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Anyone build for pay in the Houston Texas area?

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scstrain

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I used to build kits as a kid, now I am much older and am getting back into rockets again. Just purchased a 1/200 Estes Saturn V, ready to fly. It is a beautiful rocket. My dream rocket has always been a 1/100 Estes Saturn V. I see "New", kits available on E bay for different years versions of this rocket.

My problem is that I am a terrible builder. Are there any folks out there that are are really good builders that would build a kit like this for pay? I live in the Houston Texas area but could drive a much further distance if necessary.
 

Mushtang

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There was a guy here years ago from the Houston area that might have jumped all over this, Luke Strawwalker, but he's no longer active on this forum. You might find him on Yorf and ask him.
 

scstrain

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Thanks' for your reply.

Any other suggestions from others?
 

dr wogz

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I've dealt with questions like this in the past, but in a different hobby [R/C planes].

I think any one of us is willing to build you a kit, provided the pay is right, and the kit worthy of their time. What I think makes them hesitant is the difference in your & their expectations.

for example:
They may provide a completed model that is functional in every aspect for repeated flights, and all for $100. But you are disappointed that it's not 'museum quality', or you then pull it apart & do your own mods & such to it, it crashes on the first flight and you blame them... Not implying anything, just personal experience. I don't build [R/C airplanes] for anyone anymore mainly for those reasons.

Building is part of this hobby!

And the Sat V is probably one of the hardest to build & fly.. all those iddy-biddy details & bits, the masking.. balancing.. it is truly a labour of love to build!
 

Funkworks

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I bet plenty of people would do it, but agreeing on the pay will be the hard part.
 

rklapp

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Call me colloquial but a hobby where you pay someone to do the hobbying is not a hobby, it's a spectator sport.

I've crashed many rockets. Part of the excitement of the hobby is spending hours building and painting the rocket then sending it up. When everything comes together and it lands in one piece, that's the icing. Otherwise, I'd build model airplanes or ships in bottles. After landing two rockets in trees this morning, I'm thinking about building car models again. The problem is that I know as a kid, I would get bored with my model cars and end up shooting them with my BB gun so probably not a good choice. I'd rather glue, sand, paint, then stick explosives into them so they can launch skyward.
 

Antares JS

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First, I want to agree with what dr wogz said.

Also, IMO, the newer Saturn V kits are not that hard to build with their vacu-form body wraps taking care of most of the fiddly bits and details relatively easily. The latest one even has a plastic piece for the SLMA so you only have to build one transition for Interstage 2. They also don't have balsa parts requiring endless sealing and sanding to make them come out neatly. The only wood parts are a few half-dowels that you cut to length and glue in between the body wraps, and one round of sealing and sanding those is probably going to be enough. You just need to have some patience and don't rush.

Much moreso that building, where the Saturn V kits get you is painting. Painting the black on those corrugations neatly is hard, but again, if you're patient and don't rush, you can probably produce something that looks decent.

Plus, your situation is not a unique one - Everyone who doesn't practice is a terrible builder. I was a terrible builder when I was starting out. If you lack that much confidence, I would suggest getting some simpler kits and practicing with them, developing the skills you will need to build a Saturn V. Start with something like an Estes Alpha or Big Bertha to develop basic techniques, and then work your way up with the scale kits, starting with the simpler ones like the Nike Smoke, and Honest John, eventually working your way up to the Mercury Redstone, Little Joe I and II, and finally the Saturn V.

You'll also probably get a lot more satisfaction out of the flight if YOU built the rocket yourself. A lot of the magic is lost for me when I fly a rocket that I didn't build.
 

Antares JS

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Call me colloquial but a hobby where you pay someone to do the hobbying is not a hobby, it's a spectator sport.

I've crashed many rockets. Part of the excitement of the hobby is spending hours building and painting the rocket then sending it up. When everything comes together and it lands in one piece, that's the icing. Otherwise, I'd build model airplanes or ships in bottles. After landing two rockets in trees this morning, I'm thinking about building car models again. The problem is that I know as a kid, I would get bored with my model cars and end up shooting them with my BB gun so probably not a good choice. I'd rather glue, sand, paint, then stick explosives into them so they can launch skyward.
I feel this. I never shot my own stuff with a BB gun but I've tried to start on some static model projects and just couldn't stay interested. I always quickly want to go back to building something that flies.
 

rklapp

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Dude, just buy the Dragon 1/72 kit. It comes pre-assembled and is absolutely beautiful.


Dragon 1/72 Saturn V
I guess the stages could be glued together and a stuffer tube drilled through to the NC. Would be kinda shame...

The reason why I got tired of my car models is that they just sat there on the shelf doing nothing. At least with model rockets, I can launch them periodically.
 

scstrain

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I understand what you all are saying. However, there can be other reasons that somebody does not build, and they truly wish that they could. I would not expect museum quality, just a good looking rocket. And, I do not expect people to work for free. I know that time is money. If nobody does it, that's all I need to hear. Not all the rest. And I do not mean that in any rude manner.
 

rklapp

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Sounds reasonable. I’d buy the Dragon model then go to club launches and watch others crash their Saturns. ;)
 

Marc_G

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Another aspect to this, aside from expectations about what the end result will be, would be how cost prohibitive it would be in most cases.

A complex build like a scale Saturn V would take dozens of hours. I value my free time at about $100/hr. Sure, that's more than my job pays me for my time, but not THAT much more. When you look at time as a resource... some goes to job, some may go to family, some goes to sleep, what's left over for most people is PRECIOUS.

For example, I can do most handyman stuff around the house, and prefer to do lots of things myself if I have skills/tools to do a quality job. But there's a lot of gray area where I COULD do it but maybe I don't want to sink that much time into the project and it would be worth it to hire it out. I use $100/hr as my rule of thumb. If I could do it in three hours (=$300 value), but I can hire it out for $250, I hire it out.

Folks with more time on their hands certainly might have a different equation, but even at $10/hr... that Saturn V is gonna cost hundreds. There's also the risk ... what if the person building it screws up the wrap and needs to buy a new kit or some such? Making sure there is an agreed-upon process to resolve that case is critical.

My recommendation is start with something less ambitious and develop the skills that eventually will let you tackle the Saturn V. Keep the V on the back of the build pile for a while; eventually you will be up to it.

While I never really cared much for scale models, I got to be (I think) a pretty good builder for a while, but then the press of other things going on in life took the wind out of my building sails and I slowed way down. I'm nowhere near as good as I was at my peak. I'm trying to get back into the building form I once had. I'm finishing up an Asteroid Hunter build, and have made several stupid mistakes on it that I never would have done, years ago. But, I learn from these mistakes and hopefully won't make them next time.

Don't overly criticize your build skills. Learn from each build, do the next a bit better, and mostly have fun!
 

PayLoad

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A poorly built rocket you did yourself is so much more satisfying than having someone else build for you.

A tie in to the "I want to start a rocket company" thread; Now THERE is a niche that is not completely over saturated already - a company that sells pre-built models, THAT would succeed for a small shop.

Also, Nobody else had car wrecks with their model cars & set them on fire?
 
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Ez2cDave

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Another aspect to this, aside from expectations about what the end result will be, would be how cost prohibitive it would be in most cases.

A complex build like a scale Saturn V would take dozens of hours. I value my free time at about $100/hr. Sure, that's more than my job pays me for my time, but not THAT much more. When you look at time as a resource... some goes to job, some may go to family, some goes to sleep, what's left over for most people is PRECIOUS.

Folks with more time on their hands certainly might have a different equation, but even at $10/hr... that Saturn V is gonna cost hundreds. There's also the risk ... what if the person building it screws up the wrap and needs to buy a new kit or some such? Making sure there is an agreed-upon process to resolve that case is critical.
Whatever happened to Rocketeers just helping each other out. Now, it has, apparently, become all about "making a buck" off of a guy who asks for help.

BTW - At $100 / hr., that model better be ABSOLUTELY PERFECT !

Scale Modelers for the WSMC often spend more than 1000 hours building their models, from SCRATCH, "down to the rivets" . . . So, are those models worth over $100,000 ? NOT !

Dave F.

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markschnell

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Climbing onto my soapbox.

How about a little perspective? Does every golfer build their own clubs? No, so it's not a hobby then? I collect and use Weber kettle grills. I've never built one, and I don't raise my own animals. So that makes me a spectator? Do backpackers all make their own tents, sleeping bags, and hiking shoes? Okay, hopefully you get my point. Come on, people. Lighten up. Like many of you, building is as much, if not more, of the hobby for me than launching. It doesn't have to be that way for everyone.

BTW - The only part of launching rockets that is spectator sport is after you've pushed the button and are watching them come down. There's a whole lot more to rocketry than just building.

Climbing down now.
 

Zeus-cat

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It is possible that this person may have a physical disability that prevents them from building. They could have poor eyesight, Parkinson's or some other medical issue that doesn't allow them to build. Or maybe they really dislike building and painting. Or maybe they have a spouse that doesn't want them to make a mess.

How many "I hate..." threads have been posted here? Usually sanding, painting, or some other tedious aspect of building some of us hate. If they are willing to pay and someone is willing to be paid then we have a win-win in my book.
 

scstrain

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EXACTLY, WHAT YOU JUST SAID. PEOPLE THINK THEY KNOW EVERYBODYS SITUATION. THANK YOU ZEUS-CAT.
 

markschnell

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I asked a simple yes or no question. And if yes, maybe a name. That's all I wanted...........................not a bunch of lectures and sermons. Good Grief.................
Sorry. This is a great place, really. You might send a message to Chris Michielssen. He goes by @hcmbanjo on here. He actually builds stuff for clients all the time and has one of the coolest blogs ever here. I'll bet he could give you so direction on costs for this kind of thing if not help you out himself.
Welcome to TRF and I hope you'll stick around.
 

David Schwantz

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to the OP, I live in MN. I would be more than happy to build it for you. You paay to have it shipped to and from and there will be no charge for the build. I am gone for work lots and would get it done asapp for you. Please feel free to look at my threads and pm me if you'd like. Dave.
 

hcmbanjo

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Sorry. This is a great place, really. You might send a message to Chris Michielssen. He goes by @hcmbanjo on here. He actually builds stuff for clients all the time and has one of the coolest blogs ever here. I'll bet he could give you so direction on costs for this kind of thing if not help you out himself.
Welcome to TRF and I hope you'll stick around.
Thanks Markschnell for the blog and builds compliment.
I don't do any builds for individuals right now, too busy making rockets for some larger vendors!
SCTrain - You can email me (oddlrockets@bellsouth.net) and I could give some advice on costs for a specific build
but I can't tackle a Saturn V right now.
 

Bill S

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Or packing them full of firecrackers...🤣
I did this with some old model airplanes, particularly the balsa and tissue paper ones, pretty spectacular, but a shameful end for some kits I had put that much time into.
 

Blast it Tom!

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@scstrain , let me also welcome you, and I do hope you stick around. I just got back into it last year about this time, and am really wading in slowly. I like to build and thank God nothing but a busy life prevents me from doing so.

If you're anywhere near my age (65), the Saturn V is so iconic - and for me, if I ever can tackle one, I would consider it my "build of a lifetime." I can sure understand why you'd want to build one, or have one built, and see it fly. I became an engineer when I got "all growed up" and now I appreciate that beautiful monster more than ever. I have a Dragon 1:100 scale with transparent panels in my office:

20180210_204709_st_4x6_cr.jpg


My grandchildren are fascinated with it - I've since added a scale picture of myself standing in front of the F1 at the Johnson Space Center, and they always come in and want to see "tiny Pap-pap".

So already Dave Schwartz has stepped up, bless him, and Chris - you couldn't meet a nicer guy even if he can't build it.

Hope yours comes out well and many happy flights to you!
 

Blast it Tom!

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I did this with some old model airplanes, particularly the balsa and tissue paper ones, pretty spectacular, but a shameful end for some kits I had put that much time into.
I once had an aircraft carrier model that I "sank" (destroyed) by filling it about half-full of gasoline... KIDS DO NOT TRY THIS!
 

NOLA_BAR

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I did this with some old model airplanes, particularly the balsa and tissue paper ones, pretty spectacular, but a shameful end for some kits I had put that much time into.
Balsa and tissue planes are pretty neat. I tried a couple, just was a bit beyond my skills at the time. My plastic models weren’t too good either, bad glue and paint jobs. I got better at model rockets over time.
 
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