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REAL WORKING BALSA AIRPLANES

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  • Member since
    March 2013
REAL WORKING BALSA AIRPLANES
Posted by modelaircraftperson on Monday, April 15, 2013 5:18 PM

You know those little cheap balsa kits you get, the ones right next to the "Real" model kits, talk about them! Ask about them!  I am currently working on a nice twin mustang, it real nice, trying for a little paint, all from scratch!  Any pointers or Ideas to make it better?

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Tuesday, April 16, 2013 8:57 AM

There is not much "flying scale" activity in  the FSM forums, since FSM is primarily a static scale magazine.  If you are talking about those cheap kits, I assume you mean free-flight flying scale rather than RC flying scale.  There are several forums for each type.  Try googling " free flight flying scale".  You'll find a lot more forum activity for a thread than here on the FSM forums.

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    July 2012
  • From: Douglas AZ
Posted by littletimmy on Tuesday, April 16, 2013 10:59 AM

Pointers to make it better ?   Hmmmm...... I seem to recall that Gasoline and some matches  always made mine more fun !!

Are these the flat stamped balsa wood ?  Or the sort of carved full fuselage?

Please post some pictures so we can tell which one your working on.

I may be able to come up with a more " acceptable " answer for you.

The gas is always the last resort .   HEE   HEE    HEE   

 Dont worry about the thumbprint, paint it Rust , and call it "Battle Damage"

  • Member since
    March 2013
Posted by modelaircraftperson on Tuesday, April 16, 2013 3:04 PM

Haha little timmy, yes that is always an option.  But they are flat like the balsa planes from the store.  But Don, I am not really looking for activity, I just want to spark a minor interest i people who build regular models.  It is a very good fun if you just want to build a few, especially if you have younger siblings/family.

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Wednesday, April 17, 2013 9:12 AM

modelaircraftperson

Haha little timmy, yes that is always an option.  But they are flat like the balsa planes from the store.  But Don, I am not really looking for activity, I just want to spark a minor interest i people who build regular models.  It is a very good fun if you just want to build a few, especially if you have younger siblings/family.

There is plenty of interest, and the kits are still available at most hobby shops.  It is just that the forums are in different places than the places where plastic modelers hang out.  Remember, until a few years ago, IPMS had a rule that the majority of a model entered in sanctioned contests must be made of plastic.  There is SOME interest in wood here in the scratchbuilding forum, but most of the wood interest is still about static scale models made of wood.

In a kind of crossover, some of us do start with Guillows kits and skin them with plastic over the balsa wood framework to create static scale aircraft.

There are also lots of clubs still around for flying models.

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    March 2013
Posted by modelaircraftperson on Wednesday, April 17, 2013 6:32 PM

Helo, that is pretty amazing.  But as I have now learned, adding paint to an airplane without being powered and adds lots of weight, I will have to strip all the paint off of my f-82- it does no fly anymore

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • From: Australia
Posted by Helo H-34 on Wednesday, April 17, 2013 6:58 PM

This topic has peeked my interest a little in balsa wood models . The LHS has a balsa DC-3/C-47 which is another of my late fathers favourite planes . I'll have to search around google and see if anyone has ever made one . I'm curious as to the amount of work involved and if it actually does fly .

Great topic anyway .

John .

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Thursday, April 18, 2013 8:50 AM

I suspect that is the Guillows kit (quite a large model). I have not specifically built the DC-3 but have built several of the other Guillows.  Those Guillows models do not fly very well in general- they are quite heavy because of the scale shape and details.  Additionally the multi-engined ones suffer from a very short rubber length that limits the amount of energy you can wind rubber too.  Result is an extended glide.  They are quite a bit of work to build if you have not built balsa flying models before. Some people have converted them to electric power but you need to have a lot of experience in electric free-flight before tackling such a project.

If you cover them with the tissue provided the covering becomes faceted rather than curved.  You can cover them with sheet styrene to give a more realistic metal skin look, but that makes them even heavier and less flyable, plus covering them with small pieces of styrene is difficult and takes time.  They do build into impressive static scale models, but a lot of work- a major project.

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • From: Australia
Posted by Helo H-34 on Thursday, April 18, 2013 3:43 PM

Hi Don ,

Thanks for the additional info on the DC-3 . I did see one WIP build while searching around google  and the modeller did mention about the covering looking too ribbed of faceted as you have pointed out . Although I didn't think it look all that bad not having a completely smooth curved surface .

What I would really love is a large scale Sikorsky H-34/Westland Wessex helicopter in balsa . Not a flying one , just a static model . Something a little bigger than 1/32 . One of my Wessex helicopter reference books has a series of scale drawings with side profile diagrams . I've just been wondering for a while now if someone out there has had a similar idea and made a large scale static Sikorsky or Westland helo .

John .

 

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Friday, April 19, 2013 10:09 AM

Helo H-34

Hi Don ,

Thanks for the additional info on the DC-3 . I did see one WIP build while searching around google  and the modeller did mention about the covering looking too ribbed of faceted as you have pointed out . Although I didn't think it look all that bad not having a completely smooth curved surface .

What I would really love is a large scale Sikorsky H-34/Westland Wessex helicopter in balsa . Not a flying one , just a static model . Something a little bigger than 1/32 . One of my Wessex helicopter reference books has a series of scale drawings with side profile diagrams . I've just been wondering for a while now if someone out there has had a similar idea and made a large scale static Sikorsky or Westland helo .

John .

 

There used to be someone who scratch-built helicopers on one of the forums but I haven't seen posts by him in a long time.

You might try some solid wood scale model kits to get the hang  of carving, and then attempt a scratch project.  Used to be, in days before plastic, if you built static scale aircraft, you learned to carve.  There are not many kits available these days, but a few companies do make reproduction kits.  And, you can still pick up the original kits on eBay. I have bought several from ebay.

These kits were almost always sawed to profile shape, some also sawed to planform.  This left a rectangular section on fuselage, so you had to carve it round using templates provided to gauge your carving.  A couple of models, and you get the hang of it, and can undertake a scratch project.  Used to be a lot more scratchbuilt models in those days.

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

fox
  • Member since
    January 2007
  • From: Narvon, Pa.
Posted by fox on Friday, April 26, 2013 10:58 PM

I still have my old Spad "stick and tissue up on top of the shelves. Took all the tissue off for a rebuild but never got around to it. I think if I put a new rubber motor in it and wound it up, it will collapse. The balsa is probably dried out and brittle. It flew, but not that well. Have a half dozen kits still in the stash.

Jim Captain

 Main WIP: 

   On the Bench:  1/48 Tamiya - Vought F4U-1A Corsair for Group Build 'Absent Friends' 50%                                                                   1/48 Encore Models - A-37B/OA-37B Dragonfly 50%

I keep hitting "escape", but I'm still here.

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Saturday, April 27, 2013 9:53 AM

Balsa is a pretty stable wood. I have models probably twenty years old or more and they still take a winding with fresh rubber.  However, do not try that without covering- the covering, even doped tissue, actually adds a LOT to the strength of the framework (especially torsional stiffness).

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    May 2004
  • From: Mount Bretherton Model Aircraft Observatory
Posted by f8sader on Saturday, April 27, 2013 10:23 AM

LiPo batteries, tiny electric motors, together with micro radios opens up a whole new possibility with RC for these stick and tissue planes!

Lon-ski

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