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Dealing with Tailsitters

Need some advice, got a good weathering tip, discovered some great paints or tools?
Warbird Kid
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Re: Dealing with Tailsitters

#11

Post by Warbird Kid »

Some great ideas here. Mine is a little more archaic.

1. Take a piece of clear sprue from any kit leftover.
2. Heat it up over a flame and pull gently apart when soft.
3. Cut out a thin piece of the clear sprue.
4. Glue to the underside near the tail or a location where its least noticeable.
5. Trim where necessary until the nose wheel sits appropriately.

Ive used this method on the P-61, P-39, PBY, A-26, etc. All successful. This is a great method to use if you don't care about seeing something vs. nothing at all.

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smeg1959
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Re: Dealing with Tailsitters

#12

Post by smeg1959 »

After recently posting photos of my Skypirate and Airacobra - both tailsitters that failed the "stuff weight in the nose" trick, I reckon I'll go with your idea, Warbird Kid, though I'll probably substitute some fine brass wire for strength.
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GB13 - Late 298 (Aeronavale), Bf109E-3a Strela (Bulgarian AF), ČKD LT vz.38 Praga (Slovakian Army)

Warbird Kid
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Re: Dealing with Tailsitters

#13

Post by Warbird Kid »

It works well, avoids making your 1/144th model weigh 5 pounds, and isn't really noticeable. Post pictures of your results please!

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smeg1959
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Re: Dealing with Tailsitters

#14

Post by smeg1959 »

The laws of physics suggest that the further forward you can place the ballast, the less weight you actually need. In a couple of recent Anigrand constructions of nose-wheel single prop aircraft, I have put this theory into practice, not only drilling the cavity out forward of the cockpit but also hollowing the spinner itself and filling with lead. In one case, it made all the difference - without the lead-filled prop, a tailsitter, with the lead-filled prop, eureka! When I get the chance, I'll try this out on an F-Toys' P-39, a notorious tailsitter IMHO.
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GB13 - Late 298 (Aeronavale), Bf109E-3a Strela (Bulgarian AF), ČKD LT vz.38 Praga (Slovakian Army)

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Jonathan
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Re: Dealing with Tailsitters

#15

Post by Jonathan »

that's good thinking. I suppose once could even whittle a whole spinner from solid lead.

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smeg1959
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Re: Dealing with Tailsitters

#16

Post by smeg1959 »

As was discussed during Merlin’s recent builds of the Welsh Models’ Andover and Varsity in the RAF GB, manufacturers electing to cast solid lumps of resin don’t help the cause. Other times, we are faced with aircraft that, due to a combination of very little available space up front and a centre of gravity significantly aft of centre, are almost impossible to counterbalance with lead or Liquid Gravity. True, osmium ($400 per ounce) or iridium ($1,420 per ounce) may do the trick as both are twice as dense as lead, but the cost of both is a tad prohibitive. :roll:

I recently saw a 1/32-scale tailsitter supported using a piece of piano wire as a support. At 0.15mm thick, this was the thinnest material I could find that was still rigid enough to support the weight of a model without bending. Using a pin-vice and an appropriately tiny bit, I drilled a pilot hole in the fuselage just aft of the wing trailing edge, then inserted a suitable length of wire and secured it in place with a drop of CA glue. Not absolutely ideal but certainly one solution that doesn’t stick out like canines’ round objects.

I resorted to this solution on five models already in the display cabinet:

(1) F-Toys’ Bell P-39Q Airacobra (x 2) – My RAAF repaint had lead in the nose but I just couldn’t fit enough in to counter the tail. The earlier RAF build was bereft of lead.
Bell P-39D-BE Airacobra - RAAF A53-12 (GR-T) (02).jpg
(2) CafeReo’s Northrop P-61B Black Widow – With a clear nose, almost nowhere to put any ballast. Indeed, the Widow is one of the most often cited tailsitters in all scales.
Northrop P-61B-6-NO Black Widow - USAAF 42-39525 (01).jpg
(3) F-Toys’ Heinkel He219 Uhu – An early slacko build which, in hindsight, could have been addressed successfully with lead or Liquid Gravity. A later build of the same kit (my Czech “White 34” refinish) showed that this was feasible.

(4) Anigrand’s Curtiss XF-15C-1 Stingaree – With its sizeable tail, an aircraft with its centre of gravity well and truly towards the back. I tried adding buckets of lead … and failed.
Curtiss XF-15C-1 Stingaree - USAF White 3 (02).jpg
Unfortunately, one current build will be joining them. Kingcobra a la Belle France, formerly of GB7 fame and currently resident of the Shelf of Shame, had lead added to the max. I even bored out the back of the spinner and added more Pb there. Alas, all to no avail as, the moment the wheels went on, the tail went down. Bugger! No doubt the ventral extension of the tail to convert the model from a P-63A to a P-63C didn’t help one iota. :cry:
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GB13 - Late 298 (Aeronavale), Bf109E-3a Strela (Bulgarian AF), ČKD LT vz.38 Praga (Slovakian Army)

Ryan B.
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Re: Dealing with Tailsitters

#17

Post by Ryan B. »

As per Glehn above, I remember one model show mumblemumble years ago where a participant had taken a thin clear sheet of plastic cut to an amoeba-like shape about 9-10"" in length and attached it to a 1/72 Me-262B's nosewheel. It was of sufficient rigidity and length to keep the aircraft from rocking back on the main legs. Whether it was glued or somehow pinned I couldn't tell (they won't let me pick them up and go "vroom vroom!" anymore) but it didn't look bad. No reason either that one couldn't make a quick diorama of the plastic base to look like dirt or concrete. Or, anathema to many, just retract the gear.

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MerlinJones
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Re: Dealing with Tailsitters

#18

Post by MerlinJones »

It's always struck me as odd that no enterprising aftermarket manufacturer was able to produce a range of heavy metal noses.

(Cue 'humourous' comments about Black Sabbath, et al).
It's my madness that keeps me sane.
The Modelling Man Cave: https://sites.google.com/site/themodellingmancave/home

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smeg1959
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Re: Dealing with Tailsitters

#19

Post by smeg1959 »

This one from SAC is the only example I can readily come up with. Definitely needed given the configuration of the Catalina in PBY-5A amphibian guise. And no, Ozzy doesn't want anyone touching his snout ... :P
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GB13 - Late 298 (Aeronavale), Bf109E-3a Strela (Bulgarian AF), ČKD LT vz.38 Praga (Slovakian Army)

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croato
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Re: Dealing with Tailsitters

#20

Post by croato »

Well, I have another way of thinking.
As each model occupies a space, I put them on a display... Making holes in wheels and gluing a piece of sprue or a piece of wire they become one with display.
Much more simple for storage and transport...

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