Estes Puma and Avion build in 3 days


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Jan 18, 2009
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Away from home I was able to get 2 builds done in record time, 3 days. The Puma is a newer kit from Estes, great little bird but there was some minor issues. I bought 2 of these kits at Hobby Lobby and one of the kits was missing the balsa parts and dowel:y: And the bag was sealed. I emailed Estes and the great customer service I'm used to from them did not leave me disappointed. The design is pretty neat but I really don't like the tab construction but understand it does make for an easier build for the novice. The tab areas of balsa take more time to conceal and require a bit of putty. Also the instructions were incorrect with the dowel measurements, should have said to cut 1.5 inches not 1 inch. The color scheme on the bag looks cool until you have to mask everything and try to paint the rocket, what a little challenge. Since I was not home, I did not have my Tamyia tape and had to use regular masking tape. The black was hand painted using Testors square bottle enamel since it is next to impossible to mask. I forgot to bring black spray paint so I bought a little jar of Testors black and used the cheap Testors white brush to apply the paint. If I were to build again I would not glue the black pods on until after painting. The decals went on nice and easy and in the end I was pretty happy with the results. The Avion is an Apogee kit that was real simple to build but the balsa was a little soft for my taste, I guess I am used to Estes wood. The Avion kit comes with peel and stick decals, the body decal was good but the fin decals were pretty bad so I took them off the rocket. Since I was not at my home I could not use balsa sealer so I once again tried FNF, still trying to master it. There is nothing wrong with balsa sealer but I like the fact that I can use FNF anywhere if I am not at home. I still have to practice more with FNF before I go replacing my balsa sealer. I may use sanding sealer on my vintage builds and use the FNF for the new Estes kits. I was able to build both rockets in one day and let everything dry overnight. The next day I shot grey primer followed by Krylon Acryli Quik Gloss White. The third day I masked the white and shot Krylon Acylic Quik orange, let it dry a few hours and hand painted the black pods. Tonight I applied the decals, only with Krylon Acryli Quick could I build this fast, but I would not recommend it. The Avion was finished the same way, built in one day and let it dry overnight. The next day I primed and shot gloss white. The next day I masked and shot the Krylon Acryli Quik red. Tonight I applied the peel and stick decals. I did not bring by white glue with me so I had to use Titebond II. I did not really like this glue, not as good and regular Titebond or white glue.

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Jun 26, 2016
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Those look great! Maybe I should try that Krylon Acrylic paint. I've been buying Testors Enamel rattle cans at HL, but it's been so wet along the Gulf Coast lately that I can't get outdoors to paint. At least with Acrylics I could spray in my shop.