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Old 06-09-2019, 07:26 PM   #1
fireguy976
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Kits on EBay, any experience? Any good?


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Hi all,

Iím new to the RC plane hobby,,

But First let me say, I AM picking up a trainer airplane next week.

But, I love old WW I biplanes and building one is a huge goal of mine.

I figure it will take me about 6 months to complete, so I should have learned a bit from the trainer by then...

Anyhow to the question at hand,,, there are several eBay companies that either sell plans only, or other eBay sellers with stores that also sell New laser cut kits, some of which might no longer be produced by the original suppliers.

I could list the sellers but not sure if that is kosher..,,,

Reason I am looking at some of these, is the old WW1 models I like are not often sold by the usual store names or places like Balsa USA (and yes I understand they are not in business anymore)

Some of these sellers look really legit, but of course who wouldnít want to look that way.

So hoping some people in this community have had enough experience to guide a young Padawon,, and you can be the Yoda to the rest of us.

Thanks in advance,

KJ
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Old 06-09-2019, 09:37 PM   #2
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Re: Kits on EBay, any experience? Any good?

Nothing wrong with building. What I would do is pick up a kit fro Balsa USA. They make several different ones and choice is good. Trying to virtually scratch build from plans or plans and a short kit would be setting yourself up for failure, But from a reputable company would give you step by step instructions as well as all the wood and hardware to be successful plus a list of what extra stuff you may need as well. But as far as flying a WW1 bird. They a few planes down the line as far as experience goes. Even the most seasoned pilot needs to be on there game to fly one.

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Old 06-09-2019, 09:50 PM   #3
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Re: Kits on EBay, any experience? Any good?

With the advent of many former plans sources (like the RCM catalogue) being free lay available on sites like Outerzone and Aerofred, and the proliferation of cheaper laser cutting machines, there are more of these guys popping up selling short kits.

Ive purchased a few (two from USA based eBay sellers) short kits, and one set of printed plans from a guy here in Ontario. All went well, and usually you can look at the eBay feedback and see any issues.

There are some guys here on RCC as well that I have seen say they can cut kits from plans - a lot of plans are available now on the internet.

Just get some references or read/go through their feedback.

Good luck, but I also advise starting with a good trainer. Telemaster 40, Great Planes PT40, Sig Kadet or other tried and true wood built up trainers. Or you can go with an RC version of an old timer (model designs from the 30ís through 50ís) most are very gentle flyers and make great trainers as well.
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Old 06-09-2019, 11:44 PM   #4
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Re: Kits on EBay, any experience? Any good?

I am also a Balsa USA fan. They make nice building kits that fly nice. There 1/6 scale WW1 kit would be perfect for you if you have a bit of building experience. The Scout and Pup are really nice flyers.

http://shop.balsausa.com/category_s/1487.htm
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Old 06-10-2019, 07:21 AM   #5
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Re: Kits on EBay, any experience? Any good?

Welcome KJ. Glad to see the builder tradition carry on. It can be extremely rewarding to see what you created fly successfully.

Second for BUSA kits. Been building them since the 80's and from experience good value. Good quality wood and so much of it difficult to fit another sheet of instructions in the box. They also offer several different scale and detail levels.

They are a regular at the Toledo Show every spring and I spend lots of time at their display booth. Want to take all their kits home with me.

Having said that, there are other options, but generally you may find that class of kit takes some skill to build right so may not be your best choice for first kit. Same with Pica, (who also make excellent kits) or Royal/Marutaka. Definitely a lot of work with the former coming with nothing much more than a box of sticks.

I would also recommend looking for local clubs to discuss your interests. There can be a wealth of experience to draw on and ideas on how to solve problems or make things better. Can also review your work to catch anything before it becomes an issue.

If you want, we could show some pics of kits we've put together over the years, but along with that would be interested in seeing progress on yours.

ps. As with anything on Fleabay you are taking a risk on quality and completeness. I would also recommend you stay this side of the border regardless of where you saw the kit. International shipping can be difficult and expensive, sometimes doubling the cost or more.
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Old 06-10-2019, 06:55 PM   #6
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Re: Kits on EBay, any experience? Any good?

Thank you all for very qualified and detailed answers.

Nothing worse than someone just saying, ďnot what I would doĒ or the likes.

Part of my ďslightĒ frustrated is, everyone one says WWI planes can be a bitch, tuff to fly get an intermediate.... but my passion is WAR planes.

Yes there are some probably great second choice planes, but to me itís like asking the last cheerleader of the group to the dance,,,,ok letís rephrase...

Or new analogy,,,,,,Iím Picking up and will be learning on the Carbon cub, with the auto GPS return etc,, Kind of like learning to drive with an AMC Pacer.. (thatís regarding the looks FOr Me, I know it has different training levels)

My dream is the TR6,,,, but everyone says donít...... get an old ďpinto with a stickĒ as a second car to learn manual tranny and how to rev slide and power shift...... Money spent on a car I really dont want, or maybe even like, but everyone says ďget that oneĒ. And then have to flip it later....

Kind of an analogy I can relate to. A TR6 can definitely Bite you if you donít know the idiosyncrasies. Week rear hubs, ( therefore do Not take it really hard in a corner)....
Great low end torque, but heavy Loooong stroke (so do not rev it past 6500, or it could gernade)......etc etc etc.... But this can be an absolute BLAST car to drive,,, just know itís quirks. If you like that car.

So for a WWI plane, there are many to choice from history, but not all are in kits.
They All canít handle the same or badly? Can they?
The real life Sopwith was supposed to be a beast for any new pilot, a bitch on the stick, sometimes so heavy a new pilot didnít know how to handle,,,, but for the experienced pilot it outhandled many other planes. Are scale Biplanes very representative of the originals?

There must be something that is easier than most,,,, the Stearman? The last Grumman Biplane F3F?. Fokker D1???

Iíve heard the Mustang P51 is easy to fly, maybe that would be number 2?

And I would LOVE it!

I love the B25 Mitchel bomber, but I have seen those crash if one motor ďflames outĒ that I get. In that situation you can point a finger at its danger...

As for skill of building, my wife and I built the current house we live in, so even though that scale of wood working, and every other part of the build is totally different, ,, I believe I have the skill.

I look so much more to discussions with you all experienced members to get into the details and the manusha (new word of the day) of building and flying kits.

Finally, Iíve seen others fly them, so why the hell not me?
Did I mention Iím a self proclaimed crusty old fart? The worst thing you can tell me is you Canít do that. But Iíve lived long enough, and survived my many mistakes, Iíve learned to seek wisdom from those that have it.

So not to be tooo cromugenly, I will eventually build a biplane, but I will happily take others advice as to which are the best to choose from.

Some of my favorites, Stearman PT, the Grumman F3F biplane with retractable gear,
the Henschel, the der Jager D 9, the Spad VII, nieuport 23, Sopwith

So letís hear what you recommend, especially if you can describe the difficulties of any, help me Not pick ďthe date that is guaranteed to say yes, but reminds you of the AMC pacerĒ

So there has to be one of them that is better than the rest?

And hey, if I crash it, at least Iím not in it. Wonder if I can build one to get my old boss to ride in??

Cheers all

Ken
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Old 06-11-2019, 08:26 AM   #7
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Re: Kits on EBay, any experience? Any good?

Boy, you sound a lot like me............except for the part aboot the old boss, (if you're referring to the wife, that is. Me and mine are working towards 41 years).

I was an auto shop owner all through the 80's so remember the TR6 and a lot of others. AND I owned a Mustang II, a Pinto on roids, (that's referring to weight. 73HP had even less motivation there).

I see you're up in Port Perry. Did a 1000 Km round robin hobby trip a while ago, one of the stops at the Timmies there to grab a T/F P-47. Wish you were closer as would love to hand off some skills and watch your progress.

Invite you over to visit when we are at the Goderich Event in mid August. Now aboot the only traveling I get to do so there the entire weekend.

Lots of questions so will try and get as many as possible covered.

WWI planes were definitely a bit more difficult to ground handle, but if designed and balanced correctly can fly just fine. The problem is the rather tall gear and short nose and tail moments make it extremely easy to nose over with even a bit of drag on the mains. The same effect for any inputs to the airframe, either from you or outside such as gusts or changes in ground contour. Start the tail swinging and it can continue quickly all the way round.

The short moments also make weight and balance difficult and critical. The general rule of thumb is every ounce added to the tail takes at least 3X up front to balance.

All this was amplified by the relatively tall and narrow gear width and solid axle geometry most often used there.

As for flying qualities, I have seen some very dedicated scale work fly like crap and some that pay less attention to that and focus on making it easy on the sticks. I have been frequently bitten by Top Flite warbirds and find them very vulnerable if you hit a wing tip. The resulting torque takes out the fuse at the rear wing attach point.

I also refuse to give up on the Thunder Tiger Rare Bear, one of the most wicked pitch sensitive pains in the arse ever flown. Yes, I can be stubborn too.

Was surprised by the Great Planes Corsair. Flew much better than expected.

The full size Mustang has been described as a princess in the air, yet it did have some rather nasty habits that could come out to bite. Just look at the crash of Galloping Ghost at Reno. Modding the tail did not cause the crash, but it did make a prior quality show up in extreme when something broke.

There are so many examples in RC that span the gammut of flat wing trainer to rivet enhanced miniatures of full size and their flying qualities also are almost too varied to cover them all.

Here;s the caveat: ALL this means absolutely nothing in the end if the craft are built poorly. That's what I meant by skill level. As with your cars, would you have started rebuilding yours with no idea yet how to use the tools? Sure, a lot of past experience with other projects does carry over, but there are other concerns such as learning to build straight and to plan that may not directly be a matter of scale.

Oh, on that subject, first build or grab a good flat build table. Impossible to build straight if your foundation is not. For quite a while I used old or scrap interior doors. Usually flat, inexpensive and sacrificial, to boot.

As you can see I prefer WWII metal over the Great One, but also a big bipe fan. Several WACO's and others such as the Super Bolt keep me on the fun side. Now if it would finally stop raining long enough for the field to dry out might actually get to fly this season.

ps. As for that comment on car work. I rebuilt my first engine at 12, another little British import called the Vauxhall Viva B. Along with that carried over a lot of knowledge on electrical to help my father fix pinball machines and the first gen videogames. Really learned how to read schematics on that one and became pretty fluent on those by mid teens.
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Old 06-11-2019, 04:56 PM   #8
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Re: Kits on EBay, any experience? Any good?

Hi Gary,

Thanks for the great reply and some very useful information. That’s the kind of stuff that is great to know.....re narrow front gear, and placement and weight CG can lead to easy nose over, tipping or ass end rotation.
So you had better be really good and light on the controls for landing these planes. Also sounds like you had better have a putting green section of your lawn to make landings easier for WW1 planes.
I’m hoping the Grumman F3F to be a little forgiving based on design, but I’m looking at a hellcat for my intermediate plane.

I’m happy to come out your way if there is an event going on so we can chat more.

I can then fill you in on my frame off TR6 rebuild, sprinkled with a few Richard Goodparts items.

I love the ziroli kits from his plans, but some of it is a little larger than I’m hoping for.
His Hellcat is in the 100 Inch range.

Picking up the carbon cub tomorrow. Better get the tractor set for a nice fine low grass cut.

Thanks again to all for info happily received.

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Old 06-11-2019, 09:11 PM   #9
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Re: Kits on EBay, any experience? Any good?

Ken,
Not sure of the date exactly but its on the Keswick model website. We are having a war bird rally next month as well as a tail gate swap meet. i will have a bunch of stuff for sale including a set of 1/3rd scale Ziroli corsair, bearcat. and a set of 3rd scale 1 1/4 sopwith strutter plans(very scale but unsure of company) all brand new and new unused for a price you may not be able to say no too. Come out and enjoy the day and pick our brains asking lots of questions. I'm the one with the white trailer and jeep commander.

D.
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Old 06-12-2019, 07:40 AM   #10
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Re: Kits on EBay, any experience? Any good?

Would be great to get together and share stories. Along with the shop I also had a business doing alternate fuels prototyping, installation inspection and certification and my own personal vehicle was a heavily modified Cherokee S, (the BIG one).

The Goderich event is the weekend of August 16-18 and we try to get there early and stay the entire 3 days. Just picked up and working on my new, (to me) hobby trailer so will make the haul much easier. Previously had to plan and pack everything in the van.

D, If he does not take the Bearcat plans and you are at that same event would be extremely interested. Saw one at an earlier Goderich event and wanted to take it home. May have to sell a kidney or cornea to put their scale knock-kneed gear in, though.
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