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Flattening the tires


burner12
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I say leave them round, 99.99% of the "pre-flatten" tires depict way under inflated tires (almost flat) and, therfore, are not correct. The modern jet fighter tire, such as the F-16, have tire pressures of around 300 psi.

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I say leave them round, 99.99% of the "pre-flatten" tires depict way under inflated tires (almost flat) and, therfore, are not correct. The modern jet fighter tire, such as the F-16, have tire pressures of around 300 psi.

 

Especially true on Navy A/C. They have a LOT of PSI for those carrier touchdowns.

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I'll be contrary....I say flatten them a LITTLE.

 

Just sand a flat spot on the bottom. Sand a very small flat spot for those high pressure jet tires and a larger spot for WWII types. The idea is to give an impression of weight, without deforming the tire. If you're using an aftermarket resin tire, sand down the bulges on the sides so that they're barely visible, as most of them are overdone.

 

There's no requirement or expectation to do this for a contest. You don't get gigged if you don't do it (but you COULD be giged if it's overdone!).

 

Part of building an attractive model is artistic. You can argue about the accuracy of a feature all day long (such as panel lines in small scales). However, at the end of the day, if it looks right, it IS right! If it looks authentic, it will add to the presentation of the model. I think slightly flattened tires add to the overall impression of authenticity. Just my 2 drachmas!

 

GIL :smiley16:

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I'm with you on this, Gil.

 

Later,

 

Lee

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- I am with Gil and Lee. I always sand them a little flat, WWII or modern. At least for me, it's a scale perspective thing. Otherwise the wheels have a tendency to look too "tippy-toed"! I'd like to thing the numerous 1st's I've been lucky enough to nab at the Nats (Including impacted cats) have been a testiment towards the philosophy. Model on, Brother of the Sprue. :smiley20:

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I'm not quite sure what you mean....so I'll just describe how I do mine.

 

I find it easiest to hold the tire and sand the flat spot by rubbing it across a sanding stick that's lying on my bench. I use a 320grit stick so I can remove material without too much pressure, and then smooth it with a hand-held medium/fine grit stick.

 

The toughest part to doing this is making sure the flat spot is both FLAT and LEVEL. Just take your time, go slow, and keep visually checking the spot as you "wear" it on. When you're satisfied with the spot, place the tire on a smooth flat surface. It should sit perfectly upright on its own! If it leans, or won't stand upright, then you need to adjust the angle of the flat spot.

 

Work each tire independently, but compare the sizes of the spots on each. The main tires should have the same size flat spots, which ensures they'll both be at the same height when you put them on the model. The same would go for nose tires, though their flat spots would be correspondingly smaller due to the smaller tire size.

 

Here's a link to the tires/gear for the Goshawk I'm currently building. If you look closely, you can see the flat spots sanded on all of the tires.

http://forum.ipmsusa3.org/index.php?showto...20&start=20

 

Hope that helps! Practice on some old tires from the spares box before tackling that prize project! Cheers!

 

GIL :smiley16:

Edited by ghodges
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IS it worth it if you want to put a model in a show to sand down the tires universally so they look like they are on the ground, or just leave them round?

 

Is it worth it, you ask? Only if you want to do it. For me nothing makes a good build look more like a toy than tires that appear to be made of solid plastic.

 

Check your references but in my opinion, perfectly round it too round. All planes affected by gravity will have tires with a little squish in them.

 

John

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Work each tire independently, but compare the sizes of the spots on each. The main tires should have the same size flat spots, which ensures they'll both be at the same height when you put them on the model. The same would go for nose tires, though their flat spots would be correspondingly smaller due to the smaller tire size.

 

That's what I was trying to say, but maybe didn't say it in the right way. Should I tape the nose gear and main gear all together and sand them so that they all are sanded at the same height? Or should I do it 1 by 1 and eyeball it to see if it is on the same level as the others.

 

IMO I'd do it symmetrically so that all are at the same height, cause doing it separately you could risk 1 being lower than the others.

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That's what I was trying to say, but maybe didn't say it in the right way. Should I tape the nose gear and main gear all together and sand them so that they all are sanded at the same height? Or should I do it 1 by 1 and eyeball it to see if it is on the same level as the others.

 

IMO I'd do it symmetrically so that all are at the same height, cause doing it separately you could risk 1 being lower than the others.

Hi Richard,

- FWIW, I sand my tires similarly to the way Gil has noted, but slightly different and I think it may address your issue more directly.

- I actually wait until I have the wheels and gear already assembled and on the model. That sometimes includes even having the gear, wheels and the plane already assembled and painted. Like Gil, I too use sanding sticks, but here's where it gets different, (I will use my P-400 (P-39) as an example):

- I place three sanding sticks on my workbench located exactly under each of the three wheels of the model. I then gently grab a hold of one wheel in the area of the axle and while holding it loosely on top of one sanding stick with just the right amount of downward pressure, I pull the sanding stick under that wheel (for several passes) with my other hand to sand it using the coarse grit. This is done while the model remains on top of the other two sticks. With all three wheels/gear assembled and all wheels sitting on the same thickness of sanding stick you can maintain a level and flat result to all three tires. Alternate sanding one wheel to the other and so on until you accomplish your goal. I can usually get it on the first pass of each, but sometimes go back every now and again. I may also use a successive finer grit side of the stick, depending on how coarse I started with. Once I am satisfied with the amount and level, I carefully hold the model with a soft, clean rag and paint the sanded areas an appropriate dark gray or dirty tire color to match the rest of the tire.

- It sounds a little awkward and risky, but I have been making this method work for many years now and I have yet to bust off a wheel, gear, pitot tube, gear door, etc, etc.

- To add a little twist to the above noted method, on occasions with a "tricycle" landing gear airplane, I have sometimes encountered a slight tail heavy model (for those that I did not put weight in the nose and/or not quit enough weight). You can modify my method above by removing the stick from under the nose wheel sooner than the main gear. (But after you have already sanded the nose tire).

- You then sand the main gear with a "nose-down" attitude. The result is that once you remove all the sticks from under the tires, the ever so slight angle under the main gear will add a certain amount of force towards getting the model to sit forward. There is a certain and small amount of flex throughout the gear and axle and this is part of the the ever so slight forcing of the model to sit forward and on the nose gear. To date, I have never encountered a broken or distorted gear on one of my tricycle geared models. Also, note that this only works when there is only a slight in-balance to the tail heavy model. It won't work very well, if your weighting is already way too far off. Hope these tips help and Model on, Brother of the Sprue. :smiley20:

Edited by Weedeater
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Hi Richard,

- FWIW, I sand my tires similarly to the way Gil has noted, but slightly different and I think it may address your issue more directly.

- I actually wait until I have the wheels and gear already assembled and on the model. That sometimes includes even having the gear, wheels and the plane already assembled and painted. Like Gil, I too use sanding sticks, but here's where it gets different, (I will use my P-400 (P-39) as an example):

- I place three sanding sticks on my workbench located exactly under each of the three wheels of the model. I then gently grab a hold of one wheel in the area of the axle and while holding it loosely on top of one sanding stick with just the right amount of downward pressure, I pull the sanding stick under that wheel (for several passes) with my other hand to sand it using the coarse grit. This is done while the model remains on top of the other two sticks. With all three wheels/gear assembled and all wheels sitting on the same thickness of sanding stick you can maintain a level and flat result to all three tires. Alternate sanding one wheel to the other and so on until you accomplish your goal. I can usually get it on the first pass of each, but sometimes go back every now and again. I may also use a successive finer grit side of the stick, depending on how coarse I started with. Once I am satisfied with the amount and level, I carefully hold the model with a soft, clean rag and paint the sanded areas an appropriate dark gray or dirty tire color to match the rest of the tire.

- It sounds a little awkward and risky, but I have been making this method work for many years now and I have yet to bust off a wheel, gear, pitot tube, gear door, etc, etc.

- To add a little twist to the above noted method, on occasions with a "tricycle" landing gear airplane, I have sometimes encountered a slight tail heavy model (for those that I did not put weight in the nose and/or not quit enough weight). You can modify my method above by removing the stick from under the nose wheel sooner than the main gear. (But after you have already sanded the nose tire).

- You then sand the main gear with a "nose-down" attitude. The result is that once you remove all the sticks from under the tires, the ever so slight angle under the main gear will add a certain amount of force towards getting the model to sit forward. There is a certain and small amount of flex throughout the gear and axle and this is part of the the ever so slight forcing of the model to sit forward and on the nose gear. To date, I have never encountered a broken or distorted gear on one of my tricycle geared models. Also, note that this only works when there is only a slight in-balance to the tail heavy model. It won't work very well, if your weighting is already way too far off. Hope these tips help and Model on, Brother of the Sprue. :smiley20:

Thanks Ken, that sounds like a good idea to try. i think I will. But 2 questions you hold it by the gear what if you were making a Tomcat, and put 3 sticks under each wheel, 1 for the nose gear. And then taped the sticks down so they wouldn't move and held it by the forward part and the aft section and moved it back and forth over the sand sticks so that all the wheels would be at the same level. would that be a slight variation that could work on the way you do yours? Or could that risk breaking off a gear?

 

And when you go back and paint them do you airbrush or just a quick stroke with a brush?

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Thanks Ken, that sounds like a good idea to try. i think I will. But 2 questions you hold it by the gear what if you were making a Tomcat, and put 3 sticks under each wheel, 1 for the nose gear. And then taped the sticks down so they wouldn't move and held it by the forward part and the aft section and moved it back and forth over the sand sticks so that all the wheels would be at the same level. would that be a slight variation that could work on the way you do yours? Or could that risk breaking off a gear?

 

And when you go back and paint them do you airbrush or just a quick stroke with a brush?

- Sanding: I think it could be possible to drag the entire model across sanding sticks. When I first started this adventure, I used a sheet of sand paper before sanding sticks became a regular accessory on our model workbenches. However, you hit the nail on the head that it is a risk to breaking the landing gear or "popping" them outta their mounts. Neither one being a good thing. That is why my method evolved to one wheel (gear) at a time for sanding.

- Painting: I have done both, a quick shot with the airbrush or a few brush strokes. While it may depend on the size of the model (wheels) and the amount of sanding, I also fancy myself as a good blender with a brush and that is where I lean towards if I'm too lazy to break out the airbrush and mix up the paint tone. Aaaaaa.....modeling. Finding the happy medium between laziness, relaxation, and too much-like-work.

- Show us some pics when ya get done. Enjoy.

Edited by Weedeater
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- Sanding: I think it could be possible to drag the entire model across sanding sticks. When I first started this adventure, I used a sheet of sand paper before sanding sticks became a regular accessory on our model workbenches. However, you hit the nail on the head that it is a risk to breaking the landing gear or "popping" them outta their mounts. Neither one being a good thing. That is why my method evolved to one wheel (gear) at a time for sanding.

- Painting: I have done both, a quick shot with the airbrush or a few brush strokes. While it may depend on the size of the model (wheels) and the amount of sanding, I also fancy myself as a good blender with a brush and that is where I lean towards if I'm too lazy to break out the airbrush and mix up the paint tone. Aaaaaa.....modeling. Finding the happy medium between laziness, relaxation, and too much-like-work.

- Show us some pics when ya get done. Enjoy.

 

Will do :)

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