BLUE BRUISER - SKY PIRATE V3.0

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neond7

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Hours more bondo and sanding later, it’s coming along well.
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neond7

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This evening I did some avionics wiring. First up, got both RRC3’s and battery holders attached.

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After that, I routed the power wires and zip tied it in multiple places to handle high G Loads.

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neond7

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I picked up some anodized 6g charge wells from Doghouse Rocketry. They are really nice. My avionics bay is pimped!!
Blue for the parachute end, purple for the apogee charges.

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neond7

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To finish up the evening, I stuck in a battery and wired up a switch and programmed the primary altimeter for a 600’ main chute deployment. The default on the RRC3 is 500’, which I left set on the backup altimeter so they both don’t fire at once.
I’ve always used the default 700’ on my PerfectFlites with backup at 600’, so I’ll deploy a little lower now. Never had any close calls so no worries.
I also added some labels for future reference. Finally, did a quick test fit. I’ll add the rest of the wires closer to the end of the build.

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neond7

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Rocket project getting some love today...... after lots of wet sanding, shot another coat of Duplicolor high build primer.
Drilled four 1/4” vent holes in the avionics bay for barometric sensing and two 1/2” holes for the rotary switches.
Should be starting on the color coats soon.

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neond7

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Started the nose cone work today. I’ll be using three shear pins, so I’m installing brass shims on the nose cone shoulder to assist with proper and consistent shearing of the shear pins.
First I cut out the shims sized them correctly. Using a dremel, I dug into the plastic material to make a shallow recessed spot so the shim didn’t stick up and interfere or bind.
Once properly sized, I mixed up some Aeropoxy 6204 epoxy and added a few dabs before dropping the shim into it and making sure it’s all flat.
As you can see in the pic, nothing is sticking up and it should be nice and flush against the body tube.

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neond7

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More wet sanding and primer. Shot the first color coat on upper section - I’ll let it cure for a week, wet sand it with 800 grit and then shoot the final color coat.
I used two primer colors on fin section as the front part with be white paint and the fins black with a red band between them.
I also go the second brass shim installed on the nose code shoulder.

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neond7

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Painting is my least favorite part of building rockets - it’s messy, prone to disaster, and the weather has to be just right or it does something bizarre.
Anyway, today was a good day so I wet sanded the first coat of black on the upper body tube and shot the 2nd and final coat.
I then wet sanded the fin section and shot the first coat of black.
 

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neond7

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The primer had run on the vent band, it needed a lot of sanding and a second coat of primer.
After wet sanding, it got the first coat of white, which seemed to some out well.
Now everything needs a few days for the enamel to cure before I touch anything.
Next up will be sanding off the bondo on the front of the fin section where the stupid spirals were still showing. Then another coat of white primer and then the first coat of white.

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Theory

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Cool deal!

I’m a fan of the RustOleum high performance enamel
 

neond7

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After sanding off the rest of the Bondo (third time - those spirals won’t go away!!) I shot the first coat of white. Turned out pretty good.

No shown - wet sanded and shot second coat of white on the switch band. Not sure what happened but the paint went wonky and crinkled. I’ll be reworking that part later in the week.

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neond7

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I also started on the nose cone. First it got a good scrub down with Dawn detergent to remove any release film that could interfere with painting.
I used a razor to shave the seam down as flat as it would go and then used 80 grit sandpaper to rough the living snot out of the plastic to assist the paint to adhere. Then I gave it a rubdown with denatured alcohol and let it dry before hitting it with the high build primer.

Probably should have added the bondo before primer but no problem either way.

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neond7

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The nose cone is coming along nicely! Sanded down the Bondo seam filler, wet sanded the rest with some 600 grit.
I really like the Duplicolor high build primer. I’ve had great success using it on nose cones.
The nose cone is now drying in the garage, I noticed a smidge more seam to fill, and then it should be ready for the first color coat.

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crossfire

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What grit paper did you sand primer with?
 

neond7

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What grit paper did you sand primer with?
I used disposable sanding blocks to whip through the Bondo, the rest of the cone I wet sanded with 600 grit. That seems to be a happy medium, I’ve used higher grit in the past and didn’t really notice a difference. Especially for something that’s gonna get shot into the sky and then land in a field. It will earn battle scars soon enough.
 

neond7

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After wet sanding with 600 grit, I shot the second and final coat of white paint on the front of the body tube.

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Came out with a fairly good shine. I’ll need to pick out two small gnats later. 😂😂
 

neond7

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The nosecone got its first coat of color.

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neond7

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This switch band is making me cry. Both attempts at white paint crinkled badly.

After letting it cure for over a week, I sanded that down, wet sanded it, and shot gray primer on it. Sadly, even the primer crinkled?!? I’m at a loss, never had this happen. I’ll try using an aluminum paint instead of white. I’ve had good luck with that before.

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Tobor

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Another treatment for the switch band, would be (after stripping off all paint) to apply a coat of 30 minute epoxy that has been thinned down with denatured alcohol. The epoxy would seal the tube and whatever contaminant is effecting your paint.
 

neond7

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Another treatment for the switch band, would be (after stripping off all paint) to apply a coat of 30 minute epoxy that has been thinned down with denatured alcohol. The epoxy would seal the tube and whatever contaminant is effecting your paint.
That is actually a sound idea! Unfortunately, I had already wet sanded the primer (again), wiped it down with denatured alcohol, and shot the aluminum paint. If you know where to look you can see it isn’t perfect, but it didn’t go totally wonky like the white paint did. One coat got good coverage so I’m calling that part done!

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I test fit the upper body tube - good fit. Soon I’ll be drilling some holes for the four #10-24 screws I’ll be using for retention. Also, I’ll be epoxying some t-nuts inside the avionics bay for the screws to attach to. I’ve got some #10 finishing washers for a nicer look instead of naked screw heads sticking out of the body tube.
 

neond7

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And here we are with the *almost* finished paint job.

I’ll need to wet sand and shoot a second coat of black on the fins and the nose cone and then I can finally add the sexy Stickershock vinyl. Never fly naked!! 😎

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neond7

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Body tube retention is serious business - for 4” and 5” airframes I use the plastic push rivets with 100% success.

With this being a large and heavy 7.5” airframe, I’m using #10 stainless flat head socket cap screws, stainless t-nuts, and stainless finishing washers.

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neond7

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After marking off four equal spots around the body tube 2.5” from the avionics bay, I drilled a hole through the body tube and avionics bay.

I then inserted the #10 screw into the finishing washer and then pushed the t-nut in from inside the tube and lightly tightened it.

The pictures are out of order..... the t-nut threads visible on the avionics bay are after I had removed the body tube.

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