1/8 Scale Bell 429 Helicopter

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Project by Ryan Haasen posted 02-22-2014 09:20 PM 49737 views 49 times favorited 87 comments Add to Favorites Watch

After almost 10 months and 500 hours of work, this 1/8 scale Bell 429 model is finally complete! Last May I began drafting the plans for this model using both measurements from the real helicopter and many pictures from the internet. At first I designed it to be to scale with my previous helicopter model, the Bell 407, but then I decided that I wanted this model to be even bigger than that. This Bell 429 is a little over five and a half feet long at maximum length, and about 20 inches tall at maximum height. I was comfortable making it so big because I had an idea of what building such a model would entail after building the 407. The fuselage began as a 65lb laminated block of wood, and after all of the cutting and hollowing, the entire model is now only 35lbs. Because of this, the tiny skids are not able to support the helicopter on their own, but that is not a problem as it is to be displayed on a stand. It is made entirely out of wood; absolutely no paints or stains were used! The two halves of the fuselage are maple and walnut, and the smaller strips are inlayed curly maple and cherry. This was my first attempt at any sort of inlay, and the fact that it was done on a curved, contoured surface made it very challenging. The panelling on the side and the cargo doors are all wood-burned. The different woods used are: maple, walnut, cherry, padauk, beech, yellowheart, bloodwood, ebony, hickory, wenge, and pine. The only non-wooden parts in the model are magnets (used on the swash-plate and doors) and laminated paper (used for the “glass” instrument panels in the cockpit), and bass (used for the door hinges). All of the doors open, and the two most-rear doors actually slide on a magnetic track. It took me a while to figure out how to make the sliding doors functional, but after much thought I discovered that small magnets on the doors sliding on an inlayed metal track on the body (made from an old bandsaw blade) was the best way to go. I tried to put as much detail in this helicopter as I could, and I think this is best displayed in two components; the cockpit and the rotor head. I tried to make the instrument panel as identical to the real one possible, and let me just say tweezers made that possible haha. I thought that printing off the digital display of the glass panels would best present the technology in the 429 cockpit. The rotor head is completely functional, and similar to my model 407, it performs both cyclic and collective movements. While it is fragile and I try to avoid playing around with it too much, I just like knowing and having the ability to tell people that it is moveable. In the cabin, I decided to go with the corporate seating because it is my favourite seating plan (and maybe because it saves me from making one more seat… haha). I wanted to put plexi-glass or some from of plastic windows in, but I could not figure out a way to make the front windshield. If anyone has an idea for making this windshield, I would love to hear it! It is finished with many coats of glossy spray lacquer, which to me is the best finish option to get in all of those tight corners. Overall, I am very happy with how this model turned out! As with my other models, this one is also for my Dad! We were hoping we could take it to the 2014 Heli-Expo, but transporting this by plane is just too risky. We are still unsure where to display it because of its large size, but in the mean time it looks nice sitting on my workbench haha.

Here are some more pictures:

-- Ryan

87 comments so far

View Brett's profile


960 posts in 3921 days

#1 posted 02-22-2014 09:29 PM

Oh yeah, my 11 yo son made on of these last year at summer camp. His flew really well too! Good job. ;)

Back to reality…

Amazing! Super! Fantastic! I want one.

-- Hand Crafted by Brett Peterson John 3:16

View the_other_ken's profile


38 posts in 4137 days

#2 posted 02-22-2014 09:32 PM

That is the most amazing thing I have ever seen made out of wood. WOW!

View NoLongerHere's profile


893 posts in 3837 days

#3 posted 02-22-2014 09:33 PM

Come in Tower… there?

Go ahead Ryan, we copy.

you like my new ride?

That’s affirmative Ryan,

You get our vote for TOP THREE!

View maplerock's profile


529 posts in 2961 days

#4 posted 02-22-2014 09:56 PM

HOLY COW! Magnificent work! Simply amazing.

-- Jerry... making sawdust in the Knobs of Southern Indiana

View JL7's profile


8786 posts in 4126 days

#5 posted 02-22-2014 09:59 PM

Ryan, you never cease to amaze!! Your’s skills here are off the charts. Really amazing work. WOW!

-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

View WoodScrap's profile


106 posts in 4558 days

#6 posted 02-22-2014 10:08 PM

Wow! That has to be the most amazing model build I have ever saw. The wood choices and craftsmanship are fantastic. Thank you for sharing.

-- Rick -Tulsa

View jmartel's profile


9221 posts in 3311 days

#7 posted 02-22-2014 10:54 PM

That’s it. I give up. No way will I be able to make something like this.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 3454 days

#8 posted 02-22-2014 11:01 PM

Absolutely outstanding with incredible detail!

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View Tag84's profile


573 posts in 3818 days

#9 posted 02-22-2014 11:05 PM

wow, incredible would be underestimated..

-- -Thomas -

View rtbrmb's profile


789 posts in 3550 days

#10 posted 02-22-2014 11:11 PM

Fantastic, I don’t know where to start-the detail is amazing.

Thanks for sharing.

Bill in MI

View CalgaryGeoff's profile


937 posts in 3643 days

#11 posted 02-22-2014 11:29 PM

Patience and talent, you have both. Great build and details !

-- If you believe you can or can not do a thing, you are correct.

View PaulDoug's profile


2581 posts in 2865 days

#12 posted 02-22-2014 11:35 PM


-- “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk

View wiswood2's profile


1138 posts in 4858 days

#13 posted 02-22-2014 11:42 PM

Great job.

-- Chuck, wiswood2

View madts's profile


1957 posts in 3501 days

#14 posted 02-22-2014 11:44 PM

Sir, you have my respect.

-- Thor and Odin are still the greatest of Gods.

View hookfoot's profile


400 posts in 3111 days

#15 posted 02-23-2014 12:04 AM

AWESOME. You set the standards high in more ways than one. I agree wiith everything that has been stated above. John

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