Dark Star Lite build

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blackjack2564

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When I got home today a nice box was left by the UPS man. Upon close inspection I saw the Wildman return address.

I had already built the DarkStar Dual Deploy version 38mm motor here: https://www.rocketryplanet.com/forums/showthread.php?t=5373 and have been waiting to do a DarkStar Lite.


Yep it was the Darkstar Lite I've been waiting for,so you know what that means!

Build thread: Anyone who might be getting one of these might want to save this thread. It will be a thorough complete set of construction tips as a manual can get.
 
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blackjack2564

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Your wish is my Command Mopar!

…...................Welcome to the world of Wildman! ….................. A Midpower rocket with 29mm motor mount for E thru I motors.


All fiberglass kits constructed of high quality components giving you a long lasting, easy to finish rocket . Only 89.00

This kit also contains a Von Karmen nose cone. Previously unheard of in a kit of this price range.
The Von Karmen style cone is a very high performance design usually found in rockets many times the price of this. Just one more leading innovation brought to you by Wildman Rocketry!
The tubing provided in this kit is also a new Wildman innovation. A light weight version of the spiral wound tubes found in it's bigger brother Wildman series rockets. This new tubing translates into a lighter project yielding higher flights with smaller motors.
This added with Von Karmen NC and the stylish split fin design of the DarkStar and you have one of the finest kits available today. A surefire attention getter at any launch!

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blackjack2564

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Needed to complete construction:

10 to 30 minute epoxy is recommended .[ If you have experience with 5 minute it may be used, not recommended for beginners due to extremely fast cure time. ]

CA [super glue] for tacking parts.
60 to 80 grit sandpaper for roughing up areas to be glued.
100 to 200 for prepping to paint.
Rail buttons or launch lugs.
Motor retention
Small file for notching centering ring [sandpaper or dremel will also work]
Primer and paint.
Fin alignment guide.
Popsicle sticks or paint stirrers,for aligning front and rear fins.
Clothespins or small clamps even large paperclips will work, used to align front and rear fins
Ruler and pencil.
1/8in. Drill bit and drill if using rail buttons.

The parts:


Body tube
15ft kevlar shock cord
24in Topflite parachute
10inch Motor mount
Von Karmen NC
NC bulkplate
3 upper fins
3 lower fins
4 centering ring

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Mopar32985

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WOW what a top notch looking kit. All the components looks to be very high quality. Cant wait to see this thing come together. Good luck:cheers:
 

blackjack2564

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Lets get all the sanding out of the way

Fins do not come airfoiled [beveled], if you wish to do so, bevel the top fin front edge and rear fin trailing edge. All other edges should remain squared.

Molding line on NC sanded flush.


Where the tube is marked is where the centering rings will be glued inside the airframe. Sand with 60-80 grit all around the circumference of the.......... INTERIOR …...tube to promote glue adhesion.

A dowel or stick wrapped with the sandpaper and taped will make reaching inside to sand much easier.




Sand with 60-80 grit on each side of every slot for fillet adhesion. ¼ in. from edges of slots.

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blackjack2564

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Sand the entire exterior of motor mount with 60-80 grit

Dry fit centering rings to motor mount and insert into airframe for fit. Sand if needed to adjust.
Dry fit fins into slots. Sand where needed to fit. It helps to lightly sand the root edge [edge that touches motor mount]just enough to “knock” off burrs, insuring a smooth fit into slots without catching.

It will help a great deal to number the fins to the slots you fitted them to, as you go. When it comes time to glue, things will go much faster and smoother this way.






Now that all the sanding is finished, we are ready to begin assembly:

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dlb

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Oh my, The attack of the DSL's :y:

in colors for all.

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Viperfixr

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I vote for the Orange and Black version!

Will the fins whistle inflight?
 

Pantherjon

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Don't know about the lite, but, there is a whistle with the Dark Star when it goes up..So, the lite should as well..Taper the leading edge of the front fins and trailing edge of the back fins and leave the trailing edge of the front and leading edge of the back fins square...
 

blackjack2564

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Finally back at the build after a slight delay:

File or sand a small notch in the inside of 1 centering ring . Place kevlar in notch and slip over the top end of motor mount leaving 2in. hanging down. Centering ring should be 1/4in from top of tube. Stuff remainder of kevlar in MM to keep it out of the way.

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blackjack2564

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Slide remaining 3 CR's [centering rings]on the motor mount tube [MM]. Rear ¼ from edge of tube. Tack with CA. [superglue]


2nd from the rear 4in. from edge of MM tube. 3rd CR is 4 ¾ in from rear of MM tube. Tack all CR's into place with CA and should look like below. Do NOT EPOXY yet !

Place upper fin in position between CR's and check for fit all around the MM. Do same for lower fin position. If need be reposition CR's so fins fit between them. Remove fins.

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blackjack2564

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Slide MM into position in the airframe. Make sure the kevlar shock cord is positioned BETWEEN the fin slots. The edges of all CR's should barely be visible at the ends of slots.


Now dry fit all the numbered fins into their corresponding slots to check on final fit.

All should fit correctly at this point. If not make adjustments.
When satisfied with dry fit, remove fins and MM from airframe. Now ready to epoxy the CR's into place. Add motor retention if using at this point , then continue.

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blackjack2564

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Mix some epoxy. Lift Kevlar and apply epoxy under it on tube. Push Kevlar into epoxy and put some more on top [encapsulate it]. Fillet top of centering ring with epoxy all the way around.

After filleting top of top CR ONLY, do NOT fillet bottom of top CR or fins won't fit between, then fillet inside of middle CR's only, and the outside if the rear CR. Remember NOT TO FILLET CR'S WHERE THE FINS WILL BE!

NO epoxy between CR's where fins go,as shown in photo below ! Set aside to cure.

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blackjack2564

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Insert MM assembly into airframe, take care to have kevlar shock cord BETWEEN fin slots! Sand both sides of all fins, from root edge up 3/4in.with 60-80grit, to promote fillet adhesion. Mix a small batch of epoxy to tack fins. Scoop up some with edge of mixing stick and “butter'' root edge of rear fin. Try to keep it off the sides of fin as much as possible. Insert into airframe. Make sure fin is pressed tight to MM tube. Also make sure not to insert fin upside down.
Tack remaining 2 fins. Align fins to insure straight flight. If experienced you may continue and tack upper fins and align. For those new to building split fin designs, let the rear set cure, then do the following:

Use a Popsicle stick or similar item and clothes pin, chip clip, clamp, etc, to hold upper fin in alignment with rear, after buttering root edge and inserting into airframe. Do remaining 2

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blackjack2564

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When epoxy gets a little older the hardener darkens up,hence the reddish color. Actually makes seeing it in the pictures better. No ill effect on strength.
External fillets: as simple as mixing enough epoxy to do 2 at a time and pulling them out with a mixing stick, or your finger.[covered with a nitrile glove for safety]
First place airframe in rocket rack or hang fins over end of table. Making sure airframe is level.
Or you can also tape the fins and airframe to save clean up and sanding when cured.

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blackjack2564

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Removing tape after partial cure is much easier than after full hardness is reached and reduces sanding.

Finished fillets after removing tape. A little sanding and ready for primer and paint.

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troj

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After filleting top of top CR ONLY, do NOT fillet bottom of top CR or fins won't fit between, then fillet inside of middle CR's only, and the outside if the rear CR. Remember NOT TO FILLET CR'S WHERE THE FINS WILL BE!

NO epoxy between CR's where fins go,as shown in photo below ! Set aside to cure.
If you forget and put epoxy where the fins go, you can use a Dremel to knock a corner off the fin tab to get around the epoxy.

Let's not discuss how I know that....

-Kevin
 

Estimado

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Hi Jim,
What kind of motor retention do you have planned? Is there enough length on the motor mount tube to extend it out past the body tube 3/8" to add a Aero Pack or HAMR motor retainer? Will the forward centering ring be able to clear the body tube fin slot(for the forward fins) if the motor mount is pushed back 3/8" or do you have to move the centering ring forward on the motor tube?

Also, is it possible to mount the motor tube and only epoxy the forward CR first and while accomplishing motor tube alignment and centering by putting in a rear CR with temporary tape handles for later removal? My goal would be to apply internal fillets on the fins and add the middle CR's, then the aft fins (followed by fillets) and then the aft CR. Are the internal fillets needed?
Rich
 
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Pantherjon

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Hi Jim,
What kind of motor retention do you have planned? Is there enough length on the motor mount tube to extend it out past the body tube 3/8" to add a Aero Pack or HAMR motor retainer? Will the forward centering ring be able to clear the body tube fin slot(for the forward fins) if the motor mount is pushed back 3/8" or do you have to move the centering ring forward on the motor tube?
I am not Jim, but I think I can answer your questions..

There will be enough motor tube exposed for the aeropak with the motor tube flush with the body tube as the aft centering is butted up against the rear of the aft fins.
Also, is it possible to mount the motor tube and only epoxy the forward CR first and while accomplishing motor tube alignment and centering by putting in a rear CR with temporary tape handles for later removal? My goal would be to apply internal fillets on the fins and add the middle CR's, then the aft fins (followed by fillets) and then the aft CR. Are the internal fillets needed?
Rich
You could do that..But, really isn't all that necessary. Plus there wouldn't be that much room between the motor tube and the body tube to really do anything..Just follow as Jim has shown, when attaching the fins get the root edges 'buttered' with enough epoxy that when you insert them in the slot they will practically make the fin to motor tube fillet for you..Internal fillets at the fin-body tube joint are not really needed, as you will make fillets externally, which will suffice..
 

blackjack2564

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Hi Jim,
What kind of motor retention do you have planned? Is there enough length on the motor mount tube to extend it out past the body tube 3/8" to add a Aero Pack or HAMR motor retainer? Will the forward centering ring be able to clear the body tube fin slot(for the forward fins) if the motor mount is pushed back 3/8" or do you have to move the centering ring forward on the motor tube?

Also, is it possible to mount the motor tube and only epoxy the forward CR first and while accomplishing motor tube alignment and centering by putting in a rear CR with temporary tape handles for later removal? My goal would be to apply internal fillets on the fins and add the middle CR's, then the aft fins (followed by fillets) and then the aft CR. Are the internal fillets needed?
Rich
I purposely left 1/4 in of MM hanging out the back for adding an Aero-Pac P version retainer. Tim was out at the time so I am just doing barrel nut insert and mirror clip. Will post a pic later. When I get an AP I will retrofit. That's why the tiny fillet around the rear exterior CR. Installation info on AP below.

Jon was pretty on the money with his reply. This kit is a light weight one and you want to keep it that way if you are flying a full range of motors. As long as you rough up the glass good and get good glue to parts contact, you will be fine. Another little trick would be to butter the fin, install it, remove and butter again. Essentially doing the process twice, that would give you MORE than enough on the MM tube. But if you do that, don't try it with 5 mi., use at least 15minute epoxy or more, otherwise it will start to set up before your through.

There are many ways to build a kit. The one shown will become the manual when I am through, after editing and feedback as usual. I beat the living [email protected] out of my rockets and before it's over this one will have flown on a I-200,so I feel confident this build technique will handle it.
This way I know that the product and way to build it will satisfy all those that get one. So far every kit that has been released has held up great to an array of abuse. [this one and all the other Wildman kits]. This is how the Drago is built and the proto type is still around. That one I built with 5 minute, and teeny tiny fillets.[you can view that manual on Wildmans site.link provided below]

I try to show how to build in a simple anyone can copy it,a way that will handle any motor, small or large, keep it strong yet light and not scare the novice from attempting it.
There is a major tendency for people to over build, this only adds weight and puts undo strain on recovery components. It also prevents flying on small motors. I want every one to be able to fly this on F's G's for those not certified and all the way up to 6grain exl's for those wanting to push the envelope, with out worrying it will hold together .

All that said, if you wish to do as you asked....yes that is fine, but not really needed. But as I always say....If it makes you sleep better, by all means, do it!
Rumor has it that I flew a kit with the fins just Duct taped on and it was a success with a H. so there will not be any problems with glue and small fillets.LOL [DON"T TRY IT!}

https://www.wildmanrocketry.com/default.asp?groupid=92&groupid1=132&groupid2=133

https://www.wildmanrocketry.com/default.asp?groupid=1&groupid1=612121482&prodid=346462280226596

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blackjack2564

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Been neglecting the Darkstar since the 24mm Carbon BlackHawk Proto type build started last week. THAT"S going to be a screamer!

https://www.rocketryplanet.com/forums/showthread.php?t=5969

Got the decals today from DLB [Wolfstar thanks buddy].

I opted for the yellow version since my DD DarkStar is Black.

Primed it yesterday and will start finish coat tomorrow, after the required 48 hrs of dry time. [we all know what a PITA that is]

This is gonna be one sexy midpower rocket!

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rockie

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Looks great so far and i am sure it will look awsome with the paint and decals on.

One of next builds will probably an all fiberglass so this has been an interesting read. :)
 

blackjack2564

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PICS of motor retention I'm using for now, as previously promised.

Barrel nut and allen screw.

Motor held in with mirror clip. All parts can be had at any big box store Lowe's, Home Depot, Ace etc. If you do this drill hole so center is 1/4 in from edge of motor mount.

Hole drilled in CR.
barrel nut screwed in.

Then filled with Vaseline or grease so when applying CA around exterior and epoxying the rocket, none gets inside the interior threads.

Yeah that's an H-180 waiting for DarkStar's maiden flight!

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blackjack2564

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Drill holes for rail buttons with 1/8 bit. Try to hit bottom and top centering ring when mounting.

This is done BEFORE painting so you can see where they are. I forgot to take pic before I painted sorry. In other pic you can see how easy it is to see CR's before paint.

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blackjack2564

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The nose cone is a Von Karmen, molded from the Mongoose 38mm carbon fiber rocket. That one has the metal tip.

So the one that comes with the DarkStar Lite has the mold mark from the metal tip on it.This makes taping it off for painting a breeze if you want to paint a fake tip on. Looks mighty cool!

Here is a teaser shot after first coat of paint. Rustoleum primer and Sunburst yellow gloss finish. Will sand this, decals and clear coat soon!

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blackjack2564

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Installed rail guides.

Cut 1 foot off shock cord to make loop for nose cone bulkplate.

Tie overhand knot and pull through hole.

Glue assembly into NC.

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blackjack2564

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Attach shock cord to nose cone and chute 2ft from NC.

Finished bird ready to fly!

Let's see some pictures of the ones you guys build!

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dixontj93060

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Jim,

Did I miss something, or did you not inject internal fillets on this one like you do for most Wildman kits?

I'm building one now in my workshop and set up for injection of internal fillets (note semicircles in attached pic) which I hope to get done tonight.

-Tim

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dlb

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As always great job Jim!:cheers:
Looking forward to the next launch for her maiden flight.

Lots of work to do before then , part list and the like for my big build.:dark:
 
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