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Old Jan 13, 2014, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by eflightray View Post
I scratch built this thing last May, using up some of my valuable balsa stock, (and remains of some Solarfilm hence the color scheme), but it was fun to build and fun to fly.

I still have balsa dust in my veins, (as well as my lungs)
Ray, this is the first I've ever heard you say that you build with balsa!
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Old Jan 13, 2014, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Farber View Post
Yes Joe, I feel like a real bi-polar outcast because I build both balsa and foam, and I fly both electric and fuel.

As such, I have no axes to grind nor dogs in the fight to worry about.

There must be something wrong with me.
I stoped worrying about such stuff long ago and for that iam feeling alot better. I had a very stressfull job and this hobby is relaxing for me. lol joe
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Old Jan 14, 2014, 02:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Farber View Post
Yes Joe, I feel like a real bi-polar outcast because I build both balsa and foam, and I fly both electric and fuel.

As such, I have no axes to grind nor dogs in the fight to worry about.

There must be something wrong with me.
Wrong with you ?

I must go and see a shrink, i built 3 balsa, 2 foamies, a mixed fuselage fibre + poxy with a foam + balsa wing and am finishing another plane and i am also waiting for a dry day to paint my home made Bell 222 fuselage, all in the last year, so off to the doctors,,,
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Old Jan 14, 2014, 04:00 AM
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How did you guys learn how to build? I pick up things from here, youtube anywhere and this is foam i am talking about. Go to youtube and type in scratchbuilt foam or balsa rc plane and see it is full of foamies. I am currently having a go at working with balsa but not with a kit but scratchbuilding and it is difficult to find any good video help/tutorial so i studied plans and had a go, very much similar to how i started building planes out of foam and that is how all foamie scratchbuilders begin, there is no kits except for the flitetest guys. I guess what i am saying is there is youtube video makers like experimental airlines and flitetest that are really having a good crack at getting people to enjoy the building experience but it is all foam, where do we find such videos of guys having a go at creating flying planes built from balsa? People thrive on learning from their mistakes, for me it seemed daunting to select/cut/glue balsa but i do not think it will hurt for somebody to have videos on "how to's" when it comes to scratchbuilding. Then after we realise we can build a model be it a total disaster or a great flier we will be more tempted to buy a kit and learn even more again. Sorry if it comes across as a rant from someone who does not know how to build from balsa, but am i not the target audience?
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Old Jan 14, 2014, 05:10 AM
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micka80ella, generally people start building with kits that have good instructions, so they become acquainted with the process involved, then move on to building from scratch when the have experience, and an airplane they want to have/build is not available, except by building it from scratch.

Probably because building an airplane from balsa isn't an overnight project, there aren't much in the way of videos on the complete process. However, there are many build threads here that are very well documented with comment and photos, taking you through the complete process of building with balsa.

The process of covering with iron on coverings and maybe even dope and tissue; or, silkspan is documented in many videos, here on RCGroups and elsewhere on the WWW.
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Old Jan 14, 2014, 02:10 PM
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I learn alot by watching builds on this forum and one of my mentors Merlyn use to have a builders cam in his shop where you could watch him build. He was was a flying buddy also but has moved to Florida . Here is Merlyn and one of his big birds . He maidened his 120 pound beech starship a couple weeks ago , you have to have big ones to maiden a bird in those winds.lmao joe
RCSB member Sevarg 25% Beech Starship Maiden (2 min 45 sec)
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Old Jan 18, 2014, 10:37 AM
Promoting Model Aviation...
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Originally Posted by eflightray View Post

More power to the work you have done Frank, and doing in trying to get more people interested in building with balsa.
Whether builders are 'born', or can be weaned away from the 'I always buy' is interesting.
Too many times I have seen the comment, 'I could never build something like that', perhaps forgetting, neither could the builder until they first had a go, gained experience, and progressed.
Perhaps too many buyers have been 'corrupted' by pretty foam scale models to consider trying balsa building.
Thanks Ray, I appreciate the kind words. I bet it would be a surprise to a lot of people to know how many people that have reached out to me via RCG, email and even by phone about building balsa airplanes. I was very surprised to see so many people interested on taking on something new and happy to assist them in realizing that they themselves could actually build a plane vice just plugging in a battery and flying a plane.

It definitely is a great feeling to help newcomers to this aspect of our hobby. There may be just as many builders or participants in our hobby these days, but I think there are less people willing to help others learn and grow their fellow modeler in their "RC career" these days. I'm not sure it's because of too much real life pressure in our lives today or what, but I do know that there are many modelers out there willing to learn about balsa building and we should take the time to reach out to them.

As we all know, model aviation is a wonderful sport/hobby that we learn so much from. It is great to introduce it to others and help them learn more about it.

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Old Jan 19, 2014, 12:35 AM
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Started Out that way

Originally Posted by Mode One View Post
In another thread, I off-handedly asked this question and someone thought this would be a good topic to start, so here goes!

I'm 59 years old, since I was maybe 5-6 years old, I have loved to build models. I have built many plastic kits; airplanes, cars, military, am involved in model railroading, have built ship models in both plastic and wood and balsa flying models, since I was 10 years old. I built rubber powered freeflight and hand launched gliders, did a little bite of control line in my teen years and after graduating from high school, bought my first R/C set and have been active in R/C off and on ever since.

It saddens me to see so much reliance on ARFs and RTF models and that the market is so saturated with them and kits are slowly disappearing. Yes, I have assembled ARFs; but, I find that they only leave the most boring part of the process left to do.

Quite frankly for me at least, building from kits or scratch is the glue that keeps me in this hobby! Those of you who do not build, I feel are missing out on the most fun part of R/C! I have heard all the excusses and don't want to hear them again! I have no problem with your simply choosing to not participate. However, if you haven't tried building models, give it a try! You may find it to be more fun then boring holes in the sky with your latest Yak 54 ARF.

So, the question is, what can be done to bring model building back?
I did not read the entire thread. I actually read this first Post and went no further. Reason being it is dated 2009 to start with.
I to built anything from Model planes, care, trucks, bikes,Dioramas and some of them were Monsters. I built at one time almost every plastic model plane they came out with and then went to building wooden plane kits, from free flight gliders to rubber band powered and finally up to large Balsa Kits and to electric Balsa planes. there is not much I have not tried to build in some manner .Even tried scratch build ( I prefer kits ).
My issue came when I spent months to years building a plane that was suppose to fly , RC as they call it, only to watch it shatter into a billion pieces.Needless to say that stopped me from trying to fly, BUT never stopped me from building planes.

In those days buying a Balsa kit for 50-60 bucks was like spending 2 to 3 hundred of today's dollars. So just trying to save enough money to buy it and months to build for 10-15 second flight to destruction...well left me anyway feeling less inclined to try and fly.
So stayed with the cheapest wooden planes i could build. Ones such as Rubber band powered. Loved the build and using tissue paper and glue for covering.

I feel that also is the issue today. Planes have evolved as it were over the years. Now Companies build foam planes that look great and actually fly with ease. And if a crash or mishap should occur , a little glue and or packing tape and one is back in the air within minutes to an hour.
Not so for a balsa plane that would take that same hit. It's buying balsa wood to repair and more covering and hours and hours to even get close to it's once beautiful state. And why so many, especially the young see no need for the time or the expense.

One can buy a plane for less than a hundred dollars and buy all the electronics for half that and install and be flying in a couple hours. Most with the cheap prices of today can buy multiple planes, and if one crashes they just lay it aside and fly another. Fast Food, Fast pace, Fast , Fast , Fast..gotta have it now era we live in.

Now if you notice, many Balsa kits are expensive and the balsa itself is to. By the time you get everything you need one can have several hundred dollars tied up in it and then after spending months to years to get it perfect, your almost afraid to try it, because you know if it hits the ground, all that time, effort and money is gone. That scares away allot of people.

Personally i love to build planes. I love the kits. But also you see far less and less of them. I love balsa planes. And I have many of them. I have many Guillow Balsa kits still in boxes. Simply because I love to build planes. I have had many destroyed and time has gotten broken when going from place to place and I actually have a J3 Cub i built many years ago, the first one I tried to fly. It needs some work and repair and new Covering. And with it's very old useless electronics it all needs to be replaced. And Pricing just a Correct Motor and servos. ESC, batteries etc get that plane in the air that alone will be well around 150 to 200 hundred dollars in itself, to do it right .

Times have changed and everything is fast paced and in today's market, the days of balsa builds is almost obsolete. I wish it was not, but it is going that way more and more. Soon I look to see Foam being replaced. Wood, to plastics, to composites to foam.....who knows what materials will be next to appear......The Drone craze is about to flood the sky and government regulations and taxation, and laws are about to flood our Hobby. I soon look to see every RC Hobbyists have to buy a license and pay fee's to fly and then be regulated into certain fields and space only the Government approves of. most Hobbies....I look to see RC, become a thing of the past due to commercial and private companies and lobbyists lining Government officials pockets to stop the average guy from being able to fly, and you will see a Hobby Industry, start selling only to licensed and insured Government ran Companies and only private businesses with that said license.

Our Government regulates and taxes every average citizen out of the way......We use to Fish for you have to buy licenses, and every River, lake, stream is now regulated and has become some sort of resort and it is pay to stay and pay to fish area's. same with Hunting, buy license, pay taxes, buy stamps, tags etc etc..and only hunt in area's they allow and only when they say..........and as with every Government ran agenda, it has it's good points but it is full of bad and it always costs the citizens more money.
Boating, camping, Hiking, whatever has it's regulations and when and where designated and it's laws some good, mostly bad and always costs the Citizen.

My only thought, Buy and build and have camps, club rules, get together's whatever it takes to get people back into the Build mentality. You all have your clubs, make it a winter meeting, get together, Build. Have prizes, promote the Build time......allow less fortunate kids to be able to build small kits and keep them. have ribbons, teach the wives to build planes, cars, boats, whatever.....make it a family affair......Allow the new members to fly when they have successfully built a balsa kit over the winter....give them a RTF as a Prize and then help them fly it.....teach them, promote it.......before it is to late and it no longer exists or it is taken away and or Government regulated to death.

The Old fail to teach the younger generation. Think about it, how many young girls can cook ? How many young men can change a tire ? How many ever have or have even been taught to do so ?

We all grew up with Mom's cooking and yet few of us watched or asked or learned how she did what she did to make those delicious did Dad learn all the things he learned, from Carpentry to plumbing to electrical, to tree trimming to car repair to appliances, etc etc ? How many of you can do half of those things ?
Recipe's , handed down from generation to generation, Mother to daughter to Granddaughter's, experience passed down from Dad to son to Grandson's . How much has been lost just in the past 10-20 years ? Generations died out, the new with far different ideas and never taught the basics. It is now pay someone else, let someone else do it. They have no time.....Fast paced generation.

That my Friends is what has evolved our society....and the experience not passed along to that next generation, nor the love of it.

You want to promote it ? Get back to what Started it that way.............get back to the old paths.......Promote it, use it, help it, teach it, supply many ( like myself) with this New technology is at times lost ?
Lipo's for example scared me to death and i stayed away from them . The idea they would burn your house down and destroy your planes and or simply kill you, was the talk of the town for awhile. Now i know better.respect them , Yes, but fear them , No.
And 98 % of the problem is Operator error, simple as that. How about balsa builds ?, Electronics class?, Battery and charging basics?, Finding the correct CG on any Plane ? and so on and so forth.

Growing up i had NO help, I knew nothing. And worse even now after all these years, I can not get one local club member to call me back. Gates locked 24/7, local Hobby stores gives names, and numbers and no replies, simply No help, no one cares....that my friend is why...........I learned on my own.....I have finally flew , but...on my own......How many people are out there , who have had to do the same and frustration drove them away from the hobby, much less the idea of building planes.

I am older, for me, I do not need others. But perhaps others do....and if you belong to a club or in society meetings, than i suggest YOU promote it, you start it and you do it. And as you said you have heard of all the excuses ? well what is yours ?

Think about it....these forums here alone, have helped more people than one could imagine......maybe this rant of mine, may help someone else...and if nothing else give someone food for thought anyway.

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