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First Time Poster About to Embark on First Build

#1
Hello All,

I've been flying RC aircraft on and off since I was 12, but took a large break from about college until last year (8 years). Right now my hangar contains a UMX super cub, UMX Waco, A Sig Rascal, AcroBee v2, and a hobby king shark most of which were gifted to me. I consder myself an OK, but still scared pilot and only feel really comfortable flying the UMX Cub. Joined the local RC club recently and am hoping to get more confident in the air. I have never built an aircraft from complete scratch, but recently purchased the simple scout. Would love any first time build advice.

Thanks from sunny Denver Colorado!
 

Merv

Well-known member
#2
Welcome to the forums.
Building is just another skill, like flying, the more you practice the skill, the better you will be.
Hot glue is heavy and most use too much. I try to use no more than 1 stick of glue per plane.
 

Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
Mentor
#3
The best advice I can offer is to watch the build video and then watch the build video and so on until you can remember each and every step and practice using the glue gun as much as is possible before starting any build.

When build comes do it slowly, one step at a time, and continue to refer back to the build video between the build steps you complete.

IF at any time something is unclear to you get on the internet/flitetest forum and ask for advice or guidance.

Follow the above and you have a better than average chance of having your first build actually fly as it was meant to.

Have fun!
 

mrjdstewart

Well-known member
#4
well, use as much glue as needed but don't go crazy.

in my opinion building is the best way to learn. foam makes it cheap, easy, and removes a lot of the fear. i also recommend flying as many diff planes as possible. if someone asks you if you'd like to fly a plane, say heck ya and do it. if they offer, they understand the risk, don't fear flying something diff. the more you do the more you will learn, the more your confidence will grow, and before long people will bring you their planes to maiden.

good luck,

me :cool:
 

Paracodespoder

Well-known member
#5
Welcome to the forums @Corsair29bd ! You've found your new home away from home ;).
Hot glue is heavy and most use too much. I try to use no more than 1 stick of glue per plane.
This only works to a certain extent, building the new ft a-10 with a single stick of full-size glue stick that is 4 inches long would be nearly impossible, whereas a mini scout could be built with about a quarter of it if used sparingly. But yeah, try not to use too much. Happy Building, and remember, you don't make mistakes, only happy little accidents ;).
 

mayan

Well-known member
#6
The best advice I can offer is to watch the build video and then watch the build video and so on until you can remember each and every step and practice using the glue gun as much as is possible before starting any build.

When build comes do it slowly, one step at a time, and continue to refer back to the build video between the build steps you complete.

IF at any time something is unclear to you get on the internet/flitetest forum and ask for advice or guidance.

Follow the above and you have a better than average chance of having your first build actually fly as it was meant to.

Have fun!
I second this. And would also like to add don’t be afraid to try anything that’s how you learn.
Build, Fly, Crash repeat.
 

jross

Active member
#7
Definitely watch the build videos several times before building as @Hai-Lee suggests. I set my tablet up with the video ready so if I run into problems or forgot something, I can play the part I am working on.

Took me a bit to get used to using the hot glue. Never done it before. I messed up my first build and for this reason, I'd suggest cutting your first plane yourself and assembling that instead of blowing a pre-cut you paid for along with shipping. The build videos make it look easy but those boys have built many planes and developed their skills over years. I've built several planes now and can see my improvement as I build more planes. Seems I learn a new trick with every plane I build and I've developed some techniques of my own that work well for me.

Once you've built, the next skills to acquire are flying (of course) and repairing. I crashed my Explorer and figured it was done. Put it on the bench and with some epoxy, hot glue and tape, it was good as new. One tip I would add which I discovered watching Ed's Armin wing builds is the use of packing tape. I cover my entire plane in it and it provides a lot of extra strength and helps waterproof the plane. I bought a bunch of rolls of varying colours from HK for less than 2 bucks a roll but I've used sharpies and clear packing tape too. Hard to believe something so thin can add so much strength.
 

buzzbomb

Well-known member
#10
Also, I took great pains to keep my builds square and the angles right. It can be tough not to pinch or fold the foam. I've learned to use several blades, each for a different purpose and if they dull they need to be replaced. It doesn't matter if you just started using it. If you've dulled an entire knife blade cutting through a barbecue skewer, that blade is no longer of any worth, and will destroy the edges of the foamboard.

I now use a rotary-blade pipe cutter to cut the skewers. If you've purchased a Speed Build Kit, then I suggest a sharp, standard Exacto blade to separate the parts. Careful cutting will save the paper from peeling from the foamboard.

Honestly I could go on and on with the trials and tribulations of one's first scratch build or three. Start a Build Thread. Post pictures, and if you have question, wait. This is a multinational forum, we are from all over the globe. Post your questions one night. Wait till the next to get responses.

There are so many people here who are willing to help. You've come to the right place! Welcome!
 
#11
I would suggest that you keep a couple small things in mind that will drive you mad if you forget them. I certainly got angry...

1. Don't glue your control horns in before you cut and slide on your wires. They won't be easy to fit in after.
2. If there are decals/stickers on the servos, peel them off. This makes you certain they have enough strength to not peel the servo off in flight.
3. If you're building the scout, I would recommend putting some glue around the shafts for the power pod skewers. My scout had its pod almost fall out because of loose holes. (note that you shouldn't glue the skewers on, just reinforce the hole)
4. Poke holes where it says to poke holes before anything else. If you forget to poke the holes, it makes it a little more complicated to mount your pod and do the CG stuff. Same for control horn slots.
5. Do not use any other kind of tape on the power pod. Painters tape just falls off and scotch tape is obviously not enough. Duct tape or packing tape are the only good options. For the wing, you can use packing tape, but if you really want a solid joint I would recommend using fiber tape and CA gluing it with a thin layer.
Hope this helps!