# Alway Saturn vs. Estes Saturn?

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Hello,

I was wondering how the new Peter Alway Saturn compares to the Estes Saturn?

Brian

#### Stymye

##### Well-Known Member
In what way?

As far as size, engine choices, scale detail, etc.

Brian

#### JStarStar

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
I'm in the process of building the Alway/Saturn Press Saturn V (and will be building the Dr. Zooch Sat V shortly) so maybe I can run down a brief comparison:

Saturn Press:

Price: $50, as opposed to$80 or thereabouts if you can get ahold of the Estes model, which has been OOP now for a couple years, and is starting to get a little scarce.

Smaller size, about 22 inches tall.

Engines: A8-3, B6-4 and C6-5 for standard flying. Model is not super-lightweight, but should still fly adequately on the B's and C's. Stability enhanced by lead nose weight.

Good detailing, scale nozzles remain on the model for flight, making the flying model actually LOOK more like the real-life Saturn.

Small details, fairings, etc etc. good accuracy. A lot depends on how much effort you want to put into minor detailing such as the escape tower, CM protective cover, etc etc. Escape tower and SM RCS nozzles are neatly done.

Does not have molded corrugated wraps, etc. like the Estes model. Does have imprinted wraps for interstage sections and a silver wrap for the SM.

Peter Alway reports that construction for the Saturn Press model is not terribly time-consuming - three or four sessions of a couple hours should do it. (Of course, what takes Peter Alway a pretty short time may take us ordinary mortals a little bit longer!! )

You do need to allow extra time in the middle of construction to allow paint coats to fully cure, but actual constuction is not expected to take an extremely long time.

Estes:

Price-availability issue as noted. Still reasonably available if you do a little searching, and Estes is known to re-issue it every couple of years, although of course there are no guarantees on that.

Engines: Base version D12-3, and quite underpowered at that. I believe it also flies on E's, although I am not sure (my version was a 1969 edition), certainly can be adapted reasonably eaily to fly on E's. I would guess on an E9-4, it would lift off very slowly, then gain more altitude. Stability is somewhat marginal, requires clay nose weight.

With more significant modifications, can fly on Aerotech E/F's.

Corrugated plastic wraps contain good detail on the interstage sections, S-II retro-ullage rockets, etc. Escape tower has good detail, but is notoriously fragile and subject to snapping off on landing.

It took me about 2 weeks of fairly intensive building efforts to finally put this kit together 10 years ago. I don't remember exactly how many hours, but I'd say a half-dozen sessions of a couple hours or so.

The Centuri/Estes Saturn V is pretty much my pride and joy, and I am sure the Saturn Press version will be fun to build, and I'll probably be a little more willing to actually fly it. Same for the Dr. Zooch version.

Sandman suggested on another thread to adapt one of the kits to the Skylab version, which would be an interesting variation, so I think I will do just that.

The fourth alternative would be the Apogee Components version - bigger, more detailed and considerably more expensive than any of the other three, and reportedly also much more labor-intensive to build.

#### sandman

##### Well-Known Member
A few other "comparative" notes.

Estes Saturn V is Limited or OOP Price as stated

Alway Saturn V...unlimited production...you want more he'll make more.

#### sandman

##### Well-Known Member
The Alway kit is paper and balsa...no plastic.

No wraps on the Alway kit either...I don't think so...maybe I should look!

The Alway kit is very easy...almost a "snap together" kit.

The body tube has a lot of laser cutouts for the detail parts (also laser cut) to fit into.

The Alway kit was designed to fly like a Big Bertha...maybe 400 to 600' on a "C" motor.

The nice thing about the wraps on my kit is that they eliminate all the painting except for some touch up work on the edges and the escape motor.

#### JStarStar

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Yes, actually I did see the Moldin' Oldies parts, I bought a set of Interceptor parts for a clone version which is festering on my "to-do list," and at the same time I did order up a set of the Saturn V parts.

So, when I do get around to putting together my next Estes Saturn V (probably in wintertime) - for my "flying" version, I will definitely use the Moldin' Oldies parts. The fin fairings and escape tower should be much more durable than the stock parts.

Maximum altitude: these are absolute guesses, really:

The Saturn Press Saturn V, I would guess, probably does 600 feet on a C6-5, about 300 on a B, and maybe 200 on an A. Peter Alway might have a more accurate idea, but I would guess that would be in the ball park.

The Estes Saturn V would probably get about 200 feet on a D12-3, certainly no more. This is a very heavy, very low-density model - high drag. It is not a high flyer.

As I recall, when I launched mine, it did get a little bit of altitude, but was probably no more than 75-100 feet off the ground at ejection. I've never flown mine on an "E", but I'd think you might get 300-400 feet.

Edit: Dr. Zooch claims 879 feet max altitude for the Saturn V on his Rebar Rocketry ad page, presumably from RockSim on a C6-5. Using the rule of thumb for smaller engines, that would put you about 400 with a B, 200 with an A. Since the Saturn Press Sat V is slightly (20%) larger, I'd guess my estimates are pretty close.

#### JStarStar

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Sandman is, as usual, correct. No wraps on the Saturn Press Sat V.

I actually decided to get going on building it - previously, my progress on the kit consisted of opening the bag and reading the instructions.

(Under that definition, I am currently "working on" about 15 rockets. )

I'm snapping some pics as I go and I'll post a fairly complete report when I'm done. It'll be a day or two (I do have some other stuff to do!).

I can confirm Sandman's opinion that the construction is very straightforward and very well explained by Peter's instructions. In the introduction, he says that anyone who has built "a few rocket kits" should be able to finish the Sat V without major difficulty, and that's certainly on target.

One thing that is very important, especially to anyone whose experience with die-cut fins is mainly limited to "die-crushed" fins in many popular kits - take care when removing the laser-cut plywood parts (fins, fin fairings, RCS nozzles, etc.)

The plywood parts are quite intricately cut and come out of the plywood sheet pretty easily, however, on some parts (particularly the four fins), there are small details which at first glance look mainly like splinter fragments which on other kits you would assume was just sloppy die-cutting, and probably be tempted to just bust off, cut off or sand off.

Don't do it - those details are supposed to be there. The laser-cut parts fit together very precisely, and you don't want to snap these small details off. So be careful when removing these parts from the plywood.

The S-II interstage adapter, the LM shroud adapter, and the four wooden engine nozzles, all need to be sealed before finishing, and that's one step that can be done all at once.

OK, at this point, I have the motor mount all done, the fin fairing A-frames put together, and the conical wooden parts all sealed and drying, so I'm gonna let it sit till morning. So far, so good.

(While I was in the process of doing all this, I threw together a Fat Boy kit I had sitting in the cabinet, with some minor mods to make it into a Fat Boy D-E Version) )

Ahh yeah, finally cemented the rudder fins on my Hobby Labs SR-71, too. As soon as I decal it up, I guess it's ready to go.

#### illini

##### Well-Known Member
Based on my experience with the Dr. Zooch Saturn I Blk 2 and Saturn IB, you can expect no plastic, some paper wraps, and lots of detailed work involving tweezers. Definitely not a 3 or 4 session kit.

JStarStar...would love to have you compare the Alway and Zooch Saturn V's once you have both.

#### JStarStar

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Think I'll do that, Illini...

Today's progress on the Saturn Press Sat V:

Cut out and hand-curled the cardstock F-1 engine nozzle skirts, and the fin fairing shrouds .. glued the nozzle skirts into their conical shape, then glued them on the wooden nozzle turnings.

The instructions note the nozzle turnings may require some sanding to properly seat in the nozzle skirts. This is quick work with a Dremel.

Glued the engine assemblies together, and glued them into the motor mount unit. Care must be taken to get the engine bell assemblies seated correctly into the motor mount.

Left the glue to dry for a few hours while I went out to run some errands, then came back and did preliminary painting. Sprayed the fin fairing assemblies gloss white as per P. Alway's instructions, and the engine bells/motor mount metallic silver. That's enough for one night, gonna let the paint dry and cure for a full day before I do any more on those assemblies.

Tomrrow, start cutting out and fitting the trim pieces (interstage tunnels, ullage rockets, etc.) and main-body painting.

So far it's lookin' pretty good.

Mr. Blue-Suit Santa should arrive with my Zooch Sat V tomorrow,- no mail today 'cuz of Columbus Day - so I suppose I'll launch right into building that too. Hopefully I can have both of 'em done within a week or so.

-Chris

#### JStarStar

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Sorry I got waylaid for a week or so here, but I should be finishing up the Alway Saturn in the next couple days. I'll post pics when I do. The build is going OK, I have just had a few other things going on for a few days.

#### Dr.Zooch

##### Well-Known Member
"Zoochified"... I love it! I'd like to know how my kit flies as compared to Peter's. I don't own a copy of his, in fact I did not even know it existed prior to NARAM 2004. (Yes I was that detached from the model rocketry world prior to introducing the kits). What I saw of it was amazing, however. He has made it super detailed and laser cut everything it seems. Micro detail! It is like his books, just super well done with great time and expense invested. My rocket kits are like paperbacks compared to his hardcover. Laser cut tubes?... never heard of it... I cut mine with an Xacto knife along a pencil mark... costs you less. Super detail and scale... HA!...it'll be goin' too fast for anyone to notice. Still, I'd like to know how the two fly side by side.

#### Peter Alway

##### Well-Known Member
<i>I don't own a copy of his, in fact I did not even know it existed prior to NARAM 2004. (Yes I was that detached from the model rocketry world prior to introducing the kits). </i>

Don't feel too out of it. The kid *didn't exist* before NARAM 2004!

#### Dr.Zooch

##### Well-Known Member
Yours is a highly cool kit. I never considered that folks would take methods from each of us to make their kits better. That's what rocketeering is all about.