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Recommended First Balsa Kit

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neil martin 124/12/2018 14:54:57
26 forum posts
9 photos

Looking for some advice. Ive been flying over 10 years and would consider myself a competent pilot (B Level) but have never built anything. Im always in awe of the aircraft on the showline at the Nationals and other events I visit and would ultimately love to produce something of that scale in years to come. After some research, I can see that my question has been answered many times. I suppose im looking for some modern UK opinions as lots of rcgroups/universe appear from google searches. If there are any links available to this subject then Id be grateful if you could send them.

What is a good beginner warbird kit for a total newbie? I understand that I should maybe start with a high wing trainer of some type, but my flying skills are passed that and it is ultimately a warbird that will drive me on to produce the end result as I have a keen interest in them.

Thanks in advance.

Brian Hammond24/12/2018 15:02:11
316 forum posts

Why not try something simple for a start like the SLEC Limbo Dancer ,most of the parts are laser cut and they are British made,and good fun to fly ,pun intended!

Ian Moody24/12/2018 15:55:37
78 forum posts
10 photos

The Topflite P47 Thunderbolt is a nice and easy kit to build with a great instruction book included and it looks good and fly's nicely as well. It might be tricky to get one but it's worth it.

kc24/12/2018 15:59:43
6080 forum posts
169 photos

There is so much work in a scale model that it would be better to start with a sports model. I would suggest the Limbo Dancer or the SLEC Fun Fly which are much quicker to build and useful as hack models or for engine running in.

Equally good would be the Gangster 63 Lite from Mick Reeves.

Percy Verance24/12/2018 16:48:00
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8108 forum posts
155 photos

Given that Neil is a capable B Cert flyer, I'd be looking at something from the Chris Foss range, or perhaps the D B Sport & Scale selection of models if you prefer to build a complete airframe including the wings (all the Wot series have foam wings). The Gangster Lite as mentioned by kc is also a good 'un. Lazer cut interlocking parts, relatively simple to get right for a first time build, with a totally proven pedigree. Nothing to be frightened of there.

As KC suggests, I'd avoid anything scale initially, even though you'd be capable of flying it without issue. Straightforward no nonsense building experience is what you need Neil. Many warbirds have complex elements to their builds - wing washout etc. Get these wrong and it can all go pear shaped, and it's not where you want to be for a first build.. Equip yourself with a good flat/rigid building board - the longest and widest you can fit into where you intend to build. You also need to arm yourself with a selecion of the right tools, some of which make building infinately easier. That is perhaps for another thread though, so I'll leave it there.

 

 

 

 

Edited By Percy Verance on 24/12/2018 17:11:14

SONNY MONKS24/12/2018 17:07:17
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269 forum posts

Ben Buckle super 60,high wing four channel,or the low wing four channel.a good old traditional kit,and still quite popular.

Percy Verance24/12/2018 17:13:30
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8108 forum posts
155 photos

With respect SONNY, as a B Cert holder I think Neil would be bored stiff with a Super 60 after about three circuits.......

Another option not mentioned thus far is a plan, many of which now have sets of lazer cut parts to compliment them. They aren't a full kit - you'd still need to buy the strip wood required, but they do present another workable option. 

 

Edited By Percy Verance on 24/12/2018 17:23:18

SONNY MONKS24/12/2018 17:29:34
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269 forum posts

Fair comment percy,i must admit,ive built three now,i suppose they can be a bit dreary lol!

Percy Verance24/12/2018 17:49:14
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8108 forum posts
155 photos

I've built several in my time too SONNY, usually for others. In fact I have a half built one here, and that's for someone else as well.......

A good beginner's model SONNY, and in my opinion far superior to the J60.........

neil martin 124/12/2018 18:27:59
26 forum posts
9 photos
Thank you all for the feedback. I understand the complex issues thqt are faced with warbird build so would like to have this exposure to be able to learn them...but maybe for a second or third build. Do the topflite kits require a good level of experience in this regard? Maybe a low wing sports model is the way to go for first build. Would be looking for something I could complete fairly quickly and gain valuable knowledge at the same time
Don Fry24/12/2018 18:48:23
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4151 forum posts
48 photos

Welcome, you are a problem. Now we are used to beginners wot can't fly. But a flyer wot can't build.

I would follow Percy's advice, get it built, warts and all, but at least it will fly, and be worth flying. Next one will be better.

Just bear in mind, the "traditional" built kits tend to be heavier than ARTF. Work to minimise the difference, and learn to fly a heavier model.

Keep you away from adulterous behaviour for a few years. Too busy.

Merry Christmas.

Don Fry24/12/2018 18:54:16
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4151 forum posts
48 photos

To answer a specific question, TopFlite kits are good, but old school. They have issues, that experience will overcome.

Try one four? airframes down the line. Unless your background gives transferable skills?

Edited By Don Fry on 24/12/2018 18:54:43

neil martin 124/12/2018 18:58:37
26 forum posts
9 photos
Thanks Don. Product of modern times...ive cut my teeth on foamies and artf's and have regretted not building earlier! Suppose I just need to get one done and learn from there. I've done countless repair projects so that helps but now need to progress to a full build.
neil martin 124/12/2018 19:04:37
26 forum posts
9 photos
Have an engineering background and created technical drawings so I'm not totally out of my depth!
Merry Christmas 👍
Former Member24/12/2018 19:13:02
724 forum posts

[This posting has been removed]

Percy Verance24/12/2018 19:13:29
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8108 forum posts
155 photos

Hi again Neil

As Don points out, Top Flite kits are basically good products but do seem to have the usual shortcomings of the older style of US produced kits, in that they're almost all over - engineered. This seems to be a common issue with the vast majority of American kits, although Sig kits seem better since they began switching to lazer cutting a few years ago. One of the worst I ever saw was a Pica Cessna kit 20 odd years ago. The balsa parts were of such hard/dense wood it almost had the weight of oak!

As keen as you seem to be to tackle a warbird build Neil, I'd put it off until you have two or three more conventional builds under your belt so to speak. And then, if it has to be a warbird I'd look at the Tony Nijhous range. The benefit here is that many of his designs have appeared as free plans in RCM&E. A further plus is that he frequents this very forum and offers sets of lazer cut parts for his designs........ Check out his website.

Edited By Percy Verance on 24/12/2018 19:20:48

Don Fry24/12/2018 19:18:29
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4151 forum posts
48 photos

That's twice in one day, I have agreed with Percy. Not a usual condition.

kc24/12/2018 19:22:43
6080 forum posts
169 photos

One of the skills of building from plans is the selection of balsa. If you buy a kit this is already done for you, hopefully building from a kit gets you this knowledge ( if the selection is good )

Of course you could just get an experienced builder to pick the balsa from your stock.

Selection is not just weight but what is stiff enough and what can be bent for L.E. sheeting etc.

Frank Skilbeck24/12/2018 19:28:32
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4522 forum posts
101 photos

How about a Funfighter, would be a good introduction to building a warbird. Up to you how much detail you add.

https://www.cambrianplanes.co.uk/

http://www.funfighters.co.uk/

Don Fry24/12/2018 19:39:07
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4151 forum posts
48 photos

Good idea.

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