Estes-Shuttle: Build

Discussion in 'Low Power Rocketry (LPR)' started by BSNW, Jan 19, 2020.

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  1. Jan 19, 2020 #1

    BSNW

    BSNW

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    Hey all-
    Here we go again. I was waiting for the "perfect weekend" to start this kit. It turns out the weather (for most of the U.S.) was really bad this weekend....a perfect time to brew a pot of coffee and begin a long-involved kit.

    I confess, I initially thought not to do a thread on this. I was a tad intimidated by the kit among other things. But after a few hours, my mind changed and I thought to seek input and share in the experience. I know this kit has been out awhile. But what the hey...I hope others who may have not built this kit will get something out of mine and others people's posts (on this kit)....and from the thread.

    The photos start late...meaning I had made the body of the glider by the time I started taking photos. Sorry!

    Also, IMO this is really a great kit. Estes makes a lot of kits one can build in a few hours. They are all great. But I will say their Skill level 3-5 kits are a dream. I like kits that are challenging and have style...THIS kit surely fits this description. I also noticed that HOW the kit is designed and the order of operations lends it to being a good build. Anyway...here we go..

    I look forward to any input....I will have questions for sure!!

    Andrew
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2020
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  2. Jan 19, 2020 #2

    BSNW

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    So here are some kit shots.

    IMG_2505.JPG
     
  3. Jan 19, 2020 #3

    BSNW

    BSNW

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    I will post some photos of the instructions to show how involved this kit is. It reminded me of the Odyssey...THAT kit had a ton of parts and do-dads. The parts list continues on the second page....this is not all of them.

    IMG_2506.JPG
     
  4. Jan 19, 2020 #4

    BSNW

    BSNW

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    So I made the body of the shuttle. I really wished I took photos of this. On this portion of the kit, one MUST go very slow. Some parts are delicate (SEE parts "O" and "N"). It is easy to break a part from just handling it. IMO one must have a good set of knives. I will show why later. Here is a shot of the instructions for making the glider body. I also used CA for fast setting. Make sure NOT to glue anything until the instructions say so!! very important.

    IMG_2508.JPG
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2020
  5. Jan 19, 2020 #5

    BSNW

    BSNW

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    Here is a shot of the glider body. I liked that Estes made the cut out-card stock covers a tad larger than the body....VERY NICE! After I glued everything on, I used a very sharp blade and trimmed the card stock flush with the body. THEN I used watery CA and ran a bead down the seams/edges. I then used a sanding block to shape and sand all the seams smooth. I did this with all the paper to paper and paper to balsa seams as well. Watery CA is GREAT for this. Saturate the paper/seam...then sand smooth...saturate again and sand smooth down to 400 grit. After finishing...you wont see a thing and you wont have any "fuzzies".

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    Last edited: Jan 19, 2020
  6. Jan 19, 2020 #6

    BSNW

    BSNW

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    I also remember that John B. The designer of the kit....said to be mindful of the weight with regards to glue and paint. I used CA only on the glider and will do my best to keep the painting to a minimum but try and make it look good.
    Andrew
     
  7. Jan 19, 2020 #7

    BSNW

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    Question:

    If anyone has built this or of John B is watching....See how the tube on the glider is protruding just a few mm from the aft end? Is this to be lefts as is or trimmed and sanded flush with the back of the glider ??? (before I put the plastic nozzle in it). Thanks
    Andrew

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    Last edited: Jan 19, 2020
  8. Jan 19, 2020 #8

    BSNW

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    Next came the front end "assembly". LOTS of sanding here! Neil...I think I actually used 100 grit or something (initially) to "grind" this down. I then switched to 220 to do the final shaping. It was not that bad really. I did get the vacuum out when I got done with this part though :)

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    Last edited: Jan 19, 2020
  9. Jan 19, 2020 #9

    BSNW

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    AND....POST SANDING!

    IMG_2525.JPG

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  10. Jan 19, 2020 #10

    BSNW

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    Next come the wings...

    IMG_2527.JPG
     
  11. Jan 19, 2020 #11

    KILTED COWBOY

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    Thanks for this build.
    I am considering doing this one this year.
    This will really be a help
     
  12. Jan 19, 2020 #12

    BSNW

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    The wings were pretty straight forward. I liked how Estes made tabs on the wings that went into slots in the inner body to make them align perfectly when you glue them in. This is a very nice touch in the design of the kit! Also Estes includes balsa pieces to ensure proper alignment of the flaps and such too. This part went pretty quick. Also, the wing edges were rounded per the instructions, and glued in place.

    IMG_2529.JPG
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2020
  13. Jan 19, 2020 #13

    BSNW

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    More wing photos....

    IMG_2530.JPG

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  14. Jan 19, 2020 #14

    BSNW

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    Wings are on...

    IMG_2537.JPG
     
  15. Jan 19, 2020 #15

    BSNW

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    While trying to keep the weight to a minimum....as you can see there is a lot of filling and finishing to do! some small gaps etc. I am still deciding on if I will be doing tiny fillets on all the fin/seam edges. Still have a long way to go!
    Andrew
     
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  16. Jan 19, 2020 #16

    BSNW

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    So one thing I remembered from Jump Jet...was that the glider hook HAD to be flush in order for everything to fly correctly. I did make sure of this. This was the part where a good sharp and narrow blade really helped in making the "hole" for the hook to be glued into. Take your time on this part....I nearly blew it when I wanted to rush it...after some filling and sanding..it will all be good.

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  17. Jan 19, 2020 #17

    BSNW

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    And there you have it....

    IMG_2545.JPG
     
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  18. Jan 19, 2020 #18

    BSNW

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    You will love this kit!....I like that it will take me some time to complete...between the glider and the actual rocket...it is really two kits in one!
    Andrew
     
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  19. Jan 20, 2020 #19

    GlenP

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    Nice job, looks great so far.

    The OOP Asteroid Hunter used a similar cardstock-fairing/balsa-frame/through-tube construction technique, another fun and detailed build in case you missed it.
     
  20. Jan 20, 2020 #20

    BSNW

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    Wow.....I guess I did miss that one.... looks like another good kit. Thanks for your post!
    Andrew
     
  21. Jan 20, 2020 #21

    SecondRow

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    Subscribed. This one is in my pile to be built this year, and I really like your build threads. You do some nice work.
     
  22. Jan 20, 2020 #22

    AfterBurners

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    Great job so far! IDK part me would want to fill the gaps and grain. Maybe use some sanding sealer? Might keep the weight down verse FNF? I think filling the balsa prior to assembly might have been better?
     
  23. Jan 20, 2020 #23

    BSNW

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    After finishing the rough assembly I am for sure filling all tabs and seams. I use Bin to seal the balsa (see my Estes Conquest build thread). I will also be using Loctite power grab for the fillets (same thread). Those products work great and keep the weight to a minimum.
    Thanks!
    Andrew
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2020
  24. Jan 20, 2020 #24

    BSNW

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    THANKS for your post. You will really enjoy this kit too!
    Andrew
     
  25. Jan 20, 2020 #25

    BSNW

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    I forgot to mention that most of the inner balsa structure is saturated with watery CA. I thought this would add greatly to the strength and still help keep it lightweight.
    Andrew
     
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  26. Jan 20, 2020 #26

    Saluki

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    Here is a really good YouTube video on the construction of this kit.

     
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  27. Jan 20, 2020 #27

    AfterBurners

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    Id like to get this kit and build it and then do an upscale version of it. I wonder if it would glide just as good?
     
  28. Jan 20, 2020 #28

    mg444

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    Looks really good so far. Thanks for the build thread.

    -Mike
     
  29. Jan 20, 2020 #29

    BSNW

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    I like the expression: "In order to make an omelette...you have to crack a few eggs". So things sometimes look worse before they get better. In my finishing work I often start with spot putty or SW-shrink free. I went with the putty on this. I only use it as a filler of holes and voids. Then sand smooth. I then use a Q-Tip and seal the putty with watery CA....THEN sand again with 400 grit.

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  30. Jan 20, 2020 #30

    AfterBurners

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    I think CA would work well in this case. It will seal and strengthen the balsa. A lot tight little areas to sand. You're doing an exceptional job!
     
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