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Spitfire222

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I recently completed the build of a few Hobby Lobby exclusive kits, and wanted to share them and discuss their flying behavior. These are all built stock, minus motor-tube mounted Kevlar and longer elastic shock cords with nylon parachutes, which has become my standard Estes rocket modification.

1. I really enjoyed building the Vapor. This one happens to be about 1" shorter than stock after I stole a bit of body tube from it to repair my M104 Patriot, but I don't think it should affect how it flies. I usually try to replicate the facecard paint scheme, and I tried doing that here (minus the swap from yellow to teal). I used a CriCut to create a mask of the black-to-color transition, but after over 20 minutes of trying to transfer it to the rocket, it got stuck to itself and ruined. So I gave up on that and went with a simple spray transition, which I think actually complements the name of rocket better anyways. Since fin decals are only provided for two fin sides, I created masks of the swoops for each side of all three fins. The name was similarly masked off, but the white swoops are vinyl. I did modify the Open Rocket file I got for it to account for the shorter body.

I plan to fly it first on C11s before trying a D12. I actually did try to fly it on a C11 that someone gave me, but that motor CATOed. Luckily, no damage to the rocket from what I can tell, but lesson learned about accepting random motors from others! I'll try again on fresh C11s. I have two more Vapor kits, and the next one will be built in the secondary purple scheme.

2. The Olympus is my first ever clear-payload rocket. Its most likely payload will be my Flightsketch Mini altimeter, so I built a simple holder for it from some foamboard (not pictured). I used plastic rivets to hold the payload section together as I preferred this more positive method of securing it all. I know some were a fan of the campy Zeus paint scheme, but I thought it was silly, so I cut out some gold vinyl, used some turquoise paint I had on hand, and I'm happy with how it came out. First flights also likely to be on C11s (my local LPR field is quite small). I have not found an Open Rocket file for this one, so I might create it myself.

3. Most recently completed is the ESAM-58. I really like the looks of this rocket, and I couldn't imagine it in anything other than an olive-drab paint scheme. I used some of the decals, and added some yellow and chrome stripes to mimic photos of real missiles I found online. This rocket weights a tiny bit more than my Estes Patriot and Nike-Z, and both of those rockets flew perfectly on C6-3s. I may do first flight on a B6-4, but I imagine this one will mostly use C6s as well.

Anyone else want to share their Hobby Lobby exclusive rockets? Also, any flight reports that can be useful for these relatively new rockets? I'll be sure to post back with flight reports when I get them.
 

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Antares JS

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I modded a Luna Bug for Micro Maxx in this thread.


I was impressed at how much zip it had on a micro maxx motor. I was expecting it to be a little bit slower under that tiny motor with the added weight of the motor mount, shock cord, and streamer, but it got outta there pretty quickly. Putting the streamer in it was not really necessary for safety, but it helps a lot with visibility on its way down.
 

mo2872

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I don't have pictures handy, but a while back I was under a 2 week quarantine lockdown after an exposure, and built several of the Hobby Lobby kits.

Vapor, I modded to wood centering rings, and rather than trying to pressurize the whole body tube to pop the cone, I built a bulkhead at the split of the two tubes. I used the standard yellow/black theme, but made it yellow fins, black body.

Mean Machine: much like the Vapor, I split this one where the plastic coupler is supposed to be. Otherwise, standard build.

ESAM, I built stock, other than the addition of a screw on motor retainer, and colors. I was out of spray paint, except for John Deere Green and Yellow.....so, my ESAM is yellow body, green fins.

Non-HL exclusive, I did a Der Red Max. Wood rings and a motor retainer were the only real mods.
 

Spitfire222

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I modded a Luna Bug for Micro Maxx in this thread.
I haven't picked on up yet! Would probably be a good small-field rocket to have here on the East coast.

ESAM, I built stock, other than the addition of a screw on motor retainer, and colors.
Mine came with the Estes black plastic 18mm screw on retainer. Did yours not?
 

mo2872

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I haven't picked on up yet! Would probably be a good small-field rocket to have here on the East coast.



Mine came with the Estes black plastic 18mm screw on retainer. Did yours not?
Hmm, maybe it did, I can't recall now. I know I ordered a three pack, and have one left. The ESAM must have come with one, as I have three rockets with the retainers on them, and a spare.
 

Antares JS

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I haven't picked on up yet! Would probably be a good small-field rocket to have here on the East coast.
Mosquito and 220 Swift also convert well to Micro Maxx, and Fliskits and Semroc (erockets) produce a bunch of dedicated Micro Maxx kits. They are small enough to fly in my front yard.
 

Woody's Workshop

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The Vapor is really neat looking! Love the color combo you did!
The ESAM looks like a must have for me!
I didn't know HL had exclusives!
Nearest one to me is beyond the point of venture I will take my old Ranger. (Coming up on 400,000 miles very soon!)
So I'll have to order online a flip for shipping. Coupon should help a little.
Thank You Kindly for sharing!
 

Scott_650

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The Vapor is really neat looking! Love the color combo you did!
The ESAM looks like a must have for me!
I didn't know HL had exclusives!
Nearest one to me is beyond the point of venture I will take my old Ranger. (Coming up on 400,000 miles very soon!)
So I'll have to order online a flip for shipping. Coupon should help a little.
Thank You Kindly for sharing!
The coupon doesn’t apply to HL’s “Your Price” items - Cricut, custom framing, etc...and Estes, which are already discounted about the same as online vendors, roughly 30%. Keep an eye on HL’s website, they periodically offer free shipping on orders over $50.00.
 
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Scott_650

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I much prefer the blanket 30% off everything Estes over the old 40% off one item coupon - I only wish HL would start carrying PSII kits and motors again, the hazmat on big BP motors is a killer!
 

arconhi

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I recently completed the build of a few Hobby Lobby exclusive kits, and wanted to share them and discuss their flying behavior. These are all built stock, minus motor-tube mounted Kevlar and longer elastic shock cords with nylon parachutes, which has become my standard Estes rocket modification.

1. I really enjoyed building the Vapor. This one happens to be about 1" shorter than stock after I stole a bit of body tube from it to repair my M104 Patriot, but I don't think it should affect how it flies. I usually try to replicate the facecard paint scheme, and I tried doing that here (minus the swap from yellow to teal). I used a CriCut to create a mask of the black-to-color transition, but after over 20 minutes of trying to transfer it to the rocket, it got stuck to itself and ruined. So I gave up on that and went with a simple spray transition, which I think actually complements the name of rocket better anyways. Since fin decals are only provided for two fin sides, I created masks of the swoops for each side of all three fins. The name was similarly masked off, but the white swoops are vinyl. I did modify the Open Rocket file I got for it to account for the shorter body.

I plan to fly it first on C11s before trying a D12. I actually did try to fly it on a C11 that someone gave me, but that motor CATOed. Luckily, no damage to the rocket from what I can tell, but lesson learned about accepting random motors from others! I'll try again on fresh C11s. I have two more Vapor kits, and the next one will be built in the secondary purple scheme.

2. The Olympus is my first ever clear-payload rocket. Its most likely payload will be my Flightsketch Mini altimeter, so I built a simple holder for it from some foamboard (not pictured). I used plastic rivets to hold the payload section together as I preferred this more positive method of securing it all. I know some were a fan of the campy Zeus paint scheme, but I thought it was silly, so I cut out some gold vinyl, used some turquoise paint I had on hand, and I'm happy with how it came out. First flights also likely to be on C11s (my local LPR field is quite small). I have not found an Open Rocket file for this one, so I might create it myself.

3. Most recently completed is the ESAM-58. I really like the looks of this rocket, and I couldn't imagine it in anything other than an olive-drab paint scheme. I used some of the decals, and added some yellow and chrome stripes to mimic photos of real missiles I found online. This rocket weights a tiny bit more than my Estes Patriot and Nike-Z, and both of those rockets flew perfectly on C6-3s. I may do first flight on a B6-4, but I imagine this one will mostly use C6s as well.

Anyone else want to share their Hobby Lobby exclusive rockets? Also, any flight reports that can be useful for these relatively new rockets? I'll be sure to post back with flight reports when I get them.
These are nice kits. I like the ESAM-58. Nice design. Their motor prices are very low compared to other stores and online. I have not bought a kit yet.
 

BEC

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Was in my local HL today to pick up some motors. As and Bs are MORE than 40% off of list with the yellow-tag prices. I needed some A3-4Ts and I picked up a pack of B6-4s just because it's hard to pass that up at $5.99. I wish people would stop complaining that the 40% off of one item coupon doesn't work on rocketry bits any more (and hasn't for well over a year now).

I saw that pretty much all the kits, exclusives and not, were in good supply. I almost picked up a Vapor, but I have several Star Orbiters, and I could put a 29-24mm adapter in one and get, essentially, a Vapor. I was also tempted by the ESAM-58. That one may get me back there to pick one up.

The one price that gets me with the new pricing regime is that one can buy an Alpha III launch set for $17.99, which is less than the kit alone at full retail. Not that I need another Alpha III or another Electron Beam/Porta Pad II. But if you have a beginner who needs GSE, you just can't beat it.
 

Scott_650

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I saw that pretty much all the kits, exclusives and not, were in good supply. I almost picked up a Vapor, but I have several Star Orbiters, and I could put a 29-24mm adapter in one and get, essentially, a Vapor. I was also tempted by the ESAM-58. That one may get me back there to pick one up.
My ESAM turned out well and flies great. I made the nozzle removable with a pair of plastic rivets and did the motor mount Kevlar shock cord mod but otherwise built per the instructions. Roger that on the Vapor - the Star Orbiter is a bit more flexible.
 

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Spitfire222

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For the first time since the baby arrived, I finally got out to get some launches in on a beautiful Saturday evening. Winds were pretty much dead calm, temperature was balmy for this time of year here, and I was able to get 10 flights in on four rockets. The ESAM got its maiden flight on a C6-3, and it went perfectly. I flew it twice more, once on another C6-3, and then I tried a "Super C" C5-3 for my first time ever, which also performed wonderfully. I'm very happy with this rocket, and I only wish I had taken advantage of the weather to bring the Vapor and Olympus for their maiden flights also.

Enjoy the video linked below!
Estes ESAM-58, C6-3 Full Flight
 

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I've done several of the Hobby Lobby exclusives, but the Vapor is my favorite to this point. I built it Thursday, sealed, primed and laid the yellow coat on it on Friday, and did the black on Saturday. I set it on the dashboard of the Toaster for the trip to Cedarville, about an hour and a half drive. It was only lightly tacky by the time I took it to the pad for an E12-6 flight. Very cool flight. Every few years a kit comes along that I seem to buy in bulk, occasionally to build, sometimes just for parts for other projects. The Vapor is already showing signs of being that rocket for this time slot.
Estes Vapor.jpg

Estes Vapor_Moment 2.jpg
 

mo2872

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Flew my Vapor for the first time a week ago. Nice flyer!
 

Spitfire222

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I'm looking forward to flying my Vapor. I think I'm going to try a C11 for the first flight, since my local LPR field is quite small. The sims show a decent off-the-rod speed, so it should be ok. I'll report back whenever that happens!
 

Scott_650

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I'm looking forward to flying my Vapor. I think I'm going to try a C11 for the first flight, since my local LPR field is quite small. The sims show a decent off-the-rod speed, so it should be ok. I'll report back whenever that happens!
I don’t have a sim file handy for the Vapor but using my Star Orbiter file, same dimensions, 29mm motor mount and a bit heavier, the C11 looks good and, believe it or not, a new C5-3 gives an almost identical sim, a few feet higher apogee actually. I really do need to order some C5s if they give you near C11 performance in a lighter motor.

Have fun with your Vapor, if I didn’t already have a built SO and a kit in storage I’d pick one up next trip to HL.
 

Bill S

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I have a Vapor that I've flown several times. I even Rocksimm'ed it. That being said, I advise against using a C11 motor. Even though Rocksim said it would be fine, both times I tried it resulted in the nosecone popping off before apogee and the parachute ended up tangling up, resulting in a crash that resulted in a crunched body tube. See here: https://www.rocketryforum.com/threads/advice-as-to-the-best-way-to-fix-body-tube-damage.160803/, and a second nearly identical crash that broke the motor mount loose, requiring me to rebuild a new one (a bit stronger this time) and install it.

Subsequent flights on a D12-5 have been good, other than one tree that tried to eat the Vapor.
 

rklapp

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I've done several of the Hobby Lobby exclusives, but the Vapor is my favorite to this point. I built it Thursday, sealed, primed and laid the yellow coat on it on Friday, and did the black on Saturday. I set it on the dashboard of the Toaster for the trip to Cedarville, about an hour and a half drive. It was only lightly tacky by the time I took it to the pad for an E12-6 flight. Very cool flight. Every few years a kit comes along that I seem to buy in bulk, occasionally to build, sometimes just for parts for other projects. The Vapor is already showing signs of being that rocket for this time slot.View attachment 439431
View attachment 439432
Nothing cures the paint better than a launch into the air... :D
 

Spitfire222

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I don’t have a sim file handy for the Vapor but using my Star Orbiter file, same dimensions, 29mm motor mount and a bit heavier, the C11 looks good and, believe it or not, a new C5-3 gives an almost identical sim, a few feet higher apogee actually. I really do need to order some C5s if they give you near C11 performance in a lighter motor.

Have fun with your Vapor, if I didn’t already have a built SO and a kit in storage I’d pick one up next trip to HL.
I simmed the C5 myself after reading this, and indeed the performance seems equivalent to the C11. I'd definitely suggest the C5's, they're great motors. Just the other day I launched the same rocket on a C6 followed by a C5, and there was definitely a noticeable improvement in boost on the C5.

I have a Vapor that I've flown several times. I even Rocksimm'ed it. That being said, I advise against using a C11 motor. Even though Rocksim said it would be fine, both times I tried it resulted in the nosecone popping off before apogee and the parachute ended up tangling up, resulting in a crash that resulted in a crunched body tube. See here: https://www.rocketryforum.com/threads/advice-as-to-the-best-way-to-fix-body-tube-damage.160803/, and a second nearly identical crash that broke the motor mount loose, requiring me to rebuild a new one (a bit stronger this time) and install it.

Subsequent flights on a D12-5 have been good, other than one tree that tried to eat the Vapor.
Out of curiosity, do you have an idea how high your Vapor went on the D12? I'd be happy to try it on that motor as long as I can keep it within the confines of my local launching field.
 

Bill S

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Spitfire222, Rocksim was estimating about 700 feet on a D12-5. I don't have an altimeter to verify that though.
 
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