Back in the saddle - Washington DC

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Jun 14, 2017
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Hello! I used to build & fly rockets as a kid, but havent been near one in 20 years....then I got back into it in a big way this Spring. I'm in the DC area (Arlington), and we launch in a very large field out by Manassas, but I'm also really looking to get involved in some local clubs if possible. I'm starting to get interested in mid power and high power....but in any case, here's the progression of kits I've built over the past several months. My skills have been progressing slowly but surely along the way.

Started with a rocket but man its easy to lose sight of:


Then I built these 3 - Little Fat Boy is definitely is a favorite performer. Had to dig the Baby Bertha out of the trees. Lost a Big Bertha over the fence....but got another kit ready. The finishes on these are kindof ugly, didnt figure out sealing fins, filling spirals, enamel paints, etc.


Estes Bull Pup and Mini John are lot of fun, but I did convert the Mini John to streamer recovery due to my inability to get the parachute to deploy:


The Red Max kits unexpectedly became a favorite of mine - even have a MDRM on the way!


To get into bigger stuff, a Big Daddy. I wish I had been more adventurous getting a fade in the painting, maybe next time.


One of my favorite rockets, the Estes Mercury Redstone. With this one I started using Duplicolor automotive filler primer and enamels using the techniques outlined in the forum here and I'm starting to get much better results:


One that I always wanted as a kid, but just too big, the Mean Machine. I was able to find an older 90s kit on eBay UK for $20 plus $12 shipping. Can't beat that! Kit was a little banged up on the tubes but some filler and primer smoothed it over. The weather in DC is incredibly humid now so I'm holding off on painting the black (and painting the following rockets) until it clears up because I get really bad blushing.


Estes V2 and Mega Mosquito with their yellow base coat. Waiting for lower humidity to mask and spray the black:


R2D2 also waiting for the dry weather!


Lastly a pair of cluster rockets, a Screamer (2x 18mm) and a Semroc Ranger (3x 18mm). Not going to wait for the weather to spray & sand the primer, but will wait for final painting. Really looking forward to launching these!


Oh....and there's a pile or two of kits waiting to get built! Starting with a fiberglass 1.6" Black Brant kit I bought from Madcow on their 4th of July sale....separate thread to follow!

Sounds like you've got the beginnings of a good collection.
Can't quite see your pictures though, (may be my network)
Welcome tpallas.
Can't see your pictures.
You can upload your photos to your own albums here on the forum and they will show.
Just go to your home page by clicking your name in the upper right corner of the page.
Create a album and upload your photo's.
When your posting, at the bottom of that page click on manage attachments and add the photos to your post.
Looking forward to seeing your builds!
Fixed the images - I hadn't realized what Photobucket had done - for 3rd party hosted they want you to pay $399 a year?? So I found that Postimage is a popular, free option now.

I appreciate the references to the clubs - definitely going to check it out!
Welcome tpallas. Yeah, photobucket is holding your pictures hostage. I think you will really enjoy flying with a club. You have some choices too, between the two hobby rocket organizations as well as one of the premier independent clubs in USA.

In addition, suggest checking out the following local clubs

There are lots of great options around DC. Launching on the national mall is not one of them.
Maybe once!!

I live in Washington DC also. (Far Southwest above Joint Base Bolling AFB.)
It is strictly forbidden to fly anything within a 5 mile radius of downtown DC. since 911. Actual NO Fly Zone @ 0ft altitude.

I belong to NARHAMS Model Rocket Club. Sanctioned in May of 1965 we are the Oldest continuously operating Model Rocket Club in the USA, possibly the World.
We meet every first Saturday of the month at College Park Airport - Hap Arnold Center, MD between 5:30 & about 10:00pm with a Building session, Demo or film between 5:30 & 7:00pm followed by the business meeting. Actually have a meeting coming up this evening,
We fly at two locations: LPR only at Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt Md. on the first Sunday of the month. No Gliders, Clusters or rockets with motors over D12. It a super Small field surrounded by high trees anyway. So low and slow is really preferred.

Generally on the third Saturday of the month we fly Up to G motors on our monthly Sport flight field about 70miles away at Old National Pike Park, Mt. Airy Md, 21771. It's a great flying field though a little hilly and there are rows of Trees between open farm fields.
At this field we fly everything from Micro-Maxx 1/8A.5-1 to G80's, Gliders, Helicopters, Clusters, Odd-Rocs, PMC's and all kinds of Sport flying models as well as many contest and high performance LPR, MPR model rockets.
This coming September 18th we will hold our annual Day/Night Launch starting about 12:00pm for daylight flights along with our first "New Pink Book" NRC contest. and a few National Record Trial flights are expected. Daytime range is closed down about 5:30pm to change over for approved Night Flight flying starting about 7:00pm til 9:15pm. We must be packed up & off the field by 10:00pm.
All new Night flight rockets must make and "All UP" day time qualifying flight to be included during night time operations.
Rockets with up to B motors can be Illuminated by Cyalume (Glo-Sticks) All rockets using C or better motors must have an electronic N.I. T.E. (Night Illumination Tracking Equipment) payload with at least 2000mcd @ 2000feet visibility. These can be Strobe, LED, Elector-Luminescent Panels or Wire. or any combination.
See our Web-site for further info @

We have another further out field were it fly as well but it's only open to club members and is over an hour away in Carol County Maryland.

Come on over, we'ed love to have you fly with us.

NOVAAR Model Rocket club meets somewhere in Virginia and flies from a huge horse venue in the Plains, Va. They fly a lot of HPR stuff if that is your main interest.
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