Thursday, July 28, 2016

Estes Red Max Build, Background

The Red Max first showed up in the 1971 Citation Catalog. To see it, CLICK HERE
The Citation line were boxed kits meant for sales in department store shelves. Bagged kits were more suited for hobby shops.
While you're paging through the Citation catalog, take a look at the pop pod gliding Bomarc and the chromed Quasar and Star Port launcher.
This Citation lineup also introduced the classic Patriot and Starship Vega.
The Citation engines were designated A-3 (A8-3), B-2 (B6-2) an so on.

The Citation rockets were integrated into the regular Estes lineup in the 1973 catalog.

TRIVIA: The Quasar was a essentially a chromed Alpha III. As the story goes, the Quasar fins were Alpha fin cans, the tips clipped off with scissors. I don't know if that is true or not.

I checked the old Red Max instructions at JimZs - CLICK HERE
I remembered painting my first Red Max orange. It doesn't make too much sense, but it was suggested in Step 11. The nose cone can be left white? I don't think so -
I would think most builders painted the lower body the obvious red color.


  1. Hrm... the white nosecone gives me a weird idea. Paint the main body a light cyan and nosecone white. If anybody asks, show a photographic negative.

    1. Hi Naoto,
      Pretty clever, but I'll stay with the red and black on this one. I don't think it would sell on Ebay in the cyan and white.

  2. I have the box Red Max Citation kit, the 2 piece nose cone is shorter than the current nose. Also the wood in these kits these days is balsa, I confirmed it and it is the same balsa Sig sells. It is C grain 30lb/ft balsa. You can order it from Sig. Be warned it is tough to cut with a knife. I like this wood because 3 to 4 coats of balsa sealer and it is smooth and grain free.

    1. Hi David,
      Looking back, my first Red Max was Citation boxed and had the two piece nose cone.
      You're probably right about the balsa. A few years ago I noticed how hard the Estes kit balsa was. The online kit listings now say: "Laser Cut Wood" instead of balsa. Why would they change that if it was still balsa?
      I had two kits from China that had Tung wood in them. It's the same density, weight and color of the wood in the newer Estes kits. If I remember to ask, next time I'm on the phone to someone at Estes I'll bring it up!
      At first I didn't like the harder wood, there is some issues with raised grain when finishing. But, It's much stronger and could show less damage on a hard landing. I don't mind its a little heavier, I fly sport models, not competition.