Most of you are aware, that our hobby has become more expensive, with the change in the Australian Dollar value, and the higher fees for parcel post.
One way around it, is to build your own – either in balsa or foam board.
There are hundreds of plans on the net, for balsa look here: http://www.outerzone.co.uk/index.asp
However, building with a plan is not easy for a beginner. There are still some kit manufacturers, who cut the pieces by laser, and you would have to glue them together. Unfortunately, these kits are usually dearer than the ready-made plane.
The exception are kits by HobbyKing, which are around $40.00 or below. Add postage ($20.00) and the iron-on cover ($8.00 per colour) and you can buy a good looking balsa model. The electronics and motor come on top, of course.
The price is not much different between the International and the Australian warehouse, when you take the postage into consideration.
In particular look for the:
- Cloud Dancer, which is a good size
- Big Stick, not so big, but flyable
- Sunbird, an electric glider
The picture of the Cloud Dancer is awful, but here is a better one:
A 35-36 motor with between 800 and 1400 kv would suite the plane, such as this one with a 10×4” prop:
Cheap 9g servos will do, but the HobbyKing 929MG, or 939 MG (metal gear) would be better.
Perhaps this gives you some idea of buying a cheap balsa plane.
Once you have mastered the kits, you can try building from plans. Some of the plans have the parts drawn, and you just have to trace them onto the appropriate balsa or plywood sheet. Then cut them out with a hand jigsaw or hobby knife and you end up with your own kit.
Cheap balsa and plywood is available here:
A typical plan of a large trainer, with the parts individually drawn, is here: