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Estes Mercury Atlas

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Chr$

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Anybody know what a Boxed Mercury Atlas kit is worth? Anybody built one? I'm thinking of buying one from a guy that has one. It's new in the box.
 

rstaff3

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No clue what the price should be, as mine was a gift years ago. Its a nice kit and flies well on E15s. I'd recommend it if the price is right (of course that's the main point of your post).
 

flying_silverad

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Originally posted by Chr$
Anybody know what a Boxed Mercury Atlas kit is worth? Anybody built one? I'm thinking of buying one from a guy that has one. It's new in the box.
I have bid on them several times on EBAY. they always seem to bring around a $100 or so. I have never won a bid as I am a builder not a collector.
 

vjp

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Lately they've been going on eBay for about $80 to $90, plus shipping. If you can score an open-box or started kit, you might see $40 to $60, depending on condition.
 

billeblurzz

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The Mercury Atlas builds into a beautiful kit. In my opinion not as difficult as the Saturn V. Pretty simple paint job; mostly just being able to apply the chrome adhesive strips uniformly. I was so pleased with the way mine turned out, I confess that I may never actually FLY mine! I mostly use it for displays and exhibits.:eek: :eek:
 

n3tjm

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The kit retailed around $55 when it was out. I built one, but had trouble with the capsule.
 

Chilly

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I picked up one for about $60 from ROL auction last year. It was a lot of fun and challenging. Good practice for the Saturn V I'm working on now. If you're careful to keep it light it flies well on D12-3s, nice and slow.
I'd built the new Mercury Redstone before the Atlas so had gotten some experience with the capsule. It's not too hard but you have to be very meticulous about sanding the parts to fit perfectly. And Quik-grip mini clamps (the sliding kind) are great for holding the escape tower together while the glue sets.
 

billeblurzz

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Oh yea, I did forget about the capsule problem. :( It does take some work to get the parts to fit together right! I remember now that a few years ago, I called Estes about buying just a mercury capsule itself for a flatcar on my model railroad. They sent me three or four extra ones right away! Excellent customer response! But the capsules were so much trouble to build, I still have the extra capsules still bagged!:rolleyes:
 

flying_silverad

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Originally posted by billEblurzz
Oh yea, I did forget about the capsule problem. :( It does take some work to get the parts to fit together right! I remember now that a few years ago, I called Estes about buying just a mercury capsule itself for a flatcar on my model railroad. They sent me three or four extra ones right away! Excellent customer response! But the capsules were so much trouble to build, I still have the extra capsules still bagged!:rolleyes:
AWESOME!!
 
A

Austin

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I always wanted to add one to the collection, just never got around to it. I will probably start looking again in a month or so...

Carl
 

vjp

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Ditto on the Mercury capsule problem. It's a nicely detailed piece of plastic, with a horrible fit problem.

A flat file really helps out on this one, since each of the three capsule segments needs a good bit shaved off in order to fit them all into the base ring (on the Atlas, the base ring is tossed out, but it's still useful as an assembly jig to hold the capsule pieces while the glue sets).
 

dtomko

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The capsule is a bit of a pain but comes out nicely when done. I got mine off Ebay three or four years ago for $29. Still haven't had the guts to fly it! Here's a shot with the clear plastic fins I made for it. I also used Bare Metal foil to finish off the side fairings and match the chrome strips on the main body. Another tip: make sure the body is completely free of dust. Any tiny granules will show through the chrome strips. The Mercury Redstone was cloned before the latest reissue came out. It has the balsa, closer to scale fins.
Drew Tomko
 

mark schnell

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Dtomko, the clear fins look awesome. Where did you get the clear tubing? One other important part of assembly I learned the hard way is that if you touch the mylar too much it will have bubbled sections that will never lay down properly. All together though, this is an awesome kit. I have always had good luck with the D-12-3's. Great slow flights.
Mark Schnell
 

billeblurzz

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Wow, this discussion really jogs memories. Guess because it's a great MODEL and a great PROTOTYPE too. Everyone should have one if they get the chance! I remember seeing the real thing at the "space park" in the space museum in Huntsville, Ala. It was laying on its side on a trailer with an air compressor connected to it. Every few minutes the compressor would start up.....bringing home the fact that it really is a big BALLOON!!! AWESOME!!!! THE deterrant to communism in the FREE world was a Nuclear Bomb riding on top of a .......BALLOON!!!!!:eek: :eek: :eek:
 

dtomko

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Mark,
The clear tubes came in the Red Arrow Hobbies tube assortment. I cut down the tubes that came with the kit and the clear tubes fit nicely inside them. The paper tube part is hidden inside the fairing tubes. The fins are cut from sheet plastic, I can't remember how thick, though.
DT
 

Chilly

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I was wondering about getting clear tubes for my own Atlas. Unfortunately it's gotten a little beat-up over the last year but it's still impressive on a D12. I'd love to try it onan E15.
 

Chr$

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Thanks all for the posts. I looked at eBay and they are all over the place. Looks like $50-60 is about right. I think I've just added another bird to my fleet.

I guess I'll know what you mean about the clear tubes after I get a look at the kit. Do you use them in place of kraft paper tubes supplied? Are they for the external fuel lines?
 

vjp

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Same here - I'd like to outfit my Atlas with clear fins as well. I bought some clear acetate a while back (mail order) hoping it would be suitable for fins, but if was too flexible. I haven't found anything suitable at my local hobby or hardware stores either.

The big fin units provided in the kit make the Atlas look - well - kinda dorky, in flight.

Drew your Atlas looks fantastic.
 

Chr$

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Ahhh... I've had my coffee now. I just looked at the photo again and "noticed" the clear fins at the bottom ala Space shuttle style.

Yeah, I can see how they would be "dorky" if they were solid.
Hmm...
 

dtomko

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Thanks, Vince! I have to fly it this year.
Regarding the plastic tubes: I cut off about an inch of the kit's tubes (the ones you attach the balsa fins to) and glued the plastic tubes inside those because the plastic tubes are smaller in diameter. So the paper tubes fit into the fairing tubes, but only the plastic tubes stick out past the end of the Atlas. I'll post a picture later.
DT
 

dtomko

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Here's a shot of the plastic fin units. You can see the paper tubes on the tops that slide into the Atlas.
DT
 

dtomko

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And here's the back of the Atlas if you don't have the kit. The fin units slide into the outer tubes.
DT
 

Chr$

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Thanks All.

I picked it up at lunch time. $49.95
 

vjp

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Chr$ - Fantastic score! You are going to love building AND flying the Merc Atlas. And if you choose not to fly it (understandable) it makes a fantastically beautiful display model, too.

Drew - Thanks for those photos! You inspired me to pick up some clear plastic tubing during lunch yesterday. I had to go to the aquarium store, to pick up some food (crickets) for my son's pet water dragon. While there, I noticed some 9" siphon tubes made from 3/4" tubing. I picked up a pair at $1.99 each - after removing the U-bend portion, they're about the exact same length as the tubes provided in the kit. I'll make some CR's to mount them inside a section of the cardboard tubing, just as in your design. Now, I just need to find some suitable clear plastic fin material!
 
A

Austin

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Man, you guys are making me really want the Atlas bad...two of them, one to sav and one to build. They ought to re-release this kit like they did the Redstone.

Carl
 

rstaff3

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Chr$, IMHO you got a great price. You'll love the kit. It looks great and has nice, slow, realistic launches.

And youse guys are making me feel bad about the big black fin units on mine :)
 

dtomko

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Chr$,
As everyone else has said, that was an excellent buy! It is one beautiful kit.
Vince, the aquarium siphon tubes will work well. I got a sheet of clear plastic at a local hobby store. I don't know exactly how thick it is. It's stiff, but does flex pretty easily. You might try looking for sheets used in vacuum forming r/c plane canopies. I know Plastruct and Evergreen sell clear sheets. The clear fins are definitely an improvement.
DT
 

Chr$

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The kit was priced at $58.99 but the store owner rang it up at $49.99 cuz he's a nice guy.
 
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