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7 Essential Factors to Consider when Buying a Balsa Wood Airplane

6 Essential Factors to Consider when Buying a Balsa Wood Airplane

Aeromodelling enthusiasts rave about the wide selection of balsa wood airplane kits in the market today.  

However, the wide range of available options can make it difficult for you to pick a set to buy. 

To make things worse, you can't just randomly choose a popular kit because it might not fit your preferences too.

 That’s why knowing the following seven factors before buying a balsa wood plane will help: 

Factors to consider while buying balsa wood aeroplanes

1. Purpose of Purchasing a Balsa Wood Airplane

Begin by thinking of your reasons for buying an airplane model kit in the first place. They can affect your choice significantly. 

For example, buying a set for your child is different from buying one for aeromodelling sports. You also have other model kits for static display and flying.

2. Select Between Static or Flying Plane Models

In a nutshell, static model airplanes are non-flyable units. These serve as decors or souvenirs, such as in dioramas. Replicas of historical airplanes that you see in museums are good examples of static models. 

This type of model is perfect if you're a plane enthusiast who wants miniature copies of real planes in your home. You can find replicas with details close to their real-life counterparts too. 

In contrast, flying models are those that can fly with the help of a power source. Most units are made-up of balsa wood which is known for its fantastic lightweight and durability. Laser technology precisely cuts each piece for superb aero performance. 

There are also remote or radio-controlled model airplanes. You'll love them when you plan to join an aero-sport or use them for your personal enjoyment. 

3.  Type of power source

You can also choose your balsa wood airplane based on its power source. While rubber drives and electric batteries are popular choices, there are also gas-powered units.  

It is not advisable to buy a gas-powered model aircraft for your kids because it is too dangerous.

4. Consider Kit Types

There are a few types of plane model kits available today. 

While they are all static or flying models, each type has certain specifications that can affect your buying decision.

a) Scale Replica Kits

These are small-scale plastic replicas of real-life aircraft units available in 1:72, 1:48, and 1:32 scale ratios. They often sport precise details of the original aircraft's features and specifications too.  

Examples are moving parts such as foldable wings, wheels, propellers, and compartments. You can also buy a kit with accurate decals and paints for designing purposes.

b) Historical Model Kits

Are you a history buff and a plane model enthusiast? 

If yes, these are the perfect kits for you. 

These replica kits feature real-life aircraft units from history like fighter and carrier jets from the major world wars. You can even find a miniature version of the first aircraft by the Wright Brothers too.

c) Simple Kits

Simple entry-level kit types are pre-painted sets that you can attach in a snap, perfect for newbies and kids.

5. Size and Scale of the Plane Model

Remember that size and scale are two different things when talking about airplane models.

Size is the exact measurement of a miniature plane, while the scale is its ratio to its real-life counterpart.  

For example, you have a 1:32 scale plane model of Grumman F6F Hellcat. Meaning it is 1/32 of the actual size of a real F6F Hellcat.

6. Difficulty of Assembling the Kit

You'd know that a kit is difficult to assemble when it has a lot of tiny parts to attach. Some even require you to provide enough screws to complete. 

That could be enjoyable for you because assembling a unit is also a part of the experience when owning one. However, it’s better to avoid such kits if you don't have the time and skills to put a complex assembly together.

7. Add-Ons and Kit Inclusions

Of course, you should know what's in a kit before buying it. Aside from the main parts of the model aircraft, you'd also get decals as decorations.

Moreover, find out if the kit comes with paint if you don’t plan on buying a pre-painted set. Otherwise, you will have to find the right color and type of paint for your model plane. 

Select the Best Balsa Wood Plane Kit and Enjoy!

Now that you know these factors, you will find that choosing the best model airplane isn't that challenging. You only have to stick to your purpose of buying a balsa wood airplane and weigh the other factors as your guide.