Posted By: Jeff McGuire <>
Date: Saturday, 23 October 1999, at 4:41 p.m.
Hello all,
How do you guys make those antenna on aircraft that require more than just wire from the tail to the post? I'm talking about the one with an extra wire that is attached to the main one and usually goes down from it at an angle to somewhere else, usually behind the cockpit or bottom of the post . The J2M Jack is an example of this. I got it right after several tries but am looking for an easier way to join the two wires.
Posted By: Rob Graham <>
Date: Saturday, 23 October 1999, at 6:45 p.m.
In Response To: How do you guys make those "perfect" antennas (Jeff McGuire)
This is something that I use sprue (from dark gray plastic from ship kits) for. I stretch the sprue to go longer than I need, then I cut it so there is a LITTLE bit of taper on the end from the piece of the runner. BTW, try to pick a more toy-like model tree that has softer plastic (The Tauro Folgore would do nicely), as it seems to help with the durability.
Attach the tapered end to the rudder with a little bit of liquid cement (applied by brush only to the sprue). Let it set at the correct angle.
Use a little liquid cement to attach it to the tip of the antenna by holding the sprue to the tip, then touching the antenna "wire" and mast with the brush. When it sets, use the liquid cement that is still on the tip of the mast to soften the "wire" and curl the sprue around and down. Allow it all to set overnight.
When it's all cured, curve the drop piece a little, as necessary, and attach and trim (or trim and attach) as necessary.
I did this on a Bf-109 but the drop section was in the middle of the "wire", so I ran the long part, and then put the "drop" onto the fuselage, running up. When it was all cured, I touched the two together with A SMALL AMOUNT of liquid cement (I understandably had to do it a few times to realize a VERY small amount) of liquid cement. When it was all on there, the next day, I lightly hit the works with a blow dryer to snug it up a little. A heat gun would have snugged too much, I think. It looked great, and any time it popped loose, I just re-attached it with a touch of liquid cement.
I'm sure there are better ways to do it. I'd bet that if you had a light bulb filament, you could slide a small piece of that over the sprue and put it at the ends after it has cured to give it the look of the attachment twists.
Has anyone else tried this? Better ideas? Please share!
Posted By: joseph imbang <>
Date: Monday, 25 October 1999, at 6:28 p.m.
In Response To: How do you guys make those "perfect" antennas (Jeff McGuire)
Try to use human hair. Look for hair which you think has the precise diameter for your IFF they are not great as IFF but also will last more than every modeler could live in this world.
Posted By: Brent Theobald <>
Date: Wednesday, 27 October 1999, at 3:24 p.m.
In Response To: Re: How do you guys make those "perfect" antennas (Rob Graham)
I found some .005-inch diameter stainless steel wire that I like to use in 1/72. For 1/48 I use .008. Cut to length and glue. I like to use white glue first, and then attach the second point with CA. I have fully rigged WWI aircraft this way and it looks good and will never sag.
Posted By: Ryan Boerema <>
Date: Saturday, 30 October 1999, at 5:54 p.m.
In Response To: Re: How do you guys make those "perfect" antennas (Brent Theobald)
Well, it's a bit toxic, but I use CLEAR canopy sprues and, wearing a particle mask, usually outside, set it on fire with a match. Let it burn for a second or two, blow it out, quick jam it onto whatever is handy then stretch it out about 8" to a foot. Depending on how soon one starts stretching you can get remarkably thin and light wires.
Posted By: Pete Chalmers <>
Date: Monday, 4 December 2000, at 8:23 a.m.
In Response To: Antenna wiring tips? (Dave Pluth)
One trick with "smoke" colored invisible [ nylon monofilament ] thread ( Dritz and Signature are 2 brands from my local sewing store ) is to cut a length of 3 feet or so
(with 250 yards on a spool you can do this A LOT !) and tie a loop in each end.
Loop one end thru the handle of a pair of sewing scissors or something of similar weight and hang the thread from the other end so it stretches overnight - this will make the thread perfectly straight. Nylon "remembers" its pre-stretched state, so will tend to tighten, not slacken.
Cut appropriate lengths and use superglue to attach fairly tightly. I pre-drill .010 attachment holes in 1:48 vertical stabs and antennas.
You can make insulators from drops of white glue or 5-minute epoxy. You can also make them from the insulation from white Radio Shack Kinar wire wrap copper wire, or make the tensioners found on some aircraft by spinning some very fine copper armature wire around a .005 stainless steel wire bit held in a pin vise to make a tiny spring ( also useful to make US 02 hoses ).
After your rigging or antenna wire is done, you can safely tighten it in an instant if necessary with a hair dryer set to the lowest setting.
For examples, see my models of the Yak-1b and F3F-2 on the backs of the Accurate Miniatures boxes or pictures on their website.
Posted By: Pete Chalmers <>
Date: Monday, 4 December 2000, at 9:10 a.m.
In Response To: Re: Antenna wiring tips? (Pete Chalmers)
That should be "Kynar" wire, see Radio Shacks web page
Radio Shack Kynar Wire
Posted By: Bill Turner <>
Date: Monday, 4 December 2000, at 12:24 a.m.
In Response To: Antenna wiring tips? (Dave Pluth)
Dave and Dan,
I also like invisible thread. It looks to scale for 1/48, and it's strong. The smoke shade of invisible thread I think is a good match for antenna wire color, although you can paint it. Any sagging you might get is easily fixed by running a hot matchstick below the thread. I had some slight sagging during initial set-up, and it has not sagged since this remedy.
Posted By: Dan Salamone <>
Date: Sunday, 3 December 2000, at 9:32 p.m.
In Response To: Antenna wiring tips? (Dave Pluth)
Hi Dave,
I like to use "invisible thread". It comes in clear and a smoke color and is available at sewing and or quilting shops.
It's thin, pretty easy to handle and for me at least has not sagged over time. I like to drill a tiny hole in antenna posts and using CA glue an end in. Patience is key here as letting it dry properly allows you to put tension on it when you attach it to the other post or attachment. A tweezers and another dab of CA are enough- followed by a small amount of CA accelerator.
You can add insulators out of white glue or CA, and of course it can be painted whatever color your antenna needs to be.
A nice part is that the excess can be trimmed with a small pair of scissors or a hobby knife.
Another material that would probably work well is flyfishing tippet material. Available on small spools, this material comes in various sizes (1X being thick, 7X very thin) and can also be painted and glued with CA.
Hope this helps....:-)
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