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Old Sep 02, 2009, 01:31 AM
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As an addendum to EJ's excellent post, I would also say that because of the lack of industrial arts (what we used to call CDT) there are a lot of people who, when they take up this hobby, go for an RTF option, because they are scared of building, its an alien concept, especially when the prevalence of ARTF in magazine articles and adverts is taken into account.

Stepping into the hobby for the first time, the novice is swamped with adverts saying "no need to build", "forget all that tedious building" and so on, which further serves to alienate them from an aspect of the hobby which they might actually enjoy, given the chance.

The biggest issue in promoting "building" is probably cost. I've heard it a million times, and did so over and over again at the BMFA Nats walking round the trade stands.

A kit will probably cost not far short of an ARTF, so people, naturally, take the view "why should I go to the effort of building kit X, when for the same money, I can have a very similar model already built" Obviously, greater sales volume then allows ARTF prices to drop, whilst having a smaller percentage of the modelling pie, means kit prices go up and the cycle continues.

My theory?

People see building (and DIY for that matter) as a chore to be gone through to get to an end result. What they don't see (novices especially) is that there is satisfaction and enjoyment in spades to be had from building.

Perhaps it would be nice if some of the periodicals ran some articles on "the joy of building" or something, reminding the old hands and encouraging the new.

Quote:
I think because more ARFs, RTFs, and RTC (call them “pre-built”) models are seen at the field and overwhelmingly advertised in the periodicals (over kits) that it makes it easy to assume that former is “taking over”.
My opinion is that RTF etc are not "taking over" so to speak, but that it is becomingly increasingly difficult to find "builders kits". Witness the number of requests for "who makes traditional kits". The point is that we who have been in the hobby for a while, know that they are still there, and how we can find them. The Novice, starting out for the first time and picking up a magazine, looks at the adverts and finds only RTF. They don't KNOW that there is even an option.

*drags out soapbox*

My manifesto for promoting building;

1) - Promotion and introduction to building in modelling magazines

2) - Reinstatement of craft/diy lessons in schools

3) - Greater involvement by bodies such as BMFA and AMA in schools. After school clubs, supported by those bodies. The BMFA produces a lot of educational material, but it is not distributed, they sit back and wait for orders. They need to be more proactive. Get a bunch of kids together in a room, and hand out half a dozen "BMFA Dart" kits and build them with them. Run it over a few weeks and progress through the simple models to more advanced ones.

4) - Model clubs, hold more open days, and on those days, bring some "in progress" models, or some unbuilt kits, or even have a table set up for kids to build the models I alluded to in 3
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Old Sep 02, 2009, 03:40 AM
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i think there is room for both types of modelers i do enjoy the building i also like the idea, of having the option to go out an get a quick fix if i feel the need as well

i agree there is something exremely rewarding when one can build or refurbish an aircraft

regards
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Old Sep 02, 2009, 08:08 AM
Zor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rc rjock
i think there is room for both types of modelers i do enjoy the building i also like the idea, of having the option to go out an get a quick fix if i feel the need as well

i agree there is something exremely rewarding when one can build or refurbish an aircraft

regards
rc rjock and all,

I fully agree. There is room for both types of modelers. It is a matter of personal choice. Personally I enjoy building and I do not argue about the definition of building. I can say "I build a kit" and I can also say "I assemble a kit".

The use of the wording is again a matter of choice and I do not see a need for discussing it.

Reading post #73, it seems to attribute the availibility of materials to the fact that there is still many builders / assemblers). No doubt there is but if I was a supplier of material, it would be easier for me to carry my production business by selling to the ARF and RTF manufacturers than to a multitude of retailers (like the distributors and / or local hobby shops).

I would think that selling to distributors also simplify my product distribution as compared to selling direct to the hobby shops.

Is this not the reality of the present model aircraft industry?

Best regards to all de

Zor
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Old Sep 02, 2009, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by jasbury1
To develop interest in building I think there needs to be incentive for people to build them versus buying them. The kits or plans need to be of planes that stand out in some way from the ARFs. That is a tall order as some of the nicest model aircraft around are commercially produced.

I think building is highly rewarding, but it's a personal choice. If someone does not want to build then he should still have the opportunity to enjoy flying. Your hobby is your choice.

Clear skies!
(Paragraph 1) Walk out on the flight line of any club today and I feel it is extremely easy to pick out the airplanes that are not ARFs or RTFs. So if you build from a kit; or, scratch, you are rewarded with an airplane that will stand out. Also, I think the fun of the build and great feeling of accomplishment one gets from building from a kit or scratch is all the incentive I need!

(Paragraph 2) ARF people at times seem to be defensive about there choice! This entire thread is not about ARFs which have a large following and are doing fine in the modelling community! As the starter of this thread, I stated I use ARFs and I also love to build, so I certainly feel there is room for both.

In a previous post on this thread, someone listed kit manufacturers and there appears to be far more then I would have considered.

My entire point in starting this thread was to say to people: If you haven't tried building, give it a try, as you may find it to be just as fun as the flying aspect of the hobby! If you know you will not enjoy it, then give it a pass! I certainly don't think less of people because they only want to have ARFs!
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Old Sep 02, 2009, 09:47 AM
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Old Sep 02, 2009, 10:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rc rjock
i think there is room for both types of modelers i do enjoy the building i also like the idea, of having the option to go out an get a quick fix if i feel the need as well
Absolutely there is room for both. We have both now!

The goal is to promote building.

EJWash
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Old Sep 02, 2009, 10:53 AM
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EJ, Post 73 may be right on the money! My perseption of what is going on, is based on what I see in the modeling press and on the flightline at my own club field. I have estmated that around 25% of the members in my club still like to build kits and from scratch. Possibly the percentage of same in the AMA is fairly close.
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Old Sep 02, 2009, 12:43 PM
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I never quit building and I love building. I do have many arf's, but I have a few I built from kits as well. The enjoyment I get from building is equal to that I get from flying. It's just a different form of the hobby is all. There's room for all!
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Old Sep 02, 2009, 01:06 PM
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I love building. It has been many years since my last build and I have decided to start again since I have retired. I am currently building up a build shop. Getting all the stuff needed. I have four planes on the shelf waiting for me to build. The hobby has changed dramatically since I last was in it. The first thing I was told when I joined the Silent Flier Club was builders usually don't fly much. I am finding this true. But as I am so new back I will wait and see what happens when these planes are done. I also have to tackle the knack of programing my new DX-7. The radio I had before was not computerized. But that is a story for another thread.
By the way if anyone knows where I can get a full size plan for a Grumman E2c Hawkeye I have been looking for about two and a half years.
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Old Sep 02, 2009, 02:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mode One
My perseption of what is going on, is based on what I see in the modeling press and on the flightline at my own club field.
I just received the November ( ) issue of Fly RC. 124 pages (including inside covers) 33 pages of (fixed-wing) ARF ads. 4 Flight Report articles featuring reviews of '4 ARFs. I did find 5 kit maker and 1 plans provider advertisements. 38 of the pages were the "meat" (articles - including the ARF reviews) all the rest is advertising. I did enjoy the metal lathe article, I've got to get one those to play with...

Hey, Fly RC is a magazine, and ads is where the $$$ is. Obviously ARFs are selling well enough to buy ad space. Business is business...

The hard part is that when someone picks up a copy of a magazine like this, it is presumed that the hobby IS all about pre-builts. How can they not? If there is an article covering a fly-in, the models that make it to the pages are the sweet exotic scale ships. Is a beginner or novice going to say, "I'm going to build one of those!"? Probably not. Will they say, "some day...", when they see a plan-built Zoroli F4-U detailed down to exhaust wisps and rivets that took three to five years to make when they can pick-up a Hanger-9 or Top Flite ARF on Monday and fly it the next weekend? Hard to say, but my money is on "no". In the case of Fly RC, the publication shows the two extreme ends of the hobby.

[ARF flyers: No intent to belittle or insult here. More power to you for being out there! My intent is promote building, not eliminate ARFs or cry "shame on you."]

I know, I know, Fly RC does not offer a good example of the hobby with the builder in mind. My subscription was a gift and I'll peruse it until June '12. Maybe they'll toss a bone to the builder now and then...

What will warm your heart is this build blog:

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1065033

This is a fifteen year old "kid" taking on the Top Flite giant-scale (1/5) P-51 kit, and doing a pretty good job of it!

EJWash
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Old Sep 02, 2009, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by WillyAA
By the way if anyone knows where I can get a full size plan for a Grumman E2c Hawkeye I have been looking for about two and a half years.
"Full-size" for reference?

Found this:

http://www.airwar.ru/other/draw/e2.html

EJWash
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Old Sep 02, 2009, 02:14 PM
y chucu, chucu, chuuuu...
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Here it is a little contribution, a building log of a classic free flight the converted to electric:

http://twoscenarios.typepad.com/adrin_muios_build_log/
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Old Sep 02, 2009, 02:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nick_cool
Here it is a little contibution
That is a GREAT contribution!

Nice craftsmanship.

Thank you!

EJWash
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Old Sep 02, 2009, 02:54 PM
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EJWash1
Thank you very much. I have been looking for a long time. I just may be able to do something with that.
I wish I could understand Russian that looks like a fun site to look around on. Or do you know a way to translate it?
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Old Sep 02, 2009, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by WillyAA
Or do you know a way to translate it?
You're welcome.

No, I'm no help there.

Also, have you tried Grumman Northrop's P.R. folks?

EJWash
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