Mars Snooper Mayhem

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jetlag

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You might consider soaking each assembled shroud with thin CA. This really strengthens the paper tremendously. When one does this, it precludes the need to double the shrouds, which adds unnecessary weight and complexity.
 

les

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Actually, I was planning to do the CA soak as well, but I want to get the vanes glued on first with wood glue

Have 6 out of 8 shrouds built. Installed the shrouds onto the Semroc
When dry fitting, I realized the bottom one was going to be troublesome as you install it small end first. Using an engine as a coupler and a spare piece of BT20, I first slide the shroud over the spare tube, then butted that tube against the rocket motor tube and was able to easily slide the shroud onto the rocket. NOTE - I took the picture during a dry run before the other shrouds were installed.
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All of the shrouds installed - and I did a little cleanup for alignment of the lug holes using a round file

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les

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Q Model - built one of the pods/wings. They were very clever with their jig!
Start with sliding 2 rings onto the dowel. The jig provides for the correct spacing. Tack the rings onto the dowel.
Then rotate the dowel/rings to another section to ensure the rings are square on the dowel and add more glue.
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Another section install the pod tube. The directions call to push a ring down from the top. I instead only partially installed it on the bottom and pushed the tube onto the jig, This positions the ring to the correct depth. You then carefully remove the tube and apply glue (thick CA) to secure the ring.
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les

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I didn't round the edges, but I did break them

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The jig has various points to position the fins and the tube

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It looks like the jig works!

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les

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The dowel with the rings gets test fitted. I did need to do a little sanding to get a smooth fit.

The dowel is installed, and then the spring. Wait - spring???

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Yes - the nose cone then gets glued on and the pod legs are spring loaded to help absorb the landing shock. There is about 1" of travel on the dowel (I'm obviously having to hold the leg in against the spring force)

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les

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More pieces to sand from Hawks (sigh....)

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Glued together the upper fins for the Hawk and Semroc. The Q Model doesn't have the front strakes. I used the angle iron to align the bottom edges. The wood glue doesn't stick to the cutting board so no wax paper.
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Finally, assembled the shrouds onto the Semroc. I did have to fine tune the lug holes using a round file. I would have needed to do this even without doing the super shroud.

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neil_w

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When dry fitting, I realized the bottom one was going to be troublesome as you install it small end first. Using an engine as a coupler and a spare piece of BT20, I first slide the shroud over the spare tube, then butted that tube against the rocket motor tube and was able to easily slide the shroud onto the rocket. NOTE - I took the picture during a dry run before the other shrouds were installed.
Excellent technique, I'm stealing this one. 👍

Funny, in all the times I've looked at the Mars Snooper in pictures (never built one), I never realized exactly what was going on with the three transitions in back. Below the first transition, it always just looked black in the pics and I couldn't see what was going on. Turns out it was even cooler than I realized.
 

GlenP

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For grins, I decided to dry fit the tubes/couplers/main cone to take a pix to show the relative sizes
are these 18mm and 24mm power? seems like you could almost go 29mm on the Super if you wanted...
 

les

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Semroc is 18
Q Model and Hawks are 24. If you eliminate the TTW mount, you could have gone to 29 on both
 

Michael MacDonald

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This is an excellent thread! I so want to build a Mars Snooper. Its one of the most beautiful model rockets ever made.

Question:

Which of the three kits is the most challenging?
Which is the easiest?
 

les

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This is an excellent thread! I so want to build a Mars Snooper. Its one of the most beautiful model rockets ever made.

Question:

Which of the three kits is the most challenging?
Which is the easiest?
Tough question - each kit has its pros and cons
Semroc - still available from eRockets. Basically, like the original Estes. Some of the small shrouds and pieces make it a bit more difficult to work with (especially if you are fat fingered like me). The jigs help.

Hawks - OOP. Instructions leave a bit to be desired. Pieces are easier to work with being bigger. Spoiler alert - Sanding the fins to match the pod was a pain (post to come later). No jigs.

Q Model - Also OOP. Actually seems easier, but they did add complexity with the spring loads pods, but the jig helped quite a bit. The installation of the motor mount per the instructions seems doomed for failure. And it is a different Snooper. Semroc is based on the original Estes Mars Snooper, Hawks is an upscale. The Q Model is the Mars Snooper 2 (I prefer the looks of the original over the 2 version)
 

les

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Getting a bit behind on the Hawk
Per my spoiler above, the fins have to be sanded to match the curve of the nose cone.
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This was a pain, and quite frankly I didn't do that great of a job. I guess that is what fillets are for.....

As I also stated, the Hawk has no jigs, and the pods are too short for my one jig, and since both ends are sealed some of my other jigs won't work either. Bottom line, I had to rely on the old Mark I eyeball (not too bad I think) - I did get to use my jig to support while drying, I used the double glue method for attaching the fins to the pod tube.
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les

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The Hawk actually uses a Semroc motor mount kit
You need to slot the interior of a coupler for the engine hook.
I also found the fit was too tight and needed to do some sanding (will it ever end?).
Some glue and install the coupler over the hook.
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And then a coupler on the other end
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I almost forgot to install the engine block. That took a lot of sanding to fit. Even then, it was tight so I got it in and just did a fillet across the top.

The motor mount is installed and a clearance slot is cut for the engine hook
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les

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More on the Hawk - the tube gets marked, and the the tube is cut for the fin tabsl.
Use a sharp knife and multiple light cuts (3~4) ,

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les

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Semroc - Installed upper fins and vanes

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Q Model: Installed Vanes
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And then start installing the fins (You'll see in the background I also started installing the fins onto the Semroc)
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Hawk: Installed the motor mount into the main tube and added a fillet. If you look close, you'll see a problem brewing...
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kuririn

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Hawk: Installed the motor mount into the main tube and added a fillet. If you look close, you'll see a problem brewing...
Possibly a centering ring partially occluding the slots?
 

les

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You got it. Still don't understand what went wrong. I discovered it during a dry fit before the motor mount was glued in. I went back and double checked the directions and my measurements and everything looked right.... At least it is a simple fix - cut a bit of the tab off...

Hawk - Dry fit of the shrouds, and then start gluing them in.
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And while that was drying, attached the top fins

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Semroc - fillet the main fins
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Now - I need you kind folks to promise to not tell my wife. I got banned from the house from building rockets because I made too much of a mess, so I have to use my shop in the garage. However, last night we were babysitting our Grandson until late. She had gone to bed, he was sleeping, so...... I used the kitchen island :eek:

Q model - attached the top fins using some angle irons to align
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Later that evening, I also started the vanes on the Hawk. I started doing every other one to avoid disturbing the previous one
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Remember - Shhhh.....our little secret
 

les

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Hawk - Installed the launch lug and trimmed to the shroud. Did a little filling for gaps
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And then finally installed the main fins, I have a support made from cardboard.
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Q - The launch lug does not go through the shroud. Instead, you are "supposed to" cut it in half and glue to the upper and lower fins. My thought is the upper lug will be off the rod sooner, so I wanted more support lower down, so I cut it more 1/3 - 2/3rds. I did cut it at an angle. I used an angle iron to ensure the lugs were aligned and parallel to the tube,
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les

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Semroc - notice I never mentioned the launch lug for the Semroc....Well......
One issue with doing multiple builds, especially of similar kits plus a little go fever.

Installed the lug. Trimming it was going to be a bit more difficult. I first installed and marked the lug and cut it to the approximate angle, and then installed it. Sanded to fit - maybe not as good as the Hawk, but not too bad

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Q - the kit comes with a bit of rubber that you need to drill a hole through and then slide over the Kevlar. To get the Kevlar into the hole, I first used CA on the very end to make the twists stay together and make it stiff.
The rubber acts as a bumper to avoid zippers.
And I probably should have paid more attention to the background.... This is for Q, not H.
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NOLA_BAR

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Wow! All three are nice. Hard to say which style I prefer.
 

neil_w

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Very nice!

The Snooper II almost looks like a cross between the Snooper and the Vega (canards + landing pods). I like the original better but I also like the variety. :)
 

MALBAR 70

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Beautiful work, I love all three. Thanks for posting this thread.
I was wondering how the BMS clone stacks up against these beauties?
 

les

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BMS - one of the versions I don't have.....

Now while these go through prime and paint, I also need to decide what to build next........
 

les

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Been priming and cleaning up small issues.

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Painted the Semroc using Rustolium 2X. For some reason I got orange peel.
I primed, then sanded. Painted with 12 min between coats. Even the first coat seemed strange, but it was at night and the lighting was poor. By the second coat it really showed up.
Time for more sanding......
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Meanwhile, I painted the Hawks using some of my old (original) Krylon

So far so good.....

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les

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Q - Started to paint. After my issues with Semroc, I started seeing RED!
Of course, that is the selected color for this one

One thing I realized - The Semroc used Rustoleum 2X, I used Krylon on the Hawk, and this is Duplicolor red.
 

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les

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Before I started painting the Q model, I wanted to minimize the amount of paint that might build up on the spring loaded legs. I didn't want tape (concerned with any adhesive residue), so I thought of covering them with straws. However, they were too small. So I cut the straws length wise and used 2 per leg

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les

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One other comment - I just switched from my old PC with Windows 8 to a new PC with Windows 10.
With W8 I could do a copy/paste of a photo into my posts. With W10 only the attach files works. Anyone know if there is a setting I need to change?
Thanks

Update. Realized my old W8 machine used Firefox. New W10 machine is Edge. I tried using Firefox and copy/paste works. So it appears to be something in Edge.... Again - is there a setting for this?
 
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