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Jul 14, 2010, 10:30 PM
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Guillows Build N' Fly

I'm looking at getting these four kits for my son's 10th birthday.

GU4101 Guillows Goldwing
GU4201 Guillows Cadet
GU4301 Guillows Cloud Buster
GU4401 Guillows Fly Boy

Are these models a good place to start to learn about free flight model building.
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Jul 14, 2010, 11:04 PM
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All good kits, but my number one choice goes to Peck Polymers Stringless wonder.
Jul 14, 2010, 11:19 PM
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May I vote for Sig's Profile Parasol?

Jul 14, 2010, 11:21 PM
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Thanks for the tip scigs30. Is it worth while making an all balsa kit first or do you think diving straight into a tissue covered model would be alright.
Jul 15, 2010, 12:03 AM
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Nothing wrong with a basic stick and tissue model, have to start somewhere.
Jul 15, 2010, 01:09 AM
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John Cole's Avatar
I'm with Howell, and the Sig Cub is also a good beginner's model. I've also heard great things about the Stringless Wonder, but have never built one.

Hope this helps.

Jul 15, 2010, 03:20 AM
Registered User
You might find the following site useful in the construction of your first stick and tissue model:

Good luck!

Jul 15, 2010, 10:59 AM
one flew
MentalDekay's Avatar
If your son was closer to 15, I'd have to second Pete's suggestion...Mike (right??) Stuart does an awesome step-by-step on his Comper Swift. That said...

When I was turning 13 (or so) I told my dad that I wanted to get into building and flying planes. He bought me a Sterling kit (the monocoupe/citabria one). Maybe it was his style to let me learn by failing, which I did horribly ..but when the TAIL SURFACES proved more than a match for my fledgling skills and attention span, I gave up. For 19 years. Anecdotal evidence to be sure, but likely indicative of youth of the last 20-odd years (given all the other distractions available today). Though if you're more hands on than my dad was, maybe you'll have better/more immediate results.

At 10 maybe let your son try a Sig Cub on his own (or maybe while you build one too so he can see what you're doing and how you're doing it). It'd probably be a good place to introduce principles of flight and trimming. After that... some of those Guillows kits or the other suggestions here or maybe that A-10-inspired kit from (looks hella cool, could be a good carrot to dangle in front of a 10 year old)...

About 5 more years and I'll be thinking what to build with my (then) 10 y.o.

Jul 15, 2010, 05:56 PM
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The Peck Polymers Stringless Wonder is an excellent model with some limitations, it is a fragile plane that if flown outdoors must be flown on a CALM day (no wind). The frame is a bit delicate and the tissue is not to be shrunk once applied to the frame. I have one and when I can fly it, it flies beautifully!
Jul 15, 2010, 09:36 PM
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I'd agree with Des that the Comper Swift is a little ambitious for a child's first model but as Des so rightly asserted - It does all depend on how much you'll help! The advice on the site still applies to simpler stick and tissue covering and there are some absolutely stunning models in the galleries that will inspire you onto bigger and greater things!

I had a similar first modelling experience to Des, my dad was an excellent model builder but he wasn't really around to help and I made a royal mess of trying to build a Veron Auster AOP9, giving up when the fuselage came out completely banana shaped! I attempted a little built up ROG model next with single surface covered wings. Nobody told me to pre-shrink the tissue or thin the dope and the wing warped all over the place. I built for the bin quite a few times before I got anything that flew at all (and not much at that)!

If you choose your model carefully, give your son some help, work patiently and follow some of the excellent advice on Mike Stuart's site (particularly in regard to covering - the most awkward part of any light free flight model) you'll have much better chances of success and save your son the disappointment of having to lob hours of fiddlesome work in the bin. I'm looking forward to seeing your results, be sure to take lots of pictures!

Last edited by Pete1978; Jul 15, 2010 at 09:37 PM. Reason: typo
Jul 15, 2010, 11:29 PM
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Thanks everyone for your comments. Turns out the only two I can get at our local hobby shop out of the four mentioned in my original post are the "Cadet" and the "Cloud Buster". I've ordered them and I was thinking of getting enough equipment to have a go at the "Mini Catapult Glider" as a starting point as well. I'll let you know how they all go.

If he goes alright with these ones we will tackle some of the models you've mentioned.

Jul 19, 2010, 08:55 PM
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Bargle's Avatar
A couple of tips:
Definitely pre-shrink the tissue on the Cadet. Otherwise, the wing will warp.
On the Cloud Buster, leave off the landing gear and make a sliding box like on the Cadet for wing adjustments. Makes getting it trimmed much easier.

A general FYI. These kits were originally produced by Comet under the names Trainer (G-Goldwing), Cadet (Stayed same), Flyboy (G-Cloud Buster) Cloud Buster (G-Flyboy).
Jul 19, 2010, 10:37 PM
Registered User
The Fly Boy (formerly the Comet Cloud Buster) was my first stick and tissue model to successfully fly. I was 6 years old when I built it and it was a challenge for me because I had no adult help. Any of the models in the Build 'n Fly series will fly well enough for a beginner, and the solid stick fuselage models are easier to build than the built up fuselage of the Fly Boy. The Cloud Buster should be a fine first model if the builder has some assistance from an experienced modeler.

Here's a picture of my Fly Boy built several years ago when Guillows first re-issued the kit with laser cut wood.

Jul 20, 2010, 07:01 AM
Registered User
Thanks for the tips guys.
Jul 22, 2010, 06:18 PM
Registered User
Anybody here who knows if there is a thread about all kinds of covering techniques for our models, r/c or free flight and what not. Thanks!

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