All right, so I ordered the kit as well as a spare battery and the Sky Charger B6AC battery charger on Friday evening and it arrived shortly after noon today. It was packaged well, and other than a few scuffs and dings on the outer box, everything was as it should be. Once everything was unpacked and the directions were read, it took less than ten minutes to have a complete airplane sitting on the floor. Here's my thoughts...
1) Since there was no interaction between myself and NitroModels beyond my initial order, I can't speak of their customer service. I was provided an order # shortly after check out and a UPS tracking # Monday afternoon, both via email, and that was all the communication I feel I needed.
2) The proverbial round peg in a square hole is alive and well with this model- the wing joiner spar is round, but the receiver tubes in the wings are square. It's a tight fit, but I kind of laughed at the engineering (or lack thereof) behind this decision. However, the round wing joiner spar was dented in a few places and wasn't exactly straight. I haven't contacted NitroModels about this yet, so it's not an issue right now. Push comes to shove, I'll go find a similar tube locally for $5 and be done with it. For now, it'll fly with a little dihedral. On a somewhat related note, it's extremely difficult to get the wings to join up inside the fuselage and line the holes up to slide the vertical pegs down to hold the halves together and in the fuse. I'm not sure if this is related to the slightly bent spar, or if it's supposed to be like this and will "wear in" over time.
3) The manual states the CG should be 80mm back from the leading edge, but it actually falls at 64mm, which is right on the spar. The chord at the root is approximately 218mm, so at 80mm, that puts the CG at 37% if I'm guessing right. 64mm puts it at 29%, but I'd like to hear from the pros what they think about where the CG should be initially.
4) I did the zip tie mod to the wing pegs that Tony talks about in the promotional video, and will be doing the packing tape mod to the bottom of the fuselage and wing tips to prevent it from getting gouged like he says as well. Later on, I'll be adding flaps for some crow action and will use my Futaba T8UAF to do so.
5) It does come with a charger despite no mention of this on the website. I think this is a little misleading as you're given the option to buy a $55- $60 charger in the drop down menu, but there's no mention of one coming with the kit. I'm not too disappointed about this, because it is a really nice charger and since I'm a lipo noob, it will help me understand the ins and outs of charging them.
Bad stuff I've heard about this kit:
1) The servo gears strip out very easily.
2) The landing wheel falls out of its pocket.
I have yet to experience these failures, and will comment on them if/ when they happen.
All in all, I'm happy with it, and with the 6% off discount code I found online, I spent $290 and change for the plane, an extra 2200mAh 20C battery pack and the $60 Sky Charger. I can't wait to go fly.