Estes Sparrow: Kit Bash Ideas?

brockrwood

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My girlfriend gave me an Estes Sparrow (EST 0872) as a gift for birthday (among other nice gifts). She got it from a neighbor. OOP. I am guessing it is a 1990’s era rocket kit?

See pics.

It is powered by a 13mm engine.

While I could just build this little rocket stock, I would prefer to do something more interesting with it.

Any ideas for an easy kit bash or modification of the Sparrow?

I thought about making it into a two-stage rocket.

Maybe it could be added as a fun “spire” on a bigger diameter rocket?

:)


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milehigh

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I like the two-stager idea. Especially now that Estes has brought back the A3-6T upper stage motor....
 

mh9162013

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My suggestion? Never build it and keep it a hangar queen.

Instead, use it to help compile the parts for a clone, then use that for a kit bash.

Maybe it's my nostalgia, but opening a brand new OOP kit just seems wrong to me.*

*I'm not judging you, OP. Just emphasizing the wish to go back to the toy section at Walmart, Roses, K-Mart or Toys R Us from the mid 1990s and see all those Estes, Mongram and Revell kits...
 

brockrwood

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No recommendation on kit bashing into something else but a suggest you build it, fly it and enjoy. Wash, rinse, repeat.

It's not a rocket hanging on a peg in the hobby room.
I am torn. I understand fully @mh9162013 and the feeling that, hey, here is a vintage kit still new in the package. Are you really going to open it?

Then there is the “model rockets are meant to be built and flown” school of thought. If I never build and fly the kit, what is point of having it?

Sometimes I take a more pragmatic view. I ask myself: Is this kit a “classic” in some way? Will I ruin its value as a “classic” by opening the package? If so, let’s just leave it in the bag and keep it.

An analogy might be a classic car. A 1985 Corvette might be a project worthy of loving restoration and keeping all the part numbers matching and then just taking it to car shows to show it off. A 1985 Ford Escort is, well, an Escort. You might as well drive it and get some use out of it. Maybe you can even hot rod it and have some fun with it by making it go fast.

So this is a 90’s era Estes “Sparrow”. It is a mini engine rocket meant for a beginner rocketeer of the 1990’s to purchase at low cost to build and fly. Is it a classic Corvette or an Escort? I am thinking Escort.
 

Back_at_it

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I am torn. I understand fully @mh9162013 and the feeling that, hey, here is a vintage kit still new in the package. Are you really going to open it?

Then there is the “model rockets are meant to be built and flown” school of thought. If I never build and fly the kit, what is point of having it?

Sometimes I take a more pragmatic view. I ask myself: Is this kit a “classic” in some way? Will I ruin its value as a “classic” by opening the package? If so, let’s just leave it in the bag and keep it.

An analogy might be a classic car. A 1985 Corvette might be a project worthy of loving restoration and keeping all the part numbers matching and then just taking it to car shows to show it off. A 1985 Ford Escort is, well, an Escort. You might as well drive it and get some use out of it. Maybe you can even hot rod it and have some fun with it by making it go fast.

So this is a 90’s era Estes “Sparrow”. It is a mini engine rocket meant for a beginner rocketeer of the 1990’s to purchase at low cost to build and fly. Is it a classic Corvette or an Escort? I am thinking Escort.

Here is my take. One of my other hobbies is radio controlled cars. I've been into buying, collecting, restoring, selling them for 30+ years. I primarily collect Tamiya and Kyosho brand cars and at some point around 20 yrs ago I decided that I wanted to collect the "First 100" Tamiya brand cars. As you can imagine that took a lot of work. At the end of the day I ended up with 99 of the first 100 new in box, sealed in the plastic, never opened etc. etc. The one car I have never found new in the box sealed is number 58008 (eighth car released) but I do have one new in box never assembled but not wrapped in plastic.

One day I was sitting in the hobby room looking at these kits along with a couple hundred others and realized that I don't have "RC Cars". I have boxes of RC parts and they are absolutely useless for any other reason than to stare at.

When I returned to rocketry this time I made my GF a promise. No matter how rare, old, expensive or hard to build something is, everything is getting built and flown. Nothing will be a shelf queen and nothing will live its life hanging on the wall. Since returning to rocketry I've kept that promise. Even some that are way to pretty to fly have gone up and I've broken and lost a few but I was ok with it as I used them as they were intended.

As for that RC Car collection. I boxed up the rare stuff and have it tucked away in a safe place. With the RC market going absolutely insane right now I have been selling off some here and there but I'm hoping to find the right buyer someday that will keep the first 100 together but finding that buyer is going to near impossible.

It's not an RC CAR until you drive it and it isn't a rocket until it flies :)
 
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