By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more
Forum sponsored by:
Forum sponsored by CML

Phil's Atom thread

a blow by blow build with some of my top tips

All Topics | Latest Posts

Search for:  in Thread Title in  
Phil Winks14/12/2014 16:21:08
2674 forum posts
693 photos

Here we go folks the hardware has arrived and the bench is cleared for what I believe will be a relatively easy build,

the hardware setup for the Atom is as follows

Rotor head Here and here good luck geting one

Glass fibre plate parts here

Glass fibre delta plate Here

Motor Here

Blade blanks Here

ESC Here this is a substitute for the one Richard Harris used due to 0 stock levels at HK at the time of order, it should be well up to the job.

3 x Servos Here

The following material list is what I've worked out as needed quite a bit smaller than Richards list, most of this I would think 'Mr Average' balsa basher would have kicking around :

1 off sheets of 3 x 102 x 915mm medium grade balsa (fuselage sides/tailplane/fins and sheeting)

1/2 off sheet of 6 x 102 x 915mm medium grade balsa (fuselage base and some formers)

1/2 off sheet of 9 x 102 x 915mm soft balsa (balsa infilling)

1 off strip 6 x 6 x 800mm spruce (boom)

1 off strip 6 x 12.5 x 300mm spruce (mast)

1 off sheet of 3x 150 x 150mm birch ply (U'C mount/ servo mounts)

1 off sheet of 3 x 150 x 150mm Lite ply ( several formers)

1 off length of 3mm (10SWG) piano wire (U/C)

1 off length of 1.2mm (18 SWG) piano wire (rudder coupler)

10 X 7 APC prop

A little 1.6mm FG plate for bell cranks etc.

Covering & Pop bottles!!!!

Now lets get bashing balsa

Phil Winks14/12/2014 16:21:50
2674 forum posts
693 photos

first the tools you'll need for this stage are fairly simple.

picture 002 atom 2015.jpg

mostly self explanatory but the brass tubes, they are sharpened internally and are the best way to cut a clean round hole in balsa.

1st and fore most I photocopied the plans 3 times, one for reference and the other two to cut up for parts templates, these were then pasted to the relevant bits of lumber using photographic low tack spray mount adhesive, this allows me to accurately cut to the required lines using in most cases a fresh blade in a scalpel. any cutting tool is only as good as its blade so have plenty of fresh ones available. The 3mm ply is cut, in my case on a bench mounted jigsaw, though a scroll saw would be just as good if not safer.

Phil Winks14/12/2014 16:24:37
2674 forum posts
693 photos

So 2 hrs later and we have the 29 piece kit of parts

picture 001 atom 2015.jpg

the accuracy of the drawings is pretty darned good and if using the above servo's you can cut the servo apertures as marked with confidence, I have cut the servo lead holes in f3 and 4 smaller than plan as I'm perfectly happy dissmantling a servo plug to get the wires through, if your not then make sure these holes allow a plug through.

Now top tip of the week "how to cut and shape a curved line"

Bob Bertram14/12/2014 17:15:03
270 forum posts
23 photos

Nice one Phil, I'm on board.


Phil Winks15/12/2014 20:38:03
2674 forum posts
693 photos

As promised countdown to the pilots briefing at greenacres, 10:00 04-07-2015


Oh and I screwed up on the material list Richard was right I forgot to add a few bits of balsa that are needed as well as the "kit of parts" the complete list is here


Edited By Phil Winks on 15/12/2014 20:38:14

Edited By Phil Winks on 15/12/2014 20:47:19

Martin McIntosh18/12/2014 22:53:22
2670 forum posts
998 photos

Watching you Phil, I am doing one too. Already have a similar rotor head with blades so only the fus to do. The on line buid blog is a little out of sequence as I found out so if you have not yet started to assemble it is worth reading through all the way in conjunction with the mag article. Have watched Joe Anderson`s video taken in Corfu and it looks to be a good model. Had a go with one of his earlier in the year and the experience gained was worth its weight in gold. Very different techniques to flying fixed wing but at least I did not crash it.


Phil Winks20/12/2014 20:33:57
2674 forum posts
693 photos

Already ahead of you on the on-line blog being out of sequence, it is a victim of it's own success with so many people contributing.

I've started glueing bits together and you'll no doubt observe over the next few weeks I'm taking a slightly different route to build this to Richard, she is, as suspected, a lovely simple build.

1st I've started with the mast support, formed by placing 2 layers of 6mm balsa between F3/F4, I did this by making 2 copies of F3/4 out of balsa and glued one to each, then with a razor saw and a very sharp 6mm chisel removed the center groove on each for the mast, the mast needs to be a close but not tight fit as I intend to make it removable, in case of damage, there seems to be a week point here and making the mast easy to replace seems a good idea.

Once I was happy with the dry fit the whole assembly was glued with the mast in place, but wrapped in a bit of solafilm backing so it doesn't stick.

picture 006 atom 2015.jpg

also while this is drying the U/C plate has been constructed from UM 1, 2, and 3, here you need to make sure there is exactly twice the width of your U/C legs between UM2 and 3 and that both holes in UM1 are visible in the slot formed

picture 003 atom 2015.jpg

the U/c plate is front left of that picture. Also in the picture is the rudder support block formed by B3/B4 use your rudder servo in the slot while clamping up to help align these two, but remove before the glue starts to set!! once again Aliphatic resin used on both these. The difference in size of B4/5 creates a 6x6mm rebate this will be for the boom to locate in once this block is fixed to B1 (the fuselage base) as tou can see below.

picture 004 atom 2015.jpg

Before you glue that assembly together the front face of the B3/4 assembly must be chamfered to the mast mounting angle which is the same as the front of D1

picture 005 atom 2015.jpg

If you look closely at that last pic there is a pencil line drawn and the chamfer runs from the bottom edge back to this line.

More tomorrow evening

Phil Winks31/12/2014 18:15:51
2674 forum posts
693 photos

I haven't given up on this for those that have noticed things have gone quiet, mainly due to lack of a functioning camera, awaiting the insurance company to replace it after I knocked of the kitchen table blush I have progressed a fair bit fuselage, boom mast, U/C and tail wheel/rudder control bellcrank and tail plane all complete, and with some decent light tomorrow I may be able to use my phone camera to get some worthwhile WIP pictures, one small success to report is the shrinking of the canopy over the plug, my 1st ever attempt at this procedure and it went like a dream, so fired up with enthusiasm I'll be forming the cowl tomorrow and some painting preperation too.

john stones 131/12/2014 18:43:22
10140 forum posts
1475 photos

I am all ready to go Phil, bits are cut out ready, gonna make my own blades thoughsmiley


Martin McIntosh31/12/2014 18:48:34
2670 forum posts
998 photos

Hi Phil,

I am probably ahead of you now. I tried the bottle shrink thing for the first time too and it worked out well. I shall not bother with a cowl until it has been flown so that I know that the chosen motor is OK. I have prepared the rudder linkage on the servo, covered the tail etc., made the mast and am just in the process of painting the tissued and doped fus.

I may try to use a 2200 mAh pack and will fit the esc underneath to aid cooling and free up space.

Pics when the paint is done.

Richard Harris31/12/2014 19:24:48
1971 forum posts
1797 photos

Now your just teasing Phil !

It is quite satisfying making the canopy out of a used pop bottle, you will be using this method all the time now.

Looking forward to some updated photos of your buildthumbs up

Have a Happy New year


Martin McIntosh31/12/2014 19:36:08
2670 forum posts
998 photos

Ditto to you Richard and all of the contributors on this thread.

Martin Mc.

Phil Winks01/01/2015 17:47:28
2674 forum posts
693 photos

Thanks for the good wishes I trust everyone had an enjoyable new years eve, and that today's weather is not typical of the rest of this year, pretty dismal and mega windy here ATM.

Now camera sorted luckily Argos had the one I wanted and the insurance company gave me the go ahead to replace it so here goes, a bit of a jump from the last series of pics.

1st a couple of shots of the girl as she stands

picture 007 atom 2015.jpg

picture 014 atom 2015.jpg

The cowl ready for painting.

picture 008 atom 2015.jpg

The tail wheel just waiting for the bell crank fitting

picture 009 atom 2015.jpg

I've made the boom removable so if I do break it replacement will be simpler

picture 010 atom 2015.jpg

Cont in next post

Phil Winks01/01/2015 17:55:58
2674 forum posts
693 photos

Also the mast is removable for the same reasons this screw and one below the cockpit pass, as with the boom securing screws through a bit of spare FG plate

picture 011 atom 2015.jpg

The second mast screw can be seen here as can the cockpit magnets

picture 012 atom 2015.jpg

and at ythe front of the cock pit 2 pins that locate into the fuselage

picture 013 atom 2015.jpg

So there she is nearly ready to paint, I think I'm simply going to get creative with what rattle cans I have in which I think include some Volkswagen orange so something like a panther colour scheme coming up methinks

WolstonFlyer01/01/2015 18:22:38
2104 forum posts
189 photos

Wow, looking really good Phil yes

Phil Winks01/01/2015 18:53:51
2674 forum posts
693 photos

Thanks James, I hope you had a good festive break, and best wishes to you and your clan for the new year, see you at Greenacres this year question

WolstonFlyer01/01/2015 19:17:32
2104 forum posts
189 photos

Very good, thanks, hope you had a nice Christmas with your family.

Yes I will be at Greenacres this year

Edited By WolstonFlyer on 01/01/2015 19:17:54

Phil Winks01/01/2015 19:20:33
2674 forum posts
693 photos


john stones 101/01/2015 20:17:55
10140 forum posts
1475 photos

A few interesting mods done there Philyes might feel the need to copy those wink


Phil Winks01/01/2015 20:22:33
2674 forum posts
693 photos
Posted by john stones 1 on 01/01/2015 20:17:55:

A few interesting mods done there Philyes might feel the need to copy those wink


Feel free John the removable boom and mast came about from comments on the Atom special thread where folks were reporting breakages in these areas in the event of a hard arrival and it seemed sensible to prepare for the worst frown

The bell crank for the rudder also has to move the steerable tail wheel and will be a mini engineering project so I'll cover it as comprehensively as possible

Edited By Phil Winks on 01/01/2015 20:24:27

All Topics | Latest Posts

Please login to post a reply.

Magazine Locator

Want the latest issue of RCM&E? Use our magazine locator link to find your nearest stockist!

Find RCM&E! 

Latest Forum Posts
Support Our Partners
Gliders Distribution
Motion RC
Wings & Wheels 2018
Airtek Hobbies
electricwingman 2017
Advertise With Us
Latest "For Sale" Ads
Which part of building a new traditional balsa aeroplane do you enjoy the most?
Q: Which part of building a new traditional balsa aeroplane do you enjoy the most?

 Research & choosing the model
 Building the fuselage
 Installing the engine and radio systems
 Building the flying surfaces
 All of it!
 None of it. I'd rather someone else did it!

Latest Reviews
Digital Back Issues

RCM&E Digital Back Issues

Contact us

Contact us