Airfield Models - How To

Repairing Rustik

May 03, 2015

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Airfield Models ( Rustik

This article details the repair of Rustik.

In addition to hurricanes, gators, sharks and other things created with the specific purpose of destroying model airplanes, Florida gets vicious winds, particularly in the spring.

Rustik was a little over a month old and had but a handful of flights on it when Mother Nature struck again.  The wind kicked up without warning.  As soon as I heard the howling I went around the house closing windows.  Unfortunately, I didn't get to one window in time.

Rustik was damaged when a screen blew loose from a window, across the house and through the airplane which was assembled and standing against a wall.

When Rustik fell over the stabilizer struck a chair which punched a hole in the 1/32" balsa skin.  A corner of the screen was embedded in the underside of a wing tip.

The wing repair will not be covered in this article.  The gouge in the tip was filled with balsa dough, sanded smooth and given a couple coats of clear solvent-based polyurethane the same finish that is already applied to the aircraft.

The stabilizer repair was simple, but as with the Thwing! repair, the transparent finish poses a problem.  I don't want the plane to look patched if I can avoid it (which I couldn't).

The model sat in a corner for months for a couple reasons.  I hadn't decided exactly how I was going to execute the repair.  I also had shoulder surgery soon after Rustik was damaged which kept me out of the shop for a while.  Building with one arm in a sling is never easy.

Eventually I found a way to make a patch ok, but I'd rather it hadn't been necessary at all.

Mike thinks I should put the same patch on the other half the stabilizer to make it symmetrical.  Ummm... no.


Surveying the Damage

Rustik fought the chair and the chair won. This is the damage to Rustik's stabilizer.

As you can see it's not that bad, but this is exactly what I feared when I was contemplating a natural finishThe damage is enclosed by drawing as small a circle as possible using a Sharpie fine point marker and circle template.

In this series



How To Repair a Flying Model Aircraft
Repairing Thwing!

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Copyright 2004 Paul K. Johnson