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Old Jul 17, 2016, 07:17 PM
tsholcomb14 is offline
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Question
How to get started?

Hello,

This might seem like like a stupid question but how do you jump into giant scale? I have been reading some of the posts on here and have noticed that 99% of the modelers seem like experts. How did you get there? I have been researching planes that might be good for beginners and have two choices.

The DeHavilland DH-94 Moth Minor
or the L-4 Grasshopper

Does anyone know a kit of either on of those that would offer some challenges to a beginner but not overwhelm me? I do have some experience with building from plans and balsa construction. Just not giant scale construction.

If it's unwise for someone to start with a big project like this by themselves is there a video series or a book or something where I can learn?

Sorry for all the questions!

Thomas
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Old Jul 17, 2016, 08:37 PM
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How to jump into giant scale? With both feet and a big check book. All kidding aside, There isn't that much different between 1/6 scale building and 1/4 scale. Parts are bigger, and everything cost 3 times as much, but construction is not that different. There is more room inside the airframe and more airframe to cover. You have listed two tail draggers as a starting point for giant scale. Any special reason? If tail draggers are your thing, how about a giant telamaster? And as to all the giant scale people sounding like experts.....well....perhaps its just that most have worked their way up from trainers to giant scale over a long time. Or they are just know it alls. I don't know . As with most things that we seek information on just try this. Gather as much information from all the sources you can, use what sounds good to you and toss the rest out. The other thought I would give is find a flying group near you. They will have people that have built giant scale and most likely be more than happy to help. Good luck.
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Old Jul 17, 2016, 09:40 PM
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I'm not an expert, but for me the path was control line and 1 channel kits in my youth. Then rentered the hobby with an Apprentice, then a Radian, built an old Butterfly kit I still had, low wing sport plane, and a couple 3D electrics and some glow.

Then I got a used Reactor with a DL50 as a first giant, first gasoline. Thought I'd be nervous flying it, but it tracks like it is on rails and immediately feels fun and easy to fly- like a giant foamy.

Built a Rascal 110 Arf, which is fun to knife edge. Then built an old school 12' Telemaster kit with a DLE60 twin, modified with a cowl, and flaps. The older kits were balsa longerons and spars you built up with scarf joints and laminated, where the newer ones are more interlocking ply kind of construction (like most ARF's).

Building something big I prefer Tightbond or similar, and you need a large work surface and big sanding blocks. Big planes are also more expensive, obviously, but I think easier to fly (things happen a bit slower, and they are easier to see), and easier to build.
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Old Jul 17, 2016, 10:15 PM
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Well for what it is worth, not knowing your shill level, do only what your pocket book can handle, set a goal in $$ then pick a bird of your choice gather up most of the major bits and start a build thread/blog ask questions when you get answers, pick the one that works for you, as you are making the decisions, but don't be afraid to push your shills, and most of all have fun doing what ever you chose.
You will know real soon who can help you and those that can't

Cheers Bob T
AMA13377

PS I am new to RCG but an old builder
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Old Jul 17, 2016, 10:44 PM
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For me it was somewhat easy... as the type of model/plane that interests me is unlimited aerobats... of which there were/are many that one can "step up" in size, from one size to the next.

Your choices, being a more scale type of plane(seemingly anyway).. you might search out smaller similar types of projects... and step up size... which is what I did with my models of choice.

By looking at images of the models you called out, there might be several that you could choose from....

Of course.. each step does have cost factors.. but I was successful with what I had to work with... and I found that even though I spent some money, the experience probably saved me more. I did about 3 increments... from the .60ish to the 1.80(30cc's).. to the 50 and 100cc...)... I still fly them all... love the smaller size.. and the bigger size is just icing on cake.
Stepping up just seemed to get over any intimidation.. but you have to study it a bit. Take your time.
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Old Jul 17, 2016, 11:17 PM
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newbie

I'm not and expert, the hobby changes too fast for me, If you hav3e no experience in flying or building, I wouldn't recomend giant scale or any othe large planes, although being easier to fly and build, they have a lot more to build and cost quite a bit more to build. not to mention they take a long time to build,
I would start with a 40-60 or 60 - 90 plane, laser cut . like the goldberg cub, sig seinorita, sig's rascal a play boy if you like vintage, great kits and nice fliers. they go together fast and fly great, any trainer would do, and you can dress it up all you want, but learn the basics first, while you learning on the trainer, and have time to build, a sport trainer should be next, sig's 4 star line, ugly sticks, goldberg falcons etc, these are work horses, everyday fliers, and they are a lot of fun to fly, the sig make a 4 star 60 and a 120, if you want big, I've had 2, lot's of fun, then I would find the giant scale project you desire send it to balsa workbench who'll kit it for you, and build it while you make mistakes and fly the others,
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Old Jul 18, 2016, 05:58 AM
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not my first giant but my FIRST model airplane, no years of acquired tools, fancy building boards , experience of building, etc. Its more expensive 'cause you will have to buy equipment and tools you have to have, unless you have a source to borrow from. Pick a kit plane you like , definitely one with a build blog somewhere and go for it, there's a wealth of information and help on sites like this one.
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Old Jul 18, 2016, 09:12 AM
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IMHO the difference between a beginner and an experienced pilot is the later knows he's in trouble while there is still time to correct for it.
You need to get to that level or have a very big wallet, a prop and spinner can easily run 300 bucks, airframe 1500 , a DA 170 1700 bucks, high torque servos 150 a piece.
The flying part is easy the bigger the plane the easier to fly, sorta. You need to know the rudder and you'll need to learn expo.
With all that said....get a giant scale....and get with someone from your field that flies giant scale....he can help you with tuning matching servos etc.... Then welcome to the world of " wow that's huge"
Good luck, I love giant scale too
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Old Jul 18, 2016, 12:39 PM
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I'm just getting into giant scale too. I started with a PT-40, then an Apprentice, and have about a year of experience with the Great Planes Escapade (first the .40 and then the .60). So I feel like I've been going up a notch on the size and pilot skill thing with each new plane.

As far as building, I think you have to just do it, and figure out the problems as they come up. It's good you have some building experience. Personally I found some great help just by going to the local hobby shop and asking questions: "what should I use for hinges? pushrods? covering? etc", the guy just spent an hour with me giving me all kinds of tips.

FWIW my build thread is here: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2683252, like I said it's my first giant scale project. I'm thinking I'll have someone else do the maiden on it.
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Old Jul 18, 2016, 01:30 PM
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Getting started, definitely lots of thoughts as folks have entered it differently.

My first giant scale was a second hand ACE Taylorcraft. I bought and stripped, did some mods to my preference. Not sure why but sold it rather quickly years ago.

Most likely bcs I really like to build. I replaced it with a Sig 1/4 sc Cub. Great kit that will push some building skills, well designed, all hardware included unless you like to change. Remember, Sig engineers have stamped it to work already as designed on plans and built. Yes, I did change hinges just preference. It has a great pictorial instruction book as well as plans. There are no technical issues to resolve if build per plans/kit. I modified it to an L-4. Balsa USA makes a kit or made a L-4, 1/4 scale. I have never built one but believe most folks would agree a nice kit as well.

Only issue with flying a Cub, be prepared for the ground loop take offs. Slow advance and use rudder. Great flyers. Practice with 40-60 size.

One point IMO, you will like a giant scale plane, if built right, they "fly more on their wings" vs a engine dragging them around.

you do sound like you are looking more scale than aerobatic or 3D. always preference on pilot or skills.

I have many years experience in building and flying (more the first). I still prefer fun flying or semi-scale vs aerobatic. just my preference.

If you go Moth, that's a biplane and more parts to build and more items to make sure properly aligned such as top and bottom wings. I would start with monoplane first.

Large Citabria's are good as semi aerobatic yet can be flown docile. Decathlon would be step up or a Taylorcraft if leaning on tail draggers.

If decided to throw on an ARF and like civilian, get an RC Guys Cessna 150 aerobat. Tricycle gear, flaps, trainer like flight but can do basic aerobatics. There are some youtube videos out there.

if stuck between your Moth or Cub, I vote Cub. I have built several Sig 1/4 sc Cubs and modified. Good to gain building experience and are a great flying plane when done.

preference, preference, preference. Thats what is great about this hobby
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Old Jul 18, 2016, 03:37 PM
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Wow, thanks for all the great advice! I think I have narrowed it down to the L-4. It seems very similar to the J3 cub which is very popular and probably has lots of build logs but it does not appear to be built as frequently as the J3. Thus giving it a little more "uniqueness" to it.

So far I have only found one site with the L-4. http://www.kitcutters.com/Pep/PepL4Grasshop.htm

Does anyone know of another?

Thanks again for all the help!
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Old Jul 18, 2016, 06:31 PM
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Might be easier to get a SIG or a Balsa USA Cub kit and just convert it to an L-4? Plans builds are usually not as smooth as an established brand name kit.

Just noticed you were around Atlanta. Hook up with one of the local clubs, and you'll get an ear full of all the advice you want. That big plane will need a prepared field to fly out of anyway.
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Old Jul 18, 2016, 07:58 PM
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Many of us have been into RC for many years. I started flying when pretty young, and the natural inclination towards bigger, better, and faster started way back then. Eventually it led to full scale - pretty much the ultimate for a kid that grew up spending his allowance on flying.

Eventually the full scale plane was downsized, and here I am... still flying, but on a much more economical scale!

Used to be if you wanted to fly, you had to learn how to build. Now that's not so true and I'm not stepping into that debate.

Re: building a giant scale vs. smaller planes, just follow the plans. Resist all temptation to make the plane more "crash worthy" with more focus on building light. Absorb the designers' way of doing things.

When you get that one done, start another - by a different designer. Work through a few kits that way, and you'll have observed first hand, how different people do certain things - and my bet is, you'll develop your own way of doing things, with an eye out on how others are doing it.

I can't speak for everyone here, but learning how others are doing things, is one of the biggest reasons I'm totally addicted to places like this... -Al
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Old Jul 18, 2016, 09:16 PM
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tsholcomb14

like others have mentioned, go with a major kit manufacturer for your first one. It will save a lot of frustration. Once you have that under your belt, then start looking other sources.

Here's a couple pics of my Sig bashed into an L-4. I also bashed one into a E-2 Taylor "The Cub". It was an early predecessor to the infamous J-3. If you want mild aerobatics, you could go clipped version. Kit builds the same except a one piece 84" wing unless you modify. The J-3 has 2 piece wing.

The L-4 bashing took some thoughts to open the green house window and keep the structural integrity in the wing attachment area. It looking for greenhouse predesigned, look for a Balsa USA L-4 kit.

Here's some motivation pics.

Lets us know where you land and start a build thread. Everyone loves a project build.
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Old Jul 18, 2016, 09:50 PM
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Okay, so I see from comments that Sig is a popular brand. I think instead of trying to convert a J3 to a L-4 I think I will go with the 1/4 sc Spacewalker. Unless advised not to. I know I bounced around a lot on airplane ideas but I don't want to make a multiple hundred $ mistake! Even though I'm sure I will be happy with what ever I get!

Thanks for all of your help and I will be starting a build log as soon as I get the kit!

Thomas
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