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Spacewalker balsa build: HobbyKing Sponsored

willsonman

Builder Extraordinare
Mentor
#1
Well here we are! FT has been very kind to be teasing us with some balsa building and I just HAD to get back to my roots and do another build using balsa.

We are sponsored again by HobbyKing so many thanks to them to provide everything we need.

I chose this subject because I wanted to show something that was a step up from the foam building of FT airplanes but not so unapproachable that it would seem like it would never get completed. This kit tabs together without ANY plans to speak of. This is a fairly new thing with the advent of CAD aircraft. The downside is that you do not have plans to re-build should you crash. If you have a scanner, it would be good to scan these parts as you go. Having an archive to rebuild is a smart thing to do.

ENOUGH of my yammering. Let's go!

Here is the overall look of the airplane and what you are getting into. The kit came in a box, that was in a box..., that was in a box with some other parts. Needless to say the kit arrived in perfect condition with ZERO damage.
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SPECS!!!!!
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The assembly manual is smartly done using the CAD drawings to illustrate the assembly. While my build log here will walk us through some of the trickier parts, it is nice to know that HK has come a long way with their instruction manuals. The CG is clearly noted as well as control surface throws, something missing in kits I've purchased in the past but no so here.
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I deviated from the recommended Kv for the motor... I wanted something a little more zippy so I opted to go with a few more Kv, slightly smaller prop, but a but more wattage than what was recommended. The 60A YEP ESC will keep a nice a linear throttle response and I was extremely happy with how they performed in the Bugatti.
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These are standard size servos. Rated to be quite quick in response and they are digital. This SHOULD translate to better precision but we shall see. They draw more current but I'm not worried. A separate BEC can be used if I have any hesitation.
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LIGHTS! Yes, I'll be putting navigation lights on this one. As I build, I'll see if this one will be suitable for some LEDs for night flying as well. Spinner should allow adequate cooling of the motor. As there is little intake on the cowl, I wanted to ensure that the motor will be cooled effectively.
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Covering. This stuff can be a mystery for some but its really quite simple. I am using HK branded stuff and first observation shows that it seems to be no different from the competitors. Look forward to using it.
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Joker 53150

Mmmmmmm, balsa.
Mentor
#2
Nice project! Those instructions are light years better than the old HK kits I've built, hopefully they continue to improve with the kits.

I think you'll find the HK film very decent for the cost.
 
#7
The Spacewalker kit is on HobbyKing's site for $103 and the equivalent ARF is on their site for $107. Why would I spend more time and money to build the kit? I understand the satisfaction and quality difference of building a kit yourself...but I can get a Sig 4 Star 40 kit for $114 and the ARF is $174 so at least the $60 difference will make up for covering and other supplies. If I'm going to take the time to build a balsa kit then I'd rather buy a quality kit that is something unique...not the same plane I can order premade for the same cost.
 

willsonman

Builder Extraordinare
Mentor
#8
The Spacewalker kit is on HobbyKing's site for $103 and the equivalent ARF is on their site for $107. Why would I spend more time and money to build the kit? I understand the satisfaction and quality difference of building a kit yourself...but I can get a Sig 4 Star 40 kit for $114 and the ARF is $174 so at least the $60 difference will make up for covering and other supplies. If I'm going to take the time to build a balsa kit then I'd rather buy a quality kit that is something unique...not the same plane I can order premade for the same cost.
You are certainly entitled to that opinion. One thing you neglect to really value is the build experience. You can take one of these kits and with a buddy, assemble it and make some awesome memories. You can each make one! The point is, you are missing the human element.

This day and age is completely SATURATED with ARFs that all look exactly the same. Building can alleviate that static look with interesting covering or even bashing the kit a little to make a modification, such as a fully-scaled out cockpit.

I want to also clarify that this is NOT a crap kit. Indeed it is of good quality and I suspect that you are making assumptions without knowing any facts. A video will be posted at some point today with the un-boxing. I hope you will try to keep an open mind.
 

Joker 53150

Mmmmmmm, balsa.
Mentor
#9
It looks like the two Spacewalkers may be different designs. The cowl and some of the rear fuselage are slightly different. That could be just pictures from early model designs, or it could be from different designers/companies, who knows. Either way, I'm with Joshua on building being a huge part of the fun. It's also a good opportunity to modify the plane to suit your own needs, and to cover it in your choice of colors.
 
#11
You are certainly entitled to that opinion. One thing you neglect to really value is the build experience. You can take one of these kits and with a buddy, assemble it and make some awesome memories. You can each make one! The point is, you are missing the human element.

This day and age is completely SATURATED with ARFs that all look exactly the same. Building can alleviate that static look with interesting covering or even bashing the kit a little to make a modification, such as a fully-scaled out cockpit.

I want to also clarify that this is NOT a crap kit. Indeed it is of good quality and I suspect that you are making assumptions without knowing any facts. A video will be posted at some point today with the un-boxing. I hope you will try to keep an open mind.
I thought they were similar planes and was just pointing out that the price difference between the two doesn’t make sense to me. It would be nice if you could point out the differences between the kit and the ARF in your build thread or video.

I’m new to balsa building and looking forward to my first build…whenever the OT at my job stops. I purchased a Mountain Models Dandy for my first build because I’ve read nothing but good things about this kit. I’ve also have read nothing but bad things about HobbyKing’s balsa kits. To be honest, I’m not a fan of HobbyKing but do occasionally buy some of their products. I just hope that HobbyKing doesn’t drive the remaining kit makers out of the market. Mountain Models is for sale and others are no longer producing stock or disappearing.

I’m subscribing to your thread. Hope you enjoy the build! :cool:
 

willsonman

Builder Extraordinare
Mentor
#16
Love seeing your builds, Willsonman.

Other than the motor are there any parts you have decided to replace already?
Nope! I'm hoping that the motor will be able to really swing her around the sky. I wanted the precision on the servos to hopefully do some pretty nuts stuff. We shall see how it goes at first.

Nothing else planned to deviate from the general specs.
 

wilmracer

I build things that fly (sometimes)
Mentor
#17
Looking forward to this build! I'll be interested to see how well everything keys together. It has been a minute since I did a balsa build but I've never built one that wasn't assembled on the plans. Should be interesting!
 

willsonman

Builder Extraordinare
Mentor
#18
Other than Laine's 'Cuda, the only other that I have done was a Gee Bee Z from Manzano Laser. It was an upscaled version of the McKellar design and it was an absolute breeze! It does take a bit of forethought to design this way so once the parts start going together we will see how easy this one is.
 

Joker 53150

Mmmmmmm, balsa.
Mentor
#19
I've done a few without an actual plan page, and it's something to get used to. I found that assembling it over graph paper helped make sure everything was square as I built the wings. With the Mountain Models Lucky ACE even that wasn't needed as the parts keyed together so well I was able to assemble the entire wing without a drop of glue.
 

willsonman

Builder Extraordinare
Mentor
#20
From the looks of the instructions, the fuselage may key together that way as well as some of the wing structure. I may end up using CA after all if that is the case. Some thin stuff should wick right into those joints and lock them in place. I plan to start the assembly of my glass sheet with my cutting mat beneath it. I can use the reference marks on the cutting mat to square things up if need be. I've fallen in love with building over glass. Everything is so perfectly flat and glue sticking is not an issue.