September 28, 2023


Just Do Automotive

Ki-43 Oscar – From ARF to one-of-a-kind showstopper

5 min read

If you hear the identify “Chuck Hamilton,” you might consider his plans-built SBD-3 Dauntless mannequin, with which he positioned within the Skilled class on the Prime Gun Scale Invitational. So after we noticed photographs of his newest creation, a Ki-43 Oscar, and heard that it was initially a Hangar 9 ARF, we knew we needed to discover out extra. Right here’s what Chuck needed to say about his warbird makeover.

Mannequin Airplane Information: How did you get began in radio management and constructing scale fashions?
Chuck Hamilton: I grew up with mannequin airplanes, as my dad was at all times into it from the beginning. I used to be at all times the little child taking part in within the dust with my toys whereas dad and his mates flew. For the primary 5 years of my life I assumed was a bloodhound, as each time a airplane went into the corn I jumped up and fetched it! However as soon as I hit my early teenagers I turn into concerned in motorbike racing and pursued that till my mid-thirties. After an accident and shoulder surgical procedure I drove straight to the interest store and acquired a Prime Flite package. I by no means regarded again!
I actually take pleasure in scale plane and modeling is simply my manner of staying related to it, plus as soon as I discovered the competitors facet of scale modeling I actually grew to become hooked. I reside in Bremen, Indiana with my spouse of 32 years and do belong to a couple space golf equipment however I actually take pleasure in going to new occasions throughout the Midwest and assembly new people who share the identical ardour as I do. Plus in some small manner, I get to remain related with my dad.

MAN: Why did you select to offer this specific ARF mannequin a facelift?
CH: My motivation was to make the Hangar 9 Ki-43 Oscar, with its lovely strains, one thing particular. I additionally wished to point out the native RC guys that you would be able to make an ARF your dream plane.

MAN: Inform us concerning the course of of remodeling the Oscar.
CH: I stripped off the overlaying in about an hour with little or no to wash or restore. I need to admit, the overlaying was very nicely executed and sturdy. If I needed to do it yet again, I might paint proper on high of the overlaying. It’s that good! I glassed the airframe in a weekend utilizing Zap Ending Resin and 0.73-ounce Sig fabric. I primed it the next weekend and spent a day sanding all of it off. I spot-puttied any areas that wanted it and primed once more and sanded.
Subsequent, I drew the panel strains on in pencil and utilized Chartpak tape over the strains. I added a number of coats of primer, and when that was dry, I simply peeled off the tape for a pleasant, crisp panel line! I burned in all of the rivets with my modified soldering iron which took about 8 hours in whole. Add a number of particulars after which it was prepared for paint!

MAN: How did you create the brand new scale scheme and all the size particulars?
CH: I like to construct, however on occasion I’ll take an ARF and experiment with paint and weathering methods. I’m a latex paint kinda man, however on this challenge, the entire paint job apart from the weathering is rattle cans! Even the primer is rattle cans. The outcomes communicate for themselves.
The little extras just like the faux exhaust, gas caps, antennas, and nav lights are made out of simply scrap objects laying round. Nothing particular however a bit of elbow grease and good documentation.

MAN: How lengthy did the transformation take?
CH: Full disclosure, I glassed and primed the Oscar within the fall however didn’t begin doing the main points, paint and ultimate meeting till the Christmas vacation two-week break. The ultimate meeting was very fast and I applaud Horizon Pastime for the design and ease of meeting.
MAN: What energy and radio system did you put in?
CH: I just about assembled the plane identical to Horizon Pastime advised, proper all the way down to the Spektrum servos and FG90 radial engine. I need to admit, that engine is the right combo for this measurement plane. I broke the engine as described, set the needles as per the guide and haven’t touched it but. By the best way, I sometimes fly this plane twice on the identical gas and air fill! The gas consumption is so minimal I’ve to look twice at it. And the sound is simply excellent. I didn’t use any particular muffler or exhaust, simply what got here with it the engine. All in all, it took about three weeks to get it executed and able to fly after it was all painted.

MAN: How is the Oscar’s flight efficiency?
CH: Within the air, she flies like a P-47 however higher and extra nimble, and landings are very predictable with the flaps. I did couple a bit of little bit of down-elevator with the flaps as she’s going to pitch up a bit. That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it!

MAN: Thanks for taking the time to share your ARF transformation with us, and we look ahead to seeing you each on the flightline quickly!

How pretty is that! The Saito FG90R just looks the part in the cowl and the performance is ideal for a warbird of this size.

How fairly is that! The Saito FG90R simply appears to be like the half within the cowl and the efficiency is right for a warbird of this measurement.

Rivets, rivets, rivets! The Oscar, like most Japanese aircraft, used flush rivets. Chuck simply burns the rivets into the primer using a 10-watt soldering iron with a brass tube fixed to the end.

Rivets, rivets, rivets! The Oscar, like most Japanese plane, used flush rivets. Chuck merely burns the rivets into the primer utilizing a 10-watt soldering iron with a brass tube fastened to the tip.

An all-silver aircraft really stands out at the field, and the weathering makes all of the details jump out even more.

An all-silver plane actually stands out on the area, and the weathering makes the entire particulars bounce out much more.

All of the paint, including the markings, are off-the-shelf rattle cans.

The entire paint, together with the markings, are off-the-shelf rattle cans.

The fake fuel caps are just scrap ABS plastic. This is where good documentation pays off.

The faux gas caps are simply scrap ABS plastic. That is the place good documentation pays off.

On most ground-based aircraft, the dirt and grime is from the flying surfaces they fly from. My technique is a combination of airbrush and brush work. Good reference once again is the key.

On most ground-based plane, the dust and dirt is from the flying surfaces they fly from. My approach is a mix of airbrush and brush work. Good reference as soon as once more is the important thing.

The Oscar has a number of totally different exhaust kinds, and the plane I represented makes use of the flat type. Utilizing a very good 3-view, I minimize the exhaust out of signal board and sanded it to form. As a result of the fabric is a bit of porous, it appears to be like the a part of a forged merchandise. Slightly Zap cover glue for the faux weld and paint makes the exhaust actually stand out.

Chuck right after the maiden flight. The Oscar behaved very well with only a tweak of down-trim with the flaps.

Chuck right after the maiden flight. The Oscar behaved very well with only a tweak of down-trim with the flaps.

Chuck right after the maiden flight. The Oscar behaved very well with only a tweak of down-trim with the flaps.

How can you not like the lines of an Oscar! With the Saito radial engine, this thing just begs to fly!

How will you not just like the strains of an Oscar! With the Saito radial engine, this factor simply begs to fly!

Pictures by Palmer Johnson & CH:uck Hamilton

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