How can we better promote model building? - Page 7 - RC Groups
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Sep 02, 2009, 04:09 PM
Foam Av8r
RogueTitan's Avatar
Originally Posted by Mode One
In another thread, I off-handedly asked this question and someone thought this would be a good topic to start, so here goes!

I'm 59 years old, since I was maybe 5-6 years old, I have loved to build models. I have built many plastic kits; airplanes, cars, military, am involved in model railroading, have built ship models in both plastic and wood and balsa flying models, since I was 10 years old. I built rubber powered freeflight and hand launched gliders, did a little bite of control line in my teen years and after graduating from high school, bought my first R/C set and have been active in R/C off and on ever since.

It saddens me to see so much reliance on ARFs and RTF models and that the market is so saturated with them and kits are slowly disappearing. Yes, I have assembled ARFs; but, I find that they only leave the most boring part of the process left to do.

Quite frankly for me at least, building from kits or scratch is the glue that keeps me in this hobby! Those of you who do not build, I feel are missing out on the most fun part of R/C! I have heard all the excusses and don't want to hear them again! I have no problem with your simply choosing to not participate. However, if you haven't tried building models, give it a try! You may find it to be more fun then boring holes in the sky with your latest Yak 54 ARF.

So, the question is, what can be done to bring model building back?
Here is my spin on the topic of discussion...

I am 47 and my first build was when I was 11 and before that I was into building Plastic model cars, War Birds and war ships, I have always loved building models of all types

I have scratch built several balsa planes also and the biggest was a 6' wing span P51 Mustang that I drove into the ground on its maiden due to a mal functioning servo which totaled out the plane and caused me to totally get out of RC model building all together for the last 21 years.

Fortunately for me there is foam and and electric power and good radios which cost a fraction of what they once did that is why I got back into the RC flying and building hobby.
with that said it is an issue of affordability but.....

In a nut shell there are more people who would rather spend more time flying a RTF or ARTF than taking the time to build a kit. another reason is you can buy a nice RTF for a fraction of what it cost to build a kit plane especially a nitro kit.
and in many cases many RC enthusists would not even be flying if the only option was Nitro because it is expensive.

Thankfully the electronic technology is really good and inexpensive enough these days that anyone who wants to get involved in RC flying can because the technology has made it affordable. In years past with nitro planes some people would have been unable to afford to get involved due to the cost and the lack of skill required to build a plane.
sure anyone can build a plane with patience and the ability to properly follow and read the instructions but the mentality of I cant do that dominates over the desire to make an attempt to give it a try.

I am like you though I get as much enjoyment (if not more) building as I do flying and for most people who are into RC flying have no desire whatsoever to build their own air craft in fact so much that if they had to build their own plane probably would not even own a plane.

It is a matter of different strokes for different folks I guess

Last edited by RogueTitan; Sep 02, 2009 at 04:20 PM.
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Sep 03, 2009, 02:51 AM
AMA 910957
EJWash1's Avatar
Originally Posted by MCarlton
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
I have been approached many times by folks at the flying field that were interested in getting into the hobby and wanted to know how to get started. Most of the time guys want to know if they have to build their own model to get going. I have gotten into the habit of directing them to an ARF .40-size trainer for a few reasons. First, they get in the air right off the bat and start building flying skills. More times than not, they talk about the desire to build. One RCG regular also follows this recommendation but adds that the fledgling hobbiest (“newbie”) start building their second, or advanced model. Excellent advice to bring another modeler into the realm of building.

I had a thought (amazing, eh? )

How many clubs have “hand-me-down” or rotational trainers where the newbie provides the same components (engine, radio) as if they were to purchase an ARF trainer? The builders in the club could keep the trainers in flying-ready status, ready to accept the components of the next member to the hobby. The trainers could be covered in club colors. I think that this would welcome the new member into the club right off the bat and give them a sense of belonging.

How about the experienced modelers get involved and build a trainer to pass into their club. After all gang, the vast majority of us were able to avoid the pitfalls of trail-and-error because someone gave their time as builders (guidance) and instructors. How many of you put something back into the hobby for others to keep it going? How many builders are willing to build a trainer for their club? There are plenty of .40-sized basic trainer plans out there. There is also enough talent here on RCG that we can come up with a trainer that is of the signs of the times; digital plans, and CNC laser or router production. Different wing sets could be included, higher dihedral/flat bottom airfoil for basic training, and interchangeable zero-dihedral/semi-symmetrical for advance training.

It has to be simple construction to keep the build fast, so the builders can get it out on the line and so the novice flyer can see that building is in-fact possible, that not all models are pre-built, and that there is indeed an option to build.

Speed of construction needs to be the focus. As a builder, I have to have decide that there is time in my day-to-day to crank out a “RCG Club Trainer” to sure-up the newbies coming into the hobby.

Possible? Yes!

Sep 03, 2009, 03:23 AM
AMA 910957
EJWash1's Avatar
Originally Posted by Mode One
So, the question is, what can be done to bring model building back?
I guess my answer (considering post #92) is that as a builder, you put back what you took out from the hobby: the benefit of the experience of others.

Sep 03, 2009, 06:26 AM
Registered User
I am doing my bit

Red Zephyr Build thread:-

Hope this helps someone else build something.


Sep 03, 2009, 09:37 AM
Closed Account
Johnkpap, Thanks for the link, it's surprising how many build threads are found in places I never think to look!
Sep 03, 2009, 11:05 AM
Registered User
vintage1's Avatar
The three places for really good balsa builds are here, the scale forum and the vintage forum.

Anyone who wants to see really good craftsmanship should check there..
Sep 03, 2009, 11:26 AM
Registered User
First of all a big thank you to all the verans out there for sharing their knowledge, without you people I would have quit building on my first experimental. The joyfull experiance of building will not be caried over or promoted by manufacturers or hobby shops that are businesess that needs to make money, but by people like you with guidence and help. So what if someone doesn't want to build its his choise, but if I can get only only in my life to try it and sucseed and that one person could feel all the nice feeling one gets on a sucsessfull maiden, that would be the cherry on my cake.

I love the idee of a club trainer, I also wonder why there are no mags or ads or for people like me?
Sep 03, 2009, 11:48 AM
Registered User
vintage1's Avatar
Originally Posted by EINA

I love the idee of a club trainer, I also wonder why there are no mags or ads or for people like me?
Mags there are, and you are reading the best there is. New articles every day, global reach, worldwide helpline? not bad for free!

But ads? no money in it, dear boy. There are about 120,000 aeromodellers worldwide, most of whom do little more than buy magazines, and a few more who occasionally buy the latest shiniest ARTF and go and impress their friends with it.

I doubt there are more than 10,000 serious builders out there, who spend maybe a hundred dollars a year on turnover a million? barely enough to get anyone out of bed, considering the time and effirt involved.

We see it time and again: People walk up, buy three packs of LIPOS for £50 and when you suggest a kit, say that £40 is 'too expensive'

It probably is, when a Slow stick is about £35...

Everything is there. tucked away in small websites round the world.

Remember there are less of us than there are paedophiles. You don't want to be caught in a dirty raincoat walking out of the model shop with some balsa sticks poking out from under your arm..your secret perversion there for the world to see..
Sep 03, 2009, 12:37 PM
Registered User
Thats some statistic, 120,000, not many is it, just think, you could fit all of us into a reasonably large stadium.

I always wanted to join the ranks of kit manufacturers, but when I did the sums a couple of years back, I just couldn't make it work, certainly not in a way that would pay me a reasonable wage.

Shame, as I've always wanted an outlet for the pile of about 2000 designs I have sketched up which I will probably never build more than a couple of.
Sep 03, 2009, 01:45 PM
Registered User
Right again - vintage, but I don't mind people or fellow flyers to see me walking with balsa or any other exotic material I can dish up to build with, because I know that they are wondering wat's going to be on the runway next, and when I fly one of my experimentals and it's doing its 3rd or so pass they can see the joy and fun I'm getting out of it and I do believe that in their hearts they realy want to know what it feels like.

Accomplishment, sucsess, determination, having something that nobody else can get out of a box and love, love for our hobby, for aircraft and for ourselfes to create thing of such beaty, that is what we must try and show to our fellow flyers, maybe then we can get more to join our joy.
Sep 03, 2009, 01:47 PM
Registered User
MCarlton, feel free to share your piles of idees and designs with us, for one I'm always looking for something new to get my clothes dirty with.
Sep 03, 2009, 02:12 PM
Closed Account
I think there are more then 10,000 people building model airplanes. How many more would only be a guess.
Sep 03, 2009, 02:41 PM
Registered User
MCarlton, feel free to share your piles of idees and designs with us
I'll see if I can borrow a scanner and pop some up.
Sep 03, 2009, 07:52 PM
Two left thumbs
Originally Posted by vintage1
Remember there are less of us than there are paedophiles. You don't want to be caught in a dirty raincoat walking out of the model shop with some balsa sticks poking out from under your arm..your secret perversion there for the world to see..
Yeah but you don't get incarcerated for having THAT kind of wood in the presence of children! Balsa in your dirty raincoat beats an ARF in your anorak!

Sep 04, 2009, 07:54 AM
Closed Account
This thread is going along fine; but, some people will continually bring forth the position that there is room for both ARFs and builders in this hobby! My answer to this statement is "Dah"! I have yet to see anyone who has posted here on this thread taking the position that ARFs should be outlawed; so, why do the ARf people seem to be so protective of their choice? Probably 75 to 85% of the airplanes being test flown every day are ARFs! The popularity of the ARF is assured. Since I have ARFs, my position on this question should be clear to everyone (not that my position on anything is important).

Can we move on? If you have the opinion that ARF people are less then kit/scratch builders, please start your own forum topic on this and don't drag this one down with a foolish opinion like this!

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