For your money: Crunchie or Foam? - RC Groups
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Aug 23, 2005, 07:59 PM
Registered User
gavoss's Avatar

For your money: Crunchie or Foam?

Let me preface this discussion with the following statement: I have no truck with any of the manufacturers or builders of EPP slope planes.

Jack at LEG is a good friend of mine as is TFLG, both have been paramount by enriching the RC slope world. I've had the good fortune to see Jack and Eric (LEG) at work in the thriving metropolis of Lucas KS, building custom EPP planes for customers. I've also had the priviledge of seeing some of Brians work at sites like Soar Utah, and at Cajon. These guys are master builders/finishers. But I'd have to say this, unless I flew in Arizona where the landing area looked like lava, I'd take a crunchie over a foamy any day!

LEG get's close to $600 for a RTF model and to me, that's just NUTS! I'm not saying that their work isn't worth it, but it's still FOAM! The first time you make a rough landing or hit something like a small bush, the surface is marred forever. What you are left with is a plane that did look just as good as a crunchie, but now it's become an "old lady" with wrinkles everywhere!

For the same $600, Brian can make you a crunchie that looks as nice as the foamy, but it'll stay looking nice for a longer time.

If I'm going to spend $500 or more for a sailplane, it better look great and stay looking great for a long time. I'd much rather have some knicked paint and a dent or two than a wrinkled finish that I can never make look good again.

Now if you are still in the multiple-crash stages of your flying career, then sure, foam is a better choice. But if you've been flying for any amount of time and crashing only happens once in a while, then why not go with the crunchie?

So what are the opinions of this group? Flame suit firmly attached. gv
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Aug 23, 2005, 08:07 PM
aneigher24's Avatar
oh boy, here we go again, please try to take it easy guys.......Gavoss, a word to the wise, some the guys here are a little high strung lately due to the thread about M.A saying fermin is dangerous...


P.S depenmds on youre building/flying preferences...if you arent into building or dont have the time go for a moldie but if you want to build go foam, nowadays some of the foamies are catching up to the lower end moldies so the race of mold vs foam is abuot to gert a little closer i think...
Aug 23, 2005, 08:09 PM
Registered User
Chief High Horse's Avatar
Still crashin, need foam. But not $600 of foam. I agree, crunchy, and I will make that move when the time is right.
Aug 23, 2005, 08:13 PM
Ninja of the Nasty
KingOfTheHill's Avatar
Foamies DO get expensive to make when you put quality into them...

a 60" JW that i build to ATTEMPT to break the foam record tuns out to be a rediculous price...

90dollar plane
30bux in ultracoat
18bux in tape (SPECIAL tape used)
10bux in goop
10bux in toulene
90bux in servos
50bux in RX
20bux for Battery
10bux in extensions

thats rougly 320-330bux!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! but its the BEST a foamie will be

say a destiny

220bux for plane
50 for RX
75 for servos
15 for battery

thats 360 for a composite RTF....

the difference in price for those even isnt that much, but 1 crash at 100mph and the destiny is DONE... 1 crash at 100mph with the JW and it just wont be a record attempting plane anymore, but will still be fine for fast flying...

Jack does great work, so does TFLG... either way is great... but you have to account for your skill level, Plane Fund, Landing zone....

i know bowman charges 200bux to build a 60" JW... just in labor... is it worth it? its up to you to decide... everyones different.
Aug 23, 2005, 08:22 PM
Registered User
gavoss's Avatar
Good points so far! I think you hit the nail on the head by comparing what goes into each...about the same amount of $. The radio, kit and finishing materials are about the same. But lets say you are going to build it yourself. Again, the same amount of cash but which would you rather own over time?

I've been flying for 37+ years. I can film cover with the best of them, and I know my way around a paint gun. I've had 5 slope planes with the wood already sheeted on the foam cores sitting in my garage for over a year. I couldn't get myself motivated to finish them until I got back from a slope trip last month.

I planned on painting them so I decided to apply the glass cloth using the same method we would use to vac-bag a wing. I used 2 ounce cloth on mylar and bagged them onto the panels. I did 3 panels per day last week until done. I'll have to clean up the tips because the mylar can't handle compound curves. Also, the LE needed lots of sanding.

I know the planes will take close to 40-50 hours total to get ready for the slope (I'm a slow finisher), but I wouldn't even consider spending that amount of time on foam. gv
Aug 23, 2005, 08:35 PM
217 Schnell
2lsvtec's Avatar
i say have both. i have 2 crunchies and one on the way and 4 foamies that are gliders. like joe said, a destiny and a jw are almost the same in price but did not take into account the time it takes to build and cover a foamie where you can have a destiny rtf in a few hours. i really like foam but i like to ds/fly crunchies much more b/c they are faster and more of a risk$$$$$$$$$ JMIO

Aug 23, 2005, 08:39 PM
Registered User
TFLG's Avatar
Well from a time and cost standpoint it's about a wash. It takes me just as long (if not longer) to make a good looking foamie as it does a good looking glass ship. So if someone is going to charge "by the hour" to build a nice foamie it's going to cost a lot ($500 is cheap as far as I'm concerned). The last custom crunchie I made cost the guy close to $1000. I charged $800 for the labor and he spent nearly 200 for the kit.

It's like paying for a Custom car versus a Chevy. If you want something special that is going to come at a cost. If you can afford it and you can find someone to make it then that's all that matters. Foam, Glass, Wood, or whatever.

There are guys that will make them for less. But like the old saying goes "you get what you pay for". The custom planes I made were better than the stuff I make for myself! I make sure everything is straight, neat and built perfectly. That's what people are paying for.

To me it does not matter if it is foam or glass. It's more about percieved value. Is it worth what the guys are paying for it in there own minds. Let's face it time is something many of us don't have much of. My current job is a 9 hour shift and I drive 2 hours each way. So I have ZERO time to build planes. I can hardly make my own these days. (of course if offered a ridiculous amount of money I might find some time )

I agree with George that making Foam planes too nice is nearly pointless. He's right in that the first time you prang it the paint will crack, the covering wrinkle and the good looks go to hell. But you can build them to look good after a crash by not using paint or using just a little such as a trim color. I have a nice P-51 that is covered in silver Solartex and has blue vinyl as the trim color. There is no paint on it. I've pounded that plane in loads of times. Went into a manzanita tree backwards with it while trying to DS it at Cajon. It still looks great and a few minutes with a heat gun takes most of the marks and wrinkles out of it. I really don't see the point in trying to make EPP too nice. Yes it can be done but they are impossible to keep that way. Use foam the way it was intended, as a fun flyer!

Last edited by TFLG; Aug 23, 2005 at 11:48 PM.
Aug 23, 2005, 08:47 PM
ZIPPER's Avatar
I flew oil burners 30 years ago and gave up flying because I was sick of fixing/building crunchies, then I was introduced to EPP and have not looked back. They may get a little wrinkled over time, but like a Hollywood Deaver, a trip to the plastic surgeon and there like new.
I fly for the fun of it and a few wrinkles on a plane show me that I am having fun.
Aug 23, 2005, 08:59 PM
Embrace the suck
nauga's Avatar
Originally Posted by gavoss
So what are the opinions of this group? Flame suit firmly attached. gv
For me it's the mission more than the material.

If it's a kit, I'm usually buying it for the looks and flight characteristics. I wanted a P-51. The LEG-51 looked nice, so that's what I got. Had there been a glass one readily available for a comparable all-up cost I would've chosen the one that looked and/or flew best. I chose my Bird (a moldie) because it was available - but considered a GV60 (EPP) as well.

Scratch building, depends on what I want. My two most recent projects were a PSS A-7 and a PSS F7U. For the A-7 I wanted durability and the ability to reproduce parts - so I made a mold and foam wing templates and built a crunchie. For the Cutlass, I wanted something that would build quick and look OK, so I went with EPP. I doubt *I* could tell the difference in either one in flight if they were made from a different material but same design and ballast/balance

So the definitive answer, for me anyway, is "It depends." I don't sneer at people whose houses are made from different materials either.

who builds with a chainsaw and trowel
Aug 23, 2005, 09:06 PM
Happy Trees
m4rs's Avatar

Foamie kit (nice one)=90
rx(555) w/crystal =60
servos 3003 x3 =45 (could be done with 2)
strapping tape = 8
colored tape = 8
super 77 =15
battery =20

Though it may not be the fanciest foamie, but this beater would fly just fine. I could have 2 1/2 foamies within the budget.
Of course a moldie would be much nicer! I'd probably take the moldie myself.

Aug 23, 2005, 09:07 PM
Registered User
gavoss's Avatar
Just to reiterate, I don't 'sneer' either. I guess for me it comes down to the time investment. If i'm going to spend 50 hours on a plane, I want it to look good for as long as possible, and for me, that's a crunchy.

As for your closing; Measure it with a micrometer, mark it with chalk and cut it with an ax!
Aug 23, 2005, 09:10 PM
Ninja of the Nasty
KingOfTheHill's Avatar
Originally Posted by gavoss
. If i'm going to spend 50 hours on a plane, I want it to look good for as long as possible, and for me, that's a crunchy.

untill you get a glitch or a newbie turns on a radio without yelling out his freq. then you crunchy will go crunch.. and a foamie will just need the iron

lol, sorry... just making it difficult

Aug 23, 2005, 09:28 PM
jdcook54's Avatar
Dang Joe, you use better servo,s in your foam planes

Personally I think building is part of the hobby, and do enjoy it most of the time, but hey Im weird like that.

Aug 23, 2005, 10:00 PM
Embrace the suck
nauga's Avatar
Originally Posted by gavoss
Measure it with a micrometer, mark it with chalk and cut it with an ax!
Beat to fit, paint to match

living better through diminished expectations
Aug 23, 2005, 10:08 PM
Toy Flyer
glover's Avatar
At the slope, for me it's about the flying conditions. For close-in flying with limited sight or landing conditions, I have foam. For better sight days and landing areas, I have composite. For the same reasons on calm days at the slope, I also have foam and composite electric powed models available. I like to think that I'm using the right tool for the job, and I've been known to grin while flying both foam and composite models; to me it's a matter of choice, not taste.

Lots of lift, Glover

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