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HK where have the balsa kits gone

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rcaddict19/01/2019 08:39:54
522 forum posts
2 photos

is it me or has anyone else noticed the balsa planes on hobbyking are few and far between at the moment

SIMON CRAGG19/01/2019 09:59:58
544 forum posts
15 photos

No, not just you.

The days of traditional kits are long gone.

However, all is not lost!.

I recently built a great 3D model from an RCME plan, and enjoyed every minute of it. Cost me £25.00 in total, purchased some balsa, rest came from the scrap box. Ended up the best 3D model I have ever had.

One our club members did a great job putting together a library of plans, which is kept in the club hut so I was spoilt for choise!.

Let me know if there is a plan you would like, and I'll see if we have it.

SONNY MONKS19/01/2019 10:22:18
269 forum posts

i was thinking the same myself rc,you can still get the ben buckle kits,if they are of any interest to you.

SONNY MONKS19/01/2019 10:38:05
269 forum posts

DB sport and scale ltd,theres a good choice on that site.

kevin b19/01/2019 10:43:35
1771 forum posts
140 photos


Excuse me, but I beg to differ. The fact that kits are not available from the "cheap" shops doesn't mean that they are gone.

For example at Leeds model shop they are showing over 190 kits as being available and over 140 in stock.

100 Free flight and display kits

26 Scale kits

13 Gliders

6 Sport kits.

Many of the smaller kit manufacturers sell their products on line (both here and abroad).

Also several of the plan and short kit manufacturers will supply materials to produce a full kit. Instructions and build logs being available on line through websites and forums.

Ripmax are now starting to supply new copies of old kits

(wonder how that will affect Replikit and Vintage Models ?).

I also know of at least one manufacturer who is modernising a full range of rubber powered free flight and RC kits. for production later this year.

We forget (an age thing) that in days of yore buying a kit or ordering a plan was more or les the only way to build models (other than design your own). Their quality was not wonderful, they were very rarely complete and many didn't fly very well unless built by an expert.

We also forget that manufacturers didn't supply direct and if what we wanted wasn't in stock at the local model shop, then it would have to be ordered. It may take several weeks to obtain the model you wanted and not much (if any) competition in price unless you lived in a major city with several model shops.

From a model building perspective "we have never had it so good".

Edited By kevin b on 19/01/2019 10:44:20

Denis Watkins19/01/2019 10:48:58
4173 forum posts
82 photos

Smaller RC conversions here too


Don Fry19/01/2019 10:51:44
4557 forum posts
54 photos

The HobbyKing kits were OK, just. Now I have only seen their Eindekker. The wood wasn't great. The wire was soft where it was should be springy. The instructions were minimal. And all in all not a great introduction to kits.

But they will not be best sellers, and as with all else, HobbyKing seem to order new stock according to their rules, no doubt to minimise cost. And the result is they run out of things a lot.

But forgive me if I appear cynical. I'm falling out of love with all things ARTF, and their kin, (apart from foamies), as I'm fed up with the build consistency. To my mind, a decent kit is less trouble.

And before I get jumped on, I think the skills acquired to see and sort the problems in an ARTF, and kin, and HobbyKing stiff is kin, is as skilful as building it.

G194019/01/2019 12:32:05
3523 forum posts
1 photos

I'd probably agree with you, Don, in general but I was quite impressed with the ARTF Wot 4 Mk2 I recently bought and put together and powered electrically. I've had about 30 flights with it and it seems to be holding up very well indeed. In the winter it's the only model I take up to the field. Though I'm a bit of a wimp and I haven't ventured out since just before Christmas.

There are still lots of kits available from the usual sources and, of course, more plans than anyone could build in a life time.


Peter Christy19/01/2019 12:39:25
1721 forum posts

Don't forget Belair, either: **LINK**

As well as the scale stuff, they do an excellent range of classic and sports models.



rcaddict19/01/2019 13:15:32
522 forum posts
2 photos

yes chaps i know there are plenty of kits/artf to be had but my point was really about HK lack of choice compared to 1-2 years ago

Percy Verance19/01/2019 13:30:40
8108 forum posts
155 photos

Balsa kits? Plenty around if you look in the right places. D B Sport & Scale, Phoenix Model Products, Slec, Belair, Billkits, Chris Foss, Falcon etc etc....... There are also hundreds of plans available for which sets of lazer cut parts can be obtained.

The world doesn't necessarily revolve around Hobbyking..........

Edited By Percy Verance on 19/01/2019 13:32:25

PatMc19/01/2019 13:41:19
4320 forum posts
524 photos
Posted by Percy Verance on 19/01/2019 13:30:40:

Balsa kits? Plenty around if you look in the right places. D B Sport & Scale, Phoenix Model Products, Slec, Belair, Billkits, Chris Foss, Falcon etc etc....... There are also hundreds of plans available for which sets of lazer cut parts can be obtained.

The world doesn't necessarily revolve around Hobbyking..........

Edited By Percy Verance on 19/01/2019 13:32:25

The world doesn't revolve around avoiding HK either, Percy. But that's not the OP's point, as he made clear in his last post. wink 2

Percy Verance19/01/2019 13:44:42
8108 forum posts
155 photos

He also made it clear the choice he once had at HK has diminished, so it seems the only remaining option may be to look elsewhere........which is what I suggested.

Edited By Percy Verance on 19/01/2019 13:45:55

Don Fry19/01/2019 14:52:48
4557 forum posts
54 photos

I've just looked on their site. They seem to have the sale lineup as they ever had, except they used to do a 5 foot aileron trainer. Am I missing something.

By the way Percy, what has HobbyKing ever done to you?

rcaddict19/01/2019 15:10:53
522 forum posts
2 photos


IIRC they used to do volksplane artf, spacewalker artf, j3 cub artf and a couple of aerobatic jobs, im not really looking for anything (hangars full) its just an observation

Don Fry19/01/2019 16:02:52
4557 forum posts
54 photos

Sorry, I thought you were referring to the bare build yourself kits they do. You are right, the range is thinning. Market forces. We tend to be of an age who like that sort of thing. I'm starting to think, the availability of electric motors for them is also thinning. As is the supply of IC motors certainly is.

What is getting more common is funny speed controllers with 4 outputs. No idea what use they are. No doubt the moan will be that the choice is reducing on then in a decades time

kevin b19/01/2019 16:04:59
1771 forum posts
140 photos

Re HobbyKing and kits.

My opinion is that HobbyKing went into "traditional" kits to check the market and profitability. They would also look at the effect on additional sales of parts and materials. They are constantly doing this through the range of hobbies they cover. If a "trend", or niche market is filled or slowing down, they move resources elsewhere.

Obviously there is not enough profit in these kits to persuade them to continue with development of that line.

You have to realise that these are not hobby based businesses. They are based on turnover and profit, which they obtain by attempting to satisfy niche markets, which in this case fall into the leisure industry. Buying and selling (at a profit) is all they are interested in.

Piers Bowlan19/01/2019 16:38:55
2041 forum posts
53 photos

Hobbyking buy direct from the manufacturers. Probably one manufacturer makes all their kits, which are made in batches, so once the order from HK is satisfied the manufacturer makes something else I expect. So what I am saying is that the supply is sporadic and once HK are sold out it may be a while before the manufacturer starts the line again. I expect the kits will become available again unless the HK kit sales bombed. The feedback for the kits has not been particularly good however, sighting non-existent instructions, variable quality and 'not suitable for beginners' - but quite cheap! Personally, I don't think that I will be buying any, if they become available again, as if I was in the market for a kit I think I would get one from DB Sport and Scale, Pegasus Models or perhaps a Gangster Lite from Mike Reeves Models. Proper instructions and I wouldn't have to pay import duty either. smiley

I have nothing against HK as I have bought quite a bit from them, just not their kits.

my 2p worth.

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