Scratch Kits - FlisKits style

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jflis

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man, I went through 6 iterations before I came up with a title for this thread LOL

This is to discuss the idea of coming up with up and/or down scale of FlisKits model rocket kits.

I mainly decided to start this so that we could *stop* hijacking Jason's Flea thread :D (you're welcome :) )

Many folks have asked us to up/down scale certain designs. I have many of our kits in several different scales as I love to do this as well.

Since several folks like this idea and would like to discuss it with us, I figured it deserved it's own thread.

My *initial* opinion is to *not* offer up or down scale kits of our other kits. This is for several reason such as:

1) For the most part, if someone wants a Deuce's Wild! (for example), they get one, regardless of scale, and they are happy with it. Then, on to the *next* kit/design. These folks are typically not interested in owning 5 Deuce's of different sizes.

(that said, there are enough who DO want this, that it warrants discussion)

2) I have (literally) hundreds of very cool designs that I would like to see us produce. We are already a bit behind schedule on '04 in getting kits out and, in addition to this, Brian and I seem to keep coming up with new designs that are cool (like the Stingray). We don't want to push *these* kits further out just to produce the *same* kit in a different size...

3) Related to #2, there is the time to document. Any time I spend documenting (instructions are the worse) an existing kit in a new size is time i am NOT documenting a new *design*

NOw... ...to that end, it seems that most of the folks who are interested in building one of our kits in multiple sizes come from the "set of rocketeers" with some experience under their belts. This allows me to consider a solution that could satisfy 95%+ of the interested people.

Come up with a "bag-o-parts" for a specific upscale. Perhaps a "FlisKits Scratch-build" line of model rocket kits. This would provide you with all the parts needed to build an up or down scale of a particular model .

for example, we may have a bag of parts for a 13mm Deuce. By buying the bag-o-parts, you get the scale fin pattern and the custome rings needed. You would have to make best use of the exsiting kit instructions (assuming you have them, as they would NOT come with the kit) and/or make use of your best scratch building skills...

thoughts? opinions? ideas?

jim
 

BlueNinja

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I was thinking the other day about what it would be like if Fliskits offered HPR versions of their kits. Like a 29mm deuce or Nomad.
 

Missileman

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A delima exist. If I were up/down scaling any rocket design the sizes are virtualy limitless.
I would rather just see great new designs myself.
The only things posing any real scaling problem is decals or odd shaped nosecones or transitions.
I would like to see kit manufacturers post images of any decals on their websites and I could then change the scale to suit and either print my own or have them done.
(my spelling gets worse and worse as I get older, you ever use a different word when writing than you wanted because you couldn't spell the other one?)
 

teflonrocketry1

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Jim,

I agree with you about not offering scaled up or down versions of your superb kit designs. I would love a "bag o parts" especially if it contains a lot of those laser cut centering rings for making the cluster motor mounts FlisKits is now known for. It would be great just to have the scaled up and down sets of rings and nosecones available in a "designers special" type of offering. You could also include the fin patterns, etc.

Bring on those new FlisKit designs I can't wait to see them.

Bruce S. Levison, NAR #69055
 

jetra2

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Jim,

I think this is a real good idea, even if it takes some time to implement it. Then again, how hard could it really be? Say, for a Richter Tickler (which I would DEFINATELY buy), it would be two or three BT-55 tubes, a nose cone (you'd have to get a new one, it looks like)...oh crap....maybe I picked a bad choice for an example...as I start thinking about it, it does seem that it would be more and more involved than I initially thought.

Anyways, just put 'em on the list for a "whenever the heck I can get to it" release, ok?

OH! How about this? Well...maybe not, but how about just listing the parts on the site that would be required to build the upscale or downscale?

Meh...maybe not...

Jason
 

wwattles

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You could also go the route that The Launch Pad has taken with its Plan Packs and provide diagrams/plans for building, and let the builder procure/cut/etc the materials.

In the case of your kits, you could provide the plans/schematics, build one while taking pictures, and include basic instructions (maybe a page or two for something as complex as an upscale Deuce), since the upscaling builders are, as you noted, typically the more advanced builders. Most of us work pretty well with pics and a small amount of direction telling us what we're looking at.

My 2 bits.

WW
 

BlueNinja

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Or maybe just sell the nose and CRs- modeler has to buy everything else.
 

jflis

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Originally posted by jetra2
Jim,

I think this is a real good idea...
what? Starting a new thread so your's doesn't get hijacked?? LOL (sorry ! )

Actually, to do *any* of these in a different scale would require a new nose, so the Richter Tickler is actually a great example.

The idea of offering the custom nose and rings is fine, but at that point I may as well offer all the rest in a bag, because after the nose and ring, the rest is a breeze LOL

Some would scale very easily, some with a bit of extra work, none would be that hard. Frankly, the *hardest* part would be stocking and keeping track of that many more parts...

We currently offer over 100 different parts, 20 kits, numerous skins and downloads and probably another 30-40 parts that are not offered online (like all the different lengths of shock cord we use, etc)

Bringing in more parts is the toughest because it is a logistical problem keeping track of them all (let alone *storing* them all (and folks wonder why I don't bring the parts department ot the launches... ) It's because I can only drive ONE truck at a time! LOL

Still though, it would be easy and interesting to try this as a beta test...

more input is always helpful

jim
 

Hospital_Rocket

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Jim

I'm happy building your kits just as they are. Although the Acme spitfire is causing me fits.

For what it is worth, I don't think I would buy a bag o'parts for an upscale, downscale, or other kit bash. When I do that, most of the fun is in the design, and hunt for stuff -> in other words modeling.

Al
 

jetra2

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Originally posted by Hospital_Rocket
For what it is worth, I don't think I would buy a bag o'parts for an upscale, downscale, or other kit bash. When I do that, most of the fun is in the design, and hunt for stuff -> in other words modeling.
POINT!

Wow...I never thought of it that way, even though that is my favorite part!

Jason
 

bmhiii

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IMHO,

I would rather Jim and Fliskits spend all their energies on producing new kits of new designs. Leave it to the scratch builders to do any up-scaling or down-scaling. I would think part of that challenge would be trying to get all the right parts in the right dimensions.

Just my .02 worth.

bmhiii
 

eugenefl

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Sounded cool at first. After reading Hospital Rockets comments I've come up with a few thoughts of my own.

I think the challenge in upscaling/downscaling is that the builder has paid homage to a certain vendor with their upscale/downscale. Furthermore, the modeler has taken the time to fabricate (ie - sandman's 2.6" dia. Deuce cone) the parts offered no where else making the project truly unique. There is no better feeling than showing up to a meet and being one of very few people with a large version of say, the Deuce. Granted, the Deuce upscale will become very common very soon. (ie - Der Red Max) I think it would be of disservice to those that have taken the time to build their own upscales if all of a sudden "pre-fabricated" versions started showing up. I suppose it's the difference between a kit car vs. a true classic. The sense of pride is different.

Upscaling/downscaling is a path...or even better, a journey that every rocketeer should endure. At some point or another we will all pay homage to our favorite vendor, if not, our favorite model rocket with a unique upscale/downscale. I say "no" to bag-o-parts because to me it commercializes a "cult" of rocketeers that like to do rocketry bigger or bettter...(err, or in case if MicroMister, smaller...much smaller.)

Now, a plan pak I can agree with. I can also agree with having the parts already available. (Heck, we all use LOC or PML parts for our upscales.) I suppose this could be the middle ground.
 

CTimm

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Originally posted by jflis
2) I have (literally) hundreds of very cool designs that I would like to see us produce.
This presents a unique opportunity.
100's of designs that for the most part, will never be produced.

Take maybe 25 of the oddest, unique, maybe even too complicated to economically kit, and draw them up in a standard 3-view drafting style (only takes 3 views to visually describe anything, right?), scale it for a standard size tube, say 1" (bt-50),
add a similarly scaled page with the decals layout, and bind them up like the RotW supplements and start peddling them.

The designs get out, parts get bought, upscales are easily figured, and it gets you 25 steps closer to the rocket hall of fame.

Sometimes I sits and thinks and sometimes I just sit.

CTimm
 

SwingWing

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I'd say spend your time on the new designs!!
Spending time on a bag-o-parts upscale/downscale kit will mostly cater to the advanced modeler who can go it on their own. If a less "seasoned" modeler happens to purchase a bag-o-parts thinking it is a completely doccumented kit, it can cause customer service issues that will take time from the new designs.
A "plan pack" would be fun, but it sounds like doing all of the doccumentation work without actually producing the kit.
I kinda like Jasons idea to print out a "bill of materials" on your web page, and then it just becomes another parts order.

Now, get back to work!!:p
 

Neil

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I think (emphasis on "I THINK") you should sell upscale/downscale nosecones and CRs, but not real kits. Real kits would, as you said, take away from the newer ones. The "bag o parts" also sounds interesting... But I think that if you had 3" Duece cones, 3" Duece cones ETC, people would buy them. Though they can also get duece cones in any size they want from Sandman... I dunno... I guess a bag o parts, or just the crucial parts for upscales sold seperately, would be good.

What are you behind on in releasing? I think youve done pretty well... You got the Tres out, didnt ya?:D

I *WOULD* like to buy that thing with the tube fins with fins mounted on the tubes with the coupler to the wider tube at the top... I asked you about it when I saw you yesterday, but I already forgot what it was called:eek: Thats the thing *I* want to see released most... What else are you releasing this year? Or are you going to keep it a secret untill the last minute....;) :p
 

jflis

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Neil,

That rocket is the D-Nelson Tomahawk, the last anniversary kit of the Pearl River MODROC convention, names after Dick Nelson, the founder.

It is 18mm with short BT-5 tubes around the base used as fin standoffs for forward swept fins, then a 20-55 shroud to a BT55 with a NCB-55AD ogive nose.

Here is a pix: https://fliskits.com/photo_album/cmass_102002t/images/P1010043.JPG

By May (now...) I would expect to be releasing our 3rd kit of 2004 and I am only now *hoping* for a 2nd one befor the end of the month... ick.

Hoping to get 6-8 out befor the end of the year. Most will be kept quiet till near the release date :)

jim
 

Gus

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Not Upscales!

Not Downscales!

What the world needs from Jim Flis is:

Styrofoam Cup Rockets !

And whatever other magic you have up your sleeve. :D
 

KermieD

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Rather than a bag-o-parts, why not offer plan packs for the scale rockets? Basically, scale fin patterns and decal paterns (if decals themselves aren't feasible) and include a copy of the instructions for the original with an insert describing a material list, including the NC ratios and recommended material thicknesses for fins, CR's and the like (probably should include scaled patterns for rings for the Deuce & Tres).
 

Neil

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Yeah, thats the one... I decided I wanted one, but I knew I shouldent make it look too much like the origional... I eventually changed the fins, and put tubes on the tips of the fins too... So now it looks *NOTHING* like yours, but I really like it... Ive gotta get my hands on a Designers Special Kit so I can build it....:cool:


Oh, and its a lot bigger than yours, too.

And dont worry, I will DEFINETLY still wanna buy yours, dont worry!:cool:

This design is SO loosely based on yours I dont think you can even call it cheating...:D I dont want to scare you out of releasing kits...;)


Heres an Rsim export
 

Adam Selene

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i would stil like to see at least centering rings/engine mount rings for the duece and tres, nose cones and precut tubes would be a plus. it would be nice to be sure that i'm getting those angles right, i'm NOT the modeler that carl is, i just like to build and fly.
 

Neil

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Thats a BT60 to a BT55 there... With that balsa transition... and BT20 tubes for the outer tubes, and balsa fins.:cool:
 

Adam Selene

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Originally posted by missileman

(my spelling gets worse and worse as I get older, you ever use a different word when writing than you wanted because you couldn't spell the other one?)

ALL THE TIME, jim, all the time :) sometimes i have to go through 3 or 4 words to get one i CAN spell!
 

jflis

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interesting discussion going on here. lots of great ideas. I will have to start this discussion with brian and see what, if anything we want to do regarding these ideas.

kewl :)
 

jetra2

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My vote is put in for plan packs and whatever specialty parts are needed. For a downscale Deuce and a Richter Tickler, you could use the same nosecone, probably...

Jason
 

sramberg

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I like the bag-o-parts idea. Try it on one kit for this year and see how it flies, so to speak. I don't want you to get too distracted from releasing new designs, because it is always fun seeing something new and different. It is all good.

Steve
 

Rocketmaniac

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Originally posted by eugenefl
I think the challenge in upscaling/downscaling is that the builder has paid homage to a certain vendor with their upscale/downscale. Furthermore, the modeler has taken the time to fabricate (ie - sandman's 2.6" dia. Deuce cone) the parts offered no where else making the project truly unique. There is no better feeling than showing up to a meet and being one of very few people with a large version of say, the Deuce. Granted, the Deuce upscale will become very common very soon. (ie - Der Red Max) I think it would be of disservice to those that have taken the time to build their own upscales if all of a sudden "pre-fabricated" versions started showing up. I suppose it's the difference between a kit car vs. a true classic. The sense of pride is different.
I have to agree with eugenefl........ While the number of upscale "Deuce"s (for example) is growing, they are still limited...... Each one is individually recognizable...... We all know about Carl's 38mm Duece and Rocketjunkie's 54mm Duece........ If these were offered as kits to the general public it would take away from these guys work........ Jim doesn't seem to mind people taking his designs and giving them a good dose of steroids, so each person can build any upscale/downscale he/she wants to....... (just with a good bit of work)

So, Jim...... keep designing cool kits and let us crazy rocketeers build'em bigger!!!!!!!
 

Mike

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If i bought a bag which included plans *and* specialty parts I'd find it an unneccesary pain to go and source the tube myself! In for a penny in for a pound.

IMHO offering upscale/downscale kits takes away almost all motivation I'd have. To me the attraction is putting in the hard work so you have somthing unique that people still recognise. If you offered an easy way that motivation is taken away.

My £0.02
 

powderburner

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Dr. Flis, I think a bag-o-parts could definitely be the way to go, especially if you include scaled decals and scaled NC. After all, these are the hard parts that most of us cannot replicate at home.

But if you want to stand clear of this whole mess, and concentrate on new kits, you could test the waters by simply offering upscale NCs and decals as part of the FlisKits product listing of rocket components. Maybe that way it would not be in your hair so much, and still be available to those that want it.
 

Micromeister

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Jim:
A bag-O-parts containing scale decals and nosecones/transitions is a great idea. I'd even like to take a look at the contents page;) BUT...
I also have to agree with eugenefl about the homage payed to the creator. I can tell ya first hand I loved micro downscaling Estes "Explorer Aquarius" but I can't see myself doing it again...that nose cone was A BEAR:) Could you imagine a BT-101 version?? You'll be better served to keep producing new designs.
 

seo

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Originally posted by powderburner
But if you want to stand clear of this whole mess, and concentrate on new kits, you could test the waters by simply offering upscale NCs and decals as part of the FlisKits product listing of rocket components. Maybe that way it would not be in your hair so much, and still be available to those that want it.

I like Powder's idea. This seems like it would be easiest for Fliskits to implement. The Nose cone is the hardest part to get scaled up or down.
 

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