RE: seagull models
I gotta chime in here.
I have all kinds of planes, from small electric fling wing to giant scale gassers, and I have to say one of my all time favorites was the Seagull 540. It caught my eye at the LHS " a 60 size edge for 139.00?" I cant build one(kit) for that.(you can still get them for 139.00, and they ship anywhere. PM me if interested) Of course when I got it home the first thing I did was search RCU for comments on it, and of course there was a TON of negative posts - everything from wings snapping to soft balsa in the tail. Oh well let me see for myself - I opened the wing up at the root, re-inforced the spar a bit, re-sheeted it and glassed the joint. Threw some braces on the tail. I spent an extra evening on the mods - big deal. I flew the crap out of that plane for two years before I crashed..., eh, er, 2 years before it had an unfortunate accident doing knife edge snaps 10' off the deck. I punished this plane for 2 seasons - you know, consecutive snap contests, yank and bank to see how the little lumberjack pilot could handle the g-force, downwind pancake landings (also known as the plop) This thing was a total blast, I flew it to its max potential because it wasnt big money. It flew just as nice as its biger and more expensive counterparts.
my personal policy on arfs:
Forget the saying "you get what you pay for"
and remember this: "what you SEE is what you GET"
Support your LHS, open the box and check out what your getting in to. Or deal w/ reputable distributors that will let you return it when it isnt to your expectations.
By the way, I've had to reinforce, repair, redo, modify, and re-design one thing or another on the expensive brand name arfs too.
Just my opinion