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Name a rocket that wasn't marketed well. (It was cooler than it looked in the catalog) OR the inverse - Cool paint job, boring rocket

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markschnell

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EDIT: Let's also talk about rockets that aren't really anything to get excited about, body and detail-wise, but have a cool, or even iconic paint and decal scheme, i.e. Der Red Max or the Goblin. What are some others.

I was just looking at a build thread for the Estes Cobra #7228 that was posted by @125cc . He showed the underside of the the rocket and it includes these great missiles and also styling that reminds me of the XB-70. The face card of the kit looks kind of boring to me, I had no interest in it before seeing the build thread. It makes me think of the 80's version of GI Joe (not the awesome ones from the 60's and 70's). But now after seeing his build I want one!

What other kits can you think of that a rocket company didn't market well? In other words, the rocket was way cooler than the pic on the face card or the catalog (usually the same photo.) Maybe it has cool styling or doodads that aren't seen in the marketing.
 
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jadebox

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Not quite what you are asking about but ....

The first images of the Lynx that Estes released made it look .... bizarre (not in a good way):

51MmpffhZHL._AC_SX425_.jpg

They later produced better images:

9d43f63887c7236e7c5aaa203fdff49f.image.150x108.jpg
 

125cc

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Hey, thanks for the mention! 🙂

I think most of the Estes "funnies" are underrated. There some pretty cool designs like Asteroid Hunter, Astron Explorer, Interceptor, etc. There's a new Beginner model on the Estes site called Space Corps Centurion that looks pretty cool, unfortunately not available in the UK yet.

The paint scheme on that Lynx looks awesome... Flue Green is my favourite colour!

125cc
 

dr wogz

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I think Estes also tripped over themselves when they went for skill level 1-5 to skill level 1-3 then back again..

so, what was once a skill level 2 or 3 ended up being a skill level 1, then back again.. And that some are 'skill level 3' yet are only a 3 because they are a 24mm mount.. (but still a simple glue-on-fin- design..)

And (in general): what someone might find as 'challenging' others might find as 'frustrating'..

I think "trends" are also something that is subjective.. the "spaceships" of the late 70's early 80's may not really go over with today's youth..
 

markschnell

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I think "trends" are also something that is subjective.. the "spaceships" of the late 70's early 80's may not really go over with today's youth..
Yeah, they made a lot of those spaceships that were very similar in design. I was just looking at my1984 catalog and I sometimes wonder if they were making kits because they had loads of certain parts.
 

markschnell

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One that never did it for me just seeing the catalog pics is the Starship Nova. It wasn't until @hcmbanjo did the build on his blog that I realized how detailed that one was. I just thought it was a slightly goofy looking, droopy-nosed black rocket. The air inlets and the scoop on the bottom have very cool detailing on them, though. I had to buy one for myself for Christmas.
 

125cc

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I think Estes also tripped over themselves when they went for skill level 1-5 to skill level 1-3 then back again..

so, what was once a skill level 2 or 3 ended up being a skill level 1, then back again.. And that some are 'skill level 3' yet are only a 3 because they are a 24mm mount.. (but still a simple glue-on-fin- design..)

And (in general): what someone might find as 'challenging' others might find as 'frustrating'..

I think "trends" are also something that is subjective.. the "spaceships" of the late 70's early 80's may not really go over with today's youth..
Interesting point... I'm very much a beginner but there's nothing really complex about the more complex models. Fiddly perhaps (e.g. Little Joe's LES tower) but not difficult.

I personally think that Sci-Fi designs are timeless, retrofuturism is pretty cool.
 

neil_w

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I don't think this catalog pic from 1981 captured how cool the Space Tranporter America is (was):
1611606253004.png

Seeing close-ups of @John Brohm 's build convinced me.

BTW the 1981 catalog is sci-fi design heaven.
 

markschnell

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I don't think this catalog pic from 1981 captured how cool the Space Tranporter America is (was):


BTW the 1981 catalog is sci-fi design heaven.
Yes! This was exactly the kind of thing I was talking about. I could kick myself, I had one of these in the bag about twenty years ago and I sold it on eBay.
 

markschnell

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I don't think this catalog pic from 1981 captured how cool the Space Tranporter America is (was):
View attachment 447866
Seeing close-ups of @John Brohm 's build convinced me.

BTW the 1981 catalog is sci-fi design heaven.
I'd say the S.S. Cassiopea falls into the same category. That shot on the page could never do it justice.
 

HHaase

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Estes also dropped the ball on the QCC Explorer. Didn’t know till last week it was a scale kit of a real rocket!

Also, Mac Performance makes a 4” of the original VTS-6 rocket! With all the love for the QCC, why not paint it in a pseudo-similar scheme?

 
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K'Tesh

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IMHO the Binder Design Excelerator could have had a better paint scheme and likely would've sold a lot better (IIRC, there are only 6 in the entire world (including my unfinished kit).

1611649554319.png


1611649953095.png
 

neil_w

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IMHO the Binder Design Excelerator could have had a better paint scheme and likely would've sold a lot better (IIRC, there are only 6 in the entire world (including my unfinished kit).

View attachment 447956

View attachment 447957
I agree that the original Excelerator paint scheme shown in your pic there is lackluster at best. Yours is definitely better, but could still use some more punch (the dark blue and black don't contrast much).

It is definitely true that the official paint scheme has a big effect on the appeal of the rocket and is an essential part of marketing, regardless of whether the builder chooses to copy that scheme. This is especially true for simpler rockets. The canonical example is Der Red Max, a simple 3FNC with a ridiculous but unique and inspired paint scheme. Citation Patriot is another good one. The original Interceptor, without all its decals, would still be cool but nothing like the classic it became. I am convinced that the apparent popularity of the Apogee Zephyr is largely due to its paint scheme, which is the best one I've seen from Apogee. Scott Binder's current crop of rockets all have *really* nice paint schemes.

It's almost like you could come up with inverse list of rockets that are *more* popular than you would expect, just because of the paint scheme.
 

markschnell

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It's almost like you could come up with inverse list of rockets that are *more* popular than you would expect, just because of the paint scheme.
I like it, let's go with that too! I'm going to edit the title of the thread.
 

neil_w

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I like it, let's go with that too! I'm going to edit the title of the thread.
Well, I'll offer up the ones I mentioned above as starters:
  • Estes Der Red Max
  • Estes Citation Patriot
  • Apogee Zephyr
By the way, no disrespect to these rockets is meant by being on this list. Coming up with an appealing paint scheme that enables a simple rocket to stand out from the crowd like that is no small accomplishment. The art department deserves its recognition (yes I know that often the "art department" is often the rocket designer, but not always).
 

markschnell

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Well, I'll offer up the ones I mentioned above as starters:
  • Estes Der Red Max
  • Estes Citation Patriot
  • Apogee Zephyr
By the way, no disrespect to these rockets is meant by being on this list. Coming up with an appealing paint scheme that enables a simple rocket to stand out from the crowd like that is no small accomplishment. The art department deserves its recognition (yes I know that often the "art department" is often the rocket designer, but not always).
Agreed, 100%.
 

markschnell

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Throw the goblin in there too. Another boring rocket with an odd fascination for folks
Yep, I don't get that one either...except that I bought one just to see what all the hype was about and I love it! Maybe it's got some kind of voodoo spell on it. Ha!
 

neil_w

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Throw the goblin in there too. Another boring rocket with an odd fascination for folks
That one is the most puzzling to me because I don't even find the paint scheme to be appealing. Clearly it caught people's imagination though, somehow.
 

markschnell

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Just read a build thread of the Astron Explorer by @sl98 . At least two people commented on how they didn't really care for the rocket until they saw the awesome paint design that sl98 put on it. Now they want one.
This is an example of what I'm talking about.
BTW - The pictures of that awesome paint job are in comment 12
 

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Another interesting thread, and I will add my 1.5 cents worth. Totally agree with Neil_W regarding the Space Transporter. I have one of those kits and am eager to build it before I get too old to use a hobby knife.

My particular kit that I thought was great was the Estes Pegasus #0806. A very neat design, but it did have a drab paint scheme, and should have been at least a BT-55 instead of 20. I built another one with a red/white and blue scheme and it appeals to me much more than the gray. I do have the Lawn Dart Rocketry kit that they produced around the 55 tube. And there was an article in the Jul/Aug 96 Sport Rocketry magazine where Gary Briggs did several upscales of that kit, and he also didn't like the paint scheme, ha. I do have on my "ever growing to-do list" a BT-70 version of it, and have vinyl decals from Sticker Shock to put on it.
 

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nelie61

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Hey, thanks for the mention! 🙂

I think most of the Estes "funnies" are underrated. There some pretty cool designs like Asteroid Hunter, Astron Explorer, Interceptor, etc. There's a new Beginner model on the Estes site called Space Corps Centurion that looks pretty cool, unfortunately not available in the UK yet.

The paint scheme on that Lynx looks awesome... Flue Green is my favourite colour!


I like the looks of the Space Corps Centurion also but being a ARF turns me off. I really wish it were a builders kit. I think it's made of foam also but not sure. Does anybody know?7291_Centurion_Side2Flame.jpg
 

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In reality the Starship Vega is just a big white rocket with great decals. If not for the decals it would have been bland, even with having pods and 9 fins.
 

DeWain

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I don't think this catalog pic from 1981 captured how cool the Space Tranporter America is (was):
View attachment 447866
Seeing close-ups of @John Brohm 's build convinced me.

BTW the 1981 catalog is sci-fi design heaven.
Now I want to add another rocket to my huge pile of unbuilt kits and parts sets. I got out of the hobby way back in 1980 when I graduated from high school and left for the active duty Air Force (for a launch crew on a real rocket-- the Titan II). I've looked through some of the early 80s catalogs to see what kits I would have bought if I stayed in the hobby. I've added several to the build queue, but I must have just glossed over this one. But your right, once you really look at it, this really is an awesome looking rocket.

The nozzle assembly is available from Aerobotix on Shapeways, but I've never had much luck trying to create embossed paper wraps. Does any one know of a good way to make/get the wraps for this rocket?
 

K'Tesh

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I agree that the original Excelerator paint scheme shown in your pic there is lackluster at best. Yours is definitely better, but could still use some more punch (the dark blue and black don't contrast much).
Take a look at the image below... ;) Then think about what motivated my color choices.


1611898048106.png


1611898233436.png


BTW, the blue color I have in mind is a metallic blue, much like what you see here...
1611898407136.png
 
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