Build thread: 5.3:1 sport scale Super Deluxe #2 Skywriter XL Premium Pro Max - Limited Edition

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jqavins

Joseph Avins
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I think it's a promising idea for your Frik 'n' Frak, although there are inherent dangers that when everything is soft it'll settle into an undesirable shape unless you have a lot of splints and clamps on it. I hope you'll document how you do it and how it works out for you.
I expect and I hope that the trapezoid panels will provide all the support I need. They keep the fins spaced and at the correct length, so there's no room for more than a very little movement. I hope. Also, I'll have the fins vertical, where they will have the least ability to sag. If I wind up ruining it, it'll be a learning experience.

For this rocket it'd be impossible because there's no exposed balsa to apply it to. Outside is painted and inside is body tube.
My suggestion was meant to say to lightly spray the inside in the configuration that you pictured here. Hanging it vertical, tabs down, would be a good idea.
View attachment 409243
 

neil_w

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My suggestion was meant to say to lightly spray the inside in the configuration that you pictured here. Hanging it vertical, tabs down, would be a good idea.
The "inside" is paper body tube, which I shall not be wetting down. The balsa is all sandwiched in between.

I'm guessing it'll be OK after a couple of days of clamping. Even without the clamping, I could have just glued it and clamped while the glue dried and it would have been fine; I just thought if I could restore it to original shape first it would reduce likelihood of error.
 

jqavins

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<thinks back over the construction process> Oh, right, of course; what was I thinking?
 

neil_w

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<thinks back over the construction process> Oh, right, of course; what was I thinking?
No problem. I do not expect everyone else to be as intimately familiar with this thing as I am. :)
 

neil_w

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DECALS AND DRY FIT

I think I used to be better at applying waterslide decals; these days every one is an adventure. Or maybe it's just the bit ones that are troublesome. For this rocket, the markings on the pencil are divided into two pieces, split between "Skywriter" and "Deluxe", each about 8 inches long. Maybe in the future I'll make more smaller pieces, so each piece is more manageable and I focus my effort on alignment. We'll see if I remember this when I do the Blackfish decals.

Anyway, they went on OK, and a coat of Micro-sol leaves them with a nearly painted-on look. First, here's just the decal:
Decals on-1.jpg

And here's the whole thing dry-fit (still no fins), thanks to the ultrawide lens on the iPhone I was able to get the whole thing into view while holding it with my hand. As a result the picture is not great, will need to come up with a better approach when taking finished beauty shots.

I'm only embedding it as a thumbnail so as not to totally spoil the surprise. Click to enlarge.
Decals on-2.jpg

After clamping, the fin can seems to have reshaped nicely; the ferrule assembly now fits in without any slop. I will glue it in at next opportunity.

Unfortunately there is no ETA for the fins. The Turtle Wax sealant was still not cured at last check, and so the whole fin set is carefully hanging out at work and I can't transport them. And now I'll be working from home for the next.... well who knows how long. So this rocket may not actually get finished for a while. But I'm pretty happy with where it is right now.
 

mbeels

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WOW. I never though a pencil could be stunning.

It literally looks like an almost too perfect 3D computer rendering of a pencil.

Wow.
 

neil_w

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Not bad, considering how silly the idea was from the get-go. Gonna feel a little bad about "ruining" it with fins, but it's gotta fly. :)
 

BABAR

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You know, the minimal imperfections actually make it look more real!
 

neil_w

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You know, the minimal imperfections actually make it look more real!
It looks almost hilariously real, at least without the fins. Really wanna try writing with it. :)
 

jqavins

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Brobdingnagian
Please explain that.
[W]ill need to come up with a better approach when taking finished beauty shots.
Well, how about just putting it down and taking a step back? Once the fins are on, prop the nose up on something innocuous, like a block of wood, a stray box, or whatever is handy.

Unfortunately there is no ETA for the fins. The Turtle Wax sealant was still not cured at last check, and so the whole fin set is carefully hanging out at work and I can't transport them. And now I'll be working from home for the next.... well who knows how long. So this rocket may not actually get finished for a while. But I'm pretty happy with where it is right now.
Some things, including a windshield crack filler I recently used, require UV exposure to cure. When you can get the fins back, if they're not nice and hard, you might try taking out side on a sunny day.

It looks almost hilariously real, at least without the fins. Really wanna try writing with it. :)
Well, someone here did suggest that you embed a small piece of real pencil lead right at the tip, and use it to fill out its own flight card. Too late now, I guess. Or not.
 

neil_w

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Please explain that.
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Brobdingnagian
Well, how about just putting it down and taking a step back? Once the fins are on, prop the nose up on something innocuous, like a block of wood, a stray box, or whatever is handy.
Yeah, something like that. Also need to get out my roll of commando cloth, this should look good against a black background.

Some things, including a windshield crack filler I recently used, require UV exposure to cure. When you can get the fins back, if they're not nice and hard, you might try taking out side on a sunny day.
That's worth a shot, although the instructions don't say anything about that (and Turtle Wax tech support didn't mention it either in their useless reply to my inquiry).
 

Mugs914

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Geez Neil, that is absolutely amazing... It looks, well, PERFECT!

Unbelievable...
 

BABAR

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Ultimate black background is a night shot.

If you can set it up on pole (preferably painted black), with nothing in the background within range of the flash. Think a back porch, angle the camera slightly up so you don't include the ground.

Usually your camera will still be able to focus on the rocket, the flash will illuminate the rocket perfectly, everything else in the background is too far away to reflect the flash.

Only downside I see is that you MIGHT get reflections off the fins.....
 

ebruce1361

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Ultimate black background is a night shot.

If you can set it up on pole (preferably painted black), with nothing in the background within range of the flash. Think a back porch, angle the camera slightly up so you don't include the ground.

Usually your camera will still be able to focus on the rocket, the flash will illuminate the rocket perfectly, everything else in the background is too far away to reflect the flash.

Only downside I see is that you MIGHT get reflections off the fins.....
Can confirm on the qualities of a night photo.
20191014_223511.jpg
This is my Estes 1:100 #1969 Saturn sitting on a black folding stool in my back yard. If you blow the image up, you can BARELY see the light gray side of my neighbor's trailer less than 25 feet behind it. I even got the full moon right next to the command module.
 

neil_w

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Sooooo..... Turtle Wax customer service tells me that the sealant is not *supposed* to cure fully hard. To which I say "Huh?". What happens in the rain, or better yet in a car wash? I have pressed them for more details. They *do* say it should be possible to strip it off, in which case I might be back to where I started.

Fun times. :rolleyes:
 

jqavins

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Just for a guess, it could be that the sealant is not washed from the tiny scratches and cracks while in a car wash despite not being hard. Did customer service tell you how to strip it? Maybe try soap, water, and a light touch, and see if it stays where it's most needed. Just a guess.
 

neil_w

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FYI on this build: the fins are sitting in my desk at work, a place I haven't visited for about 10 weeks now. When I eventually get back there (sometime in June, I expect) I'll fetch them, deal with the finish somehow, and glue them in.

Not that it matters so much, because there is no launch on the horizon for me, maybe nothing this year at all, which will be one heck of a bummer.

I also expect to regret the decision to place the fins where I did. I've since seen so many pics of rockets with clear fins, all placed at the very rear. I'm going to wish I did that. Oh well.
 

mbeels

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I also expect to regret the decision to place the fins where I did. I've since seen so many pics of rockets with clear fins, all placed at the very rear. I'm going to wish I did that. Oh well.
From an aesthetic point of view, I think having that ferrule intact, without any fin slots in it, is worth a lot. Or are you saying even behind the ferule? Or behind the eraser??
 

jqavins

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Or attached the the hexagon but overhanging back over the ferrule? It may not be to late for that.
 

neil_w

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I finally went into work one day this week and picked up the fins. The Turtle Wax stuff was still as goopy as before, so I wiped it all off as thoroughly as I could with a microfiber cloth. Then, I decided that Future was my only hope of descratching, despite my previous bad experience.

This time, I applied the Future with a cotton swab, rubbing repeatedly until the surface was sufficiently wetted that the Future would lay down flat. Applying Future with a cotton swab (versus brushing it on with a foam brush or spraying) is something I picked up from @hcmbanjo 's blog recently. It's a good technique; you can apply a thin layer that doesn't need to drip off, and you can apply it only exactly where you want it. I applied two coats to the fins.

Here's how they look lying on a piece of microfiber:
Future fins-1.jpg

Perfect! But that actually is not representative of the real world in any way. From the right (or wrong) light angle, they are still cloudy:
Future fins-2.jpg

But I'm through fighting with them. The three best (out of four) will be glued to the rocket, and will be fine, if not quite what I was hoping for (that seems to be a common refrain in my builds these days.)
 

Nytrunner

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Looks great!

You've learned a ton over those fins (like keeping the protective sheet on for awhile)
 

neil_w

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You've learned a ton over those fins (like keeping the protective sheet on for awhile)
That's one thing. The second is: don't ever wipe polycarbonate with paper towels. The third is: use acrylic unless you really need the strength of the polycarbonate. Or else get scratch-coated poly if you can.
 

mbeels

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The second is: don't ever wipe polycarbonate with paper towels.
That's tough, something that delicate wouldn't remain pristine at all in my house, especially when my 5 year old helps pack the car for rocket launches.

I'm willing to bet when the rocket is out at a real launch in reality (what is reality, is this reality? Sorry, diversion...) the slight cloudiness will be overwhelmed by the shimmering ferrule and glory of the #2 pencil.
 
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