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

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Mugs914

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I am amazed by the way you got that balsa to bend that far all the way to the pointed tip. Even with wetting it. It would have cracked if it was me trying it :)

-Bob
The trick is to stick the tape to the wet wood while it is flat on the bench and then use the tape to wrap the piece around the form. The tape acts like a backing and helps to keep the wood from splitting. Also make sure the wood is really well soaked. Give it a try, it's pretty fun!

Oh, and leave it at least over night. It's kinda like a pizza I guess; if you let it cook all the way it's great. Take it out early and it's mushy and disappointing... 🤪
 

Mugs914

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The guidance receiver fairings are sorta finished... The rear bulkheads were cut and installed, then they were fitted by wrapping some 320 sandpaper around the tube and sanding the mating side until the contour matched. Then the fairings glued to the payload tube. I still need to figure out the rest of the fairing details, but at least they are in place.

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I also (finally) got some primer on the main fins. I'm going to get a few heavy primer coats applied, sanded lightly in between, then some rivet details will be scribed into the primer, followed by a light primer coat and color...

20200627_220601.jpg


As always, thanks for looking, more soon...

Mike
 

Mugs914

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While obsessing on all of the various little details and fiddling with tiny bits of balsa and ply, I have started to think about how I want to set up the av-bay. My initial design was a typical coupler with switch band type, but that has changed a bit.

My new idea is to get rid of the switch band and, since the booster and payload bays need to be lined up correctly anyway, using short bits of 1/4" carbon tube as indexing pins to align the booster and payload tubes. The carbon tubes would double (triple?) as pressure ports and holes for pull pin switches.

I don't think it will cause any issues either functionally or for set up in the field. Wadda you guys think? :dontknow:

I'm also planning to do this type of installation inside the bay...
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The seam in the coupler his is because this one was a retrofit for another rocket. The seam was so this particular av-bay would fit inside an existing coupler.

The threaded rods will run above and below the sled keeping them out of the way of the various wires that run about in the bay. It also leaves a several acres available to mount the alts, batteries, switches, anvils, etc. securely to the board without having to work around the rods and lugs. It also lines up the switches dead-on with the ports.
20191221_131701.jpg


Haven't cast anything in stone yet, but I do need to start getting serious about the functional part of this build (finally:rolleyes:). Going to order a thicker wall coupler and some glass or aluminum bulkheads here in a minute. No matter how things end up I'll need those things...

Thanks!

Mike
 

mbeels

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My new idea is to get rid of the switch band and, since the booster and payload bays need to be lined up correctly anyway, using short bits of 1/4" carbon tube as indexing pins to align the booster and payload tubes. The carbon tubes would double (triple?) as pressure ports and holes for pull pin switches.
Sounds interesting, but I'm not quite able to picture it. I'll be curious to see what it looks like.

It also leaves a several acres available to mount the...
Space is good!
 

Mugs914

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Well, I finally got the main fins primered and the rivet detail scribed...

First, I made a template out of (you could probably guess) 1/64" ply. The holes are drilled so that when the edge of the template is aligned with the edge of the fin, the line of rivets will be the proper distance from the edge. No measuing required! Made things go a little quicker... Then it was just a matter of taping the template in place and using a little needle file to scribe the rivet heads (I used every other hole to get the right spacing).

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I now have no more skin on my fingers, but the fins came out pretty good! The purpose is not to make perfect rivet heads (that is better done with a piece of tubing), but to make it look like flush rivets that have been painted over. Real missile boosters have an operational life that is measured in seconds so they aren't really fussed over, finish wise. Some of the rivets will end up buried under paint, some will be more prominent, some in between. Scribing them into the primer give this sort of random effect. The next finish coat will be color.

20200725_182712.jpg


The main fins are now (FINALLY! It's about time!) ready to be glued to the booster! :cheers::cheers::music1::music1::headspinning::dancingelephant:

Once in place I will make some fin attachment brackets; they will be easier to build in place.

In addition to getting the fins done, I managed to get the rail guides glued on, got filler and primer on some of the surface detail stuff, and finished up some small conduits on the upper tube. I'll get some pics of that stuff tonight.

Started on the av bay too. I tried to describe what I was doing in an earlier post with little success, but the pics should clear that up too.

As always, thanks for looking...

Mike
 
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Mugs914

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Well boys, it has fins.

Yeah, well, I know you know that; y'all have been looking at nothing BUT fins for lo these many months...

But they are all attached now... :oops: Yup, all twelve fins are actually GLUED to the rocket! :cheers:

So to celebrate this auspicious occasion I present, in it's entirety for the first time anywhere, Mugsey's over-finned, over-detailed, over-worked LOC Precision Nike Zeus/Spartan!

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Seriously though, thanks to all of you who have stuck with me so far. As is often said about building race cars; 80% done, 80% to go!

As always, thanks for looking!

Mike
 
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kuririn

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Nice job, Mike.
Thanks for setting the bar so high.;)
 

PatD

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Looks great! When you get done, do some beauty shots and send them to LOC. Might get on 'the cover of the rolling stone'! Well kit cover art anyway. :)
 

Bruiser

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Looking most excellent! Rivets like that scare ne a little because of a too thick paint coat or having a spray go bad and needing to sand and recoat, etc, etc. You are a much braver man than me :)

-Bob
 

Mugs914

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Sounds interesting, but I'm not quite able to picture it. I'll be curious to see what it looks like.
Ok Marten, it took a while, but I'm finally getting around to the av bay bits. Here is what I was trying (poorly) to describe!

I'm using an av bay from LOC that has the thick walled coupler that goes inside the normal coupler and forms a seat for the bulkheads. I got that all glued up and then drew a line around the middle so I could center it between the booster and payload tubes. I got the tubes aligned properly and taped everything together really tightly and drilled three holes, 120 degrees apart, centered on the joint between the tubes. The holes were reamed out with a dremel grinding stone that happened to be just the right diameter to match the carbon tube I wanted to use for the locating pins. I guess pictures would give you a better idea... I've already failed to describe it once! 🤪

Av bay with holes drilled
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Av bay with booster and payload tubes showing relationship.
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Pieces of carbon tube will be cut and glued into the three av bay holes. (I just stuck the whole thing in there for the pic.)
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The carbon tubes will ensure that the booster and payload tubes are aligned properly every time. Once the carbon tubes are installed, they will be cut and sanded flush with the airframe tubes.
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The three carbon tube-lined holes will serve as locating pins, switch holes and pressure ports. I made sure to align the holes to make sure they weren't in the wake of the radar receiver fairings up forward to minimize pressure variations that might mess with the altimeters.

I got some really nice pull-pin switches from Lab Rat that I'm going to use on this bird. I haven't decided whether to go with a pull pin for each altimeter or a single pin for both (I got both types from Chris). On the one hand, a single pin simplifies things a bit out at the pad, but I'm also thinking it would be good to hear each altimeter's arming beeps independently, just to be sure. What do you guys think? Any opinions either way?

As always, thanks for looking! I'm hoping to get the tubes cut and glued in this afternoon. Pics as progress warrants!

Mike
 

mbeels

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The three carbon tube-lined holes will serve as locating pins, switch holes and pressure ports.
Ooooooooh, I really like that. A solution that solves several problems at once, in an elegant way, is a great thing.
 

Handeman

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I've always done separate pull pins on mine. I like to hear the beeps from each. On my Perfectflite I change the tone of the beeps on one so it's easier to tell the two altimeters apart.
 

Donnager

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I need to post pics of mine so you can see what a "regular" build looks like.

Nice Job on the details.
 

OKTurbo

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Great idea! I'll have to try that on my next build.
 

Mugs914

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I've always done separate pull pins on mine. I like to hear the beeps from each. On my Perfectflite I change the tone of the beeps on one so it's easier to tell the two altimeters apart.
Thanks for the reply. I'm going to go with two pins just for the reasons you stated; assuring both alts are properly armed. Good idea to change the arming tones too!
 
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Mugs914

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Got the carbon tubes epoxied in and sanded flush with the airframe. I gotta say I am a bit surprised at how much stiffness and rigidity this added to the whole assembly. It feels like a single piece of tube and it's not even bolted together yet.

Pics...
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I'm going to be doing a few more filly bits (mostly cardstock stuff on the forward end) and the internal fillets, then it's rear bulkhead, motor retainer (Aeropack 54mm flanged, prolly should get that ordered...) then prime and paint! :cheers:

There's light at the end of this tunnel and so far I don't hear a train!
 
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Been following this and I just wanted to say thank you Mugs for keeping us all in the loop, but most importantly for teaching us, well teaching me anyway, so much along the way.
 

Mugs914

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Hi guys! Finally back to this after a big delay due to other (non rocket) projects and general business...

Been following this and I just wanted to say thank you Mugs for keeping us all in the loop, but most importantly for teaching us, well teaching me anyway, so much along the way.
Thanks very much Bonefish! I really appreciate your kind words. (Thanks for your service, BTW! 👍 👍 👍 ) I have learned so much from you guys, I'm glad to be able to contribute!

I spent the last few days getting the internal fillets on the main fins and the aft bulkhead secured. I didn't take pics because; A. everyone has seen internal fillets a million times before; and B. I sure made a mess in there!:rolleyes: In fact it took me almost an hour of dremelling, sanding and filing to clean up the epoxy dribbles enough to get the aft bulkhead in place. This was complicated by the fin tabs that interlock with the aft bulkhead; the fillets needed to be clearanced at the aft end of the fin tabs to allow the bulkhead to slot into place. Hindsight has told me that masking the motor tube and inside of the main airframe tube would have been a good idea... ( I find Hindsight to be just like that one buddy we all seem to have: "Whutya shuddadun was this..."😒

Also got the Aeropack 54mm flanged retainer ordered and on the way and started laying out the av bay, so a bit of progress.

More to come...

As always, thanks for following along!

Mike
 

Bruiser

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Still following the build and enjoying it very much.

There hasn't really been a lot of building going on with scale builds lately. I'm guessing everyone has stuff going on. I am going to be resuming my Black Brant build soon. I looked at it just the other day after not touching it for months. Good news is I'm mostly recovered from my surgery and am feeling much better now.

Anyway, good to see you back at it,
-Bob
 

Mugs914

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Thanks Bruiser, good to be back at it!

Here is what I got done today (so far, still picking at things!). Not a huge step, but it adds a bit to a finished look...

I got the aft bulkhead installed the other day, but today I sanded the whole aft area and added a coat of epoxy to seal everything and to make a nice, level area to seat the Aeropack flanged retainer.

Here is the aft end sanded and with a tape dam to keep the epoxy from running down the motor tube:

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A layer of slow cure epoxy was poured over the aft bulkhead:

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Then I used a hair blow drier to level the epoxy and eliminate all of those little bubbles:

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Once that cures (at least overnight) I'll pull the tape and sand any sharp edges off of the motor tube and it will be ready for the retainer.
 

Mugs914

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Got a care package from Chris' Rocket Supply today and it included the Aeropack retainer for this bird, so I got out the proper drills and got busy. The paint can cap with the tape takes the place of an engine case to center the retainer with the motor tube. It fits a little tighter in the tube that a motor case and is quite a bit lighter! 😜

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The first step was to remove the tape from the motor tube and Dremel the little ridge of epoxy left around the perimeter of the motor tube.
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Then the cap was put in the motor tube and the retainer placed over it. The fit is pretty tight, so everything pretty much stays where you put it. I was careful to make sure that all of the mounting holes were between the fin roots.
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The first hole was drilled using a bit that exactly fits the hole in the retainer (sorry, but I don't remember what size it was). Then I put one of the screws in the first hole to make sure the retainer didn't rotate while the rest of the holes were drilled.
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I then had six pilot holes in exactly the right places.
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Mugs914

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Then the larger drill was used to enlarge the pilot holes to the size required by the threaded inserts. There was a little bit of chipping in the epoxy that I probably would have avoided if I had used an intermediate step of drill between the pilot hole and the final diameter. It won't matter at all, just one of those things to get all OCD over...:rolleyes:

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The threaded inserts are supposed to be installed with an allen key, but hey are pretty soft metal and the hex bit is very shallow, so I opted to put a screw in each one, drive them in with that, then remove the screws. A couple of them stuck and wanted to back the insert out, but a little fiddling straightened them out.
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When all is said and done, everything lined up perfectly! :cool:
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I'll pull the retainer off when I get ready to paint, but for now it is in and done!

I am perilously close to getting the first coats of primer on the booster. The payload bays and nose assembly have already have primer applied, which resulted in the typical "first primer coat depression". 😒.

There will be much sanding....

Thanks for looking!

Mike
 

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