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  1. #1
    Join Date
    5th November 2013
    Location
    Kenton, Ohio
    Posts
    67

    A couple of scratch builds: ThunderStorm and SaberCat

    I'm not one to "toot my own horn", so I debated with myself to even post these, especially seeing some of the "artwork" that you guys create. You might consider this my first build thread. I don't have many pictures, so go easy on me.

    First up is ThunderStorm. I was showing my 8 year old granddaughter some of my designs that needed names. The first name she said was "ThunderStorm." "I like that.", I told her. She had a smile from ear to ear.
    Here is the stripped down ORK file:ThunderStorm-stripped.ork
    I couldn't figure out a way to add the canopy in OR, so I left it off.
    On to the pictures.
    Pic one shows the layout of the fins and nose cone. The nose cone was my first lathe project on my own. I had a little trouble with the tip, so I improvised with a PNC50 that I had. I liked how it turned out.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Pic two: Body tube. I have access to a wide format HP color plotter that uses 2" core rolls. So a lot of my designs utilize these tubes. The tubes themselves are 2.25"OD x 2"ID with spirals that need filled. This particular tube is 24" long.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Pic three: Motor mount. I sometimes call myself Trailer Trash rocketry. If I don't have to buy and can make it myself, that's what I'll do. Motor tube made from a tube that was slight larger, so I made it fit around a 29mm motor. Made my own centering rings and balsa tail cone.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Pic four: body tube again: I saw this method in a thread here on the forum and thought I'd try it since I had a long surface to mount. I did use TTW on the main part of the wing.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Pic five: Wing attachment. Not much to say here. Used my homemade fin jig to mount the wings and fins.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    On to the Canopy. Several years ago, I got a free download from Apogee Components that included a sheet of canopies. I had never used any of until now. So I scaled them up to fit my body tube, printed them and cut them out. I tried several styles and came up three.
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    I posed the question to the guys at work and they selected the middle one. I liked that one too.
    Here's the pattern on cardstock:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Apparently you can only post 10 pics at a time. Next post will show the completed rocket (minus paint).


  2. #2
    Join Date
    5th November 2013
    Location
    Kenton, Ohio
    Posts
    67

    ThunderStorm Pics

    Here it is ready for paint. I think I'm going to go with a black on black look. Flat or satin main color with gloss trim and accents. I designed the ThunderStorm to fly on 29/40-120 reloads.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by kmcquown; 12th April 2017 at 06:20 PM. Reason: added motor size

  3. #3
    Join Date
    5th November 2013
    Location
    Kenton, Ohio
    Posts
    67

    SaberCat

    I have even less pictures of this one. Concept is basically the same as ThunderStorm.
    Pic one: Parts (minus nose cone and shock cord mount) layout of wings/fins, motor mount and 12" long body tube. I decided not to do the tail cone transition. I mitered the tail end of the body tube 15 degrees instead. I also used an Estes 29mm motor retention system.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    The canopy:
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    wow that was fast. (I told you I had even less pictures) Not sure of a paint scheme. Maybe silver with black and red trim.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    That's it. Once these two are painted, I'll post more pics. Thanks for your time.
    Almost forgot. Here's the stripped ORK file:SaberCat-stripped.ork

  4. #4
    Join Date
    14th April 2015
    Location
    Enumclaw, WA
    Posts
    1,482
    Very nice!
    Ryan Winslow
    Level 1 5/28/16 3" kitbash Patriot H128W
    Level 2 5/13/17 Polecat 4" BBIII J270W

  5. #5
    Join Date
    15th October 2015
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    1,204
    Sweet! Those are awesome designs!
    NASA success rate since 2000: 94.7%
    SpaceX Falcon 9 success rate: 94.7%
    My personal success rate: 91.1% <--- new goal to hit 95%
    My YouTube channel

  6. #6
    Join Date
    24th January 2009
    Location
    Littleton, Colorado
    Posts
    3,952
    Airplane rockets RULE!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    5th November 2013
    Location
    Kenton, Ohio
    Posts
    67
    Thanks guys. Can't wait to fly them. If I can't get out tonight, Friday is the next best day. I have a couple of G53's ready to go.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    27th August 2011
    Location
    West Tennessee
    Posts
    2,587
    Both are really great birds.
    Looking forward to seeing them in paint.
    It is amazing what you can do when you don't have a choice.

    Smart people learn from their mistakes.
    REALLY SMART PEOPLE learn from OTHERS' mistakes.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    15th September 2009
    Location
    Silverton, Oregon
    Posts
    783
    These are both really cool, but I think Thunderstorm has nicer lines. Very nice!

    Dan Feller
    Silver Crest Rocket Club

  10. #10
    Join Date
    4th October 2014
    Posts
    609
    both very cool designs and names. Ironically, the nose cone you made for the ThunderStorm looks like the tooth of a SaberCat.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    5th November 2013
    Location
    Kenton, Ohio
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    67
    Quote Originally Posted by GlenP View Post
    both very cool designs and names. Ironically, the nose cone you made for the ThunderStorm looks like the tooth of a SaberCat.
    You've got something there. Both body tubes are the same size. Maybe I'll switch them out and see how they look.

    Well, I tried it. Won't work since the one nose cone has the canopy on it. I could always make another nose cone.
    Last edited by kmcquown; 8th May 2017 at 12:41 PM. Reason: Replied to a reply.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    14th July 2015
    Location
    Randolph, NJ
    Posts
    2,766
    Nifty designs. I especially like the fin design on the ThunderStorm.

    Do you use any particular technique to figure out the exact shape of your canopy cutouts? I'm thinking especially of how you get the curved bottom edges to lie flat against the BT or nose cone.
    Recently completed: upscale Quinstar and APRO Lander II; in progress: Starship Avalon; next up: Accur8-skinned Trajector and Ragnarok Orbital Interceptor
    My photo albums: fleet pics and OR Models

  13. #13
    Join Date
    29th June 2011
    Location
    Middle of Missouri
    Posts
    838
    Sweet. They would look slick with some Gerry Anderson style figures to pose with them: now, who here can make such things? It won't be me.
    later, FSW “There are a thousand things that can happen when you go light a rocket engine, and only one of them is good.” — Tom Mueller, SpaceX propulsion chief, Air and Space magazine article, January 2012

  14. #14
    Join Date
    5th November 2013
    Location
    Kenton, Ohio
    Posts
    67
    Quote Originally Posted by neil_w View Post
    Nifty designs. I especially like the fin design on the ThunderStorm.

    Do you use any particular technique to figure out the exact shape of your canopy cutouts? I'm thinking especially of how you get the curved bottom edges to lie flat against the BT or nose cone.
    I mentioned in Post#1 that I got a free download from Apogee Components that included a sheet of canopies. These canopies were made for 13mm-24mm tubes. I just scaled it up to the size of my body tubes. I cut several of them out and taped them on to see which ones I liked best. Then I printed them on card-stock and glued them on. Once applied, I brushed them with a coat of Mod-Podge.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    5th November 2013
    Location
    Kenton, Ohio
    Posts
    67

    Sabercat Inspiration

    Well, I started painting the Sabercat a couple of days ago. Not much to see other than primer. I knew I got my inspiration from somewhere out there on the web. I finally found it here. I think I'm going to go with that paint scheme (or close to it).
    In case the link doesn't work, Click image for larger version. 

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  16. #16
    Join Date
    5th November 2013
    Location
    Kenton, Ohio
    Posts
    67
    Here's a couple more pictures of the progress.
    Primer and Base Color:
    Click image for larger version. 

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  17. #17
    Join Date
    27th August 2011
    Location
    West Tennessee
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    2,587
    Looking good so far
    It is amazing what you can do when you don't have a choice.

    Smart people learn from their mistakes.
    REALLY SMART PEOPLE learn from OTHERS' mistakes.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    5th November 2013
    Location
    Kenton, Ohio
    Posts
    67
    More progress. Going slow.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  19. #19
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    27th August 2011
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    West Tennessee
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    Like the blue.
    Didn't notice the "double" nose cone before. Looks a little bit like a bullet. I haven't seen anything quite like that before (some ramjet nose cones, but not quite like yours.)
    I think it is going to go great on this rocket. Are you going to paint the sections different colors?
    It is amazing what you can do when you don't have a choice.

    Smart people learn from their mistakes.
    REALLY SMART PEOPLE learn from OTHERS' mistakes.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    5th November 2013
    Location
    Kenton, Ohio
    Posts
    67
    Quote Originally Posted by BABAR View Post
    Like the blue.
    Didn't notice the "double" nose cone before. Looks a little bit like a bullet. I haven't seen anything quite like that before (some ramjet nose cones, but not quite like yours.)
    I think it is going to go great on this rocket. Are you going to paint the sections different colors?
    The nose was a result of inexperience on the lathe. Can't quite get the hang of making a point.
    My thinking for Thunderstorm is main color flat black with accents in gloss black. I think I will paint the nose on the nose gloss black. I wasn't sure about the blue until I saw it on the rocket. I'm going to use a black sharpie to outline the canopy sections.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    18th January 2009
    Location
    Near Denver, Colorado
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    298
    Quote Originally Posted by kmcquown View Post
    The nose was a result of inexperience on the lathe. Can't quite get the hang of making a point.
    Rough it out with whatever tools that you are comfortable with and then finish the shaping with sandpaper, it is much more forgiving. I have been known to use a small belt sander to get balsa nose cones into shape.


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