Miscellaneous Stuff

Coverings for Graffiti models, etc.

By Gene Pape

I've been doing some miscellaneous this and that which has included several other combat flyers, so I thought I would spread some of it around.

The first bit is about what Ken Burdick refers to as "Combat Graffiti" models. The idea is to build old Fast Combat models as they were built in the 1950s and 60s. The trend has been to do all of this properly, covering the models with paper or fabric and a dope finish as seen in my Yegad model above.

Bob Mears who has an entire museum full of combat models built in this fashion just turned the whole idea on its head by building these models. They are covered with 1.5 mil Seal Lamin, which has been Sprayed on the adhesive side with a mist coat of white primer. The result at first glance appears to be a model covered with silkspan and clear dope. A 250' roll of 25" wide Seal Lamin is $19.73 from Vernon Library Supplies.

According to one blog I read, this same method should work with SlikTak (SLC from the Corehouse) and FasCal. Seal Lamin is obviously paintable as is FasCal. I think it would be worth experimenting to see if spraying a mist coat of color on the adhesive side would simulate colored fabric. One way or another, this method has encouraged me to build some old time models to actually fly.


Various conversations with Lane Puckett have convinced me that I should use basswood rather than the poplar I have been using for fuselages on my fast models. The plan is that basswood won't compress as much a poplar in the motor mount area. Since I build full length one piece fuselages instead of the more common engine mount and carbon fiber boom most others use, it isn't practical for me to use the preferred maple for the engine mounts. Since I use quite a lot of material, I went shopping for a cheaper source than the hobby shop. I purchased a 2" x 6" x 8' basswood plank from Tree Products Hardwood in Springfield, Ore., for $24.00. I figure that's enough for 50 models. With that on hand, experimentation is no problem.

The thing that got Lane and I talking to start with was the idea of using the ASP .25 engine for speed limit combat. These engines are available for under $50.00 each, so it seems like a perfect solution. Unfortunately, while these engines start and run with the ease of a Nelson .36, he has been having problems with them blowing plugs. He is working diligently to solve this problem. Once the solution is finalized, I'll pass the information on. The other idea he passed on is using the ASP .21 engine on F2D models. This gives a person the ready availability of competitive ready to fly models and the advantage of and easier to deal with engine. Apparently, the ASP .21 does not have the problem with blowing plugs. Since both of these engines come set up for RC, a proper venturi needs to set up. Steve Wilk is a source for these. Check out Buzz Wilson's article on setting up the OS Max LA .25 for other information that would apply to setting up these engines and how to make your own venturi conversion.

Speaking of Eliminator Props, they have 423 different carbon fiber props available. Included are a variety of props suitable for all classes of combat. Check them out. I have some of their offerings for 1/2A combat coming for Buzz Wilson and myself to test.

Speaking of 1/2A combat, Buzz Wilson reports that Jeff Rein has built a 1/2A combat model ready to fly including H&R shutoff that weighs 135 grams. That's less than 5 ounces! My 1/2A combat models typically weigh about 8 ounces.

Word from Jeff is that work is expected to start on production H&R shutoffs around the end of the year. Jeff and I both used prototypes on our 1/2A's at the last contest in Salem this year. His model was properly trimmed so he had no problems at all. One of my models which was properly trimmed also worked properly (right). My other model stalled and came in on the lines causing the engine to shut down.

Since this is how the shutoff is supposed to work, I feel these shutoffs are well sorted and ready for general use. Since 1/2A is the only combat event we fly at the Regionals that doesn't require line tension shutoffs, it has become apparent that this is a bad idea. In 2016 we will be requiring line tension shutoffs only in all combat classes at the Regionals. I'll get word out as soon as Jeff tells me he has shutoffs to sell.

Time for me to get back to the garage and start building again.

-- Gene

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This page was upated Jan. 21, 2016