Thread: Plan building – What do you think?

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  1. Cool Plan building – What do you think? 

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnR View Post
    I like ARFS, kits, plans built and scratch built from my own plans. Some folks do one or two of those but I do them all as life allows. It seems to depend more about the subject than it does time or money to me. None of my models are show pieces and I really don't think any less of one of my ARFs of an interesting subject than I do of one I scratch built from my own plans. I just like seeing them in the air. The more nice arfs or kits of good models means I feel less need to scratch or plans build for sure. I don't get these emotional reaction to ARFS. It's a hobby. Do what makes you happy as long as you don't hurt anyone. Show interest in what others do but live and let live. If you aren't having fun then maybe you got the wrong hobby.

    I say keep the plans cause if they get rid of them then the art will really die and they will probably just fill the magazine space with more adds anyway.

    Variety is a good thing.

    I think its an unfortunate fact of life that ARFs are taking over.

    I spent more on covering and accessories to finish a Proctor 1/6 scale Sopwith Camel than what the Hanger-9 Sopwith (same scale) cost.

    Its pretty hard for most people to see the reason behind doing all that work and spending all that extra money when they can have an ARF in the air in just a few hours instead of several months or a few years.

  4. Cool  
    I agree, I started out building from scratch with plans then moved to kits. It actually wasn’t until I started at Model Airplane News that I started building ARF’s on a regular bases. I remember building my first ARF I could not believe the kit did not come with set plans included in the box. I mean, how are you supposed to repair it? There is a real sense of pride that come when building from plans that you don’t get from ARF, but it is really nice to get a plane in the air in a matter of days as opposed to months.
    The ARFs today are truly nice, look great, and fly really well. It is now at a point where we have a hard time finding a bad ARF in all the review planes we do through-out the year. I can say that I have a Fokker Tri-plane kit sitting in the shop that I hope to be starting soon. Hopefully there will always be a kit manufacturer out there.

    Join Date
    Oregon Ohio
    I enjoy the building process. Two of my eight airplanes are ARFs and 1 is a scratch build.

    The reason for the 2 ARFs is that one was such a great deal I could not pass on it. $100 for everting someone would need. Airplane, radio, loaded field box, epoxy... The other was a quick purchase of a trainer because the first one was beyond repair and I didn't want to miss the flying season.

    I will always build something. There is little satisfaction in assembling an ARF. And what would I do during the winter. If I were not building an airplane during the winter I would be spending alot of money coming up with other things to do.

    I've been itching to get started on another build. I got the plans out and started studying already. But decided to restore an old tool box before it gets too cold to spray paint.

    I've been watching a builder that builds from foam sheets as if they were balsa sheets. Sometimes he mixes balsa in too. It's a creative way to mix in new concepts.

    What plane are you eventually going to build?

    Just got the flying wires to put in my Proctor Sopwith Camel then it will fly

    Proctor Fokker Dr1 kit in the box.
    Me-262 foam wing cores just got done (107 in span)
    Dumas kit for a DH Dragon Rapide about 40% completed
    Sig Beech Bonanza kit sitting on the shelf waiting its turn...

    But most of my planes are ARFs.

    Join Date
    Oregon Ohio
    Quote Originally Posted by Debra View Post
    What plane are you eventually going to build?
    My first build will be a Sig Somethin Extra. I crashed my favorite Super Sportster beyond repair this summer. I hope this will be a good replacement.

    I usually start around Thanks Giving but I don't know if I can wait that long this year.

    I also have an old Sig Ryan STA kit I will finish. It was started by someone else but never finished. It's about 25% and needs some repair.

    If I finish that I'll start work on a 1/4 Bub Nosen Citabria. It will be my second build from plans and my fisrt of this size.

    I say more plans the better!!!
    You never know when that one plan will just reach out and grab you.

    Most people that do the arfs don't realize how easy building from plans really is.
    Yes you do have to think, and cut some parts, but you know every piece of your new airplane.

    8 yr old kids were building models in the 1930's... really nice models.

    Its not hard. People are just scared of it.

    But the current market has pricing such that its just cheaper to buy the ARF. I've bought ARFs that were priced so low I couldn't have bought the covering for the same plane as cheaply.

    I've been building from kits/plans/own designs for 40 years... I'm not likely to quit building.

    Its just hard to convince others to even try building when they can get an ARF cheaper.

    Join Date
    Watha, NC, US
    I'm attempting scratch building simply for the fact of "I did it". What I have found though is that it is difficult getting the know-how to build. Little techniques that are needed for a good flyer when done. The forums on the most part show what was built but not how so guys/gals like me have to fumble through the mistakes and replacement of supplies because we did it wrong. Even the drawings that the manufactures put out leave out detail that "are assumed" that the builder will know. Talk about driving up costs for a scratch build and frustration, make one mistake after the other....that really makes one wonder why build from scratch. Then after the plane is built I bet a great deal of them crash on the first flight, whether the build was wrong in some way, pilot error, or the environment it really doesn't matter - the newby scratch builder is really bumbed out now. Why try again? The experienced builder needs to start showing more of "how to" and less of "look what I did"!

    Just one opinion from someone trying to be a builder. Have a great day!

    We used to start out with super-simple kits like the AMA Cub,

    progressing up through something like a Guillows Javelin

    Then slowly increasingly large and complex models... like a Sig Kadet Sr and other models requiring increased building skill.

    THEN we'd get into the more difficult scale models.

    Working up from simple to more complex building tasks led to developing skill at building the models needed for the much more difficult scale aircraft.

    To show the details involved in building the advanced models would require hundreds or thousands of photos and a very thick book of explanations.

    The most important of the "tricks" involved come down to just a few simple things:

    Use a FLAT building surface.
    Cut slightly oversize and sand down to fit.
    Use the right glue for the joint.
    Ensure the joint is held in place until the glue has fully cured. (up to 1 hr for "instant" CA!)
    Don't use more glue than required... all that does is add weight.

    Join Date
    Dothan,Alabama, USA
    I got the plans for the "Prime Cut + 20" from the airage store and RCM Plans Kaos 60. I drop out of the hobby in the late 80's . I return to this great hobby 2 yrs ago, since returning I have build from RCM PLANS 1. Das Ugly Stik and 2. Miss Texas. Also a Sig 4 Star 40. the only ARF I have is a park zone T28.

    My first R/C airplane was built by me from Model Airplane News plan no. 4 in 1958. It is a low wing single channel rudder only airplane called the "Westwind" designed by Ted Strader.
    It is considered a pioneer aircraft as almost all R/C planes of the time were of high wing cabin configuration. Low wing planes were believed too unstable for rudder only operation. The Westwind however turned out to be very stable. A few years ago I aquired a set of plans from Charlie Pipes and built a second example with modern gear.
    It flies beautifilly.
    If anyone out ther has a copy of the March 1958 Model Airplane News magazine that they would part with, I would like to buy it.

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