Friday, December 23, 2016

Estes Bring Back?

From a post by John Boren on YORF - 

"I believe by the end of next week a bring back kit will be announced. It's another one of those kits I always wanted but never purchased. It's not a SciFi but it's still cool in my opinion and it is going to be REAL easy to paint but their are a good number of decals."                                                                                                  John Boren

So . . .  it's not a SciFi? After listening to the "Rocketry Show" interview I was left with the thought it might be a SciFi design.
I doubted it could be the SR-71 Blackbird, a difficult build with complex card stock wing formers. CLICK HERE
The SR-71 kit was available from 1996 - 1998 and again from 2004 - 2010.
But, it does meet the other criteria Mr. Boren hinted at in the interview: Easy to paint, absence of color, good amount of decals (many small decals) and a nose cone you could never turn on a lathe.

The only other all black, non SciFi model might be this X-15. It's sort of a "Goony" scale model.


  1. Hmmm...maybe we're getting one of each? A Sc-Fi and a semi-scale? Hope so, Starship Nova and X-15 are both pretty nifty though I think, as much as I love the X-15, I'd prefer the X-16 since it flies better. We're living in a very good time to be a rocketeer!

  2. Yep, that cardstock skin on the Estes SR-71 kit was indeed a bear to get right. Fortunately the white glue I was using gave (just barely) enough working time to coax into (mostly) right shape before it "grabbed".
    Of course, could he have been referring to the Centuri version of the SR-71?

    If it's a reissue of the BT-60 X-15, then I can think of one potential kitbash -- "stretch" with longer body tube, and put delta wings on it to make an X-15C.

    1. Hi Naoto,
      Even if Estes brought back the SR-71 I doubt I would want to assemble one again. I found the card stock skin very hard to form and get a decent fit around the nose cone base sides.
      I do find the stubby version of the X-15 interesting, but I have a feeling the SR-71 will be the "bring back" model.

    2. I agree with you that the BT-50 sized SR-71 from Estes was a pain -- mostly the top skin (which must be pre-shaped to mostly the right shape *before* you begin to glue it).

      The Centuri version of the SR-71 would be interesting to see reissued -- it's a bigger bird (flies on D engine) and since the cardstock skin doesn't extend to the nose it won't have that fit problem with the nosecone. On the other hand the Centuri model lacks the characteristic "chines" found on the forward fuselage of the SR-71.

    3. I do wonder if there is a reissue of the SR-71 (either the Estes BT-50 size one, or the larger Centuri D-powered one), if there might be any folks thinking of building it with a parasite glider modeled after the D-21 drone.

  3. I'm just getting back in to model rockets and was starting with some of the ones I had as a kid. That said, the SR71 was also available, ahem, slightly before 1996. It was my favorite rocket I had and I would love to do it again. I was actually looking at getting one from the secondary market but now maybe I should hold out to see.

    1. Hi Firefox,
      Yeah, I'd wait! I wouldn't pay the Ebay prices. John Boren mentioned in a forum post that a new kit should be listed on the Estes website by the end of the week - that post was from last week.