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Mach1 Haymaker BT-50 Build

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NateB

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This is the third LPR kit I have built from Mach 1. I like fiberglass better than cardboard and these are far more durable than the small Estes kits, perfect when my building partner is 4. He picked this one out and we started building it last week. After washing all the parts, I weighed each component and created a sim file. I have not updated the file to account for epoxy and paint yet.

Mach1Haymaker.jpg


The included graphics don't quite match the image on the site. I thought it was a body wrap, but they are individual decals. The only thing I don't quite understand is why there isn't a matching red stripe where the name is for the other side of the body tube. Maybe I'm missing something, but we might not use the decals and just come up with a different paint scheme. He wants it orange anyway. I was actually hoping the graphics were a white and clear wrap to show whatever color you painted the body. Everything else included with the kit was top notch and the dry fit was perfect.
 

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NateB

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I started the build with the motor mount and retainer. The only deviation from the kit I took was replacing the engine hook with a Rocketartrium retainer. The motor mount was sanded to fit the retainer and the retainer was epoxied into place using JB weld.

Haymaker01.jpg


The outside of the motor mount was sanded where the centering rings, fins, and shock cord will attach. The shock cord and centering rings are epoxied into place with BSI 30 minute epoxy and allowed to cure. The shock cord is encased in epoxy and I just used my finger to make tiny fillets around the centering rings. I did not place the centering rings so they would be snug against the fin roots like I would on a larger rocket. I'm not making internal fillets and will just double dip the root edge of the fins when I insert them into the fin slots.

Haymaker02.jpg


Once the epoxy was fully cured on the motor mount, I sanded the inside of the body tube where the centering rings will attach and epoxied the motor mount in place. Be careful to make sure the shock cord is in between fin slots so you don't have problems inserting the fins later.

Haymaker03.jpg
 

NateB

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Moving on to the fins, I wanted to try the the fin guides now being sold by Badass Rocketry. They were perfect for this build and held the fins perfectly while the epoxy cured. The built in drill guides were also used to drill holes for rail buttons and 2 1/16" static port holes for an altimeter just below the nosecone.

The fins were just rounded with 80 grit sandpaper. I'm not looking for peak performance and just sanded them enough to take the hard edge off. I also roughed up the root edge and the area where the fillets will go on the fins and body tube for better epoxy bonding.

Haymaker04.jpg


I mixed up some more BSI 30 minute epoxy, buttered the root edge of each fin and double dipped the fin through the fin slots and against the motor mount. This should be plenty strong a for a small rocket flying on C and D motors. With the fins attached, the handy guide was slid into place, any epoxy that got into places I didn't want it was wiped off with alcohol, and everything was allowed to cure. This was the easiest and fastest method of fin alignment that I have tried so far.

Haymaker05.jpg
 

NateB

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Time for the external fillets. Due to the rave reviews from a few other posts, I ordered a set of fondant shaping tools with ball ends. I first used them on my Saberhawk and was impressed. They worked very well on this rocket too, and I don't see a need to use a different tool at this time. To mask the edges of the fillet, I transferred lines from pencil marks on paper using the tool as shown in this video, then taped along the lines with blue masking tape. I also found you can use a dry erase maker drawn over the ball of the tool and then transferred to the joint between the fin and body tube. Both methods worked equally as well.

The 8 fillets took 2 days. I did each pair about 8 hours apart. I mixed up 4g of RocketPoxy for each pair. I had a little bit of waste, but mixing less and getting it to lay down correctly would have been more difficult. I weighed each part of epoxy on a powder scale, mixed it in a small cup, and allowed it to rest for 10 minutes. This was indoors and in a room that was probably 75 degrees. No problems with bubbles after this point. The mixed epoxy was poured into place and allowed to rest for 10 more minutes. I pulled the epoxy using the same fondant tool dipped in rubbing alcohol. The tape was removed and the edges cleaned up using my finger dipped in alcohol.

Haymaker06.jpg

Haymaker07.jpg

Haymaker08.jpg
 
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NateB

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I'm caught up to the build now. When the rain cleared out, I started the first coat of primer. It didn't end up too bad. There are small visible lines from the fillets, but that's okay. With a few more layers of sanding and priming to go, the lines should be minimal. A 10 ft paint job is fine for this one.

Haymaker09.jpg


Haymaker10.jpg


Backing up a little bit. I foamed the nosecone before I started painting. The sim didn't show a benefit to any nose weight, but I wanted to get a feel for working with 2 part foam for future builds. I cut the tapered end off and made a short harness with kevlar. I tied a knot so there is an attachment point for the streamer and shock cord, then tacked the ends in place with CA. The volume of the nosecone is 30ml, so I mixed up 3ml of foam and poured it in. Next time, I'll use a little extra and just cut off the rest. It was much easier to remove the cured foam than I expected.

Haymaker11.jpg


Haymaker12.jpg


The next steps will be to sand and prime, then repeat. I'll wait 2 or 3 days to sand off the first layer of primer to make sure it has a good cure. I also need to decide what to do for the final paint scheme. Here are the decals I have to work with, I also have some clear decal paper but can only print in black.

HaymakerDecals.jpg
 
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Philip Tiberius D.

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Time for the external fillets. Due to the rave reviews from a few other posts, I ordered a set of fondant shaping tools with ball ends. I first used them on my Saberhawk and was impressed. They worked very well on this rocket too, and I don't see a need to use a different tool at this time. To mask the edges of the fillet, I transferred lines from pencil marks on paper using the tool as shown in this video, then taped along the lines with blue masking tape. I also found you can use a dry erase maker drawn over the ball of the tool and then transferred to the joint between the fin and body tube. Both methods worked equally as well.

The 8 fillets took 2 days. I did each pair about 8 hours apart. I mixed up 4g of RocketPoxy for each pair. I had a little bit of waste, but mixing less and getting it to lay down correctly would have been more difficult. I weighed each part of epoxy on a powder scale, mixed it in a small cup, and allowed it to rest for 10 minutes. This was indoors and in a room that was probably 75 degrees. No problems with bubbles after this point. The mixed epoxy was poured into place and allowed to rest for 10 more minutes. I pulled the epoxy using the same fondant tool dipped in rubbing alcohol. The tape was removed and the edges cleaned up using my finger dipped in alcohol.

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View attachment 418655
I have the SaberHawk and think Mach1 did a great job, looking to get another from their line up.... where did you get your fondant shaping tools with the ball ends?
 

NateB

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where did you get your fondant shaping tools with the ball ends?
I bought the fondant tools from Amazon. I didn't look in the cake decorating section at a grocery store, but they might have them too.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LZMSGF2/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_i_-6L0Eb3AJG0NK

I have build several Mach 1 kits now and the Saberhawk was a fun build, I'm looking forward to flying it. I also build the Exiter and a BT-60 Black Hole which I still need to finish the electronics for. Next up after this one is done is an BT-55 Electron with a 29mm motor mount renamed as Blue Streak. I'll probably pick up another Electron to build stock and fly on 24mm D and Es too. I like designs with split fins.
 

Philip Tiberius D.

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I bought the fondant tools from Amazon. I didn't look in the cake decorating section at a grocery store, but they might have them too.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LZMSGF2/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_i_-6L0Eb3AJG0NK

I have build several Mach 1 kits now and the Saberhawk was a fun build, I'm looking forward to flying it. I also build the Exiter and a BT-60 Black Hole which I still need to finish the electronics for. Next up after this one is done is an BT-55 Electron with a 29mm motor mount renamed as Blue Streak. I'll probably pick up another Electron to build stock and fly on 24mm D and Es too. I like designs with split fins.
Found them, thanks. I like both those and I keep looking at the Thunderbird...
 

NateB

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I sanded the first layer of primer and sprayed a 2nd. I might not use a 2nd coat and go straight to the white base in a few more days. If I can paint every 2 or 3 days when I get home from work, I might be able to launch it on the weekend of June 12. Of course, I could screw the rail buttons on and launch it tonight or tomorrow once the paint is dry enough too.
 

NateB

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I know this is a boring update today. It looks like I will need a 3rd round of priming and sanding. All the coats I have laid down are pretty light and I can still see some sanding scratches. I'll give this coat another day to cure, then sand up to 320 (out of 400 grit and Menards didn't have any this morning.) Once the 3rd coat of primer is down, I'll move to the white layers.

Haymaker13.jpg
 

NateB

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The 3rd coat of primer was applied today. I usually start with a very light coat, wait 10 minutes and follow with a heavier coat. In between the 2 sprays, a big decided to hang out on one of the fins. You can see I have the area from the bug to fix and a slightly uneven line from the fillets that never filled in. Once this paint cures, I'm going to focus on sanding out these two spots before moving on to the first white layer.

Haymaker15.jpg
Haymaker14.jpg
 

NateB

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I had a long weekend at work, so there was no time for much progress on the finishing for this kit. I sanded the third layer of primer and the area of paint damaged by the bug. I might spray on another light coat of primer just to even the color out perfectly. I'll have to look at it in the Sun tomorrow to decide for sure.
 

NateB

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The weather wasn't appropriate for painting on Monday and Tuesday, so I'm a few days behind where I hoped to be. I put the first coat of white on this evening. It will need one more for sure, maybe two before I paint the nose cone and fins red. The decals are printed on Oracle 651 vinyl. I just need to match the shade of red and will cut out a rectangle that matches the one with the name printed on it for the opposite side. Hopefully the Rustoleum 2x Apple Red is a good match for the vinyl.

Haymaker16.jpg
 

Matt_The_RocketMan

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Honestly that looks like a good primary coat also, if you want to make a 2nd coat do it so that your final coat looks smooth. But before doing any more painting, make sure your paint has completely dried. High humidity can cause your paint to not dry properly ie. feel tacky, if this is the case take your rocket inside and place in a room that relaitivly cool and has a low humidity. I know you may already know this but its summer and i know the fails of painting in humidiy. Godspeed and gl
 

o1d_dude

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Smell test.

If you can smell the paint, it’s still curing / outgassing.
 

NateB

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Sorry for the delay in updates. Red accents are on and once it is cured, I will be ready for decals. I hope the 2x Apple Red is a good match for the Oracle Vinyl. If it isn't, I'll ditch the decals and either mask off the pattern and spray red on, or just give it a coat of clear. It will be fun keeping the long red blocks straight anyway.

Haymaker17.jpg
 

NateB

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The paint is finished. Once it has cured for a few days, I'll start on the decals. I still need to match the shade of red vinyl and cut one more piece for the rectangle opposite of the name. It is Oracle 651, but I'm not positive on the particular shade of red.

Haymaker18.jpg
 

NateB

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I started to place the decals and ended up peeling them off. I wasn't able to get the red blocks to line up straight and without gaps in places I didn't want the white to show. However, if anyone is curious whichever shade of Oracle 651 vinyl was used is a nearly perfect color match for Rustoleum 2x Gloss Apple Red.

I masked off areas and started to spray the large checkerboard pattern. The middle still needs to be painted and I have a few areas of bleed through to touch up before coating with clear.

Haymaker19.jpg
 

SCooke123

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Looking good so far! You're in the final stretch..........................
 

NateB

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I sprayed the rest of the red on and removed the masking tape. I'm calling this one done. There are some areas where the red bled through so the lines aren't as crisp as I wanted. It could easily be fixed with another layer of white and red and maybe a little touch up with a brush, but I'd rather go fly it. I don't display these models and it will get dinged up from flying and a 4 year old playing with it. I'm okay with it being a ten footer. I'll give it a few days for the final color layer, a layer of clear, and then we launch.

Haymaker20.jpg
 

lowga

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Looks great to me. Go fly that bad boy. Plastic models are for show--model rockets are for Go, Baby, Go!
 

NateB

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We launched this one for its maiden flight today. Motor was an Estes C5-3 with an expected altitude around 430 feet. It veered off as it exited the rail and reached an apogee of 239' according to an Altimeter Three or a slightly more generous 252.3' from a Flight Sketch Mini. I'll have to order a longer micro rail for my BT-50 fiberglass rockets. Otherwise, the flight was fine. Recovery was safe on a 40" Top Flight streamer.



 

Joshua F Thomas

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How do you find working with fiberglass relative to regular body tube? I've stayed away from fiberglass so far under the impression it is more difficult to work with.
 

o1d_dude

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Looks more like a weathercock than anything else.
From video it arced into the wind rather than instability

Try “MOAR POWR!”
 

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