Saturday, October 10, 2015

Dr. Zooch Ares I-X Build, Part 14, Flame Fins

In the Zooch line many of the "finless" rockets use Flame Fins.
I've built a few Zooch kits and used to paint the fins yellow, orange and red. They all ended up looking a bit cartoony.

Look up some actual NASA launch shots and you'll notice launch flames go from bright white to yellow to grey.

After the fins are filled and glued in place the assembly gets an overall shot of gloss white.

After the white dries, yellow is shot. Aim towards the bottom of the fins and it should blend pretty easily.

After the yellow dries, shoot the grey at a 45 degree angle starting below the bottom fin tip. You are actually starting the spray on the painting wand and going up to the right along the outside edge.

Here's the fin unit glued into the bottom of the model.
This is one of the few Dr. Zooch models where the flame fins are glued in permanently. Other fin units remove for display.

Bath Remodel, T.P. Holder, Part 2

The glued patch piece is set into the square hole.
If the cut was accurate it should slip in and be very close to the inside edges.

The outside edges are burnished. The edges are pressed down and the "mud" will be pushed out at the side. Let dry overnight.

A coating of drywall adhesive is set down and smoothed with a trowel. Let dry overnight.
The dried mud is sanded smooth.
There can be some shrinking so a second coat of mud is applied. The goal is to "feather in" the patch. Just like finishing a rocket, the more surface preparation you do, the better the final finish will be.

Here's how the patch looks after sanding.
A coat of Kilz primer is applied.
Spray texture (spatter paint) goes on next. The spatter paint reminds me of a bad can of Rusto 2X white.

The spattered texture coat camouflages the patch. Look closely and you can barely see the raised area where the patch sits.
A final coat of off white flat paint and you won't be able to see the patch.

This is the before and after. A big improvement and more contemporary.

I picked up the new brushed nickel finish T.P. holder on Ebay.
It was one of those "Make An Offer" auctions. I paid half of what you'd buy it for in the store.

And now back to our regular rocketry programming . . .

Friday, October 9, 2015

Dr. Zooch Ares I-X Build, Part 13, Detail Wraps

An optional step is to cut thin strips of card stock and glue them to the SRB making raised straps.
The extra detail is worth the effort.

Cut the strips from the printed black box on the patterns sheet.

Use a glue stick (again) to glue the bands over the print bands on the SRB wrap.

Start and finish the wraps at the SRB seam. A pointed dowel was used to burnish down the ends.

Here's how the SRB looks now. I used some white cardstock for the white wraps.

The supplied screw eye seemed small.
I substituted a larger one.

Screw it in on the side of the shoulder base, not in the center filler plug.

Bath Remodel, T.P. Holder, Part 1

Why is this on the Blog? A few reasons.
If I didn't build rockets, I wouldn't have the skill set, tools or patience to even try this.
I know how to wire a up a new light fixture because of what learned assembling an Electro-Launch when I was 13. I can smooth a bead of caulk as good as a handyman after doing a hundred fin fillets. Rocketry has taught me patience and how to trouble shoot.
You never know what you'll find when you have to open up a wall or replace a wall light. Usually its shoddy work that the builder has simply covered up.
These posts might inspire you to try a few home repairs on your own.
That and save a LOT of money.

I've been replacing the fixtures in my bathrooms. My townhouse is only ten years old but some of the bath fixtures are cheap and look like you've stepped back into the 1950s.

This is an old style ceramic toilet paper holder. The towel racks are also in this style.
Most T.P. holders and towel bars are held onto the wall with a metal bracket and setscrew. There's no setscrew on these. They are glued and set into a hole in the drywall!

With a chisel and hammer the TP holder was lifted out of the wall.
I'm still amazed at some of the poor workmanship on my home. Anytime I do a fix I try to leave it in better shape than before.

The cut square edges were crooked and the drywall edges broken up.
When cleaning up the edges I made the hole more square.
This is called a "California Patch".
You cut the drywall piece one inch wider (on all sides) than the hole. Mark the 1" overhang with a pencil line.
From the back, cut about 2/3rds the way through and crack it down the cut line. Pull off the 1" cut edge.
This leaves most of the front paper layer and gives you an overlap "gluing" edge.

Here's a dry fit of the patch in the square hole.

Drywall adhesive "mud" is spread over the edges and the back of the overlap paper edge.
The patch is pressed into the hole and burnished. See the picture in the next post.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Dr. Zooch Ares I-X Build, Part 12, LAS Dowel and Shrouds

I filled and painted the lower taper of the nose section before gluing on the wraps. I would be harder to mask and paint them later.

The inset shows the overlap of the BPC wrap.
Wrap and mark, cut off the overlay and glue around the nose.
The BPC wrap is made and set on (not glue yet) the nose cone tip.
The balsa tip sticks trough the hole. Sand the tip down and even with the top of the BPC. Lift off the BPC.
Sand the tip down an additional 1/32". This makes the recess for the dowel to glue in.

You can now glue the BPC cone on. The sides were molded to the edges of the service module wrap while the glue is still wet.

I didn't glue the LAS dowel in place yet. I decided to glue on the small skirt and party hat to the dowel so the assembly could be painted separately, off the model.
It took a few dry fits to get all the positions correct.
The inset shows the two shroud edges being "molded" together.

The left shows a dry fit. A small glue fillet was set where the dowel sticks through the party hat shroud.

The nozzle were glued on, evenly spaced around the dowel.
The wrap of tape is a level height reference.

Self Adhesive 400 Grit - Tips

Last August I did a post about self-adhesive 400 grit sandpaper for use on the Easy Touch sanding block.

The Klinspor 400 grit is a high grade sandpaper. It has a sticky back that works very well on the block.
Except when you want to change it!

This sandpaper is very sticky and leaves gunk on the block. It took some Goo-Gone to remove the adhesive.

This next time I reduced the stickiness.
I stuck it repeatedly on my jeans pant leg. This leaves cotton fibers on the sticky back paper reducing the hold on the block.

We'll see how well it works the next time I change out the sandpaper again.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Dr. Zooch Ares I-X Build, Part 11, Launch Abort System or LAS

The small LAS skirt and "party hat" are cut from the pattern sheet.
TIP: Cut the centers out first, it leaves you with more to hold onto.
Use sharp scissors, the inside arc is small.

Just like the larger shrouds, you can shape them in the heel of your hand. Use a smaller dowel on a small shroud.
The four LAS nozzles are made from fancy toothpick ends.
One of the four was shorter than the others. It doesn't matter, the ends are cut off anyway.

TIP: I usually draw angles on my work board for a consistent cut reference.
Afterwards I cut them even shorter, into the next wide band.

Using a small round diamond file, a concave curve was made in the base for a better glue joint on the sides of the LAS dowel.