Stick Build - Annotated
by Ted Verrill
Excellent RC Groups Build Threads: Vanning's Guide | Aeropenguin's Guide | RC Wing's Build Guide | Doogman's SS Mod Thread
The following building instructions are annotated with much knowledge gained from the above sources (particularly Vanning's posts) as well at the (very) long "Ultimate Slow Stick Thread". I urge you to take the time to read each of the above sources before continuing with this page or your build. This is for the first-time SS builder, for more advanced discussions (s/a using Lipo battery packs) please visit the RC Groups Electric Airplane forums.
NOTE: Hacksaw is only required for cutting the fuselage, which is not recommended. Drill is required regardless.
Battery (highly recommended are the Hitec
Flash-5 w/Micro 555 FM Receiver & two HS-55 servos, Castle
Creations Pixie-20 ESC & KAN
1050 7-cell Battery)
- Velcro - Industrial Strength & Velcro Straps for attaching electronics
- Scotch brand #8959 Extreme Application Packing tape
- 1mm Drill bit (note, a 1/16" will not work.)
- 6-min epoxy or 30-min epoxy
- 300-grit sandpaper
- Dubro Mini E/Z Connectors - plane can be built without them, but they make things so much easier and are so inexpensive ($2) that I have listed them under "required."
Recommended Additional Building Equipment/Supplies
- Brass Tubing - 5/32"
K&S stock #128 - to replace the aluminum stock SS Dihedral
- Self-tapping screw for motor mount (many use spare servo-mounting screw)
- 3/8" or 5/16"-square hardwood stick for fuselage reinforcement
- Thin CA (also see Foam Safe)
- Thick CA (also see Foam Safe)
NOTE: Many have recommended Scotch brand #8959 Extreme Application Packing Tape in place of the GWS-supplied tape.
NOTE: Be sure to clean all surfaces that will be taped or glued with isopropyl alcohol. The foam release agent can prevent glue and tape from properly adhering to the foam.
BUILD NOTE: The Extreme Application Packing Tape is amazing stuff, and only $6 at your local Staples or Office Depot. It is much stronger and adheres much better than the GWS tape, and cuts easily with a sharp hobby knife. To get it evenly on the fin, measure and mark 1" out from either side of the hinge split on each edge and match the tape to the marks when applying.
|NOTES: Many have recommended Scotch brand #8959 Extreme Application Packing Tape in place of the GWS-supplied tape.|
|BUILD NOTE: I ran a sharpie down the length of the rudder making a mark about 3/16th's of an inch from the edge to use as a guide for making the bevel cut. I then used a 300-grit sandpaper block to even out the cut.|
NOTE: As show in the next image frame, make sure to measure out for the exact outline of the tape/fuse mounting area.
AMENDMENT: Skip the "fixed" page 5 option using only the double tape. Build for removable tail, but do NOT cut the fuse as recommended in the directions.
BUILD NOTE: Make sure to check this measurement from both sides - 8 1/8" was just a bit more than halfway on mine and I had to make a slight adjustment.
DEVIATION FROM BUILDING PLANS
for following steps 1 through 6
I had no 1mm drill bit and could not find one. I assembled my tail the following way:
Pre-fit the tail pieces and use a pen to mark locations on the fuse. Using
those reference marks, use a gusset taped to the fuse to mark the screw
locations of the fins where they are to be mounted. You should definitely
internally reinforce your fuse with a 36" length of 5/16"-square
balsa, aside from providing strength it provides further "catch"
for the fin mount screws.
NOTE: The GWS glue is contact cement, where both sides are coated and allowed to dry before joining. Many have recommended using 30-minute epoxy in place of the GWS glue.
BUILD NOTE: Make a similiar box on each side of the fin, easily done by extending the three lines down the front of the fin and matching them up on the opposite side. You will need the box on the opposite side of the gusset to line up the double-sided tape and the fuselage mount.
GWS glue is contact cement, where both sides are coated and allowed to dry
before joining. Many have recommended using 30-minute epoxy in place of
the GWS glue.
BUILD NOTE: Make a similiar box on each side of the fin, easily done by extending the two lines down the sides of the fin and matching them up on the opposite side. You will need the box on the opposite side of the gusset to line up the double-sided tape and the fuselage mount.
examine the fuselage for "straightness" - many have a slight bow.
If a bow is present make sure that you mount the fuse pieces so that upon
completion the bow is to the right (pilot perspective) with a maximum of
3° bow. A severe bow may require replacement as the fuse is difficult
to straighten without weakening.
NOTE: Due to the difficulty of drilling and screwing the tail fin with the horizontal fin in place, many have recommended holding off on mounting the horizontal fin to the fuse until step 5 & 6 have been completed.
NOTE: The recommended end result is fuselage, double tape, foam fin, epoxy, gusset, screws. You may epoxy the foam to the fuse in place of the double-sided tape, but it makes replacing a damaged fin exceedingly difficult.
BUILD NOTE: A 1mm (#60) drill bit is not easy to find, make sure you buy it in advance. Your local Hobby Store is your best bet.
NOTE: "We recommend drilling the holes for both the rudder and elevator before screwing anything together. If you follow the sequence in the manual, you will find it difficult to drill the side of the fuse for the rudder while the elevator is in place." (Courtesy Vanning)
|NOTE: Due to the difficulty of drilling and screwing the tail fin with the horizontal fin in place, many have recommended holding off on mounting the horizontal fin to the fuse until step 5 & 6 have been completed.|
|NOTE: If you have followed the recommendation in step 3, you should now mount the horizontal fin to the fuse.|
|NOTE: Correct order of placement is (5) rear spreader; (2) rear wing mount; (3) two servo holders; (4) two battery holders; (1) front wing mount. See the plate in Step 3 for an image of the correct order before beginning.|
NOTE: Correct order of placement is (5) rear spreader; (2) rear wing mount; (3) two servo holders; (4) two battery holders; (1) front wing mount.
BUILD NOTE: These part numbers are noted on the parts tree.
NOTE: Many have recommended installing the battery mounts (the two #4 pieces) upside down, reasoning that with the wide varieties of batteries available (including the highly recommended KAN 1050 7-cell) it is better to use the modified upwards-facing prongs for rubberbands than try to fit an odd-sized battery within the prongs.
|NOTE: Ensure the wheel spins freely before securing - it may be necessary to ream the wheel hub a bit. Further, many have recommended replacing the stock SS wheels with spoked Light-Flyer wheels.|
|NOTE: There have been many modification suggested for stiffening the landing gear assembly. One of the most popular involves soldering a length of comperable-thickness music wire across the legs about 1" down from the mounting loop.|
|NOTE: Some have recommended replacing the wheel wire with a more sturdy material. Some have also recommended placing the rear-wheel mount as far back on the fuse as possible.|
|NOTE: At this point many have recommended inserting a similiar-length piece of 5/16th basswood into the fuse to provide additional strength and rigidity. Further, many have recommended adding the "Thrust-Mod" modification whereby an engine mount is crafted providing 3° down and 3° to the right angling at this point.|
|NOTE: Most recommend NOT gluing the motor to the fuse. The motor mounting/gearbox is one of the more fragile parts of the plane and gluing the motor to the fuse makes replacing a broken motor/gearbox very difficult. Most recommend mounting the motor and drilling a 1mm hole through the gearbox and fuse and using a self-tapping screw to secure the two. Make sure to carefully measure and note the distance from the rear of the motor mount to the drilled hole to make drilling a replacement motor mount easier (some mark this measurement on the fuse with a sharpie.) There have also been many modifications to this theme, one of the more interesting involving drilling straight through (both sides) and securing with a dowel and rubberbands.|
NOTE: There are many modifications to the main wing construction, here is an excellent page that illustrates one of the more common modifications, using epoxy in addition to tape for the dihedral tube/rod mounting.
NOTE: I assembled the main wing a bit differently. I first assembled the
dihedral braces with a dab of epoxy to secure the rods into the brace
and made sure they were at 12-degrees dihedral (they were almost spot
on, close enough that I didn't mess with them.) I loose-fit everything
to make sure everything lined up correctly.
NOTE: Most have recommended using epoxy to join the wing halves, and then using the Scotch brand #8959 Extreme Application Packing Tape in place of the GWS-supplied tape. Most also recommend slightly scuffing the mating surfaces with a fine sandpaper before applying the epoxy.
NOTE: Taping the wing halves tightly at this stage will result in a greater dihedral than is created by the dihedral tube and fiberglass dihedral extension rods. Many recommend instead taping/epoxying the leading edge and tailing edge dihedral supports to the wing first, then using a thing scrap piece of balsa or foam, sanded to fit, in combination with epoxy and tape to fill the gap at the wing joint and secure the halves.
NOTE: Many have found the GWS-supplied aluminum dihedral tube to be a weak link in the SS design and, particularly with heavier or more spirited flying, a frequent failure point. Most suggest crafting replacements of the supplied aluminum dihedral pieces from a piece of Brass Tubing (5/32" K&S stock #128). Many also recommend increasing the size of the brass dihedral support tube by an inch (or more) on each side to provide greater strength to the wing and improve the structural support for the wing-mount rubber-bands.
The brass comes in 12" lengths. Cut it into 3" pieces and save a couple for your buddy's plane. I bent them around my thumb. The trick is firm, even pressure. (Courtesy Vanning)
|NOTE: As mentioned above (and illustrated in the link) most recommend using both epoxy and Scotch brand #8959 Extreme Application Packing Tape in place of the GWS-supplied tape for joining the dihedral/reinforcing rods to the wing.|
NOTE: As mentioned above (and illustrated in the link) most recommend using both and Scotch brand #8959 Extreme Application Packing Tape in place of the GWS-supplied tape for joining the dihedral/reinforcing rods to the wing.
NOTE: Upon this last step in assembling the wing many have recommended checking the wing for excessive wash-in or wash-out and correcting with thin strips of Scotch brand #8959 Extreme Application Packing Tape running diagonally under the whole length of the wing. See this thread for a discussion of this modification. Many also apply tape to an otherwise "straight" wing for reinforcement and to prevent the wing from losing its shape.
|FINAL FUSELAGE AND ELECTRONICS|
|NOTE: Many recommend placing a "Z-Bend" at the end of the control rod for the control horn attachment and, with the Dubro Mini-EZ Connectors (discussed below in step 18) used to connect the rods to the servos, making the final modifications to the control-rod length after the the Center of Gravity and correct Elevator and Rudder angles are determined.|
NOTE: Most recommend using epoxy or foam-safe CA glue to more securely join the control horn and backing to the foam.
EPOXY THOSE BUGGERS ON GOOD! (Courtesy Vanning)
NOTE: At this point the directions are incredibly vague on mounting the electronics. The photograph in plate 19 show the end result, which roughly involves mounting your servos with the included screws to the servo mounting plates, attaching your receiver with velcro, and attaching the battery with either rubber bands, Velcro, or both. Until I build and add my own photographs I should simply mention that you should pay particular attention to the mounting and connecting directions that come with your particular brand of electronics and ignore the GWS Electronics-oriented directions in the manual. Note also that receiver antenna placement is also a matter of builder's choice, with many running it under the fuse to the tail or taping it under one side of the main wing. Finally, there are many radio packages available (s/a Futaba's 4YF) that come with the proper servos and receiver, you will need only to add an ESC and at least one plane Battery.
NOTE: Most have recommended using Dubro Mini-EZ Connectors to connect the control rods to the servos (with some recommending mounting them "upside down" so the adjustment is accessible from the bottom of the wing for easy field access.) The Dubro Mini-EZ Connectors are quite inexpensive at under $3 and allow critical fine-tuning and freedom of modification. This thread has a wonderful explanation with illustrative photographs. You will need to fine-tune these adjustments after the Center of Gravity has been achieve.
NOTE: If you choose not to use Dubro Mini-EZ Connectors, remember to hold off actually cutting or Z-bending your control rods to the correct length until you have determined your correct Center of Gravity in step 23.
|NOTE: This fine-tuning is easily accomplished with the use of Dubro Mini-EZ Connectors.|
|NOTE: This fine-tuning is easily accomplished with the use of Dubro Mini-EZ Connectors.|
|NOTE: Use #64 Rubberbands.|
NOTE: Most recommend using a Sharpie pen to draw indication lines perpendicular to the fuse on the underside of the wing at the 4-1/8" Center of Gravity point. This makes checking the COG with fingertips quite easy.
NOTE: Many have also recommended, once the COG is achieve, marking the location of the various sliding mounting pieces on the fuse with a sharpie and using a dab of thick CA glue on either side to help keep the pieces in place on the fuselage. Most strongly urge NOT actually gluing the pieces to the fuselage however.
NOTE: Once the CoG is achieve you may make your final control rod connections. With your battery not yet connected, remove the prop, turn on your transmitter, make sure ALL electronics are connected, connect battery, and and proceed with the following:
NOW you can make the Zbends (or tighten the EZ Connectors) and cut the wires. If you use the EZ's, then leave the wires 1" long or so and safety-cap them with the extra wheel retainer thingies. This allows future adjustments. Make a note that before Zbending or tightening, be sure the servo horns stick straight out and the rudder & elevator are straight, and the transmitter trims are set to the middle. Then go back to step #20 and #21 and check the throws. Adjust throws by inserting the Zbends into different holes on the control horns. (Courtesy Vanning).
Now its REALLY
important to have the builder check his servo direction.
|CONGRATULATIONS||You are done.|
Further Recommended Modifications
1. Prop-Saver (Excellent RC Groups Thread.)
2. Dean's Battery Connectors
3. Tail reinforcement. Several folks have reported excellent results from reinforcing the tail, especially after taking crash damage. Materials range from heavy dacron line to thick piano wire to the most favored, thin carbon-fibre rods.
4. Landing Gear Reinforcement. Many have reported great success with reinforcing the landing gear by means of a cross-member. Materials run from thick piano wire to a carbon-fibre rod, secured with either solder or spider-wrapping and CA.
5. 12x6 Prop - less speed but greater thrust.
6. Lipo Batteries
7. Brushless Motor - the Astro 010 brushless motor fits easily inside the existing 300C-B motor box.
Some Significant Modifications
1. Several folks have highly recommended replacing the Slow Stick fuse and tail with the ParkZone Slow-V's square, carbon fiber fuse and "V" tail. The Slow-V fuse runs about $10 and comes with all needed fuse mounts, and the V-tail feathers an additional $10 or so. Make sure you have a radio with V-tail mixing, such as the Hitec Laser-4.
Some Tuning Issues
1. Some have reported that one wing "washes out" more than the other. Two soultions seem most popular. The first is to place the wing on a flat surface and bend the offending side about 10% more than needed to equalize it with the other - then apply a thin length of 3M tape from the outer LE all the way to the inner TE. When the wing is released it should absorb the extra 10% and be equal to the other. The second method involves securing the wing in the desired shape and gently heating cycling a heating/cooling process until it maintains the desired shape.
1. GWS Site's 300C- Motor Prop/Battery Charts.
Vanning, Aeropenguin, sburggsx, and many others.
My Personal Build Parts List
1 - GWS Slow Stick 300
1 - Hitec Laser-4 Radio Package w/ 4 HS-85bb Servos & Micro-555 Receiver
1 - GWS -300 ESC
1 - Kan 1050 7-cell Battery
1 - 36" 3/8" square Balsa Rod for Fuse Reinforcement (needed sanding to fit, 5/16" goes in easier but harder to find)
1 - 3M Extreme Packing Tape (from Staples/Office Depot)
1 - 6-minute Epoxy (Loc-Tite, from Lowes)
1 - Hobby Knife with a 50ct package of #11 blades
1 - 12" Ruler with both Inches & Metric
1 - Dubro Mini E/Z Connectors (comes with 2)
1 - Masking Tape
1 - Package of 1/4" "T" Building pins (any pins would do)
1 - Fine Philips Screwdriver (mine was out of a cheapie computer tool kit)
1 - Pack of Velcro Strips
1 - Sharpie Pen
1 - 300-grit Sandpaper
1 - Bottle of Rubbing Alcohol
NOTE - I skipped the thrust mod because my fuse had a slight warp that when assembled almost perfectly equalled the down/right mod. I skipped the brass tube mod because I bought one of the newer kits with beefier aluminum dihedral braces.
6 - spare 11/8 and 12/6 props
1 - Electrifly AC Charger
1 - Variety pack of spare rubber bands
Probable Future Mods
- Landing Gear seperator/reinforcement
- Rear Fin reinforcement