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Worst Kit?

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dhbarr

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That's it, what's your least favorite sack of parts, and why?
 

dhbarr

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Wow, didn't expect this to be controversial. Was hoping for funny stories about ridiculous instructions and the like.
 

timbucktoo

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Usually leads to bashing a manufacturer!
 

kyle

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I'll start. The fourth kit I bought after starting this hobby again was a Mini Comanche 3. Couplers were super tight, I used too much glue on engine mount, didn't know about sticks and clamps to align fins.

I'm sure the kit was fine (I've been thinking about getting another) but my skills weren't up to it. I trashed it.
 

tomsteve

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ive built about 30 or so rockets since i got back into the accictio.......errr...HOBBY... from various manufacturers. cant say i have a worst kit for build,parts, or instructions not right.
but i have had some that tested my patience. fliskits have been a lesson in patience for me but well worth it. the spitfire was quite a fun build but well worth it. as with the trifecta and frick-n-frack. awesome lil fliers.
then there was the newway rocketry "dare 2B square." i don't think it really needed instructions.:) cool little flier!
 

Woody's Workshop

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It's not a kit that is the worst, it's a skill that is your personal worst.
Some people rather put it together on the way to the field to fly it from the store. (ARF/E2X)
And find high skill level kits not for them.
Others prefer a challenge and can weeks to finish.
So I don't think it's the kit, it's a person's skill set and mentality.
If they enjoy the build as much as the flight.
Many time's, one's preferences are dictated by time available.
 

dr wogz

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Some people tend to bash TLP, as they're expecting an Estes type kit. And: don't have the time, patients, appreciation, skills, (certain) tools, etc.. to build them.

Some people expect explicit instructions (tailored to them), laser cut & machine beveled contest grade / hand selected balsa or finished both side ply, factory printed decals, numerous assembly & alignment jigs, a hand-sewn 12-panel silk parachute (with spill hole), premixed epoxy, a 3-view colour scale reference pack with paint chips & recommended Krylon, Rustoleum, and/or PPG paint codes, accurate flight profiles for all available motors (to the foot in altitude), etc.. and all for $12.99 at the local Hobby Lobby.. of any kit..



A kit is as good or as bad as you want it to be..
 

hcmbanjo

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Some people tend to bash TLP, as they're expecting an Estes type kit. And: don't have the time, patients, appreciation, skills, (certain) tools, etc.. to build them.
Some people expect explicit instructions (tailored to them), laser cut & machine beveled contest grade / hand selected balsa or finished both side ply, factory printed decals, numerous assembly & alignment jigs, a hand-sewn 12-panel silk parachute (with spill hole), premixed epoxy, a 3-view colour scale reference pack with paint chips & recommended Krylon, Rustoleum, and/or PPG paint codes, accurate flight profiles for all available motors (to the foot in altitude), etc.. and all for $12.99 at the local Hobby Lobby.. of any kit..
A kit is as good or as bad as you want it to be..
Wow! That sums it up!
I've read of and heard builders bashing the Estes Saturn V. If you slow down and take the time, the wraps and fairings will fit!
It usually comes down to taking an extra few minutes on each step, building cleaner and surface preparation for finishing.
 

markkoelsch

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The worst I have had was an out of round performance cone. This was one of the convolute cloth cones, and the mold halves were not aligned.

Also had a run in with a similar issue with an early CTI polycarbonate cone.
 

watheyak

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Worst kit for me is when parts don't fit right. I've had issues with that from a few manufacturers. At the same time, however, I've had kits from those exact same manufacturers where the parts fit just fine. In the cases where the parts didn't fit quite right, I was always able to make it work. Creative problem solving is part of what makes building things fun.

I am currently working on a custom MAC Performance kit and the parts fit is crazy good. I don't think I could have fully appreciated that aspect of this current build if it weren't for the other, less-than-satisfying fit experiences. There's something deep in my sub-conscious that the MAC kit greatly satisfies.
 
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tmacklin

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What was the worst piece of....well....nevermind. :facepalm:
 

dhbarr

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Usually leads to bashing a manufacturer!
Definitely not my intent, I was thinking of a recipe I once saw that had you mix wet & dry ingredients. Then, on the next page "but first...."
 

les

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. Creative problem solving is part of what makes building things fun.
I have found that the majority of my skills don't involve building a rocket "correctly", they are in figuring out how to solve issues - whether problems with the kit/instructions or my own errors.....
 

PhlAsh

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I'd have to say Quest Zenith II. I didn't test fit the motor mounts and the instructions seat the sustainer mmt too far in (or not far enough - I don't remember).
 

neil_w

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I was thinking of nominating Steven's SHR Saturn V... seems like he's needed to rebuild almost every part in that rocket.
 

AfterBurners

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Funny I saw this post. I just made a post on the Dynastar Lexxjet. I glued up an out of round or shaped tail cone.



I think all the Dynastar kits a have a unique and cool design, but the problem is that Apogee uses crappy parts for these kits. If they just upgrade to better quality tubes such as the glassine tubes and use better balsa or heck even lite ply would be an improvement over that so called "junk balsa" that comes with the kits then maybe they would be worth the $40-55 price range they want. Its sad when you buy a kit and you have to replace half the parts because you got a bag full of junk! Don't be surprised if you see me selling what remains of my junk kits or even giving the junk away!
 

AfterBurners

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Hmmm....Apogee using junk parts?
That doesn't sound like Tim at all.
Did you Email Tim about the problems?
Yes Apogee uses junk parts in their "DYNASTAR" kits not sure about the other kits they sell, but Dynastar kits are garbage. I guess you never had the pleasure of building one. I emailed Tim or whoever answers their customer service support. Like I said the design is nice, but the parts are junk
 

Woody's Workshop

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Does Apogee make the Dynastar kits?
I looked for them on Apogee's site and they list Dynastar as a manufacturer.
Is Apogee just selling someone else kits?
Or is Apogee the designer and own the Dynastar name?
I am not familiar with that line of kits, although I've looked at the Snarky to add to my collection.
 

rockets

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I really hope nobody from TLP is on the TRF....
I don't know about you guys... TLP has fast, great shipping with a sweet website.. The reason I don't like them is that they have really bad quality parts. Are balsa fins going to handle E & F motors?? I don't think so, and the body tube is like, well think, if the rocket hits the ground a little hard the body tube would be dented, but and Estes tube PSII wouldn't be.
My brother ordered the HARM missile kit, and I might order from them again, IF I do, I will get different fins.
That's just me & my brother's opinions.
Thanks,
 

les

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The kits were designed by Shrox, but I believe Apogee actually puts the kits together and sells them.
I just built the Firefox SHX and had no issues.


And a quick comment back to the OPS comment about trying to AVOID bashing a manufacturer.....
 

rharshberger

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I really hope nobody from TLP is on the TRF....
I don't know about you guys... TLP has fast, great shipping with a sweet website.. The reason I don't like them is that they have really bad quality parts. Are balsa fins going to handle E & F motors?? I don't think so, and the body tube is like, well think, if the rocket hits the ground a little hard the body tube would be dented, but and Estes tube PSII wouldn't be.
My brother ordered the HARM missile kit, and I might order from them again, IF I do, I will get different fins.
That's just me & my brother's opinions.
Thanks,
The short answer is YES. TLP kits will handle the motors they are designed for just fine. TLP kits may be gone now as the owner has had health issues iirc and the kits are becoming OOS at a lot of vendors. TLP makes some of the last true builders kits, they give YOU the basics and the final product is a direct effect of YOUR building skills. I love TLP kits for the realism, and difficulty of build, having to cut my own parts from sheets of balsa using old school paper patterns is awesome. I also carefully go through the balsa and upgrade it if needed usually anything I build nowadays has basswood fins if its E-G power.
We recently had a L1 cert on a rocket that sure felt like it had 1/8" papered balsa fins, I wasn't sure it would take it but the rocket flew and recovered perfectly intact.
 

Lowpuller

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Afterburners, if you give your Dynastar kits away, p,ease give them to me! Seriously.
 

Buckeye

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Wow, didn't expect this to be controversial. Was hoping for funny stories about ridiculous instructions and the like.
Well, in that case, I'll say aerotech reload "kits" have ridiculous instructions. Good thing I have built hundreds of them. If I was a noob I would be really frustrated with them.
 

MaxQ

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My experience:

Sheri's Hot Rockets - Gemini Titan .
....the components left a lot to be desired.
Challenge to build if you corrected the problems.
The twin aluminum nozzles were works of art...but you couldn't fit standard 29 MM RMS H motors into them...and the recommended two G-80 SUs would prang, due to the weight of the heafty BT which took forever to clean up and paint.
I took them to a machine shop and had the holes bored out and widened.

The resin Gemini capsule was made from a mold long past its prime.
Detail was almost gone, and had to rescribe the panel lines all over it.
Nuff said.
Great line of kits though.


My old build thread and woeful tale for the benefit of anyone out there contemplating a build of one:
https://www.rocketryforum.com/showthread.php?6172-Gemini-Titan-build

Gemini%20Engine%202.jpgP1010448.jpg
 
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AfterBurners

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I guess I was pretty hard on the kits by Dynastar so maybe I should tone it down. I think overall the designs are awesome...very cool, but I feel the price you pay for each kit, doesn't justify the parts and materials you receive. Instructions are excellent, but the tubes are very thin wall and I get it because they are design to fly on black powder motors and keep the kit lite. I mean the motor tube can easily be crushed and for $40-60 you think they would improve and give you lite ply rings.

Personally my opinion and it doesn't mean much :2::2:for the price you pay I would expect lite ply 1/8" fins, wings whatever along with lite ply rings. Maybe glassine body tubes and nose cones that fit properly. Part of the instructions was cutting the shoulder to create a tail cone. Cool worked great, but the cone actually spilt on the mold seam. No biggie just glue, which is what I did. I guess what I'm trying say is if you are going to sell a $50 kit put in some decent parts. Dynastar kits are glorified ESTES kits of today. Comparison. Madcow sells a lot of $40-50 kits that come with thick walled standard tubes, ply fins and rings and quality balsa nose cones or plastic. A Dynastar Lexxjet is $58 a Madcow Jayhawk is $79 or a Madcow Scooter is $39 You can pay $20 more and get a real nice kit or pay $20 less and get a real nice kit.

I just don't the value in the kits ... I would say most if the 3FNC kits from Dynastar should be around $20 and kits like the Orion, Snarky and Lexxjet. Maybe $25-40...just saying, Whats nice once you buy the kits you do have a great set of instruction and they make great choices for upscales. I like what SHROX did with the Skunkwulf and sold it as a plan package, where you had the option to pick and choose the parts you wanted to make the kit. I think the Dynastar kits would do well as a plan package. You get instructions and decal and whatever templates are needed and you basically do the rest and you can modify the kit as you wish.
 

Woody's Workshop

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With all the available parts suppliers out there these days, I would guess that the plan packs would do well.
I'd rather spend $12-$15 for a plan pack and the same amount for the kit in parts and build a quality product.
Verses a kit that plagues you with headaches to build and only lasts a few flights before landings does it in.
Or the trips to and from the launch area.
You have to remember when buying from Apogee thou, you are paying a premium for services available for free.
I haven't looked, but if they are sold by other vendors, they may be cheaper else wheres.
 
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