Most RC aviators enjoy adding accents to make their scale models appear more realistic. We'd love for them to be as detailed and precise as static plastic models. Yet, the weight and structural constraints of a flying replica often dictate that we have to settle for "good enough." Smaller models typically demand more concessions than larger ones…but not always. I recently discovered a series of tiny airplanes that use innovative materials and techniques to achieve incredible realism.
Microaces is a small, UK-based company that produces a line of ultra-micro RC models replicating WWI-era aircraft. At first glance, these airplanes actually look like well-detailed static models (close to 1/24-scale). Closer inspection reveals the functional control surfaces and electric motor that make them airworthy.
Like many ultra-micro RC aircraft, Microaces kits are constructed primarily of foam. The truly unique aspect of these kits, and a key component to their realism, is that the foam is factory-printed with realistic color schemes. All of the details such as stitching, panel lines, insignia, unit markings, and weathering are all there when you open the box.
Microaces offers kits for several different WWI aircraft. Most of them are available in multiple historically-accurate trim schemes. I chose to build the "Heavy Weather" SE5a that depicts the fighting steed of British ace, Arthur Rhys-Davids. With a wingspan of only 14.5" (368mm), this model could be completed as a static desktop display. But there was never any doubt that my example would be built to take to the sky!