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Old 09-30-2014, 09:26 PM   #11
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Re: "Building" has changed over the years

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I would rather build, that's what the winter months are for. My first plane when I was about 13, a Sig Kadet JR, built with no CA glue, covered using dope and silk.

Similarly to JoeT, I bought a Sig Kobra along with everything needed to complete it on a Saturday, opened the box Sunday morning, had it in the air on Friday evening.

I prefer helicopter flying these days and love dumping out that box of parts and putting it together and making it fly. That's half the fun.
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Old 09-30-2014, 10:19 PM   #12
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Re: "Building" has changed over the years

The actual act of creating a model airplane from wood to flight has not changed. It's the common use of the word build that has shifted to a new meaning:

old meaning

build (bild), verb, make by putting materials together; make structure; develop; form gradually; establish

now becomes

build (bild), verb, to open a box and add batteries

here is another

thong (thong), noun, narrow strip of leather; lash of a whip

now becomes

thong (thong), noun, article of clothing thrown into the crowd at a stripper bar; poor excuse of an undergarment, giving the wearer a permanent wedgie, and one heckuva plumber smile when wedged into too small trousers. Similar in appearance and appeal to the string on a pot roast.

then there is






The English language is an ever changing thing!!!

P.S. Woo hoo we could have fun with this eh?
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Old 09-30-2014, 10:50 PM   #13
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Re: "Building" has changed over the years

I mostly buy ARF's now, but I am glad I built dozens of planes years ago. The experience (good and bad) of kit and scratch building has taught me a lot about structure and setup so when I "upgrade" an ARF I do it with the knowledge that what I am doing will make for a better plane.

It also helps to do repairs knowing what to expect under the covering.

Dreaming of next summer.....
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Old 10-01-2014, 06:08 AM   #14
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Re: "Building" has changed over the years

We recently had a newcomer checking out our club, his first attempt at RC? Scratchbuilding an OV-10 Bronco! lol Didn't go so well. I always recommend that novice flyers take a shot at building over the winter, to learn about structure, how things are put together, and it gives some confidence that if they damage a plane, they can probably fix it. Just not a Bronco to start! We provide trainer aircraft at the club, so a new member's first build doesn't have to be a trainer, but still not a bad idea. I have more fun with my 8 foot Telemaster than just about any other aircraft in my fleet. Thank god for companies like Vailley Aviation, Ziroli, Dave Platt, that still sell plans and accessories, kits are getting fewer and fewer.
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Old 10-01-2014, 09:05 AM   #15
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Re: "Building" has changed over the years

An OV-10 Bronco looks rather complicated.... rather ambitious. If someone has experience building models, I might think they could do it though.

Sounds nice to have club trainers. How many do you guys cycle through a season from accidents?
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Old 10-01-2014, 06:47 PM   #16
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Re: "Building" has changed over the years

Yeah, when I came back into r/c a year ago after a pause 22 years, my initial reaction to the model landscape was "this is weird" and a bit disheartened by the collapse of mainstay magazines such as RCM and relatively few full kits being produced.

But I've come around to a "let a thousand flowers bloom" perspective..... there seem to many more niches of different interests in the field and the presence of the internet and r/c forums means both help and showcasing a minority interest is just a few key strokes and, typically, a few hours away from a response from another enthusiast.

About traditional building from plans and/or kits being eclipsed by already almost assembled models........ I think enough of the people who are entering the hobby thru the ARF door, do, after several years, turn toward challenge of such building to keep this niche alive. Look at build thread on online forums such as scalemasters and other forums, threads with dozens, sometimes a hundred color photos, discussions of modifications of a kit or a plan...I think there is much more of this communication happening than 20 or 40 years ago.

I do miss the lack of a production made single stick transmitter (I know about boutique operations such as Radio South) and the limited range of shaped balsa leading edge stock, etc. but these are not unyielding obstacles if you have enough passion and resourcefulness.

Mervin... what is your opinion of making planes with paper backed foam board or coraplast(sp?)... is this not scratch building even though one poster on the SPAD pages uses the slogan "fold and fly".

Interesting thread.
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Old 10-01-2014, 09:44 PM   #17
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Re: "Building" has changed over the years

Even building methods and materials have changed over the years. I used to spend the winter building models from scratch using balsa and Ambroid, Silkspan and dope back in the 60s
With the materials today, foam and hotwire cutting, hotglue and CA, vacuforming, you could build the same model design, inside of a week.

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Old 10-01-2014, 11:30 PM   #18
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Re: "Building" has changed over the years

Well... seeing as you asked Micheal...

Balsa, cedar, spruce, willow, pine, maple, oak, Styrofoam, corplast, bamboo, toothpicks, plastic drain spouts, paper, poster board, depron... whatever you can get your hands on is fair game in my books. From kits, from plans, modify an existing one or create your own, just make something that flies! It doesn't need to be pretty nor does it have to have outstanding performance, just let your fingers follow your imagination.

And share it with us please!

Break the mold, get out of the rut - we don't have to be lemmings. We can stretch our minds, develop our skill sets and maybe even pass some of it on to others.

And have a lot of good clean fun in the process!

Personally I can walk right past all the store bought bling at the flying field with hardly a glance but what catches my attention are the ones that have "my creation" written all over them. I HAVE to stop and ask...
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Last edited by OLD PRAIRIE RED NECK; 10-01-2014 at 11:38 PM.
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Old 10-02-2014, 03:48 PM   #19
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Re: "Building" has changed over the years

The hobby sure has changed as many have stated. Arfs have changed the landscape. I think the arf has done the hobby well, as many are now able to experience the joy of flight, normally they would not as they cannot build. I wonder though if we will see kit building come back? For those that get hooked and stay with the hobby the natural progression may be to try a kit now. Just my thoughts.
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Old 10-02-2014, 09:01 PM   #20
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Re: "Building" has changed over the years

I highly doubt kits will make a comeback. This summer I found a unique Bi-plane on Kijiji. Believe it or not, it was a ARC (Almost ready to Cover) model. A little research and I discovered that this particular model first came out as a kit, then a ARC, and finally an ARF. This was a popular plane back in the day, but all forms have been discontinued several years ago.

Lets think about how these ARFs came about. Lots of the answers have already been discussed, but there are a few more no one likes to talk about. Strip a busted up ARF. What will you find? IMO another reason for ARFs is that the manufacturer can build 'em with poor quality wood, cover 'em up and ship 'em out. Once the hook of the hobby is set, its difficult not to buy another plane.

My hobby bucks are limited. If/when I find a manufacturer that uses better quality wood, glue and design I'm more apt to stick with them. In todays business world, contracts seem to be short, often going to the lowest bidder. Who suffers, well it ain't the middle man....

One excuse often heard is that a lot of quality balsa is going to other uses. Particularly the wind turbine blade manufacturing. Who knows!

Of course this is just my opinion.
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