By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more
Forum sponsored by:
Forum sponsored by CML

Did you start with ARTF and move to building from kits or vice versa?

All Topics | Latest Posts

Search for:  in Thread Title in  
Q: Did you start with ARTF and move to building from kits or vice versa?

 Started with ARTF moved to building from kits only
 Started with ARTF moved to building from plans only
 Started with ARTF moved to building from kits and building from plans
 Started with building kits or from plans and moved to ARTF
 I only build from kits or plans
 I only build ARTF
 I only build from kits
 I only build from plans
 Other (Please specify in thread)

Stuart Coyle13/10/2017 00:36:40
116 forum posts
4 photos

Part of my uncle's prewar collection included a Frog Hawker Hart, rubber powered with a 2:1 gearbox; circa 1936.

Its box had an integral winder, and the wings were plug-in ball joints. To date this is the only RTF I've ever had.

I prefer balsa bashing and can remember knocking up an APS Peacemaker in less than a week, sourcing all the materials with a single bike ride. Try that now.

Percy Verance13/10/2017 07:51:50
6732 forum posts
133 photos

I'd completely overlooked my EMP (Edmonds Model Products) Chaser, circa 1973. Again, probably one of the first artf's with its ABS fuselage and uncovered polystyrene wing and tail.

We looked on them at the time almost with a sense of bemusement, thinking they'd never really catch on. Why, half the fun and enjoyment was in the build, wasn't it? The Chaser didn't really tick any boxes for me, and I soon reverted to trad building..........


If you rode far enough and long enough, you'd no doubt do it! wink I know exactly what you mean though. Back in the 50's/60's In the town where I lived, there were at least a couple of shops selling modelling/craft items. These days my nearest model shop is a round trip of 80 miles or so........



Edited By Percy Verance on 13/10/2017 08:16:44

Kevin 21613/10/2017 08:08:58
171 forum posts

Other - bought an RTF to learn to fly and a kit to learn to build at the same time. Only bought an ARTF recently.

Jonathan M13/10/2017 08:31:22
470 forum posts
258 photos

In rough order...

1970s - balsa & tissue scale and sports FF kits (rubber, CO2, glider); sheet CL and FF scale from Aeromodeller plans (diesel and glow); balsa and film RC glider and power trainer kits.

40 years later - balsa & tissue scale and sports FF kits and from plans (rubber and CO2); RC foam electric trainer, warbird, now balsa ARTF for IC sports-aerobatic, RC balsa IC sports-aerobatic and scale kits; carbon/composite DLGs (ARTF but complex assembly).

The poll results seem to show a fairly broad church when it comes to RC, but not sure what it - or the sort of catalogue I've reported above - really tells us?

Geoff Parkes13/10/2017 08:58:55
54 forum posts

I went to one of the first comprehensive schools, The Regis school in Wolverhampton, and one of the class periods covered model/handicrafts, this is mid 1950,s I took a selection of kits from the keil kraft scale range when my pocket money allowed ,purchased from the Cleveland model shop in town, the kits were cut out with razer blades and stuck together with balsa cement, cant remember what the tissue was stuck on with, probably due to my ham fisted modeling they used to run on the classroom floor but would not fly. But this planted the seed for a life of aeromodelling, I joined the Bilston model aero club and enjoyed several years of control line flying in East park, Wolverhampton, these were models with Oliver Tiger / PAW diesel motors and were uncilenced, the park has houses all round , but the only noise complaints were from the football teams who played on the same part of the park, this was when the players could not hear the refs. whistle! just imagine trying that today. I had approx. 20 years off - buying /selling houses, building kit cars ets. and one day I went past my only now surviving model shop - Penn models, and stopped for a look round and the bug bit again, the only brand names I knew was Futaba and Supre Tigre, I came out fully kitted with a High boy trainer , Futaba 6 radio and Supre Tiger 40 engine this stood me in good stead and got me past my A test, since then I have built dozens of kits /plans etc and 1 ARTF - does any one remember the Ilsan Extra ,I think this was the first good ARTF, well built, and flew really well, not certain about the wood , some of it looked like coconut matting ,hope this jogs memories of any modellers in the Wolverhampton area Geoff.

Nigel R13/10/2017 09:15:58
1394 forum posts
305 photos

First RC was a Precedent Fly Boy, which dates me, ARTF wasn't really a thing at that point in time, so everything was a kit build, although the second RC I built was a Flair Meteor which was glass fuse and foam wing, and went together quite quickly.

ARTF do a job, and I will have more in the future I would think. I like building as well though, given unlimited time kits/plans/own design build are what I would prefer to do, but available time does dictate otherwise in some cases, and its hard to argue with the value of the smaller ARTFs.

Cuban813/10/2017 11:16:06
2030 forum posts
3 photos

Started with kits in the 60s, eventually moved on to plans, a few own design gliders, the occasional ARTF in the mix as well. First ARTF that I had, probably 20 years ago, was a VMAR Extra - a complete piece of junk as many of the early ones were from the cheapy brands back then. IIRC, the covering was that 'orrible stick on sticky back plastic. crying

I wouldn't spend a lot of money on an ARTF now, maybe the occasional smallish electric model for use as a hack or one of the foamy EDFs which are great fun,, but I much prefer building kits/plans for larger IC stuff.


Edited By Cuban8 on 13/10/2017 11:20:04

Mike Etheridge 113/10/2017 12:12:17
1426 forum posts
397 photos

I started at the age of 9 with a balsa / tissue kit of a fairy Firefly. I was assisted by my older brother who served an apprenticeship at the Hawker aircraft company in Kingston in the 1950's. Other kits followed from the Keil Kraft scale rubber powered range that cost 3 shillings and nine pence. I had a couple of friends who also became aeromodellers and we all dabbled with model planes including Jetex powered types. After relative success with the Keil Kraft Dolphin , Soarer Baby, and Invader we then tackled the Keil Kraft Pirate, Skylon and a home designed Plylon plane that all flew very well at Epsom Downs. The latter plane was built by a friend David Murray who at 14 designed his own free flight 5 foot span plane that was much admired on the Downs by a well known ducted fan expert (His son was Marcus Norman?). I also built a similar plane which piled in after 7 flights on the same day i lost my Southern Junior Models Southern Dragon. Another friend and I built radio controlled models in 1962, mine a junior 60, his a Matador and then a Sparkie. I have lost contact with these old school mates and assume I am the only still making model planes?

Hope to fly the damaged repairable Super Air i was given this weekend.

super tigre 3.jpg



Edited By Mike Etheridge 1 on 13/10/2017 12:16:18

Edited By Mike Etheridge 1 on 13/10/2017 12:17:05

Edited By Mike Etheridge 1 on 13/10/2017 12:19:30

kevin b13/10/2017 12:35:15
1513 forum posts
159 photos

I think the "Other" category is a polite way of saying, if you are an old fart that started building before proportional RC and iron on film, then vote here.

That's me. wink 2

Martin Harris13/10/2017 15:52:02
7689 forum posts
191 photos

While I can find no coherent argument against that supposition, I do think its a shame that the options don't reflect the apparent intent of the title. To my mind, a simple poll asking whether:

1) You started out building from plans/kits and have assembled some ARTFs since.

2) You have only ever built from plans/kits.

3) You started out assembling ARTFs and have built from plans/kits since.

4) You have only ever assembled ARTFs

...would have given the information the poll was looking for.

I'm not sure what conclusions can be drawn from the results so far - any opinions?

Percy Verance13/10/2017 16:07:14
6732 forum posts
133 photos

One conclusion you can draw Martin, and that is the hobby has changed a lot......

It's interesting to imagine where the hobby might be in, say, 20 years time. I personally feel there will be a lot less flying going on because there will be fewer of us, plus some of the items we now take for granted will probably no longer be available.........

Edited By Percy Verance on 13/10/2017 16:08:57

Stuart Z13/10/2017 17:41:20
304 forum posts

Similar issue, started with kits/plans as there where no ARTF’s and have since bought a couple as stock and a couple of electric foamies for when the field is muddy, but otherwise build my own.


Ian Jones19/10/2017 00:58:37
3185 forum posts
1379 photos

Just realised I voted incorrectly.

When I were a lad my dad bought me a free flight glider, apart from clipping on the wings it was ready to fly. So that's where it all started.

As a young teenager I built a model from a kit, rubber motor powered, it hadn't flown more than a few feet testing for CG when I over wound the motor. My then very short short model went on the scrap heap.

Fast forward many years and to the answer I gave, I started RC flying with an ARTF trainer as the primary drive was to get flying. These days, kits, plans, ARTFs and a little DIY modification to any of them are all in the mix.

Martyn K19/10/2017 14:04:30
4611 forum posts
3217 photos

With one or two exceptions, I am strictly a scratch builder, preferring to work to my own designs if possible. I started building from KK kits 50 years ago and although I am not a good builder, I love the fact that I am flying something I have created. That is important to me

If I couldn't build, I probably wouldn't bother.

The only ARTFs I have bought were a Trainer and a HK Ionis. I also have a Sukhoi in the loft for 30cc petrol which I am struggling to get enthused about and a Eurobat which is fun to fly. Both were purchased from a deceased club members assets. I just cant get excited about ARFs or ARTFs - sorry..

Erfolg19/10/2017 22:15:14
10929 forum posts
1042 photos

Yes, others have the same problem. When you are old, that is really old, that is to others, ARTF would have been a set of random capital letters, when we started out as modellers.

I started flying with a catapult Gunther glider.

Yet the beginning of modeling was for me a Veron, i think "Sea Mew", 302 span. Followed by a Frog, Minx, which really did fly. Although not for long with my lack of anything.

To think, that young Beth, thinks that ARTF has always been the norm. Do we need a designation BARTF and PARTF, that is Before and Post.

Tom Sharp 220/10/2017 01:26:13
3020 forum posts
16 photos

once upon a time, people used to build their own bicycles.

Percy Verance20/10/2017 06:44:47
6732 forum posts
133 photos

And they made their own clothes, built their own houses, grew their own food. Some still do.

No doubt about it, times have changed quite a bit.........

Edited By Percy Verance on 20/10/2017 06:45:54

Jonathan M20/10/2017 07:31:41
470 forum posts
258 photos

I heard a couple of bicycle builders once made a flying machine...

Nowadays the Chinese proletariat make millions of them.

Piers Bowlan20/10/2017 07:54:31
1310 forum posts
36 photos

Back in the day, my dad brought home a rubber powered Frog Interceptor from Gamages. He then built a Caprice glider from the KK kit. I built a Cox Babe Bee powered FF Curtiss Hawk profile bipe from an aeromodeller plan. Various control line models followed including a KK McCoy powered Hurricane. At 14 my first RC model was a Snipe, built from the Aeromodeller free plan using Mc Gregor S/C, elmic escapement and my trusty Cox .049 engine.

Reading the above, clearly the hobby has progressed out of all recognition with sophisticated radios, reliable FS engines and powerful and light electric setups now available. With the profusion of ARTFs both balsa/lightply and foamies in the marketplace, it seems hard to understand why the hobby is in general decline. Why are flying sites lost, fear of litigation? Are modern models more noisy or people less tolerant to other peoples activities? Has the modern H & S obsession branded model flying as a dangerous wayward activity to be controlled! Also, has high business rates and the internet driven the LMS from our streets? Or is it just fashion, people don't have the time or perhaps have better things to do? All of these things?

Like others, I don't know what conclusions can be drawn from this poll. Perhaps this might be worthy of future consideration? Please tick the appropriate response...

1) I sometimes build from kits or scratch-build models.

I do ARTF/ARF. I don't do kits/scratch-build because:-

2) I don't have the time because my job/children/wife/life etc. - demand too much of it.

3) I don't have the skill, patients, I can't be asked!

4) I don't have the cash as scratch building is more expensive.

5) I enjoy flying not building.



Edited By Piers Bowlan on 20/10/2017 08:05:44

Jonathan M20/10/2017 08:27:29
470 forum posts
258 photos

Its to do with time. The instant gratification of 300 channel TV and electronic media suck the life out of people's free time, and other stresses of modern life (long commutes, financial pressures, etc) don't help.

As a RC novice I bought a foam-electric RTF to get going, then as an intermediate I bought a balsa-IC ARTF to keep going.

My three RC kits (classic aerobatic, slope soarer and scale biplane) remain unbuilt... but only because I'm chock-busy building these:

kk chipmunk.jpg

kk auster arrow.jpg

peck pietenpol.jpg

vmc spit.jpg

vmc camel.jpg

All Topics | Latest Posts

Please login to post a reply.

Magazine Locator

Want the latest issue of RCM&E? Use our magazine locator link to find your nearest stockist!

Find RCM&E! 

Latest Forum Posts
Support Our Partners
Motion RC
Expo Tools 14 July
Wings & Wheels 2018
Airtek Hobbies
Gliders Distribution
electricwingman 2017
Advertise With Us
Latest "For Sale" Ads
What is the main brand of transmitter you use? (2018)
Q: What is the main brand of transmitter you use?


Latest Reviews
Digital Back Issues

RCM&E Digital Back Issues

Contact us

Contact us