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Messages - Deerslayer

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Plans, Projects, Building and Flying Tips / Masks
« on: January 21, 2012, 07:31:21 AM »
 I occasionally like to hack around with airbrushing, despite my almost non-existent artistic abilities. Specifically, I have done a couple of basic jobs on model airplanes, such as scallops and some lettering.

 One thing that has been a real problem is how to mask shapes.

 I have tried a couple of different varieties of liquid masking, with some success depending upon the material being masked. This still requires that I make some kind of pattern to assist with laying down the liquid mask, plus I often had to re-apply a second coating and/or make some corrections. You also have to wait for quite awhile to enable proper curing of the liquid mask.

 I tried using frisket paper. Apart form being expensive, it didn't work for me on curved surfaces without really pressing it into place; later, when removing it, the covering material wanted to pull away from the balsa.

 I also tried using some "Stretch 'n Seal" film. It works well, if you can cut the stuff neatly to begin with, but I found it too difficult to work with for anything but the simplest of masks.

Something like a Post-It, but cheaper and more flexible and available in large sheets, might be the ticket?

 One day, while covering an airplane with coloured Ultracote, I was about to throw out a big bunch of its backing material, when I had an idea. A rare occurrence, indeed, so I have the exact date and time recorded!

 This material (the white stuff, not the transparent film used to back a semi-transparent covering film) is a paper or plastic with some sort of shiny (wax?) coating on one side. Why not try making masks from it? No, it would not stretch, so it may not work for some areas involving compound curves, but I'm pretty much a 2-dimensional sort of guy, anyway!

So, here's the deal:

Take a piece of this backing and lay it out flat, shiny side down, using weights or masking tape to flatten it out, preferably on newspaper on the floor or bench. Then, very lightly mist the dull side with a spray-on contact cement, such as 3M77 or Elmers Spray Adhesive. Let it dry, at least 1/2 hour. The idea here is NOT to make a strong adhesive surface, but to make my pseudo-Post-It sheet.

After this has dried, I see if it wants to stick to a piece of window glass that I use to cut things on. If I am not completely satisfied, I may re-spray and wait awhile longer.

Now, lay this piece of masking material, sticky side down, on the glass working surface. Then, cut the required mask, using an Exacto #11. When done, the mask can be lifted off the plate. If it doesn't want to start to lift easily, stick a little tab of masking tape onto  an edge or corner to make a little tab.

Apply this mask to your target area, press it down securely but do not over-do it. Spray (or brush) your paint on. Particularly if you are brushing, go lightly so that you avoid any bleeding under the edges of the mask. I you are airbrushing, go lightly so that you don't force paint up under an edge, or cause runs. With the latter, use several very light passes (I find, but then, I am a rank amateur and therefore not into the subtleties of creating various textures!).

You should be able to almost immediately lift off your mask (if you airbrushed), or in a very few minutes (if you brushed). Be careful not to smudge your creation. You want it to look good for that first trip to the field; if it survives the day, you will worry less about minor imperfections as time goes by.

One of the nice things about this technique is that your masks are reusable. The can be easily stored, rolled up or flat with with some wax paper between them. If they lose their stickiness, just re-spray. They are tough, so you don't tend to rip them.

This is a cheap and effective way to learn and it makes good use of something that you would otherwise send to the landfill. (Another use for this backing material might be as a shelf liner in the kitchen, but don't mention that until you are sure that you will not regret giving away this valuable resource too hastily. I cam really close to making that mistake ...)


 There is a trick that Jim Thompson once told me about to avoid paint bleeding under the edges of a mask. I have not tried it, but it makes good sense. He applies the mask, then sprays (brushes?) some CLEAR paint in the area of the edge. Now, this tends to seal off the edge a bit, so that subsequent application of paint will not bleed under the mask. Any minor bleeding should be of the clear only. Sounds good - so why not try it!

Plans, Projects, Building and Flying Tips / Re: Covering Ideas and Tips
« on: January 17, 2012, 11:01:25 AM »
Here is a simple technique I have been using for quite awhile now. It involves the covering iron, some Kleenex and light gloves.

I rarely use a heat gun any more. I like the covering iron. It is essential for the initial tacking in place, doing all the joints and edges, etc. If used right, it gives unsurpassed control of film or fabric shrinkage and avoids having enclosed areas such as wing bays popping up and away from the ribs, for example, as one shrinks portions of the larger area.

The big disadvantage?

Well, I have gone through many covering irons over the past 30 years, even as I still have my original heat gun (and it HAS seen a lot of service, plus I still use it occasionally).

My covering irons have sometimes failed; the rather primitive thermostat may weld itself closed, or simply wear out. The Teflon covering seems to wear off rather easily; it is a very thin coating and Teflon is about the most inert material one can find, so bonding it to anything is extremely challenging. And, most likely, the surface gets scratched, no matter how carefully I try to care for it.

My solution?

I use a piece of Kleenex, laying it between the covering and the iron. I can move it around as much as I need to while ironing, or leave it in one spot. Any variation in temperature due to the cheap thermostat cycling will get dampened by this protective layer. Even if my iron is not completely smooth (and I do tend to use them a lot, so sometimes I may have to smoothen a scratch with a Scotchbrite nylon pad), the film never gets scratched.

Another part of my technique is to wear light gloves. I got tired of burning my fingers when tacking and sealing covering. With my gloves, I have complete feeling, yet I can apply pressure to heated covering where and when needed.

I have some very thin ones - white, which is nice so that I can detect any dirt that is being picked up on them. The initial pair came from Princess Auto a few years ago; they were sold as anti-static gloves for electronics work. These probably came from some outfit that makes them for the electronics manufacturing industry, as this is the kind of thing required in "clean rooms" and assembly lines. Unfortunately, they never re-appeared at the Princess since that time. So, when they got really dirty, I found some very light gardening gloves, white, that have slightly rubberized palms and fingers.

Another little trick involves removing the protective backing from some coverings. For example, I am currently using some semi-transparent Ultracote, where one cannot distinguish covering film from the backing (unlike the white stuff on the fully coloured coverings). This stuff is really well stuck to its backing and is difficult to separate. So, I take alittle piece of masking tape and stick it on the backing near a corner. Then, I can pull it back from the covering. If this doesn't work too well, just stick another small piece very near that corner on the covering side and now you pull the two things apart.

Having separated some transparent coverings from their backings, what if I want to save some pieces and/or immediately see which is the covering and which is the backing? Well, before separating the two, scribble onto the backing with a black marker pen, like a Sharpie. At least you will know that this is backing, not the good stuff.

If you ever need to, you can mark many covering materials with a Sharpie pen and later clean the marking off. Best to try a test sample first, however! I would use a Sharpie, sparingly, to mark it. Later, I use some acetone on a paper towel or Kleenex to remove it. Go carefully with this; although the polyester covering material is relatively safe from being affected by the acetone, you don't want to scratch it. Again, test  the technique!

Plans, Projects, Building and Flying Tips / Covering Ideas and Tips
« on: January 17, 2012, 10:23:34 AM »
For those who enjoy, or would like to try, building and covering aircraft, this Topic may be for you. Over time, many of us have developed, or picked up from others some ideas and techniques that work for us. Let's post a few!

General Discussion / Re: Training Video!
« on: January 15, 2012, 03:25:32 PM »
Maybe Earl will let you use his doghouse. ;D

You do not know Erle very well! He sleeps in the doghouse, the Pooch Patrol pretty much owns the big house. That's why those little critters always look so bright-eyed and bushy-tailed when they come to the field, while Erle just drags himself in. Aahh, the Dog's Life ...

General Discussion / Re: Training Video!
« on: January 14, 2012, 08:51:52 PM »
Well ... I got my wife to watch it, too.  Did she enjoy it? Not so much.  Anyone know of a really cheap motel where I could camp out for a few days?

General Discussion / Training Video!
« on: January 14, 2012, 06:50:36 PM »
For those of you who would like to improve your home situation, vis a vis your flying career, perhaps you may wish to share this little training video with your loved one:

The Perfect RC Wife

General Discussion / Re: Pizza Box Combat
« on: January 09, 2012, 02:39:39 PM »
Better git buildin Gary. None of this 'sit back and watch $hit. ;D ;D
   Besides you'd have this big grin on your face from ear to ear whether you won or lost.

Are you kidding!!!!?
My flying objects are in enough peril as is, I don't need any help in sending them to their final reward. Besides, I already have a big grin on when I see y'all in a tangle out on the battlefield. However, if I was allowed to enter my cute little slimers (like my .15 size Bat Wing), well then, that might be an entirely different story... :)


General Discussion / Re: Pizza Box Combat
« on: January 09, 2012, 11:38:17 AM »
All this talk!!!! Cheap!

Let's see some real action, with witnesses. Set the time, a Sunday. The place will be our field.Perhaps at the Winter Chili Fly?

Fight to the death. As they say in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome:   "Two men enter. One man leaves."

We need more "real men" to step forward and "walk the talk".

I volunteer to be the official Referee. Moreover, I will put up $10 for the winner - probably enough coin to build another of those aberrations of flight. The only condition is that I have to see some real carnage - none of this "shake off the loose bits and re-launch" stuff. The loser has to show real hurt, like at least a 10 minute surgery with the old glue gun, or a consignment to the clubhouse stove. Then, the winner can feel true pride.

So, sign up and let's Get 'er Done!

General Discussion / Year of the Club - 2012
« on: December 30, 2011, 10:04:23 AM »
Happy New Year to one and all! I hope y'all had a great Christmas.

For those of you who actually make "New Year's Resolutions", here are a couple of suggestions that would be very easy to live up to (unlike the typical, "eat healthy food", "lose x pounds", "walk/run 5 miles a day", "stop crashing airplanes", etc.):

1. Volunteer to actively participate in and help organize/operate at least 1 Club activity this year.

2. Pass along something of what you have learned through becoming an Instructor, presenting a topic at a Workshop, or just offering assistance at any time (especially on Club Nights, a.k.a. Training/Hot Dog Nights).

3. Attract, encourage, and help 1 person join in our hobby and become a Member of our Club. Follow through with them to ensure that they get the most out of their learning and flying experiences.

4. Become a better Pilot by either improving upon, or developing, a particular aspect of the hobby.

5. Have as much fun as you possibly can, while respecting the rights of your fellow flyers.

23.  Treat your Club President with respect and toleration. He's old, he can't help it, so show some pity - you may be there someday  ;D

As my hero, Red Green, says, "We're all in this together!"

General Discussion / Re: Innovative or what?
« on: December 08, 2011, 06:53:22 PM »
I bet y'all can't do this! (Well, from what I have seen, Gord has probably come closer than most of us to this kind of flying):

Colton's one wing flight

Plans, Projects, Building and Flying Tips / Re: $ Foam construction
« on: December 07, 2011, 09:44:23 AM »
What he says, referring to Gorilla Glue, or any other polyurethane glue such as Elmers Ultimate (original quote, lifted from another site complete with grammar):

"i use it on ply to whatever..

for foamys people mix a couple drops of water in a dish with it then you get about 10min to work with it..

for sheeting foam fuse's its the best.. just squeege (sp?) it on with a credit card to the balsa only then i mist the foam with water and weigh it down inbetween boards.. when you put it on the balsa just use enough to spead on the balsa so you cant scrape any off.. thats all it takes.. only adds a couple oz to the fuse where as epoxy can add 3x more  hows that for a crappy explanation"

I use Ultimate on lots of things. It is great for strengthening some joints, such as bulkhead or firewall joints to fuselages, as I will mist it with window wash and it puffs up to form a large and tough fillet.  When, not if, that ARF collapses due to slightly over-stressing some of its crappy liteply, or its landing gear block abandons ship, PE glue may help restore it to flying condition. Just sayin' ... Gary

It is the best way to glue Coroplast, especially for a bulkhead to fuselage. Make sure you have cleaned your Coro with acetone. Roughening the to-be-glued areas with 3M nylon scraper pads, then re-cleaning with acetone (woodpeckering if you are really paranoid), misting with water or window cleaner and the glueing - you will have a masterpiece of engineering (I know, as I are one). Too much of a deal is made over the expansion of PE glues. Using masking tape or some weight or light clamping will take care of things - the foaming and expansion takes place within a very few minutes and you can verify that nothing has moved, then forget about it for a couple hours or more. Good luck!

General Discussion / Innovative or what?
« on: November 25, 2011, 07:56:43 PM »
 When I first watched this, I figured that he combines some of the capabilities of two local fellows whom I know - Gord and Jeff ! I have seen some creations of these guys which really fit into the same category.

This is one awesome machine, and the video is really quite funny:

VIDEOS and PICTURES from KRCM Events and Activities / Flying in Circles
« on: November 23, 2011, 08:35:13 AM »
 I am intrigued by folks who fly in circles, or more appropriately, flying in hemispheres - real 3D stuff !

 This year, Dwayne Donnely re-joined KRCM after a multi-year rest from his CL activities and I find myself observing the action with great fascination. Lloyd Shales, a long timermaster of the art, interested Dwayne in trying CL many years ago and the bug never left him.

 Dwayne is by no means a "fair weather flyer". He is apt to show up with his lines and other gear almost any time. Recently, he and I were the only ones out at the field on a rather brisk "non-winter" day. I was enjoying a warm fire in the club house between my own flights, watching Dwayne hurl his nifty-looking biplane around.

Photographing these things is not easy, plus I was using a cheap point-an-shoot camera, so my pics do not really do justice to his activity.

 We need to get Mikey, the KRCM Official Videographer, out there someday when Dwayne or Rolly or some other CL guy is in action. I can already think of the perfect background sound track, based up on that great song, Spinning Wheel, written by David Clayton Thomas. You know, the one with that great line ... "What goes up must come down" . Just the name of the band, Blood Sweat and Tears, pretty much sums up a large part of this whole hobby that we all share!

 Anyway, here are a few of my pictures:

Plans, Projects, Building and Flying Tips / Warning about Connectors
« on: November 22, 2011, 11:30:29 AM »
 Connectors are an inherent weak link for our hobby - they can be of poor design, poor fabrication, subject to abuse and simply succumb to the stresses of their life of being pushed around, yanked upon, infused with dirt, etc.

 One of the best connector types that I see around our club these days is the Anderson Power Pole:

Many of the e-flyers use them exclusively; I (a slimer driver) use them on my chargers, power supply, electric starter, etc. Recently, I encountered a problem, or perhaps even an inherent weakness in the type. I have been using this system for my electric starter and associated battery pack. Then, two of them broke. At first, one had cracked but I continued to use it anyway. After all, this is just for a starter, it is not in an airborne power pack passing large current  and it is not going to make me crash, or burn something in my airplane.

 What I am describing is in no way a criticism of this connector type, nor would it cause me to consider using anything else.

I am attaching a picture of the 2 broken connectors, plus one which is brand new. Note that this system depends upon the plastic casing to keep the 2 spring contacts in solid contact at all times. A cracked, or even broken case on one connector will not likely matter too much (at least to me, for my starter arrangement, as I continued to use it until the second one broke off). However, if this were in a power pack for an airplane, this contact area would not be very positive, leading to high resistance and causing significant heating and voltage drop.

What I am thinking is that one should be somewhat protective of these connectors in use. Check them carefully from time to time. Those who fly electrics put many more cycles on their connectors that someone like me would.

I hope that this minor annoyance to me will result in someone checking out their systems and detecting an anomaly which could spoil their day.

Plans, Projects, Building and Flying Tips / Re: Build along Dynavert
« on: November 17, 2011, 06:10:45 PM »
Great project, I hope it works out well. This was an incredible aircraft and it makes me wonder what could have resulted if it had not been caught in the financial squeeze following the Viet Nam War. (Would that flying deathtrap boondoggle Osprey have ever been hatched?). Nice to see the one in the Museum, beautiful preservation work.

Here is an excellent write-up on the machine:

Tell us how you expect to do the control arrangement, please! Sound like some fun planning work.

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