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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Discus CS

I obtained a China Model Productions 2652mm wingspan Discus CS arf kit a few weeks ago and thought I'd give you blog readers some feedback on the product. I've seen a few of these Chinese scale models on the Volksrust slopes before and in the right conditions they were really impressive. Although the DG1000 and ASW28 have different branding, I'm sure all these models come out of the same factory in China. I also think the Discus is the prettiest of the models - although owners of the other models will obviously disagree. I've heard some of the guys are putting these little arf kits together in a few evenings but I'm a slow builder and it's taken me a few weeks - but the results are stunning.

The model will probably fly ok absolutely standard but after reading a few rcgroups forum threads I decided to make a few minor modifications. First was to replace the straight 6mm carbon rod wing joiner with a more substantial steel rod which I bent a few degrees to make the dihedral "look right". I also reshaped the rudder to fit better, did a full cockpit and pilot job, recovered the rudder in red solarfilm and put on some red aileron strips.

The kit quality is not fantastic, but more than acceptable for the price. The fuselage is joined with an overlap and the finish looks really smart consisting of basic white coat, applied stickers and then a covering clear coat. The result has a rather "thick and brittle" look and the finish will unfortunately probably crack easily on a hard landing.

But that fuselage shape ... oh very sexy. Blue tinted canopy comes with the outline painted and needs to be trimmed a little to size. The black plastic inner part of the canopy is however a real problem as it is actually too small to fit over the fuselage - but got it all fitting together with a bit of squeezing, stretching and trimming. The wings and stabiliser are built from balsa ribs, fully sheeted with balsa and covered in a very tough iron on covering. The winglets and servo covers are plastic. Control horns and quick links look a bit on the small side but I used them and all control surfaces ended up very firm and positive.

But the best part was fitting out that canopy. Had to cut out the canopy floor for the cutest pilot, found some old multiplex instruments, fitted a compass on top of the instrument panel and was able to produce a great canopy with lots of space left for the radio installation.

One of the unique characteristics of the series of CMP models is the elevator servo mounted in the rudder post. I was a little reluctant at first to add servo weight on the tail but after taking the plunge I'm very happy with the resulting solid elevator linkage with absolutely no slop. The rudder uses a push-pull system - but I substituted the supplied wire with some lighter fishing twine.The model was completed last night.

I used my new Multiplex Cockpit SX radio - setting up all the mixing in a matter of minutes and now just need to balance the wings, set up the CG and we'll be ready for the slope this weekend.

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