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Thread: Best Kits


  1. #26
    WacoNut's Avatar
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    RE: Best Kits

    I would have to suggest a Top Flite Contender.
    This would make a good 1st low wing plane. It is a fairly quck build(built mine in 10 days) and fly's like it is on rails. You can add the flap for more fun.

    I mostly build scale planes but this was an enjoyable build and it fly's great.
    Later!!
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    WACO Brother #30 Cub Brother #17
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  2. #27

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    RE: Best Kits

    Never once have I ever asked anyone what my next build should be. I don't really care what someone else likes, I build and fly what I like. When friends were doing there Chev/Ford thing I was driving a Dodge. Pick what you want!! I think you would be really happy with building that Jenny if it caught your eye and it is something no one else will have at the field. Why would you want anything from SIG or Great Planes, all there kits build like the trainer you are working on now. Buy what you like!!! Then you won't be wishing you started building something else instead of something you thought was cool.
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  3. #28
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    RE: Best Kits

    One of my favorite builds was a Sig 1/5th Scale Cub. The Anniversary kit is all laser cut and goes together like a puzzle. I also flys great. That being said I am with Grey Beard, buy what interests you. Sometimes kits can test your patients so make sure it is of a subject you'll enjoy.

    I am currently building a Balsa USA Nieuport 28. This is my first Balsa USA kit and I am really enjoying the constuction process. Each designer has a little different method of building, nice to try different manufacturers.

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    RE: Best Kits

    Yeah, I wasn't really looking for a specific plane as much as a decent manufacturer. Being new I don't know the good ones from the bad ones ( if there are any ) I would hate to order a kit and find out that it can be put together in a day or two. Also it's hard to find build threads on every plane that I like the looks of, so searching that way really doesn't help.

  5. #30

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    RE: Best Kits

    Can't think of a bad manufacture these days, there aren't a lot of manufactures left except the good ones. For WWI planes you will have to look hard to find anyone better then Balsa U.S.A. for war birds Nick Ziroli. For less scale look into tower at any of the Gold editions. SIG is hard to beat but when you are speaking of the smaller 40-60 size they are all pretty much alike. For old school pattern planes then a great build is the Blue Jay kits. These are original Joe Bridi designs and the perfect flying machines with outstanding prices. If I was allowed only one airplane it would be a Bridi design.
    Before you ask the question you really need to know what type of plane you are thinking about. I have a PICA Cessna kit out in the shop, I think it is an 80 incher or there about and it has a big parts count but when finished it is really a nice scale! A friend started the wings center section and decided it was over his head. He made the mistake of looking at all the parts and not the plans and instructions. It will be a lot of hours involved in the build. Too bad I don't like the Cessna plane all that much, PICA made a fantastic kit!! I will never build it, not my kind of plane!
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  6. #31
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    RE: Best Kits

    Bill, based on my experience building kits, and I've built alot of them, I would have to say the big three, Great Planes, Top Flite and Sig, in that order. The die cutting in very important, it needs to be done with sharp blades and a manufacturer that cheaps out on the blades will not produce a good kit. Dull blades will crush the balsa. The plans and instructions from these three manufacturers are very good as well. Laser cuts kits are also very nice but you need to remember to sand the burn off the edges alittle for the glue to stick well.

    My favorite kits are Great Planes kits.

    My second kit build and second flying plane was a Great Planes Ultra Sport 60. I'm actually building my second US 60 now and the kit is just as nice as the first one. It scared the heck out of me when I first flew it but by the 3rd or 4th flight I was comfortable with it and it was my favorite plane for a long time. It is a bit of a challange but you can do it.

    Remember, no matter what plane you build, "Build light, build right, great flight". What I mean is trust the manufacturer, don't try to build a crash proof plane, it can't be done. Avoid adding extra weight, a lighter plane will fly better. Make sure to build it straight, pay close attention to alignment. Take your time. 
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  7. #32

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    RE: Best Kits

    GrayBeard, is that a 310??

  8. #33

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    RE: Best Kits


    ORIGINAL: triumphman49

    GrayBeard, is that a 310??
    No, the 182 Skylane with an 86 inch wing.
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  9. #34

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    RE: Best Kits


    ORIGINAL: KaP2011

    Bill, based on my experience building kits, and I've built alot of them, I would have to say the big three, Great Planes, Top Flite and Sig, in that order. The die cutting in very important, it needs to be done with sharp blades and a manufacturer that cheaps out on the blades will not produce a good kit. Dull blades will crush the balsa.Β*The plans and instructions from these three manufacturers are very good as well.Β*Laser cuts kits are also veryΒ*nice but you need to remember to sand the burn off the edges alittle for the glue to stick well.

    My favorite kits are Great Planes kits.

    My second kit build and second flying planeΒ*was a Great PlanesΒ*Ultra Sport 60. I'm actually building my second US 60 now and the kit is just as nice as the first one. It scared the heck out of me when I first flew it but by the 3rd or 4th flight I was comfortable with it and it was my favorite plane for a long time. It is a bit of a challange but you can do it.

    Remember, no matter what plane you build, ''Build light, build right, great flight''. What I mean is trust the manufacturer, don't try toΒ*build a crash proof plane, it can't be done. Avoid adding extra weight, a lighter plane will fly better. Make sure to build it straight, pay close attention to alignment. Take your time.Β*
    Good advise but I found the manufactures mentioned also the easy kits to build and Bill is looking for a bit of a challange.
    I have the Ultra Sport 1000 kit that I keep moving to the back burner as more builds keep getting in the way, Plans, not kits. I like the idea of building planes I like and something I never see at the field, those different planes that often were never really built as a full scale plae at all. The Swoose build I'm finishing up now is a good example. Looks like something from the 1930s Schnider Cup Races but was never really built. It's cool and different plus it was never kitted! Building from plans also throws in another little something into the build, no instructions or pretty pictures.
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  10. #35

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    RE: Best Kits

    I have a friend building a Cessna 140 from plans, an exact model of a plane he owns.  Not sure where he got the plans from though. He is a scale nut, wont fly a plane unless its a scale of something. I offered to get him a Kadet, but doesn't want one.
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  11. #36
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    RE: Best Kits

    +1 on the Astrohog and Kougar kits.
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  12. #37
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    RE: Best Kits

    SIG Wonder:
    ++ Great Assembly Manual
    ++ Complete Quality Hardware
    ++ Wood and decals provided for each of the four versions

    little sanding is required to match the four ribs comming out of one die-cutsheet

    A great kit for the buck!

    To make this kit better would be to laser cut the wood. Then all the ribs will match.

  13. #38

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    RE: Best Kits

    If you really like to build Proctor sells really fine kits. I am really surprised that no one has mentioned Arizona Models ( www.airizonamodels.com ) they also produce a broad array of really fine museum grade model airplane kits. If you seek a quality challenge for some really fine and unique models investigate Wendel Hostetlers website ( www.hostetlersplans.com ) for plans and directory to materials and parts suppliers. For nice yet less challenging projects go to, also not previously mentioned, Balsa USA ( www.balsausa.com ). For really aerobatic giant scale models check out Carden Aircraft ( www.carden-aircraft.com ) cant be toped.

  14. #39
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    RE: Best Kits

    ORIGINAL: BillinIndiana

    ...but its not really that challenging to put together.. There again I've only built one wing...haha.
    I just took a look at the building instructions for the Kadet Mark II and although it's not the most difficult build it's also not the most simple. The wing is the same as just about any other trainer, but the fuse is more difficult than the typical light ply or balsa sheet box. I'm pretty sure you will find it more challenging than the wing panel. If you finish it and are still looking for something significantly more challenging to build you will not be happy with a lot of the recommendations so far. This would include the Kougar, Astro-Hog, Ultra-Sport, Contender and others. These are all excellent recommendations for the average builder for his second plane as they are a bit more challenging than the typical first build and great fliers, but they are no more difficult to build than the MK II. So from a purely "building" point of view you will need to look more towards a scale plane like the Top Flight for WWII, Balsa USA for WW I, etc. Both these companies make kits that will be a big jump in skills you'll need to learn, but give great instructions on how to do it. Of course, you may find building the fuse for the MK II more challenging than you anticipate.
    For a kit you are, and to a kit you shall return.

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    RE: Best Kits

    Having built a number of Sig kits which include 2-LT-40s, 2 Senioritas, Kougar, Citabria, 4* 60, 1/5 scale Cub (still in process) and I still have the DO 217 to build but wait, I still want to build an Astro Hog, Kadet Senior for float flying, any of the 4* group and maybe even the Hog Bipe. I like building Sig kits, but having built the Balsa USA Focker E III .40 size, I bought a 1/6 Sopwith Pup. Now looking at other BUSA kits. Their die cutting is as good as any and better than others. The parts fell out of the sheets without any tearing or slivers. Very clean and crisp die cutting. The plane was fun to build. On the opposite end I built a Global Beaver which had many flaws in the die cutting with parts being cut undersize wrong balsa used, crunched edges and the usual host of problems. I also had problems with a G.P. .40 Cub as the dies cut parts were not crisp and clean and some would not fit together properly. Of course since then I have not built another G.P. kit nor do I care to.
    I've built a number of laser cut kits without problems although some seem to have a higher parts count than would normally be found in a die cut kit. The Sky Shark Hawker Tempest I purchased at Toledo Show looks good as it was laser cut but the entire airframe requires sheeting.
    Oh yeah, don't forget about RBC kits.... cnc machine cut, but the parts need a touch of sanding to clean them up.....built the Focke Wulf 190 and although it went together fairly well in spite of poorly written construction manual, the airframe looks quite nice for a small scale aircraft.
    So I would go along with what others are saying.....buy what you like but do pay attention to those who have some experience with kits under their belts. My faves are Sig and BUSA but that's just my choice and it may not be yours.
    Happy building!

  16. #41
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    RE: Best Kits

    The Arizona Models link is:
    www.arizonamodels.com
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    RE: Best Kits

    Although not available (as far as I know) from any retailer, the Royal, aka Marutaka kits are of exceptional quality and a fun but challenging scale building experience. Sold mostly on "The Bay" and here in the classifieds of RCU, they can be a bit pricy, but well worth it. Old "MK" (M. Kato) kits, mostly pattern/aerobatic non-scale models are also outstanding with machine cut parts rivaling any laser cut part today. Great wood, too. "Pilot" brand kits offer dozens of different subjects ranging from sport Sunday fliers to excellent sport scale airframes. Like the Royal/Marutaka kits, these are available only on the classified market and tend to be highly sought after, garnering premium pricing. All of these kit brands are from Japan.

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    RE: Best Kits

    If your looking for a challenging plane to build consider the SIG Citabria. This is definately a builders kit, I power mine with a TT 75 4-stroke, barely enough power. If you want a kit that is easy to build but LOADS of fun to fly conside the SIG Fazer. I like it so well I bought an Ultimate profile biplane.
    Of all the kit's I've built the Fazer is the most fun to fly (I wouldn't consider it an advanced trainer though).
    Jeff

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    RE: Best Kits


    ORIGINAL: glowplugboy

    Although not available (as far as I know) from any retailer, the Royal, aka Marutaka kits are of exceptional quality and a fun but challenging scale building experience. Sold mostly on ''The Bay'' and here in the classifieds of RCU, they can be a bit pricy, but well worth it. Old ''MK'' (M. Kato) kits, mostly pattern/aerobatic non-scale models are also outstanding with machine cut parts rivaling any laser cut part today. Great wood, too. ''Pilot'' brand kits offer dozens of different subjects ranging from sport Sunday fliers to excellent sport scale airframes. Like the Royal/Marutaka kits, these are available only on the classified market and tend to be highly sought after, garnering premium pricing. All of these kit brands are from Japan.

    I do have a web page for Royal plans, instructions and templates, avarage price is about $25.00 plus they sell cowls and canopies. Royal kits tended to be very heavy and required a bunch of hand carving and sanding to shape but did come out cool looking.
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  20. #45

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    RE: Best Kits

    Which company has the stick built Cub?   I recall seeing one not too long ago from a company that makes at least 3 different Cub kits, one being a stick built fuse. 

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  21. #46
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    RE: Best Kits

    I've got plans for a Kato pattern plane. They are the best plans I've seen with many, many drawings. I can't remember which plane at the moment.
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  22. #47
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    RE: Best Kits


    ORIGINAL: acdii

    Which company has the stick built Cub? I recall seeing one not too long ago from a company that makes at least 3 different Cub kits, one being a stick built fuse.

    Sig's Cub kits are stick built with exception of the 1/5th scale one.

    http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_8857500/tm.htm

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  23. #48

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    RE: Best Kits

    Thats the one! Thanks!
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  24. #49

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    RE: Best Kits

    For someone interested in building a profile I would recommend any of Paul Swanson's kits. These are good quality kits and highly capable 3D performers.


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  25. #50

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    RE: Best Kits

    The "best kits" question is totally subjective and really comes around to the best end-result for your experience level... if you are an average pilot with average building and flying skills, you can't miss with the Great Planes Ultimate 40. Goes together well, engineered superbly, misses all the over-the-top extra's but flies like a champ. Build stock and add an OS 70 Four-stroke and enjoy the hobby.
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