Quantcast

Mercury Redstone Build

The Rocketry Forum

Help Support The Rocketry Forum:

Hawkweber

Active Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2019
Messages
44
Reaction score
11
While finishing up my Estes Lynx, started the work on the Mercury Redstone. First up is fin work. These required some more detailed processes.

The wood used for this model is rather thick, or at least thicker than I am used to, but that is good.

The 4 main fins are made of 8 pieces which are glued together and pressed overnight. The 4 smaller fins are regular squares to start.
Redstone-1.jpg


The fins need to be shaped - each has a 1/4" knife taper that comes to a 1mm edge. Small fin side view.
Redstone-2.jpg


Small fin view from top. Note - the second from left isn't really thinner than the others... just the ink marking on the top rubbed away.
Redstone-3.jpg


Main fins showing their knife edge.
Redstone-4.jpg
 

Funkworks

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2018
Messages
941
Reaction score
541
This is the Estes kit right? Does anyone know what the squares represent? What are they on the real thing, movable ailerons or just square static fins? Looks like an interesting detail, but I don’t see the aerodynamic purpose.
 

rharshberger

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2014
Messages
9,703
Reaction score
1,682
Location
Pasco, WA
This is the Estes kit right? Does anyone know what the squares represent? What are they on the real thing, movable ailerons or just square static fins? Looks like an interesting detail, but I don’t see the aerodynamic purpose.
iirc the outer sections of the fins were steerable, as the Redstone was pretty much an American second gen version of the V2.
 

Hawkweber

Active Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2019
Messages
44
Reaction score
11
This is the Estes kit right? Does anyone know what the squares represent? What are they on the real thing, movable ailerons or just square static fins? Looks like an interesting detail, but I don’t see the aerodynamic purpose.
This is the Estes kit. Which "squares" are you referring to? Are you talking about the 4 that also got the knife-edge taper? If so, those get attached to the end of the main fins horizontally. I think in the real rocket they are fixed in place - not movable.
 

gldknght

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2011
Messages
867
Reaction score
154
Location
The Edge of Nowhere
I built this rocket about a year ago or so, fun build, but watch out for the decals. They are very thin and extremely fragile.
 

Hawkweber

Active Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2019
Messages
44
Reaction score
11
This is the Estes kit. Which "squares" are you referring to? Are you talking about the 4 that also got the knife-edge taper? If so, those get attached to the end of the main fins horizontally. I think in the real rocket they are fixed in place - not movable.
Time to correct myself - I looked this up in NASA docs and Rharshberger was correct as to them being "steerable". The squares are "air rudders" which are attached to the fins. Servomotors would rotate the rudders.
 

Karl

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jun 30, 2010
Messages
2,460
Reaction score
26
Is this the re-release or the one of the older kits? Thinking about building mine soon so ill be watching this thread :)
 

Hawkweber

Active Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2019
Messages
44
Reaction score
11
Is this the re-release or the one of the older kits? Thinking about building mine soon so ill be watching this thread :)
I believe this is the updated version as the decals have the "I" in United centered (and the lettering is red instead of leaning towards pink). Also it shows MR8 instead of MR7.
 

GlenP

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2014
Messages
2,070
Reaction score
378
In addition to the steerable fin tips, I think they had small vanes on the inside portion of the fin that extended below the rocket and into the nozzle exhaust stream. I thought I read about that somewhere. This gives it some steering authority before it gets fast enough for the aerodynamic fin tips to become fully effective.

https://historicspacecraft.com/Redstone.html
 

Funkworks

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2018
Messages
941
Reaction score
541
... small vanes on the inside portion of the fin that extended below the rocket and into the nozzle exhaust stream... https://historicspacecraft.com/Redstone.html
That makes a lot of sense. That's a V2 innovation that was carried on "ever since": http://fly.historicwings.com/2012/09/vergeltungswaffe-2/.

I was curious about the outer square fin tips because they're also present on the Viking 7 - not as famous as the Redstone, but also based on the V2. Hm... I probably should have sanded those.
 

Attachments

Nytrunner

Pop lugs, not drugs
Joined
Oct 15, 2016
Messages
7,180
Reaction score
2,651
Location
Huntsville AL
Yep, saw some steerable air fins in conjunction with the thrust vanes on resdstone type vehicles in the hanger at Canaveral air station when I was there for NARCON
 

Lugnut56

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Apr 7, 2015
Messages
775
Reaction score
179
I've been slowly working on this (between work and wife has had some health issues). I had to do some minor sanding on the capsule sections to get them to fit together correctly and am trying to decide if to make the abort tower removable or attach permanently . Are you attaching the abort tower and are you staying with the stock motor mount or are you going to a larger 24mm?
 

Hawkweber

Active Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2019
Messages
44
Reaction score
11
I've been slowly working on this (between work and wife has had some health issues). I had to do some minor sanding on the capsule sections to get them to fit together correctly and am trying to decide if to make the abort tower removable or attach permanently . Are you attaching the abort tower and are you staying with the stock motor mount or are you going to a larger 24mm?
Good questions. For the tower I think that I am going to attach it permanently. The rocket doesn't go up that high and if there is an issue (chute failure) I will just pray to the rocket gods that the tower remains intact. I haven't started the work on it yet, though - wanted to get the fins out of the way as they required a lot of effort. Also was waiting for some Plastic Weld to arrive.

As for the motor mount - this is just my 4th rocket, all from kits. I don't have the knowledge/experience or extra parts yet to even consider doing that type of modification
 

Hawkweber

Active Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2019
Messages
44
Reaction score
11
Fins done.

Here they are after filling, sanding, priming, sanding, re-filling, sanding, priming, and sanding. Dang, that's a lot of work.
Redstone-5.png


And here they are after assembling and filleted. Also present are the "hold-downs" and launch lugs with stand-offs.
Redstone-6.png
 

Hawkweber

Active Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2019
Messages
44
Reaction score
11
Work done on the rocket tube. Motor mount installed and lines drawn.
Redstone-7.jpg


Fins attached.
Redstone-8.jpg


Another angle. One thing I realized after the fact was that I installed the motor mount slightly forward in the tube as I wasn't happy with the way it fit flush. Also, I wanted to reinforce it with a nice fillet all the way around. However I noticed that there is now a gap between the top part of the bottom of the fins and the tube. Not a show stopper, buy annoying none the less. Also, at this time I realized that the retainer clip was really long and hangs below the fins so the rocket can't stand on them. I never modified a retainer before (I have seen instructions on how to do it) but at this point it was too late as I wouldn't want to run the risk of damaging the fins while trying to shorten it. So, it will mount in a stand.
Redstone-9.jpg


Launch Lugs installed.
Redstone-10.jpg
 

Hawkweber

Active Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2019
Messages
44
Reaction score
11
While I was working on the fins/body I was also working on the tower and capsule. I used Plastruct Plastic Weld to put the pieces together. It took a bit of work to get the tower and capsule together nicely, but the Plastic Weld helped immensely - much better than if I were to use plastic cement. Here are all the components ready to get primed and painted.
Redstone-11.jpg


Here they are after priming and painting. The antenna housing has a ring of metallic silver around it - the original was aluminum, but I don't have aluminum paint.
Redstone-12.jpg


Here is the tower assembly put together. Let me just say that this was a nightmare to do. Apparently I didn't scrape off enough paint/primer (it's really good primer) and the plastic weld didn't hold. Tried several times and it wouldn't work. Also at this time the antenna cap (in between the tower struts) decided to come out. So all this work ended up damaging the holes that everything was supposed to go into as well as messing up parts of the paint job. In order to make this work (and fill the large holes) I scraped off plastic from the part sprues and put them in the holes to fill the gaps. Then used the Plastic Weld again while holding the part in place for a while. This ended up working well as it gave more material for the parts to adhere to. I then did lots of touch up on the paint job.
Redstone-13.jpg


Here is the tower assembly on top of the capsule. I didn't add the decals yet as I was waiting for delivery of Micro Sol - decal solution which would help with the decals filling in the detail on the capsule, otherwise they would just lay on top of the "corrugation" and not look good once clear coat applied.
Redstone-14.jpg


And here is the capsule with the Liberty Bell 7 and "Crack" applied and after the Micro Sol.
Redstone-15.png


And here is the United States decal added to the capsule. Only 1 decal was supplied (there were 2 on the original capsule).
Redstone-16.png
 

BSNW

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2017
Messages
697
Reaction score
277
I have to ask about your capsule construction. I have built many skill level 5 rockets...I am not new to modeling. But the capsule /tower assembly on my Redstone kit....nothing fit. The sections would simply not line up and it seemed like one panel was too wide for it to fit on the lower ring with the rest of the panels. The tower parts, if done by instructions, had angles that simply did not line up. It was a total mess on mine. So much so that I gave the whole darn kit to a friend. He supported my observations when he saw my kit. He is going to try and 3D print something to make it work.

Did you have any troubles? Has anyone had the same experience as I did with the capsule and tower portion of this kit? I LOVE Estes....don't get me wrong. But IMO...that tower/capsule assembly on this kit is a pile of junk. Please let me know how you did it!
Andrew
 

SecondRow

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2019
Messages
567
Reaction score
391

BSNW

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2017
Messages
697
Reaction score
277
SecondRow-
Thank you for the tip and resource! This is great information. I will be getting another one and will try it again. I was so surprised about those plastic parts. I am sure I was the idiot and did not see something. But my friend did say something was off on mine....ANYWAY.....THANK YOU again for the tip and information!
Andrew
 

hcmbanjo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
2,305
Reaction score
102
Thanks for the kind words SecondRow!

Here's more information (than you'll ever want) on the Estes (Centuri) Mercury Capsule assembly:
http://modelrocketbuilding.blogspot.com/2015/07/estes-mercury-redstone-1921-build-part_16.html
http://modelrocketbuilding.blogspot.com/2015/07/estes-mercury-redstone-1921-build-part_17.html
http://modelrocketbuilding.blogspot.com/2015/07/estes-mercury-redstone-1921-c-build.html
http://modelrocketbuilding.blogspot.com/2015/07/estes-mercury-redstone-1921-b-build.html
http://modelrocketbuilding.blogspot.com/2015/07/estes-mercury-redstone-1921-build-part_20.html
http://modelrocketbuilding.blogspot.com/2015/07/estes-mercury-redstone-1921-build-part_21.html

The entire build from finished model to start is here:
http://modelrocketbuilding.blogspot.com/search/label/E Mercury Redstone

Interesting thing about the Centuri Mercury Capsule -
Years back, I was told by the Centuri guys - The the tower was designed to "pop off" in one piece on a hard landing, instead of breaking into many small pieces.
Maybe that's why the tower is under tension when glued into the top of the capsule.
 
Last edited:

Hawkweber

Active Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2019
Messages
44
Reaction score
11
I have to ask about your capsule construction. I have built many skill level 5 rockets...I am not new to modeling. But the capsule /tower assembly on my Redstone kit....nothing fit. The sections would simply not line up and it seemed like one panel was too wide for it to fit on the lower ring with the rest of the panels. The tower parts, if done by instructions, had angles that simply did not line up. It was a total mess on mine. So much so that I gave the whole darn kit to a friend. He supported my observations when he saw my kit. He is going to try and 3D print something to make it work.

Did you have any troubles? Has anyone had the same experience as I did with the capsule and tower portion of this kit? I LOVE Estes....don't get me wrong. But IMO...that tower/capsule assembly on this kit is a pile of junk. Please let me know how you did it!
Andrew
So, first you need to use Plastruct Plastic Weld (or something similar to it) as regular plastic model cement just won't do.

For the capsule, the instructions have you glue one section to the base then add the others. That won't work. You need to put all 3 on the base first without gluing. Trying to get them to fit properly requires you to put 2 on the base then fan them out from the top a bit to get the 3rd one in place and then "snap" them together. Once that is done, place the antenna housing on top to keep everything together. Then use the plastic weld and just run it along the inside seams of the capsule sides. Don't glue it to the base or the cap. Let it dry. Then you can go back and hit the rest of the seams and also glue it to the base. Don't glue the antenna housing to the top though.

For the towers, yeah that was a pain. The inverted V's on the bottom of the pieces don't lock into place of the antenna cap at the start. Only the left leg of each does - after those are in place then you need to gently bend the right leg. So, take 2 of the tower pieces, brush some plastic weld on the knobs and connect them while making sure that the left legs of each one are aligned on the holes of the antenna cap. Don't glue to the cap, just hold in place. Also you can place the LES motor bottom on top of the knobs on top to make sure they are properly placed - don't glue that though. Once they are set, you can add the 3rd tower piece. Again, brush plastic weld on the side knobs, attach, and make sure that now all 3 pieces align over the left holes in the antenna cap and that the LES motor bottom fits on the knobs on top, again not gluing it. Once those are set you can glue the antenna cap in between the tower pieces in the holes. Let dry. Then it is time to attach the tower to the antenna housing. Brush plastic weld into the 3 holes that the left V's will go into install them and hold until set. Then wait until completely dry. Then, one at a time, brush weld into the right hole of one of the legs and gently push it into position. Hold until set then let dry completely! Do each of the other legs the same way waiting after each one until completely dry. Then brush plastic weld onto the inside seam of the cap and the housing to lock it all in place.

After this, you can work on adding the LES top which is a piece of cake.

Something to keep in mind is that if you paint the tower pieces first (like I did) you need to make sure that all of the paint is scraped away from the knobs and the holes (apparently I didn't) in order to make sure the plastic weld holds well. Otherwise the weld will not hold (as was my first, second, and third cases).
 

BSNW

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2017
Messages
697
Reaction score
277
Hello Hawkweber...
WOW! Thank you for your reply......Thank you ALL for your tips and advice on this portion of this kit. I will surely give it another try.
Thanks!
Andrew
 

gldknght

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2011
Messages
867
Reaction score
154
Location
The Edge of Nowhere
I had similar issues building my capsule, though not quite as bad. I assembled mine, then painted it, so the paint job isn't perfect. For glue, I used a product called "Weld-On 3" which is designed to chemically bind plexiglass. It works VERY well on styrene.
 

Hawkweber

Active Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2019
Messages
44
Reaction score
11
Body primed, sanded, primed, and sanded. White color coat added. Second coat added. Oh crap, a tiny bug decided to commit suicide on the tube while drying. Lightly sand bug out and add third coat. No bugs this time.

Redstone-17.png

Close-up of fins/fillets.
Redstone-18.png


Now I just have to find the time to do all the roll pattern masking on the fins...
 

Lugnut56

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Apr 7, 2015
Messages
775
Reaction score
179
Thanks for posting this. I finally got some free time today, so I'm priming the fins for final sanding right now and hope to have them ready to mount later today. I did go with the 24mm motor mount and used an Estes 24mm retainer, but when I cut the original centering rings out to fit the larger MM, I got it off center slightly. This required sanding the fins slightly to clear the retainer nut. Did you paint the capsule gloss or matte black?
 

Tom

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jun 4, 2019
Messages
275
Reaction score
53
That is really a great build so far. The fins are very convincing and the finish is great!

Dare you launch it ? :)
 

Hawkweber

Active Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2019
Messages
44
Reaction score
11
Thanks for posting this. I finally got some free time today, so I'm priming the fins for final sanding right now and hope to have them ready to mount later today. I did go with the 24mm motor mount and used an Estes 24mm retainer, but when I cut the original centering rings out to fit the larger MM, I got it off center slightly. This required sanding the fins slightly to clear the retainer nut. Did you paint the capsule gloss or matte black?
I airbrushed it with Golden HiFlow Carbon Black acrylic. It doesn't specifically say what the sheen is, but if I had to guess I would say it came out maybe semi-gloss.

I am in the process of masking the fins for painting (a job in itself) and will use the same black for that. However, after decals I typically use future acrylic for a clear-coat (airbrushed) which is glossy but this model is huge so I would probably have to use a rattle can clear coat for it. And it calls for a flat clear finish. Not sure what to get to do that and one that will not ruin the acrylic black finish.
 
Top