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firemanup

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Just curious how everyone else undertakes the building process on a kit rocket. I've read some build threads that have taken days if not weeks to complete.

So I got to wondering if maybe I was a little different. Normally when I get a new kit anything low to mid power I will sit down in one sitting and finish it completely except for paint. Usually paint the next day.

Small high powers I do the same way, and my largest highpower, my 4" THOR I completed start to finish in two days.

I don't know if it makes me impatient or if it's just that I enjoy the build so much if I have the time there's not much else i'd rather be doing.

So how do you usually proceed.. slow builder?? or quick builder??
 

Steward

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I'm guilty of being possible the "SLOWEST" builder of all time...
I work slowly..when I feel like it...I've got a couple of projects that I've been working months on. I started my "VENUS PROBE" about a month ago and haven't gotten past the motor mount yet...(I did convert it to 24mm).
Better yet...I'm building a plastic starship "ENTERPRISE" (TOS), that I've been working on for several years...alot of sanding between coats of primer...gonna look perfect, not to mention the miniture LED's on board...and I haven't even started the display for it...
So rockets aren't much different....although since my Son has gotten actively involved in building his own...I seem to be spending alot of time helping him build his...(I'm not complaining!!!) ....
 

bsexton

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Unfortunately I am "painfully" slow to complete my projects. Part of it is because I am a perfectionist (not that my work is better than anybody else's) and because I never seem to have large blocks of time to devote to the task at hand. I also have the nasty habit of starting many projects at once - I have six rockets in various stages of completion at the moment.:eek:

I wish I could be more disciplined in my approach, but that is just the way I am...
 

doxiedog315

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Slower During Winter. Weather,will not be good. Forget painting 29* outside this morning,at least it's not raining!
 

lalligood

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I'm one of those builders that will NEVER be accused of having kits laying around in their original packaging. (I often scratch my head wondering why some of the folks on TRF buy kits & then toss them in the closet! haha) Because if I have a kit in my possession, it gets built. And the build process starts within 24 hours of arrival at home :D I always like to bring something new to every launch I go to so that always inspires me to build & finish at least one new rocket in time for the next one.

How long the actual building process takes is another matter... I mean, I just got a couple of FlisKits, a Richter Recker & a Cheetah for Christmas. (Both are *EXCELLENT* kits, BTW!) The actual build portion of both rockets is pretty much complete. The Cheetah is now ready for its first coat of primer & the RR needs to have the fins sealed so it can start the painting process. Looking back, I would say that most of my LPRs take no more than 2 days to build and another 2-3 days for paint (using Krylon exclusively), depending on the scheme. On the other hand, HPRs--especially my BSD Thor--took/take me longer to build. (How did you build one in just 2 days?!?) I spent a good week building the Thor & then another week & a half painting it. I was *tired* of painting rockets for a while after finishing that one!! Lastly, for those times when I want to build something really quick, I can whip out a CD spool rocket in just a couple of hours (& most of that time is waiting for epoxy to cure).

I guess it just depends on what I'm building and/or what I've got laying around...
 

sandman

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I have been known to build 3 or four kits simultainiously from start to finish in a weekend.

The painting...that's another thing altogether! That takes a LOT longer!

sandman
 

Rocketmaniac

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Originally posted by bsexton
Unfortunately I am "painfully" slow to complete my projects. Part of it is because I am a perfectionist (not that my work is better than anybody else's) and because I never seem to have large blocks of time to devote to the task at hand. I also have the nasty habit of starting many projects at once - I have six rockets in various stages of completion at the moment

I am just like Bruce....... Only I have 8 kits (and scratch builts) started, plus my upscale Estes MK-109 in the design phase....... I am hoping to finish up 1 or 2 in the next week or two.......
 

arthur dent

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I like to take about a week from start to finish including painting.I want to improve my painting techniques so i am going to extend my painting time.
 

Neil

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I once finished and half-painted a Yank 3" IQSY Tomahawk in one day. I have ZERO kits lying around (other than the ones that will soon be a substaintial part of my soon-to-be-company. Those dont count.) I can finsish a LOC or Yank kit (if 3" or smaller, and using 5 minute epoxy) in a day, a Fliskits in a day, if I use epoxy, which I almost always do, and a PML kit in 2-3 days, by my best guess. I have no idea how long it takes me to build Estes stuff. I have not built one for so long... I think it has been a year now since my last Estes kit. I figugure if there is something I like that Estes makes I might as well steal thier idea and scratch build something similar. I can finish an Aerotech kit, and paint it, in under 2.5 hours if I use CA.

I have ZIPPO kits in bags. I never do. if a rocket comes (any time of day) during the day, the glue is drying within 30 minutes at MOST. Sometimes I gawk at the parts and take pics, but usually I just start building and take pictures of the glue drying on the rocket. When glue is drying I am always very tense. I come back every 5 minutes to see that the fins are still on straight. I a obsessive!!!!!! I swear....

I like kits that take a long time to build (hear that, jim??? BTW, I just orderd a Tres!!!! And I reserved a production #!!!! It is somewhere between #92 and #100, I believe. I hope I get #100.... That would make my day...). I recently got an MSH V2 (great kit, by the way. Great fun to build and fly. I reccomend this kit to anyone). OK. I would like to discuss this more, but my family and I are about to start a game of "mexican train". Gotta run!! I have been waiting to do this all day!
 

DavRedf

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Doesnt take me long at all. 24 hours is about average, however over Christmas I built 2 at the same time.
 

Larry

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It kind of depends. Most kits I build in a day or two with lots of time waiting for glue to dry. I like to give it plenty of time to dry especially white glue. The painting, or preparing to paint takes the longest. More than one color takes even longer, as I wait a week or so in between the two colors so I don't mess up the first color when masking.
Larry
 

Stymye

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Up untill the last few months ,I was finishing 2 or 3 rockets per week.
Now that I've taken on a second job doing mechanical cad drawings at home ,
I haven't been able to finish even one in the last couple months.

my computer chair has a permanent indention now.LOL
Im able to pop in here a little more often If just to clear my brain....and atleast see what others are building...
 

mkmilion

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I've never taken more than two days. That's including paint! It may be winter but painting takes me approximately 2 hours per coat. Only because I've built a trianglar-space heater set up.
 

rabidsheeep

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i hate being so fast... with super glue (i kinda tried to do this) i assembled an alphaIII at my camp in 13 minutes... its sad because ill get 3 kits and finish them all in a day... then i gotta get 3 more lol...

the only reason bigger bertha took me so **** long is because i couldn't find any balsa wood so i had to go with compressed maple or something...

couldn't find my jigsaw battery...

couldn't find my dremmel bit...

couldn't find a different dremmel bit...

had to move my work station from the 3rd floor to the basement...

had to wait weeks to finally get paint...

other than that its horrible how fast i build these things... i sometimes will deliberately use elmers glue when i could easily use super glue to make the time go by slower...
 

flying_silverad

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I have four separate benches in my basement that all have very specific modes of operation.
The first bench is the general build bench where all of my kit building is done. At present there are four kits in progress. I can usually finish four kits in about a month and then depending on weather I can usually paint 2-6 rockets over a given weekend. Multiple colors take longer depending on the ever dependable "Sandman sniff check"
The second bench is strictly design. Drawings, patterns and the like are kept and played with here. I usually have as many as six designs going at once but more likely around 4. I usually try to spend at least an hour a day drawing (usually eat my lunch at this bench). If I get to a point where I like a design, then move it to the computer room where I start putting into the cad program that I am using at the time. If things gel, then off to bench # 3! If they don't (Heli-Roc) it gets put on the "shelf".
At bench #3 I build and refine the design. Working maybe 2 prototypes at a time or until I feel it's right. Sometimes I might pass up 4 designs at this bench before I even get to the flight test phase of which maybe 50% make it beyond that! Not that they don't fly. Maybe they just don't look right...not the right eye candy. Not uncommon to have 2-3 projects on this bench.
Finally, bench number 4. A real small bench but it's where I do my tweaking. Maybe take a kit that I have made and pull the fins off or repair a kit. Add detailing etc. I also use this area to work on recovery stuff like chute, baffle, and motor mount designs.
 

cls

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for a while I was building 3 or 4 kits a week, too. but in the last couple months my back has been really hurting and I just don't feel like doing much. it's been better in the last couple days and I think I am getting back in to building.

around here even in the winter we have plenty of dry calm 65o days so lack of painting won't slow us down.

a bunch of my recent rockets have ended up all white or maybe with a red nose cone. really minimal paint job, not even bothering with decals or stickers. the Estes SR-71 hopefully broke that string and just tonight I made a Flis "Persephone" which you can't help have turn out nice, it is built out of nice preprinted stickers & paper.

anyways I better get back on the finishing horse, Maddi bought me an Apogee Saturn 1B for xmas and I feel obligated to do a good job on that!


sure wish I had 4 benches just for rockets! starting this week I am going to excavate the garage and turn it in to the Vehicle Assembly Building. Hopefully we can get three separate areas out of it: glasswork, painting, and machining.
 

sandman

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John,

Multiple colors take longer depending on the ever dependable "Sandman sniff check"
:confused:

That will have to go into the "Glossery of Terms" along with "Tulanko Tail".

LOL!

sandman
 

astrowolf67

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Normally, I'm a quick builder. There are a few rockets, that I've started, and stalled on, mainly due to weather (Redstone needs paint before final assembly). My "Groove" that I've fallen into the past couple of years, is build in the winter, paint in the spring (or those warm days that sneak up in winter), fly and repair in the summer and fall. Through out the flying season, I occasionally throw together a kit or two, something easy and quick.
 

airforce

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Airforce reporting in.......

I usually build in spurts. I'll build 3 or 4 rockets and just place them on the stands to wait for the finishing mood to kick in.:cool:

I have something like 30 rockets of all sizes up to a G Force waiting for launch dates all sitting patiently on their stands. I can hardly walk around my Rocket Room.:D

I have uncountable kits in the Bull Pen. I couldn't emagine not having an abundance of kits in waiting.:eek:

I don't think my building spurts could keep up with my buying spurts. Between Fliskits and Hobby Lobby sales I had to make the difficult decision to "stop buying kits"!!!!!!:rolleyes:

Airforce over and out....:D
 

astronboy

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Unless the rocket is especially complex, I will build a kit in 2-4 days. Finishing is a whole 'nuther chapter. My basement gets pretty cold, and ulness it is a warm winter's day, not much painting gets done.

One thing I have learned: if you rush when using Aliphatic Resin (yellow glue), it will run, or the parts will move, and you can end up with an unflyable mess.

Here is my typical build sequence:

First day is usually a complete assembly of everything but the fins, allowing the Motormount to be filletted and to dry overnight.

Next day comes the fins.

Next 2-3 days is the filleting and the sealing of all parts.

Finally, comes painting... this could take a day or two in warm weather with a simple two tone, or weeks/months for a complex masked design done throughthe winter.

I do not even build parachutes until a rocket is complete. Sometime in the early spring, before the snow is gone and I am really going nuts awaiting the first day I can launch, I will build 5-10 parachutes, and install them.

Also, build several rockets at a time. Some taking longer than others. Right now I am constructing 4 kits, sealing 5 rockets, and have a pile up of 8 rockets that need paint.

I know, this is a messy disorganized 'method', but it keeps me out of trouble......
 

sandman

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I do not even build parachutes until a rocket is complete. Sometime in the early spring, before the snow is gone and I am really going nuts awaiting the first day I can launch, I will build 5-10 parachutes, and install them.
I don't even think about the chutes!

All new chute go into a box. I bring a "flight box" with nothing but pre-made chutes to the flying field.

After 40 years of doing this I have a pretty good inventory of chutes.

Never, NEVER store a chute in a rocket! All my chutes have a snap swivel for easy installation and quick interchangeability.

Yes, painting and finishing is the one point that things really slow down on a model...something about watching paint dry.

sandman
 

astronboy

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Multiple colors take longer depending on the ever dependable "Sandman sniff check"
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

:D :D :D

Due to the varying temps and humidity variations up here in the great white north of New York State, paint coats can cure in 2-3 days in the summer, or take over a week in the winter, or in the humid springtime.

The funniset part of this statement, is that smell is one of the MAJOR factors I use in determining whether a paint coat can be masked and oversprayed!!
 

firemanup

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Yesterday mid afternoon this one was still sealed in the bag, by late evening last night this is what it looked like... I just love Krylon paints...

<img src="http://members.aol.com/firemanup/python4.jpg">
 

Rocketmaniac

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Originally posted by firemanup
Yesterday mid afternoon this one was still sealed in the bag
That's the Python 4 right?...... Looks pretty cool, I'll have to get me one of those.........
 

Chilly

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I usually take my sweet time and savor every project. I get the most fun out of building, the launch is just icing on the cake. I picked up an Estes Saturn V last summer and I've been saving it for this winter. It'll probably take at least a month to build. My wife & kids got me a LOC Weasel for Christmas and that'll probably go together pretty quickly.
I'm making a road trip to Magnum today to blow my gift certificate but will probably just get motors. If I pick up another kit the Saturn will never get done!
 

sandman

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Chilly,

After seeing an Estes Saturn V fly on a 29mm F20-4 SU motor at NARAM last summer I would HIGHLY reccomend that modification!

Wish I it did on mine.

sandman
 

astronboy

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I am a bit confused between the 29mm and 24mm AT F motors...
:(

I have used the 24mm F21 in a couple of rockets, but never the 29mm F motors.

Is there really a difference beside the size of the casing? :confused:

If not (F is an F, no?) would not a 24mm 'e' length mount be an easier conversion for use with the 24mm F21? This would allow the use of D12s if you are feeling lucky.... ;)

Of course a 29mm mount would allow larger motors to be used, but do you really want to launch this bird on a G? (I am thinking of small fin area, and delicate scale details)

I have always wondered about this.....
 

havoc821

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It takes me:

1) a couple of hours for low power (mostly because of epoxy curing time)
2) mid power from one night to a weekend
3)high power, well, only one high power right now and I have been working on it on and off for about a month and a half
 

sandman

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The AT F20 SU is the 29mm "Econojet" motors and yes they are 29mm in diameter and a lot longer too (didn't measure one yet.)

The F21 is indeed a 24mm but very hard to find. The F21 is the same physical size as the Estes E9 motor.

sandman
 

astronboy

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OK, I will buy that for a dollar!!

Availability is not a factor I had considered.

I guess that I am lucky in some respects. I picked up a pile of 24mm F21s some time ago (1-1.5 yrs ago?) for a good price, and have been working from that stockpile. I see that the prices have gone up some since I bought them.

I hope that they become more easily/readily available.... This is a great motor and really packs a punch in the relatively small 24mm size.
 
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