1:40 Scale Blue Origin New Shepard

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wolsen

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Just came across this site a couple days ago and wow was I excited. I’m a fairly amateur model rocketeer and have been scratch building for awhile, but this is my first venture into a near scale scratch model. I haven’t seen many of the New Shepard so thought it’d be fun to share!

The decals are custom printed and applied. The scale is a bit off on the feather decal and there’s some challenges of applying it over the body fins, but I’m fairly happy with this so far. I wished I would have found this site much sooner as there are some great tips and tricks.

Still gotta finish the recovery system (yes, the capsule/NC will separate and land separately of the tube).

(Wish I had a better backdrop for photos, but dining table and some outdoor space is what I’ve got)

 

kuririn

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Welcome to the forum. Did you custom turn that nose cone?
Looking good.
 

Crawf56

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Also, tell us more about the clear fins. And how tall. And what engines. And how you are using a launch rod with the large nosecone (inner hole?).

So glad you could join us. :)
 

wolsen

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The nose cone is custom spun out of a 5"x5" block of styrofoam from HL. I built a jig for carving the rough shape with hot wire cutter, then finished off the rest on a lathe with sandpaper and file to get the shape just right. Its then covered with lightweight WF and sanded to make smooth. Finally coated it with a light coat of 30 min epoxy so it can take spray paint. There's a couple of imperfections in the cone (visible in the pics near the window) where I must have breached the outer coating prior to painting. I did a couple rounds of trying to fix these, but ran into the same issue. I suspect I was a bit aggressive with my sanding or used too low a grit. I eventually just accepted some imperfections and will look to refining my skills some more in my next build.

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The body tube is a standard Estes BT-80 tube. It stands 38 cm from bottom of the rocket to the tip of the nose cone. The clear fins are a .030" thick polycarbonate plastic. The root and tip chords are 6 cm, with a height and sweep length of 7 cm. In retrospect, I would have made these a bit larger to move the CP back a bit but by the time I really thought through it, they were already mounted through to engine mount (epoxied in place). Having done a bunch of kits and simple scratch builds, I was a bit naive in how to approach such a project but it has been a great learning experience (modeling your rockets through OpenRocket or RockSim is a must).

The body fins are carved from balsa in 3 pieces: the bottom part is 1.4 cm wide and are 13 cm tall, followed by a narrow 0.4 cm strip, and finally a flared top and meeting a wider 8 cm diameter ring. Not visible in the picture are the launch lugs. The height of the base body fin matches the outer ring on the top, so it allows for the launch lugs to be mounted to the these places.

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The bottom part of the rocket took a fair amount of time to get that rounded curve that you see in the New Shepard. I cut and folded some card stock to start, then used some light WF and sanding to achieve an overall rounded finish. I was ultimately pleased with the outcome.

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The engine mount takes a 24 mm motor and I expect to launch it with a E12-4 with a maiden flight on a D12-3.

Overall build time has been about 5 months (and counting). Would love to have been quicker but life happens.
 

BABAR

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Very nice!
Had to look carefully at the first pics before I could even see the clear fins!
 

wolsen

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Also curious if anyone else has seen a New Shepard build around... would love a link to info. I feel like I spent a good deal of time searching before tackling it on my own and was kind of sad not to find any others. This is definitely the most challenging build I have done to date.
 
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