Sig specializes in RC vehicles including model airplanes. The company is both a manufacturer and a distributor of model aircraft, and most of the models sold on the website are made by Sig Manufacturing Co., Inc. The Sig website also provides information to help model plane builders at any level.
For its solid collection of products and its helpful resources, Sig has earned a spot on our top ten list of the best model airplane stores.
Sig specializes in RC aircraft kits made of balsa or painted wood. The site does not sell pre-assembled or RTF model kits, with the exception of those foam ones that come in envelopes and make good party favors for kids under 10. As mentioned above, most of the models sold on this site are also manufactured by Sig. The site has an especially good selection of ARC (Almost Ready to Cover) and ARF (Almost Ready to Fly) models, as well as many trainer models designed for beginners.
There are also a lot of “control line” planes. A control line plane has a long cord (sometimes more than one) that controls the plane in lieu of a remote control. Control line planes basically just fly in a straight line, but because the operator is stationary on the ground, the plane will always be moving in a circle above the operator. Tricks and other maneuvers are achieved by manipulating the control line(s). The counterpart to a control line plane is a “free flight” plane, a more standard RC vehicle that is battery-powered and controlled remotely.
Most of Sig’s planes are made of wood but under the “Free Flight” subcategories you can find some foam models (powered by being thrown like a paper airplane) and some rubber band-powered models.
To complete the projects in the model kits, Sig also sells a line of supplies, parts, accessories and tools for model plane building. Hobby Lobby was the only other store we surveyed that carries the full line of parts and accessories in our survey, and Sig’s selection is even better.
The product descriptions on Sig are excellent, including information about each kit’s contents and a list of all the additional supplies (if applicable) that will be necessary to complete the kit. From all the products we viewed, it appears that Sig sells everything you need to complete any of their kits, and it’s all listed there for added convenience. This feature was attempted by other model airplane stores including Internet Hobbies, but done much more consistently by Sig. The only thing we didn’t see was a skill level rating for each kit, a big omission when selling a product with such a wide range of skill level requirements.
The Sig website has a keyword search function to help you find a specific item, but it is tricky to find. You have to click on the box for “keyword search” at the top left corner and then two search fields appear in the middle of the page. The entire website is laid out in three columns and many of the website’s tools cause only the leftmost column to change. This can be misleading because when you click on a product category and then look at the main area of the page, it seems like the page didn’t load, but actually what happens is the left navigation menu expands and you now have to choose a subcategory.
Our favorite site, Hobby Lobby, uses a much more intuitive system whereby when you click on a category, the whole page refreshes with new options on the top and left sides to refine your search. ModelPlanes.com uses a similar system to Sig’s, but more effectively because ModelPlanes.com makes better use of the main page area.
When you click on a product for purchase, you have to select the number in the quantity box. If a whole list of necessary supplies pops up, the kit itself will be the first item in the list. The rest of the list covers all the materials and supplies you’ll need to complete the kit, but doesn’t say how much/how many of each item to get.
Sig’s website has the standard methods to contact the company if you need help with a purchase. There are also a set of articles on RC construction, RC models and the different materials you will use. You can find this information along with videos under “Information & Videos” in the top navigation.
Sig has a smaller product selection than Hobby Lobby, one of our top-rated model airplane stores for RC/flyable models, but many of the products are manufactured directly by Sig so finding parts, accessories and instructions for the kits is easier than on other sites. Sig’s navigation system is unfriendly compared to model airplane stores Hobby Lobby or Amazon, but Sig has a better selection of starter kits (as opposed to collector kits) and we appreciate that Sig provides information on the website to help someone get started building RC planes.
See our entire lineup of the best model airplane stores including Hobby Lobby and Amazon.
The website provides lots of information about RC kits, RC model planes and model building to help a beginner learn the ropes.
The site’s navigation is difficult to use and resources are hard to find.
Sig is a good source for model airplane kits for inexperienced flyers but not for collectors or pros.