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most challenging Estes build?

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BSNW

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Just ask the guys that dont paint their rockets :cool:
I would submit an unpainted rocket is an unfinished/not complete rocket.

In the same way, you don't see people purchasing and driving unpainted cars, homes, or furniture (most anything really).

I still say painting and finishing is part of the build. If not, the new Estes Saturn 1B should be listed as a skill level 2 rocket as it is a pretty simple build.....with master-level finishing skills required.
 

neil_w

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See what you mean, but I don't know how one can remove finish work from the build process. Its all part of the build. The Odyssey was much harder to build than paint for me. If memory serves me I think I posted mine on the forums a while back....at least I am pretty sure. It was a tough one for me at least.
In that case, I would think that the Saturn V and Saturn 1B would have to be at the top of the list. Paint on those guys is a huge amount of work.
 

BSNW

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In that case, I would think that the Saturn V and Saturn 1B would have to be at the top of the list. Paint on those guys is a huge amount of work.
YUUP! I learned that for sure! Boy did I ever....I am looking forward to my next try on the Saturn 1B. I am really going to try and nail it next time. It is a very challenging kit finish.
 

Nytrunner

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I would submit an unpainted rocket is an unfinished/not complete rocket.
If that's what you enjoy, then that is absolutely true for your fleet

For the extreme flyers, the most important thing is the data that comes out during flight, and finish is just a means of smoothing the surface (or just a layer to ablate away at M2.7)
For the contest (non-scale) folk, paint is optional as they tread the fine line between smooth surface and weight reduction.
For still others, a rocket has to survive a flight before they take the trouble to paint it.

That's the wonderful thing about rockets, there's a dozen different ways to enjoy the hobby
 

BSNW

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If that's what you enjoy, then that is absolutely true for your fleet

For the extreme flyers, the most important thing is the data that comes out during flight, and finish is just a means of smoothing the surface (or just a layer to ablate away at M2.7)
For the contest (non-scale) folk, paint is optional as they tread the fine line between smooth surface and weight reduction.
For still others, a rocket has to survive a flight before they take the trouble to paint it.

That's the wonderful thing about rockets, there's a dozen different ways to enjoy the hobby
Very well said and absolutely true. However, I was speaking within the context and scope of the original poster for the most challenging Estes build. I think specialized HP and competition rockets fall out of the scope of the thread. :) But you are right, there are some who have valid reasons to not paint. But in most cases, one does not see unpainted rockets. I have never seen a naked Interceptor, Saturn or Mars Snooper etc.
 

BSNW

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A naked Interceptor would be criminal.
I cringe to think of it too!! I will say I am pretty good with decals but the Interceptor-E decals are some of the most difficult I have ever done. They are thin and very big. MAN...those decals made that rocket both beautiful AND difficult!!
 

rockladen

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The 1/70 scale Saturn 1B is the most challenging Estes kit ever, hands down.

James
Oh that's for sure! I built the original Estes Saturn 1B in the mid 1970's. This was the version where you had to sand and shape each wooden escape tower piece to specific tenths of an inch according to the instructions. No plastic pieces whatsoever. Took me 8 months working after work and school. Came out fantastic.
 

GlennW

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I'll put my vote in for the LTV Scout, Mercury Atlas, and Outlander. The Scout had this piece of wood you had to cut the conduit covers from and then shape them which was no easy task. The Atlas wasn't so much a difficult build as it was to finish the thing. I don't know how many hours I spent cutting and shaping those mylar strips. And the Outlander, well, you know if you've built one.........
 

Woody's Workshop

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I never could save my money long enough to afford the bigger kits as a kid. It always went for engines or smaller kits. The hardest thing I built as a kit was probably the Starship Vega at age 10 or 11.
As an adult, I had plenty of harder kits, until the fire and had to sell most of my kits.
Currently, I'd have to say the Xarconian Cruiser was the hardest kit that I can remember. (Remembering is getting harder)
I have put some kits back in my collection lately, but nothing like I had before the fire. I bought a couple SR-71's that were incomplete. Combining them both I have almost a full kit. Missing items are easy to replace. So I think the skins of that kit will be a challenge. Especially after seeing some photo's of several kits that didn't turn out so well.
I would defiantly like to try my skills out on those fins and tower from the early kits. Since I typically have several kits in the build process at a time it would fall in line with the way I build. I think a well built dowel tower would be much strong than the current plastic ones when it comes to landings.
 

BABAR

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I vote for the Outlander, one of the most frustrating kits I've ever done.
I’ve got one unbuilt. Care to share the SNAFUs, or too many to count?
 

laming

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I am still flying mu Estes Blackbird. Itr took a lot of time to build, but was worth it in the long run.
 

BABAR

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There are lots of posts about this wee beastie, but not enough to put me off wanting one. Anyone in Oz have one to sell?
If you build it, take a look at RocketReviews reviews and comments. Lots of stuff that looks helpful. Seems like most success had been upgrading to 24mm, but not so sure that the return of the C5-3 and the EconoJet Ds might work stock. C6-3 is generally a no go. One reviewer suggested you COULD use an A8-3 in your living room, but only with a vaulted ceiling
 

GuyNoir

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I’ve got one unbuilt. Care to share the SNAFUs, or too many to count?
When I modified the kit for 24MM motors, that squeezed the space for the dowels that are part of the leg hinge. Then, for whatever reason, (maybe a builder screw up???), I had trouble getting all the little tank thingies to fit in. It's a kit that's just not very tolerant of making even the tiniest building error. That, and painting it is a PITA.
 

BABAR

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When I modified the kit for 24MM motors, that squeezed the space for the dowels that are part of the leg hinge. Then, for whatever reason, (maybe a builder screw up???), I had trouble getting all the little tank thingies to fit in. It's a kit that's just not very tolerant of making even the tiniest building error. That, and painting it is a PITA.
would you stay stock now that the Estes C5-3 and Quest D12-4s are out?
 

Antares JS

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would you stay stock now that the Estes C5-3 and Quest D12-4s are out?
I have a stock one.

The C5-3 does not work.

The D13-4W reloadable does work.

Test on the D16-4 Q-jet forthcoming, probably during Red Glare, but I'm pretty confident after the D13 worked so nicely.

The C12 or C18 might work with their higher thrust, but I'm not willing to risk it when I already know the D motors work so nicely.
 

billeblurzz

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I built mine for 24mm years ago and had to fill nose cavity with clay and embedded 1 metal washer to get right balance point with swing test! Flies great and low on D12-3!
E203D1F4-31B6-4402-AFC1-E37748D11812.jpeg
 

tab28682

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Based on the number of Estes Phoenix missile models that go unstable at launch, it has to be the hardest to build, since so many are unable to get the nose weight in there.....;)
 

icyclops

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View attachment 376858
I wasn't sure if you meant from the current kits of today, or from all time. I remember building the Centuri Magnum Jayhawk as a kid being pretty challenging with large wing fins and T tails with sanded tapered edges, a big cardstock transition boat tail, you had to split another smaller body tube and a balsa cone for a conduit, and some balsa and dowel antennas or air probes, and card stock canards. It was a fairly involved build for a 13-14 yr old. But looked really cool and flew great on D engines. Other than the Saturn V and that Redstone dowel tower, the Jayhawk was one that stands out in my memory, as a challenge and really worth the effort.

https://www.ninfinger.org/rockets/catalogs/centuri81/81cen30.html
I built the Estes Jayhawk kit years ago....very difficult kit to build and finish. Never liked the side parachute technique they used having the string hang out....crazy kit.
 

Sooner Boomer

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I guess it comes down to what you consider "challanging". The Saturn kits, as well as the Mercury, and Little Joe kits because of shear size and number of parts (Saturns). I think all of these had escape towers you had to build frim "sticks". One I really liked were the Bomark gliders. I seem to recall there were two (Centauri/Estes?). One had a plastic wiring channel in top, the other a balsa one. I seem to remember that the wings were made from edge glued balsa sheets. The last one I built, I really took time with and it turned out *perfect*. And, like a lot of gliders back then, glided out of my life on a nice summer thermal.
 

jimzcatz

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My vote is the Estes part # 2001 Saturn V. Hated building those. Got roped into building 4 for friends and hobby stores.
 
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