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  1. #201
    countilaw's Avatar
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    RE: How Many Builders Are Left?

    I have been away from building and flying RC since 91. That's 22 years. It's hard to believe how much has changed in the last 22 years. Whatever happened to the great kit manufacturers? There were so many back then. When I left the hobby, everything was going to GIANT planes, jets and helicopters. I am only guessing that going to the giant planes pretty much ran the 60 size kit manufacturers out of business. I don't know, but it's a shame.

    I've thought about getting into CPA, but the great pattern kit manufactures are all gone.

    ARF seems to have ruined the hobby. Instant gradification is limited fun.

    F. Cox

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  2. #202

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    RE: How Many Builders Are Left?

    I agree with countilaw, those that buy ARF's are missing half the fun of designing and building their own ideas. I have been building model planes since I was 9 years old. I have built planes from kits and even built planes from 3 view pictures. It was very gratifying to see your own work not only fly, but fly better than you expected whether it was controline or R. C. I am 76 now and still interested in flying models or the real thing.

    Here is an example of a plane built from a 3 view drawing.
    Roy Fredrichsen
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  3. #203

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    RE: How Many Builders Are Left?

    The last kit I built was a carl Goldberg Cub when they were still in Chicago. That was a very long time ago.  I got back into it with a couple RTF, and finally found a couple kits to build now that I am flying again.  On the bench is a Top Flight P-51 and a Sig Kadet LT 40.  I also picked up an old plane someone else built from a kit that I am getting back into flying shape.  Pretty well built, and converting it to gas power.  Picked it up for $30 and could not get the landing gear it has for that price.

    Building is most of the fun of this sport.
    SIG Brotherhood # 3
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  4. #204

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    RE: How Many Builders Are Left?

    Countilaw you are correct. A LOT has changed in 22 years. I took 10 years off and felt like rip van winkle waking up up in a new world. Have a look at these folks for some senior pattern planes. They make very nice kits with excellent wood and top notch hardware. And welcome back.

    http://www.bridiairplanes.com/
    Sig Kadet Brotherhood #142. WooHoo!!!
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  5. #205
    countilaw's Avatar
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    RE: How Many Builders Are Left?

    The Bridi Kaos was a staple around my shop. Never was without one. It was my first AMA pattern plane.


    Frank Cox

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  6. #206

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    RE: How Many Builders Are Left?

    I'm like you as well, returning to the hobby after a 10-year layoff. I'm somewhat dismayed at the decline in building as well, but hey, to each his own. Maybe all the ARF assemblers didn't really like bulding in the first place! Building is half the fun for me, maybe more than half...

    Speaking of the Kaos, I'm building a Killer Chaos right now from Bluejay. Nice kit, quality materials and a classic design. A staple in any hanger, for sure.

  7. #207

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    RE: How Many Builders Are Left?

    I think an ARF is the best way for a person to get into the hobby, then when they are happy with their flying, THEN they should build a plane. That way you are not rushing it to get flying, and enjoy the time to build. I started by building, then got some ARF's, and now I'm back to building. I think there will be a resurgence in kits over the next couple years. I'm guessing they will be focused more on performance and larger though.
    Cub Brother #10
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  8. #208

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    RE: How Many Builders Are Left?

    I agree with Lins... get them into the air - then let them 'discover' what it's like to build your own creation... but get them hooked first

    Bob
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  9. #209

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    RE: How Many Builders Are Left?

    Myself, I prefer to build. Might be from starting back in 1948 when my dad would snap apart a Gillette Blue Blade, cover the back with a piece od mstic tape, so I could cut out the pieces for Comet and Megow kits and try to build them. What a treat, when sometime before 1950, my dad brought home a Cleveland kitm with the new Die cut parts, where all one had to do was glue a 1/16" strip of sandpaper to a piece of stripwood, then use it to sand in the stringer notches.
    I seem to have bad luck with ARFs, starting with the Wen Mac Aeromite with a plastic fuselage that fell apart before I ever got the engine to run, about 8 years later. The last ARF I hadm had a wing panel slide off from the center, second, and third ribs while coming out of a deliberate spin.
    I've uncovered and opened a couple ARFs, and am usually dissapointed to find things like only spot gluing with what looks like a hot-melt, and LG blocks actually mounted in balsa ribs without any kind of ply bracing.

  10. #210

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    RE: How Many Builders Are Left?

    I love to build. I filled my garage and then started building for others. Here is a link to my website and pictures of what I've built and built for others.

    http://www.matoonline.com/planeBuildingPrices.htm

    Nice subject by the way...I thought I was a lone builder

    David

  11. #211

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    RE: How Many Builders Are Left?

    RCaddict, DAVID, WOWthat's a great view of your work which looks great. Whose plans do you enjoy the most ?

  12. #212
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    RE: How Many Builders Are Left?


    ORIGINAL: 50+AirYears


    The last ARF I hadm had a wing panel slide off from the center, second, and third ribs while coming out of a deliberate spin.
    I've uncovered and opened a couple ARFs, and am usually dissapointed to find things like only spot gluing with what looks like a hot-melt, and LG blocks actually mounted in balsa ribs without any kind of ply bracing.

    This is the major problems with ARF's since the beginning. This is the age of the millenium generation..... instant gradification. Buy it, fly it, crash it, and oh well. Buy another one. I don't know, but I think a large majority of them just trash it and move on. The only winner is the model company that produced the POS.

    It used to be a guy/girl would watch the planes flying at a local field and get the bug. They would be advised to buy an Ugly Stik, and someone would help them build it, take them to the field and teach them to fly it. With the pride of having built it, and learning to fly it, nourished the bug and it grew. And then they became a true hobbyist.

    Kinda like those Chrome P-51 plastic control line planes made by Cox that had the TD .049. Those planes didn't fly. You just slung them around in a circle with the engine running. The only one of the Cox line that came close to flying was the yellow and blue PT19. Of the millions of them sold, how many buyers ever got into the hobby? I am not degrading Mr. Cox, he was instrumental in development of model engines. Being a business man, he saw a market and filled it with manufacturing toy planes with a Cox .049.
    Usually after the plastic P-51 was broken, I was able to talk the kid out of the engine and put in a free flight or glider.

    ARFs have their place. Their manufacturing provides jobs. (mostly in china), but the hobby shops make a little and as long as they are making money, they stay in business and that gives us, the hobbyist, a place to buy our stuff.

    Frank Cox




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  13. #213

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    RE: How Many Builders Are Left?

    I am building a Marks Models Fun Scale Pitts right now, started the fuse yesterday, about half way through the fuse. Picked it up off of ebay. Plenty of kits there. Prices seem to be coming down. . Building is a lot of work, not everyone has the patience for it. Today I wonder if I do! I forgot how much work it is, and the kit I am building is supposed to be an easy one. Unless prices of ARF's increase radically, I expect there will be very few builders by the end of this decade.

  14. #214

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    RE: How Many Builders Are Left?

    Lol, I have one of those PT-19's! The horizontal broke on it, but my grandfather glued it back together kinda. Always needed regular repairs. It is still in their basement!
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  15. #215
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    RE: How Many Builders Are Left?

    It is not just model airplanes. Time was if you wanted a Street Rod, you went out to your shop and built one from the remains of an old cast off junker or some old car that you had sitting around. Same thing with Chopper Motorcycles. Heck, I used to find old Harleys in barns and buy them for 50 or 100 bucks and build my own. Same with model airplanes. There were people who saw a market and set up shop to fulfill the wants of others. Some can build and they do. Others get their kicks from either flying someone else's model or driving someone else's Hot Rod, or riding someone else's Chopper. All they have invested is money. These creations have no heart or owner's time invested. It is a passing fad for most of them. Something else comes along and off they go. There is always going to be someone out there who is willing to build something to take someone else's money. They get rich doing just that. Me? I'll build my own, whether it is a model airplane, Street Rod or Chopper (and most anything else that I want as well). One thing about learning to do it yourself, you develop very good skills that others just never get. Is it worth it? "You betchum Red Ryder."

    Bill, Waco Brother #1
    Its easy, just glue all the pieces together, and sand off everything that doesnt look like an airplane.

  16. #216
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    RE: How Many Builders Are Left?

    I think it all boils down to whether a person was born with the "create" gene; you know, the desire to build primarily for the enjoyment of creating something. Model airplane builders, model train layout builders, and hot rod/chopper builders all share this gene. These are the guys who will admire their own work without the need for others to ohhh and ahhh over it. Flying the airplane that they built isn't necessarily the goal. Probably every person involved in this thread has a bit of the "create" gene.

    The next category are those who want to have something but have no desire to create it themselves. They're not necessarily lazy or short of time, they just have no desire to play with tools. Flying the airplane is their goal. Most R/Cers probably fit somewhere in between the two categories. Personally, I tend to lean mostly towards the "create" category with less of a desire to fly (or maybe it's the risk of destroying) what I created.

    The third category are those like Stickbuilder talked about: The passing fad or show-off category. They either have some form of attention disorder (no desire to stick with something very long) or they feel the need to impress others by being part of the fad-of-the-moment crowd. We can benefit from this type because the auction websites are full of their barely-used toys at bargain prices when they move on to the next fad.

    So, to put it in perspective with this thread, I think it all boils down to whether you have, what I call, the "create" gene.

    Harvey

    Note:
    I've noticed a curiosity over the years in that the "create" gene usually skips a generation in that fathers might enjoy creating things but their kids don't. Or fathers might not but their kids do. My father couldn't tell you which end of a crescent wrench to use to hammer nails but I build airplanes, train layouts, restore old cars and motorcycles, built one chopper...
    Weather Geek

  17. #217

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    RE: How Many Builders Are Left?

    I didn't remember the PT-19, had to look it up but the manual is on the Hobbico site. Typical Marks Models type kit. You got a lot of kit (and sometimes head scratching) for the money from Marks Models and later Dynaflite.

  18. #218

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    RE: How Many Builders Are Left?

    I've noticed a curiosity over the years in that the "create" gene usually skips a generation in that fathers might enjoy creating things but their kids don't. Or fathers might not but their kids do. My father couldn't tell you which end of a crescent wrench to use to hammer nails but I build airplanes, train layouts, restore old cars and motorcycles, built one chopper...
    I don't know about that theory. My grandfather was a master gunsmith and built custom rifles. I am lucky enough to own two of them. He also built gun cabinets and other furniture.My dad was a machinest and endlessly built parts and gadgets.I like to build planes of course but also use to really like to do remodeling and cabinet building on houses. Not so much now on the house work.After 25+ years I am burned out on it.I have also built several black powder rifles. I will say my two sons have no interest at all in building anything. Its all computors or movies. But I don't know of any kids that want build anything.

    I haven't built a plane in about 9 months. This was a busy season for me with all the hail storms this summer. (insurance adjuster) But now I have the bug real bad. I have two kits in the attic, a Loadstar and Krafty 60 both from Bridi Planes plus a Easy Sport 40 I won on ebay that should be hear soon.

    I have 3 sizes of the Midwest Sweet Stik plans and that may be what I build next. I down loaded the PDF file posted on RCU and when Staples printed it out it was undersized with about a 46" wingspan. I cut the plans up and had them enlarged by 25% and its the same size as a GP Big Stik 40. So today I had them enlarged by 20% and they are just about right with a 54" wingspan. Thats what I think I will build. I already have a big box of woodfrom Lone Star Balsa.I have the time to build right now. My work season won't start until the end of March or the first of April. I just need to get busy.
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  19. #219

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    RE: How Many Builders Are Left?

    Well I have the Sweet Stick framed up and after final sanding and drilling the holes for the engine mount and and landing gear I can start covering it. So far its been fun cutting out the parts. I made patterns for the ribs and fuse sides plus a few other parts. If I build another it will go a lot faster than this one. This will be a tail dragger. I have a Super Tigre 40 coming from Tower that should be here the 8th. When I finish it I will post more pictures.
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    Sig Kadet Brotherhood #142. WooHoo!!!
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  20. #220

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    RE: How Many Builders Are Left?

    Its done except for the installation of the radio. But all the push rods are in and best of all it balances like it is so keeping it balanced without adding weight shouldn't be a problem.
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    Sig Kadet Brotherhood #142. WooHoo!!!
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  21. #221
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    RE: How Many Builders Are Left?

    ORIGINAL: Avaiojet

    As far as I'm concerned building is where it's at for me. I'd rather build than fly.

    Sure, I have a few ARF Warbirds, but they are still in the box. [sm=bananahead.gif]

    Anyone can purchase a ARF ''off the shelf.'' When you build something, especially scratch build, you have something no one else has.

    I have models that are no place in the world but in my hobby space. Building is an accomplishment and an ability that gets better and better. This bashed Paige kit would be ordinary but now it's almosy 95% scale. This other larger Gee Bee Z is scratched from Don Neill plans and is 90'' in span. Don's Gee Bee Z is one of the nices set of plans available and a great model. Can't get this stuff off the shelf.
    Ditto, as I prefer building to flying also, and still have some maiden awaiting planes from years ago. I actually enjoy flying also, but for whatever reasons I almost have to be dragged out to the field as of lately.
    Nice GeeBee also. There's a number of ARF'd ones out lately, but I'd much prefer to have my little flying Herr GeeBee R2, than a foamie. Besides, without the 3-axis gyro, my Herr is a lot more of a challenge to fly. The Herr is also substantially bashed for scale accuracy.

    As for the thread starter, I also has the impression that builders were dwindling. They are, but there are still vast numbers. To be flat out honest, I got the false impression that there were so few, as they simply have been leaving/not joining the large forums. There's good reasons for this too. Not much reason to spend years contributing at RCG, only to have JTG ban you for one complaint about Hobby King, on top of the fact that he could care less about your hand building efforts and interests. This nonsense of perma-banning and never forgiving people for less writing than is in this post, is completely unacceptable to serious builder/contributors, especially when staffs are fully out of touch and unappreciative of their contributions. In fairness, the money is now in pitching ARFs, so that's what they often choose to do, and also in fairness, others choose different scenes that more closely fit their specific interests. The large forums are full of these new ARF and RTF "experts", which quite frankly a long term dedicated builder and scratch builder does not care to hear their sarcastically phrased critiques. I could go on, but to not waste time duplicating efforts, I think I'll just write a book on it.
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  22. #222

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    RE: How Many Builders Are Left?

    Building from a kit is nice, but the builds I have truely enjoyed are my own designs. I have even convinced a few to try their own hand at it as they can have that unique craft.

  23. #223

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    RE: How Many Builders Are Left?

    Turbo I agree. Most of my designs are just simple sport planes built to fly like "Stik" type models. Here are two I put a little more work into. A low wing called "Martlett", A mythical Greek bird that had no feet so it could never land and had to fly all its life. And the second is a Pietenpol that was scaled up from a 7" drawing in M.A.N. I took it to the Small Steps fly in that was run by Randy Randolph and he took lots of photos and had me fill out a questionair about it. It may have been in one of the model mags he wrote for but I never found out which one. He was a really nice guy and I was sure saddened to see he had passed away.

    These are not great pics. They are photos of photos.
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    Sig Kadet Brotherhood #142. WooHoo!!!
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  24. #224

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    RE: How Many Builders Are Left?

    Just won this on ebay today. I hope I didn't beat out anyone on RCU for this. I got it in the last 30 seconds.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/170816739444...84.m1434.l2649
    Sig Kadet Brotherhood #142. WooHoo!!!
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  25. #225

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    RE: How Many Builders Are Left?

    Nice looking planes ratshooter. My first 4 channel R/C plane to solo was a Das Little Stick. I still have it, but it looks really tired..... It was the luckiest plane to ever live!


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