ScaleKits "D" Falcon kit problems!?!?!

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Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Feb 19, 2009
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I figured it would be a good day for a simple build....NOT!

I got to Step2 before things went awry.

Has anyone built the ScaleKits "D-series" Falcon? There are some major screwups on my kit. Either the fin patterns are off...or the instructions...or both.

If I cut the fins as instructed the aft fins are too small. The fin pattern sheet shows the forward fins as being 3 pieces. If I cut them like this, they will be too big...and there is not enough wood to do this anyway.

And the dimensions given for the fin placement on the body tube are off.

I'm supposed to cut the two dowel so I have 4 pcs 2 3/4" long....only there isn't enough dowel to do this.

GOOD would have been easier to scratch build this. Plus a lot cheaper too!

Fin option A
Notice that there are some notches shown on the fin patterns. These are for the "fin spars". They aren't even correct.


Fin Spars / Dowels
It's times like this that remind us insane fools to kick back, have a beer, watch a little football, and contemplate the situation further.

In other words:

ACK! :eek:
Furthermore - this is why I (generally) steer away from "scale" kits from any manufacturer.

In my *humble* opinion (not) - scale is about precision. Therefore, instructions and parts must be precise to the Nth degree so the finished product can meet its intended purpose (a "scale" model.)

There are very few suppliers of kits that I would trust to meet my expectations on a scale build.

Your example is even worse - the thing hardly seems buildable to even semi-scale with the material and data provided. I'd bag the thing up, send it back, and demand a refund. Total crap.
I wonder if they ever even built one of these kits. Step 2 and it's already screwed up. (And I'm and experienced builder)

Sure I can add some wood from my supply....sure I can grab some dowels from the shop...sure I can research and find the scale dimensions....and fix the "kit".

But when I buy a kit I at least expect the parts to fit...reasonably well...I'm not asking for perfection. Just that I can build the kit with the parts in the bag.

As an added bonus feature the outer glassine layer has a bunch of wrinkles in it all along the "big spiral" that it covers. BLECH!

So I get to sand all of it down....AND fill the glassine spiral...or use one of my own BT80 tubes...

JEEZ am I ticked off.

Live and learn.


So...has anyone built one of these yet?

I sent an e-mail to Gary Nichols at ScaleKits, but he referred me to his website where there is a download of the "correct" fin pattern. Only problem is that this is the same fin pattern I already have. I sent him back another e-mail further explaining the problems. We'll see if he answers my questions.....

I noticed that the Scale Kits website now has an "updated fin pattern download" for the Falcon. But looking at the "updated" pattern, I see the same problems you describe. Not sure what the update is, but it doesn't look fixed.
The "updated fin pattern" was wrong also. After a few e-mails back and forth, Gary got sent me a dxf file of the correct fin patterns.

So I print them out on some cardstock. Cut them out and get ready to cut some actual balsa.....NOT...

Another e-mail to ScaleKits. It turns out I have the wrong pieces of wood. The wood I have is for their Maverick kit. There isn't enough wood to cut out all the fins.....And the dowels I got were for the Guideline kit.

Gary is trying to make it right. He's sending me the correct parts.

I was starting to feel like I had gotten ripped off.....:mad:
I'm in the middle of building a Scale Kits D powered Apex, and there wasn't enough balsa included in the kit to cut out all the fins, I had to use my own for one of them. Apart from that, the kit has been fine.

Originally posted by WiK
I'm in the middle of building a Scale Kits D powered Apex, and there wasn't enough balsa included in the kit to cut out all the fins, I had to use my own for one of them. Apart from that, the kit has been fine.


That really stinks. It's not like balsa is that expensive. :rolleyes:
Sounds like maybe they had a bad day at ScaleKits,
got a little mixed up while putting kits together and put the wrong parts in the wrong bags?

That's not an excuse, mind you, but you can understand how it might happen. At least the guy seems to be good for following through and correcting the problem.
No Hanging Yet...

Gary Nichols at ScaleKits has been very responsive to my e-mails. He is trying to correct the problems with my kit. He has promised to send me the parts that I need.

I will hold my verdict until the parts arrive, but so far the customer service has been good. Maybe this experience will improve his quality control for future kits.

I just feel sorry for the kid that has bought one of these kits and doesn't have access to TRF or wouldn't even know to e-mail the manufacturer. $30 isn't a lot of money to me now....but if I was 13 or 14 yrs old this would be devastating.

I'll let ya'll know how this saga ends...

Gary at ScaleKits did good on his promise to send me the parts. I got the wood and dowels to complete the Falcon kit. He added a whole new Alarm kit for my troubles!

How's that for customer service!

I'll start a new thread when I get back to building the Falcon kit. I'm in the middle of another build right now....

A happy ending....