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"Vintage" Guillows RC kits

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Old 10-18-2003, 10:56 PM
  #1  
SERCEFLYER
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Default "Vintage" Guillows RC kits

I recently found out that Guillows had 3 RC kits back in the 70's: a Cessna 170A, Bellanca Starcruiser, and a Piper Tomahawk. Guillows had a fire at some point, so they don't have old plans available.

Does anyone know of a plans service or site where I can purchace these plans?

If any of you have a kit, would you be willing to sell me a copy of the plans?

Thanks in advance,
George
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Old 10-24-2003, 08:31 AM
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Default RE: "Vintage" Guillows RC kits

Hi George,

I had the Cessna 170A, man was that a lousy kit. The design was great and it flew very well, but the balsa was some of the worst I had ever seen in a kit. I am sure if you looked on that other auction site that you would find a kit or something, it just takes a little patience. I had mine in the late 70's so there should be lots of them around, I think 90 percent of all kits purchased go unbuilt or unfinished!

Good luck,

Luke
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Old 10-24-2003, 03:48 PM
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Default RE: "Vintage" Guillows RC kits

I had the Bellanca and concur that it was a lousy kit. It flew ok though ,but really I bought it simply because you never see that plane modeled and it surly is a neat design
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Old 10-25-2003, 10:58 PM
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Default RE: "Vintage" Guillows RC kits

When you fellas call them lousy is it because they are old-fashioned stick and tissue kits or is there some other reason? Guillows kits have never been simple kits - you have to enjoy building to put one of those babies together! They take longer to build - no slab-sided fuselages here.

I've been considering obtaining their Bellanca, just for the reason stated - you don't see it modeled very often. But what I've seen of it, it looks like one of their smaller stick and tissue models - just bigger.

Here's one of their Japanese Zero kit's I built last year. It was designed as a rubber powered model (with additional instructions provided for converting it to a U-control or single channel R/C). I built it with a Cox .049 for control line. Covered in silk and SIG dope and finished with Sig's Flat Coat to dull the finish. They do come out nice IF you spend a little time with the details when building them. But it's true - they can be a pain and a lot of work to get all the tiny sticks to match the cut-outs in the formers, etc. I made quite a few upgrades to my Zero but the basic kit is all Guillow's.
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Old 10-26-2003, 12:18 AM
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Default RE: "Vintage" Guillows RC kits

One of the problems with guillow kits is that they are really not much better now then when I started building them in the 50's. Very bad wood, terrible die crushing I don't think thay make any of the old printed parts cut them out with an old razor blade kits anymore.The biggest gripe is the cost for what you get. A lot of money for basically a display model unless you do a significant amount of upgrades to them. As a rubber powered job they are all too heavy, and there are so many better brands available now.
I'm always amazed that so many are willing to invest so much time converting them to RC with modern 4 channel equipment. I had converted many of them in the 60 to single channel with Pee Wee 020's with the prop on backwards to reduce thrust. I flew a Guillow fokker Tri Plane in Alaska in 1964 on with citizenship equipment and a SE2 escapement, no landing gear as they were useless. Later i got an Albon Rcvr and bertent actuator and was able to fly some of the 16 inch stuff. Great memories but I'm not going there again
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Old 10-26-2003, 08:44 AM
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Default RE: "Vintage" Guillows RC kits

With enough work, time, sweat, patience and money anything could be made to look good. I was referring to a kit that the original poster was wondering about, the 170, it was trash. I can't speak for ALL Guillows kits, I was just answering the question, I really can't add much to what Dennis is saying, except that he is totally right in my opinion. I know what it's like to like a kit not many other do, I love the old Royal kits for instance. It will always be that one mans junk is another mans treasure, some things will never change.

Luke
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Old 10-26-2003, 09:04 AM
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Default RE: "Vintage" Guillows RC kits

I've read that the Guillow's kits were deliberately designed heavy to increase the chances of a new modeler successfully completing them. If you've ever built a "real" rubber scale model you know how delicate they are and how hard (and unlikely) it would be for a new modeler to finish one.
Having said that, I've enjoyed some nice flights with the Fairchild 24 and the non-scale Arrow on rubber power.
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Old 10-26-2003, 10:08 AM
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Default RE: "Vintage" Guillows RC kits

That may be true, good point made for the rubber kits (even though no one said anything about them). Now tell me how die-crunching hard balsa helps the beginner? The parts were not cut all the way through, tell me how this is better than a modern laser kit? The wood sheets were so hard and of poor quality balsa that you could not bend them or they would crack, this was done for what reason? For every single positive point you bring up I'll give you 3 huge negative ones. (regarding the early R/C KITS)

I was answering the original question, he asked about Guillows early R/C kits. I built the actual model he was asking about, but I have built other Guillows kits. When I finished my Cessna 170 I brought it to the field and the guys thought it looked great. I didn't tell them about all the balsa I had to replace or all the extra work I needed to do. Another guy went right down and bought one because he liked mine. About a month later he said that kit was the worst kit he had ever seen, and he never finished it! I think I finished mine because I didn't know any better!

Luke

P.S. Keep in mind that I am talking about a certain discontinued R/C gas power kit in the 70's time frame, bringing up rubber power, static or other types of Guillows kits made at a later date is not relevant to the topic of this thread or my posts. (in my opinion)
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Old 10-26-2003, 11:23 AM
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Default RE: "Vintage" Guillows RC kits

While the topic was indeed "Vintage" Guillow's RC Kits, the point I was making is, while those larger RC kits were discontinued, from what I've seen ALL Guillow's kit's appeared to be designed and built the same way they were back in the 50's when I built my very first one. I don't think anything ever changed and they still suffer from the same poor quality materials - as Dennis noted.

But they DID serve a purpose, for me at least - they got me interested in model building. Were they easy to build? Definitely not. Good beginners kits? Nope. Hard to cut out the "die crunched" parts? Yep. But I persevered because I dreamed of actually building something myself and being proud of my accomplishment. I also learned some skills along the way - how to read and follow directions, how to trim a model to make it fly correctly, and how to work with different materials - all things that gave me experience and helped me graduate to better models.

Dennis - Did Guillow's use "printwood" parts? I don't remember that.

All these old kits (even though some are still produced today) were long before ARF's and laser cut parts. I've recently helped some younger folks that are interested into getting into RC but this has become a "hurry-up" generation. Not many want to "build" - let alone learn those skills. Nobody seems to want to know "what makes them fly" - just "go out and do it".
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Old 10-26-2003, 09:53 PM
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Default RE: "Vintage" Guillows RC kits

This was kind of a long way of saying we both agree!

All these old kits (even though some are still produced today) were long before ARF's and laser cut parts. I've recently helped some younger folks that are interested into getting into RC but this has become a "hurry-up" generation. Not many want to "build" - let alone learn those skills. Nobody seems to want to know "what makes them fly" - just "go out and do it".
I would agree with that. I wasn't alive in the 50's so I have no idea how life was then! People are in a hurry today that's for sure. ARF used to be an insult, now you can't find anyone that has built there own plane. This hobby means many things to many people, I guess most were building because they had to, now they don't have to anymore. For me it's about building, creating, the flying is just the icing on the cake. I'll admit to having a Guillows Corsair and P-40 in my stock pile of kits!

Luke
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Old 10-27-2003, 12:02 AM
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Default RE: "Vintage" Guillows RC kits

Dennis - Did Guillow's use "printwood" parts? I don't remember that.
I think that they did in the early days. Probably late 40's early fifties. I build a lot of rubber back then so sometimes the Comet models get confused with Guillow.
Speaking of the difference in today and yesterday, how many 8 year olds today would be cutting out parts from sheetwood with a single edge razorblade with tape over the dull end and the edge broken off to a point. Seems we all did it and no one that I know lost any fingers. I have to clarify single edge razorblade was a double edge broken in 2 thereby giving you 2 knifes to work with.
It was a different era and kids were a lot more independent. Today it has to be group supervised and socially acceptable and instantly attainable.Oh did I mention that it has to be 'cool'
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Old 10-27-2003, 12:05 AM
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Default RE: "Vintage" Guillows RC kits

But they DID serve a purpose, for me at least - they got me interested in model building. Were they easy to build? Definitely not. Good beginners kits? Nope. Hard to cut out the "die crunched" parts? Yep. But I persevered because I dreamed of actually building something myself and being proud of my accomplishment. I also learned some skills along the way - how to read and follow directions, how to trim a model to make it fly correctly, and how to work with different materials - all things that gave me experience and helped me graduate to better models.
I agree whole heartedly. My first kits were printwood, but I don't remember if they were Guillows, Comet or something else.
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Old 10-27-2003, 09:28 AM
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Default RE: "Vintage" Guillows RC kits

> Did Guillow's use "printwood" parts? I don't remember that. <[

They certainly did have printwood. The first Guillows kits I bought from a neighborhood hardware store around 1950 were left over "austerity kits" from WW2. These kits had no balsawood in them. The printwood parts were stamped onto a brown fiberboard, the stripwood and noseblock were from something like pine, and the prop was preposterous- two blades printed on a piece of card stock and a cardboard tube for the hub! The plans, however, were absolutely gorgeous. Alas, there was no chance that I could actually ever build one of these scale planes and ever get it to fly.
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Old 10-28-2003, 11:54 PM
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Default RE: "Vintage" Guillows RC kits

Check this out-I have never laid eyes on this one:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...tem=3146081391

I STILL look at Guillow kits when I see them, even knowing what a snake's nest I would be opening trying to build one....

Kelvin
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Old 10-29-2003, 11:42 PM
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Default RE: "Vintage" Guillows RC kits

Some years back I saw a Guillows P-38(rubber powered) that was absolutely beautiful. Meticulous craftsmanship, but I was positive it could not fly well, if at all. Then I saw it fly! I have had days I couldn't get my p-30s to fly that well.
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Old 11-01-2003, 03:35 PM
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Default RE: "Vintage" Guillows RC kits

Check out the Guillows Sopwith Camel on page 13 of the December Model Aviation.
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