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$1000. Fuselage

jack726

Veteran

Cerritos California

I can work with outdated instructions, lack of blueprints, etc, but when the windshield is bad what do I do. I am building the Century Black Hawk Coast Guard version, painted version. the price is over $1000. for the fuselage, so I expected a pretty nice helicopter. The Coast guard version is really a Jay Hawk, though called a Black Hawk in Century's literature. I know that the Jay and the Black Hawk have different windows. Well my problem is, that the mold lines on the vacuum formed windshield are over a 1/2 inch away from the cutout lines in the fiberglass fuselage. My assumption is that the windshield is from a Black Hawk, while the Coast Guard version is a Jay Hawk. E-mails to Century are as expected, ignored. I will never be able to show a model with such obvious a flaw. I guess you can't expect much for $1000. these days.

Frustrated

Jack

09-11-2009 Over year old.
jackheli

rrProfessor

Vancouver - Canada

This is a bummer.

I can't figure a reason why Century would not reply to your emails. It is inexcusable.

How far into the build are you?

It's easy to find an excuse to do wrong. Hard is not to find an excuse to do right.

09-11-2009 Over year old.
Sidneyw

Senior Heliman

Lake Zurich, IL

I thought Century has sales reps all over the country. Why not giving one of them a phone call?

09-11-2009 Over year old.
kshaw2154

Senior Heliman

Atlanta, Ga. USA

I don't know California that well by any means, but if I were anywhere in the Bay Area, I'd take the drive to their place of business with the problem and deal with them face to face. I'd either get the problem resolved or my money back.

09-11-2009 Over year old.
Hoverup

Elite Veteran

Golden Gulf Coast - USA

I have the same issues with my Century/FunKey USCG JayHawk. I thought I was lucky to get one during a HeliWorld sale a few months back for just under $825.00USD. I knew going in that this would never be more than a Fun Scale model, nothing to campaign at the Nats or IRCHA, but it just got worse and worse as I unpacked mine.

The USCG International Orange that should be on this big boy turned out to be red. The correct color is available for Dupli-Color automotive engine paints and happens to be Chevrolet red-orange. I can tell you with certainty that this is a perfect match as I live only 45 miles for the Mobile, AL USCG heli training facility and have always been welcome into the primary hangar with camera in hand. Oh yes, they have great coffee too, so I always bring a couple dozen TastyCreme doughnuts.

Back to the critique of FunKey's work for Century. Take the supplied tailwheel strut and toss it. Find another tail wheel to match the one provided or buy two new wheels like I had to do and start sketching up a Jay hawk tail wheel strut. The kit has the tail wheel located where it would be if it were a BlackHawk. The Jay Hawk tail wheel is located just forward of the hinge line which allows the tail boom to be folded to permit hangaring aboard ship where space is critical.

The model arrives with no clear coat which would be fine, except the full size JayHawk has a shiny paint surface. Due to the lack of clear coat you can easily see that many of the graphics are merely images, printed on bond paper and glued to the heli model after the color coats have been sprayed.

The port and starboard exhaust outlets need major work with a deft hand since nothing has been opened up at either end of the gas turbine engine modules. Cutting holes in a pre-painted Thousand Dollar fuselage is a worrisome task at best where one slip means repaint or paint repair.

Bottom line is this heli fuselage wasn't worth the $850 that I paid or the $1000.00 you shelled out. I am convinced that Heli-World looked at how many of these they had gathering dust and spider webs on the shelf and tried to lower stock levels with a sale. You can bet they made money on my buy, even at $850.00

Off the soap box - should have bought the unpainted version and started from scratch.

Cheers - Boyd
AMA 80393
IRCHA 3355
LSF 853
Major USAF
Retired

09-11-2009 Over year old.
Copter Doctor

rrProfessor

Enterprise/ft.rucker ,al- home of army aviation

i have never bought or even seen the coast guard version up close but that does sound a bit disapointing. instead of emails, i would give them a call. i find that phonecalls for the most part does better than emails.
while the painted fuses are usually a masterpiece from funkey, not very many of the detailing are to true or perfect scale and would only be considered appropriate for funscale. as hoverup stated, a masterpiece is better created getting the unpainted version and doing the prep work yourself. i plan on doing a jayhawk and have a lot of work to do with my fuse just like i did with my blackhawk. again, give them a call for quicker response.

drive a rotary, fly a rotorcraft

09-11-2009 Over year old.
HOMEPAGE  
jack726

Veteran

Cerritos California

I originally ordered an unpainted one, as there are some beautiful paint schemes available for the Black Hawk. I was informed that they were not in stock and they had no idea if they would ever be in stock.

You are right about the turbine exhausts. You need a steady hand, an artists eye and a lot of guts to cut into this expensive paint job. I lined the cutouts with CA soaked paper tubes so I would not be looking into empty holes. The top of the vertical stabilizer also had to be cut off to allow the installation of the Align 600 tail box. This took a steady hand. I am not sure what mechanics would fit without cutting the tail.

I have racked my brain to try an come up with a way to mount the horizontal stabilizer, so it can move. I think I will give up and glue it in a fixed position. That might make forward flight a real challenge though.

Jack

09-11-2009 Over year old.
jzanutto

Senior Heliman

Fresno, CA

WOW, I almost bought a funkey before I bought my approach cobra kit.

09-11-2009 Over year old.
Hoverup

Elite Veteran

Golden Gulf Coast - USA

WOW, I almost bought a funkey before I bought my approach cobra kit.
jzanutto - I know you are going to be even more happy with the results on your Approach Engineering Cobra. I've been watching your build thread with interest on that other forum and it's going to be a keeper.

The one advantage you do have involves a day trip from Fresno to San Jose and an appearance at Heli-World to see what you are getting for all those hard earned greenbacks for any of their so-called "Scale Fuselages".

I am leaning toward detailing mine as is, get a few months of fun flying down here on the Gulf of Mexico and then selling. One thing you can be sure of, I won't be taking it to Mobile USCG Station to show my air crew friends. Especially since the hangar is full of JayHawks and Dolphins.

Cheers - Boyd
AMA 80393
IRCHA 3355
LSF 853
Major USAF
Retired

09-12-2009 Over year old.
reddragon

Elite Veteran

Brooklyn, N.Y.

Bottom line is this heli fuselage wasn't worth the $850 that I paid or the $1000.00 you shelled out. I am convinced that Heli-World looked at how many of these they had gathering dust and spider webs on the shelf and tried to lower stock levels with a sale. You can bet they made money on my buy, even at $850.00

Off the soap box - should have bought the unpainted version and started from scratch.
This is very disappointing considering the bloody things cost so much money. I do thank you for enlightening us. The best thing for us to do would be to buy it unpainted and do it yourself. The sad thing is some of us don't have the skills to finish one off with a good glossy paint job and a good level of detail. THIS is what we buy the finished models for and not even that is good.

On another note, what is it with Century-Heliworld not answering e-mails? I've found the same with them myself over the years. Any other vendor would be quick to respond via e-mail and they don't even try. Yes, I do get results when I call but not everyone can sit on the phone with them during the day and an e-mail is easier to send off and wait for a reply.

Wayne - Fly it like you stole it! You're in good hands with Runryder!

09-12-2009 Over year old.
jzanutto

Senior Heliman

Fresno, CA

selling a product seems easier than product support. I think they have more non-technical sales staff th an tech oriented. I've called them about different things and you get the person who has to take down your question and call you back later once they've talked to the one tech guy.

maybe they sell so many of them that they dont worry about anything else?

09-12-2009 Over year old.
reddragon

Elite Veteran

Brooklyn, N.Y.

You're right. I believe there is ONE person there who is technically versed. The person who answers the phone takes your question, hangs up, asks him and then will call you back. What happens when he is not there? Sad.

Wayne - Fly it like you stole it! You're in good hands with Runryder!

09-12-2009 Over year old.
imnxtc

Veteran

BC.Canada

I have built 5 of their scale helis to date and the only pronlem I had was reciving one with some shipping damage - a small crack in the bottom of an S-300's windshield. I called their 800 number and they looked after it promply.

Are you e-mailing Heli-World or Century?

I know Heli-World must have been pretty busy this past week with their labour day sale. So that may be the cause of the delay.

They have an 800 phone line, which always gets answered. So may I suggest that you try that and ask for Paul Pan. He is the fellow I dealt with.

You could also check out how much a painted and detailed fuselage of that size (60/90) with painted markings (instead of decals) would cost from Vario or some of the other suppliers with similar offerings. You would then have a better idea of the value of your $1000.00 fuselage.

I know I looked it over at the Toledo show one year, and could not see how they could even have painted it, and all the markings, for that price.

09-12-2009 Over year old.
jack726

Veteran

Cerritos California

I am not complaining about the paint job. Though $450. extra over the unpainted one is a little steep. I have built many Century products and know the quality of their paint jobs; though I was a little surprised that this paint job was flat, while the real Coast Guard Jayhawks that I have seen are Gloss. My complaint is with the wind shield.

The pin-striping, that represented panel lines looks a bit cheesy and was starting to peel off in places. I peeled all the pin-striping off and shot clear high gloss polyurethane on it. It looks gorgeous now.

09-12-2009 Over year old.
Hoverup

Elite Veteran

Golden Gulf Coast - USA

And yet it's still the wrong color, shiny or flat.

Cheers - Boyd
AMA 80393
IRCHA 3355
LSF 853
Major USAF
Retired

09-13-2009 Over year old.
jzanutto

Senior Heliman

Fresno, CA

I paint motorcycles as one of my other hobbies.... a pint of paint will paint a whole motorcycle - about 5 helicopters.

A pint of the highest quality dupont automotive paint is about 50 bucks, and then the clearcoat- another 50 bucks. even if you paid someone 50 dollars per hour it should only take 2 hours to paint. That would be for me who hasnt done one of these before. So if you have an assembly line going, and a guy who does nothing but these helis for a living, then one hour is adequate I would think.

100 worth of paint, 50 labor......

actually they purchase the paint in bulk, so its probably half that price.

probably 100 bucks per helicopter to paint them....

09-13-2009 Over year old.
Rodan

Veteran

Prescott Valley, AZ

Having done four scale heli paintjobs, as well as a couple of bikes (all my own stuff), I can't imagine painting one for profit for less than $500-600. Of course, an assembly line is a whole different enchilada, but the materials are cheap compared to the time involved... prep, masking, painting, clearing, etc... Heck, it takes more than two hours to set my garage up as a paint booth!

09-13-2009 Over year old.
oldfart

Elite Veteran

Vancouver, Canada

Rodan

You saved me a lot of typing.

The biggest investment in any scale heli is the time to fill, base coat, sand, basecoat, sand, prep, detail, paint, more detail, mask, next color, mask, then next, then clear etc. A paint job such as we have here, is very work intensive, even at factory level. And considering how few of these size fuselages are sold, and specially of this particular model that would be made at any one time, $495.00 for that paint job, IMHO is a very good value. If you do not think so, then you don't have to buy it...simple as that.

Anyone who has ever spent the time needed to take a base, unpainted fiberglass fuselage and bring it to the final finish seen here, will know the real cost in time and effort.

P.S. Nowhere in the info on it, do I see any reference to "museum scale" or "competion scale" etc. Anyone willing to have such a model should/would know that they will ALWAYS have to get the bare bones fuselage and do all the research, detailing and use there own elbow grease, to get a truely accurate scale rendition of the heli they want. They would also know that it would cost literally a couple of thousand dollars to get someone to do it for them. Just go to the Toledo show or a similar one, and ask one of the winners how much they would charge you to do one for you.

This is a sport scale fuselage and IMHO worth the $495.00 extra for the finishing.

09-13-2009 Over year old.
catcat

Heliman

HK

Oldfart

I agreed with you! Painting a fuselage is not easy work, especally for those very scale and detailed fuselages.
Anyone who has ever spent the time needed to take a base, unpainted fiberglass fuselage and bring it to the final finish seen here, will know the real cost in time and effort.
I made my own fuselages from kit to painted.It was my first time to make it and helped by experieced and skilled friend. I used abt 40 hours, not including the drying time of the paint.

09-14-2009 Over year old.
Century Heli

rrAdvertiser

CA. USA

The only email we received from jack726 on this issue was on September 10th at 9:27am regarding a windshield fitment problem he was having with this fuselage. We replied to his email at 11:36am the same day. We requested photos so that we can see what is going on and that is the last we heard from him prior to this thread. We were directed to this thread over the weekend so we do not know what is going on and why he had posted stating we did not respond to his emails. We spoke to him this morning and he said he did receive a response for the request of photos but it was an inconvenience for him to send photos that detailed.

09-14-2009 Over year old.
HOMEPAGE  
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$1000. Fuselage

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