Oh no! It's backwards!

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Well-Known Member
Jan 20, 2009
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Ever get so engrossed in your kit building that you lose track of which is the front and which is the back? No? Well, you're smarter than me, then, because that's what I did! :eek:

I was building happily on my Squirrel Works Red Baron, and was about to start the first round of paint, when I realized that I'd build the MMT backwards. That is, the nose cone was glued in the front of the glider, but the launch lug was on the wrong end, and the center wings and spar were attached to the wrong end. So instead of sticking out in front of the center wings, the MMT was hanging behind center wings and spar. Not stable for flight!

Well, I tried to remove the wings and from the MMT, but unfortunately, they were too firmly attached to the MMT, and the MMT shredded. Okay, so build a new MMT, and reglue. That's where I am now, but boy do I feel stoopid!


I , not long ago, intalled a MM and then later on procceeded to glue the fins on the wrong end:eek:
Luckily I noticed it before the glue had set too hard.
This doesn't have to do with construction, and perhaps I should not publicly admit to it, but at a recent NAR regional meet that I attended, I not once but twice taped my engine in backwards during prepping....
we've all had "one of those days"...

wanna see something *really* neat???

Tape the sustainer engine onto the booster engine upside down.... (ejection charge point towards the end of the booster motor)...

makes for a *very* strange staging event... LOL


Get this!! (this is (for me) the grand po-bah of screw ups...)

I was building my upscale USS Grissom. So I get the long ducting tubes assembled with the nose cones on each end (pointy one in front and stumpy one in back)....

Then I get the two center tubes assembled. One has a nose glued in front and the engine mount in the rear. The other has a nose glued in back and the other end open (for the loose nose cone and recovery)...


I glue *all* 3 of the skinny tubes on backwards.... ARGH!!!!!!!!
I could NOT belive that I had done that!!!

So, ever so carefully, i removed each one, destroying the lower central tube (the one with the motor mount in it) in the process....

rebuild that, and CAREFULLY note to reverse the stinkin' ducting tubes before gluing them in place...

I wake up the next morning and what do I discover???

The stinkin' ducting tubes are on BACKWARDS!!!!!

I had put them on correctly the FIRST TIME!!!!!!!!

oh man, you have NO idea....

That was *not* a fun day....

yea, we've all had "one of those days"...

:p :eek:
Originally posted by SecretSquirrel
Do you need a new motor tube?

Thanks, but no. A few months ago I bought some assorted tubes (thanks Jim!), and I have some spare that I was able to cut to size. It's all reassembled now, and the glue is drying again, this time with all the pieces in the right places.

Now just to make sure I've built this right, the upper wing (the one with the 1/4 inch deeper set of scallops in the middle) is slightly farther back from the lower wing, right? It just doesn't quite look like the pics on the web or on the cover art. But I double and triple checked the rudders and the marking guides, and I've got them in right, so I'm not quite sure...

Ive come *THAT CLOSE* to doing that soooo many times... Fortunately I caught myself...

On my third-ever rocket kit (an alpha 3), I am ashamed to admit that I actually screwed up and glued in a piece that kept it from fitting in the fincan...:eek: It was stupid. But I was young and not so bright then...:D I as 10 or 11 I think....:eek:
I got my forst rocket kit when I was 7 or 8. I didn't understand it was a flying rocket and I had been building plastic kits for a couple of years.

The instructions said to cut a 1/8" wide slit in the engine tube.

I carefully cut out a 1/8" wide section the entire length of the tube.


I figured everything out on the second kit.
I'm sure that if I think hard enough I can come up with some that I am happy I forgot.

The latest one was a challenge. I built an original Estes Little Joe II. Well, technically the 2nd version, not the K kit. I assembled the escape tower and attached it to the Apollo capsule, then I found the ring that goes inside. It took a long time to get the position right with tweezers and such and then to glue it in place. It was stressful. On the same model, I assembled the capsule with the base upside down. I had to make some small changes there.

What I really hate though is when I am admiring the paint job and decals on a model, then discover the launch lug.:kill:

Len Bryan
I recently was building the cluster mount on the model I have on the table now. It's set up for 3 x 24mm friction fit motors. After CA-ing in the thrust rings, I discovered that somehow I had installed one about an inch too "short" - so that one of the three motors would have been sticking about an inch too far out the back of the rocket! Luckily, it was a relatively easy fix with little harm done, but I sure felt like a fool!

Heck, my engine casing that I was using to push the thrust rings into position with was clearly marked with a single line, so I couldn't have gotten confused or anything. Perhaps I was just distracted....
I buillt my Estes Titan IIIE and put a lot of time into it. I painstakingly painted and decaled it. I let the clear coat cure, you know, really took my time. I prepped it for launch; wadding, engine, ignitor, the whole works. I carried it to the launch rod and went to place it on and realized that I had glued the launch lug too close to the center tube. The larger nose cone section wouldn't allow it to go onto the launch rod!! That was about five years ago. I think I may get around to fixing that problem that summer. It's about time it flew. ;)
Originally posted by shockwaveriderz
This doesn't have to do with construction, and perhaps I should not publicly admit to it, but at a recent NAR regional meet that I attended, I not once but twice taped my engine in backwards during prepping....

I hate to admit it, but I do this ALL the time. Most recently in front of a bunch of coworkers who were flying rockets for the first time. I was showing them how to load their rockets. Thankfully I had the presence of mind to gracefully recover: "See this? Remember to put the motor in with the nozzle pointing OUT (big grin)"

Still, VERY embarrasing :)
Fortunately, when you tape your motors in backwards, you realize it when you go to put in the igniters. That kinda tips you off that something ain't quite right. It's not like forgetting the wadding, which you don't realize until the rocket goes one way and the nose cone goes another, and then both head straight down at you ballistically.:eek:

When I was in the navy, we had to hem our own pants when out to sea. They had various waist sizes but only one length, VERY LONG.

So I cut off 8" and hemmed one leg and then...did the same leg AGAIN. Not realising it, when I got through, I snapped them open and held them to my waist to admire my handy-work. I almost died when I saw that one leg ended right at my knee.

I had such a good time laughing at myself, I decided to display it to my wife via the monthly home video that we sent to the wives' club.

I proudly showed-off my hem to the camera and then snapped them out in front of me to show my error... my wife said that the whole room burst with laughter and wanted to know WHO's Husband was that!