LOC Warlock Build. Rocket for my Level 1

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Back_at_it

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After being in and out of the hobby for over 30 yrs. I finally decided that it was time to get my Level 1 cert. I kicked the Level 1 idea around for two years and talked to countless people about selecting the right rocket and building techniques. etc. There were a couple of rockets that kept coming up time after time but the best advise I was given was to build something fat and draggy. Go slow and go low.

After a little research I settled on the Warlock from LOC Precision. A couple of calls and a visit to LOC to talk to Jason and Dave and I walked out with their kit with a 38mm mount. I've had this kit sitting around for about a year now and figured that I need to put my big boy pants on and get to work on it.

This will be my first HPR rocket officially but I've flown "G" motors and built with Epoxies etc. so I'm hoping for the best here. The bench is finally clean so here we go.

The Kit is well packaged and actually came in a large box. This is a first but then again, I'm not sure how you would get this in a bag. The kit includes some basic instructions that assume that you know what you're doing by the time you get to building one of these.

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I've laid out all of the parts for this thing and there is more there than you can get in one pic. Here we have the nose cone and body tube. The tube is huge at 7.675 dia. The nose cone is almost comical to me as it's larger than 50% of the rockets in my fleet.

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Next we have the rest of the parts. The ridicules nose cone, a 38mm motor tube, Two 1/4" plywood centering rings, a steel clasp, 18' of Nylon Shock cord, Steel eye bolt, Motor retainer hardware, 1010 rail buttons, 60 inch parachute and three 1/4" plywood fins.

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Tonight starts assembly.
 
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I had a warlock before. Once I opened the box and seen the nose cone, I was blown away.
 
It's a great rocket. Have more flights on mine than any other. I upgraded the MMT with a 54mm MMT.
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It’s a great rocket. I have one, and it’s lots of fun.

LOC has changed the design a couple of times, but they don’t update the instructions. So the minimal instructions you have there not only assume you already know how to build a rocket, they also are not exactly accurate to the rocket you have. One good thing is you have the fins with tabs that extend to the motor mount tube, instead of the silly little locking tabs shown in your instructions. That’s an improvement. It’s actually a super simple rocket, much like an extra large Estes rocket, so it should be very easy to build.

One thing you might want to buy is a screw-on motor retainer. I also upgraded my chute to one with a spill hole to minimize oscillation and swinging. The flat chute that came with mine was fine in terms of size and descent rate, but it tended to make the rocket swing a lot, and I got damage from it swinging into the ground.

Good luck with your build and your cert!
 
I actually picked the Warlock as my Level 2 kit, not Level 1. But there are plenty of Level 1 I motors that will fly it just fine. I’ve even flown mine on some high-thrust H motors when I wanted a very low flight for dumping out payloads at low altitude or other silly reasons, but I would not recommend it for a cert flight. An Aerotech I280 would be an awesome L1 cert motor in a Warlock. I like CTI motors, so an I345 would be nice. My maiden flight of my Warlock was on that motor.
 
Another item you will probably want is a big nomex blanket chute protector. That’s what I use to protect my chute, and I typically dump in a bunch of dog barf too.
 
I actually picked the Warlock as my Level 2 kit, not Level 1. But there are plenty of Level 1 I motors that will fly it just fine. I’ve even flown mine on some high-thrust H motors when I wanted a very low flight for dumping out payloads at low altitude or other silly reasons, but I would not recommend it for a cert flight. An Aerotech I280 would be an awesome L1 cert motor in a Warlock. I like CTI motors, so an I345 would be nice. My maiden flight of my Warlock was on that motor.

After doing a bunch of research, messing around with OR and talking to Dave at LOC we have pretty much settled on a an H550 for the first launch. The launch will be up at Bong so I certainly don't want to go high as there are way too many trees and water.

Depending on the final weight, we're looking at around 700ft on the H550. The delay will depend obviously on the final weight.

I am looking into a Nomex and a chute with a spill hole. When looking at the parts I was thinking I might want a spill hole as I'm familiar with the rocking back and forth even in small rockets.
 
Got my L2 at Bong with a Warloc on a J285 last May. Reached an alt of 1719 ft and visible the whole way. Just remember to add some extra BP given the large diameter of the tube. Plenty of excellent threads related to this posted by many who have commented here.
 
Lets get the build started.

Looking at the parts, My kit came with two "AFT" rings. Both had holes for the motor retainers. Not a problem.

First thing I did was head to the hardware store to pick up a better attachment point for the shock cord. I'm hesitant to use the single eye bolt on something this big so I picked up a quality U-Bolt with a couple of extra nuts. I marked and drilled the required extra hole in the upper plate and attached the U-Bolt.

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On the underside of the centering ring, I added a pair of washers and some red Loctite to prevent things from coming loose. A smear of epoxy will be spread over the exposed threads for good measure as well.

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Next it was time to move to the rear ring. I plan to leave the rear ring off so I can do internal fillets so a bit of sanding was required. I did a bevel on the center hole and the outside edge to allow it to slide on and off easily. This will give me a nice V-Notch for the epoxy to fill when assembling as well.

Here I have hammered in the inserts for the motor retainer and covered them with 30 BSI Epoxy.

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While the Epoxy was curing, I turned my attention to the fins. I marked a line 3/8 of an inch down from the leading edge of of each fin and began sanding a taper. I began this by hand and after 5 mins realized I wasn't making progress so it was time for the power tools.

This is something you will definitely want to do outside. Using a Orbital sander with some 100 grit discs made easy work of taper. I followed that up with some 400 grit on the orbital to refine the shape a bit then finished off with 600 grit by hand. I also sanded the sides of the fins with 400 grit to make them smooth.

Finally, a small bevel was sanded into the root edge where it attaches to the motor tube. This will make it easier to slide the fins into the tube and again, will give the epoxy a nice v-notch to sit in.

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With the Epoxy and Loctite cured it was time to attach the upper ring to the motor tube. The Motor tube was taken outside and given a sanding using the orbital and the 100 grit disc to remove the outer layer.

A bevel was sanded around the inner hole of the upper centering ring and it was attached 1/4" down from the end of the motor tube using BSI 30 min epoxy. Once cured, I flipped the motor tube and applied a fillet to the underside of the centering ring. A scrap of plywood was used to cover the extra hole in the ring and some excess epoxy was smeared on the exposed threads of the U-bolt.

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I must say that I'm really very happy with the quality of this kit. I'm sure that the included eye bolt would have been more than enough to hold the shock cord but I figured I'm only going to be able to get in there once so it was worth spending and extra $3 on piece of mind.

So far this is just like any other rocket. Yeah the parts are larger and yes I'm using epoxy but the steps are all the same. If you can build a Executioner you can built this.

Thanks for following along.
 
Lets get the build started.

Looking at the parts, My kit came with two "AFT" rings. Both had holes for the motor retainers. Not a problem.

First thing I did was head to the hardware store to pick up a better attachment point for the shock cord. I'm hesitant to use the single eye bolt on something this big so I picked up a quality U-Bolt with a couple of extra nuts. I marked and drilled the required extra hole in the upper plate and attached the U-Bolt.

View attachment 478288
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On the underside of the centering ring, I added a pair of washers and some red Loctite to prevent things from coming loose. A smear of epoxy will be spread over the exposed threads for good measure as well.

View attachment 478289

Next it was time to move to the rear ring. I plan to leave the rear ring off so I can do internal fillets so a bit of sanding was required. I did a bevel on the center hole and the outside edge to allow it to slide on and off easily. This will give me a nice V-Notch for the epoxy to fill when assembling as well.

Here I have hammered in the inserts for the motor retainer and covered them with 30 BSI Epoxy.

View attachment 478291

While the Epoxy was curing, I turned my attention to the fins. I marked a line 3/8 of an inch down from the leading edge of of each fin and began sanding a taper. I began this by hand and after 5 mins realized I wasn't making progress so it was time for the power tools.

This is something you will definitely want to do outside. Using a Orbital sander with some 100 grit discs made easy work of taper. I followed that up with some 400 grit on the orbital to refine the shape a bit then finished off with 600 grit by hand. I also sanded the sides of the fins with 400 grit to make them smooth.

Finally, a small bevel was sanded into the root edge where it attaches to the motor tube. This will make it easier to slide the fins into the tube and again, will give the epoxy a nice v-notch to sit in.

View attachment 478295View attachment 478296View attachment 478297View attachment 478298

With the Epoxy and Loctite cured it was time to attach the upper ring to the motor tube. The Motor tube was taken outside and given a sanding using the orbital and the 100 grit disc to remove the outer layer.

A bevel was sanded around the inner hole of the upper centering ring and it was attached 1/4" down from the end of the motor tube using BSI 30 min epoxy. Once cured, I flipped the motor tube and applied a fillet to the underside of the centering ring. A scrap of plywood was used to cover the extra hole in the ring and some excess epoxy was smeared on the exposed threads of the U-bolt.

View attachment 478299View attachment 478300

I must say that I'm really very happy with the quality of this kit. I'm sure that the included eye bolt would have been more than enough to hold the shock cord but I figured I'm only going to be able to get in there once so it was worth spending and extra $3 on piece of mind.

So far this is just like any other rocket. Yeah the parts are larger and yes I'm using epoxy but the steps are all the same. If you can build a Executioner you can built this.

Thanks for following along.
Looks great!
 
Got my L2 at Bong with a Warloc on a J285 last May. Reached an alt of 1719 ft and visible the whole way. Just remember to add some extra BP given the large diameter of the tube. Plenty of excellent threads related to this posted by many who have commented here.

Good advise. I've been wondering about the ejection filling that tube. What BP are you adding for extra pop on ejection ?
 
Went with 1.5 grams extra. Probably a bit more than needed but wanted some insurance.

Attached a pic of mine. Decal from Stickershock.

Good advise. I've been wondering about the ejection filling that tube. What BP are you adding for extra pop on ejection ?
 

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Following, this is one of my favorite rockets! Flown mine a ton, ready for a rebuild refresh after a drag sep.

I always used 3g of BP in mine for good results
 
You do need to supplement the charges. I’ve seen more than one Warlock fail to eject the nose cone due to insufficient BP. I add about 1.5 grams Goex 4F black powder to the motor’s existing charge. On a Aerotech motor, the vial of BP that comes with the motor is graduated on the side and it comes with 1.4 grams of powder. Take note of the level, and you might want to mark it with a Sharpie. After your pour the included charge in the charge well, just fill the vial back up to the same level and pour it into the charge well with the other charge. If the red cap won’t fit, pack a little dog barf in there to keep the powder compressed, and then tape over the top.
 
The H550 will work fine, and I would estimate the flight will be about 700 feet as you said. I’ve flown mine on CTI H295 and H399, and it was in that range. It’s kind of comical to see a rocket that big just pop up to a low altitude like that. Those kinds of motors burn so fast, it’s like a bomb went off under the rocket, and then it just slowly coasts up to apogee.

I do that kind of low flight when I’m going to do something like pop out a monkey on a parachute or demonstrate a special chute, and I want to see the deployment right up close. It’s fun for that, but you have to cut your delay timing very short.

If you want a more traditional flight with a longer boost, just about any I motor with a 250 or more behind it will probably work great and give you flights somewhere between 1,000 and 1,500 feet, which are all really reasonable low flights. You would need to sim the flights to know what each particular motor would do.

Anyway, I’m just throwing out some ideas. It’s your cert flight, so do it however you like!

Here’s my Warlock.

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I do that kind of low flight when I’m going to do something like pop out a monkey on a parachute or demonstrate a special chute, and I want to see the deployment right up close. It’s fun for that, but you have to cut your delay timing very short.
I like low flights too, but motor eject timing less than 4 seconds is very unreliable. Better to use electronic deployment.
 
Look'n great! I want one!
How did you do the graphics; were they purchased?

Thanks! I got my local FastSigns store to cut the vinyl “Warlock” decal, and I masked and painted the rest of the accents. FastSigns can cut vinyl, but they are not the cheapest way to get graphics. I’ve used them a few times, because the store is very convenient.
 
Going to have it ready for Eat-Cheese-Or-Fly next weekend?
 
Had to travel out of town unexpectedly on Friday but managed to make some good progress last night.

Inserted the motor mount into the tube and marked the location of the upper ring with a marker. Used some 100 grit to sand around the inside of the tube about an inch wide. Just wanted to open the fibers up a bit for the epoxy to soak into.

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From there it was time to install the motor mount. I mixed up a batch of 30 min epoxy and poured it around the inside of the tube about and inch below the line.

The outside edges of the upper plate were also beveled so that the epoxy had a nice valley to sit in then the motor mount was inserted from the rear. The rear centering ring was put in place temporarily to keep everything straight. I feel like I might have gotten a little heavy handed with the epoxy on this one but it sure isn't going anywhere.

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And here is where it gets messy. After letting the epoxy cure for an hour I removed the rear ring and added a fillet to the back side of the upper ring. Having a large body tube made it possible to get my giant bear claw hands down in there but it was still wasn't pretty. Let me say that using a heat gun to warm the inside of the tube and the epoxy will allow it to flow really well and actually roll around the inside of the tube much like a wood glue. The Warlock was stood upside down and allowed to cure for an hour or so.

When I did this I was wearing a rubber glove and had an old plastic bag wrapped around my arm as I figured this wasn't going to be pretty and I really didn't want epoxy on my hairy arms.

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Next it was time for the fins. I'm going to stop here and voice my only gripe with this kit so far. LOC has some really great motor mount, interlocking fin designs that allow the assembly to be built completely outside the of the rocket and inserted as a completed unit. This kit doesn't have those centering slots/tabs on the centering rings to keep everything aligned. My kit is a year old so maybe they have addressed this already. That would have made this less messy but I need to stop complaining as this is a fine kit.

Using more epoxy, I added each fin one at a time. The size of the tube allowed me to place a bead of epoxy directly on the motor tube as well as place a generous bead on the root edge of the fin. Together this made for very quick installation of the fins and gave me a pretty nice bead of epoxy. Not sure I'll need to add additional fillets at the fin to motor tube joint.
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The Warlock is coming along quickly. Tonight I will be starting on the internal fillets where the fins meet the outer body tube but in the mean time. Here is a pic of were we stand as of right now.

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Nothing too exciting to report. Been working on the internal fillets where the fins meet the outer body tube. Since the fins tabs don't sit against the upper ring I needed to get creative with a way to keep the epoxy from running off the fin tab. I cut a coupe of pieces of cardboard and glued them to the top of the fin tab as a sort of dam to stop the flow. Worked well.

While this process is rather messy, the end result is pretty good and certainly strong. I've used Epoxy a lot but I've never tried to use it in this quantity so that presents a few challenges but I'm getting better. Looks like I will be doing some additional fin to motor mount fillets as well as I can see some areas I'm not happy with.

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Making progress on the Warlock. Over the last couple of days I've gotten the internal fillets done where the fins meet the motor tube then began working on the external fillets. The plan was not to make them very large as most of the strength is on the inside.

Marked the fins and the body tube 3/8" out and laid tape for a fillet. Had to do these in pairs as it was a warm day and the epoxy is very thin. You can see from the second and third pics that I got good penetration into the materials as you can see the epoxy creeping into the wood grain.

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Next steps will be adding the rail buttons then it's time for filler. The body tube is unusually rough. While I've never used a LOC kit this size, I do have experience with a bunch of their smaller kits and those tubes have always been perfect.

Either way. Nothing a bit of sanding and filling can't fix. I have a plan. I won't bore you guys with that. The next time you see this it will most likely be in primer waiting for paint.
 
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Great progress! These kits go together pretty fast. I’m looking forward to seeing your paint scheme.
 

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