What is a “Short Kit”

Quite possibly, there will have been a time in this hobby when most of your purchases will have been complete kits, from the top tier kit makers in the past. Complete kits, they look good, they smell good, and the box is always packed with parts. They usually come with landing gear, wing and fuselage sheeting, landing gear blocks, all of the pre-cut parts, and sometimes if it is a power model, engine mount or fuel tank.

I do not sell this kind of kit. The world has changed and is changing all the time. The big companies used to do production runs in the thousands to bring the kit price down to an affordable level. Also, there weren’t as many designs available on the market, so with everybody generally buying the same thing, it made sense to go all the way with a kit and make shedloads of them.

I am glad to say that building is coming back in a big way, builders are starting to want more than the average ARTF, and more often than not, they want it today.  As a kit cutter, I am not going to make specialized landing gear, canopy, and hardware packs for every kit on my list, because it takes too long and may produce excess stock.

Let’s Talk About What is in a Short Kit

Depending on the model, a short kit contains the parts that need to be cut to a specific shape, such as wing ribs, fuselage sides (especially wing saddles), bulkheads, and other tidbits that would cause the plane to be out of whack if not cut correctly. Model parts can be a real pain in the whatsit to cut out with a knife. Here’s a picture of a typical model sailplane plan highlighting the parts that you would get in a short kit.

laser cut saiplanes short kits rc gliders sailplanes

The short kit reduces the need for a lot of meticulous cutting, but be aware that you will need to purchase spars, longerons, triangle stock, sheeting for the fuselage bottom and wings, wheels, hardware, and any other standard stock that might be required to finish the aeroplane. A scratch builder has to collect all of the parts necessary for completion from diverse sources. When you buy a short kit you are a scratch builder who pays somebody to cut out the important parts.  All canopies for the kits I sell are purchased separately from Sarik Hobbies.  You will find links to the canopies on the model pages.

I sincerely hope that this page has helped you understand what a “Short Kit” is.