Family Build 2 – Polar Lights Superman, Captain America & Wolverine Builds

Marvel AND DC Comics together…can you even do that?

Since the first Family Build we did, my kids couldn’t wait to do another one!  They kept asking (especially my daughter) to make another vid and build some models.  More building with my kids?  Heck yes!  This time, it’s all geek as a while back, I had come across a plastic kit of one of my favorite comic book characters, Marvel Comics’ “Wolverine” made by Polar Lights/Round2 Models.  Upon investigation, I learned that Polar Lights had a few different characters and so found a Marvel Comics “Captain America” for my daughter (it was fitting since she has a little crush on Cap) and DC Comics’ “Superman” for my son since, based on some of the things he attempts, he must think he’s made of steel!  So, let the build begin!

The kits themselves are all produced by Polar Lights/Round2 Models.  They state no glue required, but the truth is, to have any sort of longevity, glue is a good idea.  In all cases, Continue reading

Warbirds & Classics 2016 Scale RC Airplane Event

Mmmmm, Warbirds…

After attending the Warbirds & Classics Scale RC Airplane event last year, I couldn’t wait to come back!   Between the awesome assortment of airplanes, the fellowship with old and new friends, and the incredible backdrop you get from the flying site, it is a must attend for me.  It helps that it’s local enough for me that the drive getting there isn’t too bad and I get to have a fun weekend flying with my dad.  Needless to say, this year’s Warbirds & Classics did not disappoint!  The Scale Squadron hosted event had even more pilots and even more airplanes and it was a blast!  I was there Friday and Saturday and got my fill of all the flying I could handle and filled up my memory card with pics and videos…twice!  I had my trusty A-7, Mirage, and Tigercat in tow.  I was eager to get the Tigercat out to an event.  It was like putting together a jigsaw puzzle to get them all packed into the back of my Sienna, but somehow it worked!  If you weren’t excited enough to see what was at the event, here’s a quick compilation video of some of the action at the event (more pics and video further down).

Located at the OCMA rc airplane field in Black Starr Canyon (next to Irvine Lake in Irvine, CA), the event has open flying for any scale aircraft (warbirds, civlian, jets, etc.) which Continue reading

From the Bench — Tips for Making Your Own Aircraft Markings

Decals, Vinyl and Paint Masks…oh my!

The topic of aircraft markings and making decals was touched on a little bit in my How to Refinish a Foam Warbird series and the request to expand on it a bit has come up a few time since then.  So, here’s a bit more extensive walk through of my process of making and painting markings for my airplanes.

Color and Markings are one thing that I’m very particular about on my scale models.  I’m so particular in fact that I will usually make my own decals and paint masks as opposed to outsourcing.  Ultimately I do this because I actually enjoy the challenge of it (when it’s going well of course) and this gives me full control of the sizes of all of the markings since it usually takes multiple iterations before having everything just the right size.  Also, my preference is to paint whatever markings I can and in the case that the markings may be too small to paint, I will move to waterslide decals.  In some cases, I will even use a combination of paint (or vinyl in the case of my “Lady Alice”) and decals to create a single marking.  Obviously, there are always limitations when doing your own markings and so in the case I just don’t have the capability to make what I need, then it’s time to outsource.

Since I’m a scale fanatic, my goal in making markings is always to recreate markings Continue reading

Family Build – Polar Lights Back to the Future Delorean

A Snap Together BTTF DeLorean?  Great Scott!

I got my start in scale modeling by building plastic models as a kid.  I built many a model in the back of my dad’s shop as far as I can remember.  Those are some of the fondest memories I have from growing up.  I guess that’s why I collect (though rarely build) so many plastic models, haha!  The “Back to the Future” movies are among some of my favorites and a while back I came across the Polar Lights “Back to the Future” DeLorean and seriously, had to have it.  It was a snap together kit, so figured in a few hours I could probably have a nice enough looking model…if I built it…  Well, my son kept asking me to build the model while it sat on my bench and so I figured, why not grab a second one so we could build them together?  I love building with him and he loves to build pretty much anything (he and my daughter are Lego masters!), so it was perfect!  I figured, while we were at it, why not grab the video camera and try a “family build” segment on my YouTube channel.  My kids are always wanting to bomb my videos anyhow, so figured it was time to officially feature them.  Be sure to watch because there’s some pretty funny stuff in there, especially at the very end.   At one point, we were laughing uncontrollably for no reason whatsoever.

The Build

polar-lights-delorean-1So, we set out on our DeLorean build adventure on a Friday mid-morning after flying.  It was hot outside, so was perfect to just take it easy in-doors.  It sure would have been much more pleasant though if we actually had air-conditioning in our house!  We both eagerly started and tore into the box with my daughter offering Continue reading

Gilman Springs US Scale Masters RC Airplane Contest Qualifier 2016

All Hail Scale!

Obviously, I’m a scale nut!  I think it seriously runs in my blood.  I actually cut myself once and started bleeding Federal Standard color chips! 😉   In all seriousness, the big scale projects I build, I’m always building with scale contests in mind…it’s kind of a sickness.  When I found out that the US Scale Master’s (USSM) championships are once again being hosted by the Woodland-Davis Aeromodelers this year, I knew that this year was a contest year for me!  You see, I had attended the championships in 2013 at Woodland-Davis and had an absolute blast and have been hoping for a chance to go back and fly with them again!

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April 23-24, the Gilman Springs RC flyers hosted the USSM Western Regional Qualifier.  This is a new home for this event as years previously it had been hosted by the Hemet Model Masters.  The Gilman Springs venue is great for flying since it’s on private land and has minimal limitations for airspace and aircraft type that can fly out there (rare for sites Continue reading

Kit Bashing 101 Ep1 — Freewing Mirage 2000 Assembly & Flight Review

Mmmmm, Deltas…

It’s no secret, I love deltas!  The Mirage, Kfir and Skyray are some of my favorites if you couldn’t tell from my builds and the aircraft in my hangar.  There’s just something about the look of a delta wing that is so wicked in the air, especially with the addition of canards like the Kfir.  So, when I received a Freewing Mirage 2000 as a gift this last Christmas, I was stoked!  I had been eyeing them for a while, especially after all of the fun I’d been having with the Freewing F-14.  Of course, I can’t leave well enough alone, so we will actually be spending a few articles covering the transformation of this Freewing Mirage 2000 into an IAI Kfir…yes, you read that right! 😉  So, consider this as our first installment of “Foam Kit Bashing 101” as we work toward transforming this Mirage 2000 into the wicked looking Kfir.  However, before tearing into a full kit bash, I wanted to discuss how this airplane assembles and performs stock out of the box.

The nice thing with these Freewing jets is that they are an all inclusive package.  The full power system, retracts, and servos come fully installed and at $299 for the Mirage 2000 it’s a pretty killer deal.  They’re EPO foam which I do have a love/hate relationship with, but none the less you get a pretty cool airplane and they are a great canvas to do fun things with (which we’ll start next in our next installment).  They’re fully finished and Continue reading

Setting up a Multi-Engined Electric Aircraft (F7F Tigercat)

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

AMA Expo 2016

AMA EXPO 2016 — The place to geek out on the latest in RC!

Ah, the AMA Expo.  Heralded at the Ontario Convention center, it’s a great show to geek out on everything RC while scoring deals you wouldn’t normally get on RC products.  Though not always known as the AMA show, nor held at the Ontario Convention Center, this show has been ongoing in Southern California for a long time.  I remember attending a different incarnation of the show as a kid with my dad.  In fact, I even met my wife at this show when it was still held in Pasadena…wrap your heads around that one, haha!  It’s really hard to believe just how much the hobby has changed and I’ve watched it change each year through this show!  Even in just the last 10 years things have changed so much.

AMAExpo-comp4

Now, an RC trade show means many things to many people.  For most however, it means three things — scoring deals while seeing what’s new and exciting and catching up with Continue reading