Thursday, July 31, 2014

ASP Corporal Build, Part 12, Vinyl Trim

It took two tries to get the wrap in line so don't press anything down until you are sure.

You'll have to peel back the starting edge to finish off the end.

The wrap was set down fairly tight around the tube, I was concerned it might not match up at the end.

The roll pattern matched up perfectly!

John Boren's Navaho Cruise Missile

There's a good reason why John Boren works in R&D at Estes.
If you haven't followed the Navaho build thread on YORF you should check it out - CLICK HERE

John's scale entry at NARAM 56 is the SM-64 Navaho Cruise Missile.

It will be an RC boost glider.
John had plans to install two micro ducted fan units, but in the end they won't provide enough thrust.

This will be the "must see" launch at NARAM.

Here's the Navaho on display at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

This one one of the two models I always wanted to build, the Navaho and the Mercury Little Joe.
After reading the build posts I think I'll stick to pigs and aliens.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Dave Fitch's Entry in NARAM Concept Scale

I hope Dave got high scores for originality.
Bob Sanford Picture

ASP Corporal Build, Part 11, White Paint & Trim

After the primer, the model was shot with Rustoleum 2X Gloss white.
With Florida Summer humidity, It took three days to dry.

Wet sanding with 400 grit followed and the heavier finish coat.

I rarely work with vinyl trim. I'm going to take my time with the upper body roll pattern wrap, it's a "one shot".
Here's how it sits on the upper section with the small squares at the bottom.

To apply the vinyl, you peel off the heavy back layer.
You have to peel this off, back onto itself so you don't lift the black vinyl.

Don't touch the sticky vinyl or allow any dirt to get on it.

With the opaque white positioning layer it would be hard to line up along the body tube edge.
I cut off the excess along the bottom of the squares with scissors.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

My Ranger at NARAM

My Ranger made it to NARAM in one piece!
This was my entry for voting into the Seattle Museum of Flight Model Rocketry display.
12 models will be picked. I counted 15 entries so I've got a good shot!
The first 13 pictures are the museum entries: CLICK HERE
After that are the NARAM Scale entries.

There was some judging criteria -
The models couldn't be over two feet in length.
They should look like something a museum visitor would want to build.
Good finish, seams and grain filled, minimum 3/16 launch lug,
Original, iconic or concept scale type designs.
Overly complex models are not desired.

I tried the iconic design route, something a visitor to the museum would recognize from his youth. The Ranger was decorated like the old Estes catalog pictures.

ASP Corporal Build, Part 10, Fins and Tunnels

With a fin overhanging the tube end by 5/8", a piece of paper was taped around the tube to line up the front ends of the fins.

Beside the root edge of the fin you can see the sanded white gluing area.

All four fins were glued onto the tube and the alignment paper removed.

The tunnels glue directly above the fins.
New lines were extended down the tube and the primer sanded off.
There is a "gotcha" in the instructions. 
The instruction copy says the front of the smaller tunnels are 4 5/8" from the front of the long tube.
The illustration says the front of the tunnel is 7" from the front of the tube.
Looking at the illustration and face card drawing I glued them 4 5/8" from the top of the tube.

Here's how the model looks now with all the fins and tunnels glued on.
It looks larger than it is. The model is BT-50 based and 19" tall.

Painting should be easy, it's all white.

Monday, July 28, 2014

NARAM Live Manufacturer's Forum Video

From Saturday night, the NARAM Manufacturer's Forum is running -

Audio was hard to follow in some spots. I hope I heard everything correctly.
You just have to sit through the Swiffer Duster ads.

Some Highlights:
00:17:45 ESTES
John Boren talked about two more Sci-Fi models coming out later this year. Next year will see another scale model "bring back".
A large Honest John with a blow molded nose cone was shown. It may or may not end up being a kit.
The E2X Pro Series kits have new shock cord anchors. These new anchors are also being developed for smaller body tubes.
18mm pre-made boosters are also being developed.

Some big news - Quest is bringing most of it's kit production back to the U.S.
Bill Stine said the new versions of the Q2G2 Igniters will be available in October.
They will now be called "Starters". Because of a pending BATF regulation, it is changing how igniters are sold as accessories or separate from engines. Manufacturers cannot sell pyrogen based igniters separately from engines.
Quest is changing out the pyrogen so it doesn't fall into the definition of an "explosive". Estes had already did this with the newer "Starter" igniters.
The newer Quest igniters will have a slightly slower response time.
The Quest composite engines (announced two years back) have run into production problems. The European manufacturer can't keep up with the demand for the engines overseas.
EDIT from TerryG on TRF:
". . . Aerotech is changing the motor retention on their kits from clips to aluminum motor retainers. These will be available for separate order for 29 mm and 24 mm motor mounts."

00:42:40 FSI
David Lucas and Dave Bucher showed some classic FSI kits that are being sold at the NARAM.
Shrox will be involved with new FSI kit designs.
All the FSI scale kits will be brought back into production.
FSI will produce composite engines and would like to bring back black powder engines.

00:54:18 ARA PRESS
The N1 Reference book is now available.

00:59:00 BMS
Bill Saindon will be getting away from kits, concentrating more on parts production.
He might be bringing back more semi-custom parts.
A third nose cone machine is being made for more complex shapes.

Barry Lynch talked about the updated version of their EZ-I65 kit.
Larger LOC Angel parachutes are being developed.

On the same video at 1:14:00:
A promotion for the Australia THUNDA' DOWN UNDER meet to be held March 12 thru 15, 2015.
See: for more details.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Jeff Taylor's Steampunked ACME Spitfire

Jeff Taylor (FatBoy on TRF) "Steampunked" his FlisKit ACME Spitfire.
The finished results are amazing! CLICK HERE

There are hundreds of rivets and plenty of cardstock trim.
I especially like the shingles on the fin root edge and the Zebra wood veneers with barrel hoops on the upper section. The stand-off launch lug is hidden in the pipework on the right side.

Jeff is donating the model to the NARAM 56 Canon auction.
If I were there, I'd bid on it!

Turned 180 degrees shows more detail.
Check out the screen on the lowest section shroud.

The gauges add dimension and more detail.
I thought the model was finished but Jeff added a darker "wash" to make the model look aged.
Truly inspirational work!

ASP Corporal Build, Part 9, Primer and Fin Placement

After the two launch lugs were glued in place, both got Titebond M&TG fillets.

Look close at the upper section.
There is a ring where the dried glue shrunk and pulled in the body tube.
It's subtle and won't show up when the white color coat goes on.

The fin placement lines were penciled on then the primer areas sanded for a better bond. I just had to sand until the white tube showed through.

The fin lines were extended around onto the back edge of the tube.

These fins overhang the rear of the tube by 5/8".
I didn't seal the root and didn't want a rough exposed edge.

One quick fix is to lay a bead of white glue and let it dry.
Sand the glued end bead with 400 grit before gluing the fins on the body tube.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

NARAM 56, Pueblo, CO

Bob Sanford (Initiator 1 on YORF)
Posted this NARAM 56 welcome sign.

Vanna, I'll take an "E" . . .

Edit: NARAM Live is up and running!
For all of us who can't be there - 
Thanks to Chris Taylor for the NARAM Live website.

ASP Corporal Build, Part 8, Engine Mount Gluing

It's hard to see in the picture but there was a small crease on one end of the tube.
If I glue a fin over it, it will strengthen the tube and hide the crease.

When marking the fin lines, I purposely set the tube crease on a fin position line.

This is another thin BT-50 tube. To protect it from crimping a 2" long, 50 sized coupler was cut.
A glue line was set up in the tube at about the middle of the coupler final position.
The coupler was pushed into place using the engine mount.
The engine mount was removed.
More glue was spread in the tube and the mount slid in place.

TIP: It's easier to line up the engine hook when a pencil line is drawn down the body tube, this time in line with the lower launch lug.

Friday, July 25, 2014

ASP Corporal Build, Part 7, Tunnel Contour Fit Sanding

The bottoms of the 3/16" tunnels are too flat to fit the curve of the body tube.
Some 220 grit was wrapped around a BT-20, a smaller tube than the BT-50 tube supplied in the kit.
TIP: Sometimes you can get a better rounded root edge by sanding the underside curve on a smaller tube.

On the right the upper picture shows the fit of the 3/16" tunnel before sanding the curve into the bottom.

The inset picture shows the fit after the contour sanding.

The bottom sanding isn't really needed on the shorter 1/8" tunnels.

A Email Question To Elmer's

After not getting a good answer about Aleene's Tacky Glue,
I sent the same question to Elmer's - 

Comments: A while back you changed the old White Glue formula to a "New Stronger Formula" 
I build model rockets. The old formula was thicker and allowed parts (engine mounts and couplers) to "slip" together. You did have some working time with the glue. 
The "New Stronger Formula" is very thin by comparison. Engine mounts and couplers will "lock-up" before you can slide them into their correct position in the model.
Do you make any other glue that is the same as the old formula white glue?

Thank you,
Chris Michielssen

Dear Chris,

The closest product we currently have to the old Glue-All formula is our Washable School Glue.

Brian Rumschlag
Consumer Response Analyst

I read somewhere that the School Glue isn't as strong a bond as the regular Elmer's White Glue.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Aleene's Tacky Glue Online Chat

Trying to find information about a better white glue, I did an email chat with a representative from Aleene's Tacky Glue:

You are now chatting with 'Rebecca'
You: Hi Rebecca!
You: My name is Chris
Rebecca: Hello, how may I help you?

You: I was using Elmer's white glue on my model rockets. They came out with a new formula and an engine mount can "freeze" up in the wrong positions.
You: Do you make a glue that is similar to the older Elmer's formula? Something that allows a slide of parts before it can possibly lock up?
Rebecca: Unfortunately, I am not sure of the formula for Elmer's, (since they are our competitor)- our Original Tacky Glue is a great craft glue that will allow some re-positioning prior to setting. This glue takes about 30 minutes to set.

You: Elmer's changed to a "New Stronger Formula" that seems watered down. Many model rocket modelers have problems with it, especially with engine mounts and couplers (joining tubes together with a "sleeve")
You: Do you have a formula that is "slippery"?
Rebecca: Generally all of our glues are "tacky"- so they are not that slippery
You: Okay, thanks for your time. It's just a pain to mix up epoxy!

Well, that got me nowhere!
I don't think Rebecca realizes what engine mount or couplers are. She probably gives out advice on how to glue on glitter.

My next glue questions will go to Elmer's!

ASP Corporal Build, Part 6, Nose Section and Clay Weight

The ends of the nose block were a bit rough.
On the right is the before, the inset picture shows the end block after being cleaned up with 220 grit on a block.
The edges were rounded by hand sanding with 220 grit. The rounded end makes and easier insertion in the tube without peeling up the inside tube wraps.

After the nose block is glued halfway into the short upper tube,
the clay weight is pressed into the tube.
Don't insert all the clay at one time!
Press some in place and insert the nose cone shoulder. Add more clay until the base of the nose cone is against the top of the clay.

The fins on the Corporal are small and the clay weight is needed for stability.

I used as much of the clay as I could fit in the tube and still fully insert the nose cone.
.32 oz. of clay was left meaning just over 1/2 oz of clay is in the model.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

ASP Corporal Build, Part 5, Tunnel Shaping

The tunnel pieces are cut to size.
The 3/16" square pieces are cut to 8 1/4" long. The two 1/8" square sticks are cut to 4 1/2" long.

The tops are rounded off.
Initial shaping as done with 220 grit on a block. The block helps keep the shape consistent.

The ends get an egg or elliptical shape.
Mark a center line with pencil and sand the ends round centering  towards the pencil line.
The end tops are sanded to a half round with the block.
Knock off any squared edges hand sanding with 400 grit.

The inset picture shows the two tunnels back to back (root edge to root edge). This is an easy way to check the consistency of the end shaping.
After you check both sides, flip the top tunnel over and check it again against the lower tunnel.

The BIG Fix, FlisKits MMX Crayon, Part 2

The replacement lug was cut from the back end of a ball point pen ink tube. The walls of the ink tube are thicker than a MMX lug but slide easily over a Micro launch rod.

The paint had torn off around the old lug glue area.
This was touched up with a black Sharpie.

The lug was roughed up with sandpaper for a better bond.
The lug was glued on using medium CA. (I know, the glue joint will get brittle over time. I'll just keep an eye on it.)

The new wrapped rear ring was a little high and the fit too tight.
Before sanding down, it got a coat of CA applied with a Q-tip.

The CA hardens the ring and prevents it from unrolling when sanding to size.
A four-sided fingernail file and 400 grit brought it down to the right diameter.
The hardened CA polishes well and made a very smooth surface.

Fixed and ready for flight!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Moon Landing Anniversary Launch, Schoolyard, July 20, 2014

It seemed appropriate to launch a Saturn V this morning.
The Dr. Zooch SATURN V flew with a Estes B6-4.

I was hoping for a good launch and recovery, this ninth flight wasn't the best. It left the rod and turned 45 degrees to the Southeast. Altitude was only 125 feet.
It was nose down and 50 feet above the ground when the parachute ejected. It landed in the middle of the two-lane perimeter street. I ran to get it before a car could run over it.
The fin broke free at the fairing root. Wes (Dr. Zooch) told me the fins were designed to do that on a hard landing. An easy fix.

An old standby, the Quest (Cobalt) ORANGE was launched with an A6-4 engine to 275 feet.
I'll pack the shock cord in the nose cone with the parachute on top of it. The shock cord usually pulls out the parachute. The parachute stayed in the nose cone.
With just nose-blow recovery, the Orange fell gently enough.

My Estes GYROC clone launched with an A8-3 to 250 feet.
The engine ejected with a loud pop and the rocket helicoptered in.
When it was picked up one of the small fins had pulled loose.
More repairs!

This was a test of the second Odd'l Rockets prototype,
the LITTLE GREEN MAN. It's naked, not enough time to paint it.
(It doesn't look like much without the eyes and mouth.)
With the upturned feet set closer to vertical it did seem to get better altitude with an Estes B6-4. I would estimate the peak of flight at 325'. Very stable!

The new 12" Odd'l parachute opened and brought it back close. I caught it before it touched down. This was my best flight of the day.

Normally a MicroMaxx could be my first of the day, but this morning the Saturn V was launched first.

I had just repaired the FlisKit CRAYON two days ago.
Today there were no problems getting the small engine to ignite. The Crayon is fast off the launcher. Altitude was an estimated 100 feet.
The body sections did separate but the streamer stayed in the upper half. No damage when it was picked up.
Five up, five down and two broken fins.

ASP Corporal Build, Part 4, Engine Mount and Fins

The instructions say the Kevlar should be 11 3/4" from the top of the engine mount to the tied loop. This would put the upper loop end right over the top of the body tube.
I made the Kevlar line shorter so there would be no chance of a zipper.
The engine mount is glued in the rear of the tube, both tube ends are even.

The fins are cut from 1/16" thick basswood.
Be sure to check the grain direction. These fins look like they should go the other way.

The leading and trailing edges are rounded.
Again, check the grain direction before rounding the edges. They are easy to get mixed up.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Elmer's Glue - Uh-Oh!

This was talked about on the forums two years ago.
Elmer's had thinned out their glue and is now calling it a "NEW STRONGER FORMULA".

Many builders had problems using it, especially on couplers and engine mounts. The thinner glue quickly saturates the Kraft tubes and couplers. Engine mounts and couplers were freezing up and locking before they could be slid into the desired position.

Two years ago I bought six bottles of the old formula Elmer's Glue All.
My old bottle of the original "Bonds Strong" formula on the left.
On the right is one of the six bottles I bought two years ago.

The glue in the bottle on the right is thinner.
I had suspected it then, it seems Elmer's filled the old bottle with the new thinner formula!

I didn't use the new bottle until this morning on an engine mount/centering ring fillet.
The new formula is VERY thin and easily runs.
The thinner glue could shrink up body tubes at internal glue fillets - the "Coke Bottle effect".

I read somewhere the G. Harry Stine preferred Aleene's original Tacky Glue.
It's thicker than the older Elmer's glue. It does dry clear.
We'll see if it allows couplers and engine mounts to slide without locking up.

Last November I did a test of all threes glues: CLICK HERE
It was a little more interesting than watching paint dry.
The final results are worth the test.

I took the nozzle off the thin bottle of Elmer's and put it on the Aleene's.
Most all the nozzles are interchangeable.
I like the smaller hole on the Elmer's nozzle tip.

Before I put it on the Aleene's bottle I ran it under some water to clear out the new formula Elmer's glue. The thinner Elmer's easily washed out of the nozzle.
I mean - easily washed out. No picking or scrubbing.
The running water was all it took to clear the glue.