Falcon Heavy - SpaceX / Boyce Aerospace Build

The Rocketry Forum

Help Support The Rocketry Forum:

ToneDeafJunior

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Oct 12, 2017
Messages
215
Reaction score
95
Location
Folly Beach SC
So, a few months ago I purchased the FH conversion kit from Boyce Aerospace to build with the SpaceX Falcon 9 model. I thought I'd give it a go and take some pictures along the way. I decided to build the FH with a Block 5 paint scheme.
In the first picture are all of the parts from SpaceX and Boyce Aerospace. I'm starting to paint the booster cones, and parts before installation. I'll CWF the seams in both boosters and fairing. Thanks for watching and I promise to post a flight video too.
 

Attachments

Araize01

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2018
Messages
72
Reaction score
24
So, a few months ago I purchased the FH conversion kit from Boyce Aerospace to build with the SpaceX Falcon 9 model. I thought I'd give it a go and take some pictures along the way. I decided to build the FH with a Block 5 paint scheme.
In the first picture are all of the parts from SpaceX and Boyce Aerospace. I'm starting to paint the booster cones, and parts before installation. I'll CWF the seams in both boosters and fairing. Thanks for watching and I promise to post a flight video too.
I bought all the parts as well. Just haven't gotten around to building it yet. Maybe I'll garner a few ideas from your build.
 

Ben Martin

"That guy in the hall building a rocket"
TRF Supporter
Joined
Sep 29, 2018
Messages
655
Reaction score
202
Location
Texas
Don't forget the heat protection system around the engines and the near black titanium grid fins (the ones you have right now look like the old ones). The Merlin 1D's are also black due to them having a protective coating on them.


Excellent build so far and I can't wait to see the finished product.
 

ToneDeafJunior

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Oct 12, 2017
Messages
215
Reaction score
95
Location
Folly Beach SC
Don't forget the heat protection system around the engines and the near black titanium grid fins (the ones you have right now look like the old ones). The Merlin 1D's are also black due to them having a protective coating on them.


Excellent build so far and I can't wait to see the finished product.
Oh Boy Ben. I've made a terrible mistake in my build. I think I can remove the grid fins I have attached to the launcher and paint them a darker color but, I have already added the landing legs to all three boosters. And, I don't think I would be able to paint the black around the bottom of the center booster like in the picture below because the clear fins have already been installed. I just wish I would have spent a little more time on looking at the Block 5. One thing I do not like about painting the landing legs black is that they lost a lot of their detail with the matte black finish. If I were to build this again, I think I'd go with just paint from the first (and only) Falcon Heavy and not the block 5 FH that's coming up in early 2019. Thanks for the heads up, but now I'm disappointed in my detail.
 

Attachments

Ben Martin

"That guy in the hall building a rocket"
TRF Supporter
Joined
Sep 29, 2018
Messages
655
Reaction score
202
Location
Texas
Oh Boy Ben. I've made a terrible mistake in my build. I think I can remove the grid fins I have attached to the launcher and paint them a darker color but, I have already added the landing legs to all three boosters. And, I don't think I would be able to paint the black around the bottom of the center booster like in the picture below because the clear fins have already been installed. I just wish I would have spent a little more time on looking at the Block 5. One thing I do not like about painting the landing legs black is that they lost a lot of their detail with the matte black finish. If I were to build this again, I think I'd go with just paint from the first (and only) Falcon Heavy and not the block 5 FH that's coming up in early 2019. Thanks for the heads up, but now I'm disappointed in my detail.
Consider it a block 4/5 hybrid. There's always next time.

For the first Falcon heavy, it did not have any of the thermal protection system on the bottom, and it also had white landing gear. Only the external boosters had the titanium griffins.

So pretty much for Falcon heavy (1st, Block 4)
- No black on bottom (thermal protection system)
- Dark gridfins on outside booster only, not center core. (Titanium vs painted aluminum)
- No black interstage or any other Block 5 aspects.
 

Ben Martin

"That guy in the hall building a rocket"
TRF Supporter
Joined
Sep 29, 2018
Messages
655
Reaction score
202
Location
Texas
I think that you can still make this model into the Block 5 Falcon Heavy by fixing the gridfins and finding a way to paint the bottom of the booster, at least the motor section. Don't forget the black tunnels, theres are some good reference images online.
 

ToneDeafJunior

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Oct 12, 2017
Messages
215
Reaction score
95
Location
Folly Beach SC
I think that you can still make this model into the Block 5 Falcon Heavy by fixing the gridfins and finding a way to paint the bottom of the booster, at least the motor section. Don't forget the black tunnels, theres are some good reference images online.
I believe I'm going to go with the tunnels I found in the picture below. I have some 1/8" dowels that I'm going to sand down. If I were to say the boosters have a front and back, does the back off the booster have the larger tunnel that's on the right and the front has the smaller tunnels like the left and center?
 

Attachments

Ben Martin

"That guy in the hall building a rocket"
TRF Supporter
Joined
Sep 29, 2018
Messages
655
Reaction score
202
Location
Texas
I believe I'm going to go with the tunnels I found in the picture below. I have some 1/8" dowels that I'm going to sand down. If I were to say the boosters have a front and back, does the back off the booster have the larger tunnel that's on the right and the front has the smaller tunnels like the left and center?
Yes, there's a big one on one side and a smaller on the other.
 

ToneDeafJunior

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Oct 12, 2017
Messages
215
Reaction score
95
Location
Folly Beach SC
Thanks to Ben for the heads up on the color of the grid fins. I was able to remove them from the core booster, paint and re-attach pretty easily. Attached the through body fins on the 2 side boosters too. Now to dry overnight.

On a side note, these aftermarket parts by Boyce Aerospace although good looking are quite heavy. I believe I'm going to have to add some serious nose weight in the fairing. Might have to launch with an E12 rather than a D3. I think the D3 has more impulse power than the E9. So the E9 shouldn't be an option right?
 

Attachments

Ben Martin

"That guy in the hall building a rocket"
TRF Supporter
Joined
Sep 29, 2018
Messages
655
Reaction score
202
Location
Texas
Thanks to Ben for the heads up on the color of the grid fins. I was able to remove them from the core booster, paint and re-attach pretty easily. Attached the through body fins on the 2 side boosters too. Now to dry overnight.

On a side note, these aftermarket parts by Boyce Aerospace although good looking are quite heavy. I believe I'm going to have to add some serious nose weight in the fairing. Might have to launch with an E12 rather than a D3. I think the D3 has more impulse power than the E9. So the E9 shouldn't be an option right?
Looks like you have room on the bottom to paint it black under the fins. As for the motor, I would put it in a simulation program such as OpenRocket and see what the best motor would be.
 

rharshberger

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2014
Messages
9,406
Reaction score
1,470
Location
Pasco, WA
Looks like you have room on the bottom to paint it black under the fins. As for the motor, I would put it in a simulation program such as OpenRocket and see what the best motor would be.
To be honest OR wont handle the Falcon Heavy properly as the boosters cannot be simmed correctly, but Thrustcurve.org should be able to give a "close enough" motor and delay based on weight.
 

ToneDeafJunior

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Oct 12, 2017
Messages
215
Reaction score
95
Location
Folly Beach SC
I'm having trouble finding the correct titanium paint for the block 5 boosters.
I don't know if I have it right, but, here's what I did.
I painted the boosters with Acrylic flat paint with a brush. Multiple coats
The grid fins and booster engines were brushed with Acrylic silver paint. The color was a mistake. After a 2 day drying time, I sprayed them with enamel flat black paint. I know, I know. Enamel over Acrylic is muy malo. But, it seems to give it the look I was going for. Especially after a screw up. Again, I don't know if this is right, but it's what I did and I'm satisfied with the color differentiation between the fins and the boosters.
 

ToneDeafJunior

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Oct 12, 2017
Messages
215
Reaction score
95
Location
Folly Beach SC
To be honest OR wont handle the Falcon Heavy properly as the boosters cannot be simmed correctly, but Thrustcurve.org should be able to give a "close enough" motor and delay based on weight.
Mr. Berger. Thank you so much for the post. I too am aware of the problems with the Falcon Heavy in OR. People have used over-sized launch lugs as the boosters but this does not let you get where you want to go with a simulation. It's pretty though.
Would you be able to tell me more about ThrustCurve? I am not familiar with that site at all and I don't see a FH in the list of rockets.
I understand Ben suggested running it though a program and I'd like to do so, but with this FH and it being so tail heavy with all the plastic 3d pieces, nose weight will probably be significant/heavy trying to move the CG forward ahead of the CP. Suggestions?
 

rharshberger

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2014
Messages
9,406
Reaction score
1,470
Location
Pasco, WA
I don't know if I have it right, but, here's what I did.
I painted the boosters with Acrylic flat paint with a brush. Multiple coats
The grid fins and booster engines were brushed with Acrylic silver paint. The color was a mistake. After a 2 day drying time, I sprayed them with enamel flat black paint. I know, I know. Enamel over Acrylic is muy malo. But, it seems to give it the look I was going for. Especially after a screw up. Again, I don't know if this is right, but it's what I did and I'm satisfied with the color differentiation between the fins and the boosters.
Actually Acrylic over Enamel is probably okay as long as the Enamel is fully cured (passes the smell test) since most acrylics are water based and the solvent (WATER) does not attack the paint underneath, now Enamels or Lacquers and Shellacs over Acrylics might not work out to well.
 

Ben Martin

"That guy in the hall building a rocket"
TRF Supporter
Joined
Sep 29, 2018
Messages
655
Reaction score
202
Location
Texas
Mr. Berger. Thank you so much for the post. I too am aware of the problems with the Falcon Heavy in OR. People have used over-sized launch lugs as the boosters but this does not let you get where you want to go with a simulation. It's pretty though.
Would you be able to tell me more about ThrustCurve? I am not familiar with that site at all and I don't see a FH in the list of rockets.
I understand Ben suggested running it though a program and I'd like to do so, but with this FH and it being so tail heavy with all the plastic 3d pieces, nose weight will probably be significant/heavy trying to move the CG forward ahead of the CP. Suggestions?
Do an overall and individual CG test. Use a string to find where it balances and record it. Do one for the center booster, one for the side and then one combined. Make sure to record the masses of all the objects for consideration. CP can be found in OpenRocket by modeling the center core and the boosters separately and making sure they have sufficient stability margins. The combined center of pressure location should be identical if not very similar to the one on the individual models. I'm not too familiar with thrustcurve, but I'm sure it might have a feature that would support your rocket.

The plan for the launch is to just have the boosters stay connected during recovery, right?
 

ToneDeafJunior

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Oct 12, 2017
Messages
215
Reaction score
95
Location
Folly Beach SC
Do an overall and individual CG test. Use a string to find where it balances and record it. Do one for the center booster, one for the side and then one combined. Make sure to record the masses of all the objects for consideration. CP can be found in OpenRocket by modeling the center core and the boosters separately and making sure they have sufficient stability margins. The combined center of pressure location should be identical if not very similar to the one on the individual models. I'm not too familiar with thrustcurve, but I'm sure it might have a feature that would support your rocket.

The plan for the launch is to just have the boosters stay connected during recovery, right?
Correct.
 

rharshberger

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2014
Messages
9,406
Reaction score
1,470
Location
Pasco, WA
Thrustcurve is a really basic simulation...weight of rocket and motor mount size, airframe diameter, CD (if known), and mmt length, with that info it generates a list of recommended mkotors and delays. Its super easy and fairly accurate. I use it mainly in the field to verify motors are suitable gor certain rockets if I feel the motor may be marginal during pre-flight inspections.
 

pcalviln

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 26, 2014
Messages
108
Reaction score
7
Don't worry about what's black and what's white for thermal protection, things are going to change again anyways....
 

Ez2cDave

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
3,576
Reaction score
898
This is a very interesting project !
 

gary7

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2009
Messages
654
Reaction score
56
Location
Mahomet, IL
Enjoying this project. I too will start this hopefully sometime in the next few weeks.

Looking really good.

Thanks for posting.
 

Ben Martin

"That guy in the hall building a rocket"
TRF Supporter
Joined
Sep 29, 2018
Messages
655
Reaction score
202
Location
Texas
Finally finished. I will add a launch video very soon. Thank you so much SpaceX and Boyce Aerospace.
The engines seem a bit too silver for B5 Merlin 1D++ (or whatever they are calling them now). It doesn't really make much of a difference, just something I noticed. Also, the text you used for SpaceX is the older version. The new text is much smaller and located further up on the booster.

Overall, beautiful work. The minor details really don't matter too much.
 

Latest posts

Top