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Your thoughts on scale kits

Old 12-02-2006, 02:14 AM
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Default RE: Your thoughts on scale kits

Yet another aspect would be the sort of time commitment the builder is will to make. I suppose I fall into the "one-year one-model" category. Ideally, I'll like to be able to put together the basic airframe in 2-3 months, then spend the rest of the time detailing. But there are other modelers who'll build a half dozen models a year -- and others who'll spend up to five years slowly chipping away at their masterpiece.

Of course it's possible to take both approaches at the same time and have a "museum scale" project on the back burner while you work on more casual projects. Personally, I haven't been able to get in the "multiple models at the same time" mindset. It's like I have to "load" one and only one aircraft into my head at a time and have to "unload" it to think about another. Maybe if I had two separate workshops!
Old 12-02-2006, 10:21 AM
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Default RE: Your thoughts on scale kits

Of course it's possible to take both approaches at the same time and have a "museum scale" project on the back burner while you work on more casual projects. Personally, I haven't been able to get in the "multiple models at the same time" mindset. It's like I have to "load" one and only one aircraft into my head at a time and have to "unload" it to think about another. Maybe if I had two separate workshops!
i guess i fall into this catagory, i have 3 building tables one table is dedicated to that museum scale masterpiece (which i do try to achieve but always fall a bit short) and 2 tables for that quick build or repairs to keep em flying. those quick builds work out well for those times while i am thinking of how to model that engine detail or cockpit detail on the main table.
yes there are those who love to bash a simi scale kit to a much more accurate model. not a thing wrong with this, there are plenty of those kits around at a modest cost. question is and i have been known to do exactly this "is it worth the time?" yes and no! guess that totally depends on you! i remember 20 years ago i was doing exactly that. first one was a busa bristol. what did i end up with? well at that time my building skills were minimal, access to accurate info was minimal (at least for me at that current time) i did end up with a nice flying slightly overweight model but it still turned alot of heads at the field. it was something i was quite proud of. it was a good feeling even tho i was a fairly new pilot (soloed about a year) but the scale bug had a real hold on me. i still build both, the one scale project at a time, and the what i call the sport scale, those that look like a real plane, with a bit of detail but not enough to take forever building. i recently built another busa bristol. did just a couple mods on it, nothing major at all. just enough to make it a bit more fun at the field. i did change the gear to sprung but didnt do a scale gear, also added flying wires. and i lighted the tail group (this plane builds very tail heavy if not real careful. but the way i was looking at this one is it is so far from scale outline, just make a sport scale plane out of it. now my finances are a lot better then way back when i got into this hobby and i now pick and choose which kit i will spend all that time on. yep some of these kits are very expensive but the items that come in these kits are great! no hunting everywhere for the right size cable for flying wires, or all the parts for a scale engine, the basics are there! no more changing all the ribs to a more scale airfoil which can be a nightmare redesigning spar locations, aileron controls, ect it can go on and on and on. anymore i am to the point why take something that is designed as a sport scale plane and throw away 3/4 of the kit? i have come to a point that if i am going to go this far with something i will instead search out a nice set of plans that already is a pretty accurate and order up some wood and start cutting parts. and i am also finding that nice kit selection is dwindling, soon its going to get to a point for us builders to go totally to plans building. i was talking to Adrain Page of Page aviation yesterday ordering up some decals for my GeeBee R2 that i am rebuilding. and hes no longer designing anything else, saying that the sales are dropping. this is a total shame, hes got some great designs, they fly fantastic, build great, the laser cutting is some of the best i have seen. and builds up to a very accurate outline (there are a few deviations but they are listed on the plans). here is some of the drawbacks to the ARF boom its the beginning of the end for kits.
hopefully it wont stop people from designing plans for those of us that would rather build then design.
sorry i am so long winded on this, your thoughts guys?
todd
Old 12-02-2006, 03:50 PM
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Default RE: Your thoughts on scale kits

It is sad for us kit builders that ARF's are taking over. You can't blame the manufacturers because to stay in business they have to go with the flow so to speak. The model that goes together in a few evenings rather than a few weeks or months can be rather enticing to the guy who would rather spend more time at the field than the shop. I don't think that kit manufacturers are dead by any means....Proctor, Balsa USA, Glenn torrance models, Mick Reeves etc. Lots of money tied up in their equipment and I don't think they'll give up that easy. As for bashing a kit? I know I can't leave one alone and build from the box. I'm a retired industrial model builder who takes a lot of pride in what I model and always try to better myself in my work....my mind goes constantly on scale details even when I'm not building. BUT! I have seen the work of some of these young kids that makes me scratch my head!!! Wonderful stuff that you want to sit them down and pick their brains. And for kit quality....the old saying, you get what you pay for. Some have the most intricate scale parts it would be expensive and too time consuming to try to duplicate so we pay the price. Others more reasonably priced can be bashed to look more scale but not without sacrifices. So where do we draw the line on price and quality? Even if we scratch build the special scale parts have to be fabricated which I've done in some cases by learning vacuum molding, silicone molding,urethane foam and just taking a flex straw and making a vent tube with it. Someone made the comment "think outside the box". I hope i'm not getting off track here but I'm just a total scale nut who can't even leave a Proctor kit alone!
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Old 12-03-2006, 09:54 AM
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Default RE: Your thoughts on scale kits

OK. Let's play "what would be your ideal scale kit." The focus is more on the SCALE part than idea kit features in general (such as good wood and clear instructions). Here's the few that I would suggest to start with:

1. a kit where ALL the outlines are correct (or at least the scale outlines are marked on the plans)

2. the design accommodates (rather than hinders) scale detailing.

3, there is a possibiliity of doing a full or at least partial cockpit.

Old 12-03-2006, 10:05 AM
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Default RE: Your thoughts on scale kits

Hey Abu,

maybe I can add a fourth point, which is specifically interesting for me;

4. should this kit include ALL parts necessary to complete it, like hardwood parts, sticks and hardware like screws, bolts and even bungee cords (but of course no covering materials, radio and engine etc.)?

I hope you don't mind me going the 'ideal kit' direction, but contents may be an important factor.

ORIGINAL: abufletcher

OK. Let's play "what would be your ideal scale kit." The focus is more on the SCALE part than idea kit features in general (such as good wood and clear instructions). Here's the few that I would suggest to start with:

1. a kit where ALL the outlines are correct (or at least the scale outlines are marked on the plans)

2. the design accommodates (rather than hinders) scale detailing.

3, there is a possibiliity of doing a full or at least partial cockpit.

Old 12-03-2006, 10:15 AM
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Default RE: Your thoughts on scale kits

I would love to see a kit like that.....cost?????
Old 12-03-2006, 11:01 AM
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Default RE: Your thoughts on scale kits

ORIGINAL: CTDavies
4. should this kit include ALL parts necessary to complete it, like hardwood parts, sticks and hardware like screws, bolts and even bungee cords (but of course no covering materials, radio and engine etc.)?
I think this is a great thing to shoot for but at the same time realize that the more items you add (particularly strictly utilitarian stuff like tanks, cortrol rods, clevises, and yes even bungee cord material) the more you're going to have people disgarding those items and claiming that THEIR favorite tank, clevis brand, bungee cord, etc. is better or more scale than the kit's.

So I'd go with a 90% philosophy. I'd like a kit with all the wood and all the metal tubing and music wire provided. Things like your Snipe's scale control horns (out of circuit board material) and especailly the photo-etched brass fittings are a VERY welcome extra. Maybe a "utilities kit" with tank, fuel tubing, etc. could be added as an extra package.

It would certainly be convenient to have almost everything come in the box. I think one of the things casual builders like about the SR Eindecker is that virtually everything is provided. But then what would I do for fun without all those trips to the hardward store!
Old 12-03-2006, 11:07 AM
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Default RE: Your thoughts on scale kits

Really BIG plusses on a kit are, IHMO, a substantial, well-made, scale accurate cowl (or cowlings), proper sized wheels (it's a royal pain to always have to be chasing down a set of wheels), and maybe the WB gun kits (where applicable). A dummy engine kits would also be much more of an inticement to me than any of the utilitarian stuff.

I think there are also a lot of "little things" that can make plans nicer. Lots of little "scale tips" would be nice.

Old 12-03-2006, 12:27 PM
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Default RE: Your thoughts on scale kits

I would love to have some photo etched parts for my proctor jenny but wouldn't know where to begin to have someone do them. I understand there is a shrink rate from the original so how would you figure to allow for it and have it fit correctly.

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