LOC 4" Nike Zeus build thread (With mods)...

Discussion in 'High Power Rocketry (HPR)' started by Mugs914, Jan 19, 2020.

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  1. Jan 19, 2020 #1

    Mugs914

    Mugs914

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    As soon as I saw this one I knew there was one in my future. I've always been a fan of air defense/ABM missiles, so this was a natural for me!

    I got the kit for Christmas and, after a bit of encouragement from Kuririn, decided to do a build thread.

    There was a discussion on another thread regarding the variants of the Nike Zeus missile, and while LOC's version is not really scale in any way (It is more an upscale of the Estes Nike-X, not a scale model either), it does have the look of a Nike Zeus variant. This, of course, got the gears in my head to turnin'!

    (Link to the other thread: https://www.rocketryforum.com/threads/possibly-my-next-project.155596/#post-1942912)

    I downloaded the OR file from LOC and started messing around with it a bit. I decided that adding a transition, a short piece of 3" tubing, a 3" nose cone and an extra set of fins up on the nose, it could be made to look more like a Spartan missile. It still isn't scale at all, but I like the look so I'm going with it!

    This is my first real build thread, so if there is anything I leave out, or anything that isn't clear, please let me know. I'm going to try and keep things moving but sometimes my builds slow down a bit, so I hope y'all will be patient with me in that respect.

    Here is the OR file (down at the bottom) and an image from the OR photo studio showing the mods to the nose. Also a pic of the real Spartan missile to show the look I'm after:

    zeus.png 001018l0.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 19, 2020
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  2. Jan 19, 2020 #2

    kuririn

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    My fuzzy memories seem to recall a plastic Nike Zeus I had as a kid. Maybe Cox?
    Wish I kept that one.
    Hmmm, This would look good next to a Sprint ABM.;)
     
  3. Jan 19, 2020 #3

    Mugs914

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    Oops, I forgot to add the obligatory "dry-fit" shot. LOC Vulcanite too, for scale, I suppose... You can see the mods to the nose and that the small fins have been moved forward about five inches, as in the OR file. More on that as the build moves along...

    I decided to start by designing the forward fin set. These were scaled straight from my OR file and are pretty small, actually. They look much larger in the OR drawing. The fins will be built up from 1/64" ply and balsa with basswood leading edge and tip caps. The forward fins (Canards, if you like) are pretty thick; half an inch at the root, and since weight is not a factor at all up front, I'm thinking I might pour a bit of epoxy into the hollow spaces, especially at the leading edge. This isn't going to be a max altitude Mach buster or anything, but if you need the weight you might as well make it do something for you.

    The full-size fin pattern is posted below, along with a somewhat confusing sketch of the core and rib construction.

    Let's go build some fins!

    20200119_153827.jpg 20200119_153743.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

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  4. Jan 19, 2020 #4

    Hooked On Rockets

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    Thread Watched!
     
  5. Jan 19, 2020 #5

    Mugs914

    Mugs914

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    Kinda like this??;)

    20200119_170554.jpg 20200119_170450.jpg 20200119_170533.jpg 20200119_170515.jpg

    Pretty reliable flyer, 20+ years old now! About 16" tall with an 18mm mount. I did several Sprint models a while back, the biggest one was about 36" long with a 24mm motor mount. This is the only one I still have, but it always hovers around in the back of my mind!

    Maybe its time...
     
  6. Jan 20, 2020 #6

    Mugs914

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    Had to go look it up. I had forgotten the Cox Nike Zeus until you mentioned it!

    vintage-cox-nike-zeus-rocket-box_1_df7ddabe2c66bab667e25b9a7f964de9.jpg
     
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  7. Jan 20, 2020 #7

    kuririn

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    Excellent!
    Wonder how that would fly with a D24 in it?
    Makes for a realistic take off.:D
     
  8. Jan 20, 2020 #8

    Mugs914

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    Wow that would be somethin' else...

    Ran it through OR: 46.7 g acceleration, 68.3mph off a one meter launch rod.:eek:

    I'm going to have to make a new one...
     
  9. Jan 20, 2020 #9

    Mugs914

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    Back to the Spartan...

    As I said, I'm making the forward fins from 1/64" ply. I really like working with this stuff. Here is how I did the fin cores:

    Cut out the fin pattern and trace the outline on to the ply. The first piece is cut out and sanded to exact shape, then used as a template for the other three parts. These are stacked and sanded to shape, making the first four parts for lamination:

    20200119_183922.jpg

    Then cut four very rough pieces for the next layer. Draw around your original piece so you know where to put the glue. Its kind of hard to see in the pic, but the grain of the second piece is set 90 degrees to the first.

    20200119_184606.jpg

    I use thin CA to laminate the parts. Just about any glue will do the job, but I like the CA because it dries just about instantly and it doesn't build up thickness between laminations. Make sure you are working on a really flat surface so that you don't build in a warp. I use parchment paper so things don't get stuck to the table:

    20200119_184950.jpg

    Once it dries just cut around the original and sand the edges:

    20200119_185954.jpg

    Repeat the procedure for the remaining three fins, add one more layer of ply to each, and you have four identical, 3/64" laminated ply fin cores. Dead flat and extremely rigid!

    20200119_203954.jpg

    Next will be the balsa "ribs" and then the 1/64" skins. Until then, here's a pic of the mocked up rocket with the front fins taped in place. Kind of fun to see it in the flesh for the first time!

    20200119_221405.jpg

    More soon, thanks for looking!
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2020
  10. Jan 20, 2020 #10

    Tim51

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    Thanks for doing a thread on this. Following with interest!
     
  11. Jan 20, 2020 #11

    Nytrunner

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    Those laminated constructions are very similar to the fins on original estes Pro Series stuff! I'm working on the Patriot now and not looking forward to doing the built up fins with ribs and cardstock cover
     
  12. Jan 20, 2020 #12

    Theory

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    Heck yes Mugs

    I’m very excited for this one!!!!
     
  13. Jan 20, 2020 #13

    Mugs914

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    Ha ha!! Thanks Sean, this one should be pretty fun!

    It will be the first time I've ever NIKEized something that was already a Nike...:eek:
     
  14. Jan 21, 2020 #14

    Mugs914

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    Thanks for all the replies, guys!

    Hey Nyt, have you done built-up fins like that before? I think you might actually like it. I prefer building up a structure to all the sanding required to get a scale profile in a solid wood fin.

    Speaking of... :p

    I had the day off today, so after clearing off a few chores I had time to get the balsa structure fitted to the fin cores.

    The canards on the Spartan have a somewhat complex shape in that the facets of the wedge-ish airfoil are at odd angles. Also, the fin doesn't taper straight from the root to the tip. The base is parallel in thickness for a bit before it begins to taper down toward the tip. Of course, this isn't actually a scale model, so it would have been easy to modify the shape to something simpler to make, but I wanted to have a go at making them look like the real Spartan and it really wasn't that hard. Here's drawing that shows the shape a bit better than can be seen in the photos:

    004951p0.jpg


    For the parallel section of the root I used 1/4" by 1/2" balsa. I set up my handy-dandy mini miter box to cut the proper angle and it only took a couple of minutes to cut the 8 pieces required.

    20200120_142301.jpg 20200120_142429.jpg

    These were stack sanded and then glued to either side of the ply fin cores. The size and shape were just eyeballed, but it would be easy to measure up if you were doing a true scale version. The balsa blocks were left proud on the root edge so they can be sanded to match the contour of the 3" tube before they are glued in place.

    20200120_143858.jpg

    With the blocks in place I had good reference points for the balsa ribs. These were cut from 1/8" by 1/4" strip, then cut diagonally, making two ribs. The thick end was sanded to match the angle of the root block and then glued to either side of the core. Do it all again three more times...

    20200120_150218.jpg
    20200120_150333.jpg
    20200120_151202.jpg 20200120_151223.jpg 20200120_152501.jpg
     
  15. Jan 21, 2020 #15

    Mugs914

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    The rest of the ribs were done the same way, with the length specific to their location so they would be very close to the correct taper to begin with. Less sanding that way!;)

    20200120_160855.jpg 20200120_160930.jpg

    Once everything was assembled masking tape was used to cover the balsa block at the root and a sanding block was used to sand the ribs to final shape. The fins are now ready to be skinned with 1/64"ply.

    20200120_162036.jpg 20200120_162046.jpg 20200120_162106.jpg 20200120_165509.jpg

    Next up will be skinning the fins. Each fin will require three skins per side. I'm giving some thought to skinning the trailing edges as well, but that may be easier done with filler before paint. We'll see which method laziness dictates...:p
     
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  16. Jan 21, 2020 #16

    Ez2cDave

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  17. Jan 21, 2020 #17

    Nytrunner

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    Its all the joinery associated with making the panels thats the irritating part. Fortunately the patriot has a flexoble panel that makes the job easier
     
  18. Jan 21, 2020 #18

    mbeels

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    Very nice! I love the effect of the built up fins. How do you cut 1/64" plywood? With a razor saw, or an X-acto knife?
     
  19. Jan 21, 2020 #19

    Mugs914

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    That's where I am now with this one. Fortunately I actually enjoy doing it - most of the time...
     
  20. Jan 21, 2020 #20

    Mugs914

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    Thanks!

    I cut it with either with an X-acto or with scissors. Using scissors feels like cheating, but it sure makes it quick and easy.

    Cutting with an X-acto, you can cut part way through and then bend it and it will break pretty clean, like you would do with thin plastic.

    Once more than a couple of pieces are laminated it becomes pretty tough to cut. Either five million passes with an X-acto or a saw...
     
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  21. Jan 21, 2020 #21

    Theory

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    really liking the build up of the forward fins. no doubt they will be plenty sturdy and ready for any 54mm motor you decide to fly her on.
     
  22. Jan 24, 2020 #22

    Arsenal78

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    The LOC Nike Zeus likes a Loki I405 :). E2308983-4C9F-4D9B-ABC7-ABBB41E422EE.jpeg
     
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  23. Jan 24, 2020 #23

    Mugs914

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    YES!!!! What a great pic!
     
  24. Jan 25, 2020 #24

    Lukun7

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    You sure it isn't a real missile?
     
  25. Jan 26, 2020 #25

    Mugs914

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    Progress was slow over the past week, but I managed to get most of the 1/64" skins added to the canards. There was one small skin piece that I still needed to do, plus the bass wood leading edges and tips. I had some time this afternoon and got things finished up.

    Here is the last skin piece, leading edge and tip ready to glue in place:
    20200125_164558.jpg
    The sides and tip glued on. The tip piece was then sanded flush with the leading edge:
    20200125_171443.jpg
    Leading edge glued in place:
    20200125_172506.jpg

    And with everything sanded flush. Three more to go:
    20200125_173949.jpg

    There will be a little more sanding to clean everything up and round off the leading edges and tips. Then of course a few rounds of fill-sand-repeat. but for all intent and purposes the canards are finished.

    I'm going to do the delta-shaped center fins next. They'll be built up too, but will go much faster since they are simple wedges...

    ...he said, hoping. :p
     
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  26. Jan 26, 2020 #26

    Nytrunner

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    How much weight do you need to.offset those forward fins?
     
  27. Jan 26, 2020 #27

    Mugs914

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    According to OR, 16 oz. in the nose cone will give me 1.09 caliber stability with a K700 in the pipe. Not sure I'll ever fly it on a K (not sure it would even fit, length wise), but I used it as kind of a "worst case".

    That sim didn't include the av-bay, electronics, or main recovery equipment in the forward section. All of those items will add weight ahead of the CP, so I expect the actual amount of nose weight required to be a bit less. I'll run corrected sims as the build goes along and I get a better idea of component weights and placement.

    I'm planning to build a ballast compartment into the tube ahead of the transition so that things can be adjusted as needed...
     
  28. Jan 26, 2020 #28

    Mugs914

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    Finished parts ready for sealer:

    20200125_211659.jpg 20200125_211829.jpg
     
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  29. Jan 26, 2020 #29

    Theory

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    Very nice

    16oz sounds like a ton. When she’s flight ready I bet you use less than 1/2 of that
     
  30. Jan 27, 2020 #30

    Mugs914

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    I figured so too.

    I threw some rough numbers at OR for the av-bay, altimeters, main recovery gear etc. and ended up with 6 oz. of nose weight to achieve 1.07 cal stability with a J-745.

    That's more like it... :cool:
     

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