Tuesday, May 3, 2016

New Kit Prototype - Odd'l Rockets F-17, Finished

Here's the finished prototype.
More tweaks are coming!
For now more flight testing . . . 

The finished model is smaller than I would have thought, about the same size as the Centuri original.
This version has a circular air scoop on the bottom and the card stock canopy. The Centuri kit didn't have a air scoop, just a long profile fin. If this becomes a kit I might offer both options for those who don't like cutting and fitting body tubes.
There are no plastic detail ends for the bombs. The main tube is a heavy walled BT-50.
In the end, the model does capture the feel of the original Fighter Fleet.

Old MRN Idea Box, June 1963

Mojo1986 (Joe) was sellng some old Estes Model Rocket News issues on Ebay.
Here's an "Idea Box" post from the June 1963 issue.

Monday, May 2, 2016

What's Up With (Some) Estes Parachutes? TIP

I really like the retro look of the Estes kit parachutes. It's the same checker board pattern I found in my earliest Estes kits.
The plastic sheet seems thicker than they used to be, a good thing.

But, the shroud lines are weak! These are not the old 'Button and Rug" thread that once came with the parachute kits.
A while ago out of curiosity, I pulled on a shroud line to check its strength. It broke with light a pull. Some kits have chutes with weak lines, other kit shroud lines are stronger.

I've also noticed the pre-installed reinforcement rings sometimes have small tears starting.
A ring was removed from the parachute and it easily tore in half!
I thought these were plastic, the surface is shiny. It turns out they are glossy paper rings.
All the shroud lines and rings will be thrown away. This chute will be cut down to 12" diameter.

TIP: Here's how I downsized to a 12" chute from the 18" parachute supplied in the Monarch kit.
A 12" ruler was set across the sheet centered on the spill hole center area. Notice which printed ring is under the ends of the 12" span.
Slide the ruler out to the edge of the 12" diameter circle, paralell with the pre-cut chute edge.
Cut straight across with a sharp blade. Add new reinforcement disks and tie on new shroud lines for the smaller, 12" parachute.

New Kit Prototype - Odd'l Rockets F-17, Part 2, Canopy

Draw, adjust, then draw and adjust again.
The first tries were too square and didn't fit the contour of the nose cone. It took six revisions to get a good fit.

To glue on the canopy it was traced and the paint scraped off the already painted nose cone.

The rocket has already flown once with a B6-4. It was sprayed white overall. It was just a test flight before I took the time to draw up the decals.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

New Kit Prototype - Odd'l Rockets F-17, Part 1 Decals and Canopy

This won't be a full build thread but a quick insight into making a prototype.

I'm playing around with a new Odd'l Rockets kit based on the old Centuri fighter Fleet series. To see the Fighter Fleet, CLICK HERE

I had to draw decals from an online scan. After this first attempt there were four revisions. No matter how you try, the first decal print will be thrown away. Most details end up too large.
The Centuri kit was the F-16, mine will be an F-17.
You can't sell a decal with the name "US Air Force" without paying for the rights so I settled for "US FIGHTER FORCE".

The Centuri kit had a clear canopy, this one will be card stock.

There's no real trick to drawing a canopy, you just have to dive in knowing it'll take a few revisions to get the shape to fit.
On the left is the first try.

After cutting it out the glue tabs were held down with long tweezers while the glue dried.
TIP: One trick to gluing small tabs like this is to use very little white glue.

Two Different (But Alike) Model Comparisons

These two ARTF rockets struck me as similar.
I doubt Estes got their design from the MPC (Sky from China) rocket, or vice versa. Still, they do look alike.


Length: 26.25 in. (66.7 cm)
Diameter: 1.64 in. (42 mm)
Estimated Weight: 3.3 oz (93.6 g)
Plastic fins, self-stick decals, 18 in. (46 cm) parachute
Projected Max Altitude: 500 ft. (152 m)
Recommended Engines: B4-2 (First Flight), B6-2, C6-3

Length: 29 in. (73.6 cm)
Diameter: 1.58 in. (40 mm)
Estimated Weight: 2.2oz (60 g)
Plastic fins, self-stick decals, 18 in. (46 cm) parachute
Projected Max Altitude: 260 ft. (152 m)
Recommended Engines: C6-5

If the MPC Red Giant had a black nose cone and fins they'd be very close.
Interesting that the Estes Black Diamond gets 500 feet on a C6-3. The MPC Red Giant is taller, weighs less and only reaches 230 feet!
I like the looks of the MPC Red Giant better. They are on sale everywhere.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Estes Mystery Parts Design Guess

From the Estes website, here's the parts that were shown for the upcoming Nike Smoke kit.

There's a lot of centering rings, two shrouds and an Honest John style nose cone. I assume that's the Mini Honest John nose cone.
There are three crescent shaped pieces that might fit the end of a tapered body tube piece.
Three trapezoid pieces could fit between the two tapered shrouds.

I played with the pictured pieces. Finding a place for all the centering rings was the challenge. Eight centering rings might be used to join the three tubes together. The upper cutaway drawing shows some of the centering rings.

The low end tube looks like a BT-60, the smaller tube in the center taper area is a 50, the upper overlapping tube is a 55.
Having the nose cone sit farther into a 55 tube would cover up the spin motors molded into the low end.
The tapered and capped outside tubes are cut from the second BT-55.

The fin grain dictates the shape position.

That forward tube has to be longer than what I drew. I'm probably WAY off.
Looking at this guess, I hope so!