Revisiting the Estes Maxi Brute V-2...

Discussion in 'Mid Power Rocketry (MPR)' started by James Duffy, Apr 21, 2017.

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  1. May 27, 2017 #61

    James Duffy

    James Duffy

    James Duffy

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    The chevrons (what I have always called the v-shaped paint features on American V-2 rounds) are painted at this point. Note that the chevrons extend upward from the fin can/airframe joint upward to a point just below the midpoint of the nose cone. We'll need to do two things before we mask and paint. First, the WAC slots in the nose cone need to be aligned so that they fall midway between the V-2 fins. Next, we'll need to lock that alignment in place with some tape. I used four small pieces of blue painter's tape at the airframe-nose cone joint to keep everything aligned. These tape bits will need to stay in place until all eight chevron stripes are painted.

    In order to simplify painting, four chevron stripes will be masked and painted at a time, all tilted the same way. After the first batch is dry we'll go back to mask and paint the stripes that tilt the other way. A strip of 10mm wide Tamiya tape is placed exactly where we want the finished stripe to be.

    IMG_2478.jpg

    Next, additional strips of 10mm tape are carefully placed on either side of this first tape strip.

    IMG_2479.jpg

    The first strip of tape is removed, leaving a perfectly masked 10mm-wide strip.

    IMG_2480.jpg

    The gaps are masked to protect the rest of the model from overspray.

    IMG_2481.jpg

    The painted stripe is applied using Tamiya Semi-Gloss Black acrylic via an airbrush.

    IMG_2482.jpg

    The masking material is removed, revealing the first set of chevron stripes!

    IMG_2483.jpg

    More later,
    James
     
  2. May 27, 2017 #62

    TangoJuliet

    TangoJuliet

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    I too am a huge fan of Tamiya Acrylic paints and Tamiya Tape, but up to this point have only used it on my plastic models, feeling it might be too thin to withstand too much abuse on an everyday flyer like the majority of my fleet (Estes LPR kits), so I've been using Testors rattle cans instead. Maybe I should rethink that. Will a clear coat be sprayed on in the end, after decals?
     
  3. May 27, 2017 #63

    James Duffy

    James Duffy

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    Yep, I'll spray a satin overcoat over everything when all of the paint and markings have been applied. I should add that I'm not the kind of flyer that flies a model over and over once it is complete, so there usually isn't a great deal of flight rash to deal with. Once I fly a rocket one or two times it tends to get retired.

    If the enamel sprays are working for you and you value durability, that's probably the right answer going forward.

    James
     
  4. May 27, 2017 #64

    TangoJuliet

    TangoJuliet

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    I only really asked because I'm finishing up a model for NAR "Classic Model" and the weather last week didn't cooperate for spraying rattle cans outdoors, but I have a nook in my workshop for airbrushing with the Acrylics and wondered if that might be better. In fact, it's a Boost Glider, so it might be better anyway for less paint weight.
     
  5. May 27, 2017 #65

    James Duffy

    James Duffy

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    The first set of chevron stripes have been allowed to cure overnight, so we'll go ahead and mask for the four opposite stripes. With the masking complete the airbrush is loaded up and the stripes are painted. After allowing everything to dry for a few minutes we can go ahead and remove the masking layers.

    IMG_2486.jpg

    IMG_2488.jpg

    Note that the tape bits holding the nose cone in position are still in place. That's the last bit to come off, as we will want to put an index mark on the nose cone shoulder as well as on the interior of the airframe tube to make sure that we can align the cone and tube quickly in the future. There are minor variations in the positioning of the stripes that make only one position the right position.

    IMG_2489.jpg

    IMG_2490.jpg

    This step used up the last bit of Semi-Gloss Black acrylic I had on hand, so a trip to the hobby shop will need to take place before we can get to work on the fins.

    More later,
    James
     
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  6. May 30, 2017 #66

    James Duffy

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    Time to start painting the fins. I'm using my beat-up old 1/24 Bumper WAC from the 2012 World Championships as a guide for painting, which itself was based on the Peter Alway Bumper drawings as published in "Rockets of the World." What, you don't have a copy? You can get one here:

    https://blastzone.org/nar/narts/store.asp?groupid=1080035015601

    The fins will be painted one at a time, which will make masking far easier. The all-black fin will be painted first, again using Tamiya Semi-Gloss Black via an airbrush.

    IMG_2492.jpg

    Once the paint has had a few minutes to dry the masking is carefully removed. Note that the Tamiya masking tape is used for the actual paint line, while less expensive painter's tape is used to attach plastic to protect from overspray.

    IMG_2493.jpg

    More later,
    James
     
  7. May 30, 2017 #67

    Brent

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    Any thoughts on offering the laser cut parts for sale?
     
  8. May 31, 2017 #68

    James Duffy

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    Maybe. Hang tight and let me see if the model flies well, first. Come to NARAM and you can witness the carnage and/or triumph firsthand.

    Would the pictures and descriptions here in this thread be adequate for instructions?

    EDIT: There's more of a challenge looming for most folks than just the laser-cut parts. The big challenge is the marking scheme, or, more specifically, the white markings. A couple of years ago I would have simply sent the decal file for the fin markings off to Sandman so he could make waterslide decals available to everyone at a reasonable price, but now that everyone's ALPS printer seems to have gone toes-up simultaneously that solution no longer works. I was going to cover my solution in a future post, but I guess I'll do that now.

    In lieu of waterslide decals I'll be doing dry transfer markings. Dry transfers are easy to use, look fantastic, and don't have the application challenges that waterslide decals present. Most importantly, you can get them in white, which is increasingly difficult to do in this post-ALPS age. They are also very, very expensive. For years I have had custom dry transfers made by a company that normally serves the industrial market, and the requisite two sheets of dry transfers for this project are going to run almost $90. If the laser-cut parts were available, would those same people be willing to spend that much money to add markings to their model?

    I genuinely do not know, and am looking for feedback here.

    James
     
  9. May 31, 2017 #69

    GregGleason

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    Speaking for me, "Yes".

    Greg
     
  10. May 31, 2017 #70

    James Duffy

    James Duffy

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    A minor update with some more paint work. This will cure for a few hours and then the final roll pattern segment will be masked and painted later today.

    IMG_2497.jpg

    fullsizeoutput_1c39.jpg

    James
     
  11. Jun 1, 2017 #71

    James Duffy

    James Duffy

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    A few quick photos of the painting of the final roll pattern segment:

    IMG_2502.jpg

    IMG_2503.jpg

    IMG_2504.jpg

    Our next task will be to mask and paint the little dielectric antenna panels at the base of the fins.

    More later,
    James
     
  12. Jun 1, 2017 #72

    James Duffy

    James Duffy

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    The WAC sustainers have a silver band located just below the spin motor, which is painted in place using Tamiya Flat Aluminum acrylic applied with an airbrush. Also, Testors rattle-can grey was used to paint the nose cones on the sustainers. Note that the grey coloring extends down onto the sustainer airframe tube, as the nose cone is too short. The paint demarcation occurs at the point the scale airframe/nose cone joint would fall.

    IMG_2507.jpg

    The little trapezoidal dielectric antenna panels at the trailing edge of each fin have also been airbrushed in place using black acrylic. Sorry, but I neglected to get any photos of this. It was a doozy of a masking job, too, so I'm kinda bummed that I can't share it.

    Painting is pretty much complete at this point, so let's stack things and see how it looks at this point. The model stands 1033mm/40.68" tall, which is dead on the accurate scale dimension.

    fullsizeoutput_1c3a.jpg

    There are a handful of tasks remaining at this point:

    1) The custom dry transfers with the B-7 round numbers and "RELUCTANT DRAGON" markings have been ordered, and should be here in a couple of weeks.

    2) The antennas located at the trailing edge of each fin need to be fabricated, painted, and installed.

    3) The four exhaust vanes need to be laser cut, painted, and installed. The Illustrator file for the laser cutter is already done, I simply need to get down there and cut the parts.

    4) I may add some weathering to the recessed airframe/tailcone joint using a dirty wash. Still mulling that over, though, and I may elect to forego it entirely.

    5) Recovery systems need to be installed.

    6) The Q2G2 igniter for the sustainer needs to have lead extensions installed and soldered.

    7) A satin overcoat will be sprayed on after everything else is done.

    Updates may get spotty between now and the point that the dry transfers arrive, so please be patient...

    James
     
  13. Jun 2, 2017 #73

    GregGleason

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    Impressive, I must say.

    I was not aware that the nose cone was a dark gray. Also, the cone on the Corporal is more ogive than the standard conical. Have you heard a reason for that?

    Greg
     
  14. Jun 2, 2017 #74

    James Duffy

    James Duffy

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    It's more of a medium-to-light grey. Perhaps the camera is darkening it a bit? (Move along. These aren't the grey droids you're looking for.) Grabbing the first can marked "grey" from the store rack may have played a role.

    Seriously, the WAC nose cone color varied from round to round, as did the fin colors. B-5, for instance, had both a black nose cone and a single black fin.

    No idea. Perhaps a desire to squeeze a bit more performance from the rocket than a standard conical cone? Note that when they were flying these things in New Mexico and Florida aerodynamic data was flooding in from captured German documentation, and the state-of-the-art was changing as fast as new academic journals could be published.

    James
     
  15. Jun 2, 2017 #75

    Leo

    Leo

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    Thanks for this cool build thread!
     
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  16. Jun 2, 2017 #76

    hcmbanjo

    hcmbanjo

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    Agreed! Thanks for taking the time to do a build thread! Inspiring work as always.
     
  17. Jun 3, 2017 #77

    Mr Rocket

    Mr Rocket

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    I have never seen this missile configuration before, and as much as I like the V2, I was getting to the point where every time I see one, I think "seen it before". Yours is truly unique. Congratulations :cheers:
     
  18. Jun 3, 2017 #78

    James Duffy

    James Duffy

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    Thank you! If you would like to see a brief overview and explanation of the particular round being modeled here, take a quick look at this video:



    If you like unusual V-2 variants be sure to grab a copy of Peter Alway's 5th edition of "Rockets of the World" when it is published in the next couple of years. Peter has used my "V-2 in America" DVD to document a wide range of post-war V-2 versions as flown at White Sands.

    James
     
  19. Jun 16, 2017 #79

    kjohnson

    kjohnson

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    Looking for my fix. C'mon man.
     
  20. Jun 16, 2017 #80

    James Duffy

    James Duffy

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    Still waiting on dry transfers. Used the downtime from the Bumper project to work on scale altitude models.

    James
     
  21. Jun 18, 2017 #81

    James Duffy

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    The custom dry transfers have finally arrived, allowing us to get back to work.

    Let's begin by discussing the artwork required in order to commission a dry transfer order. The markings are drawn up in a vector drawing program such as Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw (I use Illustrator). After printing the file on standard paper to confirm placement and size of the markings the file is shipped off to the transfer shop, who use a photo process to create a film negative from which the transfer sheets are produced. Note that this process allows the production of only one color per dry transfer sheet, so identical white and black sheets will be produced from the film negative. There is plenty of space on the sheet to squeeze on additional markings for future V-2 projects, which will include the White Sands #43 and TF-1 rounds in both 1/24 (current Estes kit) and 1/16.7 (Estes Maxi Brute) scales.

    IMG_2516.jpg

    A pdf of the Illustrator file for the dry transfers is attached below.

    James
     

    Attached Files:

  22. Jun 18, 2017 #82

    James Duffy

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    The transfers are attached to a flexible yet strong plastic carrier sheet. Each individual marking can be cut out, positioned into place, and rubbed down using a burnishing tool. The carrier sheet is translucent, so positioning each marking is easy to do. I like to attach a small scotch tape flag to the carrier sheet before positioning the marking. When I'm satisfied with the alignment of the marking, the scotch tape is burnished down to hold the position during the burnishing process. I use the back end of an X-acto blade holder as a burnishing tool.

    IMG_2517.jpg

    After the marking has been burnished into place the carrier sheet is removed and discarded, yielding a perfect, thin marking! At this point I like to give the marking a final gentle press using the soft, meaty part of my thumb.

    IMG_2518.jpg

    IMG_2519.jpg

    In the photo below you can see the subtle change in color that takes place as the transfer is burnished onto the surface of the model. Note that the "7" has a milky appearance, indicating that the transfer has occurred successfully. Only half of the "B" has been transferred, and the darker portion of the letter is still attached to the carrier sheet.

    IMG_2520.jpg

    More later,
    James
     
  23. Jun 19, 2017 #83

    James Duffy

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    Some may ask why it might not be easier to use a vinyl transfer. That's a perfectly valid question, and for the big "B-7" markings it would work just fine, although the installed vinyl would be a touch on the thick side. For the much smaller "RELUCTANT DRAGON" markings it would impossible to cut a vinyl marking, as even a high-end commercial cutter would not be able to create these tiny markings. Dry transfers are ideal for smaller, detailed markings like these.

    IMG_2524.jpg

    IMG_2523.jpg

    Where did the "Reluctant Dragon" name come from? The B-7 round was scheduled to be the first rocket ever launched from the new Long Range Proving Ground at Cape Canaveral during the summer of 1950. After erecting the rocket on the pad, problems were discovered that required removal of the rocket and a return to the hangar for repairs. With those repairs under way a decision was made to fly the next planned round in the series, and Bumper WAC round B-8 became to first to fly from the range on July 24, 1950.

    B-7 was successfully repaired, and when it returned to the launch pad it had been painted with the new unofficial name "Reluctant Dragon," reflecting both the fire-spitting nature of rocketry and the delay this particular beast experienced. It launched successfully on July 29, 1950.

    James
     
  24. Jun 24, 2017 #84

    James Duffy

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    Time to build some exhaust vanes. The simulation of this part on the Estes kit was so ill-conceived that I thought it best to simply eviscerate the part and scratch build the needed components. (For a recap of that surgical procedure, please refer to post #2 earlier in this thread.)

    To get a feel for what we hope to achieve, let's take a look at a real V-2 exhaust vane:

    L1000235.jpg

    Without going too far down the scale-obsessive rabbit hole, there are four major parts of the vane that we're going to replicate: the shaft, the circular mount plate, the rectangular vane base, and the actual part that extends into the rocket exhaust. The shaft will be cut from 1/16" styrene rod, and the other bits will be laser-cut from 1/16"-thick plywood. (A pdf of the Illustrator file is attached below.)

    First, we cut the parts on the laser cutter. (Pro tip: peel any product labels or price stickers off of the wood BEFORE laser cutting the parts. Trust me.)

    IMG_2529.jpg

    That yields a big pile 'o vane parts. I cut more than are needed for this project because I have another completed V-2 awaiting paint, and yet another kit on the shelf.

    IMG_2532.jpg

    Here is what the vanes look like after they are assembled and given a light once-over with a sanding stick. The styrene shafts are much longer than what is needed for the finished part, but the additional length will make painting much easier.

    IMG_2533.jpg

    Tomorrow we'll prime and paint the vane assemblies, after which they can be mounted on the model.

    More later,
    James

    View attachment Big V-2 Exhaust Vanes copy.pdf
     
  25. Jun 24, 2017 #85

    James Duffy

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    Rather than put an unsightly launch lug or a pair of rail buttons on this model, we're going to build a custom launch tower. This will leverage the microphone stand base and fiberglass uprights that I use for my FAI competition models, so the only new parts needed will be a tower base and the upper spreader that will hold the uprights in alignment. (I call this part a "spider.")

    Here's the base, which attaches to the mic stand via a 3/8"-16 threaded insert. The uprights surround an imaginary 103mm circle, which allows the V-2 model to slide in with a bit of clearance.

    IMG_2531.jpg

    Here's what the whole assembly looks like with a model in place. Note the spider at the top of the tower, which provides juuuusssttt enough clearance for the V-2 fins.

    IMG_2530.jpg

    If you are interested in learning more about the pad components and tower bases that I use, I encourage you to read the following article on the NAR website:

    http://www.nar.org/contest-flying/fai-spacemodeling/construction-techniques/tower-launchers/

    More later,
    James
     
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  26. Jun 24, 2017 #86

    TangoJuliet

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    James, do you still have the ability to laser cut your tower base and spider parts, and the bigger question... Do you offer this service to others :wink:?
     
  27. Jun 24, 2017 #87

    James Duffy

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    Yes, I still have access to the laser cutter. Unfortunately, I simply do not have the bandwidth right now to provide the tower base and spider as a commercial product*. I would much rather make the files available to others to cut their own, and evangelize (in the tech world sense) the revolutionary impact that getting access to a laser cutter will have on your hobby.

    Unless you live in Botswana you are likely surrounded by laser cutters. I use a place called TechShop, and they have locations in several places around the country. Also, google the term "(your city) maker space" and chances are that several options will pop up. Most local trophy/award shops have laser cutters as well, and I suspect that they sit idle 90% of the time.

    TJ: I note that you are in Mobile. You should drop by and visit with these guys: http://makerspacemobile.org

    Many colleges and high schools have cutters, and may have guidelines for gaining access. Heck, I've even heard tale of libraries that have them!

    Learning to use a laser cutter will completely change your approach to just about every aspect of our little hobby. Find a cutter, learn to use Corel Draw, Adobe Illustrator, or Inkscape, and start experimenting.

    For those of you who already have laser cutter chops, I've attached the base and spider files at the bottom of this post. Cut the base from cheap 1/4"-thick plywood, and the spider from 1/8"-thick ply or acrylic.

    James

    * There is one notable exception to this policy: if you are seriously interested in FAI rocketry and have plans to get involved, I can provide a base and spider set for 40mm airframes. Just send me a pm and I'm sure that we can work something out.

    View attachment 103mm Tower Components copy.pdf
    View attachment 103mm spider copy.pdf
     
  28. Jun 24, 2017 #88

    James Duffy

    James Duffy

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  29. Jun 24, 2017 #89

    TangoJuliet

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    :facepalm: :roll:

    Thank you James. I will look into it. I never realized or considered that people who own a laser cutter might be willing to allow others to bring in files for cutting. I figured it was more of a niche market and would command a pretty penny for even the most trivial pieces/parts.
     
  30. Jun 24, 2017 #90

    dhbarr

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    That was likely very true even 5-10 years ago. RepRap && descendents have very much changed the game on making things.
     

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