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Cox Engine of The Month
September-2019
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CEF Magazine cover featuring the Ex Model Engines Harpy Eagle .049



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Finally got my Starfighter...maybe two?

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Wanted Finally got my Starfighter...maybe two?

Post  Mark Boesen on Mon Jan 12, 2015 11:26 pm

I've been looking for a Comet Starfighter for a number of years to complete my Comet collection, but wanted one cheep (which was hard) and one that was a basket, finally found one and it looks like there's two. Hopefully i can build a nice one out of parts and maybe even a decent second one?
I got lucky before and found a basket case Comet Snark that has a complete Wen-Mac Aeromite that was disassembled but was a complete near mint plane...hopefully lightning strikes twice!
Finally got my Starfighter...maybe two? 63745810

The Snark/Aeromite
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Finally got my Starfighter...maybe two? Ebay_110
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Wanted Re: Finally got my Starfighter...maybe two?

Post  anm2 on Tue Jan 13, 2015 4:58 am

Mark, That SNARK pegs a 10 on the cool meter! Love the trolly it comes with too. Andy
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Wanted Re: Finally got my Starfighter...maybe two?

Post  rsv1cox on Tue Jan 13, 2015 7:40 am

Well, I'm officially envious on both of your finds. Looks like you will be busy sorting all of that out. Your collection continues to amaze.

On the other end of the spectrum I received this mess:

Finally got my Starfighter...maybe two? Pbucket

Worst part is the broken vertical stab but otherwise mostly complete. But I did get that Wen Mac wrench. Tiny thing not worthy of it's internet pricing.

Also got this:

Finally got my Starfighter...maybe two? Pbucket

It will be interesting finding something to hang it on, But I do have profile P-39 plans coming.
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Wanted Re: Finally got my Starfighter...maybe two?

Post  GWILLIEFOX on Tue Jan 13, 2015 10:18 am

Way to go Mark. I was going to bid on the Starfighter, but another engine came up. Nice Aeromite, too; my first ukie and engine, a Wasp Aeromite in 1953. Then a Turbo-Jet, no tanks 2 bladed prop. I on the lookout for a Baby Spitfire Aeromite.
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Wanted Flyability of the Snark

Post  706jim on Tue Jan 13, 2015 10:42 am

When I look at the size of the elevators and horizontal stabilizer on the Snark, I can't imagine how difficult it would be to actually fly this thing.

Will you be giving it a try?
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Wanted Re: Finally got my Starfighter...maybe two?

Post  daddyo on Tue Jan 13, 2015 11:41 am

I wonder how hairy the snark is taking off from the rolling launcher
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Wanted Re: Finally got my Starfighter...maybe two?

Post  WingingIt74 on Tue Jan 13, 2015 2:39 pm

daddyo wrote:I wonder how hairy the snark is taking off from the rolling launcher

About like this probably Smile Sorry about the finger pic...  


When I took the video for the 3rd test, I didn't know he was going for it... barely got the camera recording.
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Wanted Re: Finally got my Starfighter...maybe two?

Post  Mark Boesen on Tue Jan 13, 2015 4:31 pm

706jim wrote:When I look at the size of the elevators and horizontal stabilizer on the Snark, I can't imagine how difficult it would be to actually fly this thing.

Will you be giving it a try?



lol, absolutely...not.

Plastics don't fly well, i don't need to try them out to confirm that. All I would do be doing running the risk of damaging an fairly rare, collectable old toy.

Although, i remember reading in John Krickles 049 Collectors newsletter for the mid sixties, they few a lot of the plastics, as they were collecting 049 engines and he noted that the Comet Snark flew decent.
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Wanted Finally got my starfighter

Post  craig bernard on Tue Jan 13, 2015 6:40 pm

looking forward to seeing the starfighter build back together I hope you have twins.you do a nice job of your models mark!craig
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Wanted Re: Finally got my Starfighter...maybe two?

Post  Mark Boesen on Tue Jan 20, 2015 11:12 pm

The Comet Starfighter came today and like I hoped, there's two! I am missing a nose gear and one LH main, but i'm not gonna bee-itch! A little Windex and a soft toothbrush and they'll cleaned up nice, the gluing will be the hard part. I'm torn between plastic cement and CA, might even try them both.
Couple interesting things...
I got to wonder how two Starfighters ended up in a box with both having almost identical breaks. The nose weight is almost 40 grams...yes 40 grams!
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Walt's Regulas plans with decals!
Finally got my Starfighter...maybe two? 10939011

Army guy, found in pile, looking for his platoon)
Finally got my Starfighter...maybe two? 10941910


Last edited by Mark Boesen on Sat Feb 07, 2015 10:48 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Wanted Finally got my starfighter

Post  craig bernard on Wed Jan 21, 2015 1:54 pm

hello mark Im guessing two boys from same family got them for christmas presents for there would be know fighting as for the breaks probably a comin weak point Im guessing.still havent heard anything back on stuka I was interested in maybe I'll wait a couple days and email him again.It happened to me once before wanted it didnt haggle about price then seller is looking for someone local to just swing by for it.how dissapointing but theres still more out there surefacing from garages basements etc.please post:-)more pictures as starfighter comes along its like reading a good book you want to read the next chapter, cheers craig
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Wanted Re: Finally got my Starfighter...maybe two?

Post  Mark Boesen on Wed Jan 21, 2015 4:48 pm

Yep, that's kinda what I was thinking, they were both started (both pull starters broke) lines are untouched.
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Wanted Finally got my starfighter

Post  craig bernard on Wed Jan 21, 2015 9:19 pm

yes at a closer look both lines are still:-)rolled up very strange.you would think at least one handle would have the line on it!I guess it will always be a mistery?
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Wanted Re: Finally got my Starfighter...maybe two?

Post  Mark Boesen on Wed Jan 21, 2015 10:18 pm

maybe the li'l brats fired 'em up and sent them off ""ROG"

I got tired of using plastic glue and ended up repaired the wings with CA and kicker, quick and easy..and hopefully strong...they will be display only.
Finally got my Starfighter...maybe two? 10939610
Finally got my Starfighter...maybe two? 10943210

No, these are not Pratt and Whitneys, they're O.K. Cubs, make in Herkimer N.Y.! Quick li'l scrub with WD-40 and old toothbrush, took all the surface corrosion off in seconds. Plan to detail little more, heat up and get'em to turn over and restring pull starters...
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Wanted Re: Finally got my Starfighter...maybe two?

Post  Mark Boesen on Sat Feb 07, 2015 10:26 pm

...one down and one to go, kinda got a little aggressive on the dirty decals, didn't want to take them off, but they don't look great. I hope to make or find some reproductions.
Finally got my Starfighter...maybe two? 10969310

Also, one of the engines was locked up pretty good, after several attempts of heating and soaking i had to twist the conrod off.
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Wanted Re: Finally got my Starfighter...maybe two?

Post  ian1954 on Sun Feb 08, 2015 6:23 am

I have twisted con rods on a few occasions before realising that unscrewing a cylinder with a seized piston isn't a good idea.

I now mount the engine on bearers deeper than the crankcase, no screws - just blocks of hardwood, steel, aluminium - anything I have to hand as long as they are the same size.

Then, if it is a small engine - I mount it in a drill press - heat and apply press with an appropriately sized aluminium rod or wooden dowel mounted in the drill chuck. I am always amazed by how strong a glue castor oil can make.

The larger the dowel - the safer it is - ideally the same diameter as the piston.

For larger engines, I use an arbour press (yes, I have more tools than engines!) but it takes more setting up and the one I have can apply 2 tons of pressure. It needs to be used carefully.

Finally got my Starfighter...maybe two? Arbor-10

However, as usual, I have a few warnings.

Do not use a vice unless there is no slop in in and it has deep parallel jaws. The pressure applied must be in direct line of the pistons motion in the cylinder.

Do not use a hammer and rod! It is not easy to keep the rod in line even when just tapping with a hammer.

If the piston is stuck top dead centre - be extra specially careful! With the backplate removed (should do this anyway!) make sure that the crankshaft is free and it can move. Most crankshaft can be wobbled back and forth a little, and the con rod ends have been well soaked. If everything is seized solid then the conrod will bend.

Too small a diameter rod will punch a hole in the piston.

If the piston is domed, the rod must follow the shape and apply as even a pressure as possible. I have often hollowed the end of the rod to form a small tube to achieve this.

Now it isn't always plain sailing. I had one engine seized solid and no amount of soaking or heat freed it. (and I mean heat - I am not patient!). I freed the piston but the rod expanded during the process and stuck fast. Luckily heat removed this.

I have also used various rods in the press to squidge pistons to a better fit before honing. Don't recommend this though - if done this one homemade engines where I haven't got the taper quite right on the piston or the contra piston and it doesn't always work!
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Wanted Re: Finally got my Starfighter...maybe two?

Post  GWILLIEFOX on Sun Feb 08, 2015 6:29 am

Very nice restorations on the Starfighter Mark. I really need to find one of these; what a great design! After looking at it, do you think the wings and tail may have been based on the old Sabre 44? I think the Regulus was.

Excellent hints on unsticking pistons Ian.
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Wanted Re: Finally got my Starfighter...maybe two?

Post  Mark Boesen on Sun Feb 08, 2015 10:25 am

Good point, it may be. i'll take some side by side photos later today. I also never thought of the Regulas/Sabre using the same wing. I know toward the end they redid the Regulas into a T-38

The piston was pretty much bottomed and turned out to be rusted together...that and i got tired of messing with, knowing I had several spares, it could be sacrificed.

Lol, i did use you "press method" to remove piston, using a vice, piece of wood and a large allen head socket, pressed it out without damage to case.


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Wanted Re: Finally got my Starfighter...maybe two?

Post  rsv1cox on Sun Feb 08, 2015 10:35 am

Mark, if your posting pictures, I'm not getting them Sad

WD40 is not high on my hit parade, but I have a can or two laying around, doesn't every body. But if you have luck with it cleaning exteriors, I will have to give it a try.

CA with a "kickker". What's that, a little PBR?

I had great luck freeing a couple of really stuck Gilbert .049 pistons by soaking with Remoil on top of the piston for a couple of weeks then tapping downward with a wooden dowel the diameter of the cylinder. Got lucky once twisting the cylinder off a piston enclosed Cox .049 without destroying the con-rod or piston, but I had heated it well first.
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Wanted Re: Finally got my Starfighter...maybe two?

Post  rsv1cox on Sun Feb 08, 2015 11:43 am

Ok, I'm getting pictures. Sometimes my internet provider doesn't provide promptly.....

That Starfighter sure is smooth. Wen Mac put out some pretty good stuff. Is there a CA for plastic? I haven't had much luck with it in that area.
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Wanted Re: Finally got my Starfighter...maybe two?

Post  GWILLIEFOX on Sun Feb 08, 2015 3:08 pm

I guess the only similarity is the swept wing.
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Wanted Re: Finally got my Starfighter...maybe two?

Post  Mark Boesen on Sun Feb 08, 2015 3:26 pm

Yep, i think there close but not the same.

The T-38 photo is from eBay, i had a chance to bid on it, but was bidding on a Wen-Mac XL600 at same time. I wanted the Wen-Mac more and thought I could always get a t-38 later...still have yet to come across another one!!!!

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Wanted Re: Finally got my Starfighter...maybe two?

Post  Mark Boesen on Sun Feb 08, 2015 3:40 pm

rsv1cox wrote:Mark, if your posting pictures, I'm not getting them Sad

WD40 is not high on my hit parade, but I have a can or two laying around, doesn't every body.  But if you have luck with it cleaning exteriors, I will have to give it a try.

CA with a "kickker".  What's that, a little PBR?

I had great luck freeing a couple of really stuck Gilbert .049 pistons by soaking with Remoil on top of the piston for a couple of weeks then tapping downward with a wooden dowel the diameter of the cylinder.  Got lucky once twisting the cylinder off a piston enclosed Cox .049 without destroying the con-rod or piston, but I had heated it well first.


Sorry, i meant the WD-40 (Stoddard solvent) for cleaning up the surface of the engine, i like Windex or DAWN Power Dissolver in a blue spray bottle for plastic, or brake fluid for decal removal, heavy oil, etc.
"Kicker" is a spray accelerator for super glue, commonly sold in hobby shops. The super glue joints are not real strong but will work for display models, if i was gonna fly one i'd use plastic cement and some type of brace and clamp to hold pieces in alignment untill glue sets.

PBR? I still prefer the High Life, the champagne of bottled beer!
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Wanted Re: Finally got my Starfighter...maybe two?

Post  dckrsn on Sun Feb 08, 2015 5:08 pm

Mark Boesen wrote: I still prefer the High Life, the champagne of bottled beer!
Well, it is "The Beer That Made Milwaukee Famous"
Bob
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Wanted Re: Finally got my Starfighter...maybe two?

Post  Mark Boesen on Sun Feb 08, 2015 5:16 pm

..it's funny how trendy beer can be, i got a buddy who runs his parents restaurant/bar and they're all about the latest IPA and how they refer to Miller and Bud as "lawnmower" beer, yet they have PBR on tap?????

I was gonna correct you and say it was Old Milwaukee that made Milwaukee famous, but i goggled it...and we're both wrong, it was Schlitz!
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