Sunday, May 24, 2015

Centuri Draconian Marauder #5336 Build, Part 1, Parts

This one turned out to be one of the weirdest builds yet!
The way the model was engineered was interesting but required some extra primer and sealing steps.
If you were to just punch out the pieces, glue it together and paint it, you would end up with a model with many rough edges.

I picked up two of these on Ebay for a very reasonable price.
In the mid to late 1970s, many Centuri kits had die-cut card stock fins instead of balsa. These two had LOTS of layered card stock.

Centuri called the Marauder fins "baffled, multi-layer" wings.
Making a model like this out of balsa would have been difficult. Thick card stock construction solved many problems.

Here's all the parts.
There are four sheets of die-cut card stock in three different thicknesses.

The parts of interest:
The LONG blow molded nose cone. By 1979, Centuri was steering away from the two part molded nose cones.
The shock cord mount is just a small piece of card stock, maybe too small.
The clay nose weight is hard but still usable.
One of the two ST-7 missile launcher tubes was a dark purple color. Held up to a light it was almost translucent. I've never seen a body tube like this before.

MRN Idea Box TIP- From December 1966

Mojo 1986 was selling some older Estes Model Rocket News (MRNs) on Ebay.
For me, one of the most valuable pages was "The Idea Box".
I did some screen grabs and will feature some older ideas that still have some value today.

The Original Estes Copy:
"McLean, Va. is heard from as Steffan Parcells suggests a reel for the leads from the Electro-Launch to the Launch Controller.
The wire can either 1/8" welding rod or a piece of clothes hanger wire."

Enlarge the picture for a better view.

This as basically a cord wrap tool.
It is much better than just tightly wrapping the cord around the launch controller.
Launch lead wires are much thinner and more delicate now. This wrap tool could makes an effective "strain relief" for the cable.
Most controller failures where the wire breaks from flexing at the exit point at the top of the controller.

From an Ebay listing, here's an example of cables wrapped too tightly.
On the right side of the top four cases, the thin lead wire is bent sharply right out of the plastic casing. Chances are, some of the copper wire is already over flexed and broken.
I wouldn't bid on these! 

Here's how I wrap the lines.
At the top there is no strain on the lead line. The hole where the lead exits has a sharp enough edge that it could cut the cord.
The line leaves the controller straight up - not bent down at a 90 degree angle.

Take the extra moment to wrap your lead lines loose. Your controller will last much longer than just a few launches.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

FlisKits Honest John Build, Part 8, Mask and Decals

Whoops! This one should have gone in earlier - after Part 7 and before "Finished".
After a day or two I'll get them in order.

Here's the mask for the black paint.
The same is repeated on the other side.

The body wrap decals were added.
This row of bolts starts right at the top of the lug standoff.

Set the band down and set it aside.
Trim with a razor blade after it completely dries.

TIP: When you can, set the decal overlaps on the launch lug side.
The overlaps will be out of sight when the rocket is placed on the launcher.
This is before and after lining up the lower black band.

MRN Idea Box TIP- From December 1965

Mojo 1986 was selling some older Estes Model Rocket News (MRNs) on Ebay.
For me, one of the most valuable pages was "The Idea Box".
I did some screen grabs and will feature some older ideas that still have some value today.

The original Estes Copy:
"Remove those dents in balsa nose cone, etc. by the method suggested by Jim Merriman of East St. Louis Illinois. 
Put a drop of water on the dent and touch lightly with a wood burning pencil or soldering gun. 
Heat and moisture will swell the wood fibers and refill the depression."

One thing the article didn't mention - 
This tip is for bare wood (not finished) nose cones. If the nose cone is finished you would have to fill and sand the dent (or Estes smile) smooth. 

All the wood is still there, the fibers are just compressed making the dent.
Water and heat will swell the wood and raise the depressed area.

I wouldn't apply a soldering iron directly onto the wood, you might burn the balsa.
Wet a paper towel and set that over the dent. Then set the hot soldering iron over the paper dowel.
This will protect the balsa surface.

Friday, May 22, 2015

FlisKits Honest John Finished

On the left is my older Fliskit Honest John, it has 21 flights.

On the right is the new replacement.

Since the first Honest John build in 2010, my decals are turning out better.
The ink is darker and more dense.
I was hoping the nose cone decals would fit the diameter but they still had to be cut apart and set down individually. The spin rockets look better now.
In this kit, FlisKits doesn't include decals anymore.

MRN Idea Box TIP- From March 1965

Mojo 1986 was selling some older Estes Model Rocket News (MRNs) on Ebay.
For me, one of the most valuable pages was "The Idea Box".
I did some screen grabs and will feature some older ideas that still have some value today.

The original Estes Copy:
"Get the right engine block position for sure with one of these gauges.
A few layers of 1/2" masking tape wrapper around one end of an engine casing makes engine block installation a deft one-move operation without fear of freezing out of place.
The 1/2" unit give proper positioning for upper stages, the 1/4" unit allows the engine to be taped to the engine tube for easy installation and removal.

Here's my engine block "gauge":

In LPR, most all engines extend 1/4" out the back of the engine mount tube.
Instead of just pencil marking the engine spacing guide tube at 1/4", wrap tape around and engine casing 7 or 8 times at 1/4" from the low end for a positive "stop". Cut off the tape that extends over the end of the casing.

Apply glue far up inside the engine mount tube. Set the engine block in the tube end then push it in place with the casing until the tape wraps butt up against the tube edge. Remove the casing tool - Done!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

FlisKits Honest John Build, Part 7, Decal Re-Draw

I drew up some decals the first time I made the MMX Honest John.
These were a downsize of the old Estes kit decals
I didn't space them accurately, there was a lot of cutting apart and moving separate pieces.

This time I did a paper wrap around the widest point of the older HoJo nose cone. This was divided into six sections for the roll pattern.
On the last build I used the spin rockets on the included decal sheet. This run of kits didn't include decals. I had to make some up.

On the left is a copy of the spin rockets from the Estes instructions.
This was traced and drawn to make it look a little more "3D".
It was reduced to the size of the decal on my old, finished HoJo.

Here's the redrawn decal sheet.
This was drawn up to look like the old Estes kit decals.
The flat side of the spin rockets got some grey shading.

EDIT: (Even doing the redraw I didn't get the nose cone roll pattern spacing right! I still had to cut them up and place the six squares separately.)