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mikewrt

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I will add a new section of elastic between the kevlar loops and will be ready to go.
I finally got around to ordering elastic and other misc goodies over the weekend. Really hope to fly this old bird soon! 🤓

Edit: Absolutely love the photos of everyones BBs of all sizes! Thank you so much! 👍
 

hcmbanjo

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I've never owned a Big Bertha, but did pick up a few Quest Big Bettys.
I added a fourth fin, baffle and a two engine cluster mount - Renamed the BIG GIRTHA!

Here's the whole saga:
 

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MALBAR 70

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I've never owned a Big Bertha, but did pick up a few Quest Big Bettys.
I added a fourth fin, baffle and a two engine cluster mount - Renamed the BIG GIRTHA!

Here's the whole saga:

Thanks Chris, I forgot about the Quest offering.
These were built by my twin boys when they were about six or seven.

435.JPG


Found this shot if my first Baby Bertha, after it wintered over in a tree at one of the club fields.
It has a flame job and a new motor mount now.

606.jpg
489 - Copy.jpg
 
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Joe_Shockcord

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L-R: My first Bertha was one I built in junior high school. It was painted with what we had in the garage (a can of white spray paint) and striped with electrical tape. The name was cut from the instructions and glued on. Even so, it was a contest winner back then. I made a replica a few years ago (shown here) and had the wonderful opportunity to show it to Vern and Gleda at NARCON 2014 and they autographed it. Next is a Bertha in 70's "catalog" colors (sort of) that was one of my main flyers for years but was recently lost. Next, a BT-55 downscale in my kids' school colors, then a BT-50 downscale in the (sort of) 60's catalog colors, and finally a clone of a Mini-Bertha.
 

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BEC

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Heck, if we're going to open this up to other companies' "Big Bertha equivalents" then there is the Fliskits Rhino, the Semroc Vega and the slightly smaller recently released New Way Spacemodels Big Bessie in addition to the Big Betty. I've never built the Rhino, though I do have a kit in my stash, but I do have the other three. I think I built a Big Betty with a 21mm mount for the OOP Quest D5 motors...

That's going to be one heck of a gathering if I get them all out for the group shot.... :eek:
 

Alan R

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I want to post a sad note here.
I didn't have a BB, but my little brother did. We had a little rocket club when I was early teens. He would have been maybe 10 or 11. I built an Orbital Transport, my little brother built a Big Bertha.
When it was time to fly he wanted the C motor, but I wanted it for my OT. I gave him a B motor instead.. because I was the big brother, and a total selfish ass. He even showed me on the label that it needed a C.
My transport flew great, the glider came down everybody cheered. His BB lifted slowly and barely got off the rod. He was so pissed at me. For a long time.
Such was life when we were kids, and now he's gone. He seemed to love me unconditionally anyway over the years. One of my great regrets now.
Sometime along the way I learned to be a better person. I only wish he were still here to see it.
 

mikewrt

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My order with elastic showed up yesterday and I installed a 36" length of 1/4". I think I'm ready to go. If things go my way maybe I'll get to fly it this weekend.

IMG_20200710_151338.jpg
 

mikewrt

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Also picked up a baby brother to add to the growing build pile. I can detect a Super BB and equivalents from other manufactures coming in the future.

Edit: Oh yea and a clone of the Broadsword. I had a Broadsword when I was a kid, never flew it. I belive it was one of the last models I built before parting ways with the hobby as a teen. It ended up being destroyed during one of a few moves.


IMG_20200710_151631.jpg
 
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mikewrt

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I want to post a sad note here.
I didn't have a BB, but my little brother did. We had a little rocket club when I was early teens. He would have been maybe 10 or 11. I built an Orbital Transport, my little brother built a Big Bertha.
When it was time to fly he wanted the C motor, but I wanted it for my OT. I gave him a B motor instead.. because I was the big brother, and a total selfish ass. He even showed me on the label that it needed a C.
My transport flew great, the glider came down everybody cheered. His BB lifted slowly and barely got off the rod. He was so pissed at me. For a long time.
Such was life when we were kids, and now he's gone. He seemed to love me unconditionally anyway over the years. One of my great regrets now.
Sometime along the way I learned to be a better person. I only wish he were still here to see it.
Maybe you should consider building a BB in his honor. Paint it special and/or unique decals. Might be a fun way to remember him.
 

BlueTrane2028

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I have the glue drying on a baby Bertha right now. Love the big so much I figured it was worth it. Also got two at HL for the cost of one on Amazon.
 

Wally Ferrer

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I've always wondered what the paint scheme is supposed to be for the fins on the Astron Ranger / Big Bertha circa 1971, yellow with the black and white roll pattern- it shows one fin black at least on one side. Also some photos appear to show the opposite fin to be white, at least on one side. Either that, or it is just reflecting light and appears white. Is there anything "official", or is it just a matter of interpretation of one-sided photos..? Is one side of the fin black, and the other white, besides the two yellow fins? So many questions...

711est18.jpg



711est24.jpg
 

Wally Ferrer

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I'm going with a combo, keeping the yellow nose cone of the Bertha with the Ranger scheme for the rest. I'll do the other side of the black fin white, repeating on the opposing fin. The side of that opposing fin just looks too white to be a light reflection.
 

Bill S

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My wife had me build her a Big Bertha, which hasn't flown yet. She likes to customize her rockets, "official look" be darned. :) I'm itching to put something bigger than a C6-5 in it, maybe a C12-4 or God-help me, an D16-4/6. Not sure she'll let me do that though.
Estes Big Bertha.JPG
 
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BlueTrane2028

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I've always wondered what the paint scheme is supposed to be for the fins on the Astron Ranger / Big Bertha circa 1971, yellow with the black and white roll pattern- it shows one fin black at least on one side. Also some photos appear to show the opposite fin to be white, at least on one side. Either that, or it is just reflecting light and appears white. Is there anything "official", or is it just a matter of interpretation of one-sided photos..? Is one side of the fin black, and the other white, besides the two yellow fins? So many questions...

View attachment 424942


View attachment 424934
both of those are definitely one white fin, one black fin and two yellow ones. But, anything will look great I'm sure.
 

BlueTrane2028

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My wife had me build her a Big Bertha, which hasn't flown yet. She likes to customize her rockets, "official look" be darned. :) I'm itching to put something bigger than a C6-5 in it, maybe a C12-4 or God-help me, an D16-4/6. Not sure she'll let me do that though.
View attachment 425009
C6-5 is an excellent choice, if it's chad staged with C6-0 booster. Otherwise, the delay is too long imo.
 

Wally Ferrer

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both of those are definitely one white fin, one black fin and two yellow ones. But, anything will look great I'm sure.
I guess my questions arise from having never seen a photo from the side with the white fin. Without a white stripe decal to match the black one leading to the black fin, the white fin seems out of place with a black stripe next to it.
 

BEC

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The packaging from Estes specifies an C6-5, and Rocksim agrees with that.
C6-5 is a good choice if it's really calm. C6-3 is better if there's much of a breeze. The Q-Jets - C12-4, D16-4 give a Big Bertha a nice ride and the latter will put one to ~750 feet. I tried a D16-6 once and the ejection was well over the top.
 

jrap330

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L-R: My first Bertha was one I built in junior high school. It was painted with what we had in the garage (a can of white spray paint) and striped with electrical tape. The name was cut from the instructions and glued on. Even so, it was a contest winner back then. I made a replica a few years ago (shown here) and had the wonderful opportunity to show it to Vern and Gleda at NARCON 2014 and they autographed it. Next is a Bertha in 70's "catalog" colors (sort of) that was one of my main flyers for years but was recently lost. Next, a BT-55 downscale in my kids' school colors, then a BT-50 downscale in the (sort of) 60's catalog colors, and finally a clone of a Mini-Bertha.
A nice family of BB's
 

Bill S

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God, you must be the luckiest person on this planet. 😄
Yeah, she has psoritic arthritis, which is barely kept in check with numerous meds, but her hands aren't too steady these days, so while she can usually handle level 0/nearly ready to fly rocket construction, a Big Bertha is beyond her abilities right now. Yeah it's ironic that I'm building "her" rocket for her, but she is pretty supportive of my hobby so I'm going to go with it. 😏 Helps keep domestic harmony...
 

John Cummings

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I've always wondered what the paint scheme is supposed to be for the fins on the Astron Ranger / Big Bertha circa 1971, yellow with the black and white roll pattern- it shows one fin black at least on one side. Also some photos appear to show the opposite fin to be white, at least on one side. Either that, or it is just reflecting light and appears white. Is there anything "official", or is it just a matter of interpretation of one-sided photos..? Is one side of the fin black, and the other white, besides the two yellow fins? So many questions...

View attachment 424942


View attachment 424934
I’ve always admired the Astron Big Bertha scheme, so much so that my vintage kit build used this scheme as well as my AMW 4” Bertha. Always assumed the white stripe/fin mirrored the black stripe/fin so that’s what I did.
D16CF653-6ADD-4124-B3AC-7F1037646A42.jpeg
735A0483-AAAA-4632-A9CB-7B9E54A28297.jpeg
11C59CD5-CA9B-49EC-BE32-13B9E297A4D4.jpeg
 

BlueTrane2028

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Random thought, any good reason NOT to whip up a payload bay for a Baby Bertha?
 

mikewrt

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Random thought, any good reason NOT to whip up a payload bay for a Baby Bertha?
The body tube is a little short but I don't see why you couldn't fit a short bay on the little guy. Open up the end of the nose cone and use the cone as part of a bay. Could even hide a small altimeter in the nose cone.
 
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mikewrt

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Was able to fly my rebuilt Big Bertha from the original post last Friday morning. 2 Flights, one B4-4 and one B6-4. Both nice straight boosts and good clean recoveries. I remember why I like the Big Bertha so much! Sorry for the vertical video, its difficult to do the filming and launching at the same time!


IMG_20200724_064552.jpg


IMG_20200724_064755.jpg
 
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