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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)

 

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

E-flite 1.5m AT-6 Texan Assembly & Flight Review

North American’s Pilot Maker, E-Flite Edition!

The AT-6 Texan is such a classic looking airplane and it’s one that I’ve always had a soft spot for.  You regularly see them at airshows and the airplane sound is unmistakable as it maneuvers since the propeller quite literally beats the air into submission as it flies.  So, I was excited to see the E-flite AT-6 Texan come online as it looked to be one of the nicest and scale looking Texans out  there in recent memory.  So, I was excited for the chance the review the airplane!  In short, this is a great flying airplane that I’ve really fallen in love with I have to say.

In the process of this review, I liked the airplane so much, I decided to do a quick repaint on the airframe into something a little more colorful.  We will touch on that here somewhat, but I will be posting a separate video and article on that process soon.

 

AIRCRAFT ASSEMBLY

E-Flite AT-6 comes in a large long box and I found was nicely pacakaged.  The wing is a single piece in there which is really nice and the reason for the long box.  It’s almost comedic comparing how short the fuselage is compared to the wingspan.  Based on the single piece wing, what you end up with then is an extremely simplified assembly that basically requires attaching the stabilizers with a couple screws and then attaching the wing.  That is about the extent of the Continue reading

From the Bench – Horizon Hobby/Spektrum SAFE Select Technology Tutorial

Fly Boldly and be SAFE!

As I mentioned in my E-Flite P-47 Razorback and Cessna 150 reviews, I’ve been wanting to provide a separate discussion on Horizon Hobbies’ SAFE Select technology that’s featured with their bind and fly aircraft.  The P-47 and Cessna are both great next step type airplanes for those that may still be learning and so the technology is there to help folks learning to fly and hopefully protect them from getting into trouble.  I found that there wasn’t a whole lot of documentation about SAFE Select out there, so I thought that it would be worthwhile to talk a little bit about it and give some tips for using it effectively.  As we get started, note that this is a technology that’s part of Horizon’s Spektrum bind and fly setups, so if you’re using your own receiver and radio in the Horizon airplanes, then obviously, this wouldn’t apply.

WHAT IS “SAFE” AND HOW DOES IT WORK?

First of all, what is SAFE?  What is it all about?  SAFE is a feature that can be turned on that, when flying your aircraft, is intended to keep pilots from getting the airplane into an attitude that could spell trouble.  There are multiple levels of the technology which includes SAFE Select which is what is in the Bind and Fly P-47 and Cessna that basically pitch and roll limits the airplane to keep the aircraft from going inverted but still maintains a good level of controllability.  It’s intended Continue reading

Top Gun 2018 – 30th Annual RC Scale Model Competition

THE BEST OF THE BEST IN RC SCALE

The Top Gun Invitational scale model competition is an event that I’ve been wanting to witness for a long time.  In fact, it’s an event I hope to compete in some year (once I have the right airplane!).  Many of the airplanes and pilots competing there represent some of the best in the world, so it’s hard not to want to try my hand in that setting.  So, every year when the event comes around, it just happens to get mentioned in my house.  So, when it was mentioned this year and met with a, “do you want to go?!”  I quickly responded, “YES!”  It wasn’t a trip to compete, and that was completely fine with me as I just wanted to witness the competition and the caliber of airplanes that are brought.  Plus, you know, it would be a scouting mission for next time… 😉

Held at Paradise Field in Lakeland, Florida, this year was the 30th annual for the competition and some of the models there were nothing short of spectacular.  Individuals and teams from all over the world came to fight for the title and represented themselves well.  For me, it was a trip to capture media and understand the competition and just take it all in.  To be able to witness some of the Continue reading

From the Bench – Flyday with Bob Forbes, F7F Tigercat Fire Bomber Pilot

FLIGHT OF THE FIRECAT

You never know who you will meet in this hobby.  Though, you’re not likely to meet a celebrity, what you do get are opportunities to meet the amazing men and women who flew the iron that we so passionately model.  Model aviation truly is a gateway into full scale aviation and for many, has been a vehicle that has influenced so many careers.  This was the case for me and I know has been for so many others.  It’s something that is extensible to anyone willing to try and really fosters a community atmosphere for those who participate.  For me, flying scale gives me a chance to fly airplanes that I would otherwise never have the opportunities to fly in some form while also allow me to appreciate fully the beauty in the design.  It is also a way to celebrate the amazing aviation history and achievements of those who have risked their lives countless times throughout that history.

 

An Unexpected Visit

So, about two months ago, I had the pleasure of meeting a gentleman by the name of Bob Forbes as he was looking for a little help in getting an airplane flown that he had commissioned.  Little did I know was that Bob was a retired Fire Bomber pilot who flew for TBM Inc. which was the company that owned and operated a fleet of F7F Tigercat Fire Bombers (along with C-2 Trackers and other aircraft).  I should point out that with every Tigercat that’s careened my workbench I have long drooled over the paint schemes of these Fire Bombers countless times as I absolutely love them!

Bob arrived at my house on a Sunday afternoon for me to take a look at the airplane that he had someone build for him.  As he pulled the airplane from his truck, I started to understand.  Bob had a FlightLineRC F7F Tigercat refinish commissioned by Bob Vanderveen in Ramona and he was looking for some help getting it flown.  As we Continue reading

Avios Grand Tundra Assembly & Flight Review

It’s Tundra my spell!

Welcome back guys!  This month we’ve got an exciting sneak peek review for you guys this week.  A few weeks back, I had a large white and rather unassuming box arrive on my front door step.  Inside was the brand new Avios Grand Tundra from Hobbyking!  Excited at the opportunity to give the airplane a try, I was blown away by just how fun this airplane is, especially with those big ballooney Chuck Norris tires.  They’re so big and awesome, the earth doesn’t push up on those tires, those tires push the earth down as they impale the runway into submission!

This airplane is ideal for some backwoods bush flying from an unimproved surface and when the airplane arrive, I knew the perfect field to give it a try!  I had recently discovered a dirt RC field nearby my house which I knew would be perfect for the airplane.

 

AIRCRAFT ASSEMBLY

Opening the box, the airplane is nicely packaged and looks good as there are a number of parts and they are all packaged well.  One of the things I really noticed was as Continue reading