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  1. #1

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    Poor Fitting Kits

    I have had a 1/2A Stearman kit in the archives for quite some time. It used to be one of those popular ones seen in magazines and finally got around to beginning it. Yes, it was started but has not been completed as things don't fit too well. By the instructions, it looks as they will, but you cannot write the manufacturer anymore and complain. Mant times you can cut back the balsa, but many times it is impossible to enlarge the part by sanding.

    What other ill fitting 1/2A kits are or were out there on the market, and I ought to be aware to avoid?


    Wm.
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  2. #2

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    RE: Poor Fitting Kits

    I would avoid kits from defunct mfg.
    There is probably a reason they are no longer around.
    Brent Shank could probably name some poor kits for you. He has built many kits and is a professional builder. You could send him a PM.

  3. #3

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    RE: Poor Fitting Kits

    Lynn, lots of excellent kits are OOP. Sole proprietors retire, companies are sold, some just don't do well enough in the market to justify the effort of producing them. Your 1/2a SST has been out of production for 20 years, at least. I have a whole attic full of OOP and out of business kits. In fact, one of the crummiest planes I've ever seen for fit and general construction is a very popular current production kit, probably the #1 sailplane kit of all time, and I wouldn't have bought it (used) had I known how rinky-dink the wing structure really was. [:'(] I found out when I stripped it for recovering. The funny part is that one of my favorite planes is one of theirs too!
    Rule #1: Always know when to get out of Dodge.
    Rule #2: Always know HOW to get out of Dodge.

  4. #4
    Silvaire's Avatar
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    RE: Poor Fitting Kits

    Doug - AKA "SST",
    I think Coos Bay Lumber talking about his 1/2a STEARMAN kit, not a 1/2a SST. Was this a "Freudian slip" on your part?

    But, as we're talking about obsolete 1/2a kits, and as YOUR moniker is SST, I thought I might try to slip this into the thread.

    I found a rather unusual kit the other day. It ACTUALLY IS a "1/2a S.S.T." that was kitted years ago (early 60's) by Competition Models. They are best known for their series of Starduster FF models, and they also kitted a neat B-70 profile FF model that flew quite well with a PeeWee .020. (The B-70 has a special place in my heart as it was the only FF model I had any success with in my youth - and I haven't built any FF models since!)

    The S.S.T. kit has a full fuselage, and rudder and throttle only. Plans show two escapments and a single channel receiver to make this happen. There is something surreal about a model from the past of a plane of the future that never really reached its full potential - and that used rubber band powered motors to control its flight at that.

    Have you (or any one else) had any experience building or flying this kit? I have never seen one of these kits before (even in the 60's) and suspect that it is now pretty scarce. No, I don't think I will ever build it, but it dose have me curious as to how it might actually fly.

    Arlen
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    "Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing more to take away."

  5. #5

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    RE: Poor Fitting Kits

    Silvaire,
    Wow! that is some design for rudder only!

    SST's model is a Super Sport Trainer, not quite super sonic.

    SST, I don't have that much experience with a lot of mfg, but I know my Sterling .60 size P-51 was never finished. I gave up on it after about 20yrs of looking at the hulk. I guess the parts fit ok but it was too dang hard to build. I ended up burning it...now,if I had known Brent then....but I guess he was only about 5 back then.

  6. #6

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    RE: Poor Fitting Kits

    Silvaire, Yes, I actually do have one of those Competition models SST kits in the attic, and I also have a set of the B-70 plans. In fact, I'm working on a SPAD version of the B-70. It will be 6' long and use a K&B .61 pumper for power.

    As for the SST I was talking about a different kit Lynn S and I have (actually, I have 7 of 'em in 4 sizes)
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    Rule #1: Always know when to get out of Dodge.
    Rule #2: Always know HOW to get out of Dodge.

  7. #7

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    RE: Poor Fitting Kits

    Well, the Stearman I have is by Cavacraft. Only 1/2A model on the market specifically made for power, unlike the Sterling model.

    And, Sterling Models were never anything to write home about fitting together well. All that extra balsa in the box was intended to be glued to the end of certain parts in order to make them a bit longer and thus fit. However, the interlocking slots for tabs were often very wide and you may use up a sheet for gap filling purposes. If the tabs were still on the end of the part.

    Worst fitting kits of the era were those by Sure-Flite. I have heard they scrapped all dies and made new ones, but I swore off them, and will never buy another of their's.

    I found the code to kits offered by Ace. If they went on sale, stay away as they have problems. If not, it was a good fitting kit.

    One of my model employers makes box type fuselages. When you put the two tops together they always align up, but the bottoms ususally have a 1/8 inch variance, and seldom resemble the plan. As he says "Odd, no one complained up until this point"

    Over the years, haven't bought but a couple of kits by Top Flite. They fit together OK, but were not all that exciting sometimes too. Had more problems with poor quality wood inside their kits than construction.

    Wn.
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  8. #8

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    RE: Poor Fitting Kits

    I've built 2 of the old Global kits, a .15 size P39 and a .10 size Ugly Stick, they were both bad. I could have built them from scratch easier, parts didn't fit, didn't match the plans, on the stick there was no way they ever made the ailerons work the way it was kitted. Anway, the stick .10 flies great (with an k&b sportster .20), and I'm just trying to wrap up the p39, hopefully in time for the small steps fly in here in Dallas. I had a friend who built their birdi .10, flew good, but he like to have never found room to put radio gear in it and said it had the same build issues...ribs not quiet the right length, spar notches cut too big or too little....they're nice planes, just "bad" kits.

  9. #9

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    RE: Poor Fitting Kits

    I am resurrecting  this thread in the hope that someone out there can help me..

    I am desperately looking for either a kit of the Competition Models SST (See Silvaire's post above), or a copy (preferably in .pdf form) of the plans.

    I have e-mailed both Silvaire and SST, but have not heard from either of them. I see that Silvaire is still pretty active here (last post near the end of October. But SST hasn't posted since 2008.

    I have checked AMA Plans service, and also Aerodyne, plus a extensive Google search, but no luck as yet.

    Can anyone help?

    Thanks

    Rich 

  10. #10
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    RE: Poor Fitting Kits

    You can buy the plan from the plan service of RCM&E; SST drawing

  11. #11
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    RE: Poor Fitting Kits

    Hobby Shack sold that kit over 20 years ago for $19.99.
    I liked the looks of it and got one.
    It turned out so heavy that my best .049 could just barely fly it. I stripped the plane of all it's gear and left it in the burn barrel at the field.
    A couple weeks later my best "flying buddy" comes walking up with the same model in his hand and he had it set up with a TD .09. It flew very well and was alot of fun. His TD.09 was the easiest to run COX engine I've ever seen, too.
    This would be a fun project to revisit with select balsa and lighter radio equipment. The basic design itself is very handsome I think.
    WHO GUNNA FEED MAW KEEEIDS..???

  12. #12

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    RE: Poor Fitting Kits


    ORIGINAL: Mr Cox

    You can buy the plan from the plan service of RCM&E; SST drawing
    No, wrong airplane. Please see Silvaire's and SST's posts, above.


  13. #13
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    RE: Poor Fitting Kits


    ORIGINAL: CoosBayLumber

    And, Sterling Models were never anything to write home about fitting together well. All that extra balsa in the box was intended to be glued to the end of certain parts in order to make them a bit longer and thus fit. However, the interlocking slots for tabs were often very wide and you may use up a sheet for gap filling purposes. If the tabs were still on the end of the part.

    Worst fitting kits of the era were those by Sure-Flite. I have heard they scrapped all dies and made new ones, but I swore off them, and will never buy another of their's.
    As a 12yr old kid I gave up almost in tears trying to build a CG 1/2A Viking, the die cutting and parts fit was so poor. In those days scaring up the cash for a new kit was a big deal. I don't think I ever forgave CG for that. In later years someone gave me a Sterling Waco SRE. The ply parts looked like die-crushed doorskins. It burned beautifully.
    Sorry I'm late dear, I had to help my uncle Jack off his horse.

  14. #14
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    RE: Poor Fitting Kits

    ORIGINAL: SST

    Silvaire, Yes, I actually do have one of those Competition models SST kits in the attic, and I also have a set of the B-70 plans.
    OMG I remember drooling over the B-70. I'd love to see those plans.
    Sorry I'm late dear, I had to help my uncle Jack off his horse.

  15. #15

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    RE: Poor Fitting Kits

    A couple interesting things:

    As a young man (I must have been 12 or 13) I "worked" for Competition Models. I put the kits together and in return for a couple hours work, I got a kit. Most of the time it was one of the Stardusters, but I also got a SST,

    The reason the kit and plan are so rare now is that Competition Models was very picky about the quality of the balsa put into their kits. I would help Sal Taibi cut strip wood and he would throw out more wood than he would put into the kits (no exaggeration) They had a great reputation for contest quality wood.

    And, the SST, in particular, had a boat-load of wood in it.

    Most people would buy the kit, take the wood out, use it for other projects, and throw out the box and plans. Ray VanDewalker and I had the only two SSTs' that I've ever seen completed.



  16. #16

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    RE: Poor Fitting Kits



    OMG I remember drooling over the B-70. I'd love to see those plans.
    The B-70 Plans are available for $5.00 plus $5.00 S&H from Aerodyne (Plan #AD2020)

    http://www.freeflightmodels.com/

    Top of page: Plans and Kits - Modern - Powered Near the bottom of the page:

    AD2020 VALKYRIE B-70 21" COMPETITION MODELS KIT PLAN $5.00


    I have one that I built and did a electric (Outrunner 200) and elevator (canard in the case) and Rudder. It flew quite well. A lot of fun


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  17. #17
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    RE: Poor Fitting Kits

    I've got a Global .15-size P-39 with just the wing left to frame-up. Forgot all about it til I saw this thread. Where's my glue...
    Jet Central Superbee & Rabbit
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  18. #18
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    RE: Poor Fitting Kits


    ORIGINAL: Iceman1007

    The B-70 Plans are available for $5.00 plus $5.00 S&H from Aerodyne (Plan #AD2020)

    http://www.freeflightmodels.com/

    Top of page: Plans and Kits - Modern - Powered * Near the bottom of the page:
    Cool, thanks!
    Sorry I'm late dear, I had to help my uncle Jack off his horse.

  19. #19

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    RE: Poor Fitting Kits


    ORIGINAL: Silvaire

    Doug - AKA "SST",
    I think Coos Bay Lumber talking about his 1/2a STEARMAN kit, not a 1/2a SST. Was this a "Freudian slip" on your part?

    But, as we're talking about obsolete 1/2a kits, and as YOUR moniker is SST, I thought I might try to slip this into the thread.

    I found a rather unusual kit the other day. It ACTUALLY IS a "1/2a S.S.T." that was kitted years ago (early 60's) by Competition Models. They are best known for their series of Starduster FF models, and they also kitted a neat B-70 profile FF model that flew quite well with a PeeWee .020. (The B-70 has a special place in my heart as it was the only FF model I had any success with in my youth - and I haven't built any FF models since!)

    The S.S.T. kit has a full fuselage, and rudder and throttle only. Plans show two escapments and a single channel receiver to make this happen. There is something surreal about a model from the past of a plane of the future that never really reached its full potential - and that used rubber band powered motors to control its flight at that.

    Have you (or any one else) had any experience building or flying this kit? I have never seen one of these kits before (even in the 60's) and suspect that it is now pretty scarce. No, I don't think I will ever build it, but it dose have me curious as to how it might actually fly.

    Arlen
    Looks realy interesting, think I'd put elevators on the fore wing ( canard ), and add ailerons to the main plane. wiith modern light wieght micro servos, no problem.

    Good converstation piece at the strip as a bonus!

    john


  20. #20

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    RE: Poor Fitting Kits

    I too had an affair with the Comp. Models B-70 40 some years ago. What a flier. I have a couple of R/C B-70's and am building a Comp. Models B-70 for 3 channel. It will remain the same basically except we will enclose the bottom to hold gear. We flew it so much that it ended up with half of a fuse and 3/4 of the wing. I bought a set of plans a couple of years ago and will build several for my grandson's as their first plane. We used .049's on them and they flew like crazy. Circling up until it was out of sight and then lazily circled back to earth. I have plans for a giant B-70 about 8 feet long that uses a .91 pusher, but, instead I will use 2 ducted fan .60,s so as to keep it scale looking. One problem I have, though, is that the directions are in German!! Achtung, does anyone have the english version of these instructions??
    Steve Westphal

  21. #21

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    RE: Poor Fitting Kits

    when I was a kid, about 8 years old or so, in the early seventies. I remember calling and trying to purchase the SST model, and to my dismay, I was told it had been discontinued..  I would love to get a set of (or copy of) those plans..  I think I am also going to purchase the B-70 plans also. sweet looking models. although, seeing as my eyesight isn't the best,  I think I will go up in scale to get at least to a .40 or .60 size plane..

    Craig.
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  22. #22
    Lifer's Avatar
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    RE: Poor Fitting Kits

    Here's my B-70. On its second engine. Lots of fun!
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    AMA #77967/CD/LM

  23. #23

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    RE: Poor Fitting Kits

    ORIGINAL: Iceman1007

    ............or a copy (preferably in .pdf form) of the plans
    I have a copy in PDF format - PM me with your email addy and I'll shoot them out to you.

    Here's a pic of one that belonged to Lynn Sipes.

    andrew
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    the "other" andrew
    I'm not older than dirt, but I can remember when it was patent pending

  24. #24

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    RE: Poor Fitting Kits

    Thanks, Andrew, but that is not the "SST" that I am looking for. The SST that I am looking for is one that was kitted by Competition Models in the 1960's. (See the post above by Silvaire)

    If your's truly is the Competition Models one, then I'll PM you my e-mail.

  25. #25

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    RE: Poor Fitting Kits

    Ah, gotcha'. It's not the same - the plan I have is for the 1/2A Super Sport Trainer.
    the "other" andrew
    I'm not older than dirt, but I can remember when it was patent pending


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