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  1. Yesterday
  2. Fifty skilled trades teachers and teaching teams from across the country were named today as semifinalists for the 2019 Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence. They and their high school skilled trades programs are in the running for a share of $1 million in total cash awards. The semifinalists hail from 26 states and specialize in trades including manufacturing, welding, construction, automotive and agriculture mechanics. The teachers—some competing as individuals and some as teams—were selected by an independent panel of judges from among a field of 749 applicants. The list of the 50 semifinalists is available here. “We never cease to be amazed by the talent, creativity and resourcefulness of skilled trades educators,” said Danny Corwin, executive director of Harbor Freight Tools for Schools. “This year’s semifinalists teach more than a dozen trades and have spent a collective 800 years in the classroom, and we couldn’t be more excited to honor their work.” The Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence was started in 2017 by Eric Smidt, the founder of national tool retailer Harbor Freight Tools. The prize recognizes outstanding instruction in the skilled trades in U.S. public high schools and the teachers who inspire students to learn a trade that prepares them for life after graduation. Now, in the third year of the prize, more than 150 teachers have been recognized as winners or semifinalists. Winners are invited to attend an annual convening to share best practices for advancing excellence in skilled trades education. “Skilled trades teachers help hundreds of thousands of students each year experience the satisfaction and sense of accomplishment that comes from learning a trade,” Smidt said. “These teachers, their students and skilled tradespeople everywhere, too often don’t receive the respect and gratitude they deserve. Without them, construction would halt, homes, cars and appliances would fall into disrepair, and our infrastructure would crumble. We are thrilled to be able to honor and elevate the importance of their work.” The 2019 semifinalists now advance to a second round of compet*tion, where they will be asked to respond to online expert-led video learning modules designed to solicit their insights and creative ideas about teaching practices. The contenders will be asked how ideas from the modules might be used to inspire students to achieve excellence in the skilled trades. Two rounds of judging, each by separate independent panels of reviewers, will narrow the field to the 18 finalists and, finally, name the three first-place winners and 15 second-place winners. The 18 winners will split $1 million in prizes. First-place winners will each receive $100,000, with $70,000 going to their public high school skilled trades program and $30,000 to the individual skilled trades teacher or teacher team behind the winning program. Second-place winners will each be awarded $50,000, with $35,000 going to their public high school program and $15,000 to the teacher or team. Past winners have dedicated their winnings to modernizing their shops, investing in specialized tools, promoting their programs to families and purchasing equipment to prepare students for higher-level accreditations. Semifinalists whose school, district or state policy prohibits receipt of the individual portion of prize earnings were eligible to apply on behalf of their school’s skilled trades program. If they win, the entire prize will be awarded to the school. Winners will be announced on Oct. 24. About Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Harbor Freight Tools for Schools is a program of The Smidt Foundation, established by Harbor Freight Tools Founder Eric Smidt, to advance excellent skilled trades education in public high schools across America. With a deep respect for the dignity of these fields and for the intelligence and creativity of people who work with their hands, Harbor Freight Tools for Schools aims to drive a greater understanding of and investment in skilled trades education, believing that access to quality skilled trades education gives high school students pathways to graduation, opportunity, good jobs and a workforce our country needs. Harbor Freight Tools is a major supporter of the Harbor Freight Tools for Schools program. For more information, visit harborfreighttoolsforschools.org/ and on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The post Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize Semi-Finalists appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  3. Last week
  4. A couple of you have seen my Nano Talon at the field. So far I've been using it for training, but my end goal for this plane is to fly autonomous medium-range routes while capturing video, so that I can explore my surrounding from a new perspective. Shortly after getting the plane earlier this year, I also ordered a more capable flight controller, and a mini camera. The camera can record HD flight video while transmitting a lower resolution feed to the ground. I'm not interested in flying via FPV goggles, but I do like sending the signal through an old smart phone and flying that way from time to time. I have a budget 7" monitor incoming this week that I'm going to either mount into a ground station, or onto my transmitter to replace the smart phone. Up until this weekend, the flight controller has been sitting in a box. With our first child working toward month number six, finding free time is a challenge, which is one of the reasons I've taken up RC flight - I can get out and fly for 30 minutes from time to time before having to get back in the house to attend to something baby related. So, finally, on Sunday, the stars aligned, and I found myself with two hours of nap time to break out the soldering iron. My Airbot Omnibus F4 came bare bones, and requires soldering to even get power to it, so I spent a good bit of my allotted time just getting my bearings, and figuring out what pins do what. I got everything soldered up, and chopped / spliced a spare Nano Talon's stock ESC with 2mm bullet plugs so I can swap the FC between fuselages. It's current home is one of the NTs that a few of you saw me crater at the field :). That way I can continue to fly my good NT manually until the transplant is 100% ready to test in the air. Next I needed to get Ardupilot firmware flashed to the board, and while I have flashed other sorts of microcontrollers unrelated to RC, it was a bit of a challenge getting my laptop to cooperate. I finally got the FC flashed, and got Ardupilot Mission Planner installed on my laptop. Mission Planner is now reading the FC's various sensors and display yaw / pitch / roll real time on my laptop monitor. And that is about where I ran out of time. I'm not sure how long it will be before I find another block of time to invest, but I next plan to get the ESC and servos plugged in to the FC and see if I can get auto stabilization working.
  5. rmiller4877

    R. Miller Photos

    Latest photos from a stop at the Air Zoo near Portage, MI May 2017
  6. Earlier
  7. It’s finally here! The Warbirds over Delaware kicks off the grandfather of all Warbird fly ins at the Lums Pond State Park in Bear, DE. Hosted by the hard working members of the Delaware RC Club, all the regulars are there already setting up on the field and are tweaking their amazing military masterpieces. Be sure to head on over to the event this weekend for the greatest show of RC military aviation on earth! Here are just a few pics to whet your appetite… Photos by Scott and Rodger McClurg. See you all there! The post Today’s the Day!!! appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  8. There’s just som*thing elegant in seeing a WW II heavy bomber such as this in the traffic pattern. The B-24 Liberator is just such an iconic airplane with a rich history, and it is great to see a model like this with so many features and options (including an almost ready to cover version.) Distributed by VQ Warbirds, the new B-24 is1/12 scale and with n impressive 110-inch wingspan and really offers a nicely sized warbird in ARF form! The assembly is straight forward and the parts fit of the model is excellent which makes putting it together a joy. It is a four engine bomber, which means anything related to the motor/engine installation is completed times four! Plus, with all of the details that are included such as movable turrets, etc. there are more assemblies to make and install on the model than a typical ARF. So, assembly does take a bit more time to complete, but the end results are well worth it! The reward for any RC airplane project is a successful maiden flight and it couldn’t have gone any better with this airplane. The B-24 Liberator flew straight as an arrow from liftoff requiring just a couple clicks of right aileron trim once airborne. The airplane has a nice wide gear stance so tracking on the ground was rock solid making the takeoff a breeze and in the air, the recommended CG and control throws were perfect for the airplane. The four Himax motors provide ideal power for the airplane giving it great scale speed at partial throttle and plenty of thr*st when needed. Watch for the November issue of MAN for a full and detailed Flight Test and Review coming soon. At a Glance Model: B-24 Liberator Manufacturer: VQ Warbirds Distributor: VQWarbirds.com Wingspan: 110 in. Pilot Skill Level: Intermediate to Expert Assembly Time: 80+ hours Radio Req’d: 6-8+ channel radio with 11-23 servos Power Req’d: Four .25-.35 two-str*ke engines or four .40 four-str*ke engines; Electric power requires (4) x .25-.32 equivalent $995 The post VQ Warbirds B-24 Liberator appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  9. The Wings Club Foundation, Inc. is pleased to announce that Dr. Thomas (“Tom”) Enders, Chief Executive Officer, Retired, Airbus SE, is the recipient of this year’s Distinguished Achievement Award. Acknowledging outstanding accomplishments in the field of aviation, President David Davenport, will present the Wings Club Foundation award on October 18, 2019, at the 77th Annual Awards Gala to be held at the New York Hilton Midtown in New York City. Tom Enders has been the longest-serving member of the Airbus/EADS Executive Committee – from 2000 until 2019. He held various top management positions during these 19 years, most notably as Chief Executive of EADS and of Airbus between 2005 and 2019. Under his leadership, Airbus went through profound strategy and governance changes and developed into one of the world’s largest and most successful aerospace companies. Before starting his career in the aerospace industry, Enders worked in the German Ministry of Defense and in various foreign policy think tanks. An economist and political scientist by education, he is also a helicopter pilot and an avid skydiver. He served with the German Airborne troops and left the Army with the rank of Major (Reserve). Enders is Patron of the Mayday Foundation, which supports airmen and their families in times of need. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Linde Plc and recently was elected President of the prestigious German Society of Foreign Affairs (DGAP). The Wings Club’s Distinguished Achievement Award has been presented annually since 1975. Notable past recipients include Neil Armstrong, Senator John Glenn, President George H. W. Bush, Brigadier General Charles E. Yeager, Frederick Smith, Steven Udvar-Hazy, T. Allan McArtor, and W. James McNerney, Jr., as well as 15 present and former airline CEOs including, Robert Crandall, Herbert Kelleher, Gordon Bethune, Sir Colin Marshall, Wolfgang Mayrhuber, Sir Richard Branson, Dave Barger, Gary Kelly and Willie Walsh. The Wings Club Foundation, Inc., is a 501(c)(3) charitable org*nization. Its mission is to focus on initiatives aimed at supporting scholarships for students who will pursue a career in aviation or aerospace, providing programs to educate in the field of aviation, and supporting charitable org*nizations that use aviation to help those in need. The Wings Club Foundation comprises more than 1,300 members including industry leaders, pilots, professionals in related service org*nizations, and students of aviation. Recognizing significant achievements that contribute to the advancement of aviation and aeronautics, The Wings Club Foundation presents not only the Distinguished Achievement Award, but also the Outstanding Aviator Award and the Distinguished Scholar Awards. For more information on The Wings Club Foundation, visit www.wingsclub.org. The post Distinguished Achievement Award Winner appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  10. With my limited flight schedule this is something I would be interested in, I don't have one of these planes but it wouldn't take much prodding for me to get one
  11. I’d like to present this article as one more example of how doing repairs to your favorite warbird can be done if you take it one step at a time, and “eat the elephant in bites” rather than fretting over the entire sad picture. I will also say it was a privilege to work on such a professionally built and finished giant scale RC warbird. I have not met the builder, but kudos to him for such a monumental building task! I am envious of his skills and attention to details. A fellow RC club member bought a beautiful FW-190A from Vailly Aviation plans with 113 inch span that was extremely well built and ready to fly. At Warbirds Over Texas, 2014, he took Best WW II Warbird honors with the Butcher Bird! He flew it very well a number of times off pavement, but flying it on our home grass field, on landing, it dug-in on a soft area and flipped over. Ugggghh! Well, these things happen, but to happen with this absolutely fine warbird was a real shame. The owner was sickened of course, and didn’t know what he was going to do about the damage. I told him if he’d order the plans I would tackle the repairs for him. He was pleased to hear that offer. Took a few months to get the plane over to my shop, but he delivered it with the plans and parts less the engine which greatly reduced the weight of the model. The most obvious damage was to the vertical tail and rudder tops which had broken off. Also, the left wing outer panel aluminum spar (3 piece wing) and left main retract were bent when the plane went over during the flip. I told him I’d do the repairs without ever having seen the model (wasn’t there for the mishap) and was actually relieved that the damage wasn’t as bad as I had imagined. Had I seen the plane first, I could have saved him the cost of buying a set of plans as I really didn’t need them. Close up of the rudder/stab damage. Much less damage than I had expected. To start off the repairs, I tackled the damage to the rudder and stab as that looked like the easiest job. As much as I hated to peel off the rudder covering with the German k*ll marks, it had to come off to take a look-see at the damage underneath. Other than the top of the rudder being gone, it looked pretty healthy under there. I didn’t do the same investigation to the stab as it was obviously solid, but just took the 80 grit sanding bar and evened it up as much as possible to accept the new balsa top. Same for the rudder top. The new balsa tops were cut to shape on the bandsaw and attached with CA. Once secured, they were sanded to the contours of the stab and rudder with blue painter’s tape applied to protect the model as much as possible. But, a few scuff marks always seem to happen. Oh well, going to be repainted anyway. I bowed out of doing any paint repairs. ha. Bare rudder. Well built. Note the hinges –massive! Rudder and stab cleaned up to accept new balsa tops. Stab gets new balsa top. CA works fine here as it’s balsa to balsa and will be glassed for added strength. Blue tape over the rudder to keep sanding marks off those areas while shaping the rudder top. Also blue tape to keep rudder perfectly inline with stab while sanding. Balsa repairs sanded to shape. Be careful to not oversand the soft balsa! With an 80 Grit sanding block, you can get carried away quickly. Note center-of-rudder reference line, marked in ink, to keep sanding even. Balsa repairs primed with Z-Poxy Finishing Resin to stiffen up the balsa before being glassed. Sand lightly before adding glass cloth. Stab and rudder tops glassed. Rudder covered with Yellow Solar Tex. Rudder/stab all done and ready for paint. Also note that the glass cloth overlaps the balsa onto the vertical stabilizer for strength. Rudder pull-pull cables hooked up and ready to go. I am quite pleased on how well this repaired area looks! Solar Tex is my favorite iron-on covering material. No shots of the covering process, but suffice to say the rudder recovering turned out nice using some yellow Solar Tex I had on hand. It needs to be primed and painted, but could be flown like she sits. The owner still has not flown it again due to our field being soft in places. We had some fill dirt added to level-out portions of the field a couple of months ago to better drain the water, so, maybe this Fall he will bring her out and set her free to blast the skies once more. The other repairs will be covered in a future repair article. BY LANE CRABTREE The post RC Warbird Tail Repairs appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  12. There are several Night Radians in the club now, as well as other night flyers. Maybe we should start a "Dark Squadron" and have a night fly soon!
  13. No discount but Allegiant Airlines offers vets several excellent perks. The most significant is free baggage check in. Here's an excerpt from the Allegiant web site: Allegiant proudly supports our U.S. active duty military, military veterans, members of the National Guard, military reserve and their dependents by offering select free services. Qualifying military personnel and their spouses or dependents, with valid identification, are eligible for the following discounts on Allegiant: Free services offered for U.S. active duty or reserve duty and National Guard: Up to three (3) pieces of checked baggage free. Each bag must weigh under 100 lbs. No charge for oversized checked baggage. One (1) carry-on bag within Allegiant size limits, free. Free boarding pass printing at the airport. Free seat assignments, pending availability. Up to one (1) pet in cabin free.
  14. until
    The Peoria RC Modelers will be hosting our 4th Annual Warbirds on the Warpath event, July 19th though the 21st, 2019. Since this a military aircraft event, we wanted to find a way to honor our local veterans. We have proudly partnered with Greater Peoria Honor Flight. Our goal this year is to help send area veterans to Washington DC to experience the memorials that are testament to their service. Our home field is a beautifully groomed 600’ grass strip with a 300’ hard (fabric) surface runway, multiple bay charging station, 9 pilot stations, easy access, primitive camping and convenient to shopping and hotel lodging within 10 minutes of our field. Our event will feature a salute of World War I and II aircraft. All military aircraft from any era along with classic aircraft are welcome. Peoria RC Modelers Field14501 North Old Galena RoadChillicothe, IL USA
  15. Get ready to fall in love with this micro model! From Horizon: Bold and immensely talented, Ernst Udet helped to close WWI as Germany’s second-highest scoring ace with 62 victories. Internationally accepted as the finest fighter of the era, one particular Fokker D.VII he flew boasted an inspirational color scheme designed to honor his sweetheart and taunt all in the sky who challenged him. The FlyZone® ultra-micro Fokker D.VII RTF beautifully replicates the historic masterpiece with an RC version that’s ready-to-fly and engineered so that even novice pilots can reenact missions indoors and fly daring patrols in backyard spaces. The FlyZone® Fokker D.VII is a scale ultra-micro WWI model that’s fully factory-assembled and includes everything you need to fly right in the box. Engineered to be lightweight, its overall construction makes it possible to replicate intricate scale features, and deliver flight performance that’s ideal for enjoying small spaces like a gymnasium or large backyard. It excels at slow speed flight by offering docile characteristics and impressive maneuverability with simple three-channel control. In wide-open spaces, barrel rolls and loops are well within its capability. The electric power system recreates performance that’s better than scale with amazing efficiency for a tiny LiPo battery so light that it holds in place with magnetic contacts. The charger for the battery is built into the included transmitter that broadcasts on glitch-free 2.4GHz radio technology. The post FlyZone Fokker D.VII appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  16. Bet you’ve never seen an AT-6 like this before! That’s because this incredible 126-inch-span aircraft is a prototype for a new CARF-Models offering. Flown by Andreas Gietz, this T-6 is powered by a Moki 250cc 5-cylinder radial engine that sounds magnificent and provides more than enough power (check out those really high-speed passes!). Split fl*ps, retracts, and a functional sliding canopy are the icing on the cake of this composite model. Thanks to Pete and Dean Coxon (aka Tbobborap1 on YouTube) for sharing this terrific video they filmed at the RC show at Weston Park in the UK. The post 1/4-Scale AT-6 Texan appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  17. MAN contributor Rich Uravitch has a review and flight report on the new F-4 Phantom from E-flite and it looks like this 80mm EDF is a real keeper! With functional scale features like LED landing and navigation lights, full-flying stabs, operational fl*ps and control surfaces with pocket hinges, sequencing nose gear doors and electric retracts with shock-absorbing struts, this F-4 is a beaut! Large enough to impress, you can fly off most flying field surfaces, including grass runways. The 6S-compatible brushless in-runner motor and 100-amp ESC are perfectly matched to an 80mm 12-blade fan to deliver impressive thr*st and speed. It’s also the easiest to assemble Phantom ever with a factory-finished EPO airframe that simply bolts together—no glue required—in less time than it takes to charge a battery. Watch for the next issue of MAN (October 2019). The post Sneak Peek: E-flite F-4 Phantom appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  18. The post Scale c*ckpits Made Easy appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  19. I had a secondary repair to make from the same crash. I tried gluing one if the tail actuators back to the foam, but some glue got inside and bound it up. I found this printable part, and while it's not pretty, the tolerances are tighter than original. I think I'm going to try a couple more iterations just to learn some finishing techniques. I got to test the repairs at the field today and everything is air worthy again.
  20. Home Depot offers 10% off purchases as well (veterans).
  21. This arrived yesterday. I like to imagine the FedEx guy setting the package on my lawn just as I was cratering the Nano Talon.
  22. I crashed the Nano Talon pretty good. It stayed broken just long enough to justify buying a full replacement. I have an untouched spare fuselage but of course I had to snap a wing spar this time. I extracted it, flipped it around, and glued it back in. I'm not quite sure how I tanked it so hard. I think I may have hand launched with auto stabilizer off - because I don't like the servos trying to stabilize all the way up to the launch. Normally I launch with it on and switch to manual once I have a good trajectory. So I was expecting gentle control throws that I didn't get. Then I flew in front of the sun right as the wind flipped me. The end
  23. Induction into the AMA Model Aviation Hall of Fame is one of the most prestigious honors that an AMA member can receive. AMA is pleased to announce the 2018 inductees: Tim Dannels, Robert Dodgson, Mark Freeland, Robert Kopski, and the late Cliff Telford. Established in 1969 to recognize those who have made significant contributions to aeromodeling, hall of fame recipients are chosen by a committee. The nominees are evaluated on their efforts to boost the sport of model aviation through volunteering, competing, developing products, and/or performing administrative duties. In addition to receiving a plaque and a patch, living hall of fame inductees are given an AMA Life membership. Tim was nominated for the honor by Bill Mohrbacher, Model Engine Collectors Association president, for his 55 years of continuous service to the model aviation community. Tim is one of the founders of the Society of Antique Modelers club and has edited and published books and a journal about model engines. Tim Dannels accepts his plaque. Robert Dodgson, a model sailplane pilot, was nominated by Peter Becker for his many contributions to the sport. These include designing and manufacturing model sailplane kits, competing in Thermal Duration contests, and publishing newsletters about Soaring. Inductee Robert Dodgson. Robert was presented with his award during the Inaugural AMA District XI NW Jamboree. Pictured with him is Peter Becker who nominated him for this honor. A Free Flight (FF) pilot and competitor, Mark Freeland founded his company, Retro RC, in 2008. In addition to designing and manufacturing products for the FF community, Mark has created kits that help teach youth about the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Mark was nominated by Joe Hass. (L-R) AMA Model Aviation Hall of Fame Inductees Pete Waters, Keith Shaw, Ken Myers, Bob Bienenstein, Mark Freeland, and Mark’s wife, Barb. Considered one of the pioneers and leaders of electric-powered model aircraft flight, Robert Kopski has shared his equipment and passion with countless modelers. He was nominated by Bruce Fenstermacher for his “continuous dedication in a span of over 30 years—gaining knowledge through meticulously doc*mented experimentation … and sharing that knowledge with thousands of fellow modelers.” Inductee Robert Kopski. Cliff Telford, who passed away in 2005, has an AMA scholarship in his and his wife’s name that was established by many of his RC Pylon Racing friends. During his lifetime, Cliff served as a contest director for many RC Pylon contests and as an event director at several AMA Nats. He helped establish the Quickie 500 RC Pylon Racing contest that is fl own at the Nats. Cliff was nominated by his son, Drew. Inductee Cliff Telford with his wife, Nancy. Read more about the 2018 class, and past inductees, at www.modelaircraft.org/museum/history-recognition/ama-model-aviation-hall-fame. View the full article
  24. So... I saw some night flying at the show last weekend. Fast forward a bit, now a 2.0m night radian is on the way...
  25. From aluminum foil to household corner molding, these cheap and easy workshop tips use common items or scr*p material to make your RC airplane modeling time easier and more enjoyable. Have a great tip you’d like to share? Email it to man@airage.com! OVERSPRAY PROTECTOR When you’re painting, it’s important to protect parts from overspray. This could include pushrods, landing gears, motor mounts, etc. You can use masking tape, but that can be difficult to remove. An easier m*thod is to tightly wrap all the parts that need protection with aluminum foil-it’s far easier to remove than tape. If you still need that sharp tape line, just mask off where the part meets the painting surface. HOME FOR YOUR BOLTS Here is an easy way to make sure you have your Allen bolt for attaching your canopy to your fuselage when you get to the field. Just make this handy bracket to hold your bolts inside the aircraft. The bracket is cut from plastic corner molding or aluminum angle iron. Cut a piece about 2-3 inches long and drill four holes into it for the bolts to hang in place. Epoxy or scr*w the bracket somewhere out of the way inside the fuselage. Now when you pull you bolts out of the canopy, just slide them into the brackets and they’ll be there the next time you are ready to assemble the plane. GIVE YOUR FOAM A GLOSS LOOK If you paint foam with acrylic paint it gives it a nice look and makes it a little more durable. Acrylic paint is great to use because it will not react with the foam, and it will leave a flat dull finish, which is great for warplanes or military aircraft, but not so good for aerobatic and civilian aircraft. You can put a shine on the finish by using liquid acrylic long-lasting Shine floor wax. It will dry in about 20ñ30 minutes leaving your color scheme with a good-looking and shiny paint job. TOUGHING UP YOUR WHEEL PANTS Running wheel pants on any surface will wear them down and dirt and grass runways are especially rough on them. Here’s an easy way to reinforce them. First, cut out a small square shim out of 1/64 plywood sheet. Place this shim inside the wheel pant, over the attachment point, where the Allen scr*ws bolt into the blind nuts. Glue them in place with CA or epoxy. Now thin out a small batch of epoxy with rubbing alcohol and coat the entire inside of the wheel pants. This will help to strengthen it while still keeping the weight down. This should give them a fighting chance on rough fields and the not-so-perfect takeoff and landings. The post Model Airplane Tips & Tricks appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
  26. So you’ve finished painting your new scale airplane and it looks nice and shiny and brand new. You check your model one more time against your photo doc*ments of the full-size plane and there’s som*thing just not quite right… What is it? Well, it would be a safe guess that your full size subject airplane, even if is a nice and shiny freshly painted aircraft, when you look at it, it will seem toned down a little bit. It’s just not as shiny and crisp as your model. Why? The answer is a little surprising. (Above) My Balsa USA 1/3-scale Fokker Triplane, with the weathering technique described in this article, was good enough to win First Place in the popular World War I class at the WRAM show. Say your new model is 1/4-scale. So, if you look at your model and then look at your full size subject, if they are viewed so they are relatively the same length, your full size plane would have to be four times away from you to be the same relative viewing size. So what? Well, there’s four times as much air between your eyes and your subject. This really does make a difference. And, there’s other very subtle differences even close up. The world is full of dust and grime, and airports and airfields are far from sterile environments. There’s dust in the hangars and even birds that deposit their markings on the planes that has to be cleaned away. So you see, for your model to look more scale, you have to compensate for the closer distance you view your plane from and you have to “d*rty” it up a little. (Above) Here’s my subject aircraft. Not shiny new, but not rusting away either. Being Subtle There’s an old saying that scale modelers live by. “When you think you have enough weathering added to your model, you have about three times too much!” So, I try to hold myself back and just as I can pick up the difference my bit of weathering adds to the surface, I stop. Also, I prefer to use materials that are easy to remove should I get too heavy handed. Some modelers add a dull flat clear coat to seal their weathering in place. I do it the other way around. To help k*ll the brightness of a freshly painted model, I will shoot a very light mist of flat clear over the surfaces. Just enough to k*ll that sheen. Then, I apply my weathering to specific places that the eyes are drawn too. Not the entire model. (Above) Here’s the aft fuselage hand hold on the model. It was installed before the model was weathered. Everything looks too new and unused. (Above) Here is the hand hold with some grime and snudges added to the red fuselage and a little bit of brown added to the hand hold to show some age. After all, our airplane is suppose to be “airworthy”, not a long forgotten derelict. I concentrate on those places where mechanics and handlers would actually be touching the plane when they worked and moved the airplane around the airport. Wingtips, hand holds, foot steps, and along panels that would be removed and replaced on a regular basis. Rules of Weathering One thing that will help you a lot is to know that there is no true black or white used in the weathering process. You can save a lot of tone adjustment but cutting your white and black paint with a little gray. If you make a WW1 airplane, like my Balsa USA 1/3-scale Triplane, instead of painting all your white surfaces with bright insignia white, that you later need to tone done, use a very light gray instead. The tone of gray can vary depending on the overall color of your plane. There is a color called Juneau white, that works great on scale models. Applied to a model that is a bright color, it looks to all the world as true white, but if you apply it over insignia, or bright true white, you can see it is actually a tone of gray. (Above) Here is a stirring stick I dipped into my can of Juneau White. I show it on top of my red tool box. Looks white to me right!? (Above) Same stick about 30 seconds later placed over a white control surface. Yep! It’s actually a light shade of gray. The same is true for black. I like to cut my black paint with a bit of brown and some yellow to cut that empty black tone. Even adding a little dark blue will make black look better. Then, when it comes to aging parts that are painted black, I use various shades of gray. One last tip. When you mix your colors, always start with the lighter color and then darken it. Never try to make a dark color lighter. This is because of the intensity of dark vs. light colors. It takes very little dark paint to darken the tone of a light color, but it takes an incredible amount of light color to make a dark color lighter. This will also help you be more subtle with your weathering. By first spraying a model like my triplane a true base color of Tennessee red. I then make a small batch of lighter and darker toned red. I lightly mist the lighter red to the upper surfaces since the real airplane has faded a bit, and then on the lower and bottom surfaces, I add the darker tone of red. The lighter tone of red is made using the white as a base color and the red added, and the darker tone starts with the red and brown and gray is added to it. If you do this correctly, you can not see the demarcation lines of one tone over the other. Again, the secret of realism is being subtle. Dirt and Grime If you are really a sport modeler at heart and just want to paint your model and go fly, then a lot of realism can be accomplished with just a little bit of dirt, grime and smudging. My old stand by is pencil graphite. Use a coa*se grit of sandpaper and rub a pencil tip, (I like using mechanical pencil lead,) on it and collect the dark dust in a small container. (Above) Tools of the trade. What’s very cool about graphite dust, is that it is not solid black! It is actually a dark tone of gray. This is great because you can use it on any color. I like to use an old soft paint brush to apply the dust to the model in long stokes to create a light long smudge. (Above) Collecting the dust in a small container is a lot cleaner than trying to use it on a piece of paper. (Above) An old soft paint brush is used to apply the dust like eye shadow! (Above) Grime and dust collects along fine edges like on rib tapes. For areas where you want more you can scrub the area with the brush. If you want even more dark tone, you can simply use your finger tip to really work it down into the weave of the cloth. And, here’s the best part, if you add too much or you do not like the appearance you can simply wipe it away with a moist paper towel. (Above) Finger smudging is quick and easy and makes a big difference. The graphite darkens lighter colors. (Above) the same dust applied to a dark panel edge adds a lighter effect that looks like signs of wear. I add the dark grime along rib stitching on the wings especially in the propeller blast areas that would see a fair share of engine oil. I also do the white areas on the tail as well to produce that used looks. Another place to add steaks of dust is behind any control surface hinges, but just a little to give the impression that a bit of oil has run back from the hinge pins. (Above) Here behind the aileron hinge, you see the graphite dust is not black, but a shade of gray. Yes the Dubro hinge has to be painted a dark brown to look scale. (Above) Some more hinge streaking. Subtle but definitely convincing. (Above) Without weathering, the Fokker’s big white rudder, just looks too bright and new. (Above) Here’s the stabilizer and elevator with the white toned way down with graphite smudging. So that’s it. When we talk scale planes we are taking d*rty! But not so d*rty that it makes the airplane look like a wreck. Again, the secret is to be subtle. Viewed from far away, your model will look much more like the real thing, and up close, the details will pop! Check out the upcoming review of the Balsa USA Fokker Triplane in the February 2016 issue of MAN. Here’s a sneak peek. http://www.modelairplanenews.com/blog/2015/10/16/13-scale-fokker-triplane-flight-report-sneak-peak/ The post Workshop Build-Along — WW I Weathering appeared first on Model Airplane News. View the full article
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