Astron Skydart II help needed

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Kirk G

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OK, so on impulse, I picked up an Astron Skydart II on discount sale from a local vendor. I figured I'd have some fun with this Skill Level 3 kit as I assemble it at my leisure.
I've opened the package and discover the instructions are in three languages, with a minimal amount of description. There appear to be about 32 parts, not including a few multiple rings and washers that have me concerned.
Note: NONE of the parts, tubes, rings or washers are labeled by any part number, NOR ANY DIMENSIONS!

So, I'd like to ask for some help identifying which rings and tubes are which before I start assembling them. Can you confirm for me the COLORS of the following parts?

FIVE part "I" rings that appear to be metal washers.
Two part "G" green?
Two part "C" clear plastic rings?
One part "D" split ring in green
One part "FF" that appears to be a thicker fiber filler ring? in Green?
one part "F" that appears to be a normal ring, also in green?
one part "E" that may be a motor stop? in yellow?

There are four tubes of varying lengths included:
one tube "J" in natural tan as the main body tube? about 13" long
one tube "A" in white that is 12" long
one tube "K" in white that is 6" long (I am guessing that this tube is slit in half to form two shells on either side of the body tube?
one tube "X" in yellow that appears to be some sort of insert spacer only? about 2 3/4" long (70 mm long)
one tube "H " in white about 2" long (50 mm long)
one launch lug "L"

Any help in confirming that I'd identified these parts correctly before I begin would be helpful.
Thanks in advance!

EDIT: After posting this thread, five additional threads showed up as suggestions at the bottom of the thread, and at least one is a build thread that has helped tremendously in visualizing how this is going to go together. As a result, I think I'm good to go...however I can't delete this thread. So, thanks for reading it.
PS: I've also seen a few threads warning of problems and so I am forewarded about too much weight in glue or in paint. THANK YOU!
 

GlenP

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I have had trouble with searching for a particular topic and not being able to find it, until after I post a detailed thread and then find the suggested related topics at the bottom with the exact answer that I had been searching for in the first place.

https://www.estesrockets.com/media/instructions/003229_ASTRON_SKYDART_II.pdf

Note the last page of this PDF, I think it was an insert, an extra page in the bag, on how to balance the model. This is much easier to do BEFORE you glue the nose cone in place as instructed on page 4 step 5.
 

Nytrunner

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I'm not really into boost gliders, but recently came into possession of a Skydart II, so thanks for posting! Now I can find the related threads easily too!
 

gpoehlein

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Grab a copy of the instructions for the original Skydart from Ye Olde Rockets: https://www.oldrocketplans.com/estes/estK-57/estK-57.htm

Much of the model is pretty much the same (largest difference is the engine pods were folded cardstock rather than a split body tube). You can do a parts comparison and also look at the way the original went together.
 

Kirk G

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OK, my face is read. While doing the initial assembly last night, I discovered an insert with details of balancing, and printed in fine print on the back is exactly the type of part and color description that I was asking for.

Now, as I am about to start the wing fin assembly, I have a question about how to finish or seal the wing.
In all earlier rockets with fins, I have sanded, and then sealed with a slurry of water and wood glue, sanded, and again applied, and sanded and applied a third coat... all before priming and then spraying a finish coat.

But I understand there is an issue/concern about too much weight build-up on this model.
So, I am wondering how important it is to seal the balsa before priming... or, should I do one light coat of slury to seal it, and then one coat of primer & finish spray white from Lowes?

In earlier gliders, I either never treated nor finished the balsa at all... or else, opted for my daughter to use felt pen markers to decorate the balsa wings.

Comments, please....
 

Kirk G

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OK, the instructions say to round the leading edge of the wing and tail fin. But just what does this mean? Is this the feathering of the leading edge that we do in all other rocket fins, or something special?
Is it rounded, or sanded to a knifes' edge?

And once done, do you seal it with CA... or just with balsa sealant like normal?

(Again, I'm debaiting how much wood glue slury to use to seal it, or if that's even a good idea or not?)
 

gpoehlein

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Just round it - a knife's edge would likely be counter productive and overkill. You can feather the trailing edge if you like, but the lift is all going to come from the elevator after it is released. As to sealing the wing, CA would probably be lighter, but you should use the method that you are most comfortable with.
 

Kirk G

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Having trouble in two spots already....

First, when inserting the engine block, one swipes some glue deep inside the tube...inserts the block and then shoves it into place with a yellow positioning tube pre-marked to stop at the correct distance.
The problem is that the yellow tube grabbed short of the right depth, and increased force suddenly made it slip, and has shoved the block about 1/8" to 1/2" too far into the tube. I barely got the yellow insert tube out before it seized again.
Any suggestions? I fear the distance between the end of the metal clip and the motor block is going to be that 1/8" to 1/2" distance that it slid too far. What should I do? Nothing? Re-position the metal motor hook? or cut an appropriate spacer from the end of the now unneed yellow tube to slide inside and be the new motor block?

Second concern: While trying to thread the nylon screw into the balsa wood hole, it became apparent
that there is no contact...no thread making going on. So additional applications of CA to toughen and fatten the threads have not been successful. Now, the CA apparently wasn't dry the last time I attempted to thread the hole, and I fear the first 1/8" of the nylon threads on the screw have become clogged with CA and dried smooth.
What should I do? find another nylon screw and replace the damaged one? Cut another balsa piece and attempt to start with a smaller hole? Or take a razor blade and attempt to clean out the clogged threads of the nylon screw? Or just cut off the clogged threads of the screw and hope that the screw is long enough to accomplish the adjustment?
 

hcmbanjo

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Hi Kirk,
The engine hook is 5/8" out the back of the BT-20 stuffer tube.
You can make a spacer out of the yellow tube. Start a little long with the yellow tube and check if an engine casing fits with the hook 5/8" out the back.
Trim the yellow casing until you get it right.

There is CA thinner out there but I don't have any experience with it.
Maybe try some nail polish remover? Here's link:
https://www.wikihow.com/Remove-Super-Glue
 

GlenP

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I have been on a boat-tail kick lately, and put one on the engine mount tube on mine. Printed from the transition tool on PayloadBay.com

Screen Shot 2017-07-18 at 5.21.26 PM.png
 

Rex R

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with mine I found that the supplied nylon screw to be to small a diameter for my liking, I went with the nearest size imperial screw, IIRC the stock screw is an M3, think that I used a 4-40 nylon screw which was just enough larger that it matched the hole, not sure on those sizes...checked 4-40 is correct, I also glued an additional piece of balsa to that bit for added thread material.
Rex
 

Kirk G

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OK, I've got it almost all together now.

Must resist the impulse to do fillets on every seam and try to keep the weight down.

I sealed the balsa with a wood glue/water slurry and sanded lightly. Then, hit it with a light coat of White Primer and Paint in a rattle can from Lowes.

I think it's Valspar or Krylon (don't have it in front of me) but I'm thinking the flat white won't look as good as a layer of glossy white with the decals over top.

The only can of gloss white I have says "White Enamel"... Does anyone know if it will work over what I have primed with (flat white primer/paint from Lowes) or if there is some problem before I shoot it gloss white?
 

Rex R

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putting filets on the wing to bt joint is not recommended as the glue dries it will tend to distort the body (as well as add weight). usually enamel will play nice with a lot of paint types...if you are worried try doing some scrap wood as a test piece.
Rex
 

Kirk G

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It appears the hole in the tail fin S is close enough to the edge that it might pull out. Isn't it supposed to be farther away from the edge? Or does cross brace T close that off and strength it?

I'm still not finished assembling that damn screw and balsa hole configuration, but will be gluing it in place soon. I still haven't solved the lack of threads and CA in the nylon screw threads yet.
(Guess that ought to be tackled next, late tonight when I get home...)
 

Kirk G

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OK, I've run into yet another problem as I'm finishing my Astron Skydart II glider kit.

As I prep the glider for decals and painting, I have first sealed the balsa with a slurry of wood glue and water.... as I usually do, but I've limited the number of coats, trying to keep the weight down.
I've also lightly sanded between coats.

However, I also have realized that the aileron, part Q, is going to have a hinge "Y" made out of a 6" clear sticker. It occurs to me that the sticker will grab onto a glossy white coat better than a bare balsa wood surface. And, since I'm shooting the sealed balsa with a layer of Valspar Color Radiance FLAT white, that maybe I should shoot it with some glossy white Enamel to give it a better smooth surface to grip on.

I have been spraying this in a relatively humid environment of 80-90 F temps, and I'm not very pleased with the texture of the "flat" primer and paint Valspar. Sanding this slightly, I have shot the seven inch part Q aileron with gloss white, and just the surface of wing N that the clear plastic hinge sticker will grip on.

All goes well, until I attempt to tie cord Z through the three holes, and though I accomplish this, it becomes obvious that the clear plastic hinges Y is lifting off the painted pieces far too easily.
I fear that either:
1) the glue on the clear plastic hinge sticker is too weak or old,
or 2) It's not adhering to the white enamel,
or 3) I should have placed it on the flat clear sealed balsa and then painted overtop.

I know that Estes does not stock parts..and I don't want to start over from scratch on this, but I've got to find a solution so there's not a crash upon my first launch in two weeks.
(I am still struggling with figuring how to get screw U to thread into my second replacement U that I cut and fashioned and hold into position.)
I could cut a replacement part Q aileron, and seal it...and maybe I could sand like the dickens the paint off the wing N where the plastic hinge will grip... but I'm not convinced that the clear plastic hinge glue is going to permanent enough.

How would you proceed?
I've written to Estes and am waiting for a response from their design engineer who has been very supportive in the past....
but I don't think I can or should ask for another kit. It wouldn't be right. Especially if it was my error in procedure that screwed this up.

HELP anyone?
 

Kirk G

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Another thought. IF I scrap part Y because it's not gripping onto the painted surfaces well enough, what would you use to fashion a replace part Y from?
Is there a better flexible plastic tape or sticker to consider using? What have you used when something like this has failed over time or aged enought to fail?
Electrical tape? Stickers? Spray on adhesive? What would you turn to?
 

Kirk G

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Another thought. IF I scrap part Y because it's not gripping onto the painted surfaces well enough, what would you use to fashion a replace part Y from?
Is there a better flexible plastic tape or sticker to consider using? What have you used when something like this has failed over time or aged enought to fail?
Electrical tape? Stickers? Spray on adhesive? What would you turn to?
 

gpoehlein

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The closest aproximation of the clear plastic decal film Estes currently uses would be clear printer labels. Better would be clear mylar tape (might check Blicks for that). Clear packing tape might work, but is usually too heavy.

If you want to recreate the loose fabric that Estes used to use (also used for covering the fin roots on the old Sprite), used dryer sheet is a good substitute. You might want to run it through the dryer several times to make sure most of the stuff they impregnate it with is gone. To glue that in place, you'll have to sand through the paint to the bare wood. White glue would work, but I think a thin epoxy layer would work even better.
 

Sooner Boomer

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If you want to recreate the loose fabric that Estes used to use (also used for covering the fin roots on the old Sprite), used dryer sheet is a good substitute. You might want to run it through the dryer several times to make sure most of the stuff they impregnate it with is gone. To glue that in place, you'll have to sand through the paint to the bare wood. White glue would work, but I think a thin epoxy layer would work even better.
This is the way to go. Even a scrap piece of nylon (an old shirt?) would work. It would probably be best to sand the surface only where the hinge will lay, to roughen the surface so the glue will stick. If you use a "hard" glue (epoxy, CA), you will have to be very careful to keep an unsaturated section where the hinge will bend. If you use a "soft" glue (Tightbond), it will still be fairly flexible after it dries. Glue one half of the hinge on, let the glue cure. Fold a piece of cooking parchment paper in half and use this as a spacer when you glue the other half of the hinge. It should give you the proper gap, plus glue should not stick to the paper.
 
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