Nautilus III (3D Rocketry) Build

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krusty

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Hi All,

Back in November Bill from 3D Rocketry announced his new kit, the Nautilus III

I thought it looked like a super rocket so I contacted Bill and he was happy to post one off to Australia and it arrived within a couple of weeks :)

I've been looking forward to putting this together & have started tonight. Here's the first photo for this build -

NautilusIII-01-S.jpg

Just the parts for now.

More soon!

Krusty
 

stickershock23

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subscribed! I have not started mine (just too much going on) but I cannot wait!
 

krusty

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Finally home and fed :) Time for an update!

The Nautilus comes with a handy-dandy fin marking template. I used this to mark out the locations of the three through-the-wall fin slots that I needed to cut.

With the locations of the slots marked, I tape around the out-side of each slot - this gives me a good clean line to cut against.
NautilusIII-02-S.jpg NautilusIII-03-S.jpg

And we're done! All three fin slots cut :)
NautilusIII-04-S.jpg NautilusIII-05-S.jpg

Krusty
 

krusty

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Work continues :)

The first thing I did tonight was to space out the centring rings, allowing space for an Estes 29mm retainer.
I have differed from the instructions here and added a screw-eye as a shock cord mount.
NautilusIII-06-S.jpg NautilusIII-07-S.jpg
The instructions had the shock cord mounted with epoxy along the length of the body tube, going under the upper centring ring.
I've added a Kevlar loop, tied with the knot secured with some shrink tubing. The benefit here is that I can check the shock cord before each flight and, if needed, replace it easily enough by cutting the Kevlar and using it to draw through another length.

The next thing I did was to glue the motor tube into place.
NautilusIII-08-S.jpg NautilusIII-09-S.jpg
I glooped epoxy around the inside of the body tube for the top centring ring. I added some tape tags to the lower centring ring and slipped everything into place. Once the epoxy had cured, I removed the lower centring ring by pulling on the tape.

Krusty
 

krusty

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Rail buttons... Why not!

The Nautilus III kit comes with a 1/4" launch lug but I've decided to use rail buttons instead.

The first thing I did was work out where the buttons need to go and drill holes. The buttons I'm using have a 4mm screw.
NautilusIII-10-S.jpg

With a rocket this size, squirting a little epoxy in the screw hole before attaching the rail button is fine, however I'm going to over-engineer this a little by adding a laser-cut backing plate.
NautilusIII-11-S.jpg

Although a bit fiddly, the backing plate is now installed!!
NautilusIII-12-S.jpg
I've used yellow wood glue for now to secure the plate into place. Before I attach the rear centring ring, I will gloop a little epoxy over the ends of the screws.

Krusty
 

krusty

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Finished ?? No just fins!

I filled the fins with Tamiya Putty and once dry gave a light sanding with 180 grit paper followed by a good solid go with 400 grit.
NautilusIII-13-S.jpg

With the fins sanded down, I turned to my favourite new tool, Ted's guillotine fin jig. Working on one fin at a time, I mixed only enough epoxy to make a bead along the root edge of the fin. With epoxy applied, each fin was dropped into its slot and aligned in the jig.
NautilusIII-14-S.jpg

The process was repeated for each fin.
NautilusIII-17-S.jpg

And before your very eyes - 3 fins attached!!
NautilusIII-18-S.jpg NautilusIII-19-S.jpg

Nice :)

Next job is to work on internal fillets.

Krusty
 

krusty

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Looking good.. mines still in the box taunting me to build it...
LOL :grin: I know that feeling!

This build is taking longer than my last as I'm back at work now after a lovely break over Christmas. I'm just doing a little each night after work.

It's a really good solid kit and haven't found any problems at all. Swapping the lug for buttons and changing the shock cord mount were both personal preferences and nothing against the kit design.

I'm sure you'll have fun building yours!

Thanks for watching my build :)

Krusty
 

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Internal fillets!!

With the thin strips of wood that will accent the fins externally, the internal fillets will do most of the work.

To do the internal fillets, start by taping over the fin slots - this will stop epoxy leaking out of the inside and leaving dribbles down the fins that you will need to remove later.
NautilusIII-20-S.jpg

With the tape in place, I mixed a small batch of 5 Min epoxy and thinned it with a little acetone. I need enough to do 4 fillets. By doing 4 fillets at a time, you only need to do 3 sets of fillets :) This is the order I will do them in -
Fillet-Guide.jpg

To get the thinned epoxy in the right places & to stop getting glue everywhere else, I will use a 5ml syringe with a blunt needle.
NautilusIII-21-22-S.jpg
These come in very handy and if you stick yourself with it, you aren't going to get hurt. This is a 19 gauge needle - about the fattest one you can get.

Here's all the fillets done -
NautilusIII-23-S.jpg

Krusty
 

krusty

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With the internal fillets done, I can now install the rear centring ring.

I started by mixing some 5 Min epoxy and, using the syringe again, applied the epoxy to the ends of the fins and around both the inside of the body tube and outside of the engine tube. I then pushed in the rear centring ring and stood the rocket vertically to allow the epoxy to cure.
NautilusIII-24-S.jpg

Once the internal glue had cured, I mixed more epoxy to coat the exposed surface of the centring ring as well as glue the Estes 29mm motor retainer in place. I had previously scratched up the inside of the motor retainer with 180 grit sandpaper to aid in bonding.
NautilusIII-25-S.jpg

Now, to install the remaining three fins!

A little sanding was required to correctly mate the forward fins with the aft fins, but only took a moment.

Working on one fin at a time, I mixed just enough epoxy to place a bead along the root edge and the rear edge that bonds with the larger fins.

I used a piece of aluminium angle and spring clamps to ensure that both the forward and aft fins were aligned.
NautilusIII-26-S.jpg

It only took a few minutes for the epoxy to cure and I had all three fins attached fairly quickly.
NautilusIII-27-S.jpg NautilusIII-28-S.jpg

Krusty
 

krusty

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Filling and sanding and filling and sanding and filling....

I've spent a good part of today filling and sanding :)

Starting with the nose cone -
NautilusIII-29-S.jpg NautilusIII-30-S.jpg
I filled the seam line with Tamiya putty and sanded. The nose cone has now had three rounds of filling and sanding.

Then it was on to the body - the three small forward fins needed filling and sanding as did the joint between the upper and lower fins.
NautilusIII-31-S.jpg NautilusIII-32-S.jpg NautilusIII-33-S.jpg

Krusty
 

krusty

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With the bulk of the filling and sanding done, I moved into the small strips of basswood that run down the sides of each of the fins.

I carefully sanded off one corner of the strip, allowing it to sit better. Working on one strip at a time, I mixed a small batch of 5 min epoxy. A bead of epoxy was placed along the length of the strip and then positioned into place.
NautilusIII-34-S.jpg NautilusIII-36-S.jpg

The ends of the strips need to be shaped to fit with the end of the fin. I felt it was going to be easier to shape once in place, so I glued the strips on without shaping the end.
NautilusIII-35-S.jpg

With all 6 basswood strips fixed in place, it was time to shape the basswood strips and resume filling and sanding!
NautilusIII-37-S.jpg

And it's ready to start painting :)
NautilusIII-38-S.jpg

Krusty
 

qquake2k

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Looking great, Krusty! What colors are you planning on painting it?
 

krusty

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Looking great, Krusty! What colors are you planning on painting it?
Thanks :)

Here's the paint I picked up today...
Paint.jpg

The base will be black with the silver over the top. And yes, you count correctly, there's 9 little pots of paint... What on Earth could I be doing with all of those??????

Now, that's a secret!! :grin:

Krusty
 

JP Morgan

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Very nice build! Your photos are clear and are taken at perfect angles.
Excellent Craftsmanship!
Some of you guys set the Bar mighty high for the rest of us...

JP
 

krusty

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Very nice build! Your photos are clear and are taken at perfect angles.
Excellent Craftsmanship!
Some of you guys set the Bar mighty high for the rest of us...

JP
HI JP!

Thank you :)

Photography has been another one of my hobbies for a very long time and I'm really enjoying documenting my builds - something that I've only just started doing recently.

To assist in this, I set-up a photo studio at home -
PhotoBoothS.jpg
Two double fluorescent lights and a long strip of grey cloth on a dowel held up by two hooks!! When I don't need it, I can roll up the cloth and put it away with the lights. I think it cost me about $50 for everything :)

I love building rockets - I love building rockets more than I enjoy flying them and I'm happy to take my time while building. I learnt a long time ago that it's not a race to build a rocket. Take your time and just work through everything step by step and you'll end up with great rockets, too!

Krusty
 

qquake2k

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HI JP!

Thank you :)

Photography has been another one of my hobbies for a very long time and I'm really enjoying documenting my builds - something that I've only just started doing recently.

To assist in this, I set-up a photo studio at home -
View attachment 112293
Two double fluorescent lights and a long strip of grey cloth on a dowel held up by two hooks!! When I don't need it, I can roll up the cloth and put it away with the lights. I think it cost me about $50 for everything :)

I love building rockets - I love building rockets more than I enjoy flying them and I'm happy to take my time while building. I learnt a long time ago that it's not a race to build a rocket. Take your time and just work through everything step by step and you'll end up with great rockets, too!

Krusty
Very clever studio setup. Do you know what color temperature your fluorescent lights are?
 

krusty

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Very clever studio setup. Do you know what color temperature your fluorescent lights are?
Thank you :) It works well and doesn't take up much space when I'm not using it which is good in the little place I have :)

No idea about the temp of the lights. They are your run-of-the-mill tubes from the hardware store! Nothing fancy.

Krusty
 

krusty

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Painting... Round 1

If the last couple of days have been about filling and sanding, today was about the base coats, getting ready for the detail work.

I started with a coat of white primer, a little more filling and sanding, then a second coat. (No photo of the 1st coat)
NautilusIII-39-S.jpg

With the primer in place, a black undercoat was needed. First a light mist coat then a second solid coat.
NautilusIII-40-S.jpg NautilusIII-41-S.jpg

And now silver. Silver over black supposedly gives a much richer silver. I don't often use silver as it is very unforgiving and shows imperfections (and there's a lot of them showing up here!!)
NautilusIII-42-S.jpg NautilusIII-43-S.jpg

I need to let the silver toughen up for a while now. No more painting until Monday or possibly Tuesday.

Between now and then I have to design and print decals and get my airbrush ready :)

Krusty
 

qquake2k

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Thank you :) It works well and doesn't take up much space when I'm not using it which is good in the little place I have :)

No idea about the temp of the lights. They are your run-of-the-mill tubes from the hardware store! Nothing fancy.

Krusty
What do you set your camera's white balance on? When I shoot under fluorescents without flash, I usually get a yellow or green cast.
 

qquake2k

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Painting... Round 1

If the last couple of days have been about filling and sanding, today was about the base coats, getting ready for the detail work.

I started with a coat of white primer, a little more filling and sanding, then a second coat. (No photo of the 1st coat)

With the primer in place, a black undercoat was needed. First a light mist coat then a second solid coat.

And now silver. Silver over black supposedly gives a much richer silver. I don't often use silver as it is very unforgiving and shows imperfections (and there's a lot of them showing up here!!)

I need to let the silver toughen up for a while now. No more painting until Monday or possibly Tuesday.

Between now and then I have to design and print decals and get my airbrush ready :)

Krusty
I don't see any imperfections from where I'm sitting. Looking good!
 

Surgemcgee

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Wow, it is fun too watch that happen at mouse scroll speed. Nice work too.
 

krusty

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What do you set your camera's white balance on? When I shoot under fluorescents without flash, I usually get a yellow or green cast.
I'm shooting with a Nikon D5100 and have it set to 'auto' white balance. I do get some green/yellow shots (some of the shots above have a little cast) but mostly they are ok or good enough to use. I dump the bad ones ;)

I don't see any imperfections from where I'm sitting. Looking good!
Some of the spirals aren't completley filled and I've missed sanding a few spots. Unless you're 6" away from the rocket, you will never see them :) If I hadn't have attempted to fill the spiral, you would have seen it from a mile away.

Indeed, looking good!

JP
Wow, it is fun too watch that happen at mouse scroll speed. Nice work too.
Thanks :)

Last step is to airbrush the rocket. I'm still reading tutorials and practicing on scrap. When I feel brave enough, I'll do the rocket and update!!

Krusty
 

qquake2k

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I'm shooting with a Nikon D5100 and have it set to 'auto' white balance. I do get some green/yellow shots (some of the shots above have a little cast) but mostly they are ok or good enough to use. I dump the bad ones ;)
None of my cameras' white balance settings can figure out fluorescents. I usually touch them up in Photoshop.
 

krusty

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None of my cameras' white balance settings can figure out fluorescents. I usually touch them up in Photoshop.
My last camera (Nikon D70S) didn't cope as well with fluorescent lighting as well as this one does.

Prior to my current setup, I would often take a sheet of white card outside and shoot on the porch in the shade.

Great ambient light :) Shots like this -


Not bad for $2 worth of paper ;)

Oh! I have a small LED setup, too. I'll post photos of that in the next day or so.

Krusty
 

qquake2k

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My last camera (Nikon D70S) didn't cope as well with fluorescent lighting as well as this one does.

Prior to my current setup, I would often take a sheet of white card outside and shoot on the porch in the shade.

Great ambient light :) Shots like this -

Not bad for $2 worth of paper ;)

Oh! I have a small LED setup, too. I'll post photos of that in the next day or so.

Krusty
Wow, great lighting! Pretty cool rocket frame, too!
 

krusty

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Almost done!!

Over the last couple of evenings I've been painting :)

NautilusIII-44-S.jpg NautilusIII-45-S.jpg NautilusIII-46-S.jpg NautilusIII-47-S.jpg

But where's the nose cone?? Ah! Now, that's where the problem is. I've painted and repainted the nose cone 3 times now.. The masking tape keeps pulling up the silver! ARGHGGGGGHGGGTRRRRRRR!!!!

Anyhow, I've painted it again and will try something different. So should have the final rocket all assembled shorty!!

Krusty
 
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