Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Quest AS-1 Escort Canopy Decal Problems

I ran into this problem a few years back on the Dyna Star LexxJet. The LexxJet  canopy detail was a thick plastic sticker. There was no way it could lay flat and conform to the curvature of the nose cone.
This AS-1 Escort kit is a thinner water slide decal but I had the same problem.

It's not explained in the instructions but you have to insert the nose cone, apply the decal then cut it at the nose cone / body tube joint.
Doing it this way allows you to work out some of the wrinkles at the nose cone shoulder.

The nose cone itself takes more work.
With a new razor blade the raised wrinkles at the shoulder lip were slit.
The right inset picture shows the slit area being lifted and then layed over the decal edge underneath.
This will leave some double thickness decal overlays but will look better than the raised folds.

After the decal dries, the overlay on the shoulder lip is trimmed off with a razor blade.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Kevlar Tie & Retention Tips

It's hard to get a Kevlar square knot to tie tight around the motor mount tube.
Tie the first overhand knot and tighten. Apply a very small drop of glue on the knot without gluing the line to the tube. You'll want it to slide up later. Let the glue drop dry.

That little drop of glue helps hold the slippery Kevlar line in place so you can tie the reversed overhand knot on top of it making a Square Knot.
Slide the tied loop down, away from the centering ring joint. 
Apply a small glue fillet to the upper centering ring joint. This doesn't take much glue, the overhang loose end will stick easier to less glue.

Cut the free end off at about 1/2" long. 
Slide the Kevlar loop up into the glue. Tuck the loose free end under the loop.

Monday, April 12, 2021

Shroud Line Bends? TIP

You might be wondering why I'm doing some generic build ideas and tips, not focusing on a specific build. I'm waiting for Estes to release the Antar, scheduled for this month. I've build four of them (yep, FOUR!) and have plenty of build steps ready to be published. 
The Antar build will also have some templates and a masking guide available to Patreon members. (Trust me, you'll have a easier build using the decal dot placement and masking guides.)

If you are building an older kit, sometimes the parachute shroud lines can have kinks after being stored for a few years.

If not straightened out, these bends will still be there after the parachute is assembled.

Try the Synthetic setting first and test on a line - DRY, no steam. Increase the heat if the lines don't straighten out. 

Pull the shroud lines under the tip of the iron. Go quickly on the first line to be sure it isn't melted or singed.

Older shroud lines usually have a higher cotton content (More heat). Some newer lines are synthetic (use less heat).

Here's the same shroud lines after using the iron. 
All are straight and ready to be tied onto the chute.

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Older Quest Tiger Tail Igniters

These are the original Quest igniters introduced in their 1992 catalog.
Somewhere along the way I got them in some older Quest engine packages.

Here's the parts for the igniter assembly. 

You first removed the larger black discs for the self adhesive paper. Peel off the backing and fold it around the copper "stick" igniter. The copper strip should be centered under the open holes, exposed for attaching the micro clips. 
Underneath are the "Tiger Tac" plugs. These were made of hard plastic, some sort of small construction rivet.

Here's two assembled igniters.
You can see how the copper strip is open for the micro clips.

One clip goes over the strip through the top hole, the second clip goes over the lower hole.
The yellow folded paper would separate and insulate the clips preventing a short.

Saturday, April 10, 2021

A 24mm Engine Mount from an 18mm Mount

One of my builds required changing a 18mm mount to a 24mm engine. 
Trace around the 24mm engine tube with a sharpened pencil, centered on the ring.
Cut out the inside ring with a sharp knife, just inside the pencil line.

On the right is the cut out center above the new 24mm centering ring.

Clean up the inside of the ring with some 400 grit sandpaper wrapped around the smaller 18mm engine.

Check the fit on the 24mm engine mount tube as you go - you'll want a sliding but fairly tight fit.
I like to punch some relief areas for the engine hook and Kevlar line. If there is no allowance for the hook and Kevlar, the round shape of the motor mount tube can distort.
To be sure they are centered and on opposite sides, I draw an cross on some card stock and mark the twelve and six o'clock positions.

Using a rotary punch, some crescent holes were made. Punch out just enough for the hook and Kevlar.

On the right side picture, the upper ring has an engine hook notch (top) and a Kevlar punch (bottom). The lower ring has a crescent notch for the engine hook.

Friday, April 9, 2021

Engine Hook Tape Retention

Before gluing on the centering rings,
TIP: 1 1/2 wraps of electrical tape is applied to retain the engine hook.

Start the tape wrap 1/4 turn below the engine hook. 
The tape goes over the hook and completely around the tube. 
Go over the hook again and finish the wrap 1/4 the way around, directly opposite the starting point.
This way you have a double wrap of tape over the hook.

Note the mount is flipped over in the second picture to show the other side.

I've mentioned this before - Why use electrical tape? It retains it's flexibility. and will last a lot longer than paper masking tape.

Thursday, April 8, 2021

TLP Hawk Build, Part 12, Gluing On Fins, Not Quite Finished

With the long root edge, the fit was probably going to be off all the way down the fin.  

Set the fin on the body tube, note where the root edge is touching. Sand down the contact areas. This lowers the root edge gap.

These fins are BIG! I'd recommend using the double gluing method. Until the glue starts to set, these fins want to fall off under their own weight.

Be sure your glue bottle nozzle is clear before laying down the long fillet line.

The top picture shows the glue before smoothing with a fingertip. I don't tend to squeeze the glue bottle, slow down and let the glue flow out on it's own.

The bottom picture is the same fillet after smoothing.

Here's where I'm leaving the build for now.
I have too many contract builds to work on my own projects.

Interesting that the Launch Pad instructions don't usually include a position measurement for gluing on the 3/16" launch lug. They leave that up to the builder.
Drop in the largest motor you think you'll be using and find the Center of Gravity. That's probably the best location for the launch lug. 

No decals included. Those will take a little time to draw.
The "kit" doesn't include any parachute, but I'd want to use one large enough to prevent damage to the fin tips.