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!
Cruisin’ into town and looking all around…in my Spad…
Having grown up in the hobby, there are certain models that I recall seeing as a kid that have inspired a fascination for that aircraft well into adulthood. One such aircraft for me is the A-1 Skyraider. Having seen two immaculate representations with folding wings at the US Scale Masters in the late 80s/early 90s (built by Diego Lopez & Gene Barton), it started a long fascination with the Skyraider for me. There was something about the airplane that I just liked and having since seen the full scale Skyraider fly, they are an impressive beast! Being a piston driven attack aircraft in the jet age, the Skyraider was a flying anachronism and was affectionately nicknamed the “Spad” after the WWI French biplane.
So, needless to say I was very excited to see the Legend Hobby A-1 Skyraider came to market! At 1/7 scale sporting an 86” wingspan, it offers a very nice sized ARF with an accurate scale outline. It also includes some really nice details through a fully detailed cockpit and an assortment of external tanks and rockets. A Skyraider isn’t a Skyraider without external stores afterall! Additionally, each of the three external tanks pylons come setup to accept E-flite payload releases which means the external tanks can be made droppable very simply. So, with a little 3D printing the sky’s the limit as to what this model can and will carry! More on that to come as for this article, we’re talking through the assembly of the model. I have a full repaint planned which we’ll talk through next where I’ll touch on the stores mods I made and then we’ll finish it up with a full flight review…but, spoiler alert, this model flies incredible! (see my first flights video at the bottom of this article)
ABOUT THE MODEL
The Legend Hobby Skyraider kit comes available in multiple color schemes (US Navy Gray/White, US Navy Blue, AF Camo) without any markings applied or as an ARC. Of course, markings are included, but coming as a blank canvas, this also allows for full customization and there are so many great color schemes for the Skyraider to choose from! This particular model is the Southeast Asia camouflage ARF and was dressed in the kit supplied markings for the initial flights. Having a very unique and characteristic shark mouth, the model represents Skyraider BuNo 137628 which was assigned to the 22nd Special Operations Squadron (SOS), 56th Special Operations Wing (SOW) that flew from Operating Location Alpha-Alpha (OL-AA) at Da Nang, South Vietnam.
When one thinks of the late generation Russian fighters, the SU-27 is at the top of many lists. However, for me, the MiG-29 is the one that has fascinated me more. I think because it was a relatively new fighter in Russian service when I was a kid which created a certain ere of mystery surrounding it. Plus, as a design, it has a nice look that I’ve also kind of liked.
So, seeing the new Freewing MiG-29 come to market in its ever so unique Slovak digital camouflage trim scheme, I was very intrigued. Given the large size and the scale features, it looked like an extremely nice airplane and I’m happy to report it lives up the expectations! The airplane looks and flies great and has a great scale presence in the air that’s so distinctive.
AIRCRAFT ASSEMBLY NOTES
Not surprisingly, the Freewing MiG-29 came in quite a large box which was packed well and efficiently. Unboxing the model, you truly start to get a sense of the size as well as the quality of the finish (it’s quite smooth). Everything is broken down into the major components, so assembly was quick and painless. Note that for receiver, I’m using a Spektrum AR8010T 8 channel receiver.
The assembly of the MiG-29 starts with gluing the separate nose piece in place along with the 4 plastic clips along the seam. I used foam tac to do that which worked great. There is also a forward wood plate that gets screwed into place that provides a Continue reading →
The Ta 152H, Kurt Tank’s high-altitude fighter-interceptor!
The Ta 152H as a design is an extremely unique looking aircraft and is one that I have always been fascinated with. So, when I saw the FlightLineRC Ta152H 1300mm, I was excited to see it! So, I finally picked one up late last year for a rainy day and the model really captures the unique lines of the airplane well with accurate colors and paint in a really nice flying airframe.
Of the German Focke-Wulf designs from WWII, I have always liked the looks of the long nose 190s, especially the D9. There were so many evolutions of the design including the very capable high altitude Ta 152H, which featured a lengthened fuselage and rudder, high aspect ratio wing and pressurized cockpit. Being one of the fastest propeller driven aircraft of the war and capable of intercepting the high altitude B-29 bomber, it ultimately came too late to make an appreciable impact as only about 25 or so were built.
AIRCRAFT ASSEMBLY NOTES
The FlightLineRC Ta 152H was well packed and assembled quite simply only requiring just a few steps and a few fasteners. The long wing comes in two pieces, which is glued together first over the wing spar. Once joined, the plastic mounting joiners were glued as well and the wing was then mounted to the fuselage. From there the tails were installed and fastened into place and those were the primary assembly steps. The kit does include a number of detail parts which are a nice touch and include the wing pitot tube and guns along with the lower wing antenna and fuselage foot step.
With the airplane assembled, it really looks fantastic and characterizes the shape of the Ta 152H beautifully. The finish is quite smooth and the stock paint work isContinue reading →
2020 GIVEAWAY! (See “How to Enter” Section to enter!)
I have to say, since the start of this blog and YouTube channel, it has been an incredible journey. The people I’ve met and helped, the friends I’ve made and the opportunities it’s brought have been absolutely amazing. It is all because of you guys and I want to say thank you to all of you who follow along across all my social channels. My whole goal in starting this site was and always will be to help folks in the hobby with quality information on building, finishing, setting up models, etc. and I will continue to do so for as long as I can.
So, as a thank you, in conjunction with Legend Hobby, we are giving away a new in box Seagull Models P-47D ‘Little Bunny’ ARF with Himark electric retracts! This is a model that I’ve recently completed that I’ve thoroughly been enjoying. It is a nice looking and well-built ARF that lends itself great to any type of power system (I opted for electric). Here are a few pics along with my first flights video. My assembly review will be posting soon, so be on the lookout for that on my YouTube channel! (entry info below video)
HOW TO ENTER
Please use the form below to enter. The contest starts today and ends at 7:00 PM Oct 29. The winner will be announced on my YouTube channel on 9:45am Friday Oct 30. It is completely free to enter and there are multiple ways to enter as well…More entries means more chances to win! Also, a customized link is provided to send to your friends that provides even more entries if they enter using that link. So, good luck to all of you and thank you for entering! A huge thank you to Legend Hobby for this amazing donation. Be sure to check out their website and Facebook page for more info on the kit and to see the great assortment of models that they offer.
I’m really excited to let you in on the most recent arrival into the shop, the all new Legend Hobby 86″ A-1 Skyraider. This is a model I’ve known about from its inception that I’ve been extremely excited for! The Skyraider (also known as the “Spad”) is a massive propeller aircraft design that could carry an incredible amount of ordnance and is an airplane that I’ve always had a fascination with ever since seeing Diego Lopez and Gene Barton compete with theirs at the US Scale Masters when I was a kid. This Legend Hobby offering is such a badass model and captures the lines of the Spad perfectly! So, we will be starting this one very soon and I hope you will enjoy following along on the process! Here are a few mockup pics. I can’t wait to start! 🙂
One of my favorite jets from last year was the E-flite F-18 Hornet. The way that airplane flies I just fell in love with (that’s not to mention the gorgeously scale landing gear 😉 ). At the time, I even considered repainting it into a Blue Angel color scheme, so you can imagine my excitement when I found out about the E-flite F-18 Blue Angels!
Please note that I did a full review of the original E-flite F-18 Hornet offering last year. We will cover some of the same items here that we did in the previous review, but this being a Blue Angels, I did some small modifications here that are worth talking through. Those include some paint work on the exhaust nozzles along with the removal of any weapons on the airframe. It’s a Blue Angel which means, she should be as slick as possible!
AIRCRAFT ASSEMBLY NOTES
This incarnation of the E-flite F-18 features the same components and assembly as its previous counterpart. It’s a very easy assembly starting with the installation of the vertical tails followed by the horizontal tails and finished up with the installation of the wings. The kit features a selection of tail numbers (I chose #7 of course!) and so I cut a couple blue pieces from the spares to cover up any screw holes along the airframe. All together, the airplane looks fantastic and I love the Blue Angels colors personally. Oh, and I would be remiss not to mention my favorite feature of the scale landing gear, they’re sick!
One thing to note regarding the horizontal tail installation, the control horn in the stabilizer engagesContinue reading →
The aerobatic cargo plane has been kind of a thing lately and upon seeing the E-flite EC-1500 twin 1.5m Cargo, it most definitely looked like a fun airplane. Being fully aerobatic with reconfigurable ailerons and flaps to suit the desired performance and aircraft response along with an operational cargo door, there was no question I would have fun with one in the hangar! And, I KNEW that I had to drop something…the only question was what would it be?! 😉
Though the model isn’t painted in a scale paint scheme out of the box, the model itself is actually inspired by the C-27 Spartan which has served in the US military and Coast Guard as well as many other forces around the world. Truth be told, I wasn’t too aware of the C-27 Spartan as an aircraft, but I quickly learned through watching videos of the full scale online that it was an impressive beast. It’s is the only cargo aircraft I’ve actually seen execute a legitimate knife edge and it’s pretty awesome to behold! So, as it turns out, those epic knife edge passes with this airplane are indeed scale! 😉 Oh, and you’ve probably noticed the C-27 Spartan livery on the model…I couldn’t handle it, I had to make it a true C-27 and I love it!
AIRCRAFT ASSEMBLY NOTES
The EC-1500 assembly was a very simple process as the parts count is very low being broken down into only the large components. The vertical tail is attached first and is held in place by two screws. From there, the horizontal tails slide into place over a carbon tube spar and snap into place. I found the snap lock on the tails a really unique features as I’d not seen this before on previous models. Also, there is an elevator torque rod with plastic paddles which slip into each base of the elevators resulting in a hidden elevator pushrod setup. Next, the wings are placed onto the fuselage over the main wing spar and held in place via four nylon bolts. The wing features hard mounted connectors, so no need to keep track of servo connectors or wires at all. Lastly, to wrap it all up, the props are placed on each of the motors.
With the airplane together and on the bench, it’s a pretty cool model to behold. It’s a good size and the cargo bay door is awesome! I can’t sayContinue reading →
When talking about modern Russian fighter jets, the Sukhoi SU-27 Flanker family of aircraft are truly unmistakable. Designed as an air superiority multi-role fighter, it is an extremely capable jet with extremely impressive maneuverability (especially when paired with multi-axis thrust vectoring). The SU-30 represents a powerful evolution within the Flanker family adding further capability into the design including the addition of a second crew member for multi-mission capability, upgraded avionics and additional operational endurance and range.
So, after seeing the E-flite SU-30 twin 70mm EDF at the last AMA West trade show, it was only a matter of time before one would enter the hangar as it was undoubtedly a sweet ride! The SU-30 kit itself is one of the nicest EDF foam jets that I have seen to date being of a great size and featuring robust scale landing gear, a scale speed brake and a finish that could make most modelers drool. Flying the airplane further confirmed just how nice this airplane truly is as it looks incredible in the air and flies extremely well.
AIRCRAFT ASSEMBLY NOTES
Immediately upon arrival, you start to get a sense of the size of E-flite SU-30 and it’s packaged in quite a large box. The model is broken down into all of the major assemblies and so assembly itself is quite simple (the airframe is assembled with only 10 screws!). Once unpacked, assembly begins with attachment of the vertical tails followed by the horizontal tail pivot rods and tails. From there the wings are installed followed by the ventral fins and then it’s on to the radio setup. In short, assembly was quick and simple!
With the airplane assembled and on its gear, you are struck with the unmistakable Sukhoi shape of the SU-30. The outline of the model looks great and the paint, fit, and finish is excellent…not to mention that it is a nice large airframe takingContinue reading →
Truth be told, I’m normally all about US airplanes generally, especially Navy jets, but if there was one Mig that I could have in my hangar, it would be the Mig-17. I think it’s the highly swept wing that strikes me most about it in addition to the lengthened fuselage…that’s not to mention afterburner too! Compared to it’s older brother, the Mig-15, the Mig-17 just has such nicer lines in my mind. So, after seeing the Hobbyking Avios Mig-17, it was all I could do keep from ordering one! Hobbyking has been putting out some nice airframes and I will say up front that the Avios Mig-17 is a nice sized, well finished airplane that is an extremely forgiving flyer. There were however, some frustrations in the assembly process resulting in some rework that was required to get the airplane to where it needed to be. Bottom line, the airplane could use better servos as they are pretty marginal in my mind and not very precise.
With the NATO reporting name of “Fresco,” the Mig-17 found itself in use amongst numerous countries around the world and was especially prevalent during the Vietnam War. There was in fact a secret program code named “HAVE DRILL” that took place in the late 60’s where a captured Mig-17 was tested at Groom Lake to characterize the performance and combat capability against various US aircraft. Interestingly enough, in close air combat, the Mig-17 proved more maneuverable and dominant to the US fighters. However, the more powerful US fighters such as the F-4 Phantom could out accelerate the Mig-17, so as a result, the engagement tactics were revised to keep the Migs at a distance vs fully engaging at close range. This kept the US fighters out of the range of the Migs guns, while keeping it in range of the US guided missiles and having an acceleration advantage, the F-4 could be out of range of the guns in about 30 seconds. In the case of the A-4, A-6, and A-7, they were given a do not engage order against the Mig-17. A very interesting result considering that the Mig-17 was considered mostly out dated by that time!
AIRCRAFT ASSEMBLY NOTES
The Avios Mig-17 was nicely packaged and pulling the airplane from the box, you are greeted with the nice lines of the Mig-17. Parts count is low and the finish is smooth with the paint applied well. There are definitely some nice features like Continue reading →