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What kinds of planes do you build and why

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What kinds of planes do you build and why

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Old 08-24-2017, 10:34 AM
  #1  
Leroy Gardner
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With the advent of the ARF's there many builders that have chose to buy the arf"s and not build their planes any more. I expect to see many reasons for this. I realize we all have our reasons for building the many ways to accomplish what we all want in any given plane, straight from the box, scratch building, off a set of plans and all out scale, the latter is really on the decline, at least on the internet or a lot have gone to RCSB to show their scale builds. There was a time when there was a lot more of that kind of building here on RCU, sign of the times I suppose, there still is a many of fine builders here but the truth is, the numbers have fallen quite a bit.

I over look'ed the electric power builders where a lot of planes are being built and wonder how many drift down here looking for information and vice versa. This being a shared hobby there are those always looking to add to their skills with examples and advice for their plane builds.

I thought it might be fun to see the views of others and discuss the options for improving some of the lost numbers of builders and keeping the ones we have, if that's possible, so, what's on the mind of you builders and what can we do to improve this wonderful hobby experience for all of us. For me supporting the build threads is # 1, just look at the numbers of thread build starts that last for two pages, no support leaves little reason to continue on is my feeling but could be other reasons also.

Regardless of what and how you build are there things you would like on your builds that would make it more enjoyable for you, after all you do matter, being the builder.

Leroy

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Old 08-24-2017, 11:35 AM
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Give me a kit to build or a set of plans any day of the week, give me an ARF only if you want to lose your arm
I prefer to build my own stuff so that I can build it the way I want it, not to have what amounts to basically a "cookie cutter" ARF that looks like every other ARF on the flightline. I presently have a pair of Kadet Jr's I'm working on from the plans supplied with a long ago wrecked kit build. They are two very different birds, one being customized for twin floats with a lengthened wing, the other mostly stock for trike gear. Both are being built with ailerons, unlike the original design.
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Old 08-24-2017, 03:59 PM
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I prefer giant scale kits. I have never owned an ARF and have no plans to. I simply prefer building my own from a kit which gives me a sense of satisfaction.
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Old 08-24-2017, 05:32 PM
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Well Leroy, there are several guys in our club that still like to build, including myself. I admit to having a couple of arfs to fill-in when I crash, which is sometimes too often. But building gives you a warm and fuzzy feeling when they fly for the first time. Besides what would we do during our sometimes ugly winters ? John
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Old 08-24-2017, 07:07 PM
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I was in this hobby back in the 50'S when if you wanted a plane to fly you had to build it, rubber power, Cox powered nitro free flight planes and the C/L models, I had a lot of fun back then and got caught up in life, work and family for 45 yr's before getting back into it in 2009. It really blew my mind where the hobby had gone and I went from a barber shop full of R/C airplane books straight to the hobby shop and bought a RTF trainer for $ 300 dollars . Joined the AMA and found a club to join and was off to the races, well sort of, I went through 3 of those same planes learning to fly it. Back to the hobby shop looking for something to build, man was there a lot of them, I picked a Goldberg Eagle 11 and a .40 evolution trainer engine and got help with the servos and fuel system, I still have that plane and the RTF ones are long gone. Surprisingly I learned a lot building that Eagle 11 but had aspirations for something more challenging. I put a lot of hours in at the field and became a pretty good flyer and wanted a war bird.

Jumping in with both feet I bought a TF 1/5 scale P-51 gold kit, did a beautiful job on it and it's still flying today. other planes I have built is a Sig LT 40, Tiger 60, 1/4 scale sig Spacewalker 11 and the 1/4 scale Balsa J 3 into a super cub. Last 4 were built on RCU, RCG and RCSB and I owe a lot for all the things I have learned on those sites along the way. Building is a peaceful way to spend the winter months and the results are very gratifying not to mention the joy of showing and flying them.

Leroy
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Old 08-24-2017, 07:19 PM
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Originally Posted by jr-dub64 View Post
Well Leroy, there are several guys in our club that still like to build, including myself. I admit to having a couple of arfs to fill-in when I crash, which is sometimes too often. But building gives you a warm and fuzzy feeling when they fly for the first time. Besides what would we do during our sometimes ugly winters ? John
Hi John,
I half to agree on that warm and fuzzy feeling when they fly and building during the sometimes long winters is a great time to do it. your here now so do you build here, if so do you always like it or do you find things that could be improved.

Leroy
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Old 08-25-2017, 03:58 AM
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I've run the gamete, from assembling ARFs to designing my own scale model. It's all fun, but to me, building is a lot more enjoyable than assembling an ARF.

My builds are usually Giant, and Scale. My next build will be a Giant Scale sport model, the BUSA Smoothie XL. I'm currently finishing up a 1/4 Scale Cub, and I've just started assembling a 50 something inch ARF version of a Piper Pacer. The Pacer will be electric. The Smoothie may be, too. The Cub is a gasser.

Like I said, it's all fun.
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Old 08-25-2017, 08:26 AM
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I've been all over the map with model types, from Half A to a couple of quarter scale biplanes. I've had a couple of delta wings that I have quite enjoyed. I haven't done the really large warbirds, mostly due to cost. I like scale models (well, scalish. I prefer to keep them to the point where I can just toss them in the truck and go fly without worrying bout the gingerbread). I have also built several 1/12 warbirds. Although the scale combat thing seems to have run its course these little planes were often fun fliers. I've generally done smal to medium sized glow but I'm gradually getting into electrics.
I would say that the people who are building today are the ones that really want to build. Back in the day, whenever that was, people didn't have much choice. If you wanted to fly, you built. Now, for the most part, if you are building it's because you want to. I have built a few kits from the 60s through the 80s. Some of them were hand crafted works of art but a lot of them really weren't that great. People carp about not having kits to build any more but I think that is a false belief. It's true that you can't pick up your Tower catalog and find a huge array of kits but they are still out there. Now they are being produced by a variety of laser cutting services. You may have to round up a set of plans and the kit may be a short kit with only the cut pieces but even that has its advantages. I've had a chance to compare a laser cut kit with the original it was copied from and the new kit was way better in that it was lighter and had better parts fit.
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Old 08-25-2017, 08:56 AM
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I like it all, I like modifying my arfs usually stripping the covering off and glassing and painting. Like you said there is something for everyone.
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Old 08-25-2017, 02:44 PM
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Like Tom C, I've done everything from ARFs to my own designs. I love designing and building; I don't do it often enough. What I've done most is fix up planes that someone else built. They are available so cheap at swap meets and such because so many modelers have passed away or otherwise left the hobby that it is hard to resist. I like glow engines, so I'm not put off by the fact that that's what they are set up for. Sometimes I re-cover. That's a good practice for ARFs too.

The planes I build are based mainly on looks and the stuff that attracted me to the designs in magazine articles. I build light, and like the way my own planes fly because of that. I don't think very many ARFs look good, but some do. I recently bought a Tower Kaos 40 ARF because it was on sale, it has gotten great reviews, and I don't have anything as aerobatic as that. But generally I prefer scale models, or original designs that have a scale look. I don't like scale models that look wrong; I'd rather have a scale-like sport model.
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Old 08-28-2017, 10:36 AM
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I like to scratch build or build vintage kits mostly. It's fun to research the plane and learn its history as well. A lot of satisfaction comes from taking a pile of wood and turning it into a work of art that can fly! I too came from an era of if you wanted to fly you had to build it because there were no such things as ARF's. Now mind you I have nothing against ARF's as it brings many to this great hobby of ours. It's also great for learning how to fly as there usually isn't the attachment that one gets when they spend every night "borning" a model out of balsa. I recently "re-kitted" (read crash) one of my planes that was on my build table for more than a year, it hurt! With an ARF, you don't have that attachment.

I also get enjoyment following others build. I find that there is so much to learn from others if given the opportunity. I'm currently finishing a Sig Morrissey Bravo that has been on my table now for over two years. I have other kits (probably not as many as Tom ), all vintage, stashed and patiently waiting their turn or should I say their return!

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Old 08-28-2017, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by VincentJ View Post
I l
I also get enjoyment following others build. I find that there is so much to learn from others if given the opportunity. I'm currently finishing a Sig Morrissey Bravo that has been on my table now for over two years. I have other kits (probably not as many as Tom ), all vintage stashed and patiently waiting their turn.
You may be surprised, VJ.

My kit stash is down to three, the aforementioned Smoothie XL, a Hostetler Fairchild 24, and an old Jim Messer Piper Tomahawk. My BUSA Cub is a few hours from completion, and that little Piper Pacer isn't far behind.

I plan to slow my building down, and save a few kits for you. LOL
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Old 08-29-2017, 03:14 PM
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For me it is the type of plane I fly. I like a high performance, light weight, 3D plane. If there is a kit out there in the 30cc-50cc size I have not seen it. The ARF don't meet my standards in many areas but some of them really fly well.

David
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Old 09-05-2017, 09:32 AM
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Leroy Gardner
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With all the different kinds of planes being built and my tendency to alter or redesign mine to some degree, I find a new kind of enjoyment building them. I have a scratch build of the Baby Ace coming up which has a raised upper wing and one open cockpit. When I look at it I see a biplane and what would be an interesting modified build of this plane. I don't know how many of you do this to your planes, it can be challenging and make you think things through very thouroughly before you start. It is however very rewarding in the end especially when it flies aside of having something no one else has.

Leroy

Here is a picture of the full size EAA Baby Ace sitting stock, cool little plane.

.
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Old 09-05-2017, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Leroy Gardner View Post
With all the different kinds of planes being built and my tendency to alter or redesign mine to some degree, I find a new kind of enjoyment building them. I have a scratch build of the Baby Ace coming up which has a raised upper wing and one open cockpit. When I look at it I see a biplane and what would be an interesting modified build of this plane. I don't know how many of you do this to your planes, it can be challenging and make you think things through very thouroughly before you start. It is however very rewarding in the end especially when it flies aside of having something no one else has.

Leroy

Here is a picture of the full size EAA Baby Ace sitting stock, cool little plane.

.
Epoxy Earl built a 1/4 Baby Ace a few years ago. It was a pretty cool model.
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Old 09-06-2017, 02:54 AM
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I think that plane would lend itself very well as a bipe Leroy! It should be a blast to build and fly, Go for it!!!
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Old 09-06-2017, 03:07 AM
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My current obsession is the P-47... kit built and RTC

ARF open the hobby to a much broader audience!

TB
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Old 09-15-2017, 05:58 PM
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Cool I agree with many of the replies

Love to modify a kit in any number of ways. Back in the day modded a Sig Astro Hog - took out almost all dihedral, rounded tailfeathers, changed the turtle deck, moved main gear slightly forward, as other Hogs nosed over too easily. Saito .90 w/on board glow driver. Copied color scheme of the Weeks Special shown here.
Lots of compliments, but the BEST part was everyone asking what plane is that?

As a long time builder, I find it odd that that no one has mentioned peace of mind regarding structural integrity. Have seen all manner of stab, elevator, aileron, or piece of wing depart the aircraft in mid air on ARF. I have never had a structural failure on any of my builds. (except when I dumbthumbed into a tree, or terra firma, or the time I was blasting inverted & full bore 1 foot off the deck and hit a fire hydrant - those had structural failure ; )
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Old 09-16-2017, 07:34 AM
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funnotcrazy that's a cool plane you have there, all the things you did to it to change the looks and improve performance and quality of your plane is something you don't see often on most builds, add that you have the only one of it's kind and a big to go with it.

Nice job.
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Old 09-19-2017, 02:51 PM
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Started building in 1982 . Built every thing I flew up until 1992 . Built 2 to 3 planes every winter. After I had to change jobs the new job didn't give me much time to build . There was about 6 years I didn't much in the hobby. Then I bought some arfs . Last couple of years I built some planes from plans. The latest was an rcm plan Small Change designed by Bob Wallace . At the present time I am working on The Yellowkid a man plan. I've always wanted a twin so next build will probably be the twin. Most of my planes have been 1/2a to 60 size nitro.
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Old 10-11-2017, 06:15 AM
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I started a little late to the hobby. I always had the desire but just never seemed to get started. I finally got started with a well used ARF. I ended up with a couple more after that and then decided to try a kit, a great planes cub. I was hooked. After a couple smaller builds under my belt I started to see the mass production quality in the ARFs. I didnt care for that and soon everything I had was kit built. I love to build as much as fly and when I dont have time to fly, I can always fit in a little time in the workshop. Ive now progressed to giant scale and building from plans. For me it just adds a whole new level of enjoyment to the hobby. Theres nothing like the feeling of seeing a new plane take to the air that I have created from kindling. I just dont get that same feeling from something someone else built.
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Old 10-11-2017, 03:10 PM
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As some have said in other threads, you don't get attached to an ARF like you do a plane you build your self since there's no real "investment" in time, work or anything else. As we all know, an ARF only needs to be assembled from pre-made sub assemblies rather than having to build pretty much everything from parts that are, at best, precut. I guess that just means a few hours won't mean the same as several months when you look at what you've invested in the plane

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Old 10-12-2017, 05:17 PM
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I'm fairly new to the hobby (7 years in). Still getting my feet wet with building, but I target planes I can't get in ARF format. My main interest is warbirds, so that's what tends to end up on my bench. I also tend towards planes that are often overlooked. So while I have an ARF P-47, P-51 and Spitfire, I'm fitting out a 1/5th scale Wildcat, have a Defiant on the bench and plans for a Wellington, Brewster Buffalo and Fairey Fulmar.

Frankly I find ARFs tedious to assemble. They're a means to an end. Building however I view as a separate hobby: one that, when a project is complete, I can transfer to my other hobby of flying models. I suppose you could say that with ARFs, it's "the destination" that matters; with building it's "the journey".
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Old 10-13-2017, 02:51 AM
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Frankly I find ARFs tedious to assemble. They're a means to an end. Building however I view as a separate hobby: one that, when a project is complete, I can transfer to my other hobby of flying models. I suppose you could say that with ARFs, it's "the destination" that matters; with building it's "the journey".[/QUOTE]

Well said, CF105!
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Old 10-13-2017, 03:11 AM
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I have to agree, well said. Kind of why the wife and I started driving to new places every chance we get. Just because I like to fly places doesn't mean I'm seeing the country. It means I'm looking at time and distance and they don't work out, not enough of the first or too much of the second.
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