flying before painting?

Discussion in 'Low Power Rocketry (LPR)' started by walterb, Jul 5, 2019.

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  1. Jul 5, 2019 #1

    walterb

    walterb

    walterb

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    yesterday I was looking at the county (St Joe IN) fair rockets. Besides the weird paint choices, like a florescent orange Citation Patriot, with the decals. Orange without them would be fine. Most had very well sealed fins little grain showing here's the weird part: there was hand written sign saying the rockets were flow in late April and then painted for the fair.
    Thirty years ago I was flying in a local park and a slightly younger person told me that you had to fly your rocket before you painted it. Something about the paint would not go on correctly. Having already, at that point, done over 50 models, I knew it was BS. As far as I know that kid years ago could be to local 4-H rocket guy now. Where would this idea come from? Has anyone else heard it? Is there a line in the Estes instructions that I have missed in the last 40 years? Do you paint right after the flight so the tube is still warm?
     
  2. Jul 5, 2019 #2

    lakeroadster

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    Opinions Vary.

    On a scratch build, or an altered design it might make sense to perform a "test flight" to ensure it is stable. Otherwise you spend a lot of time and treasure painting the rocket and then crash it.

    But for many folks the joy is in the design and build. It either blows or it goes, either way it's spectacular.
     
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  3. Jul 5, 2019 #3

    markg

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    The closest I've heard to that is people saying that the rocket has to 'earn' it's paint. Fly it first and if it comes back, then paint it. I've flown fiberglass rockets naked and painted them after. I did it once with a cardboard rocket and had a CATO so had to rebuild the darn thing before I could paint it. No CATO's since, so n=1 means you should always paint rockets before you fly them :)

    cheers - mark
     
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  4. Jul 5, 2019 #4

    hobie1dog

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    cwbullet says, " my rockets usually fly naked. If they survive, they earn their paint.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2019
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  5. Jul 5, 2019 #5

    Nytrunner

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    Paint it! May not make it past the first flight, so make it good! (CATOs and other circumstances beyond our ability)
     
  6. Jul 5, 2019 #6

    mcderek

    mcderek

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    Pretty much all of my rockets fly without paint the first couple of times. Frankly I like to build and fly. I don't enjoy the painting process so do the minimum required. I do appreciate the deep glossy finishes that others do. Absolutely gorgeous. Doing it myself isn't my cup of tea.
     
  7. Jul 5, 2019 #7

    Tom

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    Reminds me of the old model aircraft adage where after a slight mishap someone will inevitably say "They fly better with patches" :D
     
  8. Jul 6, 2019 #8

    BABAR

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    Ever since I read this post on the absolutely amazing high power cluster rocket, cool design, no nose cone, 24 carat gold leaf crown, at least 7 months to build, that cratered its first and only flight,

    https://www.rocketryforum.com/threads/open-body-missile-build-for-my-level-2.24733/

    I have been hesitant to put too much into finishing my rockets. It seems there is a direct correlation for my rockets between effort in finishing and probabilities of a) losing it, b) landing on asphalt or a puddle, and c) incomplete deployment of recovery device.

    Plus I like the engineering challenge of different types of recovery, helicopter, glider, air brake,and horizontal spin, or clustering or staging (or both!)
     
  9. Jul 6, 2019 #9

    crossfire

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    It's your rocket do what you want. If it dose get any damage on1st flight I would guess it will never get finished.
     
  10. Jul 7, 2019 #10

    YodaMcFly

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    I always make 'em earn their paint. My n=1 counterpoint is that my Madcow Aerobee-Hi survived its first flight. Then I painted it, and drove it too fast on its second flight (first painted), so one should definitely never paint them. o_O
     
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  11. Jul 14, 2019 #11

    rich56

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    Always has confidence in my rockets. Used Dupli-Color spray can automotive touch up paint on them before sending them up. Easy and cheap enough. Alwayos used bold colors to start for visibility .
    Made a mistake once of sending a white cluster rocket up. Went into the clouds and was lost
     
  12. Jul 14, 2019 #12

    dpower

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    Except for NAR contest flights, my builds don't fly until they are fully finished. For me, it's just gotta look good on its maiden flight. To quote Mark of Stickershock: "Never Fly Naked!!"
     
  13. Jul 14, 2019 #13

    neil_w

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    I've had two scratchbuilds sustain damage on their first flights. Both were repaired and look good, but not quite to pristine condition. Had I not painted and decaled before first flight, I never would have gotten to see them in their finished, idealized form.

    Also:
    1) Some designs require a certain amount of pre-painting before final assembly.
    2) Fully finished rockets look better on the pad

    In case it's not clear: I fully paint everything before flying, no exceptions (yet).*





    * and I don't even particularly enjoy painting...
     
  14. Jul 15, 2019 #14

    T-Rex

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    I have always painted mine first. That being said, I have a 2.6" Standard ARM that has been flown several times wearing white primer. (painted, but not finished....)
     
  15. Jul 15, 2019 #15

    Nathan

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    Fly a rocket without paint??????!!!!!!!!

    My rockets don't even get flown until at least their second trip to a launch. The first time is always for display only.
     
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  16. Jul 15, 2019 #16

    samb

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    The actual, 100% iron-clad rule is this: THERE ARE NO RULES ! ;)

    Paint or not, follow the kit color scheme or not, Do or Do Not there is no try. Every rocketeer must make the tough finishing call for each rocket they make.
     
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  17. Jul 16, 2019 #17

    RFMan

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    My first rocket, an Estes Alpha, flew without paint in 1973. Since then, all have flown post-paint. It kind of reminds me of the old ham adage that antennas work better if you erect them when the weather sucks :D
     

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