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Traditional kits

a comeback?

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Traditional kits

Traditional kits

a small resurgence? - 28/3/10

A.A. Barry30/03/2010 11:51:25
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WEll david it pleasing to hear, that some are reaching out into the world of proper aeromodel making
A.A.Barry
Capt Kremen30/03/2010 21:44:48
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Just returned from Messe Karlsruhe with the latest 'traditional' kit from Aeronaut, the 'Oldtimer XXL 59', it's a beauty!
CNC cutting of carefully graded quality wood (balsa & ply) plus fittings.
How much better would our joyous KeilKraft models of modelling 'yooff' days been had they been so made.
Now where's my 'Ambroid' and modelling pins ....

Myron Beaumont30/03/2010 21:57:28
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Cap'n ( as we.'ed say down Cornwall !)
Wha 's on with this "ambroid" stuff -Must be before my time !
Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator30/03/2010 22:05:08
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You might be right David - I for one hope you are. I don't mean to critise anyone else - everyone has the absolute right to pursue the hobby in whatever way they want of course - but for me building is an essential part of the hobby and I enjoy my time in the workshop as much as that at the field.
 
One thing I have been noticing lately is that following something of a "gorging" on ARTF's, in which people have a different plane every week and end up with 25 models, I think some folks are starting to get bored with this. They've "done" the ARTF Extra, Yak, Spitfire etc etc. and they are looking around for something more "satisfying". I think we may well see a return to kits by such folks.
 
One thing that will help this I believe is CNC laser cutting which has taken a lot of what is seen by many as the drugery out of kit making. And as long as new kits are high quality - customers are not going to accept the "bodging cottage industry" approach to kit manufacture we had years ago, they expect quality and are prepared to pay for it - then new traditional kits could well find a ready market in my view.
 
BEB 

Edited By Biggles' Elder Brother on 30/03/2010 22:06:20

Capt Kremen30/03/2010 22:29:14
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Ambroid = A brand of 'traditional' (smell-it-now) US Balsa Cement
Le Pages or Gloy perhaps are brands folk remember in the UK(?)
I grew up in South Wales where Bud Morgan ran the local model 'goodies' emporium and he had own label (a brown wrapper!) jumbo tube of balsa stick-it-together stuff.
Tim Mackey30/03/2010 23:47:12
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Posted by Biggles' Elder Brother on 30/03/2010 22:05:08:
You might be right David - I for one hope you are. I don't mean to critise anyone else - everyone has the absolute right to pursue the hobby in whatever way they want of course - but for me building is an essential part of the hobby and I enjoy my time in the workshop as much as that at the field.
 
One thing I have been noticing lately is that following something of a "gorging" on ARTF's, in which people have a different plane every week and end up with 25 models, I think some folks are starting to get bored with this. They've "done" the ARTF Extra, Yak, Spitfire etc etc. and they are looking around for something more "satisfying". I think we may well see a return to kits by such folks.
 
One thing that will help this I believe is CNC laser cutting which has taken a lot of what is seen by many as the drugery out of kit making. And as long as new kits are high quality - customers are not going to accept the "bodging cottage industry" approach to kit manufacture we had years ago, they expect quality and are prepared to pay for it - then new traditional kits could well find a ready market in my view.
 
BEB 

Edited By Biggles' Elder Brother on 30/03/2010 22:06:20

 
I think thats spot on there BEB.
David Ashby - Moderator31/03/2010 09:59:27
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Spot on BEB. 
 
Perhaps, as you say, the new generation of Laser cut kits are encouraging builders. 
Ultymate31/03/2010 10:05:25
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And nearly all the laser cutters come from China, makes the world go round.
Barrie Dav 231/03/2010 12:16:12
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I read somewhere that laser cutting 'sealed' the cut surfaces to some extent and made the glue joint less secure.  Any truth in this?
Bert31/03/2010 12:50:53
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BD 2
 
Laser cut balsa surfaces glue just fine.
 
Bert
Lee Smalley31/03/2010 13:08:24
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We have a problem here though a large number of people taking up this hobby do not have the skill required to assemble a trad kit especially one from 20 years ago where the die cutting is rough and the instructions are just as vauge, the information is all there to build it on the plan but unless you are well versed in deciphering the afore mentioned plan then you are going to struggle, there are some wonderful kits out there still available but they are essentially still based in the 1980s with the mearest of nods towards modern methods (the laser cut parts) if the manufacturers of these kits  seriously want to tempt people away from ARTFs then they have to make serious attemps to update their kits, i have had ARTF kits with instructions that are staggeringly better than the trad kits that are out there and these Jamara kits are the same i belive somone did say the instructions are rubbish (i think) thats not going to tempt any ARTF addict !!!!!
the main gripes i have
 
most kits do not have pictures to help assembly
 
most kits only "suggest" radio locations
 
some kits come without fitting etc
 
the building order suggested in some instructions are a joke "how can you cut out the tailplane slot when you have not assembled the tailplane yet"
 
 none of this bothers builders like me as i have learned to cope with such things
Barrie Dav 231/03/2010 13:18:52
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That's good to know Bert. Thanks.
Adrian Smith 131/03/2010 13:35:15
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I for one was brought up on a diet of scratch building and kits 10-15 years ago and was glad of going through this phase to get an appreciation how our aircraft are put together etc.
However, latterly I have been seduced by the ARTF revolution and have gone this route for the last 5 years or so. This purely to spend more hours flying rather than building.
 
Nevertheless, I do build the odd kit occasionally, mostly in the winter when bad weather prevents taking to the air. But one problem I have found is availability. I have a fondness for Carl Goldberg kits, although the company has long since finished producing them, one can source the from afar (probably China). In February I ordered the CG Ultimate Dash 100 bipe kit from Sussex Models and was told it would take " a couple of weeks to arrive".
 
I received a mobile call yesterday (30 March)  to say it had arrived and would I still like to buy it as it arrived via a "slowboat from China!"  I know is to be a good kit and a lovely flyer ( I have an OS 120 FS just waiting to be used again) so I am glad to buy it. However, these things aren't cheap compared to your average ARTF as the Ultimate is costing £215. Much satisfaction will be had building and flying no doubt although some kit buyers may be put off but the cost/time ratio involved in such a project. 
Barrie Dav 231/03/2010 13:38:52
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If a lot of the ARTF 'kits' are as badly built as I have often read on this forum, the way to go is to build your own.  We older modellers were brought up on real kits where some skill was/still is required.  Very little die cutting available then.  Pretty standard now I understand.
 
How did we learn these skills?  Well, personally, I made my mistakes and gradually learned to overcome these.  I read magazines, books etc and took advice and help from more experienced club members.  Surely, this valuable assistance is still out there in the clubs.  Ok.. Ok.. time may be a factor but wasn't it always? 
 
With ARTF where is the satisfaction in beholding your newly built masterpiece (well,it might have a fairly rough bit of a finish sometimes but it would probably be well built).  I remember the thrill of opening the new box and contemplating the job ahead.
 
I completely agree with Lee about the instructions, pictures, placements of the bits and pieces. Very important for an enjoyable build.  But I mostly build from plans these days so I cannot comment on the current kits on the market.
Bert31/03/2010 14:09:33
521 forum posts
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One thing that people often forget through the mist of time is that the old kits from Keil Kraft and others left a great deal to be desired. I would spend hours cutting out the parts to find that they simply didn't fit.
 
This can be a problem with some of the modern laser cut versions of old kits. The laser cutters use the original parts patterns so you don't have to cut them out but they still don't fit!
 
If you ever want an example of this the KK Ladybird is a classic!
 
Bert
Chris Bott - Moderator31/03/2010 15:34:05
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One of the best kits I ever built was the Balsacraft Spitfire. Laser cut and with great step by step instructions.
Sadly it seemed to morph into the Ripmax spit. 
 
But it certainly showed what could be done. Was very satisfying and was I believe a much better model too. 
Lee Smalley31/03/2010 17:18:35
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BB2 i compleatly agree but the answer is not persuading the like of you or me to have a go at a kit (thats very easily done) but persauding the relative new commer to this great hobby to have a bash over the winter at a "kit" and this is not going to happen when the instructions are vague the building sequence flawed and the parts ill fitting, and all of this for the same cost as an ARTF  it does not make sense
for instance!!
 
I am currently building a DB spitfire it is a complete over haul of the original kit Eddie and Judy have made a wonderful job of it and everything fits like a glove, but even this british example of how to do it!, would benifit from a few pictures in the manual of the tricky bits !!  
 
its about really tempting the newbies into a winter buld, and i just can't see them being tempted with kits that are not designed with them in mind! 
 
the manufacters need to step up to the plate a bit more
Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator31/03/2010 20:35:33
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I totally agree with your point Lee. One reason why I started the build blog on my Pup was that it might help someone else see how its done. Blogs on forums such this one could well supplement the instructions.
 
But as I say, you are right. If kit makers want to fuel a resurgence they could do a lot worse than bring out a selection of high quality easier kits with very good quality instructions (perhaps even a support website with demo videos and a "contact-us for help" page?) and actually badge themselves as providing "Kits for the first-timer" . Now, there's a business opportunity for someone! Any British manufacturer up for it?
 
BEB
Mark Lubbock31/03/2010 23:29:50
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You only have to lok at the price 'proper' kits are fetching on Ebay to realise there is  a lot of  interest out there. I know some are for collectors, but the lack of builders kits available does push the desirability & therefore the price up.
For me, the lack is not a problem as I build from plans & even design a few of my own & get great satisfaction from it.
There is of course a place for the ARTF's, indeed I have some, but anyone reared on an exclusive diet of these are IMHO really missing out on what I regard as an essential part of aeromodelling-are we allowed to still use that word?
Modelling is not necessarily meant to be easy, I well remember the many faliures & disappointments of the earlier days, but I really think you get out of any activity what you put in, probably multiplied.
Welcome back traditional modelling (if it ever really went away?)
Barrie Dav 201/04/2010 08:11:06
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All you gentlemen have made valid and important points regarding introducing the beginner to actual kit building.  Blogs like BEB's are first class and if manufacturers would take a look at the future and follow the suggestions recorded on this thread they would encourage the 'debutant' as they call it over here in France.  The result would be more sales.   I'm pretty certain of that.
 
The problem is, how are we to get this over to the various companies? 

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