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FT Mini Arrow - Toyota Supra A90 Skin

#1
I have always wanted to see how I can contribute to the growing Flite Test Community. With my own intrinsic motivation, I wanted to know how to create custom skins for RC foamies. Through months of research and practice (at leisure), I have been able to develop a Toyota Supra A90 Skin for the FT Mini Arrow using Inkscape. This is my first time doing something like this.

Without further ado, please see the following steps on how to use this plan/skin combo for your next FT Mini Arrow build.

1. Gather all materials for this build.

FT Mini Arrow - Toyota Supra A-90 Skin (printed at your favorite print shop on plotter paper)​
FT Mini Arrow Build Video (cast to your TV on YouTube)​
Dollar Tree foam board Sheets​
Paper Clips​
Glue Gun​
Glue Gun Sticks​
Glue Stick​
Super Glue​
All Purpose Glue​
Water Bottle Filled With a Few Millilitres of Tap Water​
Scissors​
Wide and Narrow Tape​
Foam Paint Brush​
Foam Bowl​
BBQ Skewers​
X-Acto Knife​
X-Acto Knife Blades​
18" Metal Ruler​

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2. Lay the first sheet of the plan/skin combo onto one Dollar Tree foam board and fold it over and underneath the edges of both sides. Use paper clips to attach the plan/skin combo to the foam board. This will allow you to get a feel of where the parts will fit on each sheet of foam board.

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3. Now that you know where the parts will fit on the first sheet of foam board, go ahead and roughly cut out the parts using the scissors. Be sure to not cut too close to the plan lines as this will be done with the X-Acto knife.

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4. Lay the second sheet of the plan/skin combo onto another Dollar Tree foam board and fold it over and underneath the edges of both sides. Again, use paper clips to attach the plan/skin combo to the foam board.

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5. Similar to Step 3, roughly cut out the parts using the scissors. Remember to not cut too close to the plan lines.

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6. Squeeze a generous amount of all purpose glue into the foam bowl. Dilute the glue by adding a few drops of water. This will allow you to have a thinner paste to "paint" with. Add one drop of super glue to the mixture. This will make the paste dry a little faster and bond to the foam board a bit stronger.

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7. Using a BBQ skewer, stir the glue mixture until it becomes a workable paste.

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8. Using the foam paint brush, apply an even coat of the glue mixture to the underside of each part for the first sheet of foam board. Gently adhere each part to the foam board. Firmly squeegee each part with a smooth surface back and forth until it is completely flat. Just like applying a new screen protector to your phone, be sure that there are no bubbles present.

NOTE: You may have noticed that I did not remove the paper from one side of the foam board prior to adhering the parts to it. Though this may reduce the weight of the plane by a few grams, I personally prefer to adhere the parts to the paper already on the foam board for durability and longevity reasons. I also do this so that the paper skin doesn't separate from the foam core (which frequently happens to me). If you choose to reduce some additional weight on the plane, by all means go ahead and remove the paper from one side of the foam board prior to adhering the parts to it.

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9. In the same manner as Step 8, apply an even coat of the glue mixture to the underside of each part for the second sheet of foam board using the foam paint brush. You may need to repeat Step 6 if you ran out of glue. Again, squeegee all parts after adhering them to the foam board while removing any bubbles that may have formed.

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10. Using the original FT Mini Arrow Plans for reference, cut out the parts on the black lines from both foam board sheets with an X-Acto Knife. Remember that the skin is your plan.

NOTE: The wing spars, throw gauge, elevon setup gauge, mini power pod, mini firewall, and mini control horns do not have skins.

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11. If your adhered parts come out a bit warped, this is okay. The wet glue mixture tends to contract the paper on one side as it dries. Simply lay each part face down and add weights on top of them for a few hours. This will straighten them out.

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12. Since all the parts have been cut out from both sheets of foam board, you may begin building your plane. For your convenience, I have left some "nicks" on the edges of each part that has a skin. When compared to the original plans for this plane, you can observe that these "nicks" are score lines and bevel cuts. The indication marks for the center of gravity are there as well.

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13. Simply use the X-Acto knife to make an incision all the way through to the other side on just these "nicks".

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14. When you flip the parts over, go ahead and make your score lines and bevel cuts as indicated in the original plans. The 18" metal ruler really does help with this step.

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15. This is where I point you over to the original FT Mini Arrow Build Video. You may choose to cast this build video to your TV.


16. This is the finished product.

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I have the following electronics in this build.

Transmitter/Receiver: Spektrum​
Battery: Turnigy nano-tech 1300mAh 4S 45~90C Lipo Pack​
Motor: Quanum BE1806-2300kv Race Edition Brushless Motor 3~4S (CW)​
Propeller: Gemfan 4052 4 inch 3-Blade Propeller​
ESC: HobbyKing 30A ESC 3A UBEC​
Servos: HXT500 Micro Servo 0.8kg/0.07sec/6.2g​

I really hope you enjoyed this build with the Toyota Supra A90 Skin.

Please let me know your thoughts and do share photos of your completed plane.
 

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