Saturday, December 31, 2016

More Rockets Mach 10 Build Part 11, White Trim



The white crosses were going to take some extra time.
Before cutting any decals, a cross was drawn on paper to be sure the visual balance was right.

The Olive Drab paint is a flat finish. Water slide decals don't stick well to flat paint.
I applied a light coat of Future to smooth out the decal areas. After the decals are on and dried a light dusting of dull coat should re-flat the finish.


I didn't use a white decal sheet to cut the white strips. That wouldn't be opaque enough. A clear decal sheet was sprayed with gloss white.
Thin strips were cut. A strip of masking tape was used to space the white lines evenly.


After the strips dried a new single edged razor blade was used to cut through the intersections of the tic-tac-toe pattern cross.
The centers were carefully lifted leaving the cross.

In the light reflection you can see some balsa grain. I didn't do an entire grain fill to deep the glider as light as I could.

Friday, December 30, 2016

More Rockets Mach 10 Build Part 10, Paint!



The customer wanted a different look than the Centuri Air Force silver.
The German Huckebein looks a lot like the Mach 10 design.





I started with an overall olive drab. I used Testor's Model Master spray paint.








The yellow wing tips and nose ring were masked with Scotch tape.
The tape line on the left was wrapped over the bottom. Another piece of tape joined the ends of the bottom mask.




The rest of the model was covered with a plastic grocery bag and the gloss yellow was shot.

More New Scans Of Old MRNs


Here are some Estes Model Rocket News issues Dan Oplinger scanned and posted on the Model Rocketry Fanatics Facebook page - CLICK HERE
And links to still more MRNs: CLICK HERE or CLICK HERE 

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Create Your Own Rocket?


Here's something new - CREATE YOUR OWN ROCKET
To see the webpage, CLICK HERE

These might be larger variations of the Mix and Match series.
Descriptions are vague and the only currently available color is black, not the orange, black and silver colors listed in the copy. No diameters, how tall or what engines? $99.99 - for a single rocket?

More Rockets Mach 10 Build Part 9, Engine Mount Gluing

I didn't take a picture of gluing in the engine mount.
It's not easy to do, it tends to roll around a bit.

Here's the instruction illustration to show how it is glued.
To see the old Centuri Mach 10 instructions: CLICK HERE



Here's the model up to this point. I have yet to glue on the bottom tank assembly.






Along with the copy of the Centuri instructions is a generic page showing how to swing test a rocket. It isn't needed and would confuse a first time builder. You couldn't swing test the Mach 10 if you wanted to.

This has to be one of the stranger illustrations I've ever seen in a kit. I believe it was lifted from Sunward instructions.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

More Rockets Mach 10 Build Part 8, Canopy Forming


The lines on the canopy should be scored.
Score them, don't try to cut halfway through the card stock.

I used the back of my knife to score the lines. the rough break-off edge was filed a bit to smooth out the edge.
After filing, run the back of the blade on some card stock to check if it is smooth. If not, file some more.




Use your straightedge and emboss the canopy lines.


Emboss the scored lines before cutting out the canopy.
It's just easier to score the lines when the piece is larger with the border areas.
Pre-bend down the embossed lines then cut out the canopy.
Use very little glue making sure glue is completely covering the tab area.
Hold the tab closed for a minute while the glue sets using long tweezers.

Before gluing onto the body tube, do a dry fit and draw a pencil line around the canopy for easier positioning.

Use a small line of glue around the inside edge and set the canopy using the pencil lines.

Why A BT-56?

On TRF, Cavecentral wondered about the origin of the Estes BT-56 tube size.

"What is the difference between BT-55 and BT-56? Even BMS doesn't have BT-56. I doubt I'll need one unless I find a cone or tube that is slightly off an not know why."
_______________________________________________________________________
The BT-56 is a carry over from Centuri, their ST-13 body tube.
The Estes BT-55 is 1.325" diameter, the Centuri ST-13 was 1.34" diameter. 
After the Centuri line was dropped, Estes kept the tube size to use the (Centuri) Enerjet 1340 nose cone and fin can. Check out the Enerjet 1340 - CLICK HERE




Look familiar?
That nose cone, fin can and BT-56 (ST-13) was used more recently in the Eliminator model and a few other easy to assemble Estes rockets. 

The Estes tube size system never made sense to me.
The BT-60 was named because three BT-20 engine tubes fit inside it . . . 20 X 3 = 60. 
The rest of the tube size designations seem arbitrary.

On the other hand, the Centuri tube names make perfect sense.
The ST-7 was close to .7" diameter.
The ST-10 was right around 1" outside diameter.
The ST-13 was around 1.3" diameter.

According to Woody's Workshop, Estes no longer lists the BT-56 tubing for sale on their website. You can still get the BT-56 tubing through other vendors.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Getting Around To Painting?


Eric Specht posted this picture on the NAR Facebook page.
Eric commented: "I need to get around to some painting it seems."

I counted 38 rockets on that table. Currently I have four models in the process of painting.
Thanks Eric, I'll sleep better tonight.

More Rockets Mach 10 Build Part 7, Stabilizer Gluing



The instructions tell you to glue on the stabilizer and align by eye.
I think you should at least use an alignment line.







A line was drawn down the tube using the aluminum angle.
The pencil line in the picture doesn't look centered, but it is.








With the wings flat on the table I set my sanding block on it's side to be sure the stabilizer was at a 90 degree angle to the wings.

Monday, December 26, 2016

More Rockets Mach 10 Build Part 6, Lug Supports

Mentioned earlier, one lug was longer than the other. Before filling or gluing on the model the longer lug was cut to the length of the shorter one.

The launch lug wing support seams were filled as normal with CWF.

The lugs will tuck into the wing/body joint so glue lines are made small and thin. Glue could end up on the wing or body tube.


The lugs were set into the joint using tweezers for more control. It would be very hard to place them using just your fingers.


After the glue dried a fillet was added using Titebond M&TG. You certainly can't reach that fillet with a fingertip to smooth it out. A Q-tip can help.

Hello Kitties In Montana

Occasionally I sell finished models on Ebay. I don't usually hear back from the buyers, but I did on this one . . . 


Howdy Chris,
I meant to send you a pic of how pleased my wife was with her Hello Kitty Rockets.
Hope you have had a Super Christmas and have a Safe and Happy New Year.
                                            Sean in Montana

Sunday, December 25, 2016

TOP 10 Builds For 2016

What is the criteria for the Top Ten List?
Great value, smart design, well produced instructions, great parts or just out of the ordinary.
In 2016, Sixteen rockets were built on the blog. There is actually more than that.
Some builds were done two at a time. So with the doubles, there were 23 models built.

Here are the 2016 Top 10,
#10 being good, to #1 being the very best of the year.
(Click on the model names to go to the builds)


10. MPC RED GIANT
After all the bad luck I had with the MPC Porky Pig Cadet Cruiser, the Red Giant flew stable! Quite a good value now that many vendors are blowing them out at clearance prices.

9. Estes GEMINI TITAN
This was a build for a client. There were some hurdles with old decals.

8. Estes INTERCEPTOR
I can't believe I never built this one. The decals look great but took four hours to apply!

7. Centuri X-24
I finally got a (sort of) glide with the X-24!

6. ARAPAHOE C
A beautiful design that could have become an Odd'l Rockets kit. Squirrel Works owns the rights to produce it.





5. Norris Raketen AGGREGATE 9
Definitely the most interesting build of the year. Lots of mistakes in the kit parts led to some extra work.

4. Odd'l Rockets F-16
A tribute to the old Centuri Fighter Fleet series. It will be a Odd'l kit if I can ever get the vacu-form canopies figured out.


3. BMS 3" SCHOOL ROCKET
The best value in rocketry! BIG and slow. A great demo rocket, Big Daddy style.



2. Enerjet LITTLE JOE I
I had wanted to build this rocket ever since I first saw it in the Enerjet News. With Estes producing the Centuri Mercury capsule again, it was an obvious choice.



And the Number One Build of 2016 -



1. Semroc STARSHIP EXCALIBUR 
Another bucket list model. Super detail in an old school build.

I only had 83 launches this year, there were fewer schoolyard launches. I did use larger BP engines, more D12 and E9s.
To see previous year Top 10 Lists, CLICK HERE

Saturday, December 24, 2016

More Rockets Mach 10 Build Part 5, Wing Gluing


The two wing halves are glued together.
No dihedral angle on this wing! It is one flat piece.







Under the canted stabilizer are two support pieces.

I made sure they were flat with the leading edge of the rudder by setting my sanding block against them.
Here's how the support pieces ended up. Once the top was lined up they did overhang the back. After the glue dried the overhang was sanded even with the back of the rudder edge.


On the left the canted stabilizer is not glued on yet. I set it there to check the position and fit of the supports.



Draw a line down the body tube before gluing on the wing to help with alignment.
The instructions don't mention this but it does help keep the wing straight.

The back of the wing is glued 1 3/8" from the rear of the BT-60 tube.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Quest 18mm Composite Engines?

The Rocket N00b announced new Quest engines on his blog: CLICK HERE

I knew about this months ago but was asked not to bring it up yet on my blog. I had a few phone conversations with Charlie Sovoie about Quest when I drew up the new MONSTRA kit instructions for Aerotech.
As black powder engines have gone up in price, competitively priced 18mm composite propellant engine can now be produced. These engines will probably be in the B, C and D ranges.

I would expect the official announcement to be made at the upcoming NARCON.

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.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

More Rockets Mach 10 Build Part 4, Lighter Wood Fill

For a decent glide you've got to build this one light!
I've had a tube of HobbyLite Filler for a few years and rarely use it.
It weighs nearly nothing. It's like the ultra light wall spackle you find at a home improvement store.

I told my client the balsa grain would be filled but not by using my regular CWF and primer/filler. I've got to keep it light.
This "glider" will get one filling of the HobbyLite and sanding. Assembly follows then right to the olive drab paint.



Here's all the balsa parts before filling with the Hobbylite.
The wood weighs in at .39 oz.
After sanding down the single application of HobbyLite, all the balsa weighs .42 oz. This would be much lighter than the CWF and primer/filler would be.

The HobbyLite filler does work but is harder to apply than the CWF. I wouldn't recommend it for normal rocket building.

Quest Pipsqueak Background


Scigs30 does beautiful builds and posts them on The Rocketry Forum.
These are his work and pictures.

A recent blog comment from David Carllucy prompted me to do a comparison of the two kits. On the left is the Quest Pipsqueak, on the right the Quest Novia.
Both are basically the same kit, the Novia is simply a longer 20mm body tube and slightly different nose cone. Both models use the same fins.

The Quest Pipsqueak was a "carry over" from the original MPC 15mm diameter Pipsqueak. It was the smallest of the 13mm MPC Minijet line. The MPC Pipsqueak fins look a little different.

When Quest started out (using much of the MPC parts) the Pipsqueak became a 20mm model.

This back page ad from the old Model Rocketry magazine showed the size of the original Pipsqueak.
You can find this and other Model Rocket Magazine scans: CLICK HERE

Here's the dimensions for the old 15mm diameter MPC Pipsqueak: CLICK HERE

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

More Rockets Mach 10 Build Part 3, Tank Assembly




I changed out the poor fitting plastic nose cones for balsa cones. Balsa was used on the early versions of the Centuri Mach 10 kit.







The tank tube holds some glide trimming clay. To make more room in the tube, some of the nose cone shoulder was cut off.

The front nose cone is glued in place. The rear nose cone is left loose so you can take it off to adjust the clay weight.


A brown coupler is glued into the front of the BT-60 tube to strengthen it and add some weight.
The coupler was too tight and had to be sanded for a slip fit.