Another "vintage" Estes rocket from the lab

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Fore Check

Well-Known Member
Sep 24, 2010
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I picked this up cheap on eBay - the body tube was mangled and it was missing the nose cone / display nozzle. Sandman came through and turned BEAUTIFUL replacements out of basswood! I had plenty of tubes lying around.

Again, for being a skill level 2 rocket, it wasn't very easy to finish and get all the details right. I think it turned out pretty nice!

Kit # 1323
Another view taken without the flash, so you can see the bands and details better.
The same view taken with the flash, showing off that brilliant copper cone. In person, it looks somewhere between these last two. Nice!
Well, DUH!!

I'm sorry, I didn't realize that's the one I made parts for!

I was thinking of the Black Brant III...same parts.

That looks GREAT!

That basswood finishes nice!

Originally posted by sandman
Well, DUH!!

LOL! ;)

Originally posted by sandman
That basswood finishes nice!

Only took a single spray coat of sanding sealer and light sanding with 400 grit. A couple of coats of primer and a nice even coat of paint on each piece. Sweet!
Beautiful rocket Fore Check!

SPRAY SANDING SEALER?! Where, who, and how much?! I want some!

Originally posted by jetra2
Beautiful rocket Fore Check!

SPRAY SANDING SEALER?! Where, who, and how much?! I want some!


The aerosol sanding sealer is fantastic! love it!

The stuff I get is made by Folk Art (Plaid) in an 11 oz can (same size as Krylon / Wal-Mart sprays. It's about $5/can, and I get it at Michael's. Hobby Lobby used to have it, but they're hit-and-miss now.

Genius stuff! Just mask off everything you don't want sealer on, spray in light coats, sand with 400 grit, and repeat. Takes about 3 or 4 coats for a plastic-like finish. You can usually sand about 30 min after spraying. And, it goes on so evenly (compared to brush application) that sanding isn't such a chore! You can completely finish the sanding and sealing on a typical model in an afternoon.
very cool, i need to get some of that sealer.

I love that color on the nosecone, I painted a whole rocket that color (LOC IV). You might want to try covering it with something so it doesnt get scuffed like mine did (metallics seem to do that)

I'm really pleased with it. In fact, the more I look at it sitting there on the shelf, the more I like it. Not too fancy, but a nice amount of detail stuff on it that really give it an interesting look.

Probably will only get launched once or twice and then "retired" so I don't mess it up.
Probably will only get launched once or twice and then "retired" so I don't mess it up.

Fore Check,

That's an excuse I use so I can build another rocket! LOL!

Like I need an excuse.

Nice job on the rocket -I love the finish- just question on the cone - what brand of paint did you use for this Testors, Krylon ?? -and can you give us more closer pics of the details -
It is Testor's # 1251 Copper on the cone.

Krylon #1318 all Purpose Primer Gray as the base coat.

The cone itself is a solid basswood Sandman special, with a single coating of Folk Art sanding sealer and an easy-over with 400 grit sandpaper before painting.

My wife is "on assignment" (she works for the local newspaper) with the digital camera, or I could post more pics even now.

Just let me know what you'd like more details of and I'll post them here. :cool:
I thought I'd pipe in again on that Folk Art aerosol sanding sealer to illustrate how cool, fast, and easy the stuff is to work with.

Today I brought to work a body tube, a sheet of balsa fin stock, my hobby knife box, sandpaper, CA glue, a few miscellaneous parts, and a can of sealer to start my next rocket with.

(It's a long story as to how I have the time, space, and lack of direct supervision that allows me to build rockets at work.)

Anyway, I got to my office building at 7:30 am.

Right now as I type this, I have a completely built rocket, including completely sealed and sanded fins with 4 coats of sealer. The first coat of primer paint is drying right now.

I'll finish priming this evening and allow to dry overnight. I'll paint it tomorrow morning, apply decals when I get home tomorrow evening, and have a finished rocket except for the clearcote.

It used to take me FOREVER to sand and seal and finish my balsa- and I'd get so much life force drained out of me in the process that the entire build might stall a day or two just to recover. This aerosol stuff is wonderful and speeds up the process tremendously.
Fore Check!
That is a beautiful build job on one of my favorite Estes kits!!! The one I have built is from 1980 and it does not look anywhere CLOSE to that beauty of yours! I finally won one on Ebay a few months back, I'm gonna keep that one closed, but I'd like to do a scaled up one using the BT-55 tube as a base. Keep up the GREAT work!
Beautiful, man. Looks like it ought to be on tv or somethin'. :)