# Ballistic or Bust

### Help Support The Rocketry Forum:

#### Johnnie

##### Well-Known Member
There was a company out there that went out of business this past year (2003) by the name of Vaughn Brothers Rocketry. They produced quality kits, that were robust as well as good looking, and the price was not too bad either. This will be a small tribute to them...

2 years ago I won a VBR B.o.B. rocket off of the ROL auctions, and it has sat in my shop ever since. When I heard that VBR had gone out of business, I thought I might sit on this one, as it might fetch a fair price in another couple of years...nah! I not a collector, I'm a flier, and a frequent flier at that. I will try to chronical the build, finish and subsequent 1st flight, of one of the coolest birds in the VBR fleet.

Upon receiving the kit in the mail, I noticed it had been opened, by the previous owner. I inventoried the kit and took note that the launch lugs and eyebolt were missing. No problem as I have an ample supply of rail buttons from www.railbuttons.com and eyeblots are $.25 each at the local hardware store. The kit will be built stock, except for the following mods: The U.W.B (Underwear Waist Band) for a shockcord will be replaced with 9/16" tubular nylon, and the launch lugs will be replaced with buttons. Here are the kit particulars: Price tag:$24.00 (ROL auction win)
(3) Pre-cut fiberlass fins (G10)
(3) Plywood centering rings
29mm mount
77.25" tall
1.9" dia.
28" ripstop nylon parachute
Recommended to fly on F - H motors...thats right, live life on the fast side, and you would be able to cert L1 on this bird.

I weighed the parts, and before any glueing, the parts weigh 14.9 oz.

I will start construction sometime later today, and post the progress. Because of the range of motors, this post could cross migrate to High Power, but this bird is destined to fly and F & G's only...unless I feel like living life of the fast side...I200 anyone

attached is a pre-pic of the parts minus the instructions and the afore mentioned missing parts.

...oh yeah, with the start of this thread, I hit my 300th post

#### Johnnie

##### Well-Known Member
Here is a pic of the parts for the 29mm motor mount for the BoB rocket

#### Johnnie

##### Well-Known Member
To start this project, the glassine finish is sanded off of the 29mm motor mount. Then per the instructions, the 29mm tube is marked for the (3) fin locations, as well as the (2) end centering ring locations. The fin locations are marked with the aid of a supplied location guide paper. This can be seen in the attached photo.

Next, the fins are sanded on all ends except the root edge, to produce a slight radii. I merely sanded them smooth, as these fins are only a 16th of an inch thick.

Next mount the rear centering ring, by merely tacking in place with thin CA.

All gluing is accomplished with 5 minute epoxy. Why?? I hate to "babysit" fins that will need to be mounted perpendicular to the tube...@ 5 minutes per fin, you can have them all mounted. these are all epoxied and butted up against the rear ring. The upper ring is epoxied to the top of the fins.

The next part is a mod. After looking at the VBR way of mounting the shockcord, which is to make a loop out of supplied nylon string, and epoxying to the side of the inside of the bodytube, I decided to change it. The loop would have been used to attach the shockcord too. Nope, instead, I employed a Public Missiles way of mounting the shockcord: I had a piece of .5" wide nylon strap that had a "D" ring sewn onto one end of it. I 5 minute epoxied the other end of the strap to the length of 29mm motor mount tubing starting at the second centering ring. The 3rd and final centering ring is releaved a little to allow for the shockcord to pass through it, and "voila!" you have a strong SC mount.

Fillets are supplied to all perpendicular locations on the 29mm tube where both the fins and the centering rings are are mounted at.

The pic is of the motor mount showing the shockcord mount mod. Also pictured is the supplied guide for marking fin mount locations.

#### Ryan S.

Sounds like a great rocket. and only $24 with G10 fins too? Wow I would get one if they were still around #### Johnnie ##### Well-Known Member Ryan, I think that the BoB originaly sold for$29 or $30, and you still be able to get one from Common Wealth Displays or Discount Rocketry...Magnum?? #### Johnnie ##### Well-Known Member Slotting the bosy tube for fins is straight forward, and is also good practice for those of you wanting to get into mid-power. Having to slot tubes is also good practice when scratch building your first high power bird as well. easy as pie, insert the fincan assembly into the bodytube, and mark where the fins touch. You can use a razor saw, or in my case, I used the good ole xacto and a #11 blade. #### Johnnie ##### Well-Known Member here is another shot... #### Johnnie ##### Well-Known Member From here I just slot, and then mount the rail buttons. since the rocket is so long, I mounted one rail button 1" from the rear of the rocket, and the second rail button is 18" above the 1st button. #### Johnnie ##### Well-Known Member one more shot... I just want to point out, that VBR used very nice bodytubing for their rockets, the only tube stiffer than their was phenolic tubing. #### Stymye ##### Well-Known Member lookin good!!and great report so far! I agree with the quality of the kits I've been reading along with interest because I have a V bros Javelin(unbuilt) it's the 2.6 dia x 60" version (29mm) g10 fins,very simular to the Bob kit I ordered it at Discount Hobby center for$29
and it arrived the following week!

(not their typical awefull service for once)

your BoB construction has resparked my interest in building it
cant wait to see the BoB finished!

#### Johnnie

##### Well-Known Member
Hey Stymye,

The VBR Javelin was my choice for L1 in Sept. 1998...lost her 2 years ago to a G33-5 that came up to preasure 1 second before impact

I did build another, and posted it to the High Power Section of the Forum...https://rocketryforum.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=4202&highlight=javelin this one basically had a "Big Block" dropped in it

I like the B.o.B. rocket and others like it, such as the Estes Mean Machine, The Fliskits Richter Recker, and the RDS Quasar...these are all classified as flying broom sticks

Build the Javelin dude, you will not be dissapointed...

The B.o.B. should fly well on F22's thru G64's...I'm a reload man from way back

When Manchester re-opens in March, I might just cut the B.o.B. loose on an H128...would luv to get my hands on a Redline

I have not done anymore building this evening, so I will just post a scan of the Card Stock that comes with the kit...nothing speacial, just a 3FNC (3 fin and a nosecone) with a lot of tube in between.

#### Johnnie

##### Well-Known Member
I went to EMRR and found this review (not written by me) that confirms all I have posted so far...except he built his in 2 hours, and flew it the next day. This is correct, this kit does build fast.

enjoy...take notice of the flight records...G64

https://www.rocketreviews.com/reviews/oop/vb_ballisticbust.html

#### Johnnie

##### Well-Known Member
Mid power couplers are so simplistic in design, and Vaughn Brothers kept it that way, they just used quality light ply and sturdy coupler tubing. A little searching thru my hardware collection, netted me a replacement eyebolt, and together with some 5 minute epoxy I had a strong coupler. 5 minutes more, and it was mounted into the payload section of the B.o.B.

#### Johnnie

##### Well-Known Member
Here is a not very centered photo of the coupler mounted in the payload bodytube. Also pictured is the fin can with the length of shockcord mount glued to it.

#### Johnnie

##### Well-Known Member
with the help of my daughter, I made a dry run of the parts to see how it all fits together. Here is a horrible pic of the rocket with my daughter posing...this digital cam of mine seems to hate artificial light

Cold has set in a little here in North Alabama, so a paint job for the VBR B.o.B. rocket may have to wait for a while...my Hydra VII's from Semroc have arrived, so I guess I'll just keep building rockets.

A little note here, this rocket could easily stay under the 16 oz. limit, but I have added some mods, and extra epoxy in the internal fillets, so the B.o.B. as pictured is sitting @ 15.7 oz. This is without external fillets, parachute, and shockcord.

#### Johnnie

##### Well-Known Member
Wow, what a week at work, and to think, my schooling starts again this week...

Anyways, here is the fincan mounted into the booster as well as rail buttons. No fillets at this time, as I got busy on other projects...laundry

#### Johnnie

##### Well-Known Member
A habit I have developed is filling the last centering ring with epoxy...not sure if it shows in this pic, but it does show the bodytube slotted to the end...

#### Johnnie

##### Well-Known Member
Pretty G10 fins aren't they?

one more view. a little different angle...

Hope to get a Redline for this thing this week.

#### Johnnie

##### Well-Known Member
...now where was I??

Oh yes! BoB.

I stopped this thread when school started, as I basically stopped all rocketry when school started

guess what? Schools out!

So here are a couple of pics of the BoB right after the 2nd coat of black paint.

#### Johnnie

##### Well-Known Member
It was very humid when I painted, and the lower part of the booster began to look a little hazy. I touched up with another light coat to the whole rocket, and moved to higher ground.

#### omgb

##### Member
I've built a VB EX 29, an EX 24, a Li'l Wild Thing and a Spudnick. All were excellent rockets. I have one of their high power pads as well as two of their launching systems. All VB stuff is first rate. Too bad their gone.

#### omgb

##### Member
I mean, "too bad they're gone" Geez, it's getting late

#### Johnnie

##### Well-Known Member
When I was flying Hybrids, I always wanted the VB EX 54. Saw one hit 3700 feet on a HyperTEK I310 years ago.

Maybe they will re-group and come back...

#### Johnnie

##### Well-Known Member
So my good luck at a long weekend of rocket building I believe has run out. The paint on the BoB did not fair so well, as the black kept drying with hazy spots, and worst of all, my yellow stripes peeled. When I stripped the masked tape areas, strips of yellow came off with it.

Here is a pic of the BoB in the paint booth.

#### Johnnie

##### Well-Known Member
Here is BoB with the stripes showing...I tried to hide the ugly parts of the stripes on the back side of the rocket for the pics. I also sis not have a model to hold the rocket, so I had to use a 5g bucket.

#### Johnnie

##### Well-Known Member
I had to borrow one of my daughters sit and bounce balls to extend the prop to allow for this pic. Nice thing about this prop is it works real cheap...

Here are two problems I see with my masking troubles:

1) The Krylon Yellow goes on thicker than any other paint, besides KILZ primer. This would have led to stripes that are too thick. But I had to coat enough to get the black covered, as it was causing the yellow to look like olive drab stripes.

2) I let the masked areas stay taped overnight or actually it was 24 hours before I started to un-mask.

here BoB is upright.

#### omgb

##### Member
Here's what I do. i lay down a couple of coats of automotive scratch-filling primer and sand heavily between coats. This fills all of the spirals and fin grain. then, I would shoot the yellow, allow it to dry and follow with the black. Black will cover yellow better than the inverse. Use the orange or better yet, the automotive grade masking tape. It will help prevent bleed through.

#### astrowolf67

##### Well-Known Member
Johnnie, I feel your pain!! I was putting the final touches on my Executioner today, and, well, it's setting in full primer again

It was turning out to be a beautiful paint job, till something happened with the mask. Earlier this week, I laid down a coat of bright red, followed by some patches of purple. This morning, after careful sniffing, I decided it was dry enough to mask, so I cut out my masks, a kind of free flowing spike design, and applied them. Then I sprayed a coat of gloss black. The black did as yours, and hazed up real bad, so, I decided to remove the mask, and use a gloss coat later to revive it. When I pulled the mask up, it pulled paint all the way down to the body tube, making one heck of a mess. It would have been a slick job had it done right, red nose, the top of the body red fading into purple where the spikes were, with black on bottom, and red/purple spikes on the fins also.

Must have been a bad day for Krylon

#### Johnnie

##### Well-Known Member
omgb,

My wife says she can mask the bad areas and touch with Testors until I can try a restore of the PJ. Looks like I will have to go your way. I will sand as smooth as possible, and "KILZ" the rest.

I will have to go back with a color I have always had good luck with...PURPLE

astrowolf67,

You had a rougher go of it. I merely peeled parts of my stripes, the hazy black stayed. You basically peeled yours to the bone...

I'll bring mine to Manchester, if you'll bring yours.

#### astrowolf67

##### Well-Known Member
I'm definately going to bring it. It may still be in primer, but I look forward to flying it. It's the first box stock build I've done in a while, well except for the shock cord mount.