Wednesday, April 23, 2014

MPC USS Enterprise Build, Part 4, 24mm Engine Mount Part A

To make this a 24mm model, there will be a lot of plastic cutting and grinding.
The low end of the fin can (left side) will be widened and the interior ribs (right side) will be cut back.

The locking engine cap won't be locking when I get through with it.

If you cut through along the recess line you will remove the interior support tube, shown at the bottom of the inset.

Sand the new larger hole round with 100 grit wrapped around a dowel.
The inset shows the BT-50 heavy wall tube slid into the new hole.
After englarging the 18mm hole in the fin can to 24mm -
The interior ribs were cut back with a very old Dremel tool with a sanding drum. The plastic was more melted than actually sanded.
I removed only enough of the rib width for the BT-50H tube to slide in while still resting and being supported by the ribs.
I can't imagine a hot Quest engine beside the ribs. I would think they would melt! The BT-50H tube will give better insulation.

Another Mega Mosquito and Mini-Brute Mosquito Question

I stopped by the JimZ website to check the older, more detailed Mosquito instructions. I was curious if they rounded or airfoiled the fin edges.
They are HERE, scroll down to the BETA series version.

Read the EXTREMELY IMPORTANT message  below the exploded parts illustration.

Here's the only construction illustration from the new kit version.
It says simply: "Glue all the parts together".
White glue is shown, plastic glue is not.
White glue won't hold the plastic nose cone in the cardboard body tube.

I'm not complaining, I just think it's interesting.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Estes Saturn V Parachute Hook Bend TIP

You can apply this tip whenever You have to make a bunch of bends the same length.

In Step 17 of the Saturn V kit, you bend a brass wire into a "U" shape.
(The wire is an attachment point for the upper parachute.)

On the left, a small piece of masking tape was stuck to my pliers.
This tape piece was a stop point for how far the wire was set down into the plier jaws.
It helped guarantee each bend of the "U" was the same length, or (at best) closer than I could get without it.

MPC USS Enterprise Build, Part 3, Tube Connector

The lower end of the tube connector isn't long enough for a mid-break model. It will be replaced with a sized BT-60 coupler.
The lower end of the connector was cut off with a razor saw below the shoulder edge.
Sand the cut edge smooth.
The "X" struts are on the top side after cutting.
(In the original design, the ejection charge passes through the plastic "X" struts. I'd be concerned of possible melting.)

The BT-60 coupler was slit and sanded until a slip fit was obtained.

The inset shows it turned over with the top "X" struts in correct position.
The coupler diameter was traced onto heavy card stock for a top plug.

Here's how the card stock disk fits against the X struts.

Two holes were punched to tie on the shock cord.

The white area above the tube print are wraps of cardstock.
The wraps brought the BT-60 coupler to the right inside thickness for a slip fit into the lower body tube.
This coupler slides right up to the raised blue plastic in the middle.

Monday, April 21, 2014

MPC USS Enterprise Build, Part 2, Interesting Parts

Here's the fin can with the engine cap lock ring in place.
Look at the inset picture. There is no internal engine mount tube.
The engine sits centered between four plastic ribs. No engine block, the top of the ribs wrap over the top of the engine.

The locking engine cap is much like the Quest and Estes style.
Two tabs fit in notches. The cap is turned to lock it.
Look inside the fin can on the left. For a more secure fit, you'll want to turn the cap to the left so there is more locking area to the next rib. Turning to the right might lead to an ejected engine.

The model is designed with an upper and lower body tube joined by the light blue connector. It's a LONG model with a lot of area to pressurize at ejection. A Quest engine (Chinese Sky engine) might not eject the parachute.
I'll make it a mid break using a split BT-60 coupler.

The inside of the tube shows the rolled thin wall plastic.

The print seam on the lower section overlaps the illustration.

Ebay Hits and Misses

I buy and sell stuff on Ebay. I only bid if the price is low and reasonable.
We've all been there - a seller sends body tubes in a padded envelope. The tubes arrive bent. Their response: "Gee, it's never been a problem before!"
A few days back I received a Estes Mega Mosquito and Space Eagle. It was so well packaged it was hard  to get the box open!

Here's one that was the other extreme.
I put a $1.00 bid in a a Quest Pip Squeak.
I upped my maximum automatic bid to $3.50. I wouldn't pay more for one of these.
Shipping was free.

Over the next few days the seller added a note: "The nose cone is missing."
Then a day later: "The shock cord is missing."
I forgot about the item. Somebody else made a bid and my auto bid went to $3.50! I won the Pip Squeak!
The seller apologized and refunded $2.00 to my PayPal account. So in essence, I got a small opened bag of parts for a dollar-fifty.

Here's what arrived . . .
Three fins broken off the die-cut sheet,
a streamer, engine hook and engine block,
the yellow engine mount tube, stickers and instructions.
The 20mm main air frame tube is also missing!

He sold it to me for $1.50 but it cost $2.86 to mail it!

Then on the other hand, some Ebay purchases work out.
(This has nothing to do with rocketry, but it's my blog.
The Pip Squeak is purple, the boots and vest are too. )

I wear tacky exotic boots in my stage act.
Trying to find size 13 boots and matching vests is a challenge.
These boots and vest are a very close match and should raise some eyebrows when I walk on stage. Yep, purple lizard skin boots.
Years ago, Comedian David Brenner gave me some great advice at a comedy workshop.
He said: "You don't look funny, so you'd better do something funny."
This is my attempt at looking funny.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

MPC USS Enterprise Build, Part 1, Parts

I'd been curious about the Chinese made MPC licensed kits.
This one looks nothing like the Star Trek enterprise except for the parachute and logo.
I made a Ebay bid of $.99 and won it!
I feel like I only paid for shipping.

Opening the box I was surprised by the BT-60 size diameter of the body tubes.
The 18" parachute looks like the round body of the T.V Enterprise. The plastic is thick, maybe 2mm.
Stick on fin decor and a nose cone wrap that goes on right above the shoulder.
The plastic fins are very flexible and shouldn't crack.
Below the fins is the fin can and engine cap locking ring.
The tubes are convolutely wound. They look and feel like rolled thin sheet plastic! Not spiral wound but wrapped like you would roll a body tube on a card stock model. 
The nose cone is blow-molded, 7 7/8" long! Directly below the nose cone is the tube connector. 

The box copy describes it a a "two-tiered design". I think of two-tiered as a larger lower section and smaller upper section. Upper and lower section diameters are the same.
The parts illustration on the back of the box looks like the old MPC line drawings.

The diameter is 1.58 or 40mm. When the fins are slid on and the tubes joined with the plastic connector, the model is almost 28.75" tall!

The recommended engine is a C6-5 - the package says the model weighs 3.67 oz. Maybe it'll only get 260 feet as advertised!
Estes or Quest C6-5? I wouldn't use a Quest engine in this heavy model.
It'll be interesting and require a lot of plastic cutting - it'll be converted for D12 engines.

EDIT: I should have added - 
These models are not the old MPC designs from the 1970s.
These models are based on the Chinese made SKY brand model rockets but in a trademarked wrapper.
The MPC / Round 2 models use licensed images of the Warner Brothers cartoon characters, the rock band KISS and Star Trek.
They also have some "generic" designs: Red Giant, Lunar Shuttle and G.T.S. 1.
MPC / Round 2 have also brought back the old plastic MPC Vostok and Titan IIIC.
Go HERE to see some of them.