Are you partial to a particular manufacturer?

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dr wogz

Fly caster
Feb 5, 2009
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Land of Poutine!
While I was building last night, and pondering my fleet as the epoxy cured. I got thinking.. How many different manufacturers do I have / does my fleet represent. And is one more favorable than another?

I asked this as I am build two Madcow kits. This brings my Madcow brand kits up to about 5. I have 1 LOC kit, and 3 Binder Design, as well as one Wildman and 1 old Scale Kits AMRAAM.. And, I have a PML AMRAAM to round out the ‘HPR’ range..
I have about 7 Fliskits, and a few Thrustline kits still, as well as a few TLP kits. I have a slew (too many to count! Estes kits, and a number of scratch builts & clones. These would be the bulk of my fleet, putting LPR in the majority.

Do I favour one manufacturer over another? I don’t think so. I buy what appeals to me. Madcow seem to be becoming the “Estes” of the HPR world. (Have they surpassed LOC, offering a greater kit count?!) I love Fliskits for the designs, and the range he offers, everything from simple 3FNC to elaborate Skill level 5 sci-fi / fantasy interstellar cruisers. I love Binder for his ‘kit layout’ & designs.

I do try to get a kit form each manufacturer out there, but I’m obviously falling a bit short..

Do you tend to buy across the board? Or stick with a tried & true manufacturer?
I go across the board, from as many as possible if the kit is interesting. Even much maligned manufactures like DAS MODELL make great kits if you have the patience to make them work.

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I buy whatever strikes my fancy. I have Estes, Rocketry Warehouse, Madcow, Wildman, Binder Design, Gary T. Designs, Fliskits, and Squirrel Works. I actually have a spreadsheet list of all my rockets. I'm up to 49 built and unbuilt. Spread the love.
I've built a bunch of LPR kits from Semroc & Estes (of course), but have also purchased kits to be built from Squirrelworks, Rocketarium, Quest, even Space-X.

With regards to mid & high-power stuff, I've scratch built with LOC parts, but the only kits I've bought (not counting light-duty PS2) have been from MAC Performance. So far, I've built two, just started a third and may be getting a 4th soon. It helps, though, that Mike Crupe is a member of our club...
I don't know if it is because a manufacturer is favorited or because of which low power rocket designs and prices fit my situation and desires. Estes and Quest are the majority with several other manufacturers represented in ones and twos and threes, Sunward, ASP, Apogee, Sirius, Fliskits, Squirrel Works. Don't know offhand whether there is an unfinished Semroc kit in there somewhere. Or another maker I'll have to apologize for not remembering.
Has been a several year gap in working on rockets.
But, yeah, moreso than that a rocket is made by __________ I go for ones which are interesting, with the specific definition of interesting being ... umm ... well ... interesting.
I find myself drawn to particular designs, and I'm apparently not that picky about who makes them. That said, there definitely is differentiation among the various manufacturers. Although I have a small HPR fleet, it's pretty evenly distributed among the big players. The only shop I'm hesitant to try is PML- have heard some not-nice things about the tubing...but am not sure it's warranted. My LPR experience is less diverse- I don't have many kit rockets, most of my 60+ birds are clone from designs of yore that I missed building as a kid, and are predominantly Estes in origin.
When I was a kid all I knew about were the Big Two, Estes and Centuri. MPC was just a rumor, I think I found two or three of their kits at a yard sale, but didn't know where to get them.
As an adult I vowed to collect and build kits from as many manufacturers as possible. I now own kits from Apogee to Dr Zooch. Mostly LPR but there are a few MPR and HPR in there too.
I'm not attracted to one particular style although fantasy/sci fi and scale seem to catch my eye more often, but I have nothing against 3-4FNC if it looks nice.
I say variety is the spice of life.
Not brand loyal my stashed build pile is from estes wizards to Madcow Massive Frenzy , with lots of odds and ends in between Its more I have no self control and over buy
Ya gotta love model rocket company names, Madcow, Public Missiles, Squirrel works :cool:
WildMan has been 1 stop shopping for me . AT Hobbyline , Kevlar, Epoxy, LOC & PML components . Kits motors and components . Recon chutes and nomex am partial too also

Have been very partial to the eGGtimer rocketry kits for electronics ..

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When it comes to kits.....I'm partial to myself as manufacturer. :)

I think the first three kits I bought for Level 1and DD were a Loc IV, a Loc Caliber and then a Loc Vulcanite.
Level 2 was a Binder Raptor about 14 years ago, everything since has been mostly scratch built or kit parts that I order from Loc P. - that were heavily modified for the most part.
Loc Precision was popular back then and accessible. What I couldn't get from them I got from PML.

I like the standardized parts selection Loc P. has, makes designing a scratch build on paper from components fairly easy to do - before even buying anything.
I'll FG when needed.

I did build a Cosmodrome Aerobe Hi, a PML Quantum Leap and a Sheri's Hot Rocket Gemini Titan, when I started getting into staging and clustering.

Lot of choices out there now.
I picked up a Wildman Eagle Claw mini at a meet recently...first kit I've purchased in awhile.

Curious about the Mac Performance canvas phenolic stuff....sounds interesting.
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I tend to gravitate to LOC before everything else. That said I have build a Madcow Squat that I love and will eventually build a Binder and finish the MAC kit I have. For me it goes back to nostalgia. My fist serious rocket kit was a LOC Starburst and my re-entry to rocketry was with a LOC Onyx. I guess I am a LOC fanboy.
I have kits from 59 manufacturers, plus various scratch builds/clones/and bashed kits.

The majority are Estes, just due to the fact that they've had the largest selection over the years.....
I have kits from most manufacturers...past and present. Having said that, I definitely have some favorites. Among them:

MAC Performance Rocketry
Aerospace Speciality Products
Rocketarium (Now including ARG kits in their line)
Edmonds Aerospace (RIP) - I will purchase just about any kit I find from them these days

Beyond that, I would like to encourage everyone to try out some of the smaller vendors if they have kits which interest you. It is good for the hobby to have them around, and they need our support. I have some wonderful and unique kits: Aggressor Aerospace and Boyce Aerospace come to mind...

I quite like the Sirius Rocketry kits like the SS Cestris or the Interrogator I have built. Love the futuristic designs that really pop with the decals and other details.

Having said that, I will build anyone's rockets that I like!
Madcow and Wildman Fiberglass kits $ 146.50 for an G-Force and $ 83 for a Cheetah cardboard kits from Aerotech are way to overpriced in Canada , same for LOC. The Thin wall kits from both Wildman and Madcow make FB kits very interesting even for low power ( E-F-G), you can downsize the chute on grass landing and walk less.
So then, do we buy from Canadian suppliers? (Do we need more resellers?!)

Do we buy from US suppliers? Do we buy directly from US manufacturers? Do you take advantage of "Kinek"?

What about hardware & sundries.. do we buy from McMaster Carr, or go local at Fastenal, Fastbolt, etc..?
Ya gotta love model rocket company names, Madcow, Public Missiles, Squirrel works :cool:

What else would we call it?