What to use for antennas?

Hey all, Im working on my TUA and soon I will have to be adding the antennas. But Im faced with a bit of a dilemma. Usually I will use stretched sprue but I will be adding a UN flag and a Canadian flag like in this image below but Im worried about the sprue sagging over time.

I was wondering if anyone has any good alternatives on what I can use that will not sag.

Carbon fiber rods.
And yes, some hobby stores carry them. I purchased all of mine at Tammie’s Hobbies in Portland several years ago.

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What thickness would you say?
I know nothing about carbon fiber except that they are in some of my Golf clubs. :sweat_smile:

I tend to go for the cheap option, some heated stretched sprue or some bristles from a brush you would sweep the floor with.

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And on a $300 motorcycle I bought in Sequim :grinning:
$3000 worth of carbon fiber and titanium on a $300 motorcycle.

But I digress…
I don’t know what size they were, just kinda eyeballed it like most of what I do. But .0135 inches sounds about right.

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Thanks I’ll check it out!

Carbon fiber is a good option as mentioned above.

With’a good pair of cutters small Guitar string can work well too.

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I find fine brass rod works well. You can get extremely thin or a bit thicker for NVIS or base station antennas. Guitar strings make pretty decent springs & cables as well.

Guitar string

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I agree with Klaus-Adler; I used to use stretched sprue, but it can bend or snap. Recently I’ve been using nylon bristles from a large paint brush (the kind you paint your house with - not modelling!). One cheap paint brush can provide “antennas” for thousands of vehicles.

So can cats if you model in 1/72.

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Yeah, but they tend to claw and bite when you try pulling out their whiskers. Tried that once; not worth the price of iodine and bandages. :scream:

Thanks guys! I may go with the bristle option as I have some brushes left over from house painting.

I second the guitar string. Lots of thickness options and you can get a lot out of a string.

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I use the needles from acupuncture or dry needling. I get them from my physiotherapist. They even have a neat winding at one end that looks like a spring or insulator. They are designed to pierce skin, though, so I snip off the pointy end and add a small droplet of glue. They are super-stiff, too, like guitar strings.


piano wire.

Small brass wire.

When you consider accidents and mishaps, etc, flexible materials work a lot better than soft, or too stiff. Soft, like brass wire, etc., will bend and kink under pressure. Too stiff, like steel, will not flex under pressure and tend to pop off at the glue joint. Materials like nylon bristles are neither soft, nor stiff, but will bend and flex under pressure, then return to their original shape. I’ve tried various metal wires and rods, and expensive turned brass antennas, and found the cheapest material is often the best - nylon bristles are dirt cheap, easy to replace, easily available, and are practically unbreakable. And when painted the appropriate color are indistinguishable from more expensive items.
I agree guitar strings are flexible, but a cheapo paint brush is…cheaper! :grin: