Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions Construction Issues
Motors, Props, Batteries, Radios 28" Warbirds
40" Tigercat 68" PBY Catalina

Q: What's with this “Foamin' at the Mouth©”?

A: “There is a fine line between having a hobby and a mental illness.”


Q: Why are your kits made with Blue-Cor foam instead of Depron?

A: Depron is more expensive, and cannot be easily formed into an airfoil. The blue foam we use has a plastic film on both sides, which adds a lot of strength.


Q: How much is shipping?

A: We charge $5 shipping for the smaller models and $6 for the larger ones in the continental USA. This covers the cost of shipping plus the cost of the box and packing material. The website will increase the shipping charge on larger orders. Contact us directly for shipping costs to Canada and overseas destinations. We ship worldwide - but that costs more! The website won't calculate the correct freight for international orders - so we will send you an additional invoice for the amount of the shipping charges.


Q: Do you accept checks or money orders?

A: Yes, absolutely - you can mail us a personal check, cashier's check, or money order. However personal checks will be held for bank clearance before your order ships. We also accept credit cards directly, or through Paypal. You do not need an Paypal account to pay using your credit card and Paypal has other payment options.


Q: Are these models already built, or “almost ready to fly”?

A: NO, the Rabid Models kits require assembly and some craftmanship.  Although they are not designed for a person who has absolutely no modeling experience, they are really not particularly difficult to build and have a minimum number of parts.


Q: Are the foam pieces in the kits painted?

A: NO, the parts are unfinished blue foam. They can be painted using foam-safe paints in a variety of paint schemes depending on your preference.


Q: Why is there no printed manual included with the kit?

A: Printing a manual with color pictures is VERY expensive – by providing the manual on CD we can keep the cost of the kits down and provide a huge number of large color pictures and very thorough explanations to help you with the building process, and it's also easy for us to include a lot of other files with additional information.


Q: Other files? What kinds of "other files" are on the CD that's included with the kit?

A: The CD contains WORD documents for the most part. The files include the construction manual with lots of pictures, background info on the full-size plane, pictures of the full-size plane, decals and markings you can print for your kit (depending on the kit) and things like that.


Q: My PC doesn't have Microsoft WORD. What do I do now?

A: IF YOU DO NOT HAVE Microsoft WORD software installed on your computer, you can download FREE “viewer” software from Microsoft’s download center. This is very easy to do. The free software will allow you to view and print WORD documents even if you don’t have the WORD program installed on your PC. Copy and paste this link into your internet browser’s search window: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/downloads/CD010225841033.aspx

or you can do it right now by clicking http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/downloads/CD010225841033.aspx Press (enter), download “Word Viewer”, and follow the instructions to install. We can also send you PDF versions by request.


Q: I don't like using WORD, can't you send me a PDF version of the documents?

A: Yes, we'll be glad to send you PDF versions of the files, as long as you tell us first. If you ask us afterwards, we can email you PDF files, or send you a replacement CD but we might charge you for that (or chew on your leg).


Q: Do you have a CATALOG?

A: Yes, Click HERE to download a PDF file - our 6-page catalog.


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Props, Batteries, Radios, Motors...

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Q: The hole in the little GWS prop is too small for the shaft on the motor! How do I fix that?

A: The prop comes with a 1.0 mm hole and the shaft is 1.5 mm. Only GWS knows why! If you're handy, it's easy to fix but you must use the correct size drill bit. A standard 1/16" bit is too big. A #54 wire-size bit is the correct size. This makes the hole just a tiny bit smaller than 1.5mm, so you can press the prop onto the shaft for a perfect tight fit. Please look at this 1-page WORD document for a more in-depth explantion and an important disclaimer, click HERE.


Q: A GWS 4 x 2.5 prop works really well with the little GWS motors. Where do I get the correct prop-saver?

A: The prop saver mounts the prop with a small rubber band (1/4" elastic from braces, actually) and the best prop saver for GWS motors that we have found so far is offered by BSDmicro. Their web site is bsdmicrorc.com. You need the 1.5mm propsaver. Here is the link to the page where they sell the propsavers and the elastics: http://www.bsdmicrorc.com/index.php?search_string_0=propsaver&searchstring=prop+saver


Q: What is included with the MOTOR COMBO packages?

A: The "Brushed combo" for our 28" kits includes: Two GWS IPS motors, four 3x2 props, and one 5-amp ESC. The IPS motor combo for the B36 comes with SIX motors, SIX 4x2.5 props, and a single 20-amp ESC for 2-cell Lipos.

The "Twin 24gm brushless" motor combo package for our larger kits includes: Two 24-gram brushless motors, Two 10-amp brushless ESCs, Two propsavers with O-rings, Two aluminum motor mounts, two firewalls, the bullet connectors for the motors and ESCs, and two 9x7 propellors.

The "Twin 9gm brushless" motor combo is for our 28" models and includes two smaller motors and all the other parts - but NO propellers because there are several choices you can make depending on different factors. We have used 5x3 and 5x4.3 props with the 9gm motors with good results. The new 5x3 3-bladed prop GWS offers works really well with out models and looks great too.

The "Twin Brushed Combo" for the Catalina includes two EPS-300C geared motors, two 9x7 props, and a single 20-amp ESC for 2-cell Lipos.

All of the motor combo packages are priced to save you a few dollars over buying all parts separately. And when you purchase the motor combo with your kit, you get an additional discount - it's a great deal!


Q: Why do the larger planes all have three-bladed GWS 9x7 props?

A: We decided to adjust the scale of each model to match these props for the most realistic appearance. In other words, the prop is the correct scale size for the model. They look great!


Q: What is the recommended brushless motor for the larger models?

The planes are designed for lightweight (1 ounce) brushless motors with a diameter of about 22.7mm.  We recommend a “slow flyer” brushless motor (one with a lot of windings) to handle the large 9x7 propeller. The one that we offer is perfect and provides really great performance. Please check Model Airplane Engineering for some more information on this kind of motor, here’s the link: http://www.m-a-e.com/Sub_Pages/Products/products_Mots.htm When paired, these motors draw about 10 amps maximum each, with the 9x7 prop and a 3-cell pack.


Q: What size battery do your recommend for the large models that take brushless motors?

A: Using the motors we recommend, you can use either a 2-cell Lipo or a 3-cell Lipo. We recommend a 20C (maxiumum) capacity pack and 1320mah or larger for good performance.  The planes will fly faster with the 3-cell pack, and that’s the type recommended for outdoor flying.


Q: What kind of radio control system is needed?

A: There are dozens of choices. You'll need a minimum of three channels. However for best results we recommend a system that has servo reversing, dual rates, and a dual-conversion or “spread-spectrum” receiver. The smaller planes need small components (such as 5gm servos) and the larger planes take standard micro-servos (9gm type is fine).


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Construction Questions

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Q: Do you need to round the edges of the foam?

A: This is not necessary, and through a lot of testing we've determined that it really does not produce any significant aerodynamic benefits on our models. For a really nice look you can attach a length of scotch tape around the leading ege of the wing. If you want some "ding protection" you can also glue a 1mm carbon-fiber rod to the leading eadge, and then use the tape.


Q: What kind of paint do you use?

A: You MUST use foam-safe paint – we recommend the line of Tamiya “TS” line of plastic-safe paints that are available at most hobby stores (commonly used for RC cars). There are other kinds of paint available from other manufacturers, but make sure that they will not attack the foam before using. There is a spray paint available at craft stores called "Design Master" and they make a SILVER that is Foam-Safe. Another method that works really well is to use acrylic paint with an airbrush.

We have also successfully used Testors Spray Enamel but it must be applied very carefully. The propellant can melt the foam!


Q: What kind of control system is used?

A: Our models use a “Pull-Pull” system using Teflon-coated fishing line called "Spider Wire". It works extremely well and doesn’t add any weight to the models. It's very easy to use and install using our method. All the bits needed to install the pull-pull system are included with our kits. Click HERE for a VIDEO to see how easy it is to install the pull-pull controls. Complete instructions are included in our kits.


Q: Why is your recommended balance point further forward than where I expected?

A: The reason the balance point is so far forward has to do with the undercambered airfoil and also the fuselage side pieces, which affect the aerodynamics. This is where our models seems to fly best.


Q: The wings aren't flat! How does that work?

A: Our planes fly really well because they have a formed airfoil - this is part of the kit. During construction the wing panels are "crimped" just a little bit using pattern lines as a guide. We made a video showing the easy technique (the second half of the video shows the Komet wing folding). CLICK HERE!


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40" Tigercat Questions

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Q: What do I do about the cut-out rudder, if I am not going to make it a working rudder?

A: Hinge the rudder using centerline CA hinges and then immobilize it using a straight pin, pushed through the bottom of the fuselage into the rudder.

Q: The Tigercat wing is mostly flat and has two spars - why?

A: The big Tigercat was one of our first designs. It flies so well that we decided not to change it! The twin CF spars are necessary for strength, since the wing doesn't have much curve in it.


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68" PBY Catalina Questions

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Q: What size motors do you recommend for the Catalina?

A: What you need are lightweight motors that cab handle those 9x7 props and don't run really fast. This is not a high-speed model! The Catalina prototype flew really well with GWS IPS 4.8volt Twin “A” motors (GW/IPSD-RLC-AS) and the 3-bladed 9x7 props. Note: GWS discontinued that motor, so we now recommend the geared EPS-300C motor. Our 1-ounce brushless motors work very well, too. The motors and correct ESC are included in our motor combos.


Q: What size battery do you recommend for the Catalina?

A: We used a 2-cell Lipo battery of 2100mah and 20C capacity with the brushed motors. The extra-large capacity provides a little extra weight, which helps to balance the model - remember this is a large airplane. For the brushless motor setup, we recommend a 3-cell 2100mah battery.


Q: What size ESC is needed?

A: The motors draw about 7-8 amps each, so you’ll need a single 20-amp brushed ESC for the brushed motors, or two 10-amp brushless ESCs.


Q: How will I fit this model in my car?

A: The wing detaches from the fuselage with 6 screws, for easier handling.


Q: Does the plane need a working rudder?

A: The plane flies OK without a rudder but will turn much better at low speeds, with a rudder. Adding a rudder is not difficult, but it is considered optional. BUT if you are building the 'Hull and Float' version, the rudder is absolutely necessary.


Q: Will the Catalina fly off of water?

A: The Catalina kit will NOT fly off of water unless you add a full hull and the tip floats. These items are now available as an separate add-on kit - meaning, you can convert an existing model. The Catalina will take off from water easily and has no problem maneuvering without a water rudder.


Q: How do I make the cowls shown in the Catalina picture?

A: The manual fully explains how you can make the cowls from empty sour-cream containers!


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28" Foamin' at the Mouth Warbirds

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Q: What is the motor that’s right for these models?

A: All of the 28” planes and the B36 were designed around the inexpensive GWS IPS “can” motor and 3x2 direct-drive props. We’ve also used 4x2.5 props (with propsavers from BSD micro). These economical motors give these models very good performance for indoor flying. More powerful motors are usually heavier and require larger batteries, and do not improve the performance of the model very much.


Q: What size battery pack?

A: Use a 2-cell Lipo.  We have used packs from 400 to 700mah for the twin-IPS motor models. For best results, use a pack rated at 20C.  Some customers have used 3-cell Lipo packs but these will quickly burn out the IPS motors if you use full throttle.


Q: What size ESC do I need?

A: for the recommended motors, use a 5-amp brushed ESC.


Q: Can I use brushless motors?

A: You sure can! The 9-gram brushless motor that we sell works well with a 5" prop. You can also use this motor with the new 3-bladed 5x3 prop from GWS. Also, Feigao makes a 12mm brushless motor that is the exact same size as the GWS brushed IPS motors. You will need 2 ESCs but brushless motors provide a huge increase in speed and power. You’ll also need a larger battery pack, and that will increase the weight somewhat.


Q: What about landing gear?

A: All of our models are designed to be “belly landed”. For some "ding resistance" you can add thin strips of carbon-fiber or 1/64" plywood to the bottom surfaces of the foam. Landing gear adds weight and we feel that the plane doesn’t look as good with the wheels hanging out. However, wire landing gear with lightweight wheels can easily be added to our models. However, do not do this if you’re flying from a grass field.


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