Step five: now that your cowl is formed you need to remove it from the mold: either blow firmly into the spout of the bottle or use compressed air to blow the mold out (be ready to catch the plug when it pops out!) Your cowl is now ready for final cutting to fit your plane! I have successfully used this method to create cowls for the GWS Pico Moth as well.
Tips and Tricks
To fix hangar rash dings when you don't want to re-finish the whole area, just mix some matching paint with a small amount of spackle and use a spatula (a.k.a. tongue depressor, etc.) to fill the spot. A wet Q-Tip will clean off any unwanted surrounding "drag-out". Done carefully, no sanding is needed
Rather than using "z" bends on each end of your control rods, which will Use Dubro Micro EZ links on the control surface end of your control rods and Dubro Easy Connectors on the servo end to adjust the length of the rod. I also use some Dubro push rods with sleeves rather than the stock ones as the sleeves make push rod installation easier (nothing wrong with the stock ones though).
Steer-able Tail Wheel
If you want to taxi just like the big boys do its very easy to do. You can bend the stock tail wheel wire so it comes straight up through the fuse or bend a new one from some music wire. Push the wire straight up through the fuse so it comes out right next to the vertical stabilizer as close to the rudder hinge as possible.
I use a piece of carbon fiber tube to line the hole up through the fuse and protect it from tear out on hard landings. Hook the wire through the rudder control horn and you have a steer-able tail wheel. I have made mine in 2 pieces; one wire goes from the rudder horn straight down through the fuselage. The other wire holds the tail wheel and is attached to the first wire with a Dubro collar thus allowing me to remove it for tail feather disassembly as the wire goes right through the horizontal stabilizer. Here is a great step by step on adding a steerable tail-wheel http://rcstuff.us/Beaver/tailwheel.html
Glue some ½" pieces of lite ply or even popsicle sticks across
the width of the fuse where the servos sit. Drill mounting holes
in the wood and use the screws provided to mount your servos
so you can remove them for servicing. This is a much better
option than the double coated tape route.
Another Flat Bottomed Wing Modification
Purchase a 3/4" thick piece of flat foam and traced each side of the beaver wings onto it. Sand the foam to an exact fit under the wing and then epoxy in place. Remount your struts and be prepared to fly much faster to keep it in the air.
Best way to glue the plastic bits to foam
First and most importantly always clean the foam with alcohol before gluing. When gluing the strut mounts to the wing and fuselage drill small holes right through the mounting surfaces of the plastic mount. When the mount is epoxied to the wing or fuse the epoxy seeps through these small holes and forms a stronger bond. For even stronger bonds drill some small holes into the foam as well.
How To Use That GWS Glue
How many of us have glued together a fuselage with GWS glue only to come back 24 hours later and find the glue still hasn't cured? GWS doesn't do a great job of outlining this but their adhesive is like contact cement, you need to apply it, stick the two sides of whatever you're trying to glue together and then pull it apart. Leave the two items sitting for 15 or 20 minutes, then stick them back together again being careful to align the parts correctly as there is no going back at this point…. Like Derf on RC Groups says… "It sticks like poop to a blanket".
Make Your Beaver More Scale In Appearance:
1.Pull out the battery tray and any hardened glue in that area.
2.Draw a straight line on each side parallel to the centre line
(strip) just underneath the wing strut mount. It should meet the
bottom of the fuse just behind the rear 'doors' ahead of where
the sides turn parallel.
3.Carefully cut the line off from both sides being certain not to
let the blade turn up on you. You can always cut more if you
need to so better to make a couple of passes than cut off too
much. A hot wire would make a much cleaner cut if you have
one available. NOTE: This will open up a hole between the
front and the gear slot, which can easily be covered or filled with
4.Fill in any rough spots with light weight spackle (wall filler) and
sand it smooth.
5.Re-bend the landing gear wire. The gear wire slot is now
shorter so you have to straighten out the gear wire and bend it so it fits properly.
6.Cut custom gear fairings. The old ones are now to short. They are also the wrong shape. These can be cut from white meat trays or depron.
7.Remount the battery tray if you are using it or consider relocating your battery
Relocate Your Battery and Give Your Beaver a Smooth Bottom.
Simply cover the battery hole with a piece of foam and spackle/
sand smooth any imperfections. Place a piece of Velcro loop
tape on the floor of the planes cabin up under the wing and
Velcro hook tape on your battery(s). This works great when
you use magnets to mount your wings as outlined on the wing
page. This also allows you to adjust your center of gravity by
moving the battery forward or aft as required.
Make a Gauge to Check Your Dihedral:
A very simple angle gage can be used at the trailing edge of the wing where it meets the fuselage to verify that the dihedral is equally on both sides. The angle gage is made from two popsicle sticks with a 2-56 machine screw, two flat washers, one lock washer, and a nut as the pivot point. The pivoting sticks are sandwiched between the flat washers with enough tension to allow the angle measurement to be maintained. Then simply check each side and make sure they match. If you have adjustable struts its easy to tweak the dihedral on one side or the other to match things up.
Make a Jig to Get Perfect Dihedral Every Time:
Make a simple jig to hold one wing panel flat, the other at *exactly* five degrees. To do this; make your jig 1 7/8 inch tall at 19- 7/8 inches from the wing root.
Bulletproof the GWS Plastic Battery Door:
One of the common mechanical failures is for the whole battery door to come unglued thus expelling your battery from your plane. To make sure this doesn't happen to you; drill 3 or 4 holes down each side of the battery door where it joins the fuselage. Glue the door in with epoxy and the glue will form a tiny "rivet". To go even further insert finishing nails into these hole and right into the foam of the fuselage
Scale Paint Job Ideas For Your Beaver
http://www.dhc-2.com has a work in progress list of every Beaver made with pictures of most.
Another great resource (and good reading too) is
The Immortal BEAVER the worlds greatest bush plane
by Sean Rossiter. This will give you all sorts of
information and history one this amazing aircraft.
Stripes and Graphics:
Make your own strips and graphics using Monocote TRIM sheets. The trim sheets are just cut peel and stick; no heat required. Monocote Trim Sheets are about 3 feet long by 6 inches wide and come in a wide range of colors. Simply draw your design on the back, cut it out, peel the back off and stick it to your model like a sticker. It's a cheap, easy, and quick way to detail your model
A Smooth Finish on Foam Models:
Finishing foam is easy. On the injection molded foam fuse you can fill the grain and pin holes (some are pot holes) with pre-mixed light weight drywall spackle. You can tell the lightweight from the regular compound by simply picking up the bucket…t he light weight feels like its empty. The first application is with a small plastic putty knife. Once the first application is dry then block sand smooth. Mix some of your compound with water to the consistency of pea soup. Brush this mixture on your model and then block sand again. Seal your finished work with a coat or two of water base polyurethane and you are ready for paint.
Step three: start heating the pop bottle evenly on all sides. you may have to help the top along by heating and gently pushing on the spout to bring it in snug to the mold
Tired of Buying Replacement Cowls? Mold Your Own:
Here is an excellent article on molding your own cowls using pop bottles:http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=246240&page=2&pp=15 which lead me to try my hand at it.
The large 2 liter size pop bottles are very close to the right dimensions for the beaver and when heated over a mold will shrink to fit the mold.
These are but a few of the modifications that can or have been made. RC Groups has a wealth of Beaver related information in the "Latest Canadian Beaver" Thread and in other posts throughout the board.
Step one: create your mold plug. I used the original uncut GWS mold as my master and poured Hydrocal casting plaster into it to form the plug you see here. I wanted a slightly longer than stock cowl so I wrapped some styrene around my finished plug and added an extra 3/4" to the lenght with a second pouring of plaster
Step two: cut the top section of your pop bottle to length so it is just slightly shorter than you plug and then slide it over your plug as far as it will go. (note: your plug may require some sanding for the bottle to slide over it easily... be sure to keep it smoooooth as imperfections will show in your finished cowl).
Step three: clamp the bottle to your mold with 2 clamps; this is critical or your bottle will continue to shrink and creep up the mold never taking the correct shape
Step four: start heating the pop bottle evenly on all sides. you may have to help the top along by heating and gently pushing on the spout to bring it in snug to the mold