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HomeScale✈️AircraftScale HeliScale Helicopter Main Discussion Docs  Gazelle Build
04-03-2013 03:56 AM  6 years ago
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Joel Rosenzweig

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TF Model Gazelle
I had my eye on the TF Model Gazelle ever since some of our friends here posted about it and put me onto it! Unfortunately, I couldn't find many photographs to show me what the actual model looked like. I have one now, and though my photography will not be winning any awards, it should give a basic idea of what this heli looks like. And, perhaps I can even show you how I am putting it together.

I have the military version, which is modeled after something like this:

Out of the box, and after you slip the landing gear struts and tubes into place, you get a front end that looks like this:

The right hand side doors:

Here are the doors held up against the fuselage:

There's a top cover resting in the photo, that needs to be bolted down to get into shape:

The mock turbine:

Those parts held into place:

The tail feathers are held onto the tail boom with this one piece that has a U shaped bend in it, that snugly fits into the bottom of the fuselage. You glue it into place when you're ready:

And glue on these vertical fins. They have a molded section that fits the horizontal stabilizer:

Shows the rear strut, resting in place for now. The wood work is nice and clean. I'm using a nylon zip tie to hold the two landing gear struts together for this shot. The struts have a top and bottom piece that slide over each other and interlock.

The tail boom holds the fenestron motor, which uses a belt to drive the fenestron:

There's an access hatch on the right hand side of the boom to get to the motor and belt. The motor and belt come pre-installed, as does the fenestron:

What does the fenestron look like? It's a 9-blade Fenestron, and looks like this:

I press fit the front glass, just to get a peek at the finished shape.

Tail section all glued together:

Closeup more or less of the turbine:

Another side view:

Closer up of the front:

I am using 4x5S batteries up front for ballast, to keep it on the skids. I don't have the mechanics yet, and don't know how much weight I'll need to balance it out.

I am going to outfit this heli with a DJI NAZA-H + GPS, and will document how that goes as I progress with the build. I'll be installing a 3-bladed head and likely 700mm blades, but I haven't finalized exactly what those pieces will be just yet. I'm waiting for the TF Model mechanics to arrive, then I'll see what fits.

You'll notice that the landing gear struts are, well, struts, and not tubes like the full size. I am thinking about making my own struts, from 3/8" brake tubing. That is new to me, and might be a good challenge to try something new and improve the looks of the gear at the same time. I might just test fly it as-is, and build proper gear later. I'm not yet sure. It all depends on how the time goes.

I hope you enjoy the photos and the build.

Joel
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04-03-2013 08:04 PM  6 years ago
Mojave

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Nice looking Gazelle Joel. I almost got one of these from Century when they were first released, but they only had the painted version, so I held off for a while. I'm very impressed with the great fitting glazing and woodwork. But I agree with you on the LG. It really needs scale gear to take it to the next level. They also make a scale cockpit for this model. I noticed that you may run 700mm blades. This airframe will support 800mm mains, is there a reason why you're going smaller?
Barry
All helis and planes have an expiration date stamped on them...you only find it after you crash!!
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04-03-2013 08:12 PM  6 years ago
Joel Rosenzweig

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Hi Barry,

When I did an early measurement, it looked like 800mm blades would not be a comfortable fit. But, they might fit fine. I'll know for certain when I get my mechanics installed with the rotor head. If 800mm do fit properly, then I'll look at mounting them if I can source blades of that size.

Stay tuned!!

Joel
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04-03-2013 08:23 PM  6 years ago
Mojave

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Gotcha I guess the blade size will depend on the rotorhead that you end up using. The RCA heads have a smaller diameter than the Century heads. I'm using these 800mm NHP Razors on my UH1B and they fly great. I bought a second set from Doorman for a future project and when I got them, they weighed the same and the spanwize CG was spot on. So they are a great candidate for a multi blade set up if you choose to buy 2 sets and they are very reasonably priced at $135/pair.
Barry

http://www.revmod.co.uk/NHP-80cm-Ra...ized-Model.html

All helis and planes have an expiration date stamped on them...you only find it after you crash!!
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04-05-2013 04:47 AM  6 years ago
Joel Rosenzweig

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Barry,

Thanks for the link to the blades. I have some NHP Razors for my Hirobo CH-46 and found the craftsmanship to be excellent. I ended up using the wood blades ultimately, because they were more flexible and handled better in the tandem. But that's nothing against the NHPs.

I hope to have the mechanics and head within a couple of weeks. So I'll have more information then.

In the meantime, I came across the Gazelle cockpit from Flying Season Models. When I saw it, I had to have it for my model. That will be here by Monday or Tuesday. It looks like it just shipped today.

Joel
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04-07-2013 09:22 AM  6 years ago
heliadictaholic

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CNC Gazelle/Blue Thunder rotor head
G'day guys,
FYI, I have designed in 3D and had a CNC Gazelle 700-800 size head made and I am extremely happy with the results
I had the complicated parts made in China and I made the simple parts on my lathe and mill.
The feathering shafts are cut down Trex700 feathering shafts.
I bought the parts a few at a time, this way, it is not so much a hit on the back pocket....

Joel, If are interested, I can send details on costs of the components - but for example, the blade grips cost $64 each, grip brackets cost $46 each. Overall, the head is quite expensive when compared to some basic non scale CNC heads available. The good thing is that you can order a few parts at a time and build the head up over a couple of months - that is what I did.... I spent around $1000 "plus delivery" on CNC parts and I made the simple parts on my lathe.
I tried to find someone (CNC company) that would be interested in producing the head but no luck - so I went off in my own direction and got what I wanted - a bit expensive as I said, but I am happy...

Anyway, let me know if you are interested....

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04-08-2013 07:35 PM  6 years ago
Joel Rosenzweig

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Jim,

Your rotor head is a work of art!

Joel
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04-11-2013 04:15 AM  6 years ago
Joel Rosenzweig

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I ordered the cockpit made by Flying-Season Models http://www.flying-season.com/scale-...-800-p-295.html and that arrived today.

It comes with a bunch of parts wrapped up like this:

And then after 5 minutes, you get a cockpit that looks like this!







I will add a light behind the dash panel. It's removable, with just two screws, so they make it easy to run some lights inside. You have to remove the front panel anyway so that you can access the two screws that are used to fasten it to the base.

I haven't removed the glass that I taped in place to see how it looks inside the model, but I'll do that soon.

Joel
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04-11-2013 01:34 PM  6 years ago
Rckfish

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very nice Joel. Are you pleased with the quality of the fuse?
Paul
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04-11-2013 07:14 PM  6 years ago
Joel Rosenzweig

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Hi Paul,

Yes, the fuselage is very nice. It's thin and light, and is constructed well. I'm pleased with it. It is tail heavy so far though, without the mechanics in it. I'm interested to see how much weight I'll need, and where it will go, to balance it out.

Hopefully, my mechanics will arrive soon, so I can finish the build. Then I'll have details on how it flys.

Joel
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04-11-2013 08:13 PM  6 years ago
Mojave

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Nice looking cockpit! Are you using the custom mechs that were designed for this fuse? It might just be the camera angle, but the doors look really thin. Are they carbon reinforced? I'm a real fan of carbon fiber reinforced doors. They hold their shape, even in the sun.
Barry
All helis and planes have an expiration date stamped on them...you only find it after you crash!!
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04-12-2013 04:14 AM  6 years ago
Joel Rosenzweig

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I will be using the custom mechs for the Gazelle. Since they are meant for the machine, and will fit, I am happy with that.

The doors are thin, and there is no carbon in the doors to help them out. It is my hope that the windows, when installed as a single piece, will help the door keep its shape. If not, I'll have to remedy that.

I'll give it a try as-is first and see how it goes. If it misbehaves, then I'll go ahead and modify it afterwards.

Joel
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05-11-2013 08:59 AM  6 years ago
heliadictaholic

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G'day guys,

Update on my 700 Gazelle/Blue Thunder scale head - now painted....

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06-03-2013 11:36 AM  6 years ago
heliadictaholic

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Joel, what have you done to me.... I have a Blue Thunder fitted with my custom scale head, and after following your Gazelle build, I have decided "I MUST HAVE ONE".....
I have the dark blue "Blue Thunder" so I decided to go with the brighter blue and white Gazelle..... The "Fun Police" even approved my new purchase.... It will take 2 or 3 weeks for TFModel to build the fuse.... This means another custom rotor head.... Have you decided on a motor yet? I have not flown my BT with custom head yet, it is fitted with a Scorpoin HK-4035-630 running 9S (3x3S) - interested to hear what others are doing with their motor setup.
Anyway, great build Joel keep the pics coming.
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06-07-2013 03:21 PM  6 years ago
Joel Rosenzweig

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I have been working on creating some landing gear for the Gazelle that more closely matches the subject. The kit comes with wide plastic struts that are similar to some of the civilian Gazelles, but does not match the military version.

The full size has gear that looks like this:

It's tubular gear, so I was going for something that approximated that as best I could.

I decided to use 3/8" steel brake line tubing to create the curved sections, and I'm using the original tubes that came with the kit for the skids. TFModel sent me some EC-145 parts to play with, and I was able to use the skid tube to strut adaptors with my gear.

After deciding on a best guess on the shape of the gear, I drew it out, and bent the tubing the match, by hand, with the help of a tubing bender to help avoid kinks. I probably made about 10 pieces until I found the 4 that gave me the closest shape.

I went through a cycle of attaching, and fitting, and adjusting, a few times, and eventually made two landing gear halves.

When done, I was satisfied that the new gear embodies the spirit of the full size.

TFModel sent me some touchup paint, and my plan was to paint the gear, with the green that is on the model so that it matches. I didn't have the correct thinner on hand, so I wasn't able to spray this properly just yet.

I was then planning on using some Tamiya camo paint to get the right color, and before I did that, Joe Howard suggested using Rustoleum camo spray paint since it would be more durable. I bought the Rustoleum paint, but it turns out that their selection of green does not match the green on this model, at all. It clashes.

Because I'm not trying to lose the entire summer to creating the ultimate landing gear, I decided to compromise and settled on painting the gear flat black. The flat black is something I could still spray with Rustoleum paints, and, it would match the black fenestron. I made up my mind that it wouldn't look too hideous. And, if it bothers me in the end, I can always remove and repaint the gear if I get more serious about spraying the exact color again.

So here is what I ended up with:

Hopefully the scale heli police will not mind too much. :-)

Joel
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06-07-2013 04:14 PM  6 years ago
Mojave

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Joel, that gear looks great! What an improvement over the stock gear that came with the kit. Having served in a Army heli unit, I can say that you will see military helis in all sorts of configs. They are constantly getting new parts fitted and the colors rarely match perfectly and new paint sticks out like a sore thumb. When the brass shows up for a walk down, the C.O. sends the ugly ones on a mission to pick up lunch... Nice job.
Barry
All helis and planes have an expiration date stamped on them...you only find it after you crash!!
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06-07-2013 04:23 PM  6 years ago
Keygrigger

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THAT'S what it should look like from the factory. The rest of the world can only hope they change the gear soon. I have asked if FunKey can change their MD500 gear to a much more scale profile and thickness. We can only hope they change them soon.

Don
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06-07-2013 04:27 PM  6 years ago
Joel Rosenzweig

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Thanks, Barry!!!

Oh, and Heliadictaholic,

I'm using a Phoenixtech 500Kv motor in these mechanics, with an 11t pinion, and 10S. If I drop it down to a 9t, I can fit a 12S setup, but it's a little more battery than I want to carry if I can avoid it.

This will give me the range to have a happy governor at 1350 RPM on the head with 700mm blades with plenty of adjustment room in the range if I want to tweak.

Joel
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06-07-2013 06:04 PM  6 years ago
coptercptn

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lookin' like another masterpiece Joel Home of the "Sea Cobra".....
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06-08-2013 02:15 AM  6 years ago
heliadictaholic

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Hobart, Tasmania - Australia

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G'day guys, Joel,

Can you tell me how many teeth the TFModel main frame mechanics has. If to awkward to check, don't worry, I also asked TFM...

Regards,

Jim
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