Wanted Dimensions: Estes Comet (1368) Decals

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OpenRocket Chuck Norris
TRF Supporter
Mar 27, 2013
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I've got a good scan of the decals, courtesy of oldrocketplans (https://www.oldrocketplans.com/estes/est1368/est1368.htm)

However, there's no ruler, or indication of scale for the decals. The fins are the same as the Estes Vigilante (1278) (which included a scale for measurement) and the Thunderbolt (1429) (I don't trust drawings, I've found them to often be just plain wrong). So, I don't need those. If I could get the width (point to point) of one of the largest stars, I can scale all of them from that and finish my sim.

From my research I've confirmed that the three kits (Vigilante, Thunderbolt, and Comet) are very closely related (almost the same kit), with the differences being decals/paint scheme, one (with engine hook) or two stages (without engine hook), and the nosecone (PNC-55AO or PNC-55AC) used.

I could also use the dimensions of the Thunderbolt's decals (the length of the top of the first "T" in "Thunderbolt" would be enough), and I can finish that sim.

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Well-Known Member
Feb 2, 2013
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Hi Jim,
I actually have the original decals and the original build sheets for this rocket and a few hundred more from 1961-1989.
Many of the K kits on up. I would want to sell the entire lot if you have interest


semi old rocketeer
Jun 6, 2011
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Hey Jim,

Sometimes you can get reasonable size info when nothing else seems possible by knowing that in the Damon era, the PN text on decal sheets was done with Letraset rub-on letters, which came in fixed point sizes. The oldrocketplans scan is actually not great, but that's Helvetica Bold for sure. You can see the vertical irregularity and a bit of screen bleed. Modern Helv Bold image with slightly expanded kerning (and no screen bleed): upload_2019-11-8_19-13-52.png
The only thing you need to do is figure out the point size. The most commonly available sizes were even numbers at 2 point intervals, e.g. 8, 10, 12. I've got a Cougar decal in my hand (same era PN 37238) where the letters measure 0.112", which is dead on for 8 point (nominally 0.111" high) with a slight bit of expansion due to the screen mesh count. They weren't all the same though, some were 10 point and some weren't Helvetica. But you should be able to tell because a 25% change from 8 to 10 point makes a really noticeable change in the overall decal dimension.

Obviously you can't use the aggregate length of the text based on typing with modern tools, because the kerning of the rub-on originals was done by hand.

BTW I've found that you also cannot rely on the cut media dimensions. Sometimes they are "round" fractions, but often not.
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