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    Faking real helicopter with RC model
    #1
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    I'm trying to fake a real helicopter with an RC model. So far the long shots look OK (rolling shutter on the rotors notwithstanding!).

    Now I want to do some close-ups and trying to figure out how to gloss over the lack of a pilot in the cockpit. While I was weathering the body I spilled some acetone on the windows and it gave them an opaque appearance that worked fine for the long shot as it was enough to not see details through the windows but in a close-up it is not solid enough and the servo motor and wires can be seen. After watching some helicopters in various movies I noticed there is often glare on the windows which might work but I don't really want so much light coming from the direction that would cause glare.

    Any ideas on how to do this?


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    #2
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    Make it so dark in the cockpit, you can't see inside. Like most cars today, it is difficult to see anything inside.


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    #3
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    I'm guessing this is not a commercial project. I have this saying "look outside before you look on the web". You can apply the same spirit to models. I guess you probably have thought about using the real thing for some shots, but just in case not, if there is a real helicopter that looks like your script somewhere within reasonable traveling distance, find out who can let you to take some footage of it. Aero museums, air shows also may be options for what you need. They're likely not going to ask for money from someone who doesn't have any and isn't making any. They may appreciate a credit, which also makes your production look more pro.


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    #4
    Senior Member paulears's Avatar
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    The trouble with using real flying RC helicopters is that they are designed to fly - so the suspension components just don't work. For close ups - you'd be better to buy a proper scale model kit, and modify that to have the rotors spin with a small motor, and suspend it by mechanical means. Scale model kits also make adding a pilot a simple job - and it's relatively cheap and easy to sort. RC models often have weird counterbalancing, extra blades, or other non-real gubbins that is a real give-away.


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    #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul F View Post
    Make it so dark in the cockpit, you can't see inside. Like most cars today, it is difficult to see anything inside.
    Thanks, I'll try that. I thought there was a simple solution I was missing.


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    #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rainer View Post
    I'm guessing this is not a commercial project. I have this saying "look outside before you look on the web". You can apply the same spirit to models. I guess you probably have thought about using the real thing for some shots, but just in case not, if there is a real helicopter that looks like your script somewhere within reasonable traveling distance, find out who can let you to take some footage of it. Aero museums, air shows also may be options for what you need. They're likely not going to ask for money from someone who doesn't have any and isn't making any. They may appreciate a credit, which also makes your production look more pro.
    Thanks for the advice. The problem is that in this case it is an Apache gunship which isn't accessible here.


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    #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by paulears View Post
    The trouble with using real flying RC helicopters is that they are designed to fly - so the suspension components just don't work. For close ups - you'd be better to buy a proper scale model kit, and modify that to have the rotors spin with a small motor, and suspend it by mechanical means. Scale model kits also make adding a pilot a simple job - and it's relatively cheap and easy to sort. RC models often have weird counterbalancing, extra blades, or other non-real gubbins that is a real give-away.
    Thanks for the advice. For sure, in retrospect that is the route I should have taken. I could have bought a much better looking scale model for a tenth of the price of the RC. I spent the extra cash thinking I could get shots of it actually flying around but RC models speed, shape, and mass are difficult to shoot and capture lose the realism. I'm trying to make it work since I've spent the money, but considering just going with the scale model if I can't get it to work.


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