The Stevens AeroModel Buzz 400 kit includes Du-Bro hardware. When you open the polybag
envelope, you will immediately notice the smell of charred wood because it’s a laser-cut kit.
The fuselage is
sheet sides with
a central crutch
of the fuselage
assembly is dry
fitted, parts are
tacked in with thin
CA, and gluing is the
pictures. The instructions and photos
are arranged on facing pages, making
it convenient to go from picture
to instructions. Good job, Stevens
The selection of wood in my kit was
very good and there were no mistakes
in the parts.
Putting the Buzz together is
straightforward. With the superb
instructions, clear pictures, and
accurate, laser-cut parts, you can’t go
wrong. The manual starts with the
fuselage, but I always begin with the
The parts are engraved with the part
number. They are prefixed with an
“S” for stabilizer and “V” for vertical
stabilizer. These interlocking parts are
grouped together on a laser-cut sheet,
making them easy to find.
It is a good idea to dry fit them
together, then apply the glue. Lay
them out on a flat surface on top of
the polybag material the kit came
in. You should be able to assemble
the complete tail in roughly 20
minutes. The tail is robust in structure.
The fuselage is built with the
traditional sheet sides and crutch
assembly. The fuselage parts are
designated with an “F.” I dry fitted the
majority of the fuselage together gluing
only during the final steps.
When the part could not be easily
retained, I used a small drop of thin
CA to tack them together. Work
carefully and make sure each part is
fully engaged in the tab. This method
of assembly allows the interlocking
design to do its job as each successive
part is installed within the fuselage,
ensuring that the structure is true and
After I completed the fuselage, I
built the hatch and installed the tab
and magnet to retain it. I then block
sanded the fuselage sides with 220-grit
sandpaper and filled any imperfections
with balsa filler.
The elevator and rudder pushrod
housing came next. Predrilled holes in
the bulkheads and a slot in the fuselage
side made this an easy task. I trimmed
them off flush
with the sides
and glued them
the wing, I
reread the manual. With no plans I was
doubtful about it coming out straight,
but I was wrong. After putting the
main and secondary spar together and
placing some ribs in the locating slots
in the spar without glue, I pinned it
down on a flat surface, squaring up
the end rib with the TE. This was all
that was needed and it was assembled
straight and true.
The main spar determines the
dihedral with a flat center section.
Each side is built individually on a flat
surface. The polyhedral tips are added
last and the wings must be propped up
so they can be built on a flat surface.
I found the LE interesting. Diagonal
ribs were placed between the main
ribs for added stiffness, but were not
configured to airfoil shape on the top.
Three tabulators were placed on the
top LE for added flight performance.
When completed, the wing was stiff
and sturdy, as is the entire airframe. It is
strong, easy to handle, and lightweight.
Covering the Buzz 400
Covering and finishing is another
skill required when building your own
model. This is the part I like because
you begin to see things take shape
and how your model will look when
The key to a good covering job is
shaping and sanding all of the parts of
the airframe. I spend more time doing
this than building, starting with 220-
grit sandpaper then progressing to 400-
grit for the final surface rub.
If you want to fill the wood grain
Photos by the author
72 Model Aviation OCTOBER2013 www.ModelAviation.com