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First Balsa Build - Cuda 26

#1
Hey Everybody, this is my first post on any RC forum. Came here because I wanted to start a new adventure. Been flying ARF foamies off and on for 20 years and finally decided I want to start building balsa planes, the So You Want to Build... thread came up on my internet searches and it really spoke to me. Exactly what I was looking for. There's always been that "it looks too hard" feeling when I see a balsa plane, but everything in that thread made sense: your first build should be a good experience and these are the models you should start with. Perfect.

So, I ordered a Laine's Planes Cuda 26. They shipped it off the day I put in the order, which is awesome because I am really excited to get started. I'm thrilled to have triggered the mindset of building planes. Assuming it works out :)
 

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TooJung2Die

Well-known member
#2
Welcome to our obsession JC! Foam is fun but balsa flies better! :cool: That's a good choice for a first balsa build. The covering should go on easy too.

Good thing you have years of flying experience. From the kit website: "Parts required: Balls of steel for the maiden flight." lmao
 
#3
Thanks TJ2D. I saw that on the parts list, I hope I can find them online somewhere (y)

It does look like a wicked fast flyer, and I've actually never had an electric that fast. The majority of my experience has been slope soaring delta wings shapes so I should be ok. Even if I'm not, I'm already considering this plane as a goner. One of my problems is I do get bored easily and start hot dogging beyond my skill. So, this will be interesting.

I'm having a little trouble finding So-Lite. I wrote Mountain an email last week and they've not replied so I've been avoiding them until he mends(site says he had surgery). Is there a second best covering for this model?
 

Joker 53150

Mmmmmmm, balsa.
Mentor
#4
I agree that this is a decent model to get started with. Laine did a great job with the cut files and the parts really do jig together nicely. However, the biggest issue is take-off, and I'll suggest programming a little extra up-elevator on a switch to help aid you until it's really flying - then flip the switch and the elevons go back to normal.

For covering I'd recommend NOT using So-Lite, and sticking with a regular (heavier/stronger) covering. The So-Lite is good for lightweight models, but this plane would probably be too fast/aggressive for that thin covering.

Regarding lack of contact from Mountain Models, they've been trying to sell the company for months and the owner supposedly had back surgery a month or so ago. I ordered a kit from them about 2 months ago and have heard nothing so far. I'm probably going to go through PayPal and get a refund as I get no response from them at all. Too bad, they really have/had some great models. :(
 

SquirrelTail

Well-known member
#5
Hey Everybody, this is my first post on any RC forum. Came here because I wanted to start a new adventure. Been flying ARF foamies off and on for 20 years and finally decided I want to start building balsa planes, the So You Want to Build... thread came up on my internet searches and it really spoke to me. Exactly what I was looking for. There's always been that "it looks too hard" feeling when I see a balsa plane, but everything in that thread made sense: your first build should be a good experience and these are the models you should start with. Perfect.

So, I ordered a Laine's Planes Cuda 26. They shipped it off the day I put in the order, which is awesome because I am really excited to get started. I'm thrilled to have triggered the mindset of building planes. Assuming it works out :)
I have been eyeing this build for a while
 
#6
For covering I'd recommend NOT using So-Lite, and sticking with a regular (heavier/stronger) covering. The So-Lite is good for lightweight models, but this plane would probably be too fast/aggressive for that thin covering.

Regarding lack of contact from Mountain Models, they've been trying to sell the company for months and the owner supposedly had back surgery a month or so ago. I ordered a kit from them about 2 months ago and have heard nothing so far. I'm probably going to go through PayPal and get a refund as I get no response from them at all. Too bad, they really have/had some great models. :(
Thanks Joker! With that tip, I was able to stop at my LHS for lunch and picked up a roll of Econokote for the fin and Monokote for the wings. Two types for learning. Hopefully that works.

Regarding Mountain Models, it might be worth updating the "So You Want to Build" thread so that newcomers whose candle has been lit don't end up in limbo. Might want to consider some alternative kits. I happened to figure out there might be a delay only because I did enough searching, but others might not be so lucky.
 
#10
What model should I build next?

The wings are coming together quickly. I test fit them and was instantly filled with glee at seeing my first model take shape. Starting to build from kits has changed everything. It's really a whole new hobby. Building, obviously, but also there's suddenly a bunch of interesting models to fly that were previously unavailable to me. Also inspired by posts here on finding and restoring stuff from estate sales and what not.

So I'm starting to brainstorm my next build. I'd like to stay with electric. Maybe work my way up to larger scale planes. And one step up in building difficulty. Assuming the covering goes well, which sounds scary because I've never done it, this kit was very simple.

It really has inspired me. It got me to visit an RC club for the first time and instantly decided I needed to join. I can't believe all the years I've wasted flying foamies only at parks. It dawned on me the folly of losing planes to trees, poles, needing to look out for people, dogs, rooftops. It only takes losing one cheap plane to an obstacle and that's the cost of membership, which gets you a real airstrip, shade structure, tables, 120V outlets, parking. Why did this never occur to me? What a dummy.

Anyways, what's a good next skill-level kit?
 

Attachments

SquirrelTail

Well-known member
#11
What model should I build next?

The wings are coming together quickly. I test fit them and was instantly filled with glee at seeing my first model take shape. Starting to build from kits has changed everything. It's really a whole new hobby. Building, obviously, but also there's suddenly a bunch of interesting models to fly that were previously unavailable to me. Also inspired by posts here on finding and restoring stuff from estate sales and what not.

So I'm starting to brainstorm my next build. I'd like to stay with electric. Maybe work my way up to larger scale planes. And one step up in building difficulty. Assuming the covering goes well, which sounds scary because I've never done it, this kit was very simple.

It really has inspired me. It got me to visit an RC club for the first time and instantly decided I needed to join. I can't believe all the years I've wasted flying foamies only at parks. It dawned on me the folly of losing planes to trees, poles, needing to look out for people, dogs, rooftops. It only takes losing one cheap plane to an obstacle and that's the cost of membership, which gets you a real airstrip, shade structure, tables, 120V outlets, parking. Why did this never occur to me? What a dummy.

Anyways, what's a good next skill-level kit?
I would say check out Stevensaero for their kits.
 
#12
I would say check out Stevensaero for their kits.
Ah, good point. I have my eye on a number of theirs: 4Charlie is top on the list because it flys aerobatic, is reasonably priced and I can salvage from one of my crash victims. But it isn't as large as I would like and the building skill level seems the same as the Cuda (let me know if this is incorrect). Next up on my list would be the Edge, but the cost goes up significantly. Edge is a maybe but I'd have to wait another month to save up.
 

SquirrelTail

Well-known member
#13
Ah, good point. I have my eye on a number of theirs: 4Charlie is top on the list because it flys aerobatic, is reasonably priced and I can salvage from one of my crash victims. But it isn't as large as I would like and the building skill level seems the same as the Cuda (let me know if this is incorrect). Next up on my list would be the Edge, but the cost goes up significantly. Edge is a maybe but I'd have to wait another month to save up.
I would reccomend a sig four star 20 or 40. They both are really easy builds.
 

TooJung2Die

Well-known member
#14
Next up on my list would be the Edge, but the cost goes up significantly.
That is what I'd call significant cost. $50 just for the ESC?!?! I'll bet my first three airplanes combined cost less than that. If that is what a RC airplane kit cost then I never would have gotten back into this hobby.

Maybe I've been hanging around Flite Test for too long.
 

Bricks

Well-known member
#15
That is what I'd call significant cost. $50 just for the ESC?!?! I'll bet my first three airplanes combined cost less than that. If that is what a RC airplane kit cost then I never would have gotten back into this hobby.

Maybe I've been hanging around Flite Test for too long.

It all depends on what you want out of this hobby, I fly FT foamies, EPP 3D`s , glow to 30CC gasser planes everyone can find there happy and comfort place. I go to a lot of swap meets and watch online for deals on aircraft.
 
#16
That is what I'd call significant cost. $50 just for the ESC?!?! I'll bet my first three airplanes combined cost less than that. If that is what a RC airplane kit cost then I never would have gotten back into this hobby.
Do you have any recommendations on less expensive balsa kits? I don't think I'm ready for scratch builds or conversions from rubber powered.
 

SquirrelTail

Well-known member
#17
Do you have any recommendations on less expensive balsa kits? I don't think I'm ready for scratch builds or conversions from rubber powered.
A sig four star 20 can fly off of a park 480 and be happy. The cost 90 bucks and are amazing kits! They will be the perfect step up. They also are super floaty. Another option would be a telemaster.
 
#18
A sig four star 20 can fly off of a park 480 and be happy. The cost 90 bucks and are amazing kits! They will be the perfect step up. They also are super floaty. Another option would be a telemaster.
I'm curious what TooJung2Die would suggest. It seems like he's building 3 planes for the price of a Stevens Aero. I'd be interested in that too, so long as it's not out of reach for my current skill level.

But yes, the Sig Four Star 20 EP is high on the short list. But if I could get a couple of builds in for less than that then I'd like to know about those kits (y).
 
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SquirrelTail

Well-known member
#19
I'm curious what TooJung2Die would suggest. It seems like he's building 3 planes for the price of a Stevens Aero ( or even just the $50 ESC, not sure). I'd be interested in that too, so long as it's not out of reach for my current skill level.

But yes, the Sig Four Star 20 EP is high on the short list. But if I could get a couple of builds in for less than that then I'd like to know about those kits (y).
I recommend checking the RCgroups classifieds for aircraft kits. They have a wide variety always popping up there.
 

TooJung2Die

Well-known member
#20
I'm curious what TooJung2Die would suggest. It seems like he's building 3 planes for the price of a Stevens Aero. I'd be interested in that too, so long as it's not out of reach for my current skill level.
My first 3 airplanes were foam board. That's what I was talking about. Some might call me frugal but the wife might call me cheap. The Flysky radio I have cost about the same as that Castle Creations ESC. The most expensive balsa kit I bought so far was the Hobby King Sunbird. All the others were eBay deals. I look for kits on eBay, thrift stores, flea markets and yard sales. I'm often tempted to get another kit from China. People are entitled to spend whatever they want if it makes them happy. I keep hearing my father say it takes no talent to spend money.