New to this hobby....

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New Member
Feb 10, 2004
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I was at the local hobby shop today with a friend and was looking at the R/C cars and model planes and I decided I NEEDED to get into building model rockets. I mean R/C cars are neat and all but c'mon can it really compete with rockets? I guess the real question is, how do I get started in this hobby? I suppose start small at first then gradually get bigger is the best way to go, right? Any ideas for the newbie. I can't wait to hear some ideas and what not.

Johnny K.
Hello John. Welcome to the forum.

If you want to get started, get yourself an Estes RTF starter kit. All you need is in there.
Welcome to TRF, Eljay!

An Estes Beginner Special pack is an excellent choice. You get a launch pad, an electrical ignition system, a rocket (some rockets are 'ready to fly' straight out of the box), and a couple motors. Use the Michael's MJ Design coupon (in your Sunday newspaper) for 40 percent off, and see what starter specials they have.

One of the cheapest places to find motors is at W-mart. Or, use another Michael's 40 percent off coupon and buy an Estes 'Flight Pack' (two dozen motors, igniters, wadding) for about $27-28.

If you want to try more kits, you just missed the half-price sale at Hobby Lobby. Watch for posts here on TRF, or check the HobLob website, because they run specials like that about every two months.

While you are waiting for the next HobLob sale, check out the Fliskits offerings, as well as Thrustline Aerospace. Both these guys have lots of good stuff and will take very good care of you.

And come back to this forum and ask lots more questions!

Welcome to the forum. YOu will find a lot of old rocket folk on TRF, but you will also find a lot of new folk like yourself, as well as what we call BARS (Born Again RocketeerS) :)

Bottom line is, this is the best place on the internet, bar none, to discover rocketry, learn about it, teach it, and explore it.

oh yea, and we love pictures in here too :)

have fun!
rtf?!?!?! pshh... i started with that helicat kit... its like 28 inches tall... i was 7... i think you can handle it lol... plastic fins are easy and the way the nosecone comes down is pretty cool too...
Johnny, WELCOME TO THE ROCKETRY FORUM! You'll get plenty of suggestions here. In your spare time, feel free to check out - a website all about getting started in the hobby. Let us know what you end up going with. Feel free to share your stories and adventures in getting started in the hobby. Hopefully your experience will be a positive one.
To be honest I never knock other hobbies. Heck I own a RC rocket glider for pete sakes. So I say rockets, RC cars = RC rocket cars. Now how can you compete with that?
Definately get a starter set. I suggest one from Walmart or Meijer's it's way cheaper compared to hobby store starter prices.
Don't forget to keep us informed. (sublimital) pix lots of pix (sublimital) lol
I mean R/C cars are neat and all but c'mon can it really compete with rockets?

LOL reminds me of a conversation with a freind:

"Me: So how fast does your new r/c car go?
Him: 50 Mph
Me: Bah, thats nothing, my slowest rocket does 200mph and its going straight up"

Starter sets are the easiest and best way to start, as they come with everything you need apart from AA batteries:)
mkmilion: dont you mean [subliminal] pictures, we like pictures[/subliminal] ?? lol
Personally, I am glad I got a Quest starter kit instead of an Estes one. It came with engines/ignitors/wadding, the controller is 9V and a much more comfortable pistol grip, and the Quest RTF was very nice. But I suppose you can't really go wrong either way.
True, prowlerguy. The Quest controller is miles better than the Estes one. On the other hand, I don't rate the Quest launch pad as highly as the Estes.

Just get which kit looks grooviest to you, John. You can always get the 'other' brand starter set at a later date, and mix the best of both worlds (like I have).

Whatever you choose, you're going to have FUN!!! :D

Welcome. You won't have to look far for kits and rocketry items. Check out the Vendor section there is plenty there. Start with the basics and then start building. Read as much as you can in the all threads here like Techniques, Scratch Building, Low Power...etc,. But be prepared, you'll get hooked fast!

I started out with a bulk pack of Estes Gnomes, and a bulk pack of 1/2A3-Ts. My mom thought that full As were big back then... Now she would let me use up to a J! (I think.... Ill ask my dad first... He likes rockets, and is going for his L2 this spring).

Starter kit.... personnaly I avoid them nowadays. I already have pads&controllers in exess, so I dont see a point in buying more. Plus I find the rockets boring because there isnt a need for construction, which is half the fun for me. I would go with an Estes Gnome sooner or later, and once you get used to smaller rockets, get an Edmonds Deltie. Those are booster-gliders (Ill let someone else explain what a BG model is, I gotta get back to my puppy soon...). Very easy to build, a 6 year old with no prior experience could build one. I think one has, actually.....

Good luck with whatever you decide;) !!
Very easy to build, a 6 year old with no prior experience could build one. I think one has, actually.....

yep! that would be my son Aidan. it flies great too!
How i started (back in the olden days)!. buy cheepest rocket,get 25'speaker wire and 1/8"weilding rod.stick rod in ground,and jump off of car battery to start. Wow,that sucker really goes!(this is not recomended, of corse,but it works).....Go to hobby shop,and spend more money! And again,and again,ect.....
What is it with you adults and spending money?;) Spend money spend money.... If you ask me, "spend less money, spend more time" is better than "spend more money". I suppose thats mainly cause I rely on a meager allowance for most of my rocket funds during the winter, but hey. With those Estes kits, you dont have to spend a lot of money! Those really little ones are so cheap, you could buy a dozen from one lawn-mowings worth of $$! :rolleyes: