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stantonjtroy

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So here is the beginning of my next project/venture. I started it sometime back; Life got in the way and I had to back burner it, but now I can give it my attention. It will have a 3" airframe with a 29mm mount. I already built and flew the development prototype (Pictures below), performance was great. Pictured below are the master patterns for the production nosecone/capsule and the LES tower. Panel line & rivet detail will be waterslide decals (for now). Cardboard airframe (for now) with composite fins/fillets. The LES Tower will be jig built straight out of the box, eliminating one of the biggest hassles with this particular rocket. Basic configuration is for duel deploy. More to come.101_1631.JPG101_1632.JPG101_1633.JPG101_1635.JPGIMG_2179.JPG
 

stantonjtroy

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Wow! Is this based on a kit or completely scratchbuilt?
Completely scratched. I saw the Sherri's kit and knew I could do as well or better so.... The detail decal wrap started as a decal wrap that was available for the Estes M/R. I scaled it up and realized for what I wanted I'd need to redraw the whole thing so I did using the original as a template adjusting for the more scale proportions of my model. The fins are 1/8in G10 laminated on either side w/ styrene and shaped accordingly. The Capsule master shown is a resin turning that was covered with foil tape (Air duct tape) shingles that were hand embossed. Each corrugation, one at a time. I've made a silicone mold from this and will be rotocasting production cones from that. The prototype capsule was made from a card stock structure shingled in he same manner as the production master. LES tower is brass tube & steel music wire brazed together (as will be the production pre-fabricated towers). The project is coming together.
 
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aerostadt

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Is the LES tower motor turned from metal? How are the motor nozzle exit cones made?
 

stantonjtroy

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Is the LES tower motor turned from metal? How are the motor nozzle exit cones made?
The ones shown are turned from aluminum (master patterns). Some styrene detail bits will be added and a silicone mold made. Resin castings will be made for production. As for the motor nozzle exit cones, I haven't decided yet. They'll most likely be resin castings. The motor on the prototype was a cardboard tube dressed out with styrene details and the nozzle cones on it were rolled from thin sheet styrene.
 
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stantonjtroy

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So I've made some headway w/ Fusion 360. I plan on milling the left & right half of the fin from medium density tooling board, Mold it, Then cast it in resin with a G10 core extending from the tip through to the TTW fin tab. Attached is my "Practice" rendering (Needed to be sure I could do what I needed). Next will be this rendering adjusted for proper dimensions. Just ordered some straight cut milling bits and casting material.
MR Fins.jpg
 

heada

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From the previous posts it sounds like you'll be offering kits for sale based on making masters for molds. Is that true and if so, do you have more details such as proposed timeline and cost?
 

stantonjtroy

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From the previous posts it sounds like you'll be offering kits for sale based on making masters for molds. Is that true and if so, do you have more details such as proposed timeline and cost?
That is in fact the case. Time line, I'm hoping will be just after Easter; Should be done Beta testing by then. Fins will be Resin castings with G10 cores going from the fin tip, through to form the TTW tab. Centering rings will be 1/8" & 1/16" G10 with a resin cast CR/plate between the fin can/airframe for the trench/bolt detail. The tower portion of the LES will be pre-fabricated out of the box from brass tube (possibly styrene rod for non-structural components); It will be brazed & jig built. All other LES components will be resin cast. 29mm MMT. Initial offerings will have cardboard/Kraft tube airframes (I am looking into Kraft Phenolic as well) though the plan is to, down the line, offer the kit with the option of fiberglass airframes having all of the panel line and rivet detail molded in.
As to the price; I can't say yet as I'm still sourcing the components. I don't want to buy my tubes from another rocket vendor (kinda defeats he purpose, though the Beta Test models will most likely use LOC tube). I have a reliable source for the fiberglass tubes with a reasonable minimum purchase. Also considering farming out the decals. I can (and have for years) printed my own but for production, even small scale production, that seems a bit unrealistic. Hope to be contacting a couple of vendors this week.
I want to keep the price reasonable. This isn't meant to be my living ( I have a day job) I'd just like to make enough for my hobby pay for itself (and maybe a little more). I love scale, especially the early manned spacecraft, but no one is really making mid/hi power offerings in these scales. I'd commented to my wife on this many times, her response was "Why don't you do it?" So here we are. I'll post as it moves along.
 

stantonjtroy

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Any chance you'll also offer a Liberty Bell 7 capsule as well, for MR8?
As a Matter of fact, YES, Sort of. The capsule, in it's current state, has the later (flush) hatch molded in while the thicker hatch (MR7) will be included as a bond on component giving the builder the option. Additionally the window panel/shingle on the capsule casting is blank; There will be a decal for the round "Porthole" w/ extra corrugations and another decal with the later double plate/trapezoidal design. I'm considering a re-tool to allow the window shingle to be an "either/or" casted component to be bonded in by the builder. Overall marking decals will be included for both MR7 & MR8 and their corresponding capsules. My follow on intention will be a Merc/Atlas in the same scale. That one will have the proper window molded in. Beta test kits for the Merc/Redstone are being put together now. Beta kits are using LOC tubing. I've found a good/affordable source for fiberglass (G-10) tubes but am still trying to find a source of Kraft or Kraft/Phenolic tubes that is not another rocketry vendor. Beta kit decals will be water slide made by me. Production kits will have silkscreened water slide decals (finalizing details with the vendor now). I'm tweaking the holding fixtures for soldering up the escape towers (they will be pre-fabricated out of the box eliminating a major PITA for the builder). Going with printed instructions, similar in format to the old Estes instructions. Finalizing those will come from Beta Test feedback then I can finalize with the printers. Logistics, logistics, logistics. Still looking at a production delivery right after Easter. On top of it all I'm still banging around ideas for what to call this little enterprise of mine. All of this while still working my "Day Job" and tending to family obligations. I'll keep everyone posted.
 
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Blast it Tom!

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Sounds good! And it's all I can do to keep up with the day job, family obligations, and occasionally a little - wee little - bit of rocket building!
 
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