The kit includes a few sheets of laser-cut parts along with hardware,
drawings, and a comprehensive manual. This photo shows the optional
finishing kit with AeroLITE covering and vinyl graphics.
AeroLITE covering is a good match for
small models such as the Caudron. It
is easy to apply and conforms well to
As suggested by the manufacturer, I read the entire
manual before touching any wood. This document is 37
pages long, which belies the model’s simplicity. The reason
for its bulk appears to be
First is the fact that there are
tons of supporting photographs.
Nearly half of the manual is
made up of clean and nicely
labeled photos. The other
reason for the manual’s girth is
its thoroughness. Each step is
clearly written as a full sentence.
If you’ve learned to adapt to
manuals written overseas, you
can put away your ARF-to-English dictionary for this build.
You won’t need it.
The Caudron’s assembly
begins with the fuselage. Most of
this structure’s parts are keyed
to interlock with the mating
pieces. Because of the model’s
size, I didn’t expect a precise fit
on all of the parts. What I found,
however, was that many joints
had a solid friction fit and would
hold together nicely while I
fumbled to locate my continually misplaced glue bottle.
I found it interesting that all of the fuselage parts are laser
cut. Even the stringers that make up the rear turtledeck
are custom pieces. If the thought of cutting balsa sticks
intimidates you, there is no need to worry.
The wing design is less conventional than the fuselage. It
features an undercambered airfoil and only the top surface
is finished. A peek at the bottom of a completed wing panel
reveals exposed ribs and the spar. Don’t think of it as a
shortcut. It’s a common design approach for indoor aircraft
such as the Caudron.
Despite the wing’s unique structure, I had no assembly
problems. It is different, but not difficult. Follow the manual
and you’ll be fine.
Several of my prolific balsa-building pals have been telling
me about AeroLITE (also called Solite) for years. They all
love it, so I was anxious to try it out on the Caudron. Now
I see what they have been talking about. This lightweight
material is easy to work with. A standard-weight covering
would be difficult to apply on such a small, light structure.
My covering job is not perfect, but it is better than my
average covering job.
I used the recommended ParkZone brick-and-motor
system. Both components fit perfectly in place. The brick
is secured with a Delrin clip. I was slightly worried about
managing the tiny, .015-inch diameter pushrods, but they
were easy to use. I had to be careful when heating the heat-shrink tubing to avoid damaging the nearby covering.
The cabane and landing gear struts appear to be complex
structures, but they are really laser-cut plywood parts with a
few glue joints.
On the subject of optical illusions, check out the pilot and
six-cylinder Anzani engine. Both are simple profile parts that
add to the airplane’s scale appeal with little weight penalty. I
used a Sharpie marker to color the struts, pilot, and engine.
Hollow plastic wheels are included, as are balsa wheel
covers for those who want to use the optional Du-Bro
wheels. I liked the look of the stock wheels and installed
them. I glued small plywood discs to the axles to keep the
wheels in place. I used a standard hole punch to cut the discs
from leftover plywood parts.
72 Model Aviation APRIL 2015 www.ModelAviation.com