How can we better promote model building? - Page 59 - RC Groups
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Nov 16, 2010, 11:38 AM
springer's Avatar
At the risk of running farther down this rabbit trail..... I've not yet bought an ARF, having done Guillows stick and tissue years ago, a Gentle Lady when first returning to the hobby in '02, then finding foam and jumping into scratch building foamies. I have, however watched a lot of guys at the local flying sites and the Indoor Soccer arena we fly at in winter working with their ARFs. It seems like by far, most of them don't fly very well. Now, it may be more a reflection of the skill of the pilot, I've not studied them well enough as I'm usually flying my own concoction, but I wonder if it's that they start with a suboptimal design/build (perhaps the One size fits few concept as you might expect for a plane designed to first be saleable and also flyable) and expend a lot of energy trying to get it to fly right, or even more energy trying to rebuild it to fly right. Maybe this is a jaundiced view, but the scratch builders seem to have more fun flying their planes than the ARF flyers/rebuilders. I certainly agree that they use all the same "building" techniques that scratch builders use, and think that it may be more challenging in some ways; just too much money for my finances! (Just think how many motors/servos/esc/rx's the price of a single ARF will buy!)
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Nov 16, 2010, 03:50 PM
I'm a pilot, 100 yrs too late
Thermalin's Avatar
Though I dont fly ARF's... electric ARF's in the 40 -60 " class (which are predominantly wood ) are amazing quality and fly fantastic. Not so sure about glow as I havent seen many. Though a friend recenlty won a Seagull T28 large scale ARF and I plan on taking a look at that tomorrow.
Nov 16, 2010, 04:15 PM
winds light to variable
Kookaburra's Avatar

Thinking outside the square

Perhaps we could follow the example of a local angling club, who recruited this young lady to their ranks. Membership has apparently quadrupled. I think she'd look quite fetching fabricating a wing or jigging a fuselage.

And what happened to all those cover girls from old aeromodelling magazine covers?

Using the Sierra Echo X-ray approach works for fags, grog and cars . . . why not building model planes?

[Merlyn pic nicked from DWELLS on I'm getting a woodie- woodie builds thread]

HEALTH WARNING: if you're over 55 do not click on pics to enlarge
Nov 16, 2010, 06:37 PM
Closed Account
I do fly some glow ARFs and they are for the most part well made. I've had issues with instructions and the issue for the most part has been a lack important information. I ain't going to touch on any statements about builders being better flyers! It would mean that good flyers are very few and far between as there is a pile of people flying ARFs and from what I've seen that just isn't the case!
Nov 16, 2010, 06:55 PM
AndyKunz's Avatar
Originally Posted by Kookaburra
And what happened to all those cover girls from old aeromodelling magazine covers?

Using the Sierra Echo X-ray approach works for fags, grog and cars . . . why not building model planes?
Well, I have 7 kids - 4 girls and 3 boys. Do I need to explain anything to you?

Nov 20, 2010, 06:11 AM
Will fly for food
Originally Posted by Mode One
I choose to observe no such undercurrent and suggest you do the same!
So choosing to ignore it means it doesn't exist?

Sort of like discrimination and sexual harrassment don't happen if everyone ignores them.

Critically read the posts in this thread, and MANY read of an builders are better, and all ARF flyers are lesser.

Maybe that is not what is intended, but that is what comes across.
Nov 20, 2010, 08:24 AM
Closed Account
I can only speak for myself; but, "choosing to ignore" simply means I read what's said, make up my own mind about the topic stated and attempt to move on, if I don't feel a response is warranted.

If there is an "undercurrent" of superior opinion about one's self, because they are builders of model airplanes, I'm saying to everyone right here, right now, this would be a pretty silly basis for such an opinion!!
Nov 20, 2010, 03:19 PM
I'm a pilot, 100 yrs too late
Thermalin's Avatar
Regarding hotties on mag covers.. the parkflyer magazines which is all there generally is anymore usually have some type of cutie on the front. Oh.. I think it can be generally assumed that biuilding ability has nothing to do with flying ability and vice versa for reasons on many levels.

How about we stop talking about bringing model building back and actually bing model building back". My protege', the one who built the small electric Texan told me the other day he is sending plans to a kit cutter for another 45" or so electric job to build over winter. I strongly believe.. if you show them... they will come. I also inherently believe in this throw away instant gratification society that we're morping into, people still have a need... a "want" to take ownership in something.. anything and when done say.... Look what I did!der .. because it's becoming increasingly more difficult to find "craftsman" , and I use the term loosely...anymore )

Nov 22, 2010, 07:00 AM
Closed Account
At 59 pages, maybe this thread has run out of steam. Is there any interest in getting back to the topic of "How do we bring model building back"?
Nov 22, 2010, 07:28 AM
Claus at Area 52
clausxpf's Avatar
Mode One
I have started a Rhino how to for the boys in the club with success and every time a youngster wants to learn more .. take him in you hand and show him how to do it.
If you club have a school plane let those young ones try to fly it..
That is how i try to keep building models back to life.
the Velocity-RC team.
Nov 22, 2010, 08:48 AM
Registered User
Originally Posted by Pinecone
Critically read the posts in this thread, and MANY read of an builders are better, and all ARF flyers are lesser.

Maybe that is not what is intended, but that is what comes across.
So you're saying it that you're reading posts that way, effectively reading your prejudices into them, even when that wasn't what the writers were actually writing ?

Misunderstandings like that, accidental or deliberate, are how many wars get started aren't they ?

BTW it's almost certainly true that builders are better builders than people who never build anything. How could it possibly be otherwise ?

Nov 23, 2010, 12:52 AM
Registered User
I'm new here, so I've only gone and looked at the last month or so of posts, so forgive me if this was covered before.

Has anyone discussed what might be done to an ARF kit that would encourage someone to either experiment and modify that model, or to use a kit for the next time?

My background: I'm involved with RC boats, not planes, have seen similar debates and hand wringing in ham radio, and have a background in instructional design and technology.

It seems that underneath it all, a lot of times the issue is "if they get it ready to operate, they don't have an understanding of how it's put together and what factors are influencing either other, and it's just a big black box".

In an ideal world, could any of these be solved with outstanding documentation that would come with something that was ready/almost ready to run? In hypothetical the case of the RC warship combat boats (for which there is no RTR), I could see it being an explanation about each major part and why it was chosen and what it influences.
- There are two motors of this size here. They were chosen because they were a good tradeoff for weight vs size vs performance. If you want more power, you could swap them out with a motor like xyz, but you'll also need a bigger battery, which will take up more space and add more weight.
- This is the speed controller, it's here because it does this and such. Something cheaper that would do this would be product abc, but then you lose the feature bcd.
- The props have this many blades and are at this pitch. You can't change certain things because that's the way it was on the original ship, but what you can change is the somethingorother, and it can help you make tighter turns but you sacrifice something else.

Could better instructions and explanations be part of an answer, if it helped people be more successful in their first experiences and encouraged them to continue in the hobby and chose something more complicated later on? Or even give them the confidence to start with a kit instead of buying a RTR/RTF?

Edit: I came here from a RCUniverse posting, and didn't realize that this was in an aircraft-specific board, so apologies for the off-topic example. The RCUniverse thread talked about people who purchased ARF planes that asked the most basic questions that they wouldn't have needed to ask if they had done any building from a kit and had learned as they went along. That's in part what sparked my question about the need for instructions and explanations.
Last edited by KeriMorgret; Nov 23, 2010 at 01:15 AM.
Nov 23, 2010, 01:58 PM
Registered User
KeriMorgret, well said! And the examples given are so true. I do not build "scale" or care a lot about finish, but deciding about what to use and where to use it is the most fun, and like others it was my biggest obstacle in trying my own build, fortunately there are a lot of folks around, here and in clubs with the knowledge to help with any question ( MODE ONE for example has been a lot of help with some of my projects). Maybe the question should not be "how do we bring model building back?" maybe it should be "How do we get someone to ask for guidance without expecting everything being done for him.
Nov 23, 2010, 02:49 PM
Suspended Account
Last edited by Arbo; Apr 15, 2011 at 10:44 AM.
Nov 23, 2010, 03:21 PM
An itch?. Scratch build.
eflightray's Avatar
You beat me to it Arbo.

When you consider just how many forums types there are here on RCGroups, and most have plenty of modelers building and designing model planes in them.

Then there are the many other model forums on the web, probably with plenty of builders there as well.

Don't worry about bringing it back, it never left, and the RTF/ARTF generation will probably be the next builder generation.

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