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Scratch Build GI Joe Lofter

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kcobbva

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In 2004 I designed a rocket to carry my son's 12" GI Joe and launch him out on his own parachute. I did it only because he asked if it could be done and it got me thinking. At that point I'd just finished the Apogee Saturn V after a 25 year break in building any rockets. I figured it'd be a lot of fun to do; but gotta admit. I suck at math and it took a long time to design using excel spreadsheets and calculations. At the time I didn't have this site, and had a older version of rocksim i'd purchased when I got the Saturn V. Thankfully it was a success and we got to launch it one time. Then we never found a place large enough to launch again until this past spring in 2016 at battle park.
oldgijoe.jpg
It had two more launches at NOVAAR until some NUMB NUT (looking in the mirror) forgot to Turn ON the ChuteProtector. It did it's job and protected the chute all the way to the ground! :bang: I had made the fins out of balsa, thus it didn't work out at all. Chalk that up to stupid mistakes and engineering! Anyway, I found my old 2004 visio diagram and rkt file, did a little touch up and have decided to start again.
Original design
Old Design.jpg

I reached out to Mike at Binder Designs (thanks to some good recommendations) and he cut nice 1/8" plywood fins for me (no balsa this time!), as well as some 1/8" centering rings, a new body tube, and a new MMT tube. With that, I've set out to rebuild this fun rocket.

Since I ordered the tube bare, I had to go back to cutting my own fin slots. I started off with Payloadbay.com but realized the wrap only showed a single line for the fin alignment; whereas I wanted an exact 1/8" line so I could mark each side. I found my old visio drawings and modified them slightly to ensure it was the right circumference and the slots were perfectly spaced. Measuring the printout, I taped the guide to the body and marked both the bottom and top fin areas. I figured using angle iron was the best approach to ensuring I kept a straight line and also to cut a straight line having an edge to control the blade. I was pleased with the outcome.

1 Body Tube.jpg 2 bodytubestraightedge.jpg 3 body tube slot cut.jpg

I test fit the fin in each slot, with a little light sanding on one slot, and eventually got all the fins inserted.
4 fin inserted.jpg 5 fins in place.jpg

I seem to have a slight curve in the top of the fins because when I put the angle iron beside each fin, I'm off the line following up the body tube. Laid them on a flat surface, and sure enough, slightly off. I'll either tack in place when I get to that point with ca to hold in alignment, or see about re-compressing them for a while. I'm sure it'll work out as they aren't warped horridly, just slightly. Anyway, on to the mmt. It was a full length tube, so I cut it to 12.5" and then measured the appropriate distance in Rocksim for the CRs and taped them in place to see what a test fit looked like. That didn't work out so well as the tape just released, so I carefully aligned the top CR, glued in place and then just tacked on the middle (upper tab surface point) and test fit. Good to go. Finally with that in place I've secured both CRs in place and will leave off the rear until done I can take care of mounting the fin tabs with fillets.
mmt cut.jpg mmt and cr.jpg

I need to pick up another aeropack 29mm retainer and an eyebolt for the top CR; but have been able to pull all other parts from the existing rocket. Thankfully the nosecone is fine as well, and fits. Also I designed this one with an internal baffle to push GI Joe out without allowing the hot gasses to come into contact. That fits this new tube perfectly. I also have to start thinking about a new paint job. I cannot find the paint I used before; which looked really cool in the sun, and am seriously considering doing some sort of Stickershock design; but I have to come up with it first. One thing is for certain, I need to put an extra tie wrap around GI Joe's waist so if I wish to attach a camera again, I'll get it back! The #2 stupid thing I did on the same day it crashed, was to attach the camera to his belt on a preceding flight. No idea WHAT I was thinking, but anyone walking about the fields at Great Plains, Va, might run across an 808 with some very interesting footage on it.
 

Bat-mite

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Is that a baffle in your design? Wondering how you plan to keep Joe unsinged. :wink:
 

kcobbva

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Is that a baffle in your design? Wondering how you plan to keep Joe unsinged. :wink:
John,

So I purchased a public missiles tube way back when, cut a slot in a bulkhead and mounted a d-ring in it then tied Kevlar to the cord. . That attached to the upper CR in the rocket and has just enough cord to allow the baffle to eject out of the main tube. There is another section of nylon harness from the upper side of the D-ring to the nose cone. Gi Joe stands right on top of the bulkhead in the baffle and when it's pushed out, he goes up up and away! I sanded it down really well on the outside so that it fits snug but slides easily up and down the main body tube :) Has worked flawlessly.

This is the lower side toward the motor
baffle lower side.jpg
This is the side Joe stands on
baffle top side.jpg
 

kcobbva

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So I'm spaying the fins with water and then compressing them and hit them with a hot blow gun for a while. Day two under compression. Hopefully they'll straighten enough to tack in place and then start finishing the fins. In the mean time my daughter started her Madcow Momba and my little guy started his little Der Red Max; which will be "tricked" out with some Stickershock Star Wars decals. Fun!

straigten fins.jpg
 

kcobbva

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Finally got back to it today. Cut a fin guide from payloadbay.com and then straightened each fin by hand enough to get the fin inserted and tack it in place with medium CA. Once all fins were in place I slid the guide in place and then applied the internal fillets throughout the evening. I just buttoned up the rear and am done for the evening. While waiting on the fillets to dry I also tackled a mini Der Red Max and am now waiting on the second set of fin fillets to dry on it as well.
11.jpg12.jpg
 

kcobbva

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Finally got back to it yesterday and began working on the fillets using RocketPoxy.
13.jpg15.jpg14.jpg

I also got the upper fins on and then took a shot outside comparing the fillets of the old and new. I had used Fixit Epoxy 12 years ago.

15old.jpg15new.jpg16.jpg

So now I need to figure out how I want to put the railbuttons back on. 12 years ago I used popsicle sticks to create a raised area, epoxied to the body tube and then secured the rail buttons to that. I'm considering stepping back from that and simply using ACME Conformal Rail Guides since I'd not known about those 12 years ago. Any thoughts there? The rail buttons cannot extend into the tube as they will hinder the baffle operation which pushes GI Joe out. Never had an issue with these in the past, so I'm not concerned about not being in the tube; but I've never used ACME Conformal Rail Guides before.
17.jpg18.jpg

Again I'd love any input on the ACME Conformal Rail Guides vs building up a post for the Rail buttons. If I build up, I have 1/4" Ply this time in lieu of Popsicle sticks.
 

kcobbva

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So my two blade circle cutter showed up today while i was hosting a block party. couldn't wait to get started tonight when it was done. Came out great. Key is, I need the baffle to be at least an inch or more above the MMT. Cut one to fit and give a ledge for the baffle to sit on tonight and glued it all in. Fingers are kinda sticking to this keyboard as I type. All cool for me, but will tick off the wife tomorrow when she get's on this! :)
20.jpg21.jpg2.jpg
During the gathering and after, gotta say, Flying dog carolina Reaper is awesome! very good Heat!
23.jpg

I'm still open to all thoughts on the acme conformal rails vs rail buttons above the body tube.
 

dhbarr

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So my two blade circle cutter showed up today while i was hosting a block party. couldn't wait to get started tonight when it was done. Came out great. Key is, I need the baffle to be at least an inch.
Make / model? I only turn up one result, probably using the wrong search terms.
 

kcobbva

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Ordered a new nosecone so I could mount a bulkhead up inside giving a little more room for the parachute as well as some Spatz Stix color changing spray paint. Closest I could find to the old Chameleon colors I used 13 years ago.
 

Woody's Workshop

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kcobbva

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Finally getting around to prepping this one. Have been laying coats of filler and sanding. Finally painted the nosecone today and am close to being done with the body.
preppaint.jpg00 prepped.jpg00 Nose.jpg
 

kcobbva

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finished the lower half in paint today. Now to let them sit for a while, wet sand, and then finish.
00 painted.jpg00 painted1.jpg
 

kcobbva

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thanks guys. I do plan to go to battlepark...IF the weekends don't collide with a few other things going on. I'm really hoping it works out! I just added some nose weight 1.7 ounces and the glued in the aft ring, after dedicating it to my little boy. No one will see it, but I'll know it's there.
00 nose weight.jpg00dedic.jpg00dedic1.jpg000nose.jpg


Since I'm waiting on dry time I decided not to waste my peppers. Nothing to do with this thread, but dang I love doing this! Homemade Tabasco sauce! (Only pick the deep red ones!) Two week soak before I jar them.
sauce1.jpgsauce2.jpgsauce3.jpg
 

Mugs914

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Wow! Two of MY favorite things; hot peppers and, um... well, hot peppers.

Nice build as well!

Mike
 

kcobbva

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So if I can get to battlepark, it will be on Sunday as I have final kids games on Saturday! Nuts was hoping it was the weekend prior. Oh well, I'm hoping for a hall pass for my 50th. That should do it!
 

NJRick

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love the dedication to your son! and this is a full service build thread...extremely cool rocket and home made tobacco sauce!
 

Bat-mite

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love the dedication to your son! and this is a full service build thread...extremely cool rocket and home made tobacco sauce!
Do you swallow it, or just put it between your cheek and gum?

Sorry, couldn't resist! :wink:
 

caveduck

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Back to a question asked earlier in the thread - the conformal rail guides are great if you want no internal tube obstruction. I have used quite a few of them. For application I scuff up the bottom with a Dremel sanding drum, and if installing on a cardboard tube, drill half a dozen 1/16 holes in the tube underneath to create some "glue rivets" that help fight delamination. Attach with JB Weld. You can cut them in half for lighter rockets; the full length is overkill. I've never had them fail.
 

kcobbva

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Oh man. Did it again I see. Autocorrect I guess. Tabasco :)

As for the conformal rail guides, wish I'd read the previous post before I put them on. Good info roughing the surface as well as drilling holes.
 
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