Tuesday, August 4, 2015

AVI Nike Tomahawk Build Part 23, Lower Fin Masking

This is the mask for the fourth, fluorescent yellow fin.

Each fin took eight pieces of Scotch tape to match the root edge diamond shape.


Here's the mask after the tape was pulled.

TIP: Fluorescent paint is almost translucent. Be sure to paint it over a white undercoat. Any dust, lint or marks will show through the fluorescent color.

PS II Kits On Clearance?

On the forums, there have been comments about how many different Ready To Fly and Almost Ready To Fly models are listed on the Estes website. Like many older builders, I prefer actually making something.

I went to the website to do a quick count of the "Coming Soon" and "What's New".
I thought this might give me an idea about the direction Estes is going.

Counting only the rocket products (not the Blurrs cars, air rockets or RC vehicle)
Listed in Coming Soon and What's New pages there are  -
10 Builder's Kits and 3 RTFs (Ready To Fly)

Looking across the website (previously released kits):
There are 26 RTF models listed, 12 of those are now on clearance.
Once those are gone, that'll bring the RTF total down to 14.

Almost all the 18 ARF (Almost Ready to Fly) models are still listed at retail.
Only one is on clearance, the Shooting Star.

The E2X (Easy 2 eXecute) models number 34

In the builder's kits:
The Skill Level 1 - 22 kits
Skill Level 2 - 22 kits
Skill Level 3 - 7 kits
Skill Level 4 - 2 kits
Skill Level 5 - 4 kits

It looks like the most produced items are the E2X, Skill Level 1 and Skill Level 2.

Monday, August 3, 2015

AVI Nike Tomahawk Build Part 22, Tomahawk Nose Cone Paint Masks

Right above the Bakelite brown band is a thin cream stripe.
Rather than masking it, make a decal!

TIP: You can spray a clear decal sheet with any color. Don't run it through your printer, just spray the sheet with color paint!

I had an old can of WalMart cheap paint in a cream color.
Behind the can is the sheet of decal paper, just a 1/4" wide band of decal paper is exposed over the masking tape.

After spraying and removal of the tape I had a band of cream ready for transfer. No clear coat is needed, the color coat seals the paper.

Thin strips of the the cream "decal" were cut with a knife and straightedge.
The inset picture shows the cream band right above the brown.
It was easy to line up the cream decal. The lower edge of the cream decal sits right on the paint ridge of the brown paint.

Titebond M&TG Nozzle Replacement TIP

I was taking the orange top off my bottle of Titebond M&TG to clean it out. The glue was clogged and flowing too slow. The tip was old and broke off. I had to replace it.

On the left is the nozzle that comes on the Titebond bottle. It's too flat and wide for fillet applications.
The inset picture shows a replacement Elmer's white glue nozzle on the Titebond bottle. The Elmer's nozzle fits the screw-on threads of the Titebond bottle perfectly.

Titebond M&TG is thick compared to the the Elmer's white glue flow. It is harder to squeeze out a fillet bead of the M&TG out the smaller nozzle hole. But for fillets, the replacement nozzle is still better than the original larger black one.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

AVI Nike Tomahawk Build Part 21, Tomahawk Paint Masks

Here's one I started a long time ago and set it aside.
I had a hard time trying to mask the upper stage Tomahawk fins. The fins were a plastic MPC fin can. 
If you want to see the start of the build, CLICK HERE
This model was first shown in the 1973 AVI catalog - CLICK HERE
It's about time I finished it up . . .
Note: Some of these blog posts were written 2 1/2 years ago. I'm probably going to repeat things I've written about since then.

I know, others use Tamiya specialty masking tapes and get great results. I won't pay the high prices for the small roll of tape.
I've heard from a few that they've had good results with the Scotch tape masks.

Enlarge the picture and you can better see the piece of tape on the glass.
A black line is drawn down the center with a wide tip permanent marker. 
The tape is cut down the middle of the line with a metal straightedge and sharp knife.

Why not just mark and use the sides right off the roll? 
Typically the sides of a tape roll aren't clean. Cut the down the middle and you'll have two sharp, clean edges of tape for masking.
The black marking makes it easier to see against the rocket body.


The upper Tomahawk rocket has a red and silver body, the red mask is at the top.
TIP: Spray the red first and the silver second. The adhesive on the back of the tape will transfer onto most metallic spray paints. 

The picture shows the tape line after the Scotch tape mask was removed. You'll never get a clean mask line if the underlying surface isn't dried and smooth before the tape is set down. 


The Quest (AVI) nose cone is 2.50" tall.
The Tomahawk nose cone is scaled at 2.26" tall.

There is a Bakelite brown band below the nose cone. At scale, this band is .40" wide.
I'm making a compromise on this one, I'll paint the band on the low end of the nose cone. It won't be the full .40" wide, but closer to .25" wide.

The tape strip was cut thin to conform to the start of the nose cone curve.
The second inset picture shows the tape overlap. Be sure the overlap is pressed down and well sealed.

The upper white end of the nose cone was covered with masking tape.
The first picture shows the masking tape being pulled.

The inset picture shows how to pull back the Scotch tape mask.
When pulling the tape, fold it back over itself, not straight up but over and on top of the tape still on the nose cone.

Cheap Cherokee D Upscale?

On TRF, K'Tesh noticed the Pro Series II Argent model fins looked like the old Estes Cherokee D. He build a beautiful 2.5" diameter upscale Cherokee D using parts from the Argent kit and nose cone from the Pro Series II Partizon or Estes part # 072413. New upscale fins were cut from plywood.
CLICK HERE to see the TRF thread.
All the upscale information is in that thread.

Here's the comparison between my Cherokee D build and the Argent fins:











On TRF, JR Kennedy posted:
"I wonder what the cost-point would have to be for Estes to start doing these sort of re-releases in the PS-II format?  Hummmm.  That BIG Cherokee D sure does get my BAR juices flowin'!"

K'Tesh added:
If you're serious about rectifying the issue... At this time Estes has its Christmas in July sale going. Buy a Partizon for $22.50, and mod from there. It has everything you need except for the decals.

Great thought!
I usually see Mega Der Red Max rockets flown at larger field club launches.
I would think a upscale Cherokee D would be popular.
Who knows, maybe the next Pro Series II SPEV (Spare Parts Elimination Vehicle) could be a Cherokee D?
Decals would raise the price though. K'Tesh got his vinyl deals from Sticker Shock.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Estes Mercury Redstone #1921 Build, Finished


This is a big, impressive model when finished. It's probably a good thing I converted it for 24mm engines. I'll have to get the 18mm stock model C/G and add nose weight if needed.
After all the extra work drawing up correct and red decals, I was glad to finish it.

Estes website says the finished, empty weight is 3.7 oz. Mine was at 3.53 oz.
Or, the Estes gram weight - 1.04 g, my finished model is 100 g.
A C6-3 engine weighs .88 oz. + model weight of 3.7 oz = 4.58 oz.
That's over half an ounce more than the recommended C6-3 combined launch weight of 4 oz.
While I've seen this model fly fine with a C6-3 (low and slow) I'm glad I upgraded to a 24mm engine mount.

I understand Estes is enclosing the corrected decals now.
The RED and MR8 decal PDF is available for anybody who home prints decals. The decal also has the UNITED STATES decals in a less bold font and includes the 1/8" band above the fins.
Email me at oddlrockets@bellsouth.net and request the Mercury Redstone decal PDF.