HELP! First Scratch Build/First Build


Junior Member
After playing around with some different planes and watching your videos i decided I wanted to build one from scratch so i drew up a fairly simple design and then went to a hobby shop to pick up some parts i asked one of the employees who said he was building a plane of his own to help me out with picking out the parts. he set me up with a 370 motor, some props, an ESC, some push rods, and some control horns. i stopped there because i felt like i had already spent a ridiculous amount of money (a little over 100 dollars) and after watching the 100 Mph for < $100 video i felt kind of screwed and in over my head when i realized i still needed a receiver, a BEC and the battery... which was gonna cost me another 100 bucks at least.

When I started this project i knew it wasn't going to be super cheap but i did expect it to be cheaper than buying most kits and $200+ is more than i would like to spend considering its my first build if some one could help validate spending this amount of money or put me on a path to some cheaper parts i'd much appreciate it!

Here's what i currently have as far as my motor and ESC
  • Park 370 OutRunner Brushless Motor
  • Thunder Bird 18 ESC
  • 7x4 Prop
also as far as the receiver goes i want to have 4 channel but im open to three and my current piece of crap controller is a Blade MLP4DSM with Spektrum 2.4GHz DSM2@ Technology


Master member
What you have looks fine (By the way your Thunderbird ESC already has a built in 3A BEC) but I think you were mistaken in thinking that a design/build yourself is going to be cheaper than a ready to fly job. They have the advantage of super cheap components and labour.
By doing it yourself the labour (yours) is in effect free so it may allow you to specify better components for the same price but not by that much.
The big advantage is you can design and build a plane that suits your needs - assuming of course that you have the skill and experience to do so.

I am not saying don't do it but simply don't expect too much to soon. There will be ups and downs, however I can assure you that the satisfaction you get is both unique & priceless when your own creation not only flies but also in the way you intended!

It is possible to buy virtually all the components much cheaper over the internet but you do have to know what you are doing and stand the risk that a component may not be exactly what you want as any returns will probably cost more in p&p than it is worth.


FT CAD Gremlin
Staff member
Buying from most LHS' (local hobby store) is usually going to be more expensive. It sounds like you bought an e-Flite Park 370? I'm guessing that alone was around $40? For that price, you could have bought a motor, ESC, and a LiPo battery from an online reseller. The e-flite motor is a MUCH higher quality motor than a cheaper alternative. If you want a $100 plane, I think you need to look at sourcing your parts online and dealing with the lower quality.

I have an e-Flite Park 450 and it is by far my best (in terms of quality) motor. It also cost 3X that of a comparable NTM motor from HobbyKing and about 2.5X the cost of a comparable Suppo motor. I've burned up a few NTM's already, but my e-Flite motor is still going strong. What I'm trying to say is, you get what you pay for.


Honestly, 200$ to start down this path is not out of line when you consider the radio and batteries. You can save money by shopping on line! BIG MONEY! I assume you will be building out of DTFB? thats cheap! and shop around the dollar stores and grocery stores, look for clearance sales, I scored krazy glue brand C/A last night at the grocery store for a 1$ on the clearance rack. Tape and bbq skewers for 75% off, bag of rubber bands 1$. I am rambling, once you have a radio and power set up as long as you don't destroy them they move to the next plane and with DTFB that as cheap as 1 to 5 bucks if you scratch build! again assuming of course that you have the skill and experience to do so.


Senior Member
Hobbyking, altitude hobbies, Grayson, all have alternatives to over spending at the LHS. One thing you can do is trying to estimate design weight against some of Flite tests offering to try to give you an idea of the power setup you need. I like supporting local business, but my wallet has a conscience and will not allow me to spend five times the price for a battery I can get online.


Helicopter addict
I don't really go to the local hobby shop anymore. It's simply that the guy behind the desk WANTS you to buy something, and if he hasn't got what you need, he'll offer you an alternative that'll give him profit. And yes as someone mentioned, LHSs have higher quality, more expensive stuff.

I sometimes go to my LHS if I quickly need something, but run out of there when for example, a pair of connectors is $5 while I can get 5 pairs online for $2. And always at the moment I walk out the door, the guy suddenly says "can I help you find anything?" Very annoying IMHO.

Klinger RC

You shouldnt need a bec. Most esc's have a bec built in. Check out They're a usa company, I've never had any problems with them, and their stuff is inexpensive. Look at their flitetest power packs. I use those for almost all my builds!


creator of virtual planes
Scratch building isn't always cheaper or better. The nice thing is that you can build whatever you want. Including things that you just can't buy. And if you can build it, you can fix it. If you can fix it, you're less nervous about crashing it.