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HomeScaleAircraftHelicopterScale Model RC Helicopters › Scale "Tip of the week"
09-01-2013 02:37 AM  4 years agoPost 1
Mojave

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Palos Verdes, Ca. USA

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So, my tiny brain was thinking about a way to paint all of the little latches for my AS350 project when a light bulb went on in a dark corner of my head... I poked holes in a piece of cardboard and hot glued pieces of wooden Q-Tips in the holes, then I put a dab of hot glue on the end of the stick and stuck the latches on. Then I simply painted the latches without them getting blown all over the place by the paint spray. After the paint dries, you just pick them off and you are ready to glue them on your heli.

It worked out great, so I thought, why don't we start a "scale tip of the week(or day)" thread for all of the little tricks that we use for making the scale hobby easier. The thread will be for the "old salt" and newbies to contribute (cuz sometimes you can teach an old dog a new trick) Feel free to post up tips (pics are very helpful!!)
Barry

All helis and planes have an expiration date stamped on them...you only find it after you crash!!

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09-01-2013 05:16 AM  4 years agoPost 2
eyefly3d

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magnolia tx

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Very good idea Barry. Here's one I had for painting fuselages. I took a piece of dowel and screwed it to a piece of plywood, then marked and drilled the plywood where the mechanics Mount to the fuse. I added a hook to the other end of the dowel to hang it from my garage roof. Just Mount the whole assembly to the fuse and spray.
When the time comes to paint another fuselage all you have to do is drill more holes if using different mechs.

I don't always fly helis, but when I do I prefer to fly scale.

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09-01-2013 03:57 PM  4 years agoPost 3
Dr.Tim

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Mojave Desert

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Al Wert (Starwood Models Fame) Had a fixture simular to that .. This is how I painted my Award Winning Puma back in 2004

From Simple minds come simple ideas! Approach Engineering

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09-01-2013 08:01 PM  4 years agoPost 4
Peter Wales

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Orlando Fl

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I had one of those! It did not work too well for me so I ended up screwing mine to a piece of plywood and then I screwed that piece of plywood to one of the bulkheads inside the helicopter. The rod was then passed through the windshield opening and Fixed to the output shaft of a one RPM motor.

Now I had my helicopter on a rotisserie, and could paint it easily as it rotated in front of me. The motor cost me about $30 from a surplus store.

Peter Wales
http://scalehelicopters.org

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09-02-2013 04:13 PM  4 years agoPost 5
Mojave

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Palos Verdes, Ca. USA

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Great info guys! Let's keep the momentum going...

Here's another one: Some scale fuses that are designed around the Trex700 platform have very little room in the back of the tail boom for the 700 size tail case. So, I have retrofitted a smaller Trex 600 tail case with good success. I did this in my MC 700 size AS350. It fits the fuse like it was meant to be there.
Barry

All helis and planes have an expiration date stamped on them...you only find it after you crash!!

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09-07-2013 08:09 PM  4 years agoPost 6
doorman

rrProfessor

Sherwood, Arkansas

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Painting Your Blades 101
As suggested by Mojave and Peter Rob, here is the info that I had in a different link, that both thought should be in this thread!!

Here is the material that I use along with some tips on how to paint you main blades.. I am sure there are other ways and materials that can be used, but this works for me.. so here goes!!

Here is how I paint blades, and the materials that I use..


The above pic's show the materials that I use to paint blades.. the windex is used to clean the blades, and later after scuffing has been done the alcohol is used to clean the blades one more time prior to starting paint.

The above show how the blades are prepared.. notice that the blades have been marked so that they go on the head the same way each time. I then cut a piece of masking tape and put the same number on it, and that is what I use to keep track of what is going on during the paint process.

Now you see the blades with prime on them. I like to coat the bottom first, and will apply 2 coats, and let them dry.. then I turn the blades over and spray 2 coats on the top surface. Again, let the paint dry.. on a nice warm day, you can shoot this paint about every 15 minutes or so, but do not rush it.. let the prime dry for at least one hour prior to moving to the next steps.

Now the blades are weighed, and you can see the sticky note that has the first weight of each blade, and any diference in weight is noted..I add weight to the blades that need it to match the heaviest one.. take your time here, and a little practice and you can get them mighty close...when you are within a couple of 10th's you can scuff the heavier blades a bit to bring them into a 10th or 2.. with practice you can get pretty accurate too!! (OR LUCKY!!)

Once they are close to matched, it is time for the first top coats. Here I like to shoot around the edges of each blade.. then I will add the first coat to the bottom of each blade.. let them set for about 15 to 30 minutes and then add the second coat to make certain that you have good coverage.. once that is complete, let them dry about 60 minutes.. then flip them over, and use a little 800 wet paper to just lightly scuff the top of each blade to remove any overspray or dust that might be stuck to each blade.. then use a clean papertowel to dry each blade.. let them sit and make sure that there is no water left on the blade "anywhere".. with that, go around the edges of each blade first, and then shoot the first cover coat... wait about 30 minutes and shoot the top coat... that finishes the color application. These blades will sit in my shop for the next day or so, and then I will tape off for the stripes.. I will shoot more pic's of that process and post it also...but tomorrow, I will weigh the blades again, and if I have to add paint, I will again bring them to very close so that after the stripping is on, it will just take a bit of clear on the bottoms to bring them into balance again.. I do attempt to keep them close by paying attention to how many stokes it takes to cover each blade and try to do the same on each... so..... PREP THOSE BLADES FOR PAINT!!!!

I have blades that have now been flown 3 seasons and they look like the day that they were painted..so I am sticking with what works for me..and hopefully this info will help those that are worried about how and what to use..
Good buddy Rkfish turned me onto this paint, and I have not used anything since..(OH and these blades belong to his 1/3rd scale 300..hope he likes them!!!)

So, with that said, let me load the pic's and get the final info to all those sitting on the edge of their seats waiting to see how these came out!!!!


The above pitures are showing how the blades are masked for the markings wanted, in this case 100mm yellow, 48mm white and another 100mm of yellow, on the top only with about 5mm wrap around the leading edge of the blade, "ONLY USE PENCIL" to make very fine marks for your tape. At this point make certain the tape is pressed down and tight.. then, and no you are not seeing things.. my next step is to shoot a coat of the color that I masked over (white)..this will make sure that you do not get any of the new color running under your tape, and give you a nice sharp paint edge.


The Yellow paint being applied..shoot a light "dust" coat along all the tape edges... wait about 5 minutes and then you can apply the wet coat of the yellow..then let the blades set about 1-2 hours and begin removing the tape.. always pull the tape back over itself with about a 45 degree angle to the paint.. this will help to keep the paint from pulling up as you remove the tape.


The blades should look like this once the tape is off...note the clean lines... Now they are ready to be weighed again to see how far out of balance they are...


As you can see, the heavy blade, number 3 is 428.2 and blade number 1 is light by .3 of a gram, and number 2 is light by .4 of a gram.. not too bad
So, now it is onto the clear coat (Clear Coat is also made by the same company as the paint, and that is what I use).. I shoot a light coat on the bottoms of blade numbers 1 and 2... let it dry for 30 minutes and weigh them to see how they match up to number 3...After applying the clear, I had to add a bit more to 1 and 2 and the final weight came in at 429.4 after adjusting each blade... the origianl starting weight was 417.5 so the total weight added to each blade was 11.7 grams..
So, you can see that the weight of the paint is really not that much once it is all cured...ALSO just one more check..
After 48hrs, check the weight of all the blades one more time just to know that they are fully cured and there will be no change after that except for the bugs you will be killing!!!

I hope this will help you guys out next time you want to paint a set of blades... There are other ways, but this is the one that works for me.. and hope it will for you too.. Taking your time and being patient is key to your success.. if you are not sure you waited long enough, wait another 30 minutes or so, then move on.., better too long then not long enough..

Best of luck to all... Stan

AMA 2918-Team Spin Blades,,Castle Creations, Unique Aircraft

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09-08-2013 11:19 PM  4 years agoPost 7
Mojave

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Palos Verdes, Ca. USA

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After using Stan's advice I got a great result painting the blades for my AS350. Thanks again Stan!
Barry

All helis and planes have an expiration date stamped on them...you only find it after you crash!!

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10-25-2013 05:36 AM  4 years agoPost 8
eyefly3d

rrApprentice

magnolia tx

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Not scale specific but thought I would share. While trying to install the tail belt on a buddy's Heli I'm building I was looking around the workbench for a piece of string and something to use as a weight to pull the belt thru the boom. I happened upon my ear plugs that I use while using any loud tool. I have the good kind that are attached to each other with a piece of string. I tied one end to the belt and dropped the other down the boom. Worked perfectly, just heavy enough and small enough to slide thru the boom with ease but strong enough to be able to pull the belt.

On a side note remember to protect your eyes and ears while enjoying this great hobby.

Chris

I don't always fly helis, but when I do I prefer to fly scale.

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10-25-2013 10:09 AM  4 years agoPost 9
PETER ROB

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Devon UK

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Head speed
With multi blade heads, it is not so easy to check the headspeed
There are a few options, but most require a mathamatical calculation
I was looking for something easier
Tavvy Phil, suggested a disc with a stripe on it, attached to the head
Using a standard 2 blade tacho, and running the head up to full speed at less than hover pitch, it was so easy, and took no time at all to get an accurate head speed
Peter R

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10-25-2013 01:07 PM  4 years agoPost 10
Dr.Tim

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Mojave Desert

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Thats the way I have always done it .. Works perfect Peter.

From Simple minds come simple ideas! Approach Engineering

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10-31-2013 03:54 PM  4 years agoPost 11
doorman

rrProfessor

Sherwood, Arkansas

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Blind Plug
Working on a large scale heli.. when you have to "HIDE" everything, and things are mounted in places that just are not easy to get to..
After several attempts at trying to get the tail servo plugged into the proper port on a a NAZA H that is sitting so that you can see the unit, but not the back where the plugs go in...
After the swash servos are plugged in, there is one space left open and then the tail rotor plugs in.. could not get it to line up... so gave it a bit of thought... I took a blank plug and ca'd it to the rudder plug... this gave me a guide so that the tail plug goes in the proper port easily now, and then I can use that as a guide to plug in the throttle lead... nothing fancy, but it made this task a LOT easier....

Sorry the pic's are not real good...but you get the idea!!!

Stan

AMA 2918-Team Spin Blades,,Castle Creations, Unique Aircraft

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11-01-2013 07:07 PM  4 years agoPost 12
bwellmaker

rrKey Veteran

Long Island

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UIH,

At times, its difficult to get the exact location or placement to fit a bulk head or stringer. When not sure of the location on the inside of the fuse, it also make it tough to fit it to the correct location as well.

I found the Sun Light to be a great help along with a nice dose of vitamin D or Sam Adams

Usually we can see from our build doc's, a rivet or frame line on the outside of the fuse. For me, if I install a rivet line in an area that may be open for judging, the frame should match the rivet line.

To get the correct location, lay fine line 1/8 tape where the bulk head or stinger would be. Now hold the fuse up to the sunlight. You can see where the tape is located and mark either side of the line on the inside of the fuse. You now know where to fit a bulk head inside the fuse and can place the rivet line to match.

B

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11-09-2013 06:33 PM  4 years agoPost 13
PETER ROB

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Devon UK

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fitting new bearings
I needed to replace some bearings also to fit new bearings into a recently machined housing
My machining tolerances were for an interference fit (tight)
In the past I have had problems forcing the bearing into housing
Decided to make a couple of mandrills to place the bearings in their correct position, also to press the bearings in paralel to their housing
Peter R

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12-24-2013 01:06 AM  4 years agoPost 14
Mojave

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Palos Verdes, Ca. USA

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Here's a tip for fitting the glazing on a scale machine:

First I rough cut the glazing to the approximate size. Then I take a black sharpie and draw a line around the edge of the border of the opening in the fuse. This line can be seen through the glazing and will be used as a reference for trimming. Then I lay the glazing over the fuse and tape it down in a few places. I use 3M striping tape to outline the cut area, then I trim to the tape line.

I have found that by starting the trimming in the areas where there are compound curves, then working my way over to the flat parts of the fuse work best.
Barry

All helis and planes have an expiration date stamped on them...you only find it after you crash!!

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12-24-2013 05:40 AM  4 years agoPost 15
capesandblaster

rrApprentice

Truro, MA

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Great idea! I've been avoiding the "final" cut on my vario EC145's glazing until I found a way to get it perfect. We'll give it a try Mojave.
Thanks, Adam

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12-31-2013 02:29 AM  4 years agoPost 16
Mojave

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Palos Verdes, Ca. USA

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Thanks Adam, glad that tip helped you out

Straight Evenly spaced rivet lines aren't as hard as you might think and they make all the difference in the final scale appearance of your heli. If you can see a crooked, poorly spaced rivet pattern, then the judges are gonna see it too Nobody's perfect, but you can get them very close. I use a couple of tricks to get good results.

1) Use a fine mechanical pencil for drawing the rivet lines on the fuse.

2)Use a thin flexible rule (machinists scale) to draw your pencil lines on the fuse. The flexible scale will conform to the contours of the fuse (within reason). You can also use a piece of .020 thick styrene sheet if you don't have a scale.

3) figure out the spacing of the rivets, then cut a piece of styrene sheet to the correct center to center dimension between the rivets. This will keep the distance between the rivets uniform. Then just use this as a spacer to draw the rivet pattern. You'll see how quick the job goes when you're not constantly erasing the lines and second guessing your work (dimensions don't lie).
Barry

All helis and planes have an expiration date stamped on them...you only find it after you crash!!

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01-03-2014 02:33 AM  4 years agoPost 17
Rodan

rrVeteran

Prescott Valley, AZ

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Some really good stuff here, guys!

I'll add my $.02 on a couple things:

On the hanging painting fixture, I use a ball and socket style ceiling fan mount/rod, which allows for easily turning the heli while you're painting. The mount stays in the ceiling and is out of the way when not in use, and the rod can be stored wherever. Parts can be found at any Home Depot, etc.

For rivet lines, an alternative to using styrene or a flexible ruler is 'Fineline' 3M vinyl tape. It's available from most auto paint supply stores. It's flexible and able to follow compound curves very well, and will lay straight with a little care. Just pull the tape after penciling in the rivet lines.

For a tip of my own, you can create a really nice instrument panel if you have a good pic of the full size. First, print the picture at the proper size (this can take a little trial/error w/photoshop or other software). Print two copies. Use one copy to layout the pattern on a sheet of styrene cut to size/shape.

Use sharpened brass tubing as a 'drill' to cut holes in the sheet.

You can cut bezels out of additional styrene if needed, and add knobs/rivets.

Cut a second sheet of styrene cut to size shape as a backing, and clear styrene for 'glass':

Cut out instruments from second print, and place appropriately:

Then assemble the layers, and you have your IP!

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01-03-2014 04:06 AM  4 years agoPost 18
Mojave

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Palos Verdes, Ca. USA

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That's freekin awesome I like the painting tip a lot! I'll also give your rivet fine line tape trick a try on my next build. I like the IP info too. This thread is really coming along and I'm very happy that folks are sharing their tips and tricks with the rest of the scale community.
Barry

All helis and planes have an expiration date stamped on them...you only find it after you crash!!

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01-03-2014 05:27 AM  4 years agoPost 19
coptercptn

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Mesa AZ. USA

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very nice job on the IP!!!

Home of the "Sea Cobra".....

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01-03-2014 12:32 PM  4 years agoPost 20
doorman

rrProfessor

Sherwood, Arkansas

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Good Stuff!!
Liking the painting set up, and really good looking IP..
Barry, your had a great idea starting this thread..

Stan

AMA 2918-Team Spin Blades,,Castle Creations, Unique Aircraft

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