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QUEST MLAS Very Disappointed!

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stickershock23

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Well, I had some time to build and I thought I might share some of my impressions on the kit.

Overall. I like the kit. Cool rocket. and made even cooler by the fact I did the decals for NASA. so I just had to build one. I opened the box and thought COOL this is going to be fun

Balsa. Fey flimsy, I broke one fin sanding it. AGAINST the Grain.

Price. Fair price but I think the quality could have been better! and shipping seemed high. although I got it VERY FAST!

Decals. very nice set. They look great, I have not installed them yet (probably wont at this point..read on) but they look really nice.

Quality. Good things... The foam Capsule is nice, The fiber centering rings are great. most everything else is good except....
BAD THINGS. Ok here is were I am really disappointed. The body tube really stinks. it is WAY to flimsy (WAY to) when I glued the motor mount into it, the glue made the body tube shrink everywhere glue touched it. so I have two big winkles that run all the way atound the rocket. BAD! then I glued the fins on... same thing the cardboard wrinkled... so I spent some time, and filled them all in smoothed them out best as I could.

Then I primer-ed it.. BAD BAD again. the cardboard tube sucked up the primer, it delaminated in several places, bubbled up and wrinkled. all in all it loooks HORRIBLE. at this point I am so disappointed i might just throw it in the trash. the finish STINKS.

So BOTTOM line Don't waste your money. I would have been way better off ordering a nose cone from Sandman and scratch building the thing.
If you have one and have not built it yet. DON'T go out and find a tube to replace the one the kit comes with. or take the time and wrap a layer of glass around it first.

EDIT: Let me retract what I said in the previous paragraph. "don't waste your money" was a little harsh. I should have said. "Before you build this kit, understand it was built light to make it stable. and some very specific techniques will be needed to make this build nice and fly correct." this kit takes more that typical skills to finish. mark
The way the thing looks right now, I think i'll either toss it in the trash and chalk it up as a learning experience OR I'll rip the fins off of it. sand it down again. wrap a layer of glass on it and make new fins out of some thin baltic birch, make the through the wall and go with a 24mm mount. at least I'll get one cool flight out of it.

I'll try and post some pics later today.
 
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stickershock23

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OK here are some pictures. remember 2 things these are taken with my cell phone, so they don't show as much detail as there is.

second. I FILLED AND SANDED the bad ripples before I painted. once I painted more came up.

I hate to be rough on Quest. they have ALWAYS! and I mean ALWAYS done me good! I have never had a kit I was unhappy with until now.

I also think the kit would be fine if the got rid of the CHEAP body tube And used better Balsa.

mlas 1.jpg


mlas 2.jpg


mlas 3.jpg


mlas 4.jpg
 

shreadvector

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To save time and move this thread along I have a couple of questions.

What glue did the instructions say to use and what glue did you use?

What finishing materials (primer/paint/whatever) did the instructions say to use and what did you use?

Thanks.

(Note that the instructions page has magically returned but the MLAS is not uploaded yet.) http://www.questaerospace.com/q_instructions.asp
 

troj

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Looks like you used yellow glue to glue in the rings. On thin-walled tubes, it will suck in the tube, creating the dimples around the circumference like your rocket shows.

-Kevin
 

stickershock23

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The instructions say
"Wood Glue Alphatic Resin glues work best such as tightbond or elmers carpenters wood glue"

I used Tightbond

for paint the instructions say

"foam safe primer" I didnt have any unexpected troubles painting the foam. I painted it by hand with water based paint. the only thing it shows are my brush marks. I expected that.

I use Rustoleum primer and paint. same stuff I always use. I have never had these kind of results. and I am a horrible painter.

I just miked (sp?) out the tubes. the Quest tube after filler, 2 coats of primer and one coat of paint came out to .018"
An estes bt 50 miked out to .023" unpainted.

also I think a lot had to do with the glassine. the Estes stuff has WAY more glossy to it. where the Quest was almost completely flat.
Maybe a better glassine layer is all it needs.
 
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foose4string

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I'm not a big fan of soft balsa for fins either, but that can easily be dealt with by laminating the fins with sticker paper(or computer paper)....something I do whenever possible anyway. No biggie there.

Sorry to hear about your problem with the tube. That indent caused by the glue shrinkage from the centering ring is fairly common problem and not necessarily exclusive to this kit. Sometimes that can be avoided by using a glue that doesn't shrink too much. Epoxy would be a good choice here, and I noticed white glue generally shrinks less than yellow, so I often use white glue for motor mounts. If the ring appears undersized then it should probably be shimmed, that will help too. How thick are you laying on the primer? Quest tubes have been known to be suspect, so no argument there, but never so bad I couldn't make use of them. Have you contacted Nettie?
 
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shrox

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I have build about 4 MLAS using that body tube. I've not had that problem with warping like you describe. How much glue did you use?
 

rstaff3

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I'll comment of the comments. You can also see more about the build on my blog http://rocketdungeon.blogspot.com/search/label/My Projects: Quest MLAS including a slide show of photos from my OurPlanet page.

The BT is awfully thin but I didn't have that many problems. If you look really close you could see where the top ring is but it wasn't that bad. I used wood glue too. I suffered no delaminations on priming either. I'm most worried about durability.

The foam cone is cool but it begs for a thin veil of glass.

I didn't find the fins to be any worse than typical. If they lift on landing I wonder if they'll breach the hull?

I got two kits and some tubes and cones for almost the same shipping as the one-kit buyers paid and it arrived in 4 days ?????
 

stickershock23

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I used 2 or three very thin layers of primer. waiting about 10 to 20 mins between them.

For the tightbond, I made a decent fillet when applying it.

If epoxy or white glue would have been a better choice, it should state that in the instructions.

I have never had this problem with a quest kit before. thats why I am surprised.
 

rstaff3

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I used a sparing layer when installing the fin can but a nice thick bead from the top. No significant warping. I used a new bottle of glue and don't remember the brand.
 

troj

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For the tightbond, I made a decent fillet when applying it.

If epoxy or white glue would have been a better choice, it should state that in the instructions.

I have never had this problem with a quest kit before. thats why I am surprised.
I use Titebond almost exclusively for building, and have seen this happen on tubes from several sources. To me, it's no big deal -- I'm used to it.

To be honest, I suspect it has more to do with the fit of that particular ring in that particular tube than anything else. If the ring is snug, glue shrinkage won't pull the tube in much. If it's a bit loose, it will pull more.

There's enough variation in tolerances from tube to tube and ring to ring that they're not going to be perfect. Buy 10 identical kits, a couple will have a great fit, some will be loose, some will require sanding.

-Kevin
 

foose4string

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If epoxy or white glue would have been a better choice, it should state that in the instructions.
Agreed. I often choose to ignore glue recommendations give by rocket manufacturers, especially when I'm bonding common materials that I've dealt with in the past. Sounds like these tubes like to suck up moisture, so going sparingly on glues and paints will be a matter of course. Not sure where you are, but here on the east coast we have been dealing with high humidity and LOTS of rain...which wouldn't very tube friendly.
 

shreadvector

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I don't have the kit, but I exchanged a few questions before it was released.

From my impression: WEIGHT IS CRITICAL. If you add heavy fillets to the aft end it might affect stability. Stability is why they do not allow use of a C motor. The extra weight of the propellant changing from a B to a C is enough to make it not-as-stable-as-desired.

If you use epoxy it will weigh too much to fly as intended.
If you add fiberglass it will weigh too much to fly as intended.
If you add too much primer and/or paint it will weigh too much to fly as intended.
If you use heavier fins (denser balsa or another denser wood) it will weigh too much to fly as intended.

The weigh issue is two-fold:
1) If it is too heavy to fly on a Quest B6 motor and reach an altitude where it can deploy it's parachutes, it would be "bad".
2) If you add too much weight to the back end, it will be not-as-stable-as-desired.

Those of you with experience can modify as necessary (bigger motor tubes for completely different motor choices, reinforcing, nose weight, different materials, etc.). For the average American consumer, it should be built as lightweight as possible using the instructions and flown per the instructions.

It is *NOT* and was *never* advertised as a super-durable Mid-Power type Model Rocket.
 

shrox

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I don't have the kit, but I exchanged a few questions before it was released.

From my impression: WEIGHT IS CRITICAL. If you add heavy fillets to the aft end it might affect stability. Stability is why they do not allow use of a C motor. The extra weight of the propellant changing from a B to a C is enough to make it not-as-stable-as-desired.

If you use epoxy it will weigh too much to fly as intended.
If you add fiberglass it will weigh too much to fly as intended.
If you add too much primer and/or paint it will weigh too much to fly as intended.
If you use heavier fins (denser balsa or another denser wood) it will weigh too much to fly as intended.

The weigh issue is two-fold:
1) If it is too heavy to fly on a Quest B6 motor and reach an altitude where it can deploy it's parachutes, it would be "bad".
2) If you add too much weight to the back end, it will be not-as-stable-as-desired.

Those of you with experience can modify as necessary (bigger motor tubes for completely different motor choices, reinforcing, nose weight, different materials, etc.). For the average American consumer, it should be built as lightweight as possible using the instructions and flown per the instructions.

It is *NOT* and was *never* advertised as a super-durable Mid-Power type Model Rocket.
It actually came in lighter than we expected.
 

stickershock23

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Thanks for all the input.

Is there anyone that has the recommended minimum CG ? mine should be correct as built. but I would like a confirmation. then I could adjust the CG as needed.

I would rather build heavy so they last. if the CG is that close to being Undesirable, thats scary. although there are some other low power kits like that out there (estes bullpup for one) I don't mind adding some nose weight to help out. then it might fly on the large "C" motors.

I guess we will find out when I fly it. I will start with the recommended motor.
 

shreadvector

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If I had it, I would only use the B6-2. The B6-4 is listed because it is much more readily available from Quest retailers than the B6-2.

And previous posts have said that they now list both B6-2 and B6-4 as motors. I assume that's in the instructions (and maybe on the box) since the website still says B6-4 only.

Maybe Bob Sandford will build his and fly it at our launch on Sunday? I'll bring extra Quest B6-2 motors (German) just in case.
 

rstaff3

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One of the posts in the link I provided shows the Rsim 2-D model. Not much margin there. I didn't try to account for base drag, which will help with this one. Rsim says the B6-4 is a better fit but is generally optimistic. I bet either will work fine. And, yes, both are identified in the instructions.
 

zog139

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I don't have the kit, but I exchanged a few questions before it was released.

From my impression: WEIGHT IS CRITICAL. If you add heavy fillets to the aft end it might affect stability. Stability is why they do not allow use of a C motor. The extra weight of the propellant changing from a B to a C is enough to make it not-as-stable-as-desired.

If you use epoxy it will weigh too much to fly as intended.
If you add fiberglass it will weigh too much to fly as intended.
If you add too much primer and/or paint it will weigh too much to fly as intended.
If you use heavier fins (denser balsa or another denser wood) it will weigh too much to fly as intended.

The weigh issue is two-fold:
1) If it is too heavy to fly on a Quest B6 motor and reach an altitude where it can deploy it's parachutes, it would be "bad".
2) If you add too much weight to the back end, it will be not-as-stable-as-desired.

Those of you with experience can modify as necessary (bigger motor tubes for completely different motor choices, reinforcing, nose weight, different materials, etc.). For the average American consumer, it should be built as lightweight as possible using the instructions and flown per the instructions.

It is *NOT* and was *never* advertised as a super-durable Mid-Power type Model Rocket.

Fred

I hear what you are saying, and yes manufacturers recommendations should always be followed. On the other hand "I" think the manufacturer should not release a model if it is so close to the edge of stability based on a "C" versus "B" motor and or a heavy glue fillet. We can talk about the recommended variables all day long, at the end of the day your still going to have builders that build heavy, and flyers that intentionally or unintentionally fly a model with a "C" motor even if the largest recommended is a "B". It's going to happen. Again "I" think the manufacturers should take these type of very close tolerances out of the equation when mass marketing a model. I do not know this model other then pictures, my statement is not a knock on just this model if this is what is happening. This is a blanket statement for all model rocket kit designers and manufacturers.

My .02
 

OldRocketeer"II"

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Well, I had some time to build and I thought I might share some of my impressions on the kit.

Overall. I like the kit. Cool rocket. and made even cooler by the fact I did the decals for NASA. so I just had to build one. I opened the box and thought COOL this is going to be fun

Balsa. Fey flimsy, I broke one fin sanding it. AGAINST the Grain.

Price. Fair price but I think the quality could have been better! and shipping seemed high. although I got it VERY FAST!

Decals. very nice set. They look great, I have not installed them yet (probably wont at this point..read on) but they look really nice.

Quality. Good things... The foam Capsule is nice, The fiber centering rings are great. most everything else is good except....
BAD THINGS. Ok here is were I am really disappointed. The body tube really stinks. it is WAY to flimsy (WAY to) when I glued the motor mount into it, the glue made the body tube shrink everywhere glue touched it. so I have two big winkles that run all the way atound the rocket. BAD! then I glued the fins on... same thing the cardboard wrinkled... so I spent some time, and filled them all in smoothed them out best as I could.

Then I primer-ed it.. BAD BAD again. the cardboard tube sucked up the primer, it delaminated in several places, bubbled up and wrinkled. all in all it loooks HORRIBLE. at this point I am so disappointed i might just throw it in the trash. the finish STINKS.

So BOTTOM line Don't waste your money. I would have been way better off ordering a nose cone from Sandman and scratch building the thing.
If you have one and have not built it yet. DON'T go out and find a tube to replace the one the kit comes with. or take the time and wrap a layer of glass around it first.

The way the thing looks right now, I think i'll either toss it in the trash and chalk it up as a learning experience OR I'll rip the fins off of it. sand it down again. wrap a layer of glass on it and make new fins out of some thin baltic birch, make the through the wall and go with a 24mm mount. at least I'll get one cool flight out of it.

I'll try and post some pics later today.
First - let me say that Quest would be happy to replace your kit since you're not so happy with it. Just contact Nettie and say Bill sent you...

This was a tough kit to develop. Weight and CG are critical. The tube was spec'd thin to reduce weight (BTW - it is a Euclid tube with a standard thickness of glassine outer wrap).

Balsa was was spec'd as medium density - you might have gotten some lighter stock (and BTW, this balsa was produced by BMS).

We waffled back and forth on whether or not to call it a skill level three or four kit. It is a challenging build and it is challenging to fly. There were at least 10 if not 12 flight test models built and flown with a wide range of part size and weight configurations.

Quest produces products for the general hobbyist who does not have terrific modeling skills and would never contemplate a scratch build. I respectfully disagree that anyone would be "wasting their money" on this kit.

The shipping rates on the Quest website are fair and well within the range of most other on-line vendors. Like you said, you got it fast and you got it first - meaning you made a choice to order it online rather than wait for it to work its way into the inventory of your local hobby shop. What would the actual price difference have been to you if you had paid sales tax on the item in your local hobby shop, full retail (you bought it at a discount) and add in your time and gas to get there...
 

stickershock23

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OldRocketeer"II";59282 said:
First - let me say that Quest would be happy to replace your kit since you're not so happy with it. Just contact Nettie and say Bill sent you...

This was a tough kit to develop. Weight and CG are critical. The tube was spec'd thin to reduce weight (BTW - it is a Euclid tube with a standard thickness of glassine outer wrap).

Balsa was was spec'd as medium density - you might have gotten some lighter stock (and BTW, this balsa was produced by BMS).

We waffled back and forth on whether or not to call it a skill level three or four kit. It is a challenging build and it is challenging to fly. There were at least 10 if not 12 flight test models built and flown with a wide range of part size and weight configurations.

Quest produces products for the general hobbyist who does not have terrific modeling skills and would never contemplate a scratch build. I respectfully disagree that anyone would be "wasting their money" on this kit.

The shipping rates on the Quest website are fair and well within the range of most other on-line vendors. Like you said, you got it fast and you got it first - meaning you made a choice to order it online rather than wait for it to work its way into the inventory of your local hobby shop. What would the actual price difference have been to you if you had paid sales tax on the item in your local hobby shop, full retail (you bought it at a discount) and add in your time and gas to get there...

Thank you I appreciate the offer to replace the kit. I will decide what to do on that .

I did think shipping was a little pricey but again. I got it fast so I am OK with it. I was just being Honest.

I will take back what I said about "Don't Waste your Money" let me rephrase.

This kit is is built light, for a reason, and because of that PLEASE be very careful as to what you use to build it and what techniques you use. I also think Quest needs to add some of the Info contained in the thread in the instructions. it may help out future builders of the kit.

AGAIN! Quest has always been top notch! their customer service is outstanding. for the most part their products are top notch. (and very fun too)

Please think about adding some of this info to your kit, it will make people aware of what can happen during assembly.

NOTE: I added to my original post to make clear that what I said about "waste of money" was not the right thing to say.
 
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shrox

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Fred

I hear what you are saying, and yes manufacturers recommendations should always be followed. On the other hand "I" think the manufacturer should not release a model if it is so close to the edge of stability based on a "C" versus "B" motor and or a heavy glue fillet. We can talk about the recommended variables all day long, at the end of the day your still going to have builders that build heavy, and flyers that intentionally or unintentionally fly a model with a "C" motor even if the largest recommended is a "B". It's going to happen. Again "I" think the manufacturers should take these type of very close tolerances out of the equation when mass marketing a model. I do not know this model other then pictures, my statement is not a knock on just this model if this is what is happening. This is a blanket statement for all model rocket kit designers and manufacturers.

My .02
Wow, I hope you don't apply that sentiment to cars! Like little underpowered cars that can barely make it up the hill. Shall all cars then be ready for a 440 hemi with a blower to be installed? A Ford Fiesta with a 12 cylinder Jaguar engine? My Saturn with a Cat bulldozer diesel engine?

That's why there are instructions and recommendations. We did all that figuring out and work for you...and we know what will definitely work.

The Cat diesel definitely did not work in the MLAS model...the Jaguar engine just made it spin round and round.
 
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kelltym88

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A Ford Fiesta with a 12 cylinder Jaguar engine? My Saturn with a Cat bulldozer diesel engine?
OK Now that I'd like to see...

By the way, I think Mark has been very gracious. He could have let fly and not looked back. Mark, take up Quests' offer and get another kit and build it "exactly" to their specs and see what happens...
 

stickershock23

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OK Now that I'd like to see...

By the way, I think Mark has been very gracious. He could have let fly and not looked back. Mark, take up Quests' offer and get another kit and build it "exactly" to their specs and see what happens...
I Very well might, Then do a rebuild using the tips and tricks recommended in this thread and post the results here.
 

Initiator001

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I've been building my Quest MLAS kit on-and-off for the past week (Life sometimes gets in the way of rocket building ;) ).

I understand that weight & stability are important issues with this model. I have been careful to use just enough glue/adhesive to assemble the parts.

I expected there would be a 'shrinkage' issue with the body tube where the centering rings bond to the body tube. I just put some Elmer's Wood Filler over the depressions and sand it out.

I'm looking forward to finishing this model and flying it. :D

Quest MLAS body tube and filler.jpg
 

Initiator001

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Maybe Bob Sandford will build his and fly it at our launch on Sunday? I'll bring extra Quest B6-2 motors (German) just in case.
Sorry, Fred.

My MLAS won't be ready by this Sunday. :(

I hope to have it ready for the Fiesta Island launch the next weekend.

Back to building!
 

foose4string

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I've been building my Quest MLAS kit on-and-off for the past week (Life sometimes gets in the way of rocket building ;) ).

I understand that weight & stability are important issues with this model. I have been careful to use just enough glue/adhesive to assemble the parts.

I expected there would be a 'shrinkage' issue with the body tube where the centering rings bond to the body tube. I just put some Elmer's Wood Filler over the depressions and sand it out.

I'm looking forward to finishing this model and flying it. :D
I've done the same thing with the wood filler when the ring depressions are noticeable. I'm usually filling spirals with it anyway so it's not a big deal to go over those areas while I'm at it. Bob, your tube looks like the standard Euclid fare which is usually pretty good. This one is little thinner according to Quest, but it looks manageable. Could be worse....you got the USA tubes and not the Chinese ones!
 
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