Mercury Redstone Build

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

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  1. Jun 16, 2019 #31

    Hawkweber

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    Thanks! Yes, I will launch it. Maybe just once, but it will see the sky.
     
  2. Jun 21, 2019 #32

    Hawkweber

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    Here it is masked for the roll pattern painting. This was a royal pain and took probably 2 hours. And even with all of this prep, there was still some bleed through which would have to be touched up.
    Redstone-19.png
    After the initial pattern painting, I then had to mask and paint the 1/8" black band that goes around the rocket just above the fins as there is no decal for that. There is a build-up of paint at the roll pattern area of that section as the mask was thick. Not sure if I am going to attempt to sand that down a bit or just leave it.

    Touching-up the white that had the black over-spray or bleed through was not easy. I was hoping to just use my white acrylic paint but that was too bright. So I had to decant some of the Rustoleum 2X semi-gloss white into a jar and then apply it to the areas with a brush. I don't have any mineral spirits to clean up the brush so that is now trash. The areas that were touched up came out pretty well but I will still have to take a buff to them to make it a better finish.
    Redstone-20.png

    Redstone-21.png

    So, now I need to wait probably 2 days for the Rusto 2X touch up to fully cure before I can even clear coat. I might work on the decals while waiting.

    I did a lot of research into what type of clear coat to use on this, but my choice of paints somewhat screwed me over here. Normally I use Future acrylic to clear coat my rockets but this calls for a flat/matte/dull finish. However I used Rustoleum 2X Painters Touch for the white of the body (it is a large rocket and I didn't think I would be able to airbrush it well so I decided to use a rattle can) but it turns out that this is an oil-based enamel. My airbrush paint, and in this case the black, is water-based acrylic, so it is a touchy kind of pairing. Unfortunately almost every type of clear coat in a rattle can is either lacquer (which will attack the white enamel) or an enamel (which can attack the black acrylic). The only safe bet is to use an acrylic but even those in rattle cans seem to be hit or miss based on the paints I used.

    I did read somewhere that if the rocket is just going to sit there on a shelf and if you want it to be a supreme replica then yes, you MUST go with a dull coat for accuracy. But if it is to be flown or handled, then a gloss coat is the way to go as it is easier to clean and wipe down and typically gloss coats are thicker and harder than dull. So, in order to avoid any paint issues and cleaning/handling issues I will use the Future acrylic. Purists need not flame me for this sacrilege...
     
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  3. Jun 21, 2019 #33

    udid9iv99

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    this seems harder than a level 3 build....
     
  4. Jun 21, 2019 #34

    Hawkweber

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    Udid9iv99, Yes! I have to agree. I mean the Lynx I did was also considered a level 3 and it is nothing compared to this build. Just doing the tower on this was more work and more difficult than doing the whole Lynx. This should probably be considered a level 4. But then the latest Saturn V is a level 4 and that has a whole lot more to do so should that be considered a level 5? If not then this one is a strong 3.5.
     
  5. Jun 21, 2019 #35

    udid9iv99

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    I actually got this kit too and i think that it's been harder than a saturn v so far. The capsule wouldn't even fit together so now I have to get a knife and cut off some of it to fit...
     
  6. Jun 21, 2019 #36

    hcmbanjo

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    Don't cut it up! There's a better way to assemble the tower and capsule -
    http://modelrocketbuilding.blogspot.com/search/label/E Mercury Redstone

    Scroll down and back to get to the start of the build.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2019
  7. Jun 26, 2019 #37

    Hawkweber

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    Decals done! The process was not too bad except for the wrap. I hate wraps. Always have and always will.

    The MR8 decals were relatively easy - had to line up the bottom edge within the black band as it is on the original rocket. The black band in the middle, also easy. Lining up the United States took a bit of time as they slid around while working out the air pockets - had to keep aligning them, which was with line-of-sight and also a ruler. But they laid down well.

    The wrap, however was another story. I had that centered perfectly right over the United, but with having to constantly work out the bubbles and wrinkles with a q-tip it ended up shifting. So, it is not dead-on accurate. But the darn thing took about 30 minutes of massaging with the q-tip to get everything set and flat. Did I mention that I HATE wraps?
    Redstone-22.png

    (Yes, that is a Saturn V in the works in the background).

    All that is left is to clear coat the thing. Oh, and then install the shock cord/parachute, but I always do that after clear coating.
     
  8. Jun 26, 2019 #38

    Bruiser

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    It looks great! I have been thinking about one of these and if I do get one your thread is going to chart my coarse.

    -Bob
     
  9. Jun 26, 2019 #39

    Hawkweber

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    Thanks Bob!
     
  10. Jun 28, 2019 #40

    Tom

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    Great build log. I just picked up one of these kits and I am sure you will have saved me a lot of grief!
     
  11. Jun 28, 2019 #41

    Hawkweber

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    Thanks Tom! Good luck on your build.
     
  12. Jun 30, 2019 #42

    Tom

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    Hope you don't mind me tagging on to your build thread ;)

    Whew that escape tower or what ever it is called is one tough build!

    Also learned that when you laminate the fins together and put a weight on them. Make darn sure the surface is level! Mine slid off about 1/4 inch! Fortunately I saw that before the glue had set.
     
  13. Jul 1, 2019 #43

    Lugnut56

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    Thanks again for posting this thread because I've referenced it several times while building mine. As others have posted, the tower is a challenge (mine ended up with a slight tilt). I did have an issue that I haven't seen anybody else post about-- I had one of the cardstock "spacers" that go between the inner and outer fins delaminate. The white outer layer of the cardstock stayed attached to the fin, but the white layer delaminated from the inner brown paper. I was able to reattach it with CA. This happened before painting, so I was able make it almost unnoticeable.
     
  14. Jul 1, 2019 #44

    Hawkweber

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    Don't mind at all.

    Yeah, the Launch Escape System (LES) tower is a royal pain. It looks really cool when done, but it takes a lot out of you.

    When doing the fins I also had concerns about them moving once the weight was on them and finding them the next morning totally screwed up. So I used a super-thin coating of wood glue and let it set up a bit so it was tacky, then pressed them together. Held them that way for a bit and then set down with weight on top. That way there should be no way for the two halves to slide. Still had nightmares that night...
     
  15. Jul 1, 2019 #45

    Hawkweber

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    Lugnut - yeah, the fact that they used the thick cardstock for that instead of balsa/basswood was a head-scratcher for me - I have an image of the rocket landing a bit hard and the edge fins just breaking off due to the paper. But it should be an easy fix if that happens, just do what you did and glue back on with CA. I did "harden" them up a bit before attaching the fins by running CA along the outside edge of the stock to try to fuse it and keep the layers from wanting to separate.
     
  16. Jul 1, 2019 #46

    Tom

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    Thanks for the heads up on that cardstock part. I had not gotten to that yet and was looking at the directions and my first thought was "Well that will come apart!". I guess my instinct was right :D

    I might fashion something from Balsa for them instead. Or might drill some holes all the way through them and use epoxy.
     
  17. Jul 2, 2019 #47

    Tom

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    Hrm, I just had a look at the cardstock pieces and mine already have a series of small slots all through them.

    Were yours like that?
     
  18. Jul 2, 2019 #48

    Hawkweber

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    They have little slots running down the center. I think those are to allow a bit more "grab" for the glue.
     
  19. Jul 8, 2019 #49

    Hawkweber

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    Mercury Redstone Build - FINISHED!

    Been busy working on the Saturn V to hopefully have it ready for July 20th launch, but had some free time today to finish this Redstone build. This was the final clear cloating. Afterwards I installed the shock cord and chute and it was done.

    Redstone-23.png Redstone-24.png Redstone-25.png Redstone-26.png

    While sometimes (very) frustrating, this was a good build for me. I learned some new techniques and it came out really nice. While I was planning on flying it on July 20th, my wife thinks I should enter this in the 2019 Loudoun County Fair this month for judging, but that would keep it out of hand until the end of the month. I'm thinking about it...

    Also, it was really cool all the conversation that this thread brought out particularly the discussions about the actual rocket.

    Thanks for viewing!
     
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  20. Jul 8, 2019 #50

    Tom

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    Very nice build Hawk. I have mine mostly built all except the recovery system. Just waiting on a little dryer weather for the painting. Its been in the 90's with a RH of 80% so...

    Oh and good luck on the County Fair!
     
  21. Jul 8, 2019 #51

    Hawkweber

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    Thanks!
     

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