MX-774B HIROC (Apogee Components) Build Log

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HIROC build log: got a second wind after dinner so I thought I’d tackle the paper nose cone extension. Go ahead make a paper nose cone extension they said. It’ll be easy and fun they said. There’s a reason they gave you two chances in this kit and I almost and I mean almost had it on the second try. I can’t even imagine trying to get this done without the help of the 3D printed tool (not included with the kit…it really should be.) The first picture is the first try. There is a learning curve and there’s nothing easy about it. Well this is a skill level 5 build right? The second and last chance in the kit was going extremely well. I had learned from the first attempt and was applying what I had learned to this second attempt. It went so well, in fact, that I had it completed! You must be saying “well Joe if it was completed what was the issue?” Well I had just removed it from the tool still taped. I thought adding some thin CA to the very tip would further reinforce this delicate end. I saturated about half inch from the very tip, wiped it with a paper towel and gave a shot of CA kicker. Neat right? I needed to remove the tape still and was afraid I might bend it trying to remove the tape so I put it back on the tool for support and the split second I did that the horror hit me. What if there was still wet CA on the inside that seeped through but the kicker could not reach? I said a colorful four letter word that starts with an F and ends in a K! I immediately went to pull it off, but no it was stuck now. It was stuck so good that when I grabbed it even harder and pulled the part that wasn’t permanently attached to the tool peeled off like a sock leaving about an inch of the tip remaining! More colorful words were said including “Joe you SMF!” You should have known better! I had to saturate the end of the tool with CA debonder hoping it wouldn’t melt the neat tool I had just picked up in Fortuna earlier today. It worked and I was able to scrape most of the glue and paper from it. A quick sanding and it was ready for attempt number 3. The good news is that I don’t give up that easily. I went and retrieved a piece of cardstock from Lorrena’s office and used the cutout border from the kit as a reverse pattern for the shape I needed. This was cut out and I then proceeded once again. I also learned from the second attempt and employed that on this attempt. In the end it turned out fine. I removed the tape first then removed the extension cone from the tool. I again used thin CA on the tip, but this time kicker was used on the inside too! Being happy with the result, BSI 30 minute epoxy was mixed up, an amount poured directly into the tip and the rest spread around the inside of the paper extension. Finally the nose cone tip was inserted into the paper extension and secured with tape to cure. WHEW! 🤦‍♂️😬😎🚀🚀🚀
 

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The Apogee Components, Inc MX-774B HIROC Missile build log: much got done today. I started off by saturating the nose cone extension exterior with thin CA then filled, sanded and prepped for primer. The first primer round went down, dried and was sanded in preparation for round two which was done. When that dried I wet sanded with 400 grit and set aside. Next the 1/2 round balsa pieces were shaped for the cable raceways, sanded and primed (I learned it’s best to pre-prime them before installation on my Apogee Saturn V build.). All the spirals were then filled with auto glazing putty along with the BT/Fin can seam and all the fin fillets. Once this was dried I sanded it all down. The cable raceways were then CA glued down into position and the joints filled with auto glazing putty. All that’s left to do on the construction sequence is to add the detail wraps and do a bit more sanding for primer. 😎🚀🚀🚀
 

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MX-774B HIROC Missile build log: not much got done today. The cable runways that I had filled around were sanded down and a second round of glazing putty was added to the cable runway/fin joints.
 

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My Convair MX-774B HIROC build log: I finish sanded the cable races/fin joints. Then I cut out the wraps and circles from the kit’s card stock sheets. The holes in the card stock were sanded with a dowel and 320 grit. All wraps were installed with a thin layer of wood glue and set aside to dry. This completes the construction sequence. It’s off to primer tomorrow! 🥰🚀🚀🚀
 

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Convair MX-774B HIROC build log: today I got the first round of automotive filler primer on the BT, wet sanded, filled with glazing putty on a few spots and sanded again tonight. It’s ready for primer round two tomorrow! 🥰🚀🚀🚀
 

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Convair MX-774B HIROC rocket build log: today the second coat of filler primer went on the rocket and then it was set aside to dry. After 2 hours it was wet sanded with 400 grit sandpaper. It is now ready to be painted white! 🥰🚀🚀🚀
 

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The Convair MX-774B HIROC build log: today the entire rocket was painted gloss white with RustOleum Stops Rust paint. I’ll let this cure for a week before the black paint details go on. 🥰🚀🚀🚀
 

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My Convair MX-774B HIROC Rocket build log: tomorrow is black paint day YAY so I did some prep work for that. Using the kit face card’s photo I took measurements from the bottom of the nose cone to the start of the black trim and another from the bottom of the nose cone to the top of the black as well as the total length of the nose cone measured from its shoulder. I then converted the two first distances into percentages. I also did the same for the silver at the tip. I then applied these percentages to the actual physical measurements of my nose cone and using a micrometer transferred this measurement tick mark all the way around the nose cone. Tomorrow I’ll use vinyl tape to mask off around the stripe using the pencil tick marks as a guide. There are also some masks needed for the fins so I carefully cut them out and stuck them on a zip lock bag so they are ready to use tomorrow.
 

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My Convair MX-774B HIROC flying model rocket build log: well a beautiful summer day equates to the black paint got applied YAY! But first just a little bit of pencil marking and masking had to take place. 😜 The last 4 pictures show the roll pattern in sequence starting with P1-P4 rotated clockwise. 😎🥰🚀🚀🚀
 

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My Convair MX-774B HIROC rocket build log: couldn’t do much on it today other than some “by hand” brush paintwork on the engine bell area and bottom of the fins.
 

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My Convair MX-774B HIROC Rocket build log: went searching for a “rust red” Rusto to do the final detail painting and found this 2X “Paprika”. This is over a Stops Rust Gloss which I’ve done before and I know it’s compatible with the eventual satin clear coat. I like the color! Masking these off, of course, was a job in itself. I did some clean up/touch up work already, but it still needs some more when completely dry. Almost time for decals! 🥰🚀🚀🚀
 

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My Convair MX-774B HIROC Rocket build log: I got most of the decals installed last night, but am going to wait a week to put the decals on the freshly painted red control tabs. I also installed the rail buttons and motor retainer connections. Finally I did some white touch up paint work at the top of the BT/shoulder and some silver on the engine bells. Back off into the warm room to dry.
 

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I realized after I painted the rust red tabs that satin paint and decals don’t like each other, but I have a plan that I’ve used before for the same issue and it worked fine. That is utilize microsol after the decal has been applied to “melt” in the decal as much as possible to the surface. Then when it’s time to clear coat make more light coats in that area.
 
I realized after I painted the rust red tabs that satin paint and decals don’t like each other, but I have a plan that I’ve used before for the same issue, and it worked fine. That is utilize microsol after the decal has been applied to “melt” in the decal as much as possible to the surface. Then when it’s time to clear coat make more light coats in that area.
Good tip regarding MicroSol. I'm using Tamiya paints for the most part but only have Rustoleum for the clear coat, so I only spray several very light coats of the satin to ensure I don't have any issues of lifting. Tamyia makes a rust red and a several brighter reds. For detail hand painting, I spray a little paint into a plastic cup and before it dries, I paint it on with a brush. Your paint job looks amazing, BTW.
 
Good tip regarding MicroSol. I'm using Tamiya paints for the most part but only have Rustoleum for the clear coat, so I only spray several very light coats of the satin to ensure I don't have any issues of lifting. Tamyia makes a rust red and a several brighter reds. For detail hand painting, I spray a little paint into a plastic cup and before it dries, I paint it on with a brush. Your paint job looks amazing, BTW.
Thanks I’ve learned from my mistakes made on the Saturn V because I was new to all this when I built it.
 
Here’s some pics. It was a really fun and challenging build for sure! The quality of these Apogee Components kits is amazing! 🥰🚀🚀🚀
 

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