I am new to RC and will be purchasing a ARF Trainer in the near future.
However, I am looking to buy and build a Kit Plane at the same time.
Could someone please advise what tools would be a must for starting out
and any preferences on a starter kit or plans?
I will be building a gas RC Plane.
Thanks for the input,
On 1/7/2005 10:25 AM Ted shuffled out of his cave and grunted these
great (and sometimes not so great) words of knowledge:
A FLAT building surface (an old door or table works very well); 2' x 4'
piece of ceiling tile (to put on the door/table so you can stick pins
into it); Exacto knife with PLENTY of #11 blades; "T" pins; CA in thin
and medium; Extended CA tips; some debonder OR acetone (use in a well
ventilated area and with caution) to unglue your fingers; 30 minute
epoxy; mixing cups; rubbing alcohol to thin/clean epoxied areas; clear
"dope", thinner and some brushes for fuel proofing; Metal straight edge;
Plastic triangle; Sandpaper in 100, 150 and 220 grits; sanding block
(the 4"-6" rubber work quite well); a soft lead pencil; wax paper (to
protect the plans); light weight filler; heat iron (for applying the
covering); Coverite thermometer (to set/get the proper temperatures on
the iron); screwdriver with a #1 phillips head.
In addition to the above the following are nice, but not required and a
lot of these items would be used infrequently:
Zona saw (or other hobby saw) with 52 and 32 tooth blades; heat gun;
trim iron; incidence indicator; set of allen (hex) wrenches in both SAE
and metric; teflon surgical tubing to use with the thin CA instead of an
extended tip: fuselage jig; wing jig; wire benders; small soldering
iron; hemostats (bent and straight tip); needle nose pliers.
I am certain there are other items I missed that others will pick up on
A suggestion/advice - if your eyes or nose/sinus start to bother you
when using CA you may be sensitive to it (the fumes). In that case use
wood glue (I like TiteBond) for the major construction and CA ONLY in
the areas you have no other choice (I.E. CA hinges ). You can also use
odorless/foam safe CA, but it is about twice the cost of regular CA.
For a kit plane it would depend on whether you wanted a trainer or a
For a trainer I suggest the SIG Kadet. Be advised the Kadet IS LABOR
INTENSIVE as it is all stick built. On the plus side, once you build a
Kadet you should have no (or minimal) problems building any other kit in
For a second plane a Four Star 40 (frequently referred to as a "4*").
The 4* comes in an ARF and a kit, but the 4* is one of the most
frequently recommended planes for a second plane.
I would avoid doing a scratch built (from plans) until you have several
kits under your belt.
If you are building the plane from plans you will need a scroll saw, small
belt/disc sander, and dremel as the major items. They can bought at Harbor
Freight for about $125.00. For the rest , just walk into a hobby shop or
craft store and look around at the X-ACTO knives section you will find most
of the other tools there.....hobby clamps, squares. ect...
For the glues and the other goodies try the hobby shop.
Its your choice.....me , I like plans. Anyway you will need the above
with an RTF, ARF, kit built or plan built because you will crack up some
models even if you are 3 months, 3 years, or 30 years flying models. You
need the tools to repair them.
Gas is ok. You will probally need to go through the AMA join a club
get an instructor ritual.........electric, you dont need it.
You've already got many tool recommendations. I suggest starting with a
kit. You will need less tools. The kit will also give you a good
introduction into how all the parts fit together, without dealing with
the small misalignments that might slip in when you are cutting your own
parts. Choose a company that's known for having good instructions and a
plane that's designed for people with low experience levels. While I
have not built this particular plane, the Sig Four Star 40 is often
recommended as a good first kit and a good second plane.
Do you really mean gas(oline), or did you actually mean glow (methanol
based fuel)? There is a difference, gas engines, and the planes, are
Why, don't electrics crash and need rebuilding and don't they need laerned
skills like taking off, flying in a contrrolled fashion and landing? Andy -
Who believes an instructor with a buddy cord is the way to go, and believes in
the value and fellowship of the AMA and being a a club.
We can make a box of wood.....FLY!!
They sure do crash. They need to be rebuilt. But you can take
a small electric (280 / 400 class foamie/balsa) off to the park and practice
Anyone who cannot comprehend the basics and are afraid of flying
a model for the first time. I have read my share of posts in moderated and
unmoderated groups on the "horror" stories of instructors crashing a
students plane on first flight. Although I understand this is rare it still
shows that instructors are human and make mistakes.
I can find value and fellowship at my church, gun club, and the local
bowling alley............but hey, I know you can also find this at an AMA