estes super neon mods

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Well-Known Member
Sep 2, 2009
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Hello - new bar here and one of the things I liked in the past were tube-fins. built the red river diamond ring recently and it looks and flys nice. Picked up the estes super neon and was wondering if anyone left off the little fins? should work fine. Also, has anyone placed the fins at the tube junctions for strength instead of on the side of the tube as stock. Also seems easier to align them that way

Any thoughts, experiences?

Thanks - Steve
I left mine in the same position, but I cut mine down because I didn't like the look of the original. You could mount them anywhere, or leave them off, this thing is plenty stable with or without them.

I also ditched the paper shock cord mount and tied a long piece of kevlar cord to the engine mount (standard upgrade for all my rockets). I still tie a piece of elastic to the kevlar and then to the nose cone, but I usually make the whole thing pretty long.

Flew mine on an Aerotech D10... awesome flight :D Nose cone separated and the rocket backslid into the ground. Put a small dent in one of the tube fins, pushed it out with my finger, got a new nose cone and its back in action. The more I fly it the more I like it.

Be careful with the decals, they were the absolute worst I have EVER encountered. They would not come off the backing paper, and when they did they would grab and stretch almost instantly. Horrible :bangpan:

Super Neon 024.jpg

Super Neon 058 cropped.jpg
thanks - I have been doing the kevlar + the elastic mod on most of the kits I have made since getting back in - and thanks for the note on the decals - if i use them perhaps some micro-sol might help - do they still make that - havent done any plastic modelling for years either

Yep, they still make Micro Sol. I use it all the time.
I don't think it's Micro Sol that you want. At least, that's not what I would use on them. That stuff is for softening the decals and helping them conform to irregular surface details. The Estes decals are plenty soft and stretchy as it is, and I'm afraid Micro Sol would make it even worse.

I would use Micro Scale Liquid decal film instead. It's made by the same company. A couple coats of the decal film will strengthen the decals and prevent them from stretching as badly. I don't even think about applying Estes decals anymore unless I've brushed them with this.
Steve F,

Have you tried running the Barrowman equations to check your "new" design?

I am assuming that as a fresh BAR, you probably have not yet spent $100 on a copy of rocsim. The Barrowman method is free (posted several places on the internet) and fairly simple to run.

This will present a problem for tube-fin designs, however; the Barrowman method includes instructions only for "conventional" flat-finned rockets. For tube-fins, I would suggest you use the tube diameter for fin span, use the tube length for fin chord, and if the tube-fin design has six stabilizing tubes then use a fin count of six. This is a conservative modeling approach (with a stability estimation method that is already conservative) and if the results say your rocket is stable it should be just fine.

Barrowman will give you an estimate of the location of the center of pressure (c.p.) and you will need to measure your own center of gravity (c.g.). Check the c.g. location by prepping the rocket for flight, including new motor, wadding, parachute....whatever is on the rocket 0.01 seconds after iginition needs to be loaded for your balance test. Hold the rocket horizontally, balance it on your finger until it sits still, measure the location of that balance point and you have your c.g. location.

Compare the c.g. to the estimated c.p. and make sure the c.g. is ahead by at least 1.5 to 2 body diameters. If you need to add nose ballast, soft modeling clay works well for model rockets. Drill a small hole in the base of the nose cone (the internal part of the NC, the part that is hidden inside the body tube and is facing the parachute) and pack in some clay toward the tip of the nose.

These "rocketry 101" skills are something you should be able to do if you want to modify kits from manufacturers, or create your own designs.

I hope some part of that helps-

I did a major bash to the Super Neon. I did add some balsa fins to stand off the tubes in pairs. The flat fins are both off the pairs of tubes and from the body to the added fins.
See my pix below. It flew great!:D

Klingon Star Dart 003.jpg

Klingon Star Dart 001.jpg

Klingon Star Dart.jpg

Klingon Star Dart 005.jpg

I like that! A lot! That's a very creative way to really change the looks of the basic kit but still using the basic components, and it looks really different from the original. Great job!