Thursday, January 31, 2019

Estes Vanguard Eagle, Kit # 2193, Part 6, Primer and Paint

With the launch lug glued on it got fillets of Titebond M&TG.

The BT-60 lower tube, adapter and upper BT-55 tube were friction fitted with masking tape, no glue yet.
In this picture the Duplicolor Filler/Primer was shot and is still wet. I spray one coat, fairly thick.

The molding seam on the adapter was sanded. The picture shows a bit of the filler/primer left in the seam.

The bases of the nozzles were sanded flat to remove the molding hold tabs.

The gluing position tabs on the bottom will remain white, they were slipped into cut slots in the cardboard.

The Elmer's Carpenter's Wood Filler didn't stay in the wood grain. You can see the grain pores after the filler/primer was shot.

I'll rub in some CWf with a fingertip and sand smooth. I don't think I'll need another shot of filler/primer, maybe some light sanding between color coats.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

The Ultimate Model …This has been reduced by $10,001.00!!!

Estes Vanguard Eagle, Kit # 2193, Part 5, Ends and Edges

The small forward fins are laser cut into some stiff 3/32" balsa.

The instructions say to sand the edges square but I decided to round the leading edges.

I don't know what caused it, but the ends of the body tubes are turning brown. I thought at first the brown edges were from laser cutting but there was no charring.

The clay is cut in half. One half goes in each nose cone side.

The halves are glued together and rubber band wraps hold it tight as the glue dries.

On the lower left are the larger nozzles that glue to the fin can. There are eight larger nozzles in total.

At first I thought the tiny nose cone nozzles were some plastic flashing. I almost threw two of them away! They are so small it will require tweezers to position and glue in place. All the nozzles were in a small bag, separated and not on trees.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Estes Vanguard Eagle, Kit # 2193, Part 4, Fin Can

The plastic fin can is made up of four side pieces.
The four fins are in halves, split right down the middle. (See the next picture.)
When all four sides are glued up it makes a very strong fin can.

Look close to the sides of the centering ring to see the ridges in the fin can piece. The centering rings glue into the ridges.

I applied Beacon Fabri-Tac glue inside the ridges and pressed the centering rings in.

When gluing the second, third and fourth sides on, wrapped rubber bands applied pressure to hold everything tight.

Notice the open halves of the fin.

The fin halves were gently opened and some liquid plastic cement brushed in.
Liquid cement dries fast so clothes pin clamps were quickly put on.

Three of the four sides were butted tight together. When the fourth side was pressed in, there was a slight gap. This will be filled before painting.

Canopy Carving, Part 3

The bottom surface needs a concave curve to fit the shape of the nose cone.
Some 100 grit was wrapped around a used engine casing to remove some of the canopy bottom.

You'll have to constantly check the fit against the nose cone and remove any area that touches the nose cone. It will take some time to "gouge" out the bottom of the canopy.

Laminating thinner pieces of basswood together has an advantage when carving.
Look close at the top canopy. You can see the glued lamination. If they are straight and perpendicular the top surfaces are straight.

The bottom picture shows the underside. The oval shape underneath is another glued lamination. You can easily see which areas require more sanding to even out the oval shape.

The X-15 canopy has flat glass panes set into it.
A center line and some reference lines were drawn as sanding guides.
A sanding block with 220 grit was used to sand the flat surfaces.

The side of a pencil was rubbed over the raised edges to mark the borders. With the pencil line borders you can compare the two and make adjustments until they match.

Here's the finished canopy. The fit isn't 100% but any small voids will be filled with glue fillets.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Cox Nike Zeus Starter Outfit On Ebay

Here's a rare, mint item on Ebay -

Complete Cox rocket starter set in their boxes. The plastic wrap is gone -
Nike Zeus rocket (early gap staging), Cox launcher and controller and five three packs of engines!
This launcher has never been used, the blast deflector is clean. Four legs still in the plastic. You rarely find all four legs, one always seems to be broken.
The Nike Zeus packaging says 2000' altitudes. I doubt that, but still it's pretty cool!
Cox also made an Honest John starter set.

Five sealed  three packs of engines with the interesting Cox plug-in igniters. No micro clips!
I've never seen these in the packages before.

To see the listing: CLICK HERE
Am I bidding? NO!
What would I do with it? Take it out and look at it every other year? To some it is too "valuable" to use. I've got plenty of older stuff sitting in storage boxes.
I'll check back tomorrow and see where the winning bid ends up.

Estes Vanguard Eagle, Kit # 2193, Part 3, Engine Mount

The holes in the centering rings were very tight against the BT-20 engine mount tube.
I had to go back and shave down the inside to enlarge the holes slightly.

Even after scraping the fit was tight.

Look right below the engine hook and you can see where the BT-20 tube bows into the engine hook recess.

The rings were glued on with Beacon Fabri-Tac glue, perfect for plastic to tube bonds.

Here's the finished mount.

Note the engine hook extends 1/2" out the back. Normally an engine hook overhangs 1/4" beyond the rear centering ring.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Estes Vanguard Eagle, Kit # 2193, Part 2, Engine Mount

With a short BT-20 tube it doesn't make much sense to push and engine block into a bead of glue from the bottom. Then the engine hook is set into the cut slit. The instructions at the right show how they recommend it being done.

TIP: Slide the engine block in (dry) from the top and against the upper bend of the engine hook. Apply a bead of glue around the top joint of the engine block. You can use an engine casing to help keep the block set straight. After the glue sets up the casing is removed.

Take a look at the centering rings - plastic!

Below the centering rings is the display nozzle plate and nozzles.

Canopy Carving, Part 2

Carve most all of the sides off just outside the pencil lines.
Smooth out the sides with some 110 grit sandpaper on a block.

Look close from the top and bottom and try to get everything symmetrical.

Next, the top is carved tapering the front and rear to the cockpit profile.
Sand the surface smooth with a block.

The top outside edges are rounded.
After trimming down the upper edges with small chip cuts, smooth it out with 220 grit wrapped over a finger.
Leave the bottom surface flat.
I've wrapped some 100 grit sandpaper around the models main air frame tube, this time a BT-60. Sand until the bottom has a gentle curve to match the round body tube.

If you were gluing this canopy to a body tube you could be done now after the underside is sanded to match the body tube curve. This canopy is going to be glued onto a curved nose cone.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Canopy Carving, Part 1

Here's an older post that has been sitting in the "draft" pile.
This canopy was carved to make a Goony X-15 from a BT-60 and Quest X-15 kit parts.

I always enjoyed carving neckerchief slides when I was a Boy Scout. I didn't know then that I was carving basswood.
Basswood is fun to carve if you have a sharp knife.

I'll be copying the canopy from the Quest X-15 kit. I might want to make a mold for some vacuform canopies later on.

On card stock a half profile was drawn. I'm just trying to get it close, it doesn't have to be exact.

I didn't have any basswood blocks so some 1/8" thick pieces were laminated with wood glue. The glued pieces were allowed to fully dry under some heavy plexi-glass. TIP: Gluing up pieces under glass allows you to see if the pieces have slipped out of line.

The half profile shape was drawn on the top of the glued up block. Draw a center line down the wood block
Line up the center line and draw one side. Flip over the template and draw the other side.

Estes Vanguard Eagle, Kit # 2193, Part 1, Parts

This model had a lot of plastic in the fin can and nose cone.
The rest of the model is standard model rocket parts.
The four small upper fins are laser cut from 3/32' hard balsa.
One pat of clay for nose weight.
Stickers. I hate stickers.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Estes Vanguard Eagle, Kit # 2193, Background

Estes produced a series of models based on the XPrize rocket entries in 2005.

From the XPrize website:
"Since 1994, XPRIZE has designed and launched seventeen prizes in the domain areas of Space, Oceans, Learning, Health, Energy, Environment, Transportation, Safety and Robotics. 

Our first XPRIZE, the $10 million Ansari XPRIZE for private spaceflight, spurred an industry and created exponential breakthroughs.
Each of these prizes has created an industry-changing technology that brings us closer to a better, safer, more sustainable world."

I still see Reubicons and an occasional Lucky Seven at club launches. I've never seen the Estes Vanguard Eagle kit before this build. To find the original kit listing go to page 36 of the 2005 Estes catalog: CLICK HERE
Dr. Zooch did bring out a limited run of a Vanguard Eagle kit. I built one for the Vanguard Eagle development team.

Here's some face card information.
Does anybody cut these out for collecting or reference?

I don't remember where I picked this one up. The original owner bought it from Hobby Lobby. I may have got it from an Ebay lot purchase.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Model Rockets? . . . I Don't think So -

These were listed on Ebay as:
"Pair of Vintage Model Rocket yellow plastic bodies w/ multi color tassels USA"

I don't think so!
These are bicycle handle bar grips. 
Sure they might have little fins on the backs, but the molded finger grips and trailing tassels were the giveaway.

If you are falling for the rocket hype and like to make a bid: CLICK HERE

OR Spaced Needle Build, Finished

These pictures are of the first version of the long Spaced Needle rocket.
The second picture shows how the trim strips placement was staggered. The name decal was applied at the center.
The new versions now being built separate in the middle for easier storage and less chance of damage transporting the model to and from the launch area.

The fins are set away from the end of the body tube. No need for a friction fit, just do a single tape wrap around the exposed engine nozzle end and body tube. Friction fits were never a good idea in BT-20 body tubes. We've all crimped thin body tubes trying to insert and remove friction fit engines.
This model will need a long shock cord and a 12" parachute.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

OR Spaced Needle Build, Part 9, Trim Strips

Some strips were cut from Monokote chrome trim and Contact Paper blackboard covering material.

I did some test fitting on a scrap piece of BT-200 to check the visual width and spacing before placing the trim on the model.

I tend to leave some of the backing paper on the strip as I transfer to the model. This keeps your fingerprints, dirt and lint off the sticky side before it is on the rocket.

The strips were alternated black then chrome.

An aluminum angle was set on the tube to check and be sure the strips were on straight before final burnishing.

Originally I set all the strips at the same distance from the ends of the tubes at the start of the orange color mask. (See two pictures above)

I found it more interesting to break up the strips and go over the orange color mask line.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

OR Spaced Needle Build, Part 8, Undercoats and Some Color

I didn't have much luck with the white paint undercoats.

The gray areas are where rough spots were sanded smooth, down to the filler primer coat. More white coats followed.

Even using the Titebond M&TG there was some uneven bubbling along the hard to fill launch lug fillet.
This paint was also sanded a bit. Some of the paint will actually help fill the uneven surface.

Easy, easy mask.
About 1/2" above the fins, the low end gets orange paint.
Masking around body tubes usually gets very clean mask lines.

And on the other end, the upper end of the tube gets a mask around the tube with more orange.

I'm hoping the trim and decal will round out the look.