Good kit mfgs, dying breed? (non-ARF) UPDATE: active mfgs. listed! - RC Groups
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Apr 21, 2012, 01:39 PM
Wasn't my fault, I had it and
Wacky1's Avatar

Good kit mfgs, dying breed? (non-ARF) UPDATE: active mfgs. listed!

Seems all the good ol' kit manufactures are all but gone. The only ones that come to mind, left is Top Flight, Great Planes. I miss the Picas, Goldberg's, Yellow, Sterling and the like. I look for kits here ,(reasonably priced) and on fleebay (WAY overpriced and for the collecters that will probably never build.) Nothing wrong with collecting, I'm just sayin'.
I am hopeful some of these kits come back into production, and if not, I hope someone will reproduce plans so they can be built. I fear that the young generation will never get to experience the joy of building an "actual kit" of the golden age.

I hope maybe Ziroli will maybe read this and have a few ideas!
Last edited by Wacky1; Apr 22, 2012 at 09:24 AM. Reason: title to include lists
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Apr 21, 2012, 02:23 PM
An itch?. Scratch build.
eflightray's Avatar
Or a golden opportunity for you to set up as a kit manufacturer ?

Think of all the money you could make as there must be thousands of builder looking for good kits ?. Well maybe a thousand or two ?, or perhaps a few hundred ?, errr.....anyone fancy setting up as a kit manufacturer ?

Sorry, not meant to be rude, but there is a reason why there are so few kit manufacturers about.

Likewise so few local manufacturers of model equipment in the US and UK. We all want cheap, and don't care which country we buy it from.
Apr 21, 2012, 03:14 PM
Registered User
DeeBee1's Avatar
We still have a few manufacturers in the UK (Falcon, Belair, West Wings, Old School, DB Sport and Scale etc.) although the classic manufacturers (Keil Kraft, Veron etc.) have long gone. Some of the plans services are also cutting parts now (Traplet and My Hobby Store). I don't think it's too bad, just different brands to those around pre-1980s.

A few years ago I was going to set up as a manufacturer (with a CNC router) and got agreement to reproduce plans and kits from an old UK based vintage model company. However, to keep the cost reasonable and still make a living, I would have had to sell in bulk to the distributers and retailers, and in the end this just sounded unattractive so I didn't start the business.
Apr 21, 2012, 03:36 PM
Registered User
Actually I have found that there are more kit manufacturers now than there were ten years ago. I think that the advent of computer aided design and laser cutting has cut the cost of producing a kit to the point where it is practical for a small low volume kit manufacturer to offer kits for obscure planes via the internet. So yes, some of the old names are no longer in the kit business, but there are several new names to replace them. You won't find them in your local hobby shop but they are out there.

Kit manufacturers that I have bookmarked in my browser include:

Aerodrome R/C (
Aerosphere (
Alien Aircraft (
Arizona Model Aircrafters (
Balsa USA (
BMJR Models (
Bridi Airplanes (
Bruce Tharpe Engineering (http://www.btemodels.coml)
Classic R/C Hobby (
Dare Hobbies (
Dumas Products (
Early R/C Models (
Easy Built Models (
ElectroFlying Models (
E*Star Models (
Eureka AIrcraft ( (
Great Planes (
Hobby Hangar (
LazerWorks (
Manzano Laser Works (
Mountain Models (
Park Scale Models (
Pat's Custom Models (
Proctor Enterprises (
RealKits (
RepliKit (
Retro R/C (
Sig Manufacturing (
Stevens Aeromodel (
Sky Bench Aerotech (
T&J Models (
Top Flite (
Top Notch Kits (

Some of these only offer short kits but many are full kit manufacturers.
Last edited by Jeff Bean; Apr 22, 2012 at 05:07 PM. Reason: Added suggestions made by others
Apr 21, 2012, 08:01 PM
Wasn't my fault, I had it and
Wacky1's Avatar
WOW Jeff!!!!
Thanks for posting. I guess there are way more than I thought!
2 Thumbs up for the list, THANKS!!
Apr 22, 2012, 07:16 AM
Registered User
DeeBee1's Avatar
Jeff has inspired me to pull together a list of UK based kit manufacturers:

Balsa Cabin (
Belair (
Ben Buckle (
Bowman (
Chris Foss (
DB Sport and Scale (
Falcon Radio Control (
Flair Models (
FMK Models (
My Hobby Store (
Old School Model Aeroplane Factory (
Partkit Seller (
Replikit (
Traplet (
West Wings (

Sorry to anyone I've left off the list (PM me and I'll update it).
Last edited by DeeBee1; Apr 22, 2012 at 02:45 PM. Reason: Updated the list
Apr 22, 2012, 09:22 AM
Wasn't my fault, I had it and
Wacky1's Avatar
I think these lists should be made into a sticky or something so that "kit builders" have a source to go to to browse for their next kit.
Thanks again guys for the lists.
Anyone else have any manufactures they would like to share?
I am going to edit the title to include the lists.
Keep em' coming!
Apr 22, 2012, 10:33 AM
UFO Driver
R_G's Avatar
Originally Posted by Wacky1
I think these lists should be made into a sticky or something so that "kit builders" have a source to go to to browse for their next kit.
I'll second that! This thread should definitely become a sticky!

Nice job guys!

Apr 22, 2012, 01:42 PM
Lift is good
Rayven's Avatar

Just what I was looking for!

Thanks for the lists....I'm nearing retirement and just started to think recently (like today!) about finding a decent kit to build--so now I've got the signposts to start looking! Used to build kits in my youth and I think I still have the chops to do a good job--but I need to start with a kit rather than scratch or short kit as I don't have many components and misc. lying about. Could someone could give me a shortcut: I'm looking for a full-kit of a scale biplane with high-quality kit components including quality balsa. I plan to go with an electric motor, and I'd like the model to fly true-to-scale. Anybody suggest a particular kit manufacturer that tends to meet some (if not all) of these criteria?

Thanks for sharing!
Apr 22, 2012, 02:13 PM
Lift is good
Rayven's Avatar
Just checked out Balsa USA....looks pretty close to my specs....but don't see that they configured the kits for Electric motors. Is that going to be a problem--lots of structural changes I'd have to figure out on my own.

Also, I remembered the name Proctor.... Jeff: Maybe add to your list?
Apr 22, 2012, 02:33 PM
Airplane crasher
CapMike's Avatar
You missed one.
Last edited by CapMike; Apr 22, 2012 at 04:18 PM.
Apr 22, 2012, 02:48 PM
Hi-Start Man
olyman's Avatar Very high quality kits. Sailplane Kits
Apr 22, 2012, 04:51 PM
Registered User
Apr 22, 2012, 05:11 PM
Registered User
Thanks for the additional suggestions everyone. I added them to my original list (and to my browser benchmarks!)

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