The author used inspiration from techniques
described in a model boat building magazine
when he designed his 1: 24 Avro Lancaster.
RC modeling legend Dave Platt posed
with his large Douglas A- 1 Skyraider that
was designed and built for FF Rubber
Scale! Photo by Roger Wathen.
Cross-pollination: A key to modeling
by Dennis Norman
Cross-pollination is usually associated with bees transferring pollen from the flower of one
plant to another that is of a differing
genetic makeup. In doing so, bees
contribute to the health and growth of
both plants. In a non-botanical sense,
cross-pollination refers to the sharing
of knowledge, ideas, etc. for the mutual
benefit of persons with similar interests.
Free Flight (FF) Scale cross-pollination
occurs not only from appreciating the
brilliant efforts of groups such as the
Flying Aces Club (FAC), but also from
hobby groups outside of model aviation.
In the early 1980s, an article in a model
boat building magazine inspired me to
develop new techniques for building
lighter airframes, enabling me to
successfully fly multiengine types such
as the Avro Lancaster, B-24J, and others.
My friend, Roger Wathen, and I
worked as independent vendors in the
swap shop area at the 2016 Toledo
Show: R/C Model Expo. During one of
our infrequent breaks, Roger showed
me a recent picture of Dave Platt in his
workshop. Knowing Dave’s reputation
as a designer and builder of fabulous RC
models, I expected to see him with his
latest RC masterpiece.
To my surprise, Roger’s picture
showed Dave with a large Douglas A- 1
Skyraider model that he had designed
and built for FF Rubber Scale!
Upon seeing Dave with his Skyraider,
I recalled that, at the height of his RC
success, he paused to build a fantastic
rubber-powered Grumman Guardian
that placed first at the AMA Nats several
years ago. Dave’s Guardian stimulated
other FF Scale builders to reexamine the
possibilities outside of the customary
high-wing, single-engine monoplanes
that had come to dominate AMA FF
Scale events. It was a superb example of
model building cross-pollination.
Another example for FF Scale builders
is the outstanding detail provided by
plastic scale model buffs. Chris Starleaf
was a noted plastic modeler before he
became an FAC legend. Plastic kits often
give FF Scale builders insight into shapes
and details not readily apparent in even
the best two-dimensional plans.
In addition to revealing the subtleties
of shape, plastic models often give
insight into the uniforms of the pilots
and crews. Similarly, models of engines,
exhausts, armament, and external
ordnances can be greatly enhanced by
studying plastic replicas to achieve more
realistic additions to FF models.
123 Model Aviation SEP TEMBER 2016