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Build: Estes Crossfire

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UfO

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Now the Crossfire is a pretty cool kit for a starter pack! I've come to expect plastic finned, super easy to assemble rockets with launch packs but the Crossfire called for an actual build which is of course my favorite part of this hobby. Don't get me wrong it was still a simple build being a level 1 but I still had to take the time to sand, seal and glue all the bits and pieces.

Kit contents:



I got to sanding and sealing the fins as soon as I opened the packaging. Sealing fins is a new concept to me being that when I built rockets as a kid I just half-assed my builds. I'll talk more about that later. I didn't have any sanding sealer on hand but had heard of using white glue or modge podge. So I did just that and used what I have on hand...white glue. It seemed to do the trick. They're noticeably more rigid and sanded to a super smooth finish after a couple coats.

Fins:



I ended up having to cut a new fin due to my own stupidity. I won't elaborate! Luckily I had some extra balsa laying around. Looks just like the original...job accomplished.

Believe it or not this kit is the first time I've ever constructed an motor mount assembly. This goes back to the half-assing thing. As a kid I would just wrap some masking tape around the motor and jam it in the body tube! I only had one failed flight out of dozens so it did the trick!

Motor mount assembly:



Glued in place:



The rest of the build was uneventful. I just had to separate the nose cone from a molded piece that goes at the bottom of the rocket. I'm not sure what that's called...a cowl maybe?

Nose cone and cowl:



Seperated:



Continued in next post...
 

UfO

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Sanded:



I glued all the fins in place and attached the bottom piece without glue for now as I may paint it a separate color from the body.

Fins and cowl:



Finished build:



There you have it, an Estes Crossfire. My only complaint about this kit is that I think the areas of body tube next to the fin slits seem to be bowing because of the amount of glue I used to fillet the fins. It's barely noticeable though. Hopefully it doesn't hinder the rockets performance.
 

Intruder

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How long is the tail cone piece minus the part that slips into the rocket?

I've made a template for a paper version but I guessed on its length.
 

UfO

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I don't have it in front of me but I'd say a half inch. I can measure it tomorrow and let you know exactly.
 

Peartree

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This is one of my favorites although it is currently under repair. It was the second rocket I ever built two years ago (Amazon was first) and the trifold shock cord attachment gave up the ghost after three or four launches. Almost lost it once flying it on a C6-5. If the 'chute hadn't tangled and come down as a streamer, it would have been over the trees forever. This rocket wil scoot! Be careful what you fly it on!

View attachment 3873

Here's mine before it hit the repair bench. Have fun with yours!
 

Fred22

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Really great build thread with nice pictures :)
Thanks
fred
 

UfO

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Really great build thread with nice pictures :)
Thanks
fred
Thanks! I'm a hardcore geek when it comes to stuff like this so expect a lot of build threads. lol

I'll be postng ALL of my builds on my blog in my sig as well. :)
 

Fred22

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Thanks! I'm a hardcore geek when it comes to stuff like this so expect a lot of build threads. lol

I'll be postng ALL of my builds on my blog in my sig as well. :)
I really like the build threads. Jal3 does a lot of good stuff as well. I look forward to your stuff :)
Cheers
fred
 

UfO

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This is one of my favorites although it is currently under repair. It was the second rocket I ever built two years ago (Amazon was first) and the trifold shock cord attachment gave up the ghost after three or four launches. Almost lost it once flying it on a C6-5. If the 'chute hadn't tangled and come down as a streamer, it would have been over the trees forever. This rocket wil scoot! Be careful what you fly it on!

View attachment 3873

Here's mine before it hit the repair bench. Have fun with yours!
I love the Scout paint job. I wish we did more with rocketry when I was in scouts...we actually didn't do any rocketry! I guess the pinewood derby curbed my appetite for building and speed though. :D
 

Peartree

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I love the Scout paint job. I wish we did more with rocketry when I was in scouts...we actually didn't do any rocketry! I guess the pinewood derby curbed my appetite for building and speed though. :D
I chose that paint scheme to get the kids excited the first year we flew rockets. Since then its become an event they all look forward to and each one build s a new rocket each year (if they want). The Webelos build a kit that is a bit more challenging than the rest.

Now that my guys have all moved up to Boy Scouts I'm encouraging them to all pursue the Space Exploration merit badge and keep building rockets.
 

UfO

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I chose that paint scheme to get the kids excited the first year we flew rockets. Since then its become an event they all look forward to and each one build s a new rocket each year (if they want). The Webelos build a kit that is a bit more challenging than the rest.

Now that my guys have all moved up to Boy Scouts I'm encouraging them to all pursue the Space Exploration merit badge and keep building rockets.
That's great. I wish I had been able to stick with scouts. I moved around quite often though. If anything I took away a lot from it...

Update on the Crossfire:

I hit it with two light coats of aircraft gray this morning (instead of white). The imperfections in my fins are showing! :( Oh well I'll have time tomorrow to sand and get a few coats on. I'm excited to get this one done.

Thought I'd also mention that tomorrow may actually be my first launch since getting back into the hobby! I have the Hi-Flier and an unpainted, decal free Amazon that I'm dying to shoot off. :)
 
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UfO

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Sanded, got a couple more coats on and touched up the fillets. I'm thinking I'll hit it with the last coat of gray in the morning. The masked area towards the top is black, the nose cone and and engine cowl will be red. Then I'll hit it with a few coats of gloss coat. I'm pleasantly surprised with the fins smoothness. There's minimal grain showing. I'm happy considering this only my second build. Maybe I'll get them perfect on the third try. :D

Peartree, I won't be launching it anytime soon but you have any recommendations on a starter motor? Don't want to loose it the first launch! lol

crossfire10.jpg
 

Peartree

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This rocket will get altitude. Whatever Estes recommends as the first flight motor (usually the smallest recommended), go with that. A 'C' will take it WAY high and you'd better have a really, REALLY big recovery area. Work up to it.
 

UfO

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Finished. Just need a coat or two more of gloss sealer.

crossfirefinished.jpg
 

markschnell

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Does anyone know if the nosecone/nozzle combination for the Crossfire is the same one that the Black Brant III uses? I always liked the looked of that old kit.

Great job on the build, BTW.
 

Intruder

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Does anyone know if the nosecone/nozzle combination for the Crossfire is the same one that the Black Brant III uses? I always liked the looked of that old kit.

Great job on the build, BTW.
Yes it is. It's also used on the Black Hole Space Probe and several other kits.
 

SCIGS30

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Dang it, I just had to order this kit and now I have over 300 Estes kits to build. When will the madness stop?:confused:
 

UfO

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Dang it, I just had to order this kit and now I have over 300 Estes kits to build. When will the madness stop?:confused:
I'm finding I have the same issue. I keep buying kits even though there are still more I haven't built! I haven't even had my first launch yet! lol I'm more in the range of 6 kits though. ;)
 
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