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Styrofoam Piper Arrow

Jackson T

Well-known member
#1
At the start of this year I got a part time job at an aircraft painting company. It is really cool, and I've got to work on some very interesting planes. The boss owns a Piper Arrow, and he's been kind enough to take me flying twice! I though it would be a cool idea to make a scale replica with a nice paint job with some styrofoam I have lying around. I printed off a three view of the Piper Arrow for the plans, and I'm scaling up all the measurements as I go. Let's get into it!

The fuselage is pretty simple, much like an FT plane.
1586147189419.png


The firewall is hot glued in the front with a bit of down and right thrust.

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Stay tuned for more!
 

Jackson T

Well-known member
#6
It's looking good! What kind of paint scheme are you going for?
Exactly like my boss's one, which is a stunning (wait for it) plain white :eek:. He said he likes plain white, and planes with really custom, cool paint jobs are harder to sell. The plan is to sand it up nice and smooth, do a coat of rattle can primer, sand again, then spray paint it white. I don't want it to look like it's made of styrofoam. I'll use some black book covering stuff to make the "windows" like on my 4 meter glider (pictured below), and for the rego and the no-slip thing on top of the wing near the cockpit door.
1586240757631.png
 

Jackson T

Well-known member
#7
The H stab is foamboard with the paper peeled off both sides, with sanded balsa wingtips. The elevator is balsa.
1586669745174.png

I made the mistake of sanding the fuse before attaching the wings, so now I have to sand the wing root to match the fuse properly. Oops!
1586669977150.png
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The Emax 5 gram servos will be embedded in the wing. The ailerons are going to be full span, and I'll hopefully program in some flaperons.
1586670267538.png

Here's what it looks like all put together so far.
1586670405705.png
 

"Corpse"

Well-known member
#8
The H stab is foamboard with the paper peeled off both sides, with sanded balsa wingtips. The elevator is balsa. View attachment 165654
I made the mistake of sanding the fuse before attaching the wings, so now I have to sand the wing root to match the fuse properly. Oops! View attachment 165655 View attachment 165656
The Emax 5 gram servos will be embedded in the wing. The ailerons are going to be full span, and I'll hopefully program in some flaperons. View attachment 165657
Here's what it looks like all put together so far. View attachment 165658
Almost finished and lookin sharp! I really want to see that thing fly!
 

Jackson T

Well-known member
#10
Very nice but do check your rattle can paint on a scrap piece of your styro foam. It might well dissolve it - literally! :eek:
Thanks for the warning! I asked my painting friend's at work about spray painting styrofoam, and they said the same. I test sprayed a piece, and it melted the foam :confused:. I have resorted to brush-on poster paint. It's not what I was hoping for, but it still looks better than unpainted styrofoam.
 

Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
#11
Thanks for the warning! I asked my painting friend's at work about spray painting styrofoam, and they said the same. I test sprayed a piece, and it melted the foam :confused:. I have resorted to brush-on poster paint. It's not what I was hoping for, but it still looks better than unpainted styrofoam.
You could easily paint it with PVA glue and when the glue is dry just use almost any rattle can to apply the colour.

Just what works for me!

Have fun!
 

Jackson T

Well-known member
#12
You could easily paint it with PVA glue and when the glue is dry just use almost any rattle can to apply the colour.

Just what works for me!

Have fun!
Now there's another good idea! It's a bit late now though, maybe I should have mentioned it before I went and brush painted it :D. I wonder how much weight it would add, have you tried it?
 

Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
#13
Now there's another good idea! It's a bit late now though, maybe I should have mentioned it before I went and brush painted it :D. I wonder how much weight it would add, have you tried it?
I paint all exposed foam edges or even foam where I have removed the paper so I can paint. I am too cheap to pay for expensive paints and use only the cheapest rattle cans. The PVA is cheap and it also has a use in strengthening FB itself. With the FB it strengthens and seals at the same time.

Be a little careful though as the glue will shrink slightly in the last stage of the drying process. I normally paint it on thinly but in a couple of coats. A little goes quite a long way!

Just what works for me!

Have fun!
 

Jackson T

Well-known member
#15
I paint all exposed foam edges or even foam where I have removed the paper so I can paint. I am too cheap to pay for expensive paints and use only the cheapest rattle cans. The PVA is cheap and it also has a use in strengthening FB itself. With the FB it strengthens and seals at the same time.

Be a little careful though as the glue will shrink slightly in the last stage of the drying process. I normally paint it on thinly but in a couple of coats. A little goes quite a long way!

Just what works for me!

Have fun!
Do you thin it at all?
 

Jackson T

Well-known member
#18
The windows were masked out with masking tape, then brush painted. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out!
20200418_122841.jpg

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I printed the rego off Microsoft Word and cut the letters out to use as a stencil. The edges aren't that sharp, but it looks fine when you step back a bit.
20200415_165020.jpg

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The wings don't have a spar, but I did glue a paddle pop stick between the wing root and the fuselage on both sides to reinforce it after the wings were glued on.
Piper Arrow Spar.jpg

I made a little nav light thingy out of a bbq skewer to go on the rudder.
1587260724086.png
 

Jackson T

Well-known member
#19
It flies! The video below is the second flight. Sorry for the bad video quality, not sure why that happened.

Here's a nice photo of the end product. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out! In case anyone's wondering, the black thing on the right wing root is an anti-slip surface thing that is on the full scale.

piper Arrow 2 (1).jpg
 
Last edited:

CrazyFastFlying

Well-known member
#20
It flies! The video below is the second flight. Sorry for the bad video quality, not sure why that happened.

Here's a nice photo of the end product. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out! In case anyone's wondering, the black thing on the right wing root is a anti-slip surface thing that is on the full scale.

View attachment 166754
Wow! That's very cool! I can't believe you made it out of styrofoam!