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Product Lab - December 2009

This month we look at Martian Fluxx and Aquarius from Looney Labs, the 1:8-scale The Mummy from Moebius Models, a retailer review of the Catan Dice Game from Mayfair Games, and much more.
Published: October 30, 2009
Porsche Cayman
Porsche 911

Schuco creates 1973 'ultimate' Porsche, plus crisp Cayman S

Product: Porsche has stood for performance for 60-plus years, racing its way into the car-crazy American and world psyche just after World War II. Early on, its bathtub-styled 356 models garnered much of the attention: movie legend James Dean, also a racer, died at the wheel of a Porsche 550 Spyder in a highway accident in 1955.

The legend and mystique of the make lives on. It's a natural fit for German die-cast car maker Schuco to further enhance the brand with its newest 1:43 releases of two popular models: the 1973 911 RS and the current Cayman S. Schuco has limited the worldwide availability of these models to 1,000 each.

Only 1,500 of the '73 911 RS (RennSport) were built, and many were used for racing, this being the "ultimate" Porsche of its day. And racy it was for the 1970s, with 210 horsepower at 6,300 rpm, producing a nasty 255 ft.lbs. of torque from its 2.7-liter engine, which was out in back, like all Porsches, giving the rear-drive sports car oodles of rear grip for rocketing around the road race courses.

The RS had dual exhausts, a big Carrera (Spanish for "race") decal along the side, and ducktail rear spoiler, plus it rode a bit closer to the ground to help it slip through the air more smoothly than the standard-production Porsches.

The Cayman is a current Porsche model, sort of an entry-level 911, although in reality, it's a better-looking model and fairly zippy itself.

The Cayman features the bulging rear fenders and fastback look of the classic 911, but with an updated, modern look. It's based on Porsche's Boxster convertible, with three engine choices, all boxer 6 cylinders, including 2.7-, 2.9- and 3.4-liter versions. The S is the fastest version with the biggest engine, delivering 320 horsepower and 273 ft.lbs. of torque.

Like other Porsches, the Cayman is light and nimble, weighing in at 2,954 lbs. and riding on just a 95.1-inch wheelbase. Like all Porsches, it doesn't come cheap, about $60,000, but that's less than a 911 by a long shot.

Performance: While I love the Cayman's looks, the 911 RS is the kick-butt model here, with lots of detail for a 1:43-scale model. The headlight lenses look authentic and include the metal trim ring popular on Porsches of the day. There are realistic chrome door handles, window trim and driver's side mirror along with detailed windshield wipers up front and a defroster grid in the rear window.

In back are chrome and rubber bumper guards, detailed twin tailpipes and the black grating that covered the engine air vents just before the ducktail spoiler. The only detail that gets glossed over externally is the gas filler door in front of the driver's door, which is marginally cast into the fender.

Markings are good, though, with a red lower body trim stripe from the front bumper to those rear bumper guards, plus the script Carrera logo on the side and red Porsche name on the tail. Schuco also completes the exterior look with red wheels to match the trim.

Inside you can see a complete cockpit with gauges on the dash, a gear shift lever, rearview mirror and seats with raised headrests, making this a primo model for the price.

The Cayman is a handsome car, and Schuco's rendition is beautifully executed, right down to the ventilated disc brakes and red brake shoes. Head and taillight detail is extremely realistic, and all the body seams are deep and crisp, including the front fender gas filler door. That's better than on the 911 RS.

While there are front and rear license plates, chrome rear dual exhaust tips and spiffy 5-point wheels, the car's interior is a standout. The side windows are down, so you can peek inside to see realistic-looking gauges and center stack controls, a shifter and other door and dash trim. The only oversight appears to be no seatbelts. Still, this is a delightful model that will appeal to all Porsche fans in the States.

Marketing: Each of these is limited to 1,000 pieces worldwide, so it's not like you're selling Hot Wheels or Matchbox cars here. These are finely built and beautifully presented.

Why not create a special Porsche display with a poster and both plastic and die-cast models there, maybe even some slot cars to encourage all your hobbyists to go Deutsch for a bit and buy a Porsche? If you're in a larger population area, you might even be able to do some cross-promotion with a local Porsche dealer. Give the dealer flyers to send folks to your store (maybe a 10%-off coupon), and you can include the dealer's Porsche brochures in your store's display in exchange.

Reviewed by Mark Savage

Product: Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7; Porsche Cayman S second generation, silver
Maker: Schuco
Scale: 1:43
Stock Nos.: 911 RS (550355300), Cayman (550730100)
MSRP: 911 RS, $49.99; Cayman, $44.99
Availability: Silvergate

Bottom Line
  • Nice detail at reasonable price

  • Popular nameplate and models

  • Limited (1,000) quantities

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    1:18 Nissan GT-R from Autoart

    Product: One of the most talked about near-exotics in a while is this year's Nissan GT-R, but it's just the latest in Nissan's line of rocket-like sports coupes.

    The GT-R moniker started 20 years ago with a Skyline model in Japan labeled the GT-R R32. That car was produced until 1994 and was followed by the R33, which was bigger. Evidently even the Japanese follow the U.S. automaker playbook of always making the next model larger and more refined.

    But by 1999 Nissan had discovered its mistake and came back with the GT-R R34, a smaller and decidedly racier coupe, again featuring Nissan's 2.6-liter inline-6, packing twin turbos. Eventually there were 11 versions of the R34, ranging from 454 to 354 horsepower. So now Autoart rolls out the 2009 GT-R and a NISMO (Nissan Motorsports) Sports Resetting version of the R34, both in 1:18 scale. Both should please collectors and be good news for hobby shops.

    Performance: The NISMO version, the 354-horse twin-turbo, is a gorgeous bright metallic blue with a hood that opens to reveal a fully detailed metallic red race engine, plus a metallic support strut to stiffen the racer for better handling. Atop that strut that extends across the engine bay is a realistic NISMO logo. There's a metal support prop to hold the hood up and in back, the trunk is functional and contains a tether.

    The R34's interior is black with race seats and a well-detailed dash. Many gauges are readable; there's a shift lever too. Outside, race decals are minimal enough to keep from spoiling the brilliant paint job, and naturally there's a wing on the back deck lid. Both doors also open.

    Probably more impressive to the younger crowd, and folks who like new metal, is the 2010 GT-R. Nissan has been teasing performance jockeys for several years with promises of a new GT-R. This year it delivered. Think Toyota Supra on steroids!

    The 2009 GT-R R35 will end up on racetracks - soon. And Nissan is touting it as a super car with a hand-made 485-horse (some car magazines put it north of 500 horses) twin-turbo 3.8-liter V-6 engine. It also features ATTESA E-TS All-Wheel Drive, patented rear-mounted transaxle and 15-inch Nissan/Brenbo disc brakes, plus 4-wheel independent suspension with a Bilstein DampTronic shock system. Add to that 20-inch tires and alloy wheels. All this in a 3,814-lb. package. The car's top speed is said to be 193 mph; its starting price is $80,790!

    Autoart delivers this one in an awesome vibrant red paint scheme, and now models also are available in silver, black, white and metallic gray.

    This model has a bit of everything for collectors, authentic hood hinges, a damper to support the trunk lid, photo-etched metal disc brake rotors with holes for ventilation and copper colored calipers, along with realistic textured front and tail lamps. Fit and finish are quite good and the detailing is typical of Autoart's high standards.

    Marketing: These GT-Rs are best marketed to the younger die-cast collector. Despite its enormous real world price tag, the street version of the GT-R has a decidedly younger following. Display this one alongside some World Rally cars or Drifter cars, also popular with younger auto lovers. You also could pair the newer model with the older GT-R models and maybe print out a quick stat sheet to display atop the display case, pointing out the history and vital stats of both.

    Reviewed by Mark Savage

    Product: Nissan GT-R, red; Nismo Skyline GT-R Sports Resetting R34, blue
    Maker: Autoart
    Scale: 1:18
    Stock No.: 77396 GT-R, red; 77359 Nismo Skyline, blue
    MSRP: $114.95 each
    Availability: Gateway Global

  • Gorgeous quality

  • Reasonable price for the quality

  • Should draw younger buyers

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    Martian Rails: Epic Railroading on Mars from Mayfair Games

    Product: Martian Rails is the latest offering in Mayfair Games' Empire Builder series of rail empire-building games. This time players can combine their railroading and sci-fi passions by laying tracks on the famous red planet, Mars. Included in the box are a puzzle-cut map board of the burgeoning Martian rail empires, 100 plastic load chips, 180 cards (covering Event, Demand and Locomotive cards), pawns, crayons and cash. The game also includes the Empire Builder rules along with a booklet with rules specific to Martian Rails.

    Gameplay: For those of you who have played Empire Builder before - it's Empire Builder (albeit with a few new twists). For those of you who haven't played the aforementioned rail game, Martian Rails is all about laying tracks and making cash along the way.

    The Empire Builder series of games is built around a set of core rules that cover the basics in the line. Players build rail lines by connecting mileposts on the board with included crayons, pick up and deliver loads for payment as listed on the Demand cards and deal with the effects of Event cards such as floods, rail strikes and derailments.

    The Martian Rails Specific Rules booklet adds a variety of wrinkles to the standard Empire Builder game. Wrap-letters are points on the map that automatically connect with other points to simulate the spherical nature of a planet. New mileposts exist along the Martian landscape, including deserts, forests, jungles, marshland and volcanoes, along with canals and lakes. Along with these new features, Martian Rails also includes several new Event cards, including a sabotage card!

    Marketing: For those stores already selling Mayfair Games' other products - and what respectable game store doesn't carry Settlers of Catan - Martian Rails is likely a no brainer. Shelve it next to the other Empire Builder games and let it sell itself. Same basic rules, new location and a few new tweaks to keep the game fresh. Easy peasy.

    Of course, if you aren't selling Empire Builder, but already stock some of Mayfair's other board games, then Martian Rails will likely be a good addition to your shelf space anyway. Frankly, the game is easy to set up and play. While using a dry erase crayon to make your track might seem corny or cheap in today's day and age of electronic dominance or, for board games, a desire for high-end wooden pieces, it quite simply works and works well for the game.

    For stores new to this type of game, the target audience will clearly be those with a love for all things railroading or those wargamers looking for something slightly different, but still in that same board game conquering vein. The main attraction for any new player is going to be the speed of entry (it really is that simple to begin playing) and the sense of building something and competing with other players instead of destroying what they have created and competing against them.

    Demoing this in the store is probably more like setting up a chess game against a pen pal. Make it a long term project that is there to get people to stop and look rather than learn to play right away. Set up the game in a high traffic area and make a few moves a day or every couple of hours - whenever you have time. Just make sure all the parts are available for a passerby to easily see and be ready to answer questions when customers stop and look.

    Add-on sales are easy for Martian Rails. Go to the Mayfair Games Web site and find anything with "Empire Builder" in its title. If the customer enjoys one, he will likely enjoy the others as well. Martian Rails is yet another piece in the Empire Builder puzzle. Use that to your advantage to score some big sales with this game!

    Reviewed by Fred Jandt

    Product: Martian Rails: Epic Railroading on Mars
    Publisher: Mayfair Games
    Stock No.: MFG4601
    MSRP: $42
    Availability: ACD, Alliance, Brown Box, Centurion Hobby Distributor, GTS Distribution, Mad Al, Premier Hobby Distribution, R&M, Southern Hobby Supply

  • Easy to learn and get started playing

  • Has Empire Builder line for plenty of back up support and add-on sales

  • Can appeal to both railroading fans and sci-fi buffs

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    The Catan Dice Game from Mayfair Games

    Product: The Catan Dice Game is a smaller, less time-consuming version of the Settlers of Catan board game. During the game, you're trying to build settlements, cities, roads and knights. The package indicates that games take 15 to 30 minutes, but it took us at least an hour.

    This game is portable and easy to learn. The leather dice cup is excellent quality; the full-color scoring maps are a nice touch. The game should be an easy sell to Catan-hungry fans. When we played it in the store, it drew a crowd.

    There are a few drawbacks to the game. For example, the packaging is unwieldy, making it hard to hang more than one game on a peg, and it doesn't sit straight on a shelf. The scoring maps can be used only once, so replacing them is going to be difficult. And once the game is open, there's nothing to store it in other than the plastic blister pack.

    Gameplay: The Catan Dice Game is a simplistic version of the Settlers of Catan board game. Resources are rolled on the dice; you use combinations of them to build your city. The farther along the road you build, the more points that are attainable. This is a great game for those who like luck-based play, although the strategy seems to be lacking.

    There are two ways to play the game: Island One and Island Two. Island One is definitely the simpler way, letting you score points for every road, city and settlement you build. Island Two rewards the points for the longest road and largest army.

    Catan is a good solitaire game, and there aren't many of those out there.

    Marketing: This game is best marketed to those looking for either a solitaire or travel game. While the game can be played by as many as four, we don't see customers choosing to play this over the regular version.

    Since it's a visually appealing game, our suggestion is to place Catan on a table with a sign saying, "Ask us for a demo." The game is perfect for this because it's easy to learn and not at all intimidating.

    Although the packaging describes the game as "a great casual introduction to the world of Catan," we disagree. We believe that a current Catan player will find it intriguing, but the $25 price point will make it a hard sell to the casual board gamer.

    Reviewed by the staff at The Hobby Shop, Wilson, N.C.

    Product: Catan Dice Game
    Maker: Mayfair Games (see our review of Pack & Stack)
    Stock No.: MFG3109
    MSRP: $25
    Availability: ACD, Alliance, Brown Box, Centurion Hobby Distributor, GTS Distribution, Mad Al, Premier Hobby Distribution, R&M, Southern Hobby Supply

  • Simple intro to world of Catan

  • Solitaire option available

  • Unwieldy packaging

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    Aquarius 10th Anniversary Edition from Looney Labs

    Product: Aquarius is a family game for 2-5 players that appeals to a range of ages, from 6 to adult. Kids can really get into its easy play, colorful cards and speedy play. For adults, the game offers a level of strategy and competitiveness usually not found in games of this sort.

    Inside the box is a deck of 55 element cards, 18 action cards, one wild card and five goal cards. All are colorfully illustrated. There is also an instruction sheet with rules for normal play and a version suitable for pre-schoolers.

    Gameplay: As with all Looney Labs games (see Are You the Traitor?), playing is simple and usually takes between 10 and 30 minutes. Players are dealt three cards each, plus a goal card, and the top card of the draw pile is flipped over onto the table. Each player, in turn, draws a card and then either plays an action card or adds an element card to the cards on the table.

    The goal cards, each with one of the elements (Earth, Air, Fire, Water or Space), are kept secret from the other players. Each player is trying to build a mosaic of element cards that are connected together by seven panels of his or her goal element. The first one to do so wins the game.

    Element cards (representing Earth, Air, Fire, Water and Space) must be positioned on the table next to a matching element, much like dominos. Action cards allow players to move cards, trade hands or even rotate goals. This allows for subterfuge, strategy and serious competition among seasoned players.

    Marketing: This is a game that can capture the attention of a casual game player, parent or grandparent, or someone looking for a gift.
    Looney Labs has really stepped up its game with retailer support. First, an Aquarius demo kit (No. LOO-DK-002) is available direct or from game distributors and comes with a copy of the game, a poster, and 50 punch-out promo cards.

    Second, the Aquarius display box, which holds six games, has a small footprint, and could easily be stocked next to the cash register. Its bright packaging will attract attention.

    Don't be afraid to demo the game when some one is at the checkout lane but expresses interest. Keep the demo kit close at hand, that way you don't have to open a new box, and show your customer what's inside, and how easy it is to play. Point out that it is a game suitable for 2-5 players, ages 6 to adult, and that there are even special rules for playing with preschoolers.

    Price can be a stumbling block for games, especially since many customers associate value with box size. You might suggest to customers that the game is highly portable, can be played just about anywhere, and that the dollar-to-fun-time ratio is much better than a movie simply because it can be played over and over.

    Games like Aquarius are a great alternative as gifts for kids. Where a toy might lose favor after even a few hours of play, a game, if cared for, can last a lifetime.

    Looney Labs wants retailers to know it is interested in promoting sales success. If a game isn't selling for whatever reason, they invite retailers to contact them, let them know and swap out games for something else in their catalog that might be a better seller.

    Reviewed by Tim Kidwell

    Product: Aquarius 10th Anniversary Edition
    Publisher: Looney Labs
    Stock No.: LOO-002 (ISBN: 1-929780-02-8)
    MSRP: $15
    Availability: Looney Labs or hobby game distributors

  • Lots of publisher support

  • Great value for price

  • Suitable for a wide audience

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    Martian FLUXX from Looney Labs

    Product: Martian FLUXX is the latest flavor of Looney Labs' perennial favorite card game FLUXX. This version is based on the new rules first set out in Zombie FLUXX with the introduction of the new Creeper cards. The game includes 100 cards and the double-sided rules sheet - more than enough to learn how to play. In fact, nearly one entire rules sheet side is dedicated to frequently asked questions about the game. The rules themselves only take up one side.

    Gameplay: Martian FLUXX is like any other FLUXX game, simple to learn and near impossible to master. Actually, virtually all the rules you need to know to start playing are contained on the Basic Rules card:

  • Shuffle the deck

  • Deal three cards to each player

  • Decide who goes first

  • Draw 1 card

  • Play 1 card

  • Of course, that's where things go all "looney." As players play cards, one of five card types can be played, including Goal cards (you need to meet these to win), Keeper cards (you usually need these to win), Action cards (one-and-done cards), the new Creeper cards (which usually prevent you from winning) and New Rule cards (which throw everything out of whack).

    The New Rule cards are what lends FLUXX its inherent quixotic nature. One game you might have to draw one card and play four on every turn and the next you might have to draw three cards and play or discard most of them right away due to a one card hand limit. You just never know what card your opponents will play against you or which one you will need to win at any given time.

    Marketing: Martian FLUXX is a great impulse item for your counter. At $16 it might be higher than that magic $9.95, but it has name recognition (FLUXX) with gamers and is easy to teach to non-gamers. Don't think so? Break open a copy of the game (or keep your demo version handy) and keep the Basic Rules card within reach. If anyone asks how to play, simply hand them that card. There, now they know how to play FLUXX. How easy was that? It's a great lead-in to an easy-to-learn and fun family game.

    Plus the utter randomness of FLUXX allows for it to be sold on the return on your investment (ROI) idea. What is the ROI on a $16 game? One that can be played with anywhere from two to six people in under an hour from ages eight to adult? And that is different virtually every time you play it? Most video games don't give you that sort of experience for three times the money.

    And I haven't even mentioned the Martians. Martian FLUXX is (as you guessed it) brimming with Martian invasion goodness from great Goal cards like Kloozmo! and Take Me To Your Leader to crazy Keeper cards like The Tentacle and Mind Control Transmitter. Plus it comes packed with Pathetic Human Creeper cards. It even infests the rules with some Martian goodness like the We Come in Peace, Martian Tech and Human Season cards.

    There's always a movie monster marathon on sometime. Play off that with your alien invasion-themed Martian FLUXX. Or wait for Halloween - the Martians always did like attacking around then.

    Reviewed by Fred Jandt

    Product: Martian FLUXX
    Publisher: Looney Labs
    Stock No.: LOO-038 (ISBN: 1-929780-75-3)
    MSRP: $16
    Availability: Looney Labs

  • All the rules needed to play on one card

  • Different game every time you play

  • Classic theme + known system = double the hooks

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    1:8 The Mummy from Moebius Models

    Product: Universal's movie monsters have been a mainstay of modeling since Aurora introduced its kits in the 1960s (see Gigantic Frankenstein). Now Moebius is taking up the mantle with a newly tooled kit of The Mummy, made famous by Boris Karloff in the 1932 movie.

    Molded in light gray plastic, the nicely detailed parts included a bandage-wrapped figure, a sarcophagus and lid, and a base with part of a wall, some ruins, and a cobra. The vignette captures the moment in the movie before Imhotep is returned to life through incantation.

    The instructions are typical of Moebius' recent kits, with extensive notes about the subject, modeling tips, and written instructions supported by photo illustrations. The back page includes extensive painting instructions, with 17 colors called out referencing Testors enamel and acrylic paints.

    Build: Crisply engraved detail on the sarcophagus makes the multicolored painting easier. I was super-impressed with the mummy's head, which is a dead ringer (no pun intended!) for Karloff.

    The figure fit together tightly, leaving a hint of seam that I removed with sanding and a little filler. The seam on the head was most prominent. After filling and sanding, I scraped the tip of a No. 11 blade across the join to blend the seam into the flow of the hair. Similar work disguised the seams among the bandages on the body.

    The lower sarcophagus presents the kit's only construction challenge, with exterior and interior each built from five parts. Alignment pins help, but it's easy to push one section out of position while trying to line up another. I used slow-setting Testors liquid cement (the smelly stuff with the pink label) and coaxed the parts into position. Both parts of the sarcophagus needed filler.

    Marketing: Monster kits are perennial favorites among modelers (Aurora's kits have been reissued by Monogram and Revell repeatedly), and this kit perfectly captures the spirit that made the originals so popular. It trumps its ancestors in ease of building. That coupled with great painting instructions should make this kit perfect not just for figure experts, but also for fans of the movie and figure novices who fancy trying a model that offers plenty of opportunities for experimentation and imagination.

    Some modelers may be put off by the complexity of the painting necessary, but showing them the kit parts with the sharp engraving can offer reassurance. Having a model built and painted on the front counter or where the kits are displayed can serve the same purpose as well as being an attractive, colorful draw.

    The kit has an extensive paint list. Having a copy on hand for buyers, or being familiar enough with it to recommend colors, can help them get off on the right track and drive additional sales. Several of the base colors recommended are available in spray cans, something worth pointing out. Most of the model is better finished with hand brushes: especially a narrow flat brush and a fine point like a five ought.

    Filler putty is necessary to finish the model well, so recommend a tube along with the paint.

    The big thing this kit offers is fun with a capital F! The ease of construction means the modeler can concentrate on the heart of the project - painting - without having to worry about Federal Standard numbers and accuracy. In addition to a build up of the model, playing up the kit's movie heritage in the display could drive sales. A few well placed, attractively done cobwebs, maybe a cheap strobe, and perhaps some bandages draped over the shelf displaying the kits is bound to draw attention. Maybe a TV running the movie's trailer could be used to reinforce the origin.

    Building and painting The Mummy gave me a chance to let my hair down and have some pure, unadulterated fun. The finished model stands more than 12 inches tall and draws a lot of attention, especially from non-modelers. People who don't know the difference between a Sherman and a Tiger can relate to The Mummy and it's for anyone who's a kid at heart.

    Reviewed by Aaron Skinner, associate editor, FineScale Modeler magazine

    Product: The Mummy
    Maker: Moebius Models
    Scale: 1:8
    Stock No.: 908
    MSRP: $41.95
    Availability: Visit Moebius Models for a distributor list

  • Fun! Just a great subject

  • Moldings make painting easier

  • Good fit, but needs a little filler

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    Su-26m Sukhoi BNF micro airplane from ParkZone

    Product: Sukhois have been a popular choice for R/C pilots who like to do serious aerobatics. Up until now about the smallest one you could find was E-flite's 480 ARF. Enter the Su-26m BNF by ParkZone.

    This 4-channel aerobatic gem comes fully assembled in a box about the size of a briefcase. Its wingspan is just 15¾ inches; length is 14¼ inches; and it weighs only 1.1 ounces. This is classified as an ultra-micro flyer and is made of durable EPS foam. It comes with a 4-channel Spektrum AR6400 receiver (installed) and a charger for the included single-cell 110mAh 1S 3.7V LiPo battery. It uses Bind-n-Fly DSM2 technology; besides the Spektrum transmitters, it will also bind to transmitters like the ones for the Blade mCX, CX2 and CX3 helis (see the E-flite S300 review).

    Performance: I used my CX2 transmitter and it was fine, although I would have liked to have had a radio that would allow me to dial in some exponential to make the control surfaces softer.

    Care must be taken locating the Sukhoi's center of gravity (CG), and I don't think this was covered enough in the instructions. All it said was to place the battery in the middle of the battery cavity and adjust it forward or backward to fine-tune it.

    So, if you're dialing in up-elevator right out of the gate, it's probably nose heavy, and if it snaps on takeoff or landing, it's probably tail heavy. By trial and error, I found the balance point to be 11/8 inches back from the leading edge.

    After getting the CG sorted out, the Sukhoi flew nicely. I was able to do rolls, snap rolls, spins and inverted flight. What I wasn't able to do were loops, as it simply didn't have enough power. Three simple modifications remedied that.

    First, I replaced the stock prop with a GWS 5x3 (No. GWSEP5030) prop. A GWS 5 x4.3 (No. GWSEP5043) would make a fine alternate. Second, I swapped out the stock 110mAh battery with Tenergy's 130mAh LiPo (No. 39014). Lastly, I removed the landing gear.

    Those modifications made a huge difference! Loops and stall turns were now possible, plus just about anything else. The Sukhoi flies rock-solid for such a tiny plane and is capable of handling winds up to 10 mph. However, it's best in calm air, like it is in the early morning or at sunset.

    As I got more comfortable with the plane, I found that I could fly it in a very small area. I got gutsy and flew it in our great room, which has a high ceiling. I couldn't do much more than a loop and one roll, but it was fun nonetheless. This will come in handy when I need my flying fix over the long Wisconsin winter.

    Marketing: The Sukhoi is for experienced pilots. Only flyers with a lot of time on the sticks will be able to enjoy the Sukhoi's full potential. Steer beginners to other planes, like the Vapor or Ember 2.

    If you have an experienced flyer on your staff, taking the Sukhoi out for a demonstration in the parking lot shouldn't be too much of a challenge if weather permits. The plane is durable, so it can take a little rough treatment.

    With BNF gaining in popularity, you probably want to carry compatible Spektrum transmitters like the DX6i, perhaps selling the Sukhoi as part of a package deal. Of course, the GWS props and Tenergy battery are desirable upgrades, too.

    Reviewed by Paul Daniel

    Product: Sukhoi Su-26m BNF
    Maker: ParkZone
    Stock No.: PKZ3580
    MSRP/MAP: $129/$99
    Availability: Horizon Hobby

  • BNF gaining in popularity

  • True 4-channel control

  • Underpowered in stock form

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