Friday, November 30, 2018

Semroc Saturn 1B, Build, OOP #KS-1, Part 31, New Retro Rocket Housings

Here's a picture from the Apogee website. This clean build was done by Phillip Gore. Notice the retro housings are different.

The Estes Saturn 1B was modeled after one of the the earliest Saturn 1B rocket, close to the SA-201.
With some help from this picture and Alway's Rockets Of The World book I'll make some small changes and model the Apollo 7, SA-205 Saturn 1B. The retro rocket housings and other details changed on the later rockets.

The SA-205 version also allows for more detail on the service module. On the Estes version, the SM is an overall white. More on that later.

The later SA-205 housings are about the same length and height, there is a raised taper on the front.

New basswood was cut.

The two strips were laminated.
Clothes pin clamps held them together as the glue dried.

Just the front angle was cut. The back remains square.

Four were glued up.
The laminated strips were a little wide.  They were thinned down with 220 grit on a block.

Build time this post: 0 hour, 30 minutes
Total build time so far: 30 hours, 40 minutes

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Odd'l Cutaway Motor On Display

From Richard Holmes Rich's Rockets Blog:

"Today was the Saturday before Thanksgiving, which meant Walt’s HobbyTown’s Secret Santa Sale and Open House, which meant Syracuse Rocket Club on display.

This is exactly how I hoped to see the Cutaway Engine used.
To visit the Rich Holmes "Born-Again Rocketeer Tells All" Blog, CLICK HERE 

If you'd like your own print and make cutaway engine, email me at: and ask for the Cutaway Engine PDF  
The cutaway engine is not a true 3D relief model, it's a flat print that wraps around half of a BT-60 tube.

Semroc Saturn 1B, Build, OOP #KS-1, Part 30, Retro Rocket Housings

The sides weren't even. This would be a poor fit on the body.

Some medium CA was applied to just the lower edge to harden up the card stock. This makes it easier and cleaner to sand.

Light sanding followed with 220 grit on a sanding block.

I stopped when the launch lug was touching the sandpaper.

Here's two of the rocket housings.
I'm not happy with the way these turned out.

Build time this post: 0 hour, 30 minutes
Total build time so far: 30 hours, 10 minutes

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Ashasta-Sadie Kit Instructions Are Back!

All the archived kit instructions are back on a new Ashasta-Sadie web page.
They were gone for a while, my old links wouldn't bring anything up.

To see all the available instructions: CLICK HERE

Between the Jim Z's, Ye Olde Rocket Plans and the Ashasta-Sadie sites, most all older kit instructions are available.

Semroc Saturn 1B, Build, OOP #KS-1, Part 29, Retro Rocket Housings

After the center contact line had dried, some glue was sneaked onto the angled top of the launch lug.

The ends were held in place until the glue set up.

A line of glue was applied down the knife blade. This was spread beside the launch lug side.

I used my sanding block to apply an even pressure along the side as the glue dried.

This was as good as the rocket housings came out.
The form isn't great and if the ends didn't overlap the others didn't touch or match up.

I tried to smooth out the sides by slipping a razor blade in, but the glue was already set.

Build time this post: 0 hour, 50 minutes
Total build time so far: 29 hours, 40 minutes

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Semroc Saturn 1B, Build, OOP #KS-1, Part 28, Retro Rocket Housings

I assembled the retro rocket housings as shown in the instructions.
The end results weren't great. I wonder if the average builder was be happy with them
as assembled like they were in the original Estes kit.
I'll show how I put them together the first time, then later show the second try.

1/8" launch lugs are cut to length using the angle guide in the instructions. Use a new, sharp single edge razor blade to cut launch lugs like this.

Clean up the edges with a block.
The outer skin will hang on, just like when you file your fingernail. Turn the skin in and kiss it off with some 400 grit.

The outer skin is cut out.
I used a clean launch rod to form the skin.
Use the rod almost full length, short of the end angles as shown on the left.

Don't form as shown on the right. If you form at the halfway point you will get creases. Roll over the entire length of the center long rectangle.

A light line of glue is applied down the high side of the lug.
I'm only gluing the back rectangle section now. The angled top and bottom come later after the glue has dried.

Build time this post: 1 hour, 00 minutes
Total build time so far: 28 hours, 50 minutes

Monday, November 26, 2018

Launch! Schoolyard, November 25, 2018

I haven't had a Schoolyard Soccer field launch since last June. The weather is finally cooling down to make chasing rockets comfortable.
While many think more power is better, small fields and small diameter rockets are great with A8-3 engines. Unless it is an altitude record attempt, I prefer to watch the entire flight.

My first launch was actually the rocket on the right, a Fliskits INTERLOPER with a MMX engine. I made a few changes to the design. Estimated altitude was 75 feet.

Next up was the NIKE X GOON with an A8-3. Textbook launch with a 225' altitude.

Here's a recent build, the Quest STRIKER AGM using an Estes B6-4 motor. This one sports the Enertek Astra 2000 colors and decor.
Arrow straight boost to about 300'. It took a moment for the crispy Quest parachute to unfurl. Recovery was clean and close, I caught it before it could hit the ground or break off a fin root. With fins glued to the plastic tail cone my previous Striker AGM had many cracks.

I haven't launched a Estes GYROC in quite a while. It's the perfect model for a small field offering little drift. Check out how long the flame is.

An Estes A8-3 boosted it to 300'. At ejection the fin vanes flipped and it went into a fast spin. No damage.

This Gyroc was built with elastic you can release between launches. With the tension off the elastic it will last much longer. A simple notch in the small fins allows you to slip the knotted end out.

The Estes GALACTIC TAXI clone was last in the air.
I really like the old Quest Chinese A6-4 engines. They are so much noisier than the Estes A8-3.
On the right the Odd'l ceramic Blast Deflector is glowing red under the engine flame. There is no damage to the kiln fired deflector, just some black ash.

I don't know why, but this rocket turned to the North after it left the launcher. This cut into the altitude at probably 250'. It landed closer to the fence than the picture shows.

Five up, five recovered with no damage. Just a little dirt and soot to clean off. A good, early start today.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Semroc Saturn 1B, Build, OOP #KS-1, Part 27, Built-Up Fins

The A-E markings on the inside of the skin don't relate to the order of the printed instructions. Follow the printed instructions for the best fit of the parts.

The trailing edge spar is glued next along the bottom.

Glue the small tip rib.
Sand the taper on the bottom of long brace rib to fit the trailing edge spar.
The final center rib is glued on.

Lightly sand over the ribs to even everything up. Don't remove the angle that fits and supports the embossed line along the trailing edge.

It doesn't take a lot of glue to adhere the outside skin.
I used Eileen's Tacky Glue - I've read where it doesn't shrink.

Here I'm using the flat side of my sanding block to apply an even pressure on the flat side while the glue sets up. I'm not sanding, just lightly pressing on the flat skin against the ribs.

The finished fin.
The trailing edge embossed line is subtle, clean and sharp.

Build time this post: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Total build time so far: 27 hours, 50 minutes

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Semroc Saturn 1B, Build, OOP #KS-1, Part 26, Built-Up Fins

Please note: These build times are for construction of a single fin.

Do some test fitting on the internal braces before gluing anything in place.
The smaller upper edge of the first "A" brace should be sanded at an angle to fit against the "B" brace.

TIP: Set the fin angle and the sanding block over the dashed line on the fin skin to approximate the sanding angle.

Here's the tip angle I came up with.

I used Aileen's Tacky Glue to adhere the brace. It is thicker than Elmer's and shouldn't shrink up the skin around the brace.

Don't use much glue and don't do an fillet.
The low end edge came out short and will require some filling later on.

Build time this post: 0 hour, 10 minutes
Total build time so far: 26 hours, 35 minutes

Semroc Saturn 1B, Build, OOP #KS-1, Part 25, Built-Up Fins

The center crease is done gradually.
I can pinch the fold over the top of the architect ruler.

The final sharp fold is burnished with the back end of a Sharpie barrel.
Be careful not to burnish over the trailing edge crease, it is subtle but should still be easily seen.

Here's all the fin skins with the two extras.

Notice the trailing edge line on the lower left.
Build time this post: 0 hour, 20 minutes
Total build time so far: 26 hours, 25 minutes

Friday, November 23, 2018

Semroc Saturn 1B, Build, OOP #KS-1, Part 24, Built-Up Fins

After the trailing edge and center line were embossed - Here's the other side of the card stock. Notice the embossed lines aren't very deep.

Cut out the fin skins using a new blade and a metal straight edge.

I keep any group of small parts in Zip-Lock baggies.

TIP: I used my metal architect ruler to fold over the creases. This gives you a raised clean edge for the folds.
The trailing edge crease should be sharp and not folded all the way over on itself. Bend it down about 15 degrees.

The center crease is much sharper and should fold until the flat sides touch.
Do the fold gradually so you don't crack the card stock.
Line up the creases on the top of the ruler and press down with your thumb.
Here's the front end. It is harder to to get the fold centered over the sharp tip. Slide the crease over the edge of the ruler until you feel it slip on.
Gradually increase the sharpness of the fold.

Build time this post: 0 hour, 40 minutes
Total build time so far: 26 hours, 05 minutes

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Semroc Saturn 1B, Build, OOP #KS-1, Part 23, Built-Up Fins

The internal fin ribs are laser cut from 1/16" thick basswood. A real improvement over the old Estes kit that included die-cut balsa.

The laser cutting was very clean.
I did some smooth sanding with 400 grit before removing the parts from the sheet.

Each of the eight fins has five internal rib pieces. All of these edges should be cleaned up.

As mentioned many times before, there is a very slight angle left after the vertical laser cuts are made. The hold down tabs should also be sanded smooth.

On the left is the before, right off the sheet. On the right is after light sanding with 400 grit on a block.

There is a lot of pieces crammed on the sheet.
There is not much space separating the pieces. You would have never seen these close tolerances on the older die-cut balsa.

TIP: Before cutting out the fin skins, do the trailing edge embossed lines.  It's easier to keep the fin skin steady when it is still on the sheet.

Notice I extended the crease line with pencil.

TIP: If you emboss the line over a cardboard sheet, be sure the corrugations are in line with the crease line.

I used a smooth butter knife to make the crease lines. The tip of my butter knife has no serrations.
Practice first on the empty sides of the card stock sheet before scoring the actual fins.

Build time this post: 1 hour, 00 minutes
Total build time so far: 25 hours, 25 minutes

Estes Saturn V "BONUS" Revealed

I thought it would be a poster -
On the Estes website yesterday, click on the number "3" in the main slide show window: CLICK HERE

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

New Estes Saturn V Picture

On YORF, John Boren posted some information about the new #1969 Estes Saturn V:

"The only thing that is the same on this kit from the last one are Most of the body tubes and the injection molded fins. EVERYTHING PLASTIC is new. Read the description of the kit on the Estes Web Site."

Here's part of the most recent Estes ad from Sport Rocketry magazine. At first glance I thought it was the same Saturn V picture they have used in the past, but this is new - 
You can make out more additional details in the upper LEM adapter transition section. 
Estes is still using the older picture build on the "Coming Soon" page.

Estes is offering some BLACK FRIDAY Specials - CLICK HERE

Semroc Saturn 1B, Build, OOP #KS-1, Part 22, Flattening The Cardstock

Okay, here's the most boring blog post yet - Ironing!

There are a lot of parts crammed into that small shipping box. I wish the card stock wasn't rolled up inside a body tube. You can't glue down the fin skins or covered detailed pieces when the card stock has a curl in it.

I first tried getting out the curl by setting them between the pages of a heavy book. That helped but still didn't get them flat.

I set a clean piece of copy paper down on my ironing board.
The curved card stock was set on the paper, printed side down. 
A clean dish towel was set on top of that.

The iron was plugged in. Settings were DRY (no steam) and the temperature was set one step below cotton. If this temp setting doesn't do the job, you can always try again a bit hotter. It's best to start a little cooler.

Keep the iron moving. You don't want the black ink to overheat and transfer off the card stock. Iron a bit, check the curve and iron a little more.

Flat and ready to cut out the skins.

It's interesting to note that the kit included two extra fin skins.

Build time this post: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Total build time so far: 24 hours, 25 minutes