Photo gallery 14

Peanut scale Mitsubishi J2M Raiden

The Mitsubishi Raiden was one of four peanut scale WW2 fighter kits released by Dave Diels as a set. I'd already built the Brewster Buffalo, and fancied a go at one of the others. The Raiden seemed a suitable companion to the Walt Mooney Ki 27, so that's the one I started.

As you can see, the structure is quite light. Perhaps unwisely I added hinged elevators and rudder. The first two fuselage bays were also filled between the stringers with soft 1/16" sheet. The 1/32" sheet gussets at the wing rib trailing edges were added to stop wrinkles.

I have detailed how I finished the model using pieces of decal sheet in the article here

The model is big for a peanut, and came out at about 15 grams without noseweight. With a big fat fuselage and fairly small wings trimming was never going to be easy. Initial efforts with a loop of 3/32" rubber haven't indicated any signs of sustained flight - I suspect I will have to move to a loop of 1/8" to get it going. No damage yet, thankfully, so I will persevere.

24" span Consolidated Fleetster

The Consolidated Fleetster has been on my to-do list for many years, particularly because of the gorgeous red and gold TWA livery it wore. Plus it isn't often modelled. Dave Mitchell built one a couple of years ago for the Flying Aces Spanish civil war event and it proved such a good performer it flew away. He very kindly sent me a copy of the plan in CAD format so I could build one myself. Inevitably I have fiddled with it a bit so it better suits the BMFA scale rules, for instance I have ruined Dave's thin high performance wing section to better reproduce the fatter scale section near the centre. This has the added benefit that the wing taper in the front view helps to disguise the slightly over-scale dihedral. Span is a touch under 24".

Here you can see that the wing leading edges were sheeted on top up to the front spar to give a more authentic look. See below for details of the somewhat bigger version lurking behind!

The original idea was to finish both big and little Fleetsters at the same time and in the same TWA livery, but then I thought it would be good to get the 24" version finished first so I could iron out any construction problems and see it I had enough dihedral for stability. I also decided I couldn't face doing such a complex livery twice, so opted for a much simpler Spanish War scheme that would be quicker to do. The 37" version was still to be TWA though.

The model is covered in White Esaki tissue and airbrushed in Xtracolor enamels. These have a gloss finish, allowing good adhesion for the decal sheet markings, also stopping any silvering showing on the laser printed fin registrations.

When all the markings were on, the canopy was masked and the airframe given a light coat of Tamiya matt varnish from a spray can. It was the first time I had used this varnish and I was very impressed with how well it worked. Cabin windows were added last to save having to mask them. These were cut from the windows in supermarket cake boxes and simply glued on the outside using Formula 560 canopy glue. Weight came out at 45 grams without rubber. Using a 7" prop means I can do take-offs without hitting the floor and I started test flights with two loops of 1/8" rubber.

The model needed a few grams of noseweight to stop it stalling but then trimmed out very easily and on its first trip out to Port Meadow it was soon circling high overhead. I will be drawing up the plan for this one so look out for that.

37" span Consolidated Fleetster

After building the fuselage for the 24" model I began to think that a bigger version might make an excellent outdoor rubber model for BMFA competitions. Thus, I blew the plan up to 37" (so also legal for FAC Jumbo Scale) and played around with the structure some more, putting in a few more formers, ribs and stringers.

To make the fuselage look as accurate as possible, I wanted to do away with visible stringers. I considered Ivan Taylor's filler on tissue method as used on his marvellous Zero, but eventually decided to go with a more labour intensive method that I was more comfortable with, namely filling between the stringers with balsa. I used very light 1mm balsa sheet, cut to fit then moistened on the outside to give a bit of curve before gluing into place. Using such thin balsa means you have to be very accurate fitting the panels, but I was pleased with the result. It took ages though!

The fuselage was coveered with Esaki tissue before painting. I chose yellow so that I could easily see if I'd missed anywhere. Wings were also covered in Esaki but the tail surfaces were done using Martin Dilly's Japanese tisse, which has lower shrinkage, so less likely to cause warps.

The wing is in three parts, with the outer panels fitting to the centre section using tongues and boxes. the struts are reinforced with wire and ply to encourage the centre section to stay attached in the event of a crash. I hadn't fitted the aerial mast above the wing when the photo below was taken - it seemed sensible to leave this off until I had made my trimming flights.

The areas of the model that were to be red were first airbrushed in satin white to provide an undercoat for the Xtracolor Insignia red enamel. The silver areas are Xtracolor RAF high speed silver, which doesn't need an undercoat.

Most of the markings were cut from painted decal sheet, including the stripe between the red fuselage and silver nose. The photo above shows how for both this stripe and the fuselage TWA lettering, black decal pieces were aplied first, followed by the gold sections, which can be accurately centred to give an even black outline either side. The gold and black TWA lettering was drawn using CAD, where the offset function is a real godsend for applications like this.

The airframe weight including the Easy Built 12" plastic prop came out at a substantial 163 grams without rubber. I think this will be fine for outdoors - in fact when I calculated the wing loading based on using a 24 gram rubber motor, it came out close to 14 g/ which is actually legal for BMFA scale indoor competitions. Depends if it needs any nose weight of course, which the 24" version did.

Initial low powered test flights were made at my small local field using a motor of 6 loops of 3/32" rubber (a pure guess) and after adding 8 grams of nose weight it looked very promising. Since then I have had two trimming sessions on Port Meadow, Oxford and after adding another loop of 3/32" rubber, plus some side and downthrust and a touch more noseweight it is going really well. With 700 winds I am getting LH circling flights around 40 seconds - more than enough for BMFA outdoor competitions. Thanks to Andy Blackburn for this excellent flying shot.

Only after I had the trim fully sorted did I add the vulnerable aerial mast, wire and support struts above the wing centre section.

Ray Malmstrom's "semi scale" Handley Page Herald

Now for a bit of nostalgia. Back in the 1960's I was fascinated by Ray Malmstrom's design for a "semi scale" Handley Page Herald, which was published in Model Aircraft magazine, February 1964. I couldn't resist building it, but sad to say it never flew - probably a combination of lack of skill, heavy model shop wood and the fact that the model was designed around two Keil Kraft plastic propellers - the ones supplied in the flying scale range. I think most would agree that these were not the most efficient way to propel a model aeroplane!

While working on my 33" span rubber powered Herald (see below), the idea was born, how about giving the semi scale version another go to see if I could do it properly this time? It would also be fun to build two Heralds together. It didn't quite work out like that because the Malmstrom design was a much quicker build, so was finished well before its bigger brother. The model is quite sturdily built so I was careful to use light wood and also cut some lightening holes where I could.

Instead of the KK props shown on the plan I cut down a pair of IGRA 6" props to 5" and gave them a good scraping to take some weight out of them. They looked a bit bare without the integral spinners of the KK props so I added plunge moulded spinners.

I used the model as a test to try covering with Martin Dilly's Japanese tissue for the first time. Now that Esaki tissue is no longer available I have been exploring alternative avenues. The verdict? Well, when using the traditional technique of coating the edges of the structure with two coats of dope, then attaching the tissue by flooding cellulose thinners through the tissue to reactivate the dope, the tissue went on very easily and I had no problems at all. However, unlike Esaki, the tissue possesses very little wet strength so I suspect there could be problems if using diluted PVA or tissue paste. I also think you would have to be more careful using a glue stick than with Esaki, again due to the lack of wet strength when pulling at the edges. One plus of this behaviour is that it seems to pull structures less than Esaki when water-shrinking. I didn't pre-shrink the tissue before covering the tail surfaces and they stayed completely flat after steam shrinking. I finished the model with two coats of banana oil which gave a nice smooth surface for the paint.

The model was then airbrushed in enamels with markings applied from painted decal sheet. All the markings were copied exactly from the plan, even though they don't exactly match the correct BEA lettering - it's all a part of the character of the model. I'm really pleased with how this quirky little "cartoon scale" model came out. The final weight was 53 grams without rubber and noseweight.

For initial test flights I used a loop of 3/32" and a loop of 1/16" in each nacelle (so effectively mid way between a loop of 1/8" and a loop of 3/16") roughly 1.7 times the peg to hook distance. I had hollowed out a cavity in the nose block with an access hole underneath for nose weight, and this proved useful as I needed about 3 grams to stop the model stalling. After that it was plain sailing, and the model climbed out briskly on a few hundred winds and looked nice and stable. If my first version had flown like this all those years ago I would have been thrilled to bits!

The video here shows one of the trimming flights. I need to get it into a bigger field now to really wind it up.

A trimming update: I have now reduced the power to just onne loop of 1/8" rubber in each nacelle. This gives a more relaxed climb out and longer flight duration. The model is rock steady and a very reliable flyer - Ray really knew what he was doing with this design.

Handley Page Dart Herald

As many of you know I have a soft spot for rubber twins, particularly civil aircraft. My first successful one was Chis Starleaf's DHC Dash 8 and its design has influenced all my subsequent twin designs. I fancied doing another airliner of a similar size and layout to the Dash 8 and decided to go for a Handley Page Dart Herald. As always with a rubber twin, a certain amount of fiddling about with the 3-view was needed in order to swing big enough props - I felt I needed at least 7 inch diameter. In the end I plumped for 33 inch span and the nacelles moved a whole inch away from the fuselage. Also a slight increase in tailplane area. The nacelles are not massively long, but I intended to run motors at least 3 times the peg to hook distance. The nacelles are a rather complex shape but at least they are simply mounted under the wings, so no need to pass the rubber through the wing structure.

I spend quite a lot of time filling in round the canopy bulge with bits of hollow soft block to get the distinctive shape correct. I used my lightest wood for this model, as I knew keeping the weight down would be critical to success. Fuselage stringers are 1/16" square.

Wings are a classic cracked rib construction, as per the Chris Starleaf Dash 8 plan, with a single turbulator spar between the main full-depth spar and the leading edge. The local light 1/32" sheeting next to the trailing edge is seating for the prominent flap track fairings which sit mostly above the wing surface. Wingtips are carved from light 1/4"sheet. The complete balsa structure weighs 35 grams.

The entire airframe was covered using Martin Dilly's Japanese tissue. The fuselage covering was quite a chore as I used individual pieces of tissue between each pair of stringers. When doing this it is best to go from bottom to top so the overlaps face downwards and are less obvious. The nacelles were covered in a similar way, but the tissue pieces, being much shorter, were more managable.

The airframe was airbrushed in Xtracolor gloss white enamel and for the cheat lines an A4 sheet of decal paper was airbrushed with blue enamel (Xtracolor "True Blue" is close to the correct colour) and another with a buff shade mixed to match that used by BUA. To develop the shapes of the cheat lines and to create the lettering I used a scan of a 1/144 decal sheet designed for a plastic kit of the Herald as a guide. After tracing the outlines I needed in CAD they could be easily scaled and adjusted to suit. The trickiest sections were the curve up to the tail and the pieces round the nose and some adjustments were needed to the test patterns cut from paper before finally committing to cutting out the decal sections. Cheat lines were applied in three sections per side for each colour. The centre straight sections over the windows were applied first, then the nose and tail sections. Window openings were cut out with a sharp scalpel after the decal was dry. Individual windows from thin clear film were glued to the outside using Formula 560 canopy glue. Same for the cockpit windows.

The large BUA letters were cut from gloss black painted decal film and the fuselage titles, registrations and the Union Jack on the fin were home made laser printed decals. Final weight without rubber came out at 67 grams, so very happy with that.

A rare calm morning allowed some initial trimming flights to be made on a small local field. About 3 grams of nose weight were needed to get rid of a slight stall and longitudinal stability looked fine. The model certainly looked happy flying in a straight line. The flight below was on 350 turns with two loops of 3/32" rubber braided in each nacelle.

After getting home I weighed the model complete with rubber and nose weight and it was just below 82 grams. This is one gram lighter than the 32" span Dash 8 which is most pleasing.

Trimming was completed at Port Meadow, Oxford and thankfully my worries about spiral instability due to the large fin were unfounded. A small tweak to the fin trim tab had it climbing out in a left hand pattern, then straightening out as the power ran off. My initial hope was that it would do 30 seconds or so, and on 1200 turns it comfortably exceeded this. The final tweak was to add some downthrust to both nacelles which gave a more realistic climb out, without the stepped climb you often get with twins as they almost stall, but then recover without losing any height. Thanks to Andy Blackburn for the great flying shots.

The video below was taken by Peter Fardell at Old Warden, September 2021 with 1100 winds on. I think a little more right thrust is needed to open up the turn at the start of the flight, otherwise very happy with it. The plan can be downloaded here.

Dime scale Vought OS2U Kingfisher

This model was the result of a cook up on the Hip Pocket Aeronautics forum for Mike Nassise designs. It is a 16" pseudo Dime Scale model with fairly simple construction. I couldn't resist doing it in a pre-war U.S.Navy scheme with yellow wings.

Structure of the model is quite simple, as it should be in a Dime Scale model. I couldn't resist adding some sheeting at the nose and a couple of extra stringers at the top of the fuselage.

The model was covered with Martin Dilly's Japanese tissue. The Kingfisher has excellent proportions for a rubber powered scale model.

A fully airbrushed finish is probably a little over the top for a Dimer, but I couldn't help myself. Xtracolor enamels used were Chrome yellow, Insignia red and RAF High Speed Silver. Markings were mostly cut from painted decal sheet, but some were home made laser-printed decals.

Curtiss SOC-1 Seagull

This was a project that had been waiting to get off the ground for many years. I started drawing up the Seagull back in 2011 at 1/20th scale and since then I had redrawn it twice. The final iteration was enlarged to 29" span (my new sweet spot for indoor rubber models) and included Rees style wings. I'm surprised nobody has tried it as an open model before - Pres Bruning did a peanut, but as far as I know there has never been another rubber powered version.

You all know I have a soft spot for pre-war U.S. aircraft with yellow wings, and the Seagull has plenty of charactor. Not a bad layout for free flight either, with a decent amount of dihedral, a bit of sweepback and just about the biggest tailplane I have ever seen. It's a bit close coupled, but the huge tailplane should offset this.

This bones shot was taken in August 2020 just before covering. I knew the wing fairings were going to be a bit of a challenge, and so they proved. I let in hollow soft balsa blocks between the formers to achieve the desired shape. Then plenty of lightweight filler to smooth it all out. Note also plenty of fill-in sheeting at the nose to simulate the metal areas of the original. The parts in this photo weigh a total of 63 grams, which indicated that the finished model was going to be much heavier than the Fox Moth and Redwing.

Here are all the components covered and doped ready for painting. I used Esaki for the wings and fuselage and Martin Dilly Japanese tissue for the tail surfaces due to the lower shrinkage.

The canopies are so large that I felt I ought to stick something in there, particularly the observer's equipment, which mostly consists of boxes made from light 1/32" balsa. For the pilot's and observer's instrument panels I used 10 thou plastic card faces with the relevant holes cut in, painted black. Thin clear film was glued behind, then dial faces attached behind the film, keeping the glue off the dials themselves.

The pilot's canopy was plunge moulded, but the rear sections were cut from thin sheet (windows from supermarket cake boxes) and glued to laminated balsa frames (one is shown in the photo above).

Here are the main components painted and with all the markings on. These are either cut from painted decal sheet or laser printed decals. The painted yellow areas were undercoated with satin white enamel first to make the finish more opaque. I used Xtracolor enamels for all the colours. The leading edge slats on the upper wing were replicated using strips of 10 thou plastic card pre-curved before attaching to the wing prior to painting.

Rigging wires are 0.28 mm fishing nylon painted after installation with a metallic dark grey colour. A neat trick for tensioning the fishing line is to use a hair dryer on its maximum setting and just point it towards each wire in turn until they snap tight.

My first guess at a rubber motor was 5 loops of 3/32" and Initial test hops on a calm morning at Port Meadow indicated the need for quite a bit of noseweight. Things were just looking promising when I heard a sharp crack after a fairly gentle landing and discovered the main undercarriage wire had come adrft inside the fuselage. Rather stupidly I had only glued the balsa/wire sandwich to the fuselage former and not used any thread to bind it. Repairs are underway. Weight at this point had crept up to 148 grams, but the flying speed still looked reasonable, so I still think she will go well indoors.

Update May 2022: Trimming was a bit frought as the model flew into a wall at the Bushfield Leisure Centre and made a mess of the cowling. Once that was repaired I broke it again flying it outdoors on a calm day, detaching the undercarriage once again and damaging both left hand wing roots. With only a few weeks to go before the Indoor Nationals, I had to cut open the bottom (again) and also remove the left hand wings, struts and rigging to make more repairs.

It turned out to be worth the effort though as I managed a qualifying flight after adding an extra loop of 1/8" rubber to get it off the ground. See Tim Horne's video below.

Peanut scale Vought OS2U Kingfisher

While building the Mike Nassise Kingfisher I noticed how good the proportions were for peanut scale and started drawing up a plan with the aim of keeping it as light as possible, yet still buildable by my rather clumsy hands.

Structure is generally 1/20" square balsa strips and 1/32" sheet for ribs and formers. Wings are of the cracked rib type with a single turbulator spar and the main spar is 1/32" balsa. The model was covered using Martin Dilly's Japanese tissue, then steam shrunk and finished with a single coat of banana oil. The uncovered area on the wing centre section is to give clearance for the rubber motor which passes just above the wing.

the model was airbrushed using Xtracolor enamels - I do love these pre-war US colour schemes! As usual, markings were either cut from painted decal sheet or home made laser printed decals. The model uses a Tern 6" plastic prop cut down to 5" and scraped with a knife to take about 1 gram off its weight. The undercarriage is modelled in the drooped in-flight configuration to allow an ROG with a 5" prop.

Initial flights were made with a loop of 3/32" rubber giving an all-up weight of 14.7 grams. Somewhat to my surprise the model flew straight off the board without needing any nose weight or trim tabs, circling left with a touch of left rudder. The plan can be downloaded here.

Nakajima Ki 27 "Nate"

I enjoyed building the Walt Mooney peanut version of the Ki 27 so fancied giving the much more accurate Diels 1/24 scale version a go. It has a reputation as a good flier, despite the short nose and I thought it would be nice to finish it in the same scheme as my peanut.

The filling in of the first two nose bays was very satisfying. The fuselage is an interesting shape in that it becomes very slim indeed behind the cowling.

The model was covered with Martin Dilly Japanese tissue, then two coats of banana oil. Wing fillets are notepaper. I didn't change anything on the design apart from adding the additional sheeting and a hinged rudder to aid trimming.

After finishing, the weight came out at 28 grams without rubber, which isn’t too bad. The plan was to airbrush the model with Xtracolor Japanese Army grey/green enamel, but when I opened the tin, I found the paint had gone off and was unusable. So I ended up mixing my own shade, which I’m quite pleased with. The paint was gloss, which allows the decals to go on well – all the markings were cut from painted decal film except the Hinomaru on the wings, which were cut from the kit decals using a compass cutter (my scheme had smaller roundels). When everything was done, I misted on a fine coat of Tamiya matt varnish from a rattle can, which worked really well. This was a very enjoyable build from an excellent kit.

Bostonian Auster B.4 Ambulance

I seem to have developed a rather unexpected fascination with the Auster B.4 Ambulance. This came about because our local group of indoor flyers in Newbury were planning a Bostonian competition and I was searching around for a suitably quirky design that could be distorted to produce something conforming to the class rules. Aircraft with boxy fuselages seem to be the way to go, hence the choice of the Ambulance.

The view from underneath shows well the pod and boom fuselage design with the twin tailwheels.

The finished model features a reasonably scale fuselage, but very stubby wings to meet the 16” span requirement. It came out too heavy to be competitive (28 grams with nose weight and two loops of 0.080" rubber) but does fly well (if fairly fast) in our small school hall and it does very smooth take-offs and landings with the four wheel undercarriage.

Auster B.4 Ambulance

Flushed with success, I decided to draw up a proper scale Auster B.4. This has a fuselage slightly longer and wider than the Bostonian, plus a much bigger wingspan – 23.5” as opposed to 16”. This brings the wing loading down massively to produce a much slower and scale-like flying speed. I also increased the tailplane a bit more to take account of the greater wing area as the aircraft is quite short-coupled.

Here is Thistle the cat posing with the covered model, showing the underlying structure. I found I had to sheet in the upper decking behind the cabin with light 1/32" balsa as it proved impossible to cover with tissue without getting unsightly wrinkles. Oddly, this was not an issue at all on the Bostonian.

Finish was light grey Xtracolor enamel with red trim cut from painted decal sheet. The prototype wore this scheme for its whole career, though did receive RAF roundels as well at some point. Final weight was 36 grams, including a motor of two loops of 3/32" rubber. Unlike the Bostonian, no nose weight at all was required and the model flew really well first time out at Old Warden in May 2022.

Here are both Austers posed together.

Veron Tru-Flite Nieuport 27

After I had started the Greg Thomas kit, I thought it would be fun to build a Veron Tru-Flite Nieuport alongside it - this is one of Phil Smith's better scale designs and is a proven flyer. The Accuracy is not too bad, though the upper wing tip shape is wrong, being that of the earlier N.17. The cabine struts are incorrect, as on the real aircraft the rear struts are an inverted V shape. The wheels shown are also amusingly small, but you can't blame Phil for that, as he was forced to use standard sized wheels for the whole Tru-Flite range to keep the cost down. As this was planned as a possible kit scale model I decided to not to correct the wing shape, but found a pair of 1.5" diameter vac-form wheels in the spares box to use.

I moved the rear peg up two bays to help with the balance point and decided to use hardwood cabine struts rather than wire (though I kept the layout as shown on the plan). I added a touch more incidence to the upper wing to get it to 2 degrees. One other modification was to add a 1/16" sq. upper spar to the lower wings to prevent them developing curved dihedral after shrinking the tissue.

The model was covered with Esaki tissue apart from the tailplane, where I used Dilly Japanese tissue, taking advantage of its reduced shrinkage. Note I added some tissue anchors around the lower wing roots - without this it is very difficult to cover this area neatly. I decided to use a 7 inch prop for this one as with the larger wheels the model would still be able to ROG. Some rudimentary engine detail was also added - just shaped balsa sticks wrapped with thread.

The silver is airbrushed Xtracolor "RLM Silber" enamel. Roundels are layered discs and rings cut from painted decal sheet. The fin serials and wasps are laser printed decals.

I found the wasp artwork on-line and tweaked it a bit to better agree with the colour view I had. One problem with laser printed decals is that light/bright colours like yellow and red have to sit on a white background to show the correct colour. My solution for the wasp was to print two sets of decals and on one set, overpaint the yellow areas very carefully with gloss white enamel and a fine brush. When the paint was dry, the white wasp decals were applied to the model first, allowed to set, then the yellow wasps applied over the top and carefully adjusted until they sat exactly in the same place. This worked really well. Sadly the rear peg hole ended up exactly in the middle of one of the wings!

The final weight without rubber or nose weight was 35 grams. However, this rose to a rather hefty 51 grams after adding a lot of nose weight and a motor consisting of a loop of 1/8" plus a loop of 3/32" rubber. The model still flew well though, as you can see in the video above taken at Nijmegen in 2022. As the model didn't have a hinged rudder, I induced the left turn by gluing a piece of 1/16" square strip to the left hand side of the fin at the rear (painted red to disguise it).

Hawker Hart

I won the this old West Wings kit in a raffle (it had the original peel-off paper patterns on the parts sheets) and for no obvious reason took it away on one of our trips up north in 2009 to cut some bits out. Before I knew what had happened, I had a basic fuselage shell and a couple of wings built. These sat untouched in a cupboard for no less than 12 years!

Finally in April 2021 some movement was seen on the project. I took the kit away on another trip up north and spent the evenings working on it. After this, the fuselage was almost complete, with all the metal areas of the full size aircraft filled between the stringers with soft balsa sheet - mostly 1/16" but 3/32" and occasionally 1/8" in the most curved sections near the nose. The tailplane was also completed. There is a lot of wood in this kit, but it is a very enjoyable build.

Another milestone was reached in 2022 with the main components covered and doped. I used Dilly Japanese tissue for all the non-sheeted areas, but Esaki for the forward fuselage, which I covered using damp tissue, so having a tissue with wet strength was important. The reason for using yellow tissue was simply so I could see which bits I had done and so avoid bare patches.

Finally, the model was finished in October 2022. The sheeted area (metal on the full size) was airbrushed with Tamiya chrome silver, then masked and the rest of the airframe sprayed with Xtracolor RAF High Speed Silver enamel. Rigging is fishing nylon painted metallic dark grey after installation and tightened using a hair dryer set to maximum.

I found a nice colourful scheme for the model – a couple of RAF auxiliary fighter squadrons flew Harts while they were waiting for their Demons to arrive and painted them in the full fighter scheme. 601 (County of London) Sqn. Used red and black triangles. Markings are all cut from painted decal sheet and applied in layers. So, for the wing roundels, a full white disc was applied first, then the blue outer ring followed by the centre red disc. For the fuselage and wing panels, solid red bands were applied first and the black triangles put over the top. I prefer this approach to masking and spraying, mainly because I hate masking, but also due to the fact you get very crisp edges (guaranteed no overspray) and you can slide the decals around until you have them positioned perfectly.

The mesh on the radiator is simulated using three home made black decals applied to the silver painted area, which I think looks quite efective. The oil cooler is constructed from layers of plastic card mounted on two rods.

The model has not yet been trimmed apart from a few tentative powered glides - with some necessary nose weight on board plus rubber it weighs a rather substantial 88 grams. I now need a calm day and some nice long grass!

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