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How Many Builders Are Left?

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Old 01-10-2011, 09:47 PM
  #1
ratshooter
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Default How Many Builders Are Left?

I have just returned to R/C after an 8 year layoff and let me tell you things have really changed. It seems like there are are no builders of kits to be found. Everyone at the hobby shops thinks I'm crazy because I don't like ARF's. Justtodaythe owner of a shopproceededto tell me that AFRs were much cheaper and I was wasteing my time building kits. He stated that soon you won't be able to even buy a kit. I explained that half the fun for me was building a plane. No matter if it was from a kit or one of my own designs. At least I know how well it was built.

In the last two months I have built an old Johnny Cashburn JC trainer 60 sizeI found on ebay and a Bridi Aircruiser from Bluejay Models and loved every minute. Plus I bet you noticed those are vintage planes which is why I chose this forum to post this thread. I have received two Model Airplane news mags compliments of Tower Hobbies and I its a good thing they were free because I would never spend money on them. Its more of a catalog than a magazine. The first issue has 75 full page ads. Whatever happened to R/C Report? Now there was a modelers magazine!

My start back into RC has been a little rocky. The Magnum engine blew up on the third tank of fuel. It was replaced 33 days later. Now my new Hitec radio is making its way back to California. The aileron dual rate switch quit after 10 flights. That will mean a 3 week layoff from flying. Anyway I am having fun. I am on the prowl for more old kits. I do like to build. It sure beats watching TV.

Does anyone know if Lone Star Balsa is still in business? I have called and left messages and sent a couple of emails with no response. I would like to order a big stack of wood and ge back to scratch building. My next plane will be made from coroplast when my order of 2mm gets here.

Here is a link to Bridi Planes. I built the Aircruiser 25 with an extended wing, two extra bays on each side and it flies like a magic carpet.I also converted it to a tail dragger and bolt on wing. I put a $32 FP 25 ebay find for power. Its a good match. http://www.bridiairplanes.com/
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Old 01-10-2011, 10:03 PM
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Default RE: How Many Builders Are Left?

I am going to try to post a picture of the Aircruiser.
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Old 01-10-2011, 10:07 PM
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Default RE: How Many Builders Are Left?

Here is a picture of the JCTrainer 60.
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Old 01-10-2011, 10:13 PM
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Default RE: How Many Builders Are Left?

Your gonna have to do like most of us and build a "stash" of kits that you hord in your shop. If you see a current kit you want, buy it quick cause it may not be available for long. Sig is still hanging in there and Tower still offers a few kits but they are being pushed out by the ARF's. Ebay is a good source for some older kits but they don't sell at bargin prices anymore. Supply and demand is pushing the prices up. BTY, IMHO not all ARF's are total junk. If you stick with the "brand name" units, do a little beef it up here and there as needed you can have some fun flyers for less cost than a do it yourself kit. I do both, as many others do today. I am one of the few at my local club that still shows up with a new kit built airplane now and then.
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Old 01-10-2011, 10:57 PM
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Default RE: How Many Builders Are Left?

You are right on stashing a few kits back. I have two spotted that I may pick up. The only ARF that has caught my eye is the Easy Sport from Great Planes. I like shoulder wing models. Scale deosn't do much for me except for J3 Cubs. I like models that look like models. A model is an aircraft in its own right and doesn't owe anything to its full scale conterpart. At least in my opinion.
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Old 01-10-2011, 11:05 PM
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I dont know, lately it seems like when people tell me dont bother spending all that time on building planes from plans or kits, it just seems to make me more enthusiastic about building. I am only 22 and already have a stash of some fairly rare neat kits I want to build some day. It seems like lately though I have turned to all plan building. I have a few kits but I keep putting those aside because I have an even bigger plan collection that I tend to build more planes from. I think Im currently working on 3 planes built from plans right now but 2 of them are in the finishing stages and will fly very soon. I am already excited to get started on my next build and it is going to be a long term project. I just recently had the plans copied for building up a Goldberg Valkyrie and I just made an order for about 500 feet of 1/8" square balsa sticks .


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Old 01-10-2011, 11:17 PM
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Quote:
ORIGINAL: ratshooter


Does anyone know if Lone Star Balsa is still in business? I have called and left messages and sent a couple of emails with no response. I would like to order a big stack of wood and ge back to scratch building. My next plane will be made from coroplast when my order of 2mm gets here.

Lone star is now back in business after the fire they had. I have orderd several times from them now. They do however seem to be lacking in the plywood section and long lengths of balsa wood but other than that their regular selection of balsa is still great.
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Old 01-11-2011, 02:29 AM
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Default RE: How Many Builders Are Left?

I agree with you but:::: I started RC in 1962 and when ARFs came on in about 1968 (Lanier) we all looked down on them. Why in the world would anyone not want to build their own plane????

In the 1990's I began to change my thoughts and now I only build if I can't get it in an ARF. Example, look at Sig's web site and check the LT40. An ARF cost $131.99 and the kit is $132.99. Now add at least $70 for covering and glue and I don't what else is not in the kit as compared to the ARF.

I still build and have a lifetime supply of balsa.

Since you like vintage models, join the Vintage Radio Control Society (VRCS) and have fun with like minded people. We have vintage events around the country. Website is http://www.vintagercsociety.org/ and the YAHOO group at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/VRCS/

Welcome back to the hobby.
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Old 01-11-2011, 04:03 AM
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Default RE: How Many Builders Are Left?

I'm also a kit builder and scratch builder. To me, that's half the hobby. I have a stash of kits and plans, and of course balsa. With the demise of kit manufacturers and dwindling supply of old kits, I've taken to coping the kit I want to build. I have the plans copied and make duplicates of all the parts. This gives me the plane I want and preserves the kit. It's not for everyone, but it works for me.
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Old 01-11-2011, 04:12 AM
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Default RE: How Many Builders Are Left?

Welcome back to the hobby. Yes, the # of builders is way down. To give you an example, in our Club of 120 members, we have only 5 builders. Sure, you can save money and time assembling ARF's but where's the fun in that. By the way, there are still some oldtimer kits out there like Ben Buckle. You can find them at Radical R/C. And BUSA still offers a good selection of kits.
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Old 01-11-2011, 04:49 AM
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Default RE: How Many Builders Are Left?

Ratshooter,
drop me a line, I may have some kits for a person who likes to build.
Ciao
Beppe
gfascione@aleniainc.com
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Old 01-11-2011, 07:02 AM
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Default RE: How Many Builders Are Left?

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.
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Old 01-11-2011, 09:25 AM
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Default RE: How Many Builders Are Left?

Thanks for all the replies. Maybe there are a few more builders than I thought. I have bought three AFRs in the past. Two Thunder Tiger Tiger Stiks and a Hanger 9 J-3 Cub. They were good flying models and when I crashed the first tiger stik an hour after getting to the field I felt no real loss because I had no real attachment to it. I just went and bought another onethe same morning.

Thanks for the info on lone star balsa. I do wish they would answer the phone or emails. I would like to go there and pick out the wood myself like I use to. As to balsa usa I have looked at their kits also. I have built from them a swizzle stick, 2 pheaton bipes and a 1/4 scale J3 when the kit sold for $90. Nice flying planes.

That GeeBee looks great. I was just reading about them a couple of days ago.

Beppe I am sending you an email.

Davidgeorge its good to see someone your age building planes. I started building plane when I was about 8-9. I would buy the guillows rubber kits and make the planes. They were covered with tissue and I never made a single one of them fly. I got into control line at age 12. I built a few .049s and then built a Ringmaster. Now that was a control line model to beat.

Ifly the Sig ARF is not available. I have looked at it also. Nitroplanes has an LT-40 for $90 but it is never in stock. The kit for it at the LHS is $130. It was $120 but they raised the price. An LT-20 they have is $80 for the kit. So yes, sometimes an ARF has its place. I just like to build. Plus I have been developing some carpel tunnel in my right hand and working with it has relieved a lot of numbness.
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Old 01-11-2011, 01:01 PM
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Default RE: How Many Builders Are Left?

hey here is one more stick builder i am with my dad building a playboy jr a ace 4-60 a corsair and a waco also going to do a kaos and i have a ugly stick to build if you or any body reading this thread can hook me up with plans for a curtis robin cica 1929 1928 send me a line i like both scale and ie the kaos also look at the lazarworks co in texas the have a long list of kits but they dont sell plans if you have plans they will cut a kit for you here is a pic of my dads ful scale robin he restored
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Old 01-11-2011, 01:13 PM
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Default RE: How Many Builders Are Left?

If it wasn't for building I would only enjoy half of this hobby. I'm in the finishing stages of a TF P47 and hope to fly her somtime in the next month.
Red.
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Old 01-11-2011, 01:51 PM
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Default RE: How Many Builders Are Left?

Red thats a fantastic looking P-47. I hope it flies as good as it looks. A buddy built one of those many years ago. I don't think he ever finished it. It was a big project and he didn't have near the detail you have on yours.

Scubajohn that Curtiss Robin is one of my all time favorite airplanes. I would love to see that planein person and also as a set of plans. If you have it right there in front of you why don't you draw up your own plans? A nice Saito radial would sure look good on a scale model of that plane. A friend has a book of classic airplanes and there is a write up on the Curtiss Robin. This particular plane is painted green and is named "Spinach" IIRC. I haven't seen the book in years but do remember the author said the lift struts would vibrate in flight. Does your dads plane do that? Post more photos if you have them or let me know and I will send you my email address.

I see both of you guys are outside of Austin. I am in the Burleson area just south of Ft. Worth. Its good to see there are still model builders out there.
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Old 01-11-2011, 02:49 PM
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Default RE: How Many Builders Are Left?

There are still a few of us builders left here in Florida. Trouble is there are so few kits available for larger planes that I have taken up scratch building. Sure beats "assembling" someone elses work. Feels better to.
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Old 01-11-2011, 03:56 PM
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Default RE: How Many Builders Are Left?

For me building model airplanes has nothing to do with available plans, kits or ARF only scratch from study to plans to constructing and after that flying.
For nearly ten years now, after a long period of pattern flying and design of gliders etc, I am interested in individual examples of successful planes of the past, especially the planes of Ed Kazmirski first world champion pattern flying 1960.

With the use of a very detailed picture I did receive from his estate after Ed’s passing away and a lot of data of other Taurusses it was possible for me to redesign and reconstruct the first “real” Taurus. This Taurus is a real pattern ship, slender and smaller than the Taurus we all know.

My thread about this Taurus:
http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_7950207/tm.htm

I am now reconstructing the Simla, his latest pattern plane of 1965.

With the use of nearly twenty pictures I could reconstruct the plans of the Simla which has a span of 102 inch. This year the plane will be finished.

A picture of the (reconstructed) Taurus of the crate picture, built by Ed in 1961. The second picture is the scratch build (Top Flite) Taurus, an exact copy of the Taurus Ed did use in 1962 for pattern flying in the USA and promotion of the Top Flite kit.

I do fly the Taurus with a muffler, only did make the picture without. My planes are “handcrafted”, silk and dope covered and spray paint in colors just as in the past.
Picture 3 of the Taurus Ed did fly in 1963 in Genk Belgium, world championships pattern flying , and that's in the AMA museum now.
Maria VanVreede (R), Bob Noll and Michael Smith (L).

Cees
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Old 01-11-2011, 06:38 PM
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go to www.monsterhanger.com scratch and kit building

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Old 01-11-2011, 07:05 PM
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Default RE: How Many Builders Are Left?

Quote:
ORIGINAL: ratshooter

It seems like there are are no builders of kits to be found. Everyone at the hobby shops thinks I'm crazy because I don't like ARF's. Just today the owner of a shop proceeded to tell me that AFRs were much cheaper and I was wasteing my time building kits.
He's obviously unfamiliar with kit building and only speaks from a "sell what you got in stock" attitude that's out there. It's sad they discount the quality of a kit.
You can find new in box kits on RCU's marketplace. I found 8 of them last week and bought them at great savings. I like the older kits anyway. Great value, nice to see stronger hardware in them.

Check this one out, laser cut, beautiful. http://www.homeandhobbysolutions.com...%20Details.htm

Contact this seller, he may have similar planes available. http://www.rcuniverse.com/market/item.cfm?itemid=704000

Another good choice
http://www.hobbyhangar.com/
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Old 01-11-2011, 07:31 PM
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Default RE: How Many Builders Are Left?

You can count me in!
I may sport more glue than wood,but I scratch built this Aeroworks E300L Profile in 2009. It felt like a pregnancy - took 9 months. With an Evolution G26 (Sweet Motor), and recently chopped wing bays, it's agreat entry level gasser.
From a set of downloaded plans, I built a flight stand, and would recommend this to anyone who flies indenpendent of others. A good pilot can never be TOOsafe.
I have an ACEPUDDLEMASTER to start, planning to make two versions, onediesel and one electric
Building, a great activity for long Minnesota winters.
Blue Foam Cor scratch builds are a weekly fix - great fun.
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Old 01-11-2011, 07:44 PM
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Also you can go to AMR out of Canada, I am putting the Big Trainer 50 together and Mike is doing the 33% J-3 cub with a ZDZ 50 Electric start engine.
Nice Laser cut kits. nice and easy to build. the staff at AMR are great to work with also.
Scot
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Old 01-11-2011, 08:10 PM
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Default RE: How Many Builders Are Left?


Quote:
ORIGINAL: scubajohn

hey here is one more stick builder i am with my dad building a playboy jr a ace 4-60 a corsair and a waco also going to do a kaos and i have a ugly stick to build if you or any body reading this thread can hook me up with plans for a curtis robin cica 1929 1928 send me a line i like both scale and ie the kaos also look at the lazarworks co in texas the have a long list of kits but they dont sell plans if you have plans they will cut a kit for you here is a pic of my dads ful scale robin he restored


Could've sworn that was Perry Schreffler's Robin, John. Was that your dad's Starduster that used to based at Chino, CA?
Chris...
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Old 01-11-2011, 08:37 PM
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Default RE: How Many Builders Are Left?

I'm still building kits, though the store owner is right about costs, I'm not saving any money doing it, and spending a lot of my time on them. But the satisfaction of having a one of a kind plane is gratifying. And the actual building does have some mysterious attraction to me. I've got a stash of 15 kits that will probably last me the rest of my life. Iplay with the idea of scratch building but I'll need to rearrange the garage to get a couple of power tools in there before I go that route.

I'm building a Duellist now, my first twin. There won't be anything like it at the field where I fly.

There will always be builders. That's just the kind of people we are.
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Old 01-12-2011, 04:54 AM
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Quote:
ORIGINAL: poheller



go to www.monsterhanger.com scratch and kit building

I don't think these builders are left!
Latest update February 2006?

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