seeking: Centuri Firebird plans: fins, decals, etc

Discussion in 'Plans' started by GlenP, Apr 5, 2018.

Help Support The Rocketry Forum by donating:

  1. Apr 5, 2018 #1

    GlenP

    GlenP

    GlenP

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2014
    Messages:
    1,596
    Likes Received:
    143
    The end of an era, the last Centuri catalog from 1983. Front cover says: Features Five Exciting New Kits! Plus New Firebird Outfit, and the Back cover features the Firebird Outfit:
    http://www.ninfinger.org/rockets/catalogs/centuri83/83cenb.html
    [​IMG]

    Could not find these plans on JimZ, does anyone have scanned fins & decals for this one? Fins look similar to a Wizard/Viking, but maybe need to be scaled up, maybe could use Thunderbird fins?

    I can redraw the decal from the catalog artwork, but not sure about the fin shape from the perspective in the picture. Thanks for any help.

    I think the other new kits that year were Sabre, Zebra II, Tiger Streak, Python Fighter.

    I wonder if that Firebird decal was sort of inspired by the Smokey and the Bandit Trans Am/Firebird, hey that movie was almost as popular as Star Wars in 1977...
     
  2. Apr 5, 2018 #2

    GlenP

    GlenP

    GlenP

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2014
    Messages:
    1,596
    Likes Received:
    143
    I did the best I could at redrawing a fin shape, the other candidate fins patterns did not look right, this one seems to be unique. Not sure if I captured it accurately. I haven't built this one yet. This is a downscale to an 18mm main body tube. I plan to add a 13mm engine mount and a white nose cone, either cardstock or plastic. Probably laminate the fins 6 ply to keep them square edged.

    updated, I made fins all 6 front side in the first version, changed to mirror image them for 3 fronts and 3 backs:
    CenturiFirebird.jpg
    View attachment CenturiFirebird.pdf
     
  3. Apr 5, 2018 #3

    linville86

    linville86

    linville86

    Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2017
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    The 1983 catalog says its .976 Diameter and 16.3 inches long. I think its the same fins as the Estes Dasher #1992. I would almost bet its the same basic construction, maybe a different nose cone as the Dasher is 16.875 inches long. Looks like they may have modified the decals for the Estes FireHawk #2014.
     
  4. Apr 5, 2018 #4

    jdbectec

    jdbectec

    jdbectec

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Messages:
    102
    Likes Received:
    0
    I was just going to say that! Ye Older rocket plans and Estes both have the instructions. There is a copy of the fin template on the instructions.
     
  5. Apr 5, 2018 #5

    K'Tesh

    K'Tesh

    K'Tesh

    OpenRocket Chuck Norris

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2013
    Messages:
    12,441
    Likes Received:
    346
    I was unable to locate the instructions on either site... Please post a link to them for me. Mind you, the Estes Firebird I did find looked nothing like the older Centuri design.

    Are you mistaking the FireBIRD for the FireHAWK?
     
  6. Apr 6, 2018 #6

    GlenP

    GlenP

    GlenP

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2014
    Messages:
    1,596
    Likes Received:
    143
    I think that both were talking about the larger scale Estes FireHAWK introduced in 1989, thanks for that info, I had not remembered that kit. This is a very similar design and I could use those fins scaled down. They are a little different shape than what I estimated from the catalog picture of the Centuri FireBIRD. I did not correct for the perspective correctly, although the fins I drew don't look too bad, I will use the FireHAWK to redraw them in this down-scale size.

    I was thinking this would be a neat set to clone in 3 sizes similar to the backwards-swept fin Centuri Thunder Hawk/Bird/ROC series, you know? FireBird/Hawk/ROC with the forward swept fins and could be 13, 18, 18-24 convertible mm engine mounts with streamer, chute, dual-chute. Hmmm...

    This was my first version template, body and fins with a 13 mm engine mount tube. The Estes FireHAWK fins scaled down would be slightly stubbier. 18mm cardstock nose, but I might replace with a Viking or Wizard nose cone painted white.

    DSC_7398.jpg
     
  7. Apr 6, 2018 #7

    GlenP

    GlenP

    GlenP

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2014
    Messages:
    1,596
    Likes Received:
    143
    The Estes FireHAWK #2014 from 1989 fin shape scaled to the same root chord as a Viking fin, and the fin that I drew in my initial template, for comparison:
    http://www.spacemodeling.org/jimz/est2014.htm
    Screen Shot 2018-04-05 at 9.33.07 PM.png


    Scaling by body tube dia you would use 60% size FireHAWK fins for the FireBIRD. And I am downscaling that another 72% for this 13mm powered version.
     
  8. Apr 6, 2018 #8

    lowga

    lowga

    lowga

    Forum Supporter TRF Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2016
    Messages:
    323
    Likes Received:
    40
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Birmingham, AL
    I have this rocket from back in the day. My dad helped me with filing the tube, and sanding. It's still the prettiest rocket I've ever had. Sadly, I broke off one of the fins and cracked it down the middle when moving this beauty on a Cox vintage launch pad in my display room.

    I'd love to get accurate fin patterns too, in order to repair it properly.
     
  9. Apr 6, 2018 #9

    jdbectec

    jdbectec

    jdbectec

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Messages:
    102
    Likes Received:
    0
  10. Apr 6, 2018 #10

    K'Tesh

    K'Tesh

    K'Tesh

    OpenRocket Chuck Norris

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2013
    Messages:
    12,441
    Likes Received:
    346
    They do look similar.

    However the nosecone in the Firebird photo (found in the OP) looks like it's a single piece (blow molded) PNC-50Y, and not the two piece (injection molded) PNC-50Y. The images from ninfinger are super grainy, but the nose also looks to be pointier than the two-piece would have been.

    [​IMG]



    Personally, I'd still like to see a scan of the original instructions. A scan including the decals, fins (and a decent ruler) would be even better.
     
  11. Apr 6, 2018 #11

    lowga

    lowga

    lowga

    Forum Supporter TRF Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2016
    Messages:
    323
    Likes Received:
    40
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Birmingham, AL
    I'm not familiar enough with Centuri part numbers to make an educated guess on the nose cone. BAR who just returned to the hobby about a year ago. But I did take a quick pix of my Firebird nosecone. It appears to be a single piece of plastic with a balsa attachment point for the shock cord eyelet.

    Here's another shot of my beauty showing the fin damage. Darn it. Nosecone C:U Firebird.jpg Firebird Damaged Fin.jpg
     
  12. Apr 6, 2018 #12

    GlenP

    GlenP

    GlenP

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2014
    Messages:
    1,596
    Likes Received:
    143
    Wow, that is a nice looking BIRD. Shouldn't be too hard to repair. Could you post another picture of the side view of the nose and the remaining fin with a ruler? Although I think the outer diameter of the body tube is 0.976" so I can use that known dimension as a point of reference.

    That is an unusual nose cone, plastic with a balsa plug. I don't recall seeing one like that before.
     
  13. Apr 7, 2018 #13

    Tobor

    Tobor

    Tobor

    Get your peanuts.... TRF Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2016
    Messages:
    1,168
    Likes Received:
    169
    @lowga

    Maybe try this idea. Since your Firebird still has one fin still attached to it's airframe, do the following:

    1) Take a half sheet of printer paper and place it on top of a table with about 3 inches overhanging the table edge.
    2) Tape the paper to the table then fold the overhang to the table's edge.
    3) Set the airframe along the edge of the table with the fin resting on top of the paper. Gently tape the airframe to the table using low-tack painters tape, like 3M blue or Yellow Frogtape.
    4) Using a mechanical pencil, trace an outline of the fin onto the paper while keeping pencil perpendicular to the table and fin.
    5) Remove paper, complete the trace of the fin with the pencil and a flat metal ruler, and scan your trace with same metal ruler for reference.

    6) Post a copy of the scan in this thread.
     
  14. Apr 7, 2018 #14

    K'Tesh

    K'Tesh

    K'Tesh

    OpenRocket Chuck Norris

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2013
    Messages:
    12,441
    Likes Received:
    346
    Does the plastic portion of the nosecone feel like it's blow molded, or harder like it's injection molded?
     
  15. Apr 7, 2018 #15

    GlenP

    GlenP

    GlenP

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2014
    Messages:
    1,596
    Likes Received:
    143
    I already made two sets of fins for this cardstock downscale, I am going with what I have for now, the 72% scaled 60% FireHAWK fins. These don't match exactly the picture of the FireBIRD fin that I traced.



    updated, I messed up my tracing before. Here is the photo scaled to the 0.976 diameter body tube. I actually came close to this shape from my first try.

    fins_only.jpg
     
  16. Apr 7, 2018 #16

    Gary Byrum

    Gary Byrum

    Gary Byrum

    Overstable By Design

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    Messages:
    6,318
    Likes Received:
    180
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Lincolnton NC
    I've been watching this thread for a while, and what Tobar says, is prolly one of the better bets up to this point. But if you give me a clean high res pic of a direct shot of that fin attached to the tube with plenty of contrast, I can do a trace and scale in Autocad and get you a 98-99% accuracy. The only other thing I would need is a measurement of either the root, the leading edge or the trailing edge of the fin.
     
  17. Apr 7, 2018 #17

    lowga

    lowga

    lowga

    Forum Supporter TRF Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2016
    Messages:
    323
    Likes Received:
    40
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Birmingham, AL
    Apologies if this isn't helpful. I'm new to this. Attached are several photos with a ruler for reference as requested. The plastic portion of the nose cone is VERY hard, so I'm guessing it was injection molded. When you squeeze it, there is no give. Let me know if there is anything else that I could do to help other's reproduce this model. As I recall, these flew very well, and were beautiful to look at too.

    Centuri Firebird Nosecone with Ruler.jpg Centuri Firebird Nosecone Length.jpg Centuri Firebird Fin Pattern.jpg Centuri Firebird Fin Pattern with Ruler.jpg
     
  18. Apr 7, 2018 #18

    GlenP

    GlenP

    GlenP

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2014
    Messages:
    1,596
    Likes Received:
    143
    that's perfect. Hard to reproduce from the first picture due to distortion from the angle of perspective, my scaled version was still a little bit off. The tracing with ruler is much more accurate. I hope you will be able to repair that fin. Many thanks!

    I updated my body tube/fin page template using your tracing at 72% for this 18mm body tube version.



    View attachment CenturiFirebird.pdf

    CenturiFirebird.jpg
     
  19. Apr 7, 2018 #19

    lowga

    lowga

    lowga

    Forum Supporter TRF Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2016
    Messages:
    323
    Likes Received:
    40
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Birmingham, AL
    My pleasure. I've benefitted so much from others on TRF--it's about time to give something back. Especially to help a great Centuri bird.
     
  20. Apr 7, 2018 #20

    Gary Byrum

    Gary Byrum

    Gary Byrum

    Overstable By Design

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    Messages:
    6,318
    Likes Received:
    180
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Lincolnton NC
    Based on your drawing and the rule placement, I couldn't really tell if it said 3-7/8" or 4". So I gave you both in a PDF file. At least now, you can file this and print it off any time you want to. It prints to scale.

    View attachment Centuri Firebird fin.pdf
     
  21. Apr 7, 2018 #21

    jdbectec

    jdbectec

    jdbectec

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Messages:
    102
    Likes Received:
    0
    Me too but they seem to be made of unobtanium!
     
  22. Apr 7, 2018 #22

    K'Tesh

    K'Tesh

    K'Tesh

    OpenRocket Chuck Norris

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2013
    Messages:
    12,441
    Likes Received:
    346
    As does the instructions for the Magnum Sprint, Phoenix Bird, and the Zebra II. I've got plans on simming/building/cloning each of them. Fortunately, I was able to score a couple of the SOA's. So, those instructions have been scanned.
     
  23. Apr 7, 2018 #23

    GlenP

    GlenP

    GlenP

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2014
    Messages:
    1,596
    Likes Received:
    143
    Another challenge with reproducing these classics is the metallic decals. Even eRockets/SEMROC released non-metallic decals for their Centuri Satellite Killer RetroRepro. You just can't print your own metallic colors on a typical consumer ink-jet printer at home unless you fake it with color gradient effects to simulate the highlights of a metallic sheen. I guess you could get a fine tip brush and paint over those parts by hand if you have the dexterity for it, I have seen some examples of hand-painted rockets that look just as good as printed decals. I tried ink-jet printing on metallic cardstock paper, and those don't quite get there.
     
  24. Apr 7, 2018 #24

    linville86

    linville86

    linville86

    Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2017
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    If you were going to upscale it you could cut the gold part of the decal out of gold vinyl, apply it, then trace around it with a black paint marker. Hard to do on a bt-50 model.

    It really is a great looking rocket. Anyone know the body tube length? Launch lug placement and how far up to paint it black? Now I need to find a 5 inch nose cone :)
     
  25. Apr 7, 2018 #25

    GlenP

    GlenP

    GlenP

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2014
    Messages:
    1,596
    Likes Received:
    143
    Also, trim monocote is a good option. Metallic Sharpies almost work. On the downscales cutting and drawing by hand is more difficult for those little bits like the flame feathers on the Firebird.
     
  26. Apr 7, 2018 #26

    caveduck

    caveduck

    caveduck

    semi old rocketeer

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2011
    Messages:
    1,188
    Likes Received:
    54
    Late to the game on this thread but think I have an actual Firebird kit somewhere in my un-inventoried bins (it's not in the 50% or so that are indexed). For the decals, you could print black over gold metallized Oracal #351 1 mil vinyl with reg marks and then cut the outline and apply over white main body. You need a high end cutter, Stickershock can probably do this.
     
  27. Apr 7, 2018 #27

    Tobor

    Tobor

    Tobor

    Get your peanuts.... TRF Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2016
    Messages:
    1,168
    Likes Received:
    169
    Oh wow, I didn't think about using Monocote. That is a great idea.

    That got me to wondering.... would it be possible to send some Gold Metallic Monocote through an Ink Jet printer, and just print the black outlines? I guess you would need to temporarily tape the Monocote to a sheet of paper for support. If I had some Monocote I would test the idea just for the heck of it.
     
  28. Apr 8, 2018 #28

    dhbarr

    dhbarr

    dhbarr

    Amateur Professional TRF Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2016
    Messages:
    5,422
    Likes Received:
    493
    This is a very good way to learn printer repair.
     
  29. Apr 8, 2018 #29

    K'Tesh

    K'Tesh

    K'Tesh

    OpenRocket Chuck Norris

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2013
    Messages:
    12,441
    Likes Received:
    346
    If you find it, please scan everything with a ruler for me... I'd love to sim this... Better still... build this.
     
  30. Apr 8, 2018 #30

    GlenP

    GlenP

    GlenP

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2014
    Messages:
    1,596
    Likes Received:
    143
    Well, not exactly the same fin shapes as the original, I had already laminated and cut these cardstock fins from my first template in post#2 for this downscale before the correct scan was posted here, and my black ink cartridge will run out of ink fast when printing these color fills. I will use the correct shape for a full-size clone now that they are available. This nose cone is actually from a Wizard kit and has not been painted yet, also not really the right shape, but it fits the BT-20. A 13mm powered reasonable facsimilie thereof...

    DSC_7404.jpg

    I like the idea of an upscale in the size of the THUNDER ROC, you know?

    Screen Shot 2018-04-07 at 11.08.57 PM.png

    would have to draw the bird with two heads for the decal.
     

Share This Page