RE: Carl Goldberg's 1/2A C/L's
I built several of the goldberg c/l kits as a kid.
The first was a lil' jumpin' bean (LJB) that I did a crappy job on. I later built another and it was probably the best job I ever did on a c/l model. Crashed it to splinters when I failed to pull out of a wingover flying of blacktop.
In a fit of nostalga I bought a brodak kit. I haven't built it yet (just came in mail last night) but opened the box and looked it over. It is not really the same kit at all, some ways better, some ways a little dissapointing:
-The laser cutting is NICE. I have been out of the hobby for a decade or so, and this is my first laser cut kit. WOW! I don't miss the half-way and still crushed die cutting at all. Downside is it looks like a couple of parts fell out of one sheet before they got into the box. Reinforcement for the center of LE and TE I think...they are simple and there is plenty enough scrap to cut new ones from.
-TheoriginalLJB used self jigging ribs. The ribs had tabs that supported them that you broke off after the wing was built. The Brodak kit comes with four jig blocks to support the leading and trailing edges. The Brodak way probably works better with laser cutting, as the old way depended on you being able to leave the jig tabs attached to ribs even though they were die cut.
-Theoriginalhad a plastic canopy, and a little balsa half pilot (with a yellow shirt and red baseball cap IIRC) you put decals on. The Brodak kit has a canopy shaped hump on the balsa fuse...this is probably the biggest issue I have with the kit....I think it changes the character of the model a lot, but since I haven't built it yet, maybe I will be fine with it.
-The origional had a plywood firewall with balsa blocking support. The brodak kit is beam mounts by default, but it includes a plastic T bracket for tank mount engines. The origional had the firewall pretty much on the LE, but you'd have to cut wing clearance in the T bracket to do that. If you know how the origional was, it wouldn't be hard to cut a plywood firewall and blocking to get back to that.
-TheoriginalLE had a groove down the backside that locked it to the ribs vertically, no need with the brodak jig blocks and CA, but maybe a little heavier. Also, the old way could make the ribs stand proud of LE on one side or the other because the die cut ribs didn't have the locating tab in exactly the right place, and the afformentiond groove could be a little off center. Fixing this before gluing the LE on was one thing that made my second LJB much better. Overall, win for Brodak.
-The origional had eliptical wingtips that were laminated from two layers of 1/16" balsa, with non-overlapping joints. This allowed the grain to follow the curve. The brodak tips are one piece of 1/8", so the area near the LE has the grain running chordwise instead of span wise. It looks to be good wood, but I think ol' CG had a better idea.
-Origional had you use scrap from the canopy as leadout eyes, Brodak supplies wire and grommets, win brodak.
-The CG kit had a tailwheel, the Brodak uses a skid.
-Brodak kit has real plans plotted from CAD and an instruction book. Origional had plan only for wing build (no rib patterns even) and hand drawn isometric instructions on the same sheet. The brodak plans are nice, but I kind of miss the vintage instructions, flying tips etc.
Stuff that is the same as I recall:
-Except for the afformentioned canopy and firewall issues, it is recognizably the same airplane with the same nice lines. I think starting out with the LJB is part of the reason I like the lines of a Globe Swift so much, but maybe not, because I know of no pilot that finds the GS ugly.
-Preformed LG, with rubber band holding it forward...the Brodak kit is a LITTLE bit different, but maybe better.
-Cloth hinge material. included.
-The Brodak kit still includes tissue covering, but maybe a little better grade than the old kits came with...that would be good, because the old stuff was pretty delicate. I think I will use mica-film regardless.
-Brodak kit includes decals that are exactly as I recall from the origional. I don't have the kit here, and I didn't notice if the pilot decal was there.
So those are my impressions. What is the state of the art in fuel proof paint/dope for 1/2A models these days?