Friday, February 12, 2016

Removable Launch Lug - TIP

I finally finished up the "kit that never was", the AVI Nike Tomahawk. After I thought it was done I realized I had forgotten the launch lug.
This model build seemed cursed from day one.

I didn't want to fill, prime, scrape the tube paint and glue on a lug.

Here's an old idea I probably saw in an old Estes Model Rocket News.
A sleeve was cut from some 35mm scrap tubing.
A 1/8" diameter launch lug was glued down the tube segment.
The tube was slit directly opposite the lug.
Simply open up the split and slip it over the body tube. Some models will require a piece of tape to hold the sleeve in place.
On this model, the bottom of the tube butts up against the raised fin can. It fits tight enough that tape isn't needed during boost.

These split lugs are great when you don't want a lug showing on a scale display model.

You could make up some master lug sleeves for BT-5, 20,50 and BT-60 sized models and never glue on another launch lug!
Slip them on for flight, remove them for display.

Thor Able Carded Build Part 2 Internal Supports

The internal strengthening rings were glued onto cereal box cardboard.
I'm rolling a clean dowel over the glued rings to smooth out and remove excess glue.

The circles in the middle will be enlarged for the central BT-5 tube later.

This is the B3 (or lower main body) piece.
On the cardstock print are some small red tick marks. Those ticks are the positioning marks for the internal ring support strips.
Turn over the cut B3 on the printed sheet and mark the strip lines on the inside, unprinted side.

I'm smoothing out the glue coat with the backside of a very dull razor blade.
Throughout the build, remind yourself not to use much white glue. TIP: Carded models (shroud tabs too) take less glue than you might think.

The B3 Connector Tab (and all tabs in the build) are separate pieces so the joint seams are smoother.
The B3 Tab is being smoothed out by rolling a clean dowel over it.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Star Wars . . .

I finally went to see the newest Star Wars movie.
I know, about time, right? At my age I don't feel a need to camp out for the Midnight premiere.

I wasn't blown away.
It was nice to see some of the old characters and the old Millennium Falcon. Chewbacca had some grey hair. The location shots were pretty amazing.

I think it was the third movie where Darth Vader said:"Luke, I am your father".
In this one Han Solo and Princess Leia's son is the new Darth Vader. (He didn't look like either of them, no family resemblance whatsoever.)
In the first movie they found the weakest area of the Death Star and blew it up.
This movie had a bigger Death Star. They found the Achilles's heel and blew that one up, too.

Maybe I'm numb from all the movie explosions I've seen over the years.
I remember the NARAM participants talking about the original and how funny the cantina scene was.
This new version just didn't have the heart of the the original.

Thor Able Carded Build Part 1 Parts

This build was actually done back in 2012 but never posted on the blog.
As it turned out, the finished model wasn't stable!
I'll still post the build as a reference for those wanting to make carded models or great "shelf queens". There are many models suitable for flight conversion on the website.
Some cardstock models take time and patience. This one is moderately detailed.

I haven't done a cardstock conversion in a while.
This is the Thor Able Launch Vehicle for the Pioneer 1 drawn up by Eric Truax and Jahn Knudsen.
You can find the "one sheet" kit print and instructions at:

According to Wikipedia:
On October 11, 1958, Pioneer 1 became the first spacecraft launched by NASA, the newly formed space agency of the United States.
The three-stage Thor-Able vehicle consisted of a modified Air Force Thor IRBM (liquid propellant, thrust about 153,000 pounds) as the first stage. A liquid-propellant rocket engine powered the second stage (modified Vanguard second stage, thrust about 7500 pounds). The third stage was a solid-propellant unit based on Vanguard design, rated at 116,500 lb/sec total impulse.
The spacecraft was launched from LC-17A at 08:42:00 UTC on October 11, 1958 but it did not reach the Moon as planned due to a programming error in the upper stage causing a slight error in burnout velocity and angle (3.5 deg.). This resulted in a ballistic trajectory with a peak altitude of 113,800 km (70,712 mi) around 13:00 local time.
A small quantity of useful scientific information was returned, showing the radiation surrounding Earth was in the form of bands and measuring the extent of the bands, mapping the total ionizing flux, making the first observations of hydromagnetic oscillations of the magnetic field, and taking the first measurements of the density of micrometeorites and the Interplanetary Magnetic Field.

Here's the parts, all printed on a single sheet of 8 1/2" X 11", 110 lb. card stock.

The model will (hopefully) fly on 13mm 1/2A3-2t and A10-3t engines.
A BT-5 tube will run down the center.
The finished model will be around 1" in diameter and just over 11" tall.
I'll have to enlarge the fins and add some nose weight.
There is a LOT of small detail work on this one. Get a new, sharp knife!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Estes Quinstar #7241 Build, Part 11, Finished

This was a fun build and turned out better than I thought it would.
With just the flat, upward facing pieces filled and smooth the model looks good.
The 24mm engine conversion was easy to do. Will it survive the boost or reach the Speed Of Balsa? Who knows.
It'll be flown with 18mm engines first and the D12 engine later.
For a lot of 1/16" thick balsa, the structure seems very strong.

Here's the views from the side with the launch lug and from the rear.
To keep the weight down, I didn't worry about getting paint in every nook and cranny. I just shot the flat surfaces and let the paint fall where it wanted. You can still see some bare surfaces if you really look.

Estes 2016 Catalog Online

The new Estes 2016 Catalog is online! To see it, CLICK HERE

Upcoming new products include a BT-60 based Nike Smoke and the Estes Shuttle. The "Apollo 11" Saturn V is scheduled to be re-released in June, this time with E12-4 or E30-4 power. This Saturn V has plastic fins, a big improvement over vacu-form. Another bring-back is the Super Nova.
The Porta Pad II (with lightning bolt legs) is now molded in red plastic.

I was surprised by how many clearance models are still listed in the catalog. The original three PSII kits are shown, but not the Leviathan.
No prices are posted yet.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Estes Quinstar #7241 Build, Part 10, Undercoat and Red Paint

The assembled model was hit with a light coat of gloss white. I wanted to use Rusto Red Metallic. It's a bit transparent and would need the white underneath it.

I thought I might get by with Titebond M&TG fillets on just the upper part of the model. But, the bottom areas really showed the open joints and seams.
I went back and added more fillets to the lower half.

Most all the surfaces got a light sanding before the red was shot.

All the flat upper surfaces were filled for three reasons.
The upper flats are the most visible on the finished model.
There would be less drag without adding much weight.
The decals would adhere better to the smoother surfaces.

TIP: Set the decals on the model (still on the backing) before soaking to get an idea how they will be centered.