddling with the fuselage, mostly working out how to connect up the rudders and elevators. I've built  the centre wing section and nacelles. Next job is to fit the snakes, servos, fuel tanks etc then make the retracting U/C,  it will be a while before I can plank it all. 

Fournier . Ummmm - no progress

Hustler Delta. Ditto

Finally I'd like to apologise for the lack of photo's. IF the dealer gets off his backside and delivers as promised I should have the camera back on Tuesday of this week. Then it will take me a couple of days to retake a lot of photos and a further few days to re size them for this Blog. There is a possibility I'll have some by the next update if all goes well and according to plan.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Week 11th to 18th August

Another week closer to Spring and flying weather. This time of year also invokes a frenzy of model building as the day when the sun will finally shine and the wind chill factor will become tolerable approaches. The balance between sitting on top of the fire to keep warm and carving that intricate balsa cowl finally stabilises and one can sand and plain a block of wing ribs without wearing gloves. Glow batteries and Rx packs finally show some signs of life and glow fuel stops drinking water at an alarming rate. Ah - life is good! I've even gone so far as to predict the probable dates for maiden flights of the various projects that have occupied me during the winter months and I can finally get back at those bragging northern hemisphere modellers who have haunted my dreams with tails of ideal weather and long extended flying sessions in a cloudless sky.

I recently took the time to study the statistics of my blog and I was pleased to find that I have readers from all over the world. It proves my belief that aero modeling is a universal hobby in all countries and all cultures. To my readers in Belgium, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, New Zealand, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Spain, South Korea, Thailand, The UK, The United States,  Afghanistan (Coalition Forces I suspect - I'm honored Fella's - keep up the good work) and of course, my own Country - Australia. I say thank you for your interest in my humble modeling efforts. I'd be pleased to hear from any of my readers and, if any are so inclined, send me a photo of your models, I'll start a special Reader's Gallery to display them on this blog. I can be contacted directly - my email address is echo.echo100@gmail.com.

I have a mate, an 85 year old gentleman who is new to the hobby and struggling to come to grips with the technicalities of building as well as flying and, due to some early miss guided advice, has amassed a collection of unsuitable "Foamy" models, most unfortunately are now at least partly or wholly destroyed. The unfortunate fact is that a lot of these models, which now flood the market, are unsuitable to learn to fly on. I am sure that a lot of would be modellers never get to meet anyone who has experience in the hobby - and they fly without the guidance of a club in miscellaneous parks and fields. The sad fact is that these modellers soon become discouraged and are lost to the hobby for ever. My mate was almost to this point when he came across our club and I decided to build him something slow, stable, easy to fly and at minimum cost. I rummaged through my plan collection and came across an RCM&E free plan that was in one of their monthly issues. I had a fuss around in my off cuts box and soon found enough balsa, covering and ply to cobble it together. My friend supplied his own outrunner motor, 20 amp ESC, Receiver and Lipo battery. The result is an ideal Trainer at minimum cost - plenty of wing area, low aspect ratio, and with 3 channel control. I'm going to present it to him this coming week and hopefully he will gain a lot of pleasure and flying experience with the model.

My Own Builds

Now, an update of progress on my own builds: - It might be said that a corollary to Murphy's Law is - What can go slowly will go very slowly! The ongoing wait for supplies of all kinds is ever present.

The Lanzo Bomber: Work has stalled, with much cursing and muttering around the wing pylon and fitting in the servos, fuel tank and battery. The model has a very short nose moment and so I'm trying to jam everything as far to the front as possible - the alternative is a prohibitively large lump of lead to get the CG right. One of the traps with building RC assisted Free Flight Old Timers is that a lot of them have very short nose moments - the CG in FF models tends to be a bit further back than is comfortable for RC stability. It works like this - if I find room for the battery as far forward as possible then the servos can fit in immediately behind BUT then the big question is where to put the bloody fuel tank - I can hardly ask it to run along side! One of the problems with this juggling act is the diamond shape of the fuselage, Usually one can pack bits on top of each other but with the configuration of the diamond shape all that room that is available in a rectangular cross section is somehow wasted. I'm trying to get my head around mounting things at what to me is a weird angle. I will persevere.

The Telemaster: The wing is finally done and I'm wrestling with bend radius's to form up the aluminium undercarriage. Pretty soon I'll have a photo or two of the finished article and then onto the maiden flight which is scheduled for two weeks from tomorrow - weather permitting.

The BIG Lazy Bee: As mentioned previously I hate making bloody laminated wing tips and stuff so that part of the construction is still dragging it's heals however the fuselage is almost ready to cover and fit out and the wing, which is enormous, has all but it's wing tips (yep, they are laminated). Please don't ask about the fin, rudder and elevators - you'd hate to see a grown man cry.

The Aero Commander: I have plotted, measured, adjusted, sworn a lot and threatened to feed the damn thing to the pigs but I'm still battling with the accurate formation of some of the fuselage formers. Trying to get an accurate pattern for a former which has to go three quarters of the way up a 6 foot long fibreglass fuselage without easy access is not the stuff of gentle model building. One of the problems is the lack of uniform thickness of the fibre glass fuselage so it's a matter of make a pattern then cut, then endless adjustments to get it just right. I could say near enough is good enough but that little gremlin that sits on my shoulder keeps making me go back to get it EXACTLY right.

Minimal/no advancement: I'm not making much progress on the Lancaster, the Fournier or the Hustler Delta at this stage - various reasons - supply of parts and materials, lack of motivation, to many damn projects going at the one time, nutting out the solution to a problem, Murphy's first Law - all of the above.

About fancy Technology:

 I've been using  a few of those cheap - semi disposable digital cameras to take my photo's and I finally got sick of the damn things going bust so I decided to go get myself one of the latest you beaut all singing, all dancing digital SLR's. Top brand, highly regarded. Yeah right - I've had the bloody thing for three weeks and it's broken down 4 times!!! It's currently back at the supplier AGAIN so I'm sorry gentle readers - I'm still dragging the chain getting photos ready for the blog but if the Dealer gets of their backsides and gets things fixed I'll update things mid week.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Week 5th to 11th August

Another week rolls by! Seems the only thing that gets faster as you get older is how fast time passes. I've been working on the Lanzo Bomber and the Aero Commander this week. I've also done a bit on the Telemaster - managed to find a BIG piece of aluminium to make the undercarriage and ordered a set of Dubro 4" inflatable wheels. Now all I need to do is finish fitting the 4 servos in the wing for ailerons and flaps and it's finally finished.

The Lanzo Bomber is still in early stages of construction and I'm currently struggling with the bloody wing pylon  - construction is more complicated than it seems and sheeting the pylon is a nightmare. Don't ever let anyone convince you it's an easy build! I've done the fin/rudder and the tailplane/elevator - at least that is pretty straight foreward. I've just cut out the blanks for the wing ribs and will begin shapping them next week. I should have some construction photos to post then.

The Aero Commander is finally getting some progress - I confess to having left it at the back of the hanger for to long so now I'm working on cutting out the bulkheads for the fibreglass fuselage shell. Although I have the original plan it's not big on detail - the original kit had all the parts precut so there are no guidelines - much work to plot, cut and trial fit each bulkhead.

The Mosquito, the Hustler Delta, the Lancaster and the Fournier haven't made any progress to speak of this week but they are still there on the bench and whispering to me each morning. I'm sort of trying to establish a steady order of priority and make sure I've taken photos of the progress on each model. So next week the report will be mostly photos and progress details.

Now - the continuing saga of those bloody electric Helicopters. Well - it seems there was this tree and I - eeeeer - you get the picture. Mate of mine is a bit of a wiz with nitro heli's and he reckons he can shoe horn my little Cox .049 RC into the remains and connect up all the bits properly - well we will see but if he can do it I will be eternally greatful. After fiddling with the bloody things - recharging batteries an upteen times and getting an average flight duration of 7 minutes I'm definitely no fan of electrics - NITRO FOR EVER!!!!

Oh Yeah - I've updated the Gallery a bit and and started the pages for the Lanzo Bomber and the Big Lazy Bee - no photos yet but I'm working on it

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Week 29th July to 4th August

Another month gone by. Seems as I get older time goes faster, or perhaps I've just slowed down as time moves on. Everyone seems to build faster than I do these days and their models are faster than mine as well. Perhaps that's why I've found myself favouring Old Timer designs lately. They are big, so my fading eye sight can still see the bloody things, and they are slow so my reactions can keep up with their behaviour in the air. I even find myself using that fateful line -"Now, when I was young .... " a lot lately.

I've been a virtual hive of industry this week and I've done quite a bit of work on the Senior Telemaster, the Lancaster, the Fournier and finished off rebuilding the Phoenix. I've also almost completed the kit of components for the Mosquito and started on the Lanzo Bomber and the Hustler Delta! Then, because I had the bit between my teeth I decided to pull the Aero Commander out from the pile at the back of the shed and start making up the fuselage bulkheads! This is the old Bridi kit from way back in the seventies that I rescued from another pile in another shed. The fuselage shell is fibreglass and the wings, fin, rudder, tailplane and elevator are all veneer covered foam. Luckily the plan was still there so I have some guidance on construction although it's not highly detailed.

Ah yes - and now we come to the continuing saga of learning to fly those bloody electric 3D helicopters. I have progressed - a little bit - sort of. The thing is the bloody things have an evil streak. I'm slowly progressing in my attempts to learn to fly helicopters, I can now reliably hover - turn left, turn right - rise and fall at a controlled rate, even - go forward and backwards - UNTIL THE BLOODY THING DECIDES ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!! Then suddenly I seem to get the cyclic and collective mixed up - forward is backwards, - left is right and next thing I know the bloody thing is back - upside down - at a hundred feet - and intent on a full bore corkscrew into the ground. On these occasions - when the evil frequency demon takes over - thankfully - the model has an inbuilt "failsafe mode" which, as far as I can work out, cuts everything out and allows the model to drop like a stone!  I have become reasonably adept at a lunging stumble that allows me to catch the falling model before it totally destroys itself.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Week 22nd to 28th July

Electric power - and other things that go bump in the night!

The electric powered helicopters I bought have arrived and my first  tentative steps into heli flying have started. Tentative is right! A lack of familiarity with electrics as well as RC Helicopters proved my undoing in the first ten minutes. The first discovery I made is that the power curve of an electric motor is not similar to that of an IC engine. The first inclination I had of this was when I transitioned from idle and suddenly I had a model heading 50 feet in a sideways direction at about 3 foot altitude. Um - throttle back to idle and the bloody thing kept going. Luckily there was a convenient soft bush in the way and there was no major damage other than to my pride,  after all I was a full sized heli pilot with over 3,000 hours on 3 types! Yep - before you point the accusing finger I KNOW that full sized experience does not mean a zot when learning to fly RC - either fixed wing or Heli.

So - back to the drawing board so to speak and humble acknowledgement of Mick's first law of RC flying - READ THE BLOODY MANUAL!!!
OKKKKK said me - I didn't set up the transmitter properly - and errr - a few other things as well - technical little brutes aren't they??

So we read the manual - in detail - twice - and finally satisfy ourselves everything is right this time - I even fitted one of those trainer undercarriage things with plastic balls on the end. Once more unto the breach dear friends! OK - the book says to start off by learning to hover - yep - should be able to do that - gradually bring throttle up to about 60% and the thing starts to look very light and some what frisky - OK - a bit more and  - damn to much! Suddenly have model at about 50 feet. Don't panic - gradually reduce throttle in small increments until - DAMN - it drops like a stone.. Amused colleague who is observing and  flies 60 powered IC 3D monster falls over laughing. Overcome urge to beat colleague to a screaming pulp and pick up model which has landed - well, arrived, on the earth - about 200 feet away.  Nothing snapped, twisted or broken on model but pride is suffering a terminal meltdown.

The best thing to do when you fall of a horse is to get straight back on the bloody thing so - change Lipo battery just to be on safe side and back to hovering - I hope. Hmmm - better this time - go it to hover at about 3 feet - increase throttle VERYYY GRADUALLY and little monster rises to about 10 foot. BIG GRIN! back throttle back a bit and it begins to sink - throttle up one click and it settles to the original height - Hmmm this isn't so hard so I'll try to rotate left about a - HEYYY - not three complete revolutions!  I'll correct that,  I'll - model stands on it's head - twists viciously to right and is suddenly at about 100 feet - and upside down! - well it is supposed to be a 3D capable model - colleague in background is having convulsions and threatening to wet himself with laughter. I'm completely lost and haven't a clue what to do so I throttle back to idle. Model plummets to ground like a stone. For once Mr Murphy and his rules are on holiday and the model lands/crashes into some tall grass. A bit of damage but only superficial. I start to mutter about bloody electrics, bloody ARFs and grumble to myself about arranging a funeral complete with bonfire. As a precaution we change the rotor blades because one has a large chunk out of it and then observer colleague takes the thing up and does all sorts of twisty wiggly things without effort. My pride has deserted me and gone home on it's own.

Since that first debacle I have been practicing with the model at every opportunity - I can now hover and rotate left and right without to much trouble - sort of. Once I feel I have that sorted out I will try to master forward and backwards flight and then a box pattern both with the model facing me and facing away. Stay tuned for the next installment of what it feels like to be a beginner after more than 30 years of fixed wing RC flying.

The offending item is on the right! I'm yet to let the other one offend - it's modified and has higher performance.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Changes, changes !

I've finally got around to adding a Gallery and the photos will be changed from time to time to keep you up to date. It's a bit rough to start with but in the next week or so I'll sort it out, add some more captions and some new photos. I've also added some up date photos on the Phoenix, Senior Telemaster and Float Plane pages. My hand has now almost totally healed so I'm attacking the building boards and getting some very overdue models finished. Look for updates on the Lancaster, the Aero Commander and the Fournier pages as well as a couple of new builds I've started to look at.  As usual I've been driving myself into a frenzy over plans I JUST HAVE TO HAVE and that has landed me with some really interesting challenges. I'm determined not to start anything else until I've cleared the back log but that sounds ominously like "famous last words". Plans I've recently purchased include a 110" F.W. 152H, A 101" B25 Mitchell, a 94" DH103 Hornet and a 84" Mk10 Wellington!! Yeah I know - I'm stark raving mad. Ha, ha, ha

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Week 15th to 21st July

To every cloud there is a silver lining - or so they say. This week might not have had a silver lining but at least it wasn't paved with stone. The hand has begun to heal quite well and I can now at least type with both hands. On Thursday I even picked up a balsa knife - without dropping it I might add. The balsa plane is still banished to the back wall of the hanger - which is - I think  - where I threw the bloody thing!

I've been a dedicated nitro man and a devotee of scratch building but I must admit to recently having a look at ARF's and even electric - when no one else is looking of course. A bloke I know from the Model Chat Forum - see the link at the top of this page - has just got a JetLegend ARF SU27 Flanker from China and it is a very impressive piece of kit. I'm an ex full size helicopter pilot (Iroquois) and so for my first tentative step to exploring the  field of ARF I picked up a couple of small electric Heli's from a bloke I know. Second hand - and supposedly 3D but they'll do to muck around with. It will give me a chance to try both ARF and electric without blowing the budget. The standard model only has a can motor, plastic blades and a NiMh battery pack but the second model has an upgraded rotor head, carbon fibre rotor blades, a brush less motor with decent heat sinks and a LiPo battery. Should be interesting to see if there is a difference and how much performance gain, if any, over the standard model.

I haven't got back into building much yet but I've managed to do a bit more on the Senior Telemaster and some small jobs on the Lancaster. I've also been busy getting out my first newsletter for my club. Any locals who might want a look at it, just message me with your email address and I'll send you a copy which can be opened in MS Word or a similar reader. Oh - while I think of it -  the club is holding a working bee at Taylor Field on Sunday 29th July and I'll post some picks of all those hard working volunteers. If any one who is visiting or living in Tasmania wants to turn up and help - you'd be most welcome. Once again - message me for the location. It's on Elderslie Road at Brighton.

I've taken some more photos of progress on the Telemaster, the Lancaster and the Phoenix as well as a final photo of the finished Float Plane - just taken them so  check back in a day or so and with a bit of luck they should be on here. I'm also going to add a Gallery Page to the blog so you can have a quick look around at my past and present models. 
I.C. engines and scratch building for ever!