Monday, October 22, 2018

Semroc Snake Jumper Build, Part 2, Engine Mount Upgrades

This build will incorporate the new Odd'l Rockets heavy wall BT-20H, an extended length engine hook and replaceable Kevlar.

The BT-20H diameter is a bit wider than a standard BT-20. To make it fit the centering rings sand the inside hole edge with 220 grit sandpaper. Roll the sandpaper around your index finger and rotate around the inside hole. Sand a bit, check the fit and repeat until the tube slides in. It's easier than you think.



To prep the rings for the replaceable Kevlar mount -
Punch a small hole directly opposite the engine hook slot on both rings. A plastic tube from Dollar Store Q-tips will slide through both hole
To use the new eXtended Length Engine Hook (3" long) the BT-20H tube is cut to 3" long.

A notch is cut for the upper bend of the hook. Make the notch 1/4" from the top of the tube.

On the far right is a dry fit of the hook, tube and centering rings. Black electrical tape will wrap around the tube, over the hook and tube, centered between the centering rings.


Slide the engine block in from the bottom, no glue yet.
Use an standard engine casing to push the block forward until it ends up under the top bend of the hook.

A glue fillet is applied around the top of the engine block. You can leave the engine casing in place until the glue dries.

Using the XLEH (eXtended Length Engine Hook) places the engine block under the top bend of the hook preventing movement and tearing of the engine mount tube. The fit of the engine top is also better, not resting at a slight angle in the tube.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Semroc Snake Jumper Build, Part 1, Parts


The instructions, decals and fin stock were picked up when Semroc discontinued the kit. The rest of the parts are from my Odd'l Little Green Man kit. It uses the same nose cone, body tube and engine mount.



The face card says "Laser Cut Balsa Fins". I don't know if the first prototypes had balsa fins, the other Semroc Groonie kits had balsa fins.
The fin material may have been changed to card stock like the Centuri kit.








I will be using the Odd'l Rockets thick wall BT-20H and XLEH Extended Length Engine Hook for the engine mount. Replaceable Kevlar will be added.

Estes Mini Mars Lander Build #0881, Finished











This was a fun one, even with the flaky decals.
I'm curious how it will recover with the streamer.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Semroc Snake Jumper Build, Background

The Semroc Snake Jumper was a Goony based on the old Centuri Evel Knievel Sky Cycle rocket.
The instructions are interesting - CLICK HERE 
Check out the rear "positioning disk" and shock cord mount that attached to the engine mount.
The model also had die-cut card stock fins, cut from the same material as the centering rings.

The Centuri kit was available from 1975-78. It probably would have had better sales if the Snake River jump was successful.

The Centuri kit was 1.3" diameter, the Semroc Groonie is 1.8". Semroc called them a Groonie as they were grown up Goonys. Centuri used 13mm engines, the Semroc version uses 18mm.



Carl McLawhorn at Semroc based his designs on the original Estes Goony drawings that were changed into flying brooms and rabbits before production. The original Goony drawings remind you of the old CarToons magazine art.

The Semroc Snake Jumper is 1" shorter and stubbier compared to the Centuri Sky Cycle. The decals reflect the original kit except the face of the "pilot" decal is angrier.

Upcoming Estes Releases -

On TRF, Turbofireball posted this:

My local hobby shop showed me this info today regarding new Estes kits:
EST-0865 Mini Mean Machine Model Rocket Kit (Skill Level 1) $14.99 
EST-1250 Interceptor Model Rocket Kit (Skill Level 2) (Re-Issue) $29.99 
EST-1329 Multi-Roc Model Rocket Kit (Skill Level 3) $22.99 
EST-1969 Saturn V Model Rocket Kit w/Bonus (Skill Level 4) $89.99 
EST-7255 Little Joe I Model Rocket Kit (Skill Level 3) $32.99 
EST-7276 Checkmate 2-Stage Model Rocket Kit (Skill Level 1) $12.99 
EST-7277 Galaxy Glow Model Rocket Kit (Skill Level E2X) $14.99 

"They did not have info yet on what months they would be released, although they expected to receive Little Joe 1's shortly, since Estes now shows them available. The info also confirms Dean Fox's #1969 for the Saturn V. The big surprise was the Interceptor, as that kit didn't make it to the 2018 catalog."



All of these were shown in the 2018 print catalog, but some not  available yet.
The big news is the re-release of the Interceptor!
Here's a link to the blog build: CLICK HERE

Friday, October 19, 2018

Estes Mini Mars Lander Build #0881, Part 15, Old Decals



The remaining decals got a shot of clear acrylic. This will make a film over the decals and hopefully hold them together.

On the left is the decal that broke apart with no way to repair it. I took the easy way out.

I cut the damaged area off the decal that goes on the opposite side. This makes it look like it was intentional, well sort of.




Here's another place where the decal broke up. Like before, the broken line was scraped off.






An orange Sharpie filled in the broken area in the "A".
This was a gamble, black usually works on black print, colors rarely match up. I lucked out on this one.




I used the back of my X-Acto knife to scrape the paint off the engine hook. Use the back of the blade, it'll flake the paint off without dulling the sharp side.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

First Man Movie - Abort!

I'd been looking forward to the new movie - First Man.
There is a new theater about five miles away, The Epic.
I drove over last night for the 10:10 p.m. show. I figured there would be smaller crowds.

I went up to the ticket desk. I asked about the Senior Discount, there isn't one. I did get to pick a seats, there was only one other paying customer. I picked out my seat on the screen.

I gave him my debit card, he rang up the total. $15.00! Fifteen Dollars for a movie? The last time I saw a movie there it was $10.00, even that seemed high.

I told the employee to cancel the charge. You wonder why there was only one paid ticket. I'll wait for it to run on Netflix. I'm not cheap, I watch my money and will walk away when something seems overpriced.

I walked across the parking lot to the yogurt store. You fill your own cup with yogurt, like how you'd  get a Slurpee at a 7/11. I didn't get much, just a little late night treat. They weighed the yogurt. $3.15 for yogurt? Sheesh! Well, I did pay for that.