Black Brant VC

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Bruiser

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The Black Brant VA/VB kit I ordered has arrived and it will be my next build. It is a Rocketarium kit which I understand was a former ARG kit. Being a recent BAR, I had not heard of ARG.

I am very happy with what I found when I opened the box. Everything looks real nice. If I had to pick something out to improve it would be the nose cone. In addition to what looks like a seam there are many, many vertical ridges running from the base to the tip. I think it may be printed but am not sure. One thing that is odd is the size of the body tube. It is 1.72 inches which is actually exactly 1/10 scale. You won't find this size tube anywhere but Rocketarium.

Kit Layout.jpg


The major difference between the VA/VB and the VC models is the VC has four fins instead of the three fins on the earlier models. Oh, and that the VC is still in production as the Black Brant 5.

I have cut out an additional fin for my model. I need to get into my scrap balsa box and find some 1/32nd and 1/16th balsa to make the flange detail pieces as shown below with an original and my new fin.
Kit Fins.jpg


The only changes I plan to make at this time is all about fins. I'll be adding that fourth fin and I think I will be papering them.

Well that's it for now. I don't think I will be doing my typical full build documentary on this. I'll probably just hit the highlights. Feel free to ask any questions though.

-Bob
 

kuririn

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On 3D printed parts the output frequently has micro ridges. Just a few minutes of sanding and you will have a perfectly smooth nose cone.
 

Bruiser

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I haven't tried sanding it yet but it didn't look like it would take much. Regarding it though, if I do need some type of filler what would work well?

-Bob
 

kuririn

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One guy used CA, another used auto primer/filler. I haven't used either on 3D parts so I can't vouch for those. I just sand the ridges down.
 

Bruiser

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I've been working on the fins and let me tell ya, they are a real pita. They are a lot like Honest John fins but the taper going outboard and the taper going to the front are longer.

I did get the tapers sanded in and I was concerned about the strength of the balsa so I decided to paper them. The papering went fine but I lost a bit of definition at the "seams" of the tapers. There wasn't much definition anyway because they are so long. I drew the "panel" lines back on the fins and put on some masking tape. Then I applied some thinned cwf. I did some light sanding after it dries and removed the painter's tape and lost some fin paper in the process. I was left with a ridge there but I didn't like it. So plan B...

I glued a piece of thread to the paper to each "panel joint". Sounds easy but the thread like sticking to my finger more than the paper. I let them dry and I just got done brushing on some thinned cwf to both sides of the thread. I'll let it dry overnight and do some sanding in the morning.

I tried something similar on one of my builds. I think it was the Nike Heat. I sanded the tapers, glued on the thread and then papered the fins. The thread did leave slightly raised bumps but I wanted to find a way so it wasn't so obvious. We'll see in the morning.

-Bob
 

neil_w

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On 3D printed parts the output frequently has micro ridges. Just a few minutes of sanding and you will have a perfectly smooth nose cone.
If you can smooth out PLA in a few minutes of sanding than you're a better man than I. :eek: I've sometimes felt like a needed a belt sander to take that stuff down.

On the other hand, that nose might well not be PLA... almost anything else would sand easier I suspect.
 

kuririn

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Hey Neil,
Yeah, sanding is the least favorite thing of mine to do. Doing a lot of filling and primering lately, so a LOT of sanding in the immediate future.
Anyhoo, here's a pic of the Rocketarium BBIII 3D printed nose cone after sanding, primer, and red spray paint.
Not perfect but good enough for me.:D
Don't know if it's PLA, PETG, or ABS.
Laters.
IMG_20190911_104742.jpg
 

Bruiser

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So I have to agree with Neil. I just tried hitting it with some 220 and it laughed at me. Went to some 80 and it did cut but this is going to take some time.

In the meanwhile, before someone reminds me that without a picture, it didn't happen :)

Fin Thread.jpg


-Bob
 

kuririn

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Would scoring and folding the seam of the taper before gluing the paper on enhance the line?
Just an idea.
 

kuririn

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Just to elucidate, here's a cardstock build with a multi tapered fin. Scoring and folding sharpens the crease of the taper seam. Maybe it can be applied to paper fin skins?
Cheers.
IMG_20190911_141927.jpg
 

Bruiser

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I think it's a great idea and I will be trying it on the next build. The crease from the fold should show as long as I don't get too crazy with primer.

I have built cardstock fins that had a balsa core. It was a Semroc Nike-Tomahawk kit. They had you use a ball point pen to "score" the fold lines. You could see the panel joint well on them.

I bet it'll work.

Thanks,
-Bob
 

bobby_hamill

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Kuririn
In your photo with the red 3d printed nosecone in the background bottom right
that nosecone with the screw on motor retainer on top looks like a baby bottle top

When I first saw it I had to do a double take then I realized what it was :confused:
 

Bruiser

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So here is how the fins came out. I am pretty happy with them but I will try the "creased" paper idea next time.
Primered Fin.jpg


The rest of the rocket is progressing as well. I've built the motor mount and installed it in the aft "step-down" tube. There is a tube that slides inside the main body tube at the rear of the rocket. It sticks out 2.2 inches.

I also have the ejection baffle assembled and in the rear body tube. It also acts as a coupler but I have not glued on the forward body tube yet. I've filled the spirals and sanded the aft tube.

I have been looking at my paint scheme and I think I need some help with the logo. This is what I have. I need it to be 3.625 long by .625 tall, all black and probably a jpg so I can cut a mask on my Cricut. When I try to enlarge it, it looks bad. I don't know how to make it look better. Can anyone help with this?
magellan_aerospace_logo.jpg


It's be great if it could include the Black Brant as well. The space between the lettering and the Black Brant would be 2.25 inches. I haven't found a better image of the goose.
5C Nose.jpg


Thanks,
-Bob
 

neil_w

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upload_2019-9-13_16-0-38.png


Sorry, got nuthin' on the goose.

By the way, what I just pasted up there is going to be too small to print cleanly on the Cricut I think. Of course you're welcome to give it a shot. But given that it's on a white background, it's a perfect candidate for just printing a waterslide decal.
 

Bruiser

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So progress is being made.

I thought I was good to go on my fin mounting but then a picture popped up in the documentation thread so I had to do a little extra work.

All the tubes are together and got shot with filler/primer this morning. I've sanded them down and one more coat should do the trick. Right now I am waiting on some filler to dry. After a little sanding I will spray on some more primer and see how it came out.

Speaking of sanding... After a lot of sanding and a few coats of filler/primer this is how the nose cone turned out. It's a little rough in some places so I think I will sand it with some 1,000 (or maybe finer) paint the silver tip on then clear coat it.

Painted Nose Cone.jpg


Progress is happening :)
-Bob
 

Bruiser

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Sitting pretty in primer

Primered Rocket.jpg


Now I just need to decide which color first. The black or the white. I'll study my pics tonight for a spray tomorrow.

-Bob
 

neil_w

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White first. Don’t wanna paint white over black if you can avoid it.
 

Bruiser

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Had a little set back today. I got a huge run, actually two runs, near the upper launch lug. First time that has happened to me. I was worried that I didn't get the launch lug area covered well so I gave it a second coat and that's what caused it. I also had a few very small areas where I sanded thru the primer that didn't take paint well. I should have primered those areas again before spraying the color coat :(

So now I wait until I can sand it smooth again, fix those areas and re-spray.

In the meanwhile I did make up two elastic recovery harnesses. I have attached one to my Goony Patriot and the other is for this rocket.

There is a launch in Alamogordo this Saturday. I hope this one doesn't get cancelled like last month. This rocket won't be done buy I have my Goony Patriot and a few others that have never launched.

-Bob
 

Bruiser

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Awe, come on now... I've only been doing this for a little over a year and have only built about seven rockets that are finished. There might be about two or three more that have stalled. Anyway, I have flown two of them so far.

Considering there's only once a month launches and factor in they get cancelled 'cause no one can be there to supervise, or the winds are too strong, or it just happens to be on a dog show weekend I think that's pretty good :)

Anyway, planning to take two with me. The Goony Patriot and the Citation Patriot. I don't know which configuration I'll launch the Citation Patriot in...

-Bob
 

Bruiser

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Well paint does take time. I have been making some progress. I sprayed the black yesterday and as I was pulling off the tape around the fins I managed to brush the black at the top against my shirt so I will need to do some sanding and recoat the top portion tomorrow. Gonna work on the masks for the lettering tonight or tomorrow. Hopefully my Cricut will be able to cut out the lettering. the word "AEROSPACE" might be a little on the small side. If the Cricut can't do it I'll have to try my hand at making decals. I saw Hobby Lobby does have some Testors' decal paper in stock. I don't know if it's clear or white though.

Color On.jpg


-Bob
 

Bruiser

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So here it is. I had some teething problems making the decals but I worked thru them with help from Neil and got 'em done.

The ink ran on the first decal I put on just as I finished blotting the water away. I made a new decal and spray a heavier coat on it and sprayed a heavy coat on the other decals from the first batch.

Then I had all the decals on and I realized I had made a mistake. I made the Magellan Aerospace decal with the goose as one decal. I knew I needed to move the goose from the right to the left side of the lettering so the goose would be at the front. I didn't realize that I needed to pay attention to the direction the goose was flying so it turn out the goose was flying in the wrong direction on the red background. I made a new decal to fix that as well.

Here are the final results:
BB 5C 1.jpg
BB 5C 3.jpg


Here is the subject:
New Black Brant 22.jpg


Still have to attach the parachute and harness but she's pretty much done. I will post up when she launches but that won't be until the November launch. I'll be out of town on the October launch date.

Big thanks again to Neil for all his help with the logo and lettering. The decals wouldn't be so accurate if not for his help. Actually the decals might not have happened at all. It would have been vinyl lettering instead.

-Bob
 

John Brohm

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It’s a very nice result, Bob, and a livery not often seen. Well done!
 

Bruiser

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Thank you all. I am very happy with the way it came out. I had just about given up on finding a unique scheme when I ran across this rocket. I had been searching for a VC and this is a 5C. I am not sure when the designation was changed. Anyway, it was a news article I first found it in and using the new search parameters I was able to come up with more pics.

I really liked this scheme. It is fairly simple but the color and markings kinda jump out at you. I'm gonna post up some reference photos under the Black Brant Documentation thread.

-Bob
 
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