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Where did all the kits go?

Old 07-07-2019, 04:38 PM
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Emilsr
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Default Where did all the kits go?

Getting back into the hobby after a 15 year hiatus and other than Sig and Balsa USA Iím seeing almost nothing in the way of kit built airplanes. Midwest, Goldberg, even Great Planes seem to be gone along with all the smaller kit manufacturers.

Does no one build anymore? If so, is there a current list of kit suppliers somewhere?
Old 07-08-2019, 01:30 PM
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There's a sticky at the beginning of this forum that lists a bunch of kit manufacturers - I've purchased from several of them within the last year. Some may be gone by now but there's still a lot of kits to be had.
Old 07-08-2019, 03:48 PM
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Emilsr
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Originally Posted by gutmark View Post
There's a sticky at the beginning of this forum that lists a bunch of kit manufacturers - I've purchased from several of them within the last year. Some may be gone by now but there's still a lot of kits to be had.
I read through the thread. Struck out quite a few times when looking. Other than some Bridi kits I may have to just forget about what I used to fly.
Old 07-11-2019, 07:09 PM
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SA Flyer
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That thread has about 1,200 replies I do not care to explore. Leave that to someone else.

Did you check the Buy and Sell Forum.
How about trying a short kit? I did. I found that my expenses of buying all the other wood have surpassed the cost of an equivalent model sold as a kit. Ouch! But, it has been a labor of love. Still gotta get the covering material. Another ouch to the pocket book.
Good luck finding your kit.
Old 07-12-2019, 08:19 AM
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mkjohnston
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I went to a hobby shop last week in Fort Worth Texas and I bought a Balsa USA Excaliber kit. The man behind the counter told me that there was big a fire at Sig MFG a few months back and now its almost impossible to get Sig or even Balsa USA kits. I don't really under stand who owns TopFlite or Great Planes now that hobbico went out business last year. You can find Their ARFS on Towers and Horizons website but not their kits. I just collect the kits that I had years back when I find them and now I going to start building them and fly them
Michael Johnston
Old 07-27-2019, 09:51 AM
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Default R/C Modeler in 2019

Originally Posted by Emilsr View Post
Iím seeing almost nothing in the way of kit built airplanes.
It is a very different world today than it was in the past. HOLD tight to all those great memories. Change your perspective and go forward!
Old 07-27-2019, 05:41 PM
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"Where did all the kits go?"

I didn't spend any time going through the thread but I'd say they've just been re-badged...

Everyone seems to complain about no kits ---

How about Alien Aircraft Corporation or Old School Model Works - current and active - lots of great old school (glow powered) designs based on classics of the past available now (August, 2019) as full kits like you remember, including plans. Imagine airplanes like the Telemaster, Aeromaster, Robin Hood, Holy Smoke, and Fazer available now just with similar or different names.
Old 07-29-2019, 11:11 AM
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Kits are out there. However; I suggest taking a crack at building from plans. It isn't hard, just takes a little longer. There are tons of plans out there for great flying planes. Once you start building from plans, it's hard to go back to kits.

carl
Old 07-30-2019, 04:59 PM
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Building from plans could get easily be in my future. 35 years ago i bought the plans for a pattern plane. Pattern planes were very popular then. In fact I need to do a little snooping around in my detached storage room. I may still have those plans. Regardless of whether I still have those old plans I’m sure plans are available on the Internet that really opens up another path for me come to think of it.
Old 07-30-2019, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Emilsr View Post
Getting back into the hobby after a 15 year hiatus and other than Sig and Balsa USA Iím seeing almost nothing in the way of kit built airplanes. Midwest, Goldberg, even Great Planes seem to be gone along with all the smaller kit manufacturers.

Does no one build anymore? If so, is there a current list of kit suppliers somewhere?
The kits are all at my house
Old 07-30-2019, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Constrictor View Post
The kits are all at my house
Not the kits I want, they are out of production. Then again, I do have the plans for one of them, the Kadet Jr. When my job gives me the time, I'll have two of them, one on tricycle gear and one on floats
Old 07-31-2019, 07:11 AM
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Back in the 70's and 80's a great deal of our hobby goods came from small mom and pop shops. Sure there were the big guns like Sig, Midwest, Carl Goldberg etc but there were a bunch of small hobby suppliers that were run out of garages and barns as well. I see a bit of a resurgence of those small manufacturers once again. With laser cutting being so much easier and faster then die cutting or machine cutting kit production may just become profitable again. The new import tariffs will drive the cost of ARF airplanes up, maybe to the point of it starting to be more economical to build a kit again. Maybe a pipe dream but I would like to see these smaller manufacturers thrive and sell direct to hobby shops so that hobby shops can make a comeback. You just don't achieve the same level of enthusiasm by ordering something online as you do seeing the item first hand and talking to the guy behind the counter, then eventually going home with that new kit the same day.
Old 07-31-2019, 07:49 AM
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Constrictor
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Originally Posted by Hydro Junkie View Post
Not the kits I want, they are out of production. Then again, I do have the plans for one of them, the Kadet Jr. When my job gives me the time, I'll have two of them, one on tricycle gear and one on floats
yeah, out of production kits are kinda my thing. At least 200 of them anyway.
Old 08-06-2019, 06:37 PM
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I just ordered a Robinhood 80, an old design from a new kit company Old School Model Works... I have yet to receive it but I loved the looks of it and the updated build techniques.

Oldschoolmodels.com

Old 08-08-2019, 11:42 AM
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How many people out here in cyber remember the Pilot Kits from Japan? I had a couple back in the 1970's and the die cutting was the best out there. Somebody out there said a few years back that Pilot which became Ez I believe is out of business due to their factory burning to the ground. But then I've seen some pilot brand huge ARF's lately that are out of way my league.
Michael Johnston
Old 09-17-2019, 04:44 AM
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I love to build as much or more than flying. I've tried scratch building from plans. But frankly, I love the convenience of precut parts and hate buying poor quality balsa wood by the $tick.

Most people that fly rc once built from kits because they had to if they wanted to fly. But they hated every step and their planes never looked like the picture on the box lid. Many flew worse than they looked, some I recall being downright dangerous, lol. Since low cost ARFs from Asia hit our shores those folks swore off the kit built plane and never looked back. Some of the younger flyers at my current field are amazed when I tell them I built my airplane from sticks and sheet. This is not an old man rant. To the contrary, I consider myself an odd duck who likes glueing balsa! The market has finally evolved to fit the consumer. I've squirrelled away enough classic kits to keep me happy for another 20 years. If I run out I'll build from plans, reluctantly.
Old 09-17-2019, 04:48 AM
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Originally Posted by camss69 View Post
I just ordered a Robinhood 80, an old design from a new kit company Old School Model Works... I have yet to receive it but I loved the looks of it and the updated build techniques.

Oldschoolmodels.com

I just reviewed that for the next issue of Model Aviation.

Let me know what you think but I really enjoyed it.
Old 09-19-2019, 01:34 PM
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I just won an Old School Model Works Robin Hood 25 at a club event. I'm planning on going electric with it but would like to add the mock radial engine. I believe it takes a dummy motor from a P-17. The ws is 51". Seems that all sources list this accessory as 'out of stock'. Does anyone know if there are some vacuum formed or printed up dummies available for sale? Thanks.
Old 09-19-2019, 01:53 PM
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camss69
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Originally Posted by BarracudaHockey View Post
I just reviewed that for the next issue of Model Aviation.

Let me know what you think but I really enjoyed it.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PrKQxGq2n3E
Looking forward to reading the review. I saw your video on Facebook as well. Where did you buy your RCGF 21?
Old 09-19-2019, 01:57 PM
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Thanks!

It came from Valley View RC
Old 09-19-2019, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Steelhead13 View Post
I just won an Old School Model Works Robin Hood 25 at a club event. I'm planning on going electric with it but would like to add the mock radial engine. I believe it takes a dummy motor from a P-17. The ws is 51". Seems that all sources list this accessory as 'out of stock'. Does anyone know if there are some vacuum formed or printed up dummies available for sale? Thanks.
Try these guys.

Mike

https://parkflyerplastics.com/cart/i...index&cPath=31
Old 09-20-2019, 10:40 AM
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Thank you for the source FlyerInOKC! I appreciate the help.
Mark
Old 09-20-2019, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Steelhead13 View Post
Thank you for the source FlyerInOKC! I appreciate the help.
Mark
Anytime Mark! Who are you using for your motors, ESCs and the like?
MIke
Old 03-18-2020, 10:42 AM
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I have not started it yet and am new to building, so suggestions are welcome! Thank you
Old 03-21-2020, 09:11 PM
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Apparently the kits have gone to the same place as the demand for them.

In my own personal experience, I've only BUILT any model kit for the reason of obtaining a finished object, a model, that I could not obtain by any other means that were available to me. Did I want to BUILD? No! Did I at least sometimes enjoy building? Yes, but mostly from the perspective of looking forward to a finished product that I could then enjoy having. Would I have been just as happy or happier to have the finished product as I had dreamt it to be without having to build it? ABSOLUTELY!!!

At the same time, I will confess that I like to tinker and gain an understanding of gadgets as well as have the fun of gaining technical skills.

Current technology and other factors has allowed the market to produce models that require few if any steps to take toward arriving at a finished product and I'm happy about the progress in that area. What I'm not at all happy about is the fact that these ready to go products are not typically of the caliber or quality to capture my enthusiasm.

Given a kit, on my own, I can craft a model to the standards that I dream of or at least make an attempt to do so while learning new skills. Kits provided a pathway toward one's own personal gratification or goals in whatever form it might have taken, except instant perhaps.

It isn't only the lack of kits where there is a loss, but the ever decreasing availability of materials and supplies that used to be abundant and readily available in your own neighborhood or not far from it. So now even if you want to scratch build, it's not as easy or convenient or maybe even as possible as it used to be.

It's not that I want to build, it's that I'd like to have a model or models that would satisfy my own personal sensibilities and the way things are sorting out, it's increasingly less likely to happen since Chinese junk doesn't really do it for me.

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