Monday, July 31, 2017

Estes Nemesis #2175 Build, Part 7, Fin and Gusset Gluing

The fins are glued on like any other 3FNC model at 120 degrees evenly spaced.
The launch lug is glued on the bottom, centered between the two larger wing fins.
The six gusset strips are glued to the front end, 3 1/2" back from the top of the tube.
GOTCHA: The instructions don't mention that the gussets should be centered around the launch lug line.
Here I've wrapped a piece of paper around the base position 3 1/2" back from the tube front. I use it to line up the rear edge of the gussets.

The model was shot with gloss white.

The inset picture shows the launch lug line between two ofo the upper gussets.

Now the real work starts.
The white undercoats show there are a lot of fillets to sand smooth around the six gussets.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Finished Estes Little Joe II on Ebay

The Finished Estes Little Joe II 
is up for auction on EBAY!

To see it, CLICK HERE
Stop by, make a bid and support the blog!

Estes Nemesis #2175 Build, Part 6, Random Things

TIP: I glue the engine mount in before marking the tube for fins and the launch lug marking.
It's much harder to line up an engine hook to the launch lug line when you have glue starting to set up in the tube.

Glue the engine mount in, let it dry then mark the tube with the marking guide. Simply slide the marking guide so the launch lug line is inline with the engine hook glued in place, then mark for the fins.

The was the worst nose cone mold I've seen in a long time.
The seam was very evident and required a lot of scraping and sanding to get smooth.
There were even mold marks on the small forward fins.

I tugged on the parachute lines and they didn't break, hooray!
Well, it is an older production kit . . . 

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Estes Nemesis #2175 Build, Part 5, Wing Gluing and Grain Fill

The forward strakes are glued onto the fins and rudder.

After the glue dried, both wings were lined up and the front ends trimmed even.

Instead of holding the strakes when applying the CWF filler they were held down on masking tape, sticky side up.
On the forums, some builders have complained that the Carpenter's Wood Filler warps balsa when it dries.
It does . . .
But when you apply it to the other side it counteracts the warp. It should end up straight again after drying.
There might be a slight curve but you can coax it straight again with light finger pressure.

Estes Nemesis #2175 Build, Part 4, Strips or Vanes?

The six forward vanes weren't fully cut out on the die-cut sheet. There are three strips that are cut to 1 1/2" lengths. The 45 degree ends weren't pre-cut.

For a consistent cut I drew a 45 degree angle on my cutting board.
Both sides were cut on all six pieces.

Here's all six strips after cutting, trimming and sanding smooth.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Estes Nemesis #2175 Build, Part 3, Fin Grain and Repair

I'd rather cut out my own fins then deal with bad die-cutting.
You can be as careful as you want but chances are the trailing fin tips will probably break at the grain.

TIP: Note the direction I'm cutting. You have less chance of the tip breaking off if you draw the blade down and away from the brittle tip.

And it happened!

TIP: The corner broke off  one of the wings. I couldn't find it so I glued an oversize balsa piece with yellow wood glue. Don't use CA glue for this. You might find the wood glue sands easier.
Let this dry thoroughly before sanding.
Use a block with 220 grit. The inset shows the repair.

Estes Nemesis #2175 Build, Part 2, Engine Mount

I've got no internet wi-fi at home! So, I'm having coffee and internet at McDonald's this morning.
At home the internet has been spotty over the past week and now it doesn't come up at all. I'll do my best to keep blog posts coming.

The instructions don't say to but I notched the inside of the centering rings to clear the engine hook.

Around the inside edge was a turned over "burr" that would make it very hard to fit over the engine mount tube.
TIP: Instead of doing a peel to widen the inside diameter, sometimes you can roll the burr down with the back end of a Sharpie pen or smooth dowel.

The engine mount was assembled dry - no glue.
The finger tab was cut off and the hook flipped over so the upper end was now at the bottom of the mount.

Try this next time - 
TIP: Slide the centering rings on dry, into position with no glue. Then apply glue fillets to hold them in place. Instead of applying a ring of glue and sliding the ring into it, you'll have more time to make adjustments if the glue is applied afterwards.

Notice the back end of the thin blue engine mount tube. Because the blue tubes are a bit thin, the exposed end was strengthened with a wipe of medium CA glue, inside and out.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Estes Nemesis #2175 Build, Part 1, Parts

This is a repeat post - I wanted all the Nemesis build posts in order - 
Stay with me on this one. I came up with a pretty good way to "paint" the black canopy - without masking!

This model was a gift, sent along with a custom build for a client.
An interesting "Futuristic Spaceship" introduced in 1990.

Estes gave two different suggested paint schemes, the more reserved white and the "Go Wild" yellow and blue. Frankly, the Go Wild decor is pretty ugly.

On the back of the face card you could WIN ROCKET STUFF in a rocket decoration and naming contest. This reminded me of coloring contests I'd see when I was a kid.

It was a quarterly contest where you could win a $100 merchandise certificate. There is no expiration date - Who knows, the contest might still be running. (But I doubt it.)

Here's all the parts.
The model is BT-50 based and the tube is very clean with small seams.
The balsa is die-cut, the cuts aren't all the way through the 3/32" balsa.

Parts of interest:
The canopy nose cone seam is really rough. These molds should have been replaced before this kit was made.
This was one of the few Estes kits I've seen with an elastic shock cord. It's 1/8" x 18" long.
Stickers! I hate stickers.

Booster 55 Rocket Build, Finished

Sometimes less is more.
It's a classy looking model with just enough gold trim.
This is an example of what I've mentioned before - two major colors and a third color for trim.

I added one wrap around the top of the roll pattern. Placing the roll pattern high makes the model seem taller.

The fin can is epoxied in the body tube with the lug centered between two fins.
Usually I won't do a tri-fold mount but there wasn't anywhere to attach the Kevlar line. A long 1/4" wide rubber shock cord was glued into the mount.
A 12' Odd'l parachute rounds out the build.

While I could launch this with a D12-7, I'll probably end up using C engines and a 20/50 adapter.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Booster 55 Rocket Build, Part 6, Upper Body Gold Trim

The rocket needed something else at the top. I decided on a roll pattern.

I made a paper wrap and folded it into four sections. The roll pattern vertical bars will center above the fins. After a few measurements I decided on eight 1/4" wide lines.

A wrap of tape will align the tops of the trim bars.

The aluminum angle was set on the body tube and lines drawn onto the masking tape wrap.

The gold trim bar top was set against the tape edge. Looking down the body tube you can vertically align them with the fins.

After the first four bars were set the remaining four were visually set between them.

Booster 55 Rocket Build, Part 5, Fin Gold Trim

The body tube and nose cone were shot with primer/filler first and sanded.
White coats followed with sanding in between coats.
The fin can won't be painted, this shows a dry fit after the first sanded white coat.

The model will be black and white with gold Trim Monokote for the third color trim.

I traced around the fin onto some card stock.
I always like the simple fin decor of the Estes Omega.

Cut out the card stock piece to use for a cutting template.

The trim piece was set down using my knife blade so I wouldn't get finger oil on it.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Seam Filling Article in Apogee Peak Of Flight

I have a new article in the current Apogee Peak of Flight newsletter.
This time it's about Seam Filling on body tubes, launch lugs and plastic nose cones.

On the forums, builders have written about multiple applications of filler on body tube seams. My method is one pass with Carpenter's Wood Filler and sanding then one coat of primer/filler and sanding. Photos show a different way to direct the filler into the body tube seams.
To see the article, CLICK HERE

Booster 55 Rocket Build, Part 4, Launch Lug and Standoff

The rear engine locking ring is wider than the BT-55 above it.

The 3/16" launch lug will require a standoff so the launch rod will clear it. This rocket can use 24mm engines so I used the larger 3/16" lug.

I used a small dowel for the standoff.
It reminds me of the old Estes C-Rail standoffs. (The old-timers will know what I mean.) 
The bottom of the dowel was sanded flat for a little more gluing area on the tube.

The tube and nose cone were already hit with filler/primer.

I scraped off the primer where the lug standoff will be glued.
TIP: Try scraping with the back side of the knife blade. You won't dull the sharp cutting side.

Here's the finished lug with standoff.
Fillets of Titebond No-Run, No-Drip glue followed.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Booster 55 Rocket Build, Part 3, Nose Cone Seam Filling

The nose cone is a new item from Apogee so the molds are new. There was very little molding seam to fill.

I got out my Dollar Tree store bottle of Super Glue. They are usually 2 for $1.00. It's medium thickness.

On the left you can see the slight seam left after sanding.

On the right is the raised bead of Super Glue. Apply enough so the bead of glue will end up a little higher than the surface of the nose cone. Do one side at a time and let the first side dry facing up and horizontally. Be careful, the glue can run!

The glue dries hard and clear. I used a diamond file to knock down the bulk of the bead. 220 grit followed then 400 grit.

On the right is the finished fill ready for grey filler/primer.

Clean Up Those Lug Ends - TIP

Paint and glue can hang your rocket up on the launch rod. It takes very little to clean up the ends.

Here's how the lug end looks after the first coat of white paint. There's paint and a small blob of glue on this end.

Set a pencil or sharpened dowel in the end and turn it.

I also sanded the end flat with some 400 grit.

After the last white undercoat you can see how clean the lug is now. Little things like this can make the difference.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Starship Nova Tube Spotted

On the National Association of Rocketry Face book page, Eric Specht posted this:

"I got this thin walled tube without glassine in my new Starship Nova kit. It has a wall thickness of .010 and creases with normal handling. Somebody tell me this was a mistake and there will be a recall."
To see the post and responses, CLICK HERE

In the first run of kits, the BT-50 tube won't have a glassine wrap. This will make for a very weak tube prone to buckling and bends. TIP: If you buy the kit I'd recommend buying an additional BT-50 tube. I'd probably go with a heavy walled BT-50H as even standard BT-50 tubes are thin.

The thicker wall BT-50H tubes have the same inside diameter as a standard BT-50 so 50 size nose cones will fit. The outside diameter is just a little thicker. I use the BT-50h tubes in some Odd'l kits. I always keep some heavy walled tube handy to replace the thin stuff that comes in kits.

Booster 55 Rocket Build, Part 2, Removing the Staging Funnel

This was the trickiest part of the build. The funnel might be fine at ejection but the bulk of the charge would be compressed into a 1/4" hole.

I got out my ancient Dremel tool and attached a sanding drum. Most of the funnel was ground out.

On the left is the funnel after grinding. Most all of it was melted and easily cut out with a knife.
When is was removed I could see the glue on the side walls. I might have been able to knock out the funnel with a hammer and dowel. But then again, I might have broken the fin can.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Booster 55 Rocket Build, Part 1, Parts

This should be an easier one but still interesting. I'll be adapting the plastic 55 Booster to a 55 tube.
It's a very inexpensive build made from clearance kit parts, leftovers and a free nose cone from Apogee.

The parts:
A BT-55 stolen from an Estes clearance Monarch kit.
The nose cone is a new 55 size from Apogee.
The 3/16" launch lug will need a standoff, there's a small dowel next to it.
An Odd'l Rocket parachute (what else?)
Rubber shock cord from a Little Joe II kit.
The BT-55 Booster picked up for a dollar at Hobby Lobby.

The 55 Booster is assembled. You won't need the upper adapter ring.

At the top is a length of BT-55 and will have to be removed.
Score through the tube and peel it off.

The tube was glued on pretty well

Notice the duct "funnel" that directs the booster engine flame into the upper stage engine.

It took a few minutes of sanding to clean off the shoulder and get a slip fit into the BT-55 tube.

Estes Apollo Little Joe II Finished!

On the left is the removable for flight engine nozzle plate.

Here's another one I can cross off my list! I wanted this kit when Centuri produced it the first time around.
The wrap decals are thin and tricky.

A very impressive model when finished. Thanks to Estes for bringing this one back!