Refinish A Foam Jet Ep 1 – Freewing F-14 Tomcat Assembly Mods & Paint Prep

Fill…sand…poly…sand…primer…sand…aaaannnnddd repeat…

You’ve probably figured out by now, I have many favorite aircraft. 😉  However, if I was to put together my top 5 favorite aircraft of all time, the F-14 Tomcat would probably be at or near the top of that list.  The airplane was one of brute force, but packaged in an elegant and distinct looking airframe that truly personified its name, Tomcat.  And that’s not to mention, it was an extremely capable fighter that filled many roles through the years that operated from the early/mid 70’s into the mid 2000s.

So, after putting together my Freewing twin 80mm F-14 Tomcat review a few years ago, I always wanted to come back to that airframe and give it a good refinish.  To date, it is still one of my favorite Freewing aircraft and I regretted letting the one go that I had.  So I decided it was time to revisit this model and picked up an ARF plus along with some Freewing 9-blade fan systems for a special refinish.  This really has been a few years in the making.

The end goal with this refinish is to build the airplane into a low vis Navy camouflage.  Though, I do like the more colorful schemes of the 70s and early 80s, there’s just something about a dirtied up ghost gray painted cat from their later years of service to me.

 

FILLER TIME!

Seeing as though I’ve already reviewed the model (albeit a few years old now, but still valid!), let’s jump right into it!   The first item of business in the refinish is Continue reading

E-flite F-16 Falcon 80mm EDF Assembly & Flight Review

The 80mm Falcon Cometh!

There’s something about F-16’s and how they fly that I really like.  To me it blends the traditional flying on the wing type jet with the more flying on the thrust type delta wing configuration.  To me, it means you get something that flies quickly, maneuvers really well yet has the slow speed characteristics of the delta being able to hit the high alpha.

So, when I learned about the E-Flite F-16 Falcon 80mm EDF I was quite excited, especially seeing all of the added details in the design.  I knew that if it flew anything like the E-flite 70mm Thunderbird, it would be a blast…and I think it’s safe to say that it has exceeded my expectations!

 

 

AIRCRAFT ASSEMBLY NOTES

The E-Flite F-16 80mm is a very complete kit that includes all metal scale landing gear, full lights, and external weapons/stores and assembles very quickly.  Also, all of the servo attachments have hard mounted connectors, so there’s no loose wires to have to contend with either.  The assembly process starts with installing the horizontal tails.  They have a pre-installed shaft that slides into the fuselage and is then held in place by a screw on each side (servo attachment is a traditional Continue reading

E-flite DRACO 2.0m Smart BNF Assembly & Flight Review

Mike Patey’s Monster Wilga…DRACO!  Fly it like you STOL it!

The E-flite DRACO 2.0m is probably one of the most anticipated models to come to market in recent time.  Announced in 2019, there have been many a rumbling of its pending release since then.  Well, E-flite’s DRACO is here and it is one of the nicest executed models E-flite has made to date…it is incredible!  Every detail is characterized, the shape is perfect (Horizon Hobby actually 3D scanned DRACO to make the model from), and this big red beast makes for some fun STOL operations, especially with a bit of head wind.

If you’re unfamiliar with DRACO as an airplane, it literally was one of a kind.  It was the master mind of Mikey Patey who took a Wilga 2000 and completely modified and rebuilt the airframe to the extent that very little of the original Wilga remained.  He added wing area, modified the airfoil while also adding a fixed slat, installed a full glass cockpit, and at the front installed a PT6A 680Hp turbo-prop engine with full reverse thrust (I believe he also added chord to the control surfaces).  In short, the airplane was a beast of a STOL aircraft and in fact, Mike Patey won the 2018 High Sierra STOL Drag competition with it.  Unfortunately, the aircraft was totaled in Sept 2019 in a high crosswind takeoff incident.  Be sure to check out Mike’s YouTube channel as he documented the build there and is currently building a highly modified carbon cub called Scrappy!

 

AIRCRAFT ASSEMBLY NOTES

The E-flite DRACO 2.0m is an impressively large airplane that is been broken down into only just a few large components which means that despite the large size, assembly is quick and easy.  Assembly starts with installation of the shock absorbing landing gear via 4 screws which have plastic fairings over a carbon strut and feature the dual shocks of the full size.  From there, the tail wheel Continue reading

30k Subs Giant Scale Giveaway and New Projects Updates!

What a wild ride!

Here we are at the start of 2021 and we have hit an incredible milestone on this blog and YouTube channel…we have hit 30,000 subscriptions on YouTube!  There was incredible growth on the channel in 2020 and to start of 2021 with this milestone, I really can’t thank you enough!  It is all a result of your support in following along on these misguided adventures and I think you dearly!  The RC community is such a wonderful group of folks, I liken it to having a large extended family.

So, a big milestone should have a big giveaway and as a thank you, in conjunction with Legend Hobby, we are giving away a new in box SEAGULL MODELS CURTISS P-40N WARHAWK 33cc-50cc 80″ with scale electric rotating retracts!  The model features an 80″ wingspan and can be powered with a 33cc-55cc gas engine or electric power system.  It comes in scale green covering and is ready for markings to be applied be it the kit supplied markings or full custom set.

 

HOW TO ENTER

Please use the form below to enter.  The contest starts today and ends at 7:30 PM April 5.  The winner will be announced on my YouTube channel on 9:45am Tuesday April 6  It is completely free to enter and there are multiple ways to enter as well… Continue reading

Freewing MiG-29 Twin 80mm EDF Assembly & Flight Review

Greetings Comrades, We’re Gettin’ Miggy with it!

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

E-flite F-18 Blue Angels 80mm EDF Assembly & Flight Review

Blue Angels FTW!

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 engages Continue reading

E-flite Sukhoi SU-30 twin 70mm EDF Assembly & Flight Review

The Iconic SU-30…It’s a Flanker-C, see?!

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 taking Continue reading

Avios Mig-17 Fresco 90mm EDF Assembly & Flight Review

Oh Avios MiG-17, mine kids hath dubbed thee “cow plane.”

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