Anybody try

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Sep 12, 2002
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They seem to have some interesting scale designs. Wondered if anyone had built one, had some info on quality, buildability, etc.
I'm surprised there have not been any replies to this yet. As for me personally, I've not tried anything of that calabre yet...but surely someone out there has.
I have purchased a couple of these rocket kits and have been quite impressed with the quality. For the airframe, it seems like it is a LOC 54MM motor mount tube so it is quite rugged and durable. The nose cones are also thick walled and fit well, the fins are made of plywood and the chute is nylon. I think these kits will be the replacment for "The Launch Pad" kits that are no longer produced, but they are so much more rugged than those. I would certainly recommend purchasing these kits. I'm replacing the fins on my Sea Sparrow with G-10 and putting in a 38mm mount. Think it'll shred?
Originally posted by airwolfe1
I think these kits will be the replacment for "The Launch Pad" kits that are no longer produced, but they are so much more rugged than those. I'm replacing the fins on my Sea Sparrow with G-10 and putting in a 38mm mount. Think it'll shred?

Untrue. TLP kits are being produced again! ;)

I think you'll be alright with your mods. I personally plan on picking up a ScaleKits kit sometime. I think they look great and priced reasonably too!
When did they start producing them? Their web site had indicated for a long time that there was a medical issue and had stopped or scaled back and then in the last couple of months I noticed their web site was no longer up. I guess I just made an assumption that they were no longer producing them.
If the Launch Pad kits are being produced, why haven't I recieved the ones I orderd back in April? :confused:

As far as Scale Kits I wish they had another payment option.
Originally posted by airwolfe1
When did they start producing them?

Not sure on that one.

Here's a direct quote from <a href="">Red Arrow Hobbies</a> - "THE LAUNCH PAD MODEL AND MID POWER ROCKET KITS...Yup, that's right, The Launch Pad rockets are back!! More kits will be added as they become available. Keep checking back!"

Additionally, from <a href="">Performance Hobbies</a> - "ALL LAUNCH PAD KITS NOW IN STOCK!
New stock just in, every single Launch Pad kit is in stock and ready to ship"

If the Launch Pad kits are being produced, why haven't I recieved the ones I orderd back in April?

Steve, I have no idea what their internal sales procedures or controls are. My only suggestion would be to go with a reputable vendor that can guarantee their own inventory. Aside from the two mentioned above, I don't know who else has them in stock. Best of luck with the "lost in space" order.
tnrocketman asks:

>Anybody try

I've got an SA-2 Guideline and a Little John from them. Both very nice kits. Good value for the price. Haven't built them yet, but the instructions are good and they appear to make reasonable tradeoffs between buildability and oversimplification.

I've seen these kits at our local NAR meetings.

Appear to be very high quality.
I ordered the Phoenix kit.
I have cut the lower fins. My stiff hands can only do so much cutting a day. I am modifying the upper long fins with some thru the wall tabs so they will take me some time.

So far the component quality is good. Nice thick BT, NC, and MMT.
Yeah....the lack of thru the wall fin tabs to mount onto the MMT would be my only drawback with these kits. Just picked up an ALARM for a future rainy day project.
Originally posted by airwolfe1
Yeah....the lack of thru the wall fin tabs to mount onto the MMT would be my only drawback with these kits. Just picked up an ALARM for a future rainy day project.

Based on current (& future) Scale Kits reviews at EMRR seem to lament that the fins on their kits are not TTW :( So as long as you stay within the recommended motor range, they are very well designed/built kits.

That quote from RED ARROW was back in Mar or so when they were sending out kits for a short time. Now their web site is down & the Distrubiters have had no shippments since April! I don't think there will be any more But some may have kits in stock for a time. Of course some may take the co over-one never knows on this co!
Chuck was very sick!
nice kits!
for that power range surface mount fins should do just fine.

but if TTW is a must have feature ,,no need to cut new fins, just glue a tab on, and the fillets will insure the joint is plenty strong.
I know for a fact that Chuck Barndt is alive and well and producing TLP kits. I don't know if he intends to revive his web site but he is shipping kits to at least one vendor I know - Performance Hobbies. I picked up a HARM AGM-88A a couple of weeks ago.
Originally posted by rebar_rocketry
I have an order in right now (that I've had in since April) for 75 of the launch pad kits.
Ken Allen of Performance Hobbies probably has a slight advantage over other vendors waiting for TLP kits - he just stops by Chuck's house and picks them up on his way to (or back from) launches.
I still have the email address I had used once for Launch Pad & I sent a message today & it was returned to me that the add is not a good one. If he is still making kits, He has no email address I know of. A friend has an order in since Mar 04 & no kit or response to letters!
I wonder what is up?
Hello, I am the owner of Scale Kits and just thought I'd share some things of interest with my kits. When I started I wanted to build scale military rockets that were rugged and long lasting. I have had too many kits damaged (poor quality) or lost (misconfigured or overpowered and gone). With that in mind I chose to use LOC body tubes as they are much stronger than most tubes I have used. I also wanted to keep the motor selection lower to both keep the rockets in the hands of those using mid-power and to keep the altitudde down so the rocket is found. I make my own parachutes from rip-stop nylon using both a sewing machine and a serger. I use mainly basswood, with some plywood and balsa and poplar. The nose cones are a variety of LOC and custom made balsa from BMS and my own lathe. Decals are laser printed and some are vinyl letters like those used on automobiles. Centering rings are plywood. Shock cord is bungie 1/8 and 3/16 depending on weight. Transitions are custom balsa as well as the tail cones. I specifically made my kits so as not to compete with Launch Pad. They really are not comparable. When I noticed the Launch Pad kits were getting scarce I started to investigate as I have always liked their kits. Due to at least 2 accidents Chuck was not producing kits for quite a while. He was hoping to get back to a smaller production but unfortunately had another problem come up. That was back in Feb/Mar of this year. Since then there has only been one communication from Chuck to a distributor I know and use. I have tried to communicate several times through various methods with no luck. I then decided to start my own series of kits built on model parts that were comparable to Launch Pad - it is my "D-Series" kits. That was June and the Launch Pad site had disappeared from the web. I launched my kits and still heard nothing. In September the domain The-Launch-Pad was abondened and was deleted and went up for auction on 8/12. I bid on it but did not want to pay the hundreds of dollars that the bidding went up to. It appears from the who-is database that Chuck either won the auction or bought back the domain after the auction as he is still listed as the owner with a new expiration date. I have tried to contact him as I don't want to compete with him, I just want to make military scale kits. As it stands right now I will continue with my mid power series and the "D-series". I will be adding more kits to the "D-series" in the following weeks. I have just starting selling to distributors. THe biggest question I get and I see here in the site is about my surface mounted fins. There are many ways to mount fins to a surface and the method I have chosen is more than adequate for the motors I have tested and suggest, however I know that everyone, including me want bigger and more. I have researched and estimated the costs and differences associated with going through the wall. The fins are not the problem as I could include enough basswood stock to make tabs for the fins. The real problem is the notches in the wall. I have estimated that going through the wall would add about $2 to the cost of the kits. I beleive my kits are priced very inexpensively when compared with other midpower rockets. I have purposely tried to keep the price of the kits as low as possible. I am not trying to become rich (not possible in this market) I just like the kits I make and it offsets the cost of my hobby. I would like to offer a thru-the-wall option in the future if enough people are interested. If you have any questions or suggestions please feel free to ask. :)
Thanks for the update, Gary!

$2.00 would be worth having the tubes slotted for me. Keep up the good work and keep the new designs rolling out.

Welcome to TRF! We always love new members & especially ones that are vendors :D

I think that's great you are inspired by scale missiles but didn't want to directly compete with another vendor... There's plenty of room for everyone!

As far as the fins TTW construction issue goes, I'm sure you'll find varying opinions as to who wants them & if they would want the tube(s) pre-slotted or left up to the builder. (FWIW, I'm one of those folks that doesn't mind slotting tubes myself...but I don't have a problem with surface mounted fins either.) It's ultimately up to you as designer & vendor, to assemble, market, & sell kits are you have envisioned producing (which it certainly sounds like you have done!) So, if it ain't broke, why fix it ;)
Welcome to TRF "nicholsg"! I haven't tried one of your kits yet but I will. I like scale rockets and I like mid-power. TTW fins are only necessary if the power and/or design warrants it IMO.

Good luck with your habit and your company!
welcome Nicholsg !

I don't think your size kits "need" ttwf.
and I(personally) would preferr not to pay extra for that

now If a person wants to up-power a kit
than they should accept that ,cutting simple slots might be part of the process.

I mean,good grief- it's an easy task with a hobby knife.
Well, I am slowly building this Phoneix I bought. I have cut all the slots for the fins. I couldn't resist making the forward fins poke thru the wall for a couple of reasons:
1) when I built my SAAB model with similar long fins they had warped and I had a devil of a time getting them to lay straight on the marking line
2) I have seen lots of popped fins post painting and that is a pain to fix.

Anyway, the design came with a template for the rear fins to go to the MMT anyway, so of course I cut them that way. I also put the rear CR closer to the end of the MMT and added positive motor retention. Since there was not enough space for my standard T-nuts, I experimented with the brass threaded 6/32 fittings from Lowes. It was very tiresome trying to screw them in and I ended up with a loose fit that tended to work its way crooked. So I made a thin layer of epoxy to set them straight. Also, I didn't feel good about the 'loop of nylon epoxied on the inside surface' style of shock cord, so I drilled a hole thru the upper CR and passed a length of kevlar knotted on one end thru. I know, it is supposed to work just fine, I just had a bad experience with my first mid-power build of a LOC Graduator.

As I was cutting the slots for the 4th and final forward fin (BTW: I always number my fins and use that very fin to cut any slots-- this assures the slots match the fin that will use them perfectly and prevents my 'manufacturing irregularities' from leaving a loose fit or extra long gap), it was fitting kinda tight and SNAP! a triangular piece broke off in the slot (GRRR!). So it gets a repair before even being attached.

I like that the thick LOC style tubes are used and it comes std with a 29mm MMT-- I can always adapt down to 24mm easily.

That is where I stand right now.
I would like to say that I personally know Gary of scale kits and have seen ,built and flown several of his kits. I even wrote a Review for the BullPup on EMRR.

Bull Pup Review on EMRR

As far as the TTW fins go, these kits are more for mid-power E-G than HPR. the 1500 Feet I get on the Bull PuP is perfect for the small fields of SE Michigan. If you use GOOD epoxy fillets on your fins you will not have any trouble with them coming off.

Uncle Mike