Scratch build thread for Estes kit #1426 The Black Hole Space Probe

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Oct 26, 2016
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There was a challenge made by Keith at Coyote Rocketry to the Southern Area Rocketry club to scratch build the Estes kit #1426 The Black Hole Space Probe (

BSHP 2.jpg
I managed to finish and fly mine at the last meet.

BHSP recovery.jpg
And it was successfully recovered by our chief Rocket Scientist.

BHSP 1.jpg
Here are a couple things I did that may make it easier for others to build this. I changed the paint scheme a little by adding in lime green as a secondary color to better highlight the black lettering decals. Otherwise, it is pretty close to stock. The instructions can be downloaded here,

View attachment Black Hole Space Probe templates and decals.pdf

Almost everything in the parts list on the instructions can be easily acquired (except the rings which are discussed below. The downloaded instructions were a little distorted from the scan so I redrew all the necessary templates. Those templates may found in the attached file “Black Hole Space Probe templates and decals.pdf”. The decals are made to be printed on an 8 ½ x 11 sheet of decal paper. The decals here will be enough to do two rockets so you’ll have extras. If you want to do an upscale version, PM me for the vector image.

BHSP rings.jpg
Cutting out all the 12 rings by hand out of cardboard or balsa was going to be a chore. To overcome this, I used a 3d printer to print the rings instead. The file for the rings are “black hole space probe washer v2.stl”, I also printed a tool to help hold the rings perpendicular to the tube while I tacked it with superglue. That file to print the tool is “BHSP washer tooling.stl”. Note that each printer is a little different so you should probably print a sample, test fit it and then alter the scale accordingly until you get something that fits well.

BHSP fin tooling.jpg
Sanding the surfaces of the small fins can be a challenge. I made some tooling to hold the fins while I sanded them flat. Made things a lot easier. Those files are “BHSP fin tooling 1.stl” and “BHSP fin tooling 2.stl”.

Things were then assembled just like the instructions. I went with a Rustoleum dark blue metallic for the base followed by Rustoleum Key Lime Green for the inset and to highlight the fin with the “The Black Hole” decal. Basic silver for the engine nozzle and to highlight the tips. Beside the kit decals, I added a couple extra from my decal bin. The most obvious being the silver and orange stripes at the top from the Estes Bullpup kit. I then did a dark wash with silver dry brushing to add highlights and finished with a coat of clear.
I hope this helps anyone wanting to rebuild this kit.


  • black hole space probe washer v2.STL
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  • BHSP fin tooling 1.STL
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  • BHSP fin tooling 2.STL
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  • BHSP washer tooling.STL
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