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First Build - help me pick the kit

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Old 02-19-2008, 12:12 PM
  #1  
SackOHammers
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Default First Build - help me pick the kit

Hello folks,

I've been flying ARFs. They've been fun. In fact I have a new Zero Gravity Pitts Python on the way that I'm jazzed about.
However, I want to see what it is like to build something.
I'm not extremely good with crafts. I also don't have tons of room. I'll likely be doing this on a 35" card table. I've got a 36" building board for building up the parts (to keep things flat).

I would like help in selecting a beginner's kit. Something to get me gluing some wood together... I'd like to build up some wings, etc. It would also be my first experience with covering.
I don't necessarily have to fly it, so to me it doesn't really matter how the kit flies. Currently I am only flying electrics.
I prefer WWI style planes aesthetically, but I would seriously consider good recommendations that are not WWI planes. I was looking at the Balsa USA Eindecker kits, but even the 40 kit is too large. Much too big of a bite to start with.

I was thinking something with a 28" to 30" wingspan or less. The Arizona Models 1/12 Albatross DIII kit looks interesting (the right size), but obviously that is way overkill for a first kit. I only mention it so you get an idea for what I like.

Planes that I like:
Albatros (DII through DV)
Pfalz
Fokker Eindecker
Stearman P-17
Pitts (but I've already got an ARF)

I'd like to keep the kit under $100.

I'm assuming the better quality kit, the better it is for a beginner.

All opinions appreciated and criticism received with respect. Thanks in advance for your help.
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Old 02-19-2008, 12:37 PM
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Default RE: First Build - help me pick the kit

SackoHammers,

Unfortunately, there aren't very many beginner kits of warbirds that I am aware of. Take a look at the 4 Star 40. It is an excellent kit to get your feet wet with and flies extremely well with standard servos. Also I'm sure you could fly it with an electric motor if you want to as well.

Minnflyer has posted some covering videos in this forum and they are excellent if you want to learn to cover a plane.

Good luck with your endeavor and keep us posted.
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Old 02-19-2008, 12:45 PM
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jmohn
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Default RE: First Build - help me pick the kit

As far as WW1 planes go, the D7 is one of the best flyers, IMO. I love the D8, but it's a hard to manage on the ground because of the short wheel base and high heavy wings. Flys good, but hard to manage on the ground.
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Old 02-19-2008, 01:03 PM
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Default RE: First Build - help me pick the kit

Look at the Herr Engineering Mini-Sport... Not exactly in line with what you describe, but the price is excellent and it is a small plane. This is a laser-cut kit and will go together easily; at $25 + shipping from the SIG website you can't beat it. I have done some searching on this kit and found it to be a nice flying plane, the only 2 suggestions are to beef up the gear mounts a bit and add ailerons (this is suggested with many 3CH kits).

SIG Site Specs:
3 Channel R/C (Mini radio req)
Wingspan= 35.75"
Area= 214.58 sq"
Weight= 8 to 11 oz
Wing Load= 5.37 to 7.38 oz/sq'
Direct Drive 280 class power
Flight Time= 8 to 12 min using 7 cell 27 or 350 mAh Nicad
Over 25 min using 7 cell 750 mAh NiMH

I have not built this paticular kit yet, but have built other Herr designs and they are good quality. I actually ordered one this morning and plan to build it before too long for a brushless lipo set-up.

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Old 02-19-2008, 01:08 PM
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Default RE: First Build - help me pick the kit

I've been looking at a D7 as well...

1, it's a bi-plane and I want to get into bipes.
2. I fly electric and I think a D7 fuselage lends itself to electric conversion.

I've been looking for a kit, haven't found one yet...

I found a 1/4 scale kit from Balsa USA, but that's pretty big.. and over $300. Over your budget.

There's a short kit available for a smaller sized D7, but it's not a full kit. I'm finishing my first scratch built, and it takes a lot of time and effort. Not a simple kit.

Dynaflite makes a kit for a S.E.5a:

http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXCLX5

It's a good sized bird. Could probably be electrified, if you've got money to burn. Otherwise, you could build it for fun, with glow power in mind, and sell it to somebody who wants to burn glow... (won't make any money selling it, but you'll have experience building.) I have no experience building a Dynaflite kit, so I don't know how good a kit it is.


To make a short answer long, a WWI bird is a tough one. If this is your first building experience, I echo the 4*40 suggestion. It's a good kit, builds easily, and you'll have a good flying plane when you're done. It can be electrified if you so choose. (I've got a 4*60 waiting to be built. And I plan on electrifying it.) And, if I may suggest, it's nice to go to the field with "a plane you can just fly." the 4* would make a nice everyday plane.

Good luck,


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Old 02-19-2008, 01:24 PM
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Default RE: First Build - help me pick the kit

Thanks for the input so far guys, please keep it coming.
I've never been to the SIG site before. (You obviously know how big a newb I am now with that statement.) Good stuff there.

I'm hearing you on the 4*40, but it seems a little large for me at this point. I don't have that much room to work with until I move into my new diggs.
The Dynaflite kit is pretty large as well.

Before I purchased a 1/4 Balsa USA D7 kit, I'd certainly go for the 1/12 Arizona Albatross or Pfalz kit. Its actually less expensive and more my size. But its a joke to talk about those right now. If I get into building, those are definitely kits I'd keep my eye on for the long-run.

The Herr mini-sport kit at $25 seems a good entry point. If I completely botch it up I can just buy another and go for it again. Or build it once, then build it again to really get things down. The 35" wingspan seems managable for my workspace. I would probably leave it 3 channel and give to my friend as a trainer or something... try to suck him into the hobby. If he crashes it, then I'll get to learn repairs.

What about that Herr AT6 Texan? Similar size, similar cost. I'm wondering about the way the wings come out of the wing root, it looks like there are some angles there. Would I want to get some practise before taking something like that on?
The Herr Pitts Special starts getting just a tiny bit more expensive, but certainly in my budget. Obviously I'd have 2X as much wing to build up so that might get tedious on a first build.
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Old 02-19-2008, 01:37 PM
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Default RE: First Build - help me pick the kit

There is also 'Gullows' kits. Small, and basically 'free flight'. Again, simple, and in your size & budget range. A great way to start into the building

As for scale planes, you'll be looking at the larger models. Not many kit's in that small size. (or anymore!)
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Old 02-19-2008, 01:49 PM
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Default RE: First Build - help me pick the kit

SackOHammers, great to hear you are thinking of building! Once you feel the satisfaction from watching something fly that you created you will never want an ARF again.

For your first kit, you need to skip the scale stuff and pick a simple model that builds easy. My best recommendation is a Sig Kadet LT-25. Yes, I know it's a trainer, but build it with a flat wing (no dihedral) and clip one bay off each wing panel and it will be a fun sport plane that is easy to build, transport and fly.

http://www.sigmfg.com/cgi-bin/dpsmar...FV4.html?E+Sig

Another one that comes to mind is the Something Extra. They build easy, fly well and there are a number of build threads here to help you out with the details.

I know it is easy to want more than you can handle (I do it all the time... ), but your best shot at success is a small, simple sport model for the first time. If you don't care if it flies, the Herr Engineering rubber powered models have laser cut formers and generally go together very well. You would get a lesson in covering with tissue, as well.

Mark
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Old 02-19-2008, 02:15 PM
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Default RE: First Build - help me pick the kit

I'm not hungup on scale WWI birds. Just given the option its what I would have enjoyed more... but in this case I'm more interested in the build process than the style of plane. So I will take the suggestions to heart. Thanks everyone.
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Old 02-19-2008, 02:21 PM
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Default RE: First Build - help me pick the kit


ORIGINAL: SackOHammers

What about that Herr AT6 Texan? Similar size, similar cost. I'm wondering about the way the wings come out of the wing root, it looks like there are some angles there. Would I want to get some practise before taking something like that on?
The Herr Pitts Special starts getting just a tiny bit more expensive, but certainly in my budget. Obviously I'd have 2X as much wing to build up so that might get tedious on a first build.
Any of the Herr kits will build easy, but IMO the mini-sport will be easier for a first build since it is not a scale kit. If you take your time and build carefully any laser cut kit should give you good results since they mostly fall together. Having built ARF's before you have a solid understanding on how an airframe goes together, just don't be intimidated by the task of building..... It's just balsa. The main thing to keep in mind is that balsa sands and carves quickly and easily, so don't get in a rush and remove too much material at once; once it's gone you can't put it back.
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Old 02-19-2008, 04:16 PM
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Default RE: First Build - help me pick the kit


ORIGINAL: mmattockx

... Another one that comes to mind is the Something Extra. They build easy, fly well and there are a number of build threads here to help you out with the details.
The SSE is a great building plane, reasonable priced, and won't break the bank with the accessories you'll need to purchase (covering, wheels, engine, etc.). It is entirely laser cut and fits together almost like a jigsaw puzzle. You can build it in the space you've got as well. One of my favorite planes! There are some great build threads here on RCU if you want to check it out.

-MA
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Old 02-19-2008, 04:32 PM
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Default RE: First Build - help me pick the kit

Ditto-SSE
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Old 02-19-2008, 04:46 PM
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Default RE: First Build - help me pick the kit

I second the recommendation on the Guillows kits. You want to build, you like WWI warbirds, you need to build something small, and you don't really care if you fly your creation. You can pick up a Guillows kit for $10 and get a taste for building. You can step up to a laser cut Dumas kit for about $25 and have a more pleasant building experience. I have had mixed results with Guillows - some of their die cutting is pretty rough.

I have one of these on my shelf waiting to be built:

http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...?&I=LXE288&P=0

This is a nice one too:

http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...?&I=LXE299&P=0

The building process is similar to an r/c plane, in terms of working with the balsa parts. The tissue covering is a lot different than Monocote. They are still satisfying builds and you can hang them in your office when you're done. You can even convert them to electric r/c with micro components.

Good luck
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Old 02-19-2008, 04:55 PM
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Default RE: First Build - help me pick the kit


[quote]ORIGINAL: SackOHammers

<<Hello folks,

I've been flying ARFs. They've been fun. In fact I have a new Zero Gravity Pitts Python on the way that I'm jazzed about.
However, I want to see what it is like to build something.
I'm not extremely good with crafts. I also don't have tons of room. I'll likely be doing this on a 35" card table. I've got a 36" building board for building up the parts (to keep things flat).>>

OK, first of all, wings are built in halves in most cases (depends of your particular kit). You can build a pretty big plane on a 36" board. Make sure the fuse is not longer than 36"...

Long long time ago (when men were men and women ribs, well, it was almost that long ago) I built a trainer on a small board. When I had to join the 2 wing halves, I did put the wing in the middle of the board, and the board on the floor (kitchen floor, was flat), I then supported the wing tips w/1/4" square sticks standing on the floor and pinned to the last rib (2 on each wingtip), and presto! You can use the flat floor as a building board when you have to glue the elevator onto the fuse. The fuse has to be flat on the floor, and you glue the elevator on it, making sure the elevator is flat. Again, depends of the kind of kit you are building. Good luck, the Sig 4* is a good place to start. Not only is it a dream to build, they fly great!

Gerry
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Old 02-19-2008, 05:04 PM
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Default RE: First Build - help me pick the kit

Ok, I'm starting to think I might just order the Herr Mini-Sport to whet my appetite. Doing so will help me get a feel for size, tools needed, time, techniques, etc then I can build a 4*40 or the SSE... and then move onto a scale plane if I feel inclined to keep kit building.
I hear what you guys are saying about the Guillows planes, but it looks like fiddling with toothpicks to me, hehe. Down the road it might be fun to build one to set on my desk at the office... to keep me distracted while at work.

I really appreciate all the help.
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Old 02-19-2008, 08:09 PM
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Default RE: First Build - help me pick the kit

flying is one thing, building something then flying is another. Its an extremely rewarding part of this hobby. Kudos to you for taking it on, I hope you really enjoy the experience!

Best of luck!
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Old 02-19-2008, 08:23 PM
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Default RE: First Build - help me pick the kit

One bad Gillows kit will ruin the building experience.... I bought one once and was apauled by the quality of the die-crushed parts so I packed it up and took it back to the shop. I also agree with all the guys saying a SSE or 4* kit would be great, a few not mentioned are the Great Planes Rapture 40, and SIG Astrohog. All these are good first kits, but it seems no one is paying much attention to what size you are asking for... [&:] If you don't have any support equipment for anything larger, or space to store it, stick with the smaller stuff until you are really motivated to move up in scale. I started with 40 size planes and own up to a G62 powered Ziroli Texan, but I am finding I more enjoy the ease of the smaller airplanes.
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Old 02-19-2008, 10:06 PM
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Default RE: First Build - help me pick the kit

Have you considered the Tower Hobbies .40 uproar. Its a quick and easy build. It flies great and many ways lands more gentile than a trainer except it lacks the self correcting talents of a trainer.
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Old 02-19-2008, 10:34 PM
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Default RE: First Build - help me pick the kit

Then again, if you like WW1 planes, how about considering an allied plane such as this...

http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...&I=LXTKS5&P=SM

It's a Dumas R/C Electric SPAD XIII, nice looking plane too.
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Old 02-19-2008, 11:06 PM
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Default RE: First Build - help me pick the kit

Sig Something extra or the 4 * are great plane's and very easy to build and fly.
Heres something else for thought since you like war birds The House of Balsa line are easy to build, small enough to fit your needs for room & buget and they fly quite well when all done .The T-6 or mustang both are great little planes with a 25 size engine, plus you have your choice of adding the gear or not.
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Old 02-19-2008, 11:20 PM
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Default RE: First Build - help me pick the kit

I agree, the House of Balsa Texan kit looks nice. It is small too. Not sure how it would stack up against the Herr Texan. Either way, I'm wondering about the angles there in the wing, might be interesting. Thanks for pointing it out. I've already ordered the Herr Mini-Sport and I'm excited for its arrival.
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Old 02-19-2008, 11:36 PM
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Default RE: First Build - help me pick the kit

I totally forgot Dare Hobbies... They have some small WWI scale planes. Fokker Dr.1, Sopwith Camel, SE-5a. All small enough to fit your table. And not too expensive.. And can be elictrified....

http://www.darehobby.com/index.html

Ooh! just saw a D7...

Click on "Airplanes," then "Electric 1" and/or "Electric 2"

I have a 1909 Wright Military Flyer from them on my stack of kits to build...

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Old 02-19-2008, 11:50 PM
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Default RE: First Build - help me pick the kit

Ah, some of those are worth considering.
I was all excited about the Camel until I saw its size and price.
The F. DVII is three channel. Its very small, since they use a thin covering in their photos you can get an idea for how the model is constructed. Definitely a stick affair. No sheeting.

The F. DR1 might be fun to build up, cover, paint and have at the office. Not sure I'd ever want to try to fly a DR1, hehe... or the tri-wing camel they have there.

I'm definitely having fun looking around the site. I obviously can't get too ambitious. I've got that ZeroG Pitts Python and now the little Herr kit in the mail on its way. I'll certainly be referencing this thread once I get those two built, though.
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Old 02-20-2008, 09:41 AM
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Default RE: First Build - help me pick the kit

OK call me Crazy but for $40 the Lanier 17% G-202 looks like a fun cheep project

http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...?&I=LXSVC9&P=0

Or the Stinger 40

http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...?&I=LXX397&P=0

They also have these Electric WWi ARF's for $50

SE 5A
http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...&I=LXRJJ9&P=SM

Fokker D-VII
http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...&I=LXRJK0&P=SM
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Old 02-20-2008, 12:28 PM
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Default RE: First Build - help me pick the kit

Sscherin,

I've seen the Lanier S.E. 5a ARF in person. The guy broke a wheel on maiden, but other than that it was fine. I would say it is of slightly less quality than the Great Planes one, but obviously less expensive.

The Lanier G-202 is a somewhere between the Herr Mini-sport I have coming and the Sig Something Special. Between them both in size and in price.

The Lanier stinger comes with foam core wings - not sure thats what I would want.

So, the Laniers are good to consider...this thread has exposed a pretty good spectrum of kits. Beginner and scale. Size and price. So you can pretty much find something in the size and price I had originally requested.

Thanks
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