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-   -   WattFlyer and Kit/Scratch Building - Are they dying or is it something else? (https://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=74425)

Stevephoon 09-03-2014 05:10 AM

WattFlyer and Kit/Scratch Building - Are they dying or is it something else?
 
I’m a relative newcomer to RC, about 5 years of being really active. But, I’ve noticed some trends that have me alarmed. 1st is that WattFlyer has much less activity in general as compared to when I first joined and second that kit and scratch building of RC planes seems to be in a steep decline and taking out some companies along the way…

General Thoughts and musings….

Society in general seems to be shifting away from the skilled activities/hobbies to more of an instant gratification and/or things that everyone can do easily mentality. It seems that only the “old timers” still will take the time to create something over a long period of time. I think at 53 I’m on the tailing edge of those still willing to work on a project for longer than a week. Why? Maybe some of this is due to the rise of personal media, internet connectivity, “smarter” devices, better video games... And maybe it’s the “everyone gets a medal for participating” and not rewarding those that strive to do more and do it better than everyone else. Maybe it’s also the time crunch that everyone seems to have. Everyone, including kids, never seem to have (or make) the time to really learn something that takes time to master. Or if they do, it’s just one thing. Maybe a specific sport or a musical instrument. Usually something that mom and dad can see a potential career from, fame and fortune or as a way to get a college scholarship. In general, I see all of the “skilled” hobbies in trouble. How many people modify their own vehicles anymore, or build furniture, or create art? (Well maybe small art / jewelry is doing OK, but its things that can be made/created quickly and sold online or via art fairs.) If you can’t see a completed project within an hour to take a “selfie” with, it doesn’t happen. We are in an “I want it now” culture.

Kit/Scratch Building:
All of the “I want it now” syndrome is really impacting the RC kit world. Lots of kit companies are struggling and/or have closed. The kit selection at Tower Hobbies is very thin. Most major RC companies are no longer putting resources behind kit development. It’s all ARFs or RTFs. The creation of the foam ARF has meant that you no longer need to build or spend much money to get started in this hobby. Is that a good thing? Yes and no… I think the number of people into RC is more than ever. But now it’s more of the lone / informal club flyer at a park using a spare hour to fly. Not only are RC kits not getting built, but RC clubs are beginning to struggle with membership. So now the AMA and RC Clubs must change as well or they may perish like the RC kit. (Here’s another topic…)

The kit manufacturers that seem to be surviving are small “agile” companies creating products that aren’t found elsewhere. Stevens Aeromodel with their great Micro kits and Micro Builder program, Mountain Models with easy to build kits while still being relatively inexpensive, Manzano Laser Works with custom kits from many different designers....

You would think with the number of cheap components available now, kit building would be more popular.

I was also sad to hear of the demise of Flying Models Magazine.
https://www.facebook.com/flyingmodels
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2231103

I had just ordered and received some plans from the Carstens site a little while ago.


Solutions??
Probably none… I think building will continue to be a nitch market. I do really like the experimentation happening with different building materials. Maybe something like this will help kits/scratch building survive. (Maybe the future is more like what the Flite Test guys are doing with foam board??)

WattFlyer

In my opinion, WattFlyer is the best of the online forums because of the helpful nature of the major contributors and moderators. This is the best place to learn and ask questions in. There are nowhere near the number of attacks and issues as the other on-line forums. But, with the explosion of electric RC Planes/Helicopters/Quadcopters, why isn’t this forum just going bananas?

Solutions??
In general, catering to the new style beginner may help. So maybe a SAFE technology form Horizon Hobbies discussion, more reviews and descriptions of the new beginners planes…. (I do not see how you stay current with all of the new planes coming to market so fast though.) Maybe a set of video tutorials to go with AEAJR’s beginner’s guide. Maybe see if Horizon Hobbies would sponsor a separate area for discussions and questions of their products?

All constructive opinions and thoughts are welcome! I want WattFlyer and RC kits around for a long time!

Steve

fhhuber 09-03-2014 03:58 PM

Normal cycles of the hobby.

solentlife 09-03-2014 08:00 PM

As a SMAE rep in UK back in 1980's ........ the same discussion was going on then.
We tried to find ways to encourage kids away from Game Boys to our hobby ...

We couldn't do it then - so I don't think today will be any different.

Model kits were disappearing of shelves fast then with the appearance of Pilot and other kits that provided more and better.
Today - China provides models that fly out of box ... and the range of scale and near scale is astounding.

Yes - I scratch-build ... see my Tu 144 ... Concorde .... Mini 4 .... Qbee .... Nijet .... etc. etc. but also realise that my likes are not always anothers.

Nigel

pmullen503 09-03-2014 09:01 PM

There are some really good ARF's out there and reasonably priced too! I still build everything I fly but I've been tempted to just buy and fly...

DHC Beaver 09-03-2014 09:54 PM

I know that the club I used to belong to has had a huge drop in fuel sales,due to the rise of electric power.Whether this is linked to the fall in building,is anyone's guess.
I recently bought a big box of balsa from tower hobbies,before that supply dries up!
I'm currently building a Sig Fazer kit that I picked up cheap.
But I do see that the 2 main model shops in my city stock very few kits now.And the ones that are available,have had big price increases,supply and demand doesn't seem to apply.
I'm in my 60's now,and I have enough plans to keep me busy for a long time.One side effect though,is that i can now pick up good 4-stroke engines at reasonable prices.
Though my day to day flying is all electric,I still love my 4 strokes,and will keep using them while I can.
One modern thing I do use in my planes is carbon fibre,mainly as spars.Being light and strong,it,s an ideal replacement for weaker balsa spars.I also like the light weight spackling now available.

Wrongway-Feldman 09-04-2014 01:34 AM

As I see it, and I could be wrong, most hobbyist are getting what they want.
When this hobby first got started, before RC flight, the only way to fly a plane was to build it yourself.
And for a very long time this was the nature of the hobby.
This meant people that hated building were forced to do so.
Many bought planes built by other hobbyist either as a used model or paid for someone to build for them.
Then came ARF models that took the brunt of the building away and they were very popular even though they cost more. It was still cheaper than paying someone to build a kit.
As each advancement came along that removed more and more of the building process out of the equation more and more people entered the flying aspect of the hobby. But there were less and less builders till only those that genuinely enjoyed building did so.
Manufacturers know where the bulk of their sales come from, and it is not the building side of the hobby.
That means less and less variety of kits available. It is simple economics.
If arfs and RTF models had always been available from the beginning I am confident that the ratio of building hobbyists to flying hobbyists would be similar to what we see now.

On a side note, many people simply don't have the time to build anymore. The number one reason people buy an RC aircraft is to fly it. If you want to fly something and don't have the time to build you go the Rtf or pnf way.

xmech2k 09-04-2014 02:46 AM

+1. Building is just one aspect of this hobby, not the only one. I highly respect those with the time, place, skills, and patience who do it, but not everyone is fortunate enough to have all those. Heck, the only reason I got that flat foam XF5U finished last month was I had to get it done and out of the kitchen before the divorce papers got served!

Rockin Robbins 09-04-2014 04:14 AM

Quote:

Society in general seems to be shifting away from the skilled activities/hobbies to more of an instant gratification and/or things that everyone can do easily mentality. It seems that only the “old timers” still will take the time to create something over a long period of time.
Well, flying is a skilled activity/hobby! And flying shows no sign of decline. People only built to begin with because it was a necessary path to flying. But times have changed with great-flying RTF and ARF planes.

Not only that but we don't have the school and other local clubs where guys got together after school and helped each other build. What is terminally intimidating to an individual won't stop a group. The AMA was a big organizing factor in these kids' clubs and nowdays they've kind of abandoned the kids in favor of "sexier" model pursuits. So building planes took it on the chin from two directions.

If we're going to to revitalize building kits, first we have to realize turning back the clock isn't an option. Kit manufacturers either adapt or die. Instead of building being the gateway to flying, they're going to have to treat flying as the gateway to building.

In the bad old days the kits were mediocre because they were a necessity and a necessary evil. That's not good enough any more. A kit must be high quality, fly incredibly well, and have qualities unobtainable with the RTF/arf route. Today if it isn't fun or especially rewarding to build, building isn't going to happen.

Road King, tell 'em what I've left out here!

tobydogs 09-04-2014 04:23 AM

when i started in this hobby,it was a plastic and foam wing skyfly,then all other planes were kit built and there are still 12 flyable kit built planes in the hanger.


but arfs like fun jet,superfly,hk park jets,stinger, 260extra,edge 540t,airfoils edge foamy,electric shock flyer,p47 foamy,night flying foamy. these are the reason i only build during the winter months........#1 rule is fly when you can,and don't get cold freezing thumbs while flying...lol. i also fly the kit builds but not as much as the balsa arf's.

i finished building the rv-4 last dec[2013] and started the sig smith mini in jan this year. i should have the mini completed by christmas and be looking into another build. seriously considering another tower hobbies uproar.....it would be #4 i think.:D an easy fun build to modify and i have the components sitting in a drawer to use so not expensive to complete. super fun to fly.:ws:



i agree,building is more costly,time consuming,and the value i put on those builds change how i fly them compared to arf's. arf's are cheap,light,beautiful,and above all they are easy to replace after a bad day...:oops:

Turner 09-04-2014 05:04 AM

Instead of starting threads complaining of the lack of activity and/or building here, create some interesting content about how wonderful and rewarding and satisfying and relaxing and enjoyable and especially easy building is.

Come on people. Be positive. Create positive content. That is what is needed. Not more negativity.

Stevephoon 09-04-2014 06:26 PM

Turner, I'm not reading any negativity... and I don't mean to be negative... I'm just puzzeled on some things I'm noticing.

Components and plans are more easily available and cheaper than ever before. Balsa and a few other items might be more expensive, but on the whole it's the cheapest it's ever been to get a plane in the air. It's a big part why I'm in the hobby now. Also, living in MI gives me long winters months with really bad weather so I build. Something I did growing up doing with small rubber band and tissue type planes.

I'm hoping it's just part of the normal cycle like fhhuber stated.

Steve

Brner 09-04-2014 08:02 PM

1 Attachment(s)
There's still some of us out here that like to build....Just finished this frame up, ready for covering.....

Tepid Pilot 09-04-2014 08:58 PM

2 Attachment(s)
http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/atta...1&d=1409856438


What can happen when you build. Sig Somethin' Extra from the kit.



http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/atta...1&d=1409856438

Not EP but a brilliant airplane nonetheless.

TP
AMA 59376

thepiper92 09-04-2014 10:02 PM

Can't say that I'm an "old timer", I'm only 22, although my music tastes would suggest otherwise. I've built two planes, finishing a third. Interestingly, when I was on holidays in Kenora and flew with the club there, I was the only one who had actually built a plane, yet they were all "old timers". The only thing I do not like about a build is the covering...and crashing, which has happened once. I do not like the fact that kits are not a common part of the hobby. I did not find myself to be a fan of Mountain Models, for a number of reasons including the fact that P51 would require a whole revamp of the wing to install servoless retracts. They also do not offer many planes that I like, as well as Stevens Aero. No offence to anyone, I just prefer scale, mainly WW1, WW2, or something like a Sukhoi, Gee Bee, etc, rather than an original design. I like the idea of flying a plane and my dad or someone can take a pic, and alter it to make it look like photograph taken during wartime. Manzano Laser is the place for me, though it would be nice to find more complete kits. Balsa is very expensive here, and every time I go to my LHS for sheeting and stuff, it can easily run into over $100, while something like a MM P51 kit has all wood need for much better price. It is good to know that some are focusing on keeping kits part of the hobby: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...project_update

If I had the money, space and time, I would enjoy designing kits as well, as it would bring me enjoyment, broaden my understanding and thoughts, and, more importantly, bring kits to others who want them.

All of this is not to say that RTF's, or ARF's don't have their place. RTF plane allow one to jump into the hobby and learn without first having to build to track down a plane that someone else built. RTF planes usually have the issue of realism though, as they are typically foam. While I do see some accurate foam planes (http://www.motionrc.com/rochobby-voo...-wingspan-pnp/) most are still "foamy" looking. ARF's on the other hand, well my main issue with them is that most I find are made for fuel, or are too large, at least the ones at my LHS. Kits simply offer a better range of sizes I feel, and are built ground up to electric or fuel, rather than the need to convert something already covered. Kit's also let me explore, trying different things, like sheeting on the wings, no sheeting, and even my own designs where plans don't show, and the instructions are, say, based off a prototype with a slightly different design.

These are my feelings, you can either agree or disagree.

Stevephoon 09-05-2014 01:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tepid Pilot (Post 956587)
What can happen when you build. Sig Somethin' Extra from the kit.

Not EP but a brilliant airplane nonetheless.

TP
AMA 59376

Someone at my club has the ARF version of the Somethin' Extra. Very Pretty and not a bad fling plane for an Nitro ARF. It's one I'd consider to electrify as well.


Quote:

Originally Posted by thepiper92 (Post 956593)
.... It is good to know that some are focusing on keeping kits part of the hobby: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...project_update
....
These are my feelings, you can either agree or disagree.

I agree with most of your thoughts as well. That kickstarter link... Is he selling kits yet, or have his own web site? I'm always on the lookout for people making kits!

Steve

thepiper92 09-05-2014 07:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stevephoon (Post 956606)
Someone at my club has the ARF version of the Somethin' Extra. Very Pretty and not a bad fling plane for an Nitro ARF. It's one I'd consider to electrify as well.




I agree with most of your thoughts as well. That kickstarter link... Is he selling kits yet, or have his own web site? I'm always on the lookout for people making kits!

Steve

I don't think he is yet, but I was chatting with him before he got setup, and there is a promise of some nice kits, although the GeeBee sizes he was listing as part of the pledge were something like 30 inch wingspan and then 60 or something, so I just made a pledge due to the fact that I wanted something in between. He also had a few Cubs in various sizes, including a very large one, but Cub's just aren't something I go for, even though they are scale. Based on what was offered during pledging, I recall the Cub and the GeeBee only, but I suppose this was because he made plans prior to getting started on his goal. I suppose after, he may go into more models, multiple sizes perchance. As for a website, nothing is mentioned in the Kickstarter posts. Perhaps he will work through Wattflyer somehow.

CHELLIE 09-05-2014 09:44 AM

A lot of the younger generation, Just dont want to get their hands dirty any more, they are all into video games and computers, I do know that the automotive field is hurting because of it too, its hard to find good Highly trained auto and diesel mechanics now days, The average age of a diesel mechanic in a shop is 55 years old, not a lot of younger mechanics to take their place, and i am sure thats the case with other professions that require you to get your hands Dirty, I think its a Generation thing, newer generation folks dont seem to be Creative and like to work with their hands, I have Started Scratch build contest here on Wattflyers to encourage new young scratch builders, and make the builds simple, but its hard to attract the younger People, most of the people in the contest, are seasoned builder, fliers that have been in the Hobby for a long time, So I understand what Steve is getting at, Maybe Scratch Building is a dying breed of people, I have Noticed in other countries, that Scratch building is a live and well, maybe only because they cannot get kits or supplies to their country or its very expensive to do so, I have scratch builder friends in India, that build with foam, because Balsa is very very expensive for them to get a hold of, and i am sure the economy is not helping matters too, where some people are working 2 jobs to just survive, I hope scratch building stays alive and well for a long time :)

thepiper92 09-05-2014 03:44 PM

Hope this doesn't get off topic, but the issues with younger (my) generation has a lot to do with social constructs. There are different views due to technology; technology takes away a certain degree of human involvement, and produces laziness, the idea that technology wil take care of things. Furthermore, society shifts, and currently it is in the position of requiring people to progress into university. It is slowly shifting to trades again, which is why I am doing both. University is something I have little joy in, for it feeds no creativity, but only information, of which a large percentage is never used. There are a few exceptions of fields that allow creative thought, but not a lot. This is something that bugs me, the thought of sitting in a class being told stuff that usual is just pointless to me in the end. Put a whole generation in this, and you have people that have no creativity.

This is obvious an extreme case, and there are fields of which allow exploration, especially the further you go, but I feel university has taken on the job of giving people a piece of paper to show they are simply better than someone else. This is shown by the fact that I can apply for a job and someone else gets it because they have a degree is something that has nothing to do with the job.

In short, society has constructed how a generation should be, and it is not one I like at the moment.

NJSwede 09-06-2014 01:44 AM

Wattflyer
I love this forum too. It has a special place in my heart, since you were the ones who got me through my tribulations as an absolute noob and on to an amazing journey in this hobby. Running a specialty RC forum today is hard. "My" forum, 3drcforums.com has been around for two years now and is doing OK, but it's hard to find new users to grow the community.

I think the main problem for Wattflyer is that electric powered flight has become so mainstream that people don't see the need for a speciality forum. Also, there is Facebook. I'm a member of a few RC-related Facebooks groups and they are growing while the corresponding threads and forums are shrinking. It's just the way it is. Technologies change!

What I *can* promise you is that as long as WF is around, I'm going to do my best to contribute!

Kits
This one is a lot easier to explain. I would LOVE to build something as a winter project, but quite honestly, what I see out there doesn't come close to measuring up to what I'm flying. I'm used to performance stuff like 3DHS, EF, RedWing, Pilot and Aeroplus. Those are all competition-class planes that I can get for a relatively modest amount of money, spend a few evenings building and fly the crap out of. Once the crap is flown out of them I can replace the airframe for a few hundred bucks and a mimimal investment in time.

The kits I've been able to find are not only more expensive (and obviously more time consuming to put together), but several levels below what I'm used to flying. As much as I would like to learn to build, I don't want to build a plane that gets zero airtime because it doesn't fly well.

Kit manufacturers seem to be about a decade behind where ARF makers are in terms of airframe design. It's just not for me.

NJSwede 09-06-2014 02:04 AM

...and to be brutally honest: Wattflyer as a site has a stagnant and outdated feel to it. It's running the same ancient version of vBulletin, has the same design and no new widgets since I joined almost four years ago. It's hard to maintain a user community and even harder to attract new users when it feels like the site is forgotten and almost neglected. Sorry for the tough love, admins, but that's the way I see it.

thepiper92 09-06-2014 03:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NJSwede (Post 956646)
Wattflyer
I love this forum too. It has a special place in my heart, since you were the ones who got me through my tribulations as an absolute noob and on to an amazing journey in this hobby. Running a specialty RC forum today is hard. "My" forum, 3drcforums.com has been around for two years now and is doing OK, but it's hard to find new users to grow the community.

I think the main problem for Wattflyer is that electric powered flight has become so mainstream that people don't see the need for a speciality forum. Also, there is Facebook. I'm a member of a few RC-related Facebooks groups and they are growing while the corresponding threads and forums are shrinking. It's just the way it is. Technologies change!

What I *can* promise you is that as long as WF is around, I'm going to do my best to contribute!

Kits
This one is a lot easier to explain. I would LOVE to build something as a winter project, but quite honestly, what I see out there doesn't come close to measuring up to what I'm flying. I'm used to performance stuff like 3DHS, EF, RedWing, Pilot and Aeroplus. Those are all competition-class planes that I can get for a relatively modest amount of money, spend a few evenings building and fly the crap out of. Once the crap is flown out of them I can replace the airframe for a few hundred bucks and a mimimal investment in time.

The kits I've been able to find are not only more expensive (and obviously more time consuming to put together), but several levels below what I'm used to flying. As much as I would like to learn to build, I don't want to build a plane that gets zero airtime because it doesn't fly well.

Kit manufacturers seem to be about a decade behind where ARF makers are in terms of airframe design. It's just not for me.

Truth is many are physically decades old, hence why many are suggesting geared setups and manual retracts. If more were to build kits there would be a better chance of getting more performance planes. It's a loophole, people like you want better, so you don't buy, if you don't buy no one designs. I don't blame you either, some of the kits I've looked at were just not up to what I wanted, but I'm not much into performance as I am into warbirds. I want a plane that looks like a real plane from the 30s and 40s, and as these planes weren't at the level of design of modern planes, well a kit likely doesn't have to be.

Luckily the hurricane I'm building is a bit newer, designed for brushless, and servoless retracts fit perfectly. There are quirks though, areas that are lacking, such as a poor design of the rudder and elevator where travel is restricted a bit too much. But this a plane designed by one. Have a company design it and they will find every possible area to perfection. I take it as it is; the best designed plane I have built thus far.

As for ARF's the only time I'd likely get one is when I want to get a Sukhoi, SBach, Pitts, or something that needs a better design.

xmech2k 09-06-2014 03:49 AM

But NJ, the building part is the hobby! ;-)

NJSwede 09-06-2014 04:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thepiper92 (Post 956652)
It's a loophole, people like you want better, so you don't buy, if you don't buy no one designs. I don't blame you either, some of the kits I've looked at were just not up to what I wanted.

Yes, but only the vendors can fix it. As you're pointing out, it's not my job to buy sub par kits so the vendors can raise money to design better airframes. And seriously, how hard can it be? Any little Chinese ARF vendor seems to be able to produce a decent Edge or Extra. Why can't the kit vendors? Probably because the kit business is supposed to be aimed towards oldtimers. But since 3D planes make exquisite sport planes if you tune down the rates, wouldn't the oldtimers appreciate better planes too?

OK. I will get off my beer-induced soap box. Clown Shoes Tramp Stamp is a darn good beer! :)

Stevephoon 09-06-2014 04:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NJSwede (Post 956646)
Wattflyer
I love this forum too. ...

What I *can* promise you is that as long as WF is around, I'm going to do my best to contribute!

Kits
....
The kits I've been able to find are not only more expensive (and obviously more time consuming to put together), but several levels below what I'm used to flying. ....

I love Wattflyer for most of the reason's you do as well... I've learned a lot as well right here.

I don't think there is a kit mfg left with a real R&D budget. All of the big boys are doing ARFs/RTFs. That must be where money is.

Quote:

Originally Posted by NJSwede (Post 956647)
...and to be brutally honest: Wattflyer as a site has a stagnant and outdated feel to it. It's running the same ancient version of vBulletin, has the same design and no new widgets since I joined almost four years ago. It's hard to maintain a user community and even harder to attract new users when it feels like the site is forgotten and almost neglected. Sorry for the tough love, admins, but that's the way I see it.

A little brutal, but I agree to an extent. There are some "stupid" lingering things about this site that I have wondered about. Why can't the picture uploads be auto sized so you don't need to worry about the size/resolution at all. I really liked the Photo area when I 1st joined, but it's such a pain to upload photos into it that no one does it anymore. Including me.

It's the search -ability factor with the huge amount of good information here and the almost instant help that brings me back. And the main factor for me - almost everyone here just tries to help.

Steve

thepiper92 09-06-2014 04:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NJSwede (Post 956655)
Yes, but only the vendors can fix it. As you're pointing out, it's not my job to buy sub par kits so the vendors can raise money to design better airframes. And seriously, how hard can it be? Any little Chinese ARF vendor seems to be able to produce a decent Edge or Extra. Why can't the kit vendors? Probably because the kit business is supposed to be aimed towards oldtimers. But since 3D planes make exquisite sport planes if you tune down the rates, wouldn't the oldtimers appreciate better planes too?

OK. I will get off my beer-induced soap box. Clown Shoes Tramp Stamp is a darn good beer! :)

Unfortunately it seems oldtimers don't want a sport plane. Everyone at the club in Kenora was flying a trainer style plane, 60 inches for a wingspan,bobbing about slower than my tiny Pitts. Not trying to be disrespectful, but that's what they like (odd why all of they were ARFs though). I guess the kit designers are around that age too. It is definitely up to vendors to put out more modern kits, manzano is about all that I see offering kits that are more of what I want. There is little money though in kits, but it wouldn't cost a thing for ARFs to in pieces. No need for designing, just send me those pieces rather than a box with a finished fuse and such. They could easily sell for half the price of an Arf and not lose money. 200 for an Arf 100-150 for a complete kit, minus covering.

thepiper92 09-06-2014 04:50 AM

I must say that if vendors made kits it would be lower price too. A short kit from manzano is cheap, but buying sheeting, stringers, 3/4 inch strips for a trailing edge isn't cheap. Vendors could easily sell full kits at the same price as others a selling short, simply because they can get wood in mass quantities rather than enough to sell a small number of kits. Kits would also help shipping. Rather than a huge box, use a box a third of the size.

Turbojoe 09-06-2014 05:56 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by thepiper92 (Post 956658)
A short kit from manzano is cheap, but buying sheeting, stringers, 3/4 inch strips for a trailing edge isn't cheap.

Don't buy those strips and stringers. Cut your own. Get a balsa stripper. It'll save you tons of money. You just cut your own strips from sheet stock for a fraction of what the LHS charges for the same thing. I mounted one to a piece of melamine and have cut even 1/4" balsa sheet into stringers and strips with ease.

Joe

thepiper92 09-06-2014 06:07 AM

It's not so must the price of 20 or 30 stringers, but the cost of 5-10 sheet. Hobby shop has only 4 inch wide sheets, ocassionally 5 inch, I'd rather have much wider and only need 2 sheets, and 1-2 3 inch ones to fill in areas on wings and bits here and there. Have to take a look though, don't think it would work well on spruce though.

Murocflyer 09-06-2014 08:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NJSwede (Post 956647)
...and to be brutally honest: Wattflyer as a site has a stagnant and outdated feel to it. It's running the same ancient version of vBulletin, has the same design and no new widgets since I joined almost four years ago. It's hard to maintain a user community and even harder to attract new users when it feels like the site is forgotten and almost neglected. Sorry for the tough love, admins, but that's the way I see it.

The whole picture thing has me really confused. IB who owns WF is a multi-million dollar corporation http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_Brands and they can't afford someone to fix the picture posting issue? What gives?

You really can't do a build thread justice here on WF so I do all of them on RCG now. I used to do one here and there, but it is too much of a hassle now.

Sad to see this forum is so limited and it is driving people away. There used to be on average 250 individual posts per day. Back then there were AP and AV contents and whole bunch of cool stuff going on. Not sure why that all stopped.

I really thing people have changed in the last 5 years or so. There is not the same attitude about helping people anymore and it shows here on WF. The decline of posts/posters directly reflects the atmosphere of the people involved in the hobby these days.

Quote:

Originally Posted by thepiper92 (Post 956658)
I must say that if vendors made kits it would be lower price too. A short kit from manzano is cheap, but buying sheeting, stringers, 3/4 inch strips for a trailing edge isn't cheap. Vendors could easily sell full kits at the same price as others a selling short, simply because they can get wood in mass quantities rather than enough to sell a small number of kits. Kits would also help shipping. Rather than a huge box, use a box a third of the size.

That is a topic for a whole new thread. Balsa is super expensive nowadays and the quality is really going downhill. 10 years ago you could find quality kits pretty darn cheap. Not so today. :(

Frank

Turner 09-06-2014 02:45 PM

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What is the problem posting pictures? I've never had any problems. You just have to ensure they are not too large.

Murocflyer 09-06-2014 05:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Turner (Post 956671)
What is the problem posting pictures? I've never had any problems. You just have to ensure they are not too large.

I try to post pics and they don't go. I get this all the time:

"Upload of file failed."

I never have that issue elsewhere and I don't want to lose the quality of the photos by making them smaller. That defeats the purpose of taking quality photos.

I should be able to load up any photos and the site compresses them or whatever it does. Like I said, why is it such an issue on this site and not any others? Surely a multi-million dollar company has someone that can figure that out. RCG did, 3DRC did, Flying Giants did, RCU did, so why not WF?

It's a huge issue and I think getting that fixed would go a long way in helping to bring back people that like to do build threads which in turn would bring back people who like reading them.

Frank

NJSwede 09-06-2014 07:01 PM

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Testing... Yeah, it seems like pictures larger than about 1MB just get dropped.

NJSwede 09-06-2014 07:05 PM

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Testing again... Yeah., it definitely has problems with larger files.

NJSwede 09-06-2014 07:47 PM

But to get back to the kits... Since there's no kit that can measure up in terms of 3D capabilities with what I already own, I think I'm going to take the exact opposite route: I'm thinking of getting a MountainModels Firestorm. I like the old-timey patterns looks and I bet with the right motor and prop, I can make it stupid fast. Good winter project?

Turbojoe 09-06-2014 08:17 PM

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Quote:

Originally Posted by NJSwede (Post 956689)
But to get back to the kits... Since there's no kit that can measure up in terms of 3D capabilities with what I already own, I think I'm going to take the exact opposite route: I'm thinking of getting a MountainModels Firestorm. I like the old-timey patterns looks and I bet with the right motor and prop, I can make it stupid fast. Good winter project?

You'll love the FireStorm. I built the first flying prototype and debuted it at AEF in 2009. The FireStorm came about from me giving Brian a set of Sig Kobra plans and asking him to convert them for laser cut. The FireStorm is Brian's interpretation of the Kobra. I think he did a darned good job. I put an Eagle Tree data logger in it and got 86mph straight and level flight with the gear up. I never got around to optimizing motor/prop battery to get what should easily be 100mph with no trouble especially with the much higher C batteries we have now. I plan to drag it out again after it cools down and toss some serious horsepower in it. Maybe shoot for 125 mph?

Joe

NJSwede 09-07-2014 12:24 AM

Thanks! That's what I thought. It looks like you can make it unnecessarily fast. :) I like that!

Stevephoon 09-07-2014 03:19 AM

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The MM Firestorm is one of my favorite planes. I'm on number 2 now. Number 1 used 4S 2600mAh batteries with a 35-42 motor. Tons of power and speed! My latest is a lighter and slower 3S version. I've been practicing pattern flying with it.

Steve

http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/atta...1&d=1410052683

abborgogna 09-08-2014 01:34 AM

I like to design my own planes and I like to build my own planes, having said that my part time job at the local hobby shop has made it clear ARFs have had a very serious affect on building. Because people can get a good flying plane almost ready to fly for less money than what would be needed to build one the customers are opting for ready builds. As the sales of kits plummeted so did the need for hobby shops to stock the stuff needed to build them. You just try to find dope in your local hobby shop, you will be lucky to find a bottle of clear dope.

I find it funny when a customer talks about building his ARF, most new members to our hobby have no idea what it means to build a plane.

As for electrics, yep they have almost completely displaced gas engines. Don't believe me just go to any online hobby shop and compare the amount of electric hardware they are offering to what they are offering for gas. For what it's worth, I am a total convert from gas to electric. I had an advantage, 40 years in electronics, but once all the advantages of electric began to settle in it became obvious to me that electric was the way to go.

Turbojoe 09-08-2014 02:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by abborgogna (Post 956764)
As the sales of kits plummeted so did the need for hobby shops to stock the stuff needed to build them. You just try to find dope in your local hobby shop, you will be lucky to find a bottle of clear dope.

I find it funny when a customer talks about building his ARF, most new members to our hobby have no idea what it means to build a plane.

Today's "hobby shops" are a huge part of the problem. Long gone are the true hobby shops that carried kits and the items needed to support them. Most took the easy way out, became corporate sheep and became cookie cutter toy stores. They've become like McDonald's. Buy a cheeseburger in Atlanta and it'll taste exactly the same as one you buy in Fresno. Same with so called hobby shops today. Walk into one in Atlanta then jump on a plane to Fresno and the hobby shop there will look exactly the same and carry the same stuff. E-Flight, Traxxas, Associated, Losi, ad nauseum. I have Viper Hobbies just down the street from me that is a cookie cutter that hasn't caved in completely. They do carry quite a few non conformist items like kits, wood and they've actually put in stock some off the wall items I've requested. Frank's Hobbies in Phoenix is the only true hobbyist hobby shop I've seen since I left San Diego 12 years ago. I don't even waste my time walking in to a cookie cutter shop anymore. I already know exactly what they do and don't stock as they're all the same. We've had a bunch of these cookie cutter shops open around here and disappear in many cases in less than a year. Gee, I wonder why. It's also why the bulk of my purchases are made online now. If what I needed was in stock locally I'd certainly buy it there even if it cost a little more.

Joe

thepiper92 09-08-2014 02:32 AM

Both hobbyshops around me carry some stuff, but it really is only the smaller one that I care for as they are far more helpful. The other has its own little tv show, which i only saw rc cars being taken to skAte parks and launched 40 feet, most of the time landing on upside down. I buy odd thing from them, but they often don't have screws I need, or servos; the small shop has far more servos, most likely because their main thing is planes. Even so, most planes are rtf, and only a few older Arf kits. I guess an Arf kit 5 years old is okay, but they cost the same as a brand new model.


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