Big Betty build thread

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Well-Known Member
Mar 21, 2009
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Ok here is my second attempt at a build thread. This time I will try the Quest Big Betty, the 5th kit in about 30 I bought in a garage sale for $20. The kit is a rough copy of the original Big Bertha. The balsa seems to be in pretty good shape, however, it is for the fins only. The nose cone is plastic unlike the original Big Bertha, but I think I like it better if for no other reason it lightens up the kit.

Next step is build the engine mount. The odd thing here was the motor hook loops over the top of the motor thrust ring instead of being inserted through a slit in the tube below the trust ring. I don't know if this is any better than the old way, but it is different. Now that I finished it I wonder if a D motor would have been better, but I used to like the slow takeoff of the old Big Bertha so maybe this will be ok.


The tube was a little creased on one end so I decided to be safe than sorry so I cut about 1" of the end. I think I did a pretty good job of cutting it. I seems the tube is much thicker than the old Estes model.




Next comes the fins. This model has 3 fins instead of the Estes 4. Again, this may lighten it up and the fins are of pretty sturdy stock so I think I like it.

Now its time to glue the in the motor mount and glue on the fins and yes I did straighten out those fins. Didn't discover it til after I made the picture. I think I am going to leave squared off somehow it seems right for this model.

Now I built the parachute, attached the nose cone, and launch lug. Now it up to the part I hate PAINTING UGH!!!:jaw: Never was any good at it.


Like they say: ..."practice makes perfect". Take your time during the finishing process, specially when applying the coats of primer and making sure the primer is dry before you spray the top coat. I usually wait at least 48 hours before applying the top coat. And after you are done with the paint and applying the decals, maybe a clear coat is in order to protect the decals and add that touch of shine. I prefer applying two coats of Future but you have to be very very patience when putting this stuff on. Do a search on finishing techniques, there are a million of opinions on that topic. Here are a few links you can follow and read up on the subject:

- NARHAMS Tech Tips

- The Rocketry Blog "How to finish a rocket" section

- How To Build Model Rockets Website by Hans "Chris" Michielssen

Have fun and Keep them Flying!!!

- r_r
Finally got around to finishing my Big Betty with the new air brush I got for Father's day.:clap:


Flew it last Sunday, very nice flight and quite a bit higher than I remember the Big Bertha flying. :headbang:
Yours turned out real nice. I had to improvise since mine didn't come with decals(it was advertised as such). Betty may not have the charm that Bertha has, but she more than makes up for it in style and performance. She's got a little less junk in the trunk... if you know what I mean(less drag with 3;)).



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Absolutely, yours is no slouch either.:D The female form wasn't a bad touch.