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Member postings for RICHARD WILLS

Here is a list of all the postings RICHARD WILLS has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: Warbird Replicas Ju88 Night Fighter build
21/10/2020 16:46:29

Noted Mike , So obviously I am about to receive the P51s soon which are halfway through the cutting process . The pinch point is the Kit cutter who has been overwhelmed by this year's demand .Remember his commitments are not just with me , by a long chalk .

Having said that , the 88 is an off the peg kit that requires relatively low balsa input, so there is no reason why we cant run a short batch off . Lets see if anyone else puts their hand up because if my kit cutters slots are so rare I will only get one shot at it .


BTW , I dont ever ask for any money commitment , but I would like any prospective buyers stick to their promise if possible .

20/10/2020 18:09:14

Hi Alan , if there are at least six , £189.


20/10/2020 14:58:18

I need six solid requests to make it possible , so lets see how the thread goes .


Thread: Warbirds Replicas P51 Mustang
14/10/2020 17:48:21

Quite right Eric ,

So what we are saying Paul , in a nutshell is , now that you are emerging from the metaphorical woods and getting back on your hypothetical horse ,remembering, before you grab the imaginary bull by the horns, is that it is important not to run before you can walk and at the same time you must resist any temptation to jump the gun (that you don't have ) .

I dont think we can be any clearer on that .

Right chaps ?

13/10/2020 22:27:10

what ? The counselling ?

Well , I suppose you're right , it cant hurt .

13/10/2020 20:49:32

No , you are confusing it with a sub tropical island . I went there last year with Auntie Violet and her new toy boy .

They didnt mention, we were all sharing the same room ....

Im having counselling

13/10/2020 20:06:09

Who wouldnt like German twins ?

Second thoughts , they would probably play havoc with my Lumbago ....

13/10/2020 20:00:55

Well Richard , funny you should ask . First thing is, Mustangs are being laser cut as we speak (to ourselves) .

Spinner adapters arriving Friday , 16 Page manual at the printers . Plan finished and printed . Retract packs ready , cockpit kits , rivet templates and decal sets all sorted .

It has been a challenge . You wouldnt believe what is going on behind the trade desk that I am hiding under .

Ive got some Maltesers to keep me going and a slice of lemon drizzle , But to be honest that hasnt really stacked up against the onslaught from the Chinese , Lack of wheels , lack of spinners and then to top it all , they stole all the wood . Lucky I had my Union Jack boxer shorts on . They give a chap the kind of confidence that allows you to deal with a global conflict .

Other good news is that I spoke to that giant of a man , Paul Johnson , on Monday , He has managed to at least poke his head out of the woods , if not entirely extricate himself. His muffled voice, still filtered by the metaphorical undergrowth was a lot more upbeat and he expressed a wish to get back on the horse .

Which I can only conclude, is a result of the drugs he's been taking , because he has never been on one before.

While we are running down the clock , you might want to have a look at Eric Robson's Warbirds Ju88 elsewhwere on this site . Even if you dont like German twins , there is an obvious future in that style of model given the "who stole my balsa " scenario . Im sure Eric would welcome some feedback too .

Thanks for your patience chaps ,it has taken much longer than expected , but we have had one hell of a year . If anyone wants bail out , it wont be a problem as I can easily find homes for the kits .

13/10/2020 19:37:56

What''s happening with these bloody Mustangs ?

Thread: Warbird Replicas Ju88 Night Fighter build
13/10/2020 08:52:41

Great work Eric , I like the fact that you are creating a different version of the 88 and of course , with that decision comes the option of lots of other colour schemes . I am still flying prototype and it has filled the role I intended . That was to provide a simple to build and operate large twin with no hidden "nasties" .

The fuselage cross section of the 88 is basically square but with round corners . There are no convex curves (as with a Heinkel or Mosquito ) so we could employ large sections of foam veneer so that the builder can get an airframe together very quickly . This is particularly helpful with twins as you have to realise that extra time will be spent on the wiring . The thinking behind this design approach is that if the modeller is making his first large twin , it is likely that if it takes too long to build , he will approach the flying with more trepidation (simply because of time invested ) . A nervous test flight of a big twin (especially, say , a Mosquito ) quite often ends very badly ( check you tube!) which is a shame, as it then puts off the modeller from building another .

Unfortunately , my theory didn't really carry through as expected . Like I said , the 88 was intended as a quick build ,entry level twin that would still have plenty of wow factor . I know Adrian , who started this thread flew his version at all of the big shows , with his usual flair and got great responses , but we still only sold a handful . But just think about this . It is a 10lb 72" twin warbird that you can use every week ,Have a look on you tube at similar sized twins crashing left right and centre , then check their weights !

The old adage of "you can take a horse to water ...." comes to mind , but equally , people want to invest their time and money on what they fancy . When I "were a lad" (Im not even Northern ) , I use to build Airfix and Revell kits of all types . With a couple of exceptions , I liked them all . I really recommend considering other types rather then the usual -Spitfire/Hurricane/Mosquito. Lets face it , if you smash it on the first outing or the dam thing just firightens you , then it wasnt a good venture in the first place .

Thread: Warbirds Replicas P51 Mustang
01/10/2020 13:37:26

Just spoke to Paul , he sounds very croaky as you would expect , but still managed a chuckle so Im sure he will be doing his best to keep his spirits up . He really is one of the nicest chaps you could meet .

All of your kind comments will help him along no doubt . He is on day seven he reckons, so I guess he is starting to get to grips with the bugger . He is six foot three , so he will come out fighting for sure .

In the mean time I will take on some of the build and keep you posted on when the kits will turn up .

A lot is in place , but we are going to need the spinners (we are just having the 8mm adapters machined ) we already have the aluminium shells . This year has been one hell of a challenge and I think we have more to come , which is why we stick together for a bit of "down the shed " light relief .

For any of you that are unaware , I suggest you have a look at the thread elsewhere about the balsa shortage .

As my old Dad use to say though , where there is a "wills" there is a way..... angel 2

Mind you , two days after he said that , he lost his job at the fire brigade ,

Apparently they always wondered how he was always the first at the scene.

Until they found the petrol can in his boot.....

He said "he liked to keep busy ".

Thread: Future balsa supplies in UK
29/09/2020 09:17:38

Matts appraisal from the kit manufacturer perspective is spot on.

The other factor is perceived value . If I converted any of my kits to a form of foam board for example(which for my own use I have extensive experience), Customers would not see it as the same value as balsa kits .

It is also ironic that the sale of traditional kits has been in decline for many years and only enjoying a brief resurgence when all of us old codgers are stuck in doors and in some cases finding it hard to obtain stuff from China.

Our cottage industries are not making much money anyway . Its 90% passion and 10% profit . But for me, if this continues it will be time to call it a day .

As many have pointed out on this thread , we are not a dot on the landscape in the world of global industry and to make matters worse , despite being a nation that has always had a passion for flight and modelling , we are all perceived as something of a joke by the rest of our nation , Germany and America spend far more on their sites and facilities and give the hobby a credibility closer to other sports . In this country we spend less ,hence the "sub standard " cottage industries with minimal overheads is the only way you will get to buy British products .

By the way , I dont agree with those previous comments. I know pretty much everyone in the trade and I admire them all , They put in maximum effort behind the scene for very little reward .

Chicken and Egg , Big buyers , big traders .

Dont expect anyone to come and save as . They will tolerate a village green cricket match with a hard ball batted through their window every week . Or a string of obscenities being shouted from the local park football pitch on a sunday morning , but if you want to fly a model aeroplane in the middle of nowhere ......

28/09/2020 22:21:54

If you had said this was going to happen a year ago , I would have said you're barmy .

But what have we had ? The cottage industries and designers (like Peter and others ) have kept the balsa bashers happy with good honest wooden models since before the war , and yet since the end of the nineties we have been constantly undermined by a deluge of cheap models made by people on a pittance of a wage on the other side of the world . And then , when the many have been decimated , and the last gallant lads are still standing , they send us a global pandemic which only they seem to benefit from and as the final straw , they nick our bloody balsa !

I , for one , will be opening a Chinese laundry tout suite, What goes around , comes around .

All that ranting has put me right off me spring rolls . Prawn cracker anyone?

27/09/2020 20:55:47

As one of the last British Kit manufacturers, I have been aware of this situation for a while and am interested in the comments. Most of my fellow manufacturers went to the wall a while back , thanks to the onslaught of ARTFs from China . Yet most people didnt seem to notice . Remember what Sandown use to be like at the end of the 90s?Pretty much all of those companies are gone. Chris Foss's stuff , Pegasus, The Fun fighters and mine are all cut by one lovely chap who is already at retirement age . He also does many of the plan packs for Doolittle . Slec and Balsa Cabin obviously have their own connection and there are a few others like DB and Cambrian . But basically it revolves around a handful of people . If one of those Lynch pins , pulls the plug , down it goes . There are no new people queuing up to do their jobs.

So the lack of Balsa is just one more thing .

What I would suggest is that everyone starts being realistic . Buy British if you can , Accept that if balsa is not around (even for a short period) then accept some compromise , because if you keep saying that you just want a perfect laser cut wooden kit and we can't provide it , we will conclude it's game over.

The other thing is that builders can be quite isolationist . Which does not help. To keep the current supply coming it is no good thinking "Ive got some balsa tucked away and several projects on the bench , so I'll go down the shed and shut the door " . In the meantime what are all of the above suppliers supposed to be doing ?

So what we do need to do is point out to our fellow RC Flyers that they just paid £350 for some packing foam that will take them a day to build and look like an old car sponge after six months, instead of building something with real satisfaction that could last ten years and five hundred flights. We need your friends to be converted ,

Thanks to the rise in ARTF prices , British stuff looks good and can be of genuinely better quality . Look at ally spinners for example .

Here is a thought though . Human greed can always be relied upon .

If you were a balsa grower who had prided themselves in growing the best balsa in the world and you knew what good looked like , then somebody said , I will buy everything you have times ten and I dont care what it looks like , but I want it cheap . Your first thought would be , GREAT ! Im gonna be rich !

Your later thought would be , " These people wouldnt know what good looked like if they got run over by it", I think I will just hide the really good stuff away rather than sell it with the rubbish , just in case a discerning connoisseur happens my way ,.....


Edited By David Ashby - Moderator on 27/09/2020 23:05:22

Thread: Warbirds Replicas P51 Mustang
21/09/2020 12:35:27

Yes David , we have been planning the P51 for a while , but 45 Mustangs use up a huge mountain of 1/16th balsa sheet , and we like top quality stuff.

This is just another Chinese issue about to erupt . For those that dont know , they have decided to buy up all of the balsa to make wind turbine blades . So if you were a balsa grower and sick of the nit picking model aircraft gang buying a handful of tons , then somebody said "we will buy 100 times that ,dont care about quality " You can see where that is going .

Another good example of Eastern influence has been the FMS spinners that we based this kit around . Keeping in mind they have been making this model for ten years and have made eight different versions and 20 colour schemes , How is it that they cannot provide us with a single spinner ?

Consequently , we have had to make a dolly , find a very rare metal spinning company that will do small batches , then shell out for all of this lot to get back to where we started . ie our chaps being able to make a complete model. The FMS modellers will have to whistle for theirs !

My guess is that balsa will still be available but will perhaps double in price . We can get round it a little bit as we use poplar and birch internally , and with laser cutting , we can reduce the weight with lots of holes .

We are also lucky in that we have used other materials before and have a vast experience to draw from .

Whatever way you look at it , dealing with China has definitely been a mixed blessing .

I think the Balsa growers will find it too tempting not to keep a couple of tons of top notch wood back , knowing that they have a customer who will pay premium for that little bit of cream off the top .

20/09/2020 22:17:37

Good point . wink 2

19/09/2020 14:48:54

Why did you take your wife's hand bag to the field Graham ?

Holding it hostage ?

Thread: Warbird Replicas Spitfire LF mk IXc
16/09/2020 17:49:42

Sounds like a rabbit is wearing the trousers round at your house .

unusual , but if it works ....

I think Grommet came up against the same issue .

If we assume you are "Wallace " , can you and the rabbit be seen a the same time ? (Just asking ....)

16/09/2020 15:56:36

Your little friend is not impressed . Mind you , looks like he's doing a long stretch .

When is parole due ?

Thread: Warbirds Replicas P51 Mustang
14/09/2020 20:03:10

BTW everyone , if you look at another thread on this forum titled Brian Taylor P51 , you can see the rather tricky area of the flaps . The super scale builder Danny Fenton is doing the honours , but you can see how there is not a simple solution when you have to combine keeping the wing section as intended , with washout , but at the same time making the flap look real .

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