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 →
5-blades of Sea Fury Heaven…but it Takes the Right Motor
The Hawker Sea Fury is one of my favorite propeller warbirds. I guess the simple yet elegant lines of it combined with the beastly (and exotic) radial engine and 5-bladed propeller just have a certain appeal to me. Though it came 2 years too late to support WWII operations, it had a nice stint in Korea; not to mention was one of the fastest single piston engine airplanes ever produced. So, it’s not surprising then that so many Sea Fury’s have adorned the course at the Reno Air Races.
A few years back, Thunder Tiger offered a small line of 1/7 scale RC warbird ARFs that were quite nice. The lines of the airplanes were good and they flew incredibly well. The kits included the Sea Fury (military and September Fury racer schemes and the best looking Sea Fury ARF out there for some time) and an F8F Bearcat (military and Rare Bear racer schemes). I was fortunate to acquire one of the Sea Fury kits when they first came available and of course it had to be electric with a 5-bladed prop! So, I thought I’d use that to talk a little bit about designing an electric propulsion system for your propeller airplanes. First off though, here’s a little video of my Sea Fury in action, 5-blade prop and all! 🙂 It sounds just as good in person, no sound system needed!
Prop: Zinger 16×14 prop (aluminum hub with wood replaceable blades)
In sizing an electric power system (we’re talking propeller airplanes here as opposed to EDFs), the first question to ask is “what do I want my power system to do for the airplane?” What I mean is, Continue reading →
It’s a rare thing to see a P-51 flying these days, let alone to be able to say that you personally know someone who owns one. Then, to be offered a ride in one is about as rare as it gets, especially for an airplane geek like me! February 28, 2015, armed with my wits, an iron will to hold my breakfast down 😉 and my iPhone, I took to the skies in the back of one of the most beautiful P-51s out there, “Lady Alice,” owned and operated by Ken Wagner. It was the ride of a lifetime, something that I have dreamt about so many times and it was incredible! Thank you, Ken, for one of the coolest experiences of my life!
It was a spontaneous event, so I only had my iPhone with me. Nonetheless I was able to put together a short video and some pictures from it so, I hope you enjoy! Needless to say, I feel a P-51 ARF kit bash in the future. I need a “Lady Alice” P-51 in my hangar so that I can push it around while making airplane noises to relive this unforgettable day! The full story follows below:
A Typical Morning
Saturday, February 28, 2015 started out like any other day really. We had driven up to my parents’ house the night before since we had some family activities to attend to that day. We had arrived late, but my dad Continue reading →
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!