Disastrous news - SOLARFILM is no more - WattFlyer RC Electric Flight Forums - Discuss radio control eflight

Scratch and Kit Built Aircraft Discuss and share your scratch built or kit built aircraft as well as building techniques, methods, mediums and resources.

Disastrous news - SOLARFILM is no more

Old 04-09-2018, 01:39 PM
  #1  
solentlife
Super Contributor
Thread Starter
 
solentlife's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Ex UK Brit now in Latvia west coast - Ventspils
Posts: 12,427
Default Disastrous news - SOLARFILM is no more

After over 50years supplying the Model world with premium quality Iron on Film and Tex - Solarfilm closes its doors and will no longer grace our models.

A big thank you to Andrew and his Father who started the Solarfilm business for the products and dedication over all those years.

As Andrew Hardman says - due to the changes in modelling and shrinking market for such product - it was a sad decision to make and close down.

Nigel
solentlife is offline  
Old 04-09-2018, 03:31 PM
  #2  
Stay Quiet
Member
 
Stay Quiet's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Boiling Springs, SC, USA
Posts: 240
Default

Another victim of the decline in interest in the hobby, especially the build part.

I had read that Horizon Hobby is purchasing Tower Hobbies.
Stay Quiet is offline  
Old 04-09-2018, 04:09 PM
  #3  
solentlife
Super Contributor
Thread Starter
 
solentlife's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Ex UK Brit now in Latvia west coast - Ventspils
Posts: 12,427
Default

YEP ... dunno how long that will last ...

Nigel
solentlife is offline  
Old 04-09-2018, 07:30 PM
  #4  
pizzano
Behold The Renaissance
 
pizzano's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: So. Calif
Posts: 2,316
Default

Originally Posted by solentlife View Post
After over 50years supplying the Model world with premium quality Iron on Film and Tex - Solarfilm closes its doors and will no longer grace our models.

A big thank you to Andrew and his Father who started the Solarfilm business for the products and dedication over all those years.

As Andrew Hardman says - due to the changes in modelling and shrinking market for such product - it was a sad decision to make and close down.

Nigel
That's odd.....they just revamped their web-site and seem to still be doing business in the UK......

https://solarfilm.co.uk/

As if you know the Hardman's personally......lol

Maybe bought out and redistributed by another.....?
pizzano is offline  
Old 04-09-2018, 07:41 PM
  #5  
solentlife
Super Contributor
Thread Starter
 
solentlife's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Ex UK Brit now in Latvia west coast - Ventspils
Posts: 12,427
Default

Chorley Factory is being closed ...

It is even reported in the April Issue of RCM&E ... with the surprise comment of everything looking fine recently.

It would be nice to see the Name and business survive - but in reality Oracover and many other competing films with pricing etc. out of China makes it a risky venture.
If I had the money - I would like to, but I also realise the serious risks.

Pizzano - I am ex SMAE - IF you know what that is - and also lived for many years in UK .. I met many people ... many of the people I met were serious names in model industry.
I even had a model business in UK called ''Wings and Things'' ......

Anything else you would like to 'laugh out loud' about ?

Nigel
solentlife is offline  
Old 04-09-2018, 09:24 PM
  #6  
pizzano
Behold The Renaissance
 
pizzano's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: So. Calif
Posts: 2,316
Default

"Anything else you would like to 'laugh out loud' about ?"

Ya........:http://www.smaeinstitute.co.uk/about-us

LOL........You're certainly the most amazing man I've ever had pleasure to B.S. with.....!
pizzano is offline  
Old 04-09-2018, 09:41 PM
  #7  
Panther
Super Contributor
 
Panther's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: South East Queensland, Australia
Posts: 1,528
Default

Originally Posted by pizzano View Post
"Anything else you would like to 'laugh out loud' about ?"

Ya........:http://www.smaeinstitute.co.uk/about-us

LOL........You're certainly the most amazing man I've ever had pleasure to B.S. with.....!
pizzano, I find those remarks very disrespectful.
This is not what these forums are about.
I am disappointed in your comments.
Panther is offline  
Old 04-10-2018, 12:11 AM
  #8  
Turbojoe
Mountain Models Minion
 
Turbojoe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Mesa, Arizona
Posts: 1,247
Default

I read about Solarfilm closing up a while back. It's by far my favorite covering for the last 15 years or so. I still have quite a few rolls but only two of white. I use a lot of white. Because it's so hard (AND expensive with shipping) to get it in the USA I've been using a lot of Ultracote instead. It's not as light or as easy to work with as Solarfilm but it has become my second choice. I'm slowly but surely selling my way out of the hobby so if I build anymore kits at least I still have plenty of covering for now.

Joe
Turbojoe is offline  
Old 04-10-2018, 11:39 AM
  #9  
solentlife
Super Contributor
Thread Starter
 
solentlife's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Ex UK Brit now in Latvia west coast - Ventspils
Posts: 12,427
Default

Originally Posted by pizzano View Post
"Anything else you would like to 'laugh out loud' about ?"

Ya........:http://www.smaeinstitute.co.uk/about-us

LOL........You're certainly the most amazing man I've ever had pleasure to B.S. with.....!
You really are the one !!

SMAE is the oldest Model Engineer Group in the world and is the parent body of the BMFA.

Society of Model Aeronautical Engineers

British Model Flying Association.

Before I left UK to live in Russia and Baltics - I was an Area and Club Representative for SMAE. I was involved in regional discussions about the forming of the BMFA ... as well as meeting many of the Model Worlds characters.

https://bmfa.org/The-BMFA/Our-History

http://nationalcentre.bmfa.org/about-the-bmfa

So in a nutshell P .... you should be more careful about your attacks and snide comments.

I await your apology.

Nigel
solentlife is offline  
Old 04-10-2018, 06:56 PM
  #10  
pizzano
Behold The Renaissance
 
pizzano's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: So. Calif
Posts: 2,316
Default

Originally Posted by solentlife View Post
You really are the one !!

SMAE is the oldest Model Engineer Group in the world and is the parent body of the BMFA.

Society of Model Aeronautical Engineers

British Model Flying Association.

Before I left UK to live in Russia and Baltics - I was an Area and Club Representative for SMAE. I was involved in regional discussions about the forming of the BMFA ... as well as meeting many of the Model Worlds characters.

https://bmfa.org/The-BMFA/Our-History

http://nationalcentre.bmfa.org/about-the-bmfa

So in a nutshell P .... you should be more careful about your attacks and snide comments.

I await your apology.

Nigel
My comment was a "left-handed" compliment with a little humor(SMAE)
mixed in.....be it "left-hand", a compliment none-the less.........!

I'm quite aware of the BMFA.....and you know that....! We've had this discussion before a few years back.
You're not the only "Brit" I know who is into aerial RC. For that matter, not the only Brit I know who was a member of the "society", or has influence.

Get off the high horse and loosen up a bit........all that cold weather has "thinned" out your skin......you need to thaw-out..........lol
pizzano is offline  
Old 04-10-2018, 07:11 PM
  #11  
solentlife
Super Contributor
Thread Starter
 
solentlife's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Ex UK Brit now in Latvia west coast - Ventspils
Posts: 12,427
Default

Pizzane ... I do not consider your posts in the thread and especially lines such as :

"LOL........You're certainly the most amazing man I've ever had pleasure to B.S. with.....!"

in the least bit complimentary or humour. Forgive me for taking your general attitude and posts here as insulting.

I try very hard to keep within the great friendly camaraderie of Wattflyer, but you have stepped over the line too far this time.

I am not a moderator for WF and you ought to be glad I am not. I would have removed you long ago.

Nigel
solentlife is offline  
Old 04-10-2018, 07:44 PM
  #12  
solentlife
Super Contributor
Thread Starter
 
solentlife's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Ex UK Brit now in Latvia west coast - Ventspils
Posts: 12,427
Default

For me - I read about demise of JR ... HH taking over Tower Hobbies after its collapse ... various model names disappearing ... sometimes not so well known like JPowers stopping the Skyangel series etc.

But there are some that have been milestones in Model History ... Solarfilm is one - it is a Brand known literally worldwide, even in China.
Its quality and production costs being in UK were such that many cheaper alternatives appeared. I have to sadly admit that in terms of the Film - I often strayed to the cheaper but inferior Chinese product. But in terms of Tex - Solartex was still the best and my first choice.

Sad to admit, but modelling has changed, evolved and it will continue to do so with other famous products / names to go same way.
Thinking of famous names : Solarbo - one of the biggest names in Balsa Wood .... I haven't heard that name in literally decades.

I suppose being an old fogey who can remember 'good old days' is one of the factors I have to live with ...

Oh the smell of dope and balsa cement !

Nigel
solentlife is offline  
Old 04-10-2018, 09:13 PM
  #13  
firemanbill
Community Moderator
 
firemanbill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Sevierville, Tennessee
Posts: 20,593
Default

GUYS! Stop. This is a good thread, would hate to have to shut it down.
firemanbill is offline  
Old 04-11-2018, 07:17 AM
  #14  
solentlife
Super Contributor
Thread Starter
 
solentlife's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Ex UK Brit now in Latvia west coast - Ventspils
Posts: 12,427
Default

Originally Posted by firemanbill View Post
GUYS! Stop. This is a good thread, would hate to have to shut it down.
I apologise to all in Wattflyer - as all know - I am a total supporter of WF and would not wish it to become like many other forums.

I would like to see others posts on model names shutting down and views on future.

Nigel
solentlife is offline  
Old 04-11-2018, 01:22 PM
  #15  
firemanbill
Community Moderator
 
firemanbill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Sevierville, Tennessee
Posts: 20,593
Default

Originally Posted by solentlife View Post
I apologise to all in Wattflyer - as all know - I am a total supporter of WF and would not wish it to become like many other forums.

I would like to see others posts on model names shutting down and views on future.

Nigel
I fear we live in a time where most brnads that have been involved with the building side of the hobby are either gone, or will be gone very soon.

Today's "gotta have it now" society can't be bothered with the time it takes to hand craft and build something. They would rather get a box of foam, plug everything in and go fly it. The advent of "SAFE" "AS3X" and other system are making it easier and easier to do this hobby with no practice or training at all.

For those of us who do like to build a rebirth of sorts is happening with the smaller local mom and pop type suppliers like Laines Planes, Carolina Customs and others.

Recent events have proved that even the Giants like Horizon and Tower are not immune to the the changes. Horizon was acquired a few year back by an investment firm and now tower is gone, sucked in by horizon.

Who knows where it is going but I do know I like to build, and I will get my hands on whatever kits I can right now. Sadly though most people who have them won't part with them, and when they do it is at collector value prices. There is a local guy here trying to sell a mid 80's .40 trainer kit for $350.

Hang on, it is going to be a heck of a ride.
firemanbill is offline  
Old 04-11-2018, 01:39 PM
  #16  
solentlife
Super Contributor
Thread Starter
 
solentlife's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Ex UK Brit now in Latvia west coast - Ventspils
Posts: 12,427
Default

The strange thing is Large Model Activities are still healthy and that requires really good model building skills.

What seems to be dying, is the small to medium size building market ... but of course that's where the Foam RTF / ARF has hit hard.... along with the already prepared wing / fuselage so called kits today.

But another interesting fact though ... if you look at such as Hobby King who have a line of Laser Cut kits for builders - many of them go Backorder quickly ... stock moves quite fast ! So there is a market - maybe with changing marketing methods and peoples viewing - a change to marketing needs be done ?

Nigel
solentlife is offline  
Old 04-11-2018, 01:57 PM
  #17  
firemanbill
Community Moderator
 
firemanbill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Sevierville, Tennessee
Posts: 20,593
Default

Agreed, it is really hard to get kits and when places like Carolina and Laines come up ( I am sure there are others as well) they do really well.

I think a lot of folks are buying and stocking up for fear that they will not be able to get them in the future.

I see the alllure of the ARF's and foamies and such, I mean why build an ARF when you can do the kit for twice as much! lol
firemanbill is offline  
Old 04-11-2018, 02:56 PM
  #18  
Stay Quiet
Member
 
Stay Quiet's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Boiling Springs, SC, USA
Posts: 240
Default

They can take my X-Acto knife from me when they pry it from my cold, dead hands! :-)

I can see the variety of kits dwindling. Most of the 'builders' seem to be in the age group where they can remember when they HAD to build a kit and learn to fly.

Designing, or re-designing, and building is far more enjoyable to me than flying, quite frankly. My biggest fear is that the supplies I need - good balsa, all the small hardware bits and pieces required - will dry up. Can you imagine DuBro closing it's doors?

When I raced on-road nitro RC cars, there were three clubs that hosted races. All of them used parking lots with temporary barriers for track layouts. First one club lost it's permission and had to move to a smaller, less favorable venue. Then another. I saw the writing on the wall and sold all of my equipment (cars, engines, parts, support equipment, radio, etc) to another racer. Two years later all the clubs had folded. I sometimes wonder how long it will be before I have a huge "hangar sale" of my RC planes.
Stay Quiet is offline  
Old 04-11-2018, 03:17 PM
  #19  
solentlife
Super Contributor
Thread Starter
 
solentlife's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Ex UK Brit now in Latvia west coast - Ventspils
Posts: 12,427
Default

Depron along with discarded Ply Fruit Boxes has taken over my Balsa supply. No longer am I mortgaging my wallet for balsa.

I am building models in this new wonder material ... but strangely it does not feel the same. There was something about the older kits - especially in UK - where diecutting was not so good. You sorted the parts ... slotted together ... corrected the errors ... glued and arrived weeks later at a finished model. The writing appeared on the wall with Pilot Models of Japan ... beautiful accurate diecutting ... precision fit ... with Scale models even having scale documentation to get you started !
It only had to get better from there .... but inevitably ARF became more and more pre-built ... causing demise of so many names. Founders grew old and passed on with their sons etc. not able to drum up the same interest in a failing market.

Nigel
solentlife is offline  
Old 04-11-2018, 03:33 PM
  #20  
firemanbill
Community Moderator
 
firemanbill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Sevierville, Tennessee
Posts: 20,593
Default

Hardware, yes that is the issue. with just a bit of building experience we can fashion a plane out of nothing really. Getting the bits to tie it all together will be another hurdle.

We will be hanging out at the field and local schools hoping the ARF guys smash their foamy so we can get their bits out of the trash! lol
firemanbill is offline  
Old 04-11-2018, 07:15 PM
  #21  
solentlife
Super Contributor
Thread Starter
 
solentlife's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Ex UK Brit now in Latvia west coast - Ventspils
Posts: 12,427
Default

Bits out of the trash ... now that certainly rings a bell.

Have a few of those babies .... guys crash - reckon its beyond repair ... I get hold of it and she flies again.

Nigel
solentlife is offline  
Old 04-11-2018, 08:45 PM
  #22  
firemanbill
Community Moderator
 
firemanbill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Sevierville, Tennessee
Posts: 20,593
Default

Same here. I have collections of the stuff.
firemanbill is offline  
Old 04-11-2018, 11:41 PM
  #23  
hayofstacks
Super Contributor
 
hayofstacks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Utah
Posts: 1,780
Default

Well that escalated quickly. Its funny how we have all these rules about harassing other forum members, but a majority seem to be ignored. Seems to be progress though, the original posts weren't heavily modified (at least as far as I can tell) so everyone else can see what was really said.

Theres a reason this forum is dying, I check up on it about once a week. Even though it has about 10 times the traffic and active members as another forum I frequent, new posts are few and far between. I think everyone is getting sick of being retaliated against.
hayofstacks is offline  
Old 04-12-2018, 08:58 AM
  #24  
solentlife
Super Contributor
Thread Starter
 
solentlife's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Ex UK Brit now in Latvia west coast - Ventspils
Posts: 12,427
Default

Originally Posted by hayofstacks View Post
Well that escalated quickly. Its funny how we have all these rules about harassing other forum members, but a majority seem to be ignored. Seems to be progress though, the original posts weren't heavily modified (at least as far as I can tell) so everyone else can see what was really said.
As 50% of the party - I think it best left alone.

Theres a reason this forum is dying, I check up on it about once a week. Even though it has about 10 times the traffic and active members as another forum I frequent, new posts are few and far between. I think everyone is getting sick of being retaliated against.
WF is quiet but not dying in my view. I definitely do not consider that WF members have been retaliated against as much as you imply. WF has the occasional and I do mean occasional spat, but it soon dies. Unlike for example RCG where it can go on for months and I know of some that just lurk simmering under the surface, jumping out at slightest thing.
But many forums are commenting on the drying up of interaction of modellers. Clubs complaining of reduced memberships, brands going to the wall because of the RTF / ARF foam models etc. Its part and parcel of the modern Model Market I think. Wattflyer is generally regarded by outsiders as the Old Fogeys DIY builders forum. Yes .. seriously. I read a number of posts on different forums that basically said that.
WF seems to have become the place for the builder rather than the out of box flyer - which fills likes of RCG and others.
Nearest forum I can find to WF is in UK - and they suffer same problem. Quiet !!

How do we value forum content ? Is it volume and a large part is ***** or less volume where a greater % is valuable.

RCG for example has a wealth of info every day - but it also has a huge amount of rubbish posted especially by 'resident experts'.
Compare WF - where generally the postings are relevant to the membership far better.

Like everyone - I would like to see WF grow, but also would not want to degrade WF by some of the ***** you see on other larger forums.

So back to disappearing brand names ....

Nigel
solentlife is offline  
Old 04-12-2018, 01:24 PM
  #25  
Stay Quiet
Member
 
Stay Quiet's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Boiling Springs, SC, USA
Posts: 240
Default

Disappearing brands:
I know somewhere in the pile of junk accumulated in my childhood home were a few McCoy C/L engines (including a .35 Red Head), a Veco .19, and even an Ohlsson & Rice .60 ignition engine. I don't know how many Cox .049 engines were there, complete with finger slicing "snap starters" and nylon props.
Some of those engines were mounted in Flite Streak and Junior Ringmaster kits made by Sterling, covered in silkspan and butyrate dope. I can still remember my Mom yelling downstairs to the basement about the smell ("Open the windows and use a fan!") whenever my Dad and I were using that stuff.
Stay Quiet is offline  

Quick Reply: Disastrous news - SOLARFILM is no more


Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.

Page generated in 0.09584 seconds with 11 queries