Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Estes Teros #1285 Upscale Background

The Estes TEROS started as a Coldpower Convertible rocket in 1972 - 1973.
The Coldpower Convertible line used a smaller Vashon style engine that fit into a BT-50 tube.
The ejection was an interesting spring release.

NUMBER: KL-5 or #1105
Introduced: 1972
Final Year: 1973
Designer: Mark Kellner
Type: Pseudo-Scale
Motor Mount: Coldpower
Recovery: Parachute
Length: 13"
Diameter: 0.976"
Weight: 2.01 oz (With Engine)

It was re-released as a 18mm black powder model in 1977

NUMBER: #1285
Reintroduced: 1977
Final Year: 1982
Mark Kellner
Type: Pseudo-Scale
Motor Mount: 1x18mm
Recovery: Parachute
Length: 13"
Diameter: 0.976"
Weight: 1.2 oz

The other models to use the "Ram-Jet"  BNC-50BC nose cone were: #0816 Wolverine and the #1311 Laser Torpedo

Coming up:
I'll be making an upscale of the Teros using the Dollar Tree store champagne flute nose cone with the Quest 50mm tubing.
The outside diameter of the the original BT-50 tubing is .976, the 50mm tubing is 1.97".
This will end up being slightly larger than a 2X upscale.

New Estes Engine Retention?

One of the "Coming Soon" E2X models is the Sky Cruiser. It's a tall model, BT-50 to BT-5.

I looked at the instructions and noticed the engine retention cap.
This new "cap" is more like a smaller version of the 24mm and 29mm retainers.

Maybe we'll see these smaller retainers made for BT-50 based, 18mm models.
I realize this model has a plastic fin can, but a thread unit (alone) for BT-50 models would be cool.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Estes Black Brant III, Final Finished

This is much better. The double layered white decals weren't that hard to do, it just took extra time.
The double layer of white isn't thick or too high off the surface.
The black NRC meatball logo shows a little transparency, but I can live with that.

More New Estes Kits

On TRF, John Boren posted some 3D views of the new 13mm, Level 3 kits.
The Scorpion is the green one on top, the Lynx is below.
Both models seem to be about the same size and use the same BT-20 bubble canopy nose cone.
Both models have two long, tapered intakes above the wings.
Personally, I like the fins on the Lynx. I'm sure I'll be building one in the future.

Another "Easy To Assemble" model named the Sky Cruiser is also shown on the Coming Soon page:
The Sky Cruiser is black and white, BT-50 based, plastic fins and stick on decor.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Non Flying Phillipine Wood Models

I always run across these wood models when doing searches on EBAY.
This Saturn V is the same style I saw on display at the San Diego Air and Space Museum.
"Meticulously Made by our Master Craftsmen!" Yeah, right!

Look at the detail on the capsule and tower!
The paint on these wood models is very, very thick.
12" tall and only $154.99.

These are obviously made to order, with a one month period before shipping.

You can also get a hand carved solid wood replica of the Estes
It's also 12" tall, so it must be a very accurate downscale.
Only $139.88!
Why anyone would order this is beyond me.

I've been to the Philippines on a few cruises. Most every excursion has a stop at a gallery selling hand carved everything. There were great carvings and some real crap!

Estes Black Brant III, Paart 17, Decal Re-do Again, Fixed

I didn't like how the white decal strips came out.
They were translucent and looked like a light pink color, except where another layer of white was set over it.

I realized all the white areas would take two layers of the white decal, just like two coats of white paint to be opaque.
All the black type and flag overlay decals were lifted and thrown away. I hadn't sealed these with Future and they lifted pretty easily.

The long strip down the middle stayed down, but had to be cut out where the new double layers would go.
Here's the middle strip with double layers applied.
The rectangle near the center will get a second layer. This is the white area under the flag.
In the end, there were twelve cut and fitted doubled white areas.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Estes Black Brant III, Part 16, Decal Fix? Part 2

The rivets and panel decal were re-drawn from a scan of Estes kit decal sheet.
It doesn't match up to the Alway data but this was supposed to be and Estes clone so compromises were made.

The inset picture shows how the overlap was trimmed.
The screw spacing matched up very well.

After that decal was thoroughly dry, the clear overlap edge was sanded off.
You could trim this off with a new razor blade. Sanding sometimes leaves a clean edge without tearing.

The NRC logo was applied.
Another wider band of white was set down for the N.R.C.O.C. name border.

Amazon Rocket Specifications

For the Big Bertha: 

For the Chuter II: 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Estes Black Brant III, Part 15, Decal Fix? Part 1

The model sat for a month until I put in another order of decal sheets.
This time my ordered included "white" decals. These are meant for decals that need a white undercoat or border. I thought these would be much thinner than the clear sheets I sprayed with white paint.
They were - almost too thin.
The decal sheet did get three coats of Krylon clear.

Down the main body of the rocket there is a white vertical band around 3/8" wide.

These stripes were cut down the long 11" side of the sheet, still too small  for the length of the body tube.
The second piece was carefully matched up.
I tried to plan ahead, the seam will be covered by the Canada flag decal.

The Canada flag decal gets a slight white border.
More white was cut, just a bit larger than the flag.

The white box was set down first followed by the red flag.

Mentioned earlier, the decals are a bit translucent over the red body.
I probably could have done two layers of white, making it opaque.
I was concerned about it being three layers and ending up too thick.

Weight Of Filled Fins?

Here we go with another highly scientific test.
I read a comment about how much weight CWF filler adds to fins. I was curious.

The first picture shows a Estes Patriot fin. The leading edge is rounded and the sides sanded smooth with 400 grit.
The single fin weight is 0.05 oz.

After a brushed coat of (now dried) Carpenter's Wood Filler.
The same fin weighs 0.07 oz.
After sanding to surface (I do try to leave a very thin skin of CWF on the surface) that same fin weighs 0.06 oz.

The filler left in the grain pores adds a whopping 0.01 oz. of weight! One one-hundredth of an ounce.
I'm not a competition flyer. This little bit of weight won't make that much of a difference.

Sorry, I won't be doing the same test with sanding sealer. Sanding sealer stinks and is too expensive.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Rocket Names - Reading Up or Down?

This question has come up on the forums before:
Should the rocket name decal read up or down?
Should it be set so the base line is on the right or left?

Here's the Sunward Screamer from an EBAY picture and on the kit facecard.
To my eyes, the name was stuck on upside down.

This is the Estes Hornet.
It's obvious which one is easier to read.

Before setting down a name decal, think how the model will photograph on the launcher. You shouldn't have to turn your camera or crane your neck to take a good picture.

I prefer the name to read UP towards the nose cone.
The model is going to boost straight up, why shouldn't the name also read going up.

In the end it's personal preference. Do what you feel is right for the individual design.
If you are building a scale model, follow the scale data.
The names on real rockets sometime go up on one side and read down on the other.

I'm probably more concerned about this than the average builder.
I worked a for years on a photo typesetting machine and look at set type differently.

Estes Black Brant III, Part 14, White Background Decal Problems

Things don't always go as planned!
Mistakes sometimes lead to solutions and better techniques.

That's better! Two red fins and one white fin.
I did another mask down the root edge fillet.

I thought I would do the white vertical stripes using a clear decal sheet sprayed with white paint. You end up sliding off a trimmed coat of paint and applying that onto the model.
It's worked before - not this time!
The longest white vertical stripes were cut to 3/8" width.

When cutting spray painted decal sheets you have to do very light surface cuts. The paint can chip if you are too aggressive.

The wide band at the top wrapped fine. (See below)
The vertical strips didn't adhere well. Maybe the white spray paint was too thick to roll down the body tube.

This shows the upper band, it adhered pretty well.
A second try at the vertical stripes was done with white electrical tape.
The long body decal looked translucent next to the upper band. This tape line was pulled and thrown away.
When I find one -
I'll have to try again later with a white backed decal sheet, not the sprayed clear sheet.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Estes Black Brant III, Part 13, Mask and Paint

EDIT: Boy did I screw this one up!
I read the Peter Alway ROTW drawings wrong.
I painted two white and one red fin.
The Black Brant III has a long white stripe between two of the three fin positions.
There is a reason Estes only included one white stripe decal. You can't apply the two opposite decals with the launch lug in the way!
I should have double checked the Estes and Canaroc instructions before masking this one.
I'll have to go back and paint another fin red.
I'll end up doing just one white stripe and decals down one side

The nose cone and tail nozzle were pulled out and will be painted separately.
According to Always Rockets Of the World, it's a pretty simple pattern. Two red fins and one white one. (Wrong - See EDIT above)
The whole body tube is painted gloss red.

The root edges were masked off with Scotch tape, the rest of the fin covered in cheap masking tape.
Here's the reveal.
All was good, a little back scraping was needed right at the tip of the leading edge where it meets the body tube.

The nose cone color is silver, I'll use aluminum.
The tail cone is painted black. I'll use gloss black then hit that with a dull coat.

Bug In Paint! Arrrg!!!

It happens to all of us, sooner or later. I spray most of my models outside.
Look what flew into a newly sprayed body tube.

Look close and you can make out the path the bug walked before getting stuck in the drying paint.
Good thing this is not a final coat. This white undercoat will be wet sanded and no one will ever know the bug was there.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Estes Black Brant III, Part 12, NRC Logo

After searching through a hundred fonts, I couldn't find anything close to the NRC logo shown in Alway's ROTW book. I'll have to draw something close.

Here's how it looks side-by-side in Corel Draw.
The NRC letters were traced over the book art with straight lines.
Then using the shape tool, curves were added to match the original.
Some line ends are rounded, others are squared off.

The only thing I can't figure out is how to change the line weight.
For example, the middle diagonal of the N is heavier than the verticals.

The Estes decal is much more detailed. To keep it easier I went with the Alway art.
This "meatball" will be pretty small on the model. It's close enough for me!

Ebay Adventure

I've been selling some rocket kits on EBAY.
I either have duplicates or it's a model I'm not interested in building right now.
There is three lots, two Quest and one Estes.
I have two Quest Intruder kits, one went to one lot, the second in the other.
I sold one Quest lot and boxed it up.

The picture to the left shows the other Quest lot, listed yesterday.
I picked up the second Intruder kit and was wondering why the bag was bunched up. I tried to remove the parts from the bag.

The stick on decal sheet had somehow caught on the instructions and was pulled off the backing, all in one piece!
It's not salvageable and I certainly can't sell the kit without the decals.
The auction for this Quest lot was pulled from EBAY.
Now, what can I design with all the extra parts?

Monday, September 22, 2014

New Estes "Mystery" Kit

This one appeared in the "Coming Soon" page on the Estes website, then quickly disappeared!

is a futuristic mini-engine powered rocket.The kit features laser-cut wood fins, waterslide decals, and a parachute for recovery.

Decals: Waterslide
Diameter: .74"
Length: 13.4"
Recommended Engines: A10-3t, A3-4t
Parachute Recovery
Skill Level 3
Weight: 1.1 oz.

  Information is from the JonRocket.com website

Estes Black Brant III, Part 11, Fin Gluing

Good thing I checked back to the Black Brant III instructions at:
The "rear edge of the fins are even with the rear edge of the nozzle section."
I'll leave off the nozzle until after the model and nozzle are painted.
The nozzle is flat black, the only black on the model. Painting the nozzle first just saves a masking step around the fins.

I'll glue the fins on with the nozzle slipped in, no glue.
The nozzle will be painted then glued in later.

The root edge lines were roughed up with some sandpaper on a block.

A pencil mark was drawn under the nozzle lip placement of the rear fin root edge.
Look close and you can see the rear root edge overhanging the body tube end and onto the nozzle lip.

After the initial glue dried the nozzle was pulled out and white glue fillets applied.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Type Font Caps or Upper / Lower? TIP

This was a common sense rule when setting headlines at the print shop:
Don't set all caps when using a script or hand written style font.

Look at the first example.
The second "Hi Flyer" set in upper and lower is easier to read.
You shouldn't have to decipher any name decal set on the side of a rocket.

Here's one I've seen wrong on "Gangsta" cars and even tattoos.
Old English style fonts cannot be set all caps.
The second "Light Loader" name is simply easier to read.

When in doubt, set it both ways and decide of which one you'd rather see on your rocket.

Estes Black Brant III, Part 10, Nose Cone Lug Tip

The Estes Black Brant III instructions don't mention clearing the plastic from the nose cone attachment lug.
This tie point is square and the sides aren't that thick.
Normally I'd use a #11 X-Acto blade and cut out the square center.
I didn't want to take the chance of cutting through the sides.
I used a small rat tail diamond file instead.

The tip was spun in the center until the tip broke through.
The file was spun until the file edges met the square sides of the lug.

TIP: A round hole has less chance of breaking through. You aren't cutting out the corners with a sharp knife that might start a tear.
The little bit of plastic left in the corners make the attachment point much stronger.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Estes Black Brant III, Part 9, Engine Mount and Launch Lug

The fit of the mount was loose in the BT-50.
With a glue stick, one wrap of copy paper was glued around both green rings.

Glue was applied inside the tube using the dowel pencil line from the last step.
The coupler was quickly inserted and pushed in place using the engine mount up to the lower pencil line on the engine mount tube.
The engine mount was removed.

After the coupler glue had dried the mount was glued in.
With the coupler in place you have a "stop". The mount is slid in until it stops against the reinforcement coupler edge.

The Estes instructions have you glue in the nozzle and mask if off for the black paint.
Don't glue it in now, paint it black then glue in place and save yourself some tight masking.

The launch lug is glued in line with the engine hook, 4" above the end of the body tube.