My first skill level five rocket

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#31 My first skill level five rocket

Post by Commander » Sun, 03 Apr 16, 00:17 am

Here's the parts check on my latest project. This one is kinda special to me since I have never built an Estes skill level five kit. There weren't very many and usually were expensive (by the standards of the day). So finally I began the final skill level assault.
Parts check.jpg
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Any guesses what it is?
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luke strawwalker
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#32 Re: My first skill level five rocket

Post by luke strawwalker » Sun, 12 Apr 20, 20:19 pm

Nice... Do they sell that cone separately?? I could make a super cool Buck Rogers in the 25th Century "scorpion fighter" with that cone...

Been tinkering with ideas for a flying version of the Mandalorian's "Razor Crest" ship as well, but I'm tinkering with ideas for the front end...

Later! OL J R
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#33 Re: My first skill level five rocket

Post by Commander » Mon, 13 Apr 20, 17:31 pm

Yes, they sell it, but as far as I can tell, not individually. It is a part of their Sci-fi Nose Cone Assortment.

In searching their website, I came across an interesting item. They are selling the clay nose weights at the low, low price of 10 for $5.99. I have a collection of those, as I never use them in my builds. I have come across many older rockets where that clay weight has dried over the years and the weight is now lose and rolling around the nose cone. As can be ascertained by this build topic alone, one could see were my concern for the nose weight to stay in place for many years may come into the equation.
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#34 Re: My first skill level five rocket

Post by Commander » Mon, 13 Apr 20, 18:50 pm

One of the reasons I do a (hopefully) final silver (or in this case aluminum) coat is to look for any imperfections.
101_1398.JPG
101_1398.JPG (330.7 KiB) Viewed 1771 times
Of course this can lead to a very bad case of OCD. Sometimes I just have to say enough is enough and let the rocket lift off the pad. It's strange, at least I think so, that the dings and dents my rocket gets from flight don't nearly concern me as much after a build. On the other hand, let a cat knock one off the shelf.... :twisted:
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#35 Re: My first skill level five rocket

Post by luke strawwalker » Wed, 29 Apr 20, 07:06 am

Yeah, when i built my TLP "Maverick" missile, it had clay for the nose weight... thing was, it was more like a dried out square rock than clay-- I reconstituted it with a few drops of water and about an hour of massaging and mooshing it, but I wouldn't trust the stuff long term. After I installed it in the nose, I squirted a liberal dose of gorilla foaming glue in there, "swished" it around to coat everything, and put a drop of water on top of it to make sure it foamed up good, locking the clay securely in place behind a "firewall" of hardened foaming glue. Should be there forever now.

Later! OL J R :)
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#36 Re: My first skill level five rocket

Post by luke strawwalker » Wed, 29 Apr 20, 07:22 am

Commander wrote:
Mon, 13 Apr 20, 18:50 pm
One of the reasons I do a (hopefully) final silver (or in this case aluminum) coat is to look for any imperfections.

101_1398.JPG

Of course this can lead to a very bad case of OCD. Sometimes I just have to say enough is enough and let the rocket lift off the pad. It's strange, at least I think so, that the dings and dents my rocket gets from flight don't nearly concern me as much after a build. On the other hand, let a cat knock one off the shelf.... :twisted:
Looks REALLY good... silver shows EVERYTHING, that's for sure!

What I usually do is give stuff a good solid coat of the WM "Colorplace" primer, let it dry thoroughly, sand it with 220 and then 440 grit, then switch to 440 grit and "damp sand" the parts by dipping the wet/dry paper in a small bowl of water, shaking or daubing off the excess on a towel (just any "hanging drops" of water, the paper needs to be pretty wet) and then sanding in overlapping circles. As the paper sands off primer, the dust combines with the moisture to make a steadily thickening "sanding mud" that actually lubricates the paper and polishes the primer coat as you sand. Once it starts getting thick, I wipe it off with a damp paper towel, wash the paper, rub a thumb over the grit underwater to release the stuck primer particles in the paper grit, and then daub the paper off a touch of excess water and go again. I inspect the parts by holding them up to a distant light source, either overhead or preferably a brightly lit window. Look down the part at the "glint" of light off the part reflected at a low angle by looking down the part at the distant light source or window... this "glint" (technically a "specular reflection" I suppose) will show up any and all imperfections, even ones you can't feel or "see" just looking at it in direct lighting from above or behind you with the part in front of you. If the "glint" is wavy or grainy or has a dent or low or high spot, it's instanty apparent. It's basically the same process by which a CD or DVD works-- only your using your eyes and a distant light source to detect the imperfections in the surface, instead of a laser and light detector to pick up the information encoded in the reflections etched into the disk... Just slowly rotate the part or swivel it slightly to allow the glint of reflected light to play across the surface, and you'll see EXACTLY where work needs to be done.

I've gotten grey primer to basically "shine" by doing this, IF you want to take it that far. Basically it's at whatever level you feel you've done enough to be happy with it. Once you have the primer surface "perfect" (to your level of perfection) then so long as you spray the paint on right, the paint will be "perfect" and won't require ANY "color sanding" to get a good finish... The paint will still bond to slick-smooth primer; primer has microscopic holes in it sufficient to create "tooth" for the paint to bond to it. I've had NO problems with lifting or paint turning loose from even extremely smooth primer layers... Just be careful putting the color coats on so you don't get drips, runs, or orange peel and you're golden-- the paint job will look terrific with NO color sanding!

Silver is also the hardest color to do and get to come out right-- most silvers simply don't hold up to handling or the rigors of flight (well, LANDING anyway) and quickly get marred or messed up, PARTICULARLY if one's trying to achieve a "mirror finish"... You can spend a small fortune on spray silvers or "mirror finish" type silvers, but basically I just do a basic auto-type silver (Duplicolor or equivalent rather than low-grade rattle can stuff) for silver, and if I *REALLY* wanted to do a mirror finish, I think I'd just go with adhesive mirror-finish mylar "Trim Monokote" and call it good... spray stuff just doesn't work for mirror finish unless you want to spend $100 bucks for a 3 step process spray can system...

Later! OL J R :)
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#37 Re: My first skill level five rocket

Post by Commander » Fri, 01 May 20, 00:41 am

luke strawwalker wrote:
Wed, 29 Apr 20, 07:22 am
...

Silver is also the hardest color to do and get to come out right-- most silvers simply don't hold up to handling or the rigors of flight (well, LANDING anyway) and quickly get marred or messed up, PARTICULARLY if one's trying to achieve a "mirror finish"... You can spend a small fortune on spray silvers or "mirror finish" type silvers, but basically I just do a basic auto-type silver (Duplicolor or equivalent rather than low-grade rattle can stuff) for silver, and if I *REALLY* wanted to do a mirror finish, I think I'd just go with adhesive mirror-finish mylar "Trim Monokote" and call it good... spray stuff just doesn't work for mirror finish unless you want to spend $100 bucks for a 3 step process spray can system...
Which is one of the reasons I do a "check print" paint layer with silver. Actually in this case, I believe it is aluminum and not the glossy shiny mirror type silver coat. I had read someplace, maybe the Brodak Dope site, that laying down a coat of silver point out any flaws in your finish work.

As a sad aside, I just visited the Brodak.com site to see if I could find the information and just read that their founder John Brodak recently passed on April 25. Our condolences to all there. :(
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