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Links to Web Sites of Interest to Modelers

May 05, 2015



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Airfield Models (http://www.airfieldmodels.com/)Links to Web Sites of Interest to Model-Builders

Do not limit yourself to reading only about your particular hobby.  Many of the techniques I have learned have come from other crafts.

Woodworking, for example, has much to offer in terms of techniques, jigging, etc.  Many hobbies have the same problems we do regarding finding ways to make parts fit, avoiding splintering, glue joints, tools you name it.

This page includes resources that I personally recommend.  I like home pages having real content - especially sites that are educational or share techniques useful to model-builders.  I also like to provide links to companies that provide excellent service.

I am always interested in linking to good websites.   If you have a favorite site please send me the link.

How to not get your site mentioned here

Please don't e-mail me with a request to exchange links.  If you want me to look at your site all you have to do is ask.  If I like your site I'll link to it.

Also see

 
 

Home Pages

Alan's Hobby, Model & RC Web Links

Alan Tong has compiled a nice list of web sites covering a variety of topics and interests.

Beginner's Guide to Aerodynamics

The National Air and Space Administration (NASA) site provides excellent information and answers to all those questions that people keep e-mailing to me but I don't know the answer to.

Charles River Radio Controllers

A club website with some really good how-to articles, some great tips as well as software downloads.

Dave's Place for Assorted R/C Things

I really like Dave's work.  He has a lot of small R/C planes that he seemingly picked just because he knew I had a soft spot for them.

Dave builds really nice models and he has plans of a lot of classic planes that I've wanted to build since I was a kid.

If you grew up in my time or earlier then you'll recognize a lot of these planes.  And the nice thing is that they are just as good of designs as contemporary sport models.

Day Dream Believer

A nicely done site that shows three modeler's collective efforts building a large scale B-17.  Plenty of construction photos as well as a detailed chronology of the build make this an interesting site.  Narrative gives nice insight into the various problems a modeler must solve to realize his dream plane.

Electronic Gadgets for Radio Control

Thanks to Damien Nott for sending me this link.  Now I have even lower self esteem because I can't read the schematics to make many of the very cool gadgets on this site.

MH Aero Tools

A site primarily dedicated to pylon racing.  This site has in-depth technical information regarding airfoils and aerodynamics.  Site also has ordinates for fast airfoils.

Michael Ohlwein's Home Page

Michael's work is stunningly beautiful!  The site is in German, but even if you can't read the language, the photos of his works of art are worth the visit.  There is an English version, but I couldn't get it to work properly, so I browsed the German version.

Click the "Tipps" link and then look at all the links in the frame.  Wow!

Model Flight

This site has some neat charts that are informational.  For example, there is a chart showing what paints are compatible and another giving the weights of various covering materials.

NextCraft

Mike James has done some very impressive work.  He tells me that his designs are going to be kitted.  If you want a nice, modern-looking, composite model aircraft, check out his stuff.

Additionally, Mike has some interesting things to say and demonstrates many techniques that I wasn't aware of especially composites techniques.  I highly recommend this site.

Old River Bill's R/C Tow Boats

This site is all about boats.  It contains lots of building tips that any modeler should be able to apply to his own work.

Reg Heath's Modelflight

This is an excellent website.  There are a number of articles by a variety of authors that cover multitudes of topics from beginner to advanced.  Expect to spend some time here.

The website is in magazine format with a new issue each month.  As far as I can tell the entire content of the site is free.  Take a look at the Archive Index to find articles from back issues.

Rubber Powered Flight

This site has a simple rubber powered model called the Squirrel which would be a great way to introduce kids to flying model aircraft.  Several videos are posted which show the Squirrel in flight.

ScaleModelersHandbook.com

This is one of those sites that I can easily spend hours reading through.  There's tons of information with links to tons more.  Many different genres of model-building are addressed as well as information about toys I enjoyed as a kid (slot cars, for example).  There's lots to learn here.

Scale Models

I have thoroughly enjoyed viewing this site.  In particular, there is a Fokker Triplane build that is absolutely beautiful.

 
 

Plastic Model Home Pages

There are a lot of plastic model sites that I have visited to get information about particular kits.  Even though many of these sites have provided me with excellent information, I tend to delete the bookmarks after getting what I need.  Otherwise I would have hundreds of bookmarks and have no idea what any of them are.  These are the ones that I've kept because I keep going back.

Armorama

This site has a wealth of information for plastic model builders as well as builders of scale models.  There are literally thousands of reviews of plastic kits (aircraft, armor, dioramas, figures, spacecraft and warships) as well as tools and reference materials.

Additionally, there is a very active forum, links to reference photos and a lot more.

ScaleModel.Net

This site has some very interesting scale models including some beautifully built historical ships.  Every time I visit I find something I did not notice before.  I think the site is bottomless.

Starship Builder

A nice site for builders of SciFi models including detailing the hulls, adding interior lighting and a lot of other information for builders and fans of this genre.

 
 

Online Forums

There are a bazillion online forums.  These are ones that I visit regularly where I sometimes participate and sometimes I just lurk.

Many of these sites are more than just discussion forums.  There are reviews, videos, how-to's, etc.

HyperScale

An excellent forum for those who build plastic models or anyone who builds any type of scale model and needs information about some detail or another.

There are many very helpful articles, reviews, galleries as well as a forum where you can get all of your questions answered regarding any plastic model or technique.

HyperScale is also a great place to get detailed information regarding full scale types even if you build radio control models.  Many of the members have exhaustively researched full-scale armor, aircraft and other types and can provide appropriate information to help you with the details of your masterpiece.

Modelbouwforum.nl

The work by the member/builders in this forum is very impressive.  These guys are scale enthusiasts who have some very interesting building techniques.  While you'll see many of the most popular scale models you'll also see a lot of seldom modeled and obscure subjects.

The language is in Dutch but many of the members are English speaking.  Google Translate.  Choose Dutch to English.

RC Groups

A forum dedicated to all types of R/C modeling.  This forum in particular is where I would go if I were looking for answers regarding electric aircraft or vehicles.  This forum covers everything - land, sea and air including oddities I haven't indulged in but enjoy reading about and would like to try at some point - ornithopters, subs, blimps, etc.

RC Universe

A forum dedicated to all types of R/C modeling.  There are a lot of members and I have received great feedback to my questions.  This would be my forum of choice for those sport flyers more dedicated to glow and gas powered models.  However, this forum does cover pretty much all disciplines including land and water vehicles.

RC Scale Builder

If you look in my gallery you'll see the kind of models I build.  Mostly they are not scale models.  Frankly, I don't have a good system to protect my airplanes in my home which is the place they are most frequently damaged.  And like most builders, I have dream planes I want to build.  I have a lot of experience as a builder so I know realistically what quality I can turn out of my shop and what quality is a dream.

RC Scale Builder is a site where I lurk and learn.  There is a lot that I don't know and when I get around to building some of the scale models on my list this will be the first place that I turn for answers.

A
 

Commercial Sites

These links are companies that I recommend.  Companies with stars have provided really outstanding service.

Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA)

If you are thinking about getting into any kind of model flying, then you should consider becoming a member of the AMA.  Most clubs require you to be a member for the liability insurance that comes with AMA membership.

The AMA does much more for us than provide insurance.  They are our strongest advocate and lobby.  The AMA also sponsors competitions, various youth programs and a host of other activities.

Aces of Iron

Manufacturers of excellent pilot busts.  These are the best I've seen.  Each bust is hollow molded resin and is lightweight but highly detailed.  I am extremely pleased with the one I painted for the SR Eindecker E1.

Aerospace Composites

I have had good dealings with this company.  The person I spoke to was very patient with me when I was bombarding him with questions about their various products which include just about any type of composite material, resin or related tools you would ever use in a model.

Balsa USA

I buy the vast majority of my wood from this company.  My order has always arrived quickly and I have always been satisfied with the selection of wood I received.  I usually order several hundred dollars worth of wood at a time.

Bristol Valley Hardwoods

A good source for thin hardwoods.  If you have a table saw (small or large) then you can save a lot of money purchasing quality hardwoods and sawing your own blocks and mounts rather than purchasing small pre-cut pieces through the hobby industry at a much, much higher price.

Hardwoods are excellent for making many of our own tools as well.  You can't go wrong having a plank of 1/4" maple on hand, for example.  You'll find lots of uses for it.

Dave Platt Models

One of the true Scale Masters.  I think he has done more to advance the art of scale modeling than any single person.  There are a handful of modelers in the world with his skill, but he has always been a high profile modeler and, more importantly, had a desire to pass his knowledge along.

Dykema Rubber Band Company

You might not have a lot of thoughts about rubber bands.  However, they are extremely useful and versatile tools.  Personally, I got tired of being aggravated by never having the right size and also by the low-quality variety offered in local stores.

Dykema sells sample packs of rubber bands of very high quality.  Each pack contains a dozen different sizes.  Each size is individually boxed so you actually know what size you're using.  When you need more you'll know what to order.

I ordered every sample pack they carry for about twenty-five bucks.  It was money very well spent.  I recommend you check them out.

FliegerLand

A very nice hobby shop located in Leimen-St. Ilgen, Germany owned by Reiner Pfister.  While I was stationed in Germany I spent a lot of my off-duty hours browsing through the shop and doing my best to communicate with Reiner.

I don't speak German and he doesn't speak English but that didn't stop us.  Usually a lot of gesturing and picture drawing was involved but we also managed to figure out what the other was talking about.  In any case, his shop was nicely stocked and has some interesting items.  Definitely worth stopping in if you're ever in the area.

HeliProz R-C Helicopters

I purchased my Raptor helicopter from Heliproz.  They took the time to exchange several e-mails with me and customized my order so that I could get the most for my money.  Their service was fast and I found them to be a good company to do business with.

Hobby Express (Formerly Hobby Lobby International)

More good service and they import items from Germany.

Hobby People

Fast service and great prices.  The people are friendly too, so this is a company I highly recommend.

Klass Kote

As far as I'm concerned there are only two types of paint for flying model aircraft Dope and Epoxy.  Klass Kote paints are excellent epoxies, fully fuel proof and extremely durable.  They are compatible with the original K & B SuperPoxy and HobbyPoxy brand paints.

I have reviewed these paints and have nothing but good things to say about them.  Also see the Test Results by Dave Platt.

I visited the Klass Kote site recently and found they now have an Adobe Acrobat (pdf) file having color formulas.

Micro Fasteners

The best place I have found to purchase all the small nuts and bolts required for use on radio-controlled models.  I build a lot, so I save money buying in bulk.  If you are a beginner, then you are probably better off just buying what you need from the local hobby shop.  If you decide to stay in the hobby, buying from Micro Fasteners will save you money over time so you can buy that new engine or set of servos.

One more word about this company.  I placed an order on a Friday night, paid for regular mail, and it was in my mailbox the following Monday.  I live in Florida and the order was shipped from New Jersey.  Best service and prices I have ever had.  I just can not say enough good things about this company.

Among other things, it shows that good prices and good service are simultaneously possible.  Makes me wonder why other companies choose not to have one or both of these things.

Micro-Mark

Sells many hard-to-find tools including many from the medical industry.  The prices are not the lowest, but they have pretty much everything you will ever need for any type of model building.  They do not carry many R/C specific items, however.

Mike's Workshop

For many years I have been trying to find a source of good quality scroll saw blades.  The ones available in places like Home Depot and Sears honestly are not that great.  They tend to be too coarse for fine model work and tear out the back of the work too much.

Mike carries the best quality blades I have ever used.  He will even send you a couple samples for free.  The prices are very reasonable - a gross (144) of blades from $20 - $30 depending on the blade.

Model Expo

They carry many plastic kits at good prices.  But the best thing about them is their wooden ship models and accessories.  You have to see some of these kits.  Really beautiful.  If you have the skill and the patience, you can get a kit of a sailing ship from yesteryear and spend the rest of yours rigging all 10,000 lines.  Woo Hoo!

Proctor Enterprises

Some of the most beautiful model kits you will find anywhere in the world.  Every one of their kits is a work of art.  They are for craftsman only.  If you do not like to build, but enjoy seeing the modeler's art, then take a look at this site.  If you do enjoy building, then it just does not get any better than this.

Ron's R-C Helicopters

I ordered my heli radio and replacement parts for my Raptor from Ron's (formerly Rick's).  I exchanged several e-mails in regard to various upgrades and he always seemed more concerned with making sure that I had the right equipment rather than trying to sell me things I do not need.

SIG Manufacturing

An all-American model manufacturer.  They produce many types of models, from stick and tissue to control-line and R/C.  All their kits are well thought out with great instructions.  I have built several SIG kits and every one has been a good flying and durable model.

One thing you will notice about Sig kits that can not be said of some of the other major manufacturers, is that their kits are developed.  You can always count on Sig to get their kits right before they release them.  As a result, if you build the kit per the plan and follow the instructions, you will not have mysterious problems with your model.

Tap Plastics

Carries various composite materials and related items as well as polishes, tools, etc.

 
 

Commercial Plastic Model Sites

The thing about plastic models is that the online companies tend to list them all but often don't have them in stock.  I placed several orders from various companies in January one year and had all but forgotten about them when they started arriving in June!

Some companies have much smaller listings but tend to have the items in stock that they list.  Generally speaking, if one company had an item out of stock they all had it out of stock.  I can't rate any of these companies higher than the others.

Modeling Madness

This site has thousands of reviews of plastic models of all types as well as related accessories.  If there's a kit you are interested in purchasing, then check out this site first.

Squadron Mail Order

Tamiya

Tamiya makes the highest quality plastic kits that I have ever seen.  The moldings are superb having an excellent fit and finish.  Additionally, the plastic used is very high quality and wonderful to work with.

Tamiya has an excellent line of accessories and acrylic paints as well.

 
 

Miscellaneous Links

Links to services that are not related to modeling, but are so excellent they deserve recognition.

Backyard Artillery

I found this site searching for rubber band gun ideas.  The site lists all kinds of cool toys.  They have a really cool gatling gun that I just might build to torment the Shop Foreman.

Cambridge Cosmology

This is a site that explains the cosmos and the history of the universe.  I found it when I first became interested in cosmology and wanted to understand how galaxies are formed, their relative size, what's in them, etc.

When I stepped outside my own frame of reference and into the frame looking down at the universe the way I think about life changed forever in a lot of ways.

Joe Woodworker

This is a site I came across that has some very good articles concerning woodworking and tools.  It is not a model-building site but the discussion about tools is very relevant.

MZ Tools

Phenomenally excellent Add-Ins for the Visual Basic programming environment.

Small Stuff Miniature Digest

I found this site while looking for some information on something that I can not remember now.  Although there is nothing on the site specific to model aircraft, there is a wealth of information on building techniques, tools, materials, etc. to be found here.

I have learned a lot that I can use from just reading through the various threads and highly recommend you check it out.  Once you get to the site, click the Archives button.

Also see

 
 

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