Screemin' Green Meanie Build Thread

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Well-Known Member
May 7, 2009
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OK, first build thread, so bear with me on this. Not going to be to the level and depth of some of the great threads here, but will do what I can.

That said...

I ordered a couple rockets from Pemberton Technologies a couple of weeks ago. They showed up three days later and I figured I would be setting them aside for a while before I had time to work on any of them. Of course, just looking a the Screemin' Green Meanie (SGM) was just too much to take. I had never built a rocket other than small diameter rockets and this rocket just piqued my interest.

So, with that I decided to dive right in. The SGM is listed as a level 1 rocket to build. It is not a complex rocket and goes together very easily. I have taken my time with this one hoping to get a finish on it that I haven't achieved on any rocket to date. This has taken more time with the filling and sanding involved with those steps.

First off the package. The SGM shows up in a plain plastic bag with the destructions clearly showing the model name. The package was in perfect condition and it was possible to confirm that all parts where in perfect condition through the back of the bag.

The next step was to pull out all of the parts and do a quick inventory of all the parts. I dumped out the contents and they piled up surprisingly close to the destruction photo!

All parts where present and accounted for.

Not being able to resist seeing what this would look like when complete, I did a quick dry fit of all of the parts.

Hmmm, what would happen if I launched it like this?!? :y:

First thing I did was to fill that huge body tube (OK, not huge, but bigger than anything I have ever done before). Some Elmer's FnF and some sanding filled the spirals nicely. I kept sanding the tube until all was a little roughed up for gluing and painting.

I then put the motor mount together. One CR takes a small notch for the kevlar cord that comes later. That CR becomes the front of the tube and the other is designated for the rear. I then added fillets to both CRs and waited for them to dry.


The destructions come with two tube alignment guides. One has four marks, the other has just two. The four mark alignment guide is for the large body tube to mark the three fins and launch lug placement. The second is for the tube fins.

I cut out the alignment guides, placed them on the proper tubes. Said, "yep, they fit" and then used my Estes tube marking guide for the actual marks. I then used the SGM marking guide for the LL line since it is not symmetrical between two fins (more on this later).

The destructions suggest marking the top and bottom of the tube fins with a continuation of the marked line. This is to help line the marks up when gluing the planar fins into the tubes. I did this, but really didn't find it helpful for me. The mail lines where more than enough, I thought, to center the marks on the fins.

The first shot is the tubes with the alignment guides in place, the second shot is the tubes all marked up and ready.


Back to the fins. The balsa for the planar fins was beautiful. Light, strong and seemingly pretty hard. They are already cut and ready to go right out of the bag. I rounded the leading edges per the destructions and they were ready for hardening and filling. The destructions give a great picture of which edge to round off so that you don't round an edge that will be used to clue with later.

I used thin CA to harden the fins, sanded them and then filled them with Elmer's FnF. After sanding the FnF back down to the wood I decided to do another bit of CA to make sure everything was hardened and sealed. Once that was sanded off the fins felt like plastic, very smooth.

  • First picture is tubes and fins with filler,
  • second shows the fins with a second coat of CA. In the second you can also see the motor mount with the Kevlar added. The Kevlar string was filleted into the front CR.
  • Third picture is the final CA coat.



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Way back in the destructions it had ideas for getting a snake of clay into the nose cone. Well, I looked around and couldn't find any fuzzy bunnies, but did find some wilted lettuce in the refrigerator. Knowing the local environment I put a lettuce leaf in the nose cone and sure enough it didn't take long...

A banana slug showed up for a quick snack. He crawled through a small hole that I had made in the nose cone. He was then rudely smashed into the tip of the nose cone where I think he will stay.


I then rammed the MM up the BT as per the destructions. I'm not going to show you what the inside fillets look like, 'cause, well, they're a mess! :jaw:

Here is the rear motor mount fillets all dry and ready to go.

The next step was to glue all of the planar fins into their respective tub fins. This was accomplished by adding a bit of glue to the pre-cut groove in the root edge of the fin and at the tip. Then lining up the marks on the tube fins to those points and squeezing till your fingers go numb. Once they are all glue up small fillets in each corner are advised. This was much more difficult than any I have done before, the upward curve of the tubs didn't leave room for my fingers. Finally with a pinky smear I got all the fillets done.

Once that was complete and the fin assemblies where dry, they where glued to the body tube. I do the double glue method on all of these fins. Here you can see two fins on and the dry glue mark for the final fin.

I must say, alignment on these large fins is a breeze compared to all the small short fins I have done before. I was very happy with the final alignment.

OK, this is where my complete N00bishness shows. I looked at the launch lug line and saw that it wasn't exactly centered between two fins. I checked the alignment guide and the LL line was where it needed to be. Then I got to thinking (Ok, it's all down hill from here...) why can't I just move the launch lugs over to the fin?

Seemed like a good idea to me, but I just couldn't do it without checking. This kit did come from Pemberton Technologies after all, moving stuff around was possibly a recipe for disaster...

Well, my request to move the LL's was approved, so here is what the final placement looks like.

Final assembly.

Here is a final picture of the finished body tube, fins, LL with the nose cone on. The Baby Bertha is there for size comparison (I will tell the story on that rocket in a different thread).

Next up is to add the final four knots to the parachute (bowlines rather than triple knots) and then prime the body and fins and put on the final paint. I am thinking of going for the cover shot paint scheme, but that may be far beyond my abilities. Mine would probably come out being a Screemin' Green Blob if I tried. Will think about it for a while before I decide.

The finishing of this rocket will be a while. I am heading out tomorrow to ski the rest of the week (Mt. Hood, OR) so won't be back until late Sunday. That will give me time to decide if I want to try to get it to look like this.

Looking good so far, I like your placement of the LL better too! :2:
This has been a truly fun rocket to build. The parts where all cut and ready to go. The only actual cut that is needed is to split the supplied launch lug into two pieces. This is easily within the reach of the newest builders.

The quality of the parts and the destructions is top notch. I could have sat down and built this in a day if I hadn't done the filling and sanding that I chose to do. You can pick the level of finish you want to go for and then go for it.

I really liking the look of this rocket and will get finish and launch pictures when I get to that point.

Thanks Pemberton Technologies, you rock!
Given your location in the Pacific Northwest and the banana slug pictures, this bird is crying out to be named "Big Slimy".

nice build thread, i started my SGM weeks ago, got to the primer stage and then got buzy with work - hoping to finish her in the next few weeks, your review has kick started me into action -thanks
Don't feel you're committed to that paint job. I'd love to see what other people can come up with for it!

PemTech's Art Department
Just ordered one today. :D

I can't wait to get it built. This will likely be my first rocket to launch in well over 20 years. I've ordered a couple other kits as well, but I have a feeling this will be the first to get built and launched. :cyclops:

I'll come up with a truly fitting paint scheme, I'm hoping...
First launch in over 20 years!!! OMG! :eek: Quick someone send that man some used motors!! He needs the smell of used casings/ap under his nose to revive him!

PemTech Art Department and lighter of fuses
Well, had four great sunny days of skiing at Mt Hood over the weekend, so back at it...

I have the rocket primered now, nothing exciting, just Krylon white primer. I have come up with what I want to do, but have the artistic abilities of a 5 year old (wait, that isn't fair to 5 year olds).

Once it is painted I will post what I have come up with, and then, like a kid, tell you what it is supposed to be...
I guess I should update this thread too.

Here is the idea I came up with for the paint scheme. It sill needs a bit of green spray going about half way up the nose cone fading into the yellow.


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now you need to get her flown:D she flys really well, great flights on a D, don't forget to post pics.
I guess I should update this thread too.

Here is the idea I came up with for the paint scheme. It sill needs a bit of green spray going about half way up the nose cone fading into the yellow.

That one will never fade into the grass.
Great job....

Have you been contacted by the slug's next of kin?
now you need to get her flown:D she flys really well, great flights on a D, don't forget to post pics.

I LOVE my SGM... They are so fun to build and fly.. and color combos... well leave it to your imagination...

If you think they fly nice on a "D" try a F24 reload... BYE BYE...

Now I am just thinking I need to UPSCALE one..... hummmm

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