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View Poll Results: Have you built a balsa plane from a kit in the last 12 months?
Yes 392 75.82%
No 125 24.18%
Voters: 517. You may not vote on this poll

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Old Sep 05, 2012, 02:44 PM
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McMoggy's Avatar
Joined Apr 2010
14 Posts
I enjoy both building and flying, but to tell the truth, after building something (from scratch, 3-views, plans, kit, rebuild, ...) after a few flights I want to start building something new.

Andy[/QUOTE]

Same here, Andy I've always got a couple on the go and when the covering is about done on one the pencil and ruler comes out for the next.
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Old Sep 05, 2012, 04:05 PM
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United States, NJ, Browns Mills
Joined May 2005
1,943 Posts
RGose:
Quote:
I will not, however, tell my wife that her scratch-made biscuits are really "recipe-built".
I agree with that -- you don't want any trouble with scratches!

Seriously, I don't care if someone flies ARF, kit, or scratch/plans-built. I believe ARFS bring in more fliers, and more fliers results in more goodies for all of us to buy, more people to pay for field upkeep, more people mow the grass, and, most of all, more people to share the fun with.

On the flip side, all I ask is that ARF fliers not put me down for building a "crunchy" model, or for wasting time building, and I won't harass them for being ARFers.

CD
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Old Sep 05, 2012, 04:16 PM
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Joined Feb 2006
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Building is part of the fun, but flying is also. There is room for all types and within one's budget.
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Old Sep 05, 2012, 05:35 PM
I hate waiting for parts
Mike_Then's Avatar
United States, NC, Garner
Joined Apr 2001
7,085 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by BillM View Post
Mike_Then
Building a Heli from a kit and building an Airplane from a kit is like comparing apples to oranges. They are miles apart.
Building a Heli from a kit is primarily a mechanical function while building a model plane involves several skills. Wood work and covering for example
I can build model planes with the best of them but I would break out in a cold sweat when faced with a Heli kit.
But that is what this hobby is all about--different strokes for differrnt folks

BM
I agree in that airplane building does require special skills (like you mentioned) that heli building does not, but went brought down to basics, they aren't far apart at all. Both airplane and heli kits start life as a box of parts and they both end up as flying machines that require major assembly and construction. The heli may only require a screwdriver and Loctite, but it needs to be built nonetheless.

You are 100% correct in that it's different strokes for different folks! It's all about having a good time and doing what's best for you!
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Old Sep 05, 2012, 11:46 PM
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United States, TX, Houston
Joined Nov 2003
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike_Then View Post
I agree in that airplane building does require special skills (like you mentioned) that heli building does not, but went brought down to basics, they aren't far apart at all. Both airplane and heli kits start life as a box of parts and they both end up as flying machines that require major assembly and construction. The heli may only require a screwdriver and Loctite, but it needs to be built nonetheless.

You are 100% correct in that it's different strokes for different folks! It's all about having a good time and doing what's best for you!
I would say that some of the self jigging laser cut kits you see today are more similar to heli kits than the printwood kits of old.
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Old Sep 05, 2012, 11:59 PM
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United States, TX, San Antonio
Joined Feb 2012
509 Posts
Mountaim Models P-38 and currently working on the P-51 frome same..
Talked to Brian today and put a bug in his ear to see about getting a Spitfire kitted...
jt
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Old Sep 06, 2012, 12:11 AM
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United States, OR, Portland
Joined Jan 2008
1,873 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eclipse_7 View Post
I would say that some of the self jigging laser cut kits you see today are more similar to heli kits than the printwood kits of old.
I second that. The house of balsa Spacewalker I built was laser cut and required basically no wood working skills. I did some smoothing and filling just to make it look smoother in some areas and to satisfy my own desire for smoother contours in a few little places, but I could have gotten away with barely even sanding the thing and using no filler or anything. Great Planes kits require much more time and work in comparison.

I do like the idea of building a heli kit one day but the way the channels and mixes are set up are still a little confusing to me. Sticking with RTF stuff for the time being.
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Old Sep 06, 2012, 12:05 PM
Taranis Tyro...
MattyB's Avatar
United Kingdom, England, Hitchin
Joined Jan 2004
4,095 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by rcsoar4fun View Post
One of the sad things I have noticed in recent years is people bragging on the "great quality" of this or that ARF. In reality the build quality is pretty crummy, but people don't know any better anymore. Too much of it is shiny on the outside and poorly engineered on the inside. However, I guess it works well enough. Sometimes.
True to a point, but we sometimes forget that in the world before ARFs and PNPs the average standard of building wasn't always impeccible either.

Yes there were master builders out there, but there were also plenty of individuals whose skills were not as expert, as well as a few who turned out unsafe airframes that should have taken a one way trip to the bin before they ever reached the flying field. So overall was it better or worse? I think I'd say roughly the same % of airframes were poorly constructed then as they are now. My skills have always put me in the middle group, but there have definitely been moments in my fyling career when I'd wished the guy flying next to me had been piloting an ARF rather than his kit stuck together with sticky tape, chewing gum and a healthy dose of luck...
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Old Sep 06, 2012, 04:59 PM
Balsa Builder. With some foam.
ArneHu's Avatar
Eastern Norway Scandinavia
Joined Dec 2009
1,096 Posts
I am a middle builder too. I am building a classic English set, no laser cut. But I must say I prefer the clean laser cut. For me they are more fun to build. A club member have made a kit of a F-22 in Depron, and that is a new challenge for me.
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Old Sep 06, 2012, 05:13 PM
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Ranandar's Avatar
Kentucky
Joined Dec 2008
498 Posts
I have not built a balsa model in many years. I do however regularly design and build models made mostly of sheet foam. Perhaps this winter I will try a balsa model. It depends on how cold it gets.
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Old Sep 06, 2012, 05:29 PM
AndyKunz's Avatar
Illinois
Joined Sep 2001
25,394 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by ArneHu View Post
I am a middle builder too. I am building a classic English set, no laser cut. But I must say I prefer the clean laser cut. For me they are more fun to build. A club member have made a kit of a F-22 in Depron, and that is a new challenge for me.
Got a link? I did my own F-22 in balsa several years ago (http://www.andykunz.us/planes - if there were demand I'd have Manzano cut some more) but I'm always looking for new ideas.

Andy
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Old Sep 06, 2012, 11:09 PM
IWC
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Joined Feb 2003
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Getting ready to build the MM P-51. I joined the Murocflyer balsa build clinic.
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Last edited by IWC; Sep 06, 2012 at 11:30 PM.
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Old Sep 07, 2012, 02:06 AM
Gasbags & Gussets
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Riverside, Ca
Joined Feb 2009
1,233 Posts
good for you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ranandar View Post
I have not built a balsa model in many years. I do however regularly design and build models made mostly of sheet foam. Perhaps this winter I will try a balsa model. It depends on how cold it gets.
What has really impressed me the most in the 3 years since returning to the hobby/sport (aside from cheap Lipos and 2.4ghz tx/rx) is the absolute explosion of foam sheet models. Keith Sparks has to be the best in my book and using the built up airfoiled sheet foam wings makes his designs fly just like a wood model.

Most of my clubs builders are making sheet foam plane builds also but just as easily will do mail order balsa kits if they find a plane kit that lights their fire.

Ok, back to my 1989 Ultra MkIV electro-glider *balsa* kit build
js
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Old Sep 07, 2012, 02:46 AM
Registered User
Utah
Joined Sep 2009
499 Posts
I built a Guillow's BF109 #5051.

It was my first balsa build in a looooonnngg time! took about 25 hours, only working on it during breaks at work.

I had a problem with fat-finger-syndrome, breaking smaller pieces sometimes.

After all was done it flew fairly well. I was making adjustments and on one of my flights I stepped on it!

Well, now I'm building kit #901, the T-28 Trojan. Hopefully I can avoid stepping on it!!

Ciao,

Will
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Old Sep 07, 2012, 04:03 AM
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hillbille's Avatar
United States, CA, Barstow
Joined May 2007
2,465 Posts
In the long lost past I have built a few balsa planes. Let's see.
I built a Andrews A-Ray as my first plane.
I built a Balsa USA Swizzle Stick to teach myself "how" to fly (by myself - no instructor)
I built 2 Skooter II's. (used these for fun fly's and aerial combat!)
I built 2 Andrews Trainermasters - one was scratch built from the plans.
I built 5 Dynaflite Funscale P-51 .40 size mustangs - three of those were for "friends".
I built 2 Midwest Aero Stars.
I built a Carl Goldberg Anniversary Cub.

All of that "building" took place from 1982 through 1989. I got pretty busy with raising a family and becoming a Locomotive Engineer for the ATSF (funny how they were always wanting me to work - or be ready to work 24 - 7 - 365!! LOL!!). Making a living and raising children sorta took precedence for a few years (30). When I next wanted to get back into flying model airplanes I had no where to "build" a plane. Garage full to rafters with kids overflow (still is) and Mom's car gets parked inside EVERY night - without fail!! LOL!! I am not allowed to build INSIDE the house. So anything I do today MUST be quick and easy - ARF or minimal assembly so...

Hillbille
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