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Weighing nose gear

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  • Member since
    November 2005
Weighing nose gear
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, May 9, 2003 7:17 PM
How much weight is enough weight ?
I recently built a B 25 G and put in what I thought was enough fishing sinkers to hold the nose of the plane down while sitting on the ground, I was wrong.
How much weight is enough, what should I use for weight? Why don't the manufacturers either suggest the proper weight or maybe even provide it?
  • Member since
    January 2003
  • From: Washington State
Posted by leemitcheltree on Friday, May 9, 2003 9:56 PM
There's no hard and fast rule here - the correct weight to put into the nose of a probable tail-sitter is "enough to do the job".
I dry fit as much of the airframe as I can and tape all the bits together (especially the interior and anything that sits BEHIND the main gear), then dry fit the gear, set the plane on it's wheels and add weight till it sits correctly - then add a little bit extra (just in case) and set aside the weight in a film canister to keep it safe and sound intil I need to use it. Using this method, I've been able to calculate the exact amount needed to even keep the nose down when the tail is pushed all the way to the ground, so it'll never be a tail sitter.
Cheers,
Lee Tree

Cheers, LeeTree
Remember, Safety Fast!!!

  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, May 9, 2003 11:24 PM
I'd stuff as much lead as you can fit in the nose, no such thing as "too much" if the gears will take it! Of course, if lead isn't your thing, fill up the nose with Testors Putty. Most people complain that it shrinks(I must be lucky, not a single tube of Testors Putty has ever shrunk on me!), but in your case, this would be a good thing. Each time it shrinks, you add in more, until there's so much in there the nose can just EXACTLY fit on the plane! This will make MORE than enough ballast, most of the time! If that doesn't work, do what I'd do, model the thing Landing Gears UP!! The only good plane, is one in flight! I've never made on w/ the gears down, and prolly never will!
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, May 10, 2003 12:53 AM
If you have a clear canopy and want the details to show but not the weights, try this: form heavy-duty aluminum foil into the canopy and dry fit the floorboard. Gently cut the foil at the edge where the floor touches to mark it. Remove the foil and use it as a mold. Then use low temp metal (like for figurines) and slowly fill the mold. As you add metal, place a small wire (paper clip) into the metal sticking out the back, toward the fuselage. When it cools, test fit your weight under the floor. You use the wire to insert and retrieve the weight! You may have to file it down some to assure a good fit or add some more to the top. When the fit is correct, use super glue to hold the weight in place and put the floor on top. Then either cut off the wire or use it as an extra anchor for the canopy to the fuselage.
Good luck!
CJ
  • Member since
    January 2003
  • From: Washington State
Posted by leemitcheltree on Saturday, May 10, 2003 3:55 AM
Oh, yeah
Sorry Les - forgot to mention several simple sources for weights - I use lead flashing they use on roofs (wide, long strips thet can be easily cut or shaped to any size), lead sinkers from places that sell fishing supplies, lead shot from shops that sell gun supplies or re-load supplies. It's far denser than just about any other metal that's easily available, and is cheap. Just remember to wear gloves or wash your hands carefully after handling the stuff.
Cheers, Lee Tree

Cheers, LeeTree
Remember, Safety Fast!!!

  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, May 10, 2003 1:27 PM
I recommend steel shot, especially if you have young children or pets. Also you don't have to weight the nose, any place foreward of the main gear will work-engine nacelles/cowls, bombs in the bomb bay the bomb bay if doors are shut etc.(the 2 foreward turrets of my B-29 were filled with shot). More weight will be needed (leverage) but the weight won't be seen through the greenhouse of a bomber.
  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Oak Harbor, WA
Posted by Kolja94 on Sunday, May 11, 2003 1:50 AM
Over the years, I'm pretty good at guessing when a plane is going to need weight as I study the instructions beforehand. Just by looking at where the landing gear is and much airplane is ahead of it and how much is behind it, I get a pretty good gut feeling about whether or not I'll need weight.

My favorite type of weight of all time is Walther's, used for weighting model railroad cars. I like it because it comes with adhesive backing so you can just stick it to the inside surface - and I haven't had any fall off yet. When possible, I'll put them either immediately forward or immediately aft of the nosegear on the lowest inside surface - that way, there's no place for them TO fall! The supply I have is in 1/4 oz increments. They work great in 1/48 scale models and in some 1/72 as well (remember, as Derek said, it just has to be ahead of the main gear, not necesarily in the nose).

In less accomodating spaces, I use fishing sinkers held with either putty or blu-tak as the mood strikes.

Sometimes in 1/72 though there really is no room - I've done a 1/72 T-34 and A-37 which are tiny planes, no room for weight, and tail sitters. These I CA'd to a piece of sheet stryene I spray painted gray to resemble the ramp. I simulated lines with a black roller ball pen and straight edge. That's enough to make them sit right! :)

Karl

  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, May 11, 2003 5:09 PM
Lead curtain weights are what I use.

You should be able to pick them up quite cheaply from a Hardware/Fabric store.

I just trim them into shape with a pair of side cutters, and secure them in place with PVA wood glue.

Hope this helps,

Rob M.
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: West Des Moines, IA USA
Posted by jridge on Sunday, May 11, 2003 7:47 PM
A sure fire way to be sure your weight is going to be correct is to purchase wieghts designed for a specific aircraft. Contact Terry Dean, e-mail: nightiemission@aol.com. Great guy to work with. Very reasonable prices. He is continually expanding his inventory. Do a search on www.google.com for "nose weights" to see some of his weights and read some reviews.
Jim The fate of the Chambermaid http://30thbg.1hwy.com/38thBS.html
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: West Des Moines, IA USA
Posted by jridge on Sunday, May 11, 2003 9:55 PM
I forgot: Terry's weights are designed to be hidden regardless of how the model is posed. IE: gear down, bomb bay open, canopies clear, etc.
Jim The fate of the Chambermaid http://30thbg.1hwy.com/38thBS.html
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, May 12, 2003 5:57 PM
I looked at the Terry Dean weights and that is exactly what I am looking for. Now to answer my other retoric question, why can't the manufacturers supply them in the kit? If they charged an extra dollar or two wouldn't it be worth it to them.
  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by cnstrwkr on Tuesday, May 13, 2003 4:58 PM
If you need small pieces of lead, to fill in a few small areas after you have filled the larger, you can use split shot. It can be found in the fishing section of sporting goods stores. A little epoxy, mixed with the split shot and it does a great job.
Tommy
Tommy difficult things take time...the impossible, a little longer!
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