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is it just me?

Old 02-07-2015, 05:48 PM
  #1  
Wrongway-Feldman
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Default is it just me?

Am I the only one that starts a kit build, looks at a pile of balsa and gets completely overwhelmed?
I've built a few before and know what to expect but the first time I open the box and inventory the contents I get a feeling of what the hell did I get myself in to.
And for obvious reasons the feeling is strongest with older kits from the 70's or 80's.
Once I dig in and start the build the feeling goes away but it has delayed starting a build.
Any one else ever get like this?
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Old 02-07-2015, 05:52 PM
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NJSwede
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It's just you. I look at kits to buy, then think about how overwhelmed I'm going to be when I see all the pieces and refrain from buying...
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Old 02-07-2015, 06:33 PM
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Not just you. I feel the same way. I'm not into building at all, but twice over the past year I bought a smaller, easier to build lazer cut kit and tried to get started. I couldn't do it. Even with some of the arfs, seeing that bag of parts....meh!

I do hope to find the time, and patience to do it though. I love some of the old time free flight and glider models and would like to give that a try.

I'm amazed at what some people can do in terms of building. Love reading along in their threads, especially the one off one of a kind builds.
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Old 02-07-2015, 08:17 PM
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Nope not me I love putting together a kit! I know out of all that balsa goodness will be born a plane I built.
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Old 02-07-2015, 10:33 PM
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Wrongway-Feldman
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I think it has to do with my lack of skill as a builder. Once I get started and pieces start going together I'm fine.
It hit me this morning as I opened the box for a Sig kobra. I've built one before but these Sig kits are a real pita for someone with my skills. Add to that converting to electric and my palms start getting sweaty. Just thinking about adding a hatch for the battery gets me dizzy. Lol.
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Old 02-07-2015, 11:20 PM
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I think a lot of builders have a fear of "messing something up." I'm too blind now to build from scratch, Even a kit would be a struggle as I have very little 3D vision. but even Balsa ARFs are never perfect, and almost always require mods, changes, and replacement fittings. If you are afraid to make a "mistake" you will rarely complete anything.

As long as the structural integrity and aerodynamic fit and balance are not destroyed or altered too drastically, you really can't do much damage. The most likely consequence is to alter the finish. With a bit of practice, restoring the looks is really not that hard to do. At least to an acceptable level.
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Old 02-07-2015, 11:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Wrongway-Feldman View Post
I think it has to do with my lack of skill as a builder. Once I get started and pieces start going together I'm fine.
It hit me this morning as I opened the box for a Sig kobra. I've built one before but these Sig kits are a real pita for someone with my skills. Add to that converting to electric and my palms start getting sweaty. Just thinking about adding a hatch for the battery gets me dizzy. Lol.

Yes the old sig kits are not the best. I did a Sig Kougar electric seemed odd not to have normal plans. Had to take the pages out of the build book for the fuse. At least the wing was easy glue up the sheeting some 3M spray and apply the sheeting.

I did my battery hatch on the BTT. Works well and held on with magnets. post 31 shows the battery hatch might help you out. I couldn't see a good way to do one on top which I would prefer.
http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/show...t=68729&page=2

Last edited by gramps2361; 02-09-2015 at 01:40 AM.
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Old 02-07-2015, 11:42 PM
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I am not a great builder I just take my time I just find it relaxing hardest part is motor selection. Even after 8 years of flying electric I still give myself a headache picking out a power system.
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Old 02-08-2015, 01:39 AM
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Bill G
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It gets worse when you start scratch building and modifying designs. Then you can't stop your mind from thinking ahead concerning how you're going to work out all the details, when you've finally put the darn thing down for the day and are trying to sleep.
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Old 02-08-2015, 01:56 AM
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My problem is getting bored during a build. When a process is drawn out and tedious I tend to lose interest. I either go on to another area of the build or just put it on the shelf and work on another half finished project. I've got probably 10 unfinished projects right now. I have a Goldberg Eaglet 50 that I scratch built completely from balsa. In this case it was a such an easy build that I bored easily and kept putting it on the shelf. For over 7 years! I finally covered and outfitted it and it's waiting to maiden. For almost 2 years!

I got bored with planes a few weeks ago and drug out the helicopters. Having a blast again building and upgrading them. I'll tire of these soon enough and go back to planes again. It's a cycle I've been going through for almost 40 years.

As far as building skills getting in the way it's a continuous learning process for everyone. Look at every challenge you overcome as a new skill you just acquired. Every build afterward gets much easier.

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Old 02-08-2015, 02:20 AM
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I haven't done any scratch builds yet unless a couple of profile foamies count. Just a kit can keep me thinking when I should be sleeping.
I have a build that is sitting for the first time. Wing is covered and I just need to work on covering the fuse. Been sitting for a year now not like me to not to complete a build when I start it. Oh well it's not going anywhere soon.
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Old 02-08-2015, 07:25 PM
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Wrongway-Feldman
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I've gotten bored as well several times. I walk away for a while. Fly the quad. Do something else.
Then I start thinking about the kit and get excited about it. It is a vicious circle.
I got into building to do something to fill the year between our very short flying seasons. I build a lot of foam board planes from plans but the finished product is never as satisfying as a balsa kit. In my mind I just don't have as much invested as with a balsa kit.
And while I've got your attention. The kobra is designed for standard size servos. One for the ailerons and one each for elevator and rudder. This size servo seems overkill to me for a plane this size. In was thinking about using 9 gram servos instead and using two for the ailerons, one in each wing. I've built larger planes with similar performance using 9 gram servos and never had a problem. I'm assuming that due to the age of the kit design it requests the larger servos as these were the standard for the day.
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Old 02-08-2015, 07:55 PM
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The plane I have sitting a Patriot conversion I did 2 servos for the wing. I would have to look what size I used on them, and the stab,rudder. I would not use 9 gram servos just because of the wgt. and speed that the plane is flying at. Building a nice plane hate to have a servo cause a failure resulting in a crash. By the way I think you can do a battery hatch on the top with your build.
I wish I had seen the pic that a guy did with his Kougar before I did mine on the btt. His was on top and the canopy was part of the battery hatch. If I find the pic do you want a link to it?
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Old 02-08-2015, 09:11 PM
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Default Me too!

I became overwhelmed with this Great Planes Slowpoke 40 several times. Finally after about three years have finished it. Really glad now I did! For a 7.5 lb. plane it is one of the sweetest fliers I have in my hanger. Decided to go with a Firepower 60 from HeadsUp RC as the 46 I had planned for it, in my estimation, was marginal at that weight. Always like to have a little in reserve under the hood.
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Old 02-08-2015, 09:14 PM
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Gramps is right. The Kobra is a relatively heavy and fast plane. The aerodynamic loads alone are really going to task a 9 gram servo. I wouldn't go any smaller than something along the lines of a HS-85 or so. 17-19 gram size depending on plastic or metal gears. Lots more torque for very little weight penalty. I only use 9 gram size on planes 36" WS or smaller. Even then on the fast smaller birds I'll use HS-81/82/85.

Joe
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Old 02-08-2015, 09:16 PM
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Originally Posted by swimmer View Post
I became overwhelmed with this Great Planes Slowpoke 40 several times. Finally after about three years have finished it. Really glad now I did! For a 7.5 lb. plane it is one of the sweetest fliers I have in my hanger. Decided to go with a Firepower 60 from HeadsUp RC as the 46 I had planned for it, in my estimation, was marginal at that weight. Always like to have a little in reserve under the hood.
That looks great! Always wanted to build one. I have plans around here somewhere. Maybe someday......

Joe
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Old 02-08-2015, 09:22 PM
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swimmer
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Originally Posted by Turbojoe View Post
That looks great! Always wanted to build one. I have plans around here somewhere. Maybe someday......

Joe
Thanks, Joe. I made a mod between former 1 and 2 and built a box underneath to house 4S and 5S 4000mah batteries. Even with these batteries it still took a bunch of lead to get CG correct. Typical of the Slowpoke. If I was to do it again I'd lengthen the nose at least 6 inches putting the motor farther forward and requiring less dead weight, however, you'd never know it was there while flying it.


Allan
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Old 02-08-2015, 09:53 PM
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maxflyer
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Originally Posted by Bill G View Post
It gets worse when you start scratch building and modifying designs. Then you can't stop your mind from thinking ahead concerning how you're going to work out all the details, when you've finally put the darn thing down for the day and are trying to sleep.
LOL! My last homebuilt was built from plans with mods to accommodate an engine that had never been used in that airframe. TOOK ME 18 YEARS TO FINISH IT, AND ANOTHER 2 YEARS TO GET IT FLYING.

Let's not even talk about the repetition and boredom!
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Old 02-08-2015, 10:04 PM
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I think Max hit it on the head for me. My job does not allow mistakes, and yet for me to make two pieces of wood come together at 90 degree's in a damn formidable task. But I enjoy when I realize that as long as it is strong and fairly straight she should fly when balanced. She won't be a show queen but I made it Dammit and it will fly! My neighbor the engineer helped me get over a big part of it. Where I found niggly little errors he saw character and no ill effects on the big picture. Beside, opaque covering covers most of the mistakes and glue blobs

I'll tell you one other thing that has made this build more enjoyable, wood glue instead of cryo. Nothing instant and forced breaks. I am loving it. Slowly coming together.
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Old 02-08-2015, 10:40 PM
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That patriot build I used Hitec 225 mg servos on the rudder and stab. For the wing I used 2 Hitec 85 BB servos. Felt these would have plenty of torque for this plane.

Swimmer that Slowpoke looks great It is one I would like to build some time. I like these older kits you don't see them at the flying field to often and they look different then the ARF's that pop up all the time. Don't get me wrong I have plenty of ARF's also. I like to call them ARM's almost ready to modify.
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Old 02-08-2015, 10:48 PM
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Wrongway-Feldman
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Nice to know I'm not the only one challenged at building. I'll read build threads and those guys make it look so easy. But I have to keep in mind the years of experience those guys have in building and many have had personal instruction and mentorship ship at clubs along the way.
Unfortunately I have to learn by trial and error on my own. Nearest club is several hours away and most of those guys just don't build anymore.
As far as the servos go, the plane should come in around 3lbs or so. That is heavy for a 45 inch wingspan plane compared to foamies of the same size. So I may just stick to the specified servos.
The battery hatch will be under the canopy. I've been thinking about running on a123 packs but that will add more weight to an already heavy plane. It would allow me to charge the batteries in the plane though. Extra weight is actually a little welcomed as it allows it to handle better in the wind.
From what I've seen from the plans I should be able to fit a 4s 3300. That with the os30 brushless motor I have set aside for it should give it respectable performance.
I'm also getting rid of the plastic turtle deck and carving one from balsa. That way I can use covering on it rather that try to match paint to the covering.
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Old 02-09-2015, 12:47 AM
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That plastic turtle deck can have the covering ironed onto it. That Kougar uses the plastic turtle deck too, and I just ironed on the covering. No need to make extra work for yourself. You will be doing plenty of carving and sanding with your Kobra.
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Old 02-09-2015, 01:21 AM
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Wrongway-Feldman
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Originally Posted by gramps2361 View Post
That plastic turtle deck can have the covering ironed onto it. That Kougar uses the plastic turtle deck too, and I just ironed on the covering. No need to make extra work for yourself. You will be doing plenty of carving and sanding with your Kobra.
Hmm. I'll try it. I heard that the turtle deck is prone to melting and bubbling when applying covering. Worst case would be that I'd have to make my own anyway.
I don't mind the sanding, especially rounded surfaces. I find it works well to rough in the shape by cutting then using a sanding block. Then for the final sanding I use a sanding sponge. It gives a very nice finish without losing the roughed in shape.
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Old 02-09-2015, 01:43 AM
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Just use the lowest temp. on the iron to get the covering to stick. Mine is going on 2 years and still holding like it on balsa. By the way I fixed the link in post 7 so it goes to the Kougar build had the wrong link a duh moment.
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Old 02-09-2015, 03:39 AM
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Originally Posted by gramps2361 View Post
That patriot build I used Hitec 225 mg servos on the rudder and stab. For the wing I used 2 Hitec 85 BB servos. Felt these would have plenty of torque for this plane.

Swimmer that Slowpoke looks great It is one I would like to build some time. I like these older kits you don't see them at the flying field to often and they look different then the ARF's that pop up all the time. Don't get me wrong I have plenty of ARF's also. I like to call them ARM's almost ready to modify.
Thanks, gramps. I like the older kits also. Only problem is it takes a lot of space to store the Slowpoke. It's a BIG plane. Of course it takes a lot of space to store a lot of smaller planes. I think I need an intervention.
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