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Captain Low-N-Slow
Jan 26, 2010
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Well, I completed my first scratch built rocket in probably 20 years. It's based on the Quest Big Betty, but I put a 24mm motor mount in it. As usual, I started on the motor mount. I used epoxy throughout. I tied the Kevlar cord to the motor mount tube, and epoxied it good. I cut the fins from 1/8" basswood.



After sanding them, I used my homemade fin jig to attach the fins. It works great!


I used epoxy for the fillets and 3/16" launch lug. I had poked holes in the body tube along the fin lines for epoxy "rivets". After all the epoxy had set, I gave her a coat of primer.




My friend Stefanie had suggested I make a black rocket with pink polka dots. I took it as a challenge, and I don't think she believed I'd do it. I painted the entire rocket pink. To make the polka dots, i put strips of painter's tape on wax paper, then punched out small circles with an arch punch. It worked well, but it was difficult to peel the wax paper off of them.





I put the tape discs all over the pink rocket, then painted her black. It took several coats to completely cover the pink. After the black paint dried, I removed all the tape discs. It wasn't that easy, and I scratched a little bit of the black paint off in places. But by golly, there are pink polka dots!



It looks pretty good from a distance, when you can't see the flaws. I have to admit, overall the thing is pretty ugly! Ugly, but very unique. I have dubbed her "My Feminine Side". She's a light rocket, and with D12's or E9's, she should scream off the pad. Ugly or not, building her was a lot of fun, and flying her will be even more fun!

She's dedicated to you, Stefanie!



It looks like the Estes Big Bertha.Nice rocket.Alex:D

Thanks for the compliment! I believe the Big Betty is Quest's version of the Big Bertha. Biggest difference is Betty has three fins and Bertha has four.
Which means 25% less sanding!

Nice job! I really like your fin jig!

I never thought about the sanding! LOL

I've always preferred three fin rockets, mostly because they don't teeter when you stand them on their fins. (Yeah, I have issues!)

I love the fin jig, I wish I could take credit for the idea. It was easy to build, you can see it on my thread here:
Everyone finishes there rocket to how they are happy with it so everyones is a little different.I finish my rockets until i am happy with them, some people spend forever finishing there rocket and that is to long for me.Here is my expediter done with the base coat.My picture of the other half of the rocket is not working.Alex

Do you have plans for the fin jig you are using? I would like to try and make one. Looks interesting. Is the string all in one piece? What are the angles of the wood? Thnaks for any information.
Do you have plans for the fin jig you are using? I would like to try and make one. Looks interesting. Is the string all in one piece? What are the angles of the wood? Thnaks for any information.

I don't have plans, but you can see my original thread on it here:

The angles are 45 degrees. They're not strings, they're rubber bands. But I plan on changing to elastic instead of rubber bands. I'm also going to make a bigger jig with thicker wood, for larger body tubes.
I got to launch My Feminine Side at the LUNAR launch yesterday. It was very windy, so I used a streamer instead of a parachute. It was a pretty good flight in spite of the wind.





She drifted quite a ways because of the wind, even with a streamer. I used a C11-3 motor so she wouldn't go too high. Fortunately, my nephew Wes offered to go retrieve the rocket for me. Thanks Wes!



The bad news is, one of the fins broke off at the body tube, in spite of the epoxy rivets. The good news is, it'll be an easy repair. You can see the mark on the fin where it stuck in the mud on landing. I really don't know why it broke off. It looks like it tore the top layer of the body tube off.