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Wanted Fresh Info And Scans Of The Estes Nova Payloader (Kit No.1960, circa 1980s and circa 2010s)

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K'Tesh

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I'm updating my sims of old kits, and the Nova is getting updated soon. JimZ's site doesn't have this, and PDRSDC files are not the best quality...

I know that the kit evolved over time, so I'm looking for files from the vintage kit, as well as the more recent kit to ensure that any variants are documented. These scans will be given to JimZ to be added to his database.
I'm hoping to get high quality scans of the decals*, fins*, and facecards (@ >=300DPI) in a .png format, as well as scans of the instructions, and information on the parts (shock cord length/width, launch lug lengths, fin thickness, etc.)

Thanks!

*with a ruler for scale
 
Give me a couple of days and I can get to it. The face cards will be hard as they are longer than the bed of my scanner, though.

The four releases of the Nova Payloader were remarkably similar in most ways, but there are some variations in details.
 
Give me a couple of days and I can get to it. The face cards will be hard as they are longer than the bed of my scanner, though.

The four releases of the Nova Payloader were remarkably similar in most ways, but there are some variations in details.
Doing the face card in multiple parts are not a problem.

Thanks!
 
How finely do you want to dice this? I got into my Nova Payloader box and I find six distinct face cards, plus the current 1716 bulk kit (which has a different nose cone than all the others).

69D49A70-FFC3-4741-82D1-1E51C9A7A976.jpeg

The first two (skill level 2) represent the initial release (1986 - 1998). The second one has a blue motor tube, a motor hook with a finger tab, green AR-2050 rings and elastic for a shock cord, so represents a transitional version to the Beta series release).

The next two are Beta series, with the change to the plastic payload section base. The second Beta series model also has peel-n-stick rather than waterslides and a made-in-China pre-assembled parachute. These are the 2001-2004 catalog examples.

The next two are from the 2007-2013 catalog release. These are made in China with laser cut fins and represent the period for all Estes kits which went from colored to white to red to back to orange/white parachutes. These are also back to rubber shock cords and the blue Beta series motor tube is replaced by a white one.

And finally there is the 1716 bulk kit, currently only available from AC Supply (and eRockets?). This is back to waterslide decals (but using the crisper graphics of the peel-n-stick), and has a different, longer nose cone than the 50YP of all the prior versions.

None of these kits is open yet, but except for the second from left and second from right I have multiple examples so I can open and get out instructions/fins/decals for scanning with no concerns. I’ve built a couple from the version second from right so might have the face card and instructions around already.

So…. how many variants are you looking to document for JimZ? Externally the models are all identical save for launch lug length (longer on first versions), motor hooks, and nose cone (last version). The fins, die cut in the first four and laser cut on the other three are identical in shape and thickness (though I will recheck the shapes to be sure).

Internally the only other significant change is balsa nose block/screw eye for the base of the payload section in the skill level two versions, replaced by the bottom of a PNC-50YP nose cone and paper ring in all the later versions. I expect I’ll find shock cord length differences when I get into them.

I need to build a spreadsheet of the variations as I have done for Alphas, though this one will be much simpler than that!
 
Hi Bernard...

Thanks for this info!

Um... WOW!!! I didn't realize that there were *THAT* many variants. I'd be willing to sim each of the ones you're willing to scan. I'd really like photos of each kit (with a ruler), unbagged would be the likely be the easiest, along with the scans of the instructions, the fins, and decals. I don't think we need to go so far as a spread sheet though... the photos, and your descriptions above (along with measurements on the shock cords) would suffice. But again, only of those you'd be willing to open.

Thanks Again!
Jim
 
I didn't either until I got into the box. I've always had four basic versions in my head: initial skill level 2 with the balsa nose block and the long launch lug and waterslides, then the Beta series with the shorter launch lug, finger-tab hook, plastic nose cone base for the payload section and peel-n-stick markings, followed by the laser-cut fin version packaged in China and finally the current bulk-only version with waterslides and the longer nose cone. So to lay them out and see a more gradual transition from one to the next was more of a revelation for me, too.

I will build the spreadsheet for my own purposes, but can share it, of course.

Speaking of which, I just picked up two Alphas on eBay that may represent another variant in the early die cut fin/plastic nose cone history of the Alpha. I won't know for sure until they get here.
 
I think the Omega has a rather shorter history than the Nova Payloader, never mind the Alpha. About how many variations are there?

I will get started on the pics and scans a little later today, I think.
 
Jim,

How do you want me to convey the data to you, once I do the scans? I doubt it would be to post them here.

I’ve compiled all the versions I have to hand (did you know there was a boxed edition of an early version?) and will start scanning stuff tomorrow. From a simulation point of view there are basically three physical configurations: the initial one with the 2 3/8 inch launch lug (this also had an NB-50/screw eye for the base of the payload section), the next with the shorter lug and the finger tab motor hook (and the plastic NC base at the bottom of the payload section), and the recent bulk-only release which has a longer nose cone but is otherwise the same as the prior Chinese-packaged releases except for much more efficient use of balsa on the laser-cut fin sheets.

There are variations in shock cords (see below) and ‘chutes (though they are all 12 inches).

Here’s an idea of the shape of it in Excel form. I’ve also figured out a way to handle the face cards, I think.
 

Attachments

  • Nova Payloader variations.xlsx
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Speaking of which, I just picked up two Alphas on eBay that may represent another variant in the early die cut fin/plastic nose cone history of the Alpha. I won't know for sure until they get here.
It turns out that one of the eBay kits did in fact fill in a hole in that I now have an example a kit with the rev. C instructions where before I just had a set of instructions that came in a big box of donated rockets and parts. That is the first version of the regular Alpha with die cut fins (as opposed to Alpha II, which always had them).

Unrelated to Alpha, Omega or Nova Payloader....I'm about the start the scans of the Checkmate. More info via "conversation" when done.
 
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