build time: whats it worth? - RC Groups
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May 16, 2006, 10:27 PM
Registered User
-DoubleV-'s Avatar

build time: whats it worth?

lately ive gotten quite a few pm's regarding building some planes for some peeps. now heres the funny part, after they inquire about how much its gonna be, and i respond, i dont hear back from them, lol. (sorta rude actually, at least say 'thanks but no thanks'). the thing that people dont realize is the actual time and effort needed to build a stout, fast foam plane. just the gooping process alone (i usually use 4-5 coats of thinned goop per side) takes an entire day to complete including the drying process. the irony of it all is that people want custom planes, now, for cheap. currently i charge $140 for a rtf ship, (sans electronics), plus the cost of the kit. this includes all glues, tapes, and ultracote, and after its all said and done i make about , oh, 4 bucks an hour, maybe. hahaha. we all know what a pain building can be, so what do you think is fair to charge for build time?

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May 16, 2006, 10:33 PM
Mr. Innocent's Avatar
75 bucks extra for build time. But, this doesn't bother me because I build my own planes now.
May 16, 2006, 10:40 PM
Ninja of the Nasty
KingOfTheHill's Avatar
Vic- i have had great success... actually turning people away due to limited time.. but i was charging $125

that included 2 colors of ultracoat (basic scheme, more if they want to get fancy)
Bowmans TOP quality Strapping and Packing tape
GOOP for the gooped fuse and spars gooped int
Upgrade to 4-40 control rods and metal clevis's
Upgrade also with Dragspar
Paint for goop tint
and Building materials: Brushes, CA, Kicker, Blades.

they supply: Servo's, RX, Battery, Extensions (if needed), and the JW.

its not cheap... the Typical JW i build for people costs..

Kit- 90
Gear- 120ish
Build Cost- 125

they dont realize how easy it is to get $320-$380 into a foam airplane...

May 16, 2006, 10:47 PM
THUREN's Avatar
Building RTF's for an income, you've gotta pay yourself.......

If it takes ALL day and some, strapping tape, goop, 3M77, ultracoat, etc.... $140 is too cheap IMO for a top quality build...

If it's a sand, strapping tape, ultracoat, CA/5min epoxy in the spars, no Goop jobbie then yeah....

Go by the hour... What is your time worth?

If it's just a time killer than whatever....

May 16, 2006, 10:54 PM
screamin' eagle's Avatar
I think anywhere from $100-$150 is plenty fair for a foamie build. More if you're talking about Gooping a fuse. Not talking about a Weasel Pro here, but foamies ready for DS. Some of these builds get complicated and all are labor intensive - I'd rather assemble a 2m moldie any day than build an M60, for example.
May 16, 2006, 10:56 PM
Ninja of the Nasty
KingOfTheHill's Avatar
you dont profit much... at all if any... its basically enough to keep me in this hobby...

i make enough to throw in a plane or two in the build batch for myself. thats about it... and trades are always awesome had plenty of those..

if you plan on doing this for an actual "job" or income, your just not being real with yourself... especially these planks..

now if you were like strembridge or Predator doing ONLY wings.. i think you could knock those out a hell of a lot faster and build cost is down a lot more than the JW's i build..

hardly any goop, no fuse to shape/sand and sink gear in seperate.. minimal tape because light weight is key to combat, opposed to the JW's i build, people want STRONG to go fast and that requires GOOD quality tape and a fair bit of it...

i dunno.. i enjoy it, but sometimes its overwhelming to look at all the work you have to do still and what little money you are actually profiting.. but when you see them fly it suddenly all becomes worth it..

May 16, 2006, 11:00 PM
Registered User
I've paid more than that before,and was dang happy to pay it because the plane was built by an experienced builder,and I knew it would fly awesome. I've seen your planes and I've seen them fly-There's no way your asking to much for the build. Oh, and don't sweat it if some people don't call you back.The "thanks but no thanks" call is a rare one.

Last edited by socal bill; May 17, 2006 at 11:05 AM.
May 16, 2006, 11:07 PM
Ninja of the Nasty
KingOfTheHill's Avatar
Originally Posted by socal bill
-There's no way your asking to much for the build.

Quite possibly they are seeing a price like that and have never flown one or possibly ever seen one fly. Im saying this with no means for you to take offense but... nobody seems to have one of your planes, so paying for a kit they know little about and then see'ing the build cost might scare them away...

that may have nothing to do with it... i dont know... but nobody wanted a JW i built till it was seen flying perfect and got the seal of approval from some very big names... seemed like once that happend the orders just flodded in.

May 16, 2006, 11:20 PM
Registered User
I think that price is way fair. It depends really on the finished product. I've seen people pay a lot more. It all boils down to what a person is getting. If you planes are sweet, then charge more. I like to pay for performance and convenience.
May 16, 2006, 11:25 PM
Suspended Account
I think that's a fair price for a well built RTF plane. I don't know what Jack charges for his, but they are awesome planes, works of art in foam, and whatever the price, worth it. Anyone that can build like that deserves a price
like that for their work, if not more.

May 16, 2006, 11:30 PM
Cho Oi! Hay Qua!
tomi's Avatar
Same here with shipping included... But I don't spend all day building. I give a person 1 1/2 - 2 weeks wait because of my real job and family. But yet I can still do a good job. The faster you build, the crappier it looks. The slower, the better it looks. I have yet to have anyone who wants a plane built in a day or two, but they understand how long it takes to build a plane alone.

May 16, 2006, 11:34 PM
Watching the Aneometer
EZ Glider's Avatar
most contractors start at a minimum of 2X materials , and then add an hourly rate if they need more to cover additional labor. Using JOe's numbers above that comes out to $200 or so. We are not as skilled as you guys, so I am sure we are slower, but no way I would consider doing a job I would put my name / reputation on for less than that. Unless there is a red cross on your card charge what your worth and be proud of it.
May 17, 2006, 12:08 AM
Vitruvian JART
Reed's Avatar
Building is worth whatever your time is worth. If you feel that an hour of your time is worth $20/$40/$100 then charge it and forget about it. The buyer needs to calculate what their time is worth and how much they enjoy/don't enjoy building toy airplanes.
May 17, 2006, 01:40 PM
Registered User
-DoubleV-'s Avatar
thanks for the input guys. the more i think about it, the more it seems like a blessing in disguise actually, lol. i need to find me a 'wing pimp' like predator or stembridge to do the dirty work so i can concentrate more on designing and cutting. the problem with that is finding someone with not only an interest and desire, but building skills to back it up. oh well, parker wasnt built in a day right?

May 17, 2006, 01:55 PM
Suspended Account
devilcries's Avatar
i think it is a good deal for 150 but people shuold just buld theyr own stuf, it s alot beter

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