ARF's Cheaper Than Built-Up's Models - RC Groups
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Apr 18, 2001, 07:20 PM
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E-Challenged's Avatar

ARF's Cheaper Than Built-Up's Models

It may be that some ARF's, ARTF's and RTF's cost no more than a kit+covering+nuts and bolts+paints and glues+other nowdays.I guess we are lucky to have the stuff we need to build models but I am shocked how much supplies and materials cost. It may be that product liability "issues" and middleman costs have driven hobby shop item prices way out of sight but I don't have to like it. I also don't like that most youngsters can't pay the prices to be in the hobby.

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Apr 18, 2001, 09:12 PM
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Mark Wood's Avatar
Whooop! Whooop! Off Off-Topic Alert!!

This thread sentenced to reside in Open Discussion. (Hmph! Rabble rousers... )

Apr 18, 2001, 09:38 PM
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Gerald's Avatar
I don't remember that a youngster ever could afford to be in this hobby. When I was a kid the most I could afford was the occasional tiny Comet printwood rubber powered kit. That would be after saving my allowance for a few months. I think they went for a buck or two, sometimes less.

Most of my planes I built from scratch using whatever materials were at hand. A specialty was free-flight planes made from a stick of wood with a plank of scrounged styrofoam for a wing and a cox .049 motor scavenged from a crashed plastic ukie that some neighbor kid would occasionally have the fortune to aquire.

Balsa was as expensive to a youngster back then as it is now. We used pine or spruce instead and learned how to build lightweight stick and tissue models with it. I still can't figure why people today say Guillow's balsa is heavy. A real kit was quite a luxury. And harware to go with it? You gotta be kidding!

I have to agree with you though, the price of a lot of the stuff in the hobby stores seems to be way over-inflated. Two or three bucks for a bag of four screws? Sometimes you find the same screws at a hardware store and they are usually a tenth of the price.
Apr 18, 2001, 10:00 PM
Old school newb
PunkerTFC's Avatar
oh, trust me, i AM a kid, and this hobby IS expensive!! I'm in too deep now, so i can't escape the rising costs. but oh well... I might be a broke lazy 14 year old, but i'm a happy one too!
Apr 18, 2001, 10:34 PM
Registered User
Originally posted by Gerald:
I don't remember that a youngster ever could afford to be in this hobby. When I was a kid the most I could afford was the occasional tiny Comet printwood rubber powered kit. That would be after saving my allowance for a few months. I think they went for a buck or two, sometimes less.
How old are you again??
Apr 18, 2001, 10:36 PM
Registered User
Andy W's Avatar
I don't care much for ARF's when a kit is available. Molded ships for pylon or F5B are an exception, of course.
I like to build..
Apr 19, 2001, 12:01 AM
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E-Challenged's Avatar
I was watching a Comet 54" Aeronca kit on Ebay today, it went for $42.50.
When I was a little kid (in the 50's) , this kit cost a dollar. I saved my 50-cent weekly allowance, birthday and Christmas money and built mostly 25-cent and 50-cent Comet kits. A two-ounce bottle of Testors dope cost 20-cents, a large tube of Duco cement was probably 15 cents. Before my time, the dope and cement were included in the price of the kit. Almost all of the kits and accessories were produced in the USA. A kid today would have to save his 5.00 weekly allowance some eight weeks to buy a 30" w/s Guillows kit, some dope, glue, etc.,X-Acto blades, sandpaper, etc., we're not even talking about electric motors, battery packs, esc's and servos and R/C systems. I'm glad I got started in the early 50's
Apr 19, 2001, 12:25 AM
Registered User
A large part of the cause of this is the shrinking of the supplier base in recent years. Great Planes has taken control of the covering supply. They now own Monokote and Coverite. A large portion of the kits are in their control. They own Top Flite as well as their own line. This does not include the lines they control as sole distributor in this country.
Hobbico is attempting to get a larger market share by purchasing smaller companies and cornering the market on some imported lines.
Hobby Lobby has the Eupoean electric imports pretty much in their corner except for Dymond and Robbe.
The result is the ability to charge what they want regardless of what the value of the item might be. Monokote is a fine example. When Top Flite was an independent entity Monokote sold for about $7.00 a roll. Within a month of GP takeover Monokote was selling for $10.00 a roll. Same product-new price.
Apr 19, 2001, 01:37 AM
Balsa Builder
Paul Susbauer's Avatar
Build from scratch, I can build a small electric model from scratch for $20 including covering. Use some of the pull-out plans from some of the magazines and you have a low cost little plane.

ARFs are good sometimes for quik fly, but I'll stick with scratch. The only ARF's I'll buy are some of the European ones. I don't like Great Planes that much in that everything is so expensive, sometimes low quality, (I like Du Bro better)and how they pretty much control much of the market. (I do like their kits, even though the strip stock is usually rock hard.)

I agree with Andy W that if they are molded, that doesn't count as being an ARF.
Apr 19, 2001, 03:41 AM
Sloping off....
leccyflyer's Avatar
Originally posted by RC_Eflyer:

I agree with Andy W that if they are molded, that doesn't count as being an ARF.

I hereby decree that unless any model is truly Almost Ready To Fly - meaning charge the batteries and go..then it is Not an ARF.

There - I now officially don't have ANY ARF models.

My conscience is now completely clear.


Apr 19, 2001, 12:02 PM
Doesn't it really depend on how many model you plan on building in the future.
As I see it, the initial cost for tools used to build is reduced with each new kit you build. Somewhere down the line, if you build like I do, you're going to break even, and then start saving.
If you just want one plane (is it possible???) then the ARFs are cheaper.
Apr 20, 2001, 12:28 AM
Registered User
Model airplanes are just like peanuts. Once you start eating them you cant stop-ever. One plane--Really now.
Apr 20, 2001, 09:00 AM
aka: A.Roger Wilfong
gnofliwr's Avatar
I've had trees leap out and try to take a bite out of my planes. I've had goal posts leap out and take a bite out of a plane. I've even had a phone wire leap up and take a bite out of a plane. But, I've never tried to eat a plane (well there was that one time I missed the catch on a HLG, but I didn't bite down ).

Building planes OTOH - if the government finds out how addictive that can be I'm sure models will be on the "banned hazardous substances list".

- Roger
Oct 31, 2004, 06:46 PM
Southern Pride
everydayflyer's Avatar
Expensive ? Back in 1963 as a newly wed earning minimun wage of $1.15 per hour and a very simple single channel radio which was not very reliable cost a couple of hundred dollars. In 1968 a four channel sports radio with no servo reversing ,no buddy box compatiblity and not very small or light airborn system cost $400.00. They were not extremely reliable either.
Today you can purchase a radio that we could not even imagine back then for next to nothing in comparison and they are extremely reliable.

Nov 01, 2004, 03:54 AM
Single-task at best...
tim hooper's Avatar
........and another thread gets dragged, kicking and screaming, back into the light after 3 years!