RCU Review: Esprit Model Standbox System

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    Contributed by: Burc Simsek | Published: February 2014 | Views: 17718 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon
    RCUniverse.com Review of the Standbox

    • Convenient storage and transport unit assuming your model fits the bill
    • Makes a decent workstand
    • Many ways to configure 
    • Foam is not very sturdy
    • Extension tubes are not supplied 
    The standbox is a unique product for our hobby. The product is marketed as a 4-in-1 unit with the main functions being storage, transportation, workstation and flexibility. I do not think that flexibility is a function but rather a feature so this to me is really a 3-in-1 product but nevertheless, a product that promises to offer a convenient method to store and transport your models should peak the interest of most in the hobby.

    Being an RC reviewer means I get a good amount of airframes to build and try each month but with that comes the task of being able to store and maintain a good amount of airplanes at one time. I usually hang my airplanes and helicopters on the wall to conserve on space and to have quick access to them at any given time. When it comes to taking airplanes out to the field, I am also limited by how much I can stack safely in the back of my SUV so when the opportunity to take a look at the standbox unit came up, I decided to give it a go to see if it would help out with my storage and transportation needs.

    The standbox is supplied in a very nicely packaged box which contains detailed instructions on the back of the box on various configurations that you can achieve with the product.

    Inside the box you will find four foam units that serve as the fuselage and wing holders along with what they call spacing prisms which are nothing more than yellow joiners for the side units. Along with the eight pieces of foam, you also get two straps that allow the unit to be transported, several small yellow clips that serve as joiners and locking mechanisms for the side pieces and a neckstrap and plastic spooge or shovel tool. 

    You can see that a lot of thought has gone into the design of the wing and fueslage supports as there are pre-cut slots on the foam that allow you to configure the opening to best fit your model.


    Price: $39.99

    Link: www.espritmodel.com/standbox.aspx


    The wing and fuselage supports arrive with a 1.25" round opening which can be cut out to fit the square spacing prisms. The white PVC spacing tubes as they are called are unfortunately not incuded in the box and are an optional accessory. However the 1.25" diameter is a common sized PVC that can be easily picked up at the hardware store for much cheaper but you wont get the pretty yellow end caps with them. Once assembled, the first thing I noticed was that the whole unit was overly flexible which was a bit of a let down but functioning as a stand it is not really a concern as it wont be moving much on the bench anyway.

    A nice feature of the wing and fuselage supports are that they are stackable. The cuts in the foam allow you to mate one unit to another and lock them in place using the yellow clips that are provided. A convenient small spooge is provide to make the task of inserting the clips asn easy one. It is not really required as the foam is flexible enough that the clips can be inserted and removed by hand but it is a nice to have.

    One side of the tool is used to insert the clip in the bottom of the slot and the other can be used to slip the clip in the upper slot to lock it in place. There is also a nice slot on the fuselage support to store the tool when not in use. A neck strap has also been provided which was very interesting but begs the question of who would actually want to hang this tool on their neck.

    The first plane I decided to test the unit was the Escapade MX from Great Planes. Being a .40 sized nitro sport plane, the Escapade to me respresent a plane that should be common enough in most peoples hangars to test out this unit with. As you can see from the photos above, the fuselage fit quite well in the fuselage supports but when it came to the wings, I was not able to store them on top of each other. Instead I placed them through the main openings in the wing supports. However, using this configuration, I was not able to stack the wings on the top of the fuselage as the vertical stabilizer got in the way. Having the fuselage on top is fine but makes the whole assembly a bit top heavy. While storing in this manner is fine, transportation in this configuration will not be feasible as it is very prone to tipping over.

    One additional feature of the fuselage support is to bend the spacing prisms and connect them in the middle to allow more space for fixed landing gear which was convenient but the Escapade did not really need this configuration as it was fine with the spacers located in the outer holes.

    The next model I tried was a 1.7 meter hotliner. For this setup, I used the round PVC spacers which made the assembly a bit more sturdy. The fuselage and wings fit nicely in the provided supports and stacking the unit was not a problem allowing for the heavier fuselage to remain on the bottom given that the fuselage was stored inverted. 

    The best plane that I have to use the standbox on is probably the Calypso. I had to open up the fuselage support a bit to accept the rather wide fuselage but the whole process made me realize that storing and transporting foam models is what the standbox is probably best suited for.

    With the Calypso, I was able to stack both wings on top of each other and also got a chance to use the small slot on the wing support to lock the wings in place.

    Since the standbox is a storage unit, I tried stacking a few units on top of each other with varied results. With the foam spacers, stacking more than two units with anything other than foam planes resulted in a very flimsy setup. As you can see from the pictures above, even after shifting the heavy airframes to the bottom, the setup is not what I would call a very sturdy and secure setup. However, with two foam planes, I was rather pleased with the results. Using the PVC round spacers will help out in this regard.

    Used as a workbench, the standbox does quite well as it can accept a wide variety of models and it does bring with it the ability to adjust the width to suit the airframe you are working on. You can see from the above pictures that I was able to fit a wide bodied SR22T along with two 30cc sized airframes on the work stand configuration of the standbox.

    Standbox Usage

    After spending some time with the standbox, I have mixed feelings about it. I think a good amount of thought and effort went into the design and production of these units but I honestly think that the foam that is provided is just too flexible to allow the units to be used as they are intended for anything other than small foam or light electric airplanes. I wish that the PVC spacing tubes were supplied standard in the box but they are a common size that can be obtained for very low cost at a hardware store. The asking price of the units may be considered by some to be a bit much for a bit of foam and plastic, especially given that you can achieve similar results with PVC and insulation foam spending much less in the process.

    Those comments aside, used with the proper airframe, the units do function as advertised and it is very convenient to be able to store an airplane in such a manner, transport it to the field and once at the field have the fuselage stand function as an airplane stand so you can assemble the airplane without having to place it on the ground. While they will not be replacing my standard method of hanging my airframes on the wall, I will most likely end up using these to store and transport my smaller foam airframes such as the Calypso as I have shown above.

    Distributed by:
    Esprit Model
    1240 Clearmont St. NE
    Unit #12 Palm Bay, FL - 32905

    Comments on RCU Review: Esprit Model Standbox System

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    The comments, observations and conclusions made in this review are solely with respect to the particular item the editor reviewed and may not apply generally to similar products by the manufacturer. We cannot be responsible for any manufacturer defects in workmanship or other deficiencies in products like the one featured in the review.

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