Dumas kits

I'm considering building one of their lessor expensive kits of an
Unlimited Hydroplane or another kit, not as an RC as I have no desire
for that, but as a static model instead. They just sent their new
catalog yesterday and the "Miss Unlimited", "Pay-N-Pak" or "Atlas Van
Lines" stand out as definate possibilities. I've done lots of plastic
but no wooden kits(yet) and the unlimited brings back fond memories of
my youth and them on Lake Washington. I can almost hear that
Allison or Rolls Royce/Merlin engine singing and the rush of goose bumps
as she loudly skims across the water.
I'm assuming that most of the componments are precut and that they in
general follow the basic assembly methods used in building talls ship
models, or am I wrong? Can anyone who has built one of these (or other
Dumas kits) attest to how well they serve as static models (detail,
difficulty, good working plans, looks when completed etc) or are they
mostly a slap together kit in large pieces that should have a running
gear and be used as RC models?
Reply to
Grandpa
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"Most" modern kits have laser cut parts. I've never seen a Dumas that didn't have most of the pieces cut. BUT................ I've never built the ones you mentioned, so I don't know about those specifically.
They make decent static kits, depending on just how much detail your looking for. Some have decals for markings, if appropriate. If your a detail nut, then I hope your also good a doing some scratch building because most likely you'll want to add detail that is not typically not found in the less expensive kits of this type.
I find that most wooden(balsa) models of this type are best when your trying to recreate an aircraft, boat......whatever, that was actually built using the same construction methods that Balsa kits use. Like the older bi-planes and many of the earlier private aircraft (i.e. Piper Cub for example). Those planes were built in the same fashion, full scale of course, that their model counterparts are built.
If you've never built any wooden structure kits, expect some time spent in learning how to best approach them. If brand new, virgin, never built one at all, I would suggest that you get something your not all that excited about and build it as a learning experience. If it comes out well great, if not, you'll have learned something and not be totally bummed out that you trashed a model that you really wanted to build.
The covering is what usually freaks out most beginners, another good reason to work on some "practice" models before you tackle that "I've always wanted to build a model of _________". Of course you can always substitute your covering material for something else, as long as it works for the part your covering.
Wood models are a different animal than plastic. Depending on what you expect and how good you are at scratch building you may or may not find them all that much fun. I've built some of the "really Old" models that just have what is called "Print wood". The shape of the pieces is printed onto the wood, but it's up to you to x-acto each and every little part out of the sheet. You really get to know the specifics of a design when you build one of those.
Good luck, and give it a try. You'll learn building methods that can always be applied to plastic modeling.
Francis Marion
Reply to
Francis Marion
Thanks for the tips, most appreciated. I've never done a wood kit nor am I good at scratch modeling, however I know my way around a wood shop with no problem. I think I may opt for a Hydro kit and if it gets hosed up, hey, I'll scratch make some of the pieces. Worst I can do is learn.
Francis Mari> "Most" modern kits have laser cut parts. I've never seen a Dumas that
Reply to
Grandpa
I tried to build one of the Dumas Hydroplane kits. Absolutely the worst kit I ever encountered. Not a single part, which was all die-cut plywood or vacuform plastic, fit with any other part. Not kidding here. You would be better off scratch building the whole thing. The vacuform parts had no detail at all, except the cockpit opening, which was lopsided and misshapen. An absolute POS, and I have never said this about any other kit, ever.
-- Mike in Bellingham, WA - USA
"No man is so hated as he who will drive the speed limit"
Reply to
Mike Franklin
Of course, consider that the Dumas hydroplane kits were designed perhaps 25-30 years ago, and for RC running, not particularly as static scale models. So, I wouldn't expect them to be either particularly accurate, nor have any of the amenities we static builders like to see.
For a really decent hydroplane, why not track down one of the Testors 1:24 scale Miss Budweiser kits? Of course, you will probably want to sweet-talk someone out of a 1:24 scale Merlin for it, as the engine in the Testors kit is just plain awful, as are the press-on stickers for the paint job--but the basic kit is really pretty decent.
Art Anderson
Reply to
EmilA1944
Bummer! The only other hydro kit I can think of is a place in Tacoma I think it was I found on the net once that made some plastic kits, but I want a wooden one, like of the Slo-Mo-Shun IV type. A pity nobody makes them anymore.
Mike Frankl> I tried to build one of the Dumas Hydroplane kits. Absolutely the worst kit
Reply to
Grandpa

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