Tuesday, March 31, 2015

TLP Pershing #K046 Build, Part 43, The Orange Bands - Part A

A strip of paper was wrapped and pressed into the tunnel joints to get a width estimate for the orange bands.

The orange bands were cut off the painted orange self adhesive label sheet.
The Estes kit band decals were 1" wide.
Everything in this slightly smaller (BT-100) Pershing was multiplied by .995 to get the smaller sizes. The band ended up being cut at an obvious .995" wide.

The band halves were carefully cut out.
Set them side by side to be sure they are the same size.

You'll want the both sides the same where they meet up around the other side of the tube.

Monday, March 30, 2015

TLP Pershing #K046 Build, Part 42, More Paint Progress

Here's the lower body after spray painting with the Testor's olive drab.
That little three ounce can covered the entire lower body and there should be enough left for the lower nose section.

The orange strips are next. I'll use the Estes Pershing instructions for guidance.
Decals could be used but they won't stick well over the flat paint.
That and they would have to be printed over a white background.
I'll be trying something new this build.

I picked up some full sheet shipping labels.
These are Avery brand, #15265.

The only disadvantage I could see, the package advertises "UltraHold Adhesive". This might not allow much re-positioning.

A full sheet will be sprayed orange then the horizontal bands will be cut.

The closest orange I could find was Rusto 2X Real orange.
It's probably a little darker than the Estes kit orange, but I'm to the point where I just want to get this one finished!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

TLP Pershing #K046 Build, Part 41, More Paint!

The Rustoleum green wasn't close to olive drab.
With a 40% off coupon for Hobby Lobby I bought some Model Master paint at a reasonable price.
This is probably the best hobby paint out there. Great coverage and the small can goes pretty far.

With the body tube at about 4" diameter you can fit your hand in there.
I put a plastic grocery bag over my arm to hold the lower half for painting.
Initially I sprayed the fillet areas and end surfaces to be sure I had no gaps and everything was smooth.
The Testor's flat paint should feather in and blend well. You couldn't get a blend with gloss paint.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

TLP Pershing #K046 Build, Part 40, Paint!

A light shot of white shows some lines running down the Titebond M&TG fillets.
The inset picture is after some light sanding with 400 grit wrapped around a Q-tip for cushioned sanding. Light sanding takes down the ridges. The paint that is left even helps fill the slight furrows.

You can be as careful as you can when smoothing out the Titebond M&TG fillets, but there will be lines at the sides and glue boogers at the ends.

I thought I might get by with some Rusto 2X Hunter Green. The TLP instructions say olive drab or dark green should be used. This Hunter Green isn't close to olive drab.

This will be a big model to spray. I may have to pay the extra for two cans of the Testor's Master Modeler paint.

Before anybody comments about using a gloss paint - I know.
I spray gloss colors for better decal adhesion and transfers. You can always hit the model with a dull coat over the glossy decals and paint.

Friday, March 27, 2015

A Different Troll on TRF

Jim (qquake2k on TRF) posed an interesting question:
"Does anybody have any suggestions for bending a Troll doll's arms? I need to bend them forward a little bit. I've thought about heating or cutting. I'm afraid enough heat to bend the arms might melt the hair. And I'm afraid cutting would just hack it up. Any ideas?"

That first post didn't give a reason why he needed to bend the arms.

Suggestions followed:
"Using some of your suggestions, I decided to go for it. I wrapped the hair with a wet paper towel, and used a small butane torch to heat the arms, one at a time. As you can see, I was a bit too aggressive at first. But I found that if I kept the torch farther away and kept it moving, just as the plastic began to smoke a tiny bit, I could bend the arm. After bending both arms a bit, I got him to fit in the tube."

That last line: ". . . I got him to fit in the tube" gave it away.

Truly a worthy payload for the upscale X-Ray.
The Troll space suit completes the look and conveniently hides any evidence of the elbow abuse.

Jim, that's a great looking X-Ray.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Shelf Queens

In a comment, Jim asked to see some other models in the fleet.

Here's the Shelf Queens, the models that don't fly!
(Yes, they are in a kitchen cabinet. I'm single and can get away with this.)
Most are Dr. Zooch models, two Semroc Deci-Scales, an Estes 260 Space Booster and three different sizes of Mercury Redstones.
Most have flown - 
The 260 Space Booster, MPC Nike Smoke, Zooch Aries Stick, Zooch Little Joe I, Zooch Jupiter C, Zooch Atlas Agena B, Zooch SLS and the Zooch Titan IIIC.
The stands are small squares of cardboard with an engine casing glued on the center. CLICK HERE
The small red stands are the bases of the plastic champagne glasses from the Dollar Tree store. CLICK HERE

I took this one out of the cabinet to get a better picture -
The Dr. Zooch Space Shuttle.
This one isn't completely finished. The nose cap needs paint, a launch lug is missing and the elevon elastic hasn't been tied on.

I know - it's not a rocket unless it has flown!
Some of these (like the Zooch Soyuz and a second Zooch Saturn V) have too much build time in them. I don't want to see flight damage! 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Rocketry Takes a Back Seat!

The last three months have been a little overwhelming!

Remodeling in my townhouse gave me a music equipment closet and a dedicated rocket room!
I've had the busiest show season ever! That'll be winding down after April 10. Then, I'll be working at Disney World.
Rocketry builds and kit development have been on hold. I just haven't had the time. As I write this, they are painting my house. I can't go into the patio to paint the Saturn IV or Pershing.

So if I miss a day (or two) of blog posting, I'm still here! I'm just doing something else that actually pays the bills. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Peter Alway Saturn IV Build, Part 11, Details

With a dry fit of the assemblies you can finally see how the model will look.

The antenna panels were rounded before gluing onto the body tube.
Two panels go on opposite sides centered between two fins.

The quarter round antennas were glued about 1/4" from the sides of the panel plates.

The model got a shot of gloss white on all the detail pieces.

A dowel painting wand was inserted in the engine mount.
Around that, a rolled up paper towel was pressed in the recess.
This keeps the paint out of the rear of the model.

Save Your Micro Clips! TIP

I see it a club launches all the time!
Igniters are pressed into the engine nozzle with a plug. The igniter wires are then bent straight down, directly underneath the nozzle.
Clips are attached.
The rocket is launched and the clips below are in a direct line and hit with flame and smoke!

TIP: Bend the wires to the side and connect your clips outside the engine casing, not in line with the nozzle flame. Your clips will stay clean and could last years longer!
In the 1970s we were told to connect the clips close to the nozzle as possible. Nichrome wire was the same diameter down it's entire length. A shorter length of wire would heat faster.
Now igniters have a very thin bridge wire at the bent tip. That thin wire tip offers less resistance and heats much faster than the plain old style Nichrome.

Monday, March 23, 2015

The (Smaller) Fleet!

I've been asked to post a picture of the active fleet before.
Here's most of them after I finally got all the short rods in the shelf boards.

The upper shelf are models approaching two feet tall.
The middle shelf are odd-balls, favorites and contest design models.
The bottom shelf are the shorter models, 18mm and 13mm birds.
Here in total, about 75 models.

With this arrangement I can see and easily pick out models I might want to fly. Shorter models are to the front, taller models are in the back rows.
I still have MMX on a different shelf, larger models on yet another shelf and my favorite shelf queen rockets in a cabinet.

Peter Alway Saturn IV Build, Part 10, Shroud Fitting

The 55/60 card stock adapter was fitted.
Instead of two 55/60 rings I used three for some more support.
The highest ring is right under the edge of the shroud.

I didn't do a nested "Super Shroud" on this model. The shroud was too narrow at only about 5/8" high.

White glue was run around the lower lip of the shroud.
The rings were slid into the lower BT-60 until the shroud edge butted up against the tube.
While the glue was still wet and pliable, I rolled a clean dowel over the edge molding it to the tube edge.
Shrouds typically will have an area that might be above the tube edge.
Roll over the high spots and they should better fit and match the diameter of the tube.

I did a little advance planning for the paint pattern.

TIP: The shroud seam was set and centered above one of the inter stage rockets.
The black paint will start at the joint edge and make the mask easier.
The black paint edge will also hide the raised step of the joint.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Peter Alway Saturn IV Build, Part 9, Gluing Alternating Tank Tubes

Down the center of the BT-5 tank cluster is a 6 1/2" long BT-5. The ejection charge will pass through this central tube.
I dry fitted two tubes between the 5/60 rings for a friction fit.

Both the 5/60 centering rings were glued in place with about 3/16" of the center tube extending on both sides.
Note on the tube the pencil lines down the middle for glue and the small tic marks on the outside for alignment.

Be sure the first tubes are running straight and vertical or all the other tubes will end up crooked!

After the rings dried, the six alternating black and white tank tubes were glued in place around the central tube.

On his instructions, Peter Alway says you can cut a notch at the tops and bottoms of the BT-5 tank tubes for a better fit in the surrounding BT-60 tube segments.
It is a tight fit but I found some sanding allowed the BT-5s to compress and easily fit into the larger tubes. On the left, the sanded area is marked with pencil.

Here's how the assemblies slid together. No glue yet!
I did already glue the four basswood inter stage rockets on the upper BT-60 segment.

A TRF Opinion Post About California

I don't go to the rocketry forums as often as I used to.
Many times posts go off topic. I went off topic today. 
GH Rocketman will tell you how he feels. I don't know if this is his true personality or not. Maybe he's just "baiting" me? I finally had enough  

From GH Rocketman:
"California is full of enviro-whacko FRIGGIN' IDIOTS.
Half of the crapola the politicians and bureaucrats pull there would get one LYNCHED here in Michigan.
We have the most correct vehicle regs here; speed limits are treated as SUGGESTIONS, ZERO vehicle environmental testing/checks, ZERO non-commercial vehicle safety inspections.
If it belches smoke like a 1920's coal-fired power plant, that's tuff fecal matter to enviro whaks. You can drive it down the road for as long as it lasts !
HUFF some fumes !"

My response:
Hi GH -
I'm tired of the California cliches.
Have you ever spent any time in California, beyond a few days vacation in Los Angeles?
Take a drive up the coast and stay longer than a week before you make judgments about people or lifestyles.
Before you leave this post, please read all of it.

I was very fortunate to be born and raised in Northern California, in the Monterey Bay.
The weather was great! Mostly in the 70s, it only snowed once when I was five years old. No humidity on the coast.
I never knew how great it was until I moved out of state.

I've lived in many cities, all across the country, most for over a year.
"Enviro-whacko FRIGGIN' IDIOTS?" There are idiots everywhere I've lived.
The percentage of idiots is no bigger in California.
The problem is, they put them on TV. That's all most people see representing the state.
People are people everywhere. There are good and bad, smart and not so much.
The percentage doesn't change by location.

In the 1960s and 70s, the Los Angeles basin was covered in smog.
Too many cars and too much exhaust.
After all the emission regulations the sky is clear now, you can see the mountains and breathe the air.

Rocketry regulations?
In 1969 I couldn't get engines. Estes and Centuri would ship kits, parts and launchers but no engines.
It was a hassle, but I did get a permit. I bought engines and flew rockets.

Everywhere I've lived has had it's positives and negatives.
I've lived in Florida for years. It's a hot swamp. But for now, it's home.
Florida Traffic? Yes. Tourists who can't drive? Yes. Nut cases? Yes.
People are people everywhere.

If I had the choice, I hope to go back to California to live one day.
Sure it's more expensive, but you are buying the whole package.
The weather, the scenery, mountains and ocean. And yes, even the people.
Earthquakes? You'd feel a few each year. Since the 1950s, newer buildings are built to flex. Usually it's the older buildings that fall.

I'm a nut case. I play the banjo, bagpipes and the accordion.
I also build and fly rockets so maybe I get a pass.

I've never lived in Michigan, so until they broadcast a "Real Housewives Of Detroit",
I couldn't possibly form an opinion about the people there.

Sorry to sidetrack Blackshire's topic. Now back to the more interesting MPC body tube discussion.
I liked the MPC tubes. Sand off the roughness and no seams to fill!
Hans "Chris" Michielssen
Old/New NAR # 19086 SR

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Peter Alway Saturn IV Build, Part 8, Painting Alternating Tank Tubes

If you've ever built a Saturn 1B, painting those tank tubes is hard after assembly.
This model has the alternating black and white tanks.
I'll save some painting headaches and paint them before gluing it all together.
Three of the six 6" long BT-5s were taped down to cardboard for painting.
With them flat on a board like this, it prevents any paint from from covering the back of the tubes for gluing later.
Be sure to shoot some paint from the sides to be sure you have the sides of the tubes covered.

Here's what I mean.

The remaining white area was the side down on the cardboard.
This unpainted area will be glued to the central 6 1/2" long BT-5 vent tube.

The larger tube segments were joined with a coupler and got a light shot of white. This was to check the tube seams were filled and the surfaces were smooth.

This was just a dusting of gloss white. The fins and detail pieces still need a bare tube gluing area.

New Rocket Storage Shelves, Part 2

The shelves are Melamine from Lowe's.
Look close and you can see the pencil marks for the drilling.
They are 4" apart across the long front and 3" apart from front to back.

TIP: I used a wrap of masking tape around the drill bit as a depth guide so I wouldn't drill through the bottom of the shelf.

The the thicker drilled shelves are set on the thin plastic shelves in the storage unit. I wouldn't have been able to set rods into the thin plastic.

The models are slid over the rods, shorter models in front, taller in the rear.
Some models slide over the launch lugs, most models have the rods going up loose into the engine mounts.
This is a big improvement over my first try a few years back.

The short rods help keep the models upright, the best position for storage. Standing on the rods, there is no chance of the models falling over like dominoes!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Peter Alway Saturn IV Build, Part 7, Pre-Assembly Primer

The six outside BT-5 tank tubes almost fit into the surrounding BT-60 tubes.
Later on they will be glued 1/2" inside the BT-60s.
The tubes were marked at the 1/2" mark.

It's pretty easy to dry fit all the tubing together for primer spraying.

When the tubes are dry assembled and sprayed you get an automatic mask for gluing later on!
The inside tube areas have no primer and will be better adhered gluing the bare tube areas together.

After sanding the primer.

Just like a larger Saturn 1B, the tank tubes will be painted black and white before gluing to the upper and lower BT-60 tubes.
If you've ever built a Saturn 1B, you know it's easier to pre-paint the tank tubes.

New Rocket Storage Shelves, Part 1

Here's my old rocket shelf in my laundry room.
I've been remodeling and one of the upstairs bedrooms will be the rocket room.
The old shelf has short 1/8" welding rods to slide the rockets over.
Some of the old rods are crooked, I didn't have a level bubble in my hand drill.

Home Depot doesn't carry the 1/8" diameter rods anymore, I picked some up at Lowe's.

The rods are dirty, wipe them down with a paper towel.
After that, wipe them down with some light oil.

My old shelf had rods that were about 8" long.
8" rods turned out to too tall for most models.
More models were slid loose into the motor mounts and not into the launch lug.

A bunch of 5" long rods were cut with a bolt cutter.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Peter Alway Saturn IV Build, Part 6, Engine Mount

The engine mount should have been a standard assembly.
The 20-60 centering rings were a little big around the BT-20 engine tube.

In the past I've ran a line of white glue on the edge of the ring to make the diameter smaller.
This time some copy paper was wrapped around the engine tube glued in place with a glue stick.
The overhanging edge was sanded off, flush with the end of the tube.

The black Letramax rings were notched for the engine hook with the rotary punch.
The upper ring (right side) got a small notch for the upper end of the engine hook.

Here's the finished mount.
A wrap of electrical tape holds down the center of the hook.