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New appreciation for " ARF 's "

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New appreciation for " ARF 's "

Old 03-20-2015, 02:12 PM
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Granpooba
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Default New appreciation for " ARF 's "

Have been building models since the age of 8 and now going on 73. For a good number of years I have been assembling and flying ARF's. Got to the point of really getting tired of just " assembling " ARF's, thus I wanted to bet back into building.

Purchased and am in the final stages of building a Balsa USA Eindecker 90. And even though I can not say much good about this kit, I know that with the building skills that I have, in the end, it will turn out to be a nice model.

The point that I am making here is that after building this Eindecker, I have acquired a new respect for ARF's. Building a model reminded me of all the work that actually goes into a model, how much time it consumes, the patience that is needed, not to mention all the tools and equipment that is needed to " build " a model. Heck, just the horizontal stab on the Eindecker has 45 parts that needed to be measured, cut, sanded and sized to fit. YES !! I really did count all of the parts. LOL

I know " personally " I have voiced how tired that I was of the ARF market, but as I am stating, I have found a new respect for them and the merchants that offer them.

Happy to say that I still have three ARF's on my shelf waiting for assembly !
Old 03-21-2015, 03:51 PM
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tailskid
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"Got to the point of really getting tired of just " assembling " ARF's, thus I wanted to bet back into building."

I feel the same way....gonna start on a kit soon....have about a dozen to pick from
Old 03-22-2015, 02:53 AM
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The more I build, the less respect I have for ARFs.

Yes, it is a lot of work to build, but at least the work is done in correct manner.
Old 03-22-2015, 04:43 AM
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Factory built planes are no doubt very good for the RC community but the community is so diverse that they don't serve all of the needs. Again, for a variety of needs, some of us wish to build our own. Reasons can include the desire for a model that is not available factory built, or to satisfy personal needs such as pastime, artistic expression, or creative desires.

One issue for me is that an ARF only requires a couple of weeks to commission and given that I like to generally have a project at hand, that equates to way more planes than I can hanger or afford to equip, whereas a scratch build generally requires at least four months to build. Two projects a year fits my need for pastime, the ability to finance and a diminishing hanger space.

Other issues are that while I like rigging control rods and setting an engine to an airframe, I like wood construction more and perhaps the greatest issue, I like the challenges and mental and physical demands associated with a scratch build... but that's just me. Assembling a kit or commissioning an ARF certainly meets the needs of many and have met mine many times, but in the time and space I'm in right now.... scratch building suits my needs the most.
Old 03-22-2015, 01:03 PM
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tailskid
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"Yes, it is a lot of work to build, but at least the work is done in correct manner."

My last ARF was laser-cut and believe me it was built in the correct manner....so much in fact I'd LOVE to build the same plane from a kit - a million pieces all perfectly glued into place - here's the plane:
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Old 03-22-2015, 04:23 PM
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Granpooba
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Originally Posted by tailskid View Post
"Got to the point of really getting tired of just " assembling " ARF's, thus I wanted to bet back into building."

I feel the same way....gonna start on a kit soon....have about a dozen to pick from
Do not and I do mean " DO NOT " pick a Balsa USA kit !!! Friend and fellow club member is just finishing up one kit and not exactly happy with it. Another club member, who I might add is a really good builder just purchased their Newport kit. Opened it up, started on it and then said, the hell with this piece of poop and threw it back on his shelf. Exact quote was " I will build it another time ....... MAYBE ".

Personally speaking, I am not happy at all with my Eindecker 90 kit.
Old 03-22-2015, 04:51 PM
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I've only built one BUSA kit (Smoothie, back in the 80's) and do remember sanding and cutting a lot
Old 03-23-2015, 12:29 AM
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I'm building a BUSA Phaeton. Outside of the soldering required, I'm not seeing any problems. The same was true with my BUSA Fokker DVIII.
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Old 03-23-2015, 04:39 AM
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If the kits supplied today are anything like the one I built years ago (literally die smashed), I would consider them a "builder's" kit. Ok for somebody with several kits under their belt, maybe not so OK for a first kit. If those parts had been laser cut like you see today, it would have saved a lot of time making replacement parts that were shaped properly, but not usable.
Old 03-23-2015, 09:00 AM
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ahicks, If you think the die cut (die smashed) kits were labor intensive, than you never built a "print board" kit where the outline of each part was just printed onto a sheet of balsa and you had to hand cut each part out with your exacto knife. Then you would sand to shape and repair the spots where the part split down the grain line as you cut it out. Hand cut a full set of ribs then try to make them somewhat alike was the drill. You had to want an airplane bad to go through that process. The O.P. and I are the same age and built our first kits at about the same time so I bet in his youth he also built some of those print board kits and that's where he developed his building skills. In the 50's I built two 36" 1/2A Berkley kits (Cub Cruiser and a L-19 Bird Dog), several 24" Comet rubber band kits (Aerocoupe and others) a 72" Cleveland Condor sailplane, a Debolt All american Jr control line plane, some Goldberg rubber band sheet balsa Cessnas and others that I don't remember. Also scratch built some small simple rubber powered planes. In addition to having to hand cut the ribs,wing tips, and formers I can remember hand cutting the balsa strips for longerhorns L.E./T.E. etc. I also walked 2 miles to school, up hill each way, into the wind, and in 3 feet of snow no matter what season it was. OK, I exaggerated a little about the school walk, but the point is, yes, it is easier to build a model today, be it a laser cut kit or a pre built ARF so enjoy the ARF's if you wish and build kits as your motivation dictates and enjoy what ever you do. Myself, I assemble and bash a lot more ARFs today that kit building but still build an old school kit or two when something of interest comes along. I have never built a laser cut kit as my stuff tends to be old school planes. Build, fly, and smile

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Old 03-23-2015, 11:07 AM
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I must have got lucky . My BUSA 1/4 Scale Cub Kit was great .The material was all usable the instructions understandable the blueprints were great . plus the customer support was fantastic . Dave always took time to make sure I understood each step if I ran into a problem .
Old 03-23-2015, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by bikerbc View Post
I must have got lucky . My BUSA 1/4 Scale Cub Kit was great .The material was all usable the instructions understandable the blueprints were great . plus the customer support was fantastic . Dave always took time to make sure I understood each step if I ran into a problem .
I don't think you were lucky. BUSA manufactures good kits.

The WWI stuff is exceedingly popular.

Their Cubs are a popular alternative to the Sig kits. A friend recently built one with no difficulties or complaints.

People expect different things from kits. BUSA may suit our needs. Evidently The Pooba doesn't agree.
Old 03-23-2015, 12:25 PM
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I like me some Sig 1/4 scale Cubs, bouff of em. I like kits that
build like the Kadet Sr. too.
Old 03-27-2015, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by TomCrump View Post
I'm building a BUSA Phaeton. Outside of the soldering required, I'm not seeing any problems. The same was true with my BUSA Fokker DVIII.
Hi Tom, surprised to see you here on the dark side. I just came over to look up an ARF I'm rebuilding, thing is it's new in box and never been assembled. The H-9 Ultra Stick 60, what a piece of junk, I wouldn't bother but I have flown the 120 size a couple times and they really are a nice plane in the air.
We used to think they came with shipping damage but after working on the wings I see what it really was and why H-9 replaced the broken parts with no questions asked.
THe right wing had one broken rib, #2 and the wing tip was a total mess. I only needed to add heat to the tip and the hot glue melted and the parts fell off nice and clean. Surprise, there wasn't much hot glue even used. The other wing had 7 out of 9 ribs broken?? No box damage at all or poked in the covering. During the repairs I figured out what happened. All the lightening holes were die cut and the dies were dull, the cutting was just about half way thorugh. The wing was assembled then they tried to knock out the lightening but instead broke the ribs, no surprise there but then it went to covering and after that was shipped to the U.S.
Real quality control. I thought Nitro Planes were junk but Horizon should hide in shame for this mess.
Today I'm going to recover the bottom sheeting and finish the other problems. Ran out of glue and epoxy but the fire wall wasn't installed very well so I have to reglue that too.
I have built a couple of crappy kits but nothing that a bit of sanding didn't take care of. I have never built a bad BUSA kit though but I haven't built everything in there line.
So far the only ARFs I have assembled that I thought were good were the Aeroworks and Wild Hare planes. I used to hold Horizon in high regards until I started to do the repairs on this mess.
I'm off now looking for an assembly thread on this plane to get an idea of the set up and control locations to get the CG. I did look up the Stick on Ebay and was shocked to see what the prices were that this plane is going for. People are really putting out some tall cash for this plane. I know it flys well but it really is junk.
Old 03-27-2015, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Gray Beard View Post
Hi Tom, surprised to see you here on the dark side. .
I'm surprised to see you here, too, Gene.

I have a few ARFs. They are mostly Sig products.

I visit the ARF Forums to check out the latest trends, or to see if there are any known problems with a model that is being repaired in my shop.

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Old 03-27-2015, 11:10 AM
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I have the little Aeroworks Extra electric and get a kick out of it. A friend gave me his crashed plane and I made templates for it so for about $25.00 I can knock them out.
I just slipped over to look at some assembling threads for the Ultra Stick. I fell into a buy out deal several years ago and my partner kept this kit thinking he would assemble it after doing the repairs, he never did and gave it to me last week. I have flown a couple of the 120s and it really is a nice plane in the air.
When I was assembling ARFs for people I knew there was a huge difference in the quality form plane to plane but I never assembled any from H-9 and thought they had a good product. After reading about it and the problems the guys at the field had I guess I was wrong. No problem though, I will make it all better and I picked up some pretty good ideas here.I like sticks and I do like the looks of this plane, just needs some TLC and a few mods. Now, to crow or not to crow, that is the question?? Most the guys I know set them up with all the cute tricks then changed them back over to just ailerons so I'm still giving it some thought? I may sell it right away too and the crow may be something a new owner may want. Decisions Decisions??

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