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Old Aug 02, 2010, 10:33 AM
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Ben Buckle Playboy Senior

I have a Ben Buckle Playboy Senior (80" wingspan) kit which I purchased earlier this year but have now decided to build something else instead. The box has been opened and the contents inspected (to confirm that they are all of the usual high standard expected from this manufacturer) but no work has been started. If anyone is interested in purchasing this kit from me at a reduced price, please contact me at sjirose@btinternet.com
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Old Aug 02, 2010, 11:04 AM
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Quote:
(to confirm that they are all of the usual high standard expected from this manufacturer)
Stan,

Having had some experience of BB kits, I assume you are being ironic

Ray
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Old Aug 02, 2010, 04:54 PM
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The last (and I mean Last) kit that I bought from B.B. had the same affect on me. I did'nt sell it though, I threw it away when I moved
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Old Aug 03, 2010, 01:04 AM
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Oh dear, I seem to have inadvertantly opened a can of worms!

My intention was to simply offer the Playboy for sale as it is currently surplus to requirements. The model that I intend to build next is also a Ben Buckle product and I wouldn't be doing this if I thought that there was anything wrong with it.

I have been building model aircraft now for almost 60 years and during that time I have seen many examples of both good and not so good products. I am perfectly happy with the quality of the two BB kits that I have had and I know others who feel the same. Whilst I accept that we all have different views and are entitled to express them, I do find it somewhat less than even handed to lambast a paticular manufacturer without any form of mature and reasoned debate! A bit like a small boy throwing a stone through someones window and then running away!

By all means let's hear what others think and learn from their experiences, but let's also have a sensible dicussion based on facts.

For example:

1) How many product(s) have you purchased from this manufacturer?

2) When were they purchased?

3) What exactly did you consider to be wrong with the product(s)?

4) Did you contact the manufacturer to discuss these issues?

5) What was the manufacturers response?

6) Has the product been improved since then?


It may also be helpful to invite the manufacturer to offer his comments.
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Old Aug 03, 2010, 03:37 AM
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Fair comment Stan, so for what it's worth, -

1) Three. Playboy Senior, Junior 60 and Radio Queen.

2) Purchased together about five years ago.

3) Most of the cut parts did not match the plans. All of the strip wood was too soft for it's intended purpose especially the fuselage longerons and the wing spars. All of the strip and most of the sheet ended up in the scrap box and where possible the cut parts were modified to fit. The plans themselves were badly reproduced with some areas being totally illegible.

4) No. I built and flew the Playboy, partially built the Junior 60 and sold the Radio Queen.

5) N/A

6) I certainly hope so as he does some interesting models but the days of die and bandsaw cut parts are long gone. People now expect accurately drawn Cad/Cam plans and parts.

Ray
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Old Aug 03, 2010, 04:34 AM
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Ray,

I found your reply interesting and helpful and the note following:

a)The five kits that you have were all purchased some five years ago.

b)Although unhappy with your purchases, you made no effort to contact the manufacture and discuss these issues.

Based on my own more recent experience, where both the kits that I have were purchased during 2010, I would venture to suggest that the manufacturer now has a very acceptable range of kits produced to a high standard and the wood supplied is carefully selected for its intended use. As stated previously I have not started to build yet but my initial examination of both kits is very favourable.

I also take issue with you over your comments in 6) of your reply. Whilst I readily acknowledge that laser cut parts have a lot to offer I personally do not find the scorched edges of such parts very attractive and much prefer the plain finish one gets from utilising the sawn process. Having tried "dry" fitting a few parts prior to builidng they all seem to be accurate and fit well, time will tell.

In the kits that I have there are no die-cut parts - that would be unacceptable.

I should perhaps make it clear that I have no connection of any kind with the manufacturer, I am merely a customer number on his computer, but I do have some sympathy for manufacturers who try hard to give customers what they want and at the same time stay in business in these difficult economic times, and whilst no one is above criticism I do think it behoves us all to be fair and reasonable should we feel inclined to express our views in public.
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Old Aug 03, 2010, 06:07 AM
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Stan,
I read the points that you and Ray have made and looked at the BB web site, it does look as though there has been a big improvement in the way that the company is being run.
The last kit I bought from BB was the KK Pirate. Bought on a whim for nostalgic reasons. The print wood was dreadfull, smudged and so hard and brittle that it defied cutting out with my Swann-Morton blade and wanted to shred with the Dremel!. The stick wood was the same. That was over 10 years ago but the memory remained.
Having built a Playboy from a super American Kit that was such a pleasure to construct I realy hope Ben Buckle has emulated the quality of Balsa and Plans that other manufacturers produce and continues to do well.
If Aeromodelling is to continue we certainly need their enterprise!
John
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Old Aug 03, 2010, 08:26 AM
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Sorry stan but Ben Buckles " kits" are the worst I have ever bought.

Poor wood selection and pre cut parts that are way off accurate. I once tried to get Colin to just look to see if the parts matched the plan and he just dismissed the whole issue. As some have said before, Colins standards are from a different era when we were expected to be greatful and to accept the defects as a challenge.

I now cut all my parts myself from cad plans or use laser kit cutters. Accurate and enjoyable to build.

You may have a good kit to work from but my experience shows that as soon as a curve comes into view, the pre cut parts start to deviate off plans. Prepare to build " in the air" as Colin calls it or " made up " as I do.

My mate Mick built the playboy and it looked good. The build wasnt pretty and the wing tip ribs were all wrong. I built a laser kitted version of the Record Breaker and it went together very cleanly.

I apprecaite your desire to be fair on this issue but sadly a lot have had bad experiences from such poor attention to detail.
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Old Aug 03, 2010, 11:16 AM
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BB kit about 1990

Here is BB's Great News.
I started this about 1990, but lost interest in it.
The plans were ok, the ribs were ok.
The wing spars were way off, one was too soft.

Overall, I considered this some what of an old timer, and the kit an "old timer"-- parts and wood, with this is what you got and make do with it, or change accordingly.

When comparing kits, there is always something that can/could be improved.
Perhaps consider the build a little more challenging!
Yes, it's hard to beat the modern lazer cut kits.
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Old Aug 03, 2010, 11:54 AM
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The above responses are all interesting and some are clearly based on unhappy experiences. The one thing they seem to have in common is that they all refer to events that happened some time ago, in one case 5 years ago and in another 10 years ago.

I think it would also be interesting to hear from those with more recent experience, say in the last 12 months or so. Any volunteers?
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Old Aug 03, 2010, 12:31 PM
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I bought mine within the last 3 years.

I had the great news, zephyr and several plans. The wings were fine but not one bit of the fuselage was even close. Some bits were lop sided and some unrecognisable according to the plan.

I then noticed the plan was poorly copied and was useless. I ended up building by eye.
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Old Aug 03, 2010, 09:16 PM
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I'm going to buy the kit from Stan and hope to be able to report my building experiences. I'll try to use as much as possible from the kit, and will contact BB if I find things to be just too unuseable. I'm looking forward to the build.

Cheers guys,
Kurt
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Old Aug 04, 2010, 11:13 AM
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Good luck Kurt. I look forward to your report and sincerely hope that the quality of your Playboy kit is better than mine - it does fly well though so my building troubles were worth it in the end. The guy I sold the Radio Queen to (for a nominal price and with due warnings) reported similar quality control issues with the kit but finished and flew it. It's still going strong and also flies beautifully.

It would please me to hear that BB has improved its kits as they have done a lot to encourage vintage modellers to keep these old designs alive.

Ray
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Old May 14, 2011, 02:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Stan Rose View Post

b)Although unhappy with your purchases, you made no effort to contact the manufacture and discuss these issues.

HaHa. It's just the way Colin is; you don't get anything other than a shrug and a look that says "Cobblers". I approached him at Old Warden about a Super Buccaneer kit that even had assymetric fuselage formers, but he was demonstrating an Irvine 1.3 Mills and just wanted another ninety quid.

Mind you, this bloke also pushed his caravan by the back window, and was surprised when Enoch Powell's "Rivers of Blood" speech proved prescient. I don't know if he is still running the Agricultural Show at BB Kits but if so I will build from plans.
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Old May 14, 2011, 09:32 AM
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hope to be able to report my building experiences
Still waiting for Kurt's experiences with his more recent kit and if he can report any improvement in BB quality control. I hope so but have my doubts.

Ray
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