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Plastic bottle engine cowlings

lentallental TallahasseeClub Members Posts: 91
Sometime ago someone posted a technique for making replacement engine cowlings out of plastic bottles. He said he made a rubber? mold of the cowling then made a plaster casting of the mold. Using the plaster casting and a heat gun, he shrank a plastic bottle around the mold creating an exact replica of the original cowling in plastic instead of foam. He said this process created a much stronger cowl.

Since HK won't provide replacement parts for the Big Durafly Cessna foamie, I'd like to try this process for making replacement parts...especially the cowl before I actually fly it (and crash it).


I've done many forum searches for postings over the last six months and the last year and can't come up with the original post. There were not many details in the original post and I'd like to have some more specific info about how this is done.


Does anyone remember the original post or know anything about this process.


  • rcbadboyrcbadboy Club Members Posts: 355


    i made a diy vacum box.
    i posted in a dutch forum

    if you have question just ask or try google translate

    greets b

  • lentallental TallahasseeClub Members Posts: 91
    Wow...rcbadboy!!! Great stuff!!! Translation was not too good but I got the idea. I have some questions:

        1. I couldn't figure out how you heated the plastic...was it a heat gun?

        2. Did you use the original foam cowling for the mold? If so, won't the heat melt the original when you get it hot enough to soften the plastic?

        3. Did you have a cover that was removed for pictures. If so, how did you heat the plastic and still be able to see the molding with the cover in place?


    Thanks for posting this. I think I have everything on hand to build one. In fact, I already have a vacume box for sucking up sawdust when I'm sanding a project. I may be able to adapt the box I have by building a frame to fit over it. It's attached to a large shop vacume system but I can control the amount of suction with air gates. I probably could help that by putting in some kind of relief valve.
  • Great Build thread! Nice Table/box you made too!
    Would love a English version on HK if you ever find the time.

  • Mustang SallyMustang Sally Club Members Posts: 1,969 ✭✭✭
  • lentallental TallahasseeClub Members Posts: 91
    Mustang Sally -- Thanks for posting this. Looks like exactly what I was looking for.
  • Viper DaSnakeViper DaSnake TEXAS USAClub Members Posts: 117
    That's awesome...!!!

    Any idea where to get the plastic sheets?

    I guess you could take a ton of plastic bottles and melt them onto a cookie sheet and flatten them out somehow...???

  • egofsbegofsb Club Members Posts: 2
    you can use alginate to take a mold of the original cowling and plaster to make the replica cowling from that mold then cut a 3 litre soda bottle to get the sheet of plastic and heat/melt it over the plaster positive cast of the cowling using a heat gun or your oven then trim the excess. the kits that they sell to make childrens hand impressions have the alginate and plaster you need.

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