# Dr. Zooch Titan IIIC SLV-5 Build Thread

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#### hcmbanjo

##### Well-Known Member
Originally I was going to do a Saturn V build thread, but there is already a great thread in progress.
So I moved on to the next Dr. Zooch box, the Titan IIIC.

Opening The Box:
The Core Tube and two outside SRM Tubes are BT-50 equivalents.
There are a lot of centering rings. Six CR2050P rings and four CR205P rings.
The two TVC Tanks are interesting. There is a slight difference in ends of the two lathed dowels, an easy fix.
The longer Core Nose Cone is pre-weighted. The ribbon-like Kevlar is used in this kit.

The instructions and Wrap Sheets were rolled. I ironed them flat and scanned the Wrap Sheets just to be sure.

#### hcmbanjo

##### Well-Known Member
ENGINE MOUNT
Nothing too unusual here. You are required to cut the 6 3/4" Tube into three sections. Two sections end up being 1 3/4" long, the remaining section is 3 1/4" long. The longest section is your engine mount tubing.
Dr. Zooch does add a Reinforcement Band to the Engine Mount, it&#8217;s a cardstock wrap directly below the upper bend of the Engine Clip. I used black Electrician&#8217;s Tape for the Clip Retainer.
In the lower CR2050 Ring, I didn&#8217;t cut the Engine Clip slot as deep as the instructions imply. I just made it deep enough for an Engine Casing to slide in easily.
The Boat Tail Cone fit great. (Sorry, no picture of the Boat Tail - yet.) You are told to cut slits on the dotted lines on the Boat Tail for the Engine Clip. The dotted lines are there, but faint. Look at the drawing closely, you have to line up the shroud seam along the side of the Engine Clip. I decided to cut the slits after the shroud was glued in place. I made sure there was no glue under where the shroud cuts would be made.

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#### hcmbanjo

##### Well-Known Member
THE SRMS

The SRM Tubes were marked down the entire length using an Aluminum Angle.
While the DR. Zooch kits have you apply White Glue to just the outside edges of a body wrap, I have better luck using Spray Adhesive. I fell it gives me a little more time to make adjustments, I never seem to get it right the first time.

The remaining four CR2050 Centering Rings are glued flush with both ends of the 1 3/4" tubes. Ill seal one side of each Adapter where the Nozzles will glue. I want the exposed areas of the Centering Rings to be smooth for the White paint.
The first picture shows how I dry fitted the Nozzles and marked them with pencil. I laid a small line of glue on the inside lip of the Centering Ring. When the Nozzle was set up to the pencil line, I realized I had it backward! I wanted the Nozzle seam on the inside.
I took the Nozzle out and cleaned off as much of the glue as I could. I re-glued the Nozzles in the correct (seam facing in) configuration. I followed with the recommended heavy glue fillet.
I applied a thin coat of CA on the inside of the shrouds. This will make the Nozzle Shroud stiffer and easier to sand.
The instructions show a very thick, outside glue fillet. I laid the glue thick, but not as heavy as the illustration showed.
After everything had fully dried, I first cut away the bulk of the shroud with my knife. 220 grit sandpaper was wrapped around a dowel and I started sanding away at the remaining paper. If you hold it up to the light, you can see the intersection of the Nozzle Shroud and Centering Ring.
After the bulk was removed, I changed the sandpaper to 400 grit.
I built ahead to the Flame Fin section and glued the CR520P Centering rings to the T-5. I wanted to check the fit so I wouldnt sand off too much. Be careful of the angle where the Nozzle seam is. I left a little overlap on the inside. I was concerned if I sanded too much I could go through the Nozzle. Even with a little paper overlap on the inside, the Flame Fin assembly still fits fine.

#### Dr.Zooch

##### Well-Known Member
The two TVC Tanks are interesting. There is a slight difference in ends of the two lathed dowels, an easy fix.

Looks like you're going to have a great build... we're all watchingop:

Just a note to everyone on the TVC tanks... (and I'm not taking ANY offense in your comment here hcmbanjo- in fact I should have put this little note into the instructions myself)... in this age of computer controlled lathes and perfection in parts... made in communist China, of course, these dowel parts are made, by me, by hand using a drill and a dremel... 60 in a sitting. Thus- there are often great differences between the individual units. When the cuts are done, I line them up and try and pic the pairs that are basically alike to go into the kits... or at least as close as I can get. So, expect that your kits will have TVC tanks that do not match exactly... they are also not made in Red China and also do not add about $250 to the cost of the kit #### hcmbanjo ##### Well-Known Member In answer to Wes and the TVC Tanks, This is one of the reasons I enjoy building your kits. They are not designed as "Cookie Cutter" builds. Every kit is a challenge, or as much of a challenge as you want to make of it. Having to match up a very slight difference in a turned dowel is easy to correct and not a deal-breaker. If I wanted perfectly matched pieces, I'd buy a plastic model. I haven't built a plastic model since 1969, when I started building model rockets. #### hcmbanjo ##### Well-Known Member More SRM Nozzle Work I decided to paint the Nozzles White before gluing them into the SRM Body Tubes. It seemed easier to do it now instead of masking over the SRM Body Wraps. Before gluing them in, I dry-fitted to be sure the Nozzles were at the correct angle. The lower Centering Ring was marked where it would line up with the Body Wrap seam. #### hcmbanjo ##### Well-Known Member THE CORE STAGE The Core Stage Body Wrap is fairly long. I decided to cut it into three pieces to make the wrapping easier. Ill spray adhesive to the top third and wrap it using the top of the tube as a guide. The middle wrap will butt-up against the bottom of the top wrap. And, the same with the third. The only disadvantage to using the Spray Adhesive is the ends of the wraps lift a little bit. Ill use a little White Glue under the raised edges and burnish down the ends. Both inside ends of the Core Stage Body Tubes were strengthened with CA and sanded smooth. I dry-fitted the Engine Mount to line up the Engine Clip with the words U.S. Air Force printed down the Core Tube. The lower Centering Ring was pencil marked to line up with the lower marks on the wrap. I knew when a glue line was applied to the inside of the body, I didnt want to waste time trying to find the exact position. The lower Shroud fit was very good against the Body Tube and Wraps. #### hcmbanjo ##### Well-Known Member SRM Thin Band Wraps You are directed to cut thin bands from the brown and gray colored rectangle on the wrap sheet. I have done this before on the Ares Stick kit. On the Titan kit though, these are about half that width, very thin. You are given plenty of extra wrap material, a good thing for me. I found it a little hard to cut them this thin and keep the same width from side to side. The effect is worth the effort, it really adds a lot to the model. The SRM nose cones were painted with Wal Mart Colorplace Aluminum. The model really starts to come together now. The SRMs are glued to the main Core. I used the back of a smooth cutting board as a gluing surface. Nothing too difficult here, just a line of White Glue on the SRMS and placement on the Core center tube. I used the long black inside stripe on the SRM to judge its position. I made sure the amount of (visible) black stripe was the same on both sides. I thought I didnt use enough glue at first, the joint didnt seem rock solid. But, when all the Struts are in place, it should be plenty sturdy. #### hcmbanjo ##### Well-Known Member A little bit of back tracking here, before the SRMs were glued to the Core Body: THE FLAME FINS The Flame Fin pattern is found on one of the Wrap Sheets. There is two profiles shown, one is the original design, the other is the more efficient profile. I chose the newer profile. While the fin width stays the same, its pointed, not as rounded on the bottom. There are six fins to cut out. The kit included two sheets of 1/16" thick balsa. I was able to cut out all six using only one sheet of the balsa. I filled the tube seams and balsa before gluing the fins in place. There isnt a tube marking guide for the Flame Fins. You are directed to glue them at 90 degrees apart. After making Flame Fins on a few other Zooch kits, I've developed a favorite color combination. All is sprayed white. Then, "misted" yellow follows on the lower half of the fin unit, blending the yellow with the white. A light mist of orange follows, lightly misting just he outside edges of the fins. I try to duplicate the flame coloring from pictures of the Shuttle launches. Just to let you know ahead of time, when you mist and blend spray paints the surface will feel rougher than normal. You can try a light polishing compound to smooth it out, but you risk losing a smooth blend of the colors. #### luke strawwalker ##### Well-Known Member A little bit of back tracking here, before the SRMs were glued to the Core Body: THE FLAME FINS The Flame Fin pattern is found on one of the Wrap Sheets. There is two profiles shown, one is the original design, the other is the more efficient profile. I chose the newer profile. While the fin width stays the same, its pointed, not as rounded on the bottom. There are six fins to cut out. The kit included two sheets of 1/16" thick balsa. I was able to cut out all six using only one sheet of the balsa. I filled the tube seams and balsa before gluing the fins in place. There isnt a tube marking guide for the Flame Fins. You are directed to glue them at 90 degrees apart. After making Flame Fins on a few other Zooch kits, I've developed a favorite color combination. All is sprayed white. Then, "misted" yellow follows on the lower half of the fin unit, blending the yellow with the white. A light mist of orange follows, lightly misting just he outside edges of the fins. I try to duplicate the flame coloring from pictures of the Shuttle launches. Just to let you know ahead of time, when you mist and blend spray paints the surface will feel rougher than normal. You can try a light polishing compound to smooth it out, but you risk losing a smooth blend of the colors. Those look terrific! I'm going to have to try that blended look one of these days... How'd you prep your nose cones, and what did you paint them with?? They look awesome too! Later and KUTGW! OL JR #### hcmbanjo ##### Well-Known Member Thanks Luke, I appreciate the feedback. The final color coat on SRB nose cones was Wal Mart Color Place Aluminum. In regards to the balsa and nose cone finishing: I always pre-sand balsa surfaces with 400 grit before filling. To fill the pores and seal, I don't use sanding sealer anymore. I am using the Elmer's Carpenter's Wood Filler. 1 coat and sanding again with 400 grit. The cheap Wal Mart gray primer follows and dry sanding with 400 grit. Everything gets white undercoats, unless the final color is black. If the part is just black, I'll spray black right over the gray primer. After one white coat, I check the surfaces in a bright light or direct sunlight. If I can see or feel any roughness, I'll lightly dry sand with 400 grit and spray with white again. Sometimes this needs to be repeated three times. I won't attempt wet sanding until I am sure the balsa is sealed by paint. The initial gray primer will fill the bulk of any irregularity, but the follow up white (sanded) undercoats will usually guarantee a smooth surface for the final color. Any (final) light color should have a white undercoat to really make the final coat "pop". I follow the old Centuri painting directions, a heavier final coat gives a glossier finsh. I am really sold on the new Rustoleum Painter's Touch spray paint. This is not the older, original Rustoleum with the plaid band on the can. The older style takes too long to dry. I found it at Home Depot. The new Painter's Touch claim's Ultra Cove - 2X Coverage. I tend to believe it. While it can cost around$3.50 a can, it'll last three times longer than the 98 cent Color Place spray from Wal Mart.
Be careful the first time you use the Painter's Touch. You may actually have to spray from 12" away. Being the coverage is heavier, spraying too close can lead to runs. I'm not sold on the Painter's Touch clear coat - yet. I haven't found a good replacement for the old formulas.

Sorry, I get a little long-winded when it comes to finishing.

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#### hcmbanjo

##### Well-Known Member
In my last post I wrote about balsa filling and painting. I'm not saying this is the only way to get a smooth finish, my methods may not work for everyone. This is just where I'm at right now. My buildling techniques seem to evolve a little with every new model.

DETAILS, DETAILS:
In this step, toothpicks and dowels are cut and shaped to make struts.
Before cutting to size, I sanded and sealed everything. The directions have you cut the motors from some leftover 1/16" balsa. The first time I cut them from 1/16" Basswood, instead of balsa, thinking I could skip filling of the balsa grain on such a small piece.
After cutting and rounding the leading edges, they just seemed too thin. I re-cut them again from 3/32" balsa.
After filling and painting I tried to paint the nozzles using a toothpick dipped in black paint. I wasn&#8217;t happy with the results, so the black nozzles dots were sanded off and repainted. When time allows, I&#8217;ll make some small decals.
The shape of the lower ends of the TVC Tanks were a little different. It is explained in the instructions as they are hard to lathe and shape. It took a little shaping with some small files to get them to match up. They&#8217;ll both be sealed before painting white.
The first picture shows scrap cardboard I use for spray painting. Masking tape is laid down sticky side up. This holds the smaller pieces in place for spraying.
Notice the four small SRM Struts in the center. They are stuck down at an angle, the sanded angle (gluing surface) is on the sticky tape. This holds the piece for spraying and leaves raw wood masking the end to be glued.
When test-fitting the Aft SRM Struts, they would roll right off the Body Tubes. I decided to sand the ends to an angle trying to match the contours of the SRM Body Tubes and Core Shroud. This is the way the Forward Struts are formed, why not the rear SRM Struts? It actually worked very well and the dowel gluing surface was increased.
I had to guess a little at the Strut placement. The two placement illustrations were not consistent. In the end, it looks fine. White Glue was used for initial placement. After it dried, thin CA was applied on a toothpick tip to all the joints.

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#### hcmbanjo

##### Well-Known Member
Here's the pictures of the Forward and Rear Struts in place.
Sanding an angle into the ends of the Struts really helped with the positioning and gluing.

#### hcmbanjo

##### Well-Known Member
Cut from the supplied patterns, the rear Separation Motors were too wide to fit under the SRM struts. I guess sanding the angles in the Rear Struts slightly reduced the clearance area for the Rear Motors. I trimmed the root edges back until they both slid into place. In the first picture, that small rectangular piece is how much I had to cut off to fit under the Rear Struts.

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#### hcmbanjo

##### Well-Known Member
I didn't include any pictures of the Recovery System install. Here's some notes and small changes I made.

GO FOR LAUNCH!
The final page touches on the Recovery System installation.
Once again, this kit has you make an Estes style Shock Cord Anchor. But, the recommended size is small - ½" wide x (just over) 1" long. It'd be tough for something this small to be folded in thirds and hold the Kevlar. I simply made mine bigger.
The Shock Cord Mount is to be glued in place 2" from the top of the Core Tube. This seemed a little deep, but I glued it there anyway.
I switched out for a larger Screw Eye. The supplied Eye seemed small and the screw threads were not deep. I was afraid it could pull out of the Nose Cone.
The Elastic Shock Cord is tied to the Kevlar. I decided to tie on the Parachute one third the way down from the Nose Cone. This way the Nose Cone would have less chance of getting tangled up in the Parachute Shroud Lines.

#### hcmbanjo

##### Well-Known Member
ITS FINISHED!
Another fun build from the Zooch family. As these kits are smaller, (more manageable size) it makes for tighter work and a good challenge. I'll have to add a shelf to hold my growing Zooch family of models.
I hope to launch it soon, but our local R.O.C.K. section has lost its field. If and when, Ill follow up with flight details.

#### Dr.Zooch

##### Well-Known Member
WOW squared!

I'll have to go into the wrap sheets and reduce the template for those aft sep. motors.

#### RangerStl

##### Well-Known Member
That's FANTASTIC!

You need to hold that baby up to the blue sky and take a hi-res photo in natural light, my friend. I am quite impressed. :jaw:

#### e42

##### Well-Known Member
That is one fine looking rocket. It looks so good that I would almost be afraid to launch it. Thanks for sharing the build and some of your technics. I have a couple Dr. Zooch kits in their boxes. Your build tread has inspired me to move them up in my "not so official" build order.

--- Ron

#### luke strawwalker

##### Well-Known Member
Thanks Luke, I appreciate the feedback.

The final color coat on SRB nose cones was Wal Mart Color Place Aluminum.

In regards to the balsa and nose cone finishing:
I always pre-sand balsa surfaces with 400 grit before filling.
To fill the pores and seal, I don't use sanding sealer anymore. I am using the Elmer's Carpenter's Wood Filler. 1 coat and sanding again with 400 grit.

The cheap Wal Mart gray primer follows and dry sanding with 400 grit.

Everything gets white undercoats, unless the final color is black. If the part is just black, I'll spray black right over the gray primer.

After one white coat, I check the surfaces in a bright light or direct sunlight. If I can see or feel any roughness, I'll lightly dry sand with 400 grit and spray with white again. Sometimes this needs to be repeated three times. I won't attempt wet sanding until I am sure the balsa is sealed by paint.

The initial gray primer will fill the bulk of any irregularity, but the follow up white (sanded) undercoats will usually guarantee a smooth surface for the final color.

Any (final) light color should have a white undercoat to really make the final coat "pop". I follow the old Centuri painting directions, a heavier final coat gives a glossier finsh.

I am really sold on the new Rustoleum Painter's Touch spray paint. This is not the older, original Rustoleum with the plaid band on the can. The older style takes too long to dry. I found it at Home Depot.
The new Painter's Touch claim's Ultra Cove - 2X Coverage. I tend to believe it. While it can cost around $3.50 a can, it'll last three times longer than the 98 cent Color Place spray from Wal Mart. Be careful the first time you use the Painter's Touch. You may actually have to spray from 12" away. Being the coverage is heavier, spraying too close can lead to runs. I'm not sold on the Painter's Touch clear coat - yet. I haven't found a good replacement for the old formulas. Sorry, I get a little long-winded when it comes to finishing. Hey no prob, great work and great tips! Colorplace Aluminum eh?? I'll be darned... I tried Rustoleum "Chrome" in a can for my Zooch Atlas Agena and while it FINALLY turned out fairly decently it was an oddyssey to get there... and it's still not as good as I'd like it. It's all in the thread on the Atlas Agena build I posted. I use a similar method to what you use. I first harden the nosecones and any other "exposed" (ie NOT covered by a paper wrap) balsa parts in the Zooch kits by soaking a coat of CA into them, then sand them down with 220 til they're smooth, then use Elmers Wood Filler to seal and hide the grain. Another 220 grit sanding pass in fine circles takes the filler down til it's smooth, then they get two coats of Colorplace Primer, usually gray. After several hours to a day, they get sanded with 220 and then 600 wet/dry dipped in a bowl and dabbed on a towel, until the primer shines when rotated next to a light. Any imperfections get another primer coat, and repeat the sanding cycle. Once it's glassy smooth, then I go straight to the color coats. I usually get 98%+ "perfect" paint finishes that way without having to color sand at all. Works for me! Always good to hear alternative concepts though. I can see how a white underlayment would help-- I usually give stuff two coats minimum, and sometimes three or more to get good coverage-- the nosecones on my Titan IIIC MOL being the case in point-- took 4 coats to get the nosecones covered well... Later and KUTGW!!! OL JR #### luke strawwalker ##### Well-Known Member WOW squared! I'll have to go into the wrap sheets and reduce the template for those aft sep. motors. Yep, I had to trim down the aft sep motors on my Titan III-C MOL kit I did in June... I still mounted them a little farther aft though... One thing I goofed on was that I put FOUR sep motors on EACH SRB, two in front and two in back, instead of the staggered single sep motors front and rear like they're supposed to have. Oh well, it looks pretty good anyway, a little more 'symmetrical' I guess... LOL I got around the filling problem on those tiny sep motors by papering them-- greatly strengthens them up as well! Once trimmed and painted they look real nice, I think... though the ones above are just PERFECT! How'd ya sand that perfect of a radius on them?? Later! OL JR #### hcmbanjo ##### Well-Known Member To Luke Strawalker I used the Wal Mart aluminum because it is what I had at the time. I don't think it would be as shiny-metallic as your chrome paint would be. I find 220 grit is too rough for balsa. I pretty much use 400 grit for everything. For me, 220 might be used for rough shaping and removing a lot of material. A note on wet-sanding. You can actually leave your (black) wet/dry sandpaper in the water bowl. I've left mine in the water overnight, it won't break down the paper at all. Many people dip in water, shake off then sand. Wet sanding is simply sanding with "lubrication", so your paper won't load up. Some actually use oil for their wet-sanding. If your sandpaper does load up, I brush mine off under running water with a brass brush from the hardware store. It looks a little like a big toothbrush with a wooden handle. It's meant for removal of rust but it will extend the life of sandpaper and it cleans up small hobby files very well. That's a tip I picked up when I was making and finishing banjos. The round raidus on the Separation Motors is 400 grit on a sanding block. I use a block on the sides of fin stock, removing the bulk of the "round" . After the block sand it may not be fully rounded so I switch to a small piece of 400 and just knock off any square-ness by hand. Papering the Separation Motors would probably the smart thing to do. Adding a layer of paper to the 1/16" stock probably would have brought it up to the thickness I was shooting for. #### jadebox ##### Roger Smith TRF Sponsor Sorry to bump an old thread, but I just have to share a photo I recently took of Chris's Titan IIIC as it was launched at the April ROCK launch. -- Roger #### bacasino ##### Active Member WOW that looks great!!!Excellent shot and a great looking build. Brett #### mjennings ##### Well-Known Member I love the flame fins! I've been trying to figure out how to paint my shuttle's flame fins forever. Must have missed this thread the first time around. Thanks for the idea! #### luke strawwalker ##### Well-Known Member Looks like you're going to have a great build... we're all watchingop: Just a note to everyone on the TVC tanks... (and I'm not taking ANY offense in your comment here hcmbanjo- in fact I should have put this little note into the instructions myself)... in this age of computer controlled lathes and perfection in parts... made in communist China, of course, these dowel parts are made, by me, by hand using a drill and a dremel... 60 in a sitting. Thus- there are often great differences between the individual units. When the cuts are done, I line them up and try and pic the pairs that are basically alike to go into the kits... or at least as close as I can get. So, expect that your kits will have TVC tanks that do not match exactly... they are also not made in Red China and also do not add about$250 to the cost of the kit
Of course to see the differences once the kit is built, you have to put IT in a lathe and spin it really fast... since the other tank is on the other side of the rocket nestled between the SRM and Core stage...

Once they're painted and glued on they'll look terrific... at least they did on my Titan 3 MOL...

Good luck! OL JR

#### Dr.Zooch

##### Well-Known Member
Sorry to bump an old thread, but I just have to share a photo I recently took of Chris's Titan IIIC as it was launched at the April ROCK launch.

-- Roger

WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

SUPER PHOTO!