September 21, 2023


Just Do Automotive

Straightforward ARF Scale Makeover – Mannequin Airplane Information

10 min read

Model Airplane News - Membership | Easy ARF Scale Makeover: E-flite Stearman

Listed here are some “earlier than” and “after” pictures. With a bit of labor, the result’s superb.

To start out, I eliminated the pilot bust for higher entry whereas portray the within entrance of the cockpit. The pilot was held in place with two screws and glue, however after eradicating the screws, it simply broke free. I then ready the windshields. The frames, like the remainder of the fuselage, wanted to be painted mild grey. I lined the skin glass surfaces with masking tape, rubbing the tape tightly into the corners of the glass and frames with a chisel-shaped mixing stick. I then lower away the surplus tape with a pointy pastime knife to reveal the framework. I then sanded the skin of the frames.

Earlier than portray the fuselage, I wanted to peel off the numbers and letter decals. I fastidiously lifted a nook of every merchandise and peeled it off, pulling it again over itself. A lot of the paint got here off with the decals, however the foam wasn’t broken. The yellow coating of paint on this mannequin was reasonably heavy, so I sanded all of the surfaces to be painted (besides the wings) with 240-grit moist sandpaper; you would additionally use dry sandpaper used dry. The sandpaper was used to assist easy the areas the place the decals had been. I used 1-inch-wide strips of the sandpaper looped over my fingertip. I didn’t sand by means of the paint—simply sufficient to boring the floor in order that the brand new paint would have higher adhesion. I didn’t use a sanding block as there have been only a few flat surfaces and I might have sanded away the molded-in particulars.

Model Airplane News - Membership | Easy ARF Scale Makeover: E-flite Stearman

The provides for doing this makeover can be found at most home-improvement shops and craft outlets.

Model Airplane News - Membership | Easy ARF Scale Makeover: E-flite Stearman

Once you take away the decals, quite a lot of paint can even come off. Deal with these areas with some primer and further paint to fill within the foam floor.

Tech Tip
Earlier than portray or priming a mannequin, examine any questionable paints by making use of a bit paint on the within of a hatch cowl to see if it’s going to react with the floor. Additionally, examine the paint adhesion with a bit of masking tape.

Earlier than making use of the paint, I used a primer to cowl over the naked foam from the decal areas. Kilz primer and Minwax Polycrylic semigloss helped cowl the froth, however I needed to be cautious whereas masking. For the primary scheme, I used cheap pattern jars of Behr Extremely Satin water-based enamel; these can be found in most home-care shops. I used the Misty Coast colour, which was match for the full-size Stearman; it adhered fairly properly to the yellow paint. I used a 5/8-inch-wide flat artist brush and utilized the paint to the areas the place the decals had been to assist fill within the floor. I let this space dry after which sanded frivolously to mix it in earlier than making use of the remainder of the paint to the fuselage. I made certain the paint was fully dry earlier than sanding. I used smaller brushes whereas portray the struts, windshield frames, and different small areas.

As soon as the bottom coat of paint had dried, I wanted to masks off the sides of the purple band. I lower some 1/4-inch-wide strips of masking tape and rubbed the adhesive aspect with my fingers to detack it a bit after which utilized the tape. This helped forestall the tape from lifting the brand new paint. Don’t rub the tape down too exhausting. Whereas portray the band space, I utilized various coats alongside the tape edge, utilizing a reasonably dry brush, in order that the paint didn’t run beneath the tape. (That is good follow to observe any time you paint alongside masked edges.) I subsequent masked off the fin and rudder blue in the identical method. For the tail, I used artist Matte Acrylic Award Blue paint; these paints are cheap and are available 2-ounce bottles. The blue was a bit too darkish, so I added a bit little bit of white to lighten it up. The horizontal stabilizer and elevators had been painted with the identical colour.

If any paint will get within the alignment gap for the underside wing, the attachment pin might not match. So I let the paint dry after which used a no. 6 drill bit to wash out the paint. With the wing in place, I masked off the underside of the wing and painted the stomach space to match the fuselage. As earlier than, I used slender strips of detacked tape.

I painted the cabane struts and the interplane N struts in the identical method. To color the diagonal braces between the cabane struts, I masked off the cabane struts and sprayed on chrome silver earlier than brushing the grey paint on the struts. The underside mounting tabs for the N struts had been a bit lengthy and wanted to be trimmed to suit into the wing sockets. I made certain to not pressure them into the plastic sockets as a result of they could have damaged off from the wing. The struts had been secured as soon as they had been connected and mounted to the highest wing, and the N struts had been secured to the highest wing by 4 slide-in wire rods. I discovered that tapering the ends of the rods made it simpler to align them within the holes within the struts.

Model Airplane News - Membership | Easy ARF Scale Makeover: E-flite Stearman

Masks off and paint the underside middle of the decrease wing to match the fuselage.

Tech Tip
Don’t use extra paint on the mannequin than obligatory. Paint provides weight to the aft finish and would require the addition of nostril weight to rebalance the mannequin.

I lower my new markings from some black-and-white MonoKote trim sheets I had readily available. To make the brand new numbers and letters roughly the identical measurement as these on the inventory mannequin, I stacked and taped a bit of white and black trim sheet collectively. I then used the inventory quantity “3” (from the previous decals) as a sample since I may simply make the “0” and the “6” from the essential form of the “3.” I used a pointy mannequin knife to chop out the numbers, utilizing a straightedge to information me. The U.S. Navy markings had been finished the identical method.

To put the brand new markings, I used the highest of the fuselage hatch edge as an alignment information. For reference, the big numbers had been 3/8 inch under this edge, and the U.S. Navy letters had been 7/8 inch under it. I utilized the brand new markings utilizing the moist method, making use of glass cleaner to the floor after which sliding the markings round to the right place. When happy, I pat and squeegeed the letters down, and let it dry within the solar for a few hours in order that they had been bonded tight.

Model Airplane News - Membership | Easy ARF Scale Makeover: E-flite Stearman

After portray the fuselage, set it apart and begin reducing out your new markings. Right here, I’m utilizing the inventory no. 3 decal as a information to kind the brand new numbers.

Model Airplane News - Membership | Easy ARF Scale Makeover: E-flite Stearman

I used the flat fringe of the battery compartment as an alignment information after which used strips of tape to assist place the brand new markings.

I lower out the part hand holds on the wingtips and middle part. A pointy knife blade was required. The 5/8-inch-long rear fuselage hand holds had been fashioned from 1/16-inch-diameter aluminum tubing and glued into holes within the fuselage. This was additionally finished for the footsteps that mission from the entrance of the higher landing-gear fairings. I painted the engine crankcase grey and the exhaust stacks a rusty brown colour. The fueling foot pad on prime of the nostril was simulated with a 1/2-inch-wide strip of black trim sheet sanded to boring the end. There’s a small black spec plate on the left touchdown gear fairing that was made out of a bit of trim sheet. The oil-fill cap within the higher rear nook of the left nostril aspect panel was made out of a 1/2-inch-diameter disc of black trim sheet and a bit of three/8-inch dowel painted yellow and glued in place. I made the static scale propeller from an previous Zinger 11x7W propeller. The outer tip was painted a darkish tan colour, and the vanguard was painted brass. I didn’t add any weathering to the mannequin, as Nick’s full-size Stearman seems to be manufacturing unit recent!

Model Airplane News - Membership | Easy ARF Scale Makeover: E-flite Stearman

Being neat whilst you do the masking, add small particulars, and paint the cockpit coaming contributes a lot to the look of the aircraft. Taking your time makes a giant distinction. For the small tail-number markings, I had a good friend lower them out for me utilizing his desktop vinyl cutter.

Model Airplane News - Membership | Easy ARF Scale Makeover: E-flite Stearman

Small particulars, just like the wing hand holds, will be lower out and painted to enhance the mannequin’s scale seems to be.

I made a decision that the Stearman would look higher with flying and touchdown wires. I replicated these utilizing semiflat plastic Creatology lacing materials from the native craft retailer. If you’re fortunate, you could find the fabric in chrome, silver, and grey.

I used white lacing after which painted it with Krylon gloss smoke grey paint. Earlier than portray, I fashioned a loop in a single finish of an 18-inch size of the lacing for the wing clips. The lacing materials is flat on one aspect and barely oval on the opposite. For higher glue adhesion, I sanded the flat floor utilizing 220-grit sandpaper. I folded the sanded finish over a size of paper-clip wire, utilized some Zap medium CA, held it collectively utilizing small-nose pliers, after which
utilized some Zip Kicker. I made certain the wire clip was free to maneuver, then coated the complete overlapped part with CA and eliminated the wire; I didn’t let the glue fill the wire gap. I then pinned the wing rigging between two wooden blocks to color.

Make the wire clips from a paper-clip and bent to form as proven. My clips fashioned simply and are a lot sturdy for securing the rigging in place. Make two clips extensive sufficient to suit two rigging strains. Assemble the clips to the rigging line loops and drill 1/16-inch holes within the backside of the highest wing on the cabane struts and the N struts. These must be situated about 1/8-inch outboard of the cabane struts and centered on the entrance struts. The rear must be drilled in spite of everything the opposite rigging is in place. Test the pictures to see the place the rigging strains are connected.

The double flying-wire strains had been epoxied into 1/8-inch holes fashioned into the perimeters of the fuselage. I made these by pushing a small screwdriver 3/4 inch into the froth. (You should take away the underside wing for this. The holes are situated on the backside corners of the outlined panel on the perimeters of the fuselage.) With the highest wing and rigging wires hooked into place, I pushed the inboard ends into the holes. I did one set at a time, wiping off the surplus epoxy. My purpose was to have the rigging be about 1/2 inch quick. When the epoxy had cured, I stretched the rear flying wires and related them to the holes on the rear N strut. I connected the underside wing and related the double landing-wire strains to the decrease N-strut holes. I repeated the method till all of the wires had been in place.

You may need to take into account including 3/32-inch-diameter tie bars on the rigging crossovers. To do that, use a dowel or a rounded size of exhausting balsa.

Model Airplane News - Membership | Easy ARF Scale Makeover: E-flite Stearman

All of the wing-rigging wires at the moment are in place. I additionally added the wire-spreader rod on the crossover part for an added little bit of element.

Model Airplane News - Membership | Easy ARF Scale Makeover: E-flite Stearman

You’ll be able to add scale wing rigging to the mannequin with plastic lacing materials. Right here, I’m gluing the tip loop utilizing a paper clip within the loop and holding the fabric collectively whereas the Zap glue dries.

Model Airplane News - Membership | Easy ARF Scale Makeover: E-flite Stearman

I bent the wire attachment clips to form from a paper clip, and drilled holes within the plastic plates across the
strut sockets.

Model Airplane News - Membership | Easy ARF Scale Makeover: E-flite Stearman

Right here, you see the double flying wires connected on the N-strut location.

Model Airplane News - Membership | Easy ARF Scale Makeover: E-flite Stearman

Right here, I’m epoxying the ends of the flying wires into the holes within the fuselage.

All this was a bit of labor, however the added particulars actually made a giant distinction. In case you take your time and use these strategies, you possibly can reproduce a scale model of your individual favourite Stearman biplane

Model Airplane News - Membership | Easy ARF Scale Makeover: E-flite Stearman

Model Airplane News - Membership | Easy ARF Scale Makeover: E-flite Stearman

With the makeover portray full, I rebalanced the mannequin. It flew nice, however it’s nonetheless a bit plain Jane.

The King of the Limo Planes
Earlier than going any additional, I assembled the mannequin and checked the steadiness. With the brand new paint aft of the middle of gravity, nostril weight was required. I moved the flight battery as far ahead as it will go and added 4.25 ounces contained in the dummy engine. The Stearman flew nice with no downtrim required, and it was comfortably delicate to manage inputs.


Model Airplane News - Membership | Easy ARF Scale Makeover: E-flite Stearman
Nick’s Full-Measurement Experience
The Stearman PT-17/N2S has all the time been one in all my favourite biplanes. The first coach has an extended historical past, going again to 1935. The U.S. Military ordered its first 26 Mannequin 75 Stearmans in 1936, and the remainder is historical past. I’ve designed and constructed three completely different RC variations, together with a 51-inch-span mannequin revealed in Flying Fashions in 1973; the second and third plan variations had been 77- and 87-inch spans, respectively. Span fashions can be found from son’s firm, Nick Ziroli Plans ( son owns and flies a superbly restored 1942 Navy N2S-3 Stearman, which was the winner for Finest WW II Coach in Oshkosh. The very best half for me is that, once I go to his household on Lengthy Island, I all the time get some stick time in his Stearman. It’s a pleasure to fly and nice enjoyable.

Textual content & pictures by Nick Ziroli Sr.

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