199...200...201 = 3 way rocket build

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Jan 19, 2009
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Just finished my latest rocket. (pix in the Fliskits Drake gallery here https://www.rocketryforum.com/showthread.php?142443-Fliskits-Drake-(FR004)-Gallery)

I realized it was my 198th rocket. Thought I should do something special for #200, but I was having trouble deciding which one to build.

So I decided to build 3 in parallel. Not certain which one will actually end up being #200.

For my selection, I wanted to do something OOP and preferably from a vendor that I have not used before (so sorry Estes, Fliskits, Squirrel Works, Semroc, etc)

I think I narrowed it down to these

Excelsior Avenger Guinivere
Rokitflite Odyssey
Fatcat O.G.M Roanoke (although I may change my mind to the F2H4 Banshee)

Close runner ups were
Always Saturn V
BMS Starship Vincia
Empire Nike Hercules (did build an Empire Nike Ajax before but lost to the rocket Gods)
Q model Andromeda (have built their Vega)

I still need to dig the "winners" from their storage tubs.

The builds may not be the fastest since I will be doing 3 at a time, plus I know I have some trips for work coming up.
BUT - they MUST be done this year (only because I want to :))

Let the fun begin!
Here are the 3 winners. I decided to stay with the O.G.M Roanoke. The two rockets came together without any official packaging. The parts were simply separated in zip lock bags.

Since I wasn't really opening anything, the first unpacking is the Roanoke.
This is a dual engine - 24mm. Rear ejection. It uses a metal shock cord. It also included some blue and silver pin-striping

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It has an interesting angled nose cone - that also comes pre-glued to the body tube. It also has a neat set of engine pods.

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Reloading pix - not sure if they will eventually duplicate
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Hmm - what happened to my attachments in post #3???? I'll try to reload them. Not sure if I may end up with duplicate photos....

I finally opened the Odyssey. Partly surprised no one balked about opening this kit. But I've always claimed I plan to build my rockets....
Anyway, LOTS and LOTS of bits and pieces. WOW!

Instructions are on a disk - I'll have to load them and look them over

One nice thing - they included a scrap piece of decal. I assume it is to allow you to test your clear coat to make sure you have no issues.

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I got short tubes
I got long tubes
I got thin tubes
I got fat tubes

And they all have spirals.... :sigh:

Nothing a little (or a lot) of Elmers F&F can't fix....

Just need to make sure I keep all of them straight

Odyssey - Papered the fins. They are drying now,
And two BT-20 tubes are joined to make one long body tube


and need to do more sanding of the other tubes.... sigh
Odyssey - Marked tube, added some rings with the kevlar cord. Built the tank spacer (a small length of BT50 with a center ring on each end). Made a shroud. Started trimming the papered fins.


Roanoke - Glued up the wings and tail

Roanoke - Fins/tail dry. Time for papering


Avenger - ahh. A builder's kit. No namby-pamby laser cut fins. It's man against balsa. Armed with nothing more than a template, a sharp #11 blade, and a sharp eye...
I temporarily placed the "gunpod" into its location.


And after cutting all the parts out. Still needs some sanding and some papering.

Wow! I think if I were building number 200 it would be 3FNC just to hit the milestone - you picked some intricate kits, hats off!!
Odyssey - I felt the shock cord was too short, so I replaced it. Shown is the original and replacement. Also started gluing the fins on.

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Roanoke - trimmed the paper on the fins


Avenger - Glued strakes to wings

Avenger - Papered fins


Roanoke - rounded edges of fins.
I dry fitted the motor mount together. There are no motor blocks or motor retention. The directions call for the tubes to be even with the thrust plate. I may try a threaded rod down through the central hole. My concern is there is not a lot of space. Once I make a thrust ring on the end of the motor it may not clear the rod.
I may also move the tubes down to give me at least a 1/4" edge. Then I could run a ring of tape between the motor and the tube.
I also started cutting some of the dowel bits that will be glued to the ends of the wings and such. They also have some cool gun pods. The directions called for the guns to be the same length, but I thought it would better to make them slightly different lengths.

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Odyssey - All the fins are attached! I'll add a picture later but I glued the shroud and tank spacer to the main body tube

Avenger - trimmed papered fins. Still need to round edges


Roanoke - realized I forgot to paper the cross stabilizer and pylons. :facepalm: The cross stabilizer came glued together. I placed a strip of blue masking tape so I could easily remove the paper where it needs to glue to the vertical fin.


Odyssey - I skipped documenting a step. There are some tubes that get glued together in pairs to make pods. I did that a few days ago but forgot to mention it and did not take any pictures. I have skipped ahead a few steps and glued these assemblies to the wings

Back in the saddle again... Well, 2/3rds in the saddle

Roanoke - Glued dowels onto the ends of the wings and stabilizer. The stabilizer is then glued to the vertical fin.

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Avenger - Glued a shaped card stock shroud onto the body tube. The instructions don't say to, but the picture shows the rear of the tube cut to the shape of the shroud. So I cut the tube.

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Odyssey - no activity....:sigh:
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Roanoke - Glued the vertical fin to the body tube this morning. Since the jig was set I glued on one of the wings. I think I figured out how I am going to do the motor retention. I had to order a piece of 6-32 all thread.

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Odyssey - Built up the motor mount. The kit includes a section of aluminum angle stock. First it is used to mark where the motor hook slit will go. Then it is used to insert the motor block.
A section of BT21 (oversized to slide over a BT20) is glued on, and then a 20-50 ring is glued on.

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Avenger - no work today
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Roanoke - Last wing glued on. Got some CA for plastic and glued the engine pods together

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Odyssey - Glued the nose cones and block on the tank and sensor pod

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Avenger - Each fin gets a "gun pod" that consists of a nose cone with a dowel glued to the end. I had a concern about drilling a hole to have the gun straight. It is also suggested to shape the cone so it looks a little less than a nose cone. So I gave it each cone a wrap of tape and gently placed it in a chuck. I then aligned a drill bit and pushed the bit into the cone. I also used an emery board to do some shaping while it was spinning. Finally glued the dowels in.

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Also glued the fins/wings on. It is too short for my jig so I relied on my Mark I eyeball.

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Roanoke - Did some fillet. You add a dowel under the wing (I assume for strength). I sanded the ends down so it blended in better


Avenger - Did some fillet. Did a little more shaping on the gun pods and glued them in place


Odyssey - Glued the sensor pod to the fin (sorry - no pix)
Avenger - applied fillet to gun pods


Odyssey - finally glued the fin can to the body. It's more than just a long "stick"

Roanoke - Problem in Paradise
My first plan was to run some all thread from top to bottom and use it for the motor retention
But with the wire rope for the shock cord there is not enough space between the 2 motor tubes.
My next plan is to still run the all thread, but not to the top and then embed the all thread in an epoxy fillet run along the length of the motor tubes

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Roanoke - Went with plan C. There was a spare motor centering ring. I used it to add thickness. I'm going to use some wood inserts to create motor retention. I was too focused on using the supplied central hole that was in the ring. Glued up the motor mount and glued the bulkhead that secures the wire rope in. I will say, it would have been easier to do this from the other end, but since it came with the nosecone pre-glued on that was not an option. Also glued the gun pods together and onto the rocket. I almost got them reversed - fortunately I realized my error and was able to remove it before the glue grabbed enough (although a few more seconds would have been too late)

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Avenger - glued up the motor nozzles (BT3 tubes) into pairs. I realized I was going to have a problem with the motor clip so I cut an opening. This morning I realized I could have just cut one open and centered it on the clip rather than where 2 joined. Oh well. Glued up the cockpit.

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- glued on the tank tube. Then glued on the central ring.

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Odyssey - Glued on the radar dish and launch lugs

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Avenger - Glued the cockpit on. A Strake is glued on top. Used a clip to align to the fin


While that was drying, I glued the nozzles to the motor mount

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Roanoke - I wanted to paint the interior of the engine pods before installing ( I was concerned with getting runs when trying to get the paint inside). I did run into a disaster. On one side the paint must have pooled and attacked the plastic. :facepalm:

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Avenger - Some FNF where the strake meets the rounded fin edge and a fillet to the cockpit

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Roanoke - glued the pods/fairing to wings


Odyssey - started making panels. pix to follow
Odyssey - here are some of the panels that will be glued on for "texture"


Roanoke - There were a lot of gaps where the bulkhead glued in. I was trying to figure out how to get more epoxy down there without making a mess. I came up with a "super syringe". I taped a straw to a dowel, and then a second dowel was the plunger. I loaded the straw using a real syringe. I then inserted into the body, pushed on the "plunger" and spread glue around. Not perfect, but better than it was.

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Avenger - Started priming to see where I needed to do more touchup (sorry for the sideways pix)

Roanoke - almost forgot to add the launch lugs


Avenger - painted the motor mount nozzles


Odyssey - now for some fun. The kit includes various pieces to add texture, with the goal to let your imagination run free.... Just trying not to go overboard. Comments?

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Odyssey - added a bit more texture, mostly inside the ring but a little more outside. Think it is time to stop...

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Roanoke - added fillet to launch lug - not picture worthy

Avenger - more cleanup, again no pix
phew - two 55+ hour weeks for work (and I don't get paid overtime)

Finally got some work in

Odyssey - Prime Time! First coat. Probably will have lots of touch up

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Avenger - Did touchup after prime - ready for (hopefully) last coat of primer


Roanoke - Drilled holes and installed inserts in rear for motor retention

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Avenger - Pulling ahead and leading the pack! 3 coats of yellow (arg - forgot to fix orientation - sorry)


Roanoke - primed


Odyssey - some touch up from priming (no pix)

And due to work schedule I doubt I will get a lot more done until the weekend.... :(
Odyssey - Had to clean up the tube/cone joint. Sanding all around the "texture" was an absolute pain....


Avenger - It's October - in upstate NY... Why am I finding bugs in my paint? (If you look close you will see where the bug was scraped out). Need to do some cleanup


Roanoke - First color