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Author Topic: Guillows Flyers  (Read 2312 times)
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Duco Guru
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« on: September 07, 2009, 01:22:09 AM »

I have rarely had anything good to say about Guillows models. It is my opinion that they have turned more modelers AWAY from the hobby than they have contributed to lifelong stick and tissue advocates.

There are modelers on this website that continue to build great looking Guillows models, but they are Guillows in name only. Replacing the wood and other "pro" tricks to make them flyable is, in my opinion, simply a model built using Guillows plans and little else.

Guillows models are available almost anywhere and have the widest distribution network of any model manufacturer.

On the positive side, I can recommend two Guillows models that can be built and flown with the stock wood and materials. They are the Super Cub and the Chipmunk. Years ago, our club ran a contest for Guillows models ONLY with the rule that they MUST be built using stock, Guillows material. The Cub won the event, closely followed by the Chipmunk. Both models were capable of two minute flights.

Another positive is the great artwork on Guillows boxes and their waterslide decals which can be purchased separately.

Bob
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thymekiller
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« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2009, 07:56:43 AM »

Some have had good luck with the Lancer and the Javelin. I "cheated" on my Javelin, but have read of others ..... Grin Grin

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Duco Guru
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« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2009, 08:25:49 AM »

Both the Javelin and Lancers Fuselage/Nose are too small for inserting an adequate motor. I have tried to help Newbies with both those models.

Newbies are unaware of how/why to fix the problem :'(
Bob
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Pit
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« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2009, 08:45:16 AM »

Both the Javelin and Lancers Fuselage/Nose are too small for inserting an adequate motor. I have tried to help Newbies with both those models.
Newbies are unaware of how/why to fix the problem :'(
Bob
Hi Bob,
I must have been lucky with my LANCER. I built it stock (100%) and it flew fairly well with the stock/supplied prop on a loop of Sig 3/16 rubber. After I clipped off the gear (OK, after an "arrival" removed it), the performance increased quite a bit, but still not much altitude. Going to 2, lightly braided loops of 3/16th, and a rear "bobbin", the thing is spectacular with a near vertical climbout. I had also changed the prop to a plastic 7.5" folder (compensated perfectly for the gear removal) that was a leftover from a cheapo foam wing plane that I had found at a swap meet (good prop surprisingly).

I have had NO problems with using that motor. I think that 2 loops of 1/8th Tan would be more than adequate.

Pete
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Duco Guru
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« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2009, 10:28:04 AM »

Pit:
The Lancer presented to me for my help had a nose opening too small for me to insert my motor loader (Which is small enough in diameter for several Peanuts) I had to cobble up a loader out of some wire. The noseblock had no thrust adjustment, the plastic prop was out of balance, the domestic tissue was heavy as hell, the rubber supplied was absolute junk...shall I go on?? Grin

Bob
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lemuel
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« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2009, 05:12:22 PM »

Dad has made the piper cub from standard wood and it flew quite well. He has also made a few other 500 series models from guillows. The wood was so heavy that he really had no luck with them. I agree with bob in regards to that if you want a good flying guillows model you need to use the plan only. I have made a few guillows 500 series models and used my own wood. The Hellcat is an amazing flyer and is almost on rails. I also made the stuka which was quite a bit harder to trim but I did get some nice flights out of it. Guillows problem is that there kits are deisgned to be other styles of flying other than just Free flight.

regards
mattew
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thymekiller
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« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2009, 01:14:08 AM »

Thank you Pit. Wasnt going to invoke your name, or others.......
Will post vid soon. I only need to get it on vid. Gonna beat ya' Grin Grin Grin

2 minutes on a guillows high wing is impressive. Without cheating. Hard to believe. Would like to see vid........ Undecided

Thymekiller
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Mooney
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« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2009, 08:23:15 AM »

The Guillow's slab sided kits are flyers even with the wood in the box. I've built the Chipmunk and the Typhoon. They weren't record holders, but they flew and built lighter they might be tough to beat. With the kit wood, I've seen them do well. I broke a minute with my Typhoon OOB. I have seen the Fairchild do much better.

I don't think Guillow's has turned away modelers, rather they're in every hobby shop (even though the number of hobby shops is dwindling.) and are likely the only FF represented in those shops. Granted it takes a lot of work to get one to fly, but otherwise, there is NO FF at these shops.

Further, I think a builder that quits because his first attempt in several years doesn't fly wasn't planning on stickin' around. As for the youngsters, I haven't seen them in the hobby shop. Most younger people get there exposure to the hobby via science classes and FFer's bringing them into the fold
or forums like this one. And assuming we aren't yelling and screaming at each other, the newbs will pick up a lot here.

If they have a Guillow's to build, we'll help'em out and get'em on the right track.
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Pit
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« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2009, 09:30:25 AM »

Bob,
You're quite right in ALL points. It just take a bit of fiddeling to get everything sorted out. IIRC YOU were the one who helped me with a few issues I had with the JAV. about 5 years ago over on Yahoo. Again THANKS!

> nose opening too small for me to insert my motor loader...< You said it - make one to fit! I don't use one for mine Roll Eyes.
> noseblock had no thrust adjustment...< Those little tab ARE a pain in the b..., I made "tab extensions" and hold the nose in with a rubber band.
> the plastic prop...< marginal at best! I scraped mine to balance and found it to be lacking in both thrust and diameter.
> domestic tissue was heavy...< VERY TRUE! And doesn't shrink worth a darn Angry. Used it anyway... might strip and recover with Esaki Undecided.
> rubber supplied was absolute junk...< The ONE stock item that never even got close to the model. Wasn't even good enough as a catapult for ... anything.

I recently had a chance to examine one of the newest runs of the 900 series Skyraider (I built the '70's era one) and was fairly surprised that the wood selection was MARKEDLY lighter - tho mine seemed pretty light - including the stripwood, and the quality appeared to be pretty good.

If Tito can build a Cessna 180 (600 series) and get it to fly well (NOTE: "fly well" is a VERY relative term) says a lot. OK, he had tutilage from Marcelo - which is EXACTLY what these forums provide.

Pete
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« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2009, 10:07:17 AM »

Mooney, I totally agree with you. The Guillows kits expose the younger crowd to stick and tissue modeling and those that are bitten by the bug are challenged to go on to better and lighter models. Those that don't wouldn't have anyway and go back to the video games! Best, Bill
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Art356A
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« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2009, 06:00:53 PM »

 
Bob,
I would have DQ'd in that club event. The last Guillows kit I built was a little Cessna Bird Dog for that 24 hour cookup a couple of years ago. The sheet of stripwood was heavy, brittle and cut about 30° off axis. There would have been no possibility of using it.
A.
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thymekiller
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« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2009, 10:13:34 PM »

I just buy the plans and plastic.
Mooney is correct, as far as the 2 kids I have tried to help. Have you noticed that model cars, trucks, etc, have also disappeared from the shelves? They are not as difficult as balsa planes, but kids don't build them anymore either.

I wish there was a better starter kit/company, but I'm not so sure it would make a difference.

Its not just the kids. In my case, the parents weren't much help, if any.
Over on the Guillows website, the topic of heavy material comes up pretty regular. One thing in their favor, Guillows has a great website/forum to help and they get lots of hits. Nobody else does, that I know of. There are some great modelers over there.

Something else that doesn't help the newbie, is picking that red tri-wing as a first model.

thymekiller
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Mooney
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« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2009, 11:10:23 PM »

I wonder if that may be part of Bob's reasoning about making the comment about Guillow's "turning modelers away". I can say that I bought the Spitfire and the Fokker tripe when I came back to the hobby. Niether flew. The Spit did manage to glide amazingly fast! Just a bit slower than a patio paver. Just the fact that I chose those particular subjects reveals that I hadn't a clue about Rubber FF. I think I paid $6 for the Spit and it kept me busy for months. The exciting box art sucked me in. I'm weak. Cheesy Having said that, I would not have built a sensible model like a Baxter Pussycat or a Prairie bird as a first model. I HAD to learn the hard way. It's ok. It wasn't wasted time.

I could've only wished there was a forum like this or guys like Jim M and Duco to help me set up my model. I think the Guillow's customers find their way to places like this and seek out help.  They'll be ok. Damned box art! Grin
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« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2009, 09:19:57 AM »

Damned box art! Grin

I too am a sucker for box art. With that aside when I was younger I built many a Guillows kits and none would fly (I don't know if any kit would have done any better as I didn't understand the fine art of trimming) but for some reason I liked building as much as flying so I stuck around.
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Dimeflyer
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« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2009, 09:06:59 PM »

I have built at least one of every model that Mr G sold while he was alive and once I learned to apply lots of sand paper to the wood in his kits I had a few OOS flights from some as did my Son and Daughter when they were young!!

Just my experience with Mr G's little gems !!

George
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scigs30
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« Reply #15 on: September 24, 2009, 02:09:18 AM »

I must say I have built quite a few Guillows kits, most did not fly well when I was younger. I also built Comet and Sterling kits some successful others not. The reason most of us started on these kits was that's all the hobby stores carried. There was no Internet in the 70s and 80s so we did not have much to choose from. These kits did a great job of attracting new hobbyist to the sport. I know a Prairie Bird, String-less Wonder or many others would have been a great beginners build, but that was in no way interesting to me when I started. I now build these kits for nostalgia reasons, but I do have to make mods so they can fly. I wish Guillows would replace the wood with better balsa that is printed on the sheet and not die crushed.
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« Reply #16 on: September 24, 2009, 07:16:27 AM »

Interesting topic. Duco has made some valid points. Like most other modelers, I too, cut my teeth on the old Guillow/Comet/Sterling kits. Back then ( '60's) these were the cutting edge as we understood them at the time. Looking back now and much wiser due to forums like this, we can see just how far we've come.

I have read on other forums about builders saying they could never get a guillow kit to fly. It was this discussion that sparked my interest in reproduction work of the long out of production models. One of the first things I did was look at the plans. The layouts were good but often over engineered or under depending on your point of view. Next was the wood selection. Often it was way to heavy and seldom (like once in a blue moon) did you build a kit with workable stock wood. This was followed by the die-cutting ( or crushing ) with some being very well done and others very poor. The prop was just a slab of twisted plastic, always out of balance ( better off carving your own ), the rubber was fair at best but never of contest grade.

Not to long ago, I pulled out an old 1957 Guillow Albatros kit and weighed all the stock wood that was in the kit as a group. I was shocked to see that the weight was 109 grams (which also includes the carrier portion) before any parts removal and construction. Now having reworked the parts and cutting them on contest grade balsa, the parts ( now built) weigh in at 8 grams without sanding yet or covering. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out why a lot of builders had so much trouble trying to get a guillow model to fly. From what I'm seeing, I'd estimate the AUW when I'm done with this project to be around 20 grams or less. Nothing was changed in the design.

Skyraider
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Mooney
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« Reply #17 on: September 24, 2009, 07:49:46 AM »

Hey Skyraider,
Nice set of bones there. I'd say that is a drastic difference in weight! Too bad Guillow's lost some of their other kits in the fire. That Alb looks great so far and I imagine it would still sell today.  
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scigs30
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« Reply #18 on: September 24, 2009, 12:46:02 PM »

Some time back my brother bought a Guillows Messerschmitt and wanted to know how to build it. Of course I told him there are better kits out there, but he liked the price and art work. The good thing about Guillows kits is that the wood is strong so I was able to teach him basic techniques with sanding. Also some of the basic mods for a Guillows kit applies to other brands or personal plans. I showed him why and how to make a functional nose block. Showed him how to make sturdy landing gear. How to cover and prevent warps and also add washout. He used everything in the box except the rubber. He really enjoyed the build and took it out flying. Once again I showed him the basic techniques of how to trim a model and he was happy to see it fly for 20 seconds. Since then he has built a couple more Guillows kits without my help. Next time I see him I will take some pictures of this plane and get some pictures of it in flight. So for 8 bucks he was able to build a Messerschmitt airplane and fly it. He will build a few more Guillows kits then he might tackle more expensive but better quality kits. The truth is most new hobbyist don't research freeflight before they tackle their first build. So they go to the LHS and the only kits there are Guillows. They bring it home, and they are over their head, but that's ok. Now they start to search online and come across these message boards and hopefully get some real insight to freeflight.
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Warhawk
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« Reply #19 on: September 24, 2009, 03:05:18 PM »

As with many others on this thread, I bought Guillows scale models before I knew anything about what makes things fly, and I built several bricks in the early days. I discovered that full strength dope put on to make a nice, shiny camoflage scheme also makes the plane not fly. I also discovered that I didn't have many skills on trimming, and I set about learning some.

My first model that actually flew more than a powered glide was from Comet - the Cloudbuster back then, and now known as the Flyboy. The interesting thing is that the wood was not any better than the typical Guillows model, and the die-cutting wasn't better - it was the design. There was simply less wood in the model than the scale jobs. Later, I discovered the Arrow, Lancer, and Javelin which were all Guillows models that can fly well in the hands of a novice - even if they aren't contest winners with the kit wood. I've purchased several Comet scale kits, and frankly, the wood stinks just as much as the Guillows kit wood - Comet designs were just lighter because they usually used less wood. I was frustrated with some of them because I didn't have a good enough razor (using a single-edged blade then ) to make the curved cuts right, and the wood was so brittle it often split. Notching for stringers was a nightmare for me, too.

Bottom line, as Scigs30 said - the kits were affordable, and I wouldn't have bought a $10-$15 kit back then no matter what - I just didn't have the money. I COULD afford the $2 and $3 kits from Guillows and occasionally from Comet. BTW, the little pamphlet included in the Guillows kits with their whole kit lines and artwork kept my building desires going strong.

The flyability (or lack of it ) on the Guillows models did not turn me away from the hobby at all - I'm still here and I've been here all my life. I guess nothing was likely to turn me away. I still find it hard to shell out $40 for a kit - especially when I know I can get a plan for free and scratch build.

Justin
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thymekiller
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« Reply #20 on: September 24, 2009, 08:03:04 PM »

Hey Warhawk, Good mention on the little booklet. I love those things!!! I forgot how many hours I spent just looking at them. Picking the next kit was a major decision....... Grin

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Basher
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« Reply #21 on: October 09, 2009, 10:54:37 AM »

The flyability (or lack of it ) on the Guillows models did not turn me away from the hobby at all - I'm still here and I've been here all my life. I guess nothing was likely to turn me away. I still find it hard to shell out $40 for a kit - especially when I know I can get a plan for free and scratch build.

Justin

I still find it hard to shell out money for kits as well, but I managed to get a few EasyBuilt kits a while back, along with a few others. I have lots of plans, though, LOL!

I started with a Guillow C150/152. The thing was probably WAY overweight, as I had no idea how to properly control the amount of CA I was applying. I'd guess weight distribution was 60% overweight wood, 30%too much CA, and 10% wax paper that was stuck to the frame due to the overapplication of the glue! Grin But I got her finished, and didn't do too bad, I thought. I didn't dope or paint it, so I saved myself some grief there. It managed a decent glide, but I had no idea how to trim a model under power, so it never got far in that regard. But I was hooked!

Later Guillow kits had me sanding nearly half the balsa away. I'd sand until the die-crushed pieces just fell out of the sheets, so it was probably 1/20" or so! But doing so worked well enough to net me a 53 second flight out of the little 17" Mustang they sell. Smiley
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Warhawk
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« Reply #22 on: October 09, 2009, 01:38:07 PM »

I don't know I've ever gotten a good flight over 40 sec. with a Guillow's scale kit. I have gotten good results with the Arrow, and that thing is a real floater if you substitute good wood.

Nowadays, I usually just use the Guillow's plan - most of them have the parts printed on them, and use my own wood selections.

I probably have ~ 800 plans in my "library" of about a dozen bins that will hold 11 x 17" paper, and about 6-8 bins of 8-1/2 x 11 paper. Someday, I need to catalogue them... there's a project that probably won't happen! Undecided

For several years, I subscribed to 4-5 newsletters that each contained 1-5 plans, as well as FM and Model Builders that each often have a plan or two, plus the ~ 200 or so on The Plan Page, another ~ 200 from Dave Livesay's site, some from Ken Horne's, some from Derek Buckmaster, the FACE website, here, Small Flying Arts, Kostya's site, etc. A whole lotta plans floating around out there - more than I'll ever build, so I'd rather spend the kit money on wood, glue and tissue.

Justin
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ancjr
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« Reply #23 on: January 13, 2010, 11:04:01 AM »

Old thread, but I couldn't resist. The yellow Piper is the Guillows 303. I had attempted countless Guillows kits as a kid, and this was only one to date I thought looked nice. Built in 1987 as a prop for my 6th grade science fair project on "Why airplanes fly" Generous amounts of Elmer's Yellow glue on the balsa, Testors enamel paint on the solid parts, thinned white glue on the tissue. Was balanced as per the plan with a big wad of plasticine. Weight may well have been 3-4oz. It never "flew" - but I was still proud of it because the tissue had no tears and didn't look all pruney.

The other two pictures are the 602 Piper Cub I built a couple years later. It did actually fly a couple circles. I didn't know how to trim it properly, so never put many winds in it for fear of it crashing and thrashing itself to death. Eventually it met its demise - the details of which I have long forgotten.

That 602 Cub was the last "stick and tissue" model I built. I liked gliders better because they weren't so fragile, you threw them as hard as you could - even when you weren't frustrated with them - and seemed more intuitive, to me at least. Cheesy
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marcelop
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« Reply #24 on: February 14, 2010, 07:11:33 PM »

http://www.hippocketaeronautics.com/hpa_forum/index.php/topic,2388.msg27608.html#msg27608

look this post from jv-44 school. the guillows piper in fly. this is NOT the best fly catched on video, but is an example.
for me: the guillows kits , here in my school, put the students in the first steps of the FF discipline.
we love guillows kits.
tito build the cessna, fly indoor and outdoor, fly about 15-20 secs aprox.this time is good for the first steps, and for the students, 15 secs in the air represent the same feeling like yours when fly yours supermodels and break records, for that, far to keep away from FF, the guillows kits (here) intruding the students to follow the steps of the masters and in the name of the truth: tell me the name of one modelbuilder, who do not build or wish to build one kit like the art box of guillows??? Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy
marcelo Cheesy
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keep your younger spirit in fly
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