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Old Dec 17, 2011, 03:12 AM
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WWI and ARFs

Our discussions on the other WWI threads got me thinking about WWI ARFs. I'll start by saying that I've never had a WWI ARF and probably never will. It's not that I don't wouldn't want one, it's just that the good ones are either outrageously expensive:

http://www.kwmairpl.com.ph/KWPlanesall.asp

Or they are little bitty "toy planes" that require a significant investment in electric gear. No thanks (on two counts).

You can count the number of 1/6 scale (or there about) WWI ARFs on one hand. A friend at my field did a review of this DrI ARF which isn't horrible. I shot the photos for the magazine. I'd sure like to strip one and redo it. But the price is around $500 so that's not going to happen.
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Old Dec 17, 2011, 03:25 AM
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The Electrifly WWI ARFs are passable, but they're...well...they're electric. Duh.

http://www.electrifly.com/largeelectrics/gpma1141.html

But I have to take issue with calling these "large electric." The roughly 1/5 scale DrI above is also electric and built very light. It would probably have to be beefed up to take a glow engine.
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Old Dec 17, 2011, 03:32 AM
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The hands-down winner for FUGLIEST WWI ARF is easily the EasyTiger "monster scale" DrI. Monster scale is right! They should just call it the "FrankenFokker."
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Old Dec 17, 2011, 04:04 AM
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Hanger9's Camel is a reasonable size at a reasonable price. And it can take a glow engine. Getting one to Japan however would not be cheap. This is probably also a candidate for the "strip-it-and-do-it-right" treatment.

http://www.hangar-9.com/Products/Def...ProdID=HAN4225

Actually, I wish ARF companies would just offer WWI models "in the bones" and let us do our thing with them. Honestly, I'd probably pay the same for a bare-bones model as I would for one covered in "ugly-kote."
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Old Dec 17, 2011, 06:42 AM
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It's O.K. that you choose glow/gas over electric. That is a choice you can make. I've made the choice to do all three power systems plus I even fly sailplanes!

Electric has so much to offer and especially for scale modelers that to me it only makes the best sense! No glow goop all over every thing, eating into your hand rubbed finish! Very littler vibration! Gargantuan amounts of power when/if needed. Exceptional reliabity! Scale sized props are easily accommodated. No clean up after flying, throw it in the passenger car and go home! Yes, they don't sound like IC engines; but, I've never found glow/gas engines to sound like full scale, either! Determining a power system is confusing; but, those selling the systems I've found to be very helpful with this!

I do agree with your "in the bones" opinion on ARFs. It might be the one thing that would get more "builders" to give up their building habit!
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Old Dec 17, 2011, 07:14 AM
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Why does "electric" have to mean "toy" when it comes to WWI ARFs. Where are the 1/6 or 1/5 scale WWI ARFs (other than the mega-bucks K&W models)? There seem to be no end to large WWII ARFs.
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Old Dec 17, 2011, 07:39 AM
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BTW, here's how I select an ARF. I pick up a recent copy of any RC magazine. Then I look for the very cheapest one suited to an engine I already have. If there is a choice, I go with the one I figure will best simulate the WWI flying experience. So no EXTRAS or SUKHOIS for this boy! My favorite ARFs have been a Kyosho Cub (which flew in wonderfully odd ways) and my Black Horse Chipmonk, which with flaps down, waddles around a lot like my WWI models. I lost the canopy during a look a few months ago. I didn't both to replace it.

So...the ONLY reason I would buy a WWI ARF would be to practice WWI flying skill with a model I don't care at all about cracking up. More and more that's how I'm flying the Puppeteer...and eventually, if I can get it figured out, I'll fly the SE5a like this.

In short, for me ARFs are simply practice tools. So I'm not willing to pay much more than a couple hundred bucks for one. If I really like a particular aircraft I'll build one.
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Old Dec 17, 2011, 08:52 AM
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I am glad there is really no ARFs in the market. So what if the the market is not full for validation. Instant gratification does not have to be apart of everything, and building a 1/6 BUSA or Flair is not that much more effort built stock. Gas and glow may not sound like a full scale engine, but they do sound like an engine. I acknowledge that electric works and keeps getting better, but but for me it still has that antiseptic feel. Kind of a shortcut.

The K&W sparatcally come to the US but never the whole product line. Very expensive. The comments I have heard about them is the are nice but fragile( kind of like a WW1 model). The market is tward the ham fisted lump than delicate scale( kind of like WW1 model).
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Old Dec 17, 2011, 09:30 AM
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The Hanger9 Camel is a perfect size and at a price which translates into about 18,000 yen it's cheaper than any scale ARF available in Japan. If I could figure out how to bring one back with me without paying all sort of excess charges I'd happily pull the engine and radio gear out of my Chipmonk. So really the only cost involved in one would be the cost of the ARF itself.

While I sometimes think about striping and recovering an ARF, I realize that gluing together a kit is the least part of the effort of building a scale model...particularly a WWI model. I had the Puppeteer framed up in about two weeks.
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Old Dec 17, 2011, 04:00 PM
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I think you will struggle Abu.
Neither the Camel nor the FOkker DVII are still in production.

The last available Fokker on a shelf in Australia went some time around August this year and I have not been able to find it available anywhere else in the world... I have not yet been able to find the Camel in stock anywhere at all.

Cheers,

Hugh
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Old Dec 17, 2011, 08:58 PM
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An interesting thing about ARFs is that most have a very limited production. Flair has been selling the Puppeteer kits for over 10 years...maybe even 20. But ARF models are here today, gone tomorrow. I think this reflects the "novelty" factor that drives ARF buyers. No one wants to have "last year's ARF."

The more I think about it, the less interested I am in that Hanger9 Camel, even if one were available. I think I'd just rather get another Puppeteer kit to have waiting in the wings, so to speak. I could do that one as the Ruston Camel! I keep looking at the BUSA website, but the only 1/6 scale model I'd have any interest in would be the Pup, but I prefer the Flair Puppeteer (which is really more like 1/5 scale).

On the gas vs. electric side of the ARF debate (and somehow the two topics always seem to come up together), I can't help feeling that the same desire for "instant gratification" that has made ARFs such a success it the same thing driving "Sunday flyer" use of electric. As Mode One states, electric offers some very definite advantages for serious scale models. But I ask myself why I'm just not seeing electric systems in serious WWI models.
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Old Dec 17, 2011, 09:01 PM
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By the way, I did two flights today with my ARF Chipmonk despite the cold wind. I wouldn't have flown any other model today. On the second landing, the wind drove it down hard onto the ground, which torn out one of the landing gear and along with it the bottom of one of the wings. It's probably repairable. But I didn't really care...other than that ended my day's flying.

Today's flying also reminded me that personally, I don't much care what I fly, ARF or full-out scale model...and no one else at the field does either. Everyone is equal whether they've flying a foamie or the results of months of effort. It's all just sharing the experience of being at the field and flying.

I build WWI models because I like to build WWI models.
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Old Dec 18, 2011, 06:28 AM
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Let me add one more thought regarding Mode One's comment about "bare-bones ARFs." First of all, just gluing together the parts of a kit in a stock fashion doesn't involve much skill. Almost anyone can do it and the results will be pretty much indistinguishable from any other modeler's basic frame-up. A "medium scale" WWI sport model (e.g. Flair, BUSA) can be framed up easily in under a month, and probably less than two weeks. Some of the small electrics, for example, from AerodromeRC or AeroWerkes, can be framed up in a couple of hours. It's all the other stuff that takes time...and skill.

So it's really all the work that the modeler puts in AFTER the frame-up is done that really distinguishes one (kit-built) model from another. So buying an already framed model wouldn't really make it any less YOUR model.

Of course, since framing up is so simply...why pay someone else to do it!

But, then, I don't believe I have ever built any kit "stock." I'm not even sure I know what that means.
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Old Dec 18, 2011, 07:26 AM
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There's more to framing a scale model than just gluing the parts together.

One thing that distinguishes one builder from another, is the modifications made during frame up. Changes made to correct scale infidelities are an important part of scale building. Simply adding detail to an incorrect airframe is like spraying expensive paint on a rusty automobile.
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Old Dec 18, 2011, 08:05 AM
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I agree. But most builders of sport scale kits, don't do any modifications at all. They just glue the parts together as shown on the plans and in the manual. But you're right that building your own (as opposed to buying a frame that someone else built) means you can make changes.

And that's the first step on the road to scratch-building!
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