First scratch build kit? - RC Groups
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Sep 04, 2010, 09:12 PM
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First scratch build kit?

I am looking for suggestions on what I should choose for my first scratch built kit? I have done several ARF's and even had an RTF :P But am looking for more of a challenge and something a little more rewarding and even time consuming. So hope to hear some great ideas
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Sep 04, 2010, 11:35 PM
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ocminimoto's Avatar

What exactly do you mean by "scratch built"?

So by "scratch built" do you mean;

something that comes in a box with precut parts and plans from which you assemble the model,

or a set of plans from which you make your own parts and then assemble the model,

or you find a photo or 3 view plans from which you make the plans and then make the parts and then assemble the model?

All three are great options bit if your experience so far has been with ARFs' maybe you want to start with a kit that comes with plans and precut parts. These kits will help to show you how an airframe goes together and gets you ready for more complex projects.

If you want to start small or have a modest budget check out the guillows conversion threads.

If you can get your hands on a used Parkzone Sukhoi you can have a micro flyer for under 100 bucks.
Sep 04, 2010, 11:37 PM
Registered User
I was talking about a kit with precut parts and instructions/plans. I don't have the workshop to cut and shape my own parts...yet!!! :P
Sep 04, 2010, 11:42 PM
Registered User
I'm more prone to Nitro power. Not comfortable, nor am I fond of electric.
Sep 05, 2010, 09:45 AM
ARFs Are Me
TomCrump's Avatar
For a first "kit build", I suggest that you look at something from Sig, Great Planes, or Goldberg.

My first kits were Goldberg. Then I built a couple Great Planes models.

My suggestions would be a Goldberg Cub or Tiger, or a Sig Four Star.

Scratch building is when you buy a set of plans, and cut your own parts.
Sep 05, 2010, 10:24 PM
Curmudgeon at large
oskartek's Avatar
My favorite, and a GREAT first kit.

The Sig Four Star 40.

They also have a 60 and a 120 size.

You will definitely enjoy building this plane.

Good luck, Oscar

A man that hates kids and dogs can't be all bad. But then, I've met some dogs I liked.
Sep 06, 2010, 01:06 AM
Three green
Originally Posted by skychief80
I am looking for suggestions on what I should choose for my first scratch built kit? I have done several ARF's and even had an RTF :P But am looking for more of a challenge and something a little more rewarding and even time consuming. So hope to hear some great ideas
So tell us what kind of flying you do. How advanced are you? A scale plane would give you a little more challenge. Name a few planes that you think are cool and we can maybe steer you to something thats a good fit.
Sep 08, 2010, 10:33 AM
I'm a pilot, 100 yrs too late
Thermalin's Avatar
The interesting part of bulding a kit is how creative you sometimes have to get when clamping things together! Think it's great you want build. Down the road.. there's so many plans out there, with some basic tools you can fly whatever you want .

Sep 08, 2010, 08:28 PM
Registered User
I have mostly flown asymmetrical high wing trainers. I have had one low wing sport plane and loved it. I liked the way the trainer flew too tho. At my local flying field I was told I wasn't allowed to fly my trainer any more until I built a sport aerobatic. I guess they got tired of seeing a high wing trainer do low fly-bi's while inverted. I think that WWII style planes are the sports cars of aviation. They were fast, sleek and made to fly under extraordinary circumstances. I am interested in a scale kit. I want it to take tons of time and be even more rewarding on it's maiden flight.
Sep 08, 2010, 08:30 PM
Registered User
I was wondering if ya'll knew where I can get some decent clamps for an affordable price. I don't want to spend tons of money on the clamps that are at Lowes. Their designed for much larger applications than modeling and priced even worse.
Sep 08, 2010, 08:52 PM
Hobby King Hater
Kimber's Avatar
First, all you need to cut out parts is a Xacto knife and a small
saw,, like this:

Yes, a shop full of power tools is nice, but it can be done
with basic tools for just a few $$.

The saw is $5 at Harbor Freight but any hardware store will
have them at about the same price. The blades are just
a few cents and last forever cutting balsa and lite ply.

A small piece of wood with a V cut in it will make a nice
saw base and protect the table you are working on.

Even with kits, some parts will need to be cut from

My first build was a scratch build from plans. We have
every known power tool every built but most of this
was done with the scroll saw. It is about the safest
power tool there is.

Homemade clamps work fine, Brad has about a dozen of these:
Sometimes you need to drill an extra hole to use them, but
it does not seem to be a problem.

Be sure to make the hole big enough for the sides to lay flat on
the sides of the fuselage where it tapers. When clamping on
a really tapered surface you may need to put a spot of school
glue in the clamp face to keep it from sliding..

Last edited by Kimber; Sep 08, 2010 at 09:09 PM.
Sep 08, 2010, 09:35 PM
I'm a pilot, 100 yrs too late
Thermalin's Avatar
I go to harborfreight for all my clamps.. plastic spring loaded clamps.. ratched clamps... all at very cheap prices compared to HD or Lowes. Quality fantastic, especially on the ratchet types but they work fine. Plus various sizes of rubber bands dwood strips rmake great clamps as well.
Sep 08, 2010, 10:23 PM
Registered User
The Venture 60 is a most excellent kit. It's a derivation of the 4 Star done by Bruce Tharpe, who designed the original.

It is the best kit I have ever seen. Excellent wood and no die crushing or laser burns. Every part is hand machined for perfect fit.

Comes with a very detailed building manual with lots of pics.

See more at

Sep 08, 2010, 10:46 PM
Registered User
DGrant's Avatar
Kimber did bring up an excellent point, as you will need some minor cutting tools, and a few sanding blocks doesn't hurt either.

As I think about it.. there is quite a bit of cutting/shaping that will go into some kits. Most of the time.. the pre-cut parts will consist of wing-ribs, fuselage sides/doublers, and most anything that's lite-ply will usually be at least pre-stamped.

Most of the spars and sheeting are just square raw stock of the appropriate dimension to obtain the parts its intended for... so any sheeting will be glued down, then shaped to finish size... this is a minor expample here.. and depends on the manufacturer..

All the kit manufacturers Tom mentioned are great kits... and have excellent manuals.. and as long as one follows the manuals and plans.. your pretty assured you'll have a plane that will fly just like it's supposed too.. Whatever you do though... patience is a key in the hobby.. if you got a little of that you'll do great.
Welcome to wonderful world of building.
Sep 08, 2010, 10:54 PM
Registered User
Thanks all, I appreciate all the good advice, but please keep em comin

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