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  #1  
Old 08-22-2007, 07:57 AM
Druid Druid is offline
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Default I'm curious...

Hey all,

Hope y'all are doing well. I'm curious about something, and I think this is the right area to post it in...

Do you build the vintage kits that you purchase? Or, do you simply collect them and hope they'll be worth more money in the future?

I'm curious, because as I peruse sites like eBay and see how much money some kits go for (like the Saturn and Jupiter kits), I can't imagine someone actually building it!
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  #2  
Old 08-22-2007, 08:26 AM
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chanstevens chanstevens is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Druid
Hey all,

Hope y'all are doing well. I'm curious about something, and I think this is the right area to post it in...

Do you build the vintage kits that you purchase? Or, do you simply collect them and hope they'll be worth more money in the future?

I'm curious, because as I peruse sites like eBay and see how much money some kits go for (like the Saturn and Jupiter kits), I can't imagine someone actually building it!


I might not be best source for responding, as I haven't been around enough to accumulate much vintage, but my general theory would be:

1) If you manage to pick up an "inexpensive" kit, you're better off building it than keeping it for investment purposes. In rare circumstances, you can still buy an "inexpensive" kit worthy of investment, in which case buy two--one to build, one to save. Examples of this might be something like numbered editions (Flis, Semroc, Rocketflite come to mind, or limited editions such as Estes Orbital Transport, Scissor Wing, Quest Nike-Smoke). Remember--the reason the "collectible" kits get so expensive is because everyone built them/no one kept them. Don't expect current Red Max/Interceptor re-issues to be worth anything, as so many people are buying/keeping multiples thinking they'll go up just like the originals did.

2) If you see an expensive collectible kit at a discounted price, buy it and keep it. Example--Original Interceptors go for $100-125, so if you see one for $50, grab it (must be original, not reissue). Find an Estes Saturn V in a local hobby shop for $75? Grab it. When you spend that much on a modroc, though, it's pretty hard to justify building/flying it given the huge variety of interesting and inexpensive models available today.

3) If you see a rare and expensive kit running for normal/expensive/collectible market price, don't even THINK it will be a decent investment. It might fill a warm/fuzzy need or aleve obsessive/compulsive collector disorder by filling a hole on the wall, but if you pay $100 for an Estes Titan III don't expect to be able to resell it for $200 to fund retirement. Don't even expect to be able to resell it for $100.

One other general note--I've built/flown quite a few that, in retrospect, would have been worth keeping instead. My only regret on those is not that I blew a potential investment, but that I built them too soon--before I'd acquired the craftsmanship skills and experience to do them justice. For example, I've got a Titan III that has hot-glued fins and wavy hand-painted detail lines. Compared to what I could do with that kit today, it makes me cringe...

--Chan Stevens
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  #3  
Old 08-22-2007, 09:12 AM
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ghrocketman ghrocketman is offline
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The vintage kits I buy I generally build unless they are really rare.
I have a Vintage K-29 Saturn 1B and a K21 Gemini Titan that I was going to build, but now will not seeing as the S1B is cloned by Semroc and the Gemini by PD Rocketry.
I currently have an opened Enerjet Nike Smoke with "working" smoke that intend to build....that one IS really rare,but has little value as it is opened.
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  #4  
Old 08-22-2007, 09:28 AM
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cas2047 cas2047 is offline
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I agree with Chan. He summed it up very well. My two cents on top of that...


I've purchased a good deal of kits over the last two years, mostly off of eBay, and some of those have been put away as collectibles, others I have built.

When dealing with collectible kits I've got a couple of rules that I follow.

1. I will only buy if the kit can be had for below the going rate. For example if I can grab an Estes Sat V for well below the going rate I will do it. I've only been able to do that one time, and I have been looking for two years now. The kit is a 2001 Estes Sat V that was open and started before I purchased it. I got if for just over 60 and I just finished building it.

2. If I do manage to purchase a classic kit for a good price I won't build it unless I can get a second or unless it has already been opened and started. For example I was able to purchase the old Estes Mercury Redstone a year ago for 50 on eBay. It is unopened and mint in the bag. That kit is in the collectible cabinet. Now just recently I was able to purchase another one on eBay for 45 however the kit is open so I will build it.

3. If I am collecting an older kit it is for one of two reasons only. The first being that I want to build the kit at some future point with my son when he is ready to tackle a classic build. The second being that I expect to give that kit to my son so that he can either build it himself or with his son or daughter someday. I don't collect kits to try and sell them at some future time for a profit.

I applaud all of the true collectors out there because without them I would not have the ability to buy/build any of the classic kits that can still be had today. When I was a kid in the 60's-70's I built anything I could get my hands on so if everyone were like me there would be no old classics available at all.

In the end though (in my humble opinion) rockets are meant to be build and flown. That's why they come with engine mounts. When they should be built and flown, that's a whole different question.
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  #5  
Old 08-22-2007, 01:31 PM
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Initiator001 Initiator001 is offline
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In my case, I became a 'collector' when I could buy kits faster than I could build them!

I never expected thre to be companies that would produce 'clone' models of these model rockets so I bought many, many Estes and Centuri kits I found in hobby shops during the 1980s. My idea was that I would build them, someday.

Now that companies such as Semroc, BMS, Thrustline and others make excellent reproduction models, there is no need for me to open up the original models.

Even with all the 'clone' kits now available, there are still plenty of models that have not been re-kitted. My having the original kit allows me to take measurements and send the information to BMS and Semroc and get copies made of the original parts. This is how I was able to make my Enerjet Nike Ram and Aero-Dart clones (See attached pictures).

It's not just Estes and Centuri kits. I collect Cox, MPC, MRI, North Coast Rocketry and others. I have a GREAT collection of AeroTech kits and products. I don't know if they will ever be 'collectable'.

Hmm, maybe Scott Branche and I should have a collection 'duel'?

Bob
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  #6  
Old 08-22-2007, 08:46 PM
DWolman DWolman is offline
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That brings up a good question - how many kits make up a collection?

Bob - how many do you have in your collection? I'm curious to see how it stacks up against Scott's and/or other big collections -

I'm embarrassed to say that I have a collection of unbuilt kits that is well into the hundreds

Thanks

Dan
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  #7  
Old 08-22-2007, 10:30 PM
snuggles snuggles is offline
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Talking A"collection"

Don't be "embarrassed" by the amount of kits that are unbuilt. I have all of mine(over200) in my very own"subterranean hobby shop" ( my basement) .
I do take the time, occasionally, to ooh and aah at what I have amassed over the years.
As one of the TRFers says, " My wife is gonna have a hell of a garage sale if I die"
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  #8  
Old 08-23-2007, 09:59 AM
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Eagle3 Eagle3 is offline
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In comparison to Scott and Bob I have modest collection. A lot of them will be built... eventually, whether it will be me or my beneficiary remains to be seen. There are around 40 or so that won't be built. I'll clone them first or I have another for building, i.e. Semroc kits with or without production numbers. I have some of my favorites displayed on shelves, but I hope to add a peg board someday for hanging collection kits.
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  #9  
Old 08-23-2007, 01:30 PM
jbuscaglia jbuscaglia is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DWolman
That brings up a good question - how many kits make up a collection?

Bob - how many do you have in your collection? I'm curious to see how it stacks up against Scott's and/or other big collections -

I'm embarrassed to say that I have a collection of unbuilt kits that is well into the hundreds

Thanks

Dan


Dan,

Admitting that you have a problem is the first step towards recovery.

I had to sell my condo and buy a house because my rocket room was overflowing. (well, that wasn't the ONLY reason.)

"Hi. My name is John and I have a rocketry problem..."

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  #10  
Old 08-23-2007, 01:42 PM
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kurtschachner kurtschachner is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbuscaglia
"Hi. My name is John and I have a rocketry problem..."



OK, with due respect to those who developed the 12-step program and absolutely no disrespect to our Higher Power, is my 30-second rewite of the program:

***************

We admitted we were powerless over rocketry--that our collections had become unmanageable.

Came to believe that "just one more kit" could be enough.

Made a decision to store our kits until such time as we would build them.

Made a searching of hobby shops wherever our travels took us.

Admitted to no one the exact number of our stored kits.

Were never ready to have anyone remove any of the kits from our posession.

Humbly asked Carl to clone our favorite kit.

Vaguely had an idea of all the kits in our posession.

Made direct PayPal payments to such people wherever possible.

Continued to take a rocketry inventory and when we miscounted, corrected it.

Sought through Ye Olde Rocket Forum to improve our conscious contact with others, as we understood them, logging on only for knowledge of some forgotten kit.

Having had an awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others, and to convince our family that medication was not necessary.
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