Chapter 10

I could now afford all the things I never had as a kid, if I didn't have kids.
- Robert Orben

10.1 Kits and Materials
After you have selected a full-sized aircraft design or model aircraft design that you want to build, it's time to see if the hobby shop has a kit of materials for the plane you have chosen. If they do, you now have a plan, some wood, and other miscellaneous pieces. You still need glue, dope and probably a few sticks of wood to replace some of the poor quality stuff in the kit. Kits have been around for years. In the early days, everybody wanted to get into the act. I was intrigued to learn that the Collins Plow Company of Quincy, Illinois offered three kits in one box for 65 cents in 1928. [Zaic, Frank. Model Airplanes and the American Boy 1927-1934. Northridge, CA, Self published, 1982]

If a kit isn't available locally, you can turn to mail order suppliers. Many manufacturers have Web sites, and other firms offer the products of a large number of individual manufacturers, including both kits and supplies.

Examples include:

The following Web sites identify sellers of supplies:

The following lists identify sources of kits:

10.2 Plans
If there where no kit for the plane you wish to model, the next step is to find a plan, then its back to the hobby shop to buy the wood, tissue and wire that would have been in the kit. It's called "scratch building".

In Chapter 4 at 4.2 we found a Web site that listed model-building projects that have appeared in model magazines in the past. You will find that current magazine publishers also maintain lists of plans that have appeared in past issues that they continue to offer for sale.

Plans may be purchased from many other sources. Examples are found at the following Web sites:

Links to additional sites specializing in free flight model plans for sale can be found at:

You will find plans that can be downloaded free at:

The process of downloading and printing plans from the Internet can be somewhat complex. This is due to the variety of file formats used and to the imaging programs required. See Appendix D for details.

Occasionally you will find no model plan, only a front, side and top view of the full sized aircraft (a 3-view). In this case you must scale it up at the copy shop and draw in the framework based on that found on a similar plane design. This process can be seen in progress at the Derek Buckmaster site listed above. An example of downloadable 3-views can be seen at: Escalona A similar situation occurs with a non-scale model project, except the prototype is also a model.

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Copyright 2002, Robert S. Munson. All Rights Reserved