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Is traditional building a disappearing art?

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Nigel R19/04/2018 11:24:01
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" flying something made by somebody else seems to be missing out on something"

Exactly.

Not every model flyer shares this opinion - but that's why there's builders and flyers and some of us are both. And and some are just one, then there's the guys that like doing engines, or electrical stuff, or maybe they like competing on the basis of flying skills or racing etc...

Pick and choose, it's all good.

Peter Miller19/04/2018 15:01:04
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Needless to say I just have to build. Recently I have just built a couple of vintages models from my past. Sheet relaxation and bringing back old memories.

Just finished my Veron Deacon, very very simple free flight but it was the building which is what mattered,

The radio is just so I don't have to walk to retrieve it.

Recently built a Little Ship and a Super 60. Now going to build n electric aerobatic model

deacon 1.jpg

Chris Reid19/04/2018 15:16:31
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I'm guessing that the basic creative urge will ensure that scratch building or kit assembly will always have a place, albeit a small one, for some model fliers. That said, we older modellers started out with kits and plans because there was no other option. If I was starting out today, maybe the lure of instant flying gratification with a pretty foamie would be irresistible. In the old days building took a long time and free flights were very short. The in-control feedback from flying wasn't there in anything like the way it is now.

As it is, I am a confirmed designer and builder, and have been since boyhood. It was my first job with International Model Aircraft Ltd (Frog) in 1959, and I'm still at it. See my build blog DH84 Dragon, on the forum.

CR

Peter Christy19/04/2018 15:33:38
1517 forum posts

Chris, my current project will be close to your heart then! I'm just completing a Frog Jackdaw! Power will be an ASP30 4-stroke, and the radio will ultimately be 8-channel reeds (Giga-ized).

I've always maintained that it was pointless putting ailerons on a Super 60 (which was designed as much for free-flight as for radio!) when the Jackdaw was a much better option - having been designed for optional ailerons from the outset!

Decided it was time to put my money where my mouth is! Initially, it will have to fly on proportional, as I haven't finished the reed transmitter yet. I'm hoping to have the whole shebang ready for Ponty.

Its in paint at the moment, so not easy to photo. Will try and get some pix up when the fuselage is dry....

--

Pete

Chris Reid19/04/2018 15:47:27
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I love the Deacon Peter. There's a lot of fun to be had with the small and simple, and most of my flying these days is done with my smaller models. So much so that I will shortly reduce my fleet of larger aircraft that get flown too rarely. While bigger models are usually easier to fly, my most popular designs have been the smaller ones. I suspect that for the novice builder they are an easier and cheaper build. I speak as one who wasted a lot of time and energy building totally unsuitable scale 3s 8d kits, Kiel Kraft spitfires and the like! I am still too fumble fingered to handle 1/16" square!

Roo Hawkins19/04/2018 16:30:32
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20180313_101701.jpgf9 (1).jpg​​Posted by Tom Sharp 2 on 19/04/2018 01:44:56:
Posted by Roo Hawkins on 18/04/2018 16:02:32:

hi I started building and flying large scale gliders about 4 years ago. because of the very hi cost of 1/4 and 1/3 scale gliders can be in the 1000s of £ I started to build them my self from epoxy and glass carbon as I built sailboard in the 1990s so the skills are nearly the same. carve the fuz out of foam then glass it. so far I have made 8 from 4 meters to 6 meters . so i am one for building.

Roo I love you but, you are not traditional building, you are cutting edge.

it may be carbon ,glass ,epoxy and foam but still use some traditional building tec and are not kits but one offs . plus I do the plans myself. some pics but lots more in the scale gliding section . my slingsby t53 1 (1).jpgis all wood and foam wing.

Chris Reid19/04/2018 16:38:05
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earlybird reprise.jpgHi Peter. I remember the Jackdaw, but never built one. My first radio model was built while I was working for Frog in 1960. It was powered by a Frog 2.49cc diesel which was a staff freebie providing I put Frog transfers on the model and extolled its virtues. The model was an own design, but aging club mates tell me it was cribbed from a Mercury Galahad, which it probably was! It was rudder only with a bang bang rubber powered escapement. I built the radio Tx and RX too (with government surplus valves and 90v and 45v high tension batteries) from the Aeromodeller Radio Control Handbook. It was very unreliable, hence the very large dihedral which was aimed at providing stability when the radio failed.

In 2012 in a fit of nostalgia, I recreated the 1960 design with an ASP 30 four stroke up front and modern radio. It flew well, but wasn't very exciting as the small control surfaces made it very tame. When I went all electric three or four years ago, it was sold along with all of my IC models.eb original.jpg

Peter Miller19/04/2018 18:11:28
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10075 forum posts
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Posted by Chris Reid on 19/04/2018 15:16:31:

I'm guessing that the basic creative urge will ensure that scratch building or kit assembly will always have a place, albeit a small one, for some model fliers. That said, we older modellers started out with kits and plans because there was no other option. If I was starting out today, maybe the lure of instant flying gratification with a pretty foamie would be irresistible. In the old days building took a long time and free flights were very short. The in-control feedback from flying wasn't there in anything like the way it is now.

As it is, I am a confirmed designer and builder, and have been since boyhood. It was my first job with International Model Aircraft Ltd (Frog) in 1959, and I'm still at it. See my build blog DH84 Dragon, on the forum.

CR

Chris.

Oh I remember those KK 3/6 kits. I could only persuade them to fly round the pole.

I must confess that having reached four score years I find that lugging a heavy flight box up a long slope to the flying field is getting a bit too much and smaller lighter models are very attractive.

On the thread, People will always want to create things and quite a few will want to build AND fly models

Robert Parker19/04/2018 19:41:31
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889 forum posts
1141 photos

For me Nigel R has hit the nail on the head by saying that, "flying something made by someone else seems to be missing out on something".

Since starting RC aircraft, I have always liked building models either from kits or plans and over the three years or so I've been having a go at designing them as I like to have something a "little different" on the flight line. It is my intention to maiden several aircraft this year, weather and ground conditions permitting, already maidened two this year my Galaxy models Chipmunk and Global Cessna Skylane

dsc05700 (800x533).jpg

My first own design 72" Short Stirling, scaled up from an airfix kit for the outline.

dsc00144.jpg

Own design No2, 72" FW200 Condor, again used a plastic for outline, I'm going to maiden her this year

dsc04255.jpg

Own design No3, 66" Dornier Do 24 well on the way and No4 is in the drawing phase

I seem to get more time to build than fly certainly over the wetter months, however, my son has started to learn to fly recently so "permission to go flying" is granted more easily from Mrs P lately.

I have more kits, plans and ideas than I have time for and the list seems to be getting longer with another kit ordered yesterday, just had to have it when I'm going to build it is another matter.

Regards

Robert

Peter Miller20/04/2018 08:36:31
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Stunning models there Robert.

Nigel R20/04/2018 09:30:27
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Robert, nice builds!

I merely quoted someone else on the thread though.

"I must confess that having reached four score years I find that lugging a heavy flight box up a long slope to the flying field is getting a bit too much and smaller lighter models are very attractive"

Its not particularly attractive at half that age and I don't remember thinking "this box needs to be heavier" when I was 10 or so, either!

One of the plus points about building your own, is that after a few builds, you reach a point where you are confident in your models reliability, you know nothing will "just fall off", you know it well enough that maintenance is essentially quite easy and you can easily decide whether it is good to go (or not). For me that means I no longer bother taking much of anything to the field, other than TX & one or two models. My toolkit as such is just a few Allen keys and screwdrivers. I don't even take spare props! If something goes wrong I go home. Over the past year I've only had two visits cut short because I couldn't (or wouldn't) continue flying. One of those was because I forgot to bring wing bolts and the other because I overcooked the rudder corrections on a landing approach (and no amount of field kit was fixing that one).

Peter Miller20/04/2018 09:54:17
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In fact my flight box is much smaller than it used to be. My starter is a little plastic thing with a NIMH battery and a litre of fuel. The minimum of tools.

I can't leave the tools behind. Not that I need them but it is funny that those with the bigger flight boxes are often asking me "Have you got.....?".

David Davis20/04/2018 10:06:41
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Posted by Rob on 19/04/2018 10:23:09:

Due to the dwindling supply of reasonably priced kits I'm now spending more time building from plans either downloaded or purchased online from places such as ebay etc. ...

So am I.

I suppose most of us builders have the odd ARTF. I have three, an Acrowot, a Seagull Boomerang trainer and some nondescript ARTF trainer called a Primary 40 whose covering is of such poor quality that I've had to replace most of it. However, I have been impressed by the stability of the trainers' tricycle undercarriages on take-off so looked for a vintage project with a tricycle undercarriage and I've selected B Sichi's "Guidato." I've downloaded the plans from The Outerzone and plan to start building it next winter once other projects have been completed. **LINK** I've never seen this model "in the wood" as it were. I'll probably increase the size of the rudder and I'll definitely add an elevator, my landings are bad enough as things are! I'll probably change the wing structure to a more conventional pattern. The model has similar proportions to the Junior 60 so should fly well.I built Mr Sichi's control-line Sopwith One-and-a-Half-Strutter in the Eighties. **LINK**

 

Edited By David Davis on 20/04/2018 10:07:51

Peter Christy20/04/2018 11:00:21
1517 forum posts

I sensing that many of us who do traditional builds - even occasionally - feel the same way. Yes, I have a couple of ARTFs and they are quite fun to fly. But I never get the same buzz from flying them that I get from something I've built myself.

I guess its just that sense of achievement - of having done something that not many others can do. I'm sure any psychologists out there will read something dark and dismal into this.....! wink

--

Pete

Peter Christy20/04/2018 16:06:59
1517 forum posts

One for Chris! Here's the promised pix of the Jackdaw:

To do: Paint trim on wings and tail, cover and attach control surfaces, build transmitter!

Actually, that last item is optional! wink I'll probably test fly it on this:

whilst I convert one of these to 2.4 GHz...:

--

Pete


Former Member20/04/2018 18:04:05
1322 forum posts

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Former Member20/04/2018 18:10:04
1322 forum posts

[This posting has been removed]

Rob20/04/2018 19:23:54
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232 forum posts

I think a great part of this hobby is the variation, I have a couple of foam thingumies and have had the odd ARTF or two but don't have the connection to them as home built projects. I think building can be what you want it to be, If its sticking a few bits of depron together to test a concept of going for a faithful reproduction of a "Golden age" free flight model or the whole hog with Carbon fibre and composite materials this hobby has it all and we all have a huge amount of information we can share as well as the sheer joy of it all.......currently peeling bits of cyano off my fingers, bliss !

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