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Tricking out WB wheels?

Old 05-01-2004, 01:21 AM
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abufletcher
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Default Tricking out WB wheels?

I seem to remember many years ago reading about a way to may Williams Bros Vintage wheels look more authentic. I think this involved gluing on bits of music wire where the spokes are and then covering the wheels with fabric. I believe it was also possible to let a few of false spokes be visible through the hole that many of these WWI planes has in the wheel cover.

Has anyone seen this, done this, know what I'm talking about?
Old 05-01-2004, 10:03 PM
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BobH
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Default RE: Tricking out WB wheels?

abu, here are the wheels to my SE5a. One is stock and the other is covered with sig Koveral and nitrate dope. The nitrate is discolored and that's why it looks dark. It will be painted blue and while so that won't be seen. I tried using super coverite but it wouldnt pull tight enuff so i changed to Koveral.
I did not add fake spokes, I didn't think it was worth the trouble. BobH.
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Old 05-02-2004, 01:35 AM
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Default RE: Tricking out WB wheels?

Bob, I know this is a dumb question but...how did you get the tire off?
Old 05-02-2004, 02:04 AM
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Default RE: Tricking out WB wheels?

Also I find it curious that your wheels have slightly different molded detail than mine? Are these WB wheels?
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Old 05-02-2004, 04:25 PM
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BobH
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Default RE: Tricking out WB wheels?

Abu, I cant be sure they are WB wheels. They came in my with my Duncan
Hutson kit.. If they arent WB they might be flair wheels. My tires were coaxed off but it wasnt too difficult.
Old 05-07-2004, 09:44 PM
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R/C Art
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Default RE: Tricking out WB wheels?

Abufletcher, the wheels for your Eindecker are metal covered, not fabric covered. So you don't have to worry fake spokes. As they came from the factory they were just metal colored......read that as unpainted. The cut out you refer to is a half circle hole so that maintanence could has access to the air valve....this cut out was on the inside wheel cover only.
Old 05-08-2004, 12:30 AM
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Default RE: Tricking out WB wheels?

Art, I'm not sure this is good or bad news. I wouldn't have to worry about faking the texture of fabric wheel covering but now the molded spokes and stitching on the wheels is quite right! I might try drilling out the hole on the inside and placing a few bits of music wire to simulate a few spokes. Then again, I may just decided to let it slide and get flying! BTW, here's a shot of the removable top deck on my EIII and my "plans" for detailing it.
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Old 06-02-2004, 03:57 AM
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Default RE: Tricking out WB wheels?

Doing scale metal wheel covers is a boon in several ways: 1) it hides that ugly plastic 2) is allows me to drill out an awful lot of dead weight and 3) gives me the option of doing the "spokes showing through the inspection hole" trick. Plus I just like that this is the way it was on the original. I may have to redo these for a nicer fit though.

Roofing flashing is wonderful wonderful stuff!
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Old 06-02-2004, 04:00 AM
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Default RE: Tricking out WB wheels?

BTW, ever wonder what was INSIDE those WB wheels? Well wonder no more. The tire is stuffed with a piece of cylindrical foam. I suppose that's mostly air, right? It doesn't take much to make the two hub halved come "unstuck."
Old 10-30-2005, 11:20 AM
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Default RE: Tricking out WB wheels?

What a nasty thing to do to a perfectly good WB Vintage wheel! So this is what the insides of a WB wheel hub looks like. And in contrast to my last post, this time it took a VERY GREAT DEAL of force to separate (first with the flat blade of a screw driver and then a razor saw) the two halves apart. Nothing a little epoxy won't rejoin though.

There is a method in this madness, however. My plan is to drill out a lot of the plastic, then lay down some metal wire "spokes" over the over the existing plastic hub (and I'll use a more scale accurate pattern of spokes) then stretch some Solartex over this (going all the way out to the edge of the rims as seen in period photos), then paint and weather before reassembling the wheel with the tire.

Stay tuned.

BTW, it would be a great aid to modelers if the new WB offered the option of buying wheels in "kit" form even for the same price. It would save them a step or two in manufacturing.
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Old 10-30-2005, 11:57 AM
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ElectRick
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Default RE: Tricking out WB wheels?

That would be a great thing if they came as a kit, rather than assembled. Simple to modify to be more scale. The other advantage would be the ability to mill out some of the excess plastic that makes these wheels weigh a ton. There is no good reason for plastic wheels to weigh so much.

I will propose this question to Daniel Brett (new owner of Williams Bros. Model Products) over on the www.rcscalebuilder.com site. He is back in production, by the way. He is ramping up rapidly to full production. I bought and received a set of dummy engine cylinders from him a few weeks ago, so he's filling orders--he just doesn't have a good stock of everything yet.

Rick
Old 10-30-2005, 12:34 PM
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Default RE: Tricking out WB wheels?

ORIGINAL: abufletcher

What a nasty thing to do to a perfectly good WB Vintage wheel! So this is what the insides of a WB wheel hub looks like. And in contrast to my last post, this time it took a VERY GREAT DEAL of force to separate (first with the flat blade of a screw driver and then a razor saw) the two halves apart. Nothing a little epoxy won't rejoin though.

BTW, it would be a great aid to modelers if the new WB offered the option of buying wheels in "kit" form even for the same price. It would save them a step or two in manufacturing.
Could you post a photo of what the inside of the outer wheel half looks like? I suspect most of the wheel's weight is in there, and I may try to split the 6-5/8" set I have for my Balsa USA Nieuport 28 to try and hog out some of that plastic with a Dremel.

I just posted your question about offering kits of the wheels over on the www.rcscalebuilder.com site. We'll see what he says about it. FWIW, Daniel Brett just posted that he now has all his molding machines operational, and is getting in some bigger orders from OEM suppliers and distributors.

All in all, some very encouraging news.

Rick
Old 10-30-2005, 01:13 PM
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Bud Faulkner
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Default RE: Tricking out WB wheels?

I'm not sure who made the wheels I got with my SR eindecker kit but one of the wheels seems very loose on the rim...any suggestions?
Old 10-30-2005, 08:46 PM
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BobH
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Default RE: Tricking out WB wheels?

Bud, you might take the tire off and put some Goop or similar stuff on the rim and then remount the tire. That should keep your tire on ok.
Old 10-30-2005, 10:30 PM
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Default RE: Tricking out WB wheels?

Rick, keep up posted on Brett's reply.

Here's the inside of the other half. It's really not much different from the back half. I don't have the right tool to measure it but the plastic on both halves does seem to be fairly thick (1/8"?).
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Old 10-31-2005, 04:42 AM
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Default RE: Tricking out WB wheels?

Next step. Mark hole then drill with 1mm drill for .8mm wires. This is still an experiment and I need to decide if it will be OK to drill out large holes in the plastic and not have them show through the convering At the very least I'll want to drill out holes in the locations for inspection flaps. I played it safe here and stuck with the not-quite-scale 16 spokes per side vs. the 20 spokes that most German and French aircraft used. This way I could just use the same locations as on the WB wheel -- plus drilling 20 evenly spaced holes around the small hub area was going to be difficult.
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Old 10-31-2005, 05:02 AM
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Default RE: Tricking out WB wheels?

Woops! I noticed almost immediately that I have the wrong spoke pattern in the pictures above! Every other spoke (8 on a 16 spoke per side pattern) should be spiraling one direction with the intervening spokes spiralling the other direction! This is, BTW, where the 20 spoke her side would definitely look better.
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Old 11-01-2005, 06:39 AM
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Default RE: Tricking out WB wheels?

I shoulda known from the beginning that I wasn't going to be satisfied with the 16 spoke pattern! I found a washer that I had drilled out for 10 holes and then used that as a template to drill 2mm holes right around the flat area on the hub. I then used the spacing patterns I had made when I was working on spoked wheels to lay out the 20 marks on the edge:

http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_26.../anchor/tm.htm

I decided to use 0.6mm wire (stainless) wire instead of the 0.8mm I used before. The routine is you bend an angle into the wire, fit it into the hub hole, mark the location of the hole at the rim, and put in another bend the cut it. You first do every other rim hole spiraling in one direction then go back and fill in the other spokes in the other direction. Each hole in the hub area will have two spoke wires in it. Spokes in the same hub hole will be separated by 6 holes on the rim. That is, if one spoke is in, say, position #1 then the other spoke will be going into position #8 (with 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 between them).

I added a bit of epoxy at the hub to hold the wires down firmly and a bit of thin CA in the holes at the rims. The next step will be to cover the spokes. Later I'll be adding a sort of mock wheel hub.

Oh. And I also carved out a lot of the plastic material from the back of the hub -- about until the hub was somewhat translucent against the light. It is still plenty strong.
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Old 11-01-2005, 09:09 AM
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Default RE: Tricking out WB wheels?

Here's the back side. In addition to thinning out the plastic I also cut large holes out. The plastic is still at least 1/16" thin and feels very strong. I suspect the UC would break before the wheel would -- particularly since it's sprung with bungee. Besides weight another reason I cut out the holes was to allow for the possibility of adding an "inspection hole that would reveal a couple spokes as well. At the very least the plastic removed should compensate for the additional weight of the spokes and covering. I don't have a scale at the moment but I suspect the modified wheel will actually turn out to be lighter than the stock well -- and more scale to boot!
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Old 11-01-2005, 09:35 AM
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Default RE: Tricking out WB wheels?

Dang! There is always something. [:@] I just realized I made a small goof. The wire spokes should weave in an out of each other at the point shown by the arrow. I could have done this simply enough but I just didn't think about it. This might have an effect on the impression of the spokes through the covering. Anyway, the spokes on this wheel are there to stay so I'm made the change on the other wheel and hope the difference isn't really obvious.

That's sort of the way experiments go.
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Old 11-01-2005, 12:00 PM
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Default RE: Tricking out WB wheels?

And just to keep everyone going round and round, I thought I'd add a link to my thread comparing WB and Flair vintage wheels:

http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_31.../anchor/tm.htm
Old 11-02-2005, 08:18 AM
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Default RE: Tricking out WB wheels?

Fixed the pattern with the second wheel. I'm probably be the only person who'll ever notice. Now it's on to covering the spokes. I've considered three materials because they are available to me now: 1) antique solartex (seems thinner than the silver solartex) 2) heavy silkspan and 3) thin styrene. Koverall is apparently not sold in Japan.

Bob, did you just attach the Koverall with dope? Also it looks like you really stuck it down everywhere. I'd like to only be attaching the covering at the edges so that it pulls taut over the spokes. I do have some balsaloc. I also have clear butyrate dope.

One plus of going the styrene route is that it might be possible to "pull" several copies of the cover so that I could later use this covering on ply rim wheels.
Old 11-02-2005, 09:53 AM
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Default RE: Tricking out WB wheels?

Don, I used nitrate dope to attach the Koveral to the plastic wheel. The Koveral shrinks better than the coverite I tried using. I finally have my wheels painted and cleared. I'll take a picture of them and post them here and over on RCSB this evening when I get home. From what I have seen of the full scale wheels there really isn't much detail you can see on the covering other than some impressions of spokes here and there.
Old 11-02-2005, 12:31 PM
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Default RE: Tricking out WB wheels?

OK. Here's the results of the first attempt at covering the rims. They have a very scale look -- including the slightly saggy look often seen on original wheel covers after a couple of field repairs! [:@] The solartex tightens up nicely but just minutes later looks saggy!

I blame the Japanese weather!
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Old 11-02-2005, 05:19 PM
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Default RE: Tricking out WB wheels?

Excellent work as usual Don. You just gave me a great idea. I can do one of those patterns and put it on my vacform machine. If I do it right it will show only a hint of the spokes. Just as though it was covered over with fabric. The trick is to not let the styrene get to hot.I think gluing plastic over the WB or Dubro wheels would be more secure than doping fabric or attaching coverite. I could still drill out holes to lighten the wheels and have a hole for the air valve with spokes inside. I think I'll start working on this tonight.

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