How to turn a Fusuno canopy into a Prôtos clone

3:15 PM giovanni 0 Comments


Recently I bought a Fusuno canopy originally designed for the Align T-Rex 450 and I intended to use it on my Blade 400.
What made me buy the canopy was the look of it and, of course, the reputation of Fusuno, which is impeccable.

When the canopy got home I was amazed by the shape of it, but the paint job was somehow too...dense for my taste. And I have to say that I love the look of the Protos helicopters. Yup, I like them so much that I have a Protos canopy for my mCPX too...

One evening I decided I would transform my Fusuno into a Protos canopy, and this is how I did it!

There are many, many advices on internet on how to paint canopies for RC helicopters, and they are all very professional, but I am on a budget, so I had to reduce the amount of tools and find the cheapest, but still most effective solution.

What you need is basically displayed here:
- The donor canopy
- Masking and pin stripe tape for better precision
- Rattle cans of your choice
- News papers for masking larger areas (not shown)
- Sanding paper in various grits (not shown)
That's it! 

First of all be brave, and take a medium grit sand paper such as a 600 and start removing the original paint. This canopy has decals embedded in the paint, so it took me a good 40 minutes of sanding to create a rough substrate for the paint to adhere well.

Once you are satisfied and you have a slightly rough, but smooth at the touch, canopy, proceed spraying a first coat of primer. I used white paint (I am on a budget, remember?). Then sand it to make it smooth, and repeat 3 or 4 times, until you have a very smooth, white canopy.

After that I carefully placed the pin stripe tape to define the areas I wanted to be black, white and yellow, and covered what I wanted to protect with news papers. This image shows the canopy with 5 layers of yellow, ready to be sprayed with the black.

And that's it! 5 coats of black have been applied here, all with sanding in between each other to smooth the surface down. Now all we need is some decals to complete the job!

Here we are, I printed the Protos logo on some water slide decal paper  and placed it on the canopy. After that I sprayed 7 layers of glossy transparent to protect it all. REMEMBER: always wait for at least a couple of hours before you sand the previous layer, and use a very fine sand paper, such as a 1200 grit.

And this is the canopy applied on the helicopter for a test. It looks pretty good, hey!

And finally the completed job, at the field right before taking off! You should see her, she's awesome!