Estes Space Ship One E

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comet79

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Hi! Some days ago I started to build my Estes Space Ship One for E engines. Unfortunately the fuselage is made out of Styrofoam parts and this material doesn't have a smooth finish... Does anybody know how to finish such Styrofoam parts and how to get a smooth and glossy surface? :confused: Thanks! :)
 

El Cheapo

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Off topic. I just started the 18mm version. One thing that I'm glad I did was to laminate the balsa w/20lb copy paper. It's very strong and I won't have to fill in any of the tabs for connecting A to B.
 

kjohnson

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Hi! Some days ago I started to build my Estes Space Ship One for E engines. Unfortunately the fuselage is made out of Styrofoam parts and this material doesn't have a smooth finish... Does anybody know how to finish such Styrofoam parts and how to get a smooth and glossy surface? :confused: Thanks! :)
Check out some of the RC forums like www.rcgroups.com for some suggestions on filling the styrofoam models. They have been working with those a lot longer than us rocket folks.

I've seen posts out there by folks doing everything from fill'n finish to glassing the whole thing.

kj
 

FlyBack

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I'll save you some time... read: Covering foam with Silkspan or fiberglass, and Minwax Polycrylic

That is one of the best articles on the subject I've seen. It really is easy to get a good finish on foam models using that technique. It is also a great way to finish balsa fins. Although it won't be as strong as glass/epoxy, if you have an allergy to epoxy (and I do) clean up is a snap and I don't have to wear a hazmat suit to use the Polycrylic.

Regards

FlyBack
 
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AKPilot

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I want to hear about this one! I had a chance to pick one up for 50% (it's still there) but, feedback and reviews shows it's way overpriced - as it's another "untested" Estes model.
 

kjohnson

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I want to hear about this one! I had a chance to pick one up for 50% (it's still there) but, feedback and reviews shows it's way overpriced - as it's another "untested" Estes model.
A lot of that went around from rocketry folks when the kit was released.
It's a different model and a uses components that the general rocket hobbyist was unfamiliar with. For the money, its on par with some of the smaller foamy RC bodies that are out there. I had purchased an Ultrafly Hawk at about the same time, and the price was comparable.

kj
 

AKPilot

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I had purchased an Ultrafly Hawk at about the same time, and the price was comparable.

kj

Hey, I was on the production line a couple weeks ago, watching a 1:1 scale being made for the Navy. Yup, we're still making them here at Boeing.
 

FlyBack

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Very interesting article, FlyBack.
Thanks,

I would add one important tip if you wanted to use silkspan on balsa. Seal it first with MinWax Sanding Sealer. Just brush the sealer on and quickly give it a light wipe with a paper towel. The wood will absorb just enough to seal the grain (but not fill it). Do both sides of a fin at the same time if possible. Once the sealer dries, light sand with 320 grit and you are good to go for the Silkspan/Poly covering. Very little filler/primer will be need after that.


FlyBack
 
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