Estes Conquest Build and Musings

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BSNW

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I first apply tape...so I can maintain a straight line for the fillet. I then put on the glue. NOTE: The only tube I had left was one i used on a large project, so it had a huge hole cut for dispensing. The one I use for model rockets would have had a very small hole....and the bead of glue would have been smaller. ANYWAY see below.....

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BSNW

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Then take you finger or popsicle stick and go at it. Since this glue is water soluble...I dip my popsicle stick or finger into water so the glue drags smooth.

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BSNW

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I then pull the tape....NOTICE the "high edge after pulling the tape....This is corrected/smoothed out by dipping your finger into water and gently rubbing down the fillet to smooth it all down.

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BSNW

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Viola! It is all done!! No fuss....no muss....no stink of epoxy and for around 5$ I have enough glue to do a "mile" of fillets! Don't underestimate this stuff....it is tough! Note: Like wood glue, this stuff dies down and shrinks a little. so if you put it on thick...it will turn out perfect when it cures down (about 24 hours). Sometimes if I put it on too thin....I have to do a second layer to build it up. Again, it is water clean-up and make sure to fully let it cure before painting.

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neil_w

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Well that's a new one. Naturally I have questions!
1) I read online that it takes 14 days to fully cure. Do you wait that long before painting?
2) Does it smell?
3) Does the tube last, or does it harden up in the tube like caulk?
4) Any idea how heavy it is? To me it looks like those fillets could add significant weight, but really I have no idea.

Looks great!

[whoops, looks like you partially answered my questions while I was typing this...]
 

BSNW

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Neil-
1) I paint when I can...but I dont think I have waited 14 days. I know I have painted after 24-48 hours and have had no problems with the paint.
2) I has NO odor
3) The tube I used on this post is almost a year old....I just put a little water in the cap and place the cap on....no worries there.
4) I know it is lighter than epoxy and maybe a tad heavier than wood glue. It is water based, so when it cures it loses all the weight.

Try it...you wont be dissapointed.....tough stuff!
Andrew
 

Scotty Dog

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Does the Loctite sand down easy ? Ill assume it does as you use it all the time and are promoting it. Ill have to look into that stuff.
 

BSNW

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It does sand...but all I have ever done is smooth it a little with 220. Since one smooths it down with a wet finger....it dries down pretty darn smooth....I practiced by simply gluing some scrap balsa to some scrap tubes and developed my technique that way.
I am just saying I like this product when compared to the other options out there. For years I used epoxy fillets. Then a guy in our club told me he used this on his L3 project and it worked great. I was sold. It is also so thick....it does not run, so you can do an entire rocket at one time. A small cup of water, a few paper towels and some tape and you are good to go. I like it....
Andrew
 

neil_w

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Honestly it sounds great. I'll have to experiment. Do you use a standard caulk gun to dispense?
 

BSNW

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YEP! standard caulk gun.
Don't expect it to sand like you may think....remember it is construction adhesive...not spackle. If you get your technique down (by dipping your finger into water to smooth down)....you wont need to even sand it.
Andrew
 

BSNW

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Also remember is shrinks down...so even a big bead when applying...will lose about 1/2 its size.
 

BSNW

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So before I went on with the finishing stuff.....I wanted to show you how much the LOC-Tite fillets shrink down. Remember, I did small fillets on this model. If this was a bigger project, I would have either done another layer or a much larger initial bead of glue. First look at the photos in post #33.....then look below.

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BSNW

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The Model is now built and could fly at this point. I think a good portion of the "skill level 5" comes from the painting. There are some tough angles on this kit. ALSO, I made a personal decision to not use the fins on the wing pods/missiles...whatever one wants to call them. I went after the "fuel tank" look. I also envision this to either be a "single stage to orbit....super space plan of fantasy" or a simple target drone. Either way I am sure many take artistic license on their models....it is all part of the fun!

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BSNW

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So.....on to finishing!!! This is going to be as tough as the build....IMO.
I know folks have their favorite sealers and such, and it is all good and works. BUT, ANY rocket I build that has any kind of wood I use a white pigmented shellac called BIN. I used this for almost 20 years as a professional painter. It is the stuff you use on walls, trim or anything you want a "sure thing" in regards to sealing and bonding. It can support any top-coat. NOTE: it is very WATERY (that is a good thing here) and dries in about 20 minutes (I know the can says 45....but on balsa....it soaks in and dries almost as fast as you brush it on!). It cleans up with household ammonia. It is stinky but not bad. I also call it a "forever primer"....because if you get it on clothes and or carpet, it is forever there. I dont know what you all pay for a little jar of sanding sealer, but around $15 bucks gets you a whole quart of this. Imagine all the balsa fins that would seal! It dries down very tight and sands beautifully. If you give it a try....make sure to really stir in the solids that sink to the bottom of the can. NOTE: I only use this as a sealer/bonder....not my final primer.

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BSNW

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So at this point I simply brush it on the entire rocket. NOT to worry about the brush marks....it dries down so tight and sands so easily, those go away in no time and with no real effort. I also do two coats on the balsa. The first coat soaks in so fast and deep it almost disappears. What you see below is two coats on the balsa.

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BSNW

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And Lastly....this product REALLY makes loose wood fiber stand up...When it is dry and really "crispy", this wing (below) will sand down like glass baby!

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neil_w

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I'm really enjoying seeing your non-traditional techniques, and am coming up with questions faster than I can type them in.

Do you have any idea how much weight that BIN stuff adds?

Did you consider doing any of that work before assembly? Seems like it'll be very hard to sand that all down on the fully assembled model (particular for that model).

The smelliness of the BIN makes it a no-go in my house, but I still like to fantasize about easier ways of filling vast expanses of balsa like that thing has.
 

BSNW

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I'm really enjoying seeing your non-traditional techniques, and am coming up with questions faster than I can type them in.

Do you have any idea how much weight that BIN stuff adds?

Did you consider doing any of that work before assembly? Seems like it'll be very hard to sand that all down on the fully assembled model (particular for that model).

The smelliness of the BIN makes it a no-go in my house, but I still like to fantasize about easier ways of filling vast expanses of balsa like that thing has.
Hey Neil, I am glad you are enjoying this.
I know for sure the BIN weighs next to nothing when dry. I am sure of it. Also, is really soaks in and "gases out" so, like the glue, it loses a lot of mass. I also sand it out and a lot comes off as dust as well. I say, no worries on the weight consideration.
The smell is not bad. Maybe I over-stated it. It smells bad when I was rolling walls with it when I was painting a home. In a small scale like rockets....it smells less than peoples perfume or a dryer sheet. It kind of smells like rubbing alcohol. ALSO....it dries so fast....any smell is gone within minutes. We live in an apartment and my wife has no issues with it.
I did consider painting some items before I assembled...I did it a little on my Odyssey build. I will have to do that or try it more on future builds.
As far as sanding....I find it "therapeutic" and kind of like it. I will go out on the deck and sand this slowly and I think it all should be good. I am the only one I know who makes my own sanding tools to get into and around tough areas. like gluing paper to a dowel or square stick of some funky shape. With my sanding tools, tack cloth and a cup of coffee..I will be enjoying the process indeed.
I would encourage you to try the BIN sealer. I dont think the smell will be that bad. I can't imagine it would smell any worse than sanding sealer....maybe even less.
I will show post-sanding photos when I can.....it is going to be a rainy weekend....perfect for this type of work (deck has a roof on it).
Andrew
 
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Andrew_ASC

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Enjoying watching you build this and taking notes for my next low/mid power builds. I also like the drop tank look but went with the clean variant for mine.
 

tlainhart

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So at this point I simply brush it on the entire rocket. NOT to worry about the brush marks....it dries down so tight and sands so easily, those go away in no time and with no real effort. I also do two coats on the balsa. The first coat soaks in so fast and deep it almost disappears. What you see below is two coats on the balsa.
Nice - thanks for sharing. It looks like BIN provides a really smooth surface. I've tried Minwax Sanding Sealer (along with the "traditional" Elmer's Wood Filler) - BIN looks like it might be a helpful alternative.
 

BSNW

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Hey all-
So it has been busy at work, so progress slowed a little. This past weekend was nice so enjoyed some time out on the porch/balcony. I took my time and sanded down the Conquest. This is the base primer/sealer mentioned above. As you can see, I sand down most of it. Remember that the first coat of this product really soaks in and I sand off most of the second/top coat. When it was done, it was really smooth! I then used a tack cloth to get all the dust.

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BSNW

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I then shook my primer for no less than 3-4 minutes and set the can in a sink of hot tap water for another 5 minutes. After that....I shook it again for another few minutes. Priming this rocket with the spray can gave me a chance to "dial in" how I was going to put on the top coat. I really thought this was going to be a tough spray. It was not really. the primer went on well and I had no runs or drips. Since I had a few bare spots on the balsa, I hit the wings a second time and really coated them. It all turned out. I am going to let this sit for some time before I sand with 400 and then paint. I also am going with one color (I may change my mind). It is going to be white. I have the decals and I have a second set of interceptor decals I can get into to add some accents. I also have my arsenal of fine brushed on acrylics for some accents. Either way this is a work in progress! Below is the white primer! Almost there!!

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Tobor

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I then shook my primer for no less than 3-4 minutes and set the can in a sink of hot tap water for another 5 minutes. After that....I shook it again for another few minutes. Priming this rocket with the spray can gave me a chance to "dial in" how I was going to put on the top coat. I really thought this was going to be a tough spray. It was not really. the primer went on well and I had no runs or drips. Since I had a few bare spots on the balsa, I hit the wings a second time and really coated them. It all turned out. I am going to let this sit for some time before I sand with 400 and then paint. I also am going with one color (I may change my mind). It is going to be white. I have the decals and I have a second set of interceptor decals I can get into to add some accents. I also have my arsenal of fine brushed on acrylics for some accents. Either way this is a work in progress! Below is the white primer! Almost there!!

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Looking good!

That pic sorta gives your Conquest a B52'ish feel to it. Probably just my imagination running wild...
 

BSNW

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So! Finally I had some time and good weather to paint. I call it the......Conque-Ceptor (target drone) (HA HA HA!!). I knew those old Interceptor decals would come in handy. I just wanted to try and go for a "fantasy-target drone" kind of thing. SO FIRST THING! I will be changing the nose cone color to an orange/red as soon as I can. I think it would look better (and more like a target) with a different color nose. If any of you have any suggestions, chime in-but I am thinking of going with the orange/red color. Photos below. BTW: I simply cant wait to launch this thing....

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BSNW

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One more.....AND....That is a wrap on the Conquest...AKA.."Conque-Ceptor"!

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BSNW

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that came out really well!! Super!
Thank you very much Paul. I know I deviated from the card art....but I just like to tweak things to "make it my own"...It is part of the fun for me. Thanks again!
I will also post a photo of it when I paint the nose the different color.
Andrew
 
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