Friday, October 31, 2014

Estes Patriot Build #2056, Part 10, Decal Draw

The "decals" are peel and stick.
The cut line around the roll pattern bars won't be very noticeable.
But around the "U.S. ARMY" and the long oval decal is some clear borders. You'll be able to see that raised outline.

I re-drew the U.S. ARMY and long ovals to make water slide decals.
I'm spending too much time on the model to compromise using stick-ons.

These were arranged on 1/4 of a clear decal sheet.
I'll be able to print three other kit decals on the remainder of the sheet.

Build time: 
Decal Draw = 20 minutes
Total build time so far = 4 hours 40 minutes

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Estes Patriot Build #2056, Part 9, Fin Alignment and Gluing

The fins are to be set 3/16" up from the rear of the tube.
Using the fin root to mark the edge length.

The primer was roughed up and most all of it sanded off the line between the top and bottom of the fin root edge.

The first fin was glued on.
A strip of paper was taped onto the body tube for a front edge guide.
All the fin front tips were set up to the edge of the paper.

The other three fins were glued on.

Build time: (Some items below weren't covered by pictures in this build)
Sand fin surfaces smooth = 5 minutes
Round fin leading edges = 5 minutes
Fill fins with CWF and smooth = 20 minutes
Mark fins and glue = 20 minutes
Prep and tie chute to screw eye = 10 minutes
Total build time so far = 4 hours 20 minutes

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Estes Patriot Build #2056, Part 8, Tube Primer and Fin Marking

On the left is the lower tube joint below the center of the launch lug.
The joint seam was already sanded smooth and filled with CWF and sanded again.
After that some medium CA was applied with a Q-tip and the excess wiped off.

The tube was shot with a coat of primer/filler.
the inset picture shows the tube after sanding. The white area right below the joint is the sanded CA glue.

I tried the tube marking guide cut from the instruction sheet. The ends matched up well.

TIP: After the tube is marked for the four fins, turn the marking guide 90 degrees to the next fin mark. The "Star" marking is the launch lug line. In the inset picture you can see the star turned to the right, 1/4 way around the tube.

Sometimes a kit supplied marking guide can be off. This is a simple way to check if it is printed up correctly.

Build time: (Some items below weren't covered by pictures in this build)
Body tube seam fill = 10 minutes
Sand body tube seam filler = 10 minutes
Fill launch lugs and sand = 10 minutes
CA coat tube edges = 5 minutes
Spray primer = 5 minutes
Sand primer smooth = 20 minutes
Total build time so far = 3 hours 15 minutes

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Estes Patriot Build #2056, Part 7, Nose Cone Prep

There's not a lot of length in the payload compartment. The nose cone base will be opened up.
It's important to leave the tie down lug on the nose cone base. I like to tie a line so if the nose cone comes off at ejection it'll still stay attached to the model.

A fine tooth razor saw was used to remove most of the base.
A round file rounded out the corners. A tear could start from a sharp inside corner. Rounding the corner keeps the base strong.

Here's the finished open nose cone base.
The curved edge is retained.
Notice the inside corners are rounded.
The engine mount was glued in. The center engine tube is flush with the end of the lower BT-60 tube.

As the mount was pushed in, it was turned to even out the glue ring already inside the tube.
I used the flat sanding block against both tubes to be sure they were even.

With this now a D engine model, a 3/16" lug was used in place of the 1/8" lug.
I set the lugs over two Q-tips for a handle when the CWF filler is brushed on.

Build time:
Sand N.C. seams and fill low spots = 15 minutes
Remove and smooth N.C. base = 15 minutes
Glue in engine mount = 5 minutes
Total build time so far = 2 hours 15 minutes

Monday, October 27, 2014

California Trip

I'll be in California from October 27 through November 3.
The build of the Patriot will continue.
All the posts are scheduled for automatic posting.
(My Mother doesn't have a computer or the Internet!)

Estes Patriot Build #2056, Part 6, Coupler Bulkhead

The matte board disk was punched for the shock cord tie.
In the center a rectangular second piece was glued on for more support.

The disk was glued over the top edge of the coupler.
Any overhanging edge was sanded flush with the outside diameter of the coupler.

The coupler and end bulkhead assembly was glued into the yellow tube and fillets applied.

Build time:
Make coupler bulkhead = 30 minutes
Total build time so far = 1 hour 40 minutes

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Estes Patriot Build #2056, Part 5, Coupler Bulkhead

I'm using the yellow section as a altimeter and payload section.
I'll have to make a coupler with bulkhead out of the second red coupler.

The red coupler fit can be tight so the edge that goes into the lower BT-60 section was rounded on the outside.
After rounding the edge got a coat of medium CA.
The edge was smoothed again with 400 grit.

Here's how the red coupler will fit into the upper white tube.
The coupler isn't glued in yet.
The red coupler is 1 1/2" long.
Instead of gluing it just halfway in, I want a little more length into the lower white BT-60.
5/8" will be glued into the upper yellow section, leaving 7/8" below.
I'll need a flat bulkhead to block the upper end and tie the shock cord onto.
A pencil tracing was made on heavy card stock around the outside diameter of the coupler.
This matte board is thick but can still be cut with scissors.

Build time:
CA tube ends = 5 minutes
Trace and cut disk = 5 minutes
Total build time so far = 1 hour 10 minutes

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Estes Patriot Build #2056, Part 4, 24mm Engine Mount

This 24mm mount will have a replaceable Kevlar line.
The small holes are punched for the Kevlar tube. On the right the larger circle is for the engine hook movement.

In addition there are lines drawn for some reinforcement gussets.
This will be a D engine mount, I wanted it stronger than just the two centering rings.

Reinforcement gussets were cut from the excess 3/32" thick wood stock. Cut them longer than needed and sand to a good fit between the rings.
They are cut higher than the height of the centering rings for trimming later.

At the bottom you can see the Kevlar guide tube in place.
Before gluing on the gussets, wrap some electrical tape around and over the engine hook and Kevlar tube.
After the glue dried on the four gussets, they tops were sanded flush with the outside edges of the centering rings.

It's pretty surprising how much stronger the entire engine mount is with the gussets added.
Check the fit in the BT-60 tube before gluing. The gussets will require you to sand the rings a bit for a sliding fit.

Build time:
Assemble Engine Mount = 15 minutes
Add gussetts and sand = 15 minutes
Total build time so far = 1 hour

Friday, October 24, 2014

Estes Patriot Build #2056, Part 3, 24mm Engine Mount

I'll use the heavy card stock rings that came with the kit.
To enlarge it for 24mm engines:
Trace around a BT-50 tube. I used a heavy walled BT-50.

After you trace the line, look at it closely to be sure the circle is centered. If not, erase and try again.
Sometimes it takes a second try to get it right.

Note: There is only one card stock piece in each kit. I am building two Patriot kits.

To get the new diameter fit close, cut slightly inside the pencil line.
The line you traced in the first step is just outside the tube diameter.

With all cutting, don't try to cut through in one pass.
A few lighter passes is better than a hard single cut.
Check the fit on the 24mm engine mount tube.
If it is still too small, widen the hole with some 220 wrapped around a finger.
Sand a little and check, sand and check again.

Build time:
Cut 50/60 rings = 10 minutes
Total build time so far = 30 minutes

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Estes Patriot Build #2056, Part 2, Tube Prep and Gluing

A dry fit of the white tubes showed the tubes weren't cut clean.
There were enough gaps for some edge truing and sanding.

The inset picture shows the same tubes after sanding square.

This is something you should check on any opened kit. It's easier to see bad edges on larger tubes.

On my block is 220 grit sandpaper. It only takes a few passes to knock down the high spots.

I've read posts about the newer red couplers locking up when using the new formula Elmer's white glue. I'm out of the old formula Elmer's!
Before using any glue I got rid of the burrs on the coupler edge.
The top and bottom of the coupler were rounded off.
The inside of the body tube edge was rolled over with a smooth dowel.

This was the first time I have used the new formula Elmer's glue. It helps to know beforehand there have been problems with this glue and rocket construction, the coupler could lock up.
I was prepared to used enough glue and slide the coupler in quickly and smoothly.

I put a fairly good sized bead of the new Elmer's about 3/8" inside the tube. The bead wasn't smoothed out, the excess was not picked up with a fingertip.
With the glue away from the edge, it allowed me to set the edge of the coupler into the tube without contacting the glue.
I smoothly slid the coupler in while turning it up to the pencil line in the center.

I was able to get the coupler in without any problem. But, you could feel how this new glue formula could grab before the coupler was halfway in.

Build time:
Sand tube ends and CA ends= 10 minutes
Total build time so far = 20 minutes

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Estes Patriot Build #2056, Part 1, Parts

Everybody has built one of these, except me!

This build will be a little different. At the bottom of each post I'll be keeping track of how long I take on each step. These are my personal build times, I tend to take longer on rocket building than most people. I don't keep track like this very often, it's a bigger effort to keep recorded build times.

There will be upgrades.
A BT-60 model at over 21" tall should probably be D engine capable.
You can always drop in a 18mm adapter for smaller fields.
A payload section will be made using the upper yellow tube section.

All the parts:
Yellow upper tube
Nose cone
Parachute with the 'spiderweb' pattern
18" rubber Shock cord
Two Decal sheets
Laser Cut Fins (some extra wood on the sides - hmmm . . .)
Two white body tubes around 6 3/4" long
Red Couplers
Launch Lug
18mm Engine Mount Parts (will be 24mm)

Parts of interest:
The yellow tube is a faded yellow and translucent color.
The nose cone is very good, almost seam free.
These are the tight red couplers that can grab using the new formula Elmer's white glue
Two identical stick on "decal" sheets

Build time:
Open kit and pics = 10 minutes
Total build time so far = 10 minutes

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Art Applewhite MMX Bic Pen Rocket Build, Part 6, Streamer and Finished

A simple 1/2" wide streamer was taped to the Kevlar cord.
Use tweezers to stuff the cord and streamer into the small tube.

As Micromaxx goes, this will be a high performance model.
Well designed, cheap and easy. It doesn't get much better than that!


Stop by
for the latest!

Monday, October 20, 2014

The "Original" Estes Catalog?

Earl Cagle, Jr. posted this EBAY link on YORF,

An original 1962 Estes catalog.
According to the YORF posts that followed, this is the second "Penrose" edition. The first catalog was produced in Denver.

Look close on the left side to see the Gleda Estes sewing machine binding!

The EBAY link is HERE

This catalog is considered highly collectible.
You can see full scans of every page - CLICK HERE

Art Applewhite MMX Bic Pen Rocket Build, Part 5, Upper and Lower Assembly

While the instructions say you can use "lawn dart" recovery, you are encouraged to add a recovery system. A small streamer will be fine.

I'll cut off an upper section and make and adapter from a dowel.
My 1/4" dowel diameter was a little loose in the tube so it got a wrap of copy paper.

The end of the Kevlar got a double knot.
The upper picture shows how the Kevlar will sit, wedged between the dowel and tube.

The inset picture shows the finished section with the dowel glued in.
The fin can is slid over from the top down.
It was glued in place with a few small drops of CA at the joint edges.
The instructions show the fin can even with the end of the tube. I set mine up about 1/8" from the rear.

The launch lug was set in place with tweezers.
Set down a drop of CA. Pick up the lug with tweezers.
Run the back of the lug through the CA drop. Set the lug into a fin root edge.
The instructions show two smaller lugs. I went with a single longer lug at the rear.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Art Applewhite MMX Bic Pen Rocket Build, Part 4, Engine Block

Work the blue end plug out with a knife blade.
Save it, part of it will be the engine block.

Cut off the smaller tapered end (see inset).
the small end will end up being the right inside diameter after the Kevlar is tied on.
Tie on a length of Kevlar. There won't be any elastic on this one so use about a 18" length for now.
Feed the Kevlar line through and press it into position with a MMX engine casing. I left the engine protruding about 1/8" out the back.

Pull out the casing and apply some medium CA to the block and tube with a toothpick.

808 Keychain Camera Information

On TRF, JimCatz gave a good reference website for questions about the 808 Keychain Camera:

Check Amazon and some of the rocketry vendors. These cameras sell as low as $6.11 !!!
I'm not recommending any camera for $6.11. 
I simply did a search and found a low price.

An 808 style camera was used on my two engine cluster rocket, the Big Girtha.
It was carried away by a thermal and I thought it was lost.
The rocket and camera sat in a strawberry field for who knows how long.
Somebody returned the rocket, it was destroyed by rain and exposure.

The video and audio from the camera was fine!
The camera video still works, but now there is no audio.

The whole story is HERE

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Art Applewhite MMX Bic Pen Rocket Build, Part 3, Ink Tube Prep

The tip and ink tube pull out of the pen body.

I was expecting the worst, but the tube pulled out of the tip without any ink mess! Play it safe though, pull the ink tube out over a trash bag and have paper towels close by.

Save the ink tube - see the third picture below.

I tried to get rid of the remaining ink in the tip.

After the ink was pretty much gone, I realized I should have kept it as is. At a club launch, I could have filled out my flight card with the rocket!

At the rear of the ink tube, cut off the clear end.
This will end up being the launch lug.

NAR Page On Facebook

To be honest, I didn't even know there was a NAR group on Facebook.
I'm not a Facebook fan - or as a friend calls it: "Look, I made a sandwich!"

I'll be checking back more often. There is some great pictures and content there.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Art Applewhite MMX Bic Pen Rocket Build, Part 2, Fin Can

You might find it easier to prep the fin can before cutting it off the instruction page.
I coated the print side of the fin pattern with medium CA applied with a Q-tip. Go lightly, you don't want to smear the ink. The CA coat will gray up the white card stock slightly.

Pre-score the fold lines. It's easier to do now before the fin can is cut off the instructions.
I used a straightedge and the back side of a razor blade. Tape over the sharp side with a few layers of masking tape. You can also use the tip of a dull butter knife, not a serated knife.

Cut the outside and center squares then cut and remove the fin can piece.

The inset shows how the fin can folds in.
Art Applewhite must have done a bit of Origami in the past. 

Estes Altimeter

I finally bought an altimeter!
All my posted altitudes were guesses based on Open Rocket and Semroc predictions.
I'm a little wary about using it. I know the actual heights reached will be lower than I hoped.

You'll definitely need a small Phillips jewelers screwdriver to open the battery compartment.
It's a good thing the screw stays attached on the lid. If you dropped it, it'd be gone!

There's a interesting attachment clip included.
You aren't told how to clip it on. There are two latches, on the side and ion the middle crossbrace.

I did the vacuum or "suck" test.
The altimeter was turned on and slid into the payload tube.
The holes were covered and my mouth set over the open end of the tube.
I breathed in quickly and checked the reading. 1,539 feet!
We'll see how it does in actual flight testing.