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  1. #1
    Scale Heli Addict mkranitz's Avatar
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    Can Keith Sparks spark the build comeback?

    Retracted.
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    WILDCRASHWILLY's Avatar
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    RE: Can Keith Sparks spark the build comeback?

    I have noticed in our club that many members are beginning to build again. Mainley from plans but I also have been seeing an interest in kits. Not sure why however I welcome it as I like to build also. It seems like the arfs are taking a big increase in price which may be driving this somewhat. For example, I considered a Funtanna 125 recently to replace an older one I had crashed. It was about $80 more than I was willing to pay considering what it was worth to me. Actually, it worked out well for me because I ended up buying a couple sets of plans I found at Airage.
    Bill

  3. #3
    Scale Heli Addict mkranitz's Avatar
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    RE: Can Keith Sparks spark the build comeback?

    I like it whatever the reason! The art of building is fun and worthy of at least a try by new modelers.
    Michael Kranitz

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  4. #4

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    RE: Can Keith Sparks spark the build comeback?

    So, is he making foam kits or foam and plastic parts for ARFs?
    Drinking and driving are illegal, why do bars have parking lots
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    RE: Can Keith Sparks spark the build comeback?

    I'm going to assume you actually wanted to start a conversation not just plug your magazine, so no, he won't spark any building comeback. People that don't want to build are interested in the easy option and that is ARFs. For them this hobby is all about flying, not building. If they are given the option of these foam things which are "kind of easy" and an ARF which is very easy and an RTF with is only requires charging the batteries they will pick the RTF, then the ARF (and complain it took 15 hours to "build"), then not even consider these foam things that may require a bit of actual building. I'm not saying this guy can't sell a few of these or impune the quality of his product, just he's not going to change the course of this hobby.

    I can't count the number of threads on this site alone where people exclaim how thrilled they are that Hanger-9 or Great Planes or whoever finally came out with a plane they've always wanted. Really? You wanted it that bad that you sat on your ass waiting for someone else to build it? Lame. If they wanted it that bad they could have spent two hours a week for a year or two and had a nice plane, instead they waited 5 years for the same monokoted ARF the guy flying next to them has. Then they complain that the color scheme is not quite what they wanted.

    So, that's my thoughts if you really wanted to know.
    For a kit you are, and to a kit you shall return.

  6. #6
    scale only 4 me's Avatar
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    RE: Can Keith Sparks spark the build comeback?

    your first instincts were correct me thinks
    You're so smart,, you figured out how to read this!! Or maybe ya just got lucky??

  7. #7

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    RE: Can Keith Sparks spark the build comeback?


    ORIGINAL: smithcreek

    I'm going to assume you actually wanted to start a conversation not just plug your magazine, so no, he won't spark any building comeback. People that don't want to build are interested in the easy option and that is ARFs. For them this hobby is all about flying, not building. If they are given the option of these foam things which are ''kind of easy'' and an ARF which is very easy and an RTF with is only requires charging the batteries they will pick the RTF, then the ARF (and complain it took 15 hours to ''build''), then not even consider these foam things that may require a bit of actual building. I'm not saying this guy can't sell a few of these or impune the quality of his product, just he's not going to change the course of this hobby.

    I can't count the number of threads on this site alone where people exclaim how thrilled they are that Hanger-9 or Great Planes or whoever finally came out with a plane they've always wanted. Really? You wanted it that bad that you sat on your ass waiting for someone else to build it? Lame. If they wanted it that bad they could have spent two hours a week for a year or two and had a nice plane, instead they waited 5 years for the same monokoted ARF the guy flying next to them has. Then they complain that the color scheme is not quite what they wanted.

    So, that's my thoughts if you really wanted to know.
    Agree 100%, could not have said it better. Mid range and up ARF's are already pricing themselves out of existence and driving the market to low priced foam RTF/ARF, and even some of those are getting a bit pricey for what they are.

    If a fellow isn't a builder now, he never will be.
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  8. #8

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    RE: Can Keith Sparks spark the build comeback?

    The guys are correct, no one is going to spark a big boom in building, and someone no one else has heard of? I think not. However, I would still like to know what it is Mr. Sparks is doing? Parts for ARFs or is he making Parts for kits? Perhaps kits? Maybe ARFs? I see a lot of people these says using the term building when speaking of ARFs.
    I didn't wish to be rude but it does look like a come on to an on line magazine, I could be wrong? I happened once before but that was a long time ago.
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    RE: Can Keith Sparks spark the build comeback?

    I'm someone that flys arfs and does build the occasional plane. The problem I have and alot of other people that I've talked to have is the instructions for the type of planes we like (ww2 and ww1) are very vague. I have two Royal kits in the box, a zero and a P38. I can understand why they went out of business. The little time I do get to enjoy my hobby I don't want to spend hours trying to figure out what to do next. I just want to relax, drink a few beers and just get away from lifes stresses and enjoy building. I'd buy more kits and pay more if they just had more detailed instructions.

  10. #10
    Scale Heli Addict mkranitz's Avatar
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    RE: Can Keith Sparks spark the build comeback?

    Retracted
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  11. #11

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    RE: Can Keith Sparks spark the build comeback?

    Iagree, Gray Beard. Building has not died, or a lost art. Still tons of people that actually build, either kit form, scratch from plans or foam. Granted its not as common because of the ARF evolution over the last couple decades. It will never die, for that matter.. so long as humans have freedom and an imagination!

    Icould pick apart several areas of this thread that would show how much an advertisement this is.. but, hey, thats what the forums are for, too... Isuppose. I would just say if it was me, mkranitz, Iwouldnt have made my post as if Iwas having it published in the next months magazines' contents page.. we're regular folks around here, and magazine style threads just dont feel.. one on one?

    bleh, maybe Im just an A hole.

    Neat stuff in the Video though, not nockin whats being 'advertised' here, really


  12. #12

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    RE: Can Keith Sparks spark the build comeback?

    I was just wondering what the video had to do with building. I saw a nice vacuum heater being used, I once had a nice small one for dental work. I noticed a radial engine being formed so it makes me ask, what is mr. Sparks making? Parts? If so how will that bring on a revival of kit building? I have been building planes sense 1956 when I was a kid. Washington State, it rained, kids did a lot of things indoors. We were outside when it wasn't raining though and planes and boats are only a couple of things we did. I just happen to still be building today and don't own an ARF or foam plane. OK, I did just get my first ARF this year, I forget I have it. The Aeroworks Extra 260 electric. I did a review on it and sent it to Mike to edit and format for me but he died two days later so I'm sure he never got it started? I do like the plane by the way but I wouldn't pay out $85.00 for one, it takes me three days to knock out a copy or repair job when mine gets hurt and cost me about $15.00 to make. Most people couldn't do that but any builder can.
    So, my question again, what is the guy in the video doing? How would it kick start kit building?
    Tower just raised the prices of there kits, a BIG bunch. There was a plans sale at MAN/air age for 1/2 off. It's on again and called the AMA sale now. Just stock up on plans and you won't need to buy a kit.
    Drinking and driving are illegal, why do bars have parking lots
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  13. #13
    Jim_Purcha's Avatar
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    RE: Can Keith Sparks spark the build comeback?

    I know that Keith Sparks has at least half to a dozen designs featured in MANs over the years. He is also currently providing vacuum formed parts for as upgrades for foam flyers, canopies for older models (dirty birdy, A6 Intruder, Gator Flea, Jr. Falcon) at reasonable prices. I've bought several and may use them one day. Too many idea's for projects at one time.

    Jim
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  14. #14
    Scale Heli Addict mkranitz's Avatar
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    RE: Can Keith Sparks spark the build comeback?


    ORIGINAL: Gray Beard

    I was just wondering what the video had to do with building. I saw a nice vacuum heater being used, I once had a nice small one for dental work. I noticed a radial engine being formed so it makes me ask, what is mr. Sparks making? Parts? If so how will that bring on a revival of kit building? I have been building planes sense 1956 when I was a kid. Washington State, it rained, kids did a lot of things indoors. We were outside when it wasn't raining though and planes and boats are only a couple of things we did. I just happen to still be building today and don't own an ARF or foam plane. OK, I did just get my first ARF this year, I forget I have it. The Aeroworks Extra 260 electric. I did a review on it and sent it to Mike to edit and format for me but he died two days later so I'm sure he never got it started? I do like the plane by the way but I wouldn't pay out $85.00 for one, it takes me three days to knock out a copy or repair job when mine gets hurt and cost me about $15.00 to make. Most people couldn't do that but any builder can.
    So, my question again, what is the guy in the video doing? How would it kick start kit building?
    Tower just raised the prices of there kits, a BIG bunch. There was a plans sale at MAN/air age for 1/2 off. It's on again and called the AMA sale now. Just stock up on plans and you won't need to buy a kit.
    The video is an excerpt of a much longer video and story we ran in our May issue. OF COURSE I want you to look at the issue. We are doing something for the hobby that no magazine has ever done to date. We are writing about issues and people more than products in order to inspire current and future hobbyists. Keith has a series in our last two issues and it will span 6 - that teaches you how to fashion scale planes from solid foam. It's good stuff. I am trying to introduce that content to hobbyists who might care.
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  15. #15
    Scale Heli Addict mkranitz's Avatar
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    RE: Can Keith Sparks spark the build comeback?

    retracted.
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    RE: Can Keith Sparks spark the build comeback?

    Guys, let's give Mike here the benefit of the doubt, OK? He has been on RCU since 2002 (co-founder, right?), has lots of posts, and sounds sincere.

    That being said- Mike, if you want me to read your magazine online, you have to do away with the music on the front page. I do my best reading in the office, and see no need to call attention to it!



    **Edit:

    From what I have read so far, I wish the AMA would send me your magazine instead!
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  17. #17

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    RE: Can Keith Sparks spark the build comeback?

    ORIGINAL: tucker11

    I'm someone that flys arfs and does build the occasional plane. The problem I have and alot of other people that I've talked to have is the instructions for the type of planes we like (ww2 and ww1) are very vague. I have two Royal kits in the box, a zero and a P38. I can understand why they went out of business. The little time I do get to enjoy my hobby I don't want to spend hours trying to figure out what to do next. I just want to relax, drink a few beers and just get away from lifes stresses and enjoy building. I'd buy more kits and pay more if they just had more detailed instructions.
    Tucker, you raise a very good point, though we need to understand the era in which those Royal kits were produced. Years ago, a new builder (who was almost always a new flyer) would build easy beginners kits first, and would work up the ladder until they had the skills to tackle a warbird kit. Hence, the instructions and plans with the advanced kits would assume a certainly mastery of skills by the builder.

    The good point you make is that today, new builders may already be advanced flyers, and more than capable of flying a warbird model. Hopefully, the kit industry (what's left of it) can recognize this and provide future kits of advanced aircraft that are easier for relatively new builders to tackle. Still... everyone needs to learn how to use a sanding block (among other things)... so, irrespective of how good they are at flying, today's new builder needs to decide if they want to refine their skills on a cheap trainer kit(s), or on their "dream" warbird...

  18. #18
    Scale Heli Addict mkranitz's Avatar
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    RE: Can Keith Sparks spark the build comeback?

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  19. #19

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    RE: Can Keith Sparks spark the build comeback?

    I don't think Keith will spark a comeback. Until ARF's and RTF aircraft price themselves out of popularity the members of the I want it now generation will not be willing to try and build anything. Keith wrote a book highlighting some of his favorite techniques for building some complex airframes out of foam. Because of the cost of balsa the foam makes a good choice for a build. I haven't built anything as elaborate as Keith but I have been building more hybrid plans using a combination of foam and wood for a while. As a side business Keith also runs a basement venture called Parkflyer Plastics. He sells vacuum formed cowls, engines, pilots, bombs and other goodies to dress up your builds. Haven't had a need for any of that stuff yet but he's been around long enough that if I need something I would give him a try.

  20. #20

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    RE: Can Keith Sparks spark the build comeback?


    ORIGINAL: GAP-RCU

    ORIGINAL: tucker11

    I'm someone that flys arfs and does build the occasional plane. The problem I have and alot of other people that I've talked to have is the instructions for the type of planes we like (ww2 and ww1) are very vague. I have two Royal kits in the box, a zero and a P38. I can understand why they went out of business. The little time I do get to enjoy my hobby I don't want to spend hours trying to figure out what to do next. I just want to relax, drink a few beers and just get away from lifes stresses and enjoy building. I'd buy more kits and pay more if they just had more detailed instructions.
    Tucker, you raise a very good point, though we need to understand the era in which those Royal kits were produced. Years ago, a new builder (who was almost always a new flyer) would build easy beginners kits first, and would work up the ladder until they had the skills to tackle a warbird kit. Hence, the instructions and plans with the advanced kits would assume a certainly mastery of skills by the builder.

    The good point you make is that today, new builders may already be advanced flyers, and more than capable of flying a warbird model. Hopefully, the kit industry (what's left of it) can recognize this and provide future kits of advanced aircraft that are easier for relatively new builders to tackle. Still... everyone needs to learn how to use a sanding block (among other things)... so, irrespective of how good they are at flying, today's new builder needs to decide if they want to refine their skills on a cheap trainer kit(s), or on their ''dream'' warbird...
    Id leave the actual build of the plane the same just have detailed instructions. Like a build thread only in a book or the manufacturer could have a thread on their website with step by step instructions if the builder gets stuck.
    Im finishing a skyshark fw190 and enjoyed the build alot and the kit came with the type of instructions Im refering too. Im thinking of getting another skyshark kit but I want a A6M zero with the same type of instructions. If anyone has any suggestions let me know.

  21. #21
    EscapeFlyer's Avatar
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    RE: Can Keith Sparks spark the build comeback?

    I have thought Keith Sparks approach has been innovative and amazing!

    He teaches us how to use modern materials such as foam and fiberglassing to achieve 1st rate aircraft. He's been around for a while and I believe he is on to something.

    With the balsa shortage over the last few years, I honestly thought his methods were goint to replace traditional balsa building.

    It is good stuff guys. It is innovative and it works. I have been wanting to put his methods to the test building the traditional classic pattern airplanes with his methods. Still might actually.

    Brian
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    Classic Pattern Association

  22. #22
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    RE: Can Keith Sparks spark the build comeback?

    Come on Mike, to say you're not trying to promote your Mag with these threads you start is at best disingenuous,, at worse, thinking we're all stupid. There is a policy, you probably wrote, for product announcements.. why not just use that method instead of trying to be slick and "accidentally" promo the mag.

    Personally it turns me off to your product, as well as the spam Tower sends me.
    You're so smart,, you figured out how to read this!! Or maybe ya just got lucky??

  23. #23
    Scale Heli Addict mkranitz's Avatar
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    RE: Can Keith Sparks spark the build comeback?

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  24. #24
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    RE: Can Keith Sparks spark the build comeback?

    Mike,
    Well I'm going to subscribe to the July issue and see. I've a Kindle Fire that me son bought me for Father's Day. Pretty neat kid. I'm like most everyone not liking SPAM but I've always liked to try new things. The title kind of put me off as I like to build more than fly.
    John
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  25. #25
    scale only 4 me's Avatar
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    RE: Can Keith Sparks spark the build comeback?


    ORIGINAL: mkranitz


    ORIGINAL: scale only 4 me

    Come on Mike, to say you're not trying to promote your Mag with these threads you start is at best disingenuous,, at worse, thinking we're all stupid. There is a policy, you probably wrote, for product announcements.. why not just use that method instead of trying to be slick and ''accidentally'' promo the mag.

    Personally it turns me off to your product, as well as the spam Tower sends me.

    I am trying to bring content to the fore beyond the garbage you read in MAN and FlyRC. We have SUBSTANTIVE information to provide to hobbyists. But I'll tell you what; I'm about $200,000 in the hole funding the creation of this new medium and it's whiners like you that will cause me to shut it down. No other magazine does what we do and no other magazine can touch us in terms of content and reader ratings. I have tried to elevate the quality of what people read and let ordinary ''heroes'' of our hobby have their day in a dynamic and engaging platform. But I'm fed up with the BS in this hobby. Guys whine about everything. Maybe you can share what you've created to revolutionize the hobby?? I'm guessing you haven't even seen an issue of our magazine.
    Wrong Mike, I downloaded the free intro you offered a while back, and I wasn't impressed enough to spend $$ on it, just not my thing

    Whining? I'm just calling a spade a spade. Maybe you can just be honest when you're promoting the product, That's all I'm saying. I don't think reacting to Honest criticism with name calling is going to help you a bit.

    You're so smart,, you figured out how to read this!! Or maybe ya just got lucky??


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