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Adventures in RC – My first plane

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

You gotta start somewhere right?

I decided that when I started getting into RC that it will probably be a good idea to go the cheap route in case it wasn’t for me. Instead of getting a plane first I picked a simulator where I can get the fundamentals with out all the crashed plane hassle.

I spent hours in Real Flight 6.5. Totaling in thousands of dollars of destroyed virtual planes. Trainers? Crashed em. 3D? Crashed em. Helicopters? Woo boy did I crash the shit out of those, and don’t even get me started in quadrotors.

After I had the basics down, and did some research, I picked up my first plane, a GWS Slow Stick. Why that one? First, its a three channel that you can convert to 4 later if you wanted. Second, the construction of it was so simple – a stick for a fuselage and the wings/control surfaces were foam with some plastic bits holding it all together. When I inevitably crash it and bust up the wing its a simple fix, as opposed to having to rebuild the structure and recover it with film.

Another big plus was its slow flight and light weight meant I can fly it at local parks/empty sports fields. Since I live in the LA area open space is a premium. There’s a couple RC flight fields near me, but require an expensive AMA membership on top of dues for the organization maintaining the field. I’m going to wait until I have larger/faster planes to sign up for membership.

Adventures in RC

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

I recently started to get into RC. I had started to mess with Legos, mostly Technics – the Lego’s that don’t quite look like Lego’s – gears, axels, beams and what not.

But pretty quickly I realized the limitations of Lego. Not in that you can’t build anything with them, but its really difficult to build something precise and accurate. One of my first devices was a rotating camera mount for time lapse. Turns out there’s quite a bit of play between the teeth of gears which meant the camera only rotated every 3rd try.

Then I tried making an rc car with legos, and the other hurdle reared its head: you never have enough of or the right Lego pieces. I had spent quite a bit picking up certain sets just to get the parts i needed, but when putting together whatever I was making I was always a couple pieces short of being able to make what I wanted.

That also brought another problem to light: Lego’s are fucking expensive. I understand why they are and I’m not complaining, but when I can build a working flying quadcopter for less than a Lego set that doesn’t do anything but open/close doors with simple gears the answer is clear.

So here I am a few months later, Lego’s are now on eBay looking for a loving home and I have a couple to rc models to tinker with and I couldn’t be happier. There’s a certain joy from putting something together and being able to use it, break it and put it back together again.

DIY: BMO & Fionna Sword from Adventure Time

Monday, October 29th, 2012

This year the BF and I are dressing up as Finn & Fionna from Adventure Time for Halloween.  I decided to get creative with my props and went to town with cardboard and tempera paint.  Here are some step by step pictures of the process for making my pink Fionna sword and BMO!

Materials Needed: masking tape, scissors, primary tempera paint colors, paint brushes, pencil, black permanent marker

Fionna’s Sword

Fionna from Adventure Time has a pink sword, but after realizing that it’s not sold anywhere in stores I decided to make my own.  Luckily, we have a lot of cardboard on hand from our monthly CSA vegetable box.  Making the sword was easier than expected because last month’s box came with vertical inserts.  I trimmed the end of one insert into the point of a sword and cut triangles along the side for details.  For the hilt, I trimmed down the other vertical insert and then made a slit in the middle until I could slide the “blade” through.  Aim for a snug fit, but don’t be too worried if it’s loose, the paint will dry the sword in place.

I only had primary colors, so I mixed white and red in a bowl to make pink.  Note that you only need to add a few drops of white to a primary color to lighten it up.  I also added a drop of blue because red and white made a Pepto Bismol pink.  Dip your brush and paint!

The sword needed about two coats of paint.  I’m sure I could have primered the coat white but it was a warm day and it dried pretty quickly to allow for an extra coat.


To make BMO I had to trim a pre-existing box into a smaller shape.  I carefully lined the edges of my new box with masking tape.  I mixed green, a few drops of blue, and a few drops of white to get his teal color.

I reaaaaaaally should have primered this box white, especially because it had writing on it, but I got super lucky that it was warm and the coats dried fast, allowing me to do multiple coats.

After BMO’s initial teal coat dried, I added a few more drops of white paint to the lighten the mixture for his face.  I then outlined his buttons with a pencil.  Because I didn’t primer, the buttons did need a few coats.

BMO and Fiona’s sword drying.

When it came time to outlining the buttons and detailing BMO’s name on the side, I used a permanent black marker.  It was super easy to work with and wrote on the dried tempera paint really well.

And there you have it!  BMO and Fionna’s pink sword using tempera paint and cardboard!

i <3 LA.

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

3rd roll’s a charm

Sunday, August 1st, 2010

3rd roll of film from the mini diana yielded some interesting results.  it’s been fun experimenting.

i’m a lomo-maniac.

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

soon to be anyhow thanks to mr. ipsofatso’s surprise present.  hope my 1st roll turns out ok!