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2017 Mass Build Chat Thread

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Martyn K14/11/2016 16:31:29
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My thoughts are stick to one model, if you have 2 then why not 3 etc.. From my first experience on trying to run this you end up pleasing no-one if you start to compromise and it jus waters the whole thing down.

If the Skywriter wins then that should be the MB model and fingers crossed that those who have voted for it will build it and others will just join in

Martyn

Glyn4414/11/2016 16:39:08
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I agree Martin

It looks to me that as things stand, The Skywriter will,take some beating now, so I'm saving up my pocket money.

SWMBO wants an Amazon Echo thingy, but going to have to pluck up courage to say she can't have one as I have got to buy a load of wood! Think I'll,wait till I've eaten dinner she'll be starting any time now...

IanN14/11/2016 17:08:24
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I'm not really seeing the problem with more than one subject. Of six MBs so far three have been single design, and three have had a no of choices. Have any of those MBs been significantly more or less successful than the others?

If there is a strong bias towards two, or three, designs, and that increases overall participation over the no who fancy a go at a single design, then surely that's a good thing?

Hats off to John for stating he will have a go at the winner no matter what, but how many others would do that?

Simon Feather15/11/2016 10:02:09
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228 forum posts
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I really don't know whether it's better for the MB to have just a single model, or to offer an option; I suspect last year's event was so popular because it was a model that was attractive to many, with not too complex a build, a free plan in the magazine, with a choice of degree of "assistance" in the form of various woodpacks, and with well documented blogs and support from the designer on hand. Lots of boxes getting ticked. I can't comment on previous years' as I didn't take part, only having come back to the hobby in the last few years. Skywriter has many of the same features, so I do hope the perceived additional complexity of an extra wing and some cabanes doesn't put people off. Personally I'm more than happy to build whatever wins as I enjoy the taking part in a social event as much as the actual building.

[but I freely confess that I did vote for the two current leaders! I like the appeal of the Skywriter, and I want a pattern ship anyway and like the idea of marking the Kwik Fli's 50th anniversary; and I've got engines available for both; so for me, I may well end up building both anyway, time permitting!]

Piers Bowlan15/11/2016 11:11:54
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I added up the voting on the basis of the first, second and third choice each attracting one point as opposed to 5, 3, and 1 (I must have been very bored that day!). This was to get an idea of 'the popular vote'. Well the Skywriter still won by a country mile on 22 votes whereas the Kwik Fly and SLEC Fun Fly tied second on 12 points. So the attractive looking Skywriter has it, it seems. To me the Kwik Fly appeals more but perhaps I am a lazy builder (probably). Tied in third place with 8 points each was, Astro Hog, Striker and Baron 1914.

kc17/11/2016 12:11:33
5839 forum posts
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If the Skywriter is that far ahead I wonder if the voters have realised that the Skwriter is by far the most complex of these designs if built from scratch -- it's almost all fiddly shaped ply parts with intricate cutouts. Only worth building if you are prepared to buy the expensive - 124 pounds for the set of cut parts & plan- or want to spend many hours fretting out the parts. Frankly any scratch builders could find similar size biplanes with simpler parts which would be easier to build.

In my view the Skywriter is the wrong choice for a Mass Build as it will probably put more first time builders off scratch building than it attracts!

Edited By kc on 17/11/2016 12:22:29

IanN17/11/2016 12:50:15
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Re KC;s point, the designer has already said as much himself earlier in this thread

"Whilst of course I am delighted that people like my Skywriter design I do question the viability as a novice build as it does have some aspects that although will not present issues to someone with a bit of experience"

I guess that raises the question of how important is it that the MB be aimed at encouraging first time scratch builders to take the plunge? Or, once in a while should it be aimed at a different level? Certainly seems it's heading that latter way this year, which puts an interesting spin on the project

Possibly another reason for making it a 2 or 3 model MB? Don't know - I'm with the majority! smiley

john stones 117/11/2016 14:54:45
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Models in there that are more suitable as a first build, no doubt about it, however you count the votes Skywriter is way ahead, the simpler builds haven't attracted the votes. Wood packs are available if you don't want to cut your own, cabane's not that hard to make, fitting them and getting the wing sat correctly is hardest bit, but i'm sure the more capable among you will help there. Costs more, harder to build yep, look what you've got at the end though smiley

Mass build's been there for a number of years now, why not up the bar and help people build something a little more involved, first time i built something like this i never had the luxury of a forum build to help me out. I can't see any negatives myself.

Add a second model ? base it on the votes the choice is yours, 10 days to close of voting.

John

kc17/11/2016 18:33:31
5839 forum posts
168 photos

Well I wonder if people studied the plan before voting. It may be they just thought a biplane would be nice!

Building from plans seems to be a dying art and it seems important to keep these skills alive by passing them on to the next generation using the Mass Build. Selection of a suitable design is therefore important . Older designs including the Kwik Fli use mostly rectangular formers and simple balsa parts. Many modern designs appear to be made so that they can only really be built easily using the CNC cut parts due to the intricately shaped ply parts needed.

If a biplane were to be the Mass Build then better choices for scratch building in this size & power range would have been available such as

Renegade

4/40 Bipe

Pasadena Special

Acrobits

It seems too late to change the nominated models but it's not too late to decide on a suitable monoplane. I wonder if anyone will change their mind about building Skywriter when they realise it's all stringers and lots of notched ply formers..

Edited By kc on 17/11/2016 18:34:28

Chris Barlow17/11/2016 18:35:20
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I'd build a Skywriter and the way I see it the build will impart a broader skill set to a complete novice builder, enabling them to take on more interesting and challenging projects later on.

I do think some things in life are dumbed down a bit too much and we should give people more credit regarding what they can achieve and their ability to learn and adapt.

Novice first builders will have the advantage of a selection of blogs by other builders to help them along, which is the point of the mass build anyway. It's not like we're venturing into FG fuselages and carbon/kevlar wings!

john stones 117/11/2016 19:20:02
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Same points have been raised about the Skywriter build since threads started, it keeps getting votes, what do i think ? magic can't wait to start. face 1

If some want a monoplane in there fine, convince others and let's get on with it. Knocking the most popular choice might not be the way forward though, idea's to encourage people to build not put them off.

John

Chris Walby17/11/2016 19:20:23
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I might be wrong but as a novice the MB appeals to me for the exact reason that it is a MB! I will not be the only person in a shed trying to work out what the designer intended to be done with some part or other and plaguing my long suffering club mates with questions!

There are a lot of very experience builders and pilots out here, but people new to the sport tend to come in via the foam ARTF route with most sticking with planes that are cheaper to buy than to obtain the wood! The point is that it is built by yourself.

I agree with CB, is that not the whole point of the MB... It might not be the easiest to build but some people will scratch build, some will buy the laser cut kits and if anyone gets stuck there is a forum with advice to help out.

IanN17/11/2016 20:10:54
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Posted by john stones 1 on 17/11/2016 19:20:02:

Same points have been raised about the Skywriter build since threads started, it keeps getting votes, what do i think ? magic can't wait to start. face 1

If some want a monoplane in there fine, convince others and let's get on with it. Knocking the most popular choice might not be the way forward though, idea's to encourage people to build not put them off.

John

Personally I like the Skywriter very much but at the moment there's no hangar room for a biplane. I wanted to see for myself what this two wings malarkey was all about, so I added a DB Scout to the fleet at the start of last year and racked up a lot of airtime before I moved it on, and replaced it with a yet to be maidened Flair puppeteer.

My need is for an aerobat so I will build a Fli (or two) come what may. And the Slec Funfly also looks to have a good following so I think there's a good basis for a 3 model MB. However people can still build any of those and they can still be blogged: so on one hand whether that's under the MB umbrella or not doesn't really matter. I guess the other view could be that the MB is an important stimulus, and without that some of those builds may not get off the ground, or at least won't get aired on the forum?

Like I said, I'm with the majority. Whatever is chosen, is the choice. Folks need to rub along with Brexit and Trump, so whichever model (or models) is democratically chosen for the MB then so be it - happy days! wink

 

Edited By IanN on 17/11/2016 20:12:51

Piers Bowlan17/11/2016 21:03:15
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Just been having a look at the Skywriter plan again. It seems the design could be simplified a tad if a quick build was key. (Lindsay, cover your ears now!) For instance, the fuz stringers could be glued onto the formers like the Ballerina, so dispensing with much notch-cutting of the formers. The tail plane and elevator could be made from light weight sheet plus lightening holes cut with a piece of sharpened pipe, if necessary. Re-scaling the plan to 90% would produce a span of approx. 43in and would mean that 3ft lengths of wood would be better utilised. The wing section does mean that it can be built flat on the board, even if it looks suspiciously like the sole of Lindsay's boot was used as a template! But it works, so why change it? I think something could be done to simplify the inter plane and cabane struts too.

The only problem with all this 'dumbing down' is that it wouldn't be a Skywriter any more, even if it did kind of resemble one. Perhaps sticking to the plan is better- or even building a Kwik Fli, or a Basic 3D for that matter!

Lucas Hofman17/11/2016 21:56:51
595 forum posts
316 photos

I have build a Ballerina (or am just finishing a Ballerina) and I would have wished for nothed formers! Distributing the stringers over the formers was not easy (although it does not show that well under the covering if they are not perfectly spaced). If cutting out the formers is problematic get a CNC part.

Most likely I will do the cutting myself and while starting with formers (and also ribs) is nice, it is also good when the last one is done. However I do not think I would has as much satisfaction from opening an SLEC shipment with a bunch of CNC or laser cut parts.

Rosco18/11/2016 05:00:27
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Interestingly enough, when I first spied the Skywriter as a plan in the mag, I did have aspirations to build it but funnily enough, it does not tickle my fancy as an MB model for some reason? Maybe, there was too much choice in the voting!

Anyway......regardless of which model wins, I might still have a go at it although I can't give a 100% guarantee that I'll be in the 2017 MB at this stage.

I'd be building it in a completely different manner anyway so stringers and cabane's make no issue for me, just like my MB 2016'Ballereno' build was still a Ballerina but not a Ballerina!

I'd build it just for the sake of building something!!

Rosco
Lucas Hofman18/11/2016 12:34:05
595 forum posts
316 photos

Rosco, is that not what we all do? If you just want something to fly ARF (or even Bind-and Fly) is both faster and cheaper. But it does not give the satisfaction of creating something beautifull with you own hands.

That is, for me at least, why it is important to build something that is aestitically pleasing. One spends many hours constructing the plane and if one does not like what it becomes there is little point in building.

Lucas

Martyn K18/11/2016 13:30:05
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4811 forum posts
3498 photos
Posted by Piers Bowlan on 17/11/2016 21:03:15:

1. It seems the design could be simplified a tad if a quick build was key. (Lindsay, cover your ears now!) For instance, the fuz stringers could be glued onto the formers like the Ballerina, so dispensing with much notch-cutting of the formers.

2. The only problem with all this 'dumbing down' is that it wouldn't be a Skywriter any more, even if it did kind of resemble one. Perhaps sticking to the plan is better- or even building a Kwik Fli, or a Basic 3D for that matter!

1. That was going to be my approach if I build this model - I will definitely be a late starter

2. I disagree. One of the attractions of the MB is to see how others handle tricky challenges. There will be those who stick exactly to the plan and that is great. There will be others (like me) who will make changes (some 'dumbed down' but try and keep within the spirit of the design. I think this is to be applauded. I am just thinking about building a larger version of the model... Perhaps for a 25cc Glow I just happen to have collecting dust.. a 1.41 x linear scale up..

Lucas Hofman18/11/2016 13:54:15
595 forum posts
316 photos

With the Ballerina Mass Build there were all kind of variations:

  • the obvious: conversion to electric
  • making thing lighter (me)
  • using other materials (depron)
  • scaled down
  • changing the appearance (on developed into som kind of Me109 if I remember)

That is the privilege of plan building. With a kit one is locked in to the dimensions and the structures, but still one can change the looks significantly.

And one of the joys of a Mass Build is that many variations are documented as blogs, for other to enjoy and to learn!

Martyn, did you not do a scaled up Tucano with a build up wing and a retractable undercarriage?

Lucas

Simon Feather18/11/2016 14:42:46
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228 forum posts
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funny, I too was half considering making a slightly larger Skywriter. Just a vague thought at this moment but I do like the slightly larger models. Only thing then would be it might mean it would have to be transported unrigged... hm. Time yet to decide, once all the votes are in! But I also want to do the KF3 (at original scale), so I may have to consider priorities depending on how the voting goes!

Simon

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