All of the cockpit details and weathering were completed before the fuselage was
covered. This photo also shows the elevator bellcranks sitting aft of the rear seat.
The finished hand-painted cabane strut assembly was mounted to the fuselage at
Looking down into the pilot’s cockpit you can see
several details including the compass, seat belts,
instrument panel with gauges, fire extinguisher, stick
and switches. Note the weathering details throughout.
Thank goodness for the Internet.
Before bending the wire, I cut it into sections of appropriate
length using a Dremel cut-off wheel. To achieve the precise
bend angles indicated on the plans, I held each wire segment in
a vice, heated it with a torch until red, then bent it with heavy
In some cases, I got the incorrect angles and had to re-bend
them or start over with another piece of metal.
The landing gear and the cabane struts were faired with
balsa strips. These fairings were epoxied to the metal rods after
they were cleaned with sandpaper. They were then sheeted
with cardstock, which was hardened with thin CA.
To accurately replicate the cockpits, seats, instruments, and
other details, I referred to the Internet and various photos of
other Tiger Moths. I also picked up a set of documentation
photos from Airborne Media; it was a different Tiger Moth but
When the fuselage was framed in, I began building and
painting the cockpit components. When they were finished I
fastened them in place. I painted the cockpits Royal Air Force
interior green then weathered the floors, seats, and other parts
using Doc O’Brien’s Weathering Powders from Micro-Mark.
The hardwood compass and aluminum spinner were turned
on a lathe by my friend, Rick Linstad. The gauges were copied
from the plans. Seat belts were fabricated from painted craft
store laces. Other gadgets, such as levers, were made from thin
plywood and covered with Mylar tape to give them a metallic
The power system was challenging. The plans showed
an inverted glow engine installation with a fuel tank
compartment, but I wanted to power the airplane with an
electric motor and battery. Fortunately, my Hacker A5-10S
motor fit neatly inside the upper portion of the cowling,
With a 15 x 6 Xoar propeller and 5S LiPo pack, this system
generates approximately 800 watts of power.
I also strived to accurately duplicate the scale controls. The
rudder is actuated by a pair of double cables that are attached
to a bellcrank, which protrudes roughly 5 mm out of each
side of the fuselage, beneath the front cockpit. The bellcrank
is activated via a pushrod that extends forward to the rudder
servo below the cabanes.
The elevator cables are also external, exiting the fuselage
beneath the anti-spin strakes (those broad fins along the top of
the aft fuselage). They originate behind the aft cockpit where
I mounted a box containing a mechanism with twin, vertical
bellcranks. These are activated by a servo mounted beside the
rudder servo. The elevator and rudder cables attach to scale
control horns on the moveable tail surfaces.
Ailerons on the Tiger Moth are controlled by a veritable
Rube Goldberg of eight separate linkages beginning at the
servo and ending at the aileron control horn. The servo pushrod
engages a bellcrank attached to an axel that protrudes from the
belly of the airplane. It turns a bellcrank to which two pushrods
are attached—one going out through each wing.
Each pushrod is attached to a disk at the wing surface.
This rotates, forcing another pushrod to pull the control horn
fore and aft. Slight slop at each link, when added together,
resulted in a large amount of total slop in aileron movement.
I had to rebuild these control linkages twice to get them to
All the control wires and wing wires are Beadalon braided
beading from Shipwreck Beads. Turnbuckles were supplied
by Proctor Enterprises. The wires were fastened with crimped
41 Model Aviation SEP TEMBER 2012 www.ModelAviation.com