This gives me something to work with. I will probably laminate the fins 5-ply 110# cardstock rather than doing the fold-over technique. Here is the starting point before I start copying the fin shapes and laying out the decal artwork. My 1-inch square reference matches up with the 1-inch marking on the scanned fin sheet, the decals appear to be in the same scale also. Next will be to redraw the fin shapes and lay out 5 copies of each, will probably need two pages, with artwork and colors on the outside faces.
Sure, I will post the .svg and .pdf when I am done, this is kind of showing the process of how I make one of these. Still playing around with the colors, but here is a first pick at a primary yellow and olive drab, with primary red and navy blue. These are the outer faces of the fins that I traced from the scanned fin sheet with the decal artwork also traced. I will laminate these parts double ply, then add one more ply to one of them, so the total thickness will be 5 ply. 4 ply might be enough for these mini rockets, we'll see. The edges will be white, so I will have to find a suitable marker to cover that up, or cut thin strips of paper printed with that color to veneer tape the fin edges, that is easier with thicker fins. Paper has a kind of grain to it, so when I double these up, I rotate the paper kind of like plywood layers 90-deg, or +/-45 deg, helps a little with keeping them flat and not warping. also, I use a glue-stick to not oversaturate the paper and press it under several heavy books until dry.
this image is just a screen grab of my Inkscape window:
One challenging part is finding a good font to match the original for the rocket name logos. Those vintage fonts are hard to match with today's high-quality vector fonts. I guess I can use the scan of the original and remove the blue tint of the background decal sheet, that should look good enough at this size. Modern fonts just don't have the same vibe as the original decal artwork fonts, but you can come pretty close...
Here is my first attempt at the body tube patterns, diameter will be 13mm, BT-5, one 6" two 4" and one 2" for the booster. My S.C.R.A.M. font lettering is not as bold as the original, but the best I could find. Also, I opted to make the WARNING in white instead of black on the Olive Drab portion, and added a yellow roll pattern to the black booster tube. Next comes the nose cones and launch lugs.
Would be kind of funny to do a Goony of the SCRAM and call it AMSCRAY and use Pigasus colors, you know for the pig Latin...
I will probably use the nose cone templates from the Project Paper thread, either the 13mm template, or the 18mm template scaled down, I kind of like that shape better. The SCRAM and Sting Ray are just solid color fills, the Star Seeker will have the window decals, and I might have to adjust where they are located to fit in between the transition segments. They look better when you don't cross a seam with the decal artwork because any mismatch when joining the parts really shows up.
This is kind of a different process for me, usually I work out the parts of a template and print each up for a test build to make tweaks as I go along, this time I am trying to complete the entire printable template for all three mini rockets before doing my prototype test build.
Noses and launch lugs and fin lugs, I guess you would call them. I updated with the new Boeing logo. I liked the shape of the Project Paper 18mm nose, but scaled it down to 13mm size. Here's the artwork page, screen grab.
I guess I can start printing and making a test build now, and see if I have to make any tweaks to the templates.
Ugh, I already noticed one mistake after printing, I put the canopy windows on S3 and S2 of the Star Seeker nose, but should have put them on S4 and S3... will fix later.
fixed Star Seeker windows, re-printed that part of the sheet. Now I can start building the parts to "kit" it out. Will probably start with the body tubes, then fins, then nose cones, then lugs. Big to small parts, easier to harder difficulty level. Once all the card stock parts are built, then it's just like assembling the regular kit and I try to follow those instructions for the assembly sequence.
I will probably make some cardstock display stands for these also when they are done.
Rolling body tubes around a 0.5" dowel with a little layer of copy paper cellophane taped on, to get just the right tolerance over a 13mm engine after glue had dried. I like using a glue stick, easy to smear glue into a thin layer on the backside of the outer finished side. I make the template with a little overlap, if you don't like that you can trim the inner layer a little shorter so you just have 2 ply thickness around the entire circumference, but this makes a weak spot at the seam. These things are kind of trial and error and you develop your own technique that works for you. You can always cut the glue tab off and make the tube single ply with just a short glue tab and an edge-to-edge butt joint.
I like the white lettering on the Olive Drab better than black lettering, this is more kind of Honest John-ish. Solid black color regions are not printing up as dark and uniformly as I would like, might need a new ink cartridge, so I still may opt to spray paint that Sting Ray booster, and possibly add a ring of Aluminum dryer duct metallic tape for visibility around the top edge.
Lots of fins in this tri pack. Three sets of three for S.C.R.A.M, two sets of three for Sting Ray, and two sets of two for Star Seeker. I thought the 4-ply was thick enough for SCRAM and Sting Ray, but the extended fin on Star Seeker looks like it needed an extra ply so those are 5 ply. I still might add an additional lug to reinforce the wing root joints, those fins just look like they will pop off on landing with the sideways torque you could get on a tip impact.
The second ply of paper was rotated 45-deg in between portrait and landscape. When you fold the matching mirror-image sides over to each other they will cross grains at +/-45-deg. Maybe not that big a deal for these little mini rockets, but does seem to help keep the fins from warping. This is after initial cutting, I will run the edges over some 400-grit sandpaper to even up the edges a little. Then you can either edge them with a black sharpie or color match as best as you can.
I put the red/white/blue fin in the wrong spot for this picture, they are the outboard wing portions. Also, I added the stripes to the top and bottom of those fins.
pretty a much typical cardstock model, but cool mini rocket designs. These were from the time frame when I was not active in the hobby, but probably would have bought this kit at the time if I was, too busy with other things in the late 80's, like going off to college, etc. Nose cones and lugs are the next parts.
I might put all my redrawn vector-graphics artwork on a single decal sheet page like the original scan, so anyone can print their own and re-scale for a more conventional clone build with standard parts and painted finish. But these .svg and .pdf files seem to be too large to post to TRF. I can probably upload a PNG bitmap at full size, but that won't have the scalable vector graphics.
Starting to think about thrust rings and recovery, and just realized I am all out of Kevlar cord. I do have some of the thin round elastic cord, but might go ahead and order some more Kevlar for the supply box. I can add a little length of the elastic to the end of the Kevlar, not too much to still fit that in the BT-5 4" tubes. These do not call for any streamer or chute, since they are so light and will tumble when the nose blows off, but for visibility in air and on ground, I may add a short length of that mylar reflective "bird repellent" streamer to these. Might work on the nose cones next while I wait for my Kevlar order to arrive.
Star Seeker now has a nose. The others will pretty much look the same. Tweezers help with the smaller parts of this one. just takes a little glue to set up, then after totally dry, coat the inside with a thin layer. That gives it some support, kind of like a thin layer of plastic. I may add a little clay to these, will have to see what final weight is. If I have any margin below the max lift-off weight for the largest mini engine, I will add that much weight in clay to the nose. After the other two noses, I have some lugs to roll. I just realized that I need to color fill one yellow and one gray to match the body tubes of the SCRAM and Sting Ray in my template.
My Inkscape SVG files are around 3MB, just too large to post here. The PNG files are very small and probably good enough resolution for printing, but not upscaling. Here are my working tempates in PNG format.
Here are the launch lugs and fin lugs. I like how the Estes logo on the lugs turned out. I like to leave a little extra margin keeping the cut lines when rolling these, as well as body tubes and fins, and then can sand them down with some 400 grit to just remove the cut lines, you can get a nice smooth edge.
I still have to make the SCRAM and Sting Ray nose cones, but they are basically the same as the Star Seeker, without any decal artwork, just solid color fills to match the yellow and 20% gray body tubes. Waiting for my Kevlar order to arrive to install thrust rings and start assembly. The catalog artwork shows the Star Seeker at a larger scale than the other two, it's 4" body tube is the same length as the 4" yellow Sting Ray sustainer.
one last thing I forgot, the little dowels on the wing tips of the Star Seeker. I plan to just roll these from the white paper so it will be like a solid paper dowel. These are kind of tricky, you have to start with a very thin fold and just roll the paper as tight as you can without using a mandrel. I don't have a part for that on the template, but you can use some of the scrap to cut a piece about the size of the lugs. I will leave that as an exercise for the reader.
instructions call for an engine block and another as a shock cord mount. I am just using one thrust ring with a Kevlar line attached to it, and will attach a short length of elastic cord to the end of that. Hopefully not more than I can pack into that BT-5 tube.
The tubes and fins are the easy parts. Cardstock nose cones are never going to look as good as a painted PNC or BNC, but color matching is difficult if you are combining a printed body tube with a painted nose cone of the same color. I think my black inkjet cartridge was getting low when I printed this and it came out streaky, I may resort to painting the booster of the Sting Ray all black like the facecard. Although the streaks kind of look like panel lines, might just clear coat it and see what it looks like.
These are just for fun, so I hope folks enjoy building them. My templates are not geared towards beginner or first-time cardstock builds, I assume the builder has already built some of these and knows how they go together. I hope someone finds these useful and tries to build their own. Post pictures!
These would make cool upscales too, but I think the fin joint on the Star Seeker would need to be TTW or have some extra reinforcement on a heavier build, ground impact from the tip of the jointed fin looks like it could crank a lot of torque into that joint and pop the fin off.
Many thanks! I wiuld be happy to share the full size PDFs which are too large to post here on Wayne’s blog.
I did not create these cone templates, I used the Project Paper 18 mm cone template and reduced it to 13 mm size. Those Project Paper templates are a good introduction for the first time cardstock builder.
This tri pak also gives a good example for the different levels of clear coat sheen. Not a hard and fast rule, but for these particular designs/genres I prefer to use the following:
Star Seeker =Glossy (or maybe Semi-Gloss)
Sting Ray =Semi-Gloss/Satin (or maybe Glossy)
I decided to use glossy on the Yellow/Black Sting Ray, semi-gloss(satin) on the White with Red/Blue trim on the Star Seeker, and Matte finish on the S.C.R.A.M. Not sure if I can take a good enough quality photograph to show the differences. But, the matte finish sure looks just right on the S.C.R.A.M. You have to make that first coat fairly light to avoid saturating the paper, then you can do a heavier final coat after 2nd or 3rd, pretty much like you would finish any other rocket. I really like how the clear coat locks the colors in on these cardstock models. The semi-gloss and glossy coat start to shine after that 3rd coat, I might leave it alone, or try one more top coat. Will try to get a good photo in natural light or bounce flash. I was using Krylon Matte Finish and Rustoleum 2X satin(semi-gloss) and glossy clear.