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Author Topic: Flight stands with universal joints for 1:144 aircraft - success and pics  (Read 386 times)

Offline olicana

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I have a small collection of white metal 1:144 scale aircraft by Red Eagle Miniatures (the old Skytrex range) and I'm looking to upgrade my flight stands.

I recently came across these rotation magnets on ebay by Green Stuff World.


My question is, how strong are the magnets? Will they support these white metal aircraft at jaunty angles?

Don't worry about the stability of the bases I use for my flight stands - I melt down white metal and pour it into jam jar lids - they weigh about 6 oz.

Thanks in advance,

« Last Edit: July 04, 2018, 05:28:54 PM by olicana »

Offline olicana

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Re: Rotation magnets for Red Eagle 1:144 aircraft?
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2018, 04:47:49 PM »
I'm pleased to report that the rotation magnets work, but they need a bit of work.

First off, I didn't buy the pack from Green Stuff World. After a bit of searching on ebay I found the constituent parts were cheaper bought separately. I bought ten countersunk rare earth magnets (10 mm x 3 mm) and fifty 8 mm ball bearings. The former are used for door catches and such, the latter were sold as catapult ammunition. I I made a saving of about 40%.

I decided to rig my planes and stands in the opposite way to that proposed by Green Stuff World. I glued a magnet to the top of each flight stand and a ball bearing to the underside of each aircraft - I don't need a flight stand for each of my 40+ aircraft and the ball bearings are a fraction of the cost (10%) of the magnets.

To hold the ball bearing in place I used a drill to countersink a cup in the bottom of each white metal aircraft and glued with super glue.

I have made five flight stands so far, so I have doubled the magnets on each stand (held together only by magnetism) to give better pulling power. Using a nail through the hole in the centre of the lower magnet, the magnet is glued to the aluminium tube flight stand 'pole', with the nail down the tube, with Araldite - they ain't coming off!

However, even with the extra pull of two magnets together, the aircraft simply lolled to one side or another without any possible precision because there was no 'grip' between the contact surfaces. My heart slumped, I had hoped this would not happen. However, where there is a will there is usually a way, and I'd immediately identified the cause of the problem, so half the battle was already won.

To stop the aircraft slipping and sliding of their own accord I did some extra work with my electric modelling drill. I used a tear drop shaped 'diamond' grinding tool (it looks like it's diamond encrusted but it's almost certainly something else) to gently scratch the inside surfaces of the countersunk 'cup shape' in the top of the upper magnets. to similar effect, I used a grinding wheel to scratch each ball bearing before attaching to the aircraft. Given the aircraft are white metal and quite heavy (in a small way) I'm very impressed by the sticking power of this grinding. There is now plenty of friction between the surfaces of the ball bearing and magnet, and the aircraft, even the big two engine AEG IV bombers, hold true and steady to any angle the aircraft are set.

When I get time I'll post a picture.

Offline olicana

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OK. here's a link to how I did, and some pics of the finished flight stands


I hope you find this useful.