Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Estes Lunar Scout #7290 Build, Part 6, Gold Parts

Here's the gold parts on a piece of cardboard. They have already been spray painted gloss white.
The pieces are held down to masking tap with the sticky side up.

The landing pads needed some sanding after the first coat of gold.

On the red legs, the raised center cross was sanded to remove the paint for a better glue bond.

Here's a finished leg all red and gold parts glued together.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Estes Lunar Scout #7290 Build, Part 5, Fill, Primer & Paint

The engine mount tube seam was filled with CWF and sanded smooth. The red engine block seam was also filled.
TIP: Don't glue the red coupler in yet, it'll be painted gold later. No gluing it in now will save you from masking it off.

The red coupler was slipped in dry to get a shot of gray filler/primer.
This picture shows the tubes after sanding the filler/primer leaving some in the seams and low areas.

I had to spray the landing legs one side at a time.

The narrow root edges were taped off. Here two landing leg assemblies are joined by a single piece of tape.

The legs were stuck down to a scrap piece of cardboard for the red spray. Let dry, flip over and spray the other side.

The tail ring has a wrap seam on the inside and outside. Both seams could be seen on the finished model, so both were filled.

The ring got a follow-up spray of filler/primer and sanding.
After that, gloss white.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Estes Gemini Titan Details -WHAT?

For all the "kids" who complain about how hard rockets are to build and paint - 
Here's the detail painting directions from the original Estes Gemini Titan kit, #K-21 available from 1965-1973.

“Cut out the tracing patter. Cut out the two slots.
Cover the backside of the pattern with a soft lead pencil wherever lines or black areas of detail is to be traced. 
Saturate a “Q-Tip or other swab with lighter fluid and wipe quickly over all the pencil marks. This “sets” the graphite and removes loose particles that may otherwise smudge the base finish.
Wrap the tracing pattern around the lower of the body tube with the slots positioned over the launching lugs. 
Tape the side edges of the pattern together matching all lines. Use a straightedge where possible in tracing over all details. Remove the tracing pattern and be sure all details have been transferred to the body tube. Black enamel paint is recommended as it is less prone to leaving brush marks." 

So basically - It's a home-made carbon paper transfer. 
Rub soft pencil over the back of the printed sheet. The lighter fluid wipe is to remove excess pencil lead dust.
Wrap around the body tube with the black print side out and the pencil rub inside. Trace over the printed areas on the outside, (hopefully) transferring some of the rubbed pencil (on the underside) onto the body tube.
Remove the wrap. Then, hand paint all the squares and circles with black enamel paint. Hand paint?

I remember building this one in the mid 1970s. That lighter fluid wipe confused me. I didn't understand that the lighter fluid was to "set" the pencil rubs. I don't remember how I painted it. I only remember that only one of the two engines ignited. It turned over and nosed in.

The full instructions can be found at JimZs - CLICK HERE

Estes Lunar Scout #7290 Build, Part 4, Rounding Off The Edges

This is the three legs with the end cross pieces glued on. The legs are all to be painted gloss red.

I like to seal the edges with a small bead of white glue. Carefully lay a narrow bead of glue down the outside edges.
I won't be doing a glue bead on the inside girder lines. There is just too many edges to do. Most will only notice the outside surfaces.

While the glue line is still wet, roll a fingertip down the side of the bead to even it out.

After the glue dries, lightly sand smooth with 400 grit wrapped around a finger.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

New Model Rocketry Podcast!

There's a new model rocket podcast - 
The Model Rocket Show #1 Pilot: CLICK HERE

Daniel (The Rocket N00b) is hosting.
"In our first episode, Daniel The Rocket N00b tells us his “origin story”… how he got into Model Rocketry, and gives an overview on what to expect on future episodes."
This is a branch of the The Rocketry Show, directed toward Low Power Model Rocketry.

Daniel is off to a great start - I'm looking forward to future episodes.

Estes Lunar Scout #7290 Build, Part 3, Laser Cut Details

This is a build for Estes so it has to match the face card illustration.
I'll have to prep all the parts and spray paint them before gluing it all together. This took some planning, the tube parts are white, the girder fins red and the small detail pieces are gold.

Take a close look at the center support rings. There are many hold down tics that should be cleaned up.

With the two center rings lined up, the round holes will slide down the launch rod and act as a launch lug.

I didn't want any tics to bind on the launch rod. These were removed with a small diamond file. All the others were carefully trimmed off with a sharp knife.

I dry fitted the landing leg cross pieces to check the fit of the  landing pads with the center "X" cut out. It took more trimming for a good fit. Don't glue this on until after painting.

The landing pads are two layers, the small circle covers up the "X" when glued onto the bottom. These pads are spray painted gold before gluing onto the red girder legs.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Estes Trident - First Baffled Ejection?

TRIVIA: The original (three side tubed) Estes Trident was probably the first model rocket that didn't require recovery wadding. The ejection gases were directed out into the three outside BT-5 tubes then back into the upper, central tube to eject the parachute. The Trident instructions say to use wadding -  I bet Estes never tried a Trident test launch without using it.
Remember cutting those narrow slots in the BT-5 tubes with a dull X-Acto blade? Ejection baffles have evolved since and are much simpler now.
The Semroc instructions say: "Apply a few sheets of recovery wadding in the top of the main body tube. Since the pods provide for an ejection baffled, recovery wadding may not be absolutely necessary". I doubt the recent Estes Explorer (based on the Trident design) would need it either - but you didn't hear that from me.

The original Estes Trident (with three ducted side tubes) was available from 1967 - 1974.
A revision called the Trident II (two ducted tubes) was sold from 1990 - 1991.
How can you still call it a TRI-dent with only two tubes?

To see the original Trident instructions, go to Jim Zs: CLICK HERE

Estes Lunar Scout #7290 Build, Part 2, Parts Prep

There are a lot of laser cut hold down tabs to clear. Take your time and use a sharp knife.

I chose to sand off and clear the burnt edges.
The upper is the before,

The lower picture is after lightly sanding.
I didn't sand every inside edge, just the outside, leading and trailing edges and sides that would be easily seen.

Look at all the left overs!
I'm not keeping these, I just wanted to show how much trimming is done before any glue is used.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Estes Lunar Scout #7290 Build, Part 1, Parts

Here's another new kit from Estes, part of their Space Corps series - the Lunar Scout.

It's a Intermediate Level build, a small featherweight recovery model using 13mm motors. The engine does not eject at recovery. A friction fit is recommended for the engine retention.

All the parts:
When you first see the kit in the bag it doesn't look like there is much there. Most all the detail parts are on one laser cut fiber sheet.

The decals shown here are pre-production. The decals are now more of a gray color.

Parts of interest - 
The large ring was slightly out of round, not a problem, it was easily formed back into a circle.
The small launch lug isn't used for sliding down the launch rod, it is part of the "radar dish" detail.
The red coupler adds strength to the top of the model and also acts as the engine block.
18 decals to be applied!

Semroc MMX Orbital Transport, KMX-01, Finished!

Without any size reference, this mini Orbital Transport looks like the full sized original.
The build is small and would be hard to fill the wood parts after assembly. I'd recommend filling the parts, seams and notches as you go.
The small glider could be tricky to trim for a good glide. I'll launch it eventually!

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Semroc MMX Orbital Transport, KMX-01, Build Part 11, Decals & Finishing Up

Here's a bit of the Semroc instructions showing the decal placement.
The water slide decals are small!

Notice the bottom of the decal -
TIP: To fit against the wing you've got to cut right at the red ink border. The rest of this decal sides don't need to be cut as close.

TIP: Here's another decal that has a close cut on the bottom to fit right over the forward small canard fins.

I couldn't get the SEMROC ASTRONAUTIC LINES to line up on both sides. This is simply the way the decals were set. With the yellow globes even at the front, this is how the names line up on the right and left sides!

The toothpick is centered and stuck into the balsa shoulder of the nose cone. The Kevlar shock cord is knotted and pressed into the hole with the toothpick. Remove the toothpick, squirt a little glue into the hole and push the toothpick back in.

The streamer is taped to the shock cord.

The other half of the toothpick is stuck into the small glider/orbiter nose cone. This gives you something to wrap the balancing clay around when test gliding the orbiter. I haven't tested or balanced the glider yet.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Semroc MMX Orbital Transport, KMX-01, Build Part 10, Final Smoothing & White Paint

The launch lug is glued in place on the bottom center line of the main body.

I used some tape to hold it in place while some medium CA glue was applied with a toothpick. The small drop of CA was allowed to run down the joint.

The entire model got a shot of gloss white.

The picture shows the sanded rough areas that show up with that first coat of paint.

There was a lot of fine sanding with 400 grit to smooth out the fillets and some rough areas.

TIP: Some inside areas were painted with a brush.
I knew I wouldn't be able to reach these spots with the spray can. 

The glider was spray painted separately.

TIP: Mask off the inside of the notched hooks on the glider and main body to keep the paint out.

Here's the underside after a final coat of white.

The model is ready for the tiny decals.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Semroc MMX Orbital Transport, KMX-01, Build Part 9, Orbiter Glider Construction

GOTCHA: Something wasn't right. I had built three other full size Orbital Transports before.
Check the instruction photo showing the glider body tube. The front extends probably 3/8" beyond the front center tip of the wing. The kit supplied tube was too short!

Luckily I had some MicroMaxx sized tubing in the spare parts drawers. 

Good thing I didn't add those wing glue fillets!
I used a single edge razor blade to remove the wing and rudder. The new longer tube was glued in place.
The orbiter nozzle shroud is tiny!
You can pre-form it using a sharpened dowel end.

The glue tab was held shut with tweezers while the glue set up.
TIP: Use very little glue to adhere card stock shrouds and nozzles like this.

The nozzle is glued to a small disk and coupler to be slid into the rear of the glider body tube.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Semroc MMX Orbital Transport, KMX-01, Build Part 8, Orbiter Glider Construction

The dihedral of the glider wing is done by setting the joint over the glider body tube. When the outside tips of the wing sides touch your work bench, the angle is correct.

I also filled the joint at the wing center.

The instructions suggest glue fillets along the top joint of the wings.
I wouldn't recommend this - it isn't needed. Getting a bubble free fillet is difficult and adds a lot of weight.

One side of the template jig is used to set the elevon angle.

The notched hook is glued even with the front of the wing.
GOTCHA: Notice anything wrong here? More in the next post.

Semroc MMX Orbital Transport, KMX-01, Build Part 7, Motor Housing Gluing

The engine housings are glued into the remaining slots on the bottom of the wing.

These slots also require filling with CWF and smooth sanding.

The smaller auxiliary fins are glued on the top and bottom.
The small ones are on the top, the back of the orbiter glider rests on these. Like the small fins on the wings, the taller side is to the rear.

One of the supplied templates is used for positioning. Use the inside slots for these fins.

The larger auxiliary fins are on the bottom.
The outside slots on the template are used for these.