Friday, June 11, 2021

Adjustable Flight Stands for 1/72 Scale Fighters


       I have been building these adjustable flight stands for some time now (ever since R.U.P. came up with the idea during our long-running VSF campaign). The actual process is rather straightforward and provides a sturdy stand that will happily hold most reasonably-sized models. For those of you who might want to build your own here is a step-by-step introduction to my method.

the equipment needed, if you don't have any old AOL CDs lying around
 I have it on good authority that Kenny G and Britney Spears CDs will work as well
oh, and you will also need to recruit Satan's minion
 (known to most folks as a hot-glue gun)

to build each base I use two large fender washers, one small one and a #1- 11/2" sheet metal screw
note the MUCH larger hole in the bigger washers, you will need this to be big enough to accept the head of the screw
you need the large fender washers to accept the head of the screw and raise the assembled items high enough to avoid the whole stand from teetering, the additional weight also help lower the center of gravity to prevent tipping

the first step is to try to pull off just the metal pocket-clip from the end of the magnetic stick

if you are lucky the plastic plug will remain in the metal tube
this makes life easier later on

if not the whole thing pops out, not the end of the world but it adds some work

assuming that you have gotten the cap off and left the plug you simply pass the screw through the small fender washer and start screwing the washer to the end of the metal tube

once tight the screw will hold the washer flush against the end of the tube

next you need the close the hole in the CD, masking tape works fine
 (don't do what I did and forget this step and end up hot-gluing the disc to your work surface)

the next step is to hot-glue a large fender washer to the CD so that the holes line up,
once that is set squirt hot-glue into the hole and then a quick circle around the washer

quickly stick the assembled unit down onto the cooling glue and press firmly down as the glue sets, 
be sure to keep the metal tube vertical as the glue cools
NOTE: it is VERY IMPORTANT that you have the magnetic tool fully extended to avoid gluing the unit permanently in the "down" position (don't ask how I found out!)
if you were unlucky and the black plastic plug came out we have a couple of extra steps,
first glue the large fender washer to the CD
then assemble the screw through the hole in the small washer

stack the second large fender washer on top of the first one and fill the center hole with hot-glue finishing up with a circle on the top of the second washer, before that sets place the smaller washer and screw assembly on top and press down very firmly, hold upright until cooled

once the glue has set firmly you will add a swirl of hot glue around the threads of the screw

and then you will need to fill the end of the tube with glue 
(not so much that it will run down into the tube and interfere with the operation of the sliding parts)

then slide the glue-filled metal tube down over the screw and carefully hold vertical until the glue sets

       There you have it, cheap, sturdy and fully adjustable. You can find larger adjustable magnetic tool (often referred to as "mechanics hand" or "magnetic hands") at automotive tool shops, I got mine from Lowe's in the Craftsman section of their tool crib. Once finished they can be spray-painted as you like, I prefer to paint the lowest section of the metal tubes black and leave the others bare chrome.

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