My latest addition to the hanger is the Multiplex Gemini. This little plane is really nice & people seem to really like it & want to know how I set mine up so I decided to write up a post about this one. Below you’ll find the exact configuration I used for mine. Also, a few tips for the build process. This is my 2nd Multiplex model & they’re high-quality. The instructions are very well done & accurate. The trick to having a great build vs just an okay build is to read through the instructions completely before you ever get started. There are a few tricky steps that you might miss if you do not do so.
There are two plastic disks that are split in half. These are the ‘nuts’ for the plastic bolts that hold the wings on. You must glue them together and put them inside the fuselage halves BEFORE you glue the fuse halves together.
There are ‘control horns’ if you will, that connect the ailerons from the lower wing to the top wing. There are holes on each end of these, one smaller hole & one larger. It matters which you end you leave sticking on on the top vs the bottom & this is explained in the instructions in detail. Be sure to take your time on this section. It means the difference between having a tight control setup for both wings vs a tiny bit of slop.
If you use the motor I recommend below you’ll have to swap the shaft when you reverse the motor. This is because the motor mounts behind the firewall in this model & the motor was designed to mount to the front of the firewall.
Before you start mounting the stabilizers to the fuselage is the time to apply the decals. Once the plane is together it will be much harder to do well. The decals hang over most surfaces so you’ll have to trim them up with a sharp hobby knife after you apply them.
Be sure to glue the foam tires to the foam wheels before you mount the landing gear. Otherwise the tires will slip of the wheels & cause your landing gear to pop off & the plane to skid on the ground.
Use regular CA glue on this kit – NOT FOAM SAFE. I used plain old Loctite CA from Home Depot. Accelerant also helps a lot. I’ve linked to what I use below.
When you mount the ESC in the battery compartment trim the wires for the ESC to the motor & the motor leads as much as you can & mount the ESC on it’s side. See the image below for a reference. Then you can place the battery in the box on it’s side & it will fit nicely.
HobbyKing recently announced the release of their new Sbach 342 EPO. This is an PNF kit with a 1400mm wingspan (55″), an 800 kv motor and a 70amp ESC. This is NOT the same kit as the Dynam Sbach, which does not have balsa ply structure inside the fuselage. I have one on order and will post a review once it arrives. Check it out today over at HobbyKing.
The latest addition to my hanger is the HobbyKing EPP Yak54 3d Profile. I decided to get this airplane because I wanted something to fly that I wasn’t afraid of crashing while I learned new 3D maneuvers. I really really like this plane. It flies so well and inspires a lot of confidence at the field. During the 2nd day of flying this plane I was able to perform tricks I had never been able to do before AND was able to do them much closer to the ground. The one time I hit the ground the plane just bounced and was ready to go again. The only point of weakness on this plane is the prop and they’re very cheap to replace. Below I will list all the parts I used to get this plane in the air, you can expect to pay about $90 before shipping. First, I’ll share my building tips to help you along the way:
When installing the rudder & elevator control horns ignore the photos in the manual. Install the rudder control horn on the left and the rudder on the right. The goal is to have the shortest possible control rods for each side. I went off the pictures in the manual and ended up with a really long rudder control rod.
Don’t use the control rod clamps included with the kit. These are designed to allow the rod to attach to the servo arms. The problem with these is that they do not allow the rod to articulate as the servo arm moves. I swapped the control rods around, putting the z-bend in the servo arm and using clevises on the end that goes into the control horns. You may have to drill out the holes on the control horns to allow them to fit but this provides a much smoother control over the surfaces for the servos. I had to do this for all four servos.
Don’t buy 850 mha batteries for this airplane, it will not balance – you need 1300′s. I get about 8 min flights on my nano-tech 1300s.
When you install the tail-wheel block seat it as far into the foam as possible. The wire for the tail wheel is kinda flimsy and I doubt it will last very long but so-far-so-good.
Be sure to flex the ailerons prior to installing the servos. Articulate them as far as they can go in both directions over and over to loosen them up. Mine were SUPER tight and would have been a strain on the servos. I even had to score the foam with a knife to get one side to loosen up. You want them as free as they can get.
Be prepared to slice off a few mms of the aileron closest to the fuselage once you glue the wings on, I had to do this in order to get the recommended deflection.
Regarding Dual Rates & Expos, I had a profile on my DX8 setup for the e-flite carbon z yak, I simply copied that as a new model and bound it to this airplane – it works great. Here’s a link to the manual for that aircraft – the rates & expos are on page 10.
You’ll need 2 servo extensions to hook-up the rear servos, I had them in my toolbox so I didn’t add them to the parts list.
You’ll also need to drill out the prop using a 1/4″ drill bit, then you should slice off the front half of the hub using a hobby knife and sand down the surface. Below is a pic of my modified prop so you can see how I did it. I recommend balancing the prop as well.
I recently purchased the Turnigy RC LED Lighting System from HobbyKing and installed it on my Eflite Apprentice. Although the included leads were too short for the wingspan of the Apprentice I was able to splice and extend them pretty easily. The kit includes a controller board, the pre-wired LEDs with labeled leads, double-sided tape to mount the controller board, good instructions and bezels for the LEDs. For this installation I used a soldering iron to bore the holes in the foam and to create grooves in the underside of the wing. Once I pushed the LEDs through I glued them in place with Gorilla Glue. I then ran the wires down the wing in the groove I created. I simply extended the existing groove for the servo wire. Then I taped over the groove to hold the wires in and maintain aerodynamics. I plugged the servo lead from the LED controller into my receivers Gear port and they work great! I was hoping to be able to turn them on & off with the transmitter but the controller does not have a signal lead. The LEDs are not bright enough to notice in the daylight but as soon as the sun starts to set they come to life and extend your flying time all the way into complete darkness. I was able to navigate the Apprentice well into the night with these lights. They give the plane a very scale look in the dark. There are 2 solid white LEDs to use as headlights, 2 red beacon lights that throb to use on the fuselage which I placed on either side of the tail, 2 white strobes for the rear of the wing tips and a solid red and green for each forward wing tip. This kit can also be used on a helicopter and the instructions show the proper placement for the lights for each aircraft type. For less than $7 you cannot go wrong with this RC LED Light Kit.