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Old 02-15-2012, 09:20 PM   #1
Mojo
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Default The best/worst kits you have ever built?

Just curious, but...

What is the best kit you have ever built? Why was it so much fun to build?

What is the worst kit you have ever built?
Why did you want to set it ablaze and dance merrily on its charred remains?
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Old 02-16-2012, 01:48 AM   #2
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Best kit for me isn't just a kit but anything from Mountain Models. Best wood I've ever seen in a kit. Heck, I even save the scrap wood from MM kits. It's that good. Kits are complete with quality hardware like Dubro etc. They're super easy to build and fly awesome. I've got one or more of most of the lineup.

Worst kit for me was probably a Marks Models kit from back in the very early 80's. The die crunching was beyond horrible and the wood was like oak! I don't even remember which kit it was now. I do remember stomping it into oblivion before tossing it in the trash. I know they improved later but I never bought another kit from them to see.

Joe

The nonsensical ravings of a lunatic mind.....
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Old 02-16-2012, 03:20 AM   #3
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best.....sig hog bipe,good wood ,fun to build design and flys great!!




worst ....greatplanes rv 4-40,nice looking bird for sure ,but strange design for wing caused me grief twice,second time building wing required radical weights placed to remove warp and was successful. have yet to fly it to see how she handles.


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narrow is the place to land...wide is the space to crash....choose the narrow way!
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Old 02-19-2012, 11:00 PM   #4
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The worst kit I ever built, was really no fault of the kit. I decided to build a kit, after Dad had built a Dumas Peashooter, that I still have and converted a few years back, also recovering. Anyway, the Peashooter turned out beautiful, so at the age of around 12, I thought I'd try my hand at building a kit. I bought one of the lowest cost kits that I could afford at the hobby shop, which was a Comet Aeronca kit. I had just assumed that all kits were die-cut, and somehow I missed the "printwood" part. Man did I make a mess of that kit, getting numerous cuts while trying to hack the parts out, at that age. I managed to build and cover the wing and a few parts of it, and it managed to move from house to house with my folks over the years, in a box. I finally found came across it in the basement a few years ago, and had forgotten how bad the work really was. It was rough, and finally got tossed out, realizing that it had no future. Interesting to think that most of my builds in recent times are made from hand cut parts.
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Old 03-06-2012, 03:29 AM   #5
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Best kits- Aristocraft PT-17, G17, F3F. Plywood quality and fit of parts was awesome. Worst- Dumas DH-89, Strip wood quality some of the softest I've seen.
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Old 03-06-2012, 10:38 AM   #6
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I've been fortunate to have built some very nice kits, both balsa and foamy, and only one bad one. The good kits were a HOB p51 electric, a stevensaero rv4 and a model aero aerocat. The bad one was an older sig 4#40 I got from a friend with the worst quality balsa inhave ever seen, and that had allready had at least one person attempt to build. I must say that the directions and blueprint were pretty nice though and from what I hear most sig kits are pretty decent. I may have just gotten a rotten egg or or mishandled/damaged in some way kit. But in either case all my builds, both successful and not, have been enjoyable to some degree and educational in all cases. Building and/or attempting to build in my opinion is one of the most enjoyable aspects of this hobby. In the beginning all planes start as either a pile of sticks or a pile of foam and in most cases end up the same way. Making those piles into flying machines is the basis of our hobby so enjoy it all.
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Old 03-06-2012, 10:40 AM   #7
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Looking back on my post I realize I may have rambled a bit. It's quite late here and I probably should go to bed. I apologize for my bad form!
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Old 03-06-2012, 02:40 PM   #8
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Default good and bad

It's been a while, but the Aeroflyte (Australian made) control line kits I made as a kid were actually pretty good. Great plans, good straight wood, both balsa and ply, and decent hardware. The planes always flew well, and were both robust and repairable. I actually found one of their glider kits, covered in dust from 1980 in a toy store while visiting a neighbouring town. It is the 2 channel "Capella", a very popular trainer sailplane that had a good reputation for surviving beginners. It was an instant trip down memory lane, so I bought it for the princely sum of $70.00, which was what it cost back then I think Sad to say, but I have not seen a balsa kit stocked by a LHS for some years, as they are almost universally ARF's from China now, and Australian made anything is hard to come by (except for beer) That Capella would make a great electric sailplane, with very little modification too
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Old 03-12-2012, 02:04 AM   #9
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Ironically, even though ARF & RTF of good quality and reasonable price dominate the market, kit quality in general has improved by leaps and bounds. Laser cutting is just a wonderful thing. I've been modeling since a kid in the early 1970's and the best kits I've built were the Free Flight ones by Lee Campbell. Worst were the Sterling controliners.
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Old 12-27-2012, 10:40 PM   #10
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Best for parts fit/ alignment would be a telemaster.

Best for instructions and choice of wood -stevens aeromodels

Best for lightweight but strong build - mountain models


Worst - but best value - anything from hobbyking. Plans are a joke, missing bits, poor wood selection, but cheap as! You get what you pay for.
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Old 12-28-2012, 04:32 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Reebok View Post
Best for parts fit/ alignment would be a telemaster.

Best for instructions and choice of wood -stevens aeromodels

Best for lightweight but strong build - mountain models


Worst - but best value - anything from hobbyking. Plans are a joke, missing bits, poor wood selection, but cheap as! You get what you pay for.
That's actually useful information, as the material quality matters. For example, Dumas will give you contest weight wood, but that's it. The grain can run in directions similar to TGI Friday's riblet cuts.

I built a Guillows P47 where half the fuse formers were lighter than any contest wood I've ever had. Of course it was low quality contest weight wood. The other half of the fuse formers were their standard issue oak. Now what the heck am I supposed to do with this nonsense? I ended up running stringer laminations across the assembled formers, since the light ones would break if you looked at them the wrong way. Of course the reinforcement was dead weight for the other side, that didn't need it.
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Old 12-28-2012, 04:03 PM   #12
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The best kit... The kit I design, tweak, and fly
Cheers,
Dave
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Old 12-28-2012, 06:12 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by HO-229 View Post
The best kit... The kit I design, tweak, and fly
Cheers,
Dave
Iam with you there brother ,if you cut your own kit its hard to find fault if it dont go together well .Unless your copy of the plans are off a little when copied at kinkos .Dont ask me how i now that.lol joe
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Old 12-28-2012, 07:22 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Cpt.WeirdBeard View Post
I've been fortunate to have built some very nice kits, both balsa and foamy, and only one bad one. The good kits were a HOB p51 electric, a stevensaero rv4 and a model aero aerocat. The bad one was an older sig 4#40 I got from a friend with the worst quality balsa inhave ever seen, and that had allready had at least one person attempt to build. I must say that the directions and blueprint were pretty nice though and from what I hear most sig kits are pretty decent. I may have just gotten a rotten egg or or mishandled/damaged in some way kit. But in either case all my builds, both successful and not, have been enjoyable to some degree and educational in all cases. Building and/or attempting to build in my opinion is one of the most enjoyable aspects of this hobby. In the beginning all planes start as either a pile of sticks or a pile of foam and in most cases end up the same way. Making those piles into flying machines is the basis of our hobby so enjoy it all.
The HOB P51 electric was one of the first kits I built. Still need to maiden it. That was a nice build for a beginner, as it has a first rate pictorial manual, as well as straightforward, simple construction.


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Old 12-28-2012, 09:24 PM   #15
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Mountain Models and Stevens Aero make some excellent kits. Worst one was called the Bumble Bee, don't recall who the mfg was. It was a pre brushless seaplane that would't get on step to fly.

Take care and thanks for posting at WattFlyer!!

Don
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Old 12-30-2012, 03:44 AM   #16
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Don't really know if it counts as a kit because although the wood is provided almost none of it is cut, you do that all yourself: Tom Hunt Miss Stik Senior (I got mine from AeroCraft).

Worst? Haven't found one yet.

"Give a man a plane and he'll fly for a day.
Teach a man to build a plane and he'll fly for a lifetime"
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Old 12-30-2012, 10:50 AM   #17
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Best... dunno, I haven't built enough kits to have a good experience.

Worst... Lanier Dart. Wow.
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Old 12-30-2012, 05:20 PM   #18
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Default My worst FLYING kit.

I was 12 years old in 1949.

VECO Stunt Chief U C 48" WS, full span ailerons, precut, mostly Balsa parts.
Tissue paper covering.

I was excused from Gym classes because my finger tips would split open again from all the cuts by the double edged razor blades........No help on how to build & glue. Alingment ? That came after the whole plane was built solidly. What engine alingment.

Dam that plane could take off straight up after a 2' roll on the ground.

Quiet, alone, obedient kid. Lucky I did not hit the launcher or myself with that super fast 3 D monster as my first plane with a Mc Coy Red Head 35.
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Old 12-31-2012, 10:55 AM   #19
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The best for me ... Pilot Models of Japan.

They brought Lite Ply into the build scheme with the best die-cutting ever. They stomped on the model kit market in the 1980's showing everyone how it could be done.
I built some theirs IN THE HANd without jig ... the die-cutting was so exact, all the pieces slotted together and aligned properly. My Zlin Akrobat - full built up wing / fuselage was Zapped together with CA in less than a day. Perfect.
Sadly they are no more .....

Worst ? Some of the UK's cottage industry kits were poorly boxed, instructions an after thought ... but they did fly well once sorted.

But I have to say that one kit stood out as the worst to build ...

Royal Kits P51 Mustang ....

This was not a cheap kit ... I bought her in USA when travelling. I'd heard good reports of it .. bought an HB50 to go in her as well.

The wing was so weak - it was a joke. We are talking a model of about 50" wingspan ... using 1/4 sq balsa as rear spar ... to hang slab flaps and ailerons of. They advised small doubling blocks behind for hinges ... great - when I did this - after covering and while slotting for hinges - the blocks came away from the cheap soft 1/4 balsa used. I had to strip covering and fashion up a better spar arrangement.
Next - the hinges worked loose after a few flights - the vertical pins locking the hinges into structure were moving in the soft balsa.... despite the epoxy as well.
I again stripped and modified ... till I had a good flying model.
The firewall was weak and flexed ... the P51D had a massive spinner and that meant real flywheel effect ... the firewall used to flrx and spinner catch fuselage front edge. I tried doublers ... even skimmed back of the spinner ...

But once all sorted ... a beautiful model in the air. Sadly she didn't last long - a Rx battery pack, factory OEM, failed and in she went. That was an early flight of the pack after service agents convinced me to replace my home made pack !! Everything was fine on checks etc. - after a few minutes flight - she just lost all control. One of the cells welded contacts had snapped.

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Old 12-31-2012, 03:25 PM   #20
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WAY WAY back in time I bought The Royal P-61. I gave the kit to a REAL Balsa modeler & $ 50 to build it. It was a DOG !! to build. Crap wood & bad die punch outs.

It sits in the Mid Atlantic Air Museum in Reading, Pa. as part of the fund raising display for the P-61.
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