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Stuka Restoration Empty Stuka Restoration

Post  bottomgun on Thu Feb 18, 2016 7:03 pm

I'm really going to take my time on this one. The Stuka was the first Cox plane I owned and the only one that was gifted to me. The others I had to mow lawns for. I got the Stuka on Christmas Day of 1969 while I was growing up in Downer's Grove, Illinois. My Dad and I started it up a few days later in the garage because it was about 15 degrees outside. I had to wait till spring to fly it and when I did, I got about 2 laps before it winged over and crashed. Before repairing it I earned some money for a PT 19 and learned on that. I don't know what became of it but I had been thinking about getting one, but the asking prices are getting ridiculous. I was able to snatch this one at a flea market for a reasonable price so I snagged it.

 photo 014.jpg

Everything is there except the wing rotors and the antenna. I started disassembling it before this shot so that's why it looks like it's missing a few things. I cleaned up all the plastic in dish soap and warm water first and then went through everything.
 First, the little fix-its. The tail wheel had a chip in it and was no longer round. I mixed up some 30 minute epoxy and talcum powder to make a thick mixture. I dabbed it on and let it dry 24 hours before sanding it down to shape. At the same time I worked on a repro bomb that's been advertised on E-bay. It's okay but there were gaps in the glue joints and the color had a pinkish hue to it that definitely did not match any of the other red parts, so I used the same batch of epoxy to do some gap filling and sanding. The lighting in the photos make the bomb appear to be redder than it really is.

 photo 022.jpg
 photo 023.jpg
 photo 001_2.jpg

 photo 002_6.jpg

After prepping the plastic, I mixed up half a bottle of Testors red with three drops of orange to knock down the brightness a little to match the other plastics. One part paint to one part Strip-Ease Lacquer Thinner and I was ready to go. Sprayed it on with my Paasche Airbrush and it turned out the way I wanted. I'll let it dry two days and then I'll wet sand and gently buff the finish to give it that sheen that you see on molded plastics.

 photo 007_4.jpg
 photo 008_3.jpg


The next item addressed was that the right wing prop post was broken off at some time. I sanded it flat to the base of the post and then used a pin vise to hand drill a small hole through the center about a 1/4 inch deep. I widened it out to 1/16th of an inch. I fashioned a new post out of some scrap wire. I used a square jeweler's file to file the small ball end to shape using the left post as a guide. It was epoxied into the hole and dried overnight. A little Pactra Race Car finish in black and it's ready to accept a new wing prop.

 photo 003_5.jpg
 photo 004_3.jpg


This takes care of anything that was in need of repair. I'll try to find original props and an antenna before going the repop route if I'm lucky enough to find them.
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Post  Cribbs74 on Thu Feb 18, 2016 7:51 pm

It's a worthy restoration project for sure.

It's been said they are really poor flyers, yet I saw one fly and it did quite well. I hope it's not going to be a shelf queen and you can get out and fly it.

I'll attach a video for inspiration when I find it.

Wingovers that are not planned are usually do to loss of line tension and a gust of wind...

Ron

https://www.coxengineforum.com/t7333-they-do-fly?highlight=Stuka




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Stuka Restoration Empty Re: Stuka Restoration

Post  Mark Boesen on Thu Feb 18, 2016 11:30 pm

nice touch on the tail wheel and great thread..

Here's my Stuka from several years back, i was lucky to find a donor plane that had all the parts i needed and busted parts i didn't.

Stuka Restoration 3-29-010
Stuka Restoration 4_12_010
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Post  ian1954 on Fri Feb 19, 2016 5:25 am

That is an outstanding transformation.

How many hours did you have to put in to that?
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Post  Kim on Fri Feb 19, 2016 8:32 am

Great thread and subject! Plastic RTF or not, the Cox Stuka is STILL (in my opinion) one of the coolest planes to ever turn a circle. Even as I 'graduated' to larger planes in the late 60's, my Uncle's Stuka was still as cool as anything parked on the ballfield on flying days.

I've got a new wing for mine and intend to fly it again, the original had steel wire gear that were bent backwards and caused it to be very prone to nose-over. One of the new lineguys at the airport has a Stuka he wants to get going, so we'll be having a dedicated Cox/Wen Mac day down at the airport ramp...if the we're not seen as a threat to security !

Good luck with the resto!

Uncle Wayne's original Stuka:

Stuka Restoration 8_10

Stuka Restoration 9_10

Mine before the new wing:

Stuka Restoration 1_10











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Post  getback on Fri Feb 19, 2016 9:24 am

NICE WORK Bottomgun , you and Mark will be the ones I will need to hook up with when the time is right for me to start some restorations . I like the way you rebuild the original parts back to new look , Thanks for sharing . Eric Small Cox Logo
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Post  Mark Boesen on Fri Feb 19, 2016 10:15 am

i hate to say it, but i had/have decals on my computer of both green and black versions and now i can't find them!
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Post  crankbndr on Fri Feb 19, 2016 11:34 am

It took three donor models for me to assemble enough parts to make a nice Stuka. The new windscreen was big $. Bombs, antenna, the little spinners, windscreens, tailwheels are very rare.
Your meticulous work on your models is very impressive, nice work. These are my parts ready for assembly, start from the front with rubber bands and work rearward is the way I found best.
Still looking for black bomb.


Stuka Restoration Dsc00910


I auctioned my used windscreen on eBay and it went for 54$ with many flaws!!

Stuka Restoration Stuka_10


Stuka Restoration Dsc00912
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Post  bottomgun on Sat Feb 20, 2016 12:24 am

Nice restos on all these Stukas! Yep, you have to do what it takes to get you there, even if it's buying up a few "junkers" to get the parts you need. I was most fortunate that what I had to fix was very minor. I went ahead and ordered the repro antenna and wing props. Trying to find originals will be pretty difficult and at least the repros are available now at a somewhat decent price. I'll paint them when they get in and offer an evaluation on their quality.
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Post  rsv1cox on Sat Feb 20, 2016 7:13 am

Yes, nice restorations guys, these are not easy to find parts for at reasonable prices or to put back together.

Mine was missing the pilot and the front part of the canopy but was otherwise complete.  The previous owner did a nice job on painting the gunner though.

Stuka Restoration Pilot_11

Some aids made reassembly easier.

Stuka Restoration Stuka_10

Stuka Restoration Stuka_11

I was able to find the front part of the canopy, but i still have to paint the frame to match.

Stuka Restoration Stuka_12

I believe these came with a couple of different style fuel tanks, mine is the squarish type,but I think others were round with different fillers.

Stuka Restoration Spitzy11

Bob
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Post  crankbndr on Sat Feb 20, 2016 7:40 am

I found different fuel tanks also, one was softer plastic with one fill hole and the other was hard with two fill holes.
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Post  bottomgun on Sat Feb 20, 2016 8:50 pm

On my wing bottom it is molded with the Thimble Drome moniker. Does anybody know the last time they used this? I know they stopped sometime. I'm sure even if they had a sufficient supply of wings with this mold, I would figure that they weren't just going to have a cut off point and pull them out of the assembly line. Just trying to pinpoint a production time on my model. I'm contemplating on doing some masks for painting all the emblems on. I'll still hold out for some decent repros if they pop up in stock.
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Post  anm2 on Sun Feb 21, 2016 6:18 am

Cribbs74 wrote:It's a worthy restoration project for sure.

It's been said they are really poor flyers, yet I saw one fly and it did quite well. I hope it's not going to be a shelf queen and you can get out and fly it.

I'll attach a video for inspiration when I find it.

Wingovers that are not planned are usually do to loss of line tension and a gust of wind...

Ron

https://www.coxengineforum.com/t7333-they-do-fly?highlight=Stuka





Thanks for sharing this video. Pretty neat to see how happy that guy was after the flight. Something about CL, that brings people back. It is just great, clean fun. Andy
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Post  rsv1cox on Sun Feb 21, 2016 7:04 am

I have looked at that video several times before and I'm always thrilled for the guy. Reminds me of my first successful flight.

Fast little critter that Stuka. I have never flown one, but it did glide well. I would think that it would have fallen like a rock.

Bob
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Post  bottomgun on Sun Feb 21, 2016 10:16 pm

Yea, that video is inspiring. I still have to find a decent spot to fly but I know I will. Anyway, today I made up my masks for the flat white base. I cut them out using Frisket Paper. It's translucent and you can trace anything on it then cut it out, peel back the backing and stick it to your work. I bought it at a local art shop that also stocks replacement parts for my Paasche airbrush. Here are the masks all applied to the wing and fuse halves ready for paint.

 photo 002_7.jpg
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I'm using Tamiya acrylic paints and thinner this time. As a rule, even though you'll get hints on the internet about using substitute thinners that will work and cost less, I use the brand name thinner that goes with the paint as a system. It saves me any grief I may have with compatibility. The Flat White laid down very well. We've been having temps in the 80's with very low humidity so the paint sets up quick.

 photo 005_3.jpg
 photo 004_4.jpg

I was able to pull the masks after about twenty minutes, and now they will sit for close to 24 hours before I lay out my yellow masks for the emblems and the wide rear fuse color bar. Turned out well but for now it looks like a medical transport.

 photo 006_2.jpg
 photo 008_4.jpg

I had some slight bleed through using the frisket paper. I don't think it burnishes down as well as Scotch painter's tape but it did make masking easier. I'll cleanup the edges with thinner tomorrow and they will be covered with the yellow when I lay that down.
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Post  rsv1cox on Mon Feb 22, 2016 6:18 am

Nice. So much better than the stick-on's that tend to peel. Can't wait to see your finished product.

Bob
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Post  Mudhen on Mon Feb 22, 2016 8:48 am

bottomgun wrote:I had some slight bleed through using the frisket paper...I'll cleanup the edges with thinner tomorrow...
Br Careful.
Thinner will "fog" the plastic. And that fog can never be polished out.
Your restorations are tops.
May I ask why you're not polishing the plastic prior to paint?

edit: Just based on your pictures; my guess is your model was manufactured between 1966-1969.
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Stuka Restoration Empty More emblem work

Post  bottomgun on Tue Feb 23, 2016 2:44 pm

Got the yellow laid down for the crosses. For the rear yellow "KS" bar, I masked it off with the fuse halves taped together and laid down a base coat of flat white. Being that the vertical fin lead edge is molded onto one side of the fuse, I'm going to re-mask underneath that part when I spray the yellow on with the fuse halves separate so there is no color gap in between that area.

 photo 001_4.jpg
 photo 005_4.jpg
 photo 006_3.jpg
 photo 008_5.jpg

I'll spray the yellow bar on tomorrow morning.
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Post  bottomgun on Tue Feb 23, 2016 2:49 pm

By the way Mud Hen you are probably right about using thinner. I used 91 isopropyl alcohol instead and that seems to work just fine. Any bleed thru will get that treatment after I lay down all colors and before I seal it with clear Superpoxy.
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Post  ARUP on Tue Feb 23, 2016 7:48 pm

The Stuka resto and flight were awesome! I worked hard as a kid to buy one of these. I couldn't afford fuel so made it last by whipping that Stuka around and around. It was a great flying model for plain ol' roundy round flying!
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Post  stuntflyr on Wed Feb 24, 2016 1:24 am

The guy in the video is Dan McEntee, he is a good guy and great Stunt flyer in St. Louis. He and I have been good friends from our first meeting and still long after I moved away from the area. He was even my crew chief when I raced my Pitts Special up at Reno in 1999. He had his childhood stories about his flying models with his brothers like so many of us and he wanted to do this when his younger brother unexpectedly died. Dan often flies 1/2A's for the older guys in their local 1/2A Speed events and he also is a great machinist and mechanic on 1/2As. We built two Nats competitive Golden Bees from reading an article and following the directions!
Chris...


Last edited by stuntflyr on Thu Feb 25, 2016 4:04 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post  bottomgun on Wed Feb 24, 2016 9:37 pm

Today I got the yellow band and crosses completed. Only thing left to do is the red letters and it's ready for a protective clear coat.

 photo 001_5.jpg
 photo 002_8.jpg
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Post  akjgardner on Thu Feb 25, 2016 4:16 am

Outstanding Job Bottomgun
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Stuka Restoration Empty repro wing props and antenna

Post  bottomgun on Thu Feb 25, 2016 11:48 am

I got my repro stuff in the other day. The antenna is a good repro and the plastic has the same flex properties as the original. It fits snugly onto the canopy slot so no looseness there. Sand it, paint it red and I'm good to go.
   I wish I could say the same for the props. The styrene mold used around the blade area is so thin that with some bare nudges against the blades, I had them break off on both props. They are much weaker than the originals and there is no room for even the slightest accidental bump. They also need to be drilled which is a little trickier then it seems. You have a wider base hole at the rear of the hub while the front end has a smaller one to enable the prop to snap onto the stud and retain itself while still being able to spin around the larger main portion of the stud. I was in the process of drilling the first one when the blade broke. I was fitting the second one when that one broke. The photo below is after the first one broke.

 photo 006_4.jpg
 photo 005_5.jpg

To compound the problem, I just noticed that the left side ball end retainer on the wing prop post had broken off at some time, I don't know when. I can fix that also but I'm thinking, for now, of doing a "technically" correct blank fairing which they did on most Stukas starting at about mid-war before they phased out the wing sirens altogether. A good excuse for just waiting till some originals, or better repros are available.

 photo 007_5.jpg

I can put a dab of thickened epoxy on each tip and sand it round and paint it black for now. I'm still contemplating this so we'll see. Personally, I never liked the wing props but flawed or not, it was an original item on the Cox model.
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Post  fredvon4 on Thu Feb 25, 2016 1:25 pm

I see several of you guys go to great lengths to restore these beaters and I am usually very impressed at the final finish and correctness some times looking much better than the exact model I pulled open on Christmas morning

If I were that dedicated in these total restorations I would have most all the casting tools and bits from Micro Mark

There are several ways to mold those hard to find bits...from silicone or casting resin to zink and the mold making process is fairly easy from what I have read and seen


considering what some of those reproductions or original small parts cost the start up cost is not that daunting

I doubt there is a good clean and low cost way to do many of the complicated canopies in clear without a perfect set and vacuum forming over a perfect plug

I am much impressed with this Stuka resurrection...also one of my child hood favorites.... that flew OK for how little I knew about proper car and feeding the engine....sometimes my brother would run half way round the circle before slinging it as hard as he could while I back peddled and whipped as hard as possible to get it flying....good times and we mostly fell down laughing after a spectacular crash

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