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Author Topic: 1/2 A Starduster  (Read 694 times)
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Starduster
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« on: April 03, 2014, 08:52:45 AM »

Maybe not really a Buy, Sell or Trade, but a question:

I have a complete, NIB 1/2A Starduster. I'm thinking about building it.

How rare is the kit? I did an Ebay search, and found one.

What do you think, build the kit or copy the plans and build it from scratch?
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Brian J Y
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« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2014, 01:58:12 PM »

I am not certain about the quality of balsa in your particular kit but I have always preferred to copy a kit plan & build with selected balsa.

This may be more a vain hope that I can select better timber than kits contain, than reality of course!

Enjoy the build whatever.

Brian
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I hate trees
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« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2014, 04:55:18 PM »

I too have a 1/2A Starduster kit, with an autographed box!

I once had a guided tour of Sal Taibi's balsa factory and kit production.  Sal demonstrated die cutting the balsa for kits.  He took great pride in getting the die cutting perfect, so much so that he loved to recount how when he got notes from customers saying that the wood had not been cut, he replied "just shake the sheet".  The customer would duly do this and the ribs would fall out.
If your kit has die cut wood then it will be good quality wood and carefully selected.  Usually I would agree that copying a plan and the kit wood and building from your own wood is a good plan, with the Starduster kits that Sal Taibi produced I think it would be a shame not to build a model from them someday.
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NormF
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« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2014, 05:23:15 PM »

Some thoughts:
The cash value probably isnt much more than a new kit (say Campbells).
The orig has the one side printed so you can build directly on it. Not a big deal, but if you scratch build, you will need a work around to build the fuselage.
I think the StarDuster X is a better plane. A little larger and sturdier to handle a good TD.

Norm

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FF Bruce
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« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2014, 08:16:28 PM »

Norm is right on
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Starduster
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« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2014, 09:22:50 AM »

I too have a 1/2A Starduster kit, with an autographed box!

I once had a guided tour of Sal Taibi's balsa factory and kit production.  Sal demonstrated die cutting the balsa for kits.  He took great pride in getting the die cutting perfect, so much so that he loved to recount how when he got notes from customers saying that the wood had not been cut, he replied "just shake the sheet".  The customer would duly do this and the ribs would fall out.
If your kit has die cut wood then it will be good quality wood and carefully selected.  Usually I would agree that copying a plan and the kit wood and building from your own wood is a good plan, with the Starduster kits that Sal Taibi produced I think it would be a shame not to build a model from them someday.

Yes, Sal was a perfectionist when it came to producing kits (and everything else) I have mentioned here before that I "worked" for Sal Taibi and Ray VanDewalker when I was young. I would help put the kits together, put labels on the box lids, help Sal cut strip wood (To this day, I am amazed how much strip would Sal would toss into the trash). One thing a lot of people don't know is that Sal soaked the sheet wood for a few days in water before die-cutting. This helped reduce the "die-crunching" (not to mention that Sal kept the blades in the dies very, very sharp. That was one thing that Sal would never let me do. He had a big-old printing press to do the die-cutting. No safety cages back then...

In return for a day or two's work, I would get a kit or two. I have built every Starduster (and all of the other Competition Models airplanes (heck, I even built an Easy Riser!), (the one exception was the Paper Tiger). But I've never built the 1/2A Starduster.

I was actually thinking about building this 1/2A one for electric.

On a side note: Has anybody (Cambell's?) thought about re-issuing the Orbiteer? That was a heck of an airplane. Esp. with the "short wing" it could really climb.
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