Over the past couple of flying seasons, I've purchased a few 3D plane kits from Twisted Hobbys. These very durable EPP foam planes exhibited great flight characteristics. With the end of our northern Minnesota flying season at hand, I decided to purchase three more TH kits. I wanted some winter build projects and these looked like good candidates. I also ordered some new Li-po batteries, from RCBattery.com, to match up with the power requirements for these new planes. With the order buttons clicked, I sat back and waited for the batteries and planes to arrive.
One of the planes I received from Twisted Hobbys was the Nemesis, a 31" EPP foam plane. Unlike many of the TH aircraft, the Nemesis doesn't have the typical X profile body that many TH aircraft are designed around. It also has an airfoil wing vs. the flat wing that many of the 3D planes have. Twisted Hobbys has it listed on their website in the "Warbird and Racer" section. There is a same sized TH Mustang that makes a nice flying companion with the Nemesis. Hopefully, one of my flying friends will get one and we can fly these together at the field.
The construction of this plane is straight forward and can be done in under a day if using CA, one of the recommended adhesives. I've grown fond of Foam Tac, from Beacon Adhesives, which takes longer to setup and so extends the build time. Since these kits were bought specifically for winter build projects, I'm certainly in no hurry. Hey, there's nothing wrong with watching movies while the glue dries, right?
This web article is not intended to replace the build instructions that one would download from the Twisted Hobbys website. While I built the Nemesis, I snapped a few photos to include here along with my own comments about them. I hope you find it helpful.
I use a piece of Dow blue insulating foam, used in house construction, as a flat surface for pinning the foam pieces in place while the glue dries. The above pic shows the left and right wing halves as such. I also tape a piece of freezer paper (for wrapping meat) over the blue foam. This keeps any excess glue from bonding my EPP foam to the work surface. I've always had good luck with this Dow foam being straight/flat. You need a flat work surface when building so you don't end up with twisted or crooked wings, tail feathers, etc. Before I start a project, I check my foam board with a long metal straight edge to ensure it is still smooth and flat.
To secure the EPP foam in place while the glue set up, I used T-pins available at the local hobby or craft store (probably office supply stores too). So when you get to a step like this, you turn off your work light and turn on Netflix. It's really a pretty good way to build foam planes, in my opinion.
The Nemesis kit uses two round 1.2mm x 500mm carbon fiber rods to stiffen the wings. These are placed into the slots you cut on both the top and bottom surface of the wing. The body receives a pair of 1.0mm x 500mm carbon fiber rods in pre-cut slots to strengthen it as well. Make sure you are paying attention to the rod diameters when you are gluing them into place. I borrow the venire calipers from my reloading bench to make certain I'm using the correct size CF rods.
Twisted Hobbys sells their kits without any included electronics. The kits do include all the small parts, such as control horns, clevises, control rods, etc. They also sell a suggested power component kit which includes servos, motor, prop, and an ESC all optimized for the particular model. Depending on how well your spare parts bin is stocked, you may or may not wish to purchase the power kit. Each component in the power kit can also be purchased separately from TH but at a higher per item price. Some TH flyers swear by the quality of the TH power components. For this build, I bought their power kit and one of their 7gr servos was defective. One e-mail to TH and I had a free replacement headed my way in just 24 hours. Their customer service is very good.
The Nemesis uses a single 9 gram aileron servo that is embedded in the wing.
To ensure the servo will work properly once the wing is inserted into the
plane's body, Twisted Hobby included a clearance gauge cut from EPP. It is
used while the wing is being assembled. They
could have said something in their instructions like " Insert the servo 20mm
into the foam" but this would only have been applicable if you were using the
same servo as did the person who wrote the instructions. This way, you
simply position the servo such that the servo arm is centered in the cutout slot
of the gauge. Then, apply some glue and go continue watching that movie
your started earlier.
In this photo, the left and center sections of the fuselage have been glued together. The design allows all of the servo wires, the motor wire, and the ESC wires to be hidden inside of the fuselage once the right side is glued into position. I believe the 3 layered fuselage that is glued together is stronger than a single piece of foam. I say this because when I've repaired a foam plane, I've never seen the glued joint fail again.
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