Basic information about various hobby and craft topics.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Rubber Band Powered Airplanes

Rubber band powered balsa wood airplanes are a kid's favorite toy! Simple to build and fun to fly, the rubber band motors require no batteries or fuel. Just wind up the rubber band and give the toy airplane a toss and it rides the wind.

Rubber band powered balsa wood airplanes are great teaching tools, too. Simple to construct, the planes can be used to teach the basic parts of an airplane as the students put it together. The rubber band powered prop can be used to give a simple demonstration of thrust and how it affects the airplane. Organize competitions to see who can fly the fastest or most distance. Encourage simple modifications to the plane to see if flight is improved or worsened.

Simple experiments can be performed with balsa wood airplanes to teach aviation's basic principals. Moisten the wing flaps and bend gently to test the effect on flight. The same thing can be done to the rudder and aileron to test the effects these structures have on the nature of the flight.

A rubber powered airplane is a great companion to keep kids, young and old, occupied on trips to the park, the beach, sporting events and other outdoor activities. They are wonderful backyard toys also!

For education or just plane fun, the rubber band powered balsa wood plane is hard to beat. Simple to construct and easy to fly the Sky Streak is sure to please teachers, students, parents and kids. And they will bring a smile to Granddad’s face as he remembers the fun he had flying one of these toy airplanes with his granddad!

The simple toy airplanes are fun to fly, but at some point you may want more challenging fare. Balsa model airplanes can be the next step to a fun and fascinating hobby. These model kits require more time to assemble. Most are rubber band powered, some of the larger ones can be adapted to a small motor for free flight. A few can also be fitted with radio control equipment and flown.

In short, rubber band powered airplanes are fun to build and fly! Back To Balsa Wood Airplanes © 2012 Hobby Hobnob

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Building Balsa Wood Airplanes

Building and flying balsa wood airplane models is an excellent way to learn about model airplane building and the basics of flying model planes. This is the method of plane building by aviation’s pioneers, and the skill is still basic that hobbyists use to build model planes. The construction techniques for wood model kits are simple, but patience is required to cut, fit, and glue the pieces into place.

The best method to learn to build these plane is to use the Build and Fly Balsa Wood Kits model series from Guillow. This is a four plane series which starts with a simple all balsa glider and proceeds to an all tissue covered rubber band powered airplane. The planes use a build by number system, and teach plane building in easy to learn steps.

The first plane in the series - the Goldwing Trainer Wood Model Kit - assembles in about two hours and is suitable for ages 8 and up. The kit includes glue and detailed instructions. The wingspan of the completed airplane is about eleven inches and will fly about 100 feet. It is an all balsa glider.

The Cadet Airplane Building Kit is the second plane in the series, and is a rubber band powered plane. The kit also includes glue and requires about four hours to build. Also suitable for ages 8 and up, the Cadet has a fourteen inch wingspan
and will have flight up to 150 feet. The body is balsa, the wing is a simple tissue covered structure.

The Cloudbuster Balsa Wood Airplane is the third balsa wood airplane in the series, and teaches more complex wing construction. The wing is an airfoil, and features a dihedral angle to give the plane a more stable flight. This wood model kit is suitable for ages 8 and up, and requires about six hours to construct. Rubber band powered flight provides flights up to 175 feet. The glue is included in the kit.

The last plane in the series is the Flyboy, a twenty one inch wingspan plane. The skills obtained building the first three planes are used to build this plane. It will take about eight hours to build, and will provide the longest and best flights of the four models. It is also a rubber powered airplane.

Building stick built planes requires a minimum of tool. These include:

Building board - foam core, fiber board, ceiling tile

Wax paper

Modeling pins

Hobby knife


Glue - white or C/A

Fine grit sandpaper


The plan is pinned to the building board. Diagrams in the plan are used to
measure the part, which are then cut with a hobby knife. Cover the plan
with wax paper, and build the plane in sections right on the plan. The
parts are held in place with hobby pins until the glue dries, allowing
you to remove the section.

After all the sections of the plane are built, the sections are glued
together, forming the plane. The framework is coated with glue, and
tissue is stretched and cut over the balsa frame. When the glue is dry,
the tissue is sprayed lightly with water. It tightens as it dries,
forming a nice, firm skin for the airplane. The plane, after some final
construction details, is now ready to fly.

Learning to build and fly these kits will help the modeler learn skills
needed to build and fly the larger, more complex radio control airplane
kits. Or free flight airplane can form the basis of a lifelong hobby as
there are literally hundreds of these kits available to build and fly.
Have fun!

For a pictorial demonstration of building a model balsa airplane visit this


Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Scenery Materials at Toy Train Central


Specialized materials for scenery making have been developed which are basic to all scenery making - model railroads, school projects, or museum display. The materials discussed in this column will be primarily Woodland Scenics line of materials because of their high quality and widespread availability.
Styrofoam products consist mainly of sheets, risers, and incline sets. Sheets may be used for diorama or layout bases, building tunnels, and mountains. Risers are flexible Styrofoam strips used primarily for track bases in model railroads, but could have other uses in the diorama. Incline sets are also used primarily for railroad layouts, making it easy to change elevations in track plans.
Newspaper or tissue paper also has uses in scenery making. It is used to build up mountains and fill in slopes. Wad the paper up to build hills; roll it to form banks or long hills.

Duct or masking tape is used to hold the paper hills together until the plaster cloth is applied. Tape may also be applied to fill in some gaps and connect hills.
Plaster cloth is used as the main surface of the scenery model. It is cheese cloth which has been impregnated with plaster and is sold in rolls. It is stretched over the completed sub-terrain and sprayed with water. It hardens into a hard shell surface, perfect for scenery making.

Hydrocal is a lightweight plaster used for terrain building. It is used to pour rocks, bridge supports, and fill gaps in the surface.
Mold-A-Scene is a powdered material which is mixed with water to form a putty-like material useful for gap filling, forming behind rock faces and many other uses in the scene. It can be cut and carved when dry, making it a very useful material.
Smooth-It is a specially made hydrocal material, finer textured, which is used to make asphalt or concrete roads. Use Topcoat or Concrete Paving paints to finish the road. These products used together do a very good job of mimicking roads.
Earth Colors are pigments used to color the terrain before applying ground foam. There are various earth tints and rock colors in the set.

Ground foam is a colored, finely ground material useful for modeling grass, weeds, and other vegetation in the scene. It is available in various colors of green, and a variety of textures. It is used with Scenic Cement. The foam is sprinkled over the surface of the scene and sprayed liberally with the cement. Scenic Cement is very dilute liquid glue which has been formulated to flow through a spray mister.
Lichen Moss is used to make trees, form unkempt, shrubby areas in the scene. It is packaged in plastic bags and is available in several colors. It is glued to the terrain with tacky glue.

Ballast is used on model railroad layouts to simulate the ballast on railroad tracks. It may be used in a diorama to simulate a gravel road or rocky area. It comes in a variety of different textures and colors.

Rock molds are used with hydrocal to cast rocks for model railroad scenes or scenery projects. The mold is first misted with water, hydrocal mixed according to the directions on the package and poured into the mold. The plaster is allowed to dry and then popped out of the mold. The rocks can then be painted as desired to simulate whatever rock is to be modeled.

Trees may be purchased ready made, or made up using a tree making kit. Ready made trees from Woodland Scenics or Lifelike are the easiest, but for large numbers of trees, a tree making kit may prove more economical.

These are the basic scenery materials. Model train layouts and dioramas will be quite realistic using the various scenery materials described. Visit our Train and Scenery section at the web site at the top of this article for the materials discussed.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Balsa Wood Model Airplanes At Flying Fun Stuff

Balsa Wood Model Airplanes

Building and flying balsa wood airplanes is a fun hobby which can entertain the entire family. Rubber band powered airplanes and hand launch gliders are classic toys which are still as much fun in this high tech age as they were in the days when our grandparents built and flew them.

The easiest to build are the small balsa gliders and airplanes which just slide together. There are both rubber band powered airplanes and gliders available in this type of model airplane. Requiring just minutes to assemble, these little toy airplanes fly pretty good and some will even do a limited number of stunts.

Then there are the “stick built” balsa wood model airplane kits. These are a bit more complicated to build, but they are fun projects to build and even more fun to fly when completed. These kits also make handsome display models to exhibit in your home.
These model airplane kits require very few tools to build. Usually a hobby knife, building board, ruler, pencil, glue, modeling or dressmakers pins, sandpaper and scissors are all that is needed to assemble a balsa wood plane kit.

Most of these airplane kits are rubber band powered, though some of the larger ones can be converted to free flight or even radio controlled flight. Some of the kits are quite large, the B-17 kit having a wingspan of over forty-five inches. Some builders of these balsa models never fly the airplanes, they leave the tissue covering off them, sand and seal the wood framework with a good varnish or polyurethane, and hang them up for all to admire.

There is a balsa wood airplane for just about everyone! The small, easy to assemble and fun to fly rubber band powered planes and hand launched gliders are great for kids. Modelers looking for a bit more of a challenge will find the model airplane kits fun to build. Flying the airplanes adds a bonus feature to the building experience.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Wood Crafts at Our Online Store

Wood Project Kits For Cub Scouts and Youth Groups

Wood crafts are an ideal activity for youth groups. These wood craft kits are easy to assemble and include all parts necessary to build the projects. All you need are paints and glue.

Youth group leaders of Church groups, Cub scout troops, and other youth groups are always looking for inexpensive items for kids craft activities, and these wood crafts are ideal for this purpose. Wood crafts teach kids valuable lessons in organizing, reading and understanding instructions, and the satisfaction one gets from a job well done. And these wood crafts are useful when finished.

Wood projects also make ideal activities for summer camps. They are quick to assemble as all parts are pre cut. All that is needed is glue or nails and paint. Some of the kits have the nails included in them.

Some of the more popular wood project kits are the bird house and bird feeder kits. The kids can have a fun learning experience building the project and the completed kit can be the basis for a backyard nature center.

In addition to the wood bird feeders and bird house kits other neat projects are available. Wood boxes to paint, towel racks, sconces, roll note holders and many other types of kits are available. These project kits, like the bird feeders, have all the necessary precut parts included and are fun to assemble.

Wood ship kits can be fun to build and race when completed. Youth group leaders will find a nice assortment of sailing ships of different types to build. There is even an exciting wood catamaran project kit to build and sail. The ferry boat kit is available as both a boat and as a crayon holder.

In short, summer camp attendees, cub scout troops and many other kinds of youth groups will find these neat little wood project kits fun to assemble and easy to decorate when the building is complete.