# What features do you want in a kit?

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#### wyldbill

##### Well-Known Member
Mods, please move this if you see fit...

#### rocketkid88

##### Well-Known Member
yes... thats exactly what i was trying to say, powderburner!

#### Gus

##### Well-Known Member
I think the major issue is "screw-up potential". Parts that are easy to mess up, like fin slots, I prefer to have done by the manufacturer. Usually fins are not a problem to cut but I would be hesitant to try to make those found, for instance, on Jim Flis's "Drake", or on Neubauer's "Little Joe 1" by myself.

#### wyldbill

##### Well-Known Member
Excellent! Thank you! Here's some additional data points.

Originally posted by powderburner That said, I go for cheap. Inexpensive. Low cost. I don't care if a little extra 'craftsmanship' is required.
This is the kind of feedback I'm looking for.
Originally posted by powderburner Slots are just plain NOT needed for 99 percent of low-power stuff. Don't encourage people to over-build.... {etc.}
I agree completely in principal. The problem here is that the fins are oversized and prone to flutter. According to FinSim, a TTW fin substantially decreases the potential for the model to come apart. And it's a kit you'll HAVE to build light for it to perform well.
Originally posted by powderburner For small diameter (18mm and 24mm) BT I don't mind cutting a blank to the proper length because I can slip an old motor case inside to support the cut, but for larger diameter stuff it is not so easy to find something sturdy to slip inside (tubing couplers just don't offer much support) so I would like those larger tubes pre-cut.
Excellent point.
Originally posted by powderburner I am not sure what you mean by cutting my own couplers.
Originally posted by powderburner If you mean cutting my own coupler from a length of coupler stock, then we are back to the issue of: what do I put inside to support the stock?
Point taken (again )
Originally posted by powderburner
CRs are just so cheap and easy to get that there is no real reason to cut your own from a blank piece of cardboard. The only case I can see where you would work from scratch is where you have an odd-ball CR design that just cannot be adapted from an existing CR.
Agreed. Of the six rings in the Design, only two are the same. If the builder is willing to mod a few std. rings a bit, I'd only need 4 ring types and could use standard rings. I agree on the "universals". Bleh.
Originally posted by powderburner I'm not sure I understand your question about 'would I be willing to pay extra?' I look for a kit mainly for two purposes: a source of parts to bash out something different, or if I am going to build the actual rocket, I get a kit because it includes cool decals/transfers/appliques that I cannot make myself.
Remember, I said "So. I'm thinking about kitting one of my designs...."

What about the design itself and the instructions? These take a lot of time and effort to produce, far more than the parts themselves are worth. I think we've gotten into the mindset of "I'll just scratchbuild it" because of resources like JimZ and RocketShoppe. This is great if the models are no longer available, but in cases where its still in production, this is the same mindset as "Why buy the CD? I can just get the parts (a CD-R) and use my tools (burner) to make a CD from the copies of the tunes I dowloaded for free from the Internet". I'd be pretty hacked if someone posted my instructions and parts list on the net for folks to scratchbuild without my permission. Same goes if they RockSim'd the design from my plans and passed it around. If you want to truly reverse engineer it and scratch it up by sight, great. Imitation is flattery, theft is not. (maybe this topic deserves its own thread )

Would you take {insert current favorite "small" kit vendor here}'s instructions, decals and designs, scan them and put them out on the net for people to scratch build from? How do you think that {"small" kit vendor} would take that?

thanks again for the response!
-bill

#### wyldbill

##### Well-Known Member
Originally posted by nomopbo
Personally,
If I have to cut everything anyway, I just assume scratch build it, rather than pay for a "kit".
Just my 2 pennies.
See previous intellectual property rant

#### wyldbill

##### Well-Known Member
i think the point of this thread is "How much of the work is (or do you want) done for you"
EXACTLY

#### wyldbill

##### Well-Known Member
Originally posted by Gus
I think the major issue is "screw-up potential". Parts that are easy to mess up, like fin slots, I prefer to have done by the manufacturer. Usually fins are not a problem to cut but I would be hesitant to try to make those found, for instance, on Jim Flis's "Drake", or on Neubauer's "Little Joe 1" by myself.
Well said.

Thanks so far, keep 'em coming...

##### Well-Known Member
Bill-

I'd be pretty hacked if someone posted my instructions and parts list on the net for folks to scratchbuild without my permission. Same goes if they RockSim'd the design from my plans and passed it around. If you want to truly reverse engineer it and scratch it up by sight, great. Imitation is flattery, theft is not. (maybe this topic deserves its own thread )

I don't really see this as an issue if the model is in production. I have seen very few instances of this. And, when they have taken place, it's usually an upscale/downscale (Deuce).

What about the design itself and the instructions? These take a lot of time and effort to produce, far more than the parts themselves are worth.
Depending on the model, once youhave established a template, future model instructions are easier to produce. Yes, the intial effort is longer, but it's an investment.
I think we've gotten into the mindset of "I'll just scratchbuild it" because of resources like JimZ and RocketShoppe. This is great if the models are no longer available, but in cases where its still in production, this is the same mindset as "Why buy the CD? I can just get the parts (a CD-R) and use my tools (burner) to make a CD from the copies of the tunes I dowloaded for free from the Internet".
I think it's true..alot of folks get into scratch building through cloning but again, I don't think there would be a need to for folks to go through all the trouble of rock simming and resource hunting. Why spend 30 dollars in time and effort as opposed to spending 15 dollars on the kit?

Would you take {insert current favorite "small" kit vendor here}'s instructions, decals and designs, scan them and put them out on the net for people to scratch build from? How do you think that {"small" kit vendor} would take that?
Again, within this forum, I don't think that's the caliber of folks that would do that for a model that's in production and available. I don't think there are people here that are at all like that. Case in point, look at the guy that burned a JIMZ Cd and tried selling it. He's not a guy that belongs to this group for sure. Remeber it's not always cheaper to produce an avaiable kit from scratch. The decals alone are a pain in the neck for some people and to buy them, if you could, would cost 5-8 bucks.

#### wyldbill

##### Well-Known Member
Clarification:I'm not suggesting any of this would happen here. I'm pointing out that there a things in an original kit, besides decals and other physical parts, that contribute to the cost of the kit. I did this because some people said that if they had to do most of the work themselves, they'd rather scratch build than buy a kit. My point is that you can't (or at least shouldn't be able to IMNSHO) scratch build a kit that is an original design and is currently in production.

-bill

#### jflis

##### Well-Known Member
Originally posted by Gus
I think the major issue is "screw-up potential". Parts that are easy to mess up, like fin slots, I prefer to have done by the manufacturer. Usually fins are not a problem to cut but I would be hesitant to try to make those found, for instance, on Jim Flis's "Drake", or on Neubauer's "Little Joe 1" by myself.
Just a point of note: For that very reason, the fins on the FlisKits Drake are laser cut

now, back to our program!

#### nomopbo

##### Well-Known Member
Originally posted by wyldbill
Thanks for the response.

But this thread isn't for dicussing the design, it's about how you, as builders, prefer a kit to be structured.
I was just going to bow out of this conversation, but I feel it is my point that has been missed.

My point is from a newbie, and treat it as such.
You asked how we as builders prefer a kit to be structured.

I can honestly say that if the last several kits I have bought (from vendors) were just instructions, templates, and a bag of stock, I would not have bought them.

As far as my scratch building comment. All the (considered) cutting sounded more like a scratch build than a KIT.

You are not a vendor. Sell it however you want. Sell just the plans and templates, or sell plans, templates, and a bag of stock. Do it however you want and what is affordable for you. If it's a good design, I will buy the parts listed in the directions. If you can afford to provide them, GREAT.

As far as intellectual property. You know as well as I do, you can look at a straight forward assembled kit and know exactly what you need to build it. (in production or not) Now if it's a sci-fi star fighter, one would need plans and templates, and need to buy the kit. (or as you mentioned, get plans/templates illegally)

And I would like to point out... in this forum, we do a lot of looking out for each other. (i.e. eBay and such)

So with that, have at it bro. I placed more importance on your question of how we prefer "KITS" rather than the fact you are not a vendor, and want to make a design available to other TRF's.

I apologize,
nomo,
out

PS Happy Birthday

##### Well-Known Member
If your considering to market your kit, vendor or not, who is your market? What is your object market? Scratch builders, novice, LPR, MPR, HPR, RTF guys, other?
When I make up my kits, there is some cutting involved but building is what I try to base my market on. Maybe a multiple choice poll might serve as a good tool as to what type of market lies within the forum. That might be a start.

##### Roving Rocketeer
polls! polls are almost as good as pictures!

seriously, a poll might be a good idea. can a poll be set up for multiple answers?
would you be willing to cut tubes?
would you be willing to cut centering rings?
would you be willing to cut couplers?
ect.

#### powderburner

##### Well-Known Member
Originally posted by wyldbill
I'd be pretty hacked if someone posted my instructions and parts list on the net for folks to scratchbuild without my permission.
I would too, if I was trying to sell kits. But I didn't intend to make any indication that I support such practices. I am an enthusiastic supporter of 'intellectual property rights' and the like.

I would (and do) copy old kits that are out of production, but I do not think it is a good idea to copy anyone's current-production model rockets and sell them for personal profit.

If you want to sell a kit to me, it is going to have to include clear instructions, one or two good suggestions for paint schemes, some cool decals (I don't make my own) or decoration scheme, and last but not least, your product must have the 'it' factor. It has to appeal to me, as something a bit different or a bit jazzier or a bit more ????!!!, before it will get my attention and move me to part with hard-earned cash. Otherwise, if it is just the same-old same-old, I really don't need another rocket that is essentially the same as the ones I already have.

#### Missileman

##### Well-Known Member
My turn.
From my standpoint, I have never bought a kit that the body tubes/couplers where not cut to length (although I am willing to do that)
Nosecone should be turned , not something I would want to tackle.
CRs I would be willing to modify if mods are not major.
I am a big fan of Launch Pad kits and builder does most of the work with them.
IMO instructions don't have to be extensive.
As I recall you said a small run of these kits.
Target audience would likely be people on this forum or others you know that are in rocketry.
Point being most of us are already, for the most part, experienced modelers.
Oh and I already have more chutes than you can shake a nosecone at so if one is not included that's fine by me
Good Luck

#### shockwaveriderz

##### Well-Known Member
whatever a kit builder can do to make things easier, ie laser cut fins, laser cut this, laser cut that, slots precut, etc is fine with me.....as long as its NOT another 3FNC rocket..... I like rockets that DO SOMETHING.....

#### SecretSquirrel

##### Well-Known Member
Originally posted by shockwaveriderz
whatever a kit builder can do to make things easier, ie laser cut fins, laser cut this, laser cut that, slots precut, etc is fine with me.....as long as its NOT another 3FNC rocket..... I like rockets that DO SOMETHING.....
Have I mentioned that all Squirrel Works kits have laser cut fins?