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Many of us acquire, or buy, or better yet, get given an old scale helicopter and decide that we would really like to get it back in flying order, or maybe just get it back to looking like it used to when new as a talking point.

CLICK HERE If you really can't wait to find out how little it might cost for your helicopters renovation

No matter how you acquire these older helicopters, there is usually a lot of work needed to both the mechanics and of course the fuselages themselves. It is quite surprising how well these aircraft can be once fully restored, but it is certainly not a simple process, as well as requiring quite a bit of specialist equipment such as spray facilities, compressors, and of course, a great number of tools, some quite specialised in their own right.

You may well be a little put off from getting involved in such a project as you do not have the necessary equipment, but you do not need to.  I offer my services to carry out any or all parts of a renovation project for you.  You can choose the level of work you want performed, and you will probably be very pleasantly surprised at how little my costs can be to perform the work that you cannot do yourself.

As an example, I would like to show you some images of a renovation project I am undertaking right now (November  2012). It is of a Bell 206 Jet Ranger designed and sold as a kit by Vario, a well known German company who specialise in large scale quality scale helicopters.

In this case, I am responsible for all aspects of the renovation, both fuselage, paint work, and mechanical systems.

Here is what she looked like after initial stripping down...

A little sad really, but everything is actually there, which makes life a little easier.  This helicopter dates from around 1990, but Vario do still have many of the spares you/I may need to get this baby back in the air safely.

After doing the various obvious repairs to the structure of the fuselage as shown above, I was able to get it into primer and then a solid coat of white paint as a base that I could use to remove all the smaller blemishes that only show up once you have some gloss paint on it.

So far, so good, the next step was to rub this all down again very carefully with lots and lots of Wet and Dry paper, used wet. until the surface of the entire fuselage was absolutely smooth and ready for it's colour coats of paint to provide the finish you really want to see.

The following images show the paint process stage by stage, starting with a full coat of the final red paint, and then introducing the white companion panels, completed with black lining to separate the panels very nicely.

One of the harder parts of painting these types of helicopters is getting the shapes of the panels correct, or as close to the original as you can, plus painting such items as door surrounds using a very fine black line to outline them nicely. This is all done using some very fine masking tape that can be curved around almost any shape, and then masking off to leave just the fine line area exposed for painting.  I use an airbrush to paint these lines as I can be far more accurate than using even a touch up spray gun.

As you can see, On this particular model I have also painted "dummy" door hinges, and white panels which is where I will eventually fit some scale door handles to it.

You might also note that the interior of the fuselage also has to be painted. I have used white her to get a really good sealant coat, but this will be the same red as the outside panels when finished.


The above pictures show the fuselage with it's initial coat of clear lacquer which is used to get that wonderful new shiny finish.

You might also note in the bottom right picture that I have fitted cockpit detail as well, including an instrument panel, seats and control sticks.

And here is the final result...

OK, I can almost hear you saying, very nice for sure, but it must take an awfully long time to do all that work.  Well yes, I would estimate that this fuselage recovery has taken me around 10 full days, which is 80 hours work.


The paint, thinners, wet and dry paper, masking tape etc cost 65.00, and my charge for all the work shown here was only 400, which is around 5.00 per hour, so far less than the national minimum wage.  Now I know that 450+ is still quite a lot of money, but most scale painters will charge you a great deal more than that, and when you consider that this helicopter when new would have cost you about 3,500 in today's terms, it is a really good deal to get yourself a really nicely finished/rebuilt scale helicopter.

Why do I do this sort of work so cheaply ?

Well, basically I really do enjoy bringing fuselages like this back to their original glory, or indeed, bringing the aircraft back to full flying order, as will be the case with this one.

So if you have an old helicopter, or even a modern one that wants some TLC to bring it back to how it used to look, and you would like me to give you a quote, just email me at

and tell me what you have got, and what you would like me to do to it.

or you can call me between 10:30  and 4.00 pm on 07990 57 81 48 to discuss it with my directly.