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What is going on with Sig?

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Shocked What is going on with Sig?

Post  cmulder Sun Oct 23, 2022 6:21 am

For a long time i have been looking to buy a few of there controll line kits.
But they have been out of stock for ages now.

Are they out of production or not?

The models i am looking for are the acromaster, buster, shoestring and 1/2A models.

Also the listed dealer in Ireland has closed down years ago ....
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Shocked Fledgling

Post  Coxfledgling Sun Oct 23, 2022 7:35 am

You know of Dens model supplies for Cox engine and bits and bobs, but no sig kits.

He is based near Southampton England.

You know of outerzone for free plans etc..

Balsa prices and supply affecting all kit producers I think. Cost and supply is making us think of alternative materials like foam board, cardboard, doculam, even those corrugated tube political signs and skip/dumpster raids, to name a few.

I liked the foam board moulding threads I have seen, for making moulded fuz Half's etc..

Hope you get the signed kits your after.
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Shocked Re: What is going on with Sig?

Post  Ken Cook Sun Oct 23, 2022 7:51 am

This has been a ongoing problem with them for over 10 years. New owners take over and make promises that they won't do what the last owners did and it comes around full circle. To make matters worse in May of 2021, a arsonist set the building on fire causing major damage. The damage was so extensive , it forced them to temporarily move. Mind you all this is taking place during Covid. The sawroom suffered the most damage and Sig decided to purchase a very large laser cutting machine which was nearing 7 digit figures. Realize that the staff is under 10 people and that kinda of money is a recipe for disaster which is essentially where things are at. The cost of balsa has risen astronomically over the past 3 years making most purchases unobtainable. Even for Sig, they have mentioned that the cost increase was well over 100%. Were not talking a dollar or two. Let's face it, if you want to pee your money down the drain and go bankrupt, the hobby business will gladly assist you in doing so.
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Shocked So poor management is most to blame

Post  cmulder Sun Oct 23, 2022 8:48 am

Sounds like that the problems pre-date the more recent balsa price issues.
Graupner used to own its own plantation and the proccesing into balsa sheets was also done there.
So they had ful controll over there supply chain.

That is what companies should do again.



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Shocked Re: What is going on with Sig?

Post  andrew Sun Oct 23, 2022 9:06 am

Ken Cook wrote:.............Let's face it, if you want to pee your money down the drain and go bankrupt, the hobby business will gladly assist you in doing so.

The last local hobby shop (< 25 miles) closed down some years back, simply due to rising costs and lower sales. Most of the kids today have little or no interest in anything other than drones and/or electric ARFs, so the hobby, as many of us knew it, is slowly dying away -- it would be interesting to know the average age of the posters on this forum.

Much of the balsa supply in recent years had been used in LPG tankers as insulation and in the construction of wind turbine blades. That has eased somewhat as they are moving to synthetics, but prices seldom fall and the resource does take some time to regenerate. It's a shame that SIG is struggling so badly -- they were a powerhouse in the modeling world for years.
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Shocked Re: What is going on with Sig?

Post  GallopingGhostler Sun Oct 23, 2022 9:30 am

Yes, I concur with Andrew, and appreciate all comments thus far. There has been some disappoints for us from various traditional long time suppliers.
What I Meant To Say Sometimes, management is faced with very difficult decisions. For one, it is unfortunate that there was a fire at SIG, if arson is the culprit, hopefully they will be brought to justice. However, they lost business during the time, and losses although may be partially compensated by insurance coverage, but it does not compensate all costs, including deductibles, profit losses and etc.

The playing field is not as even as before and worldwide marketing conditions make it very difficult for model airplane manufacturers to obtain quality balsa at reasonable prices. This is not SIG's fault, it is a fact of life. With increased cost, how much are modelers willing to pay for a nonessential of life? I think if you were to speak with Bernie and Matt, you may see a slightly different perspective. I've watched them make strategic decisions in order to continue in business, retain customers, yet remain profitable so they can continue working. Sometimes they cannot provide a desired part because the economics just aren't there.

Profitability plays a large part in decisions. The pandemic did not help. Worldwide shipping has been heavily impacted at increased costs and delays, in some cases, things cannot be practically shipped. Example, two years ago I sent one of our friends here from New Zealand a Fox .15X thrust plate washer. I sent it by First Class Airmail. It took 4 months for him to receive that simple part. It was not worth sending it as a parcel, because of cost. No good deed goes unpunished ... tongue

So, there is more behind the scenes going on. confused What all this tells me goes back to our resourcefulness. Wink There are alternative building materials readily available for now, such as foam boards of all shapes and sizes, plastics, corrugated plastics, cardboard, and etc. I have seen photos of very nice construction done in Dollar Tree style foamboard. Some of you have already successfully demonstrated this route. Smile

Just sayin'. Smoking Tired w/ Coffee Read lol!
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Shocked Re: What is going on with Sig?

Post  Ken Cook Sun Oct 23, 2022 9:46 am

I recently replaced my old Ringmaster. I picked up a kit but it was missing the fuselage. I also had another kit which had a fuselage which weighed a ton and it was missing the trailing edges. I went to Sig, put 2 pieces of 1/2" balsa in the cart and two pieces of 5/16" trailing edge stock. I  also prefer Sig's 6x12 pieces of 5 ply for doublers. This totaled out to more than $50. I was in disbelief. I went to 4 other distributors to only discover similar prices and I scrapped the idea. There's a store that sells trains near me which carries balsa. To my surprise, they had everything I needed and it was decent stock. I paid $4 for a piece of 1/2"x4"x36" balsa. Here's a example of Balsa USA price for one piece.  1/2 x 4 x 36 Balsa Sheet for one piece is $21.33. I will not use solid plank balsa any longer due to this. I can make a stronger, cheaper and lighter fuse from a truss structure.   I've had a order in with Sig for nearly 6 months now for white and black dope. I mean come on two simple colors and I get the same story every inquiry. I've been told to date every couple of weeks that it will be here in a week.
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Shocked sounds like profiteering.

Post  cmulder Sun Oct 23, 2022 11:27 am

So $20 for a single sheet of balsa. How many could you cut out of a tree? Lets say 100 so that would make the sale value of a single balsa tree $2000. In a plantation they grow about a 1000 trees a acre (acording to wikipedia) so every acre yields about $2.000.000 every six years or so.
Labor cost in Ecuador is relative low so lets say a verry generous $100 for planting, cutting it down and proccesing the wood.

Looks like balsa is more profitable then Cocaïne without the hassle of having to smuggle it and the underground market....

Anyone wants to join up and buy a bit of land in Ecuador?
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Shocked Re: What is going on with Sig?

Post  cstatman Mon Oct 24, 2022 2:13 pm

I've had EXTREMELY good luck with the team at SIG being able to ship my 35% fuel, and I try to buy from them when I can.

as mentioned, we are in the waning years of balsa planes.

converting to Laser-Cutting - seems to be the trend for kit-makers

Peck Polymers - cannot keep FF-rubber kits in stock, only does small runs, and is trying to convert to laser cut
Guillows is converting their catalogue to laser cut, but its tripled price of kits.
EasyBuilt has a great catalogue, but the prices are high

what 12 yr old is gonna spend $50 for a rubber kit, or a CL kit, when he (or she) can buy the latest quad-gadget-whiz-bang from China for $20? just add batteries and ready to fly

there are still people (like me) buying cox stuff off eBay, but go to any club meeting? and there's a lot of grey hair and no hair. Not a lot of kids

Science Olympiad has some indoor flyers starting and learning. But it doesnt seem to progress to CL or FF

really hard on vendors

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Shocked Re: What is going on with Sig?

Post  GallopingGhostler Mon Oct 24, 2022 4:50 pm

@Ken Cook, do you think it possible that the trains hobby store's balsa is old new stock, hasn't gotten as much balsa sales as others, and when his stuff is gone and reordered, may reflect the new pricing? That's what my gut level feeling is, although it wouldn't be the first time I'm wrong. Doh! You are fortunate to have such. Very Happy

I was buying Perfect C/L and F/F half-A metal fuel tanks a few years back for the same price as they were 20 years prior from a very old hobby in Amarillo, TX. Then they quickly and mysteriously bellied up when the owner died may be 8 or 9 years ago, and no one took over the hobby shop, closed forever. Ditto happened to a well known hobby shop in Lubbock, TX.

The other dealers like SIG and Balsa USA have high inventory turn overs, thus reflecting the latest costs in doing business. I wish there was an easier answer on suitable sources to go to now.
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Shocked I'M RICH !!!! Look what i found in the attic

Post  cmulder Tue Oct 25, 2022 6:40 pm

What is going on with Sig? Dscf7325

If only it was full with original content...

Hey anyone wants to buy it? it might still have some of the valuable balsa dust in there.

lol!


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Shocked Re: What is going on with Sig?

Post  GallopingGhostler Tue Oct 25, 2022 6:55 pm

cmulder wrote:Hey anyone wants to buy it? it might still have some of  the valuable balsa dust in there.  lol!
Balsa, the new gold standard. Here's my 1/4 inch sheet, and I'll raise you by a trailing edge. Very Happy

Seriously, visiting my son in Kansas City, Missouri, went to the local Hobbytown USA store and was amazed at how expensive balsa had gotten, and this was over 5 years ago. It was like $12 for a 1/4"x3"x36" sheet of balsa. It was a little cheaper at another hobby store on the Kansas side of sister city, Kansas City, so I bought balsa to take home. It was more convenient than buying at Hobby Lobby locally. There, appears that a few customers were damaging their stock, making it hard to find the right pieces to buy.
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Shocked Re: What is going on with Sig?

Post  batjac Wed Oct 26, 2022 1:02 am

An interesting source for balsa here is Hobby Lobby.  They have much better prices than the HobbyTown, and better selection.  I was surprised that they actually had contest grade balsa until I saw that they get their balsa from Guillows.  I bought out all their contest grade 1/16" and 3/32" balsa at the four local stores.  Not like there're any contest builders in the local area besides me.

The thing about NOS balsa is an accurate thing, but the hobby shop where I last lived would really irritate me.  They bought out another hobby shop a few years ago, so they had a surplus of balsa, some a decade old.  But when the price of balsa went up, the re-marked their balsa at above the going rate.  I understand they need to make money, but doing a mark-up on the mark-up they put on the balsa they bought for 1/4 of the wholesale rate just irritated me.  But, that was also the shop where the owner would get kits in, put a price sticker on it that was 50% higher than MSPR, then put another sticker bringing it back down to MSRP to make you think he's giving you a deal.  It's a hobby shop, not a Nordstrom's...


For fuel, I used to order everything from SIG.  But it just got too ridiculous.   First I started buying car fuel from the hobby shops and doctoring it up with castor.  Then I took the time to find a local speed shop that'd sell me Methanol and Nitro.  I figured I could make a quart of 25% nitro for about $6.50 and 35% for $7.50.  A gallon of Nitro goes a long way.  I used to think it was too much of a hassle to find all the components to mix it myself.  But it's definitely worth it.  I can mix my 1/2A fuel, my old-timer 29% castor fuel, my modern engine fuel, and my 4-stroke fuel.

The Mad Scientist Mark
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Shocked Re: What is going on with Sig?

Post  batjac Wed Oct 26, 2022 1:06 am

GallopingGhostler wrote: It was more convenient than buying at Hobby Lobby locally. There, appears that a few customers were damaging their stock, making it hard to find the right pieces to buy.

Something I found out at Hobby Lobby. They discount damaged items by 70%. When I was grading the sheets I wanted, I found a really light sheet of 1/16" balsa, but one corner was broken off. About 1" by 1/4". I would have still bought it, but since there was a guy standing at the counter I asked if they could do something about it. He took it in the back and put a sticker on it for 30% of the original price.

The Frugal Mark
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Shocked Re: What is going on with Sig?

Post  sosam117 Wed Oct 26, 2022 6:41 am

Another place that I have noticed that had balsa wood is my local Menards. They also had the different sheets of plywood as well.
Down to the 1/64 plywood?
And you get 11% off (merchandise rebate offer ---- just give me the money and not a rebate offer!)
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Shocked Re: What is going on with Sig?

Post  rsv1cox Wed Oct 26, 2022 9:53 am

batjac wrote:
GallopingGhostler wrote: It was more convenient than buying at Hobby Lobby locally. There, appears that a few customers were damaging their stock, making it hard to find the right pieces to buy.

Something I found out at Hobby Lobby.  They discount damaged items by 70%.  When I was grading the sheets I wanted, I found a really light sheet of 1/16" balsa, but one corner was broken off.  About 1" by 1/4".  I would have still bought it, but since there was a guy standing at the counter I asked if they could do something about it.  He took it in the back and put a sticker on it for 30% of the original price.

The Frugal Mark

Thanks Mark, I did not know that.  There is a Hobby Lobby about 20 miles away, I shop there often.  

They have those compartment boxes filled with all kids of balsa.  SIG on steroids.  But it can be pretty much picked over and some damaged.  No longer will I bypass those.

I haven't a problem with SIG, I buy a lot of their airfoil stuff.  But it's a rough cut that requires a lot of sanding to be smooth, maybe 10/20% of the total lost. Other stock is fine, although I did get some very hard balsa in my last order, almost bass-wood in hardness.
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Shocked Re: What is going on with Sig?

Post  rdw777 Wed Oct 26, 2022 3:23 pm

I get all my balsa from Hobby Lobby these days and yes, find some very nice stock by weeding through it….When I get home I weigh it and mark its density (nerd lol! ) then file it away…..Most from there I have is from 6 to 10 lb stock…With a little 12 and over for that need as well

Their 1/32 (.031”) sheet is a little random on thickness… I have a dozen or so sheets that range from .026 to .047 but that’s kind of OK depending on its use….
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Shocked You guys have no idea how good you have it (for model building)

Post  cmulder Wed Oct 26, 2022 5:17 pm

Here there are 2 model shops i know off IN THE WHOLE COUNTRY.....
With the cost of petrol being about 3 times of that in the states driving over to visit them is just not eonomical.
Nearly everything is international mail order here.

Then again no extreme weather makes up a lot..
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Shocked Re: What is going on with Sig?

Post  Yabby Thu Oct 27, 2022 6:05 am

yes i do agree cmulder. im in Oz and its  not too bad here for hobby supplies but its a desert compared to the USA where so many engines, models, etc can be bought IN Country! the amount of models and engines the USA residents have in country virtually at their fingertips makes me jelous! often the shipping costs from ebay to Oz make it difficult to afford and i  see lots of models like broken cox pt 19s on ebay but tthey like many other models and engines wont ship outside if the USA. still, on the bright side it probably saves me a lot of money. lol. all places have their pros and cons. 😊👍  

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Shocked Re: What is going on with Sig?

Post  sosam117 Thu Oct 27, 2022 11:14 am

Yabby wrote:yes i do agree cmulder. im in Oz and its  not too bad here for hobby supplies but its a desert compared to the USA where so many engines, models, etc can be bought IN Country! the amount of models and engines the USA residents have in country virtually at their fingertips makes me jelous! often the shipping costs from ebay to Oz make it difficult to afford and i  see lots of models like broken cox pt 19s on ebay but tthey like many other models and engines wont ship outside if the USA. still, on the bright side it probably saves me a lot of money. lol. all places have their pros and cons. 😊👍  

Yabby

And the price of your Aussie dollar to the US dollar makes it even worse $1.00 USD = currently $1.50 AUD (27/10/22).
It was $1.00USD = $1.61AUD two days ago (25/10/22)
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Shocked Re: What is going on with Sig?

Post  batjac Wed Nov 02, 2022 6:08 pm

I stopped at Hobby Lobby on the way home today.  I was thinking I could use some 4" 1/16" and 3/32" balsa sheets.  They didn't have any 4" sheets of 1/16", but they did have some 6" sheets.  Not that great of a selection, but I found three that I could work with.  Unfortunately, one was damaged.  I took it over to an employee and showed her.  She started to tell me to just show the person at the register, but then she remembered that the policy had changed.  If something is damaged they're supposed to move it to the Discount wall and then I get it from there.  But she took the piece from me and went up to the front to mark it herself.  I said earlier that damaged items are 70% off, but she marked this one 75% off.  Not bad.  I can certainly work around the damaged end.

What is going on with Sig? 20221102-140449
What is going on with Sig? 20221102-140522


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Shocked Re: What is going on with Sig?

Post  Levent Suberk Wed Nov 02, 2022 7:01 pm

I don't address Sig, but finding an A grade balsa is difficult here. I search tens of sheets at the shop but not satisfied any. I don't know why but most sheets are heavy. I remember Solarbo brand balsa from seventies which they were very light like as contest grade. Pumpkin Leaves
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Shocked Re: What is going on with Sig?

Post  fredvon4 Wed Nov 02, 2022 7:36 pm

I admit not reading all of this thread but I have to comment on Hobby lobby...Wife and I frequently shop as we art "crafty" Texans... I recently alerted a store supervisor when I saw a guy deliberately "damaging" hobby items and packages....... I knew what he was up to.

Mild semi political or plain old moralistic opinion.... Petty theft impacts all other moral legit customers simply because ALL Store loss forces increased security ($$$Cost) and profit loss ($$$$) that is usually passed on to the rest of us customers

Additionally....68% of Smart Citizens have some 401ish type investment or savings....so not only do we pay MORE for stuff our investment portfolio is reduced when ever a company reports lower revenues and profits...thus overt theft hits us twice....

Not naturally a violent man...but when ever I see (way too many these days) a employee or other customer, body slam, or beat the crap out of a thief. I smile just a wee bit
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Shocked Re: What is going on with Sig?

Post  batjac Thu Nov 03, 2022 1:21 am

fredvon4 wrote:I admit not reading all of this thread but I have to comment on Hobby lobby...Wife and I frequently shop as we art "crafty" Texans... I recently alerted a store supervisor when I saw a guy deliberately "damaging" hobby items and packages....... I knew what he was up to.


At the time I thought she might think I was doing that to get a cheaper price. But since I bought five other pieces at normal price, I don't believe anyone would accuse me of doing any such thing.

The Painfully Honest Mark
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Shocked Re: What is going on with Sig?

Post  getback Thu Nov 03, 2022 5:36 am

While i have never seen marked down balsa wood I have seen plenty damaged wood in the bins, never thought about asking for a discount that will still work for the project ... I will though , thank Mark ! And 401K yea i had one HAD one the 911 attack took 11.000 from me and Had to spend the rest to survive !!!!! Still to this day don't know WHY they took My money ?? Pumpkin
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