Sunday, February 26, 2017

Estes Skydart II #3229 Build, Part 4, Balsa Prep

The large, flat wing is assembled using four pieces. The laser cut sides are a slight wedge shape. One side of the cut is wider than the other. To see the difference, check the widths of the laser cut lines on one side, then flip over the sheet and check the lines on the other side.
If the wing and rudder glue joints are going to be tight and clean the laser cut 'wedges lines will have to be squared up.
On the left you can see the center alignment line burned into the main wing piece.




I found in interesting that the Estes instructions showed the Great Planes Easy Touch sanding block in their illustrations. This is the only sanding block I use.




Don't sand too much off the elevator sides. In the picture at the top you can see how it is cut right out of the wing piece. Sand off just enough to square it up. You don't want it too loose in the wing slot.

The inset picture shows another reason for cleaning up the laser cut balsa. Sometimes you find a rough or uneven edge as if the laser were "chattering" down the cut line. Personally, I think glue joints might be weaker on burnt wood.

Nike Goon Follow-Up With Decals

Did you ever finish a model and wish you had done a few things differently?

As I usually do, I made two of the Nike Goons. One to fly, the other to sell on Ebay.
On the left is the first try using the black trim. This is the model I've flown twice already, I'm keeping this one.

On the right is the second trimmed Nike Goon. The top roll pattern is a bit taller. The rounded rectangles aren't as wide, a little more of the white is showing. A few subtle changes and the second model looks better.



And finally, two weeks later I printed up some decals.

The original Estes Nike X kit had a U.S. ARMY decal going vertically down the body. This one got a U.S. GOONY in red with a thin black outline. Sometimes adding an outline to type makes it visually stand out.

The two white right side fins have a NIKE G decal. Not a lot of decals but it does finish it off well.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Estes Skydart II #3229 Build, Part 3, Pop Pod Assembly






Combined, the five nose weight washers weigh 0.57 oz.

Here's the thick 5/50 centering ring even with the top of the short BT-5 tube.
The washer weights butt up against it. A 5/20 ring glues against the bottom of the weight stack.
The last 5/20 ring is glued even with the low end of this short BT-20 tube


Here's another place where the re-issue kit is different. Two Mylar retaining rings are glued around the engine hook.
The upper Mylar ring is glued under the top of the hook. The middle Mylar ring is glued over the hook as normal.
A 20/50 ring is glued against the upper bend of the engine hook.

Here's the finished pop-pod assembly.
On the top is the low engine end, below that the upper weighted washer assembly is glued in place.

On the reissue kit the ejection charge passes through the top of the pop pod. On the original design the top of the pod was blocked. The ejection charge went through two holes punched in the sides of the pod.

Thick Shroud Line Attachment -- TIP

I never attach parachute shroud lines directly to the nose cone. If the nose cone passes through any two lines your parachute lines are tangled. I'll add a longer shock cord and tie the cute on about 1/3 the way down (and away) from the nose cone.
Snap Swivels are about 10 for $1.00 pack at WalMart. Save yourself from tangles and be ready to easily switch out a smaller parachute when the winds are up.

The shroud lines on my Big Betty kit were too thick to go through the small eyelet on a snap swivel. I could eventually get all three loops through, but sometimes it's easier just to tie them on the eyelet using some thick rug and button thread.



The outside shroud line loop is tied onto a length of strong thread. Tie the thread to the center point of the shroud line.


The strong thread is tied to the center point of the second center shroud line loop, next to and beside the first one already tied on.

The picture shows the third shroud line loop being slid down the strong thread. At the apex of the "bend" you can see the center mark made with a marker.

The third shroud line is tied to the thread. I doubled over the thread through the loops again for strength.

You now have two loose ends to tie onto the small swivel eye.
No tangles and the swivel is ready to attach to a loop tied on the shock cord.

This is the same method I used to tie the parachutes to snap swivels on the Estes Saturn V build.
The shroud lines in the reissue kit were also too thick to go through the swivel eyelet.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Estes Skydart II #3229 Build, Part 2, Centering Ring Prep


The thick ring didn't have flat sides. Considering it sits flat against the washer weights I sanded the raised rings even and smooth.

The cut of the engine mount tube wasn't clean. This was also evened out with the sanding block.


I don't like to force centering rings over body tube ends. These rings had some raised crimps on the inside and wouldn't easily fit over the internal BT-20.
First, the end of my X-Acto handle was rolled over the inside to press the crimps down. The ring still wouldn't fit over the tube.
The rings were then peeled to enlarge the inside diameter.
If you have to do this, try to lift as little of the paper as you can. It's easy to remove too much.
One ring fit well, the other ended up too loose. The inset picture shows the ring of glue on the inside to build up the diameter. Let the glue fully dry before thinking about gluing it in place.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Estes Skydart II #3229 Build, Part 1, Parts


What's really different is the pop pod assembly and all the centering rings.
Parts of interest: On the top is the self-adhesive clear tape for the elevator hinge.
There are five washer weights. Also in the bag is the nylon elevator adjustment screw.
White elastic to raise the elevator. In the middle of the elastic is a very thin engine block.
In the lower center is the very thick top centering ring. This ring is glued at the top of the pop pod over the stacked washer weights.


A separate parts list is included.
Hang on to it, it comes in handy when gluing up the pop pod assembly.







Don't lose the nylon screw! It'd be hard to find a replacement. I kept it in a small bag until it was turned into the elevator set arm.

Knife Blade Thickness? TIP

Kit instructions sometimes tell you to simply use a straight edge when cutting out fins or card stock. Simply setting a the strait edge along the cut line doesn't account for the thickness of the knife blade.


Here I'll be cutting a strait line between two marks in card stock. (You can certainly use this tip on balsa.)

Don't set the strait edge down yet.
First, set your knife blade right on the cut line. You can punch the tip into the card stock.


Leave the knife in the card stock line. Then slide the strait edge up to and against the knife blade.
Here you have made a slight space allowance for the thickness of the knife blade.
Look at the space between the strait edge and line on the right side.
Adjust the strait edge position on the left until it matches the spacing on the right.
Now you can cut the entire line starting from the left and going to the right. You are guaranteed your cut is exactly on the cut line.