(Note: this is not a complete list.)
AMA Plans Service
(800) 435-9262, ext. 507
Vintage R/C Plans
There are many kit-cutting services available. National Balsa offers a complete laser-cut kit of Wendell Hostetler’s Mr. Mulligan. It is faster and far more accurate than
cutting by hand.
When framing any plans build, utilize angle brackets and improvise
weights to hold everything in position as the glue cures.
by-step instructions detailing how everything goes together.
However, plans published in a magazine will likely have
helpful building tips in the accompanying construction article.
After you have the plans, you will supply everything else
needed to build the model—the wood, the hardware, and
the accessories. This affords you the opportunity to use your
preferred brands of hardware and types of accessories.
You have control over the wood selection. You can select
lightweight balsa where appropriate and have a finished model
with significant weight savings and you won’t be stuck with
sheeting and wood strips that are so warped they resemble
I often hear, “Why should I build from plans when there are
so many ARFs and kits on the market?” There’s nothing wrong
with either of those options, but what about having something
unique? What about building something that doesn’t look
exactly the same as the other airplanes at the field?
Building from plans gives you that opportunity to
choose a subject that is distinctive, rarely modeled,
or even wacky!
Now that you have an idea of what you’re in for,
let’s travel down this path and look for something
that catches your eye. As on Route 66 with all of
its roadside attractions, signs, beautiful scenery, and
wonderful zaniness, the subjects available for a plans
build are vaster than you can imagine.
The AMA Plans Service is a combination of every
construction article printed since Model Aviation
started back in 1975, plus other plans that AMA has
acquired throughout the years—more than 16,000
plans covering FF, CL, and RC.
Add to that the number of plans printed in all of
the other aeromodeling magazines throughout the
decades, foreign and domestic, and the number of
available plans grows by leaps and bounds.
There are many other plans services to consider
including Vintage R/C Plans, Brian Taylor, Don
Smith, Jerry Bates, Meister Scale, Mick Reeves,
Nick Ziroli, Roy Vaillancourt, Wendell Hostetler,
and others. And don’t forget about online sources,
many of which are free. A quick Internet search will
provide dozens of other sources.
My plans choice, and the inspiration of this article, was a Mr.
Mulligan (Howard DGA- 6) from Wendell Hostetler’s plans.
This 1/4-scale, 50cc design has a 98.8-inch wingspan and a
projected weight of 22-26 pounds. I’ve always had a soft spot
for the Golden Era racers.
You can follow my build with an online blog I created to
complement this article. You’ll see everything I encountered in
22 Model Aviation OCTOBER2013 www.ModelAviation.com