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Am I missing something???

Old 12-16-2012, 09:25 AM
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LSP972
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Default Am I missing something???

Several years ago, right after I retired, I was perusing eBay quite often for kits, and there were several HUNDRED quality wood kits to choose from at any given time.

Now, using every search title I can think of, the best I see is 76 "kits" (and not all of those are true wood kits).

Is that all there is these days, or perhaps I am not using the correct search title/function? That place is a rat's nest, and I'm not very 'puter-literate.

But come to think of it, there are very few true kits here, either. Perhaps there simply aren't that many remaining in circulation?

I did see where brother Tharpe is about to "release" some new Venture kits. Gots to get another one of those. Probably among the best of any currently-produced kits, knowing him.

.
Old 12-16-2012, 09:30 AM
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noveldoc
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Default RE: Am I missing something???

The Venture is a well done kit.  One of the best I have ever seen

Tom
Old 12-16-2012, 10:27 AM
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Default RE: Am I missing something???

There have been quite a few recent threads discussing the impending demise of kit manufacturers and kit building. No doubt, the trend is moving more and more towards ARFs, and of course, the supply of "vintage" (out of productions) kits is finite and shrinking. I suspect that those of us who prefer building will simply end up gravitating towards plan builds instead of kit builds.
Old 12-16-2012, 12:03 PM
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Default RE: Am I missing something???

I peruse ebay regularly and have also seen the number of kits offered in decline. The ones offered tend to go for big $$$. Generally the out of production kits like Royal, Pica, etc. Bargains are still available on occasion. Just a couple of weeks ago, I picked up a Top Flite Gold Edition AT-6 kit for $130+$22.50 shipping. I thought for sure it would go for around $200......
Old 12-16-2012, 12:52 PM
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Default RE: Am I missing something???

Can you say ARF....I am a kit builder and always will be. I have stock piled quite a few kits for my retirement and you are correct, there are fewer kits available and they want big bucks for them. I really watch Craigs list for local deals and have done real well with that. Good Luck, Dave
Old 12-16-2012, 04:04 PM
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Default RE: Am I missing something???

Here is the search I use:
http://www.ebay.com/dsc/Airplanes-He...FSRCHMODX:SRCH

I have excluded helis, quads, and a lot of other junk. I am afraid if I refine it more, I might miss some of the good stuff. It shows on average about 2100 results, with a mix of about 40% older kits, 30% newer kits and about 30% arfs and junk.
Old 12-16-2012, 04:37 PM
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Default RE: Am I missing something???

As time goes on there will be less and less old kits to choose from, no surprise about that. The supply is drying up. I do have a couple of old kits hidden away but I prefer building from plans these days, a lot more to choose from and end up costing a bunch less depending on the plane and size.
Old 12-16-2012, 08:17 PM
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LSP972
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Default RE: Am I missing something???

Terry,

Many thanks for that link; it brought up a LOT more true kits than I was able to get. Yeah, you gotta wade through a lot of junk, but it's worth it.

Got several new items on my Watch List now...

.
Old 12-17-2012, 08:06 AM
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Default RE: Am I missing something???

Gray beard + 1,I prefer to get plans cut and build,I guess there are a few ole school guys still around,(Good for us).
Old 12-17-2012, 08:18 AM
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ORIGINAL: dadragon

Gray beard + 1,I prefer to get plans cut and build,I guess there are a few ole school guys still around,(Good for us).
I have always liked building kits but about 20 years ago the prices really started to climb. One of my all time favorites was/is the 60 size CG Extra and it got to almost $200.00 just for the kit. Then I always replaced the LG and cowl with items sold by FGS so that really brought up the cost.
As kits became fewer and fewer and the cost went up I started building from plans a lot more then kits. I was still finding kits at auctions and I was paying almost nothing for them. I have a slightly started Pica Cessna kit and a nice complete Ultra Sport 1000 I may sell next year so I can afford to build my last two planes from plans? Still haven't decided on that yet but I don't care for the Cessna, not my type of plane. The US 1000 is my type of plane but I like the planes I have the plans for a lot better. After these next two builds I think I will quit building so much? I keep saying that but haven't done it yet. Been giving planes away to make room for new ones too. There are just so many cool planes I would still like to have though!!
Old 12-17-2012, 09:28 AM
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ORIGINAL: TLH101

Here is the search I use:
http://www.ebay.com/dsc/Airplanes-He...FSRCHMODX:SRCH

I have excluded helis, quads, and a lot of other junk. I am afraid if I refine it more, I might miss some of the good stuff. It shows on average about 2100 results, with a mix of about 40% older kits, 30% newer kits and about 30% arfs and junk.

Wow, was that a trip down memory lane. There are kits posted there I haven't seen in years. I may have to bid on something....
Old 12-18-2012, 05:25 AM
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Default RE: Am I missing something???

I've got roughly 18 or so kits waiting to be built. I picked them up over the years at swap meets for a bargain and am now glad I did. I also build from plans and thankfully, that part of the hobby shouldn't go away like kit building did.

However; I think kit building/manufacturers will be back some day. I'm seeing a very small taste of it now. Bruce Tharpe is a good example. I saw a place called Bluejay models kitting old Bridi planes at nice prices too.

I think the current ARF/RTF trend is a fad. Most of the guys buying plastic RTF electric toys will get out after they get bored. The rest might start getting interested in building and create a demand for kits. That will bring out the garage manufacturers who will start building kits again and hopefull will grow into real businesses ala SIG, Great Planes, Top Flite, and Goldberg.
Old 12-18-2012, 06:44 AM
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LSP972
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Default RE: Am I missing something???


I think the current ARF/RTF trend is a fad.

You might be right regarding the RTF aspect (is there really any such thing as truly RTF???); but ARFs were in their infancy when I began the hobby in 1986, and they haven't slacked off yet. Just about every R/C modeler I know, except for a couple of hardcore scale guys, would rather deal with a nice ARF than a wood kit. Its all about time; nobody has any. Hell, I'm retired, but have yet to get back to kit building. I'm "getting ready", since it would appear that my consulting gig has about run its course (i.e., the grant money they have been paying me with ran out), and I may decide to REALLY retire, since the few offers I've gotten don't appeal to me.

But ARFs fade in the face of a resurgence of kit building? I don't think so... I saw a recent thread where Bax from The Empire stated that their few kit sales were barely enough to justify production. Look at the latest Tower flyer... ONE page, maybe a page and a half, of wood kits.

Besides, from what I hear, good balsa is getting VERY difficult to come across. The last two kits I built, a Great Planes PT 20 and a GP Super Sportster .60, had TERRIBLE wood in them. The fuse sides of the PT 20 were actually HAIRY... never seen that before, and I like to never have got it sanded out.

And that was five years ago.

OTOH, I have a Sig Steen SkyBolt kit stashed that has beautiful wood. I have no idea how old the kit/wood is, but it still fires off thin CA. But there is some mojo building in that puppy; especially since I want to lose the plastic turtledeck and replace it with wood construction. I'm "saving" it for after I get a few simpler ones under my belt, to get back in the groove, so to speak.

Anyway... I, for one, am on the look-out for older, quality kits. But it would seem there simply aren't many "out there" these days...

.
Old 12-18-2012, 04:20 PM
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Default RE: Am I missing something???

Give Joe at Proctor-Enterprises.com a call. You won't be disappointed. The kits seem pricey but for what you get they are the best value out there. They really are! I have most all of them for the future. Mick Reeves has nice offerings and order fulfillment is fast- even if across the pond. I bought two 1/4 Camels. Balsa USA has neat airplanes, too. There are others out there. Support 'em!

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