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

First Warbird?

Advice please

All Topics | Latest Posts

Search for:  in Thread Title in  
Nick Somerville01/04/2020 19:22:21
75 forum posts
51 photos

With time to twiddle my thumbs a bit this last week I have been thinking about my next build project and somewhat to my own surprise seem to be narrowing towards a warbird. Something to do with watching YouTube videos of models on super sounding fly pasts at low level I guess.

So I haven’t built a model with retracting UC before or one with flaps (scale glider aside) so plenty of new things to look forward to. I would prefer a kit with plenty of modelling but I am wondering whether it would just be a cheaper option to buy a proven artf like an ESM warbird. That said its still not going to be cheap as retracts appear to be almost as much as the model.

Anyway, cost aside for the time being I would appreciate any suggestions for a first warbird that would suit a 30-40cc four stroke. Also suggestions for suitable retracts. So far a LA7 is on my list.

Scott Edwards 202/04/2020 09:31:05
212 forum posts
97 photos

For a 30/40cc engine you're looking at a model around 80 inches span perhaps. That's around 1/5 scale, so lots to choose from ! Cut kits from Belair or Fokker RC particularly. For retracts, a lot of people are looking at the Electron range from France.

A self built 1/5 warbird will add up to about £1500, it's surprising, but engine, retracts, electronics, wood, covering, paint, glue, spinner and all those little bits really add up.

An ARTF will probably work out much cheaper, and be in the air quicker. A basic 1/5 scale warbird build is around 300 hours, a lot more if you go mad with it. The ARTF probably about 50 hours

What you get with self build is creativity, you can select your own scheme, and preferred construction methods. You can also bask in that amazing feeling of self satisfaction and pride that YOU built that.

David Davis02/04/2020 09:47:53
3671 forum posts
688 photos

My experience in this area is limited to the Harvard trainer! winkThat said, I'm informed that of all of the warbirds, the FW 190 is anongst the best.

Jon - Laser Engines02/04/2020 11:13:56
5415 forum posts
263 photos

Nick do you have any warbird experience already? I only ask as many come a cropper with warbirds as they require a different technique, different setup on the control and generally tend to be rather porky vs a sport model.

I dont know your experience level so apologies if its all under control but in general if you cant nail every landing exactly the same and more or less perfect you are going to have trouble as retracts just wont wear it. If you have not flown a warbird before you might do better to start on a slightly smaller ARTF.

Scott has the scale of the model about right. 80 inches is the 30-50cc sort of bracket and there are plenty of options available but as already discussed its a case of kit vs artf and all the rest of it.

Its a shame the ESM La7 is not still available as i love mine and its a great intro into larger warbirds as it is, as these things go, very forgiving. However, if you push it too far there is a very steep cliff edge and it will gladly fall off it for you. Back to my point on retracts, i have only made 3 truly bad landings with my La7 in 10 years of flying it and the retracts have been out of it...3 times.

In terms of warbirds that fly well the P47 has to be top of the list. Massive wings, a fuselage like a whale to get all the gear in, wide undercarriage and nicely proportioned. The P51 isnt bad either and Spitfires fly really nicely at the larger scales. The Jerry bates Hawker Tempest II is a great model as well and my ESM SeaFury is great but demands respect on landing as it weighs a ton. Hellcats tend to fly well but twist retracts are a pain in the backside. Corsairs are mixed bag.

However, models like the early Spitfire, Hurricane, Fw190a series etc can be problematic with balance as they all have short noses. P51's and late Spitfires have longer noses which helps.

Bigplanes in the nethlands happen to have a sea fury in stock. Price includes retracts which is not bad **LINK** You need a bigger engines though, mine has a laser 360 and that hauls the 24lbs around no problem.

They also have an ESM P47. **LINK** never flown one but my other ESM models fly well. I would stick a 180 in this

There is the seagull P47. Its big at 80 inch, needs a 40-50cc really. I would use a 300 or 360 if i got one **LINK**

and finally there is the Hangar 9 P51 20cc. A 150 4 stroke would do very well and there are two of these at my club flying with laser 155's. **LINK**

We could get into kits as well?

ASH.02/04/2020 11:44:15
334 forum posts

As Jon says, Thunderbolt P-47 fly very well. No nasty vices!

Seagull do one in 20cc size, it's a manageable size. Fit a good 120 4st or Laser 100. There is an excellent thread on here by Tim Flyer.

A Chipmunk is classed as a warbird and was a trainer in full- size.

Nick Somerville02/04/2020 12:20:22
75 forum posts
51 photos

Thanks for the replies, all very helpful indeed. In answer to Jon's query re my experience....... Well not much really in power as after becoming a fairly competent power flier in the mid 80's I moved on to building large scale gliders. A mixture of 1/4 scale glass ships and plan and scratch built 1/4 scale vintage gliders, which I competed with around the country for 15 years or so. Anything but a well judged landing is not an option with those big gliders, though they don't fly that fast with the airbrakes deployed.

Have had a long break from model flying due to being fully absorbed by cross country paragliding but have now rekindled an interest in powered models. I have a Slec 1/4 scale Stampe and a Pilot Extra 330sc, both with laser 180's. Barely flown them much though as prior to the lockdown the weather was pants. So yes the step to flying a warbird will be more of a leap, but by the time I have one built I hope to have polished my landings with the two models I have.

I have seen quite a few ESM warbirds listed on the website. Anyone brought from them?

kc02/04/2020 12:36:23
6418 forum posts
173 photos

LA7 - have you seen the David P Andersen free plans? Lots of good stuff on this website.

fly boy302/04/2020 12:44:20
3670 forum posts
22 photos

Hi Nick ,I too would like to build a warbird with trepidation. I decided to lower my sights and build Peter Millers Werewolf instead. Cheaper, easier to build, and paint, plans and wood, canopy etc readily available, and as all Peters models, guaranteed to fly well. Just a suggestion. Cheers

Jon - Laser Engines02/04/2020 13:03:29
5415 forum posts
263 photos
Posted by Nick Somerville on 02/04/2020 12:20:22:

I have seen quite a few ESM warbirds listed on the website. Anyone brought from them?

If you are well versed in gliders that will help as rudder control is important on warbirds. The thing that is likely to come as a shock is the weight, drag and sensitivity on the elevator. Very low elevator rates are needed and i can loop my sea fury on probably 3mm of movement.

As for YT, they are no longer trading as ESM shut down. have a few scraps left but once they are gone thats it.

The ESM models fly well but need a little work to tidy them up. If you expect to shake the box and have it build itself thats not going to happen!

I have 6 ESM models in total with 3 flying (la7, P39 and Sea Fury) and 3 (a6m, Fw190, Bf109) waiting their turn. They all fly well and big planes price of about 650 quid for an 80 inch sea fury with retratcts is not a bad price at all.

Paul Marsh02/04/2020 13:16:54
3955 forum posts
1182 photos

T-28 Trojan is a good warbird. Also, as said, many are quite good, P47, I have quite a few of them and can't think of many problems, but the T-28 is ideal if your field is not perfect, as had many problems getting off long damp grass.

Nick Somerville03/04/2020 16:39:31
75 forum posts
51 photos

Well after plenty of thought and helpful advice I have decided on a P47. Ironically the only plastic kit I have had since a boy, given by my son some years back, is a P47 1/72 Revell kit. Been lost at the back of a cupboard and unmade of course.

Unless someone has a better suggestion I am going to order a Belair Nick Ziroli plan pack for his 70” sized version that should suit one of my Laser 180’s. He has plans for a larger one but that is well over 12kilos so not very practical. I have looked hard for a 80” p47 as I would like a v twin fourstroke but can’t find a plan pack or wood kit and am not after an artf model.

If anyone has experience of this build I would be grateful for any advice. Particularly re which type/make of retracts to choose.

Jon - Laser Engines03/04/2020 18:03:53
5415 forum posts
263 photos

topflite used to do an 80 inch job as a kit but they are rare now. We used to sell 300v's for them and they flew well at 20lbs.

The next step up for ziroli is 92 inch and thats a real whopper! A friend has the old hangar 9 80 inch artf thunderbolt and the fuselage is already like a beached whale at that size.

For the 70 inch version i think belair list some retracts for it. My preference has always been air retracts as i have had/seen way too many problems with electric retracts. I am told by a customer that electron retracts are good, but as they are made in spain i suspect it will be all quiet due to lockdown.

Be aware that you might need 85 degree units and not 90.

And i know its getting ahead of the game but there is no need to go mad on the radio fit either. If it were mine i would use a single subc 6v nimh battery through the beefy switch futaba do. I would then use probably nice quality 3.5kg servos on the ailerons and rudder, perhaps 5kg on the elevator and flaps. To be fair standard futaba 148's would do for rudder and ailerons. Warbird control surfaces are quite small and you dont move them much so there is little need to go crazy with servos.

Just doing some window shopping i would be happy with savox 351 4.1kg (11 quid each) servos on aileron and rudder, then savox 352 6.5kg servos (16 quid) on elevator and those barn door flaps. I already use the 351 as my P39 rudder servo and have 352's in my Sea Fury, Acrowot XL...something else...I dont remember. I just know i have lots of empty boxes in my drawer so they must have gone into something!

flight103/04/2020 18:20:14
721 forum posts
36 photos

If you don't know already there are a couple of builds on the rcscale builder site you would need to register to access buts it's a very good site for scale builds and info

Also there is the Brian Taylor version (better i think) a bit bigger but I still think in your engine range 35cc see sarik


Edited By flight1 on 03/04/2020 18:22:01

Edited By flight1 on 03/04/2020 18:23:53

Nick Somerville03/04/2020 19:22:21
75 forum posts
51 photos

Yes I’m registered for the rc scale builder forum so that’s the evening read sorted. I’ll be looking at the B Taylor plan too. As Jon mentioned Belair do specific retracts for the Ziroli build so will have to see what is available for the Taylor P 47

flight103/04/2020 19:54:35
721 forum posts
36 photos

I would get the Brian Taylor plans and have a look as £25 for them is not a big loss against £70 for the other.

I do believe Unitracts International do retracts for the BT plan

also some build info here

Nick Somerville05/04/2020 14:32:10
75 forum posts
51 photos

Well I have read some great build threads this weekend and have decided that the above suggestion for the B Taylor build will best suit me, especially as I already have a laser 180 sitting in an Extra 330 sc, I bought 2nd hand, for the purpose of honing my flying skills. By the time the P47 is built enough to be ready for its engine I can swap it out.

i will be aiming for a sport scale model that can be flown regularly and not a B Taylor masterpiece, or like some of the incredible models I have seen in the build threads. With the short noses of warbirds I know that adding considerable weight up front is often needed. Would it be sacrilege to add a few centimetres to the front to help mitigate this?

Nick Somerville03/05/2020 10:39:10
75 forum posts
51 photos

62fc6907-b940-4347-9601-10d7385836b5.jpegSo after a bit of a frustrating wait my plan pack arrived 10 days ago and a start has been made on The Brian Taylor P47. Nice looking plans on 3 sheets and a decent pile of wood and laser cut time saving parts. Almost a kit, less the hardware. The plan shows an upright Laser 150, but as I have one it will be a Laser 180 going in that will be inverted. Still bags of room at the front to relocate plan shown tank position. I am going to work on the fuselage till its about 60% planked and then make a start on the fin rudder and wings.

Electron retracts going in and am considering having a go at making the tailwheel retracts as per the plan, unless someone has a cheap ready made suggestion suitable for a 2 inch wheel.b4cba185-a64d-458b-a431-0b092cd987b1.jpeg

Frank Skilbeck03/05/2020 11:20:19
4671 forum posts
101 photos

yes but that workbench is way too tidy.........................

Jon - Laser Engines03/05/2020 11:31:48
5415 forum posts
263 photos

You didnt hang about!

Its looking really good, and to answer your earlier question i would leave the length of the nose as is. The P47 has a good nose on it (vs a 190 or spitfire) and with the big 180 it should be ok. What you could also do is mount the servos where the tank would normally be as your tank will be much lower it opens up this space. I did this on my little Hurricane


Nick Somerville03/05/2020 13:46:16
75 forum posts
51 photos

Yes had abandoned the extra length idea after receiving the plans. Brian’s notes say he didn’t need any ballast to achieve the correct c of g so with the extra weight of the 180 should be fine. There certainly is bags of room up front compared to your Hurricane Jon.

All Topics | Latest Posts

Please login to post a reply.

Support Our Partners
electricwingman 2017
Sussex Model Centre
Advertise With Us
Latest "For Sale" Ads
Has home isolation prompted you to start trad' building?
Q: The effects of Coronavirus

 Yes - for the first time
 Yes - but Ive bashed balsa before
 No - Ive existing projects on the bench
 No - Im strictly an ARTF person

Latest Reviews
Digital Back Issues

RCM&E Digital Back Issues

Contact us

Contact us

Magazine Locator

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

Find RCM&E!