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Old Jan 23, 2011, 09:54 PM
GLF4-SP Driver
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USA, TX, North Richland Hills
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1600mm Starmax P-51 Build Report (lots of pics)

Got my Starmax P-51 in the Big Beautiful Doll scheme the other day from Hobby Shop Warehouse and finally got some time start to put her together. Thought you guys looking at getting this plane might want to mid-build report. I will compare a lot to the FMS, as I have two of them and it is a similar type plane.

I will start with the good. Everything was in the kit as advertised. ESC has worked so far, as there was a failure on a Starmax Gunfighter shortly after T/O. It has a Deans connector for the battery. Took motor out and the firewall is much better than the FMS. It has 4 machine type screws, is very solid and does not look like it will strip like the FMS plastic and wood screws tends to do. Painted parts of airplane are done well, interior of airplane is roomy and easy to work in terms of getting to servos, wires, ESC and lots of room for a big battery. There is no offset to the right on the motor mount or much down thrust, if any. ( I prefer no offset) There is an empty space for another servo in the fuse, maybe to run the radiator flap, which works! Control surfaces are pretty solid, more so than the FMS. The plane is big and looks good......from a distance...which leads me to the bad.


The Bad: The decals are absolutely worthless. (check pics) The prop came with one of the HamStand decal on a blade half gone, and paint chipped off the prop tips. The quality of the decals and the application of the decals is terrible. Misaligned, torn and crooked. I am either going to paint some of it and have Callie or just have Callie make decals for it all. Also some are put in the wrong place or the wrong font/shape. (the Big Beautiful Doll decal being the worst) The canopy has to be glued to the cockpit, and they didn't cut the canopy straight or long enough to cover it completely. There is some of the black cockpit showing between the canopy skirt and the fuse. (see pics) Just plain bad.

The hole in the backplate for the prop adapter was not centered when it was drilled out. I thought the prop was way out of balance because when I ran the motor the whole airplane shook and it was obvious that the prop/motor was causing the vibration as it was pretty wobbly. Upon further inspection, I realized how off center the hole was and that was the culprit. (see pics)

The cowling does not come off, so you need a really long thin phillips screwdriver (#1, 6-8 inches) to get to the motor mount screws. Big bonus if it is magnetized. There is not much room in there and the motor wants to grab the screws and the screwdriver. Can be a little tedious.
No instructions for the ESC. It came with the prop brake on. Backplate is really really tight on prop adapter. Can be hard to get off. I mean really hard. Wires from motor are really short and a little tough to connect to the ESC. Of course you have to take the motor out completely to connect to the ESC.


The bad is more than the good right now, but still have retracts to check, over all ease of assembly, servos and motor/ESC/Prop to wattmeter. The good list might catch up. Of course the big test is how she flies, and I hope to know that this week.

If you guys or girls can think of anything else, ask away.

Rob
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Last edited by rgd1065; Jan 23, 2011 at 10:11 PM.
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Old Jan 23, 2011, 10:08 PM
GLF4-SP Driver
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USA, TX, North Richland Hills
Joined Dec 2009
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Last set of pics for now
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Old Jan 24, 2011, 05:41 AM
GLF4-SP Driver
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USA, TX, North Richland Hills
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Update. Rudder/tailwheel steering servo was stripped. I guess file that under bad.
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Old Jan 24, 2011, 06:16 AM
csna182
United States, VA, Roanoke
Joined Jun 2004
217 Posts
quality issues

hello rob,
you would think they would check the electronics before shipping. this nice looking planes ,,,could turn out to be a lemon. the decal pics of your plane are terrible .i am sure when you get the callie decals you will make a beautiful plane,but shouldnt a brand new plane come from the factory be that way? i can understand a chip or a little pealinng ,but cmon starmax get with the program on qualiy issues.these are the kind of things that will make people change there mind about buying their product. just my 2 cents art
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Old Jan 24, 2011, 06:18 AM
WAA-08 THANK FRANK!
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Las Cruces, New Mexico, United States
Joined Jun 2002
7,318 Posts
Can you use a prop ring to center the hub? thank you for taking the time to post.
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Old Jan 24, 2011, 06:51 AM
GLF4-SP Driver
rgd1065's Avatar
USA, TX, North Richland Hills
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimNM View Post
Can you use a prop ring to center the hub? thank you for taking the time to post.
I have been thinking on doing that or a few other ideas. I would like to fix it to see how it flies stock, but had plans to get a 16.6 inch and 18.8 inch variprop anyway. Looks like that is gonna happen sooner rather than later.
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Old Jan 24, 2011, 09:12 AM
Registered User
Yuma, AZ
Joined Oct 2003
363 Posts
How completely and uterly disappointing. Not all of us want to rebuild a ready to fly plane before flying it. All the excitement I had for this plane has evaporated, at least until version two comes out or a lot more reports come in of satisfactory planes. There is no excuse for this except total lack of pride in work and just wanting to dump something on the market for quick profits.
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Old Jan 24, 2011, 11:33 AM
GLF4-SP Driver
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USA, TX, North Richland Hills
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Wish I could argue with you Splais, but I can't. It is not a RTF airplane. The FMS has some issues, but overall the quality is not the same as the FMS, and that is not saying much. It would benefit Starmax to listen to the consumer as it appears FMS does. Maybe they will improve and refine to make it a better plane, but bigger right now is not better.

You would be somewhat better off getting the basic frame only with retracts for $149.00. Still would not fix the decal problem, the off center prop hub problem.... ad nauseam.
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Old Jan 24, 2011, 11:59 AM
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Salt Lake City Utah
Joined Mar 2004
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rgd1065,
Thanks for the heads up on all the issues along with the pictures.

I was soooo close to ordering one but held off. No excuse for all the lame quality. Last year I bought a P-38 from BH and it came with a lot of similar quality issues. Worst was they put the parts in the plastic bags before the paint had dried. Looked like a P-38 painted in green peanut butter. To bad as I had high hopes for this one. Maybe they will correct the issues down the road.

Good luck on all the fixes -- Stacker
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Last edited by stacker; Jan 24, 2011 at 12:34 PM.
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Old Jan 24, 2011, 12:47 PM
Newton and I are good friends
United States, NC, Asheville
Joined Jan 2009
2,050 Posts
Just a heads up guys, I talked with Chuck at HSW about these decal issues. He told me that we could order the plane without the decals being applied now, just tell him that when you order the plane....
RGD, tks for the very informative review. I havnt had the time to get mine to do the same...have also made Starmax aware of the quality control issues....
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Old Jan 24, 2011, 01:04 PM
Have you seen my nut?
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Omaha, Nebraska
Joined Mar 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olwarbirds View Post
...have also made Starmax aware of the quality control issues....
I doubt they will fix them. They will just move on to the next project. So far the only company I see really fix issues and keep improving the model is FMS. I have one of these on order but in the gunfigher colors.

Rob, on your pics I noticed they used the early version of Big Beautiful Doll lettering but the checkers on the nose is the later version. Not sure how many know there are two version of this plane. The early version has only a couple rows of checkers on the nose and the simple lettering like on your pics. Also the colors are yellow and green checkers. And I think they got the tail color wrong. The later has the nice concave lettering and the large checkered area. Funny, they got them wrong on both counts.

If you go with Callie Graphics, maybe the early version would make your original.
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Old Jan 24, 2011, 01:31 PM
GLF4-SP Driver
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Food for though Lith...After all, going original would be a break from the same old same old.

I have seen that version of BBD. I don't know how you mix those two versions up, but it is apparent which scheme Starmax was going for on the BBD, and they missed the target.
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Old Jan 24, 2011, 01:39 PM
GLF4-SP Driver
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USA, TX, North Richland Hills
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olwarbirds View Post
Just a heads up guys, I talked with Chuck at HSW about these decal issues. He told me that we could order the plane without the decals being applied now, just tell him that when you order the plane....
RGD, tks for the very informative review. I havnt had the time to get mine to do the same...have also made Starmax aware of the quality control issues....
If I did it again, I would go frame only, without the decals. I am thinking a P-51 spinner and back plate from here:

http://www.centralhobbies.com/spinne.../TRU3502S.html

and a 18.6 inch vario prop, paddle blade style. Putting a lower Kv, more powerful motor in and a bigger esc.
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