DigBaddy's Alien Space Probe #2 (Scratch Build)

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DigBaddy

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Going to throw some stuff in here as I build a new Alien Space Probe. I joined this site after starting it, but it's not done, so it'll be a long first post and then who knows when I'll actually finish it. It's probably too far along to correct my course, but any ideas to improve are welcome. The goal is mainly to make a good looking rocket that will fly nice on BP motors. I love to learn and if I goofed up and someone helps show me that I did, that's fantastic.

So, some history. Built one of these when I was about 11 years old. Bang-up job. Not a show piece at all. But, it was cool. I just loved the goofy thing. It had legs, stupid fragile 3/16" dowel legs, but it had legs. Yet I never launched it. Probably lots of reasons why, just never did. Grew up, moved away, all that stuff. About 10 years ago I grabbed it from my parent's house (if someone can help find my MIA SR-71 Blackbird that's there somewhere, that would be great). It wasn't intact. One leg was attached. A few fins were busted. Two other legs were broken. Two feet for the legs were missing. Decals were marginally still attached. It lived in a box of model stuff. We moved again, and it sat unloved. About six months ago I patched it up. Didn't feel like trying to fix the legs, so I just cut them off at the base of the fins. It was back in one piece.

Would it fly? In December we'd find out.

Turns out, flies perfect on a C6-5.

We chucked it up in the air a bunch of times, and then a few weeks ago, centering rings wanted to separate from the body tube, yay 30 year-old white Elmers glue, and the ejection charge tried to vacate the rear of the rocket, and it lawndarted. Sad. So sad.



I decided to fix the original since BT80 tubes come in a two-pack, but then build a better version that might go higher and I want the legs and fins to survive landing. Bought some parts and set off.

Mid-tinker OpenRocket. Needs nose weight; but not too much. Files I could find had CG near the leg mounting point, so we'll get it dialed in.



Traced out the fin shape and built a two-layer (3/16 thick) fin set.



Why not laminate them in notecard?



That's not an 18mm engine mount! BP E is doable. Not sure if I will, but I might. I didn't take pics, but since the fins aren't through the wall, there are partial balsa internal fins between the mount and body tube. I suspect it'd handle the hit from a composite E/F just fine.



Wanted something a little stronger for the legs this time. So, carbon fiber. Seems solidly attached with some CA. My CF bikes hold up fine to crashes, hopefully these do!



Lots going on in this picture.....



Trying spiral filling with wood filler this time hoping it removes some of the sanding effort of just using primer. We'll see. Hopefully I didn't do any of this wrong.



And, this is where I am, but there's a wonderful sheet of decals from stickershock23 for it when I can finish it up.

 

mbeels

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Built one of these when I was about 11 years old. Bang-up job. Not a show piece at all.
So did I! I like your carbon fiber leg idea, that should hold up much better than the original. I've also thought about a rebuild, and definitely with a 24mm motor mount. That should be a good flier.
 

modeltrains

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We know the real reason you are building the rocket is because of those decals!
;)
 

DigBaddy

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Looking very very nice so far, can't wait to see it in paint.
Thanks! Me too 😜 Going to be a while, making maple syrup will consume the next month+ of my life...
 

teepot

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The carbon fiber legs is a great idea. And the feet look great. I'm going to use the carbon fiber idea on the Sputnik I built instead of dowels. Thanks.
 

Back_at_it

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Dig,

Great project. The ASP is one of those rockets that I have been drawn to since I was a kid and I recently purchased everything I need to build myself a clone but with winter here in Chicago, things have kind of ground to a halt for me.

I like your build. Mine is going to be a built with 3/16 Basswood fins and a 24mm motor mount and plywood centering rings. I'm going to need borrow that carbon fiber rod idea as that just makes sense. This might get me back on track with building as I've kind of taken a break from it the last few weeks.

Since you seem to like rockets with legs. Are you familiar with the Asteroid Explorer? I'm in the middle of planning a BT80 upscale to build in the spring.

astroid.jpg
 

DigBaddy

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Dig,

Great project. The ASP is one of those rockets that I have been drawn to since I was a kid and I recently purchased everything I need to build myself a clone but with winter here in Chicago, things have kind of ground to a halt for me.

I like your build. Mine is going to be a built with 3/16 Basswood fins and a 24mm motor mount and plywood centering rings. I'm going to need borrow that carbon fiber rod idea as that just makes sense. This might get me back on track with building as I've kind of taken a break from it the last few weeks.

Since you seem to like rockets with legs. Are you familiar with the Asteroid Explorer? I'm in the middle of planning a BT80 upscale to build in the spring.

View attachment 452267
Please post your ASP build when you get to it! That should be a solid machine. I do not recall that Asteroid Explorer; appears I may have been too young to notice it when it was available. Still, that's a great looking rocket. A BT80 upscale would be impressive!
 

BABAR

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Maple season is over and it's a nice warm day, so the ASP got some primer!
Looks great. Great idea on the carbon rods. I hope you stick the landing!

You have a few sister ships in the frame. To the left to looks like a two stage with long gap staging and Viking fins on the booster. How does the booster recover? Is there chute or streamer or something I don’t see? It looks a bit lengthy to tumble?
 

DigBaddy

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Looks great. Great idea on the carbon rods. I hope you stick the landing!

You have a few sister ships in the frame. To the left to looks like a two stage with long gap staging and Viking fins on the booster. How does the booster recover? Is there chute or streamer or something I don’t see? It looks a bit lengthy to tumble?
Thanks!

That long one looks like gap staging but it isn't. It's a design concocted as I work through the discount bulk pack of Vikings. It's just a whole Viking as a nose cone. Separates on the rear of the transition.

Attached the pic from paintfest yesterday. There's a normal Viking in there, then a Der Viking Mini, a Viking part mashup (blue) with side pods that can take motors as well. A 1/11 scale D-Region Tomahawk made from Viking parts, two Alien Space Probes, this one and my rebuilt childhood one, and a Der Red Max with a 24mm motor mount. Been busy building. 😃
 

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BABAR

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Thanks!

That long one looks like gap staging but it isn't. It's a design concocted as I work through the discount bulk pack of Vikings. It's just a whole Viking as a nose cone. Separates on the rear of the transition.

Attached the pic from paintfest yesterday. There's a normal Viking in there, then a Der Viking Mini, a Viking part mashup (blue) with side pods that can take motors as well. A 1/11 scale D-Region Tomahawk made from Viking parts, two Alien Space Probes, this one and my rebuilt childhood one, and a Der Red Max with a 24mm motor mount. Been busy building. 😃
Cool! How much nose weight?
 

DigBaddy

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Cool! How much nose weight?
OpenRocket says none but the cone isn't capped off, so easy to add if swing test say some is needed. 1.6 calibers in OR as-is with a C6-5. (If you're referring to the gap-stage-looking one 😃)

The new ASP will need around 35g to fly safely with an E12-6.
 
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mbeels

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Looks great, very nice paint job! What are you doing for decals/stickers?
 

DigBaddy

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She's ready for clear and then the sky. Turned out a lot better than the one I built 30 years ago :)

And seriously, the decals from @stickershock23 are superb. So easy to apply and they look great. Thankful they existed to make this build a reality.
 

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Back_at_it

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Awesome job. I really need to get off my butt and build one of these again. Love the design and they are great fliers.

Nice work!!
 

BABAR

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Very nice!

Hope you get a straight trail, a short walk, and most important, that you stick the landing!
 

DigBaddy

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If I could find the appropriate nose cone I'd upscale this in a heartbeat.
That's my thought as well; just can't find a nose cone of that shape in a larger size. Even going to 4" would be awesome.
 

markschnell

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Wow, this looks great. Those decals from @stickershock23 look amazing too. I've bought several sets of the full color printed decals from Mark, even down to bt-50 sizes and they work great. If anyone thinks they're too thick for smaller rockets - they aren't! This rocket proves that again. I've always loved this kit and upgrades you made to it are impressive.
 

DigBaddy

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Wow, this looks great. Those decals from @stickershock23 look amazing too. I've bought several sets of the full color printed decals from Mark, even down to bt-50 sizes and they work great. If anyone thinks they're too thick for smaller rockets - they aren't! This rocket proves that again. I've always loved this kit and upgrades you made to it are impressive.
Agreed on the decals 100%. Yeah, they're not thin like waterslide, but I think the little bit of depth they do have adds to the model. Gives it some needed texture; if we can call it that.
 

teepot

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I already started the build. I'm using a 3" tube and have a 3" elliptical nose cone from BMS. Legs will be 30" long 3/8th dowels. It should be about 54" tall. I arranged the shock cord attachment to the mmt so that the rocket will hang straight and level under the chute. I hope.
 
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