Fins attached to body tubes. I originally put the fins on as per the instructions, but wasn't happy that the rocket would be stable. So I moved the larger fins on the forward part back so their trailing edges would be level with the rear of the tube.
"Fred" is a shortened version of "Freedom" - ask NASA. "Fred 'n' George" sort of sounds a bit like "Freedom Forge".
The forward part, blue-grey with shark's teeth, is Fred. The aft part, dull metallic with orange fins, is George. And if you look closely at the picture of the complete rocket, you can see one of the three vent holes about half way up George. There's a reason for that...
I didn't entirely follow the instructions, especially the bit about sticking Fred and George together. Instead, Fred has its own 13mm motor mount and George has a coupler similar to Rheinbote's stages 2 and 3. (Why only a 13mm mount? Because VCP puts Fred's CP somewhere amidships, even with the main fins moved back, and the only way to get the CG somewhere useful was to bore several holes in the back of the nose cone and fill them with lead and epoxy. And even that wouldn't have been enough with an 18mm motor in the back.)
I have built kits stock, but not recently. And that's only if a kit built as per instructions but with a different colour scheme counts as "stock".
Next chance I get, Fred is going up on an A10-3T. If it proves stable, either Fred gets a 1/2A3-4T and George gets a B6-0, or Fred gets an A3-4T and George gets a C6-0, depending on field conditions. Mind you, I don't know when I'll get the chance to fly it, so the first flight report might not be for quite some time...
As detailed here, Fred'n'George had its first flight at the end of 2004. Fred failed to ignite and came down ballistic but survived because of soft ground. George has since been fitted with a stuffer tube and had the vent holes enlarged.
So, during International Rocket Week 2005, Fred'n'George had another flight. George had a B6-0, Fred had an A3-4T. This time Fred's motor did ignite after George's burned out. Both units were recovered safely.
LOL - Fred 'n George! That's great. There's a sizeable gap between the two stages it seems. Maybe the first staging attempt misfired due to that tiny T-motor nozzle opening? Very cool. Thanks for sharing.
By itself, during the flight at the end of 2004, Fred didn't do well even on a high thrust A10-3T - it went up, came down, and ejected in time to avoid crashing. But the flight was stable, which was all I needed to check before flying the whole lot.
With George behind it, Fred flew very well. It was probably the booster which did most of the work getting the rocket up to a decent height and velocity. Then the 13mm motor kept Fred going a bit longer before ejecting the nose.
As for the problem with staging the first time, I wasn't certain if the 13mm motor had failed to ignite first time because not enough burning particles hit it, or because it just got blown off. So I covered both possibilities.
Fred 'n' George was one of the few flights I actually saw, as opposed to heard as I clambered through the undergrowth looking for my rockets. It was cool. One thing I liked was that it was a staged flight, but didn't go so high that it ends up drifting into the next village.
You should have stayed behind on Saturday evening, then. Flying conditions were perfect - no wind, no rain. So a couple of us did some flying. I launched my Skylark. The booster has no fins, so it moves the CG back without doing anything for the CP, so it's balanced by plenty of clay in the nose. Which means this thing comes down quite fast, especially if it has a streamer, so it didn't drift very far either.