Der Big Red Something Build

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Yeas, I noticed something in that too especially since the mask was two pieces, a front and rear... I've googled a little more and found a different shape for the forward end.

I sanded the blue off. Didn't get it all though. No matter how much I sanded the blue dust would keep staining the white. Tried wet sanding too but that discolored the white too. Actually exposed some primer while sanding trying to get the blue gone. Finally called it good and sprayed the white again. Should be good for another masking tomorrow.

I cut a new mask tonight. Yep, with a different front shape. I have to go to El Paso tomorrow and I hope to swing by Grainger to pick up a can of Acryli-Quik Regal Blue. Not sure if it will be the color I'm looking for as the pics on the internet vary considerably so we'll just have to see.

1 step forward, two steps back but then....

So the white recoat came out ok. For some reason the areas that were painted blue are "puffed up" even though all the blue was sanded off. Very strange... I think it will be alright (i.e. not noticeable) once it get sprayed blue again.

The can of paint had not come in at Grainger on Friday. I'm glad I didn't drive 80 miles for just that. When I got back home I ordered a can from Zoro and it arrived today. Good news is that it is a nice darker blue. Also got a notice from Grainger that the can I ordered arrived today :)

I had been working on taping off the nose cone. This was the first time I tried doing that with tape. I covered the cone with blue tape and drew the design on the tape. Then I used a new blade and cut the tape away. I thought I was being real careful, making multiple passes so to not damage the white paint underneath. When I peeled the tape off form the area to be sprayed I saw that I was not successful in my efforts. I had cut thru the paint in several areas. I was able to use the edges of the tape to make some paper templates then I removed all the tape. I'm so happy I did because it was a mess. I sanded it all down then primed it again to fill in the cuts. After a light sanding I sprayed the whole thing white again.

Tomorrow I hope to spray the red on the front of the nose, the wingtips and the vertical stabilizer. I still need to make the mask for the vertical stab but that should go pretty quick.

No pics today but I'm crossing my fingers there will be some tomorrow.

What a great start to the day!

The fresh paint on the nose cone was good so I moved on to painting the red tip. I started by using the paper template I made to cut some paint masks from Orafol masking vinyl. Then I slid the paper mask over the tip of the nose cone and carefully centered it.
Big Der Red Paper Template.jpg

Next I applied the vinyl masks aligning them to the paper masks ever so carefully. Finally, I covered the rest of the nose cone and took it out to the connex for a few coats of red after a quick wiper with a tack cloth.
Big Der Red Orafol Mask.jpg

After a few minutes I unmasked and whalla, a red tipped nose cone!
Big Der Red Nose Tip.jpg

Now to leave it alone until at least after lunch...

I was able to spray the bottom again this morning before my appointment with the VA. The Acryli-Quik went on great and I the mask came off without any issues.

I need to add some blue stripes inside of the red tips and I think the bottom will be done.

So the paint is finished. I busted my butt working on final painting, making decals, installing decals and clear coating on Friday so I could Meet ad Greet the Thunderbird aircrews Friday.

Here's how she came out:
Big Der Red Flight 1 sm.jpg

Big Der Red Flight 2 sm.jpg

I ended up not meeting with the Thunderbird aircrews. The meet and great was from 6 to 9 p.m. I had planned to be there at 6 but fate intervened. I had a morning appointment with the VA in El Paso at a "first ever" claims clinic to complete the claim I had started on Thursday. It was supposed to take just a few hours. Well I did not get finished until 5:30 p.m. then there was the drive home. It was around 7:40 p.m. when I arrived at the meet and great and the aircrews had already left. There were some enlisted people around that I guess were taking down their set up so no autographs :(

All that is left now is to install the recovery system and add nose weight if needed then she's ready to fly. Oh, the warp in one of the fins returned (post 12 and 13) so I'll need to address that too.

I am pretty happy with how it came out. Here are the three views:

Big Der Red Painted Bottom View.jpg

Big Der Red Painted Side View.jpg

Big Der Red Painted Top View.jpg

Sigh - leave it to the VA, even when they’re being responsive it ends up as FUBAR! Not the first story I’ve heard that makes me happy my retirement was routine, hopefully the claim is handled smoothly - 🤞

Regardless, that’s a great looking bird, I personally wouldn’t mess with the fin but I get having the urge - as good as it looks making it perfect has its appeal. Did you consider adding a “cockpit” decal to the nose cone? Not that it needs it - just curious…
No cockpits on these builds. I am following the example set forth by James Duffy in this thread

There was a time that through some blessing these kits were selling for 20 something dollars on Amazon. At a price like that I stocked up a few and turned one into a Big Goblin and then decided to go this route with the second kit. The challenge it to use the kit as a blank canvas and paint it to represent something else. Most have been aircraft but James has even done one in the old Gulf racing scheme. It was a challenge for me to adapt the Thunderbird paint scheme to the rocket because I consider myself to be much more of a craftsman than an artist but I think I was successful as you all know what my inspiration was.

To me it's kinda like building a goony version of whatever rocket using a Baby Betha kit and only changing the fin shape. It's a challenge to make it recognizable but a lot of fun :)

Thank you for the kind words,
Wow! Your Thunderbird Paint scheme puts mine to shame (Link)! This turned out great. I’m also finishing up a DBRM build and have been looking for something different to do with the nosecone. Did you cut the rings yourself or order some? Mine has an RC parachute which is pretty big and pretty heavy so I’m trying to claw back some of that huge NC space to fit some big G motors.

Thanks for sharing this build!
I checked out your build and I see you have a Cricut too. I used mine only for the U.S. AIR FORCE lettering on the side and I got frustrated because it wouldn't allow me to switch the lettering to bold. I made paper patterns for the other masks and just hand cut those masks out. I actually cut the thunderbird three times. Used the first one on the failed Duplicolor paint spray out. Cut another and lost it so I had to cut a third. The third time was a charm :)

I did cut the rings myself. It doesn't take to long using my bandsaw, sanding wheel, hole saw and dremel.

I'm not really a fan of the Red Max scheme either. I think I have one more of these kits left that is going to become a Photon Probe or Photon Disrupter. I like them both

I might get to that next year. I need to get back to work on the decals and nose cone mods on the Super Falcon build

Oh, and I'm feeling a very strong pull to a Black Brant III design and build. 2.6 inch with a 29mm mount but built strong for a possible level one cert.
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