Estes Conquest Build and Musings

Discussion in 'Low Power Rocketry (LPR)' started by BSNW, Mar 18, 2019.

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  1. Mar 18, 2019 #1

    BSNW

    BSNW

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    So now that my Odyssey and my Geo-Sate have gotten some air, I thought I would start my Estes Conquest. I guess I like "space plane" type rockets.
    I did not take the customary package photos....sorry. But I did begin with the intakes that go on the bottom.
    WHAT A TRIP! I love this stuff! One better cut out the "key" at the beginning that tells you what parts are what! It is easy to mess up. ALSO, make sure you have the fin/balsa sheets oriented properly before you cut stuff out. CA is, IMO the best way to go here. I like a fast tack. I then used the very thin CA to bond and seal everything.
    The white stuff that look like frosting is Sherwin Williams Shrink Free Spackle. I used this when I used to be a painter. It has very small particle size and sands very smooth and easy. The photos show before and after.
    I will post photos as I go. If anyone knows of any "gotcha's" please let me know. I know this is one kit you MUST go slow and test fit before you glue! Photos below....
    Andrew

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    Last edited: Mar 18, 2019
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  2. Mar 18, 2019 #2

    Nytrunner

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    Looks like you're off to the races!

    Those conduits are the same as the QCC Explorer's just without the fin slots. I also used superglue to tack, but applied wood glue to all the seams and sundry crevices. I forget what filler I used, probably CWF

    Keep up the good work!
     
  3. Mar 18, 2019 #3

    Scotty Dog

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    "I guess I like "space plane" type rockets." You and me both ! Ill be watching.
     
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  4. Mar 19, 2019 #4

    James Harechmak

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    There's no gotchas that I ran across. Got a final color coat on mine this morning, decals and clear coat will get done in a couple days. IMG_20190318_165354990.jpeg
     
  5. Mar 19, 2019 #5

    BSNW

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    JAMES!!
    WOW!!! VERY COOL! VERY nice indeed. I really like the red! I was actually thinking of another paint color but did not come to any conclusions yet. This is cool. PLEASE keep us posted when you complete it and if you launch it! BTW: like that silver tailcone. this will look great against the red.
    wow
     
  6. Mar 19, 2019 #6

    BSNW

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    Okay-
    With mine there were a few things that got me last night. It was a long day in the lab and maybe I should not have sat down to work at my hobby table. I dont think it will matter in the end product but here we go.....
    Deviations from protocol:
    1) The step where one has to wrap the body tube with sand paper and then sand the bottom of the intakes to match the body tube.....well, it seems like my hand was pushing more on one side and I noticed they were not "cupped" even. SO, I had to try and correct the one...then the other. By the time I was done I have only about 5 mm of rise on the front ....this is not a biggie but a person who know this model will see it. On the photo, they look flat....(the bottom) but they are not. At least they are straight and fit the body tube well!


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    Last edited: Mar 19, 2019
  7. Mar 19, 2019 #7

    BSNW

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    Deviation from protocol #2!!
    So I put the tail section together and put the "top pod" thingy/doodad together. I then set to sanding it round. First concern is you are sanding something with uneven densitties. The layers of glue...hard, next to soft balsa. PLUS the amount that needs to be sanded next to the fin makes it tough. SO....I carefully cut the pod off and sanded to my hearts content! I decided to go after the "motor cycle gas tank" look with rounded edges and straight sides. I like it (I may change my mind and continue to sand...who knows). I will then glue this baby back on when I am ready. SO, if it take hit in flight....I would rather remake a pod then fix a broken upper fin. Anway....

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  8. Mar 19, 2019 #8

    BSNW

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    I Like this kit. It may seem easier than the Odyssey...but, IMO, it is not. Little details that can get you if one (me!) is not paying attention. James' post above has got me thinking of other color schemes! We will see. Over all I would really recommend this kit! I then cleaned up my bench for another day of building
    Andrew

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  9. Mar 19, 2019 #9

    neil_w

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    Pod looks great!

    Regarding the intakes: one thing I’ve learned about sanding on body tubes to create a good fit is that it is indeed very hard to apply even pressure and move it straight. Other than trying very hard to be super careful about it, the best trick I’ve come up with is to sand a little then rotate the part 180 degrees in your hand. That will somewhat balance out you’re natural asymmetry.

    But there is still no substitute for working slowly and constantly checking to see how even you’re being, and adjusting as necessary.

    Build looks excellent so far.
     
  10. Mar 19, 2019 #10

    BSNW

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    Thanks Neil!
    Yea, I did start rotating them when I was in "correction phase". I truly was going slow but my eyes did not catch the asymmetry until I was "done". I will post a photo of the bottom when I can...it really does not look bad at all. Besides, they fit the body tube perfectly now. Thanks for your comment!
    andrew
     
  11. Mar 19, 2019 #11

    SecondRow

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    I have this in my build pile and the part that gives me fits is the sanding of the pod on the vertical tail fin. I don’t think I’ll be able to sand it round and even. Yours looks really cool. How do you do it? Is there any special technique to it? Or just “go slow and be careful”?
     
  12. Mar 19, 2019 #12

    neil_w

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    I know you're not asking me but I did a *lot* of balsa shaping in my IRIS-T build and feel like I have at least a bit of inside here.

    Slow. Careful. Alternate sides.

    That's all there is to it really. Balsa sands very quickly (although the glue layers do add a bit of extra challenge). It's very easy to oversand and be screwed. Just alternate sides, maintaining symmetry as you go, rather than sanding one side all the way to shape and then trying to match it with other. By alternating and going bit by bit you can easily make adjustments as you go. 220 grit might work for the early work to get it into the right neighborhood, but switch to 400 as soon as you start getting close.

    It's all personal, but I find sanding balsa into shape to be an extremely satisfying activity. The only time I get into trouble is when I get impatient and hurry. Pour yourself a tasty beverage and have a nice relaxing time with it.

    The best thing: for something like this (not a scale subject), you can call it "done" whenever you like. :)
     
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  13. Mar 19, 2019 #13

    BSNW

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    Hello SecondRow:

    When it comes to sanding or building technique....everybody has their style. Its all good. For me when it comes to sanding...it depends on application. There is removal-smoothing-and fine finish.

    I the case of the pod on top of the Conquest....that is a big chunk of wood to shape down. For me, to start with 220 is like using a 21 inch push mower to mow down a football field. I needed to remove wood and get the general shape first. To begin with, I actually with something like 100 or 120 grit to removed some layers...pretty sure.... the sandpaper was VERY rough/agressive to start. I did this by curving the paper and while using two fingers, I applied pressure on the outer corners to sand down as I went back and forth. I did not push hard but it did take off the desired amount of balsa quickly and it gave me the overall shape I wanted. I did NOT use the heavy grit long though. It also ate through the glue well.

    I then went to 150 grit to fine tune the overall shape. Then....to 220 to smooth things out. After I seal it...I will used 220 to shape and smooth. After more sealer I then use 220 then 400 to smooth out before final prime. I use 400 after each prime and between top coats...Don't for get your tack cloth!

    Again....the grit depends on the application. I use the heavy grit to remove....finer grits for fine shaping...then even finer grits for smoothing.
    I hope this helps.
    Andrew
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2019
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  14. Mar 19, 2019 #14

    BSNW

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    Oh and like Neil said....relax and have fun with it....a beverage of your choice is also good, along with some tunes (Grateful Dead for me)....then its all good!
    Andrew
     
  15. Mar 19, 2019 #15

    Mugs914

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    Nice work James! I am planning to use the Snark scheme on mine too. Nice to see it "in person" first!

    This is a great thread guys, keep up the good work.
     
  16. Mar 19, 2019 #16

    SecondRow

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    Thanks Andrew and Neil. I’m going to bookmark this thread for when I start mine later this year.
     
  17. Mar 19, 2019 #17

    BSNW

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    GUYS! Please see correction in post #13. I was working and all of a sudden it hit me. I am pretty sure I started sanding the pod with something like 100 or 120 grit (NOT 60), and I did not use it long. I HAVE used 60 grit on plywood fins to begin with...but not balsa (pretty sure). ANYWAY I will double check things when I get home.....sorry about that.

    And THANKS for the kind replies!
    Andrew
     
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  18. Mar 19, 2019 #18

    BSNW

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    Hmmmm.....now that I have seen my photos of the pod again, I think I will do more sanding to round it out more. I will start again with 120 grit and see where I end up.
    Andrew
     
  19. Mar 19, 2019 #19

    neil_w

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    60 grit is a good way to turn a piece of balsa into a pile of sawdust in a hurry. :)
     
  20. Mar 19, 2019 #20

    BSNW

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    Okay.....I checked...I started with 120 grit on the tail pod doodad....Sorry for the brain-fart on this.
    Andrew
     
  21. Mar 19, 2019 #21

    BSNW

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    I also see something in post #4 that tells me someone is working on an Odyssey!!!! James....any info on that ?
    Andrew
     
  22. Mar 19, 2019 #22

    James Harechmak

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    Slowly. I reworked the goofy NC over last weekend. Since the build has been covered better than I could ever do I'll post pics when it's done. IMG_20190318_151232232.jpeg
     
  23. Mar 22, 2019 #23

    BSNW

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    So last night I had some time to sit and make some progress. I put together the "upper tail fin....thing. It was pretty straight forward. I also attached the top "pod...doodad...motorcycle gas tank thing". Speaking of gas tank...we are "cookin with gas" on this model.

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  24. Mar 22, 2019 #24

    BSNW

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    So I found out the neurons in my old brain were not firing as they should when I went onto the wing. I mad a small mistake that will make the rocket look a little different but it will fly all the same. So if your an Estes "purest" I KNOW messed up...and I dont care!! :) So.....Estes gives you a balsa angle gage to get the proper angle on the wing tip. I looked at the instructions and noticed that my angle using the gage did not match the drawing....I kept looking at the darn thing and thought...."well maybe it is a little off due to fitting everything in on the page". Anyway, since I was eager to move on, I went ahead and glued the darn thing. I later found out that I had the gage turned around!! See photos!! Notice you get a different angle if you turn the guide!! OH WELL it still looks like a "space plane...rocket of the future...I'm a 10 year old kid anyway"....rocket....I happen to like it anyway!

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  25. Mar 22, 2019 #25

    BSNW

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    One more thing....the instructions called one to cut out all the wing pieces. I did not do this..(GASP!). I cut the entire wing out but left the wing tip portion on. I then gently bent the tip to the "proper angle" (HA!) and used CA to tack in place. This means I did not sand the angles. I then turned the wing over and filled the gap with glue and let dry. THEN I went ahead and used Bondo to further fill the gap. Bondo is ALSO a little porous....so when I am done sanding smooth....I will use the thin/watery CA to seal/fill/bond it further. I think this will be plenty strong. If not I will fix it and move on. Just my two cents...

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    Last edited: Mar 22, 2019
  26. Mar 22, 2019 #26

    BSNW

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    I then glued the two wings together....using the angle gage the proper way for once!! (I hope). I then dry fitted the upper wing assembly.

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    Last edited: Mar 22, 2019
  27. Mar 22, 2019 #27

    BSNW

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    THEN finally the "Air intakes"....I know I am going out of order....but I wanted to glue these on without dealing with the wings. I think that wraps it up for the evening....

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  28. Mar 23, 2019 #28

    BSNW

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    Happy Weekend!
    So I sanded the filler on the wing edges/tips. Once smooth...I then saturated the Bondo with thin/watery CA to seal and enhance the bond. I then sanded that with 320 grit to knock down any raised grain. I then set all the fillets on the air-intakes. Once that is done....I will be ready for the wing attachment....THAT has me a little stressed. But this is supposed to be fun....right?

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  29. Mar 25, 2019 #29

    Scotty Dog

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    Looking good.
     
  30. Mar 25, 2019 #30

    BSNW

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    This weekend I put on the wings and the rest of the other parts etc. I then set to to FILLETS. On just about all my projects...big and small, I use LocTite Power Grab construction adhesive for my fillets. It bonds extremely well, it dries hard but retains some flexibility...so it does not crack like epoxy. It also is water clean up and the thing I like best....it is NOT expensive. The product is below. Even on my largest rockets...it has never failed me.

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