Wednesday, July 31, 2013

FlisKits MMX Saturn V Build Part 8, Escape Tower

The escape tower is a small round plastic rod.
You have to drill a small hole for the rod to glue into.

The CM part of the nose cone is already pointed.
I decided to flatten the point slightly to make it easier to set the center hole.

A needle is slowly pressed in. Press a little and check to be sure the needle is straight before drilling any farther.

The instructions say the "tower" should extend only 3/16" above the tip.
That looked to be a little short. I made mine a bit longer.

Rocketarium Hydra Sandhawk Build Part 19, Gold Mask and Paint

The fin mounting attachments would normally be glued on before painting. It would be very hard to mask around the attachments.

I'll simply glue them on after the gold is sprayed.

Here's the mask for the gold.

I'm using a Q-tip again to soft burnish the Scotch tape masks along the root edges.

The tan plastic wrap are cut up grocery bags.

The first try was an old can of gold Krylon.
I had bad masks on half of the taped edges. It didn't release at the tape edge like the Rustoleum 2X I was used to. The paint seemed to rip and pull as the tape was pulled up.

I had to sand off the ridge and respray with a new can of Rustoleum 2X gold. This second try gave me a much better clean line.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

FlisKits MMX Saturn V Build Part 7, Drag Shroud & Launch Lug

The drag shroud is printed in black on 110 lb. card stock.

Before cutting out the shroud, the launch lug hole was made using the smaller barrels of the rotary punch. The lug hole is oval shaped.
A larger center hole was punched, two smaller holes were punched outside of that to make the oval.

The white edge was blackened with a Sharpie.
To show the difference, only the bottom half (near my thumb) has been blackened.
Most people use too much white glue when joining the edges of a shroud. You only need a very thin coat.

After you are sure the tab alignment is correct you can burnish the tab down rolling a dowel over the glued area. I set another dowel inside the shroud for a still backing.

Inset picture: the hole needed to be widened slightly to fit over the engine mount tube. I flared out the opening with a dowel.

TIP: The edge of the shroud was hardened  and "set" with a coat of medium CA.
This will waterproof the edge and protect it from a wet grass landing.

The supplied launch lug is 2" long. It seemed too long when set down the side of the small model. (Upper picture)

I cut the lug in two an it seemed less noticeable. It should still be plenty long for a stable slight off a MMX launch rod.

Rocketarium Hydra Sandhawk Build Part 18, Nose Cone Mask

This is the nose cone mask for the lower flames.
While the face card art shows red above and dark red below, the online picture shows orange and brown below. I went with the online picture.

The Scotch tape segments are in place around the nose cone.
The masking tape strip on the left was a guideline so the base of the flames would be somewhat straight.

At the base of the nose cone is a darker brown, a mistake on my part. the paper wrapped around the BT-60 tube holder slid up over the nose cone base before the orange was sprayed. It should be covered with the brown primer coat.

This brown primer color was from an old can of $1.00 Walmart paint.

Here the Scotch tape mask is being removed. The lines came out very clean.

Before the paint totally cures some of the rough edges were pushed back into the brown side with the flat side of a knife.

There was a paint ridge on the brown side.
Instead of sanding it off and risking removing the paint, the ridge was  pressed down with the back barrel of a Sharpie pen.
I didn't rub back and forth, I simply rolled the smooth pen barrel over the ridge flattening it out slightly.

Monday, July 29, 2013

FlisKits MMX Saturn V Build Part 6, Engine Skirts

A dowel was sharpened to form the skirts over.
You will want to preform the skirts before any gluing.
The length of the taper was the same as the height of the skirt.
The tip of the dowel was rounded off.

Press the dowel into the skirt over your fingertip.
Do enough pressing so the shroud keeps it's full form when removed.

I drew the glue lines with pencil before any glue was applied. I wanted the glue inside and under the skirt edges. The thin glue lines were set down transferred on the tip of a toothpick.

The skirt was picked up with a little glue left on the toothpick tip.

The sides of the skirt should be straight, not rounded.
While the skirt is still wet with glue you can "mold" it by pressing the edge in with the side of a toothpick.
Keep working the skirt until the glue starts to set up. Go gently, the paper stock of the skirt is thin.

Here's how it looks with all four skirts in place.

The back end of the skirts overhangs the scalloped ring a bit.

Rocketarium Hydra Sandhawk Build Part 17, Nose Cone Mask

Here's the only picture I could find online showing the hand painted flames on the nose cone.

That picture was rotated and blown up to the BT-60 diameter of 1.637" wide.

The "flames" were traced and copied into an approximation of the area width, shown at the top.
Going around the nose cone, it looked like there were eight "high flames" and eight "low flames".

This is all a guess, the original flames were hand painted so I'm just going for close.
The flame pattern was printed out.
The print was taped to the outside of my patio door to make a poor man's light table.
The door was shut and clear tape layed over the print on the inside of the glass.
Everything was cut out with a #11 blade.
The strip was cut into sections at the top of the flames.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

FlisKits MMX Saturn V Build Part 5, Engine Skirts

The instructions simply say to "roll" the skirts to shape.
They are printed on the instructions, the paper looks to be 24 lb.
I decided to make a form to shape the skirts on.

A dowel was sanded down to the same diameter as the back end of one of the centering ring scallops.

The dowel was shaped to a point, the same length as a printed skirt.

You are given eight skirts, you have four extras.
I drew more on the bottom of the page for practice.
After cutting and fitting a few practice skirts I found out the best way to cut them out.

The sides and tip (on right) are cut just inside the black lines.
The wider base of the skirt (on right) is cut just outside the bottom curve.

Rocketarium Hydra Sandhawk Build Part 16, Fin Gluing

Here's the booster section ready for the gray primer filler spray.
The fin lines are masked and a piece of tape covers the vent holes from the inside.

The same was done on the upper body.
The fins are glued 3/32" from the rear of the body tube. A wrap of tape (blackened with a Sharpie) was rolled around the rear for a reference.

After the first fin was glued on, a paper wrap gave me the height for the leading edge tips.

Paper wraps were also used on the booster for height reference.

Here's how the booster was masked to keep the engine mount clean.
Masking tape pieces were stuck sticky side in around the end of the booster tube.
An engine casing on a dowel was inserted into the mount.
Paper towel pieces were stuffed in the recessed.
White undercoats followed.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Away From Home, Back to California!

Blog posts could be sporadic for the next week.
I'm visiting family in California and staying at my Mom's until August 3.
She doesn't have a computer or Internet connection!
I'll post when I can at a restaurant or coffee shop.

FlisKits MMX Saturn V Build Part 4, Nose Cone Taper Sanding

After sanding and lifting up the nose cone,
The sawdust left on the block shows I was sanding more on one side.
Make adjustments and try to sand the adapter area flat.
Don't change the shape of the adapter angles.

Here's the nose cone after all five surfaces were sanded smooth.

Sanding again after the primer filler coat.

Rocketarium Hydra Sandhawk Build Part 15, Payload Bay

There is a longer rectangle left on the fin mounting sheet. This is used to fill the gap on the split tube of the payload.
A two piece laminate wasn't quite thick enough to be even with the to surface. I ended up using a three piece stack and would sand it down to surface.

The three layers of 110 lb. card stock were glued in place using white glue.
The strips were glued long and trimmed off even with the end of the payload section.
To stiffen it up, a layer of CA was applied with a Q-tip. This makes the surface hard and easier to sand without any raised paper fibers after sanding.

After drying the filler strip was sanded with 400 grit on a block.

CWF filler followed with a final sand.

After a spray of primer filler, the patch is almost gone.
A smooth sanding and one more coat of primer should fill it in.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Odd'l Rockets at NARAM 55

David Miller from Sirius Rocketry sent this picture -
Odd'l Rockets made an appearance at NARAM 55!
The kits are hanging on the right side of the tent awning.

FlisKits MMX Saturn V Build Part 3, Nose Cone Filling

Looking ahead, I tried to figure out filling and painting.

The BT-4 body tube had no seams! At least none I could feel.

The launch lug is long and I could feel the seams with a thumbnail.
First up, rough the surface so the CWF will stick to it. 400 grit was used to take off some of the gloss.

The tapers in the nose cone will be interesting to sand.

After brushing on some CWF, pencil lines were drawn around the high and low spots. These will help as a sanding reference.

This tungsten carbide sanding block surface stops right down the side.
You can sand up to the edge without sanding down the adjoining angled surface.

Check the sanding dust on the block. It will show you if you are sanding the sides square.

Rocketarium Hydra Sandhawk Build Part 14, Payload Bay

Jumping ahead to Step 10:
The raised surface of the payload bay is made by gluing a piece of body tube over the top of the sustainer body.
The short length of BT-60 is split and wrapped.
Mark a straight line with an aluminum angle.

Cut and split the tube using the aluminum angle as a guide line.

The cut was opened and the edges sanded clean over the edge of my sanding block.
Apply glue over the top of the sustainer tube and wrap the split tube over it. Quickly wipe away any glue in the open split area.

The tube was wrapped with rubber bands to apply pressure while the glue dried.
Before setting aside to dry be sure the tube ends are even. The glue is slippery and the split tube could move.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

FlisKits MMX Saturn V Build Part 2, Engine Mount

The engine mount is similar to a 18mm style, just smaller.
The engine block is set with an engine casing. 1/8" of the casing extends out the back.

The scalloped ring is set into the glue fillet on the rear centering ring.
The engine skirts will form and glue over the scallop circles.
The instructions tell you to notch the forward ring for a Kevlar tie.
There is a small hole already laser cut in both rings.
I used a small rat tail diamond file to clear the hole making it large enough for the Kevlar to go through.

I didn't knot the Kevlar but wrapped the loose end under the loop a few times. A knot might bulge the body tube, there isn't much clearance between the mount tube and mainframe tube.
This will be plenty strong after a glue fillet is added over the top.

Rocketarium Hydra Sandhawk Build Part 13, Vent Hole Drilling

The inside edges will be rough. You'll need to toughen these up to sand off the edges.

A Q-tip was dipped in some medium CA glue and swabbed around the inside of the drilled hole.

Some 400 grit was wrapped around another Q-tip in a cone shape.

Turn the sandpaper in the hole to smooth and "round" it out.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

FlisKits MMX Saturn V Build Part 1, Parts

I found the MMX Saturn V the most interesting of the new releases from FlisKits.

Here's all the parts -  

It's advertised as the "World's Smallest Flying Saturn V".
I checked - the Quest MMX Saturn stands 5 3/4" tall. The FlisKit Saturn V is 4.65" tall.

Some parts of interest, clockwise from the left:
Water slide decals that take care of most all of the trim.
The card stock sheet with the fins and drag shroud
Plastic streamer recovery
Scalloped ring that forms the rear edge of the engine skirts
Balsa nose cone forming the upper stages
Small plastic rod for the launch escape tower.

On the back of the instruction sheet are the engine skirts.
Jim Flis always gives extras on pieces that might be hard to make the first time around.
Thanks Jim - a great idea for small parts.