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Kit Building Forum Activity

Old 11-10-2007, 05:52 PM
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GAP-RCU
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Default Kit Building Forum Activity

Is it just me, or has any other long time readers of this Kit Building forum noticed that there appears to be a lot more activity here during the past 6 months or so? I seemed to remember there only being a few posts per day, but lately there seems to be much more activity; and the winter building season isn't even in full swing yet.

If true, I wonder if... nah, the lure of ARFs is still too strong.

Gary
Old 11-10-2007, 06:41 PM
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Default RE: Kit Building Forum Activity

I think a lot of the activity has to do with some planes being only available in kit form. For example: The Great Planes Ultimate 40 and RV-4 40 are full-house kits. There is no ARF available for either model. Some folks have experienced problems with ARFs, mainly in their quality of assembly and gluing, they feel that better quality can be obtained by building the kit themselves.

NorfolkSouthern
Old 11-10-2007, 08:44 PM
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TLH101
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Default RE: Kit Building Forum Activity

Maybe it's just the current crop of ARFs.
If you build it from plans, kit, or scratch, you are an R/C Modeler. If you put an ARF together, you are a flyer.
Old 11-10-2007, 09:57 PM
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BankYank
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Default RE: Kit Building Forum Activity

I have built many of both. I have finally decided a Kit or Plans built plane just flies better I just sold my last arf this week. So from now on all my planes will be built by me.
Pat
Old 11-10-2007, 11:20 PM
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GAP-RCU
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Default RE: Kit Building Forum Activity


ORIGINAL: BankYank

I have built many of both. I have finally decided a Kit or Plans built plane just flies better I just sold my last arf this week. So from now on all my planes will be built by me.
Pat
Pat's experience is why I posed the question in the beginning of this thread. It simply appears to me that there is more activity in this Kit Building forum than at any time in the last few years - maybe others are doing the same as Pat.

I'm just wondering if we're seeing a small trend; perhaps the leading edge of a slight shift in the mindset of the participants in this hobby.

I know, I'm probably grasping for anything that looks positive through rose colored glasses.

Gary
Old 11-11-2007, 08:30 AM
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ron9844
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Default RE: Kit Building Forum Activity

I also think that kit building is going to make a comeback. I sold all of my ARF kits just couldn't stand the quality, it seems every post about ARF's you read they are telling you to reglue this or that or this wing is breaking if flight or the gear is pulling out and not to mention the hardware that you have to throw away and replace. If you have to spend that much time to fix a built airplane to make it reliable to fly you could build it yourself and not have a cookie cutter plane at the field.

With the newer smaller companies making kits or short kits available for a lot of the magazine plans and re-do's of some of the older pattern planes (Quick Fly, Taurus etc) available for very resonable prices it is making building even more enjoyable.

There is something about the smell of real glue and epoxy compared to the fumes of CA.

Ron
Old 11-11-2007, 09:08 AM
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Default RE: Kit Building Forum Activity

I think Ron's second paragraph says it all. There has always been moderate interest in building. But convinced pre-builts were the future, the majors switched over to ARF's almost exclusively and abandoned us kit builders to nothing but Stick40's and other boring toy planes in kit form. Today RC websites are full of people buying plans and balsa to fill this void and the classic designs that have a legendary reputation for flying enjoyment are what people have been choosing in the greatest numbers (Kaos, UltraSport, Aeromaster).

Lucky for us the manufacturers are starting to realize there is STILL a significant market niche for more challenging, larger displacement planes in kit form. Notice when Great Planes recently came out with the Skybolt ARF they left the kit version in production. They also recently reissued the US40/60 and SS40/60 in kit form and it appears those products are doing well despite zero promotion on their part. If a product manager happens to read this maybe they'll consider releasing some even larger planes in the 90/120 displacement range?
Old 11-11-2007, 09:17 AM
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Bratpak
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Default RE: Kit Building Forum Activity

I just started flying this year and bought a used Nexstar and a Twist ARF to get me in the air. I didn't want to try my first build in the summer, I wanted to fly.
Now that the weather is turning colder thoughts turn to building.
I bought a Sig 4 Star 40 kit which should be here next week. This will be my first build and I am really looking forward to it. I am the kind of person that has to tinker with everything. I cannot leave anything alone.
I get bored sitting downstairs and just cleaning the planes that I have.
Now that I have planes to fly I will probably always build, that's just the way I am.

You can only clean the planes you have so many times !!!

Mark
Old 11-11-2007, 09:45 AM
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Default RE: Kit Building Forum Activity

A few years back I remember going to the local Hobby Store and seeing a ton of kits...then slowly these were replaced by ARF's.
Now instead of kits all there is on the shelf (except for one or two kits) are ARF's...North American magazines also lean almost exclusively towards the ARF market...I used to enjoy reading the construction articles in these mag's...Now I purchase Flying Scale Models (UK). I hope the trend shifts more to centre instead of being so lopsided...At least we can still purchase plans and building materials....and order kits (mostly on line)

There is something about the smell of real glue and epoxy compared to the fumes of CA.

Ron
Bingo!!!
Old 11-11-2007, 10:00 AM
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Default RE: Kit Building Forum Activity

this can actually be 2 hobbies at once; building and flying. of course some do only one of the hobbies mentioned here; flying. that's ok, i have used arfs to get back into the hobby after a decade or so layoff but now i have a build ongoing at all times. and there are many projects waiting for me to get to.

There is no comparison between arfs and cutting, sanding and gluing a stack of soft balsa and plywood sheets into a hardened gleaming painted model. i love it.
Old 11-11-2007, 11:03 AM
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ron9844
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Default RE: Kit Building Forum Activity

I got back into the hobby a couple of years ago and did the ARF thing, but after realizing that they are being built by people the have really no clue about how it should be built from a modelers needs I decided to go back to building ( spent to much time reglueing and not knowng what is under the covering is just scary). I have come up with some nice small companies that are selling just the short kits as well as full kits to a lot of nice planes from beginner to advanced, some older planes and some new designs.

I think that some of the companies that are putting out ARF's should try putting out a short kit with plans and fiberglass and see how many they would sell verses the ARF, it may be a bit of a supprise to them.

I am going to be building an older pattern design this winter along with a Weeks solution for an 85cc motor, I have the kits and the qulity is excellent.

Ther are companies selling the Kaos, Super Kaos and other Bridi designs along with the Qwick Fli, King Altair and Taurus among others that are excellent kits.

Let me know if I should post a list.

Ron
Old 11-11-2007, 11:45 AM
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Alex7403
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Default RE: Kit Building Forum Activity

For me It’s the beginning of he building season, i got enough of arf’s they aren’t built right so I build my own planes.

I’m in the middle of building a midstar now and will build one more plane I haven’t decided yet, Among my choices are four star 60 or Goldberg tiger 60.
I’m feeling confident flying the midstar (already had one and building one more).

Good luck every body and keep posting.

Alex
Old 11-11-2007, 12:42 PM
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GAP-RCU
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Default RE: Kit Building Forum Activity

Great comments from all. Perhaps the pendulum will swing back a little so we have more balance in the hobby, especially with the emergence of alternative forms of "kits" as noted by Ron.

In any case, I certainly hope the activity continues to grow in this Kit Building forum.

Gary
Old 11-11-2007, 03:59 PM
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jollyroger
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Default RE: Kit Building Forum Activity

I mostly build kits. I've bought a few ARFS. While some were ok, others were terrible. Even the big names have their problems. A friend bought a Tower Trainer and the instructions said to just glue and tape the root ribs together to join the wings. No joineers or diehedral braces. needless to say the wing came apart shortly thereafter. What kind of quality do you call this? Who makes these kind of design decisions? Some coke head?
While It seems that glue joints are the main complaint, I've found assembly instructions to sadly lacking in many cases.
Many of the guys in my club prefer to build kits. I've just finished a Sig Kougar and working on a Sig Citabria, Balsacraft FW-190 and Jim Ryan P-47. I also have a Sig Dornier Do 217 and a House of Balsa Space walker to get started. So I've got a full plate this season.
Now not all kits are created equal. The Balsacraft kits has some strange wood in it and the instructions are not too clear as well. It may well be why they fell out of favor.
It is sad to hear Sky Shark will no longer be producing their line of laser cut kits due to the lack of interest. At least we still have companies such as Sig, Great planes, Aerodrome and others who still believe in the joy of building as well as flying.
I find building is a great way to relieve stress and escape from all the troubles in life. It's good therapy.LOL
Cheers Jollyroger
Old 11-11-2007, 05:26 PM
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Gary L.
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Default RE: Kit Building Forum Activity

I have yet to build, but, I'm hoping that " Santa " will bring me a 4* .40 kit.
Old 11-11-2007, 09:54 PM
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Kirk RC
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Default RE: Kit Building Forum Activity

I would suggest that yes more people are starting to get involved in building as a "second stage" of their RC experience. As example 3 of the new members at my club soloed this summer on ARF's, are into their 2-3rd ARF ( a few crashes a couple moving up from the Avisstar stuff) and now are going into building. In discussions with them the main reasons appears to be that they want to have a plane that they can at last feel fully vested in, simply put they want the full RC experience and to understand how a plane goes together. Like many of you I have helped alot of new flyers with their ARF's problems, needed repairs etc and they are amazed at how much I know as a builder about their plane and THEY want that knowledge also. I have always thought ARF's are great for the hobby by bringing in more particapants. The new E crowd is a great thing for us all as well IMO. If only 10% of the new ARF particapants moved into some building that would be a huge increase!! Maybe we are seeing the first of the ARF crowd making the move into some kit builds?a Must of us who have been in RC 20+years are now hybrid Kit/ARF flyers anyway. As Im currently finishing/covering my TF 1/5 P-51B kit, sitting on the table next to it is my Skyshark P-40 ARF that is being assembled and I bounce back between the two. When they are both finished it may be time this winter to start my Midwest AT6 kit or TF B-25 ARF, or maybe both . You gotta love this hobby
Old 11-11-2007, 10:30 PM
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Default RE: Kit Building Forum Activity

I am glad to see that finally some are gaining interest in learning to build, or they are relearning old skills to start building again. You guys are invited to have a look at one of the big threads here on RCU. It is in the Vintage and Antique forum, titled WACO YMF. We have resurected the old Pica Waco YMF, and now that the AMA has the plans, we (The WACO Brotherhood) have donated all the parts templates to the AMA, so now when you order the plans, you get the parts templates as well. Pica never published any templates or parts drawings with their kits, so the plan was useless. Now you can cut your own kit, and the cowl and wheel pants are available from several sources (AeroFiberTech has the only one that is correct for the YMF, and all the others make the plane a UMF).

Most of us that have been building for so long are beginning to die off. We would enjoy passing along the information and the experience that we have gained over more than a half century of building flying model airplanes. I would love to see you younger guys take advantage of this expertise before we are all gone, and what we have learned and are willing to pass along is lost to the ages.

Again, Thankfully, some of you are beginning to gain interest in building. That gives me newfound gratitude in the nature of the human race, and the inability to be satisfied by owning what someone else has built. ARF's definitely have their place, but they never will replace building something from a pile of wood.

Bill, AMA 4720
WACO Brotherhood #1
Old 11-11-2007, 10:31 PM
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Default RE: Kit Building Forum Activity

The "ARF Generation" is a sort of sign of the times: instant gratification. It's good for the hobby in general, as it has brought in a ton of new fliers allowing smaller clubs (like mine) to grow. I'll admit that I am a member of this generation, having only been flying seriously for about 5 years. I have a shop full of ARF's. My building experience was limited at first to repairing damaged planes, then graduating to figuring out what needed rework (and how to do it) before the build, then to modifying the ARF to fit my desires. This winter the projects include finishing one ARF (H9 B-25), and then on to three kits: A shake the box Sig Somethin' Extra first, then a TNPC Shoestring 90, then a scratch (from plans) Senior Telemaster. Won't get the first two done this winter, but I've got time.

I doubt that I have built my last ARF, but will undoubtedly build more from kits from this point on. It's just more fun.

I think the generation that was raised on ARF's will come to kit's, more as a progression step than a first step. It's kind of hard for a new kit builder to figure out where to get all of the necessary accessories for that first plane. Guys that have been flying for 15 or so years didn't have a huge selection of Arfs to cut their teeth on. Today, it's just too easy to open a box and have a plane in the air the next weekend. Give ARFer's a bit to see what it's all about. Then you'll find them, like you've found me, looking for advice on this forum.
Old 11-11-2007, 11:32 PM
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Gray Beard
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Default RE: Kit Building Forum Activity

I never have assembled an ARF for myself, I did buy A used one though and just sold it last summer. After I fixed all the problems it was an OK plane. I do assemble ARFs for customers once in A while still.
Unless I can get A kit at auction or from someone at A very low price I build my own planes from plans and mostly kits for customers. I never lost intrest in the Sky Shark kits, I could just never cut loose for that kind of money for A 60 size plane but I loved building them for someone else with deeper pockets, I thought they were the best kit on the market.
I have two student pilots right now, after there solo I will help put them into A nice cheap ARF so they can keep flying and won't care too much when they destroy it. During this flying time I will help them out with building there own plane. If they want to keep building then cool, if not they will at least know how to repair there own planes when they start to fall apart.
Old 11-12-2007, 12:00 AM
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Default RE: Kit Building Forum Activity

kit building is better all around. You can be sure it is put together right glued right and you learn about how a box of stix all works together to form a working model.
Old 11-12-2007, 02:18 AM
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stever33
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Default RE: Kit Building Forum Activity

pretty new into rc planes i decided to build the 40 scale corsair and when building the wing i screwed the wing dihedral. It is at 6 degrees and is suposed to be 15.
Is this wing going to work or am i going to order a new kit for the new wing?


thanks steve
Old 11-12-2007, 07:55 AM
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DavidAgar
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Default RE: Kit Building Forum Activity

Steve, we might need a few more details on your wing problem. Which kit is it? What part of the wing have you made a mistake with? Maybe a picture or two. Thanks Dave
Old 11-12-2007, 02:01 PM
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CrateCruncher
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Default RE: Kit Building Forum Activity

The kits vs. arf debate has grown tiresome for me. The problem for the manufacturers is that with so many choices available its difficult to fill a warehouse full of a kit that may fall out of favor in a few months. Kit cutters are a welcome alternative to the tedium of a scratch build from classic plans but they go out of their way to make it difficult. I bought some MAN plans for a Duellist that took 6 weeks to arrive. Trying to get a short kit for the plans I was told by several cutters that they required access to my plans for a quote, wanted exorbitant set-up fees and had crazy long lead times-just for some ribs and bulkueads. After all that I still had to make my own material list and shop for sticks, sheet and hardware separately.

IMO the laser-cutters are missing a huge opportunity. They should offer a list of complete, turn-key kits on their website. When you give them a credit card number they load the file into their laser cutter and cut out the unique parts, pull the sheet, sticks, and hardware from inventory and toss a freshly printed copy of the plans (registered with the owner for proper compensation) into a shipping box and hand it to the UPS guy. Imagine how many kits they'd sell! I know a few big warbird designers have something close to this now but I'm not in the market for a Ziroli P-38 with 14 foot wingspan, I just want a $150 Duellist kit. The beauty of this system is that there is no loss exposure to UNIQUE INVENTORY. Everything is created from generic stock AFTER being paid and noone gets ripped off.
Old 11-12-2007, 02:06 PM
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stever33
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Default RE: Kit Building Forum Activity

thank for getting back to me. I have the great planes F4U Corsair semi scale. It takes a .46 2 stroke.
I'll try to get some pics later today. But anyways, this kit has a center section with a wing panel on either side.
Where the wing panels meet the center section there is suposed to be roughly a 15 degree angle and i built it with a 6 dgree angle.
Far less then correct. I'm just wondering can i finish the kit and fly with so much less dihedral than required?


Thanks

Steve
Old 11-12-2007, 02:57 PM
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ouflyer
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Default RE: Kit Building Forum Activity

I'll chip in here. I'm very new to this hobby, and my first plane was a LT-40 kit. In fact I soloed just a few weeks ago. I've always like to build, and this kit was very easy to build. I've learned alot from this forum when I built my kit. I have 3 more kits in my closet. I thought I would never put together an ARF. But unfortunately, I had a case of dumb thumbs and my LT-40 needs some repair. The repairs are easy enough but it will take awhile. So I bought an ARF trainer, just so I could get back in the air as soon as I could. I've heard both sides of the ARF vs KIT. Each has it's own place. For me, my LT-40 will take time to rebuild, but since I built it from a kit, I have templates from my old scrapes to make new parts, where as for ARF's, I get to get back in the air with just a few days of assembly. But there is a big difference on how ARF's are put together vs a kit. I have more pride in my kit, and knowing that I built it from sticks, make's it me more determined/challanged to get it back in the air, because I built it. With the ARF, I'm not as attached to it as my kit, so if I do crash, its not a big deal. Does that make sense? There is just that feeling you have about a kit you put together yourself vs an ARf. I prefer kits, but fortunately a ARF is going to get me back in the air quicker.

Thanks
CC

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