The Grumman Aircraft Corporation has produced some of the most iconic aircraft of our time (McDonnel-Douglas is another one that comes to mind). When you think of the numerous aircraft tied to the Grumman name, what really comes to mind are the family of incredible cats they produced starting from the Wildcat all the way through to the Tomcat! (seriously, these are the kind of cat videos you should be searching for on the internet! ;)) The F8F Bearcat is a proud member of the Grumman cat family and is no exception to greatness. Designed for pure performance (i.e. climb rate), the airplane is literally the smallest and lightest airframe you could wrap around the largest available engine. I bet the propulsion group within the company must have been ecstatic! Consider that it used the same engine as the Hellcat, but with an airframe that was 2000+ lb lighter.
As an aircraft, the Bearcat was a high performance machine having better performance even than some of the early jets. Though it didn’t quite make it to see combat in World War II, it still remained in service into the early 1960’s with over 1200 total aircraft built. Now, what you may not know is, that the Bearcat Continue reading →
If 1 is good, then 2 or more is better…when setup right!
We as modelers are collectors. We’re always collecting something related to our awesome hobby, be it RC gear, kits, or the like (you should see my hardware stash, when I go to the hobby store, I usually buy things in multiples). And of course we always have those kits we’ve stashed away for a rainy day. A couple years ago, I received an ASM F7F Tigercat ARF kit. ASM was a line of ARFs distributed by Hobby People and they made some really awesome and unique airplanes (mostly twins). Unfortunately the company no longer exists and the kits are no longer available. But, if you find one at some point listed online, they’re definitely worth a look if the subject aircraft interests you.
As an airplane I love the F7F Tigercat (one of my favorite multi-engine warbirds) and so was absolutely stoked to receive the kit! I promptly collected all of the gear for it but was busy finishing up some other projects and so put it in the que for a later date. Well, that later date didn’t seem to come until a few months back when a friend staying with my folks, who’s always looking for an RC project during his stays, offered to help get the basic assembly done for me on the airplane. The last couple weeks I’ve been finishing up getting it flyable (hence some delay in my articles and videos 😉 ) and I thought that Continue reading →
Finishing up our FMS P-51 “Lady Alice” transformation, it’s only fitting to provide a flight review of the model (with info on how I set it up) along with some video! In short the airplane fly’s awesome and looks incredible in the air in her “Lady Alice” coat of colors. If you’re just catching this for the first time, you can catch my previous articles and videos on the whole foam warbird re-finishing process here. Give it a shot, it’s worth the effort!
Aircraft Setup & CG
It took a couple flights to dial in so I thought I’d present what my final control throws and CG location converged to. First off, to clarify the instructions, the recommended CG is 110mm as measured from the leading edge of the wing root (NOT the leading edge of the wing saddle). This ultimately proved Continue reading →
It’s time to finish off our FMS RC P-51 “Lady Alice” Transformation! In this installment we’re doing our paint prep and painting. Last time we covered filling in all of the oversized panel lines, smoothing the airframe out and sealing it all in with multiple coats of polycrylic to provide a protective finish. You can catch that post here; also, you can catch my assembly review and paint stripping methods here. There’s much to cover, so let’s get to it!
Primer, sand, repeat… This seems all too familiar given our filler process, but the first step in preparing this airframe for paint is to lightly sand the polycrylic’d surfaces with some 180 grit sand paper. This is mostly to Continue reading →
Continuing with refinishing our FMS P-51, in this installment we’re smoothing out the entire airframe including filling in all of the oversized panel lines. From there we’re applying our protective coats of polycrylic which will provide our surface in which we can do our paint preparation. If you missed my build review and paint stripping methods, you can catch that here. Let’s get to it!
It’s no secret, the panel lines on these foam warbirds are huge. When I took on this project, I knew that was one of the first things I wanted to rectify. The overall shape looks so good, smoothing out the finish would only make it look that much better. So, enter Continue reading →
Ever since getting to ride in Ken Wagoners’ Lady Alice P-51, I’ve had to have a P-51 in my hangar and it has to be painted up as Lady Alice! Anything I can do to relive that amazing experience…which of course would mostly consist of me pushing the airplane around my garage while making airplane noises! I wouldn’t have it any other way! If you missed my post and video from that day, you can read about it here. Be sure to check the video too as it was a beautiful day for flying!
So, enter the FMS P-51. I had been shopping around for a P-51 for a while and had been eyeing this foamy for some time. A friend of mine is a master when it comes to foam and I’ve always wanted to use his technique on refinishing a foam airframe. So, when the FMS P-51 came up on sale at MotionRC, I bit the bullet and picked one up. Mostly, I liked the size (able to transport easily in one piece), the outline looked good and it had a cool scale 4-blade prop (though, I upgraded to something better and more scale). Also, you get an all inclusive package with servos, motor and ESC. However, it is indeed EPO foam, and though the finish is nice, you get big panel lines and some foam texture; nothing that can’t be remedied through some elbow grease and the right materials. So over the next few weeks, I will be showing the method I’m using to completely refinish a foam warbird while also showing some of the upgrades done as well.
There’s no question that the Scale Squadron of SoCal know how to put on an event. Originators of the US Scale Masters, they have been putting on scale events since day one as scale is their true passion. It is no surprise that this years Warbirds and Classics event was no exception! Running in its ninth year, the event was held at a new location; the OCMA “Bob Swenson” field in Black Star Canyon next to Irvine Lake. Nestled amongst the hills of Orange County, the runway is a nicely manicured and smooth stone composite material that is as hard as asphalt. There had been some light rains a few weeks prior and so the surrounding scenery was lush with green grass and native California shrubbery. Add to that Continue reading →
A while back, my Friend Brian had a minor incident with his 1/4 scale TBM P-40. Though, it didn’t result in any physical damage to the airplane, it did result in an impact to the “stand way off scale” exhausts on one side. Being made of thin plastic, they ended up crushed and unsalvageable. We originally thought we’d make a quick plug and do some resin castings, but as we looked at the exhausts more, we realized just how out of scale they really were and how much they just didn’t look right at all. So, enter the 3D printer! Within a few days, we were able to draw and print some replacements that came out awesome! Before we begin, if you’ve not read my Q&A on 3D printing, you can read that here to get a better understanding of the process and materials. Also, if you’d like to see video of this P-40 in action I’ve embedded the video from my YouTube channel at the bottom of this article. Don’t forget, if you are looking for help with some 3D printing, I can help! Just shoot me an email through my contact form.
A comparison of the stock exhausts to the final 3D printed exhausts
The CAD Model
First things first, we had to make a CAD model of the exhausts. In looking at the original plastic exhausts, they were completely out of scale. We used the basic dimensions as a starting point, but then Continue reading →