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Building vs. not building

Old 12-06-2010, 06:14 PM
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impulse09
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Default Building vs. not building

I have ARFs. I've built a few (3.5) kits. I just got my first ARC. It will eventually get there, but seeing the construction makes me appreciate building my own kits even more. Just a mini-vent I guess.

-DS
Old 12-06-2010, 06:36 PM
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noveldoc
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Default RE: Building vs. not building

It's a matter of timing.

We take our time. If the factory guy doesn't meet his hourly quota, no rice bowl for him.

Tom
Old 12-06-2010, 07:38 PM
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gmohr
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Default RE: Building vs. not building

The better brands of arfs are very hard to beat these days. They are lighter, straighter, and in many cases, finished better than 95% of the builders out there. Of course, cheap arf are just what they always were... crap Build because you love it, because there isn't much reason to do so otherwise.
Old 12-06-2010, 08:18 PM
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Gray Beard
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Default RE: Building vs. not building

A kit built will be more on the heavy side compared to an ARF, wood does weigh more then air. A kit built plane will also be stronger and last for decades, an ARF that is flown a lot, a season or two before the air frame is worn out. As mentioned, some ARFs are better then others but you still don't see a lot of any ARF being flown for a long time. I may be a builder but I do see some very nice ARFs being flown and a lot of them I can't build even from plans for the low price.
I try to look at building as a love affair or labor of love, even more so then the flying part. I have friends that look at it the other way, they would rather buy a new plane every season or two and just fly. It's just a choice thing.
I'm buying plans tomorrow for another build but before I decided what I wanted to build I did take a look at some nice ARFs of about the same size. I made a choice though and will spend a lot of months out in the shop before my new plane ever leaves the ground. With an ARF I could be flying in a week.
Old 12-06-2010, 08:26 PM
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jship
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Default RE: Building vs. not building

It is defiantly all about the love affair.  Seeing each build being better than the one before.  It's also a adventure.  A lesson in daily problem  solving.   Fun! 
Old 12-06-2010, 08:31 PM
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sensei
 
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Default RE: Building vs. not building

Kit built and scratch built airframes can be done lighter, stronger, and just as straight as any ARF if done right and following one basic rule. Make the fittings big and engineer the hell out of the upholstery.

Bob
Old 12-07-2010, 04:30 AM
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Default RE: Building vs. not building

When you build a kit yourself, you actually care about your creation in the air. That's part of you up there! ARFs have no soul, so if you crash, big deal. There's a completely different feeling between flying ARFs and kit built planes. Myself, I'll continue to build
Old 12-07-2010, 05:54 AM
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gmohr
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Default RE: Building vs. not building

I don't really see it as one vs the other. I love to build, but I also have many arfs. The availability of high performance, light, and straight arf's for not much cash has had a big impact on my flying. I'll risk things with an arf that I'd never risk if I had 100+ hours invested in it.

I think folks that look at the arf phenominon as a step backwards are not seeing the whole picture. Of course, there is a real downside in that the variety of building kits and supplies have taken a downturn. There are also huge benefits to the hobby in the accessibility of RC flying for those that dont have the time or facilities (or interest) to build, and for those of us that want to push their limits a bit.

-G
Old 12-07-2010, 06:24 AM
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Clay Walters
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Default RE: Building vs. not building

I'm on my 4th ARF now and my 1rst Hangar Nine product. First was a Hobbico, next two were Black Horse. The build quality was/is fantastic and the covering far superior to any kit I've done. But then I'm sorta ham-handed and never have been the artsy type. But I do love the construction and a little of the problem solving aspect of kits. I do not like a kit being represented as "complete" when it includes junk hardware that nobody in the right mind would use or shoddy installation guides always taking the shortest route to completion. I've never built a kit that hasn't been around for years and had ample time for refinement. Sorry, I just don't believe in the concept of a "builders kit". They should be precisely as represented on the box or in the advertisements. (my rant)

On the other hand there are numerous plans available and services that sell "short kits" that I feel are the genuine article.

I haven't done an ARF yet that I haven't deviated from the instructions on and this is largely because I started with kits and am not afraid to make some modifications. And I truly believe my RC experience has been enriched by this so naturally I support the notion that anyone that is "into" this hobby should atleast one time do a "box of sticks" build until its flying and flying well. But after that; ARF's would be ok by me because the the flyer will then have a greater appreciation for what he/she is flying as well as the ability to make repairs or mods.

But that's just my take.

Regards,

Clay
Old 12-07-2010, 06:28 AM
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Default RE: Building vs. not building

I love the challange of building. Better than therapy I'm told. After 50 plus years of building planes and boats, I've found that its a great stress reliever but required me to carry a second credit card. In times past, I had Tower on my speed dial...back when their catalog had more kits and hard to find parts than now.

Ray W.
Old 12-07-2010, 08:07 AM
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jship
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Default RE: Building vs. not building

Brother, I can relate to what you are saying! And from personal experience, kits are cheaper than therapy. My wife would tell you that I get consumed with the build. I've started working out so I can carry the second card.
ORIGINAL: E-Gap

I love the challange of building. Better than therapy I'm told. After 50 plus years of building planes and boats, I've found that its a great stress reliever but required me to carry a second credit card. In times past, I had Tower on my speed dial...back when their catalog had more kits and hard to find parts than now.

Ray W.
Old 12-07-2010, 09:59 AM
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Fleet
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Default RE: Building vs. not building

Happiness was the sound of the UPS truck pulling up outside the door. Near the Christmas MOJO of my yute.

Ray W.
Old 12-07-2010, 10:14 AM
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Default RE: Building vs. not building

You can only do so much to an ARF.

When you build, especially scratch build, what you can do to or with the model, is not limited.

I rarely finish my building projects, but I still like building better than flying. Always will.
Old 12-07-2010, 10:40 AM
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Default RE: Building vs. not building

I like both building and flying.

Many ARTF kits, especially from Asia just don't make the grade if you are building planes. They are reverse engineered and mass produced by people who knows very little of planes.
I've had many ARTF kits and almost all was a disapointment somewhere- especially airfoil sections that are notcorrect.But then I've seen a couple that actually fly very well - here I can mention the CMPCessna.

There are still some nice building kits around i.e Proctor but these days I prefer scratch build - you end up with that individualistic touch that no ARTF can match. .
.... and to see your scratch build creation fly for the first time...it is a nice feeling

Bundu
Old 12-07-2010, 03:07 PM
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impulse09
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Default RE: Building vs. not building

I guess I got a new perspective on things with the ARC. I've never had the opportunity to see the guts of a covered ARF before. The ARC could easily have wound up as an ARF with hidden dings, bad glue joints, etc. Even as an ARC, I still can't see everything.

-DS
Old 12-07-2010, 03:28 PM
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Default RE: Building vs. not building

The ARC's are an excellent possibility!

Changes, mods, additions, all could make for a better looking AND flying model.

Plus, You don't have to remove all the covering for starters.

I was going to remove the covering on my H9 Corsair to do a bash.

It gets more and more difficult to consider every time I look at it in the box.
Old 12-07-2010, 05:05 PM
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impulse09
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Default RE: Building vs. not building

Will be doing some minor mods, mainly for appearance sake. Not going to reinforce everything, just going to glue what should be glued already.

(First time on the front page!!![&:])

-DS
Old 12-07-2010, 05:44 PM
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DGrant
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Default RE: Building vs. not building

I absolutely love to build... however time constraints and other more pressing projects(my home) have left me with little time to do a full-on kit build for the last 3-5yrs or more. Basically I've substituted my house projects for my RC projects... I can't/won't afford someone else to come in and work on my house when I'm perfectly capable, and it does save alot of money, and I do get great satisfaction from remodeling my own home..... but it comes with a price... I have no time to do RC projects on the grand scale... that doesn't stop me from collecting them up though, as the house will have to wait someday.. just like my RC building is waiting right now..... oh ... but wait... along comes the ARF's.. . and yes.. those have kept me in flying.. offering less time involved(much less in most cases), and relatively low maintenence... I'm a fan of quality ARF's.. for a few reasons.... but I come from a time when the only ARF's on the market weren't worth having.. and the only way an avid modeler could have a quality plane was to build it yourself... so I can appreciate both... I'm looking forward to a few builds next year though already. I need a break from my house for sure.
Old 12-07-2010, 06:01 PM
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Default RE: Building vs. not building

I like building, but what I really enjoy is detailing and painting/weathering. Lately I can get an ESM or CMP 70'' ws model already built pretty well for less than what it would cost to cut from plans or buy a kit and build the basic airframe. Warbirds are my main focus and I like a good ARF as a starting point. With a nice ARF I can put 20 hours into stripping the wings and fixing some of the lines and then the fun begins. I can then begin the parts of the build I really like and when it's done it's not really an ARF anyway. Best of both worlds I guess.

Latest project is a 69" KI-61 "Tony". Started off as an EasyTiger ARF. Didn't like the flatsided boxyness of the fuse so I slabbed and shape sanded it. Scratched a better radiator and fixed the rudder. I'm done with the fuse/tailfeathers and it's in it's base color awaiting camo, lettering, insignia and weathering. Right wing is fully loaded now (retracts and all servos) and ready for glassing, panel lines, base color and attaching aileron and flap. If it had been a true kit I might be beginning the sheeting in the 2 mos I've been working on it. I don't get to put in alot of hours building per week so a BARF is just the ticket (Bashed ARF). Even with all the extra balsa this ougth to come in at about 11-12lbs fully loaded.

Keep em flying!

EDIT; What is up with the Photo uploading?!?!? Still?
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Old 12-07-2010, 06:08 PM
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Default RE: Building vs. not building

Ok I have been involved in this hobby for more than 30 yrs. and have owned more planes than than I can count, some ARF s but mostly planes I ve built or bought at swap meets, ebay or from fellow RC ers. It just depends I think on how you were introduced to the hobby, in my case my Dad was flying in the early seventies and i got drug along to the field when I was just a little fellow and fell in love with it. All we had back in the day were kits or plans so thats what I knew, then in the late 80 s ARF s started to show up. They were basically a crappy airframe with alot of foam and covered in some kind of adhesive covering that was impossible to match or repair. But I gave a few a try, but once you crashed one which is going to happen you normally just salvaged what you could and **** canned the rest. But the ones you see today are beautiful, for me though I still prefer to build from a kit or plans, just something about seeing something you built from a box of balsa leave he ground that gives ya that feeling of pride. I have a wing from a great planes Stick thats been through 3 or 4 fuses and no kidding is so strong you can stand on it without it breaking. Wish they still offered it in kit form, one of the best flying planes I ve ever owned. So for me I still prefer the building and plus it s a great way to spend time with my children and something to do in the winter months here in the midwest. Don t get me wrong like I said some of the newer ARF s are great and Im sure I ll end up with one or two in the future but will always have something on the building bench.
Old 12-07-2010, 08:39 PM
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jeffEE
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Default RE: Building vs. not building

I build, I arc, I arf. I like them all, and love to see all of them at the field. First flight of an ARF is interesting, and when it goes well, I think that it's nice to have it back in on the ground in ready to fly again. If it goes bad, I wounder about the quality of the plane or the glue used or things like that. When I build and have a good first flight, I tell the world, "I BUILT THAT!" and I smile all day long. If it goes bad, I wounder what the h**l I did wrong. Warped wing, missed a spot to glue, like that. And it bugs me a LONNNGGG time. I am just thankful that the quality of ARFs have improved. When the hit the market a few years back....P.U. As long as it flyes, its all good.
Old 12-08-2010, 12:02 AM
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Default RE: Building vs. not building


ORIGINAL: dgrant

I absolutely love to build... however time constraints and other more pressing projects(my home) have left me with little time to do a full-on kit build for the last 3-5yrs or more. Basically I've substituted my house projects for my RC projects... I can't/won't afford someone else to come in and work on my house when I'm perfectly capable, and it does save alot of money, and I do get great satisfaction from remodeling my own home..... but it comes with a price... I have no time to do RC projects on the grand scale... that doesn't stop me from collecting them up though, as the house will have to wait someday.. just like my RC building is waiting right now..... oh ... but wait... along comes the ARF's.. . and yes.. those have kept me in flying.. offering less time involved(much less in most cases), and relatively low maintenence... I'm a fan of quality ARF's.. for a few reasons.... but I come from a time when the only ARF's on the market weren't worth having.. and the only way an avid modeler could have a quality plane was to build it yourself... so I can appreciate both... I'm looking forward to a few builds next year though already. I need a break from my house for sure.
I'm hearing ya. I've only just started out in RC Planes but I want to build my own planes. I have put the house renovations on hold for a while until I've built my LT-40 at least. I need a break from the house work and the longer it takes me to finish my plane - the more time I get away from working on the house! So far - I'm loving it!

Old 12-08-2010, 03:46 AM
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Default RE: Building vs. not building

I'm an arf guy and have only built one kit and flew it,a .15 air tractor and then tried to build a TP P-40 and never fin. it I think that was too much for a second build.I have fixed a lot of arf's so I think I can build from a kit but looking at a box of sticks is intimadating (spelling).I think I will try a kit I saw at Tower a .40 RV4 it looks like it may be simple enough for me to build.
Old 12-08-2010, 07:19 AM
  #24  
LesUyeda
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Default RE: Building vs. not building

" of my yute. "

Now all you need is a really good looking, car savvy girl friend, and a strange suite. :-)))))
Old 12-08-2010, 09:26 AM
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Default RE: Building vs. not building

I've been in this hobby for 30 years now and I've seen/done it all. I've built from kits, plans and done a few ARFs for myself. My first kit was a Bridi Bipe. Second was a Bridi Utter Kaos. Now those where kits that would teach you how to build. I remember when EZ first came out with their ARFs and Indy RC added them to the catalog. Man those were beautiful looking planes - until you saw one in person. Admittedly, the ARFs of today have gotten better than those EZ's of 25 years ago but they still are not as good as I can build. I "assemble" ARFs for other club members and I've seen the good, the bad and the ugly of a lot of ARFs. After building so many for other pilots I've come to the conclusion that I have no plans to buy another ARF for myself. I would say "never buy another ARF" but we all know that could always change. At this point in time, there is not one Chinaman in China being paid enough or has the knowledge to out build me. I look at nothing but kits, plans and short kits for myself. I won't condem anyone for wanting to fly an ARF. That's their choice but don't expect me to be impressed with your plane. Show me a simple trainer that a pilot built from a kit or plans and I'll be more impressed with it than any ARF at the field. One of my fondest memories is the first flight of that Brid Bipe. It may not have been the best flying or even the best looking plane in the pits, but it was my plane and I built it. No ARF will ever leave a pilot with that kind of feeling or memory.

Bob Cox

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