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Mushtang

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I like that in addition to the fin marking guide, one of the fins is off the table.
 

jqavins

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The directions are a “suggested method” to building aren’t they?
Maybe paper the fins and you will be ok?
Grain direction is pretty important, and the word from those here who know better than I is that papering does not relieve one of that. I see three options:
  • Wet it with thin CA and hope that strengthens it enough,
  • Let it break in the field and chalk it up to a learning experience, or
  • Remove it and cut a new one from some balsa sheet, which is a better learning experience. (but may be more effort than it's worth).
What I would do is gently point the problem out, give her the choices, and let her choose.
 

neil_w

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Grain direction is pretty important, and the word from those here who know better than I is that papering does not relieve one of that.
Adhesive label papering does not add enough strength to compensate for grain direction. Glued papering of whatever sort adds much more strength.
 

jqavins

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I'm aware, and it would surely have a better shot. Still, one or two of the other regulars are insistent that even glued papering is not sufficient.

Big Bertha was the first rocket I ever built. I was 12ish, screwed it up badly, became discouraged, and didn't come back until I was 40ish. And by "badly" I mean worse than one upside down fin. I've blocked out the details.
 

ed-n-eddy

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I’d try to make it a positive teaching moment. Emphasize that fixing goofs is just a part of the process. See, all the advice above? How’d they know all that stuff? Oh, let her know and see when you fix your goofs too. The meh (or your version of “doh!”) and making the repair goes a long way in her seeing how to deal with these setbacks.
 

jqavins

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In life, as well as the techniques; "mistakes are fixable" is an important lesson. If I'd had guidance to fix my Bertha, I (maybe) wouldn't have taken 28 or so years away from the hobby. But if you try to push it, it won't take.
 

Thundercloud

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You could also do a "90% paint job" just leaving a portion that shows the fin guide underneath, then clear over it.
 

Jim Carter

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So my girlfriends daughter wanted to build a rocket but didn't want my help because "you'd take over building it". Which might be somewhat true. But I think this is the best rocket ever! View attachment 419360
Heck, give her a pat on the back, a big "Atta' Girl", paint it and launch it! It will fly as is and then ... discuss the options for the future! We all started somewhere, made mistakes and eventually someone, somewhere revealed a better option to which we said "Wow, Kool"! Let her have her "Wow" moment!!
 
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