Mercury Redstone Build

Discussion in 'Low Power Rocketry (LPR)' started by Hawkweber, May 19, 2019.

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  1. May 19, 2019 #1

    Hawkweber

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    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
     
  2. May 21, 2019 #2

    Funkworks

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    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.
     
  3. May 21, 2019 #3

    rharshberger

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    iirc the outer sections of the fins were steerable, as the Redstone was pretty much an American second gen version of the V2.
     
  4. May 21, 2019 #4

    Hawkweber

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    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.
     
  5. May 21, 2019 #5

    gldknght

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    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.
     
  6. May 21, 2019 #6

    Hawkweber

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    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.
     
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  7. May 21, 2019 #7

    Karl

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    Is this the re-release or the one of the older kits? Thinking about building mine soon so ill be watching this thread :)
     
  8. May 21, 2019 #8

    Hawkweber

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    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.
     
  9. May 21, 2019 #9

    GlenP

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    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
     
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  10. May 21, 2019 #10

    Funkworks

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    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.
     

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  11. May 22, 2019 #11

    Nytrunner

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    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
     
  12. May 25, 2019 #12

    Lugnut56

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    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?
     
  13. May 26, 2019 #13

    Hawkweber

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    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
     
  14. May 26, 2019 #14

    Hawkweber

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    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
     
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  15. May 26, 2019 #15

    AfterBurners

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    Its all about the details and prep
     
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  16. Jun 6, 2019 #16

    Hawkweber

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    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
     
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  17. Jun 6, 2019 #17

    Andrew_ASC

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  18. Jun 6, 2019 #18

    Hawkweber

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    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
     
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  19. Jun 6, 2019 #19

    BSNW

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    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
     
  20. Jun 6, 2019 #20

    neil_w

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    Great looking build!
     
  21. Jun 6, 2019 #21

    SecondRow

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  22. Jun 6, 2019 #22

    BSNW

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    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
     
  23. Jun 6, 2019 #23

    hcmbanjo

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    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: Jun 6, 2019
  24. Jun 7, 2019 #24

    Hawkweber

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    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).
     
  25. Jun 7, 2019 #25

    BSNW

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    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
     
  26. Jun 7, 2019 #26

    gldknght

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    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.
     
  27. Jun 12, 2019 #27

    Hawkweber

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    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...
     
  28. Jun 15, 2019 #28

    Lugnut56

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    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?
     
  29. Jun 15, 2019 #29

    Tom

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    That is really a great build so far. The fins are very convincing and the finish is great!

    Dare you launch it ? :)
     
  30. Jun 16, 2019 #30

    Hawkweber

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    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.
     

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