Does Anyone Build Balsa Model Airplanes From Kits Anymore? - Page 4 - RC Groups
View Poll Results: Have you built a balsa plane from a kit in the last 12 months?
Yes 392 75.82%
No 125 24.18%
Voters: 517. You may not vote on this poll

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Aug 27, 2012, 11:02 PM
Three balsa kits since December. One (Stevens Aero Hummingbird) actually completed & flown. Small Guillows P-51 that I originally intended to complete as an electric... first balsa plane in probably 30 years (and second one ever). Will probably never complete it, ot at least never fly (using it as experimenting with sheeting, among other things). Third is a SA Swift 100, just needs to have the covering finished.

Have 3 or 4 other kits waiting for their turn as well.

My fleet currently is mostly foam. I have two non-foam ARFs (E-Flite T-34 and Super Cub).

For the most part, I'd rather just fly. ARFs got me into the hobby, and will likely keep me in it. I'll build stuff as the mood strikes me. Having to build in order to fly would be a deal-breaker.
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Aug 28, 2012, 12:21 AM
Registered User
No and im to old to do it Built lots of them in the late 1980,s, but i just want to fly now.
Aug 28, 2012, 01:12 AM
Registered User
Eclipse_7's Avatar
I've built 3 kits, a Guillows P-40, a Sig 29er, and a Peck Gypsy Moth. I've also scratch built 3 balsa airplanes and am currently working on a SIG Seniorita.

In the same time period I bought four Tx-R or BNF foamies and 2 balsa ARF, along with a used balsa plane built from a kit.

Edit: make that 5 kits, I forgot a Dumas Corsair, and a Peck Sky Bunny. (and a couple AMA Racers and Thermal Darts)
Last edited by Eclipse_7; Aug 28, 2012 at 01:19 AM.
Aug 28, 2012, 04:16 AM
Registered User
FlyBoy20's Avatar
Call me old fashioned, but there is something 'organic' about building a plane from balsa. Yes, we all know foam is quick and easy, but it just lacks a certain 'something'.
Aug 28, 2012, 08:48 AM
Dude, get me some ice cream!
Felt_ripper 23's Avatar
This year: A spitfire and a neiport 11
Aug 28, 2012, 10:25 AM
Registered User
I like to build kits and I always seem to have one in progress. Some fly well and some don't. I am currently building an Aerodrome RC 20" Sopwith triplane. However, I also fly ARF planes and I am occupied at first light most mornings with an E-flite UMX MIG 15 EDF. There is a place for everything.
Aug 28, 2012, 10:39 AM
AndyKunz's Avatar
When I'm building from scratch or plans, I usually start by making a kit and then building it. Does that count?

Aug 28, 2012, 10:42 AM
Dude, get me some ice cream!
Felt_ripper 23's Avatar
Originally Posted by AndyKunz
When I'm building from scratch or plans, I usually start by making a kit and then building it. Does that count?

Aug 28, 2012, 10:46 AM
Snappy Title On Backorder....
tsymonds's Avatar
Some short kits with plans and the rest scratch built. I haven't ever used foam but that's just because all I've ever built with is balsa and light ply and never felt the urge to do foam.

Have a Sparks OV-10 and a HOB FW-190 going through a conversion to a D9 and electric. Have a Park Scale models XF-12 on the way.
Aug 28, 2012, 11:16 AM
Hobby King Hater
Kimber's Avatar
Originally Posted by AndyKunz
When I'm building from scratch or plans, I usually start by making a kit and then building it. Does that count?

Is that like making all the pieces and selecting all the strips and flat stock
before beginning construction?

That's how we did this one. Brad cut a lot of the pieces on the band saw,
I did some on the scroll saw, we had most in place before I started building.
There was still some looking for odd pieces, but I think even kits require some
of this?

Aug 28, 2012, 11:36 AM
Unregistered User
I've actually built two ff-electric conversions in the past 12 months. no success with number 1 and limited success with number two. Both important steps towards making use of excellent kits available.

I find too that theres a wider range of planes available in kit form than ARF form, just like theres a wider variety of plans available on the web than there are kits.
Aug 28, 2012, 12:20 PM
Registered User
xrx1113's Avatar
I built a guillows kit the Javelin and I put the motor of a micro mustang and used the brick rx to control rudder elev and throttle. Fun little plane if i do it again i will cover with saran wrap and the tissue still sags in the early morning dew.
Aug 28, 2012, 02:55 PM
Dude, get me some ice cream!
Felt_ripper 23's Avatar
Lol here is BONKERS!!!(thats its name). I drew my own plans, then built it. Its ready for RC equipment, but at the moment I'm kinda broke, so..... Being 13 can be tough...But I just ordered a new longboard, which is good
Aug 28, 2012, 03:41 PM
Night Flying
Ron H's Avatar
Are those marks for ailerons? If so, they look too small. I don't want to seem too critical, but the leading edge should be rounded for better wind penetration. The thick trailing edge will
cause turbulance and reduce lift. Full strip ailerons contoured to the wing profile would solve this. You may find that the rudder is to small at low speeds.

Good to see a young person having a go a scratchbuilding. Looks like it has potential with some tweaking. Good luck with it!
Aug 28, 2012, 04:24 PM
stgdz's Avatar
No kit building anymore. I assemble all my planes now, my time is way to valuable to be building when i could be flying.

However I am glad that I acquired the skills to build a balsa plane and cover it from my youth. It has helped me immensely in my repairs and I'm going to make my kids build a plane if they want to fly.

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