Older Estes 2002 Orbital Transport Build

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SCIGS30

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One of my favorite rockets from when I was younger has always been the Estes Orbital Transport. I remember saving my money as a kid and buying the kit in the early 80s. I was so excited until I opened the kit and discovered I had to cut out all the parts. I remember it being a hard build and did not come out looking too good. When I got back into the hobby in early 2000, Estes had a re release of the kit, of course I bought a couple. I could have used laser cut parts from BMS, but decided to use the old wood that came in the kit. I really wanted to build this but did not want to spend too much time building so I used the KISS principles. The longest part of the build was cutting out the parts and sanding. I was going to seal the parts before assembly but after seeing all the pieces, decided to fill the grain after the build. Besides I was anxious to get started. Built per the plans using Titebond Speed set, the plans were pretty good compared to Estes instructions today. I had all the parts cut out, sanded and built in 2 days. I ran out of Brodak again so I used Sig Sanding sealer thinned 50 percent. I brushed on 3 coats with sanding between coats. Actually went pretty fast using some sanding tools I have made over the years to get into the tight areas. When thinned, Sig sealer is the easiest stuff to sand, reminds me of old school Aerogloss Balsa Filler. Since it is thinned so much, it dries really fast so I was done pretty quick. To keep with KISS, no other fillers were used and no primer. After letting the sealer dry overnight, I shot a couple of lite coats of Krylon Acryli Quik Gloss white, first hitting the hard to reach areas. Before shooting the last wet coat, I had some glue, fuzz or dust bunnies I had to sand off. The good thing was the grain was all filled. Also with Krylon, there is not ridiculous recoat times, so I can sand the fuzz bunnies and shoot the final coat in the same day. I will let her dry 24 hours and begin to apply the old waterslide decals and paint the required areas black. Call me strange, but I really like the look of built up rockets with just bare balsa, cardboard, plastic and paper. I like the clean look and that is why I don't like to use glues that dry yellow. I know, it is strange and functionality should be more important. I also bought a box of these Alpha Kits at the local thrift store dirt cheap, so I built one using decals from an old Alpha III
 

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SCIGS30

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More pictures......
 

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neil_w

Mr. Hot Shot Internal Fillet Guy 😎
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Meticulous as always, very nice.
 

mach7

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NICE WORK!
The balsa looks great. Nice paint.

This is one of my favorite rockets.
 

tab28682

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My favorite Estes kit of all time.

I recently built the Micro max version from Semroc and acquired a Semroc standard size Orbital Transport kit as well.

Will be unable to resist getting both of the rumored upscale versions that may be coming, the one from Estes and the slightly larger one from Semroc.
 

SCIGS30

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That was fast, I got the old decals on and took some pictures. These are old decals that were printed in the USA, they went on pretty good for old decals. On most old decals I don't use any treatments, just place in warm water and let soak longer. Also I don't really fuss with them once they are on the rocket. Also when applying the decals I used the face card for decal placement. I noticed the main body tube on the face card rocket is shorter than the one supplied in the kit. At first I thought the long window decal was just longer, but you can see the actual body tube is shorter. I cannot wait to see the larger version that Estes comes out with.
 

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jrap330

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More pictures......
Thanks, base on your pictures, I will never build one, too mAny balsa pieces. Makes the SR-71 look like a RTF kit.
 

DeWain

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Excellent job on one of the greatest classic rockets.
 
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