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Top RC Models P-51 Mustang - No Parts!

Started by Sonny Coleman, January 13, 2017, 03:46:47 pm

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Sonny Coleman

A long sad warning story about a new player in the ARF warbird realm.
A few months back I purchased one of the all composite Top RC Models mustang from Gator R/C. The plane arrived in a huge box with a big crushed area on one side, so I immediately opened the box and only found a broken rear canopy frame. I decided to just keep the model and repair the canopy frame myself. My bad.

Well, the canopy frame is made out of a very thin and extremely brittle composite material that has to be somewhat flexible when installing and aligning the big rear canopy glass.
The frame could not be repaired due to the material being so brittle and a lack of area for an adhesive to stick to and still be flexible. So I contacted Mike at Gator RC, the guy I bought the plane from, to see if he had a replacement canopy frame. Although he was very personable, he had no replacement parts for the mustang and what's worse he could not tell me if or when he could get parts for the mustang. For the past 2 months the plane has been sitting waiting for a new canopy frame. I contacted the factory directly today and pleaded my case hoping they might help. <sniffle>

The Scale Masters isn't until June, so there's still time.  :)

Sonny
"The highest reward for a person's toil is not what they get for it, but what they become by it"<br />John Ruskin

dlabby

I may be wrong but it seems the "new model gremlins" are out to get you on your recent selections. Is this the normal D model P-51? Are there no other P-51 manufacturers/distributors, etc that might have a canopy (in that scale) that would come close or kinda suffice? Have you talked to Sparky about this dilemma?
Darrell Abby

Lane C.

Sonny, the CARF P-51 canopy might be fairly close. Give me the length and width of the canopy and I'll measure my P-51. CARF makes the glass canopy frame by itself. You might be able to cut and splice it in length and width if it's close. Just a possibility.
Current Build = BUSA 1/4 Fokker DVII
Just Finished = Meister 118" A6M3 Model 22 Zero
Future Build = Top Flite ARC F6F Hellcat

Sonny Coleman

It seems I finally irritated the Top RC Models factory folks enough to get a positive response. It sounds like help is on the way!

Email from Top RC Models:

"Dear Sonny,

We are sorry for the shipping damage.

We are very concern on our service, we will solve this issue ASAP. We offer all our dealers with our spare parts and all the spare parts can be replaced by our local dealer.

This issue you mentioned we will communicate with our local dealer and solve it within days. Sorry for the long waiting".

Many thanks & best regards,
Henry,He
Top Model Technology Co.,Ltd
[email protected]
Skype: Toprcmodel

The ball is rolling.

Lane, as always, thank you for the for the advice. I appreciate that.


Sonny
"The highest reward for a person's toil is not what they get for it, but what they become by it"<br />John Ruskin

dlabby

Darrell Abby

Sonny Coleman

January 17, 2017, 11:26:48 am #5 Last Edit: January 17, 2017, 11:37:07 am by Sonny Coleman
Apparent Happy Ending to this sorted tale:

From Mike Mueller - Gator RC (Top RC Models US Distributor) And a really nice guy! ;) Everyone makes mistakes you know...

"Hi Sonny,

I have it and can send it. I got it very recently.
No doubt I let this slip.
I'm sorry this happened.
This is not my normal MO.

Mike Mueller"

I do appreciate the fact that he manned up and admitted the mistake and immediately moved towards making things right. That's the way to conduct business and win customers.

Onwards and Upwards,

Sonny
"The highest reward for a person's toil is not what they get for it, but what they become by it"<br />John Ruskin

Lane C.

Sonny, let's see some photos of the plane so far!
Current Build = BUSA 1/4 Fokker DVII
Just Finished = Meister 118" A6M3 Model 22 Zero
Future Build = Top Flite ARC F6F Hellcat

Sonny Coleman

January 18, 2017, 09:16:03 am #7 Last Edit: January 25, 2017, 10:41:57 am by Sonny Coleman
Lane, the P-51's canopy is on the way. Soon as I get it installed I'll take some photos, hopefully at the flying field just before the maiden voyage.

Sonny
"The highest reward for a person's toil is not what they get for it, but what they become by it"<br />John Ruskin

Sonny Coleman

January 25, 2017, 07:51:57 am #8 Last Edit: January 25, 2017, 10:44:03 am by Sonny Coleman
Last Thursday (1/19/17) Mike Mueller, USA distributor of the Top RC Models product line, emailed me letting me know the canopy frame for my "Blondie" mustang would arrive the following day (Friday), and sure enough it did.

I'm chomping at the bits to fly that mustang because if it works out to be a keeper there are other all composite Top RC Models warbirds in the development phase, like an all composite corsair and FW-190. Guys, these all composite planes go together easy like a 2nd grade puzzle, and they are pre-painted and clear coated (and they look great). Much less expensive and easier to build than the Comp ARF product line.

Soap Box Time:
Why won't any of the ARF producers/manufacturers bring us something different like a big Lightning, Hellcat, Mosquito, Seafury, or Wildcat. To my knowledge there are no all composite WW1 aircraft. I would love to have a 80+ wingspan Fokker DVII or even a D.V Albatros.

It seems we pretty much mainly see the usual fare of mustangs, corsairs, thunderbolts, and ME-109s at meets and at our field. It's a wonderful thing having so many GSW modelers that are warbird enthusiasts/owners/pilots, and seeing so many of them in the pits warms the cockles of the heart. What the heck is a cockle anyways, must be a British thing.

Sonny

Sonny
"The highest reward for a person's toil is not what they get for it, but what they become by it"<br />John Ruskin

Lane C.

Hi Sonny, these guys developing/selling the ARF's are risking LOTS of $$$$ in a new ARF. It's more than just the cost of building and shipping. There is the development cost as well. They are going to take the SAFE route and make something that sells. Sadly for guys who are tired of the same ole thing, it's the usual P-51, Zero, Spitfire, etc, WWII warbirds that sell the best. Everyone wants a P-51! Even guys who don't know how to fly yet. It's the first plane on their wish list. However, even the 85 inch F6F Hellcat ARF by Wild Hare (local guy) I had took the guy about a year to sell them all. He had to buy a container full and that was probably $50K invested. Guys want their money back quick and a profit. And, with the economy like it is, hobby items are not sure deals to invest in. Another point is that Giant Scale Planes don't sell as well due to the overall complexity and cost. Beside the cost of the airframe, you have a big layout on all the other items required to finish the job. A Giant P-51 will cost at least $1500 to $2000 (and up) if you do it up right. So, many guys buy the 74 inch span warbirds because they do RC on a budget. You can do one of those for about a Grand.

But, compared to the CARF P-51, the Top RC Models is a bargain. CARF is over priced for sure and they are "living on reputation" as the old saying goes. I think the CARF P-51 basic shell is worth one-half of what it costs, which would put it in-line, price wise, with the Top RC P-51. At the time I bought mine, CARF was one of two composite P-51's available, the other being the 1/4 scale 3W P-51, which I was not aware of at the time and it's really too big anyway to haul around in my truck. Plus, it sells for about $3K. Not cheap.

And lastly, the ARF developers have essentially priced themselves out of the market. A Giant Warbird, with shipping, will run you about $1K. That's just the airframe, nothing else. They are making sure they are passing the buck on to you, the consumer, for any losses they may incur, including the fading value of the US Dollar.

That's my take on ARF's. All about economics.
Current Build = BUSA 1/4 Fokker DVII
Just Finished = Meister 118" A6M3 Model 22 Zero
Future Build = Top Flite ARC F6F Hellcat

dlabby

Interesting discussion, guys. In our club at least, there are several guys going for the smaller electric foam scale warbirds. The detail is amazing and they are plug and fly. Many to choose from and not much money. I realize this is entirely a different class.
Darrell Abby

Sonny Coleman

Some of the smaller scale birds (foamies) are really nice looking with incredible scale details molded right in. I especially like Paul Lange's B-17 because it has the proper scale outline and lots of details, and it flies it so well. Ed's T-28 (with the cool engine sound system) is a relatively big scale plane, and it's a (rather large) foamie as well.

My main reason for sticking with the larger scale birds is eyesight, and the larger the plane the easier it is to see properly on that down wind leg, and an added bonus with larger planes (warbirds), the larger planes aren't so quick (skiddish) in their overall movement when something like wind comes into play, which it does a lot in our part of the world.

As long as I can haul a plane and have access to a flying field that can facilitate an 80"+ wingspan model its the bigger planes that will ring the bell for me. To each their own.

Actually, that's why flying FPV was so inviting, because you don't need great vision when your looking out the nose of the plane as if sitting in the pilot seat, and once in forward flight they fly very much like a fixed wing plane (control wise). There are 80+ year young quad pilots out there mixing it up with the younger guys and having just as much fun, but enough of the quad stuff here. Quad warbird? Not even....
"The highest reward for a person's toil is not what they get for it, but what they become by it"<br />John Ruskin

dlabby

I agree with you.
I am looking forward to seeing your Top RC Mustang.
Darrell Abby

Paul Lange

January 26, 2017, 12:14:59 pm #13 Last Edit: January 26, 2017, 01:56:23 pm by Paul Lange
Yep - I am also looking forward to seeing that Top RC Models P-51.  Agree too...no substitution for big awesome howling screaming R/C planes.  However for my present life scenario.....the ease of electric and "Smaller Scale" airframes suit me just fine.

I do appreciate and love to see the ubra big screaming gasser R/C's in the air.....makes the hair on the back of my neck and top of my toes stand up - LOL

The "latest" Electric Foamie planes have now, in my opinion, have made quantum leaps.  Now proliferating larger, faster with longer flight times, wider wind envelope capabilities.  My latest acquisition (1600mm F7F-3 / 62inch wingspan) is hard to believe.....even after a 20minute assembly.....then add on spring loaded Oelo landing struts no fuss.

Reports are coming in regarding the FMS 1500mm P-47 Razorback.....stunning in all areas, scale fidelity, power to flight, acrobatic capability, flight times encroaching full 10minutes, reliable Oelo spring loaded landing struts.....touch-n-go's all day on rough sod......priced below $360.00 ready to maiden if you have radio and batteries in the bin. 

Paved runway field:
https://youtu.be/3trjqUvzEeY

Grass field:
https://youtu.be/-7D2EwZF3CY

Paul H Lange

Best Regards - Paul H Lange

dlabby

Personally, I am thrilled to see these super detailed, smaller scale planes. I know that as our members get older, they can no longer manhandle the heavy, larger scale aircraft. This class allows the guys to continue flying and fly scale birds. And not everyone has room to store them. And there is that $$$ differential, too.
The ground crew will do our best to keep our grass runway suitable for those smaller wheels. We will even help hand launch your plane...just ask.
Let's go fly!
Darrell Abby