Scale details

Having finished the model to Varios spec, it is time to start adding some of the scale details which will make it a bit more special. First up is a new instrument panel. The photo shows the Vario one on the right, and it is an improvement over previous panels, but I cant find anything that looks remotely like that on the web. The left hand one is out of my 3D printer with a dab of paint on it.

Next item is an engine. There is a big hole at the back of Varios mechanics, crying out for a scale engine so I made one in my printer. This is the kit of parts I ended up with.

Then I put it all together and I end up with a pair of cylinder heads for each side.

I fitted one pair of cylinders to each side of the frames.

Then I printed out some full fillers and connectors and added some aluminum tubes. The top balance tube is in the correct position but I didn't like it so I moved to to be above the brace and it looks much better now

But looking at the back end, all of these open belts and none scale mounts and supports made me cringe, so I printed out a cover.

Fortunately the full size cover is in 2 parts so I could copy that but the combined print took 16 hours. Then I found the top piece did not fit properly, so I did it again. That took another 12 hours and it still did not fit properly, so I made one more. Again, the fit was less than perfect but I realized that due to the position of the pulleys being way too far back, and the tail boom support beams being in the way, this try was as good a fit as I was going to get so I painted it. Then I found my catalyst for the clearcoat had set to jello. I said the hell with it, dribbled a big blob into my clearcoat, added some reducer and stirred for a while. I managed to get enough catalyst into the clear to make it set but the coat was very thin so it's not too pretty, but if I had left it until I could get some more catalyst, the blue would probably have reacted with the clear so I had to do something.

Next job was the lights. I was running an A123 Rx battery and the setup I had decided to use ran 500mA. I did not want to run that off the Rx battery so I wired a 5AH NiMH battery through a relay driven by the Rx so that when the Rx was turned on, the lights came on working off the NiMH battery. Then I molded the rear strobe mount and used a lens so I could get a good flash from the EZ-light system

And then a couple of small moldings to hold the 1 watt LEDs in the front finished it off.

The final touches! A pilot from Australia, and the long awaited side panels going underneath the cabin

One big surprise was just how nicely this thing flies. This is a video of it's first flight at the local flying field