Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Estes Apollo Little Joe II Build, Part 8, Tunnels and Longerons

You'll be using the full size positioning guide to glue on the tunnels and longerons. That line from the center out is the joint of the body tube wrap.

The longest piece, Part M, sits to the right of the line, not centered directly on it.

After reading the TRF builds I went with one of the recommended glues for the plastic parts - Plastruct Plastic Weld. This is a very thin brush on glue. It's the same glue I used on the Estes Saturn V and Mercury Redstone builds.

The problem with the glue is it dries very fast. By the time you brush it on it could be dry when the piece is pressed into position. On a plastic tower this is not a problem. The glue is brushed over the joint of two touching pieces.

TIP: The tunnels and longerons were taped in place with the tape on just one side. This acts as a hinge. Flip over the piece, brush glue on the bottom. Quickly turn over the piece in position before the glue can evaporate. You still have a little play if the piece ends up a bit crooked.
The trick is to be sure the piece is correctly placed with the tape hinges before applying glue to the underside.

I also used my aluminum angle to check the longer "M" and "L" pieces. You can also sight down the straight corrugation rows.


  1. Chris, be sure to use that glue in a WELL ventilated area. It contains MEK, which is hazardous to breath.

  2. I'm sure you know, but if your readers are not familiar with these types of adhesives, they are meant to be used with the parts pressed together and the brush touched to the joint. Capillary action will draw the glue into the joint, dissolve the plastic, and complete the "gluing" when the plastic re-solidifies as one piece. The included brush is useless for all but the most basic jobs. Any fine work, like this, and the Tamiya 1/16 RC tanks I build, will require a more precise brush to get the solvent just where you want it. When I build my next LJII, this is what I will use.