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RC Model Airplane Tips — Scale Engine Cowlings Made Easy

One of MAN’s many renouned construction skeleton are for a 1/3-scale Howard Ike racer designed by Henry Haffke. Several years ago, we teamed adult with Henry to assistance him build and finish his giant-scale chronicle of his renouned 1970s era, .40-size Howard Ike DGA-5 racer, a Miss Chevrolet.

Howard Ike Ready to Cover

It enclosed several engaging building techniques, one of that was a building and finishing of a prolonged engine cowl. This essay takes we by a stairs to build and finish a square and balsa-block engine cowl. The techniques can simply be practical to any form of scale or competition aeroplane as a materials and collection compulsory to do a pursuit are fundamentally a same. Let’s get started.
What’s Needed


Needed Supplies

This is a classical technique that uses simple collection and supplies. Besides a totally built model, we need…

■ 5oz. and 1oz. fiberglass cloth

■ Sharp scissors

■ Pacer’s Finishing Resin

■ Denatured alcohol

■ Several grades of sandpaper (150, 220, 320 and 400 grits)

■ Long sanding bars/blocks

■ Mixing cups

■ Playing cards (use as creosote squeezes)

■ Plenty of paper towels for cleanup

■ Balsa filler material

■ Spot glazing putty





1.The initial thing to do before starting to arrange your cover is to implement a engine and a fuel system. In this photo, a Zenoah G26 is bolted to a plywood firewall. Be certain to retard a carburetor with paper towel to keep out debris.

Zenoah G 260 from BH Hanson


2.For a many part, a engine cover territory of a Miss Chevrolet starts usually in front of a wing. The fuselage is sheeted with 1⁄8-inch balsa adult to a firewall. From a firewall forward, vale balsa rings are glued together to start covering a engine. This is finished since abaft of a firewall, all a panels are true with no bends. The brazen territory of a cover starts to turn devalue curves to brew into a cover front square that is done from a plain retard of balsa (several ½-inch thick layers of balsa sheeting form a block).

Balsa Ring buildup


3. As a balsa rings are added, a carburetor breather opening is cut in place. The final balsa ring is faced with 1⁄8-inch lite-ply to form a tough mating aspect for a cover front piece. This helps furnish a true subdivision line between a dual parts.

Breather Hole


4. Here a nose front square has been forged to figure and sanded smooth. The abaft aspect of this partial is also faced with lite-ply and it is indexed to fit in place with fixing dowels that pivotal into a abaft cowling face. Once this is down, go over all a timber surfaces and fill in any vital seams and defects with timber filler. Let dry and silt smooth.

Nose Piece


5. Remove a nosepiece and a engine so we can fuel explanation a inside surfaces of a engine compartment. Use Pacer finishing creosote for this. Mix a dual tools together and use a unbending brush to request during slightest dual large coatings, vouchsafing a initial cloak heal before adding a second. The creosote will catch into a timber and really tiny sanding is indispensable after a creosote has cured.

Sealed Firewall

6. Now silt with 220-grit sandpaper and start stuffing in seams and defects with glazing and Spot putty. Use a blending hang or throw balsa to allegation a putty into place and let dry. Use a prolonged sanding retard and silt over a surfaces. The prolonged retard will take off a high spots and leave areas wanting some-more filler and putty.

Filler application

7. Repeat this routine until we have filled all a blemishes and seams and there are no some-more shoal areas wanting to be filled. Go over all again with 320-grit sandpaper and afterwards purify purify with a Tach cloth.

Ready to sand

Ready for glass


8. Cut your fiberglass cloth to distance and lay in place on a area to be finished. Use a unbending paintbrush and cadence a cloth into place. Static electricity will assistance a cloth adhere in place.

Glass cloth prepared for resin

9. In a disposable cosmetic cup, brew a finishing creosote with one partial A, one partial B and one partial alcohol. Dribble some of a creosote on a tip of a cowling and use a personification label to widespread a creosote into a wobble of a fiberglass cloth. No need for a brush during this time. Reposition a indication so a side is confronting adult and repeat a routine until we have entirely jam-packed a cloth with resin. Check for any dry areas requiring some-more resin—these uncover adult as white areas. Apply some-more creosote as needed.

Spreading resin

10. After a creosote has marinated up, easily silt a cloth with 150-grit sandpaper to mislay a shimmer finish. Wipe purify with a hook cloth and request a second covering of fiberglass cloth and resin. Any area where a cloth and creosote do not lay down prosaic opposite a wood, cut slits in a cloth and press it over itself and request some-more resin. Fold a cloth over during a front, supplement some-more creosote and work it until it all lays prosaic opposite a wood.

Resin practical and entrance cloth cut away

11. Now, do a same thing for a nose piece. Apply a cloth and creosote and cut any wrinkles or buckles in a cloth so it will lay flat. Apply resin, let cure, easily sand. Wipe purify and request a second covering of cloth and resin.

Nose square prepared for potion application

12. The second covering has been practical and we can see a additional element unresolved down. The best approach to trim a cloth is to use 220-grit sandpaper and massage where a cloth and timber corner join. Do it easily and if needed, request some-more creosote and let set to furnish a good well-spoken finished edge. Do a same for a openings in a nosepiece.

Nose square with creosote applied

13. Here a nose square has been easily primed with white sandable authority and placed in position on a front of a model. The decoration and sanding is really critical and might take several coats and sandings to furnish a good well-spoken finish. Take your time and let a authority coats dry before sanding. Start with 220-grit sandpaper and when we get tighten to a ideal finish, switch to 320 sandpaper.

Nose square with authority added

14. Even after several coats of primer, we will still find tiny blemishes wanting to be filled. we find that fast-drying Squadron White Putty used for scale cosmetic models works really good here. Just appropriate it on with a fingertip, let dry and silt a entrance off.

Filler putty combined to in holes

15. Here a nosepiece is about 95% prepared for paint. There are still tiny pin holes wanting stuffing and sanding. Most of a authority will be sanded off before paint is applied.

Final cloak of white primer

16. Prepare a abaft apportionment of a cowling like we did with a nosepiece. When we get a really well-spoken roughly flawless finish, supplement another cloak of authority and silt many of it off. Check for mini blemishes and take caring of them before relocating on.

Cowling primed

17. Start requesting any aspect sum we wish to raise a model’s appearance. Here we see a feign piano hinge we combined to a top. This was done with a frame of aluminum tape, tiny screws and a cosmetic coated handle glued down a core with skinny CA. we cut a tiny barrels into a cosmetic cloaking so it looked like a prolonged hinge.

Surface sum and louvers added

18. Here a cover is being embellished along with a rest of a panels practical to a fuselage. The fabric areas have been masked off to strengthen a finish. Apply dual or 3 obscurity coats of paint. You should not have to silt anymore, all a imperfections were taken caring of with a authority coats.

Details and louvers primed

19. To finish a scale coming of a engine cowl, we combined a immobile scale propeller, decals and a feign empty stacks that are recessed in round depressions about ¼ in. deep.

Finished engine cowling with scale propeller, decals, and feign empty pipes added

20. That’s it. Here a new 1/3-scale “Miss Chevrolet” Howard Ike racer looks good on a balmy day during a drifting field. The nose square is hold in place with prolonged skinny screws that can be seen in a cooling openings. It takes usually a impulse to benefit entrance to a engine. Though this technique is easy to do, it does need an investment in time. It’s no secret, compensate some courtesy to a sum and use copiousness of sandpaper to make a surfaces of a cowling demeanour flawless.

This technique can be used on all forms of models regardless of a figure of a engine cowling. Just don’t forget to use lots of sandpaper for a well-spoken finish.

Miss Chevrolet Ready for Takeoff

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