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Post  ian1954 Sat Mar 19, 2016 7:26 am

Over the past few years, I have kept my eyes open for kits appearing on Fleabay and, if they are my cup of tea, then I scoop them up. (with a view to getting around to building them)

If they were newish kits and still in production then at a bargain price. Old kits, dragged out of an attic or shed - bargain prices and not even meeting inflation from the original cost.

Recently, I have been astounded at the prices being bid and this is often for kits that are currently being reproduced.

Nothing is cheap these days but I can only assume that old model kits have become collectors items. It cannot be nostalgia because plans are freely available (and can be purchased for a reasonable price) and, for quite a few models, reproduction kits are being made to order at a fraction of these bidded prices.

An example of this is the George Aldrich Peacemaker.

I already have the slab sided kit and plan. This is a reproduction with all laser cut parts. $78 or £50. Not cheap but quite a comprehensive kit and a quick build. Only glue and covering materials needed. Oh! and a suitable engine ......... Where would I find one of those? Decisions, decisions!!!

Anyway, I digress once more - an original kit for this went for £126 ($182) a fortnight ago! This cannot be for someone who intends to build or fly!

It gets worse - the reason i bought the Peacemaker was nostalgia. This was originally a Keil Kraft kit available at any of the many model shops and I used to fly one. I did not realise that this slabby sided thing was based on a real full bodied stunt model.

Mind you, I hadn't realised that the Peacemaker was a George Aldrich design either and as a boy, young man. pimply faced youth ........ i didn't know who George Aldrich was! The only interesting thing then would have been the picture on the box closely followed by the engine size!

I digress again!

My interest in the full bodied Peacemaker Stunt ship was aroused and my quest for one started. In the USA, I saw a Top Flite kit posted at a starting bid of $125 (£84). I saw it climb to $160 (£110) and then stopped watching. Not that I would have bought it with horrendous postage charges and our customs duties.

An identical kit was posted "Buy it now" at £125 ($180) and went almost immediately. A reproduction kit for this is available for £50 ($72)in the UK. I also saw a plan for this together with magazine build article for $16 (£11).

I am a little confused. I have quite a few old kits - I have a green box Nobler, I got this a couple of years ago for £45. Not built it yet but like many of the kits I have - the box isn't pristine, some of the wood will need replacing and piano wire is pitted. Not a problem for a builder but a collector!

I saw the Gieseke Nobler kit advertised for $165. Perhaps we should have invested in model kits! I recently traded an engine for the  Top Flite ARF Nobler - that has a UK price sticker of £89.95 ($130) on it. My first impression of that was that it is very light (much lighter than I can build) but doesn't seem very strong. The engine mounts, the bell crank and the bellcrank area seem a little lacking. But for me - it was free!

Why am I posting this?

My question is really - who is snapping up kits where equivalents can be bought and made for a fraction of the bidded prices?

What is attractive about a beaten up box with dubious contents? They cannot be display items!
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Post  akjgardner Sat Mar 19, 2016 8:21 am

I thought the same thing Ian and then I found myself biding way too much on some airplanes, Mainly because they where airplanes I had as a kid. Now that my hanger is full, hopefully I can quit my habbit.lol
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Post  fredvon4 Sat Mar 19, 2016 8:39 am

One of my thoughts is the baby boom impact and perhaps how many millions in the 50~70s must have been at least exposed to some school yard flying

I literally had dozens of neighborhood kids come to the school yard when ever the sound of a model airplane or car was started....some got the new toy for Christmas but there were many too poor to ever get one of their own

see this new Nostalgia effect in most all my leisure time hobbies

Slot cars
Tether cars
Model trains
Ham radio
PONG type original game machines ( Atari etc) or old school arcade games any of which are free down loads to be played on modern
computers but some body is still willing to pay $500+ for the original
Notice the insane prices for most of the poor flying plastic planes that were sold by the millions and don't even try to find very original Jim Walker ( Father of RTF air models) stuff

When I was young I could not get near Radio Control airplanes for the cost at the time so I stayed with control line and mostly the easy to build combat versions

On retirement I spent way too much on the latest and greatest radio equipment for Ham radio but it does not bring the same warm fuzzy of me and my dad building Heath kit test equipment and radios, getting our license, and communicating around the world

I also did this with RC aircraft... waste of money for about same reason...no joy of building and maiden something I spent hours and hours building and testing

I could go on and on: like finding and restoring the Lionel train I had as a kid for my grandson... only to find Hobby Lobby sells damned near the exact same train for fractions of what it cost me to search and bid for on the e-bay.... This one example may answer your/our question

I simply never occurred to me that some of this stuff may still be available and perhaps out of the millions of kids all over the planet remembering "The Good Old days" are simply reacting out of ignorance and driven by "I finally have the money to get something I laid awake at night dreaming about as a 12 year old"







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Post  getback Sat Mar 19, 2016 10:23 am

I agree with Fred ( "I finally have the money to get something I laid awake at night dreaming about as a 12 year old"
) not as much as when I was working but am thinking (when my boat comes in ) lol The kits are out there no doubt and I just cant see it when the plans are also , but would make it a hell of a lot easier to build not to mention faster ! But I have found my self looking at the new RC radio's and have damn near went out there and did the purchase so I can say I have one of those What?  With knowing well I have the non fly skills and several RC planes and gear , I have even considered selling my NIB SKYLARK ! but naw I have had it since the beginning and want to keep it lol same 4 stoke 45 OS that was giving to me and that would bring 125 easy OS 45 ABC w/ tuned pipe no! cant do it was given with a few others !! I would rather collect engines than old unbuildable balsa models !! ( If I were a collector Rolling Eyes  ) Good one Ian . getback RC Plane
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Post  roddie Sat Mar 19, 2016 10:49 am

I don't really understand it either but I suppose I could see grossly-overpaying for one vintage kit. I imagine that the people who buy these probably don't buy more than one. The reasoning doesn't matter. Maybe they want it buried with them when they or a loved-one/aero-modeler passes on. Can you put a price-tag on that?
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Post  PeterJGregory Mon Mar 21, 2016 10:06 pm

The prices on eBay are one reason I am so grateful to Steve at OZ.
I don't have enough money to chase nostalgia(!)
If there is an interesting kit on eBay I check it out immediately on OZ to see if I can get the plans. It doesn't take too much more time for me to cut ribs and formers than inspect and fine tune pieces from a decades old kit.

I haven't kept precise records but I have definitely seen prices edge up on eBay, and that spilling over to dedicated RC sites.
Of course, when I sell the odd item on eBay I never get recent max prices! I end up, after fees, packaging the item up, getting to the USPO and shipping $$$, wishing I had kept onto the item.
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Post  ian1954 Sat Mar 26, 2016 9:11 am

Thanks for the comments. I do appreciate the fact that some of us are in a position to now aspire to youthful dreams and be nostalgic and all I wish to do is point out that often our yearning for nostalgia often over shadows sense and sensibility.

Some of us (me included - example later on) look back at those times through rose tinted glasses - remember the good (often far better than today) but forget the bad.

I , as an example, recently saw a Keil Kraft Talon on Fleabay and so I put it on my watch list.

I use a 35x rule.

Most kits in the late 60s early 70's hovered around the thirty bob mark (Sorry - 30 shillings, sorry again - £1.50p (There's nostalgia for you)

As a pint of beer then was two bob (10p - yes 10p) and is now £3.50p) - 35 times more expensive! I would consider 35 x £1.50p or £52.50p to be top whack.


Imagine my surprise when the Talon went for £100 + £12 postage - £112 !!!!!!!!!!

Balsa aeroplane kit prices! Kk_tal10

This is available as a new kit for £69.95

Balsa aeroplane kit prices! Kk_tal11

Then I see a Mercury Marvin Stunt kit on Fleabay. My memories, I knew two who flew these and I was given one of them complete with a clapped out AM 10 engine. This was when the silencer rule came in in the club and so I used an Enya 15 with silencer. It ended up far too heavy and glided like a brick. It looked nice though!

I saw it available as a new kit for again £69.95 but let nostalgia over ride. (Forgetting that the model I ended up with in the 60's was a pig to fly!) and, on a whim (or act of stupidity!) I put in a max bid of £69.95 and won it for £68.

It arrived very quickly, well packaged and in completely original condition. The box is perfect apart from the old sellotape residue and so overall, I was very pleased.

The original price written on the box was twenty nine and a tanner (written as 29/6)! (twenty nine shillings and sixpence or £1.47p)

Balsa aeroplane kit prices! Kk_mar10

Anyway, enough of the money nostalgia - today I inspected the contents and opened up the box. The first thing I noticed was how heavy the box was. So I weighed it.

Balsa aeroplane kit prices! Kk_mar11

The wood and bellcrank - no tank, no wheels, no finishes - 13 ounces. This is for a finished 10-12 ounce model!!!

Balsa aeroplane kit prices! Kk_mar12

The balsa is rock hard and very heavy.

It came flooding back - we built from plans because of the crap wood found in kits!

So I have a kit that will build a nice looking aeroplane but it will remind me why we stopped buying kits!

How could I have forgotten? Easy, I have built quite a few kits fro the Vintage Model Company, Belair and RSM - the wood choice is excellent. It wasn't in the 60's - you got what you were given!
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Post  getback Sat Mar 26, 2016 1:10 pm

I know what your saying about the wood weight , but are'nt there blocks of wood in there that will need to formed (cut down) and loose SOME weight but gained back with landing gear / engine Ect ... not a bad looking plane! Eric Easter Bunny
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Post  ian1954 Sat Mar 26, 2016 2:34 pm

You are quite correct about being able to lose weight when carving and shaping blocks and it is a significant amount. I have been perusing the kit today and thought I may have been a little pessimistic.

I weighed one of the blocks - it is the long nose block and measures 1/2 x 1/12 x 6

Balsa aeroplane kit prices! Balsa_12

It weighs 5/8 of an ounce. the wood is rock hard - I cannot dent it between my fingers. The more I thought about it the more I would agree with you. If I hollowed it out and shaped it to be 1/8" thick - not that I am that confident about my carving skills - then I would see an immediate weight saving of (5/Cool x (3/4) =  almost 1/2 ounce.

Marvellous me thinks. Then I realised, after looking at the plans that this is the top cowling block and the engine bearers are set into it. It is structural.

So I took a 36 x 4 x 1/2" sheet from my stock and weighed that

Balsa aeroplane kit prices! Balsa_13

3 1/8 ounces. I could cut 16 of the cowling blocks from that sheet and they would only weigh perhaps 3/16 ounce each. A weight saving of, again, almost 1/2 ounce (7/16 to be precise).

All I am trying to convey is that kits from the 60's which as young boys were not as good as we thought and like us - haven't improved with age. The Marvin kit that I have bought doesn't compare well with the reproduction kits I can access.

I am still convinced that building this with the supplied materials with result in quite a heavy little model. Like the one I was given 47 years ago, it will glide like a brick!
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Post  rsv1cox Sat Mar 26, 2016 6:49 pm

Yes, Me too. I have been lusting after this Veco Scout kit ever since I bought my crashed Scout a couple of months ago. I paid a little over half of what the seller is asking for the kit, and my Scout came with a rather rare engine. The wood in the kit looks old and brittle too. Even with adhesives and paint my investment is still less that the kit as shipped.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-VECO-SCOUT-BALSA-WOOD-AIRPLANE-MODEL-KIT-AERO-ENGINEERING-HENRY-/161748121374?hash=item25a8f0771e:g:~jQAAOSwHnFVkMCE
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Post  getback Sun Mar 27, 2016 8:45 am

Ian I have an older kit 1980s? and I think is a Tiger Mouth RC large plane , it has blocks of wood to form for the wing tips man that was a PIA to do , were I was at the time I had do moto tools and took me for ever to get them were they needed to be . Later my girlfriend and I wee I was at had a fight and she busted the wing up for me, talking abuot PO'ed Mad When I moved OUT I took the kit still have it but haven't done nothing with it . With the tools I have now I could probably mess it up pretty quick if not careful lol! I can understand with haven built the same plane before and being heavy not wanting to make the same mistake ~ Cool Eric
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