Astro Cam Rehab

All to often a mishap occurs and a rocket gets damaged. Find simple (and not so simple) techniques to get the bird back in the air.
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bernomatic
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#21 Re: Astro Cam Rehab

Post by bernomatic »

One evening while sitting around the Rocket Bunker, I looked upon my Andromeda with woe and dread. I had spray painted the whole body black before I ever saw the Andy X Youtube videos on using Createx Airbrush Colors. Well in one of the videos Andy has talked about having a total loss of one car before he came up with his techniques for using the Airbrush Colors on models. One thing I was hoping was that the tackiness from misapplying the paint would eventually go away. Andy let me know it wasn't going to happen. The model had remained tacky.

This was the second Andromeda I had built in the past five years, the first didn't get to fly or even get to being painted due to an accident that caused the engine hook to rip up the engine mount tube. So I was beginning to despair of ever launching this childhood favorite. I decided to do some experimenting seeing as this would be another complete resand and paint (I had the same problem with a Mars Snooper)

I tried wiping portions of the Andromeda with Acetone, paint thinner, alcohol, and dope thinner. Then after they had dried checking them for tackiness. All removed some of the paint, but with the alcohol I seemed to be getting some results. It seemed like the area wiped with with alcohol was less tacky, and in addition, the alcohol smoothed some of the defects (fingerprints) from handling.

The end result was that, no I couldn't get the tackiness to disappear. On the other hand, the alcohol did smooth out the paint job and therefore I thought might be able to touch up areas of a Airbrush Colors paint job like the scratch on the fin of the Astrocam.

I dipped the end of a Q-Tip in 91% alcohol and gently rubbed the scratched area. Unfortunately it picked up all the color and didn't just smooth out the scratch. This may just be a matter of practice on the technique, but only time will tell. Yet, the repair area did smooth out and blend the paint area with the primer. This meant that all that was needed was a couple of light coats of color to match the rest of the fin.
Astro-Cam scratch repair.JPG
Astro-Cam scratch repair.JPG (64.52 KiB) Viewed 4705 times
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#22 Re: Astro Cam Rehab

Post by bernomatic »

Before working on the fin can anymore I wanted to protect the rest of it from any more dinks. Andy X mentions top coating with a gloss or matte finish spray as soon as possible just for this reason. So I got out the Rustoleum Crystal Clear and painted all of the fin can except for the loose fin and the scratch side of the fin.

Later I repainted the blemished area. All of the fin can was done with the Black paint in a 1:1 ratio with Pledge with future shine.

In the picture below, you can see I had no problem blending the repair area.
Astro-Cam scratch repaired.JPG
Astro-Cam scratch repaired.JPG (145.71 KiB) Viewed 4705 times
I sprayed the repainted area with the 1crstal Clear and removed the loose fin.



TBC
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Astro-Cam less loose fin.JPG
Astro-Cam less loose fin.JPG (147.55 KiB) Viewed 4705 times
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Ghrocketman
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#23 Re: Astro Cam Rehab

Post by Ghrocketman »

The only decent pics I ever got out of my Astrocam 110 were atop the Challenger II launch vehicle using D12-7 and discontinued D11-9 motors.
Never got any decent pics from the 18mm Delta II 'standard' booster and I tried the following motors in it- C6-5, C6-7, C5-3, B8-5, B14-5, B14-6, B6-4, B4-2, and B4-6
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#24 Re: Astro Cam Rehab

Post by bernomatic »

That was the problem with this and I assume the other single picture rockets (CamRoc). It was basically a crap shoot what you would get and you wouldn't find out till after the film was developed, so no adjustments could be made. The only way to try and get some knowledge of what worked when would be to launch two or three rockets on different engines at the same time and compare later.
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luke strawwalker
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#25 Re: Astro Cam Rehab

Post by luke strawwalker »

Yep... flew my AC a lot back in the late 80's and early 90's... pics were very hit-n-miss. Like yours, the fin can started cracking after maybe a dozen flights. Used airplane glue for repair, but eventually the fins bust off. Just a weakness of the design.

I bought a "Maniac" (as the Challenger II became known after they "retooled" the kit with tacky decals, yellow tubes, and blue fin can/nose cone instead of the nicer gold-n-black scheme they'd used before. It was one of the VERY few BT-56 kits Estes sold. The Maniac (sans shitty decals) made a NICE Astrocam carrier and would take some pretty darn good pics on a D12-7... even got some nice horizon shots with the D12-5. Only thing was, the tiny film size of the 110 film meant that the pics were REALLY grainy and fuzzy at the higher altitudes... but they DID give a nice shot.

Never really understood WHY Estes didn't re-create the Astrocam using 35mm film format. Yeah, I know, new tooling and all that, but they already had the DESIGN worked out and could have made it a straight-up BT-60 kit, and with the better film quality, they'd have sold a bunch of them! 110 Film was getting scarce even back when I was flying the thing... it became rare as hens teeth a few years later... while 35mm survived up until the age of digital cams taking over...

Speaking of digital cams, I can understand why Estes came out with a digital camera as crummy as the Oracle-- with its limited memory and proprietary software to get the pics, low resolution, no sound, erases the video if the batteries lose contact or you shut it off, and only a "burst mode" of 3 pics taken in flight in lieu of video if you prefer... They were a day late and a dollar short-- by the time their "technology" was ready to hit the market, rapid development in digital camera technology had passed it by... What I CANNOT understand is, why they didn't come out with a BETTER, NEW IMPROVED product for the "Astrovision", instead of trotting out the same old crappy camera system with the exact same problems (probably the exact same camera) in the "new rocket"...

I talked to John Boren a few years ago at NARAM and he told me that Estes was going to be coming out with some new "plug-n-play" camera product for rocketeers that would be about on-par with the 808 keychain cams that are so prevalent and popular. Guess that turned out to be vaporware as well, because I've never seen or read about one. Heck I see that Tim Van Milligan FINALLY took my advice and started selling a "verified" 808 keychain camera product for rocketeers on the Apogee site... I only suggested that several YEARS ago already! At the time he poo-poo'd the idea... I figured as a retailer, he could get a "bulk deal" on some decent quality cameras that would meet basic specifications for the average rocketry buyer instead of them having to go hunt down something of dubious quality on Feebay... sorta like what bayourat did... but he didn't seem interested. Guess he FINALLY got a source and I see now he sells a couple different models, at a good markup of course... :)

Later! OL J R :)
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#26 Re: Astro Cam Rehab

Post by Joe Wooten »

I'll try to find some of the old Astrocam photos I got with mine. I never launched it with the stock carrier. I always used the BT-56 carrier rocket on a D12. I got a few good ones, including a great photo of the bridge over the Brazos River just east of Glen Rose, TX.

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luke strawwalker
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#27 Re: Astro Cam Rehab

Post by luke strawwalker »

Pretty sure mine are all gone... mostly pics of the farms anyway, nothing *particularly interesting* to anybody but me. Not even sure if they still exist or where they might be if they did... or what condition they'd be in.

Last I saw of them they were probably in a bunch of my stuff in Grandma's attic... stuff my brother has probably done away with by now...

Later! OL J R :)
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#28 Re: Astro Cam Rehab

Post by Commander »

The second broken fin has been removed and replaced following the same procedure as above for the first fin.
Astrocam fin replacement again.JPG
Astrocam fin replacement again.JPG (77.95 KiB) Viewed 4618 times
Astrocam ready for can painting again.JPG
Astrocam ready for can painting again.JPG (107.6 KiB) Viewed 4618 times
Next comes the primer filler, then painting.
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#29 Re: Astro Cam Rehab

Post by Commander »

I thought it was about time that I finish this thread up. With the completion of the painting booth, I decided to go the distance. Here is the fin can repaired and painted with the airbrush colors paint. I gave it a top coat of Rustoleum Acrylic Glaze.
Astro Cam fin can
Astro Cam fin can
1488863281676-2010191628.jpg (1.02 MiB) Viewed 4445 times
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#30 Re: Astro Cam Rehab

Post by Commander »

:o quite a remarkable difference from when I first found it sitting in an old box. The Astro cam looks like it could use a cartridge of 110 film and still be launched to take some pictures.
Finished photo of Astro Cam
Finished photo of Astro Cam
1488864083386977944311.jpg (923.5 KiB) Viewed 4445 times
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