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Bets way to build a FT kit from scratch

I am looking at building one of the kits. I printed out the planes. What has the community found to be the best way to transfer the plan to the foam board? Or do you just cut through the plan?
Or, print on cardboard. Cut out the cardboard. Pin to foamboard. Cut out parts. Save cardboard as templates for spare/replacement parts. Print the posterboard parts to cardboard and use as it.

Use pin holes to transfer score lines, outlines of interior holes and CG marks.

Approximate curves with a series of straight cuts. Use a sanding block to finish the curves.

Your biggest problems will parts bigger than your printer can handle and ensuring that all pages print to the same scale. I.e. Do not enable 'Fit to page' and do print at 100%.

Good Luck


Old and Bold RC PILOT
My method is to simply clamp the plans to the FB, (to make sure that they do not move), and poke through the plans with a pin at line intersection points and at small steps around curves.

When all of the points are poked through I remove the plans/clamps and play join the dots.

When I have drawn all of the lines to join the dots I just cut it out and start the build.

Whilst it may seem like a bit of extra work, it doesn't require adhesive, tapes, or card/cardboard and generates no mess or other problems which I would have to deal with when finishing the model.

Where I like a model and need or desire to build another I often sandwich a sheet of paper, (A0 or A1), between my taped tiled plan and the FB when I poke out the second build. The paper becomes my permanent plan set after I join the dots and to ensure its longevity I put clear tape over all of the "Poke" holes to protect them from tearing.

I label the new plan and roll and store for future use. When I started to build FT designs I used to make and store templates but the number of templates just seem to grow and grow until finding a secure place to store them became an issue as did losing the occasional template of one vital piece or another.

I have currently plans for around 50 FB designs that includes FT designs, My own designs, Modified FT designs, and other internet available designs. I add to that number regularly and often! My most often used plan has so far resulted in around 25 builds, (One of my own designs), and the plan is almost as good as it was for the initial prototype.

Just what works for me and the cheapest method, (labour excluded), that I know.

Have fun!
I print the plans and then use spray glue to attach to poster board. Cut out the parts. For straight lines, I use pin holes to mark the lines. For curves, I use pencil to transfer the curve to the foam and then freehand with a knife.



New member
I just print on regular a4 paper, trim the edges with scissors so I can get the marks aligned. I use scotch tape to keep the pages aligned. Then just poking through with pins to mark the foam. No need for tape, leave some of the pins in to keep it in place. Remove the paper. Then connect the dots and cut.
I also use the pin poke method so that I can reuse the plans over and over. I use marble slabs (old cheese cutters) to weight the plans so they don't slide around while poking through.
I print out the plans, tape them together, and cut out the pieces roughy. Then I spray adhesive the plans and stick them to posterboard(which is .50 at the dollar tree that you get your foam board from) and then Cut THAT out. That way, no matter what, I have the reusable plans. I have done this with every FT plane I’ve made. I figure if I’m going through the effort, I just take one more step and then I have them forever.
I print on card stock. While using a mechanical pencil completely straight up and down. I simply hold the template down, and trace it. No glue. No pins, no tape. Quick, and easy with perfect results.
I've got a few things that work really well

1: I print the plans and lay them out on the board. I pick a trimming pattern, and cut off the excess. For instance, I always remove the right and top trim from every piece, so I can line up the match marks by overlapping the next sheet.

2: I spray a light coat of spray glue of the back of each sheet and give it a few seconds to dry a bit before laying it on the foam board. It is easily removed and repositioned this way. I use Loctite 200 - the red can at WalMart.

3: These are the three MOST IMPORTANT tools: The exacto knife, the sharpening stone and the steel ruler. I have a cheapie WM knock off exacto knife that came with a bunch of blades. $5 on clearance after Christmas. I know most of you just change the blade frequently, and that works fine, but I have made a dozen planes with just two blades. The sharpener is quick and easy, and it works great!

4: Cutting: I always give the blade a quick few strokes on the sharpening stone before each cut. I use an 18 inch stainless steel ruler with a cork back to guide the straight cuts. Line up the ruler to make a consistent cut - Always be on the outside of the printed line, for instance. Sometimes you have to place the ruler inside the cut, sometimes outside the cut to support it.

5: Hold the knife straight. Seems obvious, but my first few sheets did not have nice square edges.

6: THREE passes - at least: First pass through the top paper with your freshly sharpened blade. Second pass through the foam. Third pass through the back paper. I have a thick piece of cardboard on my work table. Those rubber cutting mats are even nicer! Don't get greedy on your cuts, or you will get a ragged mess instead of a clean cut. Use more, lighter passes if it feels sticky. Sharpen ( or change ) your blade if it's feeling or looking wrong.

7: Finish up the free hand stuff - Curves and small stuff. Take your time and you will get the feel of it.

8: Don't worry about perfection! I just straight cut the small curved wing tips, for instance. That's fancy stuff for laser cutters... I did free hand cut all the scallops on the DR1 triplane though - that took a while, but looks great!

9: Peel off the plan from the foam board. Most always easy, but occasionally hard to find an edge to lift. I sometimes have to fuss a bit or pick at it with the edge of the knife to get it to separate. I sometimes lift a bit of the foam board paper. Just fix it and move on...

Good luck! You will build speed and skill quickly!