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gpoehlein

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I'm ready to announce my newest paper rocketry idea - Project Paper.

Recently, there has been several people asking about paper rocketry and how to get started. The Ultimate Paper Rocket Guide is a great resource and a great place to start. However, I got to thinking about how we can take paper rocketry to the next level. With regular (i.e. Estes) rockets, you can always kit bash existing models, or buy parts and scratch build what you want. With paper models, you pretty much have to build them as they come. So, I thought "what about making a parts collection so people can mix and match the parts and build whatever model they want with paper?" The result is Project Paper.

To start, I have created a couple of nose cones, some tubes, fins and other parts to get people started. I intend to add to these as I draw more parts. I'm starting with paper clones of Estes parts, since that is the standard that many kit bashers and scratch builders start with. Later on, I want to clone some Centuri parts as well.

I should also point out the conventions I am using. I am using metric for tube sizes, so BT-5 = CT-13 (CT for Cardstock Tube), BT-20 = CT-18 and BT-50 = CT-24. Similarly, nose cones are CNCE-xx (Cardstock Nose Cone Estes).

I started out with a couple of 18mm nose cones (the CNCE-18B and CNCE-18N) and a 24mm nose, the CNCE-24K. The letter configuration matches the balsa nose cones listed in the 1974 Custom Parts Catalog. Likewise, I've started with both CT-18 and CT-24 tubes. The CT-18 has two of the same tubes for now, while the CT-24 page has both a generic tube with markings at all the standard tube lengths up to 9.5" (the longest I can get on a sheet of card stock) and an 8.5" tube with certain markings from a vintage 3FN rocket that uses the CNCE-24K. The CNCE-24K page has two nose cones on it - one in white and one in red. I also have a fin page with a certain style of swept back fin on it as well, one fin in black and two in white. These should go with the 8.5" CT-24 tube nicely! :wink: The last page is a collection of parts needed to build a model with either tube, such as 13mm and 18mm motor tubes, centering rings, motor blocks and launch lugs. To cut a tube or LL shorter than the max, line up a metal ruler along the appropriate cut marks and cut the length before cutting out the part.

Suggestions are welcome and needed. These include:

* Color schemes for fins, tubes and nose cones

* What other nose cones you want to see next

* Other directions this thing can go.

Oh, and the files are unlocked PDF files - if you have a program that can open PDFs and edit them, you are most welcome to do so - consider this an "open source" project.

If people like this and want more, I'm considering opening a Project Paper website to host all the files and present them in a "catalog" fashion. At first, however, I will post them here for everyone's enjoyment.

So, comments, suggestions and ideas are all welcome.
 

gpoehlein

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Hmmmmmmmmmmmm
Sounds interesting....
Thanks! I'm really hoping people find this a useful idea.

A couple of notes that I forgot about in the initial post:

* I strongly suggest that these files be printed out on 110# cardstock. You can get away with 67#, but it isn't as thick and some of the parts may not fit exactly right. I recommend Georgia Pacific 110# Cardstock - you can buy it at any Walmart. I like the GP 110# because it is the brightest and smoothest of all the 110# stock I have tried.

* There are no tube couplers in the files so far - if you need to connect two tubes, you can substitute the appropriate nose cone shoulder. Both the CNCE-18N and CNCE-24K nose cone shoulders are 1" long and will work as couplers.

* Just as a bit of a guideline, when I talk about cardboard or mat board for the fin cores, the cardboard is about 1/16" thick. In a pinch, you could substitute 1/16" ply as well. Or just glue enough layers of 110# cardstock or poster board together to get to 1/16". If you laminate card or poster board, be sure to rotate each layer by 90 degrees - this will increase its strength and also reduce curling. That is why the fins are on the sheet at a 45 degree angle - when folded the grain of one side will be 90 degrees to the grain of the other.
 

UPscaler

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Awesome! I just got a whole mess of 110lb cardstock! thank you very much!






Braden
 

gpoehlein

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Hey, this is a participatory kind of thing - build 'em and let me know how it goes. Also, if there is a particular part you'd like to see, let me know - I'll put it in the design que.

As far as alternate colors are concerned, that's easy - the files are all created in Illustrator and I can just drop a different color into the part. Graphics are something else again - lines, stripes, spirals, roll patterns and even stars and bars or the US flag is easy to do - specific "decals" (such as the skull on Der Red Max) is something else entirely - those ramp up the size of the files and also may cross over the line into copyright. So I'd prefer to stay with the "old style" paint schemes that had no names or characters associated with them. Just let me know what you want to see.
 

CG Zaft

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Hey Greg,
This is a great idea!

I'm a big fan of hollow paper fins (a la Midnight Express, also the Maxus 1B, and the Black Brant II from John Leslie's site).

If there were a collection point for generic shapes of hollow fins, that would be great!

Greg
 

hcmbanjo

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Hi Greg,
Thanks for taking the time to put this together.
It's a great concept and valuable to all cardstock builders!
 

Micromeister

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Very Nice stuff Greg.
Thanks for taking the time to start such a fine project.

This could get very interesting as we go along.
 

gpoehlein

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Here is another set of parts - a CNCE24-AH (downscale of the Der Red Max nose cone), a red colored, 5" long body tube and another fin set in red. Yes, these parts will make a downscaled paper clone of the Der Red Max, but without the graphics. (I don't want to step over any bounds here, so there will be no graphics other than generic stuff on any of the parts.)

As soon as I get the chance, I will make the full scale version of this beast available as well. (May be next week since I'll be going into the hospital for shoulder surgery on Wednesday and probably won't feel up to doing any of this stuff for a few days)

View attachment CNCE24AH-1.pdf

View attachment CT24-2.pdf

View attachment CF-M2.pdf
 

Swampworks

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Thanks so much for this thread. I love building card stock rockets. Our launch sites around here tend to have trees strategically placed by the devil and losing a card stock bird doesn't hurt so much.

Hopefully I'll be able to contribute some files.
 

gpoehlein

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Finally felt good enough after my surgery to get back to work on Project Paper. This update should be really fun - I've added the parts to build a really popular CT-41 (BT-60) rocket from the late 60s and early 70s that uses the short parabolic nose cone. You can, of course customize the color scheme to whatever you like, but I have included this particular rocket's color scheme from 1971 (yellow, black and white). As with other Project Paper pre-colored parts, there are no graphics other than roll patterns, stripes and rings - I will not do any graphics (i.e. characters, mascots, or other names/logos). If you have a graphics program and want to add them yourself, that's your own business.

So, here is the CNCE-41L (very similar to the current plastic PNC-60MS) nose cone in white and yellow.

View attachment CNCE41L.pdf

View attachment CNCE41L-1.pdf
 

gpoehlein

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Next, we have some CT-41 (BT-60) body tubes for you. In addition to the basic white page, there are two pages with colored tubes on them. One problem is that the rocket in question used an 18" body tube, which is impossible to print on an 8-1/2" by 11" piece of card stock. So I've had to break the tube into two nine inch long sections - the front half has the roll pattern in white and black, while the back half has lines for the fins (place one fin on the seam) and for the launch lug.

View attachment CT41.pdf

View attachment CT41-1a.pdf

View attachment CT41-1b.pdf
 
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gpoehlein

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Lastly, we have the fins - this rocket had one white fin, two yellow and one black fin. Each fin is too large to fit more than one fin per page, so you'll have to print four of these - the blank fin doubles as the white fin. I also did another page of components that includes 41mm centering rings with 13mm, 18mm and 24mm holes for the three sizes of motor tubes. I included another 18mm motor tube and motor block so you don't have to go back and print the other page of centering rings and motor tubes. Also on the same page is the launch lug (5" long in yellow) as well as a couple of 1" long red lugs - those can be used on the red and black downscale, and will come in handy later on if I do the full scale red and black rocket. (Yes, I'm being cryptic, but as I said earlier, I will not use graphics, logos or names on these - the parts are intended to be mixed and matched, but I wanted to give some colored parts to have fun with. If you don't know which rocket I'm talking about, just think of a skull with a German spiked helmet - nuff said.) Lastly, on that same page (there are a LOT of parts on that page, I included two different style shock cord mounts if you want to use them - the standard Estes trifold mount and the old Centuri style three hole flat mount - you'll have to supply the adhesive.

I hope you all like this latest installment of Project Paper. Be sure to post if you are using any of the parts to build rockets - either the "kit" rockets I've pre-colored or any scratch builds using the parts. I'd like to get a Gallery going once some people start building these things! As always - give me feedback on Project Paper!

Edit: replaced the parts file - discovered that the motor block was the wrong one and the coupler was not right either. Should be correct now.

View attachment CF-23.pdf

View attachment CF-23-1a.pdf

View attachment CF-23-1b.pdf

View attachment Centering Rings 41.pdf
 
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Woody's Workshop

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I was just wondering, because I have never actually built a card stock rocket, at least I don't think I have, but maybe I have since I remember one I did that didn't use anything but cardstock...years and years and years ago.
Would it be possible to build a frame, say out of balsa, like 1/16 x 1/18 inch and cover it with card stock?
I wonder about this because of a video I watched online and they used 2x4 framing, and used aluminum sheet to make the skin. The ejection didn't work and it nose dived into the ground. But on a smaller scale, would this be feasable? This could be a decent start to an extremely expensive rocket for trial and error. Not that I will ever get to the point that I would use an engine that is as long as I am tall, but I was just curious if this would be a good idea to try new idea's out for a much larger scale rocket, as long as it was exactly to scale as the planned larger rocket.
I hope I didn't step on toes, but I am just curious.
 

gpoehlein

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I was just wondering, because I have never actually built a card stock rocket, at least I don't think I have, but maybe I have since I remember one I did that didn't use anything but cardstock...years and years and years ago.
Would it be possible to build a frame, say out of balsa, like 1/16 x 1/18 inch and cover it with card stock?
I wonder about this because of a video I watched online and they used 2x4 framing, and used aluminum sheet to make the skin. The ejection didn't work and it nose dived into the ground. But on a smaller scale, would this be feasable? This could be a decent start to an extremely expensive rocket for trial and error. Not that I will ever get to the point that I would use an engine that is as long as I am tall, but I was just curious if this would be a good idea to try new idea's out for a much larger scale rocket, as long as it was exactly to scale as the planned larger rocket.
I hope I didn't step on toes, but I am just curious.
Sure - you can do a LOT with cardstock. About the only thing you can't to is make compound curves (such as a rounded nose cone - that's why all my nose cones are a series of transitions that approximate the shape of an ogive or parabolic. And card is a lot tougher than most people think. A single layer of cardstock will hold up to the thrust of even a C or D motor just fine (I've build E9 powered models that will boost two eggs and they handle the thrust fine.

To do what you are talking about would work too. Look at it this way - let's say you want to build a 4" diameter rocket with a 24mm motor tube. If you make the motor tube more of a stuffer tube that goes most of the length of the model, and you make the fins "through the wall" and glued to the stuffer tube, what you essentially have is a 24mm diameter rocket with a larger diameter skin around it. Most of the force of the thrust will be carried by the inner tube - the outer skin is just along for the ride. Want to make it even stronger, do what you are suggesting and make a series of stringers that run from one bulkhead (centering ring) to the next, then wrap the skin around the resulting framework. I am planning to try this soon - I'm just going to make the stringers from cardboard along with the centering rings. Stagger the stringers between each section (so you don't need ridiculously long stringers) and you will have an amazingly tough bird.

Try building one or two of my Project Paper models (think of this as the cardstock equivalent to a Designer's Special) to get the feel of working with paper. I think you will be amazed at the results!
 

gpoehlein

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Time for another installment - this time going in the other direction. This time I did the CT-13 (BT-5) body tube, a nose cone and fin set. I had a hard time finding a good subject for a 13mm rocket, then someone mentioned the Skinny Mini in another thread. It turned out to be perfect, since it featured three 9" lengths of BT-5, which is just about the length of tubing that fits on a page. I recreated part of the decals, but left off the name. The body tubes required two pages - page one also has a blank CT-13 with standard lengths alongside like on other pages. When building the Mini, the red and white tube goes to the back (it has the fin and launch lug markings on it), the blue tube with the decal goes in the middle with the decal to the back (line up seams of both tubes to make the decal work). Also included on these two pages are the launch lug and two CJ-13 couplers.

View attachment CT13-1.pdf

View attachment CT13-2.pdf
 

gpoehlein

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The other two files are, of course, the nose cone. There is room on the page for three of these, so I put a red one, a white one, and a blue one on the page. Use the blue cone for the Mini. Lastly, the fin set is pretty much standard.

So has anyone built any of these yet?

View attachment CNCE13AW.pdf

View attachment CF-880.pdf
 

Swampworks

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So has anyone built any of these yet?
Will be printing out a few copies of these today to try and build over the weekend, especially the two most recent larger diameter birds. The "yellow and black" one looks suspiciously similar to my favorite of all the Estes kits. Hopefully I will have some card stock versions to add to the family. Will post pics once a build is sucessful enough.
 

gpoehlein

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Will be printing out a few copies of these today to try and build over the weekend, especially the two most recent larger diameter birds. The "yellow and black" one looks suspiciously similar to my favorite of all the Estes kits. Hopefully I will have some card stock versions to add to the family. Will post pics once a build is sucessful enough.
Great - let me know how it goes together - all the dimensions SHOULD be good and should work, but sometimes things can go wrong in the planning and execution. If there are any problems with centering rings not fitting (there may be a minor problem there as it all depends on how you cut them out, so you may have to do a bit of trimming) or couplers not working right (that I'll have to fix in the pdf file) I want to know. Remember to print them with page scaling turned off - I left a 1/2" margin around the entire page so it should print on just about any printer on letter size cardstock. Oh, and post pictures - I wanna see any builds of these beasts! :D
 

Swampworks

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OK, weekend was a bust for any sort of personal building. However, I did get a chance to "cut and paste" last night. I have to admit, my first attempts resulted in frustration and some not so nice comments on the fit. THEN! I swallowed my pride and read the instruction sheet (I don't need no stinkin' instructions!). It was then I learned that the tab with the "fingers" is supposed to be cut off and glued back on. WOW! It works! Build the NC last night and it fit together like a latex glove.

Looking forward to printing some more copies today and hopefully completing the build.
 

gpoehlein

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Well, I've been tinkering with that nose cone concept for several years now. It isn't quite as pretty as some others since everything is just one shapes, but they do work. A word of warning and a caveat - that forward cone on some of the smaller nose cones ca be really tiny. I recommend having a pair of pointed forceps (tweezers) and something pointed (toothpick, bamboo skewer or modeling tool) to glue it together. Making very small cones isn't for the faint of heart, but is possible to do. Might take a couple tries, though.

And, yeah, I worked pretty hard on those instructions. Have fun with the rest of the build!
 

gpoehlein

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Finally got a chance to build one of these beasts myself - I'm almost finished with the CT-41 4-fin rocket in yellow, black and white. I discovered that the coupler was too small, so I fixed that. Also discovered that the motor block I put on that page was the one for a 24mm motor tube, while this rocket uses an 18mm motor. I fixed the parts file and the correct parts are there now. I still have to put the recovery system in it and fillet the fins, but the model is complete enough to post a couple pictures here. The first pic is of the parts used for this rocket - I like to make all the parts first so I can test fit them together, and it then is just like building any other kit. It took about an hour and a half to two hours to make all the parts (this is a big kit with more parts than small rockets). Final assembly, not counting waiting for glue to dry, takes about a half hour or so. If anyone else builds any of these, please let me know how they go together and post some pics.

CT41 Parts.jpg


CT41 Rocket.jpg
 

SpaceAXEplorer

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Hey! This is cool Greg! I thought of doing something similar with all my 'white' parts templates, "Rocket-ala-carte". Glad you jumped, and ran with this! I'm just now getting some time for paper modeling again. Been mostly busy with motorcycling.
Glad to see the cardstock area is really booming!
Thanks for posting all the parts!
Eric:)
 

Stymye

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Hey! This is cool Greg! I thought of doing something similar with all my 'white' parts templates, "Rocket-ala-carte". Glad you jumped, and ran with this! I'm just now getting some time for paper modeling again. Been mostly busy with motorcycling.
Glad to see the cardstock area is really booming!
Thanks for posting all the parts!
Eric:)

well well well ... good to see your back Eric
 

gpoehlein

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Hey! This is cool Greg! I thought of doing something similar with all my 'white' parts templates, "Rocket-ala-carte". Glad you jumped, and ran with this! I'm just now getting some time for paper modeling again. Been mostly busy with motorcycling.
Glad to see the cardstock area is really booming!
Thanks for posting all the parts!
Eric:)
Good to "see" you again, Eric! I hope you can give a couple of them a try. I haven't had any time to do any updates lately since I'm putting in 60-70 hours a week at work right now with no end in sight. Not leaving a lot of time for creative efforts right now.
 

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