Barbie's Dream Rocket

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Active Member
Apr 23, 2004
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Although I have been lurking in this forum for almost two years, and have been a registered member for a little more than two months, this is actually my first post. It shouldn't have taken me this long to give something back to a forum full of people that have (unknowingly) been such great resource for me over that amount of time.

Also, the subject of this post has a 38mm motor mount, but has yet to fly on anything other than 29mm G impulse, so I am putting it into the Mid-powered forum. Admins - feel free to relocate as appropriate. Thanks.

I'm not an old-timer by any means, but I have been flying rockets since 1977. I don't consider myself a true BAR as I have been somewhat consistently in the hobby since that time. A couple of years ago my oldest daughter, who was almost three at the time, came across a rocket kit in a toy store. She was intrigued to say the least, and I thought that, despite her young age, it might be fun to do together. She is now four and we have been building and flying rockets together since.

She is a big fan of Barbie and the color pink. Last year, she decided that she wanted a Barbie rocket. I had recently picked up several Estes kits on clearance at Meijer so I thought we could kitbash something together. She kept asking me and asking me, "when can we build the Barbie rocket?" So one night I think we opened up a Sizzler kit or somesuch to get started. I handed her the body tube. She looked at it, looked at me, wrinked her nose and said, "It's too small!" I asked what she had in mind. She said, "I want it to be as big as me."

I had recently built a couple Aerotech kits and that must be where she got the idea. So, that weekend we trundled off to Al's Hobby Shop in Elmhurst to look for a kit. "We" are not high power certified yet, so I showed her on the wall what kits we could pick from. She took about 15 minutes or so holding all the bags up to determine if the finished product would be taller than she was. She finally settled on a LOC Forte. Interesting thing was, although everything LOC says, including the card in the kit says this is a 29mm, the kit we got has a 38mm mount. (we might use this for a certification flight, so I built it 38mm and got a 29mm adapter).

I spent last winter working on this thing. The only thing I wish I'd done different was build a baffle. It came out stunning. Even my fillets were flawless. I used a combination of paint to get what I needed. I used some Krylon Pink for the body. The nose cone and fin can are metal flake automotive (which I would've used for the body too, but I couldn't find any pink, the crucial color). The entire rocket was then finished in a metal flake clear gloss.

The decals were a lucky find. I was shopping at Menard's one night and happened across these giant sticker sets for kids' rooms. One set was Barbie. What luck. You can see the giant Barbie in the picture. The rest is covered in Barbie hearts and flowers. I even got the Barbie logo.

Last month at what was supposed to be MRFF 2004 (but turned out to be non-MRFF 2004, I don't know why... also, that's Midwest Regional Fun Fly for you non Midwesterners.) on Father's Day was our most recent flight. (The maiden voyage was at an NIRA club launch in May, but I didn't get any pictures, just bad video my wife was ashamed to lay claim to.)

Anyway, I wanted to share this story and these photos with all of you. As I said, I've been in this hobby for almost 25 years, and I have gotten so much more out of the last 2 because of you all. One of the key lessons I learned on this one project is that, as cool as it may be to build some big bad rocket that as a man I can thump my chest about, it really is more important to share my long time hobby with my daughter. It also has built a good foundation and bond in my relationship with my child.

Grace and I posing with Barbie's Dream Rocket:

Barbie's Dream Rocket flying on an Aerotech RMS G64:
next up, you need a ken one!

welcome to the world of posting lol... 2 years being silent... sheesh :p

nice rocket there... did she get to push the button? :D
I assume the demographics favor boys, but estes should really strike a deal with mattel(?) and make a barbie rocket for little girls too...
Thanks for posting that story you made my day. Keep us posted on her adventures! :D :D :D

I have a little niece and it blows me away how interested she is in pushing the button and hearing the roar :cool:
Originally posted by cbutler
One of the key lessons I learned on this one project is that, as cool as it may be to build some big bad rocket that as a man I can thump my chest about, it really is more important to share my long time hobby with my daughter.

You said it!
Great story and pictures!
Been flying since '77, what were you about 2?:p
Welcome to the forum (as a poster), don't be a stranger!
Originally posted by nomopbo
Been flying since '77, what were you about 2?:p
LOL... Thanks Nomo. Fortunately, you can't see all my grey hair in the photo.

Rabidsheep: Yeah, maybe a Ken and Barbie drag race would be in order! ;)

Here's a better photo so you can see the decals and finish. This is from the May NIRA club launch. She did get to push the button at this launch. She was so pumped that after 'chute deployment she came running over screaming "gimme a high five Dad!" That was cool!

OMFG NO WAY Dude, im JUST starting posting but have been reading for a long Time. Im thinking about getting into Midpower even though i fly my Executioner on F's, so i guess i already am. But IM from Northern IL too!! I just heard about Al's Hobby shop and was wondering if i should make the trip from Lake County to go there and see what they got. This has to be one of the biggest coincidences i have ever seen. Is it a good shop?? And btw, ur daughter is a lil cutie and i love the rocket. where are you located??!
Also, i wana join a club but dont know what there is in the area, what are some good ones that i should look at?
thanks for posting your story! me and my kids enjoyed reading it and the pictures are great too. we sure sympathize why she wanted a rocket "as big as her"!
Turbo, don't know how far north you are in Lake County, but I'd say that even if you were up in Kenosha, Al's would be worth the drive. They's got a great selection. And the prices are pretty competetive. (note that all the large kits are in the basement)

Also, from your location, you've got a decent number of clubs within reasonable distance. NIRA of course which launches up to G at regular club launches in Glendale Heights ( Then you've got WOOSH launching up at Bong in Kenosha ( Don't know how close you are to the interstate, but if you don't mind the drive, Tripoli Quad Cities should start launching next month at Walcott Sod Farm just outside of Davenport, IA. We go over there a couple times a year and it is worth it. ( Be sure to watch their web site for details on Midwest Power III in the fall. You'll see some big stuff there.

Then if that's not enough, there's a Tripoli group in Dupage that launches out in Dekalb. Their site isn't always up to date. But if you contact Rob Pettey (the prefect) through their site, he'll let you know when they are launching. They usually schedule so they aren't on the same weekend as Bong or Quad Cities. That way, you can do 3 HPR launches per month, all within a reasonable drive from your location. (BTW, there's a lot of MPR flights at those launches, too.)

Hope that helps you find some chances to get out and fly some.
I agree we can have fun with our daughters and they benefit from the experience .I see you have been to BONG ? I think we have been at the same launches as you I have fun with my son ,but I think I have had more with my daughter, It helps her with math and science. She launched this at MidWEST Power II last year.
Hope to see you guy's on the flight line soon.
Im located in long grove in lake county. Yeah, me and my dad are probably gona make a trip to Al's this saturday as a pre easter present. :D Im only 15 so i cant buy that stuff on my own and Al's is about a 30-40 minute drive. Cant wait, I bet they will be able to help me out a lot.
You may want to call AL's first, ask when Ken in rockets is working He is the only one in the store who can help, He starts after noon on Saturdays,when he is not attending a launch. Large rocket kits are in the basement. AL's is well worth the trip Have Fun!!