2/8/2015 - During their short lives our foam airplanes accumulate some wear and tear. Most of us are not professional bondo and paint slingers so we just fly them till the wings fall off, the trees reach out and grab them or they explode into a shower of foam at field center.

There are a number of methods people use to prolong the lives of their foamies.  Touch up paint, glue a crack or reglue landing gear that ripped out. Maybe fill in a hole with a stray piece of foam for the serious landing misjudgements or non-fatal midairs.  But when they slam into the ground in a shower of foam parts it becomes a puzzle assembly with many mis-shapen parts. The quick and dirty method is to grap a hand full of broken parts, some 5 minute epoxy. Juggle them all together with stickie fingers and you end up with an epoxy queen that generally resembles your original plane except for a few epoxy filled cracks, some wrinkled/compressed areas and the occasional odd bend here and there.

How about if I told you that you can repair some of the minor damage without breaking out an airbrush, epoxy or filler? What if you could take that odd bend or compression wrinkles out of your recently dirt napped pride and joy? The puzzle would go back together better and the plane is more likely to look like it did before the crash and more importantly will fly like it did originally.

Here is a short video explaining how to pop out compressed foam and reshape bent/twisted areas with nothing more than hot water. Use care however as too much of a good thing is bad.

The hot water method works for salvageable broken parts, but if you lose parts or they are damaged beyond repair you need to consider transplanting some donor foam and shaping it to fit. Heres how to do it:

The repair above may not be the prettiest, but it did salvage a severely damaged airplane and return it to flying condition with minimal expense. The next video shows how to do a quality repair with good looking results.

That covers some serious repairs, but what if you want to just freshen your favorite plane up or bought a used one that you want to make look nearly new? The following series of videos cover all the repair methods above and includes stripping and refinishing the whole plane. This guy goes into significant detail on the entire process and a lot of his tips are worthwhile to know even if you are not interested in a complete restore of a plane.

I hope this video collection helps salvage a closet queen, bad dose of hanger rash or a complete dumbthumb spectacular for you!

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