Thursday, October 17, 2019

Estes New Kit Poster

From TRF, CoModelBuilder showed a poster featuring the upcoming Estes kits:

The Orange Bullet is small with tumble/featherweight recovery. Enlarge the picture and you can see the weights on the fin tips, just like the 1960 original. I didn't know it was "Vern Estes first design". The Orange Bullet is mentioned: CLICK HERE 
This 1960 catalog says to use rubber bands around an engine for a friction fit.

There have been questions on the SideKick model. It is two parallel BT-20 tubes, a two engine 18mm cluster with dual streamer recovery.
I just heard from Estes, they are sending me the LOW Boom SST to build! I've already built the LEO Space Train, Corvette Class and Side Kick models. All will be featured on the blog when the kits are released.

Estes Boosted Bertha #001946 Build, Part 8, Fillets, Fill & Undercoats

When you get good at applying fillet glue you won't have much to smooth out with a finger.
The upper picture is the glue line applied,
the bottom picture is the smoothed fillet.
I'll usually do one fillet of wood glue, then another fillet of Titebond Molding and Trim Glue.

This isn't necessary but I went ahead and filled the joint between the booster centering ring and body tube.

CWF filler was set in the joint. After it dried I sanded it smooth with 400 grit. In the end after filler/primer there shouldn't be any line.
Here's the first white undercoat on the booster. The fillet ridges and glue boogers have been lightly sanded down.

I'm spraying the booster and upper stages separately.
TIP: To keep paint off the coupler, it is not glued in until after the final orange color has been sprayed.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Estes Boosted Bertha #001946 Build, Part 7, Booster Fin Gluing

TIP: Mark the back end corner of the fins so you can easily see it when set up even with the end of the body tube.

The booster fin slots were a little tight. This might be because I fill the fins before gluing, that will increase the thickness slightly.

The slots were widened using a flat diamond file.

The instructions might show glue on the sides of the fins where the fin will contact the body tube slots.

For now, just apply glue to the fin tab and root edges. Do the fin side fillets later, it just keeps things clean.

Here's the booster fins and motor mount in place. Glue fillets have been applied and smoothed on all sides.

TIP: To get a four finned rocket to stand straight without wobbling - Adjust the fourth fin as it is being glued on.
Glue three fins in position and let dry. Slide the fourth fin up or down slightly in the slot (or on the pencil line) until all four fins sit flat on a table top.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Estes Boosted Bertha #001946 Build, Part 6, Fin Marking & Booster Mount Gluing

Join the booster and sustainer segments with the coupler . . . No glue yet.
TIP: Instead of using the wrap-around marking guides, use the booster fin slots to mark the upper stage fin locations. Slide both tubes together with the coupler. Set your aluminum angle on the booster fin slots and extend pencil lines onto the upper body tube.

The face of the booster centering ring is even with the tube end.
The mount is slid in halfway, then run a ring of glue around the inside edge of the tube. Press the mount the rest of the way in. I used the flat side of my sanding block to get the ends even.

A glue fillet was applied from the top.
Yep, I go through a lot of Q-tips.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Estes Boosted Bertha #001946 Build, Part 5, Filling Balsa & Tube Seams

I was building two of the Boosted Berthas so I had a lot of balsa to fill.

Notice I don't apply filler to the booster fin TTW tabs. The inset picture shows no filler on the root edge.

The body tube seams also got a fill with CWF.
This was sanded to surface using 220 then smoothed with 400 grit.

This is the booster tube ready for it's one (moderately heavy) shot of Duplicolor Filler/Primer.
I masked 1" inside the tube ends and under the slots to keep the paint out.

The TTW fin tabs were also masked off for their filler/primer spray.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

New Estes Kits & Release Dates

On Facebook, Jesse Ulibarra posted pictures from the Estes booth at the Rocky Mountain Hobby Expo - 

On the upper left - The Low Boom SST, to be released February 2020
On the right - the LEO Space Train - on sale January 2020. (That's my build!)
Low center is a new one I haven't seen - Lunar Scout, selling in February 2020. Those might be some of the new molded fins.

These three have had pictures posted before -

On the right, the Gryphon Boost Glider - on sale now.
To the rear is the Gyroc update, the Tazz - on sale November 2019
On the right is the MAV Lander, available in December.

Center right is the Orange Bullet, on sale March 2020.
Center rear is the Corvette Class Space Corps. I can't read the available date, but it is on the Estes "Coming Soon" page. That's another of my builds for Estes.
Last is the Starship Octavius, to be released next month.

If you enlarge the pictures you can almost see some of the retail prices. I don't want to guess on those.

I'm looking forward to building the Low Boom SST and the Lunar Scout.

Estes Boosted Bertha #001946 Build, Part 4, Upper Stage Engine Mount

Sometimes you can clean up the burn marks from the laser cut process.
TIP: Try a white eraser first, not a pink eraser. A pink eraser leaves behind a pink color. If that doesn't work, try an old piece of 400 grit or finer grit and gently sand.
The inset picture shows the same ring, cleaned up.

The upper engine mount construction is standard.

The upper motor tube is 2 3/4" long.
The lower centering ring is 1/2" from the bottom. The upper ring is just over the top end of the tube.

The Bertha style nose cone had a slight mold seam after sanding.

A bead of medium (not thin) CA glue was set down the seam. A bead of super glue can take a few minutes to dry. Prop up the nose cone so the glue can't run.
After it dries sand with 220 grit followed by 400 grit.

TIP: I always sand and round off coupler ends.
It makes it easier to slide without lifting the inside edge of the tube.