making your own cowls
by Don Grissom
It is again that time of year to start building and getting ready for next year’s RC Combat events. One issue that I seem to have after most contests is bent or
broken cowls. In most cases, I can order another one from the kit
supplier, although there are times I wish I could just make my own.
I noticed that Dane McGee made a cowl for his Me 410. It is a
simple solution to the problem and takes a little work to fabricate
the first one, but it can be done many times after making the
The first step is to make a pattern of the cowl shape and firewall
on paper. After you have that done, copy the tracing using a block of
balsa. This is the messy part. You will need to use a block sander and
shape the block into the design as shown in the picture.
After you have the correct shape, find a Coke bottle or any plastic
container that is roughly the size of the plug. I have seen everything
from peanut butter jars to apple juice bottles used.
When you have the plug in the jar, use a heat gun to shrink the
plastic to match the form. Be careful not to overheat the plastic
because you could
weaken or burn a hole
and have to start over.
After you have it
shaped, cut the cowl
to make the engine
and muffler openings
before you paint it.
This is a simple
method for making
cowls for Scale
Making your own cowling takes only a few steps: make
the plug, use a heat gun to shrink the bottle to the plug,
paint and cut the cowl, and install on the airplane.
The RC Combat
Nats included 17
pilots in SSC.
William Drumm III got a little too close to
another airplane and cut off the tail instead
of the streamer.
111 Model Aviation NOVEMBER 2012