C/L Flying & Building Tips

Judging Clinic 2007

Brett host a Stunt Clinic
Brett Buck gives the first judging clinic.

1/2a Engine Tips

Replace the reed in a Cox .049 courtesy of Fieldaway on Youtube.com


ImageI recommend using a nontoxic carpenter quality wood glue such as Elmer's Probond or Franklin's Titebond wood glue. These glue setups very fast and is water soluble for easy clean up.

.Cyanoacrilate (super glue, AKA CA)

Kids!, don't use this with out adult supervion. CA glue come in 4 type of viscosity, thin to super thick. First time users should buy Medium. If you happen to get CA on your hands or fingers, use Nail Polish Remover will take it off.

Caution: CA Glue (Cyanoacrylate) fumes and sanding dust are noxious and may irritate the skin,
eyes, and nose. Take adequate protective measures – use good ventilation, a fan, or a dust control
system. Be careful, this glue bonds human skin to itself and glue flung into the eyes can be very

Primer Bottle

One of Bill's tips is to use a small squeeze bottle as a primer bottle for fuel.  This save on fuel waste.

Bill Osborne

Fuel Filler

Tap Plastic Hand Pumps can fit a variaty of can from quart to gallon. Each pump can dispense 1oz of fuel. The tip can be modified to fit a fuel tubing.

Fuel Syringe

The first thing I do when I purchase a new fuel syringe, it to tape over the indicators tick mark with Clear Packing Tape. This will prevent the indicator from wearing off when exposed to fuel.

Cox Sure Start Mods

Cox ShureStartWith the Sure Start, If you disassemble the backplate, drill the venturi out 11/64th's then you will find that it really performs. I am using a stock head along with stock everthing else and my last tach reading was 17,000 rpm with a cox 5x3. It is giving more rpm now after I sorted the compression out with head shims, but I can't find my tach. From memory it was giving 15,500-16,000 rpm before the mod. Not too bad for a $7.00 engine.

Luke from Australia, RC Universe Forum

Cox Performance Products

Nelson Head for all Cox .049-.051, AME, Norvel .049

Phil Granderson with Zealot


Dave Fitzgerald, Ted Fancher and Professor Buck

Compatible Dope Thinners

ThinnerThere has been some discussion regarding thinner for dope. From Duane Roaches suggestion, I was able to purchase a 1 gallon can of "Dupont 3608S or 3602S" Acrylic Lacquer Thinner" from San Leandro Color. 3602 will works better in colder weather. Another compatible thinner for Brodak Dope is Randolph or Aero Classic Butyrate Thinner from any Aircraft Supply store.

This thinner has been used by a lot of top stunt people including Windy Urtonowski, as a more economical replacement for Sig or Brodak Dope Thinner. I tried it with Brodak dope with no problems.

Sacramento Sky Ranch Inc.
6622 Freeport Blvd.
Sacramento, CA, United States
(916)421-7672, fax, http://www.sacskyranch.com

San Leandro Color
555 E. 14th St
San Leandro, CA 94577
510 569-8236


Make Your Own Decals

Micromark decal paper works the best. You can purchase either in clear or white background. Print using best quality in your computer Inkjet or Laserjet type printer. After decal sheet is printed, use Krylon Workable Fixatif to keep it from smearing. It is a matte finish coating, especially formulated for use with pastel, charcoal and pencil. Perfect for drawings, sketches and layouts. You can buy an 11 oz. can from any Art or Frame store for about $7. It's the same stuff as the Micromark fixative, but a lot cheaper.

  1. Create decal tesxt or design using Word Processing or Graphic software on your personal computer.
  2. Print the decal on Micromark's Decal paper. Use Best quality/Photo page setting on your printer.
  3. Spray 2 coats of "Fixatif" directly onto the whole decal sheet and allow it to dry for at least 2 hours
  4. Cut decal out.
  5. Soak in warm soapy water for only 10 seconds. Do not allow decal to come off the paper
  6. Place decal next to area you wish to apply and wait 30 seconds.
  7. Carefully slide decal onto area. Hold the decal on one edge and slide the bottom paper out carefully.
  8. Sqeeze out all water with tissue. (Be carefull, the decal is very delicate)
  9. You can clear coat over with dope. Apply the first coat light.
Apply Fixative
Photo of wing with decal

For decal paper, go to: www.micromark.com

Font Tips

Use only scalable fonts whick are bject-oriented graphics language such as PostScript or TrueType. Such fonts are called scalable because the representation of the font defines the shape of each character (the typeface) but not the size. Given a typeface definition, a scalable-font system can produce characters at any size (or scale).

In Microsoft Word, you can manual type in any size font point size even if it does not show in the drop down list.

Quick and Easy with Rustoleum Paint

For a nicer job....

I found that is a good alternative to dope.   It if 1/3 the cost of dope, fuel proof, and provides an excellent finish with minimal work.   First prime the surface, either balsa or silkspan with 4 coats of clear nitrate dope.  Sand between coat with 320 sand paper.  Spray with Rustoleum color.  For the most kid with 1/2a airplanes, one good color of color should do it.  Too many coat can add too much weight to the 1/2a's.

To get a better finish on larger models, you can use a Lacquer based sandable auto primer such as Plasti-kote after the nitrate dope base.   Sand off most imperfection with 320 wet/dry sand paper and apply and second coat and repeat until you achieved your desire finish.  After sanding the primer coat to 400 or 600 grit, you can use either color dope, auto lacquer, Rustoleum or Epoxy paint.

Heman Lee

Rustoleum - use it almost exclusively.  Use a simpler approach:  buy Sears "Lite Spackle"; take a couple of tablespoons full and carefully thin with water until a relatively thick but brushable viscosity is achieved.  Using a fine mist spray bottle, lightly wet all balsa surfaces to be finished.  This keeps the slurry moisture from rapidly penetrating into the balsa and resultant caking of Spackle on the wood surface.  Immediately apply the thinned speckle slurry with a brush; let dry.  Sand with 220/240 grit dry sandpaper until most of the excess speckle is removed.  Apply two coats of spray can auto "sandable" primer then wet sand down with 400 grit wet/dry lightly so as not to break through the primer barrier.  Allow to dry for at least an hour.   Apply a "tack" coat of Rustoleum; let dry for 15-30 minutes.  Apply a second coat making sure the film thickness just approaches, but doesn't result in paint sags or runs.  This can be the finish coat; however, I've achieved almost glass-like finishes with a third coat.  Allow to dry a week before completing final assembly of the airplane or applying any other finish colors.

Fillets - used to use light speckle; however, I encountered significant blistering problems when applying either dope (nitrate or butyrate) and auto primer/Rustoleum over them.  I now use Hobbico "Hobbylite Filler".   It is water soluble and impervious to blistering and works much easier for fillets than speckle, too.

Chip Largent
Norfolk Aeromodelers CL Model Airplane Club
Virginia Beach, VA

Fillers & Fillets

If your not building a competition class full fuselage stunt ship, I don't think there is a need to mess around with using an epoxy based fillet. For smaller fillet on 1/2a or sport profile model, just buy some feather weight spackle from Home Depot or local hardware store.  It works!

Alternative to Epoxylite

Tap '500' Filler is a good alternate to more costly epoxy based filler such as EpoxyLite or Aeropoxy. It is light weight and will not bubble with dope finishes. A whole quart of this stuff can be purchased at any Tap Plastics location for only $8.50. The hardener come in a separate 2.7oz. tube for $2.25. The only thing to watch for is work time. You have to work fast. Do only one fillet at a time. Use about a round tsp size of fillet and sqeeze out 1 pea size amount of hardener. Mix for only about 15 second and apply quickly to the wing joint. Smooth out by dipping your finger in to alcohol and go over your fillet. This will create a smooth finish. Let is dry completely before sanding.

Heman Lee


You can purchase SuperFil at your local aircraft suppliers. It weight less than 4 pounds per gallon -- Bondo is about 10! It is xpoxy tough and will Not Shrink or Crack! It SUPER-EASY Sanding and work great of Composites, Aluminum, Wood, and much more.


Spot Putty

You can use automotive spot putty —"Bondo Glazing & Spot Putty" to repair small dents or imperfections in your finish after the priming coat. Sand the area smooth and re-prime.

Heman Lee

Cheap Field Box

Just use one of the plastic open tool caddies.   I've seen them for as little as 2.99 at Home Depot.

Heman Lee

Uni-flow Stunt Tank Setup

Uniflow is a type of venting used by most stunter flyers as opposed to standard venting. The uniflow vent is submerge in the fuel rather than venting in the open air inside the tank. This allows pressure to be equalized from a full to empty, thus giving a more constant engine run. The problem with standard venting it that when the fuel is near the end, the pressure in the tank lowers, resulting in leaner run towards the end. The uniflow setup correct this problem.

It is a good idea to vent the airflow to the inboard wing side because it is more constant.

Note: If you add the uniflow vent to an existing standard vented tank, you must plug or cap the fill tube. The new uniflow vent will replace the fill.

Plans for George Aldrich Uniflow tank

How Uniflow Fuel System Works
by Nigel Fraser Ker

Uniflow Clunk by Tim McTigue