Estes Exo-Skell and Venus Probe

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Well-Known Member
Jan 19, 2004
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I just recieved 1 case of 6 Exo-Skell and 1 case of 6 Venus Probe rocket kits via a purchase made on ebay. ($42.50 total price for all, including shipping !!! )

I bought these as a project for me and my kids. We, my wife and I, homeschool our 9 elementary grade children.

Has anyone ever built either of these kits ??? Any tips or tricks ???
They both can use a 24mm upgrade, as they become heavy for anything but C motors, and on windy days those are marginal. The Excoskel will assemble much faster as it has less parts, so you may wish to try those first as a warm up to the Venus...lots of parts and cutting there.

Thanks CTulanko ... While I'm sure the motor upgrade would make these kits "better" ... all I'm looking to do is get my kids to build 'em and actually get 'em off the launch pad ... LMAO !!!

I have looked into the boxes and building the Exo-Skells first are a definate. While I wouldn't have any problem building either of these kits myself .... the kids are gonna have a handfull of modeling to do !!! And that's just what I was looking for !

20 years ago I was a Cubmaster and our troop built Mosquitos. Very easy build but kindof boring .... these two kits will give this group a higher sense of accomplishment I believe.

My wife is gonna be involved too .... this will be a hoot ! While very, very, adept at doing crafts she has never built any kind of model kit.

First off, welcome to TRF!! There's lots of knowledge here and a lot of fun to be had.

When I start to build a kit, I always go to and read the reviews for the kit.

Have a blast!!!


The Exoskell was one of the first kits I built when I got back into the hobby. I built it stock and have flown it many times on a C6-3, which is all that is recommended by Estes. It has flown perfect every time, although not very high at all. I bought it for my daughter because she was really into aliens (E.T.) at the time and it is still her favorite rocket.
If you just want a rocket the kids can build and will enjoy, build it stock. If you want one to get over 300 ft, then make the 24mm motor mount mod. If I had 6, I would have to make at least 1 with the 24mm motor mount.


oh yeah, 9 kids! And I thought my 3 were a double handful.
Never a dull moment at your house, huh? :)
Hat's off to you and your wife.
Aerobee, I picked up the same deal (case of 6 Venus Probes). I'm actually planning on donating them as raffle prizes for kids that attend local launches. If I'm not mistaken, the vendor is Sell2All. I've bought a few things from them before. Not too bad on the pricing considering a Venus Probe goes for like $16.99 at the hobby shop. This kit has more "wow" factor for the kids in that 2 parts come down. It even has an alien. How cool is that? I think you guys will enjoy those. Have fun and let us know how it goes.
YUP ... "Sell2All" is the ebay vendor I got these kits from. I figured the WOW factor would be good with the action of the landing pods and the dual parachute recovery system .... I'll be sure to take pics of the kids with the finished rockets and more pics from launch day. Will probrably be a month before we're all ready with 'em though.:cool:
Originally posted by eugenefl
Not too bad on the pricing considering a Venus Probe goes for like $16.99 at the hobby shop.
Don't forget to support your local Hobby shop. Mine has Exoskells with a special $4.98 price and Venus Probes for about $6.00. Estes must have dumped a bunch of these on the market and you might be able to buy them for the same $ locally.
I shop around on ebay A LOT !!! But I do also support my local hobby shop ... "Johns Mens and Boys Toys Hobby Shop" in Mansfield, Ohio.

Thanks for the heads up on "Fred Schecters" auctions ... I just bid on an engine upgrade for one of these brutes ... lol
Just won me a 24mm motor mount for the Venus Probe ... maybe I'll get one of 'em up into the sky ... lol
Well, I have gotten through building 6 Exo-Skells with my kids ... piece of cake ! The kids were all able to understand and follow the directions ! A good solid skill level one kit that looks much more difficult than it is ........ the kids had fun !!! Can't wait till launch day !!!

But, as mentioned above, I bought a 24 mm mount for one of the Venus Probes than I'm building for myself (I started the kit tonight)... the extra 24mm mount not withstanding ..... this is NOT a skill level one kit ! I do believe that ESTES should have given this kit a skill level 2 at the very least. Skill level 1, in my eyes, is a kit that a 10 year old can put together with only minimal help from a parent .... the Venus Probe is much more intense than that !
Exoskell Review :

Build Quality 5 (My kids succesfully built 6 Exoskell rockets following the given directions and with very little help from good 'ol Dad)(Parts fit well and were of good quality)

Appearance 5 (Kids loved the way they look .... hec I do too !!! )

Flight 2 ( Out of 6 rockets launched only one had a good flight with timely deployment of both chutes and good landing... One nosed over immediately after it left the launch rod and ejection charge popped just as it hit the roof of my barn ... 2 legs on "lander" destroyed, one plastic fin broke off... The other 4 rockets flew OK but had very late deployment of chutes .... minor damage to all here and there.)(Flights were all on C6-5 motors ... may have worked better with C6-3's)
Yep, the only motor you can fly those on is the C6-3.
C6-5 is why you got the late deployments. The one that arced over however had some other problem, wind maybe?

I've got one that I got for my daughter, but I ended up liking it pretty well myself. I tried my best to paint it like the directions said and it turned out pretty well. It's got that oily dirty look to it.
I've flown mine at least a dozen times, and the only problem I've ever had was a scorched chute.

One thing you might want to do if you haven't already: On the damage to the plastic parts, when you repair it, use CA or super glue instead of plastic cement. That would keep it together alot better.

Here's mine.

Finally got the Venus Probe D Engine done .... looks good .... hope she flys !!! I hope to find out this weekend !!!
Nice job on the VP!
That's a great launch photo of the Exoskell.

Got to fly 4 different Venus Probes today !!! The 3 stockers, 18mm engines, all flew very well on C6-3's with perfect flight paths and recovery deployment. I was impressed. My kids all did a good job building 'em !

My hot rod, 24mm engine, VP took off fantastic and flew to at least twice the altitude as the 18mm Vp's did on a C11-7. Too bad the chutes didn't deploy until the rocket was about 3 feet off the ground !!! Even so .... no real major, as in unrepairable, damage .... broke a leg off the lander and a fin off the sustainer ... with no body damage .... she'll fly again ... only this time with much less delay !!! Like maybe a D12-3 .... gotta get it higher with less delay !!!!

All in all a pretty good days flying !

Maybe I'll have some pics later.