Saturday, July 4, 2015

5th Anniversary of the Building Blog!

Here's the first post from July 4, 2010:

"While I've been active posting on The Rocketry Forum and EMRR, I wanted a place to archive my construction methods and builds. 
Everyone has their own "proven" ways of building rockets. This blog is not written to say I have all the right techniques. I just know what works for me and am always open for a better way to get it done.
Who knows? Someone might just pick up a new technique or be inspired to improve on what is written here.

In some posts, you might see a complete build from start to finish, then a follow up with launch results.
Other days, I could post the results of tests using different masking tapes. 
Let me know where to take it!"
FIVE YEARS, 3,626 Posts! 
Boy do I need a hobby, that or a date.

A favor to ask:
I make very little money doing these blog posts. 
If you have learned something or just enjoy the blog,
Click on the advertisements (no obligation to buy, just click and return!)
Purchase an Odd'l Rockets kit or launch accessory.
Make a bid on a finished model on EBAY
That's right, a shameless plug!

Incorrect Decals in the Estes Mercury Redstone Kit? Pre-Build

Before I get started on this post:
Understand I don't want to nit-pick. I was excited to finally get the Centuri sized Mercury Redstone, re-issued by Estes. The detail on the Centuri plastic capsule is very good. 
I bought two of the new kits, one will get a 24mm upgrade, the second kit will end up as a Little Joe test vehicle.
There are some incorrect details. Maybe this is why the face card and website description don't mention it as "scale" but an "Historic" model.

On the forums, questions were raised about the decals in the re-issued Mercury Redstone kit. While the kit version is the Liberty Bell 7 Gus Grissom flight, the MR7 decal block near the top of the fins should read MR8. It is confusing, the Mercury Redstone flight number and rocket designations don't match up. 

Check out the graph listings from Wikipedia:
"Mercury-Redstone flights were designated with the prefix "MR-". Confusingly, the Mercury-Redstone boosters used for these flights were designated in the same way, usually with different numbers. (In photographs, this designation can sometimes be seen on the rocket's tail end.) 
Flight designationRocket designationLaunch dateComments

MR-3MR-7May 5, 1961Carried astronaut Alan Shepard
MR-4MR-8July 21, 1961Carried astronaut Gus Grissom

Here's the MR7 decals from the new version of the kit. It should have read MR8. As I understand it, the previous Liberty Bell kit (#2167 with the plastic fins) also had the MR7 decals.

The red color on the Estes kit decal sheet looks a bit pink. It is interesting to note, the decal "red" matches the shade of the red plastic molded parts.
The vertical UNITED STATES font is too bold.

To see the correct font use, check out Jim Pursley's website and his scale Mercury Redstone - Amazing Work! CLICK HERE
Look close at the "S" in STATES to see what I mean.

The detail on the Centuri capsule molds is great. But, the window lines are round, not a trapezoid on the Liberty Bell 7 capsule.
The pull out plugs are now formed from wood and cardstock. The original Centuri version had plastic details.
For fun, check out the original Centuri instructions on JimZs: CLICK HERE

The new kit has a single 15" parachute for both the body and capsule/tower. I'll add a 12" chute for the capsule. The capsule will angled to land with the base down protecting the tower from damage. See the second page of the Centuri instructions for details.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Revell / Estes Air Rocket

Here's your rocket escape video for the day.
Kixi (I assume that's her name) assembles and "launches" a Revell / Estes Air rocket.


It's not English, but that almost makes it funnier. The real action starts at 6:00 in.

This Revell branded product is the same as the Estes Rocket-Star Air Rocket Starter Set. Somehow the rocket sitting on the table isn't quite the bulbous diameter of the rocket on the box.
I doubt this video did much for sales.

FlisKits Mecury Redstone Decal Fix and Finished

On one side of my FlisKits Mercury Redstone the UNITED STATES decals transferred fine. On the other side, the word UNITED broke apart.

After redrawing the larger and thinner font for the new Estes Mercury Redstone I decided to fix the bold decals on the Flis version.
The black band separating the UNITED STATES didn't reach all the way around the BT-5 body. That would also be home printed.

I first tried masking tape to lift the old decals but these were really stuck!
It took some gentle scraping with my knife to remove them.

I simply reduced the large UNITED STATES from the redraw I did for the Estes kit. (The new release Estes Mercury Redstone is coming up!)

The UNITED STATES decal font in the Flis version was also too bold.

The black band was placed first, the UNITED STATES was placed on either side.

Why is a Copyright notice going through the picture?
Some vendors use my pictures to sell their kits. I'm just tired of being ripped off without (at least) a name credit.

Now the build can be considered finished!
The weight of the UNITED STATES decal isn't as bold and closer to scale.
The plastic tower spike broke off a while back. I'll replace it someday.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Estes Crossbow SST #7207, Finished

I bought this one back in 2009 when WalMart was selling them as boxed kits. It was cheap, probably only $6.00 or $7.00 dollars. With Estes bringing back the kit, I pulled it from the build pile.

The design is downscale based on the discontinued Satellite Interceptor. On the Crossbow SST, the smaller tubes are missing on the outside edges of the wings.
It's a great looking BT-20 based model. This older version has two lower fins (with the F-00339 decal) making it a five fin position model.
The larger Satellite Interceptor had red and black decals instead of the purple and black.
In the third picture, that tube wrapped canopy decal was a major design element.
You'll never see me lose this one on a C6-5!

More Added To Estes Sale

Many more kits have been added to the Fourth Of July Specials on the Estes website.
I was surprised to see the Cosmic Interceptor for only $16.99 and the Asteroid Hunter for $8.99.
The Maxi Alpha 3 is $15.59 and boasts "Proudly Made In The USA". Huh? I thought everything (except engines) was made in China. The most recent Saturn V was produced and boxed up in Penrose. 

Bundles are back! See it all, CLICK HERE 

In the Coming Soon section is the Sahara.
It looks like a cross between a short Argent with Partizon fins.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Estes Crossbow SST #7207, Build Part 7, Decals

Light coats of white followed, sanding between coats.
Then the final heavier coat.

This is an easy one to paint, it's just gloss white overall.
There are a LOT of decals on this one. The decal placement picture in the instructions is vague. There is no wide purple band decal to go under the wing.
TIP: The two Caution decals go on either side of the front.
Set the first one down and wrap a strip of paper around the tube to help line up the opposite decal.

The long purple line with the "2" is tricky. It breaks at the nose cone seam.
TIP: Push the nose cone all the way into the tube. Set the entire length of the decal down, the break in the purple line goes on the seam.
Cut the break in the decal after it dries.

I mentioned earlier there is no second set of wide purple bands on the decal sheet. The instructions show the wide band on the upper and lower wing surfaces.

There are plenty of extras with no placement shown for them.
I used some of the thinner purple stripes to give some interest to the underside of the rocket.
I didn't use all the decals. It might have ended up looking too busy.