Welcome to The RC Geek Blog

Featured

The RC Geek Blog is your place to learn about all aspects of the RC hobby.  Learn to build, design, drive or fly that RC project you’ve always wanted to build, but have been intimidated to try.  This blog is here to help you on your journey and provide tips and tricks as you go!  My hope is to inspire builders both experienced and new!  So, welcome, please look around, it’s an exciting beginning!  I’m currently documenting my latest competition scale RC jet build, a Mark Frankel F4D Skyray, along with some other fun tips and videos.  If you can’t find what you’re looking for on this front page, click on any of the categories to the right and it will show just posts related to those categories.  Please feel free to add comments and/or contact me directly if you have questions, I’m here to help!  And don’t forget to check out my YouTube Channel, I post new videos every week!

Chris Wolfe (The RC Geek)

 

From the Bench — AMA Expo West Pomona 2018 & Scale Weathering How-To Video

Weather me this…

During the AMA expo January 2018, it was announced that the show was being moved to the Pomona Fairplex and would also occur in November.  Well, needless to say, November arrived before I could blink and it was time to start thinking about the show!  This time around, kicking off the new venue, the AMA reached out asking about doing some how-to clinics throughout the weekend.  The idea I had was to provide some weathering how-to’s on a couple airplanes through the course of the weekend and then on Sunday afternoon, give those airplanes away.  Well, thanks to the AMA and Horizon Hobby, we were able to make that happen and it was a great time.  Horizon Hobby donated an E-Flite P-51 and an FMS Yak-130 for me to work on during the weekend which we gave away on Sunday afternoon.

This year, I had a full booth and through the course of the weekend, I was showing weathering techniques on the donated airplanes provided by Horizon Hobby.  For one of the clinics, I was able to do a weathering session on the main stage for the purposes of recording video.  Below is the end result as well as a few pictures of the finished airplanes.  The techniques mentioned in the video kind of run through the gamut of what I like to employ when I’m weathering up an airplane and are applicable to any medium of aircraft foam, glass or otherwise not to mention any size.  Additionally, combinations Continue reading

Best in the West RC Jet Rally 2018

Sport jets, jets, JETS!

Having made it out to the Best in the West Jet Rally the year before last after not attending for a few years, it was an event that I knew I wanted to get back to again this past year.  It’s an RC jet pilots dream flying from the 3200+ ft long Elk Hills-Buttonwillow airstrip runway, though even now, I think I’m still cleaning that Buttonwillow dust off my airplanes!  I think the airplanes come home heavier than they arrive there’s so much dust that they collect… 😉

In terms of the event it was bigger than ever this year with over 150 registered pilots and the weather was almost perfect once again.   Every year is different in the airplanes that you see at the event but one thing is consistent, BIG!  Last year featured a good assortment of really nice scale jets which I was really excited to see.  Well, 2018 I would say was the year of the Continue reading

From the Bench: RealFlight 8 Horizon Hobby Edition — Review, Game Play, & Fun!

Will a Corsair fly without wings???

Hey guys!  We have a complete video post this week.  My son and I have been playing with the new RealFlight8 Horizon Hobby Edition and have been having so much fun with it!  The software comes with everything you need including the transmitter and is packed full of features.  Having over 150 aircraft to choose from and over 40 flying fields to fly from, it’s pretty easy to spend hours flying anything and everything in RealFlight.  Not to mention there are now multi-player features that allow you to fly over the internet too.

We figured the best way to show the RealFlight game play is through video, so our review video is below.  The scenery is fully interactive and we were certainly having some fun with that.  A simulator is a great tool for pushing your skills forward since you can really push the limits of your abilities and if you crash, you can simply hit the reset button.  Also, if you’re flying with SAFE, the sim is the place to get used to flying without it. As you’ll see, in the process of making this video, we crashed far more than we landed and it was a blast!

 

Force RC P-51 Mustang Assembly & Flight Review

Oh, Sonny Boy, the sky, the sky is calling…

The P-51 truly is unmistakable in it’s design and, needless to say, is quite popular in the RC warbird circles.  Well, this week, we’re featuring the Force RC P-51 Mustang available from Horizon Hobby.  This is a kit that’s been available for some time and at 1100 mm wingspan, is just a cute little model.  The airplane carries the moniker of “Sonny Boy” with green and yellow checkboards on the nose which is pretty unique and different compared to the typical red and yellow checkers you see represented.

Doing a little research, I found that the full sized “Sonny Boy” was actually flown by Lt. Ted E. Hoffman as a part of the 343rd Fighter Squadron, 55th Fighter Group during World War II from 1944-1945.  Lt Hoffman scored four air victories in the airplane in fact, though they’re not actually represented on the model.  Even so, I found it a great tribute to a notable airplane and pilot from WWII!

 

AIRCRAFT ASSEMBLY NOTES

Tearing into the kit, there’s primarily just 4 main pieces in assembling the airplane.  The first item is to get the receiver installed into the fuselage and start connecting all of the servos to it.  I wanted to try out one of the new antenna-less spektrum receivers, so picked up an AR620 which fit about perfectly into the cutout in the fuselage and worked fantastically!  Continue reading

E-Flite ViperJet 70mm EDF Assembly & Flight Review

E-Flite’s latest jet, the 70mm EDF ViperJet!

When the opportunity came up to review E-Flite’s new 70mm EDF ViperJet, I could not pass it up!  This airplane is a great looking little jet that flies just incredibly well.  Also, the Bind n Fly version has SAFE Select available, so if you’re newer to RC and looking to jump into jets, this is a nice option to have.  The truth is, this airplane makes for a wonderful first jet with or without SAFE.  Obviously, without SAFE, you’ll want to have some proficiency on the sticks first before jumping into a high speed jet.

Now when we talk about the ViperJet it is indeed a real airplane, so we are technically talking about a scale jet here.  The full sized airplane is actually a home built aircraft.  So, for a cool $500,000 and 3500+ hours for assembly, you too could have one!  I kid of course, but the thing is that the proportions of the full sized airplane make for a great flying model that handles much like a purpose designed RC sport jet.  So based on that, what you get is some fun aerobatic flying in a scale looking package.  It’s been a pretty popular design within the jet community for that reason.  Obviously, what’s on the model is not a scale paint scheme, but I have to say I quite like it!  This guy with two thumbs is a sucker for splinter camouflage.

AIRCRAFT ASSEMBLY NOTES

The ViperJet comes nicely packaged and assembles extremely quickly.  The kit has a very small parts count, which primarily just requires bolting the on the tails, the dorsal and then the wing.  The most difficult part was routing and connecting all of the wires as Continue reading

UMX Adventures – E-Flite UMX Pitts Flight Review

The Ultimate in ‘Mike Rowe’ Aerobatics…

As I had teased in my E-flite UMX A-10 flight review video, I’ve been having a lot of fun with the E-Flite UMX Pitts biplane and so wanted to put together a flight review video for it.  E-flite has really built up an awesome line of UMX airplanes and this Pitts is one that I’d been eying for a while.  Scale aerobatics are a fun and welcome change to my otherwise scale warbird and jet flying and when they came up on sale a while back, I quickly picked one up.  I’m glad I did because the airplane is an absolute blast to fly.

The full scale Pitts is a pretty iconic aerobatic airplane and what’s interesting is that the aircraft that are campaigned by both Sean Tucker and Skip Stewart are based on the Pitts airframe.  Highly modified of course, but still based on the Pitts.  So that tells you a lot about the design as those guys do some pretty incredible flying in those airplanes.  They’re even approaching some of the 3D aerobatics that we’ve been doing in the RC world and it’s pretty crazy to watch.  So, trying to replicate that in small scale is always a fun challenge and this tiny Pitts does a good job of it.

 

WHAT’S IN THE BOX?

Just like the UMX A-10 and other E-flite UMX aircraft, the Pitts comes out of the box completely ready to go.  Bind and setup your Spektrum radio and you’re good to go in about 10 minutes.  E-flite has done a great job with the shape of the airplane and the color scheme is a great choice.  It’s a pretty awesome representation of the pitts.  The Continue reading

2018 AMA Expo Weathering Clinics Announcement & 3D Printer Giveaway!

We have a quick post this week! Mostly, I just want to say thank you to all of you who follow along on this blog! Over the last year, there’s been some amazing things happening and it’s all because of you guys. We are at almost 7800 subscribers on my YouTube channel now with over 2,000,000 total views to date! Plus we have nearly 300 direct subscribers to this website! Thank you all of you! My hope in starting this site was to help folks out there and provide the best information that I can and promote scale modeling which such an amazing part of the hobby. I really appreciate each of you taking the time to watch and read these articles.

Well, as many of you SoCal folks may have seen, the AMA Expo West Expo this year is on a new date and location! This year the show will be at the Pomona Fairplex from November 2nd through the 4th. The fair grounds really lends itself well for this kind of show as it has a lot of out door space for flying and other fun activities. So, in combination with the AMA and Horizon Hobby, I will be exhibiting at the show this year and providing some weathering and finishing clinics throughout the weekend. Horizon Hobby has graciously donated this E-Flite P-51 and this FMS Yak-130 as the airframes to be used for those clinics and so I will be showing a few techniques throughout the weekend. I will be doing a full weathering job on each and then, at the end of the show on Sunday, we will be giving those airplanes away! It is absolutely free to enter and you don’t have to be present to win. All it requires is to stop by the booth to pick up an entry form and collect a couple stamps around the show. Again, it’s completely free to enter and the winner will be announced on Sunday November 4th at the show. A big thank you to Horizon Hobby again for donating these awesome airframes also thank you to the AMA for making this happen! I will be at the show all weekend in booth 359, so be sure to stop by to enter and say hi while you’re there!

Ok, so free airplanes, how could it get better? Well, as a special thanks to my subscribers since obviously not all can make it to the AMA show, Robo3D has graciously donated an R1+ 3D printer to give away! This giveaway is open to all subscribers of my YouTube channel as a thank you! This giveaway for the printer is all being done through gleam, so check below and follow the directions to enter. You must be a subscriber to enter and there are some other ways to enter too to increase your chances. The winner of this printer will be selected on Tuesday November 13 which is the second Tuesday after the AMA show. So, a big thank you to Robo 3D for this amazing prize!

Good luck to all of you and I look forward to seeing you guys at the AMA Expo!

The RC Geek RoboR1+ 3D Printer Giveaway

From the Bench – Quick and Simple Foam Warbird Painting

To Paint or not to Paint…

If you saw my E-Flite T-6 Texan review last time, then you saw the results of the repaint that was done on that airplane.  I thought it would be worth doing a separate video and article on what was done since it was just a quick and dirty spray can paint job that I did through the course of a weekend with all of the painting done over the stock paint with minimal prep.  This is worth discussing because sometimes we just don’t want to go to the extent of filling panel lines, or sealing up the airframe with polycrylic or anything like that.  Sometimes, we just want to do something quickly, but still get good results.  The difficulty always is, however, that stock paint just loves to lift up off of that EPO foam.  Thankfully, with the right tools, we can avoid that.

It’s interesting how something like this, though not entirely difficult, is all that’s needed to really refresh a model and make it stand out.  As I mentioned in my review, I have really enjoyed flying this AT-6, but following the repaint, I absolutely fell in love with the model even more!

 

PAINTING TOOLS & PAINT

First things first, let’s talk about what we need.  What we’re doing here is literally just applying a new paint job over an existing stock paint job.  There’s no paint stripping involved, so it’s important that we use very low tack tapes for masking.  I had heard Continue reading