Semroc Arcon

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Jan 17, 2009
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According to my records, my Semroc Arcon is rocket number 6. Actually, it flew before number 1 and I'm still working on number 4 (Cosmos Mariner). It has performed well but has been a disappointment.

When I built it, I did not realize that it was a model of a "real" rocket. I had an idea for bright red and metallic purple. The red came out dull and the purple even duller. The decal is hardly visible.

Since I am working on a backlog of repairs, I through in this one for a re-finish job. I ordered a new decal from Semroc and plan to do it right this time.



The rocket was smoothed down with some light sanding and then set up in the booth. I started spraying light coats of gloss white so that the new paint job would show up better.

It didn't take very long spraying white to notice that there was a real problem with the joints between the fins and BT. Apparently, when the fins were replaced, little or nothign was done about filleting them and the shadows of the cracks really stand out.

I gave the paint that had been sprayed a full 2 days to dry and then started adding white glue fillets to fill the cracks and, hopefully, strengthen the fins. I suppose I;m lookign for fairing as much as anything else.

The glue fillets had a few days to dry and then I started spraying with white. I was not looking for complete coverage except for the fins. I just want the final color that goes down to be easily visible.

THe paint had a few days to dry and I found some crazing on the BT and on one of the fins. From what I've heard, this is usually some type of reaction between different paints. In this case, it affected only 2 spots. When I think of it, though, each time I have had this issue it has been with Krylon Gloss White.


I spent some time with sandpaper and smoothed down the crazing, revealing the ugly purple underneath. At least it should go on smooth this time.

I put it in the booth and started going over it with the white again. An hour later, it looked ready to start laying down some color.

The white paint was dry enough so I began masking 3 of the 4 fins to keep them white. I just used Frog tape. It seems to be working better now that it has warmed up a bit. Time will tell when the tape gets peeled back.


With the masking done, I proceeded to spray with a Rustoleum "Yellow Sunshine".


When the yellow paint had dried, I left the masking in place on the three fins because they were supposed to stay white. I then masked the remainder of the rocket except for the 4th fin and nose cone. I then shot it with 2 coats of gloss black.



It was with a bit of trepidation that I started the unmasking process, frist removing that which protected the BT.

So far, so good.

I then proceeded to unmask the rest of the rocket. The result, while not exciting in a visual sense, was one of the cleanest paintjobs I have ever achieved.

Now I just have to remember where I put that decal.



Great job, John! Very clean paint job! :)

On post #6, can you tell me what that rocket between the Sprint and the Zenith II is called? It's the white one.
Great job, John! Very clean paint job! :)

On post #6, can you tell me what that rocket between the Sprint and the Zenith II is called? It's the white one.


Your eyes are sure better than mine.

I think that's an ASRAM from The Launch Pad but I could not swear to it. I'll look for it next time I've over there.

If you want to see what's waiting for my attention, beside's Wifey's List of Eternal Drudgery, you can check this out:

Its not particularly exciting but it helps me to pretend that one day I'll make it into the big leagues...
Simple is cool John and thats a nice paint job :)
Great job, John! Very clean paint job! :)

On post #6, can you tell me what that rocket between the Sprint and the Zenith II is called? It's the white one.

IK, I got over there and it looks like I was right. It is a launch Pad ASRAM

Picture 026.jpg
The paint is dry and the old Arcon got its decals today. They consisted of a simple roll pattern and a Semroc Arcon logo.

They dress it up nicely and it looks much better than the original finish.




Strange as it may seem, the second flight was more impressive to me. I loaded it with a 1/2A6-2. As expected, it did not go very high but the timing was perfect with deployment right on. This combo is going to make a great exhibition selection since everything can be easily seen.

THe video can be seen here:

John good work on the rocket build pictures and video :)
The Arcon took part in a static display for an upcoming rocketry program at my church. While eyes were looking the other way, some eager young hands got ahold of it and snapped one of the balsa fins. The break was not at the root but a little above that.


When I put the broken fin into place, I noticed that the fit was quite good. I decided to just glue it back into place and did so with yellow glue.

When the glue had dried, the wood joint looked good but there was a valley on either side of the fin where the paint had chipped away. I tried some green Squadron putty to fill the cracks and set it aside to dry overnight.


The putty had a chance to set up overnight and the next day I sanded it down smooth and brushed away the dust. I also noticed a nick in the nose cone that I wanted to take care of.



The rocket was then masked leaving only the NC and black fin exposed.



The exposed areas were then given 2 coats of black, the masking was removed and its ready to fly again.