Accurate Estes Mercury Redstone

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prowlerguy

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I am making the Estes MR, and it seems to me that the booster markings are wrong and should be MR8, not MR7. Does anyone know an easy/cheap way to make it accurate?
 

rocketgroupmike

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Prowler, I think it depends on which kit you are building... The original Estes model had Freedom 7 decals for the capsule and MR7 is correct for that vehicle. If you have a new Liberty Bell 7 kit like me, it's true that the decal should read MR8. I left the MR7 as is on mine, but if there is an easy, cheap solution, I'll fix it. I think Estes switched the capsule markings a few years ago when they found and recovered Grissom's spacecraft. This rocket seems underpowered to me... I'd love a 24mm version!
 

sandman

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Member Guss flew his today and I thought it flew sweet on a C6-3.

sandman
 

Gus

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Flew great on a C6-3.

Height and speed are not the point with this one, at least not to me.

As for the MR-8, you're correct, but it's kind of hard to tell the difference in the photo I took today. :D
 

slim_t

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Both of my kits have MR7, Liberty bell 7 decals.
I've only built one of them, and I just left off the capsule decals that make it look like the liberty bell 7, only applying the one that says United States. I used all of the supplied decals for the BT. I wasn't really trying to be more accurate. I just didn't think the crack line should be a decal, but would look better painted, but I never painted it.

So it seems it would be easier to make an accurate MR7 than an accurate MR8. Does that make sense?

I haven't built the second kit yet, maybe I'll try to make it an MR8. I bought it because I love the Redstone, and plan to make it a 24mm, but just haven't gotten to it yet. The stock one does fly great on C6's.

Great shot Gus. My pics are usually too blurry to read the BT.
What camera and settings do you use?

Tim
 

eugenefl

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Originally posted by Gus
Flew great on a C6-3.

Height and speed are not the point with this one, at least not to me.

As for the MR-8, you're correct, but it's kind of hard to tell the difference in the photo I took today. :D
Wow, great in-flight photo snag! I've seen the MR fly with C6s. I think it performs just fine.
 

Gus

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Thanks for the nice comments guys. I really like this rocket. I think it's one of the best Estes has produced (even with the wrong booster # decals). Really detailed. Easy to assemble. Reasonably priced. Flies great. I wish Estes would put more of their ability into other scale stuff with similarly hard to home-make cones and towers.

Slim T:

The photo is actually a still frame captured from digital video.

With a little practice it's usually pretty easy to follow the rocket up as it takes off, resulting in clear stills.

On slow rockets, like the redstone, it's particularly easy.

On faster rockets, like mosquitos, or baby berthas, it can be almost impossible.

The nice thing about the videos, instead of stills, is they let you later dissect any in-flight problems frame by frame.

I can't tell you how many times I've gotten home, played a video, slowed it down, and realized that what I thought I saw wasn't what happened at all.

They aren't particularly high res, but they're fun.
 

jerryb

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gus,

if i remember correctly... you use a Mac right??

just wondering..cuz i'm yet to find a decent frame by frame video editor for the PC

later
Jerryb



Originally posted by Gus

The photo is actually a still frame captured from digital video.

 

Gus

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jerryb,

Yes I use a Mac. :D

iMovie and iDVD are just brain-dead simple to use and produce amazing results.

I've posted a few short rocket movies (showing what they can do) on my personal website at:

https://home.earthlink.net/~skristal/

The movies are in Quicktime format, non-streaming version, so they take a while to load on a dialup connection.

If you don't have Quicktime, there's a link on the site.

Gus
 

Bill

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Originally posted by slim_t
Both of my kits have MR7, Liberty bell 7 decals.
I've only built one of them, and I just left off the capsule decals that make it look like the liberty bell 7, only applying the one that says United States. I used all of the supplied decals for the BT. I wasn't really trying to be more accurate. I just didn't think the crack line should be a decal, but would look better painted, but I never painted it.

So it seems it would be easier to make an accurate MR7 than an accurate MR8. Does that make sense?

Unfortunately, it's never that easy. There were two versions of the Mercury capsules flown. Liberty Bell 7 (MR8) was the first of the newer version; its most prominent feature is the rectangular window above the head of the astronaut. Freedom 7 (MR7) was of the older design; it did not have that window.

Building an accurate MR8 is easier as the capsule is already in that configuration. You just have to cut out the "7"s and replace them with "8"s of the right size and font. "Correcting" the capsule for MR7 is not trivial.

Real sticklers have more work ahead of them. I hear that the number of corrugations on the capsule is wrong and the fins are slightly oversize. But it is good enough for sport scale.


Bill
 

scm86

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To convert your MR to 24mm, all ya gotta do is open the CR's up, just past the little circle molded into it. then assemble as normal, substituting a 24mm tube for the 18mm one.

might wanna check CG tho, a a 24mm motor is heavier than an 18mm.

Scott McNeely
 

slim_t

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Originally posted by Bill
Unfortunately, it's never that easy. There were two versions of the Mercury capsules flown. Liberty Bell 7 (MR8) was the first of the newer version; its most prominent feature is the rectangular window above the head of the astronaut. Freedom 7 (MR7) was of the older design; it did not have that window.

Building an accurate MR8 is easier as the capsule is already in that configuration. You just have to cut out the "7"s and replace them with "8"s of the right size and font. "Correcting" the capsule for MR7 is not trivial. Bill
Thanks for the info. Knowing this, I guess it is much easier to make an accurate MR8. Replacing decals should be a bit easier than modifying the capsule.

Now that I've read this thread, I may just have to do some more research before I build my other one, and choose something to make a scale model of. Maybe later.

Tim
 

Justin

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The estes redstone is cool in the fact they don't do much like it. Especially like someone stated in the hard to make cone and tower department..

But I dug around a little a year or two ago, and in addition to decal dicrepencies it became apparent that the sculpting on the capsule was actually not any of the Mecury capsules, but bits of all. It stressed me, but I still like it. Mine got split to make a Redstone missle and a little Joe that aren't really moving yet..I want another to do as the liberty bell.

gus-
I'm a mac user too. I have the last produced 12" clam shell ibook that I run on osx10.3 something . It's my first mac, and I can't make imovie work. It (The Hal 9000) tells me that I don't have the right resoloution? A 12" screen won't work? Any help would be cool.

-Justin
 

sandman

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Justin,

Great idea on the Little Joe.

Mine is being bashed into a Little Joe and a Jupiter C...now if I can just get someone to make me a nose cone.

sandman
 

Justin

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Sandman- When I finally get to the Redstone missle you are definately the only one to make the cone:D
 

GlennW

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Yes, I found out after much research that there is no actual Mercury capsule that matches the one in this kit! It has a porthole to the right of the hatch, which Freedom 7 had, but it also has that rectangular window way to the left of the hatch, which as far as I know, none of the real capsules had in that location. The real Freedom 7 had 2 portholes, one where the porthole is on the kit and one a little to the right of where the other window is on the kit. The real Liberty Bell 7, as well as most of the others, had one rectangular window right next to the hatch on the left side. Only John Glenn's Friendship 7 had a porthole and rectangular window, although in different locations than the kit version. So I guess what I am saying is that whether you are trying to make this accurate to either Freedom 7 or Liberty Bell 7 you are going to be SOL unless you mold your own capsule! I have decided to not let it (or the wrong booster decal) bother me and mine will be done soon, will post pix then.

Glenn
 

cbutler

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Since we are on the subject of accuracy or lack thereof...

The capsule and the decals aren't the only problem w/ this kit. One thing that I felt is less then correct is the font size of "United States" (I haven't made the scale measurement, but the font on the real Redstone "seems" thinner).

The other thing I felt was incorrect was the color of the tower. While it is difficult to track down good closeup (and closeup is the operative phrase) color photos of the real deal, the ones I have seen lead me to believe the tower is more of an orangy (is that a word?) red. So I'll need to track down those pics and get one of you Mac guys to whip out a pantone color scale on it. :)

Anyway, just my thoughts. All that said, I LOVE my Redstone as is. Have yet to fly it. Probably will this weekend at the sod farm in Walcott, IA.

Attached a pic.

(also, come to think of it, if you look at the pic, you'll notice that I didn't add the red stripe around the bottom of the capsule, or the white/silver around the top. Nor did i paint the inside of the nozzles on the tower. I must be a slacker.)
 

Zack Lau

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Color photographs aren't particularly accurate, unless someone went through the trouble of calibrating the color balance for accuracy--the process depends on the film tech adjusting it until it looks "normal." Often, the tech will add in a little more red, so people don't look so pale--this pleases the customers and results in fewer requested reprints. Similarly, consumer/pro film usually features "saturated" colors, though police use special slide film (Kodak EPN). If you are really serious about accuracy, there is something known as the MacBeth color chart--which you can photograph as a reference.
 

Justin

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cbutler-
your MR looks great. If one was to do a true scale MR they wouldn't start with an Estes kit anyway. I'm sure many modelers (and Mac folk) would agree it's okay to be a slacker.
:D Unless you get obsessed and have to be anal....Must be right...Perfect every dimension... MUST BE PERFECT.. ..I'm okay now..Where was I?It has to be right.....Really okay...
 

dtomko

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Correcting the capsule would probably involve a great deal of surgery, which you might be able to do if you use, say, two or three capsules and a lot of cutting and pasting. The plastic fins on the latest Estes version are oversize; there's info somewhere on how to cut them down to be more accurate. The previous version, originally Centuri, had more accurate balsa fins, and the Centuri version was better; Estes increased the size of the outside vanes when they released it. The best fins were on the smaller original Estes version (the one with balsa and paper capsule). If you look at pictures of that one you can see how much smaller they look than the new version's. I think Freedom 7 and Liberty Bell 7 had different size "United States" on the boosters. Shepard's MR appears to have a thinner font.
Drew Tomko
 

vjp

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One other problem with the Estes Mercury Redstone kit, is that the body tubes are too short. I don't have the measurements here in front of me, but ISTR that it was about 1.5" too short.

It's possible that Estes goofed in thinking the Mercury Redstone booster was the same length as the Jupiter-C booster. While the boosters are (just about) identical, the MR had to be lengthened to incorporate the guidance and instrumentation section just beneath the capsule.

So if you want to accurize the MR, that's yet another challenge.
 

sandman

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OK, Let's summerize this.

The Capsule is all wrong.

The decals are all wrong.

The tube is the wrong length.

The fins are way too big.

The motor mount is too small.

The shock cord is "probably" too short.

But everybody seems to agree it's a great model.:confused:

Just verifying.

I love mine too and I built it stock.

sandman:D
 

dtomko

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Ha! Sandman called it! But it DOES look good, even with all the problems. Regarding the BT; it was already a bit too short on the Centuri version, and Estes made it even shorter with the plastic fins, which now stick way too far off the bottom of the BT.
DT
 

sandman

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You guys tear me up!:D

So when your wife asks you, "Honey, do these pants make me look fat?", how do you answer her?

Yea, we all love Estes but..."Those are great pants but it makes your butt look really huge!"

sandman
 

dtomko

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I don't even try to fudge it with the Mrs. That nanosecond pause while you're trying to think diplomatically is a dead giveaway!
So, for an accurate MR:
Order three Mercury capsules from Christine at Estes; mix and
match to make accurate capsule depending on version you are making.
Get BT from Totally Tubular or Semroc and cut to accurate length.
Download fin patterns from original Estes version from JimZ and upscale them (5 or 6 pieces for each fin).
Add noseweight to make up for too small fins.
Add fuel filler connections, antennae, and rivet detail to booster.
Find pictures of booster markings for MR-7 and MR-8; determine correct font and email Astronboy to create accurate decals.

Did I miss anything??
DT
 

slim_t

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Originally posted by dtomko
Did I miss anything??
DT
You forgot: "Use long shock cord." :D :D

Amen to what Sandman said.
I love my kit just the way it is, well, except I did have to replace the shock cord. ;) :D

Tim
 

cbutler

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I am going to copy that bullet list for a redstone scale project (maybe something scratch over the winter :) )

I think the reason I love mine is this: knowing that it was not accurate scale, I still put a lot of time and care into building it so I would have a nice looking finished product. I have gotten into the habit of referring to it as "idealized" rather than "historically innaccurate." Kind of like it's half full instead of half empty.
 
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