I bought myself a 3-channel heli so this one was ready for experimenting. if you want to create a unique body shell for your PicooZ yourself, take a look at the parts and tools list:
- blue foam sheet (20mm thick)
- acrylic paint
- set of files
- small saw
- hobby knife
- foam glue
- pen, fineliner
Also, I suggest to wear a dust mask and, when working with the dremel, protective glasses.
Ready? Let's start!
This instructable will give you advice for building a custom scale body of nearly any single rotor helicopter. It is easier with the 2nd Gen. PicooZ since it has two smaller gearwheels inline, instead of one large gearwheel, which needs more space inside the body.
Think of your favorite helicopter and proceed to the first step!
Step 1: Tear It Apart!
Take your PiccoZ and slowly tear apart the two body halves. Carefully cut the glue between the body parts with the hobby knife and remove the sticker from the tail boom.
You will end up with the PicooZ chassis which looks like in pic.
Take a pciture of it from the side or take mine as a reference. Next, go to www.the-blueprints.com and choose your favorite helicopter blueprint.
Merge the blueprint and the chassis with a drawing software (e.g. the one included in OpenOffice) and set the size of the blueprint. Keep in mind that:
- the body can house the chassis
- the tail rotor is in place
and, very important, the IR receiver (the little black box at the lower end) touches the outside of the new body shell.
Once you got it all fitted nice and properly, print this sheet several times (also mirrored) and proceed to the next step.
Step 2: The New Body Slowly Takes Shape!
I got the blue foam sheet (20mm) from the local bricolage store. It was only 3,99 EUR and would last for about 100 more helicopters.
As a first step in the modelling process, roughly cut out the two halfs along the side views shape.
Then joined the 2 halves, the prints facing to the inside. Now the fun begins: Use a cutter for the overall shape, a warsing set and sanding paper afterwards. The shape of the lower rear end, between the cabin and the tail boom, is quite hard to understand from the blueprints, so I suggest taking a look at some reference photos at Google.
When you're finally satisfied with the shape, sand it with fine sanding paper and color it white with acrylic paint. Acrylics suit best since any other paint either damages the foam or doesn't even stick to it.
In the next step, we will prepare the new body for housing the chassis and having a first test flight.
Step 3: Fitting in the Chassis - Will It Fly?
I needed more than an hour until the chassis finally fitted to the body perfectly, without any gearwheels scratching on it. Also, drill a hole for the charging plug and on/off switch. Luckily, as you can see later, it's positioned right in the cabins side window and therefore looks nicely insuspicious in the Jetranger . I also installed the landing skirts by making a hole in each of the bodies halves for the rear support. The front support was glued to the bodiess outer surface later.
After all this dusty and dirty drilling, it's time for a test flight! Join the halves with masking tape and give iot a try.
I wasn't sure whether it would fly at all, how heavy the new body would be, etc.
But it worked. And it looked awesome with this scale Jetranger body, even more fascinating than with the standard toy body, at least until the masking tape went off and the heli fell apart into three parts one meter above the ground...
Step 4: Detailing
Again,get yourself some printouts and use them as patterns for the window areas and door lines.
The edding-Fineliner I used worked well on the foam and created a light engravement which looks very nice. I painted the window areas with a permanent marker. Finally, the Jetranger got a glossy acrylic clear coat with a spray can.
Before you join the two halves for a last time, drill some areas from the inside again, in order to save weight. Try to consider balance and counteract problems recognized at the test flight.
Still, the body may appears heavier while flying and the flight time might be shorter than with the standard body, but hey, it looks way better, too.
Have a nice flight!