QCR Cluster #270

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Well-Known Member
Mar 15, 2004
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I'm doing several complete reviews for EMRR, and this is one of them, but I thought I'd drop a note here first.

I got QCR's competition 13mm cluster as a contest prize. The design is great. The kit, frankly, and I use the phrase only when I truly think applicable, sucks.

No instructions. Fins printed on cheap balsa (way lighter than normal stock and very prone to peeling along the grain) with grain parallel to trailing edge rather than leading edge. Main tube cut uneven at one end. The pre-marked fin lines were not parallal to the tube axis, and were not even straight lines -- they curved. There *were* previously straight lines on the tube; 3 of them, mostly erased. The tube had been recycled from a different kit apparently. The strap on booster tubes were not glassy paper like the main; they were weak and crimped easily. The shoulders on all three nose cones were too small for the tubes. The two strap on nose cones were way too big above the shoulder, so they needed sanding just to sit flat against the main tube. Because of the poor fit and the tendency of the booster tubes to compress (cheap paper) it was impossible to get the strap on noses straight upright. I don't know if the streamer being only a foot long was on purpose or not. The front cover/drawing mentioned adding weight to the nose for stability, but the plastic nose was one piece, not capable of being opened and glued shut.

Someone who is capable of designing a competition capable bird, and this one is, does have the ability for attention to detail. When this kit was put together, someone must have been having a very, very bad day. Due to a bent main body and two strap on noses not parallel to axis (and requiring a LOT of glue to keep the narrow shoulders inside the tubes), this bird is not viable as a competitor, and possibly unsafe. If I had purchased this rather than won it, I'd be angry rather than disappointed.