Curtiss A-12 Shrike (oz4738)


Curtiss A-12 Shrike (oz4738) by Charlie Smith 1974 - plan thumbnail

About this Plan

Curtiss A-12 Shrike. Radio control scale model.

Direct submission to Outerzone.

Update 04/05/2020: Added article, thanks to rocketpilot.

Quote: "Our plane on this month's cover may be built as an R/C or U/C model - or you can do like the author, and kill two events with one bird! It converts either way in just minutes. Curtiss A-12 Shrike, by Charlie Smith.

What to build next? Isn't that always the problem? My wife and I were driving back from contests in Phoenix late January - in which I didn't place. Placing is not all that important, but somewhere close!

The U/C Bristol 'Brisfit' and the old R/C P-51 just didn't have it anymore. I like to fly both U/C and R/C scale. This year I wouldn't have time to build both another U/C and R/C. What about one plane that could be built and flown both ways? That's an idea. Ok, what? We stopped at the hobby shop in Grand Junction and picked up some Profile Publications - the Shrike (No.128) included.

After looking them over, and plan books by Wylam (they are something else for the scale builder), the Shrike was it. Odd, but good looking, a classic of it's time. All metal, low wing, designed specifically for the attack role. Wing span 44 ft, powered by a Wright RY1820-21 radial engine of 670 horsepower. It was the first plane to be used by the Army Air Corp with full span, automatic leading edge slots. It carried the mail, was in service at Hickam Airfield, Hawaii in 1940, and in China. It carried 4 machine guns in the wheel fairings (spats) and a single 30 caliber for the observer. The Shrike was probably the least recognized plane to train pilots in WW II.

The Shrike is a low wing tail dragger, with good moments, plenty of wing, and lots of detail. Also, at 1-1/2 inch scale there is plenty of room for U/C and R/C gear. It is flown U/C with all radio gear aboard, except the receiver, and R/C with the bellcrank assembly and wing line guide removed. By the way, the Shrike flies well both ways.

CONSTRUCTION: This will be broken down into fuselage, stab, fin, wing, engine, pilot, wheel fairings, hatch, and wind screen. For further details, there's a general discussion at the end of the article. Build in any order you like.

FUSELAGE: Trace the bulkheads on the appropriate material and cut and sand to shape. Bulkheads No.1 and No.3 have a 1/16 plywood doubler as shown. Epoxy these together. Make up two crutches of 1/8 x 1/2 spruce as shown. Note the step and spacer at the rear end. Cut engine bearers and assemble to bulkheads No. 1 and 2. Epoxy this assembly. Check for squareness - no down thrust or right thrust. Mark the crutch assemblies with bulkhead locations. Epoxy crutch to No.1 and No.2 bulkhead assembly. When dry, assemble bulkheads Nos. 4, 5, 9, 10 and 12. Check that these are 90° to the crutch and straight in the top view. When dry, install the balance of the bulkheads.

Install 1/16 balsa sheeting between bulkheads 1 and 2, 2 and 4, 5 and 8. Install 1/4 sq stringers as shown, also bellcrank rails and stab blocks. Now skin the frame with 3/32 balsa sheets. In tight contours, plank with 1/2 x 3/32 inch strips. Do not cover the bottom rear so as to install the push rods later.

Fit wing into fuselage. Trim as necessary so that the wing is 900 in both axis of fuselage. Hold in place so that stab can be installed, check for squareness. Glue and let dry. Install fin on centerline of thrust and 900 to stab. You know, with all this gluing and checking it's time for a beer. It's rough, but doesn't look too bad. Take a picture. As a matter of fact, take pictures all through construction.

Remove wing. Now fit and hinge the rudder and elevators. Install servo rails and servo tray assembly. I used Gold-N-Rod push rods for these controls..."

Update 5/3/2024: Replaced this plan with a clearer copy, now at 400 dpi, thanks to MB2020.

Supplementary file notes

Previous scan version.


Did we get something wrong with these details about this plan (especially the datafile)? That happens sometimes. You can help us fix it.
Add a correction

Curtiss A-12 Shrike (oz4738) by Charlie Smith 1974 - model pic

  • (oz4738)
    Curtiss A-12 Shrike
    by Charlie Smith
    from Model Builder (ref:7741)
    July 1974 
    67in span
    Scale IC R/C LowWing Military Bomber
    clean :)
    all formers complete :)
    got article :)
  • Submitted: 12/08/2013
    Filesize: 1370KB
    Format: • PDFbitmap
    Credit*: JJ, MB2020
    Downloads: 3495

  • Curtiss_A-12_Shrike | help
    see Wikipedia | search Outerzone
    Test link:
    search RCLibrary 3views (opens in new window)

    ScaleType: This (oz4738) is a scale plan. Where possible we link scale plans to Wikipedia, using a text string called ScaleType.

    If we got this right, you now have a couple of direct links (above) to 1. see the Wikipedia page, and 2. search Oz for more plans of this type. If we didn't, then see below.

    ScaleType is formed from the last part of the Wikipedia page address, which here is
    Wikipedia page addresses may well change over time.
    For more obscure types, there currently will be no Wiki page found. We tag these cases as ScaleType = NotFound. These will change over time.
    Corrections? Use the correction form to tell us the new/better ScaleType link we should be using. Thanks.

Curtiss A-12 Shrike (oz4738) by Charlie Smith 1974 - pic 003.jpg
Curtiss A-12 Shrike (oz4738) by Charlie Smith 1974 - pic 004.jpg
Curtiss A-12 Shrike (oz4738) by Charlie Smith 1974 - pic 005.jpg
Curtiss A-12 Shrike (oz4738) by Charlie Smith 1974 - pic 006.jpg
Curtiss A-12 Shrike (oz4738) by Charlie Smith 1974 - pic 007.jpg

Do you have a photo you'd like to submit for this page? Then email

User comments

Hi Steve, is the first sheet of this plan the same scale as the second? I printed them off and the first sheet is slightly off.
Marc - 27/08/2020
Add a comment



Download File(s):
  • Curtiss A-12 Shrike (oz4738)
  • Plan File Filesize: 1370KB Filename: Curtiss_A-12_Shrike_oz4738_.pdf
  • Supplement Filesize: 3139KB Filename: Curtiss_A-12_Shrike_oz4738_article.pdf
  • Supplement Filesize: 1129KB Filename: Curtiss_A-12_Shrike_oz4738_previous.pdf
  • help with downloads


* Credit field

The Credit field in the Outerzone database is designed to recognise and credit the hard work done in scanning and digitally cleaning these vintage and old timer model aircraft plans to get them into a usable format. Currently, it is also used to credit people simply for uploading the plan to a forum on the internet. Which is not quite the same thing. This will change soon. Probably.


This model plan (like all plans on Outerzone) is supposedly scaled correctly and supposedly will print out nicely at the right size. But that doesn't always happen. If you are about to start building a model plane using this free plan, you are strongly advised to check the scaling very, very carefully before cutting any balsa wood.


Terms of Use

© Outerzone, 2011-2024.

All content is free to download for personal use.

For non-personal use and/or publication: plans, photos, excerpts, links etc may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Outerzone with appropriate and specific direction to the original content i.e. a direct hyperlink back to the Outerzone source page.

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site's owner is strictly prohibited. If we discover that content is being stolen, we will consider filing a formal DMCA notice.