Sunday, June 30, 2013

Custom PONG Finished

This was the toughest 13mm build I've ever done!
Like the face card says it is "Super Detailed!"
If you are looking for a smaller challenge, this is the kit.

Tall for a BT-5 model, it stands 19 1/2" tall.
While I don't like stick on decals these do add a lot to the looks of the model.
Just remember, when you set one down you can't reposition it!

TIP: There is no engine hook, you are told to friction fit the engine.
I don't like friction fitting engines, especially on a thin walled BT-5 tube.

The engine mount tube and engine both extend beyond the end of the body.
A simple wrap of masking tape will hold the engine in place throughout the entire flight. Remember earlier how the extended tube got a coat of CA glue to keep it from peeling? This is why.
When the tape is pulled off there is less chance of the tube delaminating.
Be sure to press the tape down before launching.

EDIT: This model is on display at the model rocket exhibit at the Seattle Museum of Flight.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Custom PONG Build Part 16, Nose Cone Canopy Paint

I experimented with an extra ping pong ball before applying paint on the model.

This is a permanent marker from Staples Office Supply store. The ball took the marker ink well, whether painted or not.

The outside was drawn first. Stay just on the pencil lines, making slight correction to the line as you go.

We're just starting to fill the the drawn border.
I had to go over the interior area twice to get good coverage.

The black marker areas were smoother than I could have ever got with a brush.
I went a little outside in a few spots.
You can lightly scrape away any rough edges with a sharp knife tip.
The marker didn't soak into the white paint and could be scraped off.

You'll probably have to go back and forth between the marker and knife a few times to get it right. Just don't scrape too deep with the knife.

Custom PONG Build Part 15, Nose Cone Canopy Paint

The face card shows an oval canopy on the side off the ping pong ball nose cone.
Step 24 says to draw it with a pencil and paint it with gloss black paint.
I didn't think that would give a smooth enough surface.
I took a gamble and it worked very well.

Go to the Custom Rockets PONG review at - HERE
Dwayne Surdu-Miller came up with a great way to mark the circular canopy on the ball nose cone. Trace around some body tube ends!

The inset picture shows the faint initial base line. This straight line is just below the mid point of the ball. The straight base line gives you something to attach the right and left side curves onto.

The right side of the picture shows the body tube you trace around for the round right and left sides of the canopy. I used a BT-20 tube.
The midpoint of the tube touches the penciled base line. Draw around the tube with a pencil.

The smaller arc at the top was simply drawn by hand.

Before filling in the canopy with black, double check to be sure the baseline is straight and the sides are evenly drawn.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Custom PONG Build Part 14, Ball Nose

The ping pong ball nose cone had a deep, noticeable seam.
The kit ball is on the left.

I tried to fill it with a bead of medium CA.
After it dried it melted through the ball plastic a bit. After sanding it smooth it thinned the (already thin) wall of the ball.
I didn't want to use it now.

I've got a few new ping pong balls in my spare parts box.
The ball on the right was one of six bought at a sporting goods store.
It is smooth with no real seams.
Only one ball out of the six had a seam, not as wide as the one in the PONG kit.

The Big Fix - Raptor Nose Cone Touchup

On the nose cone end the paint was gone and the exposed plastic was rough.
The edge was sanded smooth with 400 grit.

The picture shows how the nose cone was held for primer spraying.
The hand grip looks strange but I was trying to cover up the black tape canopy. I didn't want to cut out another canopy.
Held this way the paint will (hopefully) blend in with the existing paint.

First a coat of primer filler and light sanding.

After that the nose cone was held again like in the first picture.

Aluminum paint was sprayed over just the tip.
Here's the blend without any sanding or polishing.
It's not perfect but certainly re-flyable.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Custom PONG Build Part 13, Dowel Gluing and Trim

The paint at the glue points was scratched off for better adhesion.
A small drop of white glue was set on these scratched off points and the dowels slid into place. The glue dot was pushed back and made a rear "fillet".

White glue dries clear. I didn't wipe off the excess behind the dowel, it only makes for a stronger joint.

After the white glue dried:
A toothpick tip was dipped in some medium CA glue and touched to the sides of the dowel joint.

That black band on the upper body was already releasing from the surface.
It was pulled up and replaced with a strip of the (old reliable) Contact paper, blackboard material.

Fixing the Aerospace Plane Canopy TIPS

I was prepping the recent Quest Aerospace Plane for an upcoming launch and the canopy popped off!
It was a clean separation, none of the paper shroud was torn telling me the bond wasn't good.
The bottom edge of the canopy still had some plastic glue on it.
The canopy bottom edge was lightly sanded giving a smoothed rough surface for better adhesion.

The aeroshoud had a glossy surface preventing the glue from soaking in.
The surface was scraped with the tip of my blade just inside the positioning line. Scrape enough to dull the surface but not thin the cardstock.

Plastic glue was applied and the shroud pressed back into position.

Thin CA followed. I just had to touch the end of the Teflon tube and the thin glue ran under the edge.
You don't have to squeeze out thin CA, turn over the bottle and it should run down the tube and "wick" itself under the seam.

Always have a paper towel handy when you use thin CA. It sometimes  runs where it shouldn't.

TIP: After using CA, hold the bottle up and squeeze the tip into a paper towel. This clears the Teflon tube and it will be clear the next time you use it.
TIP: Store your opened Super Glues in the refrigerator (not the freezer) and it will last much longer!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Custom PONG Build Part 12, Center Section Dowels

In Step 2 you are told to glue the BT-50 sections to the BT-5 with 3" of space between them.
The two supplied dowels are exactly 6" long. Those are cut in half leaving two 3" sections. If the dowels ended up a little short the dowel ends wouldn't reach the BT-50 assemblies.

I glued the upper assembly a little closer to the bottom (2 15/16") to allow a sanded friction fit of the dowels between the two BT-50 sections.

Cut the dowels in half by rolling a razor blade over the 3" mark.
Roll only one turn of the dowel forward, then roll back toward you keeping the blade in the cut you just made.
If you roll too many rotations forward you run the risk of the cut traveling down the dowel in a spiral. You don't have much dowel length to play with, make the cut correctly.

Here's the dowels in place, friction fitted with no glue.
Don't make the fit too tight, you could bend the center BT-5 tube.
The dowels will be glued with a spot of white glue first on the ends.
I'll follow with some medium CA applied with a toothpick at the inside area of the joint.

Shrockets on Kickstarter

Doug Shrock has his Shrockets kits on Kickstarter.

Check out the upcoming product line HERE

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Custom PONG Build Part 11, Stick On Decals!

You are given four decals that go on the body tube between the fins.
There is no way for them to fit around the launch lug standoffs.
Instead off cutting and pasting, I left them off.

I did put the black bands on the sides of the rear standoffs.
It's tight but do-able.

The lower end of the upper section tube is painted orange.
Rusto 2X "Real Orange" was a good match to the orange stickers.

No measurements are given but I settled at 3 1/2" below the lower ring.
The picture shows the simple mask.

Here's the upper decals in place.
The black band is already starting to lift up.

The Big Fix - Raptor Body Tube Replacement

I have three models due for a big fix.
The Quest Raptor was launched on June 1, 2013 with an Estes B6-4. Boost was great but there was no ejection charge.
The model nosed in and landed on the gravel road.
The plastic nose cone tip was dinged, no cracks. The body tube was split and crumpled 3 1/2" down from the top. The big fin unit broke off clean, right down the glue line.

Here's how the model looked after picking up the pieces.
You can see where the nose cone split the body tube, it was shoved in about 1 1/2".
The fin unit popped right off, re-gluing will hide any rough edges.
The engine mount broke free and slid forward until the nozzle was 1/2" inside the body tube.
First things first:
The crumpled body tube will have to be cut off.

For a knife guide a double wrap of 110 lb. card stock was rolled and taped around the tube. The knife edge will easily follow along the wrapped card stock edge.
On the lower left you can see the card stock wrap is taped to the tube so if won't slip when cutting.

I used a piece of the crumpled scrap tube to make a coupler.
A new piece of Quest 35mm tubing was cut to replace the old tube.

The decal will have to be removed.
TIP: If the paint is really dry, you can take off the decal using Scotch tape.

Press the tape down and lift. Some pieces of the decal should come up.
It could take a minutes and a few pieces of tape but eventually you'll remove the decal.

I didn't scan these decals, I should have!
A new name decal will have to wait until I need decals for another model. I won't print up a decal sheet unless the sheet is full.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Custom PONG Build Part 10, Stick On Decals!

This is another tough one - the adapter decal.
The straight sides are cut with a blade and straightedge.

The arc is cut with scisssors.

Leave this decal on it's backing paper and dry fit it to see how it rolls around the adapter.

The black band at the bottom goes right along the joint.

Be sure you start the decal edge on a straight line. Some light pencil ticks might help with alignment.
If the start isn't straight the decal bands won't meet up on the other side.

Once you start this one there is no turning back. You can't pull up and reposition the decal.
With any luck, the bands should match up when they meet.

The first square (towards the bottom) is wider than all the others.
Your finish under the shroud doesn't have to be perfect, this stickon almost covers the entire shroud.

The PIGS, Part 2

The Ring Thing was designed for the EMRR two-stage challenge competition.
It's a two-stager, the lowest ring section is the booster.
It looks like there is four sections, there is really only three larger rings, the smallest ring is a painted black band.
Here's the back end showing the descending rings and interior fins.

Even with nose weight washers it wasn't stable after staging.
Too bad, I really liked this design.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Custom PONG Build Part 9, Stick On Decals!

There is a LOT of stick-on decals in this kit.
You are best off cutting these out right on the color lines.
Start with the easiest ones to get a feel for them.
Lift the decal off the backing with the tip of your hobby knife. Don't handle them with your fingers. The oils on your fingertips will transfer and show up under the clear areas.
Once you set these down, they are stuck! If you try to lift them you could lift some paint with it.
Visually center the stickers before pressing them in place. "Float it" before sticking down a corner.

This band decal is a hard one.
Draw center tick marks on the forward BT-50 section and on the decal itself.

Set the center down first. Check the sides to be sure the edge is running straight down the body line.

Press in place from the center to the sides working out any bubbles as you go.

The rounded black bars to on the lug standoffs.
I had to place the wide edge right into the fillet area.

Spray Paint Coverage Comparison

I was putting together a Quest Viper kit given to me by Lonnie B.
This is not a fancy model, I've made some enhancements coming up in a blog build.

I had a older unused can of the WalMart ColorPlace gloss white paint. I thought I'd play it cheap and try the $1.00 a can paint.
Here's the first coat over the sanded gray primer. It was almost transparent!
It would take too many coats to get a decent coverage.
I switched back over to the Rustoleum 2X.
Here's the same body tube after just one coat.

I'm so used to the Rustoleum 2X paint, I was expecting a little better coverage from the WalMart can.
I threw away the $1.00 can of budget paint.
You get what you pay for!

Note: I've had a few bad cans of the Rusto 2X. When starting a new can be sure to check the first few sprays on scrap cardboard. You might get some "cottage cheese" until the inside feed tube clears out.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Custom PONG Build Part 8, Fillet Fixes

This is a tough model to spray evenly.
There are too many nooks and crannies!

I did have to go back and smooth out some of the Titebond M&TG fillets.

The ping pong ball is glued in place using a hot glue gun.

I did my best to make a clean joint with the glue gun but after painting the joint didn't look good.
This is a tight joint, you'd never get your finger in there to smooth out a fillet.

Titebond M&TG was applied and the fillet smoothed with a Q-tip.

After painting the end result is much better.

The PIGS! Part 1

A recent thread on TRF talked about "DUDS" - models that didn't fly well.
This saucer flew stable, just not high enough to waste an engine on!
It was a first attempt at scratch building a saucer.

I had just got Corel Draw and had some fun trying out the software.

The top was formed out of thin foam board, covered by a card stock print. It's really not that heavy. The gold "lights" around the top were punched out from self adhesive gold mylar.

It's been flown with a B6-0 and C6-0.
Like I mentioned, not worth the price of an engine!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Custom PONG Build Part 7, Fin and Dowel Prep

The fins and lug stand-offs are centered between the ends of the BT-50 sections.
After all the fin lines were marked the primer was sanded off, not any wider than the root edge thickness. The pencil alignment line was redrawn.

The centers of the BT-50 sections were marked and measured.
The fin centers were also marked.

It's simpler to set the center marks on top of each other when gluing on the fins.

While the instructions have you glue on the fins first, I glued on the lugs and standoffs.
I thought it would be easier to glue on the lugs first. It's easier to align them without the fins in the way.
There are four lug standoffs, two on each side.

The dowels are cut in two and glued between the two BT-50 assemblies.
I decided to spray them black, then cut them in two.
After fitting they are glued between the two BT-50s.

The dowels are held between my thumb and index finger for spraying.
There is a little space between the dowels. I can spray the upper half then roll the dowels between my fingers to the next unsprayed area.

I sprayed the upper 2/3rds and let that dry.
The dowels were flipped over and the remaining third sprayed.