Card Cloning an Estes Screamer/w/MEtaseq, and PEP-DES

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Well-Known Member
Feb 21, 2009
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Levy County Florida
For those who've been reading this:

I deleted all the other posts in the thread, because it was politely put forth that it was a very long posting, and I might have been scaring off more people from card designing, than I was actually helping.
Most definitely, NOT my intention.
I am going to write up a series of downloadable tutorials instead, that will hopefully be more concise, and focus on short steps for more clarity.
Everyone interested in reading& learning my own methods for designing card models/rockets, will find the links on my website soon.

Here are the programs I will be covering- individually:

PAINT is the basic drawing program that comes with Windows operating systems. Al though it has limited abilities, it's a good tool for basic drawing/sizing

Metasequoia LE, which is a (free and shareware versions) cad program for animation purposes, which also, in my opinion, lends itself nearly perfectly for paper modeling.

Pepakura Designer. This is an ‘Unfolder’. What it does, is it will take your 3D design form Metasequoia, (or other cad program of your choice, as long it reads one of the compatible file types), and ‘unfolds‘ the form into a 2 dimensional layout, for printing up and reassembling into the 3D model again.
It also has simple features for pasting graphics, and a full scaling ability, if you either want to UP/Down scale your design.
Pretty slick huh? Just punch a few buttons and *POOF!* Instant card model!

If/When you visit the Pepakura site, don’t forget to visit and hoard all the free models offered their by folks who’ve used the program. It also really shows off just what this baby can do. ;)

I recommend downloading the 2 older versions at the bottom of the page, V1.1, and V2.7. They are fully functional and require no license fee anymore.

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OK, so you’ve opened up Metaseq, and are looking at a grid screen with lots of buttons that do stuff. What stuff and what now?
If there is a small window open marked ‘Edit Panel’ with lots of X’s Y’ and Z’s, close it now. (‘X’ on top right of the panel).
We’re going to make the tube for the Screamer first. Look on the left side of the screen, and left click the button marked ‘PRIMITIVE’ A smaller window opens with some shapes.
Click on the one that looks like a short tube. Click on the ‘PROPERTY’ button
Let’s punch in the specs we want.
‘U’, is the number of segments going around the circumference.
‘V’, is the number of vertical sections. (look at the little diagram to left). ;)
The object of the cad drawing, is not to look pretty, but to make a card model. All you need is enough segments for the computer to get an idea of the basic shape for a layout. If you input too many, an un-folder program may not work very well, as their will be too much information for it, know an as “Too many Faces.” Ideally, when you’re making cones, and conical segments, you want enough ‘U’ slices, for them to appear round, and not in fat segments.
For anything up to 30mm or so, I find 24 works well. For this model, we’ll use 12.
‘U’- type the number 12
‘V’- type the number 2. This will divide our body tube into 2 segments, which will come in handy later.
‘IN’ type the number 0 (it will convert it to .1, that’s fine for now.
‘OUT’, type in the number 6.8.
‘Height’- We’ll use the 5.1” measurement for now 5.1x25.4 = 129.54mm’s Type in 129.54
The program uses ‘radius’ inputs. A bt-5 sized cardstock tube needs to have an interior diameter of about 13.5. Half of 13.5= 6.75, which Metaseq automatically converts to 6.8.
Use motor diameter dimensional specs for motor fitting body tubes. The cardstock will add several thousandth’s of an inch (roughly .016 for 65-67lb, and .018 for 110lb) You’ll only worry about exact outer dimensions on scale and more complicated designs. Notice, you have 72 faces just on the tube alone.

OK, go to the other small box, and click on ‘CREATE’
POOF! You just drew the body tube.
Close (X out) the Primitive specs box , and you’ll see it.
Let’s save your work before it may get botched. :) Go up to the top left, File, Save as - ‘Card Screamer-1’ It saves as an ‘MQO’ type file.

Go over to the left side menu, and click ‘VIEW’ THe primitive box closes, and another little box opens up with options allowing you to look at your tube from different perspectives. Keyboard shortcuts F-1 will give you a front view, F-2 the top, F-3 the side . Holding the SHIFT button down gives you the opposite view of the correspond ‘F” key. You cannot alter your work in the ‘VIEW’ setting, (as long as the little 'Edit Panel' isn't open), so play with it all you want. :)
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This is how I figured out the fin measurements:

I opened up the fin pattern TIFF from Jim, Z's site. Once it's opened:
Click on 'File' > 'properties' > 'Details' scroll down a bit.

In the first screenshot phto below, see where I have the 300DPI measurements circled? That's the screen resolution for this image. It's very-very-very important to know. Write it down!

OK widows users, now open the 'Paint' program. What? Where is it? You've never used it?!
OK, Open your programs list- 'all programs' > 'Accessories' > 'Paint'
Do yourself a big favor, and open up and read the help topics. It's not long, and you'll understand better how to use this program.

Once open;
Click 'File' (upper left) > 'Open' Find the TIFF, which in this case is "estes0802b" Open it into Paint.

In the 2nd screen-shot photo below, you'll see I have to numbers at the bottom circled. The first number, is the horizontal pixel count. Scroll across the screen , left to right, and you'll see the number go up.
The 2nd number is the vertical pixel count. Scroll from the top down, and you'll see this number go up.
This is going to be your scale guide.
On the picture, I drew 2 lines at every fin corner.
1 horizontal, and 1 vertical
These are the plotting points for this fin. More complicated fins, of course will have more plotting points. Yes! That's just about the same as the plot points in Space-Cad, and Rock-Sim! :D

For the root edge measurement- Go to the farthest upper vertical line, and make a note of the 'horizontal' pixel count. (helpful hint- click on the rectangle icon, and you'll get a cross-hair cursor with a dot in the center. This makes it easier to place exactly on a line or point.)
The number is '681' Write it down, or enter it into a calculator.
Put the cursor over the farthest upper vertical line, the horizontal pixel count is '219'.

OK Math time! 681-219= 462 462/300 (the screen resolution in this case) = 1.54 That's the root length in inches. 1,54x25.4= 39.116 mm's (39.11mm's) That's your metric fin root length. ;)

Lets get the over-all width:
Cursor on bottom 'horizontal' line. the Vertical (2nd set of pixel numbers) count is '1008' again write it down, or enter it into your calculator.
Cursor on top horizontal line- Vertical (2nd set of pixel numbers) is '653'
1008-653=355/300=1.183 (1.18) 1.18x25.4= 30.056mm's
That's your overall width measurement.
(It's late, and I've forgotten the rocketry technical terms) :confused2:

I went and printed up all the numbers on the image already, to short cut this. All the numbers look about right for this rocket, so I'm going to run with them. You, of course, may practice the technique and see if you find all the same or very similar numbers for all the proper angle lengths & measurements. :)

...and that is one way to get a proper sizing scale with your free paint program. For those with other graphic/painting programs, the methodology is the same, you'll just have different buttons. :) PSP works the same way.
Sorry I can't cover them all.

Next post- we'll draw the fins in Metaseq. ;)
Before I (we) go any further, it might be a good idea to call our parts by name, rather than 'Object-1'.
Let's do a name change:

upon re-opening your MQO, (Metasequoia) Screamer drawing:
Click the blue rectangle named 'Object-1' in the upper right portion of the screen, (The 'Object Panel'.
When the smaller window opens with a bunch of supplemental information, just click on the area that says 'Object's name', and type in "Body Tube'
Click 'OK' (see image- 'Renaming Object')

Now lets create a New Object, our fin pattern:
1st, at the top of the Object Panel, click 'New'
2nd, click on the little eyeball graphic box at the left of the object name. The body tube should disappear from the screen. Real simple, if the object name has an eyeball, you can see it. No eyeball, no see it :)
Click on the object box, and change the objects name to 'FIN' or 'FINS', as you just did for naming the body tube.
Note- Changes made in your drawing affect the highlighted object in blue! You can change something else not highlighted in Blue, but you will see your work disappear if you 'blink-out' the highlighted blue object.
Remember that! (It's fast way to get out of, or into a mess up. ;) )

Alright, lets get to work drawing a fin.
With 'FIN(s) highlighted in blue, and the body tube 'blinked-out'
1st click on 'Primitive'
Click on, or make sure the little upper left rectangle icon of is pressed.
2nd Click 'Property'
when the 2nd window opens, type in 39.11 in both 'Size' boxes. (If one converts to 39.1, make sure the other says the same.) (This is the largest, and Root Edge side of the fin pattern.)
Select 'XY'
Click 'Create' at the bottom f the first 'Primitive' box. (yep just like how we made the body tube!) :)
Click on 'View' in the lower art of the left control panel, and you'll see your little rectangle.
Hit the 'F-3' button on your keyboard, and you'll see the rectangle from it's 'FACE' (front side)
Highlight, (click on), 'Zoom' in the little 'View' window and hold down the left mouse button and you will 'ZOOM' in and out. Alternately, if you have a scroll wheel, it will do the same thing for you.
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To make it a little easier to get the proper dimensions, we're going to shift our rectangle just a bit to the right and up, so that the left (root) edge, and the lower (trailing) edge, are both on 0 lines of the vertical (Y), and horizontal (X) axis.

In the left control panel, click 'Move'
When the small 'Move' window opens, type in '0' in the 'X' axis box, and '39.1' in the 'Y' axis box. (you'll notice 1/2 of the rectangle is currently below the horizontal line? 39.1 is 1/2 the rectangle's height, this will move it's sitting on the 'X' axis line (0).
Click 'OK'. The rectangle shifts to the right and up.

Let's set the overall fin width:
In the left control panel, click on 'Rect' (Rectangle)
Draw a Rectangle around (your selecting) the two far right (outer points). Only they will now be highlighted (lit up)
In the left control panel click 'Move'
When the small 'Move' box opens, type in '30.05', into the 'X' box (This is our overall width measurement)
Click 'OK'
The points have now moved inward to a measurement of 30.05mm's :)

Let's move the upper right (outer leading edge) point into proper position:
in the left control panel click 'Rect'
draw (select) the upper right point.
In the left control panel click 'Move'
in the small 'Move' window, 'Rel' (relative)selection moves whatever point(s) point you select a given amount form wherever they're at. 'Abs', (absolute), is to an exact location on the grid itself.
Click on 'Rel'
We're going to lower by 24.15 mm's from where this point is currently at. So in the 'Y' box, type in -24.15.
Click 'OK'
The leading edge/angle of the fin is set. :)

If you're zoomed in close, you can either zoom out, or in the left control, click 'View'
In the small 'View' window, click on 'Move', and move around till you can see the lower outer point.
This only changes your viewing perspective of the board, not any actual drawings, (parts) .

Let's move the lower right (outer trailing edge) point into proper position:
in the left control panel click 'Rect'
draw (select) the lower right point.
In the left control panel click 'Move'
in the small 'Move' window, click on 'Rel'
We're going to lower by 15.15 mm's from where this point is currently at. So in the 'Y' box, type in -15.15.
Click 'OK'
The trailing edge/angle of the fin is set, and now so is the entire fin shape!:w:

Quick! Hit 'File>Save-As. Call it Screamer-2- before your cat jumps on the keyboard again!
...Oh wait, I think that's just me, and just me is going to bed now! :bat::D
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Picking up from exactly where I left off:

When you re-open Metseq, click on 'Unsel All' (Unselect all) located in the upper part of the left control panel.
This will unselect any parts/points or points of objects visible in the grid, that may be highlighted for modification.
Notice next to that button is 'Sel All' (Select all). This will highlight all points and objects that are visible in the grid. These are great short-cut buttons if you want to move a whole object, like a fin, nose, body tube, etc. The biggest thing and tick to remember, is it only works for visible objects. Whatever is 'blinked out', will not be selected/affected .
Another great thing to know, is that this program, like others, has an 'UNDO' feature, for when you make a mistake. It puts the screen/objects back to where it was before you changed something. :) That's a lifeline! Instead of trashing all your work to start over, you can just back up in steps. Each press of 'UNDO' backs you up 1 step. The default setting in Metaseq for the amount of times you can do this is 100. Plenty of room to make mistakes! :) There is also a 'REDO' button if you change your mind about an 'Undo'. :D These buttons are right above the 'Sel All'/'Unsel All' buttons.
(I should have probably mentioned that at the beginning of this tutorial huh? ) :eek:

OK, so lets 'blink-on' the body tube. As you can see, the fin is sticking through it. As we are making parts to unfold later in Pepakura Designer, this will not affect the later layout, but it does look odd! SO...
Blink-out the body tube again.
With the fin showing, hit 'Sel All' You see all points of the fin 'light-up'
Now 'blink-on' the body tube. All the points there are dark.
In the left control panel, click on 'Move' Now we're going to use those arrows,the 'Handle' that keeps showing up on your part.
Move the mouse over the arrow pointing to the right, left click/hold, and you see the Handle's right arrow 'light-up'
Holding the mouse button, slide your mouse, and the fin will slide to right, out of the body tube. The tube won't move. Once you have it moved it clear of the body tube a small distance, click 'Unsel All', and then 'View'
This is also another good time to do a 'save-as' I do alot of those.. :)
Hopefully, your screen should look like the one at the bottom (moved-fin right)The 'Handle' feature of 'Move' is good for general dragging of objects (parts) and points around the grid. In the small 'Move' window that is open, you can also uncheck the 'arrow' box, and that arrow disappears. Then you have to manually type in the coordinates and distances, which as you have done, is for precise work.
I'm going to call this part, 'installment-6 going here!' Where? Look at teh first picture below. That's where we're going. :) I'm going to show you how to get there in fewest clicks/moves possible. ;) Then I'll go into the wordy what/why explanation of what we did. (It's easier that way) ;)

OK Fishys!!! Every-body back in-to the poooolll!!!
Open up your last save, hit 'F-3'. Back to where I left off with you.
Blink out the body tube, highlight 'fins' object and hit Sel All. This highlights your fin.
Now click on the key 'SHIFT' and 'F-3' simultaneously.
(NOTE* Earlier I said the CTRL key- MY BAD :bangpan:! I'm still catching my stride for this tutorial.)
You now see 4 points, and 4 lines, with no filling (face). There's 2 sides to a fin wrap, so we need another side...(face)
Go way up top and click 'Selected'
click 'Mirror'
Little window opens,- click 'XY'
click 'OK'
BAM! Window closes, and you now have a face.
Click 'Sel-all'
go back up top. Click 'Object'
Click 'Join closed vertices' Little windows opens.
Click 'OK'
Little window opens to tell you '4 vertices have been joined'. click 'OK'
WHEW! You now have a solid 2 sided fin. :w:

There is are a couple of ways to 'face' an object. (part) Normally, you would use the 'Create' feature, to put a face on. I'll cover that much later.
Since our fin was on the 'X' 0 line, mirroring it, put an identical image on the other side, a mirror, at a mathematically proportional distance from the 'X' line. That equals '0'. The exact co-ordinates of the first side. Since our 4 points were all in the same object, and touching 'closed' in all their corresponding positions; we just told the program to view them as 'CLOSED', making a 2 sided complete object.
Had this not been done, later in Pepakura Designer, it would have seen these as 3 separate objects, and created them that way. This way, later on, we'll be able to control how we want the fold over to look, (joined at the leading edge) (don't worry, we'll get there, and it will make more sense then.) ;)
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Back at it.... The following steps are not necessary for the actual unfolding and making of the parts later in Pep-Des, but it will help give a partial understanding of parts manipulation in Metaseq and make a pretty drawing. :)

Click 'Unsel-all'
On the far right object panel, 'blink-on' your body tube, and 'blink-off' fin
Highlight 'body tube'
hit 'Sel-all'
Click on 'Move'
In the little window click on 'Abs' read 64.75 in the 'Y' box? make a note.
click on 'Rel'.
In the 'Y' box, type 64.75
click 'OK'
BAM!!! The body tube just moved up so it's sitting on the horizontal 'X', and 'Z'' zero lines. :)
Hit 'Unsel-al'
'blink-on' your fin
Now the bottom of the root edge of your fin, is sitting flush with the base of the body tube.

When the body tube was created, it was centered vertically on the grid. 1/2 was above the XZ line, and half below. We just moved it up the other 1/2 of the length- 64.75mm's ;)

Lets correctly set the fin against the body tube..

Click 'View', and 'zoom' and 'move' way in until you can clearly see the outer points of the body tube, and the lower root edge point of the fin.
Click 'Rect' and highlight those 2 points.
Go up top and click on 'Selected'
Click 'Align vertices'
READ- the 'X' portion of the small box. 6.8 is the position of the outer tube point. On 'my' screen, 7.67 is the position of the root edge of the fin. (both top and bottom points are already 'X' aligned.
7.67 (minus) 6.8= .87 (Your number will be the difference of wherever you moved your fin to earlier)
'X' out (close) the small 'align vertices' box.
Click 'UnSel All'
'blink-out' the body tube
click "Sel-al'
clck 'Move'
Click 'Rel'
In the 'X' box, type in a (-) minus sign and your number from the above formula, (-.87 for me)
Click 'OK'
'blink-on' the body tube
BAM! the fin is now perfectly touching the edge of your body tube! :w:

You know what? We need 2 more fins, and we'll align them nice and pretty.
That's next....
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'blink out' the body tube.
Click 'Sel al'
Go up to top click 'Selected' > 'copy'
Click 'Unsel' all
'blink out' the fin
Back up top click 'selected' > 'paste'
BAM! a third ('object-1') appears in the far right object panel, and an identical fin appears exactly where the first one is! :)
Don't 'blink on' 'fin(s)' just yet, we're going to play with the new one a bit.

In the left Control Panel,:
Click 'Rotate'
click 'Y-axis'
Type in 120 in the window (that's for 120' 360/3=120) :)
Click 'OK'
The fin rotates 120' :)
Back to the left control panel- Click 'Move'
Press the F-2 key You are now looking from a top view, straight down at your rocket.Use the right arrow of the handle to move the fin left (yes it will do that), until it matches the line running through the tube (as shown in the last picture 'match'
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Now use a combination of both handle arrow to pull the fin (from the F-2 view), down. Get into the position shown in the 1st picture 'mark' below.
Remember how me mated up the first fin with the body tube. We're going to this the same way, except we'll be using the 'X' and 'Z' axes of movement.
Zoom in
Click 'Rect', and highlight the points of the root edge of the fin, and the proper area of the body tube. Also shown in the first picture.
Go up top, click 'Selected' > 'Align vertices'
Read the numbers. Subtract the smaller number from the larger number ( right now, ignore the (-) part of the numbers 0, for the 'X' axis, and the 'Z' axis. Write them down. (For me, 4.30-3.40= .9, and 7.51-5.89=1.62)
Click Unsel all
'Blink out' the body tube
'Sel all'
Click 'Rel' in the small 'Move' window,
'Blink-on' the body tube
The body tube is closer to the top, along the 'Z' axis, and further to the right along the 'X' axis.
So I'll type (.9) in the 'X' box to move it that much further along the 'X' axis (to the right), and (-1.62) in the 'Z' axis, to bring it back closer to the center (top)
Click 'OK' in the small 'Move' window
The fin moves into it's final position against the body tube. :)

The third fin is really easy ....
Up top- Click 'Selected' > 'Mirror' > 'XY' > 'OK'
BAM! Your third fin appears instantly in position! :w:
Now, well just clean up the body tube a bit by getting rid of the solid center we don't need.
Click 'Rect'
highlight only the exact center of the tube.
up top click 'Selected' > 'Delete'
The solid center of the body tube disappears! :)

Keystroke F-5, (the neutral viewing position), and
I'll cover more later. ;)
Re-open metaseq...

Use either F1 or F3 to look at our drawing straight on
Lets move the whole rocket up, so that the bottom of the fins are sitting at the 'Y' 0 mark
Make sure all our objects are 'blinked on'
Remember how much we lowered that bottom training edge point by? Well you can either scroll back up this tutorial or:
Rect- highlight 1 or all the lower fin points
Move> Abs 'Y' is our vertical axis, and it says they are sitting at grid coordinate (-15.15)
Click Sel All The whole rocket is now 'lit up'
Click 'Move' > 'Rel' type (15.15) in the 'Y' box> 'OK'
POOF! Our rocket moved up by that much and is now sitting on vertical 0 (which is actually 'Y' 0 mark. :)
Why did we do this? Later, when we add a nose, the top of it will be at an absolute height that we can check against the advertised stated, and/or our desired overall height of the Classic Screamer kit. We can compare numbers and correct discrepancies, such as a questionable body tube, or nose cone length. ;)
Now, would you like pre-printed fin lines? I know I would! Rather than having them run the length of the tube, lets set out tube up now, so later, when we erase the tube lines in Pepakura...we can have 3 that are the exact length of the fins. ;) Now you'll actually get to use the Align Vertices feature, instead of just reading numbers:

Rect Highlight the very top points of the fin root edges (the top fin points) AND that band running across the center of the tube.
Up top- Click 'Selected'> 'Align Vertices'
In the little window- 'Uncheck' the far right 'APPLY' box for 'X',
In the 'Y' boxes The smaller number is the top of the fin height. The larger is the height of the tube band. (note* If an apply box is checked, and no values are input, either by selecting one of the numbers, or typing in your own Position number, metaseq uses pre set values of the mathematical split between the larger and smaller numbers for each value 'Applied')
Click on 54.25 That number now appears in the position box.
'Check' (click on) the 'Y' 'APPLY' box. Our position number becomes bold.
Click 'OK'
POOF! The band moves to the exact height of the top of the fins. :)
Click Unsel All

Next comes color :)
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Ok, lets give this bland looking thing some color. How about.....RED!? :)

In the left control panel:
Click 'MatPanel' (material panel)
in the little Material Panel window, click on the blue highlighted 'Mat1'
In the large Material Panel that just opened, click on 'Color library'
Click on the red (2nd) box.
Click 'OK'
Don't worry about all those other settings, they don't apply to the purposes of this tutorial. However, where you see the HSV code, in the small pull down HSV window, yu can also change the settings to RGB, and in either format, input any color choice you wish. ;)
Click 'OK'
RED ROCKET! RED ROCKET! :D:cheers::clap:

Click Unsel All, and close the small material panel window.
F5, save as...

You all know what's coming next right?
The NOSE-CONE!!!!!! :y:
I'll let you know now, explaining it is tedious!:pop: if this hasn't been so far right? :D
Actually doing it is not hard, but it does require patience and serious attention It's best to have at least 2 calculators handy, and a scratch pad/pencil-pen.
Do not drink that 'extra-cup' of coffee!:bang: ;)

ps- If anyone has any questions, thoughts (relating to this tutorial please), please pm/emailme. I'll try my best to help. ;)
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Since my personal goals for a card rocket, are for something fast, cheap, and already colored. I use a sectional designed nose, that mimic's the profile of a standard nose as best I can.
When I do a 'sectional' paper nose, it's impossible to make it look exactly like whatever established nose cone design, made from plastic, wood, or other, that I'm copying.
I've been asked about on overlay of paper Mache. Because it, is made 'over' the original nose it will have a larger diameter then the cone, and therefore, would need a custom sized tube. to fit the nose cone. Unless you design and build a smaller 'former'.
Paper Mache also takes time, sanding, prepping, painting. Why trade one issue for several others?
The mathematics of designing a sectional cone are straight forward scaling ratio formulas. Once yu learn and know them, it's just repetition.
The hardest actual part of designing the nose, is working out how it will 'unfold' into it's parts, to recreate your desired shape with the best efficiency. You could make one out of 15-50 sections for a nearly perfect resemblance and I have seen it done. It's my personal opinion however, this shows off more of a personal neurosis for detail, that all but the most die-hard card modeler would try to build. Building it would be a bragging right in of itself.
So, there is a logical, and practical medium between looks, and constructive feasibility. The fewer sections, or pieces a good looking design can be made with, the less chance there is to build a crooked nose.
Ergo, to me, that is a good card nose design.

Let's do it!

I'm going to show you the basic principals using the nose cone type BNC-845P, as again, sold through Semroc. This is the closest fit I could find, with help, that mimics the old Century pert # 72089, used in the Buck Rogers Starfighter kit.
I just went through the card process for this cone on Saturday, and know where the files are. :D

In process order:

Copy your picture or diagram, and enter it into an illustrator program, like PAINT. (The higher resolution picture or diagram you can get, the more accurate your sections will be mathematically. Sometimes thouigh, you work with what you can get.

This time, we're not overly concerned with the pixel count resolution of the image. We do need to know, at minimum, the overall height of the nose.4.5" in this case. The base radius will be taken from our body tube drawing radius.
We are concerned with the pixel count of the base radius, and the overall height of the nose.
Pick 2 bright colors that you can see over the black lines. Draw a vertical center line straight through the center of the nose tip, and the base. Draw another different color line along the line, or as close as you can along and through the cone base -not the shoulder base,-the CONE base!
Starting form the base, on the outer profile line of the cone, start drawing a 'straight line', upwards along the original profile, until you line just starts to meander off. STOP! Draw a line from your stop point, to the center line you drew through the cone. Continue, until you have drawn along the entire cone.
On my drawing, red is for the radius, and blue is for height.
(* IN the 2nd picture below, I removed the original nose illustration, so you can see the red/blue sections more clearly.)

Here comes the math!
Count the pixels from you base radius line, to the tip. Write them down, or enter them in a calculator.
If your nose measurement is listed in inches, (4.5" for this cone), convert to metric. Divide your overall pixel number by the listed height of the actual nose cone. In this case, the math looks like this:
4.5x2.54= 11.43cm's= 114.3mm's 436/114.3= 3.81 pixels per millimeter. Write that down! (in my case, on the drawing, so i know where it is. ;) )
DO NOT USE THIS NUMBER FOR THE BASE RADIUS! I know it would make sense to do, but i have yet to see a case where it actually works out.
Run the process again for the radius formula- The base radius needed for my cone, is 11mm. The count form center line, to blue edge line is 43 this case, 43/11= 3.909 (3.91) pixels per millimeter. Write that number down! Now for each blue line section, count the number of pixels, from base red line, to sectional red line, and divide that number by, in my case, 3.81.
(NOTE* I don't count individual sections. I count form the base to each section, and write the number down. I find this gives me a less confusing time drawing the cone, and a more accurate overall height.)

Do the same process at each horizontal red line. Count the pixels along each red line from the blue center line, to the blue profile section line, and divide them by, in my case, 3.91.
Do this for every section, and you'll get a a drawing that looks like the last one.


I'm going to break here for now. Val's hungry and wants to go out ;) :cheers:
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After you've gotten your measurements and calculations for you card-nose, the next thing to do is open up metaseq, import you last mqo project save.
Hit Unsel All
'Blink-out' your other objects/parts.
In the same object panel, click 'NEW', and label it Nose cone.
In the left control panel, click on 'Primitive' I go with one of 2 choices, either to modify a cylinder, or, of course, a cone! :)

Let's choose a cone.
When the property window opens, in the 'U' box, always select the same number of segments as you did for the body tube it will fit too. This alleviates any sizing issues. Since I'm going to stay with my BNC845p for this tutorial, that would be 24.
The Screamer, would of course, be 12.
I drew 7 lines for a total of 7 vertical segments, so I enter a 7 in the 'V' box.
my 'radius' entry is 11
my height is 114.3 (mm's)
Go back to the smaller 'Primitive' box and click 'OK'
POOF! Instant cone! ;)

Let's modify it:

left panel select 'RECT'
highlight the first band above the base.
Left panel-select 'Move' > 'abs',> type in your 'blue' height measurement, (27.29) for me, in the 'Y' box, and read the 'Z' entry- (9.43 on mine). Write that down
Take your calculated radius measurement, (10.48-for me) and divide it by the 'Z' value 10.48/9.43 = 1.111(1.11)

left panel- select 'Scale'. (make sure the first band is still highlighted)
In the box, type in your (1.11) click 'OK'
click 'Move' again, and re-check the 'Z' value. Is it within .01-.04 of your calculated Radius value? Mine says 10.47- YEP! Definitely good enough! :)
If it's not, go back to 'SCALE' and you can shrink/or blow it up by typing in the values .99 or 1.01 accordingly. Go in small increments until you get the size you desire.

A little hint, Instead of using .99, or 1.01 twice, should that still be too small or big, click 'UNDO', and use .98, or 1.02. instead;)

Now guess what? That's right! Do the same thing for the remaining lines, (sections), inputting their respective values and calculations.

NOTE!* Use the move handle (up arrow) to move the sections not being calculated/moved/sized, further up out of the way DO NOT OVERLAP (run over) THE SEGMENTS! B-A-D!!!
When you're done you'll have you new card clone nose cone!:clap:

You can also move a segment or two up or down, or rescale it slightly, until you get a profile that YOU like. ;)

So, who among you quickly learning, (I hope), Rocketry Rembrandts, thinks they can now take a graphic of the BNC5ax nose cone, and create a card clone nose version for the Screamer?:wave:
Save it in a tool box of sorts and you can use it for many other projects.
Well, I went ahead and built the Screamer over the weekend. I did use an illustrator program to tweak the 'Mini brute bug', but the rest was done all in metasequoia Le, Pepakura 2.1.7, and PAINT.

Here's a photo of the 2 programs, and the Beta model. I'm not satisfied with the constrution method of thenose, and tweaked it a bit. I want to rebuild my nose (the rockets!) ...Want to fly it too. (the whole rocket! Although I'd like to go flying too) ;)

Yes,the kit willbe available, but as a Pepakura Doc!
You'll need at least V 2.1.7 program, or newer 'Viewer', as available in the above posting to print out. I'm not going to lock anything up, so whoever downloads this toy, will be free to edit things should thy wish. In this way, whatever YOU change, makes it YOUR design, not mine! ;)
I'm also going to put it in a folder with the Metaseq drawing, and a short write up of what, why, and a few troubles I had Just FYI for those wanting to learn a bit about what went into this toy.

Also, I'm adding tutorials on my website, as I get them written, and am satisfied I won't want to pull them down again for edits, a couple hours after they're posted! :bang:

Beautiful job on the build, Eric! You've captured the feel of the Screamer really well.
great job on the screamer!

When you design a nosecone, do you have a predetermined ratio for the amount of sections on the the cone?

I figure too many seams/parts would make construction more work than necessary, so do you find there is a certain ratio to go by? or is it best to use as few seams as possible? or is there no limit ?

thanks in advance
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Hi Stymye. Thank you for the compliment!:)

I have complete control over the design. I can make as many, or as few sections as I like. I have 2 downloadable tutorials posted. 1 for using PAINT to draw the cone, the other, using Metaseq to cad draw the cone.
There is no limit. You can can draw a line every 1/10th of a millimeter in the 'Y' axis (height) and have 360' degrees of circumferential segments.
My personal predetermined design standard, is to draw straight lines till they wander off the nose profile path. How many are needed? It completely depends on the profile of the nose. The fewer, the better for simplicity purposes.
In the case of the BNC5ax nose, I drew 6. 7,8 or 9 might look better on a screen, but for cad drawing and construction, exactly as you surmised, more work, and more complicated. ;)
Setting up the sectional pieces is the tricky part. How do you know how to unfold it? I need to write up the pep-des tutorial explaining this in detail, but essentially, it's practicality, experience, and trial & error. Like everything else in the world, sometimes what looks like a great idea 'on screen, or paper', doesn't work when 'constructing the paper' :bang:
The BNC5ax has a top drawn section a bit over 2mm's in length. Can you 'ACTUALLY' construct that with cardstock- 'if you're up for a challenge, maybe... Is it practical- NO! So for this model, 6 drawn segments turns into 5 construction sections. A little extra white glue on the inside of the tip and a bit of finger pinching, forms the final point radius just as well, and more easily.

Just to show how much control the designer has over the unfolding of the drawn parts, the last 2 pics show me playing around with Pepakura, and unfolding my nose in vertical segments, and then again with every individual segment splayed out.
You can also add or subtract glue flaps on every segment surface- if you wanted too...... :D

Did I help answer your questions? or maybe TMI?? lol

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Just for fun...

Here's a cone 50mm's in height, with a 7mm radius. I made it up of usng 360' U segments, a 1/10th mm V segments. Look at the face count! :y: (note* a face is a closed polygon. The face number is how many polygon points are making this cone.)
It's also jammed the program! Serious TMI! Not workable, or practical. :jaw:

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Thanks Eric ,
That answers my question completely.
I did look over your nosecone tutorial and that's when the question popped into my head.

You can probably tell I'm just getting into the nosecone designing part.
I've had no problem doing a solid strait cone (one seam).
I also have figured out how to do a oblique cone(one seam)

I'm going to practice some multi segment cones for a while, It's actually fun to me
When I get a chance over the next couple of days (work is H*** right now), I'll describe the method I use for creating nose cones using Adobe Illustrator. Although I haven't looked for any (no need to), I would think there are other "draw" type programs out there that can do the same thing that Illustrator does, so the technique may be useful as well.
gpoehlein, please do

That would be very helpfull for me , Illustrator is where I'm most comfortable for graphics.
Just a quick note to say the Carded Screamer clone kit, including The Metseq file, and all included graphics are now online and available for downloading at my site, on the flying rockets page:) Since it's such a loaded file- the 'PDO' (pepakura des), is the actual model. ;)


When I tried to unzip, I got a damaged file message.
Just checked it, again. Everything is fine for me. :confused2:
I haven't advertised it anywhere but this thread, and there's only been a total of 5 visitors since posting it....
The company that owns the site had been messing about with programming...
Try again? :)
Everyone with file trouble, give me shout. I'll do what I can. I'm breakig my blackout time, since I'll have to be online anyway for NASA updates to STS-130. :D

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