2.6" Darkstar ~ Wildman Rocketry

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RKeller

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URRF was a blast, and to top it off I was the lucky raffle winner of a 2.6" Wildman kit! The kit being raffled was a competitor with a 38mm mount. When I picked it up Tim was kind enough to let me swap it for a Darkstar with 54mm mount! I did't get the parts pile pic, but overall I was impressed with the kit. It's been a while since I got a kit from Wildman and this all thin wall 2.6" line is pretty neat.

This kit came with 3/32 fins, so I started with my new bevel jig set to around 15 degrees. The jig uses the edge of a disk sander with the fin in a vertical position. the tilting table on the sander is what sets the angle...

 

RKeller

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I totally forgot to get kevlar at URRF, which is one thing I really like to get direct from a vendor so you can see and feel what you're getting. my 3" Optomystic had a 30 ft 3/8" kevlar booster harness so I decided that could be 25ish feet ;) now I have enough for the Y harness!

sanded the parts, notched the top centering ring and glued in place with 30min epoxy with some milled fiberglass mixed in. I wrapped the harness ends with electrical tape to hold it down till the epoxy set.
 

RKeller

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Next I installed the aft ring and 54mm motor mount using JB weld. Wildman includes a thin aluminum spacer with the retainer to make the mount fit the thin wall 54mm tubing. it took some sanding to get the spacer and mount to fit on the tube.
Then I dry fit everything together and measured and masked for 5/8" diameter fillets.
Once I knew where I wanted the epoxy I sanded all the surfaces with 60 grit paper.
 

RKeller

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I washed all the dust off, cleaned with alcohol and acetone then started assembly. I'm using rail buttons with a flange nut since this is thin wall tubing. The rear button was tricky because there is such little space between the body tube and MMT. I failed to get a pic but was able to slide the MMT's front centering ring past the hole for the button and slip the button (with jb weld on it) between the tubes and into the drilled hole. Once the screw was holding the flange nut in place I finished installing the MMT. I didn't actually epoxy it in place, just used superglue to hold it where I wanted it.

Then I mixed up some rocketpoxy and squirted a big bead through each aft fin slot. Stuck the fins in, slid them around, pulled them part way out and back in to make sure the epoxy was spread around good. Used a template from payloadbay.com to keep the fins straight while the rocketpoxy cured.


 

RKeller

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repeated the same process for the next 3 fins. I used popsicle sticks to lineup the front fins with the aft ones.
 

djs

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Congrats on winning! My 2.6" darkstar is my workhorse.. it's been past mach 1 a few times on EX motors, broken 11k on a K490G, and generally hasn't blown up yet. I did my L2 on it with a J355R to 7k feet.

2.6" with a 54 mount is the way all rockets should be- with really miniscule centering rings :)
 

CzTeacherMan

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Great kit! Enjoy. Following your build... Great to meet you at URRF
 

DavidMcCann

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I really really love the size of this rocket. Can fly on nearly anything
 

mpitfield

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Nice! Are you going natural or paint...I wonder if the Loki 54\2800 case will fit :)
 

RKeller

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Nice! Are you going natural or paint...I wonder if the Loki 54\2800 case will fit :)
Natural, but not naked. Stickershock order has shipped! I do want that red glass to shine but I'm not a fan of clear coat over glass, it scratches and chips too easily. has anyone had good luck with another product on the wildman red glass? on other colored fiberglass kits I've used armor all after decals were applied to make the glass look nice. I'll test that in a spot to see how it looks.
 
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CzTeacherMan

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Natural, but not naked. Stickershock order has shipped! I do want that red glass to shine but I'm not a fan of clear coat over glass, it scratches and ships too easily. has anyone had good luck with another product on the wildman red glass? on other colored fiberglass kits I've used armor after decals were applied to make the glass look nice. I'll test that in a spot to see how it looks.
I've used Rusto 2X with great success on the red fiberglass. My tips...
1) use black primer on all the black parts (feel free to mask some design of you want, I did on my Shredder)
2) use clear coat over the whole thing, 2-3 light coats
3) decals after a good week of cure/dry time
4) 2-3 coats of clear

Results are sharp, smooth and brilliant. The clear catches sunlight like a mirror for lots of glint on the way down.
 

DavidMcCann

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Natural, but not naked. Stickershock order has shipped! I do want that red glass to shine but I'm not a fan of clear coat over glass, it scratches and ships too easily. has anyone had good luck with another product on the wildman red glass? on other colored fiberglass kits I've used armor after decals were applied to make the glass look nice. I'll test that in a spot to see how it looks.
I freaking hate clear coat. I've been applying future over my 3" wild man for the last couple years with some success i may even fly it some day. I'm going to test turtle wax on something soonish. trouble is if it fails it'll be a bitch to strip and prime.

EDIT: Just recalled I have some spare wild man FWFG nosecone... gimme a few minutes.
 

EXPjawa

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FWIW, Riley, there's a 2-part urethane clear coat that I've been using that I buy from Eastwood.com. They sell it in a spray can that has a push button to mix the parts, after which you've got 48 hours to use. I sprayed my 3" Scorpion and my Radial Flyer with it, if you want to see it. But it goes on well, dries fast, and still looks wet once dry. Being urethane instead of enamel or lacquer, its a bit harder and more durable. On the other hand, its expensive and even more toxic then normal paint. Definitely use a respirator with that stuff. But it might be a good solution for fiberglass.

https://www.eastwood.com/spray-max-2k-clear-glamour-aerosol.html
 

CzTeacherMan

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FWIW, Riley, there's a 2-part urethane clear coat that I've been using that I buy from Eastwood.com. They sell it in a spray can that has a push button to mix the parts, after which you've got 48 hours to use. I sprayed my 3" Scorpion and my Radial Flyer with it, if you want to see it. But it goes on well, dries fast, and still looks wet once dry. Being urethane instead of enamel or lacquer, its a bit harder and more durable. On the other hand, its expensive and even more toxic then normal paint. Definitely use a respirator with that stuff. But it might be a good solution for fiberglass.

https://www.eastwood.com/spray-max-2k-clear-glamour-aerosol.html
Awesome! I just got some from rockdoc... I'll be trying it out on my Drago as soon as the weather is paint friendly.
 

Bat-mite

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I built one when they first came out. 54mm MMT. My first attempt at Mach. What I did not do (young and dumb) was ground test, so I got no deployments and a core sample. Both alts destroyed on impact so no data, either.

Despite not ground testing, I'm not so sure my numbers were off. But there is a good chance that my battery separated from the G-force.

My advice? Ground test, use a Duracell Coppertop oriented with the leads pointing down, and strap that battery in!

I look forward to living vicariously through your build and maiden launch.
 

djs

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What I did not do (young and dumb) was ground test, so I got no deployments and a core sample. Both alts destroyed on impact so no data, either.
Don't worry- I bet it hit mach on the way down, right? :)
 

r66astro

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Don't worry- I bet it hit mach on the way down, right? :)
Nah.. that pesky terminal velocity. but you could fire a motor on the way down,, bunker buster!
 

Bat-mite

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Nah.. that pesky terminal velocity. but you could fire a motor on the way down,, bunker buster!
:D

It definitely hit Mach on the way up. Had a one-grain VMAX in it. Virtually disappeared off the pad. Then everybody said, "Where is it?" Then it thunked down into the newly plowed soil about quarter-mile away....
 

RKeller

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FWIW, Riley, there's a 2-part urethane clear coat that I've been using that I buy from Eastwood.com. They sell it in a spray can that has a push button to mix the parts, after which you've got 48 hours to use. I sprayed my 3" Scorpion and my Radial Flyer with it, if you want to see it. But it goes on well, dries fast, and still looks wet once dry. Being urethane instead of enamel or lacquer, its a bit harder and more durable. On the other hand, its expensive and even more toxic then normal paint. Definitely use a respirator with that stuff. But it might be a good solution for fiberglass.

https://www.eastwood.com/spray-max-2k-clear-glamour-aerosol.html
This is really interesting. Sounds like a much more durable option and the price really isn't bad. Thanks for sharing!
 

RKeller

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I masked off all the fins for the 5/8" diameter fillets, and then did them all at once. 6 fins is a bit much so I had to work quickly. Mixed up rocketpoxy and added black dye. Turned out pretty good. Not perfect, but the'll do.



 

CzTeacherMan

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I masked off all the fins for the 5/8" diameter fillets, and then did them all at once. 6 fins is a bit much so I had to work quickly. Mixed up rocketpoxy and added black dye. Turned out pretty good. Not perfect, but the'll do.



Looking good. Love that red/black combo.
 

RKeller

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Stickershock! still haven't decided on clear coat. also have a few bubbles in the decal I'll need to fix.
 

EXPjawa

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If you decide to go with the Eastwood clearcoat, let me know. Maybe we can combine an order and split the shipping.
 

BDB

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I freaking hate clear coat. I've been applying future over my 3" wild man for the last couple years with some success i may even fly it some day. I'm going to test turtle wax on something soonish. trouble is if it fails it'll be a bitch to strip and prime.

EDIT: Just recalled I have some spare wild man FWFG nosecone... gimme a few minutes.
How did the turtle wax turn out? I found myself drawn to something similar the other day. I still haven't tried it yet, but it looked like it might be easier to apply and more durable than future.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B007KTINWQ/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20
 
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RKeller

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If you decide to go with the Eastwood clearcoat, let me know. Maybe we can combine an order and split the shipping.
Still undecided, but I did order a can on Amazon for $20 shipped
 

Crash-n-Burn

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Your build thread inspired me to dig out and start on my 2.6 DS. Mine is a bit older and has all black fg tubing. I'm planning out some sort of paint job.

What did you do for the nose cone? Any special setup for a tracker?
 

CzTeacherMan

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RKeller

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Your build thread inspired me to dig out and start on my 2.6 DS. Mine is a bit older and has all black fg tubing. I'm planning out some sort of paint job.

What did you do for the nose cone? Any special setup for a tracker?
the all black will look really nice with a bright decal set, no need for paint. I have another wildman 2.6" cone with a bay in it for my V2, but I'll be making another one for this one since I added some nose weight to the V2. I'll put a 38mm bay inside the nosecone with a short kevlar loop thru the centering ring to attach to.
 

RKeller

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the av bay coupler is pretty short for these and I want to run 2 altimeters. I modeled a sled that will hold two altimeters, RRC2+ or Stratologger CF's, two 180mah lipo's and two missileworks screw switches. Here's what it looks like. it's 5.5" long and will also fit in a 54mm coupler.

 
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CzTeacherMan

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the av bay coupler is pretty short for these and I want to run 2 altimeters. I modeled a sled that will hold two altimeters, RRC2+ or Stratologger CF's, two 180mah lipo's and two missileworks screw switches. Here's what it looks like. it's 5.5" long and will also fit in a 54mm coupler.

That's an awesome sled! I need one for my Shredder Jr. Which I've been running on a single Altimeter since I couldn't figure out how to cram two in there. Any chance it'll fit 2 9V batteries? I can do it without the usual "box" closure over the batteries, just tape or cable ties is fine by me...
 
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