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Re: Peter Miller's Don't Bin It, Fix It Article

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Donít bin it, fix it!

Donít bin it, fix it!

Don't write off your ARTF, put it right with Peter Miller's crash repair course

Nightflyer27/04/2017 13:08:32
142 forum posts

As an experienced modeller from the days when balsa bashing was the only way to get a model aircraft (unless someone built it for you or you bought a second-hand one at a club auction), it was really great to see Peter's article. There have been a number of discussions of late around ARTF's, kit or plan building and with the number of ARTF's in many clubs these days there must be a fair number of models that have crash or other damage which get consigned to the bin, and this is not necessarily confined to ARTF's for that matter.

There are many modellers who may not know much about building models, or know how to build but do not understand design and construction enough to see the potential recovery of their re-kitted model and Peter's article provides some good advice to all.

Of course there can be times when multiple repairs or the weight gained becomes an issue, but I know of some people who have salvaged some badly damaged models. I think the only thing that would be good as a second article would be to cover how to repair glassfibre or carbon-fibre fuselages and foam wings. Although even these can be repairable.

extra slim27/04/2017 16:02:15
443 forum posts
48 photos

Ssssssshhuusshhh... most of mine and my old fella's fleet are cast off's or bin recoveries... they call him skip rat!!..

CrashGordon29/04/2017 13:45:19
13 forum posts
4 photos

Sometimes a re-kit is a blessing in disguise. I picked up a"completed" airframe and used it to try and complete my flight training because my trainer was too badly beat up to fix in the season. Well, I wrecked that model too,buutttt....I discovered while picking through the the carcass there were a few reasons why the airplane behaved oddly. Those issues have been dealt with during an extensive rebuild and tweaking of issues. IE: no shear webs, insufficient dihedral bracing, lack of reinforcing on spliced sections... etc. I could have binned the plane and built a kit for the time and effort I spent this winter, but it's been a good lesson for checking things when picking up a model from the hobby shop ceiling. Live and learn...


Edited By William Gordon 1 on 29/04/2017 13:46:07

Mike Etheridge 106/05/2017 20:04:00
1485 forum posts
407 photos

I have shown these repairs before of crashed ARTF's. I am not sure in the case of the Super Air the repair saved any money compared with the purchase of a new fuselage. However covering of the wings that had become quite punctured was necessary, its just a shame that the manufacturers use such awful covering material which is not easy to repair or remove. I was not responsible for the three crashes but would add that one of he Cougars crashed due to 2.4 GHZ radio failure. I also like carrying out repairs to planes as no stress is involved.










Edited By Mike Etheridge 1 on 06/05/2017 20:12:24

Chuck Plains06/05/2017 20:46:25
1096 forum posts
244 photos

I haven't 'binned' a plane yet. Though I do have one or two that, well, you know. But I can't, not even that tiny 12" glider I made from a plan, but accidentally put a bag full of shopping down on. I'll try to recycle each piece one way or another, one day or another. wink 2

Dwain Dibley.06/05/2017 21:21:02
1142 forum posts
1207 photos

There is Great fun to be had from resurrecting a deceased model.

The following pics show a Boomerang Trainer that is constructed from 3 planes, two Fuselages and a damaged wing, it is still flying today, I passed my "A" with it and so did my mate Johnny.

The 109, I witnessed hitting the ground so hard there was hardly anything left, I said I could repair it and was laughed off the patch. I made a motor mount, the original was a lump of 1" ply with 2" screws in it. The Cowl was in 3 bits, and the wings were broken in half





Percy Verance07/05/2017 07:30:11
7791 forum posts
150 photos

Neat conversion DD. Looking at that it's not difficult to see where the inspiration came from to convert the Moth.....

From what I've observed over the past 45 odd years, there is very little which can't be repaired......

Mike Etheridge 101/06/2017 20:08:44
1485 forum posts
407 photos

This Seagull plane crashed yesterday. It's almost new but suffered an aileron failure on take off . The owner was thinking of binning it but I was sure it could be repaired,so I got the job. I started the repair today but it is like making a puzzle with bits you cannot locate and other bits missing. Fortunately the wings were virtually undamaged. Not sure which model it is? The owner has just let me know he has the missing balsa parts, but he lives 50 miles from me !p5310008.jpg



Edited By Mike Etheridge 1 on 01/06/2017 20:10:15

Peter Miller02/06/2017 08:28:13
9815 forum posts
1156 photos
10 articles

Well done. to everyone..

I expect that the owner could post the bits to you Mike.

Andrew Ray02/06/2017 08:55:53
679 forum posts
19 photos

This is great stuff, earlier this year I rebuilt an ARTF wing (Seagul Harrier 90), I hit a fence after a dead stick just after take off with nowhere to go, half of one wing was smashed, I could have bought a new wing for £60 (ouch!). But instead I spliced in new spars (the TE and aileron were ok) and made some new ribs, a bit of care putting it all back and the model flew as well as it ever did.

Last year I retired my 30 year old Acro Wot but a change of heart has it currently on the bench. I have stripped the paint off, replaced the u/c mount, removed the ailerons and torque rods and opened holes in the wings for two servos. Two new ailerons and a rudder are awaiting paint and the rest is ready for a final top coat and radio install. It will be like a new model when it is finished complete with a new paint scheme too.

Edited By Andrew Ray on 02/06/2017 08:56:48

Charles Smitheman02/06/2017 12:50:54
219 forum posts
18 photos

Several years back I was asked by a club mate to make him one Sebart Angel 30 out of two damaged ones. So I got the worst bits.

The nose on mine was missing, but I was able to put the intact nose of the good one on to the scanner to print off the shape. I used the photocopy to cut new ply parts.

Then I used block balsa to get to the finished shape.

I now have a nice flying model.

Mike Etheridge 102/06/2017 15:34:32
1485 forum posts
407 photos


I think the missing bits will not be a problem, however every bulkhead in the fuselage has broken with some bits in situ but most not. Even the front ply bulkhead with the engine mount has suffered. I have noted that the tank and battery support structure and the servo tray will be difficult to install if I complete the fuselage repair first, so both operations need to be carried out together. The fuselage sides are only 1/16 balsa sheet so they are very flimsy and it's no wonder one of the fuselage sides shattered. The same is true with the balsa covering on the bottom of the fuselage and strangely the balsa grain runs along the fuselage.All the damaged balsa will need facing with balsa sheet internally between the new or repaired bulkheads and I will need to add thin ply where the fuselage wing ribs /wing fixings are located. I will need to re-cover the fuselage where the original sticky covering had to be removed. However I think I can re-use the self adhesive go faster stripes and other decor. The wing tube bent and has not straightened properly so that needs to be replaced.---How much is a new fuselage?

Mike Etheridge 102/06/2017 22:44:43
1485 forum posts
407 photos

I felt the repair was going OK but today having inserted the wing fixing tube I have discovered the fuselage is distorted and to resolve this could be a real problem.

Fly_Boy_Rez03/06/2017 06:47:50
166 forum posts
382 photos

This isn't restricted to Balsa models either! I know many traditionalists will shudder as I talk about a foam aircraft surprise but when the A380 nosed in at the Great Orme I was damned if I let that be the end of it!

a380 damage-001.jpg

a380 damage-002.jpg

a380 damage-010.jpg





Dwain Dibley.03/06/2017 11:16:42
1142 forum posts
1207 photos

Good work Rez.


Mike Etheridge 105/06/2017 21:19:41
1485 forum posts
407 photos

Seagull Challenger

Some progress made with one side of the fuselage which was extensively damaged. I have had to dismantle this side which I had glued together and replace two bulkheads and repair the front bulkhead. It was necessary to ensure that the fuselage distortion was remedied which seems to be the case. The wing tube shown I have straightened but it will need to be replaced as it is still bent {Anyone know where these tubes are available?)

It would seem that these planes are built with bulkheads attached to one side of the fuselage first and then the other side of the fuselage added and fixed to the bulkheads. Super glue seems to have been used throughout the construction.



Ray Farrimond05/06/2017 21:39:22
36 forum posts
1 photos

Is this the tubing you need?


Mike Etheridge 105/06/2017 21:44:45
1485 forum posts
407 photos

Thanks Raymond that looks like the right tube, fortunately not much is needed.

onetenor05/06/2017 22:51:24
1889 forum posts

That looks like alloy tubing not Phenolic. You might even find some at B&Q If not Google for non ferrous metal supplies

Peter Miller06/06/2017 08:21:46
9815 forum posts
1156 photos
10 articles


The Slec tube is aluminium in phenolic The size gven is the aluinium tube

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