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  1. #1
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    Must have rockets in a person's collection

    What do you all think are the must have rockets to have in a collection?

    Are they the classic kits from Estes like the Der Red Max, Bertha, Mosquito, etc..

    And do you build and fly one stock, and then hot rod another?

    Just started on my Der Red max and a Mini Max, and got to thinking about all the old classics that are still around and capturing the hearts and minds of us new rocketeers.


  2. #2
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    ALL OF THEM!

    as long as SHE WHO MUST BE OBEYED does not find out

    __________________
    John A. Lee O.S.L.
    Alamo Rocketeers NAR Section 661
    NAR 87285, L1 8 March 2008
    TRA 03040, L1 8 March 2008

    Photos of the "Fleet": http://www.flickr.com/photos/23694991@N03/

    I used to tell Mom, "...I want to fly rockets when I grow up!":cool2:

    She said, "Make up your mind, you can't do both!":cry:

  3. #3
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    I am really keen on building classic designs, and if I see a rocket that I like from a particular series, then I usually want to build and fly them all. I was on hiatus from the hobby from 1971 to 2004, a span of 33 years. So much cool stuff happened during that period that, in a sense, I want to go back in time and experience what I missed. Most vintage rockets are all brand-new to me! So I have been doing that for the past 7 years.

    When I flew model rockets in the 1960s, they were all from Estes Industries. (All five of them.) I carried my Estes catalogs around with me all day long and I loved everything in them, even though I only got to build a handful. I have always loved model rocketry (even before I learned that there was an actual hobby for it) and that never waned. I hung up my microclips after 4 years of participation (basically, all through high school) because my life was going through major transitions, things were too unsettled and there were too many other demands on my time and money. I thought that the break would only be temporary, but one thing led to another and by the time that I got back to it, more than three decades had passed. I wanted to pick right up where I left off in 1971, and for the most part that is what I have done. I have also been keenly interested in all of the developments that took place in the hobby over the years, and I am very interested in all of the new things that have come up during my current period of involvement, too; I don't just live in the past.

    I haven't just been focused on Estes Industries rockets, though. I am also fascinated by the rockets from other companies from the era that I never got to learn about. My biggest project has been to build a clone of every kit that Flight Systems, Inc. produced during their operations from 1967 to 1994. There were only 30 of them, so it's a manageable number. I have also been taken with the Estes Mini Brute kits from the 1970s; I have built several of them, and I intend to build more. This isn't as formal of a project as the FSI one, though. There are other classic rockets from a large number of other companies that I am also itching to build, too, in addition to current ones from companies today.

    So as you can see, my particular list of "must-haves" is derived from my particular interests and obsessions, and this mental "list" changes gradually over time. I think that the same is true of most people in the hobby. I truly like all types of rockets; if it is powered by a reaction motor, then I'm for it! The type that I am most immediately attracted to, though, are sounding rocket designs, both scale and scale-like. But they are far from being the only types that I like (and buy)!
    Mark S. Kulka NAR 86134 L1, ASTRE 471, Adirondack Mtns., NY
    Opinions Unfettered by Logic • Advice Unsullied by Erudition • Rocketry Without Pity
    In the forest no one can hear you order a grande caffè misto.
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  4. #4
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    I am slowly rebuilding those Estes rockets I lusted after or had in my younger days: Saturn v, red stone, black brant, big Bertha, alien explorer as examples. I also used to love looking through the catalog dreaming of which one I was going to build. To me those are the ones I really wanted when I started to get back into this.

    Then I realized that there are a TON of awesome rockets out there! So pick what you like and you will have your must have list!

  5. #5
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    I have to echo what a few others have said already. There were quite a few rockets that existed back in the day that couldn't afford or wasn't interested in at the time, so I'm playing catchup now.

    If there was any 'must haves', I would say try one of every type of genre. Boost gliders, payloaders, scale, stagers, futuristic, sport, odd roc, 13mm, 18mm, 24mm, RTFs to scratch builds. Just starting with that will keep you busy for a while.

    FC
    I love the internet! All the whining and discontent of real life, minus the arrest record of administering 2x4s to the face.


    Green Bones and SRAM for me....
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  6. #6
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    I BARed a little over a year ago, and I went on a tear playing catch up and rebuilding my old fleet. I turned them out about 1 or 2 a week for a few months.

    To me, if I lost my collection and had to start AGAIN

    1 big bertha
    2 redmax
    3 optima
    4 initiator
    5 Semroc SLS Brighton (the favorite one in my fleet - a really big bertha)

    I have more, and a few of my own designs I have become quite attached to, but these are the must haves.

    I am focusing on mid power at the moment but I generally have a LPR on the bench at all times.

  7. #7
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    All I can say is... Big Daddy...
    Darkside Rocketry:dark: Soon to Come!

    "Getting bored with those rockets? Time to switch sides!"

    "Get yourself a Darksider!"

  8. #8
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    Orbital Transport, Interceptor, V-2, Saturn V, SR-71, Klingon Battle Cruiser (the Enterprise looks dorky as a rocket but the KBC looks badass), Space Shuttle (full stack with gliding orbiter).
    Vince P.
    Occasional NARHAMster shower-upper.

  9. #9
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    Scratch builds!!! + Estes Saturn V
    I don't always fly rockets,... But when I do, I get them back. (The most interesting man in the world TV commercial voice)

  10. #10
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    For me, it seems to be anything made out of BT-80. I've been picking up OOP kits where I can. Scored a Phoenix and a Shadow unbuilt. I'd built them as a kid, and still have them. But I wanted another crack at finishing them better. It seems to be easier and cheaper to clone, I did a few phoenix's for the cost of the bagged kit. I'm going that way with the Super Big Bertha now.

    I don't think any particular kit is a 'must have' by itself. Whatever floats your boat at the moment is what you should build.

  11. #11
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    Anything with the name Fliskits or Semroc.

    Love those guys.
    Dave Brunsting | NAR 85879 | TRA 12369
    L1 - 11/04/07, Three Oaks, MI | L2 - 7/25/09, Muskegon, MI
    Michiana Rocketry
    Notre Dame Rocket Team Mentor

  12. #12
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    Just a few

    Fiskits -Rockstar..What a great flying rocket on D12-5s
    Fliskits-Deuces Wild.. I shouldnt have to explain if ya dont know why.
    Estes-Stormcaster..Big bang for the buck.
    Semroc..Anything,great quality kits!
    Scotty Dog Scratchers
    There are others,but these are my favorites.
    NAR 90998
    SAM 0322
    Give Blood!
    Everything there is to know , is to know what you don't know.
    Somedays its hard to stay centered on being eccentric.
    I like Fat-Bottomed Rockets
    Temple of the Dog

  13. #13
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    For me it's Big Bertha and Orbital Xport. I would like to have a Starship Vega to.
    Jeff Vegh
    TRA# 03011
    NAR# 92403

  14. #14
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    Fliskits Deuce's Wild and Estes Fat Boy
    Keith
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    "Phineas J. Whoopee you're the Greatest" TT

  15. #15
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    Estes Citation Patriot
    Estes A-20 Demon
    Cenruri Thunder Roc
    Semroc Centurion
    Estes Big Bertha or Astron Ranger
    Estes Alpha
    Centuri Screaming Eagle
    Mike J

    Parachute Rigger


    There is no such thing as a "parasheet".

  16. #16
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    As all of these responses show, this is a highly personalized question. Pretty much everyone will give you a different answer based on their own likes and dislikes, and on their personal experiences in rocketry. And, these answers will likely change over the course of one's rocketry career. For example, when I got back into rocketry about seven years ago or so, I would have said I really want to recreate not just the rockets I had when I first flew in the seventies, but also the models from the 1973 Estes catalog (that I still have AND got Vern Estes' autograph in at NARAM this year) that I would have bought and built IF I had the money to do so back then. The list is pretty extensive - those that I originally had included the Alpha, BT-55 V2, Birdie, Trident and Mini Bomarc. I still have the last two, which survived all these years AND several moves!

    Among those models that I wanted but never got (the full list is too extensive to fully itemize here) include the Skydart, Orbital Transport, X-Ray, Saros, Mars Lander, Mars Snooper and many others.

    Now, after seven years, the list has expanded. I've added low power kits like the Big Bertha / Ranger, Sprint, Centuri Firefly, Hummingbird, Saturn V , Saturn 1B, mid power kits like the Maxi Alpha and Maxi Alpha III, and Big Daddy, and even a couple high power kits. ( yeah, it took a while, but the HPR bug did finally bite me - I'm working on the final design for my L1 cert rocket - a 3" tube fin model.

    So trust me - a list of must-have models is not only going to differ from rocketeer to rocketeer, but is even a moving target for each person as the go along.
    Greg Poehlein

    Member of Launch Crue - http://launchcrue.org/

    Hint #1: Do not use magician's flash paper for recovery wadding!

    Hint #2: Clean your shoes after flyin' in that cow pasture - that ain't no dirt clod on the sole!

  17. #17
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    TRUE

    Quote Originally Posted by gpoehlein View Post
    As all of these responses show, this is a highly personalized question. Pretty much everyone will give you a different answer based on their own likes and dislikes, and on their personal experiences in rocketry. And, these answers will likely change over the course of one's rocketry career. For example, when I got back into rocketry about seven years ago or so, I would have said I really want to recreate not just the rockets I had when I first flew in the seventies, but also the models from the 1973 Estes catalog (that I still have AND got Vern Estes' autograph in at NARAM this year) that I would have bought and built IF I had the money to do so back then. The list is pretty extensive - those that I originally had included the Alpha, BT-55 V2, Birdie, Trident and Mini Bomarc. I still have the last two, which survived all these years AND several moves!

    Among those models that I wanted but never got (the full list is too extensive to fully itemize here) include the Skydart, Orbital Transport, X-Ray, Saros, Mars Lander, Mars Snooper and many others.

    Now, after seven years, the list has expanded. I've added low power kits like the Big Bertha / Ranger, Sprint, Centuri Firefly, Hummingbird, Saturn V , Saturn 1B, mid power kits like the Maxi Alpha and Maxi Alpha III, and Big Daddy, and even a couple high power kits. ( yeah, it took a while, but the HPR bug did finally bite me - I'm working on the final design for my L1 cert rocket - a 3" tube fin model.

    So trust me - a list of must-have models is not only going to differ from rocketeer to rocketeer, but is even a moving target for each person as the go along.:p
    TRUE. 1960-70s Fliskits,Nope!
    NAR 90998
    SAM 0322
    Give Blood!
    Everything there is to know , is to know what you don't know.
    Somedays its hard to stay centered on being eccentric.
    I like Fat-Bottomed Rockets
    Temple of the Dog

  18. #18
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    Estes Astron Scout

    wick
    wick
    NAR L2

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by RodRocket View Post
    What do you all think are the must have rockets to have in a collection?
    My collection consists of 50+ rockets and only 3 of them are kits. So in my opinion, your collection is defined by whatever you like the most. Not what everybody else likes the most. So as you can see, my "must haves" are the ones I designed and built myself. Occasionally I'll invest in a kit because I always liked it and never built it before but that's about as far as that goes.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by wickball View Post
    Estes Astron Scout

    wick
    Yup, plus a Rock-A-Chute Mark II, a Model Missiles Aerobee and a Centuri Aero Dart. I have Retro-Repros kits of all four.
    Mark S. Kulka NAR 86134 L1, ASTRE 471, Adirondack Mtns., NY
    Opinions Unfettered by Logic • Advice Unsullied by Erudition • Rocketry Without Pity
    In the forest no one can hear you order a grande caffè misto.
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  21. #21
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    Thumbs up

    Yea, I knew it would be an individual question. Some will be more a scale rocket person and others enjoy the sport models. Just wondered what others have always had in their collection. Even if it gets lost, or a flight doesn't go as planned, it is the rocket or rockets that will be replaced.

    Me, I like 'em all. And going through the same moving target of models I want.

    See ya,
    Rod

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by gpoehlein View Post
    For example, when I got back into rocketry about seven years ago or so, I would have said I really want to recreate not just the rockets I had when I first flew in the seventies, but also the models from the 1973 Estes catalog (that I still have AND got Vern Estes' autograph in at NARAM this year) that I would have bought and built IF I had the money to do so back then.
    It's funny how that first Estes (or Centuri) catalog seems to "imprint" on so many of us. For me, it's the 1981 Estes. A huge percentage of my favorite rockets come from that catalog.

    But for "must haves" that every rocketeer should own, my list would be: Big Bertha, Der Red Max, Mosquito, and Alpha.

    Those are classics that have been around for decades, and most rocketeers recognize them immediately-- most of us have built one or more (or all) of them at some time.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cosmotiger View Post
    It's funny how that first Estes (or Centuri) catalog seems to "imprint" on so many of us. For me, it's the 1981 Estes. A huge percentage of my favorite rockets come from that catalog.

    But for "must haves" that every rocketeer should own, my list would be: Big Bertha, Der Red Max, Mosquito, and Alpha.

    Those are classics that have been around for decades, and most rocketeers recognize them immediately-- most of us have built one or more (or all) of them at some time.
    I agree those are classics. Its strange that while I have had all of those, I have only ever built mosquitos. I've never seen one after the launch button was pushed.
    __________________
    John A. Lee O.S.L.
    Alamo Rocketeers NAR Section 661
    NAR 87285, L1 8 March 2008
    TRA 03040, L1 8 March 2008

    Photos of the "Fleet": http://www.flickr.com/photos/23694991@N03/

    I used to tell Mom, "...I want to fly rockets when I grow up!":cool2:

    She said, "Make up your mind, you can't do both!":cry:

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAL3 View Post
    I agree those are classics. Its strange that while I have had all of those, I have only ever built mosquitos. I've never seen one after the launch button was pushed.
    Launch those buggers on MicroMaxx motors. They'll still put in good flights and you'll actually get them back.

    I simply cannot (or at least don't want to) participate in this hobby unless I have at least one Astron Sprite, one Alpha and one Midget in my possession. That's 3/5s of my original rocket fleet from back when I was in high school. I like any rocket that has the word "Astron" in its name, including the new millennium Semroc Astron and the Estes Astron Elliptic.
    Mark S. Kulka NAR 86134 L1, ASTRE 471, Adirondack Mtns., NY
    Opinions Unfettered by Logic • Advice Unsullied by Erudition • Rocketry Without Pity
    In the forest no one can hear you order a grande caffè misto.
    Warning: I brake for invisible squirrels

  25. #25
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    Der Red Max
    Orbital Transporter
    Uss Andromeda
    Sky Bolt
    and anything with Alpha in the name.
    "Enter some random clever catch phrase here." ~Me


    TRA 05571 lvl 2 LOC Mini Magg, Loki J-528
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  26. #26
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    I've been scratching this itch since I got back into the hobby last December.

    The ones I wanted most were the Centurion, Long Tom and Centuar. They were my "must haves."

    A couple that I haven't gotten or built (but will at some point) are the Astron Sprite and Drifter.

    The Geo Sat LV is on my list but it's fading a bit. The Taurus Fleet Ship has a lot of the same characteristics (finishing one now) and seems to fill that hole very nicely. A fine model rocket.
    Last edited by foamy; 7th November 2011 at 02:48 PM.

  27. #27
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    There are so many kits that have been done over the years that I don't think it is reasonable to have a definitive list. Plus different people have different tastes. When I started in model rockets almost 50 years ago the biggest engine we had was a B, and the biggest Estes kit had a 1.6" diameter tube. We could build 18mm diameter rockets and put a B in them, or we could build 1.3" diameter rockets and launch them on an A. A small rocket on a B would go out of sight or close to it, a big rocket on an A would give a slow launch that wouldn't go too high and was easy to recover.

    So first a person has to decide which they prefer- small and high vs. big and low. Then a person has to decide what motor class they want to launch. Now that we have high power rocketry there are plenty of people that probably never launch anything less than level 2. Or OTOH my local club uses a launch site that is limited to G motors and below. Of course from A to G is still a wide range.

    I think for most people they should have a range of rocket sizes for launch. If a particular launch day turns out to be windy, they can launch the low altitude stuff. If it is clear and calm then go for the high altitude stuff. If their budget doesn't allow for a full day of launching K motors, then launch a lot of smaller stuff and finish with a few larger motors. Mix it up a little to keep things interesting.

    I think it is reasonable for a person to have some of the designs of the old days so they can have an appreciation for where we started. In model rocket terms this would be some of the older designs from Estes and Centuri. The Alpha, Big Bertha, etc. are always good kits. In highpower terms this might be some of the basic kits from Aerotech or LOC. I like the LOC designs such as the Vulcanite and HiTech 45.

    But OTOH it is possible and certainly valid for a person to have a big fleet and not have any of the classic kits. You could have all scratchbuilts of your own designs, or all scale models, or all fantasy models, or all oddrocs, or whatever. We have such tremendous diversity in rockets that there is way more than enough for everybody to find what they personally like.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkII View Post
    Launch those buggers on MicroMaxx motors. They'll still put in good flights and you'll actually get them back.

    I simply cannot (or at least don't want to) participate in this hobby unless I have at least one Astron Sprite, one Alpha and one Midget in my possession. That's 3/5s of my original rocket fleet from back when I was in high school. I like any rocket that has the word "Astron" in its name, including the new millennium Semroc Astron and the Estes Astron Elliptic.
    Astron Outlaw?
    Darkside Rocketry:dark: Soon to Come!

    "Getting bored with those rockets? Time to switch sides!"

    "Get yourself a Darksider!"

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Socknic View Post
    Astron Outlaw?
    I knew this was coming. The Launchables Starter Set is one of the better E2X launch sets that I have seen. If I was just starting out, this is probably the one I would get. At least it would be a tough call between it and the Alpha III SS. The Astron Outlaw has decent styling and a nice size (21.5" l, 1.34" w) and the Black Diamond is an Estes Viking with better graphics. (And the Viking is not a bad little rocket to begin with.) If you were going to apply the "Astron" name to any existing or recent Starter Set, this would be the one.
    Mark S. Kulka NAR 86134 L1, ASTRE 471, Adirondack Mtns., NY
    Opinions Unfettered by Logic • Advice Unsullied by Erudition • Rocketry Without Pity
    In the forest no one can hear you order a grande caffè misto.
    Warning: I brake for invisible squirrels

  30. #30
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    My comment was purely based on the plastic fins... When I started rocketry in '09, I got that very set. Lost my Outlaw in a small launch field, and lost my Black Diamond over a highway on a C6-5.

    Darkside Rocketry:dark: Soon to Come!

    "Getting bored with those rockets? Time to switch sides!"

    "Get yourself a Darksider!"

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