visitor Ken E. wrote to request a pair of two articles from
the "For the Tenderfoot" series that was a regular feature in the
AMA's American Aircraft Modeler magazine. The first one,
which appeared in the March 1974 edition, was titled, "Bipes
and Tripes." As was typical, all the models are 1/2A powered
control line with sheet (profile) fuselages and flying surfaces.
This series represents World War I era designs and one is even
a twin engine biplane! The plans are very well done and include
lots of detail for insignia. Enjoy.
Monsters and Monoplanes
WWI Aces to the flight line ... Monsters and Monoplanes are here
to test your skills. Don't just dream about aerial combat action.
Clear the workbench for the successors to Sipes 'N Tripes.
by John and Hugh Hunton with text by Patrick H. Potega.
Photos by the Authors
Illustrations by Don Schultz
This saga began with Bipes 'n Tripes (March AAM), and continues
because of their immediate success in CL circles everywhere. Cries
for further developments came from both the Enemy and Allied camps.
The Enemy wanted some impressively immense planes, bigger than all
the rest. Perhaps they wanted to scare away invaders with sheer
size. The Allies wanted snappy fighters, but something faster than
their Sopwith Camels and Triplanes.
The monsters, huge lumbering
hunks of balsa, fit the Enemy's specifications just fine; and the
zippy monoplanes were quite the cup of tea of the Allies. But, as
often happens, word of the latest designs got out to the opposing
camps, and soon each side was clamoring for both monsters and monoplanes.
As these planes moved into action, combat took on a totally
new image. Can you picture four planes in the circle at once? The
bipes and tripes buzz and strafe, while the monsters drone on toward
some bombing target. The monoplanes fly to cover - they have aerial
supremacy for the moment. Suddenly, the Enemy bipe (a D-7) dives
after the Allied monster, just as the huge machine is about to pulverize
an Iron Crossed tripe with engine troubles. The Allied Bristol Monoplane
responds too late, and the bipe scores an easy victory. The monster
wallows for a moment, stalls and plummets to the ground like a sick
vulture. That's the kind of action a quartet of these models can
offer-a riot for fliers and spectators alike.
The Enemy and Allies match each other plane for plane.
Getting in on this action is easy. Grab an X-acto knife and a bottle
of glue, and you'll be airborne in no time. Take a set of AAM Sudden
Service Plans (they are only a buck, including free Tenderfoot decals,
and it's easier than scaling up the page plans) and glue them to
a piece of tag or posterboard. Do a good job of cutting out the
cardboard templates, since everyone in the neighborhood will want
to use them. (Caution: Aiding the Enemy is forbidden, but makes
for a lot more fun.)
A jolly good monoplane, ol' chap! The Bristol is a quicky
to build. The insignia on this one were hand painted.
The quickest way to build these models
is to mark off each step as it is completed.
The 1/16" aluminum motor mounts can
be fashioned with tin snips or a razor saw. An aluminum lawn chair
arm (the flat type, not tubular) is already prebent and requires
only cutting to size.
Remove the engine tank back and rotate
it 90°, so that the glow head is to the right when the needle
valve points straight up (viewed from the rear). Make sure the fuel
pick-up tube inside the tank goes to the bottom outside corner.
Glue the 1/8 plywood motor mount backup to the fuselage.
Bend the landing gear wire and secure it behind the engine.
Mark the engine mount location on the fuselage and test
fit the complete engine, mount and landing gear assembly. Note:
Make sure that there is a slight offset to the engine, pointing
to the outside of the circle.
Remove this whole assembly
temporarily, and accurately cut the slots for the wing and stab
in the fuse.
Join the elevators, if required on the plan.
Add the control horn, and hinge the elevator to the stab with cloth
Glue in the rudder offset.
Glue the tailskid
Align the rudder and stab assembies on the fuselage.
When it's straight, glue permanently in place.
wing with extra-fine paper.
Install the 1/8" ply control
mount to the top of the inside wing panel. Also glue the 1/8" ply
line guide into its slot in the wing. The guide is on the top of
Slide the wing into the fuselage slot. Align it
with the stab and, when it's straight, glue the wing solidly to
the fuselage. Fill the small slot at the back of the wing with scrap
Glue the 1/8" balsa wing doublers at their designated
locations on both the inside and outside wing panels.
the bellcrank and bend a 1/16" music wire push rod to size. Make
sure that the linkages move freely.
Remove all the linkages,
and finish the model according to the instructions on the plans.
Re-install the controls and engine assembly. Secure the
wheels and go flying (or, if the weather is bad, build a monster).
A regular forest of struts support the wings.
They're all necessary, too; so don't leave any of them out.
Make the aluminum
motor mount as described in the first step of the monoplane construction.
Rework the engines, as described in the second step of the
monoplane instructions. Make one engine (the outside one) with the
cylinder facing left.
Bend the landing gear wires as shown
on the plans. Secure them behind the engines.
Glue a 1/8"
ply motor backup to the left side of one nacelle, and another backup
to the right side of the other nacelle.
Test fit the completed
engine/landing gear assemblies to the nacelles, making sure that
both engines have a slight offset toward the outside of the circle.
Accurately cut slots in the fuselage for the wing and stab.
Join the elevators with 1/16" music wire. Add the control
horn, and hinge the elevators with cloth hinges.
rudder to the fin, with the appropriate offset. Glue the tailskid
Align the fin and stab assemblies to the fuselage.
When it's straight, glue permanently.
Presand the wings
with extra-fine paper. Note that the bottom wings have a different
outline than the top.
For the deHavilland, install the 1/8"
ply control mount on the top surface of the lower wing. For the
A.E.G., glue the control mount to the fuselage.
cut the 20 wing struts from 1/8" dowel. Make sure that they are
all the exact same length. Using the plan, mark the location of
each strut on both wings.
Remove the engine assemblies from
the nacelles. Glue four struts to each nacelle at the location shown.
Slide the lower wing into the fuselage and align it with
the stab. When it's straight, glue the wing solidly in place.
Glue the four center struts to each side of the fuse and
to the bottom wing.
Set the top wing on the center struts,
slip the nacelles between the wings, and use rubber bands around
both wings to temporarily hold things in place. Adjust everything
until the top wing is level with the bottom wing, and make sure
that the nacelles point straight ahead. When it's all correctly
positioned, glue it all carefully.
Install the 1/8" balsa
wing doublers at the locations shown. Then glue in the final outside
pairs of struts.
Secure the line-guide to the inside pair
Install the bellcrank and bend a 1/16" music
wire pushrod to size. When everything works smoothly, remove all
the linkages and paint the model according to the instructions on
Re-install the control linkages, remembering
to glue the push rod guide to the fuselage side.
wheels. Note that the A.E.G. has two wheels on each landing gear.
When flying the monsters, a handy trick is to warm
up the engines first. Always start the outboard engine first. Adjust
the needle valve with caution - it's a tight fit between those wings.
When it's running properly, shut the engine down by throwing a rag
into the prop: Then start the inboard engine, adjust it, and shut
it down. Both engines are now warm, and will probably start on the
first flip. Top off the tanks. Restart the outboard engine, then
the inboard. The twin engines will make a very pleasant sound when
The monsters are surprisingly aerobatic,
and the monoplanes are the hottest thing in the group. Together
with the bipes and tripes, monsters and monoplanes give any flying
group the feeling of being a complete WWI air fleet. The variety
of group combat tactics is endless. Who will be the first to get
five "kills" in combat, to become an Ace? How many can get their
model to complete a successful mission against a balloon barrage?
What happens when there are two or four planes going at the same
time - all after one balloon? Let your imagination spark some real
fun activities with these sporty planes.
4 - 1/8 x 4 x 36" balsa: wings, tail
1 - 3/8 x 3 x 36"
balsa: fuselage, nacelles
1 - 1/8 x 6 x 12" plywood: engine backups,
bell crank mounts, line-guides
2 - 1/8 x 1/8 x 36 balsa: wing
2 - 1/8 x 36" dowel: struts, tailskid
1 - 1/16
x 6 x 6" aluminum: motor mounts
1 - 1/16 x 36" music wire: push
rods, landing gear
2 - 1/2A bellcranks
2 - 1/2A control horns
2 pair 1 1/2" Williams WWI wheels, extra pair needed for A.E.G.
1 pkg. cloth hinge material
5 pkgs. 2-56 nuts and bolts:
Also miscellaneous glue, dope, X-acto knife,
hacksaw, pins, etc.
Above materials will build both one
monster and one monoplane.
Monsters and Monoplanes Plans
The AMA Plans Service offers a full-size
version of many of the plans show here at a very reasonable cost. They will scale the plans any size for you. It is always
best to buy printed plans because my scanner versions often have distortions that can cause parts to fit poorly. Purchasing
plans also help to support the operation of the Academy of Model
Aeronautics - the #1 advocate for model aviation throughout the world. If the AMA no longer has this plan on file, I
will be glad to send you my higher resolution version.
Try my Scale Calculator for Model Airplane Plans.
Posted September 21, 2013